Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Speedlinking 11/20/07

Quote of the day:

"Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody."
~ Franklin P. Adams

Image of the day:

~ The Fascia and Muscle Link -- "Those aches and pains, that annoying inflexibility, that injury that flares up whenever you try to deadlift a number that's higher than your IQ — all of it could be the result of tight or inflamed fascia."
~ The Ultimate Guide To Avoiding The Dreaded Holiday Weight Gain! -- "Yes, it's that time again - time to prepare for the holidays. Want to lessen the effects of the holidays? Use this guide which gives you sample training and cardio routines, nutrition tips, and more!"
~ Stand Up To Decrease Risk Of Disease -- "Most people spend most of their day sitting with relatively idle muscles. Health professionals advise that at least 30 minutes of activity at least 5 days a week will counteract health concerns, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity that may result from inactivity. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia say a new model regarding physical activity recommendations is emerging."
~ Doubled Calorie Intake From Beverages Likely Contributes To Adult Obesity -- "It's not just sugary sodas that are adding to the obesity crisis it's fruit drinks, alcohol and a combination of other high-calorie beverages, say University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health researchers. And during the holidays, when eggnog, cocktails and spiced cider are abundant, the problem can be even more apparent."
~ Really? : The Claim: White Meat Is Healthier Than Dark Meat -- "As Americans carve up their Thanksgiving turkeys this year, an age-old question will come into play: dark meat or white?"
~ Migraine Sufferers Have Different Brains -- "Researchers have identified specific differences in the brains of migraine sufferers linked to the processing of sensory information, including pain."
~ Heart Disease Kills More Women Under 45 -- "Increasing rates of obesity and other risk factors may be to blame."

~ Stress Response Differs with Gender -- "We all behave differently during times of stress, and researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have found further evidence that gender affects the ways in which we cope with stress. With a more comprehensive understanding of how the stress response is influenced by gender, we can better explain why our gender puts us at risk for certain diseases and disorders."
~ Cognitive Benefit of Antipsychotics May be Due to Practice Effect -- "How could there be so little difference between medications? An eye-opening new study in the October issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests that the effects are the same because they are non-existent. In other words, the study offers evidence that all patients, even those receiving no treatment, would show "improved" cognition after taking the same cognitive test multiple times."
~ Think Different, Be Different -- "Now, thinking differently about something you’re holding as a negative is good… and, in my experience, it can be like trying to keep a paper cup on a picnic table in a wind storm. You can try to keep your thoughts in the positive, but if you’ve got a strong wind — belief systems, in this case — that keep on blowing the same way they have been, then you can try all you want to keep that cup on the table, but it isn’t going to happen."
~ The Once-Over -- "Can you trust first impressions?"
~ Your Pain, My Brain -- "Why we react to the suffering of others."
~ How to Quit a Bad Habit by Answering Four Power Questions -- "Maybe you have even tried, but things haven’t worked out as you hoped. Unfortunately, the very idea of “quitting” can make things difficult for you: let’s discover why."
~ Toward a Science of Consciousness: 2008 Conference -- "The eighth biennial Tucson conference, hosted by the Center for Consciousness Studies and the University of Arizona, continues an interdisciplinary tradition of intense, far-ranging and rigorous discussions on all approaches to the fundamental issue of how the brain produces conscious experience. The conference will take place from April 8-12, 2008 at the Tucson Convention Center, Tucson." I'll more than likely be there if at all possible.

~ Fewer Small Businesses Offering Workers Health Insurance, According To Study -- "The cost of providing employer-sponsored health insurance this year rose by 6.1%, roughly the same rate of increase as in 2006, according to highlights of a nationwide survey conducted by Mercer, Reuters reports. The survey, released on Monday, included about 3,000 private and public companies with at least 10 employees."
~ Romulus and Remus cave may have been found: experts -- "Italian archaeologists believe they have found the cave where a she-wolf suckled Romulus and Remus, the twin founders of Rome, according to legend."
~ Meta-Philosophy of Religion: The Analytic-Continental Divide in Philosophy of Religion -- "How is the philosophical study of religion best pursued? Responses to this meta-philosophical question tend to recapitulate the analytic-Continental divide in philosophy in general. My aim is to examine the nature of this divide, particularly as it has manifested itself in the philosophy of religion. I begin with a comparison of
the stylistic differences in the language of the two traditions, taking the work of Alvin Plantinga and John Caputo as exemplars of the analytic and Continental schools respectively."
~ The Bible wasn't meant to be a historical record -- "The long-ago authors of scripture never imagined their work would be taken literally, explains Karen Armstrong – spiritual truth was their goal."
~ Jim Wallis: My Response to a Muslim Call for Common Ground -- "Christianity and Islam comprise the world's largest communities of faith - 2.1 billion Christians and 1.5 billion Muslims. If these two religious traditions cannot find ways to keep peace between themselves, the world will be in very serious trouble. As Brian McLaren posted earlier on the God's Politics blog, a group of 138 Muslim scholars and clerics recently sent an open letter to Christians around the world, A Common Word Between Us and You."
~ Lewis and Snark -- "As Lapham, the Harper’s editor emeritus, writes in the Quarterly’s “Preamble” (pause for another moment of eye-widening/-rolling), which he’s titled “The Gulf of Time” (pause), and which begins with a quote from Goethe (pause), the journal aims “to bring at least some of the voices of the past up to the microphone of the present”—and in so doing to counteract “the blessed states of amnesia” of a culture that worships at the altar of Newness."
~ How would Barack Obama handle foreign policy? -- "The presidential contender on dealing with Iran, fighting AIDS in Africa and restoring America's standing in the world."
~ Matt Taibbi on Mike Huckabee, Our Favorite Right-Wing Nut Job -- "MIKE HUCKABEE, THE LATEST IT GIRL OF THE Republican presidential race, tells a hell of a story. Let your guard down anywhere near the former Arkansas governor and he'll pod you, Body Snatchers-style — you'll wake up drooling, your brain gone, riding a back seat on the bandwagon that suddenly has him charging toward the lead in the GOP race."

~ Documented proof of Darwin's natural selection -- "It was a theory with no hard science, no firsthand observation, to back it up. It was a work of exposition and logic. What Darwin had going for him, though, was a fine command of plain language and a body of evidence developed over more than two decades of investigation, observation, and reflection."
~ Shadow World -- "In a school of thought that teaches the existence of extra dimensions, Juan Maldacena may at first sound a little out of place. String theory is physicists' still-tentative strategy for reconciling Einstein's theory of gravitation with quantum physics. Its premise is that the subatomic particles that roam our three-dimensional world are really infinitesimally thin strings vibrating in nine dimensions. According to Maldacena, however, the key to understanding string theory is not to add more dimensions but to cut their number down."
~ A New Model To Simulate Forest Growth -- "A simulator modeling the evolution of a forest applies computational geometry to the problem of understanding forest growth. Tree development within a forest largely depends on how much space they have both on the ground and in the air, around the treetops. Trees compete to dominate the space they need to develop."
~ Remote-control Nanoparticles Deliver Drugs Directly Into Tumors -- "Scientists have devised remotely controlled nanoparticles that, when pulsed with an electromagnetic field, release drugs to attack tumors. With the ability to see the clumped particles, researchers asked the next question: "Can we talk back to them?" The answer is yes, the team found."
~ Digging Biblical History At 'The End Of The World' -- "Archaeologists are studying Tel Megiddo, the New Testament location of "Armageddon," and are unearthing truths about King Solomon. Researchers theorize that ancient rulers such as David and Solomon were 'tribal chieftains ruling from a small hill town, with a modest palace and royal shrine.'"
~ Astronomers Say Moons Like Ours Are Uncommon -- "The next time you take a moonlit stroll, or admire a full, bright-white moon looming in the night sky, you might count yourself lucky. New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggest that moons like Earth's - that formed out of tremendous collisions - are uncommon in the universe, arising at most in only 5 to 10 percent of planetary systems."
~ Chocolate Can Save the Planet -- Hurrah! -- "If you're looking for an excuse to enjoy chocolate (and organic, Fair Trade, or contributions to good works aren't enough), seek no further: the cacao tree can help fight climate disruption. Seems that in eastern Brazil, there's a cacao plantation that's being maintained as a multi-canopied rainforest, creating a valuable agricultural crop while also maintaining the rainforest's ability to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere."

~ Out of Practice -- "This is an important reminder to those of us who are engaged in building an integral life and forming an integral life practice. An ILP, however it is structured, takes into consideration each of those “physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social dimensions” of our lives and strengthens our capacities in each of them. When not following an ILP, it’s very easy to become wrapped up in aspects of our lives that seem to dominate."
~ Evolutionary Allies -- "In earlier essays I've made it known where I stand regarding Sri Aurobindo and Wilber. Now, a number of converging factors have brought home to me the importance of working together with mainstream Integralists in a more harmonious manner, while at the same time retaining my status as a strong independent voice."
~ How the Masculine Grows -- "Adapted from Intimate Communion By David Deida. The essential Masculine style of search is that of the warrior, the hero, or the visionary. The Masculine force is one-pointed, directional, and guided by a vision of freedom. Masculine energy cuts through any obstacles that are in its path. Nothing deters the Masculine from its goal of freedom. However, not every man uses his Masculine energy to search for freedom in the same way."
~ Zizek's Western Buddhism -- "This ideological confusion is part of an exchange between, a switching-out of Judeo-Christian religion with so-called Western Buddhism in global Capitalist ideology. Buddhism’s influence is suppose to be one of passivism and moral ambiguity. Almost out of nowhere, Zizek launches into a tested accusation of (Western) Buddhism '[presenting] itself as the remedy against the stress of capitalism's dynamics—by allowing us to uncouple and retain some inner peace—it actually functions as the perfect ideological supplement.'"
~ Zizek sins on Buddhism -- "It's Zizek-time at Progressive Buddhism with Joe posting "Zizek's Western Buddhism". I have briefly commented on Zizek's treatment of "Western Buddhism" in his article "From Western Marxism to Western Buddhism" (!) and then it seemed to me that "while some of Western Buddhism indeed deserves a bashing as quasi-Western pseudo-Buddhism, it being an insidious newage flirtation with general Buddhist signifiers, and a shallow understanding and application of Buddhist spiritual methods, there is surely an authentic Buddhist mysticism for the 21st century being questioned and formulated here in the West by at least some."
~ The meaning and purpose behind Buddhist chanting and prayer -- "Buddhism is not just a religion; it is a pragmatic description of life that details our very existence and shows us methods for eliminating the dissatisfactory nature of much of our everyday experiences. The Buddha showed us the true nature of conditioned existence."

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