27 October 09

Workout notes 500 warm up (9:03), 15 x 100 on the 1:50 (slow as hell; 1:41-1:42, with the last two in 1:45). I just wasn’t into it and the dinky Riverplex pool was crowded. But at least my lane mate is a kick-ass swimmer (does open water 10K swims) and I always learn from being next to him.

I then skipped yoga class and did 20 minutes on the elliptical (set for glutes and quads) (2 miles) then 2+ miles on the stair master; I was sweating like a pig. The stair master is good stuff. Gradually my balance is improving and I kept my hands lightly touching (or near) the bars for balance; that was it. The legs did all of the work. Seeing the stooped over collapsing lady next to me reminded me to stay straight and to use my legs.

Then I did 20 minutes of yoga on my own (Warrior II, tree, half-Eagle (legs only), pigeon, down dog, forward bend, triangle, revolved triangle, pyramid, head stand, crow)

Injury: not a peep out of my leg; that is good news. I can shuffle walk and stair walk so long as I never lock my knee. This would indicate that the problem really is the popliteous muscle.

Do you want to send some of your brain cells to a screaming, agonizing death?

(hat tip: Pharyngula…I think) You’ve heard me frequently condemn traditional nonsense. This is an example of new-age nonsense.

Speaking of nonsense, there is a dangerous sort of nonsense circulating these days; it is the anti-vaccination BS. Defending science from know-nothings of various stripes isn’t pretty. Fortunately some do it anyway.

Ok, now for some good science. The naked mole rat doesn’t get cancer. Why? This animal has something in its cells that resists “crowding”:

In search of clues to aging, cell biologists Vera Gorbunova, Andrei Seluanov, and colleagues at the University of Rochester have been comparing rodents that vary in size and life span, from mice to beavers. The naked mole rat stands out because it’s small yet can live more than 28 years–seven times as long as a house mouse. Resistance to cancer could be a major factor; whereas most laboratory mice and rats die from the disease, it has never been observed in naked mole rats.

Gorbunova’s team looked at the mole rat’s cells for an answer. Normal human and mouse cells will grow and divide in a petri dish until they mash tightly against one another in a single, dense layer–a mechanism known as “contact inhibition.” Naked mole rat cells are even more sensitive to their neighbors, the researchers found. The cells stop growing as soon as they touch. The strategy likely helps keep the rodents cancer-free, as contact inhibition fails in cancerous cells, causing them to pile up.

The reason, the researchers discovered, is that naked mole rat cells rely on two proteins–named p27Kip1 and p16Ink4a–to stop cell growth when they touch, whereas human and mouse cells rely mainly on p27Kip1. […]

Read the rest of the article; it is fascinating.

Public option in Health Care Reform: Nate Silver admits that his prediction was wrong and tries to find out why. The whole article is good (as his articles usually are) , but this line is priceless:

The first surprise is that (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid is showing some backbone.



October 27, 2009 - Posted by | Democrats, injury, nature, politics, politics/social, quackery, science, Spineless Democrats, superstition, swimming, training, yoga

1 Comment »

  1. The anti-vaccination nonsense drives me crazy. It just doesn’t make any logical sense. It’s enraging that some want to rely on herd immunity and, thus, WEAKEN the herd immunity. They aren’t only risking their own lives, either, but those who legitimately can’t be vaccinated (due to allergies or health issues) and those too young to be fully immunized.

    Comment by jenjw4 | October 27, 2009 | Reply

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