The Passionate Eye: Anthrax War

This documentary by The Passionate Eye recalls the anthrax attacks following 9/11 and calls to mind the chilling thought of the extreme lengths that people are willing to go to in order to achieve their objectives. Germ warfare is not mere science fiction, and if it were to be used on a mass scale, the effects could be devastating.


New Aldon Smith Arrest

Aldon, Aldon, Aldon! What are you doing, Amigo?

I love this guy. He’s one of my favorite modern football players, and, overall, he seems like a nice kid. But his silly antics get him in hot water time and again. I keep hoping he’ll outgrow it. He has too much going for him to waste it on getting in trouble over foolish behavior like this.


Competition Class Shape vs. Everyday Fitness

Here is the amazing Marianne Vos, who is in the kind of shape that most of us will never be in.
The pursuit of this kind of conditioning is impossible for the average person. People like Marianne devote large portions of their lives to their sport. The kind of training they do is above and beyond. They do not train to this level when they are not competing. Most people stop competing in most sports by the time they are forty.
There seems to be a push for everyone to be constantly toned and athletic to the degree of people who are in competitive sports–or at least we should all appear this way. This obsession is unrealistic and unhealthy.
The average person should not expect themselves to be in the kind of shape that a competition class athlete is.
While pursuing optimal health is an excellent goal, no-one should be shamed for not doing so. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and different interests.
Some people love to run. I’ll push myself to go a mile around the track three times a week in good weather. I kind of like it. Maybe some people stare at the fat man running. I don’t know, nor do I particularly care. Most of the other runners pass me. I’ve never had any of them say anything to me, which may be because they don’t want to challenge someone of my size. I’m six foot three and weigh somewhere around 330 pounds.
I run three times a week, possibly because I’ve been doing so since I was a kid. At this point in my life, I prefer hiking. When the weather’s good, I like to get out for a hike every weekend. I do go to the gym and do some strength training a couple of times a week, and I love working out in the pool. I love it more and more the older I get! I don’t mean to imply that water workouts are only for the elderly; they are for whoever enjoys them. But as we age, wear and tear on the joints tends to make a workout in water more appealing because it is a very low to non-impact exercise, depending on whether you are doing shallow water aerobics, swimming, or deep water aerobics.
Perhaps the point that I’m trying to make is this: I’m a reasonably active guy, who is reasonably good health. I do have GERD, which I have under control thanks to my good friend Prilosec and steering away from very spicy foods. These days I take my green chili mild.
Nevertheless, I’m still big. Granted, I do not diet obsessively–in fact, I don’t diet at all. Like everyone else here, I was a longtime yo-yo dieter. I now try to choose foods that are less processed and have a good nutrient profile, but I’m nowhere near obsessive about it. I admit to enjoying an organic cheeseburger for lunch once or twice a week. I’m fortunate that I live in an area where organic food is easy to obtain. Not everyone has this luxury.
We have the right to shame absolutely no-one for not being in competition-class athletic shape. We do not even have the right to shame the “stereotypical fatty” who sits in front of the TV chowing down on an entire bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken all by zirself and chasing it with a 2 liter Coke and a dozen Moon Pies for dessert. Shame does not work to make people skinny, it only works to make them miserable.
Exercise should be pleasant, not punitive. Life should be pleasant, not punitive. The one thing we all need to reduce is instances where we have been unkind to others. Some of us need a little sanctimoniousness reduction, some need a lot. Let’s all get started today!
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History in the Making: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Over the Years

Corporate psychology is not my specialty. However, it is fascinating to study and try to discern what made Apple and Microsoft the giants of the industry, basically shutting out all other operating systems.
I am also not a computer expert. I am Joe End-User. I need something that works easily and quickly for me. Apple and Microsoft both targeted Jane and Joe End-User as opposed to focusing their software on corporate applications. I wouldn’t know what to do with a Linux if it came up and bit me.
It is also fascinating to study the history of the computer. For the greater part of the twentieth century, computers were relegated to use in the military and certain industries. They were great behemoths that took up entire rooms. The smaller computers envisioned on the original Star Trek came close to showing what was to come for computers.
As for Jobs and Gates, their success comes not only from their innovation, but also from their refusal to allow others to discourage them from their goals. Their success did not happen overnight. If you listen to them, they also acknowledge that they had other people assisting them to achieve their ambitions.
In order to succeed, one must be flexible enough to allow their vision to evolve and morph, but never give up on the goal.
Believe in yourself and your vision.
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Ludicrously Long List of Links

There is such important information here.
I’m not trying to link body size with emotional eating, as I think it’s primarily genetic. However, there are many factors involved in the big picture. Body size is definitely not simply “calories in, calories out.”
Let’s single out the emotional eating component for the sake of argument. In truth, most human beings are drawn to emotional eating to one degree or another, or there would be no such thing as “comfort food.” For my own part, I’m a large person, both tall and heavy–set. I have always been burly. As a child, I did not eat significantly more than my smaller friends. Its possible that I had a somewhat larger appetite to feed my growing big-boy self, but it wasn’t like I was eating entire pots of food all on my own. My skinny cousin rivaled me in being able to pack it in. He’s still skinny, and I’m still heavy.
When I was in my early college years, I starved myself, worked out excessively, and took advantage of the cocaine and amphetamine diet that my upper middle class financial status allowed for. Looking back, I was miserable and sometimes borderline suicidal. It was impossible for me to maintain the “ideal” body type that I was struggling to achieve.
It’s an agonizingly slow process, but articles like these can and do make a difference. I hope everyone will take a look at them.


Fat-Shaming Leads to Weight Gain, Not Loss

Having been a reader of fat-acceptance writers like Kate Harding for a long time, I can safely say that there are many people/commenters who are deeply concerned that if we don’t shame and insult fat people for their weight, they won’t be motivated to lose it. This “idea” was just dealt a major blow by researchers from the Florida State University College of Medicine, who that found that shaming fat people about their weight correlates to weight gain, not loss

I’ve noticed a common theme in reporting on fat: People will report something as though it’s new and surprising, when there have been previous studies with the same result. We’ve known this for a while. Why is it never “further confirmation that fat-shaming leads to weight gain”? The same thing happens every time there’s study showing that the “overweight” BMI…

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Athletes and Crime

I like football. I’m not a fanatic, but I do enjoy watching games. It was tradition every Thanksgiving to gather around and watch the game while the meal cooked. Granted, there tended to be the traditional “guys watching the game, women in kitchen” aspect. My eldest sister liked watching football. My middle sister (our own Aurora Hylton) really only enjoyed watching live games. The televised ones bored her.

The culture surrounding sports is different now than it was in bygone days. Players used to be held to higher standards as representatives of their organizations. Now they tend to get away with sometimes truly appalling acts and are not punished the way the average citizen would be for the same crime.

Do I think that Aldon Smith should be allowed to return to football? Absolutely. Firing a gun in a crowded room was ill-advised, but he committed the act because he was feeling threatened, not because he was intending to harm anybody. As well, he is battling substance issues, but he is by no means irredeemable. Hopefully he will come out of treatment a stronger person.

Do I think that Michael Vick should have been allowed to return to football?

Never in a million years.

His actions were not simple errors in judgment. He knowingly and callously caused the suffering and death of numerous animals. He should not be allowed to enjoy the high salary and regard that come with being a star player on a major league team.

Sporting leagues have a tendency to gloss over the indiscretions of their players. Athletes should be held to the same standards as regular citizens. The punishment should properly fit the crime for everybody.

Poison Spreads — Creative Maladjustment is the Antidote!

True insanity tends to be a condition of societies rather than individuals. Medicating people into compliance isn’t the answer. While there are some mentally ill individuals who are a danger to others, the majority are not. Yet all tend to be painted with the same brush.
I feel that it is a sickness to encourage people to hate, bully, and ostracize those who are different from the prescribed norm. Yet our supposedly advanced society tends to not only allow but promote this very behavior.

Thoughts on Terry Bams’ Two Week Rule and Relationship Guidance

Terry Bams, a relationship coach and the author of several books on improving your romantic relationship, suggests that when you find yourself getting serious about someone, you take two weeks to get to know them by having no face to face contact and communicating only on a verbal level.
Terry then recommends taking this time to ask important questions such as how the person feels about being in a serious relationship, whether marriage is an eventual goal, and whether or not they eventually want children.
When I was introduced to the man who is now my fiancé, I had gone five years without even dating. My previous relationship was literally a twenty-one year long on and off hot and cold often emotionally abusive maelstrom. I was insecure and he was hot. I felt lucky that he would give me the time of day. I jumped right into bed with him, and I was hooked. He knew it and led me around by the balls for more than two decades.
When I realized that I was interested in Dylan as more than just a friend (and, to my surprise, he also expressed interest in taking things to the next level with me) I was scared and told him why. I told him that as a counselor, I always recommended to clients that they not become sexually active early in the relationship. He was amenable to waiting. We held out for six months, which sometimes seemed like an eternity. During that time, we made the effort to learn about each other.
Of course entering a relationship is different for most people in their thirties and up than it is for someone in their teens or twenties. From what I’ve heard, my ex’s M.O. hasn’t changed. He’s still clubbing and looking for his next score.
To get to the point, Terry’s material is worth taking a look at if you’re interested in finding a relationship or improving the one you have. He has a tell it like it is attitude and comes off as a regular Joe rather than a psychoanalyst. While he generally references heterosexual relationships, anyone can benefit from his advice.
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