Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Speedlinking 6/26/07

Quote of the day:

"Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment."
~ R. Buckminster Fuller

Image of the day (John Craig):

~ Raison d'être and Real World Muscle Gain -- "I believe that behind every person who is trying to change something -- or present something new -- there is a passion - an overwhelming why - that drives them to find the answers. It's become something that I look for before really listening to coaches or trainers. The why. The Raison d'être."
~ How to raise your testosterone levels -- "There are a few reasons why you would want to raise your testosterone level. Having higher testosterone will increase sex drive and allow you to increase muscle size. The real goal of steroids is to raise testosterone levels in your body but the trouble is that this is dangerous and stops your body from producing its own testosterone. Here are some tips to raise your testosterone levels yourself." Two clarifications to this otherwise good advice -- overweight men have lover test levels because fat makes estrogen; and if you do low rep sets (4-6 reps) you need to do more than three sets (24-30 reps per exercise is optimal). Also worth mentioning: a higher test level fights depression, reduces pain, speeds recovery from injuries, and keeps the heart healthy.
~ New Associations, New Muscle -- "Lots of the usual solid folksy wisdom from Dan John, but in addition, this article contained so many great training ideas that we dropped what we were doing and ran straight to the gym to try them. (Sorry Ma, we'll fix your dialysis machine tomorrow.)"
~ The 300 Workout -- "Want Hollywood muscle? Try this 300-rep Spartan workout -- used by the cast of the movie -- for a full-body transformation." NOTE: this workout was a test, not an actual program. The post does include a video demonstration of each exercise.
~ Omega 3 Protects Against Blindness Due To Retinopathy, New Study -- "Scientists in the US and Sweden have shown that Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids stopped mice from getting retinopathy, a condition where the retina deteriorates and results in blindness.The study appears in the July edition of the journal Nature Medicine." Is there anything fish oil can't do?
~ Trading Crayons for Crunches: Kids Hire Personal Trainers to Stay Fit -- "More Then One Million Children Attend Private Fitness Sessions." If you take this approach, be sure the trainer knows how to work with kids.
~ Can Eating Like an Ape Change Your Health in 12 Days? -- "The health improvements here occurred most likely because switching from a diet based on processed foods to one based on whole foods like fruits and veggies is bound to have a beneficial effect. However, eating a vegetarian-type diet is not for everyone. While carb nutritional types will thrive on it, protein and mixed types require some high-quality meat in their daily diet to be healthy." Damn straight.
FDA says unmoved by aspartame/ cancer report (Reuters) -- "A U.S. consumer group called for an urgent Food and Drug Administration review of the safety of aspartame on Monday, but the FDA said there was no immediate need to do so despite a new study showing the sweetener may cause cancer." The cancer link is weak at best -- I'm more worries about the link to depression.

~ Pride linked to early survival skills, study finds -- "A proud person could be either genuinely self-confident or falsely arrogant, a new review of studies finds."
~ Defining Healthy Boundaries and Setting Limits -- "In my post two weeks ago, Codependency: When Caring Becomes Self-Destructive, I talked about how codependency often results in unhealthy relationships. Two key components of healthy and productive relationships are good boundaries and knowing how to set limits. The concept of healthy boundaries applies to all relationships - intimate, family, friends and co-workers. Boundaries and limit-setting are both huge topics; this is an overview. "
~ When Do Children Think Wishes Can Come True? [Mixing Memory] -- "It's now clear that by age 3, children have a pretty sophisticated theory of mind, which includes an understanding of the limits of the causal powers of thought. They know that thoughts cause behaviors and other thoughts, but they're also aware that simply thinking about something can't affect it. Except, according to a recent paper by Woolley, Browne, and Boerger(1), when it comes to wishing."
~ Three articles at Psychology Today: (1) Media Messes with Men's Minds Too -- "Media isn't always so good for men." (2) Media: Maxim Insecurity -- "Why men's mags are a drag on male self-esteem." (3) Gym Rat: Too Pumped -- "What happens when super buff isn't good enough."
~ Psychological Motivation -- "These 10 exercise benefits will help you find your healthy weight & keep your motivation to exercise strong. Psychological motivation is key to getting & staying healthy!"
~ How options can decrease anxiety and panic -- "In a PANIC attack, or in an intense anxiety situation, the idea we have options appears pretty limited, maybe even non-existent. Am I ringing any bells yet? A good preplan for panic attacks is giving ourselves a way to feel empowered. So being able to recall the exercise below was part of what became for me, a big tool in my recovery tool kit. It's these little time savers that make a difference over the long haul. Using these tools can turn our lives around."
~ Nica Lalli: On Being Nothing -- "Our terror of nothing is palpable. The thought of the void stretching out forever in emptiness and solitude makes our mouths go dry and our hands start to tremble. Children burst into tears at the threat of nothing ("If you don't clean your room you will get nothing for dessert!"), losers of contests are disappointed and empty handed, ("The winner gets the car, but you picked the wrong box so you go home with nothing!") and all of us hate the idea of not getting, not having, not seeing or doing. We all try our hardest to avoid nothing by filling every moment, every space and every whim of desire."

~ Release Of 'Sicko' Places Democratic Presidential Candidates In Difficult Position -- "The release of Michael Moore's documentary on the health care industry, "Sicko," is "creating an awkward situation for the leading Democratic presidential candidates" who are "sidestepp[ing] direct comment" on Moore's proposals for health system change, the Los Angeles Times reports."
~ Making Mary: How do Christians manage belief? [Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge] -- "Although religious programming at a young age is notoriously difficult to overcome even after people reach a point at which their critical evaluation skills are well developed, I have to wonder what would happen to Christianity if its followers were in the habit of skeptically examining the underpinnings of some of its chief tenets." A bit angry. but good arguments.
~ Rights and Liberties: Right-Wing Judicial Activism Runs Amok -- "Congressional Democrats never stood up to Bush's far-right judicial nominees. With this week's decisions, Americans are reaping what their lack of back-bone sowed."
~ The eternal appeal of the stoner movie -- "Nearly every summer, the High Times set puts down their gravity bongs, turns off Reading Rainbow, and emerges from the safe confines of their parents' basements to descend upon America's multiplexes for a no less glorious occasion than the summer stoner movie. Not to be confused with films like Winged Migration, Wizard of Oz, or Muppets Take Manhattan—however beloved by tokers they may be—the proper stoner movie is by, for, and about pot smokers."
~ Please Mr. Postman -- "Reclaiming the lost art of letter writing."
~ Standards of American justice under George W. Bush -- "A New York Times Op-Ed by a U.S. military prosecutor seeking to defend the humane conditions at Guantánamo proves the exact opposite point."
~ The Real Iraq Debate -- "Quietly, the real debate over Iraq is beginning. It's not about whether the United States should pull out troops. That is now inevitable. The real challenge is to figure out the right timetable for withdrawal, whether a residual force should be left there, and which American objectives can still be salvaged."

~ Human DNA, the Ultimate Spot for Secret Messages (Are Some There Now?) -- "Using the same code that computer keyboards use, the Japanese group, led by Masaru Tomita of Keio University, wrote four copies of Albert Einstein’s famous formula, E=mc2, along with “1905,” the date that the young Einstein derived it, into the bacterium’s genome, the 400-million-long string of A’s, G’s, T’s and C’s that determine everything the little bug is and everything it’s ever going to be."
~ Maryland Professor Creates Desktop Supercomputer -- "A prototype of what may be the next generation of personal computers has been developed by researchers in the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering. Capable of computing speeds 100 times faster than current desktops, the technology is based on parallel processing on a single chip."
~ Biotech breakthrough could end biodiesel's glycerin glut -- "With U.S. biodiesel production at an all-time high and a record number of new biodiesel plants under construction, the industry is facing an impending crisis over waste glycerin, the major byproduct of biodiesel production. New findings from Rice University suggest a possible answer in the form of a bacterium that ferments glycerin and produces ethanol, another popular biofuel." Now that's cool.
~ How to Reconstruct the Neandertal Genome -- "A Neandertal, mammoth and cave bear wandered into a lab and, in the process, revealed how it might be possible to reconstruct their entire genetic makeup."
~ Giant Microwave Turns Plastic Back To Oil -- "A US company has developed a machine using 1200 different frequencies in the microwave range to turn waste plastics back into the oil they came from, plus gas."
~ Supreme Court sides with developers on Endangered Species Act case -- "Like a tormented parent with two kids in a spelling bee, environmentalists watched in horror this week as the U.S. Supreme Court judged the relative heft of two federal eco-laws. The case in question pitted green groups against the National Association of Home Builders."

~ The Science of Mindfulness Meditation -- "A fascinating new study by UCLA researchers combines modern neuroscience with ancient Buddhist teachings. The scientists believe they have discovered the first neural evidence for why “mindfulness” — the ability to live in the present moment, without distraction — seems to produce a variety of health benefits."
~ Supercharging Your Symbolic Mind -- "I have, by now I think, almost entirely written over my mind into the symbolic operating system mode of consciousness. Symbols are the assembly language of the human soul, hooked into the API’s of the body’s many operational energy centers, enabling you to rewrite your body’s softdrives, your thinware and thickware."
~ What is Lucid Dreaming? -- "This great 4 minute news footage is a perfect summary to what Lucid Dreaming is all about. Lucid dreaming is something that everybody can experience and it’s possible to see results in a matter of days."
~ Christian, Atheist, Buddhist -- "We take who we are forward with us. Yes, we are certainly reborn every moment, and if we are open to that, really aware of it, then a wonderful breakthrough, or liberation, can occur. Yet we take our experiences with us. We are composed of transient phenomena to be sure, or at least if we accept the core teachings of Buddhism."
~ Philosophy: Happiness and Community -- "I'm reading Matthieu Ricard's book, Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill, and it's simply wonderful. I skipped right to the end for the juicy stuff (being an expert on all of this as I arleady am :) - just kidding), and I'm working through the early material now. One of the sections in the late chapter, "The Path" is titled, "Like a Wounded Stag." There he praises the act of separating oneself from society, like a wounded stag would do, to help heal the wounds "of ignorance, animosity, envy" (p.262). This is a temporary process, but a necessary one."

No comments: