fitness training is brain training

Anyone who has been a part of athletics or a fitness community has likely heard this question in regards to a particular exercise:

“Yea, but what muscle(s) does it work?”

I have been asked this question by my collegiate teammates, friends, family, and strangers at the gym. I am never offended by it, but the asker is often disappointed with my response.

“I don’t think you’re asking the right question.”

Granted, for some people it is the right question. If you’re a body builder and one of the judges in your last competition complained about how your forearms are wider than your calves, it’s the perfect question. But I am not a bodybuilder, most people are not bodybuilders, and I have never been asked this question by a bodybuilder. A bodybuilder would answer it much better than I could.

But as a collegiate-turned-recreational athlete, training your body by isolating and activating specific muscles is like …more

notes from my ninth grade self (part II): The Retreat

For a proper introduction to this series, please see part I. Here goes part II:

Silence. Solitude. Thought. That magical moment just before you fall asleep during which the pressures of the day have vanished and those of the next are yet to take hold. All are an escape, a temporary relief from the never-ending pressures of reality. For a long time I have been able to retreat to my mind whenever I have been perturbed, tired or simply needed a few minutes alone. It has always been there asa back way out of any problem. I used it to solve problems in my life, to invent simple stories to entertain myself and relieve my mind from the stresses of these problems. Sometimes I would contemplate matters and concepts such as the vastness of the universe and its origins, in a vain attempt to understand that which I knew I …more

notes from my ninth grade self: Laughter

My father recently visited me in Austin. He brought a few things from home in a goodie bag that says ‘happy birthday’ on it. Video games, a NYG scarf, and a little book of vignettes I wrote in the ninth grade.

It’s a pretty funny, and scary, thing to read things you wrote in the past. When you write (or do anything else) every day, you get this fantastic sense that you’re getting better at it. So to look at something you produced in the past is to look at something worse than you could produce now. I think that’s the reasoning behind my nervousness in opening old work.

But to sit as a 23 year old you and read something written by the thirteen year old you, that’s something else entirely. Something I do not have a word for. Sure, I remember my freshman year of high school. I remember …more

writing prompts

Personify two objects, real or abstract, and describe a scenario that might lead to them developing a romantic relationship.

Pick a person you have seen but never spoken to, and write your first conversation starting at minute twenty-four.

Describe the view from a place you have seen but have never been to.

Pick something that you don’t want, and write about wanting or needing it.

Write the titles for books you have not written or read.

Re-title books you have already read.

Narrate your tomorrow.

Pick a memory, not a trauma, that you’ve never admitted to and explain it to someone you’ve just met.

Tell off your boss/teacher/authority figure.

Narrate what you thought of the last time you were left at home alone.

Write the worst possible scenario for your next five minutes.

How would you get back from where you’re sitting to where you were born? Do not use words relating to direction or locomotion.

Write your own prompt.

How would your …more

on plagiarism and fair use

It’s a good question: where does plagiarism start? I can make a page of words that I never typed, that I put together using only controls c and v, and it could be entirely my own. Or I could put together words like these, for which I pressed each letter on my keyboard in the precise order I decided they should appear in, and none of it would belong to me. Plagiarized word for original word.

The thing is, you can’t type a word that hasn’t been typed before and still have it mean something. With the limited alphanumeric characters ascribed to English, you may not even be able to type a word that hasn’t been typed before period until you’ve reached a certain character limit well beyond the tweet threshold. Putting something into your own words is not overrated, it’s false. Impossible and untrue. There’s no such thing as your …more

how some guys just destroyed physics as we know it and why you still shouldn’t care

UPDATE: Since this article was first posted, new experiments have shown that neutrinos from CERN travel subluminally. Additionally, OPERA has since identified errors in their original experiment.

I’m about to use the word neutrino a bunch of times, so I’ll start by telling you what a neutrino is.

For those of you who took Italian in high school, no, a neutrino is not a little neutron. But it is little, and electrically neutral. In fact, neutrinos are so little that they were first thought to have zero mass, like photons, but more recent discoveries revealed that this cannot be true.

Where can we find these little guys? Everywhere. Our sun pumps out neutrinos like Universal Studios does sequels to the Land Before Time. When hydrogen atoms fuse to make helium, a neutrino pops out and starts barreling toward earth at 670 million miles per hour. Each second, trillions of neutrinos tear through …more

taken literally: fair price for an infant?

Question courtesy of Yahoo Answers:

Dear Love Geek,

My friend asked me if I wanted to watch her daughter so I didn’t have to go back to work and could stay home with my son. She is 6 weeks old: what is a fair price a week? Is $100 too much?

Sincerely,

beybee momma

That’s a very good question beybee. Baby pricing has actually been a hot topic in recent months. Like most markets in today’s economic climate, infant trading is quite volatile and subject to the strange temperaments of Asian markets.

Check out this story from the New York Post. One mother paid as much as $180k for her child! But don’t worry, that isn’t typical. The articles cites $100k as the baby-broker’s base price.

But before we start breaking down the monetary value of your friend’s daughter, it’s important to note that, according to this article, an average child …more