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Posts Tagged ‘Science’

The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think.  When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant.  When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain.  And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is in some doubt.  We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize the ignorance and leave room for doubt.  Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty – some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain.
  —  Dr. Richard P. Feynman
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On This Day In:
2018 Maps For Those Difficult Times
2017 A True American Hero
Or Desserts
2016 What #AmnestyDon Is Really Afraid Of
2015 What Are You Doing?
2014 The Ideal Man
2013 Daring Ripples
2012 Evermore
2011 Unpredictable Opportunity
2010 Giants Fall In Game 2 (1 to 6) – Leave PA With 1-1 Split !!

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The end of day seven and the start of day eight…  Today is now the start of week 2 of juice / blend fasting.
Morning weight: 361lbs.  (on Day 8)
I am down / down “1/12”.  As in, 1lb down from yesterday and 12lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).

Image of scale at 361lbs

End of Week 1: 361lbs

As I am typing this, I am past noon on Day 1 of Week 2 (Day 8).  After walking the dog, Hil and I had a brief chat about the fast.  She is supportive, but not enthusiastic about my fasting as she believes dieting and losing weight is about personal discipline, portion size, and not eating foods you like (except VERY rarely).  And DISCIPLINE.  Did I mention she believes in discipline?  She, therefore, is not a big fan of fasting because:  “What’s next?”  You come off the fast and you gain it all back…  I asked her how she felt about my continuing the juice fast.  She replied by asking how I felt.  I said good.  She said, well then go for another week.  So, it’s decided: I’ll go day to day and “try” to make it another full week.   (Did you see how I made that “modest” change?  LoL.)
The good thing about committing to a week is you have a set goal with an end day / date.  The bad thing, of course, is that if you are a “goal setting / objective” person, you feel like a failure if you don’t hit the goal.  Since today was my original goal (“finish the jump start and move on to MADF”), I am reluctant to arbitrarily double my goal and now be only half done (half way through two weeks).  Hence the day to day goal…  Hopefully, this will also help me try to stay in the moment (or in the day).  Yesterday is done and I was successful.  How am I doing today?
The following is a TEDx video I’ve watched multiple times over the last two years.  It deals with the chemical mathematics of burning fat tissue.  Enjoy…
The Mathematics of Weight Loss
Presented by: Ruben Meerman
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On This Day In:
2018 Hey, #45: Are We Sick Of Winning, Yet?
Day 40: Wrists
2017 Heart Vision
2016 A Labor Day / Pre-Election Hope
Trust Me, Too
2015 Without Hope
Things Known And Unknown
2014 A Wall Too High, A Bridge Too Far
2013 Glory = Danger
Chicago Magic
Feelin’ It
2012 How Did We Get Here?
2011 Labor Day Weekend Mishmash
More, More, More

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The end of day six and the start of day seven…  Today completes the first week of blend fasting.
Morning weight: 362lbs.  (on Day 7)
I am down / down “2/11”.  As in, 2lbs down from yesterday and 11lbs down from my fasting start weight: 373lbs (the morning of Day 1).
Yesterday, was a peculiar day.  I had to give a blood sample in the morning for a doctor’s appointment on Friday.  This meant I had to “fast” (no eating of drinking of my blend) for 12 hours.  I stopped about 9pm the night before.  I got up and walked the dog about 9am, so I was on time.  I got to the office about 10:15am and gave the sample a little after 11am.  I almost never make an appointment to give blood.  I just bring a book or read email on my cell.  In this case, I did both.  Some time this week, I’ll get my results with my cholesterol and triglycerides levels and the doctor will review them with me to see where I stand.  Hopefully, both will be down (at least slightly) and I’ll be able to avoid any statins.  I was taking them in pill form for a number of years and been having a negative reaction (muscle pains and joint stiffness), but my cardiologist feels I will need to go back on something.  He’s recommending some new drug (new to me) which is administered via shot.   I’m not keen on drugs or shots (in particular), so I have another reason to make a go of fasting and losing weight.
After giving blood, I had a shot of OJ and then went out to mow the front lawn.  That took about an hour.  I settled in to drink at least a quart of my blend.  I watched a bit of TV and read a bit and then took a nap for about 2hrs.  After that, I watched some Netflix and then went to the pool for an evening swim (60 minutes / breast stroke).  I felt like it was exhilarating but (again) I tired quickly (after about 30 minutes).  So, it was another gut check to finish the time.  I just set a nice relaxing pace and got through it…  I can pretty easily do 40 lengths (25 yard lenghts) in under 55 minutes, so I say I’m doing 42 to 44 lengths an hour.  That’s a little more than one half mile (36 lengths).  It may not sound great to any young readers, but I started out in April taking between 75 and 80 minutes to do just 40 lengths, so I’ve made reasonable progress for an ol’ geezer.
Today is actually Day 7 of the fast and tomorrow I’ll be posting a photo of my progress.  Tonight I’ll make a decision about going for another week or just going day to day.  At this moment, I’m feeling great, so I’m leaning towards committing to a second full week and then switching.  The thing about “committing” is if I fall off the wagon, I’ll start beating myself up about it, whereas “day to day” is just until yesterday.  I know it’s psychologically wrong, but that’s the way (formerly) A+ personality types think.  “Set a goal.  MUST make it.  MUST make it. MUST aaauurrgghh!”
Why Studying Dieting Doesn’t Work…
On this journey I’ve struggled with dieting for most of my adult life.  I’ve almost always succeeded (for a while) in losing some weight, and then rebounded – sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly.  I’ve tried every diet plan I could reasonably afford, and almost all of them have worked (for a while).  For me, the problem has been, “What’s next?”  Sure, this or that diet works for a week or two, but what happens next?  I don’t want to “diet” forever.  This means over the last 20 years I’ve used “fasting” as my hack to a non-healthy eating lifestyle.  I either eat too much or I eat too frequently – or both.  For the longest time I’d felt this was some kind of psychological failure / adaptation on my part.  Although not poor while growing up, we certainly didn’t have the quality or quantity of food which I experienced when eating over at my friends houses.
It’s only in the last ten years I’ve thought maybe it’s not me with the problem.  Okay.  Yes, it is ME, but it’s not necessarily my brain’s (a lack of self-discipline) fault.  It’s not that I’m weak.  It’s that modern food is addicting and it’s promoted in advertising as a substitute for happiness.  I don’t mean psychologically addicting, by the way, although there is definitely some of that, too.  I mean modern food is full of chemicals (mainly) – sugar and flavor enhancers – which are meant to stimulate our appetites without giving us a sense of fullness (to tell us to stop stuffing our faces / stomachs).  I mean that modern food is physically addicting.  (Our stomachs, in fact, have sensors which tell our brain “we’re full, stop eating for a while”.  This is why drinking water before eating somewhat deadens our appetites.  The water – which has zero calories – takes up space and generates a sense of fullness in the stomach.)
The human body has served us well for thousands of years and until fairly recently, obesity (and in particular morbid obesity) has been rare.  The trend over the last ten to twenty years has been to blame what we eat (junk food / fast food), how much we eat (portions and frequency), and, everybody’s favorite culprit:  High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  The problem we (as individuals and as a society) have is correlation is not causation and food science is closer to a “soft” science (like psychology) than it is to a “hard” science (like chemistry).  This is because we have little to no ability to create valid controls for a scientific test.  The primary variable is the human body and, despite appearances (we all “seem” pretty much the same), in fact, we have wildly different individual reactions to different types of food AND we have no longitudinal studies (that I am aware of) which show the same person has the same reactions to different types of food across their individual life spans.  What longitudinal studies we do have tend to be voluntary, subjective and self-reported.  We are, therefore, highly dependent on the person reporting to provide accurate and honest information / data for our analysis.  We then use statistics and hope accuracy and honesty will level out under our Bell Curve.
More of my random thoughts to come…
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On This Day In:
2018 Just Trying To Be Me
Day 39: Half This Game Is 90% Mental
2017 A Letter To 45
Some Small Place
2016 REDs
2015 Cities
2014 Still
2013 Dare = Hope
2012 Check My Math
2011 Just Asking

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Knowledge is not simply another commodity.  On the contrary.  Knowledge is never used up.  It increases by diffusion and grows by dispersion.
  —  Daniel J. Boorstin
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On This Day In:
2018 The Stumbling Block, Too
Day 5: Breezin’
2017 Duty
2016 Still Gaining
2015 Filling Gaps
2014 Even In Our Sleep
2013 Passion Is Always Personal
2012 And You Are?
2011 Innate Talent

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Fifty (50) years ago today, the first words were spoken by a human being on the moon (technically, in a vehicle on the moon’s surface).  The two astronauts were completing their landing maneuver checklist before speaking to Earth:
Buzz Adrin: Contact Light.
Neil Armstrong: Shutdown
Buzz Adrin: Okay.  Engine Stop.
Buzz Adrin: ACA out of Detent.
Neil Armstrong: Out of Detent.  Auto.
Buzz Adrin: Mode Control, both Auto.  Descent Engine Command Override, Off.  Engine Arm, Off.  413 is in.
Charles Duke
(at Mission Control in Houston):
We copy you down, Eagle.
Neil Armstrong: Engine arm is off.  Houston, Tranquility Base here.  The Eagle has landed.
Source: Apollo 11 Lunar Surface Journal, NASA
First word spoken on the moon: “Contact
First person to speak on the moon: “Buzz Aldrin”
First word spoken on the moon directed towards Earth: “Houston“.
First person on the moon to say a word directed at Earth: “Neil Armstrong”
First word spoken by someone on Earth to someone on the moon:  “We
First person on Earth to speak to someone on the moon: “Charles Duke”
Date of first manned landing on the moon: 20 July 1969
Date of first human stepping on the moon surface: 21 July 1969
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On This Day In:
2018 History Judges Incompetent Presidencies, Too
2017 Our Confident New President
2016 Ways
2015 Be Happy, Too
2014 At Least Smile
2013 Comfortably Bound
2012 Certainty
Thinking About Fathers
2011 And In Every Level Of Media

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On the phone, I ask Li if she imagines there could have been a way to develop AI differently, without, perhaps, the problems we’ve seen so far.  “I think it’s hard to imagine,” she says.  “Scientific advances and innovation come really through generations of tedious work, trial and error.  It took a while for us to recognize such bias.  I only woke up six years ago and realized ‘Oh my God, we’re entering a crisis.’ ”
On Capitol Hill, Li said, “As a scientist, I’m humbled by how nascent the science of AI is.  It is the science of only 60 years.  Compared to classic sciences that are making human life better every day — physics, chemistry, biology — there’s a long, long way to go for AI to realize its potential to help people.”  She added, “With proper guidance AI will make life better.  But without it, the technology stands to widen the wealth divide even further, make tech even more exclusive, and reinforce biases we’ve spent generations trying to overcome.”  This is the time, Li would have us believe, between an invention and its impact.
  —  Fei-Fei Li  (being quoted)
Quoted by: Jessi Hempel
From her article:  “The Human In The Machine
Appearing in: Wired Magazine, December 2018
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On This Day In:
2018 MAGA?
2017 Neutral
Family Over Ego
2016 Hard Learners
2015 Goals
2014 Switch To Dogs…
2013 Times Change
2012 Ashes Not Dust
2011 A Handful From Saudi
None Of This Happened
Take Responsibility

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When men have harnessed the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, they will harness for God the energies of love, and then for the second time in the history of this world, man will have discovered Fire.
  —  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
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On This Day In:
2018 Especially In The Middle East
2017 A Good Local
2016 Life Unlimited
2015 Still Trying
2014 Destiny, n.
2013 No Apologies
2012 Utterly Convinced
2011 A Key To Effectiveness

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