Category Archives: Commentary

Fitbit Ionic May Be Ugly, But Will It Make Me Leave Garmin Anway?

A little over a year ago I switched from the FitBit ecosystem to the Garmin one when I traded in my ChargeHR for a VivoactiveHR, reviewed here.  I made many compromises when I made the move to pick up a lot of additional capabilities, but now that the FitBit Ionic is on the horizon it may be time to re-evaluate that equation to see if it still balances out. Continue reading Fitbit Ionic May Be Ugly, But Will It Make Me Leave Garmin Anway?

Test your solar eclipse glasses, even if they are rated

Apparently there are some very unscrupulous people who are faking their solar eclipse glasses to make it look like legitimately rated ones.  It goes without saying that if you don’t have legitimate solar eclipse glasses then don’t even think about looking directly at the eclipse, no not even with layers of polarized sunglasses.  If you can’t find them last minute then make an eclipse projector box such as the suggestion from Popular Science or this pinhole model.  However now that I know that there are people who are low enough to fake out eclipse glasses just having ones rated is insufficient comfort for me.  So, how do you make sure you don’t burn out your eyes using some something some POS manufacturer cranked out (they should be prosecuted)?  You test! These are the tests I’m doing to confirm for me I can safely use my own glasses to view the eclipse.  Use any of these steps at your own risk.

Continue reading Test your solar eclipse glasses, even if they are rated

If Bad Documentaries Cause Positive Changes Are They Redeemed?

This has been quite a year of lifestyle transformations for a lot of people I know, and a lot of it has been spawned by documentaries.  Health documentaries aren’t new, perhaps the grand-daddy of this current generation going all the way back to Super Size Me in 2004.  There is also no shortage of new awareness about problems with the Standard American Diet (SAD) between all of the various diet and lifestyle trends.  It therefore makes sense that year after year more documentaries are being cranked out covering the topic of diet and health from a myriad of points of view.  However the quality of these documentaries to seems to be plummeting, but they still seem to be showing success into converting people to healthier diets.  The question I struggle with then is if that’s a net positive or still a net negative.

Continue reading If Bad Documentaries Cause Positive Changes Are They Redeemed?

Compulsive Connectivity

I’ve been a computer geek literally my whole life, at least as far back as I can remember.  I grew up getting “online” back before there was a thing called “internet” and quickly transitioned into all of the technologies associated with it. What started off as costing way too much to be online and with mostly text based interactions has become, as we all know, a pervasive and universal multimedia rich infinite stream of connectivity.  But is that connectivity too much, or at least too much for me?

Continue reading Compulsive Connectivity

N=1 Intoxication Quantification

As I’m sipping a glass of champagne while finishing up some coding for the night (yes, I’m one of those people that don’t think you need a special occasion to drink champagne) an interesting self experiment came to me.  I’ve heard of and seen video of people who are put in driving simulators to show the difference between difference levels of blood alcohol levels and the impact on driving performance.  I’ve sadly seen the direct effect on people as well.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to try to do a direct measurement of this in a safe way?

Continue reading N=1 Intoxication Quantification

We Get Unnecessary Medical Treatment Because We Want To

A link showed up on my Facebook news feed with this article, talking about the all too common practice of doctors pushing stents treatment  that don’t actually save our live for people who don’t need them.  I happened to have been listening to this podcast earlier today talking about the same thing when it comes to prostate screenings, cholesterol medicine, etc.  Both try to address the “why” of these things to varying degrees.  There is the cynical “because there’s money in it” or “the Doctors are too arrogant/too busy/too brainwashed/too much in CYA mode.”  I’m sure those elements play varying degrees case by case but I think there is more of an overriding reason we get these treatments, and that’s because we want them.

Continue reading We Get Unnecessary Medical Treatment Because We Want To

Cranking Up Fitness Focus

With a wedding and honeymoon now out of the way it’s time to get back to being serious about my fitness levels again.  Yes, I was able to not go totally off the rails over the last few months but I had a bit of a fitness deficit to work out of to begin with.  All of the excuses, legitimate or otherwise, are now gone.  No, I’m not going to do an experiment.  No, I’m not going to be targeting some specific weight loss, muscle increase, or performance goals.  I’m instead taking the tools that I’ve applied to those sorts of expeditions and applying that to a more general concept.

Continue reading Cranking Up Fitness Focus

A Shift Away From Health Experimentation

My experimentation in fitness has taken a back seat these past few years.  My hardcore experimentation really has fallen more into hitting a point of being unsatisfied with where I am and then clawing back for a bit.  While I intend to continue to write on that topic as the desire strikes me, the topic of experimentation that has been occupying my time recently has been my good old computers/software engineering.  I’m adding a section to this blog specifically for this, and changing the format around to accommodate that.  I look forward to getting all of these thoughts out of my head and onto “paper”.

Milk and Potatoes Is All You Need?

I’m reading this article on a proposed new law that would make it illegal to put your child on a vegan diet.  The law itself sounds a bit heavy handed, but after a few well publicized cases of parents showing up to the hospital with very malnourished children, and one of them even dying, it wasn’t happening in isolation. These were obvious cases of parents not making sure their child’s diet was working for them.  They were doing very egregious things like giving a six week old nothing but soy milk and juice.  I’m not a doctor or a parent, but even I know that doesn’t make sense.  In the article comments on ArsTechnica one of the commentators stated, “If you have a non vegan diet, you can live exclusively off potatoes and milk. Not the best diet, but it’s livable and you get most of the vitamins and nutrients you need.”  I thought to myself, “I don’t think that’s correct.”  So, I went to figure out if it was true…

Continue reading Milk and Potatoes Is All You Need?