Monday, June 25, 2007

Speedlinking 6/25/07

Quote of the day:

"Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it."
~ George Bernard Shaw

Image of the day:

~ Complexes for Fat Loss -- "Maybe fat loss is never fun, but these routines are about as close as you'll get. Okay, maybe "fun" is too strong a word, but they beat running in place on a damn treadmill."
~ Straight Sets VS Staggered Sets -- "Imagine that you just performed a hard squat session, using 242 pounds for 5 sets of 5 reps. Was that the best way to organize your sets & reps?" Years ago, T-Nation ran a program similar to this called "oscillating waves." It works well for increasing maximal strength.
~ Many Americans Think They're "Lighter" Than They Are, Most NOT Being Told By A Doctor They Need To Lose Weight -- "According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 66 percent of U.S. adults are overweight (33 percent) or obese (33 percent) but, according to a new National Consumers League study conducted by Harris Interactive®, only 12 percent of U.S. adults say they have ever been told by a doctor, nurse, or other health care professional that they are obese."
~ Portion control dishes aid weight loss: study -- "Commercially available portion control plates and bowls can help obese individuals with type 2 diabetes lose weight and reduce their need for blood sugar-controlling medications, according to a Canadian study published today." Seems good for anyone trying to lose weight.
~ Study finds echinacea may prevent colds -- "Echinacea may not only help reduce the symptoms of a cold but may help prevent infection with some cold viruses, US researchers said on Monday."
~ Sugar's Dark Side -- "The sweetener we call sugar is actually a double sugar. Half is the sugar called glucose, the body's most basic fuel. The other half is another sugar called fructose."
~ Whole grains may help heart -- "Eating plenty of whole grains can help keep your arteries healthy, potentially warding off heart disease and stroke, a new study shows." Eating salmon, avoiding sugar and white flour, and eating garlic work even better, without the risk of weight gain inherent in high-calorie grains. And most whole grains on the shell really aren't -- look for fiber content.
~ Commonly prescribed antidepressants associated with lower bone density in older men and women -- "The class of antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may be associated with an increased rate of bone loss in older men and women, according to two articles in the June 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals."

~ New Booklet Gives Guidance On Diet And Depression -- "Recent research from the Mental Health Foundation has shown that a healthy diet can have a positive impact on mental health. The charity has published a new booklet, Healthy eating and depression, for anyone who wishes to protect their mental health through healthy eating. It is particularly relevant for people recovering from mild to moderate depression and suggests how changes to their diet can help improve their mood." Food IS a drug.
~ Quantifying the Unconscious: New Methods in fMRI Pattern Classification [Developing Intelligence] -- "Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has captured the popular imagination since its introduction in the early 1990s, at least partially because of the stunningly beautiful images it generates. Although it has mostly used to identify brain regions involved in specific cognitive operations, new pattern classification techniques have been applied to fMRI data in what some have called "mind reading technology." These techniques go beyond simply showing which brain areas are more active than others during a particular task to reveal functional relationships among multiple brain areas, while simultaneously avoiding both the spatial averaging and the low signal-to-noise ratios of traditional MRI methods."
~ Language, Writing, and the Spatial Representation of Events [Mixing Memory] -- "Picture in your head one person throwing a ball to another. How were the two people oriented spatially? Was one on the left, and the other on the right? If so, which one was on the left, and which on the right? Chances are, the thrower was on the left, and the catcher was on the right. For some reason, that seems to be our default way of representing actions: with the actor on the right, the patient on the left, and the actions occurring from left to right...."
~ Encoding memory: from a free issue of SciAm -- "To celebrate the launch of a redesign, Scientific American have made the July edition freely available online as a pdf file. The cover story examines the search for how the brain encodes memories." Offer expires when June is gone.
~ A Simple Guide to Setting and Achieving Your Life Goals -- From Zen Habits.
~ A review of Henry Stapp’s Mindful Universe: Quantum Mechanics and the Participating Observer -- "The Mindful Universe represents the latest effort in his ongoing crusade to convince the cognitive and neurosciences that the transition away from classical physics and towards quantum theory is long overdue. Stapp’s core argument is that cognitive and brain scientists are stuck in a paradigm of classical physics which is outdated and inaccurate. The text is carefully crafted to make his point from several complimentary directions, as well as to briefly refute other contemporary theorists who advocate alternative positions."
~ Childhood Social Skills And Learning Abilities Linked By Research -- "While federal programs such as No Child Left Behind emphasize the importance of academic skills to school success and achievement, there is growing interest in how social skills develop and how they contribute to learning. Research presented at the 2007 meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development by a team of Michigan State University researchers indicate that a child's social skills at age three could predict his or her future social and academic performance."
~ Video game addiction 'not mental illness' -- "Doctors backed away from a controversial proposal to designate video-game addiction as a mental disorder akin to alcoholism on Sunday, saying psychiatrists should study the issue further."

~ Almost 44 million in U.S. are uninsured -- "Just under 44 million Americans had no health insurance in 2006, according to a survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
~ The critical buzz on Annie Dillard -- "The Maytrees, Annie Dillard (HarperCollins). Best known for her nature writing, Dillard fills her second novel—which follows the marriage of two bohemian types living in Cape Cod, Mass., after World War II—with careful attention to the details of both love and landscape. Most critics are ecstatic." One of my favorite authors.
~ How to take down plutocrat Michael Bloomberg -- "Michael Bloomberg's flirtation with the presidency dramatizes the breakdown of our campaign-finance system. His third-party threat is only realistic because he is able to spend a billion dollars of his own money. Even if this isn't enough to get him to the White House, it might well shift the balance between the candidates of the major parties, turning 2008 into a parody of 2000, with Plutocrat Bloomberg playing the destabilizing role of Citizen Nader."
~ Court restricts student expression -- "The Supreme Court ruled Monday that school officials retain discretion to censor student speech that they believe may encourage illegal drug use."
~ Court Bars Suit Against Faith-Based Plan -- "Justices Bar Ordinary Taxpayers From Suing Over White House Faith-Based Program." Wow, the Court is not on the side of free speech or separation of church and state. Who woulda thunk it?
~ Diversity's Day of Reckoning at the Supreme Court -- "Sometime between now and July 4, the Supreme Court may hand down the most important decision on racial discrimination in a generation because it could determine whether the diversity movement has legal authority. The suspense is much less a matter of which way the court rules on the legality of how students are assigned to schools in Seattle and Louisville, than how the decision is written."

~ Google Predicted in 1964 -- Not really, but interesting, sort of.
~ Human Strategies in Complexity -- "Here we present selected research papers from the project “Human Strategies in Complexity. Philosophical Foundations for a Theory of Evolutionary Systems“ (HSIC)."
~ The iPhone Dials Up the Competition -- "As Apple's new gadget debuts, some start-ups are looking to reinvent mobile-phone service."
~ Giant penguins may have roamed Peru (AP) -- "Giant penguins as tall as 5 feet roamed what is now Peru more than 40 million years ago, much earlier than scientists thought the flightless birds had spread to warmer climes. Known mostly for their presence in Antarctica, penguins today live in many islands in the Southern Hemisphere, some even near the equator."
~ Study shows desert droughts lead to earlier annual mountain snow loss -- "A new study spearheaded by the University of Colorado at Boulder`s National Snow and Ice Data Center indicates wind-blown dust from drought-stricken and disturbed lands in the Southwest can shorten the duration of mountain snow cover hundreds of miles away in the Colorado mountains by roughly a month."
~ Human-like altruism shown in chimpanzees -- "Debates about altruism are often based on the assumption that it is either unique to humans or else the human version differs from that of other animals in important ways. Thus, only humans are supposed to act on behalf of others, even toward genetically unrelated individuals, without personal gain, at a cost to themselves. Studies investigating such behaviors in nonhuman primates, especially our close relative the chimpanzee, form an important contribution to this debate."
~ Bogota's urban happiness movement -- "Car Free Day is just one of the ways that Enrique Peñalosa, the mayor of Bogota, has helped to transform a city once infamous for narco-terrorism, pollution and chaos into an globally lauded model of livability and urban renewal. His ideas are being adopted in cities across the developing world. They are also being championed by planners and politicians in North America, where Mr. Peñalosa has reinvigorated the debate about public space once championed by Jane Jacobs."

10 Weaknesses of Human Intelligence -- "In the previous article on How Your Mind Really Works, we explored the key strengths of human intelligence, such as our ability to identify invariant patterns and to recognize specific instances of them. But these strengths don’t come without major drawbacks. The human mind certainly has its share of weaknesses, gaps, and blind spots."
~ “More” w/ commentary -- "Click play below first to hear me talk. Then I will give you a cue to click play on the video above to sync with my commentary, just like on DVD! You might have to turn the volume down on the video a little. Question explored: What is the relationship between happiness and childhood?"
~ Buddhist Geeks 25: It’s Like Phil Donahue! -- "At 87, Nishijima Sensei, Brad Warner’s teacher, loves the fact that he can blog. In this episode, Gwen and Brad discuss the pros and cons of using the “tech factor” to spread the Dharma. In the comment section, a few possible questions for further exploration: How important is the accumulation of “Information” in your Buddhist practice? Why can’t we have all the things we desire? Does sex equal evil?"
~ The Dharma excludes nothing, happy or sad -- "Buddhist practice is not about making ourselves feel good by willfully deluding ourselves. The Buddha did not turn a blind eye to suffering; the entirety of his teaching addresses the suffering of all beings."
~ Roundup on June 23, 2007 -- Blogmandu is back!
~ 132,000 -- There isn't a key phrase to sum up this post -- just read it and enjoy the pictures.

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