Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Speedlinking 1/30/08

Quote of the day:

"The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution."
~ Hannah, Arednt

Image of the day:

~ Fructose - The Sweet Nectar of Body Fat? -- "500 years ago, the sugar industry was non-existent, and so was fructose in our diets. Fructose consumption was limited to a handful of items like honey, dates, raisins, molasses, and figs, which are all considered “dense” sources. Additional intake of fructose was from grapes, apples, persimmons, and berries. Of course, vegetables and protein foods have limited amounts of fructose and don’t contribute substantially to overall intake."
~ The Round-Up Interviews: Charles Staley -- "Read about the world's first "Bed and Barbell," where trainees eat, sleep, and train in the same facility. And, if you're not hip to EDT (Escalated Density Training) yet, you just gotta' try it."
~ Creatine Supplementation: The Importance of Drinking Water -- "One supplement that many people remain unfamiliar with is creatine, a nutrient naturally produced in the body, but in relatively small amounts. Studies have shown that supplementing creatine speeds up muscle growth, allowing you to see that extra mass you desire. But what’s most important part of creatine supplementation? Water." Ignore the recommendations on "loading" -- a study showed that after a month of loading vs. 5 grams a day, there was no difference in creatine retention.
~ What You’re Missing With Half Squats -- "A.J. asks a great question that most people struggle with as they begin squatting. It’s a common experience to realize that squatting all the way down is difficult at first. Half squats won’t necessarily hurt you (if you do them with good form), but they won’t help as much as full squats either."
~ How to Build Muscle Without Getting Bulky -- "Not everyone wants to build muscle and get bulky."
~ Caffeine: Why it helps during exercise -- "In endurance events, the first cause of fatigue is loss of muscle sugar, so athletes do whatever they can to preserve sugar levels. Caffeine causes the body to produce large amounts of adrenalin, which causes fat to be released from fat cells and float in the bloodstream."
~ Enzyme may provide treatment for gluten intolerance -- "An enzyme has been recently identified that is able to degrade gluten in a laboratory simulation of the gastrointestinal tract."
~ New Research Links High Fructose Corn Syrup to Diabetes in Children -- "Consuming beverages containing high fructose corn syrup may increase the risk of developing diabetes, particularly among children, according to research presented at the 234th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society."

~ Deep brain stimulation evokes long-lost memories -- "Canadian surgeons have made a serendipitous discovery. While using deep brain stimulation to try suppressing the appetite of a morbidly obese patient, they inadvertently evoked in the patient vivid autobiographical memories of an event that had taken place more than 30 years previously. They also found that the electrical stimulation improved the patient's performance on associative memory tasks."
~ The highs and lows of brain doping -- "Today's edition of Nature has some commentary from scientists responding to their recent feature on 'optimising' the healthy brain with pharmaceutical drugs."
~ The Richness of Experience and the Collapse of Consciousness Studies -- "To say that consciousness is rich is to say that our phenomenology or stream of experience contains many things at once, in different modalities -- that as I sit here typing for example, I consciously experience not just what I'm attending to most focally, but also much else in a peripheral way: the sound of traffic in the background and of click of the keys on the keyboard, the feeling of my fingers typing and of my feet in my shoes and of my back against the seat, a whole broad visual field fuzzy outside the focal region, and possibly also feelings, images, inner speech, and the like."
~ Language as a spherical cow -- "Part of Noam Chomsky's famous revolution in linguistics (and cognitive science more broadly) was to focus on linguistic competency rather than performance. People stutter, use the wrong word, forget what they planned to say, change ideas mid-sentence and occasionally make grammatical errors. Chomsky focused not on what people do say, but on what they would say without any such slip-ups."
~ How to Create an Abundance Mentality -- "Much of society seems to be built on a scarcity mentality. A mentality that tells people that there is a lack in life. That opportunities are few and far between. ... An abundance mentality, on the other hand, tells you that there are always new chances and opportunities. This relieves much of the pressure you may feel if you have a scarcity mentality that makes you think that you only got this shot right now."
Here Comes the Sun -- "Lack of light can make you SAD--alcohol makes it worse."
~ How Your Thoughts Change Your Body -- "Thoughts do change our bodies. We used to receive this information only through metaphysical sources that referred to concepts contained in "as a man thinks", or "what you see you shall become" (Gospel of Philip), whether they pointed us to the Gnostic Gospels (admirably discussed by religious historian Elaine Pagels)...."
~ Evidence for Effectiveness of Antidepressants Seems Underwhelming -- "A new study shows that the results of around a third of drug trials have not been released. Once these are taken into account, the advantage of antidepressants over placebos shrinks significantly. This amounts to seriously misleading the public about the drugs' effectiveness."
~ Nine Reasons to Get Psychotherapy -- "When is it time to consider psychotherapy? is a great article written by Karen Rogers, MFCC. Sometimes people don’t seek professional help because of stigma and stereotypes, like that a belief it’s only for seriously ill people. Rogers explains what psychotherapy is (for example, that it doesn’t provide answers but helps you reach your own) and suggests nine reasons to consider it."
~ Questioning Consciousness -- "No one doubts that our experience of phenomenal consciousness—the felt redness of fire, the felt sweetness of a peach, the felt pain of a bee sting—arises from the activity of our brains. Yet the problem of explaining how this can be so seems to many theorists to be staggeringly hard. How can the wine of consciousness, the weird, ineffable, immaterial qualia that give such richness to subjective experience, conceivably arise from the water of the brain?"
~ Don't worry, be (moderately) happy, research suggests -- "Could the pursuit of happiness go too far? Most self-help books on the subject offer tips on how to maximize one’s bliss, but a new study suggests that moderate happiness may be preferable to full-fledged elation."
~ Who Caught That Ball? -- "The neurophysiologist Benjamin Libet did some famous experiments that to some thinkers seem to undermine even further the notion of ourselves as the authors of our actions. The preparation to carry out a voluntary action is associated with a particular neural potential or brain wave – the so-called readiness potential. In Libet’s experiment, subjects were invited to flex their wrists when they felt inclined to do so. They were asked also to note the time when they experienced the conscious intention to flex their wrists. Libet found that the readiness potential timed by the neurophysiologist actually occurred before the conscious decision, as timed by the subject. There was a consistent difference of over a third of a second."

~ Does Constitutional Theory Matter? -- "It is then that the arcane terms of constitutional theory will make their way into the candidates’ speeches and become topics of discussion on political talk shows – strict constructionism, originalism (in several versions), textualism, pragmatism, the living constitution, etc. Those who are neither lawyers (as many in congress are) nor legal academics may feel in need of a guide through these unfamiliar territories and, fortunately, one has recently been published, with the promising title Constitutional Interpretation: The Basic Questions."
~ The Conscience of Mankind -- "On the 60th anniversary of the assassination of Mohandas K. Gandhi it would be remiss to overlook Sir Richard Attenborough's Gandhi, one of the most enthralling, honest and beautiful bio-epics to win multiple Oscars, including Best Picture. At 183-minutes you may fear a severe case of numb buttocks, but there is certainly no danger because a number of scenes will have you squirming in your seat or even perched on the edge of it."
~ Rise Of the Real People -- "The thin and beautiful have had their turn. The hippest models today look more like the rest of us."
~ A CURSE ON MEAN-SPIRITED INTELLECTUALS -- "I was very pleased when a friend recently sent me a book of literary criticism that he said I would like, and I did. This is rare: I am sick of university teachers treating literature as though it were a branch of something else—Social Studies, Gender Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, Political Studies. The book was by Brigid Lowe and is called "Victorian Fiction and the Insights of Sympathy"."
~ Charles Taylor -- "Charles Taylor's new book A Secular Age is well timed. Begun long ago, it is now published in the middle of intense public discussion about religion. But though the book reads like an argument with Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, it won't be joining theirs at the front of the bookshops. That is a pity, as Taylor is arguably the most interesting and important philosopher writing in English today. It is also in some respects surprising. For Taylor has most of the attributes that the public look for in a philosopher. His work addresses the big issues."
~ The Supreme Court Forgets the Little People -- "The conservative-dominated court is totally out of touch with the rest of the country."
~ The fiery John Edwards ends his campaign -- "John Edwards' campaign was always the first to react to any news, so his departure from the Democratic race could immediately be felt Wednesday morning, when his campaign was the only one not reacting to it. Clinton and Obama rushed to praise Edwards and announce that they would carry on his message of combating poverty. That was the classy way of signaling that the race was on to woo his supporters."
~ Why Edwards Never Caught On -- "The "third wheel" in the Democratic race finally calls it quits, his message and outsider image largely usurped by Obama."
~ McCain Disproves the Doubters -- "His victory over Romney in Florida has confirmed his front-runner status. And the money could start flowing."

~ Health and Wellness: Nanotech: Tiny Particles, Big Risks -- "Do the risks of nanotechnology outweigh the benefits?"
~ Autonet Mobile: Your Own Personal Hotspot, Everywhere You Go -- "A new device that lets you log on, anytime, anywhere, through anyone could transform the nature of Wi-Fi. It might even transform you."
~ Gear Gallery: Laptop-Cellphone Hybrid and Tasty iPod Alternatives -- "Browse this week's Wired News gadget reviews for a $1,100 cellphone, a slick sheet-fed scanner, an iPod shuffle killer and more of the latest tech."
~ Mercury Pics Show Spider Formation and Long Cliffs -- "NASA researchers share the "goldmine of exciting data" sent by the Messenger probe from its flyby of Mercury."
~ Microbes As Climate Engineers -- "We might think we control the climate but unless we harness the powers of our microbial co-habitants on this planet we might be fighting a losing battle, according to an article in Microbiology Today."
~ Converting Sewage Into Drinking Water: Wave Of The Future? -- "Amid growing water shortages in parts of the United States, more communities are considering tapping their sewage treatment plants as a new source of drinking water. In January, 2008, California approved operation of the Advanced Water Purification Facility the largest water reclamation plant in the nation. It will yield 70 million gallons per day of drinkable water from sewage."
~ Blue-eyed humans have a single, common ancestor -- "New research shows that people with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor. A team at the University of Copenhagen have tracked down a genetic mutation which took place 6-10,000 years ago and is the cause of the eye colour of all blue-eyed humans alive on the planet today."
~ Saving Endangered Sea Turtles -- "Two leading environmental organizations, Earthwatch Institute and Ocean Conservancy, have partnered on the SEE Turtles project to promote conservation of the world's endangered sea turtle populations. As all seven of the planet's species are under threat, the goal of the project is to demonstrate how public involvement in turtle conservation can have a bigger economic impact on local communities than traditional hunting."
~ Wind power: four movements -- Just go read it.

~ Brezsny On Diety Relationships -- "Sometimes Rob Brezsny can really hit the nail. From this week's Real Astrology (Pisces) —"Neither God nor the gods are dead, but they've virtually disappeared because so few people are capable of carrying on authentic relationships with them anymore. The materialist delusion rules our world: Millions believe that nothing is real unless it can be perceived by the five senses. So what can the deities do, having been banished from our midst?" (He gives a decent answer.)"
~ Rationalization -- "Rationalization is one of those terms easily has a slightly suspicious, undesirable, even sinister tone to it. Something you certainly don’t want anything to do with yourself, and would protest to or be ashamed of being in the grips of."
~ Over at The Woodshed -- "A discussion has started about poet Billy Collins and his views of poetry. A discussion open to the public, I might add. I will be jumping in soon. For now, enjoy the initial perspectives offered by Bill Harryman and Jean Rivard."
~ Don’t ph34r the Reaper -- "I had to throw in the some good l33t-speak in this post. Anyways, I wanted to share this poem by Wadsworth, which is also found on WikiSource..."
~ Digital Canvas -- "In the last five years my clientele has become more interested in the photo DVD album, negatives on disc and on-line gallery than physical prints. I have embraced and enjoyed the change in the medium format. Personally I have not been converted to the new format. I enjoy the framed print."
~ The View from the Chariot -- "The sage came to King Shuddhodana to tell him that his newly-born son Siddhartha would either become a great king or a great sage. The king, knowing that sages are impoverished, awkward and unwashed, whilst kings are rich, elegant and bathe in asses milk sprinkled with rose petals, decided to ensure his legacy and the happiness of his child by sequestering the infant in a palace. There Siddhartha was provided with the kind of unstoppable torrent of delight that would tip most of us over into depravity. In such a fashion, the king judged, his son would never wish to leave the palace, and would therefore become his heir."
~ Why I’m voting for Barack Obama -- "It’s been a tough choice to make because I think both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would make potentially great presidents. I’m excited at the prospect of endorsing an historically significant candidate, the first woman or the first African-American to be the nominee of a major party. I think both have run excellent campaigns with very different styles, Clinton showing her toughness and determination to win and Obama emphasizing his cerebral, cool, non-confrontational style."
~ A Guide to Handling Guilt and Self Punishment -- "Guilt is the source of much sorrow; the driving force behind a constant mental whipping, a constant stinging. And from whom? Who holds the whip? What is one to do? Is one helpless?"

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