rotator cuff, hip hikes, Achilles, abs (3 sets of 10 v. crunch, crunch, sit back; twist machine is broken)
pull ups (5 sets of 10)
incline bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 4 x 155, 7 x 150
seated military: 3 sets of 12 x 50 dumbbell
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 65
curls: 3 sets of 10 (30 dumbbell, 65 EZ curl bar (2))
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
Walking: deliberate 2 miles; focused on toes; outside to get heat conditioning.
this is from the old Rate Your Students blog:
A pre-nursing student, Negative Nancy, failed the prerequisite class for nursing school. After whining and wheedling endlessly to no avail, she pursued a grade appeal. After the appeal board reviewed her case, which included copies of her 40/150 scores on exams, she was denied the appeal. In fact, she was recommended to go back and redo the prerequisite to the prerequisite. After she lost her case, her Daddy (who is an adjunct at the school) called to try and convince me that “She tries so hard and will make such a caring nurse!”
When Daddy’s pleas fell on deaf ears Nancy and Daddy went to the Dean of Student Affairs.
The Dean then tried to pressure me into changing the F to a C (gasp!) because “they made a compelling case for her passing” and “in the interests of student satisfaction we should make sure she can pursue her dreams.” Ummmm…no. I am the dream quasher. Call me the Simon Cowell of pre-nursing. If you don’t have the brains and talent, you don’t get to go on. Isn’t that what a prerequisite is for? Did the Dean know that she appealed her grade? No. When he found out did he change his tune? No.
So, her grade remains and she’ll have to retake the course with a different instructor (for student satisfaction, of course). The Dean, however, believes in Negative Nancy SO MUCH that he wrote a special letter of rec for her so her F would be mitigated. He’s also making a call to Admissions of the nursing program. How nice. The Dean thinks that based on his half-hour interaction with Nancy she should be a nurse. Regardless of the fact that she doesn’t know her ass from her elbow.
At times, there is the rub: people sometimes see a credential as a “feel good about yourself” thing rather than as a sign that the person has some minimal basic competence in an area.
For those who regularly read my blog: I haven’t paid too much attention to this “GMO/Monsanto” stuff. I am becoming interested in it. However some see this as a tribal fight: companies such as Monsanto versus the environmental “activists”; the former is driven by profit first and foremost; the latter is hampered by not only scientific ignorance but also by the Dunning-Kruger effect.
So, I am going to try to educate myself on these issues. No, I am not a specialist in this sort of science. I am reasonably well versed on how to interpret data though.
I should say one other thing: I should say WHY I accept things like evolution, human caused (or human activity aggravated) climate change and the like. It is true that the arguments that I’ve seen make sense to me (on a non-specialist level) and that the associated mathematics that I’ve seen checks out. It is also true that many of the arguments that I’ve seen AGAINST these positions have either been refuted by the science community as a whole, involved mathematics in which case I was able to see that they were bad arguments, or were hilariously bad enough that I could see the flaws.
But, ultimately, my main reason for accepting these positions is that:
1. The science community overwhelmingly accepts them and
2. The science community has delivered real knowledge and real results; medicines work; vaccines work and we are much better at tracking and predicting storms.
The opponents of these positions have delivered NOTHING at all.
So, when I wrote a letter to the editor supporting evolution, I did NOT attempt to argue for it myself (I am not an expert). I didn’t say “I just know and I am very confident that I am right and you are wrong.” Instead I invited the readers to investigate what the science departments, the science laboratories and what the major museums were saying:
I understand how the current creationism vs. evolution debate might be confusing to many, especially to those who don’t have professional-level credentials in science. So, I’d like to offer a few suggestions to the “interested but perplexed”:
1. Surf to the websites of the biology, chemistry and anthropology departments of our best research universities and natural history museums (say, Big Ten universities, Field Museum, etc.). Also visit the websites of places such as the National Science Foundation. You can see for yourself what is being actively researched and what is being taught.
2. Ask yourself what is a more trustworthy source: a community that has produced tangible results – discoveries, vaccines, medicines, etc. – or a community that has produced no scientific results at all.
3. Ask a scientist the following question: What evidence would lead you to either modify or abandon your current theories of evolution?
4. Then ask a creationist: What evidence would lead you to abandon creationism, or even abandon the belief that humans were an intentional creation of your deity?
5. Ask yourself: Would I be satisfied limiting myself to the “science” of Biblical times?
I am not an expert in evolutionary science and I wouldn’t blame anyone for not taking my word for it. However, explanations from bona fide experts with tangible scientific accomplishments and credentials are available, and I invite the interested to read them.
Of course the whack jobs weren’t convinced at all; they reacted in exactly the same way the woo woos act when you point out that they haven’t given anyone any objective reason to take what they are saying seriously. Crackpots are, by definition, all but impossible to convince. In this regard, there is some symmetry between the political left and right wings.
So, where does one turn? Over the next few weeks I’ll look at what the major labs and science departments have to say.
Here are a couple of references that I’ve found useful:
1. Greg Jaffe is director of biotechnology at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. He has some experience in this area, though his undergraduate degree is in biology and his advanced degree is in law. I’d prefer to quote a scientist. However what he lays out here seems to be consistent with what I’ve seen in the science magazines. Some of what he says appears to be counterintuitive to me…at first, but he at least argues well. Two bits:
Myth: “Frankenfoods” made with GE ingredients are harmful to eat.
There is no reliable evidence that ingredients made from current GE crops pose any health risk whatsoever. Numerous governmental and scientific agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Academy of Sciences, have conducted reviews that did not identify any health concerns. Indeed, even the fiercest opponents have not shown any health risks.
That should not come as a surprise. The DNA inserted into GE seeds, and the protein it produces, are largely digested in the gastrointestinal tract. And the proteins are sometimes molecules that humans have already been exposed to in our diets. For example, GE crops that fend off viruses contain components of plant viruses that we’ve long eaten without any harm.
Furthermore, current GE crops enter our food supply primarily as highly processed ingredients that are essentially free of the engineered DNA and its protein products. High-fructose corn syrup and corn oil made from GE corn, soybean oil from GE soybeans, and sugar from GE sugar beets are identical to ingredients made from non-GE crops.
While current GE foods are not harmful, they haven’t improved our diet, though that may change. Farmers have started growing soybeans that produce high-oleic oil that could substitute for trans-fat-rich partially hydrogenated oil. And the long-awaited “golden rice,” engineered with beta carotene to combat vitamin A deficiency, is expected to be grown by Southeast Asian farmers in 2014.
Myth: GE crops are environmentally sustainable.
Biotech giant Monsanto brags that it is “one of the world’s leading companies focused on sustainable agriculture.” While some biotech seeds provide substantial environmental benefits, sustainability claims are exaggerated.
Monsanto’s most successful products are its herbicide-tolerant crops–soybeans, corn, cotton, sugar beets, and alfalfa that are tolerant to glyphosate. Those crops, planted on millions of acres each year, led to skyrocketing glyphosate use–and the emergence of glyphosate-resistant weeds. At least 10 weed species in 22 states have shown resistance to glyphosate, which prevents farmers from using that relatively benign herbicide on an estimated 7 to 10 million acres. The industry’s proposed solution is for farmers to temporarily use herbicide “cocktails” containing multiple herbicides to combat resistant weeds while they develop new GE varieties engineered tolerant to other herbicides.
Insects may also become resistant to pesticide-producing corn. The Environmental Protection Agency requires farmers to protect the effectiveness of that corn, since it reduces the need for harmful chemical insecticides. However, more than one out of four corn farmers doesn’t follow EPA’s rules, jeopardizing the technology’s long-term sustainability.
Finally, GE crops, like conventional crops, are part of our industrial agriculture system that uses large amounts of fertilizer and are sometimes grown in vast monoculture fields where crops are not rotated adequately. If sustainability is the goal, all farmers, not just GE crops farmers, need to move in a more sustainable, organic direction.
There is much more in this article.
2. Larry Moran (biochemistry professor) talks about the overreach of some claims:
I received this email message today from Leslie Maloy, (firstname.lastname@example.org). It’s stupid. It’s an example of scientific illiteracy. There’s no chance than food from genetically modified crops will do you any harm. You may want to oppose GMO crops for other reasons but to pretend that GMO crops will endanger your health is a lie.
It’s stuff like this that’s giving the environmental movement a bad reputation. Their anti-science positions are losing them support from the scientific community.
Note: in the comments, Dr. Moran did admitted that the “no chance” claim was a very mild exaggeration and changed it to “remote chance, though ANY food (organic or otherwise) has a remote chance of doing you harm”.
This is fascinating. Evolution has sometimes given organisms the ability to detect and avoid stuff that is toxic to it. Sometimes evolution has provided an organism immunity to a toxin. But I’ve never heard of this before: evolution can make a toxic thing TASTE BAD to an organism! (via: Why Evolution is True, Jerry Coyne’s website)
Before the mid-1980s, roach control experts would spray poisons on everything to control roaches. That didn’t go down very well with people, and so the companies switched to baits, which included not only a poison, but something to attract the roaches to the deadly baits: the sugars D-glucose and D-fructose, which roaches love. (Sucrose, our table sugar, is a dimeric molecule that links fructose to glucose.) But within a few years, cockroaches began appearing that avoided the baits, and did so not because they were averse to the poison, but because they were averse to the attractant, glucose. This new trait turned out to be heritable, that is, it had a genetic basis.
Ayako Wade-Katsumata and coauthors hypothesized that the aversion to glucose was a result of evolution in the way the taste buds and brain detected and perceived the sugar.
To figure this out, they wired up nerve cells (neurons) in the cockroaches’ taste receptors (“taste sensilli”), which reside in hairs around the mouth. The figure below, from the paper, shows those hairs and the kind of single hair whose nerve cells (those cells that detect and respond to stimulants) could be wired up to see if the nerve cells fire when exposed to different molecules. (It’s amazing what neurophysiologists can do these days). There are several types of taste receptors in the hairs, but the authors concentrated on two: those that, when they fire, send a signal to the sweet detector in the brain, and those cells whose firing sends signals to the bitter detector in the brain. In normal, unselected roaches, only the first cells fire when the beast tastes glucose, stimulating it to feed. When the bitter receptors cause the bitter neurons to fire, the roaches avoid what they’ve tasted.
What the authors found is that in cockroaches that had evolved to avoid baits, glucose stimulated the firing not only of glucose receptors, but also the bitter receptors. (The positive response of the sweet receptors to glucose was also lower in bait-averse cockroaches than in normal, wild-type cockroaches.) In other words, what once attracted the roaches to baits now repelled them.
Wild huh? Surf to read more; Dr. Coyne features photos and further discussion.
Ideas are hard I don’t consider economics to be a “science”. But following the economic discussions requires that one digest ideas. Consider this (re: the Reinhart and Rogoff blunder…via Paul Krugman:
This could go on forever, and both they and I have other things to do. So let me just state — clearly, I hope — where their analytical sin lies.
To some extent it lies in the downplaying of causality issues — of whether high debt causes slow growth, slow growth causes high debt, or both high debt and slow growth are the result of third factors (as was the case in demobilizing postwar America, which they highlighted in their original paper).
But the more important sin involves the misuse of the “90 percent” criterion.
There is, as everyone in this debate has acknowledged, a negative correlation in the data between debt and growth. As a result, draw a line at any point — 80 percent, 90 percent, whatever — and countries with debt above that level will tend to have slower growth than countries with debt below that level.
There is, however, an enormous difference between the statement “countries with debt over 90 percent of GDP tend to have slower growth than countries with debt below 90 percent of GDP” and the statement “growth drops off sharply when debt exceeds 90 percent of GDP”. The former statement is true; the latter isn’t. Yet R&R have repeatedly blurred that distinction, and have continued to do so in recent writings.
From my dealings on social media: only a small percentage of people would be able to understand what I put in bold. Many of my closer friends would be able to, but those are mostly those with advanced degrees or degrees in science, etc. Most would be hopelessly confused. So, concerning the latter group: how in the world would such people be able to understand ANY of the nuances concerning climate change, evolution, safety of GMOs, etc.?
Note: this little remark will be used in my calculus classes. If one labels debt as a percentage of GDP as, say, and growth as , then the fact that growth tends to be smaller when debt is higher is the statement and the latter is that becomes negative or "more negative" when .
Countries with debt-to-GDP ratios above 90% do have slower growth than countries with lower debt-to-GDP ratios, but there is no “cliff” at 90%–and policymakers should not have been told that there is an “important marker” at 90%.
Note: they are assuming linear fits. So here, is constant and negative; hence the second derivative remains zero; no change at .
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