Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fighting Fake FiveFingers

Kind of an interesting story...

"In the spring of 2010, a pair of shoes arrived at the Franklin, Massachusetts, warehouse of Vibram USA. A customer was demanding a refund for a pair of the company's popular Five-Fingers running shoes. But the shoes, which were marred by split seams and separating soles, were fakes. Over the next two weeks, the warehouse received 50 more pairs of bogus shoes, all with the same problems. It wasn't hard to see how customers had been fooled. The counterfeits almost perfectly mimicked Vibram's colors, styles, and logos; they even arrived in Vibram boxes with perfectly rendered return-shipping labels. Tony Post, CEO of Vibram USA, did some investigating and learned the extent of the problem: More than 100 websites had flooded the market with phony FiveFingers. It was clear he had a huge problem on his hands...."
And this is classy:

"...Meanwhile, Vibram reached out to people who had been scammed, offering them 50 percent discounts on real FiveFingers...."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How Science Works

From the Wall Street Journal today:
"A malfunctioning cable may have been responsible for the claim that some particles may be able to travel faster than light speed, a potentially embarrassing outcome for physicists who had publicized the findings with great fanfare just a few month ago."

Here's what the researcher said when the results were orginally released:

"Ereditato says that he welcomes scepticism from outsiders, but adds that the researchers have been unable to find any other explanation for their remarkable result. "Whenever you are in these conditions, then you have to go to the community," he says."

This is how science works. You find a noteworthy result, and you release it to the community. They pick it apart, confirming or denying it. This is how knowledge increases. The fact that the result turns out not to be correct is not in any way "embarrassing", as even an "incorrect" result is in fact a confirmation of Special Relativity.

What would be embarassing is if the scientists sat on the results because they were afraid of the ridicule of ill-informed reporters.

The scientist did his job.  The reporter, who works for what is one of the best newspapers in the world, did not.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Scientists Grow Pleistocene-Era Plants From Seeds Buried By Squirrels 30,000 Years Ago"

Very cool.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Prof. Dan Lieberman Raising Money for Youth Fitness

Prof. Lieberman
Seems like a worthy cause.  From his Facebook page:

Hi All  
This is my first post in several years. So it must be important!  
You know the National Run a Mile Program? This program tries to promote physical fitness by, well, getting kids to run a mile in schools all over the US. This year I am running the Boston Marathon again in an effort to raise money for the American Medical Athletic Association, which sponsors this wonderful program.  
If you would be willing to sponsor me, I'd be grateful, and it will help a good cause.   
Just click on: http://www.active.com/donate/youthfitness2011/danlieb
I don't know if he'll be running Boston barefoot or not. ;)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Renowned Exercise Physiologist Tim Noakes Goes Paleo?

Sure sounds like it:
"...It’s taken a lifetime to realise it but Professor Tim Noakes now believes the overconsumption of refined carbohydrates may be toxic for the body.

"Finally, I submitted myself to an experiment of rigorously avoiding all bread, cereals, rice, pasta and refined carbohydrates and replacing that nutritional deficit with healthy meats, fish, fruit, vegetables and fats, including nuts. Five months later, I am at my lightest weight in 20 years and I am running faster than I have in 20 years.

"For the first time since I ran heroic weekly mileages in training have I learned exactly how to maintain an ideal body weight without any sense of privation. And with only as much exercise as I want to do. Even my friends are impressed. They agree that not even the most expensive cosmetic surgery could have produced such a remarkable change...."
"...Sports science expert Professor Tim Noakes has caused a stir in health circles by refuting his own nutritional advice, widely espoused as athletics gospel… 
"The sports physician, affiliated to the University of Cape Town and the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, won worldwide acclaim for his book Lore of Running, described as the “Runner’s Bible” and first published in 2003.

"Parts of the book, which advocates the benefits of “carbo-loading” and a high-carbohydrate diet, will now be rewritten.

"“I used to say ‘carbo-load every day, as much as you can’. Yes, this is a turnaround. Absolutely,” he said, smiling...."
Links to the full articles at the post above.

Friday, February 3, 2012

"Review: Free The Animal (The Book)"

Read the whole thing:

"Every single day in this country and around the world, people are subjected to conventional “wisdom” and advice from the likes of Oprah, Dr. Oz, the medical and drug company establishment, the government-institution establishment, the industrial-agriculture food establishment, the talking heads in the media establishment, and health columnists. What kind of advice? Advice that keeps people in their 20s and 30s, and even children, in many cases, obese, immobile, and sick. What’s worse, it keeps them dependent on a system constructed for others’ profit.

"And isn’t that what it’s really all about, at the end of the day? The authorities don’t want you using your own mind. They want nothing to do with your reasonable and rational self-experimentation on your own body. No, what they want is for you to recognize their “superior” intelligence and privileged access to information only they know how to properly interpret. They want you to need them—to always look to them for your answers.

"They want you to be skeptical—but only towards information that contradicts their diktats. They want to be the authority, the last and final word, always and forever, and they aren’t going to give that up without a fight.

"Well, they’ve got themselves a fight.
"Damned right they do...."