Thursday, February 05, 2015

"In their minds, I could only say these things as the result of some plot, some conspiracy..."

The Wire, Serial and the Decline of the American Industrial Empire | TIME: "Social disorganization theory holds that location is the key factor for crime, not an individual’s race or personal tendencies: put very simply, people in rough neighborhoods are more likely to be rough. Paradoxically, while housing projects were meant to clean up crime-ridden areas, in many places they made it worse — for precisely the reasons the sociologists should have expected. Once criminal elements took over the projects, kids within them were more likely to be drawn to crime. These projects — and the world they created — were partly responsible for how gang crime changed since the 1960s, when it was largely a juvenile phenomenon of petty delinquency, to a system of groups that include older members and more entrepreneurial activities. Changing attitudes in social control meant that, rather than seeing troublemaking youngsters in need of guidance, authorities saw organized crime in need of punishment." 

What It’s Like to Be an Atheist in Palestine - The Daily Beast: "Like many non-religious people around the world, I use the Internet to express my thoughts. It provides a relatively safe way of speaking freely, especially in a country where the vast majority believe in one religion and do not like to hear criticism. Or so I thought. I used to run a blog in Arabic called “Nour Alakl” and ran a satirical Facebook page under the pseudonym “Allah.” But in October 2010, Palestinian security forces stormed into an Internet cafe and arrested me. Until then, I had been under the impression that I had a right to freedom of speech and to the freedom of belief. But in jail, I was told that my online statements about religion and Islam were illegal. I was told that society didn’t accept such criticisms. I was beaten by prison guards who demanded to know who had made me write against Islam. In their minds, I could only say these things as the result of some plot, some conspiracy. The idea that I might simply want to express my independent thoughts was alien to them...

My views, however, cannot be changed by a prison sentence or by persecution. I still believe that Islam often stands in opposition to human rights and women’s rights. I believe that the Qur’an relays that Muhammad demanded death for non-believers. Many Muslims may disagree with my view, or interpret Islam in a more moderate way, but I cannot accept this religion myself. That is what my conscience tells me. I am an atheist. I believe in human rights. I have the right to say these things. Whose fault was it that I was treated so unjustly? Islam is religion, but it is also a culture. Certainly some people simply cannot stand to live alongside someone who does not conform to their views."


Prewar Japanese beer posters: the most beautiful ads ever made? - Boing Boing: "if we've entered the golden age of Japanese beer, we've missed the golden age of Japanese beer advertising. That came before the Second World War, a time when, if the advertising industry needed drawing, painting, or lettering, it was done by hand."

'Hate Speech Is Misusing Freedom of Speech' - Hit & Run : "And who decides what's a proper use? Prosecutors and government officials, of course, who would surely never misuse their power to suppress speech or ideas they don't like. Nope, that's never been known to go horribly wrong and—oh, wait, what? Well, we'll be better about it this time! "

"For years I have been telling the story of Prince Peter Ouspensky, who in his early years in the Gurdjieff Work did not understand Gurdjieff’s insistance that most people are are so deeply hypnotized that they act exactly like mechanisms. Then, shortly after World War I started, Ouspensky saw a truck headed for the front, carrying artificial legs. Suddenly, looking at a truck full of artificial legs to replace legs that had not yet been blown off, but would certainly be blown off very soon, Ouspensky understood that all human behavior on the large, historical scale is so mechanical that it can be mathematically predicted." - Robert Anton Wilson


2/5 - bench, pushups, seated rows

T Nation | The Simple Diet for Athletes: "You don't need anyone to tell you that candy, cookies, sodas, junk food, fast food and excess booze are wrecking your body or at least hampering your progress. Actually, maybe you do. That's because there are a lot of hucksters and spineless pleasers out there telling you that this shit is okay "in moderation." They also like to say "there's no such thing as a bad food" because apparently they define "food" as anything you can swallow that won't kill you immediately. Well, they're wrong. Every time an overweight person consumes what we'll classify here as "obvious crap" they're either taking a step backward or temporarily halting their progress. And since many of these foods have addictive properties, moderation goes into the trash faster than junk mail...

Maybe it's time to grow up and stop feeling so entitled to a food reward every time you do your workout. Sure, a few skinny young dudes and heavy steroid users can get away with eating junk for a while, but try staying lean after the age of 30 or 40 when you eat like a spoiled chubby kid every weekend...

If your supplement choices resemble those of a teenager's after hitting the supplement store at the mall, they probably suck. If you're spending mainly on things that contain the letters "NO" or your pre-workout is nothing but stimulants that make you feel tingly, you're doing it wrong. If your favorite brand is a multi-level marketing operation, you can't be helped.  Get rid of the things that really don't work or that do very little and focus on the big-bang supplements that every hard lifter benefits from."

How Quickly Can You Lose Weight? | Mark's Daily Apple: "Everyone knows that slow, gradual weight loss produces the best long-term results and fast weight loss is unsafe and unhealthy. People you know have probably clucked “Oh, you’re losing weight fast now with that low-carb fad diet, but just wait a few weeks and it’ll all come rushing back!” And when you go somewhere like the CDC’s weight loss page, they pat your head for “want[ing] to lose it very quickly” and reassure you that “people who lose weight gradually and steadily are more successful at keeping it off.” It’s become an article of faith that slow and steady weight loss wins the race. 

But is it actually true? 

I searched the literature for support of this widely-accepted weight loss truth. If folks like the Center for Disease Control were saying it, there had to be some evidence for it. Right? I came up empty. 

What little evidence I could find seemed to support the opposite contention: that rapid initial weight loss is associated with better long term weight maintenance than slower weight loss. Just look: A 2000 review concluded that “greater initial weight loss” improves long term weight loss maintenance, even when that weight is lost using extreme diets. A 2001 review concluded that the use of very low calorie diets to spur rapid short term weight loss can be highly effective for long term weight maintenance, provided subjects follow up with a “weight-maintenance program” including physical activity, nutritional education, and behavioral therapy. A 2004 review of the effect of “lack of realism” in weight loss goals on long term weight maintenance found that “higher dream weight loss goals” were linked to greater weight loss at 18 months. There was the paper from 2010 showing that among middle-aged obese women, those who lost weight the fastest were the most likely to keep it off after 18 months. There was also a more recent paper where people who lost weight quickly were no more likely than people who lost it slowly to regain the weight in the long term. Members of the fast weight loss group were more likely to hit their short term weight loss goals (12.5% reduction in body weight) and stick with the program. Even though both groups had regained about 70% of the lost weight after three years, the net weight loss in the fast weight loss group was greater. 

Across most of the available literature, slow and steady did not win the race. The hare usually beat the tortoise. This actually makes sense."

"I've been preoccupied of late with questions of morality..."

NBC Anchor Brian Williams Cops to Fibbing About Iraq War Story - Hit & Run : "This isn't going to help the deteriorating trust and long-term slide in ratings for TV news, that's for sure. For years, Brian Williams, the anchor of NBC Nightly News, has claimed to have been aboard a military helicopter that was forced to land after being hit with an RPG during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He's now copping to the fact that the story is not true. "

Will Brian Williams Get Away With 'Misremembering' a War Story? Well, Hillary Clinton Did. - Hit & Run : "Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on [March 25, 2008, that] she made a mistake when she claimed she had come under sniper fire during a trip to Bosnia in 1996 while she was first lady...  Clinton described how she and her daughter, Chelsea, ran for cover under hostile fire shortly after her plane landed in Tuzla, Bosnia. Several news outlets disputed the claim, and a video of the trip showed Clinton walking from the plane, accompanied by her daughter. They were greeted by a young girl in a small ceremony on the tarmac and there was no sign of tension or any danger. "I did make a mistake in talking about it, you know, the last time and recently," Clinton told reporters in Pennsylvania where she was campaigning before the state's April 22 primary. She said she had a "different memory" about the landing."


Keep Vaccine Choice—So Long as Families Pay Their Own Way - Hit & Run : "A friend of mine who worked in pediatric private practice in the Washington, D.C. suburbs had a strict policy on vaccination: If you didn't vaccinate your children, you had to find another practice. He would try to persuade, he would give several warnings, but ultimately, those who didn't vaccinate had to find another provider. My wife's policy is very different. As a rural pediatrician in an area with a large population skeptical of vaccines (and of anything that's happened since the Scientific Revolution, so far as I can tell), she knows that families have few alternatives and might just stop taking their kids to the doctor if turned away. The local culture, salted with New Age/alternative-everything types, requires her to compromise. So she persuades, details the gruesome realities of diseases against which vaccines protect, shifts vaccination schedules, and ultimately works with people who believe things that my wife knows to be...uh...contrary to the evidence. But she does start steaming when those same patients go to the front desk to pay their tab with AHCCCS, Arizona's implementation of Medicaid. That coverage guarantees that any preventable diseases and their health consequences that could likely have been headed off by a few shots will be treated courtesy of the taxpayers. "If they get meningitis and go deaf because they weren't vaccinated," she fumes, "the treatment for that comes out of public money. If you're going to take money from taxpayers, then follow standards of care."

...It is a national issue. Drawing off of recent Centers for Disease Control figures, CBS reports that "the immunization rate for the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine dropped from 92 percent in 2008 to 90 percent...The rate of children being vaccinated against whooping cough also declined slightly." Seriously, folks. The Scientific Revolution was a good thing. The crazy—it burns (and blinds, and cripples,and kills)...

I think my wife's approach makes the most sense. If you want the taxpayers to pick up the tab, you follow standards of care. Access to public services like government schools (where other tots might be exposed to your unvaccinated darlings) could work the same way (this is generally the rule now, though many states allow a variety of exemptions on non-medical grounds). 

...if you want to pay your own way, educate your kids among like-minded people, and make your own choices, good for you. Stay over there, please. A little farther, if you don't mind. 

...That approach won't make everybody happy. Some people will complain that they're denied public services to which they're "entitled." ...But simply requiring that people vaccinate their kids if they want taxpayers paying their bills should boost immunization rates without making the treatment worse than the disease."

Ronald Bailey: Shame and shun anti-vaxx parents - NY Daily News: "Bamboozled by misinformation spread by anti-vaccine hucksters, the number of parents who are refusing to get their kids immunized is growing. The predictable result is the resurgence of highly communicable diseases. It is long past time to aggressively counteract this threat to public health — not by resorting to government mandates and political arguments, but more importantly, through a concerted campaign of person-to-person shaming and shunning. In speaking to friends, co-workers and neighbors, we must upset the notion that choosing not to vaccinate your child is just a personal choice. I say this not as a progressive or a liberal but as a proud libertarian — a libertarian who understands that with freedom comes responsibility."

No “Officer Safety” Exception to the Constitution | Law & Order: The Magazine for Police Management: "Spend time at any law enforcement training facility in the country and you will likely hear a familiar refrain, “Officer safety is our number one priority.” In fact, this may be the most revered of our guiding principles. When considered figuratively, it can create appropriately strong motivation for law enforcement officers to approach their duties carefully, even cautiously. If interpreted literally, it becomes problematic and perhaps even paradoxical. A number of law enforcement agencies are currently under fire for their patterns and practices of “stop and frisk.” This is only the present manifestation of what has been for decades a national epidemic of illegal police practices rationalized by the mantra “officer safety.” Frisks are not supposed to be the rule in Terry-type stops; the rule would be no frisk. The same is true for handcuffing subjects and placing them in the back of police cars.  Yet, some officers perform these actions as “routine officer safety precautions” even in the most ordinary of investigative detentions. These intrusions on privacy and liberty are supposed to be reserved for those exceptional Terry-type situations in which there is an articulable reason to believe that present threats require them.  The words “officer safety” do not complete the required articulation; they hardly begin it. But where “officer safety is our number one priority” an officer is explicitly urged to put that concern above all others—including the law we have sworn to obey—and some officers are happy to find this rationalization so conveniently available."

“Old/New,” short film narrated by comedian Patton Oswalt - Boing Boing: "“Old/New,” a short from Red Giant and narrated by comedian Patton Oswalt, tells the tale of protagonist Drew McHugh. His “penchant for the new -- new devices, new fashion, new friends -- is challenged when he discovers the rustic appeal of old-fashioned things.”

A Fervent Cop Supporter Changes His Mind About NYPD After Gravity Knife Arrest - Page 2 | Village Voice: "When we wrote about gravity knife arrests in October, it set off a lengthy discussion on Thee Rant, a verified online forum for NYPD officers. One user, in what seems to be a prescient comment, wrote that gravity knife arrests are "Why the public hates us. [Be]cause discretion has been taken away and it's all about numbers." The same user noted that he had seen "rookies stalking the subways between 5-7pm to catch a construction worker wearing one so they could get a...Big CPW [criminal possession of a weapon] arrest." Another user put it this way: "There was a time when a cop had discretion and used common sense when enforcing the law. Now we look at the public as a 'number' to use to keep our steady tours and make OT and we wonder why the public hates cops." he was being taken away in the back of a cruiser, he overheard a conversation that made him think differently. The officers were talking about promotions, about the kinds of arrest numbers they needed to move up in the ranks. The conversation turned to another officer they knew, and why he was getting a bump in status. "They were saying, 'Why is he getting promoted?' " Vogel recalls. " 'He's only got, like, two guns and a burglary and a few robberies?' " Vogel says he started to realize that his arrest wasn't about safety or the kind of law enforcement that most people want from their police. "Here they are talking about promotions, and the relationship between arrest and promotions. And I'm just a pawn," he says."

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

"All statements are true in some sense..."

"...false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense." - Principia Discordia

"Why It's Socially Unacceptable To Do Anything Anywhere."


"Ice-T is a detective with the Special Victims Unit.  He handles New York's most sensitive cases."


 Warners Are Working On A Legion Of Superheroes Movie - Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movie, TV News: "...coming through the pipeline and Warners, and pushed through after the success of Guardians Of The Galaxy, is a Legion Of Superheroes film, being pushed through with an Avengers-Meets-Guardians tag. Based on the long running DC Comics book of the same name, the Legion Of Superheroes film will be set in the far future, with a massive cast of superheroic characters spread out across a galaxy. And the tone is intended to be lighter than other DC superhero movies. It hasn’t been greenlit yet. But it is in serious development…."

Tuesday, February 03, 2015


2/3 - deadlifts, neck nods/rotations, back xt, steam, stretch - short bridge/table

A video posted by Hugh Jackman (@thehughjackman) on