“The willingness of growing numbers of Americans to embrace soccer bespeaks their willingness to imagine a different relationship with the world. Historically, conservative foreign policy has oscillated between isolationism and imperialism. America must either retreat from the world or master it. It cannot be one among equals, bound by the same rules as everyone else. Exceptionalists view sports the same way. Coulter likes football, baseball, and basketball because America either plays them by itself, or—when other countries play against us—we dominate them. (In fact, most of the other countries that play baseball do so because they were once under U.S. occupation).”
Friday, July 25, 2014
“While Paleo, high-fat and periodized diets have little or no effect on enhancing one’s endurance, there is a less risky tweak you can implement in your training to improve your ability to burn fat for fuel—regular rides on water. I began to implement them back in 2007, and at first I could scarcely go for one-and-a-half hours before I bonked. But as my body adapted, I was able to ride three, four or five hours on water alone. This approach has a big effect in activating the genes that stimulate the production of enzymes involved in fat oxidation, as shown in a 2005 study by L.J Cluberton et al.
If you decide to implement these water-only rides in your training, remember that these rides are depletion sessions, which leave you drained, and should always be followed by recovery days.”
Depleted and craving carbs in my case!
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
“Global economic growth is set to slow way down after 2020. Lots of factors contribute to this. In the nearer term, lingering effects of the financial crisis will continue to hurt economies for years to come, as low investment and high unemployment work their ways out of the system. But beyond that, aging populations will drag down economic growth. While the OECD population is expected to grow by 17 percent through, the working-age population could fall by 7 percent. And in OECD and non-OECD nations, labor’s contribution to GDP is expected to hold flat or fall, respectively. In addition, educational attainment is expected to slow down, meaning an already potentially smaller pool of labor will have a slower-growing pool of skills to draw from.”
“Ironically, the climate change brought about by economic growth is set to be a drag on the global economy for decades to come. By 2060, climate change will drag on GDP anywhere from 0.6 percent to nearly 2.5 percent, with by far the heaviest effects in southeastern Asia. By 2060, climate change could drag that area’s GDP down by more than 5 percent. Those effects will come about largely for two reasons: how a shifting climate hurts the agriculture industry and how much rising sea levels shrink the world’s available land.”
“The above chart shows the ratio of earnings of people at the 90th percentile of earnings to those at the 10th percentile. In all OECD countries, that ratio will grow substantially. Among these OECD countries, most of the new inequality will happen between the middle and top of the income distribution. That’s an effect of job polarization — as technology replaces middle-skill jobs, the number of high- and low-income workers will only grow while the middle stagnates.”
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
“Soccer dominates the global sports scene, in a way that’s almost impossible to appreciate in the abstract.”
Monday, July 21, 2014
“These results fly in the face of what most of us have been told about cholesterol. Our misconceptions about cholesterol may in fact be endangering countless lives.
Our focus on lowering cholesterol to prevent heart disease and mortality is misplaced. It also fails to serve in the best interest of our health and wellness. In fact, the dogmatic belief that cholesterol must be lowered appears to best serve pharmaceutical companies, which profit from cholesterol-lowering drugs.”
Friday, July 18, 2014
“What this study is actually focused on is something slightly different: VO2 kinetics – that is, how your body’s use of oxygen responds to changes in activity levels. When you go from rest to suddenly pedaling or running hard (as you do at the start of every race or even interval workout), your muscles suddenly need huge amounts of oxygen, and it takes a while for the rest of the body – lungs, heart, blood vessels, enzymes – to kick into high gear. You can measure how quickly the body response to a sudden increase in oxygen demand, which is basically what this graph shows for the six groups:
Again, you’re better off (i.e. you have a faster response) if you’re trained rather than untrained, no matter how old you are. But the big effect that jumps out is the dramatic slowdown in the older untrained group compared to all the other groups. Unlike the VO2max change, this is a change resulting from inactivity rather than age. All the trained groups have essentially the same VO2 kinetics, but sometime after age 60, VO2 kinetics really starts to tank if you’re not fit.
What does this mean? The factors affecting VO2 kinetics are fairly complex, but one key is the blood delivery network. In order to quickly ramp up oxygen delivery, you need to be able to distribute blood; studies have shown that less than a year of endurance training increases capillarization by 20-40%. This could be one of the key factors that you lose with age if you don’t stay fit. It’s probably not going to be the deciding reason that you take up training (“I’ve decided to get fit because I don’t want my oxygen kinetics to decline!”), but it’s a nice example of the many subtle ways that your body keeps working if you keep it fit – and stops if you don’t.”
Thursday, July 17, 2014
“Do Fathers Matter? is structured as a timeline of a child’s life — early chapters address conception and pregnancy, and then the book journeys through infancy, early childhood, and adolescence. For each stage of development, Raeburn describes how a father contributes.
In pregnancy, genes passed along by the father help a fetus draw in more nutrients from its mother. These genes allow the fetus to release hormones that elevate its mother’s blood pressure, increasing the amount of blood that goes to the fetus, and to raise its mother’s blood sugar so more sugar-rich blood goes through the placenta.
“The fetus is not just passively receiving nutrients from its mother,” he said. “It’s actually sending out control signals, and it got that ability from genes that it got from its father.”
After the child is born, it’s the father’s presence, not only his genes, that matters. Raeburn cites research from Nadya Panscofar of the the College of New Jersey and Lynne Vernon-Feagans of the University of North Carolina. They found that fathers have a greater impact than mothers in expanding their children’s vocabulary.
“What they think is going on there is that families where mothers spend more time with their kids, they’re much more attuned to the kids’ language, so they don’t use words that the kids don’t know as often,” he said. “Fathers, who might spend less time, are more likely to use many more words, and that stretches kids.”
“I’m glad to know my involvement is a good thing. But that’s not why I spend time with my kids. I do it because I like it.”
And then comes adolescence. One of the more striking findings described in the book shows how good fathers help their daughters transition from childhood to adulthood. Girls whose fathers are absent or almost always absent go through puberty sooner than their peers whose fathers are present.
The book discusses research by University of Arizona’s Bruce J. Ellis, who first established this connection, and has since attempted to find out why it happens. Is it genetic or environmental? Ellis answered this question by studying families with two daughters, some with divorced parents and some with parents who remained married. He found that younger sisters in divorced families with badly behaved fathers — in other words, girls who’d spent more time without their father present — got their first periods about a year earlier than their older sisters.
“The conclusion was that growing up with an emotionally or physically distant father in early to middle childhood could be a ‘key life transition’ that alters sexual development,” Raeburn wrote.”
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
“The handful of breaking news stories and truly informative, substantive works of writing are scarce. The few that go viral are naught but islands in a Facebook-driven sea. And the problem is bigger than just every site doing lists (which are fine when done well). The problem is with a palpable lack of creativity—and perhaps even effort.
The Internet media world is a maelstrom of homogeneity. Every site’s editorial mission has become the same: Appease the Facebook user no matter what, even if it means becoming glorified content re-branders rather than legitimate news and opinion outlets, even if it means becoming a carbon copy of a thousand other websites all racing each other to the very bottom.”
As with life, effort is rewarded.
Monday, July 14, 2014
“The 24-year-old Mr. Kjellberg, who created PewDiePie five years ago, has parlayed his persona into a brand name that pulls in the equivalent of $4 million in ad sales a year, most of it pure profit.
His videos aren’t traditional game reviews. “Pewds,” as he is often called, simply plays games and allows his audience—mostly teenagers—to peer in on his experience and hear random opinions interspersed with odd behavior. He contorts, screeches, swears, sings and even “twerks” to portray his feelings.”
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
“The work could have applications in many fields, including the automotive industry where lighter materials hold the key to achieving aggressive government-mandated fuel economy standards. According to one estimate, shedding 110 pounds from each of the 1 billion cars on the road worldwide could produce $40 billion in annual fuel savings.
3D printing has the potential to radically change manufacturing in other ways too. Lewis says the next step will be to test the use of thermosetting resins to create different kinds of architectures, especially by exploiting the technique of blending fillers and precisely aligning them. This could lead to advances not only in structural materials, but also in conductive composites.”
Monday, July 07, 2014
“Wearable sensors, like the kind that MC10 and other companies make, will take computing to its next frontier—our bodies. Until recently, big-name technology companies were content to fight for space on our desks, our laps, or in our pockets. But as each of those becomes increasingly saturated, they’ve started to turn their attention to our wrists, fingers, and faces. The technology is ripe and some of the apps have already been written.”