[Five Deadly Everythings]

On “Getting Lean!”

Posted in Healthiest Everythings, martial arts by Jef on March 31, 2010

Snacks are a good thing

My old martial arts arts instructor (“old” as in I don’t train anymore, not “old” as in crotchety with a white beard) Sifu Joey de Los Reyes from the Kombat Arts academy in Mississauga wrote up a very simple, common sense blog on how to get lean. It has some good tips, check it out.

I’ve dropped a bit of weight recently and some people have asked me how, so I thought I would expand on some of the things he’s written. The world of healthly eating and exercise has changed a lot since the last time I did a push-up due to more knowledge and expanding horizons — occasionally, hopefully, I’ll be blogging my way through this process of re-learning everthing I knew.

But for the most part, here’s why I am almost 10 pounds lighter nowadays: (more…)

What the frak is a library?

Posted in books, gaming, reading is dead by Jef on March 30, 2010

Toronto’s libraries are embracing the idea of loaning out video games in an effort to lure kids in and then slip them book roofies. Or something like that:

“It may be the only time a young person comes in. It can act as a magnet to attract people,” said city Councillor Adam Vaughan, who sits on the library’s board.

“Once we get them in there, you can be darn sure that our librarians will be hard at work to introduce them to everything else the library can offer.”

I’m skeptical. But hey, I never thought video games would get fat parents doing yoga and shadow-boxing either, but Wii happened. Extrapolating from that, it’s maybe not a matter of using games as a gateway to books, but incorporating reading with games in a way that makes sense. My bets are on Nintendo — not only did they devise the Wii system that got us off the couch, they already flirted with the idea with the reading-heavy book-ish game Hotel Dusk for the Nintendo DS, which was pretty damn enjoyable and ate up some of my subway reading time a couple of years ago.

In related bloggery, Abe Sauer collected bits of recent news stories on libraries in America. The picture ain’t pretty.

Humans kick earth’s @ss, usher in new epoch

Posted in beware of (blank), dystopian futures by Jef on March 29, 2010

This is nothing to be proud of:

…scientists propose that, in just two centuries, humans have wrought such vast and unprecedented changes to our world that we actually might be ushering in a new geological time interval, and alter the planet for millions of years.

Apparently we are responsible for the sixth largest mass extinction in Earth’s history. Which means when apes or el chupacabras inherit the earth and study its history we’ll be looked at much like how we look at the asteroid that recently, definitely was said to have killed off all the dinosaurs: “Really? An asteroid?” will be replaced with “Really? Those guys?”

Caveman diet refuses to die off

Posted in food, Healthiest Everythings by Jef on March 26, 2010

The National Post’s Adam McDowell is spending some time living the trendy caveman lifestyle, and he’s blogging about it here. The caveman diet and exercise plan has been garnering some press as of late, and it’s easy to see why — sound diet advice plus easy puns for headlines? Lifestyle section WIN.

Whatever sound advice comes with the diet though — that whole foods are better than processed foods and that intuitive, functional-strength-building activities are better than repetitive-motion isolation exercises — seems to also come with a bunch of kitschy rules: no beans or tomatoes; no whole grains; occasional fasting to imitate cavemen running out of resources (or in McDowell’s case, a slight budget that may require fasting to stretch); donating blood to mirror circumstantial blood loss, etc.

Weakness or sluggishness seem to be common afflictions. Says John Bradley of when he tried the lifestyle during his year of sampling diet trends for Outside magazine:

Halfway through, I broke down and bought an egg-cheese-and-potato-laden breakfast burrito, writing in my food diary, “Woke up with a hunger way beyond what the fruit and vegetables in my house could cover.”

I dunno. If the idea behind the Paleo diet is optimal health — and it should be — the constraining guidelines seem to be ridiculous rules more appropriate for LARPing than wellness. The central wisdom advertised here that cavemen had a common-sense approach to living that we’ve lost sight of over the years with our agriculture and over-processing (of everything!) and development of foodie sensibilities is obscured by the fact the diet and exercise plan itself seems to balk at both common sense, because beans are good for you so why not just fucking eat them, and consistency, because you know, cavemen did not use toothbrushes.

I’m sure we can all agree though, it’s best to keep a re-working of modern hygiene off the caveman’s health agenda for now.

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Watch Susan Powter murder this organic pear

Posted in *dead*, food, Healthiest Everythings, video clip by Jef on March 26, 2010

No really, watch her. She straight up DESTROYS it.

Wu Massacre (Meth, Ghost, Rae): “Our Dreams” video

Posted in deadly with the pen, hip-hop, music videos by Jef on March 25, 2010

Aside from all the murder and exploitation-y goodness, I like this vid because it has the motion picture movie titles but is short and just plays it straight like a music video instead of going all out for 10 minutes with dialogue cut-ins like a lesser rap video would have, and then in the end is up front about just being a commercial, which is really what music videos are at the end of the day. (That is one mangled sentence, I know. It’s bedtime.) The song is nice too.

Rik Cordero’s camera is dark and sharp as always. Watch it here.

The chili pepper so powerful it will fight terrorism

Posted in *dead*, food, news stories by Jef on March 23, 2010

The Indian military has been conducting tests on bhut jolokia aka “ghost chili” — a naturally occurring hybrid pepper so freaking potent it clocks in at over 100 times the strength of the strongest jalapeno pepper and holds the Guiness World Record — thinking it could make a good weapon to use against terrorists. The result? A chili GRENADE.

From the Star via Associated Press:

“This is definitely going to be an effective nontoxic weapon because its pungent smell can choke terrorists and force them out of their hide-outs,” R. B. Srivastava, the director of the Life Sciences Department at the New Delhi headquarters of the DRDO said.

That’s hot. Assuming the terrorists don’t learn to coat themselves in candle wax, I’d say they’re on to something.

Bedrooms where soldiers used to sleep

Posted in obits, photos steal souls, what is it good for? by Jef on March 23, 2010

This is the bedroom that belonged to Cpl. Christopher Scherer, a U.S. Marine who died in Iraq in 2007 at the age of 21. He liked sports, and sports hats.

For more in this awesome series by photographer Ashley Gilbertson, check out “The Shrine Down the Hall” in The New York Times Magazine.

So does health care for Americans instantly make “Repo Men” stupid?

Posted in dystopian futures, movies, video clip, zeitgeist fail by Jef on March 22, 2010

You know, the timely sci-fi flick that came out last week, that’s about this evil corporation that gives people prolonged lives with enhanced transplanted organs but tracks them down and cuts their insides back out if they can’t afford to pay their hospitable bills?

Well, judging by its Rotten Tomatoes score, it was already a bit stupid:

But hey, if you still have a need to watch a movie full of thrills and organ drama that’s also politically relevant, don’t let Sunday’s historical bill passage stop you. Stephen Frears’s Dirty Pretty Things is hell of good, and it stars the always awesome Chiwetel Ejiofor and the mostly awesome Audrey Tautou.

You know what else is better than Repo Men? Repo Man, starring Emilio Estevez. Act like you know.

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The cursed Japanese Kleenex commercial

Posted in beware of (blank), video clip by Jef on March 21, 2010

This ’80s ad spot spawned rumours of a curse that dogged everyone involved in its production — that the actress had herself a Rosemary’s Baby pregnancy and was later institutionalized, and that the staff all died or fell seriously ill.

From Pink Tentacle‘s series on Japanese urban legends:

The song in the commercial also gained notoriety. Some viewers thought the lyrics sounded like a German curse, and there were claims that the sound of the music varied according to the time of day. Whenever the commercial aired late at night, the singer’s angelic voice would transform into the raspy voice of an old woman, bringing misfortune to all who heard it.

As can be confirmed by the star’s IMDB page, actress Keiko Matsuzaka is not locked away in an asylum and is in fact still working. But I don’t know — curse or no curse, I’m forever changed after watching that, and for sure I can never wear this pair of pants again.

Oh I get it. Kleenex absorbs pee stains, right?

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