Jun 30


If I ever made an album I’d be forced to call it “Eclectic Dialectic.”

What other choice is there?

Jun 30


I’ve seen the stats. I know a lot of people have trouble losing weight. And yet I didn’t. I lost over 25% of my body weight in less than six months. Because I am not that big anyway, I had to buy three new sets of clothes in that time period.

That weight has been off for almost five years now.

But I’ve long wondered why people have such trouble. Thinking about it more and reading this, I’ve realized that people mainly (in my opinion) have great difficulty keeping weight off because we frame it as a punishment, as yet another instantiation of our Judeo-Christian “sin/punishment” guilt-cycling belief system.

This is doomed to failure.

Because I am not strongly connected to my culture and don’t understand much of it, thinking about weight loss this way would’ve never (and did not) occur to me.

So why do people gain it back if it’s so important to them? If they’d rather be blind or have a leg amputated, why can’t they just keep up with their weight management efforts? Is it because as Tara describes their bodies work against them? Certainly in part, but I think the bigger reason is because they’ve likely chosen inane methods of loss and maintenance – like those described by Tara. To lose their weight they’ve gone on highly restrictive diets, they’re denying themselves the ability to use food for comfort or celebration, they’re regularly white-knuckling through hunger and cravings, they’ve set ridiculous Boston Marathon style goals for their losses, and they’ll often possess highly traumatic all-or-nothing attitudes towards their efforts. In short? They’ve chosen suffering as their weight management modality.

I have the best “diet” ever. Check this out: I eat whatever the fuck I want.

I just don’t do it whenever I want to. If there is something I really want, I say, “Well if that still sounds good on Saturday, I’ll eat it.”

So I do.

Or if I absolutely just can’t wait (which is rare), I have a tiny bit of it, maybe a spoonful or so.

But it turns out that if you reframe how people think about weight loss, a large percentage of them can and do keep the weight off.

Paying attention to intake, exercising, and applying the education they received from their expert research team. And would you take a look at that graph!  By year 4, of the folks who’d lost more than 10% of their weight in the first year, some did indeed gain it back, but 42.2% kept off nearly 18% of their presenting weight for the full 4 years! In fact they kept off virtually all of their year one losses. Moreover, looking at all comers of the trial and not just the folks who lost a pile in year one, nearly 25% of all participants maintained a 4 year loss greater than 10% of their initial weight.

That’s sure a far cry from no one.

Like anything else in life, you’ll get in return what effort/thought you put into it. Surprise.

Jun 29

YA, that’s about it

I stole this from somewhere, but now I can’t remember where and I can’t find it.

But some wag observed – accurately – that the definition of YA had expanded so much that all that being a YA novel now means is that it is a novel people actually want to read.

So true.

Jun 29

BS about women and pull-ups

Women can’t do pull-ups only because they are not trained to do them.

I served in an airborne unit in the army. All the women I served with could do quite a few pull-ups, some more than me. In an airborne unit, pull-ups are more necessary than in most other units as you have to be strong enough to pull the risers of your chute to steer yourself.

In a chute without real steering, this is the only way to do it, and it requires nearly lifting your entire bodyweight using the same muscles as a pull-up.

I think I could 19 pull-ups at my best. Maybe a bit more. I knew at least one woman who could do 40+. She wasn’t even that bulky, just short and strong.

Jun 28

Like a girl

Yeah, I know it’s a tampon commercial and thus designed to sell things, but it’s also really, really well done.

I was on a work softball team a few years ago. We weren’t that good. There was a player there that would sometimes join our team when we needed an extra, who usually was on another team.

She’d played Division I softball in college, and damn was she good. She could hit better, field better, run faster and make better decisions than anyone on our team, or than anyone else I saw playing in the entire league. She saved us from utter embarrassment in many games.

I am glad she did it all like a girl.

Jun 28

No animations

Google is going and making the same old mistakes in GUI design as has been done a million times, but can’t even recognize it because they are the “best and brightest” in their own eyes.

It can do things that physical paper can’t, like grow and shrink with animations. Those animations were important to Google, because they help users understand where they are inside an app. "A lot of software … kind of feels like television or film in terms of jump cuts," Wiley says, causing you to lose your sense of time and place. For apps, you want something more akin to a stage play. "It’s going from one moment to the next," he says, "that scene change, and what’s happening onstage is choreographed and transitioned, and there’s meaning."

Here’s what animations do: they slow me down. They slow my device down. They make it harder to tell what is going on in 99% of cases.

They are designed to appeal to the first-use “wow” factor and little else. This sort of animation-heavy design suffers greatly with continued use.

I always disable all animations (if possible) the moment I get a product.

As for the rest of it, it looks like a poor copy of Windows 8.

Jun 28

Beat the rap

This is really good, and shows just how much artistry and language play goes into rap.

Eminem, however, in this song is different. He interlinks his rhyme groups, a poetic technique known as “synchysis” in classical poetry like Vergil. This can be represented in the form ABAB. Poetry (…or rap) involving multiple synchyses would be represented as something like ABACCAB, or AABACBADC. Hm, I wonder what Eminem does…

But no female rappers? Dessa? Early Lil’ Kim? That’s a big omission.

What’s really funny is when people who think rap “isn’t hard and isn’t music” attempt it. It’s absolutely hysterical and bad.