Monthly Archives: February 2014

Here’s one for the migraine sufferers

Just the other day I was checking my podcasts apps on my phone and saw that there was an episode of Man School out, about migraine headaches (with Jesse Thorn of The Sound of Young America and Jordan Jesse Go). I’ve been afflicted with migraines for a few years now, fortunately not as much lately but last year and the year before were pretty rough. It was interesting to hear Jesse’s experience, which is admittedly worse than mine. He talks at one point about performing comedy sets with migraines… I can’t even imagine!

I related to some of the stories he told (I’ve been sidelined from social activities a few times because of migraines), but as I said, a lot of his experiences have been more extreme than mine. I guess I’ve been pretty lucky. I’ve been able to identify the biggest triggers for me (stress, fatigue) and as long as I manage both I tend to be OK. I’m also typically able to deal with my migraines with just advil, earplugs and sunglasses. But when you have them regularly, you kind of learn to operate in spite of them (you might call that a “functional migraine”).

If you are a migraine sufferer, or you are curious what migraines can be like, this is worth a listen:

The unfortunate thing is that science still really doesn’t have a good understanding of migraines, but until it does, people have managed to figure out many ways to cope. If and when some good new information comes out, I will definitely post it.

UPDATE: SciShow just posted this video for the visual learners:

Why do planets have rings?

Nifty new video from SciShow, which starts with the question “why does saturn have rings?” but ends up answering why several planets in our solar system have rings:

Well, I learned something new, so I thought I’d share so you could too. Between black holes and Roche limits, space is a scary, dangerous place. Is it any wonder why I have no interest or desire to be among those who colonize Mars? Well, that and I’m really not fond of the colour red…

Crows are the geniuses of the avian world

I’ve written in the past about how dolphins are basically the geniuses of the sea, well crows are the equivalent in the sky.

I’ve wanted to do a post about this for a while, but haven’t had the time to do the research to do the kind of comprehensive post that I wanted to do (as I’ve seen several clips of crows being winged brainiacs), so I am going to simplify.

HoffPo recently featured an article called “This Crow Is The Smartest Bird You’ve Ever Seen”, which talks about how crows are able to complete complex, multistep puzzles that would even be challenging for humans. Embedded is a YouTube clip of a crow completing an 8 stage puzzle:

The article says:

This isn’t the first time crows’ intelligence has been tested, either. Along with being problem solvers, these animals have an eerie tendency towards complex human-like memory skills. Through several different studies, we’ve learned that crows can recognize faces, communicate details of an event to each other and even avoid places they recognize as dangerous.

I’m also currently reading “Animals Make Us Human” by Temple Grandin, and I randomly started reading the book on the chapter about pigs. They are also very intelligent creatures, and apparently require a ton of mental stimulation naturally, kind of like newborn babies. Temple calls it their “seeking function”, and boy I think I can relate to those pigs even as an adult.

Here’s another video I just grabbed off YouTube on the subject:

I find it really cool and fascinating that there are several members of the animal kindgom that show us that humans aren’t the only clever organisms on the planet. Just because they can’t talk doesn’t mean they aren’t a lot smarter than we give them credit for.

Some of the best perspective on relationships I’ve ever read

Waitbutwhy has a great 2 part article called “How to Pick Your Life Partner” and it is fantastic.

This is a bit late for Valentines Day, but that’s the starting point of the post. In case you couldn’t guess by stances I’ve taken and sentiments I’ve shared in past on various topics, I’m not a big fan of valentines day. As with many holidays, Valentine’s Day has basically been corrupted and co-opted by consumerism and basically, as I’ve heard it put, “gives people one day to make up for 364 days of being a less than ideal partner”. That’s obviously an overly cynical viewpoint, but I do think it’s fair to say that in a good relationship, every day (or week) should be a day where you show your partner that you care about them and appreciate them. Having a holiday where you pull out all the stops, spend a bunch of money, seems totally unnecessary. Isn’t that what you do on their birthday anyways? Not to mention the sexist idea that typically it’s the women who get spoiled by the men. I think The Simpsons effectively nailed it on this subject. But I digress.

So this article basically talks about a bunch of relationship myths and I think really zeroes in on the truly important things:

Dissatisfied single people should actually consider themselves in a neutral, fairly hopeful position, compared to what their situation could be. A single person who would like to find a great relationship is one step away from it, with their to-do list reading, “1) Find a great relationship.” People in unhappy relationships, on the other hand, are three leaps away, with a to-do list of “1) Go through a soul-crushing break-up. 2) Emotionally recover. 3) Find a great relationship.” Not as bad when you look at it that way, right?

I never thought about it like that before, but yeah, that’s true. I would say it’s totally fair to say I have avoided entering into relationships (or even going on more than one date) with women before because my brain was defiantly telling me “if I’m not convinced that I will never have to break up with her, then this isn’t happening”. Like, not that I’m afraid to commit, but that I refuse to commit to “the wrong person”. Because I don’t ever want to have to break up with someone. Or fire someone. Basically, I don’t like giving people bad emotional news. Of course, you can never know, because people change, and “the rest of your life” is a long time. So you just have to enjoy them while it “works”.

And when you choose a life partner, you’re choosing a lot of things, including your parenting partner and someone who will deeply influence your children, your eating companion for about 20,000 meals, your travel companion for about 100 vacations, your primary leisure time and retirement friend, your career therapist, and someone whose day you’ll hear about 18,000 times.

See, I am kind of doubtful of if I can even do a serious relationship, because I like a lot of “me” time, i’m pretty independent (I’m totally not opposed to going to movies or events by myself so that I can arrive and leave precisely when I want to) and because, as stuck up as this may sound, I find very few people interesting enough that I think I would want to talk to them every day, for 18,000 days. In fairness, as interesting as I think I am, I have totally bored people after just a few minutes on multiple occasions, so yeah, it’s give and take. I’m not saying I’m some amazing catch and that I am the only one who is going to have to compromise. But I must say I have been liking the idea of open relationships a little bit more because you can get what you need when you need it, from whoever can best supply it, vs trying to get everything from one person. Of course I’m still working on myself internally for this sort of thing to be possible. You don’t just flick a switch overnight to turn off a monogamous instinct.

People tend to be bad at knowing what they want from a relationship

Studies have shown people to be generally bad, when single, at predicting what later turn out to be their actual relationship preferences. One study found that speed daters questioned about their relationship preferences usually prove themselves wrong just minutes later with what they show to prefer in the actual event.4

This shouldn’t be a surprise—in life, you usually don’t get good at something until you’ve done it a bunch of times. Unfortunately, not many people have a chance to be in more than a few, if any, serious relationships before they make their big decision. There’s just not enough time. And given that a person’s partnership persona and relationship needs are often quite different from the way they are as a single person, it’s hard as a single person to really know what you want or need from a relationship.

Yup. The numerous posts on classifieds sites like Craigslist about “must be such and such” are definitely a hint towards many people thinking they want something, but their either never find it, or they find it but it never wants them back (I’ve kind of experienced both). It has taken me many years to figure out that the best bet is probably to have a baseline of “dealbreakers”, and try and build from there. I definitely have a type (mostly in the appearance sense), but have yet to meet someone who is that type where romance has been born. So i’ve been re-training myself to go more by feeling than type. I meet someone, we talk, we hang out, how do I feel? Do I get bored quick or not? Am I often amused by things they say? Do I feel social and sexual chemistry? Basically, do I want to keep spending time with the person? Because even if she is exactly my type, for one reason or another, I may not want to keep spending time with them.

Society encourages us to stay uneducated and let romance be our guide.

If you’re running a business, conventional wisdom states that you’re a much more effective business owner if you study business in school, create well thought-out business plans, and analyze your business’s performance diligently. This is logical, because that’s the way you proceed when you want to do something well and minimize mistakes.

But if someone went to school to learn about how to pick a life partner and take part in a healthy relationship, if they charted out a detailed plan of action to find one, and if they kept their progress organized rigorously in a spreadsheet, society says they’re A) an over-rational robot, B) way too concerned about this, and C) a huge weirdo.

No, when it comes to dating, society frowns upon thinking too much about it, instead opting for things like relying on fate, going with your gut, and hoping for the best. If a business owner took society’s dating advice for her business, she’d probably fail, and if she succeeded, it would be partially due to good luck—and that’s how society wants us to approach dating.

Yeeeeesssssss. Oh my freaking gosh, yes! I swear, at least half of the romantic comedies that get made would not even need to exist if more people understood this! It’s one of those things they do NOT teach in school, but should (like managing personal finance). Even if you start dating really young, say 13 or 14, you don’t necessarily have the wisdom/maturity/good sense to learn from these relationships. It’s not surprising that the divorce rate among couples that marry really young are so high. We ask friends and family for advice, but who says they know any better? Both my parents re-married after they got divorced, but I can tell you I would never ask one of my parents for relationship advice because that parent seems to have learned absolutely nothing.

Of course, emotion is the X Factor, as a friend of mine pointed out, and that is still the part I’m struggling the most with, about how the fresh relationship butterflies can definitely cloud your judgement and how when you’re too close to something emotionally, you lose some perspective.

Society rushes us.

In our world, the major rule is to get married before you’re too old—and “too old” varies from 25 – 35, depending on where you live. The rule should be “whatever you do, don’t marry the wrong person,” but society frowns much more upon a 37-year-old single person than it does an unhappily married 37-year-old with two children. It makes no sense—the former is one step away from a happy marriage, while the latter must either settle for permanent unhappiness or endure a messy divorce just to catch up to where the single person is.

A few years ago, one of my co-workers at the time showed me a book one of her family members had given her (read: practically jammed into her hands), called “The Panic Years: A Guide to Surviving Smug Married Friends, Bad Taffeta, and Life on the Wrong Side of 25 without a Ring” (I refuse to link to it). Literally, a book that says if you’re over 25 and not married yet, you need to “trap a man”. Like, how effing messed up is that? I only barely started to have a CLUE as to who I even was as a person at the age of 25. Be married? Are you kidding? Even 5 years later, I still don’t feel I’m anywhere near ready to think about that sort of thing. Of course, I’m a guy, so there’s far less social stigma on me, but still.

But no, if you’re not hitched and pregnant by your mid-late twenties, well something is wrong with you. Because married and babies are all that matter! I know this isn’t true everywhere, but as I’ve slid through my mid-late twenties, I’ve been in the vicinity of more of these talks than I’m content with. Not everyone even wants to get married (hello!), or have kids (hello again!), at least not until they’re ready, but unless you are really firm in your resolve, that may not matter. But two of the least advisable things you can do, are put yourself into an unhappy relationship based on someone else’s expectations, and to bring children into this world if you didn’t really want them.

Next the article breaks down a few “types” of people who tend to shoot themselves in the foot in relationships:

The overly romantic person repeatedly ignores the little voice that tries to speak up when he and his girlfriend are fighting constantly or when he seems to feel much worse about himself these days than he used to before the relationship, shutting the voice down with thoughts like “Everything happens for a reason and the way we met couldn’t have just been coincidence” and “I’m totally in love with her, and that’s all that matters”—once an overly romantic person believes he’s found his soul mate, he stops questioning things, and he’ll hang onto that belief all the way through his 50 years of unhappy marriage.

Externally-Influenced Ed lets other people play way too big a part in the life partner decision. The choosing of a life partner is deeply personal, enormously complicated, different for everyone, and almost impossible to understand from the outside, no matter how well you know someone. As such, other people’s opinions and preferences really have no place getting involved, other than an extreme case involving mistreatment or abuse.

The saddest example of this is someone breaking up with a person who would have been the right life partner because of external disapproval or a factor the chooser doesn’t actually care about (religion is a common one) but feels compelled to stick to for the sake of family insistence or expectations.

Shallow Sharon is more concerned with the on-paper description of her life partner than the inner personality beneath it. There are a bunch of boxes that she needs to have checked—things like his height, job prestige, wealth-level, accomplishments, or maybe a novelty item like being foreign or having a specific talent.

Everyone has certain on-paper boxes they’d like checked, but a strongly ego-driven person prioritizes appearances and résumés above even the quality of her connection with her potential life partner when weighing things.

aka “the scantron partner”

And there are a few more but I don’t want to completely repost the entire article here.

Also, read part 2, which talks more specifically about healthy, positive relationships and what they take.

“Made to Penetrate”, or men getting raped

As much as I don’t want to write this post, I do feel there is some important information in this article to be shared. The article in question comes from Vocativ and is titled “The Hard Truth About Girl-on-Guy Rape”, by Elizabeth Kulze.

Now, before I go any further I’m going to say, I am not an “MRA” (or “Men’s Rights Activist”), but, I do recognize that gender inequality goes both ways (though I think it’s fair to say that it affects women far more than it affects men even up to this point), and I can understand why some men are upset that there’s all this fuss about “feminism” when hey, guys get screwed too, why is no one trying to help them? (of course this arguably comes from a fundamental mis-understanding of what “feminism” is all about). I have posted several things on this blog about feminism, and I will continue to do so, and I think this is a good fit of pro-male feminism.

Guys, if you’re up to it, I recommend reading “The Macho Paradox – Why some men hurt women and how all men can help”, by Jackson Katz. I’m currently working through it, but it’s really good for perspective and for understanding a complex situation and what is really going on.

Anyways, the article on Vocativ talks about how obviously not only women are raped, but when a male is raped, not only are people far less likely to believe him, but there is a stereotype/stigma that “guys are down for sex anytime, no matter what”, which is definitely not true. The article shares stories from several men who had experiences where they woke up to find a female penetrating them, without warning, and didn’t know what to do.

The next morning Charlie wasn’t sure what to think. Had an underclassman he knew only by name really entered his dorm room and had her way with him as he slept? It all seemed so absurd, like the makings of an awkward wet dream. Except Charlie had zero interest in this girl. He had never spoken to her, kissed her or even tried to catch her eye. He felt neither lucky nor flattered, just extremely perturbed.

“The most traumatic part was the complete assumption of consent,” he tells me nearly two decades later. “I was physically revolted by the experience. It just felt so shockingly wrong.”

The concept of a woman forcing a man into a sex act can seem paradoxical, if not physiologically impossible. The assumption, likely shared by Charlie’s abuser, is that guys are always in the mood and an erection constitutes consent; but there’s a uniquely afflicted class of male victims who would strongly disagree. Lost in a cultural blind spot, they have been left to suffer in silence without resources and often without the empathy of family or friends.

“Made to penetrate” cases are all the more complicated because of a man’s lack of autonomy over his own penis. “It was too late to tell her I wasn’t interested in having sex, because she was already having it with me,” Charlie says. “It was all so unexpected.” Just because a man gets hard doesn’t necessarily mean he’s enjoying it. As with female victims, sexual arousal can be involuntary. Even ejaculation in cases of male rape is often the result of a mechanical biological response—not a sign of hot-blooded desire.

When I was reading this, it mainly served to give me some kind of an idea of how anyone, male or female, can feel, after being sexually violated. I consider myself very lucky that this has never happened to me, though I did have an experience once where a woman I met casually got very aggressive with me and I was not interested in her but didn’t want to just come out and say “I am not attracted to you, leave me alone”. It seemed unnecessarily harsh, and back then I was far more crippled by social anxiety and awkwardness. But I remember how scary and uncomfortable it was to be in that situation and feeling like I just wanted to get away but couldn’t. This does equal actually being raped, but I can at least partially understand the horror of the experience.

The article continues:

Of the 20,100 suspects arrested for forcible rape in 2010, less than 1 percent were female, a victim-perpetrator gender divide that’s all but cemented in public perception. Gender roles may have evolved in the years since Charlie’s ordeal, but our assumptions about who takes advantage of whom remain rigid, despite evidence to the contrary: A recent study of sexual violence found that women by age 18 were almost equally as likely as men to commit sexual abuse (at 48 percent and 52 percent, respectively).

While the victims’ families and friends aren’t always supportive or understanding, the article says many of these men have to turn to online forums for support:

Reddit users, however, were more sympathetic: “Same boat as me brother,” wrote user Kuljika in response to Charlie’s confessional post. “Sleep-rape fistbump.” Forums like the often controversial Men’s Rights subreddit have become a haven for emotionally battered victims (and frustrated men in general). Like group therapy, it’s a place where they can share their stories anonymously and connect with others without feeling vulnerable. “It was really the first step towards healing for me,” says Ben, a 23-year-old male victim I spoke to who posted about his own nocturnal boner-turned-living-nightmare. “It’s good to know there are others out there.”

There are hundreds of threads dedicated to victims of female-on-male sexual abuse, many of which read like locker-room rap sessions, but with a little more empathy and advice: “Try and let go of that shit holding you back, I’m not saying it’s going to be easy,” “Good to hear that someone else has this problem” or “That’s rough. Do feel. Don’t suck it up.” Unfortunately, as with any subreddit, the conversation can get bogged down by extremists and in this case more than a few misogynists. “Some people use their experience as a crutch to hate women,” says Ben. But with few alternative resources, the Reddit community will have to do. “There’s not really another home for guys who want to talk about these things,” Charlie says. Though there are sites like MaleSurvivor.org and 1and6.org, female-on-male sexual abuse is still a marginal topic. [emphasis added]

This part caught my attention. I know there are people on both sides of gender inequality who seem more inclined to hate than to heal. I highlighted part of the above because I think that’s a really important thing to take note of – men need a forum to be heard and taken seriously as well, and if the only place they can go is a place where the vibe isn’t all or mostly about healing, then I would fear some guys would get pulled down into the negativity and get bitter instead of trying to rise above. I’m glad to see one commenter say “do feel, don’t suck it up”. Men need to know they can and should let themselves feel, and should reject the idea of “manning up”.

“It’s not like we’re infinitely powerful and women are Playdough,” says Jake. “Guys get hurt just as much. We’re just not allowed to show it.”

This also seems like a good time to point out the website The Good Men Project, which features stories (by both men and women) who believe that we can all do better to make society better for everyone, and recognizing that being born with a penis doesn’t inherently make you bad or a potential rapist. If you ever meet anyone who tries to claim that all men or all women are evil, crazy, or any other blanket negative thing, I’d say that person has a very negative mindset and you should spend as little time around them as possible.

And here is the part of the article that really knocked my socks off:

Male victims were actually excluded from the legal definition of rape until the Department of Justice updated it in 2012, 85 years after the fact. Even now, it only accounts for those men who were anally or orally raped by males. In other words, an ill-intentioned penis and a vulnerable orifice are imperative to a rape indictment. Similarly, the Oxford English Dictionary maintains that only “a man who commits rape” can be called a rapist. While quibbling over the semantics might seem petty, there are real implications, not only for victims, but also for the way statistics are influenced.

In the CDC’s national survey of sexual violence, for example, “made to penetrate” is not included as a form of rape. If it were, incidents of male rape would rise from 1 in 71 to a staggering 1 in 16 nationally (female rape is just under 1 in 5). The majority of the offenders of male victims would also be female.

The authors of the survey, which is sponsored by the Violence Against Women Act, maintain that being “made to penetrate” is a form of sexual victimization unique to males, and therefore independent of rape. As a consequence, “made to penetrate” cases seem less criminal, and certainly less provocative. In a situation like Charlie’s, the distinction appears to make sense: “Most people think of rape as a violent attempt to hurt another person. I don’t really know what was going through this girl’s head at the time, but I don’t think she was there to traumatize me. I guess she just wanted to have sex with me and assumed that’d be ok.”

Of course, for even the gentlest male sleep-rapist, “I assumed she’d be into it” doesn’t exactly fly in court. Consent reigns supreme, and to pursue a female without it is to invite culpability. In “made to penetrate” cases, the line is often far more ambiguous. Still, there are plenty of female aggressors who don’t leave much to interpretation.

“I didn’t call it rape at the time because it didn’t even occur to me that I could be raped,” says Ben, who agreed to speak with me over Skype. ”All I knew was that what happened to me was not ok. It was a horrifying situation.”

To me, there is definitely a problem that rape enacted on a female and a male are treated unequally by the law. While there is a bit of a difference, the psychological, emotional and to an extent, even the physical damage is the same. This puts men in a really difficult spot as far as seeking help in the wake of it. The macho culture that has been built up around us tells us that men can’t get hurt, when clearly we can. I’m sure almost every guy out there thinks “that could never happen to me”, and then if and when it does, you just shut down because you have no idea how to respond.

The more I’ve read about feminism, the more I see that feminism is trying to break down walls and break stigmas so that both men and women can talk more, more openly, and to each other, about these issues. I’ve attended discussion groups specifically devoted to men and women getting together to see how each other think and feel and see a given issue or topic, and surprisingly we agreed on a lot that really surprised us.

Feminism is trying to break down the patriarchy that keeps trying to indoctrinate men as “Bros”, as big strong problem solving machines rather than as thinking, feeling humans (and feelings don’t make you weak). Women on the other hand are taught to be essentially “trophy wives”, and have to learn how to be “strong” in ways that aren’t only measured by how they look.

So, I encourage you, if any of this resonates with you, to read the article, check out some of the resources linked in this post and talk about it. The best thing we can do is break the silence and take back our freedom to feel.

Speaking of privacy – how to be more private on Facebook

Here is an article from Business Insider, “How To See All The Companies That Are Tracking You On Facebook — And Block Them”, that has several tips, links and suggestions (it’s kind of hard to summarize):

It tells you how to opt-out of targeted ads, limiting ad cookies and blocking apps. But I feel like I see a post like this on an annual basis because Facebook keeps re-jiggering everything.

So, go check that out, and hopefully you don’t find anything too shocking about who was getting access to your data. Though as I am being forced to admit the validity in this statement more and more as time passes: “If you truly want to maintain your privacy, stay off the internet”.

DuckDuckGo, a truly private alternative to google

Cool article over on FastCoLabs, “Inside DuckDuckGo, Google’s Tiniest, Fiercest Competitor”, which talks about an up and coming search engine called DuckDuckGo. I’d heard about it a a couple of years ago, mentioned in an article about more secure options for internet searches outside of google and it’s tracking practices. I tried it once and didn’t think much of it at the time, but I’m glad to see it has evolved a fair bit.

Here are some quotes from the full article (which you should definitely read):

Looking at the modern history of the search space, Weinberg noticed that several companies in the early 2000s had tried–and failed–to rival Google by mimicking its method of mass-indexing the web. Instead of following this ambitious (and very expensive) path, Weinberg decided to let other companies’ infrastructure do most of the heavy lifting so that his startup–initially, just him coding at home with his newborn son nearby–could focus on building a superior experience for finding information online. The key, as he saw it, would be Instant Answers.

“The result was DuckDuckGo, a search engine offering direct answers to people’s queries, rather than merely delivering a list of links. Below these so-called “Instant Answers,” the site still displays traditional, link-by-link search results syndicated from third parties like Bing and Yandex but, crucially, they’re filtered and reorganized to reduce spam.

“When you do a search, you generally want an answer. You don’t necessarily want to click around links,” Weinberg says. “It’s our job to try to get an answer. Our grand vision is that that happens for 80% of queries, even for very niche things.”

This is the biggest risk for any startup who dares challenge a giant head-on: At any point, the Googles or Facebooks or Apples of the world can just mimic what made you different, slam-dunking your shattered dreams into the wastebin of tech history.

Weinberg and his small team seem undeterred. After all, DuckDuckGo has one asset that Google could never copy, even if it wanted to.

“When you do a search from DuckDuckGo’s website or one of its mobile apps, it doesn’t know who you are. There are no user accounts. Your IP address isn’t logged by default. The site doesn’t use search cookies to keep track of what you do over time or where else you go online. It doesn’t save your search history. When you click on a link in DuckDuckGo’s results, those websites won’t see which search terms you used. The company even has its own Tor exit relay, allowing Tor users to search DuckDuckGo with less of a performance lag.

Simply put, they’re hardcore about privacy.”

“The Wolfram Alpha experience really opened my eyes to the fact that you could have answers for really esoteric stuff,” says Weinberg. “And we started including them. You could have answers for tons and tons of topics that our team knew absolutely nothing about. Celebrities, for example. We’re not big on pop culture here.”

One user, for instance, was a big Lego nerd. As Lego enthusiasts know, each piece of the iconic building block set has a unique ID number. To make looking up those pieces easier on DuckDuckGo, he crafted a plug-in that pulls from a database of Lego pieces built by Lego fans every bit as geeky as he is.

Another example of this private searching is www.startpage.com, which as I understand it literally pulls google results for you without giving google any of your information (kind of like a middle man). But it seems like an actual community has sprouted up around DuckDuckGo which is exciting and holds promise for the future.

You may have also noticed a reference to Wolfram Alpha, which bills itself as a “Computational Knowledge Engine” (not a “search engine”). I’ve tried that one too, but also not much, because the sorts of things I tend to want or need to search for aren’t as applicable.

Wolfram|Alpha introduces a fundamentally new way to get knowledge and answers—
not by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms, and methods. Bringing deep, expert-level knowledge to everyone… anytime, anywhere.

In conclusion, I think we should all take another moment to thank Edward Snowden, as he undeniably changed forever the way we interact with the internet. I’d say for the better.

How to get fit without any equipment (just patience and persistence)

This one comes from Lifehacker, “This Table of Exercises Shows You How to Get Fit Without Any Equipment“:

exercisesYou can get a complete workout with just your body. This “Periodic Table of Bodyweight Exercises” showcases dozens of moves—from easy to insane—you can do to build strength and/or reduce fat. The clickable infograph leads you to videos showing how to do each move.

The bodyweight exercises are from the Strength Stack 52 cards, which you can buy. You don’t have to, though, to use the graphic below to find inspiration for your next workout.

If you’re not sure what any of these moves are, head to the clickable graph at Stack 52 for video demonstrations.

——————————-

The reason I put (just patience and persistence) in the title is because while I have seen people use exercises like these at the gym, people overwhelmingly seem to prefer using machines or free weights, so I could understand it being hard to stick with just these exercises. I guess it doesn’t quite feel like working out without some piece of equipment. I know I personally find treadmills and exercise bikes utterly boring compared to the real thing. Standing or sitting in place and walking/running/pedalling just feels… unproductive, vs doing the real thing and actually getting somewhere. But if you can’t afford a gym membership (I recommend The YMCA if there’s one near you, vs one of the corporatized gyms such as Goodlife) then this is better than nothing.

CGP Grey now has a Podcast!

One of my absolute favourite YouTube channels is that of CGP Grey, a mixture of history, politics, economics and examining current and future ideas that I just love.

Recently, Grey started up a new project, which as I understand it is only supposed to go for 10 episodes, but I’ve already listened to the first two and they are great (in my ever so humble opinion).

Grey’s Podcast is called “Hello, Internet” (which of course I delightfully read in his signature voice when I first saw it), and so far features these episodes:
1. Being Wrong on the Internet
2. Copyright NOT intended
3. Four Light Bulbs
4. Feedback on Feedback

I highly recommend checking it out. The first two were as good as you’d expect, and in Episode 2, they talked about “Fair Use”, a topic I had to do some quick research on for a recent post on this site (and plan to do a post about as well, soon).

Also check out this video which Grey references:

(well, actually that’s not the exact video referenced but I can’t be 100% sure which video to pull so this one seems a safe bet)

And one of Grey’s latest videos here:

Get a deal on a LOT of science reading

I feel a bit weird putting this on here (I probably won’t include it in the next recap), but for those who might be interested, i’ll share.

via a post on the Scientific American Magazine Facebook Page:

It’s finally here: every single issue of Scientific American— all in one place. Get 168 years of content with an All Access subscription for just $99.

I don’t know who has time to read 168 years worth of science articles, but if you do, or you want to take a crack at it (and consider $99 a reasonable price for the privilege) then by all means – go get em tiger!

I’ve enjoyed Scientific American articles on numerous occasions, I’ve even had the odd magazine subscription but I always let them lapse at renewal time because for some reason it feels like a chore to read a magazine (and it’s arguably less classy than owning actual books) and find I am less inclined to read them than their online counter-parts.