Archive for August, 2010

Nook Review

Monday, August 30th, 2010

I got an early Birthday gift last month, a Nook from Barnes and Noble. So far I love the Nook. My reading time has increased because of it, mainly I find it easier to read in various places then a traditional book or magazine. I’ll out forth the pros and cons as I see them.

Pros

  • Light weight
  • No problem not charging it for a week even with 3G/Wi-Fi enabled.
  • Uses the ePub open book format, no vendor lock-in as you have with the Kindle
  • Plenty of books available.

Cons

  • Could use a better way to organize your books, such as by genre
  • e-Book prices can still be high
  • Magazine prices for the e-readers tend to be higher then a regular subscription.

The last two cons apply to all e-book readers, so not just a knock against the Nook. I know people that have the Kindle and love them, but I prefer the open format of the Nook. No problems getting books from Barnes and Noble, Borders, etc.

In my opinion, if you are a reader an e-book device is worth the money with the Nook being worth a serious look.

The Paleo Solution Video Introduction by Robb Wolf

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Robb Wolf over has posted a video over on his blog that provides an introduction to his upcoming book The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet. The book can be pre-ordered on both Amazon’s and Barnes and Noble’s websites.

The video provides a good overview on what the book is about, and why Wolf did some things the way he did in the book. I’m looking forward to release and will be reading it as soon as I get my hands on a copy. Watch for a review of the book shortly after that happens.

The Oregon High School Football Players

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

If you haven’t heard, over a dozen high school football payers from Oregon were sent to the emergency room. Looking at the situation the cause is pretty obvious, the coach is a moron and should be fired. Why do I say that? Take a look at how the kids were training:

“The players cycled through 30 seconds each of chair dips and push-ups, then repeated, decreasing the time of each cycle until they reached five-second intervals, then stopping to spot a partner. It was unclear how many times the cycle was repeated, although players said that by the end of the drill, which lasted longer than 20 minutes, their sweat had pooled into small puddles on the ground.

If a player wasn’t working hard enough, or was slacking off, everyone would have to reset and do the exercises again, Cordie said. Players got no water until after the workouts. No one was allowed to leave until everyone was done, he said. “

Now this was done in a  room that was at a temperature of around 115 degrees. This is just a giant recipe for disaster, which could have ended in the death of some of the kids. A coach (Kearin in this case) doing something like this with all the knowledge we have on proper training is inexcusable.

What is even worse is some of the school officials trying to point the finger at creatine monohydrate, a safe supplement. The reason for this was the presence of creatine in the blood work of the students. Well duh, when talking about rhabdomyolysis or compartment syndrome this should be expected.

Tracy Anderson Must Be Stopped

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Tracy Anderson is personal fitness trainer and founder of the Tracy Anderson Method. Her workout routine is what I would spastic movements. Jump around frail your arms and legs, and charge people lots of money to do her method. Her claim to fame is having famous clients such as Madonna (who has since dropped Tracy)  and Gwyneth Paltrow, who has been diagnosed with osteopenia.

If anyone with even a basic knowledge of exercise and diet listens to Anderson they quickly come to the conclusion she doesn’t know what she is talking about. How would one come to such a conclusion? Easy when she says things such as:

  • Women shouldn’t life more then 3 pounds to avoid getting bulky
  • Using the treadmill without varying your routine (as in jump around in it as if you were having a seizure) will make you bulky
  • Prescribing diets that range in the 800 calories range

Brain St. Pierre has a nice blog post going a little more into Tracy Anderson and her health thoughts.

Now if Anderson was just following her own advice, I wouldn’t mind as much. The problem is Anderson is marketing her program and too many women follow her looking to get into shape. Doesn’t help with Anderson stating she has helped women lose 9 inches in 10 workouts (starvation is good for losing weight, especially muscle). I won’t say anything about these ladies, they are trying to get into shape and think they found the magic way to do so. I place the blame on Anderson.

Ladies, if you want to get into shape, here are some basic tips:

  • Eat real food, veggies, lean meat, some fruit and some nuts. Avoid sugar and even consider avoiding grains. Eat enough to support your activity level. Plenty of places on the Internet that can give you advice. I would suggest the Nutrition forum at the Crossfit site for asking advice.
  • Do some resistance training, i.e. lift some weights. Unless you have some really strange medical condition you will not get bulky.
  • Do some short, high intensity cardio work. Think high intensity type of training. 2 or 3 different exercises done at high rate for a short period of time.
  • Get plenty of sleep

I usually suggest people check out “The Primal Blueprint” by Mark Sisson, great introduction to health. Robb Wolf has “The Paleo Solution” coming out this fall, should be a good introduction book too.

Greed is not good

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets has so far failed to report to camp? Why you may ask? the usual reason: Greed.

Revis wants to be the highest paid cornerback in the NFL. Nothing wrong with that but what is wrong is failing to honor your contract. Revis is under contract with the Jets and wants a new one. Players do this often and I think it is wrong in all cases to not honor your contract. You can ask for it to be re-done but if the club says no then honor the contract and move on after it expires.

Thoughts on computer security

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Having helped more than one person with computer issues after their system became infected with a virus, malware, or spyware, I’m giving my thoughts on what steps you can take to help protect your system.

First, make sure you have an anti-virus program installed and keep it up to date. For Windows systems I prefer Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). It may not have a lot of features that power users are seeking, but for a good anti-virus program that is easy enough for anyone to use, it is right up there.

Next I like to have an on-demand malware/spyware scanner handy. The one I reach for is Malwarebytes. Like MSE it is easy to install, updated frequently, and does a good job.

The last line of defense I like using is OpenDNS. With OpenDNS you replace the DNS servers from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) with ones from OpenDNS. This one does take a bit to setup, but the instructions are pretty easy to follow. Create an account, setup the the type of sites you want to block and you’ll stop many threats from entering your system.

The best part of the above solutions? They are all free. So what are you waiting for?