Many people would like to think that Hong Kong isn’t connected to mainland China. There are many who want Hong Kong to be separate. This attitude would ignore the infrastructure that has been built to serve Hong Kong via the mainland. In the background is the Chinese city of Shenzhen.
Chomsky: The U.S. behaves nothing like a democracy

What a very long and interesting article, covers so many things wrong with capitalism, Cuban Missile Crisis, US foreign policy, the ‘free press’ and America’s convenient bogeymen.

I didn’t know Russia wanted to give back its half of Germany (thus unifying it) in the 1950s on the condition that Germany would not re-arm and the US and Europe purposely didn’t believe them because then there would be no need for NATO.

Or how, during this Obama administration, Obama cancelled a very important conference: 

We’ve just passed an opportunity last December. There was to be an international conference under the auspices of the non-proliferation treaty, UN auspices, in Helsinki to deal with moves to establish a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East. That has overwhelming international support – non-aligned countries; it’s been led by the Arab states, Egypt particularly, for decades. Overwhelming support. If it could be carried forward it would certainly mitigate the threat. It might eliminate it. Everyone was waiting to see whether Iran would agree to attend.

In early November, Iran agreed to attend. A couple of days later, Obama canceled the conference. No conference. The European Parliament passed a resolution calling for it to continue. The Arab states said they were going to proceed anyway, but it can’t be done. So we have to live with the gravest threat to world peace. And we possibly have to march on to war which in fact is being predicted.

Sadly a very entertaining read.

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This Podcast Is A Goldmine Of Information

I just listened to the the latest episode of ‘The Paleo Solution’, a fine show that went a little further in the topics I usually geek out on. Topics like proper posture and understanding the different processes around us that maybe culturally we’ve allowed ourselves to be distant from like toilet squatting or pale eating. Nutrition has become a hobby of mine in the last few years, accelerated having gone Paleo back in December 2013.

The guest was Katy Bowman (her blog), I’ve never heard of her before, but will start following her online and grab a copy of her book when it comes out. She’s a biomechanist, somebody ‘… who studies Newtonian physics like pressures and gravities and stuff like that as applied to biological systems’.

In practical terms, a biomechanist will assess a person’s form and posture in order to correct a bodily imbalance or to improve performance in a particular athletic exercise.

With that said, Robb and Katy covered a number of topics together, the hour flew by (it usually does when you listen on x1.5 speed, but thats beside the point) where they touched on:

- Using our bodies to our advantage:

Moving properly, maximising our bodies abilities and therefore potential, when most of us actually don’t in any way, this later impacts our life because our bodies adapt to how we live. Illustrating the processes that occur with say sitting down all day, how the body adapts to that and also how it’s wrong to assume our bodies will be okay once we walk around for a bit, i guess to stretch. The 8 hours of sitting at work out weigh the 2 hours of standing, most of which is spent in a densely populated setting, commuting.

Here is a great quote: 

Well yeah it  [making reference to muscle tissue] actually goes through a process called sarcomere lysis where there’s no point in maintaining muscle mass that’s used to achieve a range of motion that you never go through.So you lose it. So now your metabolism is lower, your joint range of motion is slower. You have adapted and I think the fallacy is that we keep using the term adaptation to imply improvement. But you’ve – but adaptation is really adjusting the tissues in your body so that what you do most frequently is easier on you in the short term. It doesn’t really imply that you’ve become better in the long term.

- The recent court case with Vibrum where they were in a class action lawsuit because the claims they made weren’t true. The Vibram links to the previous discussion about posture and proper movement and how Vibrams have offered something that can seem misleading if not oversimplified when it comes to advertising their shoes.

The podcast then goes into what Katy calls ‘Free time things’. Things we can do very easily with it impacting on on that great limiter we call time. 

- Affective footwear as they make a massive difference. (I love the suggestion of eliminating heels. They are fucking nasty things for women to wear and yet sadly it’s kind of enforced in the form of peer pressure and that seems to override the fact they will fuck up one’s feet for life).

- Sitting on the floor. I have actually been thinking of ditching the sofa.

While a lot of these concepts seem weird and to use their words ‘counter culture’, (it is) there is a lot to take from this podcast about how there are many mechanisms in life we don’t know about and if we can partake in as many of them as we can, we can live better, healthier lives.

The issue of squatting is without humour brought up again and I’m glad, so many people don’t realise the benefits of just pooping in a different way simply because they use what they already have grown up with.

One aspect of the discussion that really interested me was that we don’t age at the same rate, I don’t me you vs me, I mean me vs me or you vs you. Our bodies age at different rates depending on how we utilise those body parts. Fascinating and slightly worrying at the same time.

Anyway, you have to check it out, it never gets over-the-top sciencey, they keep it all in layman’s terms for every bodies benefit. Download it now here.

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