Thursday, January 03, 2008

Speedlinking 1/3/08

Quote of the day:

"The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth."
~ Niels Bohr

Image of the day (Buck Forester):

~ Why Bodybuilders Should Stretch -- "What many guys don’t realize is that some of the most flexible athletes around are not the gymnists or the hockey goalies. Rather, they’re body builders. Body builders have excellent range of motion, which is a prerequisite for excelling at their skill."
~ So You Think You Know Strong -- "Can you do three chin-ups with 135 pounds strapped to your be-hind? No, then you ain't "strong" according to Coach Boyle! How much can you bench? Really? Because he doesn't really care. Find out what true strength means to him in this article!"
~ Oveweight Children Risk Heart Attacks as Adults -- "Two new studies in the same issue of the New England Journal of Medicine show the probable impact of childhood obesity on heart attack rates."
~ Why are push-ups a good exercise? -- "Closing the kinetic chain by putting your hand on the floor promotes co-contraction of the rotator cuff. This can improve glenohumeral stabilization. Because the scapula is free to move, you must rely on active stabilization of the scapula. The greater your scapular stability, the greater your potential glenhumeral stability."
~ The Effects Of High-Dose Vitamin C On Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients -- "Scientists at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center have received approval for a first-of-its kind study on the effect high dose vitamin C has on non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients. Researchers from the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine and Kimmel Cancer Center in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health will study whether high doses of vitamin C can slow the progression of the deadly disease."
~ Exercise Eases Some Menopause Symptoms -- "Exercise is not a cure for hot flashes, but it does help postmenopausal women cope with stress, anxiety and depression, a Pennsylvania study has found."
~ Exercise Balls -- "The use of different balls during exercise can lead to improved muscle strength, muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Exercising with balls brings many benefits."
~ Spices - Health Benefits -- "Not only do spices add flavour to your food, they are also good for your health. This article focuses on 6 of the best."
~ Practice Yoga to Lose Weight -- "The proven benefits of Yoga include toning, strength, endurance, improved balance, and enhanced body awareness, plus relaxation, stress relief and a boost in self-esteem."

~ Bored? -- "Don't blame your job, the traffic or your mindless chores. Battling boredom, researchers say, means finding focus, living in the moment and having something to live for."
~ Preexisting Anxiety Compounds PTSD Risk -- "Emotionally ravaging events like those involving physical or sexual abuse, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or the passing of loved ones can affect patients across the social spectrum, often preceding the development of disabling mental health conditions. But lives riddled with any number of recurring anxieties leave subjects more likely to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the wake of particularly disturbing events."
~ The year in sex and psychology -- "Psychologist Dr Petra Boyton has just completed her yearly review of the past year in sex, revisits last year's predictions and looks forward to possible developments in 2008."
~ Anxious Depression Predicts Poorer Treatment Results -- "A new study examining the results of the STAR*D data has found that people who have “anxious depression” have a more difficult time in treatment than those without. A person with anxious depression experiences a major depressive episode and clinically meaningful levels of anxiety as well."
~ Lighten Up! -- "Having a too serious mindset isn’t that great all the time. It can lead to taking things way too seriously and create big problems and negative feelings and events from pretty much nothing. Lightening up can help you to drop unimportant stuff and leave you with more time and energy for the really important things in your life."
Personal Growth Books -- "A summary article of excellent personal growth and development books from well known authors." Some good, some not so much.
~ 50 Very Simple Ways to Be Romantic -- "Ok, so maybe Valentine's Day isn't for another month, but that doesn't mean you can't show your partner some special attention now. In fact, I invite you to join me in this experiment. The plan is to show your love for your partner in a small and different way each day for a whole month and see what magic happens."
~ Serotonin Receptors Don't Always Activate the Same Way -- "There are a number of synthetic drugs designed to trigger serotonin receptors and thus restore the brain to a healthy balance. These drugs are used to treat major disorders such as depression and schizophrenia, and there has been so much success with them that many more are in development. Those rushing to develop must pause, though, to read a study published last week by the Ohio State University Medical Center."
~ Humans And Apes Have Ability To Laugh -- "Humans are not the only animals with the ability to empathize and mimic, and perhaps also to laugh; it seems orangutans also have a sense of empathy which forms part of our ability to laugh. A study in Biology Letters suggests that the ability to laugh could possibly come from an early primate ancestor to both contemporary apes and humans. The researchers found that facial expressions were contagious among the orangutans."

~ The end of postmodernism: the “new atheists” and democracy -- "The conflict between science and religion promoted by secular intellectuals such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens is a smokescreen. Behind it, a far more important argument about global power and justice in a post-postmodern age is becoming unavoidable, argues Tina Beattie."
~ Can Atheists Be Parents? -- " After six years of childless marriage, John and Cynthia Burke of Newark decided to adopt a baby boy through a state agency. Since the Burkes were young, scandal-free and solvent, they had no trouble with the New Jersey Bureau of Children's Services—until investigators came to the line on the application that asked for the couple's religious affiliation."
~ Fast Food and Proximity to Schools: What’s Wrong With the Picture? -- "Childhood obesity is an ever-growing problem in our society. Many schools are making a valiant effort to fight weight problems more and more children face today. These efforts include revising lunch menus, eliminating soda and vending machines and incorporating better fitness programs. While revising the lunch menu with healthy food choices is a great idea, what do we do about food choices right around the corner?"
~ Likely Voters Prefer Evolution Over Creationism [Greg Laden's Blog] -- "It is common knowledge that most Americans are creationists, and prefer creationist stories of human origins and evolution in general over the findings of evolutionary biology. But this is only true if you ask the questions a certain way, and a new study shows very different results."
~ The editor as curator -- "In the future, therefore, according to Jarvis, editors like me will become "curators", overseeing a vast network of blogs from which we may select the best content to feature on our publications' websites."
~ Cultural elite does not exist, academics claim -- "The "cultural elite" brought up on opera and the higher arts, which supposedly turns up its nose at anything as vulgar as a pop song or mainstream television, does not exist, according to research published by Oxford University academics."
~ Hungry for America -- "The world wants America back. For the next several years, world politics will be reshaped by a strong yearning for American leadership. This trend will be as unexpected as it is inevitable: unexpected given the powerful anti-American sentiments sweeping the world, and inevitable given the vacuums that only the United States can fill and that others will increasingly demand that it fills."
~ The Iowa Scam -- Christopher Hitchens -- "It is quite astonishing to see with what deadpan and neutral a tone our press and television report the open corruption—and the flagrantly anti-democratic character—of the Iowa caucuses. It's not enough that we have to read of inducements openly offered to potential supporters—I almost said "voters"—even if these mini-bribes only take the form of "platters of sandwiches" and "novelty items" (I am quoting from Sunday's New York Times)." Couldn't agree more.
~ Science And Religion -- "As Iowans prepare to go caucusing, the journal Science offers a ten-page special report* on four Democrats and five Republicans' views on science and science policy; the introduction laments that, "So far, with the exception of global warming, [these issues] are not getting much play" in the press. The journal's editor, Donald Kennedy, spells out the reason they deserve more in the issue's editorial: r-e-l-i-g-i-o-n. It's a reactive position, but understandable."

~ Time is running out - literally, says scientist -- "Scientists have come up with the radical suggestion that the universe's end may come not with a bang but a standstill - that time could be literally running out and could, one day, stop altogether."
~ Thinking Like a Monkey -- "What do our primate cousins know and when do they know it? Researcher Laurie Santos is trying to read their minds."
~ Annalee Newitz: Technology in Wartime -- "Gizmos that a decade ago would have been viewed entirely as communications tools and toys are now potential surveillance and killing machines."
~ Stanford Scientist Links Rising CO2 Emissions and Increased Mortality -- "Stanford researcher finds first link between rising levels of carbon dioxide and increased human mortality, a finding that could bolster efforts by California and 15 other states to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles."
~ Alaskan Oil Leases Assailed as Environmentally Dangerous -- "The government's plan to award new petroleum leases covering an area the size of Pennsylvania is ripped for lack of due diligence and the potential harm to the area's wildlife."
~ Natural Causes to Arctic Warming, Too, but Man Still a Huge Factor -- "Not all of the Arctic thaw is caused by man. Nature plays a role, too, but that doesn't let us off the hook for the damage we've done."
~ Two Explosive Evolutionary Events Shaped Early History Of Multicellular Life -- "Scientists have known for some time that most major groups of complex animals appeared in the fossils record during the Cambrian Explosion, a seemingly rapid evolutionary event that occurred 542 million years ago. Now paleontologists, using rigorous analytical methods, have identified another explosive evolutionary event that occurred about 33 million years earlier among macroscopic life forms unrelated to the Cambrian animals."
~ Quest For A New Class Of Superconductors -- "Fifty years after the Nobel-prize winning explanation of how superconductors work, scientists are suggesting another mechanism for the still-mysterious phenomenon and exploring new superconductor candidates. Among the classes of materials that appear capable of superconductivity without phonons are the so-called heavy electron superconductors, certain organic materials, and the copper oxide materials that superconduct at up to twice the temperature at which nitrogen liquefies."
~ Gadgets to Go Green at Electronics Show -- "Consumer electronics aren't exactly easy on the environment - they consume electricity that contributes to global warming, and toxins leach out of them when they end up in landfills."

~ The Power of Now -- "I’ve been operating on the premise that I, in fact, AM responsible for my own happiness, having seen time and again how I choose the dulling comfort of the status quo when faced with the possibility of deep personal change. So, naturally I assume most other adults choose a life of relative ignorance and suffer the consequences accordingly."
~ The Atheists are Coming (Gasp…!) -- "The two, hour-long videos of Hitchens, Dennett, Dawkins and Harris talking on atheism are making their way through the Integral Province. I made a short comment on them at Open Source Integral and was asked to expand on the thoughts. One of the main reasons for pursuing the matter further was it gave me the chance to quote this essay by the late Richard Rorty called Universalist Grandeur, Romantic Profundity, Humanist Finitude in which he deftly stated some cultural perceptions that parallel my own."
~ What to Do About Politics? -- "I still regard myself as a novice when it comes to many aspects of the Buddhist teachings. Having now a ten-year daily meditation practice, and having read quite widely in the literature, I do not yet think of myself as a "student" in the the sense that a true student immerses himself or herself deeply and without reservation in the teachings. I am frankly an amateur of Buddhism."
~ God and “Living Biblically” -- "For Christmas, one of my several thousand close friends gave me The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. It’s about one man (an editor at Esquire) who attempts to live for a year by following the literal word of the Bible (8 months to the Old Testament and the remainder to the N.T.). It’s an entertaining, thoughtful exploration of spirituality that mixes a dash of politically-minded satire - i.e., Biblical literalists can be either hypocrites or frightening - with a good measure of silliness."
~ Iowa Hocus Caucus -- "I like Obama's character and charisma. I respect Clinton's political experience. I have a soft spot for the soft-spoken Edwards and his policies. But truth be told, I would more likely vote for someone like Kucinich because he strikes me as the boldest yet most embracing of the Democratic hopefuls. Too bad he doesn't stand a chance in the Iowa Caucus, so he's throwing his support on Obama instead...."
~ Transformation in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism -- "Jodo Shinshu Buddhism is an unusual sect in Buddhism because it eschews what it defines as “self-power” (jiriki, 自力) practices. By self-power we mean practices that are calculated or contrived to bring about Enlightenment."
~ Should Integralists Storm the Religious Battlefield? -- "I've been covering the New Atheists on my blog (since the middle of 2006) way before the "New Atheist" label was in fashion. I even collectively criticized them and called their ideas FLAT. Looking back to my previous criticisms of the New Atheists, I admit that I was too quick on the draw. My bad. I've made a cardinal mistake of treating them as a leviathan with three heads [Dawkins, Dennett, Harris]. However, the more I learn about each of them, the more I realize that their ideas are as diverse as the believers they criticize."

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