KnowanHow to get in shape

Posts by knowan

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The Lounge winter wear in cities Oct 20 2014
17:57 (UTC)

I haven't lived in Toronto, but I have lived in a nearby city in Ontario.  And as a Canadian who is used to Canadian winters, let me tell you that -30 Celsius is cold.

I also used public transportation, and waiting for the bus on the coldest of winter days meant lots of clothing.  Don't forget that thanks to being further north you'll get fewer hours of daylight, so you'll often be waiting for the bus before the sun has come up and warmed things up above the "daily minimum" temperature.

You'll want thick gloves (or better yet, 2 pairs, one pair of thinner gloves and one pair of thick mittens over them).   Mittens are warmer than gloves, but gloves are sexier, and easier to use cellphones with.  Wearing both lets you stuff the mittens in your jackets pocket when you, for instance, want to use your cellphone on the bus.

Being from a warmer climate you'll also likely want a scarf, and I mean a wool one, not a silk one.

Dressing in layers is a must.  Because once you arrive at the office it's going to be warm.  I always wore a short sleeve shirt covered by a sweater covered by a warm winters jacket.  The central heating in our building was a bit iffy, and I could never tell if the office would be super heated (short sleeves) or Siberia (sweater) so I always wore both.

Keeping yourself warm is a must, but even more important is keeping yourself dry. Your jacket should be waterproof (or at the very minimum, water resistant) and needs to have a hood.  Also longer jackets, like parkas and the one that was linked here earlier, are better than shorter ones.

You'll need winter boots that are both warm and waterproof.  Because as TheView said, snow melts to slush, and standing in slushy snow waiting for a bus is not fun if your boots leak.  Sorrels will do the trick, but they're damnably ugly.  I always wore lined hiking boots and thick socks.  You'll want the boots to come up above the ankle, snow gets deep.  Also the thick socks means that you may have to buy a half-size larger that you are used to.

There's silicone waterproofing spray that you can use on your boots.  But it never works for long.  Much better for leather is something like mink oil.  It will darken the color of most boots, and won't work well on suede, but you'll only have to apply it once or twice a winter as opposed to weekly like you would with silicone spray.  I've found there's nothing better for protecting your leather boots from salt.  Yes, that stuff is made from actual minks (the animal).  If that bothers you then you probably shouldn't be wearing leather boots in the first place.

Oh yeah, the salt is worse for your footwear than the water.  Salt simply destroys most footwear.  Sorrels and any other rubber-based footwear are immune.  Salt is spread all winter long, and through most of the spring as well.

You may or may not want to invest in snowpants.  They'll definitely do the job and keep you warm and dry, but they're damn ugly, and difficult to remove with any sense of grace once you get to the office.  Thermals and jeans may just do the job, if you don't mind getting chilled.

If you're arriving in Canada in the early fall then you're better off shopping for a jacket while you're there.  The stores will all carry stuff appropriate to Toronto's climate.  On the other hand, by December the winter jackets are mostly sold out and they start breaking out the spring stuff.

The Lounge Ghosts and aliens and Sasquatch...oh my! Oct 15 2014
11:59 (UTC)

I started out believing in just about everything, from UFOs to Sasquatch to ESP to Nessie.  Then I grew up.  

Now I believe in nothing.  Oh I believe that there's probably alien life out there somewhere in the universe, but I'm not so sure that there's intelligent alien life.  Something like bacteria, plants, maybe even animals I can see, but spaceships that can visit Earth I find doubtful. 

I've met too many psychics to believe in them anymore.  If there's one real one out there in the world then s/he is buried under a mountain of fakers, and so far as I can tell there's nothing but the mountain.

I believe in the power of the mind over the body.  The placebo effect and therapy (talking about your problems) are able to affect real mental as well as physical changes in your own body.  I do not believe that you can project this force outside of your own body (faith healing), except insofar that caring for someone, listening to them, and letting them know that they are important to you can help them to heal themselves.  But you yourself don't give them this power, you just allow them to find it within themselves.

I don't believe in heaven or hell or ghosts or spirits or any kind of afterlife.  God is about as real as the Easter Bunny.

If you believe in miracles, then you also have to believe that they're evil.  For every miraculous recovery from cancer there's about a thousand car accidents, stillbirths, and "acts of God" that I would rather do without.  If miracles really do happen and come from heaven, then God has a very sick sense of humor.

Angels: if you read the bible, you'll see that angels are very different from how we imagine them.  They are more like a race of warrior-slaves that God created.  They guard (Eden), they destroy (Sodom and Gomorrah), and they announce (Gabriel), but they aren't nice, and people don't become angels.  They're a separate race from humans (although they can interbreed with humans.  Yes that happens in the bible.).

The Lounge winter activities?! Sep 25 2014
11:46 (UTC)

I find the fall is the best time of the year for hiking.  So long as it's not raining, the wind isn't piercing, and there's no ice on the ground, hiking is always an option.  

Where I am, actual winter means actual snow.  The kind of stuff you have to shovel, and that piles up and sticks around for months.  That means snowball fights, snowmen, snow forts (okay, maybe I'm just a kid at heart), sledding, cross country skiing (it's not very expensive to get into), skating (at the rink or at the pond), I happen to like ice fishing (but I'm the only one, so that happens rarely).  You can also strap on the snowshoes and go for a hike.  Do a weekend ski trip.  Plus right around December there's hunting .... for a Christmas tree.

The beach is surprisingly beautiful in winter, all covered in ice.  Your local parks are still open and probably have some kind of winter festival.  Our park has a duck pond and some of the ducks overwinter instead of flying south, so there's always feeding the ducks.

As for indoor stuff, there's the bowling ally, the pool hall, book clubs, LAN parties (we've grown addicted to a racing game called Split Second), museums, the movies (although the movies are way expensive), cook a foreign meal night, wine tastings, there's an indoor rock wall near where I live, taking the nephews out to McDonald's playland, take a pottery class, all kinds of stuff.

For the last 3 years we've been sponsoring a foreign student, who comes to live with us for the school year.  For the last 2 years it was students from Mexico, this year he's from Brasil.  It's always way fun to watch them see snow for the first time, to take them sledding for the first time, to teach them how to make a snowball, then act surprised when they throw it at you.  Watching people experience their first winter is very eye-opening.


The Lounge Cuz the Lounge is boring and needs a good fight Sep 09 2014
18:49 (UTC)

Hey, what do you know.  It does snow in Ethiopia.

Now as to whether there's any snow in December (Christmastime) I don't know.

The Lounge Cuz the Lounge is boring and needs a good fight Sep 09 2014
17:44 (UTC)
Original Post by runesplendor:

I mean classic more like Mozart or Tchaikovsky,  less like Bing. :D

Do they Know it's Christmas was one of those charitable superhits, and it's silly.  It was about Africa and considering the continent is, you know, not overwhelmingly Christian, I fail to see why they'd give a **** if it's Christmas or not. 

Edit:  Yah, I think we all have the same diatribe. 

It was actually about a famine in Ethiopia, and Ethiopia is overwhelmingly christian.  It was actually one of the first countries to declare Christianity the state religion, way back in the 4th century.

It may also be the final resting place of the ark of the covenant.

The Lounge Eye color gives clues to pain tolerance Sep 03 2014
18:33 (UTC)

What about people like me, my eye color is green-brown.  Brown from my mother and green from my father.  Do I get the best of both worlds?

My pain tolerance is incredibly high.  I volunteered for a pain tolerance test while I was in university, and I was off the chart.  They basically took your hand and put it over some dull needles and then had a machine press down on your hand harder and harder, until you said stop.  The only other person who came close to my results had broken his hand years earlier and had some nerve damage.

PS: Pain tolerance testing is not a good way to make $4.50 (a half hour's worth of minimum wage at the time).

The Lounge Spanking out grey matter Jul 25 2014
11:45 (UTC)
Original Post by jarredwayne:

I didn't read the article, but did they do a measure of gray matter before and after years of spankings?

Maybe dumb disruptive kids genetically have less gray matter and provoke their parents into the beatings.

If you click on the link to the study that she mentioned, the paper's authors say exactly the same thing.

The Lounge Oddest ex-SO habits Jul 25 2014
11:33 (UTC)

I'm dating a clean freak now, and it's starting to get weird.  She's several times cancelled dates because she needed to sweep/dust/mop/wash 3 items in the laundry (because everything needs to be washed separately).

Hey, that's another weird one.  When I do laundry, I separate the colors from the whites and that's it.  When she does laundry she separates the dark colors from the light colors from the whites.  She then separates by fabric type.  Then she separates everything by type.  Shirts can never be washed with pants.  Towels can never be washed with jeans.  She even separates the shorts from the pants and washes them separately.  So what takes me 2 or 3 loads, she would turn into 8-9 loads, some loads consisting of just 3-4 items.

Needless to say, I'm not allowed to do laundry anymore.

I'm not allowed to fold anymore either.  Apparently I've I just been folding things wrong my whole life.  The way she folds face cloths one way and dish cloths another way is just weird.  And yes, she folds underwear.

And that's just some of her cleaning foibles.  

In an attempt to cut back on the excessive amount of time that she spends cleaning I got her a Roomba for Christmas.  It's never used because it vacuums wrong somehow.

Another weird thing is that this doesn't extend to the outside of the house.  If I mow, weed the garden, and paint the front step then she gets upset because I didn't do anything today.  Only cleaning inside counts as doing chores.

Even weirder, the inside of the house is spotless, but her car has never been cleaned in 3 years.  It stinks, the fast food wrappers have formed strata on the back floor, there's half full cups of coffee everywhere, the windows are nothing but one big smear, so much so that she can't drive at night anymore because of the glare, and the trunk is full of garbage and bags of stuff that she has to return, but hasn't yet and it's now been there for over a year but it can't be taken out of the trunk because it has to be returned.  I'd love to clean it, but she would just get upset because it would take most of a day and then I won't have done anything that day because I wasn't inside helping her clean the house.

The Lounge diet pills Jul 22 2014
11:05 (UTC)

I'm afraid that there is no such thing as a magic pill to help you lose weight.  Those that do work a little have horrible side effects.  Up to and including death.


The Lounge you can use them for all sorts of stuff Jul 22 2014
10:56 (UTC)

Are you going to add another column to record how long it takes you to smoke those ounces?

The Lounge Struggling with belief in any higher deity(ies) Jul 17 2014
18:08 (UTC)

I've worked in a hospital for too long to believe in heaven.  When someone with late-stage dementia dies, and their soul goes to heaven, is it the person that she was when she died that moves on?  Because that person is different than the caring mother, the sassy teenageer, the newlywed that she also was.  You may remember your grandmother as a caring and lovely silver-haired woman who had trouble walking due to the arthritis, but her cousin remembers the daring and devil-may-care girl who snuck out with her to drink beers and kiss boys in the middle of the night.

Peoples personalities change all through their lives.  When you meet your friends and family in heaven, which "them" are you meeting?  Will your grandparents be old like you remember them, or young like their parents remember them?

Will a child who died at 6 months be there?  Will this child forever be an infant, never progressing beyond 6 months old?

If your soul, your personality, stays as it was at your time of death, then no thank you.  I've seen too many people in too many horrible states just before they died.

Personally if the choice was nothing or late-stage dementia, then  I'd rather be nothing for all of eternity.

The Lounge "I don't know how it's different. But it is." Jul 17 2014
14:32 (UTC)

Okay, what would you rather have, a lesbian supervising the girls showers, or a gay male supervising the girls showers?

The Lounge What the... what? Jul 10 2014
19:29 (UTC)
Original Post by theviewfromhere:

so, that's criminal, right? i mean - literally? i'm pretty sure that here it's illegal to modify the exhaust of a vehicle to make it produce more (and more polluting) emissions.

i mean, lots of people get a pass for driving older polluting vehicles, because forcing somebody who can't afford a decent car to spend thousands to get their piece-of-crap car up to emissions snuff is counter-productive, especially if that piece-of-crap car is what's getting them to work.

but really.

Trucks have different emission standards than cars.  In some states they can be called "farm equipment" and not have to pass any emissions standards at all.  Diesel is exempted in many states as well.  All of the pictures linked to in the article were modified diesel trucks.

The Lounge Where is everybody? Jul 10 2014
19:11 (UTC)

PS: Life developing around volcanic vents in the oceans and the first life being chemotrophes is conjecture by the way.  There's no proof for it, since those organisms didn't leave fossils.  But it is widely held belief among scientists.  Still it could be way off.

But photosynthesis developing within the first 500 million years of life developing is a given.  It's been (pretty much) proven.

Oh and most of this I learned back when I got my Biology degree in the ninties.  If someone has access to more recent research then I'll stand corrected.

The Lounge Where is everybody? Jul 10 2014
19:05 (UTC)

Nice, but brief.  They missed a few possibilities.

I personally think that the "filter" is behind us.  And the evidence of that can be found here, in our solar system.

Our sun has 3 planets in the "habitable zone", the area where liquid water is freely available.  There's Earth, Mars and Venus.  Of these 3 planets only Earth developed life, or at least only Earth developed life that evolved past single-celled organisms.

Mars is a cold and desolate wasteland, with little atmosphere.  Venus is a vast and burning hell, with surface temperatures above 460 degrees C (or above 850 degrees F for you yanks), and where it rains sulfuric acid through an atmosphere 90 times thicker than Earth's.

Now Mars is a bit of a stretch.  It's smaller than Earth, and probably never developed plate tectonics, or had enough gravity to hold onto it's atmosphere.  This would make it a significantly different starting place than Earth.

But Venus is almost Earth's twin.  It's roughly the same size as Earth and early in the solar system's history it developed almost identical to Earth.  Then something happened and Venus became a barren hellhole, while Earth became a big blue marble.

And that something was life.  Specifically it was the development of photosynthesis.

After Earth was formed, for the first half a billion years or so it was just too damn hot.  But when the planet finally cooled down enough for liquid water to form it took less than 350 million years for life to develop.  No one's exactly sure just how long it took because a) plate tectonics means that the Earth's surface is being constantly melted and replaced, which has a tendency to destroy the evidence. and b) single celled lifeforms don't leave fossils (usually).  They have no hard parts to fossilize.  The very first fossil record we have of life on Earth is Stromatolites, which are basically single-celled organisms that come together and make a mat, and precipitate out calcium.  Basically, they made reefs.  And if you think of all that had to happen, all that had to develop between the very first organism and something that's complex enough to build a reef, you'll know that a very large swath of the earliest development of life on Earth is forever gone from the fossil record.

Stromatolites still exist to this day.  They are rare, but they're still around, 3.6 billion years later.  And one thing that stromatolites do, besides build reef-like structures, is they photosynthesize.

So from this we can deduce that photosynthesis evolved fairly quickly, certainly by 3.5 billion years ago, which is probably less than 500 million years after life first developed.

And that's important.  Very important.

The first life was probably chemotrophes.  They probably evolved around hot vents in the ocean, and "ate" chemicals that were spewing out of these volcanic hot vents by directly absorbing them.  Organisims like this still exist to this day around hot vents n the ocean.

Eventually some of these first, single cells probably developed the ability to eat other cells instead of dissolved chemicals.  Once cells were being preyed on by other cells, there would be an incentive to move away from the vents to escape the predation.  But that would mean moving away from their food source.  So another food source had to be found, and that food source was the sun.

As any basic biology course can tell you, photosynthesis involves taking CO2 plus water plus sunlight and creating energy plus O2.  The oxygen (O2) is a "waste" product of the equation, and actually would be deadly poison to these first primitive cells.  So evolving the ability to photosynthesize had a dual purpose.  It kept the organisms fed when they were away from the vents, and it kept the predators at bay because the oxygen would poison them (at least until the predators developed a resistance to oxygen).

Well the early earth had plenty of CO2.  CO2 is emitted by volcanos, and there were plenty of those around, way more in the hotter, early Earth than there are today.

So the volcanoes spew out CO2, simple organisms convert it to O2.  The carbon gets turned into reefs and oil and coal and buried.

But over on Venus that never happened.  Life either never evolved in the first place, or else never evolved photosynthesis.  Without anything to convert the CO2 to something else it all built up and built up in Venus's atmosphere and created runaway global warming.  To the point where now the atmosphere is 90 times thicker than Earth's and almost entirely carbon dioxide.

But if you take all the oil and coal and limestone (limestone is ancient reefs turned to stone) and convert it back into CO2, then the Earth's atmosphere would be almost identical to Venus's.  Earth too would be uninhabitable.

But it's not.  Earth is instead this warm blue ball that we all find really nice to live on, and it's all thanks to photosynthesis developing early enough to rid our skies of it carbon dioxide and allow our planet to cool down to the point where the water doesn't just boil away.

And that, I think, is the main "filter". The balance between CO2 emission and CO2 sequestering.  You know, the thing that we're presently in the process of screwing up.

The Lounge What have you done for the environment lately? Jul 10 2014
12:49 (UTC)

I drive a hybrid car (Toyota Prius).  I have my own vegetable garden and compost my kitchen waste.  We have curbside recycling that I avail myself of.  The only thing they don't take is glass.  I've taken to washing out the glass bottles and re-using them.  This year I picked chives, chopped them, bottled them and froze them and will likely be giving them away for Christmas, along with some cookies.

Speaking of which, my chives have exploded and threatened to take over the veg garden, so I dug up the excess, put them in containers (which I also store and re-use, natch) and gave the plants away.  They have pretty purple flowers and look great in a flower garden, plus you can eat them. They're good for a herb garden, a vegetable garden or a flower garden.  Just not a window box because the do smell like chives.

I've stocked up my flower garden in perennials, so I'm not buying annuals every year.  It took a bit of planning to get it so that when one plant starts to fade another is just starting to bloom, but my sister in law is a botanist and she gave me some pointers.

My youngest son has gone totally vegetarian, so we rarely eat meat anymore.

The only thing I'm ashamed of is the fact that I'm not biking to work.  I tell myself that it's because my bike needs repairs (which is true) but it would take me all of a couple of hours to fix it up.  The real reason is because it's a 20 Km ride with lots of hills.

Tips: you know those DVR boxes and cable boxes?  When you finish watching TV you turn them off, right?  Did you know that turning them off only turns off the display?  The machine itself stays on and consumes almost as much electricity as if you had left them totally on.  Unplug them when not in use, or use one of those surge protector bars with a power switch.

The Lounge Adult Acne May 15 2014
17:08 (UTC)

Yeah, regular makeup can lead to clogged pores, which can lead to pimples.

Now I have to leave this conversation while I still have a shred of my man cred left.

*Wanders away mumbling "I swear, I found that out about makeup during my teenage Goth years"

The Lounge Adult Acne May 14 2014
18:39 (UTC)
Original Post by smw:

If you do have to wear makeup and have blemishes, I like the Boscia Willowbark treatment as it seems to help a bit and it seals the area from makeup getting into it.

I don't know if it actually has willow bark in it or not, but at one point willow bark was the main source of salicyic acid.

The Lounge Adult Acne May 14 2014
18:36 (UTC)
Original Post by februarystars:

Original Post by knowan:

Most OTC (over the counter) medicines contain salicylic acid.  My acne eats that stuff, laughs at it, and poops out a big red pimple.

Benzoyl Peroxide, on the other hand, works.

I've had prescription stuff as well, but I didn't like the side-effects.

I think this TOTALLY depends on the person, skin type, and type of acne.  Benzoyl peroxide worked miracles for me for 3 years, proactiv specifically.  Now it suddenly, doesn't work anymore, and a switch to salicylic acid is the new miracle worker. 

from my vast, and expensive, trial and errors in facial care, not all products (regardless of active ingredient) are created equal.  CVS brand benzoyl peroxide system sucked, while proactiv worked.  Nutrogena salicylic acid did nothing, while the Clinique system with the (same active ingredient) has changed my skin entirely.  

LP -- can you see if you can get samples anywhere?  the start up kit from Clinique is $35, and has CHANGED MY FACE (for the better).  But then again, it was a gamble.. so I know what you mean about the $$$.  Sometimes Sephora has free samples, or even the clinique counter at the mall?  



Same here.  Proactiv was the first thing that worked.  But proactiv was expensive, so I switched to a different brand with the same active ingredient (Clean and Clear), and that worked just as well, but at only 1/3 the price.

But it was drying out my skin, so I switched to a third brand with the same active ingredient (Neutrogena).  It doesn't dry out my skin, but it also doesn't work.

Which I suppose makes sense.  It's only 5% Benzoyl Peroxide.  The other 95% would be different between one manufacturer and another, and probably makes a difference.  I know that the Clean and Clear has a significant amount of alcohol in it, and the Neutrogena doesn't seem to.

The Lounge Adult Acne May 14 2014
17:06 (UTC)

Most OTC (over the counter) medicines contain salicylic acid.  My acne eats that stuff, laughs at it, and poops out a big red pimple.

Benzoyl Peroxide, on the other hand, works.

I've had prescription stuff as well, but I didn't like the side-effects.