A Note to Arcade Fire

Dear Arcade Fire,

You guys make it really difficult for me to keep running when I’m getting choked up listening to Half Light II (No Celebration). It’s difficult to process this and breathe at the same time.

Carry on.

-Luke

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Fleet Foxes Sing

So Fleet Foxes has started a Tumblr cover song request line of sorts.

Fleet Foxes Sing…

I think it’s cool that social network stuff like Twitter and Tumblr are breaking the walls between celebrity and layperson. It’s cool being able to be in more direct contact with artists you like. I mean this more from a sociological perspective rather than a stalker one; Fans are more able to affect the art they consume or view, for the better or worse. I think overall it’s a good thing, though it is also pretty sickening seeing the “demagoguery” of tweens like Justin Bieber. Though I’m not faulting him so much as his rabid fans for elevating him to titanic status.

Anyways, I requested them to sing God Only Knows by The Beach Boys. Sick harmonies beget sick harmonies. Check it out!

 

 

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I Wish (Sort Of)

If I were a female cyclist, I would own a bike shop called Menstrual Cycles.

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WTFood

“In 2004, University of Washington obesity researcher Adam Drewnowski discovered that consumers on a fixed budget can buy a lot more calories from processed foods and soft drinks than they can from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. He found that a single dollar could purchase 1,200 calories of cookies or potato chips, but only 250 calories of carrots. One dollar could buy 875 calories of soft drink but only 170 calories of orange juice.” -Andrea Jezovit Cheap Twix

So it is cheaper to purchase a box of cookies, made from at least wheat, corn,  and sugarcane, maybe chocolate, soy, and peanuts, than it is to buy a pack of carrots. That makes absolutely no sense to me that something thermodynamically more costly would be less expensive than something more efficient. In laymen’s terms, it takes more energy to grow the corn, wheat, maybe sugar, maybe chocolate & peanuts or whatever, to make cookies than it does to make carrots. Cookies have to be sourced from several plants, which are grown, processed, and made into things like maltodextrin or high fructose corn syrup or natural flavor or whatever. Not only that, but all of this must be shipped, and then blended together, baked, packaged (which requires more resources), and transported again, marketed perhaps, and then shelved. Carrots take some seeds, dirt, water, and (unfortunately) pesticides and fertilizers. They are picked, washed, packaged, and transported. How on earth can carrots be more expensive than cookies (by volume; of course it would take many carrots to equal the calories in a box of cookies)?

Processed food, and “the ethanol lobby” are so backwards. Were there not subsidies, a box of cookies would cost $10; carrots would be $1. People support ethanol production. Ethanol comes from corn. Corn comes from fertilizer. Fertilizer comes from oil. Oil comes from non-domestic sources. Ethanol is not energy independence, nor is it thermodynamically efficient. It is totally backwards. It is totally backwards that in a country with an obesity problem, we fund pharmaceutical companies and Genetically Modified Crop producers to make us cheap food that makes us sicker, especially the poor, and then further subsidize their bad eating habits and poor health through food stamps or medicaid! I don’t know where this stands in the political spectrum, but our food system here is ridiculous. I understand the need for growing crops more effectively and needing to feed a growing population. But to pay companies to make food that is bad for you, and then pay people to buy that food? Then, pay people to make drugs to “fix” people, sickened by that food? I know which middleman to cut out. I wish lawmakers would.

What can we do? Obviously buying locally and organic, but there are some scary nationwide trends out there!

Posted in Food, Observations, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Social Insecurity

So I just had an apostrophe epiphany:

As a young person, I’m not counting on getting social security when I retire, which I think is a smart way to live one way or the other. It was designed to keep the old out of poverty, not to be a retirement fund. So anyways, I’m planning on not getting social security, so instead I should be putting as much into retirement funds as I can, yet I can’t really afford to because I can’t find a better job (*this statement is mostly true; I’m not exactly looking either, but not sure what to look for, or whether to go back to school. It’s complicated).

So even if what I said above is only somewhat true to me, I have the feeling it is somewhat true or mostly true for a lot of other young people (and older, obviously). But what I’m getting at here is I think my generation may be double screwed. We know we the importance of saving, but there is not much out there right now that is a solid investment (in tax shielded accounts anyways), nor can many of us afford to even put away for retirement (my 401k is laughable at best), and any FDIC backed investments (CD’s & savings accounts) have such low interest rates that one actually loses money when adjusted for inflation. So what can we do? With (hopefully) expected longer lifespans (though I’ve heard that we are actually predicted to be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy [thanks processed foods!]) I think we are screwed even worse! And I don’t have a solution except for work more, work harder, and go back to school without incurring any debt (yeah, right!) I don’t want a handout, but I am really uncertain about the future. And even if I play my cards right, what about those who aren’t so lucky? I’d like to hope we’re on the verge of another burst/bubble of innovation to end this recession, but I seriously don’t see things getting better for a long time. Like I said in my earlier post, I’m not sure how to invest my money or skills/talents/education for the future.

Ugh.

Posted in Goals, Life, Observations, Predicaments | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tabata This!

Oh man.

Tabata workouts are the craziest thing.

I guess I should start by explaining what they are.

A Tabata workout typically consists of 8 rounds of 20 seconds of intense effort, each followed by 10 seconds of rest, so it’s a 4 minute workout, where every 20 of every 30 seconds is spent dying and gasping for breath and pushing through pain.

And it is awesome. Sort of. You can use Tabata Protocol for most every exercise, from bench press to sprinting. The worst one I’ve done was at Crossfit where we did 4 rounds total, including kettlebell swings, pull-ups, back squats, and bench press. It was awful, and 16 minutes of next-to-nonstop exertion. Sprinting however, was nearly just as bad, and that was only for 4 minutes (with jogging/speedwalking rests).

Anyways, it gets your VO2 max up, burns fat, while not destroying muscle like long slow distance endurance running does. I’m a fan of it, though I also tend to avoid it because it’s so terrible in the moment. An app exists for it, Tabata Lite, which is essentially just a stopwatch that counts in Tabata time. My favorite Tabata workout so far is push-ups. If I were actually able to wake up early enough every day, I’d be cranking these out before my paleo breakfast and nice long shower (both nonexistent currently). I’d definitely recommend it for those with little to no equipment, and with little to no time. These HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts are rather en vogue right now, but the science behind them sounds promising!

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Social Media

It seems like they’ll make a new social media format for anything. And I think it’s working. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Tehcnorati, Tumblr, SocialVibe, Goodreads, Klout, Google+, et cetera, ad nauseum. I just listed these services and I’m using most of them as well. I feel kind of like a sucker, and kind of confused. I mean, because I have Nike shoes, I can publicize the distances I run via Twitter! I didn’t even know I cared about that until I bought the shoes! Social media is great at manufacturing it’s own utility.

I’m not sure what social media really is. I mean, I know what it is, but I don’t know how it is. I don’t understand its phenomenon. Why do we like it? Is it its expediency and escapist properties? As a product, it seems to have any value; I’m very confused as to why Facebook is valued as high as it is; Yes, everybody and their mother is on it, but nobody actually pays attention to the ads. I think, and this has likely been said by financial analysts, that we are in for a second tech bubble, this time via social media. With LinkedIn’s recent IPO and Facebook’s on the horizon, I wonder what these companies are truly adding. To me, it seems like they are just connecting people to each other and to brands, and their value is that they allow brands some metrics to gauge their market on. I think that there is more data to be had at, yet it doesn’t seem like any of these companies are really gaining any edge themselves on advertising.

It’s a strange phenomenon, and I like the concept of using these, they all have some utility for the individual, but it’s a manufactured utility. They all piggyback each other, and deep down, I think it may be for shameless self promotion (haha). At my place of employment, I am going to attempt to increase our internet presence, and I will be utilizing a few of these services to do so. I’m excited about it, it will be interesting to see if I/we can capitalize on new media, but I also am skeptical; I’m not sure a pharmacy can really pick up business or hype on the internet. A drugstore, I believe, best maintains and grows its business via the services it gives, both quantity and quality, rather than the hype it can build.

Now to see if I can build my own hype! (But why?)

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Observations > Musings

Pretentious

Also, I originally was going to use the tag “musings” to describe “musings” of mine, but that just sounds way too pretentious. So I changed it to Observations. “Musings” seems like you’re trying to be cutesy and clever. You can’t be a self-described muser.

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Disgruntled.

The term disgruntled should carry a weight minimum with it; can you imagine a skinny disgruntled person? I think you must have to be heavy and breath loudly in order for this term to be applied to you.

That is all.

Posted in Humor, Observations | Tagged | 3 Comments

What a Nuisance!

This weekend I found a great new way to annoy and confuse people. I texted several of my friends faux-conversation fragments:

“I think it’s at 7:30. Who is this?”

“It’s over on 57th and Washington. Is this Sal?”

“I got it yesterday, who is this?”

And several other similar texts. It was awesome. I was hoping to get a few friends to bite and actually think that they had intercepted a text from a random number, but still showing up as me, and it kind of worked. I don’t know if a 57th and Washington exists, nor do I know a Sal.  I think I am going to periodically send these to people, and see what happens. Its funny because they also think that it might actually be you, but then have to remember if they had sent you a message, or if they even know a “Sal.” I’ve tried to get my parents, but it hasn’t worked yet.

If anyone reading this tries it, please,  I implore you to post what happens!

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , | 2 Comments