Sunday, January 27, 2008

Speedlinking 1/27/08

[NOTE: This is another special Sunday edition of speedlinking. No time to do it on Monday. Regular linking will resume on Tuesday.]

Quote of the day:

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
~ George Bernard Shaw

Image of the day:

~ 10 Diet Rules Meant to be Broken -- "In the end, nutrition experts say, many of the food and dieting rules we hold dear are meant to be broken - without guilt! Three experts gave WebMD the low-down on what they say are some of the silliest food rules around."
~ Plant Omega-3's Better than Fish Oils -- "Omega-3 fatty acids protect against heart attacks, inflammatory diseases such as rheumatiod arthritis, depression, and attention deficit disorder. You probably know that you can get omega-3s in seafood or fish oils. However, the omega-3 fatty acids in seeds such as whole grains may be even more important in maintaining your health than the omega-3s from fish."
~ Losing Weight Without Giving Up Your Favorite Foods -- "Have you tried every diet in the book and still have no luck? Are you avoiding your favorite foods and feel unsatisfied? Do you hunt for the low fat, fewer calorie items on the grocery store shelves, but can’t understand why you’re still gaining weight? Well, there may be a solution that will allow you to eat what you want, but still lose weight."
~ Alzheimers Research Target May Be a Dead End (HealthDay) -- "A once-promising pathway for research into preventing and treating Alzheimer's disease may have been derailed by a surprise chemical finding, researchers report."
~ Lead Linked to Aging in Older Brains -- "Could it be that the "natural" mental decline that afflicts many older people is related to how much lead they absorbed decades before?"
~ ‘Telepathic’ Genes Recognize Similarities In Each Other -- "Genes have the ability to recognise similarities in each other from a distance, without any proteins or other biological molecules aiding the process, according to new research. This discovery could explain how similar genes find each other and group together in order to perform key processes involved in the evolution of species."
~ What’s Cholesterol Got to Do With It? -- "The truth is, we’ve always had reason to question the idea that cholesterol is an agent of disease."
~ A major step toward a more targeted treatment for auto-immune diseases? -- "More and more people in Western society are suffering from auto-immune diseases. Discovering the cause of these chronic inflammations is a first important step in the search for targeted medicines. VIB researchers connected to Ghent University and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven joined forces and have elucidated the function of MALT1, a key player in controlling inflammatory reactions."

~ 3 Ways to Embody Emotional Maturity -- "One of the factors that define adulthood for many is the ability to look at situations and take action based on the facts. Children tend to see a situation and base their choices not on facts, but on how they feel about it. It is often said that many people may have a chronological age that is defined by their birth date, but their emotional maturity does not match their age."
~ Sexbolt Saturday: Quick Tips to Fire Up Your Love Life -- "Need a few ideas to light up your love life? We got ‘em (and we thank the Almighty Men’s Health for some reminders). Here’s what you can do…starting TODAY!"
~ Out on a phantom limb -- "ABC Radio National's opinion programme Ockham's Razor has a engrossing edition on how our perception and ownership of our body can break down after brain injury - leading to disorders where we think our limbs are someone else's, where we feel there's a phantom body behind us, or where we think we've been cloned."
~ "Happiest Man in the World," Matthieu Ricard, on the Secrets to Happiness -- "Matthieu Ricard, regarded by some as the "happiest man in the world," left a life of science (a biochemist) to move to the Himalayas and become a Buddhist monk. His spiritual studies have led him to uncover profound knowledge on the "secrets to joy." Ricard believes what is required to attain happiness, is the same kind of effort and mind training that any other serious pursuit involves."
~ The Mind And Body Together Lean Toward 'Truthiness' -- "The results of participants' cursor movements suggested that the human brain thinks and acts at the same time, in contrast to what many researchers previously assumed: That the decision-making process was completed by the cognitive subsystem, or the brain's thought center, before it was shared with other parts of the brain."
~ Meditation may help depression -- "CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on a study inspired by the Dalai Lama that suggests meditation may fight depression." A video talking about compassion meditation on CNN, cool.
~ Does your child’s anger consistently erupt into violence? -- "Last night 20/20 aired an almost entire episode about “Anger in America”. The television show spent a good bit of time attempting to dispel myths the general public believes about anger and the best way of dealing with it. However, one part of the show that hit pretty close to home with me was the portion on kids and anger. How do you deal with your child when they are so angry that they become physically aggressive to other children or animals in the house or even you and your spouse?"
~ How Guided Imagery Works -- "Guided imagery directly affects the emotional control center of the brain. Here's how therapeutic relaxation works, and the proven health benefits of visualization."
~ Depression, antidepressants and the 'low serotonin' myth -- "Bad Science has a fantastic article on antidepressants and the widely-promoted but scientifically unsupported 'low serotonin theory' of depression."

~ Gathering in a spirit of inclusiveness -- "Vedanta, a Sanskrit word that translates roughly to "supreme wisdom," is rooted in the Upanishads, sacred Indian texts. Though tied to Hinduism, Vedanta is nonsectarian and does not advocate converting from one religion to another. Modern Vedanta, the philosophy practiced at the Ananda center and at many places across the country and world, also seeks to help people follow their faith -- no matter the denomination -- more fully."
~ Poet's Choice -- "With his delicate, virtuoso rhythms and his brooding but good-humored poise, Charles Wright is well equipped to evoke nostalgia while holding it up to a cool light with gentle amusement. In section 15 of his recent book Littlefoot, Wright ponders his own nostalgia...."
~ Prime Roller, Prepare to Meet a Wiseacre -- "The latest entry in the God wars is “Irreligion” by John Allen Paulos, the mathematician best known for his best-selling book “Innumeracy.” In this hasty and very lumpy volume Mr. Paulos proposes to expose the irrational basis of religious thinking, much the way he exposed rampant mathematical illiteracy in “Innumeracy,” this time providing some brisk refutations of the greatest-hits arguments for God...."
~ Obama's Win Reshapes the Race -- "Obama's impressive win meant all the more given the nature of politics in South Carolina, a state whose history is fraught with race and class. Some observers wondered if the state's voters were becoming more racially polarized in the final days before the primary. That speculation was fueled by one late McClatchy/MSNBC survey that suggested Obama could expect to receive no more than 10% of the white vote, half of what the same poll had shown only a week before. But Obama instead won about a quarter of the white vote overall, and around half of young white voters, on his way to a commanding 55% of the total vote (Clinton finished second with roughly 27% and Edwards came in third with 18%)."
~ Bill Clinton: The Chris Matthews of South Carolina -- "The Clintons' strategy has become increasingly trashy, even ugly, and yesterday's remarks by Bill Clinton -- in which he pointedly compared Obama's candidacy to Jesse Jackson's and thus implicitly (though clearly) dismissed South Carolina as a state where the "black candidate" wins, followed up by the Clinton campaign's anonymous branding of Obama as "the black candidate" -- reeked of desperation."
~ Is the internet killing literacy, or pumping new life into it? -- "Every year there’s a sky-is-falling warning about the death of literacy in America. A 2007 poll found that 27% of American adults hadn’t read a book in a year. More recently, Caleb Crain, writing in the New Yorker, cites a worldwide drop-off in reading on the order of the shrinking of the polar ice caps. Crain documents a 50% decline in American newspaper readership since 1970 and flat book sales, all of which foreshadow a world where fewer readers means fewer thinkers, fewer voters, and far less objectivity."
~ James K. Galbraith: A Criminal Idea -- "In other words, the generals argue that "the West" -- meaning the nuclear powers including the United States, France and Britain -- should prepare to use nuclear weapons, not to deter a nuclear attack, not to retaliate following such an attack, and not even to preempt an imminent nuclear attack. Rather, they should use them to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weapons by a non-nuclear state. And not only that, they should use them to prevent the acquisition of biological or chemical weapons by such a state."
~ 6 Rules for Effective Writing from George Orwell -- "In our society, the study of language and literature is the domain of poets, novelists, and literary critics. Language is considered a decorative art, fit for entertainment and culture, but practically useless in comparison to the concrete sciences. Just look at the value of a college degree in English versus one in computer science or accounting."

~ So long lab rats? Scientists seek alternatives -- "The lab rat of the future may have no whiskers and no tail — and might not even be a rat at all."
~ Dust, Air, Water Sources of Lead -- "The dangers of lead in some toys are well-known, but there are plenty of other ways people can be exposed to the metal...."
~ Uncontrolled, Potentially Dangerous Spy Satellite May Collide With Earth -- "A large U.S. spy satellite loses power and can no longer be controlled. Governmental officials say the satellite, which could contain hazardous materials, could hit the Earth in late February or early March."
~ RFID Tags: A Threat to Privacy in the Near Future? -- "Radio frequency identification technology, which enables objects, pets and people to be tagged and tracked wirelessly, is likely to be ubiquitous in the not-so-distant future. Almost no aspect of life may soon be safe from the prying eyes of corporations and governments."
~ New Purification Plant Answers California's Water Crisis -- "Orange County's new high-tech water-treatment plant takes the water that residents throw away, eradicates the junk and sends it back into the ground for drinking. Sound gross? Plant representatives say it's more pure than that fancy bottled water you buy in the store."
~ New Gamma-Ray Observatory Launches This Spring -- "NASA's new Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope, scheduled for completion in May, could help scientists learn more about the mysterious gamma rays generated in "staggeringly distant" galaxies."
~ Giant Particle Accelerator Discovered In The Sky -- "ESA's orbiting gamma-ray observatory, Integral, has made the first unambiguous discovery of highly energetic X-rays coming from a galaxy cluster. The find has shown the cluster to be a giant particle accelerator. The Ophiuchus galaxy cluster is one of brightest in the sky at X-ray wavelengths."
~ Humans Force Earth into New Geologic Epoch -- "A mark of how much we've altered the planet."

~ The Bodhisattva Path -- "A Bodhisattva, in Mahayana Buddhism, is a person who is bound for awakening, but vows to help others before completing that path themselves. In a sense, there are two sorts of Bodhisattvas - there are legendary characters such as Kannon (Avalokiteshvara), who are a sort of Buddhist equivalent of saints, and there are ordinary practitioners like myself who have taken Bodhisattva ordination. However, it might be said that an ordinary Bodhisattva and a saint-like Bodhisattva are simply at different places on the path."
~ Off the mat -- Self-ness, the Yamas, and the Niyamas -- "We started our conversation about the eight limbs of the practice of Yoga with the discussion of the yamas, or ethical practices, first, and the niyamas, or self-discipline, second. Though they may seem pretty familiar to folk who have been taught to live ethical, responsible lives, deeply integrating them into our lives is a powerful way to begin maturing and developing both the discipline and the insight needed for liberation."
~ Is Obama Really That Fluffy? -- "I can't help but notice that a lot (if not most) people in integral circles are rooting for Barack Obama. No surprise there. Obama is a charismatic politician with a sharp wit and oratorical flare which sets him apart from the rest of the other candidates. However, what I also notice is that aside from Obama's character traits mentioned above, I have yet to see integrally-aware peeps make convincing arguments and analysis of Obama's policies and political history on why he's better than say, John Edwards, or Hillary Clinton."
~ Understanding Suchness -- "Suchness is a word that gets bandied about in Buddhist intellectual circles, particularly in Zen, which considers the Lankavatara Sutra its cornerstone with good reason. The Lankavatara Sutra, the further I get into it, the more it reminds me of the Abidhamma texts of the Theravada branch of Buddhism. It takes an excruciating and thorough examination of the nature of the mind, and how it grasps to ideas and concepts."
~ Spiritual expression in the peer to peer era (2): towards a theory of the spiritual commons? -- "We continue our explorations of participatory forms of spirituality, that we started yesterday."
~ Spiritual expression in the peer to peer era (3): some current trends -- "Last part of the exploration, after the theory, some practical expressions of what we have indicated the two previous days. At the bottom of these examples, you will find my conclusions of the exploration so far."
~ Why Sam Harris and B. Alan Wallace Should Talk -- "In my observation, the knee-jerk reaction of integrally-informed people are that of dismissal of the New Atheists coupled with an aloof attitude (i.e. their philosophy is not sophisticated enough; nothing new with their arguments about God; they don't define religion; science is not that great; they don't get subjectivity; they are rational fundamentalists; etc.). Yet they seem to miss the point that the critiques of the New Atheists are targeted at those people who don't give a hoot at integral ideals to begin with. Without first talking to each other and taking the discussion to the next level, the result is immediate disconnect between the New Atheists and integral thinkers."
~ Not By Genes Alone -- "Humans often seem to be a striking anomaly in the natural world. While we are similar to other mammals in many ways, our behavior sets us apart. Our unparalleled ability for adaptation has allowed us to occupy virtually every habitat on earth using an incredible variety of tools and subsistence techniques. Our societies are larger, more complex, and more cooperative than any other mammal's."

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