Monday, December 31, 2007

Speedlinking 12/31/07


Quote of the day:

"There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes."
~ Doctor Who

Image of the day (Tristan Campbell):

~ Progressions for Hypertrophy and Fat Loss -- "It's difficult to make any progress unless you know how to force your body to do what it's not used to doing. No worries! Chad Waterbury is here to tell you how to use progressions to make your body bend to your will."
~ Assessing your 2007 progress -- "One year ago today - Dec 31st 2006 - what New Year's resolutions did you set for 2007? What goals did you want to achieve? And where are you now? How big is the difference?"
~ Overeating Could Be Due To Lack Of Brain Chemical Caused By Faulty Gene -- "Using genetically altered mice, scientists in the US have shown that lack of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), in certain parts of the brain, leads to overreating and may be a contributing factor to the rising obesity epidemic. The researchers said the study is relevant to humans because, for instance, a quarter of Americans are estimated to carry the mutated form of the BDNF gene."
~ Survival of the Fittest -- "This year was packed with inspiring new fitness ideas, but even we’ve got favorites. We predict these workouts from ’07 will pass the test of time and keep you moving through the New Year."
~ More Than One Third Of Americans Cannot Separate Help From Hype -- "Some describe New Year's as the "world championship" of weight loss, as adults are bombarded with weight-loss claims and promises. For millions of well-intentioned dieters, the chaos can result in confusion, frustration and, ultimately, disappointment."
~ Eating More Fruit And Veggies Can Help You Lose Those Pounds You Put On During The Holidays -- "Have you eaten more chocolate than you thought humanly possible? Have you been munching on leftovers for six weeks straight? Are you sweating as your sweat pants get tighter by the minute? You vow to eat healthier in 2008. But how? Start by eating more! Eating more fruits and vegetables can help you to eat healthier and shed those extra pounds."
~ 5 Easy Steps to Healthier Eating in the New Year -- "Is eating healthier one of your New Year's resolutions? Following a fad diet, or being overly restrictive, will not help you or your family achieve your health goals. Healthy eating does not mean boring, tasteless foods. Try these simple yet sensible steps that will help you adopt a healthier diet, without feeling deprived."
~ No Hangover Makes a Happy New Year -- "Twenty-four hours from now, you'll probably be lying in bed, head throbbing like the walls of an Ibiza club, wondering how you swallowed the rat that apparently crawled into your mouth and died during the night."
~ Studies show yoga has multiple benefits -- "Yoga induces a feeling of well-being in healthy people, and can reverse the clinical and biochemical changes associated with metabolic syndrome, according to results of studies from Sweden and India. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity and high blood sugar."

~ Organize your way out of stress -- "Professional household organizer Ruth Phillips has a mantra: Are you keeping it or tossing it? She describes most of her clients as being overwhelmed by clutter. Nearly all of them experience stress because of it, she says."
~ Will Your Resolutions Last to February? -- "If your resolutions usually fail, it's time to make better resolutions."
~ Hedonist Philosopher Epicurus Was Right About Happiness (Mostly) -- "One philosopher who dispensed clear advice about how to live a happy life was Epicurus, a Greek who lived in the third century B.C.. In a new article in the Journal of Happiness Studies, Bergsma, Poot and Liefbroer (in press) explain Epicurus' guide to the good life and then compare it with some of the huge body of work in psychology looking at satisfaction with life."
~ Is Executive Function a Valid Construct? [Developing Intelligence] -- "The term "executive function" is frequently used but infrequently defined. In attempting to experimentally define executive functions in terms of their relationship to age, reasoning and perceptual speed, Timothy Salthouse reviewed the variety of verbal definitions given to construct of "executive function." Although these differ in terminology and emphasis, they are clearly addressing a similar concept...."
~ Where You Can Find Personal Development People On the Ground -- "IIt seems that everywhere you turn on the web nowadays there are personal development resources popping up. Thanks to the Internet, we now have a wide variety of online resources and even virtual communities we can participate in to learn how we can make our lives better."
~ 10 Brain Fitness New Year's Resolutions -- "To summarize the key findings of the last 20 years of neuroscience research on how to "exercise our brains", there are three things that we can strive for: novelty, variety and challenge. If we do these three things, we will build new connections in our brains, be mindful and pay attention to our environment, improve cognitive abilities such as pattern-recognition, and in general contribute to our lifelong brain health."
~ Year in Review: The 70 Best Lifehacks of 2007 -- "If you want to be more productive in the New Year, take a look at these 70 best lifehacks of 2007 now, and subscribe to our feed so you don’t miss any of the great advice and information to come in the year ahead. These were the most popular posts of the last year, based on their popularity, your comments, and links from other sites. As 2007 winds down, invest some of your time and read them all."
~ Assume Responsibility - Then You Are In Control -- "But if you are depressed or angry or afraid of a lot of things, if you are nervous and stressed out, it’s all in how you communicate with yourself… your non-stop stream of mental movies and inner dialog is the biggest reason for your negative/disempowering emotions."
~ 5 Powerful Reasons to Make Reflection a Daily Habit, and How to Do It -- "At least once a day, and more often several times a day, I reflect on my day, on my life, on what I’ve been doing right, and what isn’t working. I reflect on every aspect of my life, and from this habit of reflection, I am able to continuously improve. Reflection is what gave me the topic of this post, and the tips that are to follow. Reflection is what gives me the content of every post I write here on Zen Habits. I highly recommend that, if you haven’t yet, you develop the daily habit of reflection, in your own way. It could have profound changes on your life."

~ Who needs record labels? These 10 artists don’t -- "British rock band Radiohead's decision to release its new album "In Rainbows" by itself — online, without a record label's help and at any price the user chose — rocked the industry last fall."
~ Ovi's Person of the Year 2008: Alan Johnston -- "When we asked you to nominate your candidate for Ovi's Person of the Year 2008 we didn't expect to receive such a positive response. Thanks to each of you who took the time to contact us and offer us your choice, plus some rather forceful arguments. However, there can only be one winner and this year it is Alan Johnston."
~ James Joyce: A Classic Review -- "This review -- which first ran in the pages of the Atlantic Monthly, December, 1946 -- covers three books, Ulysses; Finnegan's Wake; and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man."
~ Dropping Out of Electoral College -- "A Stanford University computer scientist named John Koza has formulated a compelling and pragmatic alternative to the Electoral College. It’s called National Popular Vote (NPV), and has been hailed as “ingenious” by two New York Times editorials. In April, Maryland became the first state to pass it into law. And several other states, including Illinois and New Jersey, are likely to follow suit."
~ Deny All You Want, They'll Still Believe -- "Iraq and 9/11, sex trafficking, flu vaccines, widespread autism. Cognitive biases color our view of these and other issues and can affect our policy choices. Because they are well-, but not widely understood, I'd like to briefly mention three of the most common ones and some related new and troubling research about denials."
~ White Liberals Have White Privilege Too! -- "In the 1980s, a white feminist, Peggy McIntosh, came up with the metaphor of an "invisible knapsack" to analyze white privilege. It's unconscious, elusive, pervasive, and white liberals have as much of it as white conservatives do. McIntosh listed some ways she has white privilege."
~ Benazir Bhutto: An Imperfect Feminist -- "However disappointing Bhutto was in her actions on behalf of Pakistan's women, she was a potent symbol of their potential empowerment. And symbols matter."
~ Girl Power:What has changed for women—and what hasn't -- "'My own daughters are so different from the girls I grew up with, in terms of the things they think they can do.' Linking those observations with accumulating data that show girls outperforming boys in grades, honors, and high-school graduation rates—and with the historic reversal in U.S. college enrollments (58 percent today are women, the 1970 percentage for men)—convinced Kindlon that today’s American girls are profoundly different from their mothers."

~ Should Web Giants Let Startups Use the Information They Have About You? -- "They call it scraping -- when Web companies automatically harvest information from the likes of Yahoo, Google and craigslist. Now the Internet establishment is clamping down."
~ Data Theft Soars to Unprecedented Levels -- "The loss or theft of personal data such as credit card and Social Security numbers is soaring to unprecedented levels, and the trend isn't expected to turn around anytime soon as hackers stay a step ahead of security and laptops disappear with sensitive information."
~ The Library Of Congress In Your Wrist Watch? -- "Every advance in memory storage devices presents a new marvel of just how much memory can be squeezed into small spaces. Considering the potential of nanolasers under development, things are about to get a lot smaller. Scientists are exploring lasers so tiny that they point to a future where a 10-terabit hard drive is only one-inch square. That is 50 times the data density of today’s magnetic storage technology, a technology that has nearly reached its limit for continued miniaturization."
~ Cosmic Bird? Triple Cosmic Collision Of Galaxies Stuns Astronomers -- "Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered and imaged a stunning rare case of a triple merger of galaxies. This system, which astronomers have dubbed "The Bird" -- albeit it also bears resemblance with a cosmic Tinker Bell -- is composed of two massive spiral galaxies and a third irregular galaxy."
~ Declining Water Levels In The Great Lakes May Signal Global Warming -- "Researchers report new evidence that water levels in the Great Lakes, which are near record low levels, may be shrinking due to global warming. Their study, which examines water level data for Lakes Michigan and Huron over more than a century. Researchers point out that water levels in the Great Lakes, which supply drinking water to more than 40 million U.S. and Canadian residents, have fluctuated over thousands of years. But recent declines in water levels have raised concern because the declines are consistent with many climate change projections, they say."
~ Toward A Rosetta Stone For Microbes' Secret Language -- "Scientists are on the verge of decoding the special chemical language that bacteria use to "talk" to each other, British researchers report. That achievement could lead to new treatments for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including so-called superbugs that infect more than 90,000 people in the United States each year, they note."
~ Video Game Looks Into World of Wolves -- "The new video game "WolfQuest" allows players to follow the call of the wild in the role of a wolf in Yellowstone National Park."

More on the five favorite dharma books meme:
~ Five Favorite Dharma Books -- ~C4Chaos
~ Five Favorite Dharma Books -- Ryan
~ 5 Dharma Books of Awesome Portent -- Brondu
~ 22 Favorite Dharma Books -- Albert Klamt

~ 2007: End of Year Reflections in 7 Haikus -- "I miss the New Year celebration in the Philippines. Back there when the clock strikes twelve midnight on January 1st you have to be prepared for a very loud greeting -- firecrackers (as deadly as explosives) on the streets, cars honking, radios blasting, people cheering. The mood is literally festive and ecstatic. Here in Ireland it's completely the opposite. No wonder Bono sings 'All is quiet on New Year's Day...'"
~ a secular age -- "The title of Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor’s new book. I’m only two chapters in and for my money it is one of the best books I have ever read. Within the category of (Western) philosophy it’s right up there with Being and Time, Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality, and The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere."
~ The Unity of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo -- "Those who see Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as separate from each other are frankly making a huge mistake. Both of them always held that they were the same consciousness and that there was no distinction between them. Some quotes from the Master and the Mother to illustrate their unity...."
~ Low Resolution -- Ethan Nichtern -- "INTENTION IS the most important thing, the true invisible hand. It is at the root of any action that creates a habit. It is the vector along which the heart slowly learns to travel. If you care at all about karma, then you have to think about intention again and again, because that’s the source code from which all our actions are written. It’s an ethereal force with very concrete results — the best hug you received this year, the best movie you saw in ‘07, and a whole slew of clusterbombs all came from the immaterial truth of somebody’s intention."
~ The American Conservative: Daniel Dennett Does Transcendental Meditation -- "Serendipitously, one of the main articles in the magazine is entitled, Secular Fundamentalists -- Can atheists form a movement around a shared disbelief? It is a well-written and insightful piece by Michael Brendan Dougherty about his first-hand account of attending the gathering of Atheist Alliance International held last September. The piece revolved around Sam Harris' infamous keynote speech about his dislike of the term Atheism."

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