The most effective muscle building exercise for the arm

cartman-beefcake

The biceps curl is overdone and over-hyped. I do them, as part of a total body workout, but there’s a more effective arm-buster.

Now, I don’t support hitting arms before you’ve done the Exercise Triumvirate: Lunges, Squats, and Deadlifts (LSD). It’s great to see more and more people joining the Triumvirate as we get smarter about what exercises work for total fitness, and which don’t.

But, as for getting gorilla arms, the best exercise is the triceps extension, seated or lying down.

Why? Because the triceps are the biggest muscle group in the arm, they take up the most space. So if you do some high weight sets mixed with low weight sets, after a few weeks, you are sure to look like you can lead all the women folk to safety.

As for developing the mind of a leader… that is a different regiment altogether.

Mindful bathings

woman in tub by Jeff Koons

Should California residents be required to shut off the water during their soaping sessions to conserve water, and need there be an Office of Water Use monitoring this? And should there be Water Credits given to each household, which can be traded with other citizens, for those who need longer showers because they still want to live like an American or perhaps for the truly filthy?

And should there be exemptions for women, who need to wash their long hair, and what would the minimum hair length be? or if they wanted to take baths instead, specifically bubble baths, and should there be regulation of this by a Bubble Bath crew.

BAM BAM, “Surprise inspection! How long is your hair, Miss? Don’t touch your hair please, just stand up so we can measure. Don’t worry, we’re professionals, this will only take a second. Hey, Joe, where’s the hair metric scanning recorder? What? Oh, we don’t have one? None in the truck? No biggie, we’ll have another brought over from another crew. Til then we’ll have a seat and wait. What’s that you’re reading there? Cosmo, huh? Well, don’t mind us, we’ll just have a smoke here. It’s medicinal, don’t worry. We all have bad backs from doing this job. State jobs, you know, they can get rough. Wow, that’s a big tub. How many people you think we can get in there?”

California water Nazis?!

Cali drought

Should California residents be required to shut off the water during their soaping sessions to conserve water, and need there be an Office of Water Use monitoring this? And should there be Water Credits given to each household, which can be traded with other citizens, for those who need longer showers because they still want to live like an American or perhaps for the truly filthy?

And should there be exemptions for women, who need to wash their long hair, and what would the minimum hair length be? or if they wanted to take baths instead, specifically bubble baths, and should there be regulation of this by a Bubble Bath crew.

BAM BAM, “Surprise inspection! How long is your hair, Miss? Don’t touch your hair please, just stand up so we can measure. Don’t worry, we’re professionals, this will only take a second. Hey, Joe, where’s the hair metric scanning recorder? What? Oh, we don’t have one? None in the truck? No biggie, we’ll have another brought over from another crew. Til then we’ll have a seat and wait. What’s that you’re reading there? Cosmo, huh? Well, don’t mind us, we’ll just have a smoke here. It’s medicinal, don’t worry. We all have bad backs from doing this job. State jobs, you know, they can get rough. Wow, that’s a big tub. How many people you think we can get in there?”

How YOU can prevent the next Cecil death

homeless

The outrage over Cecil the lion’s death is because of the scarcity rule….the human condition is to value less what is in excess and value more what is scarce. Just look at political entitlements or community involvement. Both are too low to meet the demand of the many many people in this world, because, as funny as it sounds, there are just too many people to care about.

Imagine living in a small town, with a hundred people. You and your community would address those people who aren’t doing so well, wouldn’t you?

Just think, if we could factory farm a warehouse full of Cecils, would anyone be thinking twice about eating them on their burgers?

If this sounds strange, then there’s more than a scarcity rule we should be applying in judging the deaths of animals.

Nature is not your friend.

I am proud of many of our accomplishments as human beings
We are smart….at least, we are clever. And if we are clever, then we should always remember that we cannot tame nature. And if we abuse it, and manipulate it, and modify it, so as to fit our liking, for our pleasures, or even our needs, then we must realize that it could violently, or deceptively slowly, transition into something we did not expect, and hurt us, individually, or as a society.

Nature is not our friend. It is our home. And a living, breathing thing. And it will bite back.

Respect your Home. Your electricity comes from somewhere and has a cost. Use it mindfully. Your gasoline comes from somewhere and burning it has a cost. Use it mindfully. Your food comes from somewhere, and it has a cost, especially the animals, because their lives have been sacrificed. Choose your diet while respecting them and their environment.

How would you rate your lifestyle on its respect of your Home? On a scale of 1-10. Ten being perfect, an exact equilibrium of give and take between you and the environment.

You know that a 10 rating for humanity is probably impossible. And probably impossible for you, too.

But shrugging off responsibility as caretaker of our Home, because we can’t achieve a perfect relationship is careless. And in the end, it will leave us alone, like a single person who wants the perfect partner, and so he dies malnourished and alone. Just as we will if we don’t face the consequence of our relationship with our Home.

Disrespecting our relationship occurs when we do not strictly recycle our plastics and by overfishing our oceans, which throws our water ecosystem, and therefore the world’s ecosystem out of equilibrium.

We ignore our relationship with our Home by eating animals raised in factories with giant cesspools, whose heavy antibiotic regiments leak into our environment and create drug-resistant super bacteria, and whose fertilizers run off and cause algal blooms to neutralize life around our river and ocean coastlines.

Our technology can help us. It may give us meat raised in labs, and a solar powergrid powering our homes and vertical urban farms that don’t need food raised on factory farms, trucked across the country on highways filled with a steady stream of greenhouse gas-producing tractor trailers.

Can we cut back our consumption and make mindful choices in our diet while we improve our technology to replace our current inefficiencies? I think we can. Because, really, we have no choice, in order to maintain life as we know it in our Home, for our children, and for their children.

The most unfashionable way to wear your socks

Chewy

I couldn’t find the other gray sock in the drawer. I shrugged inwardly and laid the lonely mate on the dresser and rummaged around again. I found the solid black dress sock, then looked for its partner, but couldn’t find that one either. I tossed it up to join the other loner. Then I saw the dark blue dress sock and rummaged hopefully, flipping the same socks, happily coupled or lost in single life, but finding no match again. Inpatient and annoyed, I threw this third unclaimed sock with the other two, and then stared in irritation at the motley crew, lying there motionless and mocking. And then I saw my panel-patterned black dress sock…I grabbed it and looked through the bunch quickly, knowing its twin would surely be there. I rooted to the bottom, fingers tapping on the wood, then sent the socks tumbling around again. Disgusted, I stepped away and found some socks that were good enough lying near my shoes and put them on.

How much time did I spend over my socks? More than a couple minutes. Not too long, but for good reason. Since we are impressionable, so the fashion industry tries to keep us looking good. Not falling into a rut of wearing jeans and t-shirts which blends you into the crowd and then people don’t give you a second look. And of course, looking good makes you feel good.

But that time creating an outfit has a cost. Besides the time in front of your closet and the price you paid for the clothes, there’s a larger cost. An opportunity cost: What else could I’ve been doing?

Time is our most valuable commodity. A commodity is something that is in plenty. But new research indicates that time may not be in plenty.

In fact, science has found that the mortality rate for life is 100%

That means everything that is living will certainly die. It will no longer exist. Scary, but this is the conclusion of science.

So how else could you be spending your time? Depends on who needs you. And there is certainly someone out there who needs you. However it is that you present value, you’re not doing it while you’re piecing together your pretty self. Well, unless your value comes from looking pretty.

For most of us, our fundamental value comes from simply being there, and giving attention to someone. Giving your ear. Giving your help. Because someone needs your help. Probably many more than one, actually.

And they’re not worried about your socks.

I’ve never lost an argument since then.

calvin arguing

Wait a minute, without reaction, and the emotion passes, and you realize it wasn’t you, and it wasn’t them, but just a fleeting thing that is not you or them, just a signpost that comes up to point you one way or the other, not to dwell on, not to exaggerate, but acknowledge and move on.

The best way to reach your goal

stairs

As you make a beeline towards your goal, watch the periphery for opportunities that may help you skip steps to that goal, or take you off to another goal that is even greater than the one you had in mind before.

There is no real path. Just an infinite number of possible points of opportunity connected together by a web of potential paths.

Failure in one leg of your journey is far from ending your journey.

The great Henry Ford: Fired from his first job and failed at his first two companies

Henry Ford

The tolerance for failure must be just as important as skill, because many successful people failed many times before they succeeded.

One of them was Henry Ford. Say what you will about his Anti-Jewish stance and his opposition of labor unions, but he had the confidence in his engineering designs to take the automobile, which had already been invented, and to take the assembly line idea from the meat-packing industry, and put them together. And this was after failing at his first two companies!

Interestingly, though he was against labor unions and his was the last auto company to accept them, he had a paternalistic policy to reform his workers’ lives both at home and at work.

The message? Get good at something, be resilient to get through your failures (because you will in all likelihood fail), and don’t be afraid to go against the conventional politics if you think you can rule your house better than others.

I got out of paying any consequence. Did you?

Organised crime

Big Banks Pay $5.6 Billion, Plead Guilty to Felonies…

The headline of a news story from NPR

The big banks have been found guilty and are paying big fines, but what can we do? As customers of their 401k’s, retirement accounts, and investment accounts? What can we do, as voters, to change their ‘too big to fail’ abuse of power…In order to protect ourselves?

Something, surely?

Although these fines are about currency manipulation, which I know nothing about, we did bail them out for their other errors: Investing in risky mortgage bonds and crashing the market in 2008. Yet this bailout seems like nothing to me. Has anyone else felt their life change dramatically, or even at all, after we “paid” billions to the banks to bail them out?

Not me. I got out of paying any consequence. It was as if nothing happened. We paid them, they paid us back, with interest, and everyone keeps going, almost as if the banks did not nearly cripple the nation and the world with their carelessness.

The banks nourish us

We need them to keep our economy going and paychecks flowing. And they know it. And although they’re cautious after the crash, and although they’re paying fines, still there has been no personal cost. There were people who lost their jobs in the banks that failed, but the executives and managers and other workers of most of the banks have kept their jobs. Have they even seen a dip in their incomes and bonuses?

This matters because the deterrent to wrongdoing is about paying a personal cost, but apparently the majority has not. From Wall Street to us, here on Main Street, there has been no significant cost.

But there will be a cost. I wonder when it will come…? On our children…grand children? It will come, sooner or later. And it will probably be sudden, like the last market crash. And it will probably be harsh, especially on the middle class.

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