28 Nov

Links for a Sunday Morning

It may be 2015, but not for political wives – Maclean’s

It’s 2015; women can go by whatever name they want—and change it whenever they want. But it appears some of our most high-profile women don’t have the same range of options, and that says something. . . Is there no value to a political brand in which a female partner is allowed separate billing and her own identity?

What Psychology Says About Materialism and the Holidays – American Psycological Association

Materialism is associated with lower levels of well-being, less pro-social interpersonal behavior, more ecologically destructive behavior, and worse academic outcomes. It also is associated with more spending problems and debt.

5 retail sales tricks to watch for on Black Friday – CBC

Stick to your list and resist the urge to browse.

The Science Behind Mindful Eating: (infographic)  – Summer Tomato

Mindful Eatingclick to see more

Smartphones hurt our face-to-face relationships – CBC Radio (podcast)

It isn’t good for us to flee from any moment of boredom by going to a phone.

Is Fat Stigma Making Us Miserable? – NY Times

Studies showed that the stigma and shame so common in our society do not motivate people to lose weight. . . the opposite is true. Messages that shame, blame and stigmatize people about their weight have a negative impact and interfere with efforts to improve health.

The Myth of Easy Cooking – The Atlantic

The weight of expectation imposed by our cooking culture, which offers unrealistically complex recipes while at the same time dismissing them as simple, can be crushing.  

Why Do the Detroit Lions always Play on Thanksgiving? – Mental Floss

Desperate for a marketing trick to get Detroit excited about its fledgling football franchise, the owner hit on the idea of playing a game on Thanksgiving. 

Let’s stop calling reproductive rights a “women’s issue” – Quartz

We still haven’t connected the dots that “women’s issues” are “everyone issues”—especially when it comes to linking reproductive rights and economic security. We still demarcate between them, ignoring the data and research that show how the lack of support for reproductive health (or understanding of it as linked to economic security, in other words, having an effect on everyone, and not just women) leaves women at an economic disadvantage.

Who is Really Paying for Adele? – The New Yorker

You don’t want to buy the record because that would be giving in to a heavy-handed attempt to make us purchase the music twice—to pay another ten dollars on top of the monthly subscription for an album that will show up on streaming sooner or later.


21 Nov

Links for a Sunday Morning

Hockey’s Puppy Mill – The Walrus

Describing players as “amateur” seems like wishful assertion rather than a reflection of reality. . .The atmosphere mirrors the professional experience in nearly every possible way. There are coaches, general managers, referees, and ushers. Teens sell beer and pizza. The only ones who aren’t paid? The players.

Brawn and Brains – NY Times

Sturdy legs could mean healthy brains, according to a new study of British twins. . . Over all, among both the identical and fraternal twins, fitter legs were strongly linked, 10 years later, to fitter brains.

Teens Who Weigh Themselves Have More Body Issues – Time

Females who weighed themselves more frequently had greater weight concerns. They also reported lower self-esteem and said they felt more depressed and less satisfied with their bodies than those who didn’t weigh themselves as often.

The Women of Hollywood Speak Out – NY Times Magazine

Female executives and filmmakers are ready to run studios
and direct blockbuster pictures. What will it take to dismantle
the pervasive sexism that keeps them from doing it?

Plight of the Funny Female – The Atlantic

A man’s use of humor increased his desirability. The women’s use of humor, meanwhile, didn’t make the men want to date them more—it actually made them slightly less alluring. That’s right: The men found the pretty, unfunny women more desirable than equally pretty ones who also happened to be funny.

How to Get Better at Expressing Emotions – The Atlantic

Really good quality long-term interpersonal relationships are based on shared experience but also the ability to share how we are feeling at that time. But if you are always expected to say you’re doing “great,” you’re never going to have that level of intimacy that you need in a really good relationship.

Conversion from the Westboro Baptist Church via Twitter (long read) – The New Yorker

How a Megan Phelps-Roper, prized daughter of the Westboro Baptist Church, came to question its beliefs.

14 Nov

Links for a Sunday Morning

And I’m BACK!

My web host had been holding my site hostage, which I’m still pissed about, but whatever. Here’s the shit I found interesting this week

Photo Diary:  A nine-country scramble to freedom, through the eyes of a refugee – The Globe and Mail

Soon the boat is bouncing, and water begins accumulating in the centre of the craft. . . Sweeta readily identifies it as the worst moment in their long trip to Europe. “I was so scared that I began yelling, ‘Let’s go back!’ ” she later recalled.

Down with likeability! The problem with our ‘like’ culture – Maclean’s

But the effects of a likeability fixation are more sweeping than we realize. People like, and buy, the familiar. So a world driven by “like” doesn’t stray too far from comfort zones. Confrontation and dissent and iconoclasm don’t belong—nor does the spirit of invention that can accompany them.

Urban-Exploring Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch – Vice

“His entire house was filled with these expensive looking, one-off, semi-artistic things. . . These weird mirrors on this four-foot by four-foot platform. And that would be next to some Roman statue-looking thing. Next to that would be an eight-foot-tall oil painting of Michael Jackson himself. There were all of these paintings inside the house. There’s one where he’s leading a procession of children.”

Project Aims to Resurrect an Ancient Wonder of the World – CN Traveller

The 100-foot-tall bronze statue of the Greek sun god Helios, towering over the Rhodians in the third century, was among the tallest structures in the world when it was built in 280 B.C. Now an ambitious team of young professionals would like to resurrect the Colossus of Rhodes.

How American parenting is killing the American marriage – Quartz

It has become totally unacceptable in our culture to say anything bad about our children, let alone admit that we don’t like them all of the time. We are allowed to say bad things about our spouses, our parents, our aunts and uncles, but try saying, “My kid doesn’t have a lot of friends because she’s not a super likable person,” and see how fast you get dropped from the PTA.

#CoverTheAthlete video targets sexist questions put to female athletes – CBC News

The makers of the video adapted questions asked of female athletes to fit existing news clips of male athletes like Crosby, “in order to show how ridiculous it is that female athletes are asked these questions.”

In search of Detroit’s most beautiful blocks – Model D

“There are cities that get by on their good looks, offer climate and scenery, views of mountains or oceans, rockbound or with palm trees; and there are cities like Detroit that have to work for a living.” Yet beauty abounds across Detroit’s 139 square miles, albeit in a pocketed, dispersed sort of way.

13 Nov

Yoga for Athletes: Tip 1 – Breathe Efficiently

Be a Better Athlete With Yoga - Breathe

Yoga for athletes is critical and if you’re not practicing yoga as part of your training then you’re doing your body a disservice.

There are a number of major benefits that yoga can provide to athletes that their strength and conditioning cannot and I will be introducing them one at a time as a part of my new Yoga for Athletes series.

This first and most important part of a yoga practice is actually not learning handstand (contrary to what you might think if your primary knowledge of yoga comes from Instagram yogalebrities). It’s learning to breathe.

Learning to Breathe

I know how to breathe! You’re thinking to yourself. But, do you? Really?

When I tell athletes to take a big breath in, what often happens is they fill up and puff out their chest and suck in their gut.

It’s interesting. And by interesting, I mean unfortunate. Because that might make you look good (big chest, small waist) it’s totally inefficient. . .

. . . and it means you’re not using their diaphragm properly.

The diaphragm is that muscle between the gut organs and the chest organs. When used properly, the diaphragm drops on the inhale making space for the lungs so the belly– not the chest– will get bigger.

If the diaphragm is not being used then, in order to make space for the breath, other muscles in the upper body will have to compensate like the shoulders, upper back, and chest. Ya know, the muscles that you need for your sport.

So, that is to say, you’re wasting your muscle power on breathing when you could be using it to block, attack, shoot, and score.

Easy Exercise to Improve your Breathing

1. Inhale through your nose for a count of 4 and focus on your breath coming down into the belly and allow the belly get bigger.

2. Exhale through the nose for a count of 8. Start the exhale from the bottom of you belly and focus on squeezing the breath out from bottom to top like you’re squeezing a tube of toothpaste.

3. Repeat.

You can do this for as long as you want. You can do this whenever you want. You can stop and forget about it and then start again.

Benefits of this exercise:

By breathing into your belly, you are activating your diaphragm and preventing your superficial muscles from compensating to make space for your breath.

By making your exhales longer than your inhales you are activating your parasympathetic nervous system, ie. your nervous system is making your body relaxed.