We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, December 6. 2022
Wednesday, November 30. 2022
I have posted most of these concepts in the past, but it's time to revisit them.
First off, people use the term to refer to different things. Some use it to refer to anything that raises your heart rate at all, such as walking, hiking, or swimming aerobic laps. Anything we do to remain active, if not to reach for better levels of fitness, is worthwhile.
Why is low-intensity activity worthwhile? Because it helps maintain a current level of function. Keep walking 1-3 miles daily, and odds are you will keep doing it until something physical intervenes. That's all that most people want.
However, I think of "cardio" as heart-centered exertion. That means stressing the heart with the goal of improving fitness and conditioning. While my favorite forms of cardio (treadmill, stair machine, rower) keep many muscle groups busy if not stressed, the goal is cardiac muscle power. That is why cardio focus is almost 1/3rd of the Maggie's Fitness for Life program.
How do you stress your heart muscle, rather than just using it a little bit? By making high demands just as you can do with other muscles. That means sprints on your favorite "cardio" forms. That's assuming your doctor tells you that you are fit for intensity.
Regardless of the exercise, it's easy to know when you are sprinting because it's all-out for 30-60 seconds at intervals. That is HIIT. Sprints are anaerobic, not aerobic. People claim that heavy weight-lifting can have the same effect, and that is likely true. Still, I feel a couple of hours/week of HIIT cardio is a good supplement, plus endurance, plus mental health.
Talk Test and Monitoring Exercise Intensity. It's a simpler measure than heart rate.
Thursday, November 17. 2022
Sunday, November 13. 2022
Why do people with any fat stores ever feel hungry, or eat anything at all, considering they may have 1-5 month's worth of energy stored as fat? (We term the hunger experienced by overweight people "False Hunger," because it is.) Except in the truly malnourished or extremely fit, low body-fat athletes, hunger is rarely a signal of an energy deficit or of any nutritional need.
Think about it. Even normal-weight (neither overweight nor underweight) people carry 8-10 weeks of energy stored in fat if they can only access it.
You can consider appetite in the pudgy or overweight, not to mention the obese, to be a design flaw based on the hunting and gathering, and, earlier, just plain gathering condition of human existence, same as the other great apes who only become overweight in captivity. Agriculture and food abundance, along with sedentary life, exposed the design flaw for people who overnourish themselves. Of course, physical inadequacy is another side effect.
Here are a few issues (below) -
Continue reading "Why do overweight people ever feel hunger? (re-posted)"
Sunday, October 30. 2022
Wednesday, October 26. 2022
My point though, which I repeat to the point of annoying readers, is that you cannot lose weight that way.
From a practical standpoint, body fat can only be gained, or lost, through nutrition. Exercise is minimal for fat loss. I'd make an exception for those hiking 15 miles/day on the Appalachian Trail while carrying 40-60 lbs of gear, food, and water. Or the kid.
Tuesday, October 18. 2022
Is monogamy "natural"? Of course not, because of the unrelenting sex drive of humans. Humans are always in heat, especially when younger but it never stops entirely. Regardless of how committed one is, all anybody needs to do is to check your fantasies. Temptation abounds.
Infidelity Reconsidered - As a society, we should not presume to judge the relationships of others based on our own moral code.
Really? I advise people to check with their spouse first. And yes, I know, it "happens" all the time.
It Was Once Someone’s Job to Chat With the King of England While He Used the Toilet, “Groom of the Stool” could be a crappy role, but it came with great benefits.
Monday, October 17. 2022
The Executive Branch should tell me what to eat and drink as if I were an infant? Apparently people want to increase the $750/month SNAP poverty allowance for food.
Friday, October 14. 2022
So I do not hate cosmetic surgery. It makes plenty of doctors very wealthy, but it is not me. When it comes to elective sexual mutilation, though, I have to draw some sort of a line. In fact, I can't imagine a physician who would be willing to do it.
See this: Doctors against dissent, trans edition
Thursday, October 13. 2022
First year Organic is often viewed as one of the sieves to sort out chemists, biochemists, medical aspirants of all sorts, and so forth. First year Organic does not require Calculus, but it certainly requires a grip on all pre-calc maths. Lots of equations.
As a non-STEM college major, I figured out the tricks of Chem 1 and Organic quickly. It's just logic based on relatively simple math. Here are my tricks: 1. Have a smart study partner to challenge you, and to teach. 2. Approach manipulating carbon molecules as fun puzzles. 3. As with General Chem (Chem 1), make sure you can reconstruct the equations by understanding them, and not by memorization. If you understand them you don't need to trust memorization on an anxiety-producing exam.
My Organic Prof was useless, and the TA grad students were just annoyed with us wasting their research time. They just said "Study the textbook." This Prof seems like a real teacher:
He was fired.
Related from Chronicle: NYU’s Firing of a Chemistry Professor Caused a Furor. Here’s What He Has to Say About It.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:38 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, October 12. 2022
It takes months to feel, or see, results. The nutritional part is the easy part. 8 hours of sleep is ridiculous. No adult needs that much.
There is nothing wrong with low-intensity exercise (better than not moving at all), but as for heart, muscles, bones - and now maybe brain - the harder it is, the better.
Unfortunately, hard things are unpleasant. Self-improvement is not fun, but it's just a choice.
Thursday, October 6. 2022
Many city people are asking that question. From a Psychiatric point of view, here are some of the difficulties:
First, prediction of dangerousness (like predictions of dangerousness to self) are notoriously unreliable. Only reliable after the fact.
Second, medical treatment without consent is typically illegal (assault, in fact) except in extreme circumstances.
Third, treatments for the chronically psychotic are commonly ineffective or only partially effective. Furthermore, many chronically-ill do not follow-up with treatments for a variety of reasons.
Fourth, perhaps the most dangerous category is Psychopathy which is a personality abnormality at its extremes. I doubt it is treatable, but it doesn't matter because these people lie and do not seek help anyway.
That's not to mention civil liberties.
There are other issues, but that's enough for now. AVI is an expert in the topic, so I hope he has something to add.
Wednesday, October 5. 2022
From Jack Thomas: I just learned I only have months to live. This is what I want to say. I’ve been a journalist for more than 60 years. So after doctors delivered the news, I sat down to do what came naturally, if painfully: Write this story.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:08 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, September 29. 2022
There is a basket of vague medical complaints which include things sometimes diagnosed as Epstein-Barr, Long Covid, Chronic Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and so forth.
I don't know what to think about these things. They used to be known as Neurasthenia.
Here's a piece in The Atlantic: Long COVID Has Forced a Reckoning for One of Medicine’s Most Neglected Diseases. Only a couple dozen doctors specialize in chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Now their knowledge could be crucial to treating millions more patients.
Wednesday, September 28. 2022
Fitness goals are simple and measurable. Furthermore, the relative mindlessness of it is a relief from the stresses that other life goals give us. For me, workout sessions lift me out of my mind into a pure animal zone of bodily effort. It is my form of meditation (if meditation implies emptying one's mind). Playing sports does something like that, as does sex. Regardless of age, don't underestimate the importance of sex.
I do not mean to say that sports are mindless, but once you get used to a sport, much of it is reflex. That is training: Down the line or cross-court.
Recreation: Hiking, sports, swimming, and general functioning/vitality are rewards for fitness.
Friday, September 23. 2022
Thursday, September 22. 2022
Thursday, September 8. 2022
If you care about fitness and functionality, staying trim and strong is a good idea. Staying strong is easy: Go to the gym or something daily with weights and cardio and calisthenics. It is rewarding if not exactly fun. Exercise will not keep many people trim.
It's an American thing. I don't know why because many parts of the world are full of cheap, tasty fast foods.
Without wanting to seem obnoxious to any overweight readers, I have to offer the best article I've seen about nutrition and weight. It's a bit of a long read, but entirely reasonable: Behavioral Nutrition.
The authors are correct. For many people, willpower doesn't work. Habits do. A quote:
Tuesday, August 30. 2022
According to the stats, adult Americans are overfed or, more accurately, are overeating. Food is a pleasure, usually. Too much of a good thing makes us slothful, if not foggy or sleepy. The trick is to consume food until the moment that any feeling of hunger disappears. It is a "Stop" signal.
The challenge for many is that the sensation of satiety lags behind food intake by 15 or 20 minutes. If you eat quickly, you can miss that signal especially when the offering is delicious.
My advice (feel free to ignore it) is, unless underweight, to quit eating when a feeling of hunger disappears. It doesn't take much food if you eat slowly and chat with whoever is with you. After all, the reason to sit down with others is to socialize.
Most restaurants have "small plates" these days. They are usually plenty for most people. The point is that there is no law that we must clean our plates anyway.
Friday, August 26. 2022
Thursday, August 25. 2022
How often do men really think about sex?
I believe that most humans are highly sexual and sexually-motivated creatures. Many fantasies, if not action. It's about mostly-private thoughts. It is not as if men are always ready to go (although it is true that men are easily interested or seduced). Still, womens' sexual interests and fantasies are underestimated. Women always check out other women's clothing, but they check out men just as often.
Wednesday, August 17. 2022
Progress is a funny word. There is no doubt that Homo sapiens is remarkable in the ability to change and control the planet to meet its own needs and wants, with a population boom as a result.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:16 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
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