# blueollie

## Near Miss, 666 and Fat Fathers and superstitions

Workout notes: Weights and stretching only:
rotator cuff
pull ups (5 sets of 10, different grips, broken final set)
bench presses: 10 x 135, 7 x 170, 7 x 170
incline presses: 9 x 135, 8 x 135
super set: hammer rows (210), pulley curls (52.5), pull downs: (rotated grip final set; 160) 3 sets of 10 for each
super set: seated military (15 x 45 lb. dumbbell), rows: 10 x 65 dumbbell, each arm. 2 sets each.
10 x 70 (each arm) machine military.

I stretched and gave my legs the day off. Somewhat sore back.

Posts
Education: University of Oregon allows professors to dictate the rules in the classroom concerning, say, use of laptops.

College students: they make an appeal to high school teachers to get tougher. But I highly recommend reading what the high school teachers say in the comments: much of it is a variation of “I’d love to do these things but when I do, our administrators or YOUR parents complain and get us in trouble.

The dirty secret: many SAY that they want to be challenged, but in reality, few really want to be. Why? Being seriously challenged means that you will fail from time to time, and remember: “there are NO students who fail, just teachers who fail, tasks that are inappropriate, etc.” (yes, I am being very sarcastic, and yes I’ve had classes where students missed questions like $\frac{d}{dx} sin(2x) =$. Really. Or, in one office hour period, I spent some time finally getting a student to be able to perform $\frac{d}{dx} x^n = nx^{n-1}$. Then she came to $\frac{d}{dt} t^3 =$ and she was stumped. I said “we just did that!” Her reply: “but that was with $x$, how do you do $t$?” Under my breath, I cursed myself for not being good enough to get a research job.

Science
Very soon we’ll get a near miss from a “football field” size asteroid.

Epigenetics
Effects from a father’s obesity can show up in their offspring!

Being born to an obese father is associated with epigenetic abnormalities, according to a study published in BMC Medicine yesterday (February 6). Children with obese fathers have different epigenetic markings on the gene for insulin-type growth factor 2 (IGF2)—which is important during fetal growth and development—than children with fathers of normal weight.

“During pregnancy, the mother has to be careful what she eats and drinks, et cetera, but in general, not much is published about the effects of the father,” said lead author Adelheid Soubry, a molecular biologist at Duke University, who suspects that the more than 2 months it takes for sperm to mature are an important window of paternal influence.

Scientists have shown in human studies that some diseases are linked to parents’ environments prior to their children’s birth, but “this is one of the first papers that shows a true epigenetic shift,” said Washington State University biologist Michael Skinner, who was not involved in the study.

The link between parental condition and the epigenetics and health of children is not entirely new. A 2010 Nature paper showed that male rats on a high-fat diet fathered pups that were at elevated risk of developing diabetes, possibly because of epigenetic changes. And a 2008 study showed that Dutch children born during a winter of famine during World War II had different IGF2 methylation than their siblings not born during the famine.

Inspired by these findings, Soubry and her colleagues analyzed umbilical cord blood from 79 babies born in 2005 and 2006 to mothers enrolled in the Newborn Epigenetic STudy (NEST) at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina. Participating mothers filled out a detailed questionnaire, including information about the height and weight of their children’s fathers.

Children with obese fathers were likely to have less methylation, or hypomethylation, on a certain region of the IGF2 gene than children whose fathers were not obese. Hypomethylation in this region has been linked to some cancers, including colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, and Wilms’ tumor, a childhood cancer of the kidneys.

However, Soubry warned that her study did not link epigenetic changes directly to changes in the children’s health. “It’s too early to confirm if the children will have disease later,” she said. It is also unclear if the epigenetic changes will remain throughout the children’s lives, she added.

Nutrition Obviously those with celiac disease need to avoid gluten, and some others (say, who have irritable bowl syndrome) can also benefit. But for many, “non-gluten” is just a fad.

GMO’s and science: GMO foods won’t harm your health, so please stop nonsense like this. Think about it: we are here because of genetic modification. Now if you want to oppose certain practices for other reasons, fine. But please, stop the woo!

Religion
I am no fan of Islam but putting someone on a no-fly list because of their religion is stupid.

Religions, even Christianity (especially?) can lead to ridiculous superstitions. One man quit his job rather than accept an envelope with his W-2 in it, because it was labeled “666″. It is tempting to dismiss superstitious people like this as useless idiots, but time and time again I’ve seen people who are this superstitious perform their jobs very well; some could fix equipment better than anyone else, some were good yoga teachers, others could work everyone else into the ground, etc.

Sometimes superstitions are so strong, pastors of one religion have had to apologize for taking part in activities such as interfaith vigils after a tragedy!