Energy for Reflection

[singlepic id=9 w=53 h=104 float=right]The cost of reflection is not only paid in time but in energy. In fact, much of our reflection is conducted in real time, without a pause and step back. There is value in taking time to pause, step back and reflect. But the intention of this article is to discuss the aspects of reflection that function real time and specifically to one aspect of how they relate to social interactions.

These aspects of reflection are negative feedback mechanisms from our social experience. We receive these indicators through social interactions with other individuals, animals and anything to which we might apply our mirror neurons in an experience of social relation. In each of these considered feedback loops, Continue reading Energy for Reflection

How to Train for 100 Consecutive Push Ups — Second Attempt

First Attempt
My First Attempt at training for 100 Consecutive Push Ups was a failure. I got bored, my elbows were sore, and the blog post was too long and complicated. Above all, reaching for 100 Push Ups became an unhealthy pursuit.

Second Attempt
This time around, Continue reading How to Train for 100 Consecutive Push Ups — Second Attempt

Sick? Forget vitamin C. Try Zinc!

According to this radio show, there is little evidence to support claims that echinacea and vitamin C help us recover from sickness. Instead, take a zinc supplement, eat chicken soup and drink water!

829_December 6 2011
What really helps you get over being sick?
Anonymous interview with doctor.

3 Extra Health Benefits of Earning a College Education

3 Extra Health Benefits of Earning a College Education

Many are aware that earning a college degree can help you acquire a career and earn more income. But pursuing a higher education can be so much more beneficial than just giving you a heftier number in your bank account. Continue reading 3 Extra Health Benefits of Earning a College Education

Bikram with 2011 USA Yoga Men’s Champion Joseph Encinia

Last night, I had the opportunity to practice Bikram Yoga with 2011 USA Yoga Men’s Champion Joseph Encinia. His life is a testament to the healing powers of Yoga. He has overcome severe health issues through the practice of Bikram Yoga and is now the National Champion. The video below is impressive.

The Kids Are Actually Sort of Alright by Noreen Malone

CLARE: ok, you know what i always think about when i think of our generation? i read the david brooks book, “the social animal” and while it was only mediocre, he had this one really great bit that really stuck with me—the Greek ideal of “thumos”, which is the lust not for money or success (in the conventional sense) but the lust for glory
we want glory through our ideas-we want to know we matter

Clare has us pegged pretty well: We are self-centered and convinced of our specialness and unaccustomed to being denied. “I am sad, jaded, disillusioned, frustrated, and worried,” said one girl I talked to who feels “stuck” in a finance job she took as a stepping-stone to more-fulfilling work she now cannot find.

In the second experiment, which was a reaction to their own distant moms and dads, our parents tried to see how much self-confidence they could pack into us, like so many overstuffed microfiber love seats, and accordingly we were awarded clip-art Certificates of Participation just for showing up.

Our generation is the product of two long-term social experiments conducted by our parents. The first sought to create little hyperachievers encouraged to explore our interests and talents, so long as that could be spun for maximum effect on a college application.

Then there is my friend Sam (not his real name, because he felt that if I used his real name, he’d truly be unemployable).

One thing about being the boomers’ heirs growing up in boom times was that it used to be okay to take a life-enriching sabbatical. There was no reason to think you wouldn’t eventually be able to get back on track.

He is rather earnestly worried that he might end up on the street.

Layne told me, in an e-mail of ambiguous sincerity, that the main advice he would give a recent graduate was to own only what would fit in a backpack and keep a current passport always on hand.

Jon Stewart

Helplessness Blues, an album by Fleet Foxes

“I was raised up believing / I was somehow unique / Like a snowflake, distinct among snowflakes / Unique in each way you can see,” it begins. “But, now, after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be / A functioning cog in some great machinery / Serving something beyond me.”

who beneath her surface armor is hamstrung by faltering self-confidence

In the early days of the recession, I was secretly a little jealous of friends who’d lost their jobs. When you’re young enough, from the outside a layoff can look confusingly like liberation. It seemed like an opportunity to do more of the semi-sanctioned and semi-scripted fucking around that goes with this decade of life. But it stops feeling like a fun, sexy choice when it’s not, in fact, a choice, and what income you’re fortunate to have is highly nondisposable. It’s hard to fully enjoy avoiding maturity if you’re worried that it’s more like maturity is escaping you.

…inflated expectations of the lifestyle you need to have attained…

But she’s leaning toward studying to be a pharmacist, a field for which hiring prospects remain bright. “I have a slight interest in it,” she says.

And since we are, as a generation, more addicted to positive reinforcement than any before us, and because we have learned firsthand the futility of finding that affirmation through our employers, we have returned to our stuff-making ways, via pursuits easily mocked: the modern-day pickling, the obsessive Etsying, the flower-arranging classes, the knitting resurgence, the Kickstarter funds for art projects of no potential commercial value. The millions upon millions who upload footage of themselves singing or dancing or talking about the news to YouTube.

But the thumbs-up isn’t a substitution for anything. It is just a tiny kindness, a sweet pat on the back, and the profligacy with which we give them out is just a function of a generation’s giving out compliments in the volume in which we received them growing up.

the merits of constrained circumstances


“Getting better at enjoying life” is something he describes very seriously as a goal. This is not something that requires a big salary, and he doesn’t think his mind-set will change much with age.

We are less interested in stuff, but still very interested in self.

Life is just getting easier.

Essentially, it’s a measure of whether you think your destiny is controlled by you or outside forces.

Why the Current Crop of Twentysomethings Are Going to Be Okay

Adventures with Melatonin

Adventures with Melatonin
By: Geoffrey Hale

Source: Melatonin Lozenge 3mg by the Vitamin Shoppe

— Captain’s Log —

Monday, October 10, 2011
21:25 — Apply 1 Lozenge, 3mg Melatonin
Listen to Shpongle Falls while waiting for Lozenge to dissolve under tongue.
21:55 — Give up waiting for lozenge to dissolve, chew the rest.
Get in bed and read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding and have most profound sleep experience ever and attribute to applied chemical…
22:20 — Asleep.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
04:30 — Awake. Asleep.
05:00 — Awake. Proceed…

My experience with Melatonin, last night and this morning, has been positive and unique in the following four ways:

  • I was noticeably sleepy half an hour after beginning to dissolve the Melatonin Lozenge.
  • In bed, thoughts formed and obsession was feared but all passed as opposed to the usual noise and thought denial that I have mistaken for peace.
  • I first woke at 4:30am without alarm (6 hours asleep).
  • I woke at 5am with alarm and actually rose from bed to proceed with my day for the first time since 5am efforts 6 months ago.

At this point, I will refrain from assuming my natural need on Melatonin is 6hours or 4:30am rise, because I spent 50% of the weekend sleeping and my sleep patterns have otherwise been horrible. Tonight, I will attempt to hold to last night’s schedule of 21:30 Melatonin, 22:00 bed and 5:00am rise before drawing any working conclusions to adjust my schedule.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
21:25 — Apply 1 Lozenge, 3mg Melatonin
Listen to fan and dryer from whence I’ll… never mind; it just stopped…
22:00 — Lozenge is still not fully dissolved.
Whatever, getting into bed anyway…
22:05 — Found my bed.
Play guitar…
22:10 — Lozenge dissolved completely (45 minutes).
Eat broccoli and beef jerky…
22:20 Asleep.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
00:10 Nature calls.
How inconvenient, cold, and delusionally sleepy…
00:11 Asleep.
03:30 Nature, again.
05:00 Alarm.
No thanks…
06:30 Alarm.
No thanks…
06:40 Alarm.
No thanks…
06:50 Alarm.
And up…

It’s too cold.

Leg Workout from

After years of dedicated reading at my favorite body building website, T-Nation, I’ve decided to give a fair dive. To be honest, I Googled “are there any bodybuilding sites as good as t-nation” and was linked to a ridiculous post on’s forums. After stomaching a dozen replies, I stumbled across mention of Universal Torrent, an alternative to my long-loved Biotest Surge. Despite the childish seed post, the majority of the replies seemed to come from reasonable guys who had some useful experience so I started digging around the site. Fittingly, I found a beautifully constructed “Muscle Building Workout Plan” and have decided to talk about their Day 1: Training Plan.

First, their choice of exercises are all minor variations on the suggested primary, secondary and tertiary leg movements that I suggested in my Push, Pull and Legs post. You’ll notice in my suggested adjustments below that I’ve skewed their workout plan in favor of my suggested primary movements and away from the secondary and tertiary movements. I’ve adjusted their plan specifically to increase benefits to functionality, power, strength, health and body composition. Wow, that sounds like everything; what good is the one from Their plan is great for body building, hypertrophy training and anyone who thinks their calves are too small in comparison to their thighs (body builders). It’s a great program for someone looking to their first body building competition a year or two down the line. My variation is adjusted for people who want to feel strong and powerful, and consequently also burn more fat. So, without further ado, here’s the adjusted workout:

3 minute Bike (warm up)
2 x 10-20 Leg Extensions (easy, warm up for VMO)
3 x 15 Jump Squats (increasing height and intensity)
8 x 5-12 Barbell Squats (any variation)
2 x 8-20 Leg Press (any variation)
4 x 6-20 Deadlift (first two sets easy, third set heavy low reps, fourth set high reps)
3 x 8-20 Calf Press (use three different weight and rep ranges, ex: med x med, heavy x low, light x high)
20 minute Cardio (if maximizing fat loss, will decrease size and strength gains)

80% of your capacity for physical work should be exhausted by the time you finish the Barbell Squats. The remaining 30% should be exhausted before you begin your cardio. The rest should be enough to carry you through stretching and home for your protein shake. I never did finish my math degree.

Please check out the original article at!

Z-12 for Sleep

I have never been able to establish regular sleeping habits. In April, I attempted 30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM, and failed miserably. I claim to be a night owl, but the numbers in my records tend to show that I’m just nuts. In summary, I’ve been sleeping every other night, or day, for the past several weeks. I’ve decided to take drastic measures to get a handle on the most important element of any effort ranging from physical training to being a reliable employee.

Biotest offers a supplement called Z-12 which is advertised as a “deep, refreshing, restful sleep formula.” I’m skeptical of every drug ever made, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Let me spoil the ending and tell you that I have ordered a bottle of 80 capsules and will begin taking them next week. The rest of this article contains my due diligence research for the stuff to which I’ve chosen to subject my sleepy body.

First stop, the Supplement Facts on the label. Of course, take these “Facts” with a grain of salt. The contents of a Serving of 2 Capsules is 1200mg of Z-12 complex. Fortunately, they describe the Z-12 complex as 4-amino-3-phenylbutyric acid HCL, L-theanine, and 5-hydroxytryptophan, also known as Phenibut, Theanine and 5-HTP. Unfortunately, the don’t give the dosages of each of those chemicals, nor do they explicitly state that Z-12 complex contains only those substances nor any more than trace amounts of those substances. I’ve been using Biotest products for 10 years now and am willing to trust them enough to field test this product. At this point, as long as it works, I don’t care if it’s baking soda.

Yoga Provides Comfort for those Undergoing Cancer Treatments

Yoga Provides Comfort for those Undergoing Cancer Treatments
By: Jackie

Traditional treatments for cancer can be very invasive and hard on a patient’s body, mind, and soul. The seemingly endless trips for chemotherapy, the anxieties of receiving the next test results, and the angst about one’s own future can put a tremendous amount of stress on a person. However, studies are being done to determine the effectiveness of alternative healthcare practices (like meditation, massage therapy, and yoga) with cancer patients. The results are very positive – especially with certain types of cancer that affect one’s ability to breath, like mesothelioma. Yoga in particular has shown to have positive results in the areas of stress management, creating better sleep, and subjectively improving the quality of life and life expectancy for cancer patients.

In 2005, an extensive test was conducted which concluded that, while more testing is required, it appears that regular yoga among cancer patients and survivors “yielded modest improvements in sleep quality, mood, stress, cancer-related distress, cancer-related symptoms, and overall quality of life.” (Bower, Woolery 2005).

While Yoga and other stress management activities cannot directly cure cancer – they do have a positive effect when used with traditional treatments. By reducing the amount of stress and stressors on the body, both emotionally and physically, one enhances the body’s natural ability to fight disease. Creating a regular, daily routine focused on stress management and creating a balance within your mind / body will help patients cope better with the realities of fighting cancer.

While battling any form of cancer, remaining stress free, positive, and focusing on the health of your body as a whole will ultimately benefit your overall treatment. Using yoga to manage your stress will help the rest of your body continue to function effectively, bring a sense of peace to your daily life, and most likely improve your overall quality of life while going through the rigors of cancer treatment. Yoga as a supplement treatment, along with other preventative healthcare methods, is becoming more popular and finding a yoga instructor and studio nearby which specializes in helping cancer patients and survivors should not be too difficult. The challenge is in creating a routine and sticking with it. Just remember, preventative healthcare is most effective when done regularly!