Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time."

"It's like a cow's opinion. It just doesn't matter. It's moo."


9/28 - deadlifts, situps, backxt, bridge
9/27 - stretch
9/26 - press, chins, dips
9/25 - stretch
9/24 - stretch
9/23 - squats, leg raise, stretch

Tammy Hembrow shares fitness tips on regaining pre-baby body | Daily Mail Online: "A mother-of-two who went from heavily pregnant to svelte within two months has posted incredible pictures of her transformation. Fitness guru Tammy Hembrow, from Queensland, shared the photos with her four million Instagram followers as she paid homage to the 'incredible power' of the human body. The photos show how she turned her baby bump into a taut tummy with a dedicated regime of diet and exercise."

Wise words, Brad.

"We all have it coming, kid."

"Show me a man or woman that is 100 pounds overweight who says they love their body and I will show you a liar."

People deserve compassion and love.  Bad ideas, like "fat acceptance," deserve the harshest criticism you're able to give. 

 The Real “Body Love” – MAX SHANK: "Body Love is the latest hot topic to hit the fitness industry. I like the idea, really I do. However, I have seen this idea portrayed in two ways.The first, which I like, is about not striving for the myth of perfection. The second, which I don’t, is about excusing people who completely disrespect their bodies with what they do. Show me a man or woman that is 100 pounds overweight who says they love their body and I will show you a liar. This is a classic example of people saying one thing and doing another. It’s fairly similar to a husband who beats his wife but says, “I love you.” Imagine you spend your day eating garbage and sitting on your ass and then look in the mirror and say, “I love you.” What is the real message? Instead, show your love by how much of your time and energy you are willing to dedicate to the continued health of your body and mind. If you really love your body, give it your time and care...

When I see a person who is 100 pounds overweight giving speeches about body love at colleges, It makes me shake my head, and wonder what the world is coming to. Whether you are in the shape of your life, or just starting out on a fitness journey from a long hiatus, it really doesn’t matter. What matters, are your actions. What do you do every day that slowly kills you, or helps you thrive and grow? With your body, it’s exactly the same damn thing, you don’t love your body if you treat it like (and fill it with) garbage. In a certain sense, body love isn’t about “mindset” at all. It’s about what you do–actions speak much, much louder than words. If I have a point to make, it is this: We all have a body They all look different Be happy with what you got Try to get a little better every day Get some skills, and become more ninja-like I am 100% behind body love. Let’s be sure it lifts us up emotionally and psychologically without tearing us down physically."

Logic need not apply.

Jessie Graff = Awesome.

What Regular People Can Learn From a Stuntwoman and Ninja Warrior: "Jessie Graff’s perspective: It’s not about “staying in shape” It’s about being strong enough to do the stunts she needs to do Injury prevention: “Armor” to withstand the kind of physical punishment she’s going to take doing stunts 

Though I’m just beginning to learn what it means to be a role model for women, I really want to share one message: being strong doesn’t make you manly or unfeminine. It just means you can do more things.  It builds confidence and self reliance and opens all kinds of pathways and opportunities. —Jessie told the Los Angeles Times 

 What you can take away Dan John has used the metaphor of muscle as “armor” in contact sports like football before.  It sounds like stunts are pretty similar: Jessie needs both the kinds of exercises to prevent injury and the muscle to withstand all of the falls and throws and punishment of doing stunts in movies and TV. 

 There’s nothing wrong with having a perspective where you want to work out to look better.  The danger is when that’s the only perspective that you have for working out.  Or worse, when you use working out as a punishment for food.  That’s not what working out is for. Taking a look at Self-Determination Theory, we find people have different kinds of motivation they use for working out: 

 Working out as punishment for “eating bad” or “looking bad” 
Working out because you feel guilty if you don’t 
Working out because you value being strong, or value moving well and being able to do cool stuff, or value looking good 
Working out because you’ve integrated working out with all of your values, like being strong, looking good, being a good parent, being effective at work, and so on 
Working out because you enjoy movement 

What we find is that the people who are the least successful at their fitness and enjoy it the least, are the ones who always use the first two. People who are the most successful with their fitness, actually use all of them.  They use the top one much less often, because they use the bottom  three a lot. 

 I wish I could tell you that there is some magical world where you can graduate to always using enjoying movement for every workout, but research doesn’t back that up.  Even pro athletes and personal trainers, sometimes workout just because they’ll feel guilty if they don’t. Research indicates that a healthy relationship with a workout motivation is all of the above.  What makes it healthy is using your values a lot of the time.  The goal is to notice what you value about working out, why it matters to you. And then, if you can find some movements or workouts you do just for the fun of it (like rock climbing or boxing!) Bringing it back to Jessie — for her, it all comes down to being directly related to her job.  A job that she clearly loves!  So, you could say that all of it — from the stunt practice to the strength training to the injury prevention is all completely integrated with her values."

"Is there really a Millennial underemployment crisis? Yes, but only among liberal-arts majors."

In hindsight, picking a different major would have probably been among the alternate choices I'd have made.  
The Economic Woe of Young Liberal-Arts Majors - The Atlantic:  "Since the Great Recession, a powerful and occasionally terrifying narrative about the state of recent college graduates has emerged: Many young, educated 20-somethings are languishing in the purgatory of unpaid internships. Those who have managed to find jobs earn wages whose meagerness stands in stark contrast to their student debt. Even now, seven years after the Great Recession, about half of young college graduates between the ages of 22 and 27 are said to be “underemployed”—working in a job that hasn’t historically required a college degree—including, most prototypically, that infamous caricature, the College-Educated Barista. For many years, this crisis of overeducated latte artists seemed quite real, according to research by Jaison Abel and Richard Deitz, two economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York...

Finally, youth underemployment, like youth unemployment, is in decline. This happy news comes with an important asterisk. A large chasm has opened between the fates of young liberal-arts majors and their peers in STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math) fields. The former are struggling to find work that pays, at least before their late twenties. The latter are mostly finding lucrative work after they graduate...

Indeed, the gap between humanities and STEM students is striking. Underemployment afflicts more than 50 percent of majors in the performing arts, anthropology, art history, history, communications, political science, sociology, philosophy, psychology, and international affairs. But the undergraduate majors that promise the best shot at a high-paying job all have one word in common: engineering. Civil-, mechanical-, aerospace-, and industrial-engineering majors all have extremely low underemployment percentage and they are the least likely of all majors to land their degree-holders in a low-paying, low-skilled service sector job. “Our work does suggest that certain skills have a higher demand relative to supply than others—such as those majors related to the STEM fields and healthcare,” the authors write. "


"...we measure our worth not by the results we achieve, but by how much of our time we spend doing."

The Cult of Busyness as a means of validating the self.  BBC - Future - Why you feel busy all the time (when you’re actually not): "You might assume the explanation was straightforward: we feel so much busier these days because we’ve got so much more to do. But you’d be wrong. The total time people are working – whether paid or otherwise – has not increased in Europe or North America in recent decades. Modern parents who worry they’re spending insufficient time with their children spend significantly more of it than those in generations past. “The headline changes over the last 50 years are that women do a whole lot less unpaid work, and a whole lot more paid work, and men do quite a bit less paid work, and a whole lot more unpaid work,” says Jonathan Gershuny, of the Centre for Time Use Research at Oxford University. But “the total amounts of work are pretty much exactly the same.” What’s more, the data also shows that the people who say they’re the busiest generally aren’t...

There are always more incoming emails, more meetings, more things to read, more ideas to follow up – and digital mobile technology means you can easily crank through a few more to-do list items at home, or on holiday, or at the gym. The result, inevitably, is feeling overwhelmed: we’re each finite human beings, with finite energy and abilities, attempting to get through an infinite amount. We feel a social pressure to “do it all”, at work and at home, but that’s not just really difficult; it’s a mathematical impossibility...

With that kind of time pressure weighing us down, it’s hardly surprising that we live with one eye on the clock. But psychological research demonstrates that this kind of time-awareness actually leads to worse performance (not to mention reduced levels of compassion). So the ironic consequence of the “busy feeling” is that we handle our to-do lists less well than if we weren’t so rushed. 

The economist Sendhil Mullainathan and the behavioural scientist Eldar Shafir describe this as a problem of “cognitive bandwidth”: feelings of scarcity, whether money or time, prey on the mind, thereby impairing decision-making. When you’re busy, you’re more likely to make poor time-management choices – taking on commitments you can’t handle, or prioritising trifling tasks over crucial ones. A vicious spiral kicks in: your feelings of busyness leave you even busier than before. Arguably worst of all, this mindset spreads to infect our leisure time – so that even when life finally does permit an hour or two for recuperation, we end up feeling like that ought to be spent “productively”, too. “The most pernicious thing [is] this tendency we have to apply productivity to realms of life that should, by their very nature, be devoid of that criterion,” argues Maria Popova, who runs the popular ideas blog Brain Pickings. She watched it happen with one of her own hobbies: photography. “In my past life, I walked around everywhere with a professional camera,” she says. “But now the sharing” – the idea that the reason for taking photos is to post them on Facebook or Instagram – “has become its own burden.”

If there’s a solution to the busyness epidemic, other than the universal enforcement of a 21-hour workweek – it may lie in clearly perceiving just how irrational our attitudes have become. Historically, the ultimate symbol of wealth, achievement and social superiority was the freedom not to work: the true badge of honour, as the 19th Century economist Thorstein Veblen put it, was leisure. Now, it’s busyness that has become the indicator of high status. “The best-off in our society are often very busy, and have to be,” says Gershuny. “You ask me, am I busy, and I tell you: ‘Yes, of course I’m busy – because I’m an important person!’

...we measure our worth not by the results we achieve, but by how much of our time we spend doing. We live frenetic lives, at least in part, because it makes us feel good about ourselves. To put it mildly, this makes no sense. Perhaps we’d pause long enough to realise that – if we weren’t so damn busy."

Cult ideology and greed over nature and reality.

Great read.

"The level of pearl clutching is beyond anything I have ever seen..."

I still remember when I realized "Trump is Hitler" was this election's "Obama is a Kenyan Muslim." 

Comment Of The Week: The Red Pill Versus Blue Pill Election | Chateau Heartiste: "It’s amazing to see the switch. I remember when liberals were calling conservatives chicken little because they made it seem like the possible election of Obama would be the end of the world. I am seeing polls now that libs think Trump is gonna launch nukes/jail or kill the vibrant Googles/piss in the punch bowl. The level of pearl clutching is beyond anything I have ever seen...

The left needs the right and the right needs the left. Therefore Clinton to Bush to Obama to Trump makes sense. That is the contrapuntal balance of nature in action."

"You must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are, not a perfect soldier, but a good man."

whedonesque: "So we’re watching that Joss Whedon Facebook Live Q&A from yesterday and he says he wrote most of Stanley Tucci’s dialogue for Captain America. And we’re like oooooh."

"Mispronouncing a student's name constitutes a microaggression..."

Education Officials: Mispronouncing Students' Names Is a Microaggression - Hit & Run : "Writes Furr: "Mispronouncing a student's name truly negates his or her identity, which, in turn, can hinder academic progress," according to Yee Wan, SCCOE's director of multilingual education services. Rita Kohli, assistant professor of education at the University of California at Riverside, says it is a sign of "microagression" when a teacher mispronounces, disregards, or changes a child's name, because "they are in a sense disregarding the family and culture of the student as well." So far, 528 school districts have taken the pledge to try to get names right—which you'd think most teachers would do without a pledge. But if they never quite get the accent right? Is that really a diss or simply the fact that with a melting pot like America, some names are going to be (am I microaggressing?) harder to pronounce? 

But Furr quotes a former teacher writing in the Cult of Pedagogy (what a perfect name!): "mutilating someone's name is a tiny act of bigotry. Whether you intend to or not, what you're communicating is this: Your name is different. Foreign. Weird. It's not worth my time to get it right…. "And before you get all defensive about the bigotry thing, let's be clear: Discovering that something you do might be construed as bigotry doesn't mean anyone is calling you a bigot. It's just an opportunity to grow." Agreed: You should try to pronounce everyone's name right. The "Pedagogy" piece suggests asking the student how it's pronounced, which I think most teachers probably do. But there are many ways to show respect, and if those are present, mispronunciation shouldn't negate them. Singing off key doesn't mean you hate a song."

"Harambe is now like the Prophet Muhammad: students can say his name, but they aren't allowed to draw him."

"Have you been microaggressed? Are you a victim of people holding opinions other than your own?"

"Or worst of all, have you experienced bad thoughts from bad people?  Are you tired of being heterowhitemansplained to?"

Stamping Out Women's Suffrage.

In Canada at least.  Ah, the waste of a college education.

"In other words, evolution couldn't care less if you perceive objective reality."

What If Evolution Bred Reality Out Of Us? : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR: "most of us wouldn't expect an argument denying the reality of the objective world to come out of evolutionary biology. After all, doesn't evolution tell us we've been tuned to reality by billions of years of natural selection? It makes sense that creatures that can't tell a poisonous snake from a stick shouldn't last long and, therefore, shouldn't pass their genes on to the next generation. That is certainly how the standard argument goes. But Donald Hoffman, a cognitive scientist, isn't buying it. For decades, Hoffman, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, has been studying the links between evolution, perception and intelligence (both natural and machine). Based on that body of work, he thinks we've been missing something fundamental when it comes to fundamental reality. Fundamentally, Hoffman argues, evolution and reality (the objective kind) have almost nothing to do with each other...

In other words, evolution couldn't care less if you perceive objective reality. It only wants you to have sex successfully. As a consequence, your apprehension of the world is tuned to whatever allows that to happen. Thus, your perceptions at the root level have nothing to do with some fundamental physics upon which the fundamental nature of objective independent reality is constructed. Hoffman then builds something even more radical out of his broken link between objective reality and evolution. He calls it conscious realism, and it's based on the premise that "circuits of conscious agents" are what end up defining experienced reality. While there clearly is a world separate from us, Hoffman says, evolution does not give us access to that. Instead, he claims, it's our interactions as conscious agents that give shape to the reality we experience. "I can take separate observers," he told Quanta Magazine, "put them together and create new observers, and keep doing this ad infinitum. It's conscious agents all the way down." This is a pretty head-spinning stuff. Our perceived reality has nothing to do with the world in and of itself? That's the kind of thing that's bound to piss off a whole lot of people in a whole lot of fields. I asked Hoffman about the reaction to his work. "All over the map," he replied. "I'm either a genius or an absolute stupid idiot. The emotions are pretty strong.""

"...facts don’t influence decisions. Humans decide first, then rationalize their irrational choices with cherry-picked data."

Adams has had the most interesting, and seemingly accurate, take on the whole Trump phenomenon.  

Why I Switched My Endorsement from Clinton to... | Scott Adams' Blog: "Pacing and Leading: Trump always takes the extreme position on matters of safety and security for the country, even if those positions are unconstitutional, impractical, evil, or something that the military would refuse to do. Normal people see this as a dangerous situation. Trained persuaders like me see this as something called pacing and leading. 

Trump “paces” the public – meaning he matches them in their emotional state, and then some. He does that with his extreme responses on immigration, fighting ISIS, stop-and-frisk, etc. Once Trump has established himself as the biggest bad-ass on the topic, he is free to “lead,” which we see him do by softening his deportation stand, limiting his stop-and-frisk comment to Chicago, reversing his first answer on penalties for abortion, and so on. 

If you are not trained in persuasion, Trump looks scary. If you understand pacing and leading, you might see him as the safest candidate who has ever gotten this close to the presidency. That’s how I see him. So when Clinton supporters ask me how I could support a “fascist,” the answer is that he isn’t one. Clinton’s team, with the help of Godzilla, have effectively persuaded the public to see Trump as scary. The persuasion works because Trump’s “pacing” system is not obvious to the public. They see his “first offers” as evidence of evil. They are not. They are technique. And being chummy with Putin is more likely to keep us safe, whether you find that distasteful or not. Clinton wants to insult Putin into doing what we want. That approach seems dangerous as hell to me...

In summary, I don’t understand the policy details and implications of most of either Trump’s or Clinton’s proposed ideas. Neither do you. But I do understand persuasion. I also understand when the government is planning to confiscate the majority of my assets. And I can also distinguish between a deeply unhealthy person and a healthy person, even though I have no medical training. (So can you.)"

Trump’s African-American Reframing | Scott Adams' Blog: "Emotions matter in the real world because they drive behavior. Facts, not so much. Trump doesn’t ignore facts because he is dumb. He does it because facts don’t matter. Every trained persuader knows that. In the 2D world, where people think that facts and reason matter, Trump’s claim that life is worse than ever for African-Americans is an absurd lie. But in the third-dimension of persuasion – where Trump operates – it was brilliant. In case you are wondering, this is a known persuasion technique. You agree with someone harder than they agree with themselves, and it forces them to argue against their own point. Trump did that in part to dilute racial tensions (that he partly caused) and also to put himself in emotional harmony with the African-American community. Persuasion-wise, and strategy-wise, what Trump did was a base-clearing home run…that you thought was a dumb mistake."

Blowing Your Mind -- as Promised | Scott Adams' Blog: "Smart, well-informed people disagree on nearly all major issues. So being smart and well-informed doesn’t help you grasp reality as much as you would hope. If it did, all of the smart, well-informed people would agree. They don’t...

Trump says lots of things that don’t pass the fact-checkers’ tests. His supporters don’t care because facts don’t influence decisions. Humans decide first, then rationalize their irrational choices with cherry-picked data. You see this all the time with the people who disagree with your brilliance. Just remember that they see the same irrationality in you that you see in them."

And the mainstream is finally catching on.   'Believe me': People say Trump's language is affecting political discourse 'bigly' - LA Times: "But Trump is more than just a free-style rambler. Experts say he employs a very deliberate, effective communications approach unlike any other presidential candidate in memory. The Trumpisms — “Believe me,” “People say,”  “Sad!” — have become so well known they are the subject of spoofs. But like a savvy salesman or break-through advertising campaign, Trump’s techniques carry a quiet power...

The art of the insult Little Marco. Lyin’ Ted. Crooked Hillary. Even in the rough-and-tumble world of presidential politics, Trump has taken the art of the insult to a new level. Trump’s name-calling may sound like simple bullying. But labeling his opponents with cutting nicknames also creates simple frames — catch phrases — that stick in voters’ minds, often because they reinforce existing perceptions. George Lakoff, a linguistics professor at UC Berkeley who has written extensively about political speech, says studies show that 98% of thought is unconscious. Creating those nicknames is a way to make the broader message resonate with voters long after the rallies have ended — like a good advertising jingle. “Even if he loses the election, Trump will have changed the brains of millions of Americans, with future consequences,” Lakoff writes on his blog.  As a businessman, Trump learned that speaking in an irreverent, shock-jock manner often won him free media attention. Now some Trump supporters are cheering that same willingness to give voice to politically incorrect opinions that they may secretly share, but would never say out loud."

Shaming works.

See also anti-smoking and drunk driving campaigns.  This mum lost 10 stone after her son drew her as a BLOB at school - Wales Online: "But the turning point came in February 2014 when her son Thomas proudly came home with a picture he had drawn at school. The picture that Thomas drew at school of his family Meryem added: “It was a family portrait with all members as stick figures except for me who he’d drawn as a round blob. “It really upset me when I saw it but I didn’t have the heart to tell Thomas, I just went upstairs and cried.” That, combined with an incident on holiday when Meryem couldn’t take part in activities because she was too out of breath, inspired a change. She said: “My children called me ‘fat’ because they couldn’t fit their arms around me when giving me hugs. It was very upsetting."

"Don't judge your kids by if they can do the hokey-pokey or not."

Gorillas too masculine, triggering, not inclusive.

"The invasion of France was made possible by the drugs. Rommel and all those tank commanders were high."

High Hitler: how Nazi drug abuse steered the course of history | Books | The Guardian: "“I guess drugs weren’t a priority for the historians,” he says. “A crazy guy like me had to come along.” Still, crazy or not, he has done a remarkable job. 

Ian Kershaw, the British historian who is probably the world’s leading authority on Hitler and Nazi Germany, has described it as “a serious piece of scholarship”. 

Unlikely as it sounds, it was Ohler’s friend, the Berlin DJ Alexander Kramer, who first put him on to the idea. “He’s like a medium for that time,” says Ohler. “He has this huge library, and he knows all the music from the 20s. One night he said to me: ‘Do you know the massive role drugs played in National Socialism?’ I told him that I didn’t, but that it sounded true – and I knew immediately it would be the subject of my next book.” His plan was to write a novel, but with his first visit to the archives that changed completely. 

There he found the papers of Dr Theodor Morell, Hitler’s personal physician, previously only a minor character in most studies of the Führer. “I knew then that this was already better than fiction.” In the months that followed, supported by the late, great German historian of the Third Reich Hans Mommsen, Ohler travelled from archive to archive, carefully gathering his material – and how much of it there was! He didn’t use half of what he found. “Look at this,” he says, jumping up. When he returns, in his hand is a copy of a letter from Martin Bormann, Hitler’s private secretary, in which he suggests that the “medication” Morell is giving the Führer needs to be regulated for the sake of his increasingly wobbly health...

Some drugs, however, had their uses, particularly in a society hell bent on keeping up with the energetic Hitler (“Germany awake!” the Nazis ordered, and the nation had no choice but to snap to attention). A substance that could “integrate shirkers, malingerers, defeatists and whiners” into the labour market might even be sanctioned. At a company called Temmler in Berlin, Dr Fritz Hauschild, its head chemist, inspired by the successful use of the American amphetamine Benzedrine at the 1936 Olympic Games, began trying to develop his own wonder drug – and a year later, he patented the first German methyl-amphetamine. Pervitin, as it was known, quickly became a sensation, used as a confidence booster and performance enhancer by everyone from secretaries to actors to train drivers (initially, it could be bought without prescription). It even made its way into confectionery. “Hildebrand chocolates are always a delight,” went the slogan. Women were recommended to eat two or three, after which they would be able to get through their housework in no time at all – with the added bonus that they would also lose weight, given the deleterious effect Pervitin had on the appetite. Ohler describes it as National Socialism in pill form."

Doping in Sport - Benzedrine: "Benzedrine is a trade name for amphetamine. The Council of Europe says it first appeared in sport at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. It was produced in 1887 and the derivative, Benzedrine, was isolated in the U.S. in 1934 by Gordon Alles. Its perceived effects gave it the street name "speed". British troops used 72 million amphetamine tablets in the Second World War and the RAF got through so many that "Methedrine won the Battle of Britain" according to one report. "

"In 1940, as plans were made to invade France through the Ardennes mountains, a “stimulant decree” was sent out to army doctors, recommending that soldiers take one tablet per day, two at night in short sequence, and another one or two tablets after two or three hours if necessary. The Wehrmacht ordered 35m tablets for the army and Luftwaffe, and the Temmler factory increased production. The likes of Böll, it’s fair to say, wouldn’t need to ask their parents for Pervitin again. Was Blitzkrieg, then, largely the result of the Wehrmacht’s reliance on crystal meth? How far is Ohler willing to go with this? He smiles. “Well, Mommsen always told me not to be mono-causal. But the invasion of France was made possible by the drugs. No drugs, no invasion. When Hitler heard about the plan to invade through Ardennes, he loved it [the allies were massed in northern Belgium]. But the high command said: it’s not possible, at night we have to rest, and they [the allies] will retreat and we will be stuck in the mountains. But then the stimulant decree was released, and that enabled them to stay awake for three days and three nights. Rommel [who then led one of the panzer divisions] and all those tank commanders were high – and without the tanks, they certainly wouldn’t have won...

When Hitler fell seriously ill in 1941, however, the vitamin injections that Morell had counted on no longer had any effect – and so he began to ramp things up. First, there were injections of animal hormones for this most notorious of vegetarians, and then a whole series of ever stronger medications until, at last, he began giving him a “wonder drug” called Eukodal, a designer opiate and close cousin of heroin whose chief characteristic was its potential to induce a euphoric state in the patient (today it is known as oxycodone). It wasn’t long before Hitler was receiving injections of Eukodal several times a day. Eventually he would combine it with twice daily doses of the high grade cocaine he had originally been prescribed for a problem with his ears, following an explosion in the Wolf’s Lair, his bunker on the eastern front. Did Morell deliberately turn Hitler into an addict? Or was he simply powerless to resist the Führer’s addictive personality? 

“I don’t think it was deliberate,” says Ohler. “But Hitler trusted him. When those around him tried to remove Morell in the fall of 1944, Hitler stood up for him – though by then, he knew that if he was to go, he [Hitler] would be finished. They got along very well. Morell loved to give injections, and Hitler liked to have them. He didn’t like pills because of his weak stomach and he wanted a quick effect. He was time-pressed; he thought he was going to die young.” When did Hitler realise he was an addict? “Quite late. Someone quotes him as saying to Morell: you’ve been giving me opiates all the time. But mostly, they talked about it in oblique terms. Hitler didn’t like to refer to the Eukodal. Maybe he was trying to block it off from his mind. And like any dealer, Morell was never going to say: yeah, you’re addicted, and I have something to feed that for you.” So he talked in terms of health rather than addiction? “Yes, exactly.”"

"The effect of the drugs could appear to onlookers to be little short of miraculous. One minute the Führer was so frail he could barely stand up. The next, he would be ranting unstoppably at Mussolini..."

"...taking Halloween costume options away from kids who are expressing an interest in other cultures is such a weird hill to die on."

Disney Pulls Moana Costume, Apologizes for Cultural Appropriation, Saddens Children - Hit & Run : "Little boys will no longer be able to dress up as the banished demigod Maui—a character in Disney's latest film, Moana—thanks to all the people (some of them Polynesian) who complained about cultural appropriation...

Disney has been criticized for not having a diverse enough roster of characters and films—too many rail-thin white princesses—and Moana is an attempt to address that. But Disney's filmmakers are damned if they do, damned if they don't. When Disney uses merchandise and costumes to make a minority culture accessible to non-minority children, the studio gets accused of cultural appropriation. When it sticks to stuff for white audiences, it's accused of racism. When Disney's protagonists are good-looking and thin, it's accused of promoting unrealistic and unhealthy beauty standards. When it includes a plus size protagonist, it's accused of fat-shaming Polynesians. People are free to work themselves into a frenzy over whatever they want, of course, but taking Halloween costume options away from kids who are expressing an interest in other cultures is such a weird hill to die on."

"Toxic Whiteness."

In the immortal words of Socrates, who said "Ah, go fuck yourself."

"Trigger warnings imperil academic freedom and further infantilize a cohort of young people accustomed to coddling by their helicopter parents."

If You Need a Trigger Warning, You Need P.T.S.D. Treatment - "Proponents of trigger warnings point out that many students have suffered trauma, exemplified by alarming rates of sexual assault on campus. Accordingly, they urge professors to warn students about potentially upsetting course materials and to exempt distressed students from classes covering topics likely to trigger post-traumatic stress disorder, or P.T.S.D., symptoms, such as flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive thoughts about one’s personal trauma. Proponents of trigger warnings are deeply concerned about the emotional well-being of students, especially those with trauma histories. 

Yet lost in the debate are two key points: Trauma is common, but P.T.S.D. is rare. Epidemiological studies show that many people are exposed to trauma in their lives, and most have had transient stress symptoms. But only a minority fails to recover, thereby developing P.T.S.D. Students with P.T.S.D. are those most likely to have adverse emotional reactions to curricular material, not those with trauma histories whose acute stress responses have dissipated. 

 However, trigger warnings are countertherapeutic because they encourage avoidance of reminders of trauma, and avoidance maintains P.T.S.D. Severe emotional reactions triggered by course material are a signal that students need to prioritize their mental health and obtain evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral therapies that will help them overcome P.T.S.D. These therapies involve gradual, systematic exposure to traumatic memories until their capacity to trigger distress diminishes. Rather than issuing trigger warnings, universities can best serve students by facilitating access to effective and proven treatments for P.T.S.D. and other mental health problems."

"America is experiencing a bizarre disconnect between real and perceived danger when it comes to kids. But why?"

Breakthrough Study Explains Why We Arrest Moms for Putting Kids in Nearly Non-Existent 'Danger' - Hit & Run : " Why are we arresting moms for putting their kids in "danger" for doing the things our own moms did without anyone batting an eye, like letting us walk to school, or play outside, or wait at home a short while? Recall that just recently a mom was arrested for letting her kids, 8 and 9, wait at the condo for under an hour while she went to pick up dinner. 

Well, a new study by researchers at the University of California-Irvine may have figured it out. "Our fears of leaving children alone have become systematically exaggerated in recent decades—not because the practice has become more dangerous, but because it has become socially unacceptable," as the university put it in a news release. In other words, the only socially acceptable mom has become a mom who never takes her eyes off her kids. With that in mind, whenever we see an unsupervised child, we automatically assume the child has a bad mom. And once we are harshly judging that mom, our minds unconsciously judge her "crime" extra harshly, too. We believe it to be more dangerous than it actually is. So it's a feedback loop: unsupervised kids have terrible moms, terrible moms endanger their kids...

But our perceptions have nothing to do with the world actually becoming more dangerous (crime is at a 50-year low), or even the legitimate fear of children getting overheated in a car (moms get yelled at for leaving their children for the few seconds it takes to return a grocery cart). Instead, our perceptions have everything to do with our seriously screwed up "moral intuition."

Cops seeing kids at the park think the mom is negligent. Child Protective Services represenatives over-estimate the danger to latchkey kids. The result is arrested parents, and arrested development of the kids. "People are very attached to the idea that they are rational beings," says Sarnecka. But as the study shows, they aren't. They are swayed by unconscious judgments. "It would be really great if people could be rational about their irrationality." Until that happens, we cannot have open-ended laws that defer to an authority's spidey sense. Instead, we must insist that a child be in provable danger of immediate, indisputable, statistically likely and egregious harm before parents be judged negligent. Because otherwise they'll just be judged, period—especially the moms, and especially the moms with fewer resources. And that harsh judgment will suffice for a verdict of guilty."

Former Latch-Key Kids Who Are Now Parents, Unite! - Hit & Run : ""People don't only think that leaving children alone is dangerous and therefore immoral," the researchers write. "They also think it is immoral and therefore dangerous. That is, people overestimate the actual danger to children who are left alone by their parents, in order to better support or justify their moral condemnation of parents who do so." The result is a feedback loop that increases the legal and social penalties for leaving kids alone and reinforces the belief that even the briefest parental absence amounts to child abuse. These beliefs don't just affect busybodies. They lead police, prosecutors, judges and jurors to overestimate risks...

While not exactly new, this trend has been intensifying over the past two decades or so, lurching from isolated scares about poisoned Halloween candy in the 1970s and child abduction in the 1980s to a generalized calculus that places perceived harm to children at the center of seemingly every discussion. The tendency is ubiquitous enough to be fair game for parody. On The Simpsons, for instance, one character routinely asks at any public gathering, "What about the children?" In that nearly 20-year-old story, I pointed to parenting styles and social obsessions prevalent among baby boomers as informing the bizarre mismatch in kids' better-and-better situations and parents' greater-and-greater anxiety about the safety and well-being of their offspring. Read the whole thing for the detailed causes, though a short list includes a decrease in the number of children per family, an increase in the personal and social investment in children, a warped understanding both of how trauma affects kids and how widespread trauma really is, and a media-informed desire to give your kid an advantage in all sorts of activities. Snowflakes aren't born, they're made. And now we have entered a phase where our overactive imaginations about threats to children have been institutionalized into really bad legal, educational, and social-work systems."

"Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia."

How To Be At War Forever / Boing Boing: "First, you'd need an enemy, of course, but that part would be pretty straightforward. After all, if the US government could convince the citizenry that Iraq was the 9/11 enemy but that Saudi Arabia was our friend when nineteen out of the twenty 9/11 hijackers were Saudi, it's fair to say that just about anything is possible. But the next part would be harder. On the one hand, you'd have to claim progress in the war so that the citizenry would maintain its support for the war. On the other hand, you couldn't actually defeat the enemy, lest the war end. That is to say, you'd have to maintain a longterm, delicate balance: we would always be winning in the war, but would never actually win the war...

With that balance in mind, your propaganda would likely be some version of, "Today, our military forces have achieved a significant victory. Of course, the enemy is insidious and resilient, and there is much hard work still ahead.""

"The new findings challenge the “food desert” hypothesis..."

Fat Head » Food Deserts and Grand Plans: "An analysis of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults reveals that access to healthy foods in a supermarket does not hinder Americans’ consumption of empty calories. In fact, the study found, U.S. adults buy the bulk of their sugar-sweetened beverages and nutrient-poor discretionary foods at supermarkets and grocery stores. The new findings challenge the “food desert” hypothesis, which posits that a lack of access to supermarkets and grocery stores in some communities worsens the obesity crisis by restricting people’s access to healthy foods...

As part of their never-ending quest to create a better society by spending other people’s money and/or restricting other people’s freedoms, The Anointed decided to take on the (ahem) “problem” of food deserts some years ago.  And boy, the Grand Plan they came up with to fix it is such a fine example of The Anointed in action, I decided to write a full post on the topic. I haven’t discussed The Anointed for a while, so I’ll start with a brief review of how they operate.  This is my crib-sheet version of Thomas Sowell’s terrific book The Vision of The Anointed: The Anointed identify a problem in society. The Anointed propose a Grand Plan to fix the problem.  Strangely, the Grand Plan nearly always requires spending other people’s money and/or restricting other people’s freedom to make their own decisions. Because they are so supremely confident in their ideas, The Anointed don’t bother with proof or evidence that the Grand Plan will actually work.  In fact, they cheerfully ignore any evidence that the Grand Plan won’t work. If possible, The Anointed will use government coercion to impose the Grand Plan on other people (for their own good, of course). Because the problem they’ve identified is The Bad, The Anointed assume whatever Grand Plan they design to fix it is The Good.  Therefore, anyone who opposes the Grand Plan is opposing Good itself … which can only mean those people are either evil or stupid. If the Grand Plan fails (which it usually does), The Anointed will never, ever, ever admit the Grand Plan was wrong.  They will instead conclude that 1) the plan was good, but was undermined by people who are evil or stupid, or 2) the plan didn’t go far enough … which means we need to do the same thing again, ONLY BIGGER...

In other words, the Grand Plan isn’t working for the same reason those wunnerful, wunnerful fruits and vegetables weren’t available in “food deserts” in the first place:  THE LOCALS AREN’T INTERESTED IN BUYING THEM.  HOW DID YOU NOT SEE THIS COMING A HALF-BILLION DOLLARS AGO, YOU @#$%ING MORONS?! Here’s the really fun part:  The USDA is aware of research negating the hypothesis that people don’t buy fruits and vegetables because they “struggle” to find them. "

"I’m keeping this short. You don’t have a slow metabolism. Let’s move on."

You're Not losing Fat Because You're Eating Too Damn Much. Even When You Don't Think You Are. Let Me Show You. - Physiqonomics: "Starvation mode [sometimes referred to as metabolic damage] is the idea that if you eat too little an amount of calories for an extended period of time, your body stops burning fat; in fact, it starts doing the opposite – you start gaining weight ‘even when consuming 800 calories’. Sound familiar? So, how much truth is there to this? Well, see, Starvation Mode is an odd one. Odd because, while it’s not entirely correct; it’s not entirely incorrect either. The correct part: When you reduce calories, more specifically as you begin to get leaner, there is, in fact, some slowing of metabolic rate. The incorrect part: Due to this low-calorie consumption your body just decides HA, fuck you. And proceeds to enter this phantom zone of otherworldliness where the laws of thermodynamics cease to exist; resulting in no fat loss and even gaining fat on some absurdly low number of calories. What’s really going on: As you start to lose body fat and weight, there’s less of you. This ‘lessness’ means your body doesn’t require as many calories to keep you alive...

I wrote damn near an essay on the last point so I’m keeping this short. You don’t have a slow metabolism. Let’s move on. Ok, sheesh, man. Fine.  Two people of the same size [height, weight] and age, have around a 10-15% variance in basal metabolic rate. This amounts to an average of 200-300 calories. Yes, but, I’m a female s – no, stop. Gender will impact metabolism, however, it’s less to do with women’s metabolism ‘being slower’ than their Male counterparts, and more to do with the physiological differences; Men carry more muscle and less fat at a similar body weight. The difference, all things considered (muscle mass, hormones etc.), is a whopping 3%: If we had a guy and a girl who both maintain their body weight at a calorie intake of 1800 calories; the difference between the two would be around 54 calories per day or, the equivalent of one medium-sized apple. So, not much. Well, unless you really, really like Apples. As I discussed in this post and this post, the majority of the differences between two people of the same height, weight, and age is due to exercise, good nutrition, and increased activity in general.   

So if you aren’t in starvation mode and you don’t have a slow metabolism: What exactly is going on? There are two factors at play here.  Misreporting Intake & Calorie Ignorance..."