Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Speedlinking 12/19/07

Quote of the day:

"Everybody believes in something and everybody, by virtue of the fact that they believe in something, use that something to support their own existence."
~ Frank Zappa

Image of the day (John Craig):

~ The Benefits of a High Protein Diet -- "High protein diets are one approach that more and more people are using, despite some words of caution from onlookers. When they first adopt the diet, they might have people telling them that taking in so much protein is unsafe or saying that they will not be meeting their nutrient needs."
~ The Third-World Squat -- "As part of Naval Special Warfare, Craig Weller has had the opportunity to design the strength programs of small forces on three different continents. Those small forces had a leg up on Americans in at least one respect."
~ Trend Watch: Moderate Changes Are "In" For 2008 -- "Every year around the holidays Americans pledge that this will be the year they lose weight and get healthy. Although many will make weight loss a New Year's resolution, the extra pounds have been "weighing" on people's minds throughout the year. In fact, a recent survey from the Calorie Control Council indicates that for 95 million Americans, dieting is a constant concern."
~ Amputation Epidemic: So Many Lost Limbs -- "Americans Ignore Warning Signs -- 200-plus Amputations a Day, Many Avoidable."
~ The top 16 super foods for women -- "Looking to give your diet a healthy makeover? Dietician Elizabeth Somer lists the best choices to make you feel (and look) your best."
~ Breast Cancer Also Strikes Men -- "More than half a million women around the world die each year from breast cancer. But while it has received attention as one of the major killers of women, the disease also hits men." Especially obese men.
~ Green tea may cut prostate cancer risk -- "Drinking green tea may reduce the risk of advanced prostate cancer, according to a study by researchers at Japan’s National Cancer Center."
~ Researchers Hope To Provide Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Answers -- "One of the most difficult things for people suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is that many believe the condition to be a psychological, not physical affliction.New research by the Faculty of Kinesiology hopes to measure one of the syndrome's most obvious symptoms - information that could help doctors in the diagnosis CFS."
~ Sex Your Way to Better Health: A Dozen Reasons Why You Should Have Sex Tonight -- "Yet most of us are quicker to hit the gym before hitting the sheets when it comes to taking care of ourselves. Believe it or not, huffing and puffing your way through a hot, sweat-inducing sex session may be far more beneficial to your overall health than the time you spend on the treadmill."

~ The Functionalist's Dilemma: A review of Language, Consciousness, Culture: Essays on Mental Structure. Ray Jackendoff -- "Ray Jackendoff's new book, Language, Consciousness, Culture, is set solidly within the old generative-linguistics paradigm. In it, Jackendoff staunchly defends functionalism and the symbol-manipulation paradigm. "Some neuroscientists say we are beyond this stage of inquiry, that we don't need to talk about 'symbols in the head' anymore. I firmly disagree," he notes. He goes on to argue that the symbolic representations given by linguists are simply right, and he takes the brain to be irrelevant. Interestingly, he does not cite the major work arguing the opposite, Jerome Feldman's 2006 book, From Molecule to Metaphor. Feldman shows how the analyses of language and thought done by cognitive linguists can be characterized in terms of neural computation. But, as Jackendoff says, "Cognitive Grammarians . . . have been steadfastly ignored by mainstream generative linguistics." Just as Kuhn would have predicted."
~ Mechanical Mind: A review of Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science. Margaret A. Boden -- "Boden's goal, she says, is to show how cognitive scientists have tried to find computational or informational answers to frequently asked questions about the mind—"what it is, what it does, how it works, how it evolved, and how it's even possible." How do our brains generate consciousness? Are animals or newborn babies conscious? Can machines be conscious? If not, why not? How is free will possible, or creativity? How are the brain and mind different? What counts as a language?"
~ Meditation Comparable to Exercise in Alleviating Depression -- "When considering possible methods to manage a chronic case of depression, most do not immediately conjur images of themselves sitting silently for 30-45 minutes, measuring their breath and passively watching thoughts move through the mind. But disciplined meditation, when practiced on a regular basis, may have profoundly positive effects on one's mental health."
~ How Are You Handling Your Blind Spots? -- "Now, much like we drive our cars, we are driving through life (ooh, that’s deep…). And it doesn’t matter if you’re driving a life that looks like an Aston Martin or an Aztek — you’ve got a blind spot. Probably several of them."
~ Love Your Work or Don’t Work at All -- "Why is it that so many people are willing to tolerate work they don’t enjoy for the sake of a paycheck? I think it’s because most of them simply don’t know what it’s really like to be in love with their work. Their fear is greater than their power, so they never make the leap into the unknown to find out what it’s like to work from love instead of for money." Easier said than done for most people -- a more than a little oblivious to many people's realities -- but useful for those of who can make that jump.
~ Don't be a Puppet, Make Your Own Choices -- "Give it some thought and you will be surprised to realize how often someone else is behind your decisions."
~ Op-Ed:The Perfection Myth and Freeing Yourself From It -- "I am a reformed perfectionist. I used to spend nearly every other minute of my day sizing up my reality against how close or how far it was from some perceived ideal. Clearly this approach resulted in only one conclusion – it was always at some relative distance from perfection, only to be measured by my proportionate dis-satisfaction."
~ Four Flawed “Truths” Upon Which Our Culture is Built -- "Today's title is blatantly lifted from Bruce Lipton's website. He has come out with another fascinating article to make you think, and more importantly, to make you realize how much everything truly lies in your own hands (thoughts, feelings, reactions ... all those things we keep talking about on this blog)."

~ Among the millions, a solitary devotion -- "For local Muslims on the hajj, personal rituals observed with millions of others can be more stressful than peaceful."
~ Top 50 Albums of 2007 -- "Following yesterday's list of our favorite tracks, we at Pitchfork close out 2007 with our annual review of the year's 50 best albums-- and start a new tradition with our first Pitchfork Readers Poll! We'll need your votes by December 23 at 11:59 p.m. CST. The results will be published during the first week of the new year."
~ Patriotism: An Anarchic Imperative -- "Given the need to maintain a balance of power, it follows that one’s moral obligation, and one’s duty to family, necessarily supplant allegiance to the state. Forward-thinking Americans will consider this sort of action when they face the dour struggle ahead to redefine a flawed way of life, and a wretched foreign policy. Without a solid push to create a worthy future for a nation that betrayed them long ago, Americans can only begin to imagine how difficult and dismal their lives will become when terrorism reigns supreme."
~ Amy Goodman: What Happens at a CIA "Black Site" -- "One victim shares his experience with the CIA's torture tactics."
~ Person of the Year: Vladimir Putin -- "At significant cost to the principles that free nations prize, he's brought Russia roaring back to the table of world power."
~ Street-Smart Schooling -- "At 7 a.m. in Mumbai, 11-year-old Rangita awakes to a cacophony of morning traffic, just meters from where she lies behind a plastic tarp. Unlike most Indian street children her age, Rangita rises not to work the streets or beg, but to don a school uniform and work toward her goal of one day becoming a doctor. She is one of the fortunate few to have attended the School on Wheels program and to have made the transition to the regular school system."
~ Civic Casualties -- "Perhaps at no other time in American history has the disconnect between our democratically elected government and the armed forces been more glaring. Unlike in decades past, few politicians have served in the military. Even fewer have been in combat. Meanwhile, the citizenry empowered with electing these leaders knows little of its military’s history or the challenges soldiers face on the contemporary battlefield."
~ The Hobbit Goes Hollywood -- "After patching up their differences, New Line and Peter Jackson agree, finally, to bring Tolkein's Lord of the Rings prequel to the screen."

~ Speedy Firefox 3 Beta 2 Arrives With Fewer Bugs -- "The latest beta release from Firefox fixes more than 900 hundred bugs and 300 memory leaks, and improves performance overall. It shows the open-source browser is on track to be one of the biggest releases of the new year."
~ Bush Signs Energy Bill Raising Fuel Economy Standards -- "The president signs a comprehensive energy bill increasing fuel efficiency standards for the first time in three decades." But it pushes increased use of ethanol, the most wasteful -- and useless -- biofuel option available.
~ Atomic Dreams -- "Today the attitude in the environmental movement toward nuclear power may be changing. Atomic energy, once the bĂȘte noir of the movement, is receiving a second look from many dedicated ecologists who are suggesting that, in a world threatened by climate change, splitting the atom may be preferable to burning the carbon. Many people are beginning to wonder: Can nuclear power be green?"
~ Sunny Side Up -- "Hens that are free to roam around a pasture chomping on grass and pecking at insects are no doubt happier than those cramped in metal cages eating cheap corn mixtures packed with additives. Based on that thought alone, so-called free-range eggs are popular among conscientious consumers. Now there’s mounting evidence that hens raised in natural environments produce eggs that are nutritionally superior to those of their caged peers."
~ Seabed microbe study leads to low-cost power, light for the poor -- "A Harvard biology professor`s fascination with seafloor microbes has led to the development of a revolutionary, low-cost power system consuming garbage, compost, and other waste that could provide light for the developing world."
~ Mountains of Evidence Suggest Human Evolution Had Rocky Start -- "Anthropologists think a wall of mountains in Africa drove human evolution."
~ Microchip-based device can detect rare tumor cells in bloodstream -- "A team of investigators from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Biomicroelectromechanical Systems (BioMEMS) Resource Center and the MGH Cancer Center has developed a microchip-based device that can isolate, enumerate and analyze circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from a blood sample. CTCs are viable cells from solid tumors carried in the bloodstream at a level of one in a billion cell. Because of their rarity and fragility, it has not been possible to get information from CTCs that could help clinical decision-making, but the new device - called the “CTC-chip,” - has the potential to be an invaluable tool for monitoring and guiding cancer treatment."

~ a buddhist carnival - 2nd edition, part 2 -- "here’s part 2 of this month’s buddhist carnival, a conglomeration of voices from the buddhosphere. wonder where part 1 is? it’s here." My Integral Buddhism article is in this collection.
~ Walking Away from Civilization: Working Models Based on Love, Conversation, Community -- "I think the criticisms that have been made of my recently espoused 'Love Conversation Community' philosophy-of-everything are unfair and a bit unfounded. Although this will be exceedingly difficult (I've been writing this article for three days, and keep scratching it out and starting over) it's important that I give it a try. So here goes...."
~ FW: Wishing Merry Christmas to Democrats and Republicans -- "Robb Smith just sent this to me, after making its rounds in the email-o-sphere. I thought it was hysterical."
~ A Change of Life -- "The idea of 'accidental dharma' is something that I believe has an important place in the life of any Buddhist. Indeed, for myself, the most profound lessons - the ones that have moved me forward the most on my path - have all come in the form of unexpected (and at the time) seemingly detrimental circumstances. I think that perhaps when a lesson comes from an unexpected source it has more impact than one you deliberately went seeking."
~ Jared Diamond: Taking the Middle Way of Environmentalism -- "The quote above is excerpted from the prologue of Jared Diamond's very timely book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. I just picked up the paperback edition from a small bookstore here in Ireland. It's a long read, so it might take a while for me to finish and digest its insights. But here's the gist: a combination of five factors leads to the collapse of human societies...."
~ The Fever of Humanity and the Antidote: Reconciling Self-Love and Self-Improvement -- "We’re always running away from ourselves, running from our shadow, our emotions, our life. It is time to turn around and face them, to love and accept them."
~ Oneness v. selflessness: a world apart -- "At one point, we come to realize that oneness and selflessness are a world apart. They may seem similar from a distance, but when we have a taste of each, we see how profoundly different they are from each other."
~ Enquiring about Self-Enquiry -- "I almost decided this was all a mistake and that I should delete this blog. Then I just realized I was being a chicken. So what if this comes off as really, really stupid? So, what's the important thing here? The practice of self-enquiry. I'm not entirely sure how to write about it. All I know is that it feels right and good and stabilizing."

1 comment:

isabella mori said...

thanks for the link love, william! i hope you'll submit a post for the next buddhist carnival.