Entries from October 2008
Recent news from the world of martial arts…
Klitschko’s Nappy Secret
After winning the WBC heavyweight title, how did champion boxer Vitali Klitschko recover? He used an old family remedy: wet diapers.
“Baby wee is good because it’s pure, doesn’t contain toxins and doesn’t smell,” the 37-year old boxer said…
Israeli Police Innovate with Stink Technology
[Read more →]
October 14th, 2008 · 2 Comments
Yang Taiji Sword
- The annual World of Martial Arts Exhibition, sponsored by the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, has been held for more than 20 years. Last weekend marked my fourth year of attendance.
- This year’s event was the best of those four. Whether intentionally or by coincidence, the organizers and participants responded positively to my past observations.
[Read more →]
October 10th, 2008 · 2 Comments
In last Tuesday’s presidential debates, moderator Tom Brokaw asked the candidates a difficult question: will the economy get worse before it gets better? Arguably, it is the President’s job to inspire confidence in our financial system, not to deliver candid investment advice. Unfortunately, such cheerleading amounts to a tax on the credulous buy-and-hold investor, favoring those who better understand the political game.
As I skimmed Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 report yesterday, I was reminded of McCain and Obama’s earlier performances. Technorati’s investigation reveals that bloggers are “savvy and sophisticated,” and their daily output is “integral to the media ecosystem.”
Technorati, in case you didn’t know, is a blog aggregation service, whose business is built upon the free content we bloggers create. Like our presidential candidates, it is not necessarily in Technorati’s best interest to provide a frank assessment of our future. So let me provide my own frank assessment. [Read more →]
On October 4, 2008, Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson accepted a last-minute unscheduled fight with a relative unknown. Kimbo entered the match with advantages in strength, weight, and reach. His opponent, Seth “Silverback” Petruzelli, held the advantage of greater experience.
In a shocking outcome that should inspire martial artists everywhere, experience won. [Read more →]
Many long-term students of Taiji enjoy improvements in their metabolic and kinesthetic efficiency. They burn fewer calories, and expend less effort, to accomplish the same amount of work, whether that “work” consists of repeating the Taiji forms or any other activity.
When food is scarce and plain, this efficiency is an obvious benefit. For most people living in developed countries today, however, food is abundant and tasty. To a person who has become addicted to eating—as the majority of Americans are, studies show—this hard-earned fruition of Taiji is actually a problem: it makes you fat. (Technically, eating the food makes you fat, but let us ignore that detail, as everyone does.)
Dedicating oneself to longer and more strenuous practice might seem like an intelligent solution. Unfortunately, this is likely to accelerate the efficiency gains, exacerbating the problem in the long run. If we choose to define physical fitness as effort and exertion, then Taiji is a lousy fitness routine.
Big Mac inflation (2012 projection)
A comfortable and plausible short-term solution: redefine success as failure, and vice-versa. Prioritize effort expended, rather than work accomplished. Sure, your new Taiji may be less functional, but at least you’ll look good doing it!
The more responsible, but less appealing solution is to start eating within your means: to consume calories in accordance with physical needs, rather than insatiable desires. In the meantime, returning to one’s target weight requires a disciplined starvation diet, in conjunction with regular exercise.
Can we view this scenario as a metaphor for the United States economy? [Read more →]