For the past few months, I’ve been diligently working toward doing 300 pounds on leg press in my SuperSlow workouts. Lately, I’ve been making great progress, increasing by five pounds every session, yet doing between 2 minutes 40 seconds and 3 minutes each time. I was up to 285 pounds in my last session, so I figured that I’d hit 300 pounds in mid-April.

On Friday, I was supposed to increase to 290 pounds, but my trainer suggested trying 300 pounds, saying that often a person can make a big jump like that — of 15 pounds! — if progressing as regularly as I’ve been doing. And… I did it! I managed 2 minutes and 8 seconds under that load, which just amazes me.

In May of 2011, I started the leg press at 190 pounds, so getting up to 300 pounds is more than a 1.57 times increase in strength. Notably, 300 pounds on the machine at my gym doesn’t translate to 300 pounds on every machine. In fact, I should be able to do well over 600 pounds on the leg press machine at Doug McGuff’s gym when I visit EDan in late May.

So…. Yay Me! It’s so awesome to be making such clear and measurable progress!

Mar 302012
 

In Sunday’s Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed talking about selfishness. The question was:

Should I use the term “selfish” in conversation without explanation? According to Ayn Rand, selfishness means acting for your own long-range life and happiness, and that’s moral and proper. Yet most people think that selfishness means brutalizing other people, lying and cheating to satisfy your desires, or at least acting like an insensitive jerk. Should I avoid using the term unless I can explain what I mean by it? And how can I best explain its proper meaning?

My answer, in brief:

When speaking to other people, make sure that you’re actually communicating what you mean to them. Most often, that will require explaining what you mean by “selfishness” or using another term.

Here’s the video of my full answer:

If you enjoy the video, please “like” it on YouTube and share it with friends via social media, forums, and e-mail! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

Join the next Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live.

In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, e-mail, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Webcast Archives, where you can listen to the full webcast or just selected questions from any past episode, and our my YouTube channel. And go to the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming webcast episodes.

Link-O-Rama

 Posted by on 30 March 2012 at 12:00 pm  Link-O-Rama
Mar 302012
 

Vecchio Video Series On ObamaCare

 Posted by on 30 March 2012 at 7:00 am  Activism, Health Care, Law, Politics
Mar 302012
 

Dr. Jill Vecchio, the head of the Colorado chapter of Docs4PatientCare (and a fellow radiologist!), has recorded an informative set of videos on ObamaCare and what it means to all Americans.

One important point: the current system is not a free-market but rather a mixed system with some free-market elements but also enormous amounts of government regulation. Forthcoming additional government controls to be imposed by ObamaCare will not solve our current problems but rather make them worse. In contrast, there are many good free-market reforms that would lower our costs and improve our health care quality.

Part 1 — Coverage:

Part 2 — Costs, section A:

Part 3 — Costs, section B:

Part 4 — Employers and Exchanges:

Part 5 — Doctors and Patients:

Part 6 — Constitutional Issues:

Part 7 — Real Health Care Reforms:

(Note: I don’t necessarily endorse every single point she makes, but overall I found these extremely informative. Cross-posted from FIRM.)

Objectivist Roundup

 Posted by on 29 March 2012 at 4:00 pm  Objectivist Roundup
Mar 292012
 

The Objectivist Roundup is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome.

The Playful Spirit hosted this week’s Objectivist Roundup. Go take a look!

You can submit your blog article to the next edition of The Objectivist Roundup using this submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found here. If you’re an Objectivist blogger, you can get weekly reminders to submit to the carnival by subscribing to OBloggers @ OList.com.

Also, here are the ten most recent additions to the question queue for the Philosophy in Action Webcast. Please vote for the questions that you’re most interested in hearing me answer!

Join us for the live webcast at www.PhilosophyInAaction.com on Sundays at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET. In the meantime, check out the show’s extensive archives by topic, peruse the upcoming question queue, and submit your own questions.

Dog Desperately Seeking Ball

 Posted by on 29 March 2012 at 1:00 pm  Animals, Funny
Mar 292012
 

This video of a dog desperately attempting retrieve its ball from the side of the pool is pure awesome.

Doggie Mae has a similar obsession with her Red Ball. A few times per week, Mae will insist on being let inside, then rush downstairs to wherever she left Red Ball hours before, and then excitedly return to us, so happy to be reunited with her best friend!

If only people were so enthused about their values!

Mar 292012
 

In Sunday’s Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed overcommitment in projects. The question was:

How can I manage my projects better? Too often, I’m overwhelmed by the sheer volume of projects on my agenda. Because I’m overcommitted, I’ll miss important deadlines or allow some projects to be delayed into oblivion. Other times, my work is rushed and sloppy. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed that I become paralyzed, and then I don’t get any work done. What can I do to manage my various work and home projects better, so that I keep making progress on what really matters to me?

My answer, in brief:

If you tend to take on more projects than you can manage well, then you need to work on being more realistic and more selective. Otherwise, you’re just making false promises.

Here’s the video of my full answer:

If you enjoy the video, please “like” it on YouTube and share it with friends via social media, forums, and e-mail! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

Join the next Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live.

In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, e-mail, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Webcast Archives, where you can listen to the full webcast or just selected questions from any past episode, and our my YouTube channel. And go to the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming webcast episodes.

The Hunger Games

 Posted by on 29 March 2012 at 7:00 am  Film, Funny, Literature
Mar 292012
 

Paul and I saw The Hunger Games on Tuesday. We really enjoyed the movie, and I thought it a particularly stellar adaptation of the book. (Paul hasn’t read the books yet, but he plans to do so soon.) The plot was compressed well, the violence was not glamorized or overdone, I loved much of the casting and costuming, and Jennifer Lawrence was superb as Katniss.

The movie was a really good proxy for the books, I think. So if you liked the movie, I definitely recommend reading the books. If you didn’t like the movie, don’t bother reading the books. Also, the movie was such a good adaptation that I don’t think that you need to read the book before seeing the movie. (That’s usually a hard and fast rule with me!)

On a humorous note, here’s two negative reviews that I ran across while searching for movie times:

Clueless #1

I went to go see this movie this weekend and it made me sick. Literally I got sick and had to leave the movie because I felt like throwing up. After seeing the children killing each other, it left me with a sick feeling. This is not what I expected this movie to be about and it was a waste of money. It’s sad when hit movie is about people enjoying a sport about children killing each other. Where is the American peoples morale’s? No wonder our world is in so much trouble when we are saying this is going to be the Movie of the year. We have enough killing in this world why do we need to encourage it. I strongly recommend parents not to let their children see the movie. All it is doing is encouraging violence.

Hollywood I pray you become convicted and start fearing God and change what you’er making. You may not have to answer to someone in this life, but you will in the next.

Clueless #2

This movies is full of hidden meaning. The rich politicians controlling every aspect of the working class. Then getting their entertainment from the children of the working class between a certain age killing each other. Plus they bet on which kid will win so they make more money. It sounds a lot like what is going on right now with the politicians and the wars in the middle east. They have control of our working class kids and they can fight them to death, then sit back and collect of every last bit of it. All the talk before they actual get to the arena is completely unnecessary. The set up of the training events reminds me a little of Harry Potter. The actual arena is boring and the action sucks. Don’t waste your time or money.

Sadly, these people probably vote.

On a more serious note, some people are upset that Rue was correctly cast as a black girl… which is revolting. I’m not sure whether the criticisms of Jennifer Lawrence as too “big” for Katniss are worse or not… but they’re still revolting.

Alas, these people likely vote too.

But hey, we live in a world in which awesome books like The Hunger Games are written and published, then made into awesome movies. So phooey on my gripes! To hell with the morons!

The Seikilos Epitaph

 Posted by on 28 March 2012 at 1:00 pm  History, Music
Mar 282012
 

Seikilos Epitaph – Song of Seikilos:

The Seikilos epitaph is the oldest surviving example of a complete musical composition, including musical notation, from anywhere in the world. The song, the melody of which is recorded, alongside its lyrics, in the ancient Greek musical notation, was found engraved on a tombstone, near Aidin, Turkey (not far from Ephesus). The find has been dated variously from around 200 BC to around AD 100.

That’s pretty darn awesome. You can read more about it here.

Preview: Philosophy in Action Webcast

 Posted by on 28 March 2012 at 7:00 am  Announcements
Mar 282012
 

In my live Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday morning, I’ll answer questions on statutory rape laws, outing anti-gay politicians as gay, potential employers demanding facebook logins, enjoying fantasy and theology literature, and more. Please join us for this hour of lively discussion, where we apply rational principles to the challenges of living virtuous, happy, and free lives!

  • What: Live Philosophy in Action Webcast
  • Who: Diana Hsieh (Ph.D, Philosophy) and Greg Perkins
  • When: Sunday, 1 April 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET
  • Where: www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live

Here are the questions that I’ll answer this week:

  • Question 1: Statutory Rape Laws: Are statutory rape laws proper? Statutory rape laws criminalize seemingly consensual sex when at least one party is below the age of consent, but sexually mature, e.g. when an 18 year old has sex with a 15 year old. Are such laws proper? Should the over-age person be convicted if he or she didn’t know (or couldn’t reasonably know) that the under-age person was under-age? What if the under-age person lied about his or her age? What, if anything, should happen legally when both parties are under-age, e.g. when two 15 year olds have sex?
  • Question 2: Outing Anti-Gay Politicians as Gay: Is it wrong to “out” a hypocritical anti-gay public figure who is secretly gay? Some conservative politicians have taken strongly anti-gay positions, but are secretly gay themselves. If one learns of this, is it wrong for gay activists to publicly “out” them? What if they don’t take engage in public hypocrisy, but are just quietly “in the closet”? Should activists respect their privacy in that case?
  • Question 3: Potential Employers Demanding Facebook Logins: Should employers ask applicants for their Facebook logins and passwords? More employers are asking job applicants for their Facebook logins and passwords as part of a background check. (See http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_20218922/privacy-red-flag-raised-more-job-applicants-asked ) Of course, applicants can decline, in which case they might not be considered for the job. Should employers be asking for this information? Is it proper to want to check on the online activities of potential employees? Is that an invasion of privacy? How should someone respond if asked by a potential employer?
  • Question 4: Enjoying Fantasy and Theology Literature: Is an interest in fantasy and theology literature proper? I’m fascinated with fantasy as a literary genre. I find it easier to get excited about a fantastic story rather than about a realistic one, and I’m also really interested in fantasy with a certain sophistication: the extremely well-constructed world of Tolkien in Lord of the Rings, for example, or the mythological background of vampire stories and so on. Along the same line, I am also fascinated with theology. For example, I found it extremely interesting to read Paradise Lost, and to read up on the many theological questions it raises and answers. Is such an interest proper – or am I indulging in some kind of evasion or escapism from reality? Does it matter that I want to become a writer and so find much inspiration for potential own stories this way?

After that, we’ll do a round of totally impromptu “Rapid Fire Questions.”

If you can’t attend the live webcast, you can listen to these webcasts later as audio-only podcasts by subscribing to the NoodleCast RSS feed:

Be sure to connect with us on social media too.

You can listen to full episodes or just selected questions from any past episode in the Webcast Archive. Also, don’t forget to submit and vote on the questions that you’d most like me to answer from the ongoing Question Queue.

I hope to see you on Sunday morning!

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha