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User Journal

Journal Journal: Goodbye cruel slashworld

Just to let you know that like many others on Slashdot journal circle, I've moved on to Multiply. It's got much better support for media and there's even a group for recovering slashaddicts. So, I won't be posting here anymore, but see you on Multiply instead. :)
User Journal

Journal Journal: Extreme weather 3

First we have an extremely warm early winter with no snow until January - this happened the last time in 1920s.

Then the weather pattern flips upside down and now we're freezing our butts off. This morning the temperature was in -30s (both C and F) and there's plenty of snow around.

** brrrrr ***

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal:

Everything you've always wanted to know about zombies but have been too afraid to ask... exists for you, the informed consumer. The coming zombie holocaust is not a question of if, but when. Thousands of pages of research, hundreds of hours of video, and dozens of experts (many of whom are prominently featured here) have virtually guaranteed that zombies are not only real, but they are a potentially civilization-ending force of nature. In the words of Dr. Stephon Güttenwald, "Das spuchen zomben puich gulchessachenfädder" (translation: "We cannot falter in the face of our fathers' corpses").

Linux Business

Journal Journal: OMFG! What happened to my G4 Mac?

Truly disturbing.

It's not photoshopped nor do I have a dedicated Windows computer anywhere in the house - only Linux, OpenBSD and Mac. Can you guess how I did it?

Ok. Here's the answer.

64 bit Linux, QEMU/KVM for running 32-bit Windows XP Pro in a virtual machine and VNC for piping the virtual machine's screen to my Mac. Neat. :)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Working from home - life is good 5

At first I thought that the installation of air conditioning units in offices of our wing of the university was a real nuisance. There was noise (drilling in concrete, metal works,...), constant traffic in and out of my office and a horrible smell of metal being welded.

However, it didn't turn out to be so bad after all. Now I get to work from home and have to pop in the office only once or twice a week. It's quiet, I've got all the food, drink and music I want close at hand, people can't pester me by walking uninvited into my office and if I want to I can lie down on a bed and work using a laptop+WLAN. Try doing that at work. I can also sleep late and work late. If I need to communicate with someone, I can always do that by using instant messengers, cellphone or Skype. If I want to be unavailable I'll just log off and switch the cellphone into silent mode.

Once I get my permanent faculty position, I'll be working much more often from home. It should happen in a couple of months if everything goes well and then I'll be "untouchable" in the sense that no-one can give me grief about not showing up at the office as long as teach my courses and keep on publishing. :)

I know Mantorp works from home, but how about the rest of you?

User Journal

Journal Journal: There's stupid... 5

...and there's Stupid.

That's despite an earlier study that found nearly three-quarters of diabetics said their doctors had advised them to exercise. The patients who got the strongest warnings to get moving were the least likely to listen, according to research being released Friday.

That falls into the same category of Stupid as refusing to go and show a malignant looking skin lesion/mole or a subcutaneous lump to a doctor in case it turns out to be cancer.

This article also made me think about what is it in exercise that makes it such a chore to many people? When I think back a few years when I was still an overweight beer-swilling slob on a steady pizza/kebab-diet, the main reason why I detested any exercise must have been simply: "It's not fun".

So why wasn't it fun? Three reasons: 1) Wrong kind of exercise, 2) Too much exercise too soon and 3) Insufficient or bad equipment.

Wrong kind of exercise. I can't stand running, yet whenever I got the idea that I'd have to get in shape I'd start jogging. Why? Lack of imagination, I guess. A part of it was also probably social pressure. Exercise tends to be synonymous with jogging and if you're doing something else, you get questions like: "Wouldn't it be much easier/healthier to just jog?", "Oh, the bike cost that much!? How could you afford it?" (reading between the lines: "you're just showing off you rich bastard") or "You go to the gym? You aren't using those protein hormones, are you?".

Too much exercise too soon. Once I foolishly decided that I'd run (of course) two times per day - in the morning and in the evening. You know, just to get myself in shape again and running two times per day must produce results sooner. The result: a permanent injury in my right knee. You can guess what it did to my motivation to exercise in the future.

Insufficient or bad equipment. I realized this only after I had finally bought a good bike. What a difference it made - biking was actually great fun!

(just some random musings on a slow Saturday afternoon ;) )


Journal Journal: An interview with Richard Dawkins 5

A very interesting interview with Richard Dawkins.

TM: Could you address a couple of reactions that I see in the media, either to atheism, in general, or to you and your book? One, people ask why are atheists so angry?

RD: That's a very curious misperception. We get accused of being angry or of being intolerant, but, if you were to look at critiques of one political party by the other... when Democrats criticize Republicans, or Republicans criticize Democrats, nobody ever says, "You're being intolerant of Republicans, or angry." It's just normal, robust argument. People have gotten so used to the idea that religion must be immune to criticism that even a very mild and gentle criticism of religion comes across as angry and intolerant.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with being an angry atheist.


Journal Journal: It loses the ring of fat or it gets the hose again

Robodiet in progress.

There's a lot of scatter in the daily calorie balance (black symbols), because I've been more hungry on some days than on others. In particular, I like to eat more on those days when I've been weightlifting at the gym. I don't really care about that as long as the average remains well below 0 kcal. Maybe oscillating the daily calorie intake will actually be a good thing in the long run. The macronutrient distribution has been pretty well in the 40%/30%/30% (protein,carbs,fat) bracket I planned.

As the graph shows, I lost a lot of weight during the first week, but that was just the initial bloat going away. Two weeks gone, eight weeks to go.


Journal Journal: The way she looked... 9

India Times:

BEIJING: A 17-year-old boy in northeastern China was so disappointed with the looks of a woman he met over the Net that he hanged himself after seeing her face-to-face, the state media reported on Friday.

Beware of the horrors that lurk within teh interweb...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Got boobs instead of pecs 2


Apparently Silvestre also had occasion to videotape surgery (a screen capture pic is shown below) on a male patient, former Mexican national champion bodybuilder, Alex Baez. Baez had gone in seeking pectoral implants, but awoke to find he had been given female breast implants.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Most Dangerous Roads in the World 1

This is a fascinating blogspot post.

Sukhumi "Military" road in the former Soviet Georgia, in Caucasus mountains, which truckers and wine-drunk crazy "Lada" drivers navigate with the utter abandon, typical of the local mountain people

I LOL'd at that. :D

The most dangerous hiking trail looked absolutely horrific, but then again, I've got a fear of heights...


Journal Journal: Resetting my sleep/wake cycle 4

Uh. My sleep/wake cycle is still messed up.

After the last (Sunday-Monday) nightshift at the synchrotron, I've been trying to reset my circadian rhythm to a more normal one, but it's still not working right. Yesterday evening I went to bed at 8 pm only to wake up at 1 am after which I couldn't get any sleep until 5 am. Let's just say that I haven't been feeling very awake at work today...

Do you travel a lot? How do you deal with jet lag?


Journal Journal: Tempur and futon mattresses [UPDATE] 7

For some time I have had problems with pain in my lower back.

It is an annoying ache and stiffness that is concentrated not on the spine but on the Erector Spinae radiating towards the Obliques.

It goes away if I exercise regularly - especially weight lifting seems to work - and it is aggravated by prolonged immobility such as sleeping. Soft mattresses seem to make it worse. Right now it's pretty bad - enough to disturb my sleep - because I didn't get much exercise last week (the 16-18 hour days and night shifts at the synchrotron don't leave you with much extra energy) and the bed at the hotel was just horrible.

I have heard good things about hard mattresses in the prevention of back pains and I've been considering buying a stiff cotton futon or a Tempur-Pedic bed.

Do any of you have experiences in either? I like the cotton futon concept - simple and very organic - but the Tempur-Pedic has received a lot of praise on the net, too.

Update: I just came back from a visit to a futon store where I got to try what a futon feels like. While it is difficult to say anything definitive without actually sleeping on the thing, the full cotton mattress felt pretty nice and I'm sure I can sleep on it. Since I was planning to buy a better and larger bed anyway soon, I placed an order for the mattress. The delivery will take 3-4 weeks and when it arrives I'll have a better look at the bed frames which should be available immediately. My two favourites so far: this and this.

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