35 million tons of human flesh

Today I input my stats on a page at the BBC which rates where you are on the “Global Fat Scale”.

The result: My size is that of an average person from India.  If everyone in the world had the same Body Mass Index as me, it would mean 35 million tons less of human flesh on Planet Earth.

One thing I’ve found recently that is working very well at keeping that difficult-to-shed extra fat around the midsection away: I love the List of the Refined Processed Carbohydrates (to avoid or limit) diet recommendation at lasting-weight-loss.com.  But one major caveat I would give is to cut out all the animal products including fish and go vegan.

Having followed this diet strictly for months now I see that it really works.  Once very nice thing about it is that just following it is enough.  I never worry about how much I eat or don’t eat.  I just eat when I want.  I even overeat sometimes because it feels good.  But I never eat foods on this list above.

UPDATE: I just did the calculation for my mother and it says that her weight is similar to an average person in Ethiopia!  If everyone was her weight it would mean 56 million tons less of human flesh on Planet Earth.

The odd thing is, I don’t consider myself thin at all.  Nor does my mother, who, now in her late 70’s, has had about the same weight her entire adult life.  Neither of our weights has ever fluctuated more than about ± 10 pounds.

“Handlebar Level Can Affect Sexual Health of Female Cyclists”

Article that appeared in news today about a study of the relationship between handlebar height and pressure in the genital area which can cause loss of sensitivity.

The gist of the article – handlebars lower than seat can cause problems.  Raise handlebars (or I guess lower seat) so that handlebars are higher than seat, thus taking excess pressure off genital region.

Out-there behavior of penguins

Reading today about yawning and it turns out that penguins engage in this behavior called “ecstatic display”.  Its just amazing to watch.

A World without Mistakes is Shallow and Sick

Today there is an article about how new research has refuted a previous study by a researcher who claimed that a certain bacteria found in arsenic-rich sediments in California’s Mono Lake does not require phosphorus like all other life forms do.  This is all good and well.  This is all normal and what is supposed to happen in scientific fields of research.  People investigate things, find things, study them, and based on their study make conclusions.

But a conclusion made was incorrect.  The subsequent research refuted the claim that the bacteria did not need phosphorous to grow.

Perhaps it is not merely making conclusions, but the way that conclusions are made and stated which is important.  Whatever the case, the original researcher appears to have lost her position at the USGS in part as a result.  If that is the case, it is very sad.

We are supposed to make mistakes.  As a classical musician who plays violin, I have long appreciated the importance of being able to make mistakes.  In fact my violin playing taught me a long time ago one very important lesson: In order to be good at something one has to first be able to be bad at it.

But today we live in a world where there are many things in which people are neither bad nor good.  We live in a world that is increasingly putting a premium on perfection, at the expense of people being cowardly and fearful of being imperfect.

So, externally, it would seem like things are advancing forward, as there is all this emphasis on perfection.  But in reality, things are going backwards, because we all have to learn how to be imperfect in order to grow, in order to accomplish things.

But today the accomplishments are mostly meager.  People create music with electronic machines and it gets classified as music, but it is a far cry from even a basic melody played with care, affection, and intimacy on an acoustic instrument.  Even while there’s this supposed resurgence of vinyl as being more “analog” or somehow natural, the music that is recorded on it is digital music created by machines.

Music is all about vibrations, resonance, and just as importantly stillness.  It is the intermixture of resonances and stillness which can take it to lofty heights.  There are resonances which run through everything in the cosmos, down to our beating hearts and breathing lungs.  Acoustic music has the possibility of resonating in ways that are very profound.  Just like in Indian classical music there are these very complex ragas, some of which consist of hundreds or thousands of beats that go in complex cycles.

There are ragas all around us in everything, resonating with the galaxy, the planets, the Sun and Moon, the sky, the forests, everything.  But to tap into that kind of resonance requires abandoning fear and hesitation and taking a chance, making a sound, one’s own sound, whether it be perfect or imperfect, for it is through imperfection that we find the meaning of perfection, not by fearing and avoiding imperfection.

I think what the woman who made the initial research on the bacteria did was great.  If nothing else, her research shook things up and made a stir and, because of that many others became intensely interested and determined to pursue the truth.  That is exactly the way its supposed to work.

Polyoyceryl-2-triisostearate; Polydecene; Hydrogenated Polyisobutene

Polyoyceryl-2-triisostearate; Polydecene; Hydrogenated Polyisobutene; Polyethylene; Polyglyceryl-10 nonaisostearate; Synthetic Fluorphlogopite; Ozokerite; Diisostearyl malate; Trimethylopropane triisostearate; Ethylhexyl palmitate; C10-30 cholesterol/lanosterol esters; Magnesium carbonate; Cera Alba (Beeswax); Calcium sodium Borosilicate; Disteardimonium hectorite; Caprylic/capric triglyceride; Octyldodecanol; Decyloxazolidinone; Synthetic wax; Parfum (fragrance); Irvingia gabonensis kernel butter; Hydrogenated vegetable oil; Hydrogenated coco-glycerides; Luffa cylindrica seed oil; Ethylhexyl hydroxystearate; Silica dimethyl silylate; BHT; Crithmum maritimum extract; Butylene glycol; Phenoxyethanol; Geraniol; Propyl gallate; Tocopherol; Sodium hyaluronate; Citronellol; Amyl cinnamal; Limonene; Citral; Benzyl benzoate; Linalool

Windows Explorer “Could not find this item” when moving/copying

Issue: when copying or moving files or folders using Windows Explorer a dialog box with the title “Item Not Found” appears.  It says: “Could not find this item” and then says “This is no longer located in” and then lists the path of the item being moved.

The solution was suggested on the excellent sevenforums.com forums:
Windows 7 – “Item Not Found” when Moving or Renaming

Specifically, the solution relates to anyone who has previously used a utility to remove libraries from Windows 7, which is something I did at one point.  This caused a problem with the registry and the solution suggested is to run a registry patch remove-libraries.reg

That patch itself is from a post at mydigitallife.info:  How To Disable and Remove Libraries from Windows 7 Explorer which has that patch and also a patch restore-libraries.reg to restore libraries.

I am providing both these files for download for the sake of the community although I highly recommend checking the source pages to make sure you have the latest versions.

restore-libraries.reg

remove-libraries.reg

As a final note, I applied the remove-libraries.reg patch and the problem is definitely fixed.

 

Stinky workout clothes?

I recently got some “tech” clothes – clothes from a sporting goods store made with high-tech materials which have certain superior characteristics valuable to those involved in phyical activities and excercise.

While they may have superior characteristics, there is one downside: they tend to get stinky very fast.  With my cotton or cotton-blended fabrics which have mostly cotton in them this is not really a problem.  They just don’t get stinky, even after sweating in them a moderate amount.  And, when they do get stinky, its not overwhelming.

I was uncertain about how to deal with my new tech apparel but after a lot of searching I did find one really useful site with information about why these fabrics are as they are and how to care for them:

The Care and Feeding of Tech Shirts at runningtimes.com

One issue for me is that I wash all my clothes at home by hand.  I cannot stand sitting in a laundromat waiting for a stupid machine to finish.  Yet these tech fabrics are essentially designed to be washed frequently.  In fact, they should really be washed as soon after a sweaty workout as possible to prevent the bacterial growth from getting out of control and the stink from possibly becoming embedded in the fabric.  I even have one synthetic fiber vest which is supposed to be dried in a drier in order to properly fluff the fibers after washing.

If I can save up I would like to get a small washing machine like the LG model below which is ideal for smaller living spaces.  It has a 2.3 cubic feet capacity which is small, but not too small.  I just think this washing machine is so cool!

LG 2.3 cu. ft. Compact Front-Load Washer

Cycling Knee Pain? Somtimes micro-adjustments…

Not long ago I received an amazing racing bike.  It is designed for high-milage riding and the first long trip I took on it was a blast although, near the end of the ride, my knees started to feel sore.

I researched this and it turns out that sometimes just slight adjustments can make a significant difference.  One does not have to just accept sore knees as a fact.  It usually indicates that there’s something wrong in terms of adjustment.

Here is a useful site which gives good information about the causes and possible solutions to cycling knee pain: www.fix-knee-pain.com/cycling-knee-pain

In my case I was shocked – only a couple-centimeters adjustments of the saddle made a difference.  On my next ride there was no pain nor soreness at all!

Hydration Pack for Runners

I started running when I was about 16 and want to continue running my entire life.  I credit running, becoming vegetarian, and getting into yoga and meditation as the most transformative things in my life.

I remember how I used to stick my key (and sometimes a 5-dollar bill) in my sock inside my shoe when I went running.  Fanny packs always felt awkward and bounced around when running.  There weren’t (at least for me at the time) a lot of good options for being able to take things with you when running.

This has changed dramatically.  Check out this amazing hydration pack which is one of the most popular ones for runners:

This pack has a 2 liter hyradtion bladder and fits your body almost like skin.  When running I don’t even notice that I’m wearing it.  And of course, in addition to the water, it has compartments for other things.

When I got it I was a bit confused about how to operate the bite valve.  I have a cycling hydration pack which has a different type of bite valve and wasn’t sure exactly how this particular one operated.  I managed to find this video online describing how it operates:

So, no more stuffing my keys/5-dollar-bill into my socks when running.  Unless I want to.

“Waiting for network configuration…” problem with Ubuntu

WHAT: Running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS “Precise”. After software upgrade, during boot the message displays:

Waiting for network configuration…

After an inordinate amount of time a new message appears:

Waiting up to 60 more seconds for network configuration…

After the system is finished booting and the user logs in, there is no network.

WHY: Unknown.  Apparently however, based upon extensive researching of this problem online, not many people know, including Ubuntu themselves.  Forums are filled with basically useless information about purported fixes which don’t work.  Many seem just lost.

HOW: After logging in I found out that the network can be fixed by simply running the command:

from a console window.  So the solution – admittedly a temporary fix – suggested itself to find a way to simply run this command at login.

WHERE: Ok the question word meme thing is getting stretched at this point, but here’s how I managed to workaround the networking bug:

WHAT: Create a script in the user’s $HOME/bin directory which runs the command and have it automatically run at login.

HOW: First make the $HOME/bin directory if it doesn’t exist:

Then create the script with a text editor.  I chose to install vim and use it:

The contents of which should be:

Now make sure the script is executable:

AND THEN: The issue now is that if we try to have this script automatically run at login as our user, sudo will require a password and the script will not run.  We need therefore to allow this one particular command to execute without a password via sudo.

Edit the sudoers file:

At the very end of the file add a line like the following:

Replace user with your username.  The line has to be at the end, or at least after a line which grants permissions to those in the sudo group because entries at the bottom of the file overrule those above.  The sudo line will basically revoke the NOPASSWD directive of the above line if it comes after it.

FINALLY: Now you can test if it all works.  Open a brand new terminal (important!) and type fixnet and see if it runs without asking for a password.

If it does then all is good.  Now you can click on the little gear icon at the very upper right of the screen and choose “Startup Applications…“.  There you can select the script you just created and set it to run automatically at login.

NOTE: This will not fix the stupid “Waiting for network configuration…” bootup delay, but it will ensure that once logged in the network will be up.

PHILOSOPHY: Why didn’t I use the preferred /sbin/initctrl restart method instead of deprecated /etc/init.d/network-manager restart?  Because for some reason I was getting an error with the former method.

Why didn’t I put the script in rc.local to run?  Good question.  I did actually try editing the runlevel rc.2 to have network-manager run.  In fact, since some time ago, I don’t know wtf is going on with the Ubuntu boot process.  network-manager (and a slew of other things) are not even set to run by default in runlevel 2 and are apparently being invoked some other way.  Since I know running the init.d network-manager script from a console after the user logs in works, I decided to just stick with it.

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