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“Every day, think as you wake up, I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious life, I am not going…
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14 hours ago by pondage
The Arrogance of the Anthropocene - The Atlantic
On geological timescales, human civilization is an event, not an epoch. Humans are now living in a new geological epoch of our own making: the Anthropocene. Or so we’re told.
additivism  anthropocene  apocalypse  deep  time  environment  evolution  extinction  geology  human  posthumanism  reading  group  stream 
2 days ago by therourke
REVIEW Lynda Barry's The Good Times Are Killing Me by Jolie Maya-Altshuler
2018-07-30, by Jolie Maya-Altshuler

"“What is Childhood? Where is it Located?” Lynda Barry asks in an illustrated afterword to her 1988 novella, The Good Times Are Killing Me. Republished this past September by Drawn and Quarterly, the book is a semi-autobiography of the author’s own childhood, set on one small street in 1970s Seattle. (...)

This subject matter, the preadolescent girl child, has historically been undervalued and not taken seriously throughout all of history. Not that this matters to the author, whose art has long deviated from the norm, since she started drawing freak comics as a college student in Olympia during the mid-’70s. Indeed, Lynda Barry is a true freak. She hates rules and she hates our inherited systems for understanding meaning. She trusts and understands teenage girls instead, and includes children’s art in the curriculum of every college class she teaches. There, she believes everyone is an artist, and she does not believe in “good art” and “bad art.” She definitely believes everyone should sing. Investigating the questions of why we stop singing or stop making art are central to her practice as an educator, artist, illustrator and overall cool person, and her exploration of these learned constructs and how they happen are peppered throughout the book. (...)

At its core, The Good Times Are Killing Me is a thus book about living with loss. First Edna with the loss of her father, and friend, Bonna, who has also lost both of her brothers. Plus it’s against the backdrop of autobiographical loss as well, as the book serves as a memory for Barry’s own childhood friend, who we can infer is based on Bonna. Accordingly there is a permeating sense of grief throughout the book. That the two girlfriends are even able to experience any good times whatsoever after experiencing such trauma and sadness at such a young age is in itself a small miracle. Which brings me to another question: is it ever really possible to move through trauma and grief? What does it mean to not avoid but actively work through something painful? That isn’t just ‘going to therapy?’ Lynda Barry once addressed this profoundly in an interview, while talking about the subjective role of art with the Paris Review:

“In terms of evolution, it’s the immune system that allows the body to fight off a bacterial infection. I believe that the arts are like an external immune system. I believe that they have a biological function.

The fastest way I can explain it is that there is this brilliant neuroscientist named V. S. Ramachandran, who wrote a book called Phantoms in the Brain. He was very interested in people with phantom-limb pain, and he had one patient who had lost his hand from the wrist down, but the guy’s sensation was not only that the hand was still there, but that it was in a painful fist that kept clenching. Ramachandran built a box, with a mirror and two holes in one side. When the guy put his arms in, he saw the one hand reflected. When he opened the hand, he saw it open and it was like the missing hand was unclenching. It fixed his phantom-limb sensation. That’s what I think images do; that’s what the arts do. In the course of human life we have a million phantom-limb pains—losing a parent when you’re little, being in a war, even something as dumb as having a mean teacher—and seeing it somehow reflected, whether it’s in our own work or listening to a song, is a way to deal with it.

The Greeks knew about it. They called it catharsis, right? And without it we’re fucked. I think this is the thing that keeps our mental health or emotional health in balance, and we’re born with an impulse toward it.” (...)"
art  life  philosophy  human  psychology  drawing  story 
3 days ago by eric.brechemier
Why You Have to Walk Everyday
Human evolution and walking + interesting observations
walking  human  evolution  reference  research  migration  wellness  fitness  paleo  primal 
5 days ago by csrollyson
Recursive language and modern imagination were acquired simultaneously 70,000 years ago
600,000 years ago, the number of distinct verbalizations used for communication must have been on par with the number of words in modern languages. BUT: On the other hand, artifacts signifying modern imagination, such as composite figurative arts, elaborate burials, bone needles with an eye, and construction of dwellings arose not earlier than 70,000 years ago. The half million-year-GAP between the acquisition of the modern speech apparatus and MODERN IMAGINATION has baffled scientists for decades. While studying acquisition of imagination in children, Dr. Vyshedskiy and his colleagues discovered a temporal limit for the development of a particular component of imagination. Modern children who have not been exposed to full language in early childhood never acquire the type of active constructive imagination essential for juxtaposition of mental objects, known as Prefrontal Synthesis (PFS). Dr. Vyshedskiy explains: "To understand the importance of PFS, consider these two sentences: "A dog bit my friend" and "My friend bit a dog." It is impossible to distinguish the difference in meaning using words or grammar alone, since both words and grammatical structure are identical in these two sentences. Understanding the difference in meaning and appreciating the misfortune of the 1st sentence and the humor of the 2nd sentence depends on the listener's ability to juxtapose the two MENTAL OBJECTS: the friend and the dog. Only after the PFC forms the two different images in front of the mind's eye, are we able to understand the difference between the two sentences. Similarly, nested explanations, such as "a snake on the boulder to the left of the tall tree that is behind the hill," force listeners to use PFS to combine objects (a snake, the boulder, the tree, and the hill) into a novel scene. Flexible object combination and nesting (otherwise known as recursion) are characteristic features of all human languages. For this reason, linguists refer to modern languages as recursive languages."
sprache  semiotik  human 
6 days ago by MicrowebOrg
The Abolition Of Man (No, Really) | The American Conservative
My libertarian friend Conor Friedersdorf has stared into the abyss, and has been jolted by what stared back. He writes about it in a must-read essay with the deceptively anodyne title “The Limits of Diversity”. Conor begins by laying out his own openness to diverse experience.
additivism  future  human  man  posthumanism  transhuman  transhumanism  stream 
9 days ago by therourke
The Effect of Metformin and Intensive Lifestyle Intervention on the Metabolic Syndrome: The Diabetes Prevention Program Randomized Trial | Annals of Internal Medicine | American College of Physicians
Fifty-three percent of participants (n = 1711) had the metabolic syndrome at baseline; incidence did not vary substantially by age. However, low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol predominated in younger participants (age 25 to 44 years), and high blood pressure predominated in older participants (age 60 to 82 years). In life-table analyses (log-rank test), incidence of the metabolic syndrome was reduced by 41% in the lifestyle group (P < 0.001) and by 17% in the metformin group (P = 0.03) compared with placebo. Three-year cumulative incidences were 51%, 45%, and 34% in the placebo, metformin, and lifestyle groups, respectively. There was no significant heterogeneity by ethnic group.

Limitations:
The study involved a volunteer group with impaired glucose tolerance, which limits generalizability.

Conclusions:
The metabolic syndrome affected approximately half of the participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program at baseline. Both lifestyle intervention and metformin therapy reduced the development of the syndrome in the remaining participants.
metabolic  syndrome  treatment  intervention  behavioral  diet  dietary  drug  comparison  metformin  peer-reviewed  research  in  vivo  human  clinical  trial 
9 days ago by Michael.Massing
Low-glycemic index diets as an intervention for diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. - PubMed - NCBI
We searched PubMed, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, and clinical trials registries for published and unpublished studies up until 1 March, 2019. We included 54 randomized controlled trials in adults or children with impaired glucose tolerance, type 1 diabetes, or type 2 diabetes. Continuous data were synthesized using a random effects, inverse variance model, and presented as standardized mean differences with 95% CIs.

RESULTS:
Low-GI diets were effective at reducing glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting glucose, BMI, total cholesterol, and LDL, but had no effect on fasting insulin, HOMA-IR, HDL, triglycerides, or insulin requirements. The reduction in fasting glucose and HbA1c was inversely correlated with body weight. The greatest reduction in fasting blood glucose was seen in the studies of the longest duration.

CONCLUSIONS:
Low-GI diets may be useful for glycemic control and may reduce body weight in people with prediabetes or diabetes.
foods  low  GI  glycemic  index  diet  food  weight  loss  maintenance  body  fat  clinical  trial  meta-analysis  RCT  peer-reviewed  research  human  in  vivo  systematic  review  HbA1c  biomarkers  treatment  improvement  intervention  fasting  glucose  BMI  total  cholesterol  LDL 
9 days ago by Michael.Massing
Comparison of High-Fiber and AHA Diets | Annals of Internal Medicine | American College of Physicians
At 12 months, mean change in weight was −2.1 kg (95% CI, −2.9 to −1.3 kg) in the high-fiber diet group versus −2.7 kg (CI, −3.5 to −2.0 kg) in the AHA diet group. The mean between-group difference was 0.6 kg (CI, −0.5 to 1.7 kg). During the trial, 12 (9.9%) and 15 (12.6%) participants dropped out of the high-fiber and AHA diet groups, respectively (P = 0.55). Eight participants developed diabetes (hemoglobin A1c level ≥6.5%) during the trial: 7 in the high-fiber diet group and 1 in the AHA diet group (P = 0.066).

Limitations:
Generalizability is unknown. Maintenance of weight loss after cessation of group sessions at 12 months was not assessed. Definitive conclusions cannot be made about dietary equivalence because the study was powered for superiority.

Conclusion:
The more complex AHA diet may result in up to 1.7 kg more weight loss; however, a simplified approach to weight reduction emphasizing only increased fiber intake may be a reasonable alternative for persons with difficulty adhering to more complicated diet regimens.
fat  loss  weight  maintenance  body  fiber  diet  food  treatment  intervention  clinical  trial  human  in  vivo  research  peer-reviewed  comparison 
9 days ago by Michael.Massing

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