Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for May 28th, 2011

When it comes to warm-up, less is more

Posted by Anonymous on May 28, 2011

http://www.dodgeglobe.com/archive/x1381045530/g26c2e20000000000007ad5846fd410e67997b49b3ed77619b85802570a.jpgUniversity of Calgary Faculty of Kinesiology researcher Elias Tomaras says the idea came to him while watching track and field sprinters warm-up for a race. “If you watch sprinters, short distance speed skaters or cyclists before their race, they will often warm-up for one to two hours, including several brief bouts of high intensity exercise. From an exercise physiology point of view, it seemed like it might be pretty tiring.”

Many coaches and physiologists believe that a longer warm up provides an increase in muscle temperature, acceleration of oxygen uptake kinetics, increased anaerobic metabolism and a process called postactivation potentiation of the muscles. However, very few studies have studied if warm ups has a detrimental effect on performance.

As it turns out, the warm-up is one of the more contentious issues in high-performance sport. Different coaches have different theories and not a lot of quality research has been done to identify the optimal warm-up. Tomaras’ study, published recently in the prestigious Journal of Applied Physiology (http://bit.ly/mGhnoK) suggests that at the very least, athletes may want to lower the intensity and reduce the amount of time that they warm up.

“Our study compared a standard warm-up, with what we termed an experimental warm-up,” explains Tomaras. “We interviewed a number of coaches and athletes to come up with the traditional warm-up.”

The experiment involved high performance sprint cyclists performing a traditional warm-up lasting about 50 minutes with a graduated intensity that ranged from 60 to 95 per cent of maximal heart rate before ending with several all-out sprints. The experimental warm-up was much shorter at about 15 minutes, and was performed at a lower intensity, ending with just a single sprint. The researchers conducted a number of tests following each warm-up to accurately measure the athlete’s power output and fatigue.

“What we found, was that the shorter warm-up resulted in significantly less muscle fatigue and a peak power output that was 6.2 per cent higher. This represents a substantial improvement for an elite athlete,” says Tomaras. “On the basis of this study I would suggest that sprint athletes should start thinking about adopting a shorter and less strenuous warm up for better performance.”

via When it comes to warm-up, less is more.

Posted in Sports | Leave a Comment »

How long is a day on the moon? Lunar Day: 29 days of sun

Posted by Anonymous on May 28, 2011

Earthrise. Image credit: NASAA lunar day is the length of time it takes for the Moon to make one complete rotation on its axis compared to the Sun. This is important because the Moon is tidally locked with respect to the Earth. So it always points the same face towards the Earth as it goes around the planet. So, how long is a day on the Moon?

The lunar day lasts 27 days, 7 hours and 43.2 minutes. And this the same time it takes for the Moon to orbit around the Earth.

But things get a little more complex. While the Moon is orbiting around the Earth, the Earth and the Moon are orbiting around the Sun. While the lunar day lasts 27 days and 7 hours, it actually takes longer for the Moon to get back to the same phase from our perspective here on Earth; from full Moon to full Moon takes 29 days, 12 hours, and 44 minutes.

If you ever get the opportunity to stand on the surface of the Moon, and look at the Earth, our planet would always remain in the exact same position in the sky. The Sun, on the other hand, will still rise, move across the sky and then set. Of course, an average day will last 27 days and 7 hours until the Sun returns to the same position in the sky.

via Lunar Day.

Posted in Space | 4 Comments »

Congressman questions Patriot Act “autopen” signature – Political Hotsheet – CBS News

Posted by Anonymous on May 28, 2011

Republican Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia sent President Obama a letter today questioning the constitutionality of the president’s use of a device called an autopen to sign into law an extension of the Patriot Act.

Congress passed the bill Thursday night, shortly before certain provisions of the Patriot Act were set to expire. However, Mr. Obama could not sign the bill right away in person, since he was in Europe for the G8 Summit. In order to sign the bill before the measures expired, he authorized the use of the autopen machine, which holds a pen and signs his actual signature.

The White House said Mr. Obama reviewed and approved the bill before authorizing the use of the autopen. The White House also highlighted the fact that the White House Office of Legal Counsel in 2005 determined that the use of the autopen was constitutional.

Still, Graves wrote to the president to request confirmation that he reviewed the legislation before the autopen signing, as well as “a detailed, written explanation of your Constitutional authority to assign a surrogate the responsibility of signing bills passed by Congress into law.”

In an additional statement today explaining the letter, Graves said the use of the autopen could set a “dangerous precedent.”

“Any number of circumstances could arise in the future where the public could question whether or not the president authorized the use of an autopen,” he said. “For example, if the president is hospitalized and not fully alert, can a group of aggressive Cabinet members interpret a wink or a squeeze of the hand as approval of an autopen signing?”

Graves said he at first thought reports of the use of the autopen were “a joke.”

via Congressman questions Patriot Act “autopen” signature – Political Hotsheet – CBS News.

Posted in Crime, Politics, Technology | 2 Comments »

Fukushima Now Ten Chernobyls into the Sea?

Posted by Anonymous on May 28, 2011

New readings show levels of radioisotopes found up to 30 kilometers offshore from the on-going crisis at Fukushima are ten times higher than those measured in the Baltic and Black Seas during Chernobyl. …

The health impacts on workers at Fukushima are certain to be devastating.

After Chernobyl, the Soviet government sent more than 800,000 draftees through the seething wreckage.  Many stayed a matter of 90 seconds or less, running in to perform a menial task and then running out as quickly as possible.

Despite their brief exposure, these “liquidators” have suffered an epidemic of health effects, with an escalating death toll.  Angry and embittered, they played a significant role in bringing down the Soviet Union that doomed them.

At Fukushima, a core of several hundred workers essentially sacrificed themselves in the early stages of the disaster.  They courageously entered highly contaminated areas to perform tasks that almost certainly prevented an even worse catastrophe.

David Brenner, the director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University Medical Center, said of the workers:  “Those are pretty brave people. There are going to be some martyrs among them’.

“I don’t know of any other way to say it, but this is like suicide fighters in a war,” said University of Tokyo radiology professor Keiichi Nakaga.  …

via Is Fukushima Now Ten Chernobyls into the Sea? | Common Dreams.

Since the disaster struck in Japan, about 800 workers have been evacuated from the damaged nuclear complex in Fukushima. The radiation danger is that great.

However, CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod reports that a handful have stayed on the job, risking their lives, to try to save the lives of countless people they don’t even know. The exact number of workers is unclear and has been reported to be anywhere from 50 to 180.

Although communication with the workers inside the nuclear plant is nearly impossible, a CBS News consultant spoke to a Japanese official who made contact with one of the workers inside the control center.

The official said that his friend told him that he was not afraid to die, that that was his job.

Cham Dallas, who led teams responding to the Chernobyl disaster, said that kind of response is not out of the normal for some workers in the nuclear energy sector.

“(In) my experience of people in the action area of nuclear power is much like that,” Dallas said.

via CBS news

Here’s to the “Fukushima fifty,” the nuclear workers who accepted their fate ‘like a death sentence’ and worked to avert an even worse disaster.

Posted in Radiation | Leave a Comment »

Senator Rand Paul trashes the Patriot Act + Ron Paul on new Bill Authorizes Perpetual Worldwide War

Posted by Anonymous on May 28, 2011

Posted in Crime, Politics | 1 Comment »

PayPal sues Google over mobile wallet technology

Posted by Anonymous on May 28, 2011

Google is being sued by PayPal, which claims that the internet search giant stole its technology for turning smartphones into digital wallets.

PayPal alleges that Google obtained trade secrets from Osama Bedier, a former PayPal executive who is now Google’s vice president of payments.

The lawsuit came hours after Google unveiled its plans to allow people to pay for shopping with their mobiles.

Google said it had not yet seen the complaint.

“We have not yet received a copy of the complaint and won’t be able to comment until we’ve had a chance to review it,” a Google spokesperson said.

Google intends to launch its mobile wallet technology in the US in the summer.

It plans to offer the service on mobile phones that use its Android operating system.

Payment processor PayPal, which is owned by online auction site eBay, also claims in its lawsuit that Mr Bedier was in job talks with Google at the same time as he was leading negotiations to make PayPal a payment option on Android.

The technology that allows mobile phone users to pay with their handsets in shops is called near field communications or NFC.

It is already used in Japan, and is predicted to become popular around the world.

PayPal says it spent three years trying to secure a deal under which it would create an NFC system for Android, only for Google to end the talks.

In its court filing, PayPal said: “By hiring Bedier, with his trade secret knowledge of PayPal’s plans and understanding of Google’s weaknesses as viewed by the industry leader, Google bought the most comprehensive and sophisticated critique of its own problems available.” …

via BBC News – PayPal sues Google over mobile wallet technology.

Posted in Money, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Anchor from Blackbeard’s ship raised after 293 years off North Carolina coast

Posted by Anonymous on May 28, 2011

blackbeard-anchor.jpgEdward Teach Commonly Call'd Black Beard (bw).jpgArchaeologists on Friday raised an anchor from the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the ship that pirate Blackbeard and his crew intentionally grounded off the North Carolina coast in 1718.

The nearly 3,000-pound anchor is the largest artifact yet recovered from the wreck of the notorious pirate’s flagship.

The anchor was atop a pile of debris, which appears to be the remnants of the middle of the ship, including its cargo hold, said Mark Wilde-Ramsing, director of the Queen Anne’s Revenge project. Next week, researchers hope to dig a small test hole into the pile where the anchor was removed to get a sense of what else might be hidden there.

Queen Anne’s Revenge was originally a French slave ship that Blackbeard and his band captured in the fall of 1717. Blackbeard, an Englishman whose real name was thought to be Edward Teach, was killed by British sailors in a battle near Ocracoke in 1718.

via Anchor from Blackbeard’s ship raised after 293 years off North Carolina coast | cleveland.com.

Edward Teach (c. 1680 – 22 November 1718), better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious English pirate who operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of the American colonies.

Teach was most likely born in Bristol, although little is known about his early life. In 1716 he joined the crew of Benjamin Hornigold, a pirate who operated from the Caribbean island of New Providence. He quickly acquired his own ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, and from 1717 to 1718 became a renowned pirate. His cognomen, Blackbeard, was derived from his thick black beard and fearsome appearance; he was reported to have tied lit fuses under his hat to frighten his enemies.

After parting company with Hornigold, Teach formed an alliance of pirates and with his cohort blockaded the port of Charleston, South Carolina. He successfully ransomed its inhabitants and then soon after, ran his ship aground on a sandbar near Beaufort, North Carolina. Teach accepted a royal pardon but was soon back at sea, where he attracted the attention of the Governor of Virginia, Alexander Spotswood. Spotswood arranged for a party of soldiers and sailors to find and capture the pirate, which they did on 22 November 1718. During a ferocious battle, Teach was killed by a small force of sailors led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard.

A shrewd and calculating leader, Teach avoided the use of force, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response he desired from those he robbed. Contrary to the modern-day picture of the traditional tyrannical pirate, he commanded his vessels with the permission of their crews and there are no known accounts of his ever having harmed or murdered those he held captive. He was romanticised after his death, and became the inspiration for a number of pirate-themed works of fiction across a range of genres.

via Wikipedia

Posted in Archaeology, Crime, History | Leave a Comment »

Toronto couple defend move to keep baby’s sex secret

Posted by Anonymous on May 28, 2011

David Stocker and StormA Toronto couple are defending their decision to keep their infant’s sex a secret in order to allow the child to develop his or her own gender identity.

Kathy Witterick and David Stocker have been widely criticised for imposing their ideology on four-month-old Storm.

The family were the subject of a recent profile in the Toronto Star newspaper.

In an e-mail, Ms Witterick wrote that the idea that “the whole world must know what is between the baby’s legs is unhealthy, unsafe, and voyeuristic”.

Ms Witterick, 38, and Mr Stocker, 39, have also been criticised for the manner in which they are raising their two sons Jazz, five, and Kio, two.

The boys are encouraged to choose their own clothing and hairstyles – even if that means wearing girls’ clothes – and to challenge gender norms. Jazz wears his hair in long braids, and the boys are “almost exclusively assumed to be girls,” Mr Stocker told the Toronto Star.

The child’s grandparents do not know Storm’s sex, the Toronto Star reported, and have grown weary of explaining the situation, but are supportive.

In an e-mail to the Associated Press news agency, Ms Witterick, a stay-at-home mother, said a four-month-old infant was still learning to recognise him or herself, and said it was inappropriate to impose a gender identity on the child. …

via BBC News – Toronto couple defend move to keep baby’s sex secret.

Totally a boy baby there. No doubt. Anyone think any different? In the immortal words of Rush, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” In other words, the parents, thinking they are being highly evolved in allowing the child to choose, are merely teaching the child that it is admirable not to choose one or the other. Children are adaptive mimics, not intelligent self determination machines.

Posted in Strange | Leave a Comment »

Want to catch a lady’s eye? Don’t smile, study says

Posted by Anonymous on May 28, 2011

A note to single dudes: If you’re looking to pick up a woman at a bar, whatever you do — don’t smile at her.

Women are actually less sexually attracted to smiley, happy men, suggests a new University of British Columbia study, published online today in the journal Emotion. If that’s surprising to you — it was surprising to lead researcher Jessica Tracy, too. “I wouldn’t have believed it if we didn’t go out and replicate it three times,” says Tracy, an assistant psychology professor at UBC.

Researchers asked more than 1,000 volunteers to rate the sexual attractiveness of hundreds of images of the opposite sex. (All were heterosexual, ages 17 to 49 years, with a median age of 21. Fifty-two percent of participants were Asian, and 48 percent were Caucasian.) In the images, the men and women pictured were demonstrating one of three emotions: happiness, pride or shame — plus a “neutral” image thrown in there, too.

They found that women ranked the smiling guys as less attractive — but they were into the prideful and ashamed men. But the male participants were most attracted to the smiling women, and least attracted to the ones who seemed proud. …

But the fact that women find shame more attractive may also help explain the attractiveness of the “bad boy” — the one who seems like he can be turned around. “The bad boy who feels shame, women have always found that attractive — that’s the James Dean look. He’s the bad boy, but he wants to change,” Tracy says.

One thing to keep in mind: The study measured just sexual attractiveness, not whether women are interested in carrying on a relationship with a sullen, unsmiling dude. But Tracy adds, “If a (man’s) sole aim is to be as sexually attractive as possible, smiling may not be his best bet.”

via The Body Odd – Want to catch a lady’s eye? Don’t smile, study says.

Woah. I might not even need the braces.

Posted in Love, Mind | Leave a Comment »

Dental x-rays dramatically increase cancer risks, and I had 19 x-rays in the past week

Posted by Anonymous on May 28, 2011

I’m going to try to get braces as an adult.  This requires an exam, cleaning, and x-rays. So, I had the pano x-ray, then I had a whole frigging skull x-ray at the orthodontist, then today during the mandatory check up at another dentist they took 17-xrays and found nothing of any value in them.

I’m very mad right now that I did it, because tonight I learned that I’ve dramatically increased my risk of thyroid cancer ( story below). If I knew that, I would not have done the x-rays.  I did it against my better judgement. I even had a dream not to do it. But I did it anyway. Damn it.

I stopped after four x-rays and argued with them a bit, but then, feeling trapped by my desire to get braces, went ahead with it.  I was really upset sitting there when the machine was pointed right at my thyroid gland.  Now I have a headache and I’m concerned about various cancers of the head.

I believe the people doing the x-rays are just parroting what they are told to say about safety. They do not understand the risks. They don’t know what the actual dose is, nor how many mutations per x-ray can be expected. My head hurts and my neck hurts. I’m going to take massive amounts of vitamin C and hope for the best.

Risks: An international study of just over 300 thyroid cancer patients found that repeated X-rays dramatically increased the risk of the diseaseRisks: An international study of just over 300 thyroid cancer patients found that repeated X-rays dramatically increased the risk of the disease.

… the thyroid and surrounding tissue is highly sensitive to radiation.

A number of earlier studies have reported a link between dental X-rays and cancers of the thyroid, salivary glands and brain, and it’s known that dentists and their assistants are at higher risk of tumours.

And although thyroid cancer is relatively rare (around 1,900 patients are diagnosed annually in the UK), the incidence has more than doubled from 1975 to 2006. Over the past two decades there has been a similar explosion in other oral cancers.

via Link

Vanity may kill me, but I’m ashamed of my smile. I’m angry at myself for that too.  At least they were digital x-rays (less radiation), but every single x-ray you get is a game of Russian roulette.

While researching x-ray damage mitigation, I found some researchers who could be helping people reduce cancer risks because they did tests and found a formula that results in reduced DNA damage after x-rays, but they won’t tell you the formula because they are going to make lots of money from it. How nice for them.

Dr. Murphy and his research colleagues conducted experiments for more than a year trying to develop the right mix of antioxidants for protecting patients from radiation. In a preliminary study, blood samples were drawn from two volunteers before and after they took the antioxidant cocktail for five days. All the batches of blood were put in a CT scanner and then examined for evidence of DNA damage. After the volunteers had loaded up on antioxidants, the researchers found 30 to 50 per cent less DNA damage in the blood extracted. Dr. Murphy was in Chicago this week to present the promising results to the annual scientific meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology.

Antioxidants include numerous vitamins as well as compounds like uric acid. But Dr. Murphy won’t divulge the exact combo of antioxidants in the special formula. The researchers have filed a patent and they are hoping to market their product.
The group has secured funding to proceed with more extensive testing. The anti-radiation supplement could be publicly available within two years.

via Cancer.org

Well, for now I’ll just do the vitamins including a lot of C, blueberries and plenty of water. Uric acid? What natural foods have that? Protein, but don’t overdo it:

Diets which are high in purines and high in protein have long been suspected of causing an increased risk of gout (a type of arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the body which form crystals in the joints, resulting in pain and inflammation). – link

I believe light exercise will also be good for me. Exercise actually creates free radicals. Some people take supplements before or after exercise to eliminate the free radicals, this works, but blocks other healthy processes which kick in from exercise caused free radicals according to this article. The other reason I’m going to exercise is the lymph system in our body flushes things out, but it is a passive system with no pump, just one way valves. This is why it is important to move around.

I just read something else… I should have had an apron with a thyroid collar, but my lead apron didn’t have one.  #@$%!

I think I’m doing all this junk to live a long time (meditation, running a mile a day, healthy shakes, etc.) because I have failed so far to find my wife and due to my obsessive compulsive brain, I hate failure 100 times more than the average person. I’m thinking I’ll meet this woman in 2012, fall in love and get married in 2013. Great plan, Xeno.

Posted in Radiation, Survival | 3 Comments »

 
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