In the spirit of making some information public so I won't backslide here is my recorded weight so far this year. I lost a lot of weight and am in a maintenance phase. It turns out holding weight, after you have lost a lot and had been heavy for awhile, is a difficult task as the signals your body sends tend to be larger than your metabolic needs by up to two hundred Calories a day - that would translate into a weight gain of four to five pounds a month...
Many people who study weight loss will tell you the surest way to gain weight is to go on a diet and see where you are a year after it is over.
So I figure the knowledge that others can find out if I'm failing will help me to focus more on the task. So far so good - I've had remarkable luck at averaging aroud 155 pounds ... I want to stay in a band between 153 and 160.
I've been working on hacking my bodies feedback mechanisms with a few minor successes as well as some useless paths.
I was talking to a contemporary who is a physics professor the other day and those words came from him ... Many of them know how to program (although he and others point out many of those have learned some really bad habits), but few know how to play with the physical work.
It dates me, but when I was a kid making things was common. The schools were even involved - probably as training for presumed vocations. The classes were sexually segregated with the boys taking wood and metal shop as well as mechanical drawing and the girls took cooking and sewing. Everyone should have had a taste of all of those. The problem of discrimination combined with budget issues and a focus on only teaching the "relevant" basics and these programs have mostly disappeared.
a huge loss ...
There is no reason someone has to be isolated from all of the fun. Cooking is the low hanging fruit as we need food to live so most of us get beyond the microwave oven and pre-packed or store prepared food - at least a bit. The others can be addressed by adult education or just going out and trying getting inspiration and instruction online.
Make is an excellent source for projects that combine disciplines like mechanical and electrical engineering and a bit of computer science ... as well as art. The combinations vary and it is all community based. Make whatever you want and teach others or learn at someone else's feet. The quality of the projects is all over the place and some criticism has been made about this. I think the criticism is unfounded - this is just people having fun - tasting and learning at their own pace.
Recently a series of podcast interviews of prominent makers went online. I started listening the other day with #8 - a rather clever fellow who reverse engineers manufactured objects at a fairly sophisticated level, publishing his results.
really excellent and recommended! It might inspire you or your kid to just go out and try something. I've done a few things but several friends are having a lot of fun: Sukie has taught herself how to design and make jewelry that many consider professional, Steve does serious woodworking, Howard is working with his son on some fun stuff as a father-son team, Alan designs and builds cameras and photographic lighting, Jheri is learning dress and pattern making looking at the use of computerized cutting tools, and Dave is building a micro-satellite for orbit. Gabe made his own sous-vide cooker and is working on a vacuum packing machine and has repaired a centrifuge for culinary purposes. Greg has probably been doing this for most of his life and is seriously competent. He combines his physics and engineering skills with a great sense of design and creativity for some wonderful projects that have generated patents. And then there is Jan - anyone who joins the Polish Army because he was interested in diesels and he knew they had some is interesting. And I'm probably missing the makerness of several others ....
If you don't have a workshop there are probably projects that don't require much and some areas have clubs or even business that give access to tools.
A really nice way to grow and do interesting stuff as well as meet interesting people! My guess is the average group of people who build things is probably going to be more interesting than people who use their time to watch TV.
Exactly where the Red Deer Cave people belong in our family tree is unclear. Curnoe says they could be related to some of the earliest members of our species (Homo sapiens), which evolved in Africa around 200,000 years ago and then spread across Asia to reach China. He prefers the idea that they represent a new evolutionary line that evolved in East Asia in parallel with our species, just as Neanderthals did – primarily because they look very different to early African members of our species.
I'm no athlete, but I do exercise quite a bit and my favorite exercises tend to be aerobic - things like cycling and rowing. For years I've been using my old Concept 2 Model B - an excellent rowing ergometer built in 1986. Concept 2 builds quality machines that don't change very much over the years, but tend to work very well and just last. Some people are heavily into indoor competition with them, but my use is strictly exercise.
An evil of machines like these is your body motion doesn't match the motion you would have in a racing scull. This is not a problem if you use the it for exercise or indoor competition, but it does if you are trying to simulate the experieince of using a scull. People put their machines on slides to keep the center of mass relatively stable, but that seems excessive to me. I was interested in a more authentic experience - mainly to use it for training for using a real single scull. I want a machine that will help me improve my form.
About a year ago Concept 2 released a dynamic ergometer that more accurately simulates the real thing (check out the video). There is no reason to use one if you just want exercise, but I wanted a bit more and mine finally arrived yesterday.
To say it is different is something of an understatement. I won't give a detailed review as I have only used it for about a half hour so far, but when you show good form it is exceptionally smooth. Exactly what I have been looking for!
I still have the old Model B and will continue to use it, but the new machine is remarkably good and is great at highlighting faults in form. (Oddly, my form isn't too bad.)
The Model B is a core component of my fitness and weight maintenance routine (as it was core during my weight loss phase). I do anywhere from an hour to ninety minutes a day at an average power of about 150 watts measured at the flywheel. It doesn't sound like much until you consider my body is only about 20% efficient in this form of exercise. Competitive rowers use much higher output levels, but this is good for a sustainable low impact exercise that I use my iPod to pass the time with. A few days a week I add a series of sprints at much higher levels, but most of the benefit is from the long early morning sessions.
Build quality of the Dynamic is excellent and it should last a long long time with normal maintenance. Assembly was straightforward with a slight c that they helped me with over the phone. The motion feels wonderful - much more like a real boat. Exactly what I was looking for. (space in our little basement is hard to come by, but this is a view of the seat of the Dynamic with the B off to the right).
If you are just looking for a good rowing machine I would recommend a Model D - the E is more of a gym/indoor competition machine and the D would probably last a lifetime. You don't need the motion of the Dynamic unless you are specifically looking to improve your form on the water and it is much more expensive than the model D.
The company is outstanding - one of my favorite companies ever. They stock spares for ancient machines like my 26 year old B and offer honest advice and tech support.
The only issue I've ever had with the B (and would also apply to the C, D and probably the Dynamic) came when our exceptionally tall friend Colleen visited. At nearly 6'7", her legs are too long for the machine. If you are really tall, Concept 2 can build a machine with a longer rail for you - they mentioned they built a special for Yao Ming.
I'm a very happy and delighted customer. If you are looking at getting a quality machine that is convenient (like in your home) enough to always use, kit like this can be part of a cost effective health program. The same for a bike or anything else that is good enough to keep you motivated.
I'm a vegetarian rather than a vegan - I do have some dairy products. It isn't a paritcularly easy choice if you eat out a lot, but I'm comfortable with it. For those of you who are curious about becoming a true vegan or just having some occasional vegan meals, KQED recently aired a show on the subject with chefs Chloe Coscarelli adn Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. I caught it during a recent exercise session and the link has an mp3 of the show. I wouldn't consider them medical experts, but they do know how to make delicious food that isn't as difficult to prepare as you may think. Chole is something of a sensation in the vegan world, having won some competitions against "regular" chefs in categories where her food ruled over non-vegan dishes.
a tip from the show .. one of the best vegan restaurants in the country is in NYC and is Korean - HanGawi. I haven't been, but will.
Recently there have been rather severe attacks on anti-obesity programs .. particularly those that focus on children. There seems to be a problem with separating the disease form the victim - a group of people has basically given up on dealing with a dangerous medical condition and is asking for acceptance. Of course there needs to be compassion for and acceptance of the person, but acceptance of a very dangerous condition - particularly in children - is not right.
There is some arguing about how to proceed given the epidemic - some people want to modify diet, some suggest diet and activity, some suggest the makeup of diet is wrong and some foods need to be taxed, and some blame marketing. A few of techniques look much better than others, but the evidence that they work may not be rock solid.
Sometimes the best technique isn't understood, but the dangerous are sufficient great that almost any action is superior to inaction. True for global warming - probably true for fighting childhood obesity. You may not know what is around the corner and may make some wrong turns, but with a bit of direction (which we have) you will eventually get there. The phrase "just do it" seems appropriate.
For those of you who love fine mechanical objects and want something handmade and unique, bikes can be an affordable luxury. It is possible to get something wonderful for a few thousand dollars and something completely world class in the low five figures. While spendy, they can fit you and your riding style perfectly and, with proper maintenance, can last a lifeime without seeming obsolete.
I have an old Raleigh Pro that, while not bespoke, is a nearly perfect manifestation of a lugged steel frame road bike. It has appreciated in value with time and is really too nice to use as a regular rider at this point. It isn't bespoke, but you can go that route if you like and have a wonderful piece of utilitarian art.
A plug for Capricorn bikes ... the first is Dave went for one. I have trust in in informed lust that was confirmed when I inspected the final result. The second is the builder is conversant with unusal frame sizes. Dave is tall and the frame fits like a glove and he reported it feels good - a lot of tall frames have some structural issues that make them suffer in handling. Colleen has a very custom bike courtesy of Trek with an even taller frame, but that took some serious engineering on their part. If you are over about 6'4 it makes sense to find a custom builder and be happy with the reult rather than be stuck with a compromise.
If you want a bespoke bike the right approach is probably working through a good local bike shop. Get professionally measured - this can take up to an hour for an accurate fitting and can cost North of $200, although many shops will give a break if you buy the bike through them. Go with a frame builder the shop is confident with or one of your own. Work with the local shop on components and have them put everything together (of course, if you really know bikes just get the frame and build it yourself). You can also work with a soup to nuts bespoke builder. The good ones tend to have enormous backorders, but it can be worth it if you are going for the fully integrated bike-as-art ideal.