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A Watch, a Virtual Machine, and Broken Abstractions — Atredis Partners

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1331 days ago
Connect IQ Deconstructed!
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1331 days ago
Social Media Beef!
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That Time #Ramona Made Everyone Smile For A Few Minutes : The Two-Way : NPR

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For social media editors, the worst nightmare is accidentally posting something personal on the work account.

On Monday night, NPR swing editor Christopher Dean Hopkins lived that nightmare when he posted about Ramona, on NPR's Facebook account:

First Ramona post!

Twelve minutes later, after realizing his mistake, he edited that post and replaced it with this:

Ramona correction post!

"We don't generally delete posts, so I tried to do it in a way that would be transparent," Hopkins says. "My job is to promote our good work, and I catastrophically failed in that last night."

But what Hopkins didn't anticipate — and we didn't either — was how much people needed something "feel good," after back-to-back-to-back-to-back tragedies — the Las Vegas massacre and the devastation in Puerto Rico, Florida and Houston from hurricanes.

And Ramona — who isn't quite a year old yet — was it.

Now there are Ramona hashtags: #ramonaupdates, #bringbackramona, #ramonaforever. And she's got friends at the Houston Zoo.

And there's a petition calling for an updated story about Ramona (you're welcome!) and demanding a small raise (looks at bosses) for Hopkins. At least 250 people were all about this (looks at bosses, again).

The verdict is still out on whether there will be regular Ramona updates.

"I suppose if people keep promising to pledge to NPR and it doesn't distract from the very good work our NPR journalists do, we'll see," Hopkins says.

But here's the news everybody really wants to know: Ramona is not a cat! But Ramona does have a cat. You're welcome, Interwebz!

One of these is Ramona. You figure it out. Christopher Dean Hopkins hide caption

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Christopher Dean Hopkins

One of these is Ramona. You figure it out.

Christopher Dean Hopkins
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2474 days ago
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The Power of the Negative

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In the Upper Midwest, particularly in Minnesota and the northern part of Wisconsin (where I’m originally from), there’s a tendency to never say exactly what you’re thinking. Which, dontcha know, can lead to some misunderstandings when communicating with people who didn’t grow up in the area. This short video, taken from a longer documentary on How to Talk Minnesotan, demonstrates how a Minnesotan speaker uses negative words (e.g. bad, not, can’t, worse) to express positive feelings. For example, a translation of the phrase “I’m so excited, I can’t believe it!!” into Minnesotan yields:

A guy could almost be happy today if he wasn’t careful.

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2489 days ago
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We make exercise way too complicated. Here's how to get it right.

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A mid-century fitness star named Debbie Drake made me realize that little has changed in over 50 years when it comes to the American pursuit of a better body and the desire for a quick fix to achieve it.

On her morning TV show, launched in 1960, the leggy, soft-spoken blonde would take viewers through "the wonderful world of exercise to the land of slim, trim beauty."

Like many exercise gurus who have come after her, she claimed to hold the secrets to a perfect physique. (Back then, this involved "looking great, feeling great and keeping your husband happy," in Drake's words.) You could erase your double chin, Drake said, by simply stretching out your neck. Through delicate twists and deep breathing, she promised, inches would melt away from your waist, buttocks, and thighs.
Workouts today are much less gentle than Drake’s. We run marathons in record numbers, subject ourselves to violent boot camps, contort our bodies in yoga classes, and pay $35 for less than an hour of SoulCycle or Solidcore — seemingly friendly workouts that I have seen grown men run from. At CrossFit circuit-training classes, the mascot is "Pukey" the clown, and lifting until you pee is a celebrated goal.
So while the forms of exercise have become more intense over time, the desire to unlock the secret to fitness hasn't changed since Drake. Nor have the promises by hucksters and gurus. Jack LaLanne, Richard Simmons, Jane Fonda, Suzanne Somers, Cindy Crawford, Gwyneth Paltrow — they have all purported to know the one true way to a better body.
Incredibly, with all the science that has been done on how to exercise, what we know about what works for fitness is almost embarrassingly simple — yet we have invented myriad ways to cloud, over-complicate, and obscure these basic, common-sense truths:

Read: Surprisingly simple tips from 20 experts on how to lose weight and keep it off

1) If you're not exercising regularly, doing any activity will help


Don't think about jumping from the couch into an intense CrossFit class. Don't worry about interval training, or even fitting in the right mix of cardio and strength workouts. For people who don't work out regularly, finding physical activity you don't hate doing is the most important step.
Like the best diet for weight loss, the people who research exercise all told me that there is no single best way to go about exercising: just find a workout you can tolerate.
"A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work," said Alex Hutchinson, author of the book Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? "The best exercise for people is one they are going to adopt and do on a regular basis. If that means getting out for a walk with the dog every night and you can commit to that and stick to it, then do it."
Gardening, cleaning your floors, walking around a shopping mall, walking to the grocery store or work — all of this counts as physical activity. You don't need to sign up for a gym membership or go to expensive pilates classes.
According to sports nutritionist Matt Fitzgerald, author of the books Diet Cults and 80/20 Running, the single biggest predictor of whether someone will stick to a new routine is simply whether they like it or not. "Those who say they enjoyed their workout the most are more likely to keep exercising after a year," he said.
Many studies
have shown that, even if you don't lose a pound or change your body after working out, exercise will improve a range of health outcomes, including lowering your cardiovascular disease risk and staving off Alzheimer's. So just find a way to sweat — and don't sweat the details.

2) Cardiovascular exercise will keep you on the earth for longer

(Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock)

Science has unequivocally demonstrated that cardiovascular workouts (walking, running, swimming) will help you live longer.
Starting the 1940s, Jerry Morris — a pioneering Scottish epidemiologist — began to study people who moved around a lot at work (conductors in double-decker buses, postmen who delivered mail on foot) and compare them to people who had more sedentary jobs (telephone operators, truck drivers). Morris was able to establish that there was an association between physical inactivity and chronic disease risk, with the risk incrementally decreasing as a person's level of physical activity increased.
Since then, few have quibbled with the fact that one's level of aerobic fitness is a key predictor for how long they'll live and what diseases they'll succumb to.
We now know that, globally, physical inactivity is responsible for 6 percent of the burden of disease from coronary heart disease, 7 percent of type-2 diabetes, 10 percent of breast cancer, and 10 percent of colon cancer.
Inactivity is also responsible for 9 percent of premature mortality, and a number of studies have shown that people who exercise are at a lower risk of developing cognitive impairment from Alzheimer's and dementia and also have higher cognitive ability scores.

3) If you are exercising regularly, mix it up


(Fort Worth Star-Telegram/McClatchy-Tribune)

For those who do exercise, research suggests that you need to vary your workouts for the best results: both the activities you do and the intensity with which you approach them.
"No matter what workouts you’re doing, no matter how great the workout is, if that’s the only workout you do, you’ll hit diminishing returns," said Hutchinson. You need to surprise your muscles and challenge them in new ways, he added.
As a rule of thumb, Fitzgerald suggests, "Make sure two or three of your workouts every week are strength workouts." The rest should be cardiovascular-based, such as running or swimming.
Interestingly, he has also found that a half hour of weight lifting each time is enough to get results, and that you don't necessarily need to do repetitions of every exercise. "People think you need to do three sets of exercises for each part of the body, but you’ll get 80 percent of the results from one set. So if you’re going from zero to some strength workouts, I would suggest doing only the one set."
Varying the intensity of your workouts is also important. There's a lot of good evidence now that interval training — short bursts of really challenging activity — can greatly improve a person's fitness, even in only a short amount of time every week.
Consider this PLoS One review, which pooled together the results of 37 studies on whether training programs that included periods of high intensity ameliorated aerobic fitness. They found that interval training improved the participants' health outcomes, even when the high-intensity bursts only lasted for three to five minutes.

Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, is one of the world's top researchers on high-intensity interval training. He says that the balance of evidence now suggests that people derive more gains when they dedicate their workout time to an intervals approach compared to endurance exercise.
"There’s good evidence now that intervals can be a time-efficient way to improve your fitness and markers of health status," he said. "You can get away with less total time commitment by taking an intervals based approach."
One of his most recent studies showed that, in a small group of sedentary men and women, doing really intense interval training for just ten minutes, three times per week, improved subjects' endurance, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.

But even he says switching your workouts up and finding one you like is the best way to get fit. "A varied approach to fitness is always going to be your best bet. Doing internal training, resistance training, endurance training — that’s going to be effective in the long run for lots of reasons. It can prevent boredom and make sure you’re engaged with your exercise routine."

Plus, many people outside of a study setting will not naturally push themselves into the levels of intensity needed to see a benefit in short-burst workouts, and it might not be a good idea to go from the couch to high-intensity intervals. Here, too, the old adage holds: do the exercise you like doing. "Whenever we start talking about what’s perfect," said Hutchinson, "it can become quite daunting. So what’s ideal shouldn't be viewed as a barrier."

4) Exercise probably won't help you lose a lot of weight — but you need it to keep weight off and stay healthy


This review of studies on exercise and weight found that people only lost a small fraction of the weight they expected to given how much they were burning off through their new exercise routines. Some overweight people even gain weight when they start exercising.
This is mostly due to the fact that people develop "compensatory behaviors" when they start to work out, thinking they can have those extra treats because of all the calories they burned, said Tim Caulfield, author of the Cure for Everything. "They go for a run and then eat a high-calorie muffin and completely neutralize that run. You're not going to lose weight."

But this isn't the full story about exercise and doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Exercise, as you will have noted by now, is hugely beneficial for health. It raises mood, protects against disease, boosts energy, and improves sleep quality, just to name a few well-documented benefits.

And physical activity is extremely important for weight maintenance. In one study, which looked at 20-year weight gain in over 3,500 men and women, those who were physically active gained less weight over time and had a smaller waist circumference compared to people who weren't active.

When a bunch of studies on the question of weight loss and exercise were taken together, researchers found that, overall, exercise led to only modest weight loss. But, when compared with no treatment, exercise helped people lose a small amount of weight, and when people started to exercise and cut their calories, they lost more weight than with a diet alone. Even when exercise was the only intervention for weight loss (so no diet) study participants saw a range of health benefits, reducing their blood pressure and triglycerides in their blood.

5) You shouldn't do extreme workouts all the time

(Tyler Olson/Shutterstock)

We have entered the age of the ultra-marathon, Tough Mudder mud runs, and the lift-until-you-puke CrossFit culture. While these higher-intensity workouts will surely push you to your fitness limits, they're also more likely to lead to injuries.
CrossFit workouts have been associated with rhabdomyolysis — a condition that's brought on when you work out so hard, your muscle fibers break down and release their cells into your bloodstream, leading to kidney failure and even death.
Other studies have revealed alarming trauma rates. This 2013 study, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, was designed to look at the frequency of injury in CrossFit athletes during routine training. Of the 132 people who responded to the survey, 97 (or nearly three-quarters) reported getting hurt during CrossFit training, and most injuries involved the shoulders and spine. These respondents reported a total of 186 injuries; nine led to surgeries. Similarly, a study in Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that shoulder and low-back injuries were most common, followed by knee injuries.
So these studies revealed real CrossFit harms, but is the workout really more dangerous than any other? Scientists writing in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research put their findings in context: CrossFit injury rates were similar to Olympic weight-lifting, power-lifting and gymnastics, though CrossFit was safer than rugby.
That's probably about right, given that CrossFit routines involve dead-lifting, rope-skipping, burpees, and other exercises common to power-lifting or gymnastics. So any intense exercise comes with a higher risk of injury. Marathon runners, for example, commonly injure their knees, particularly when they continue to run on their already traumatized limbs.
Fitzgerald suggested taking extreme exercise by the "80/20 approach." "This comes from research showing that elite endurance athletes in all sports do 80 percent of their training at a low intensity and only 20 percent at high intensity," he said. In other words, high-intensity workouts only had a small part in athletes' training programs, and he said that studies on recreational exercisers found that this ratio conferred the most fitness benefits.
Hutchinson had this rule of thumb: "The harder you train, the more likely you are to get injured. The smart thing to do is to progress very gradually and never do way more this week than you did last week."
He added: "If you gradually progress over five years, you'll make huge strides."

WATCH: 'Why run the marathon? I ran one to find out'

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2514 days ago
Hooray to not trying to win at exercise.
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And God Created Millennial Earth - McSweeneys

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THE BEGINNING (of the end)


In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. #CreationGoals #EarthIsBae

Now the earth was formless and basic, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was lowkey hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and it was lit AF.

God saw that the light was so extra, so He separated the light from the darkness (for aesthetic), then bragged it was hashtag no filter.

God called the light “day,” then threw some shade and called it “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first truly #blessed day.

Then God, who was L-I-V-I-N-G for this, said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.”

So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it like it was NBD.

God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning — the second #blessed day, and the first #TransformationTuesday.

Then God was like, “You know TFW when you should let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear?” (He whispered yaaasssss to Himself.)

So God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas,” and he created a cute geofilter for each of them.

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, so no one ever gets hangry.” Then God LOL’d.

The land produced vegetation; mostly ingredients for green juice and wine, TBH.

Then there was evening, and there was morning — the third day. And God added it to his Instagram Story.

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Then God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,” which was sus considering He gave everyone the same amount of time in a day as Beyoncé (another deity).

Then God, a natural UX Designer, made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. And, because God has no chill, he also made the stars.

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God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. Then he binge-watched The Stars on Netflix. #Sponsored #Ad

And there was evening, and there was morning — the fourth day. And God was v tired from adulting so hard.

God tweeted, “RT if you think I should let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky," even though He had no followers (yet).

But God created these next-level creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems IRL anyway. And God had all the feels.

Then God, woke as ever, said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth,” which was v v on brand for God.

And there was evening, and there was morning — the fifth day. And God wrote a quick essay about it on Medium.

Then, because God was in #beastmode, He said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals.” But He only selfied with the most adorbs ones.

God made the wild animals according to their kinds. And God saw to it that these creatures would bring joy (and fear) across the land and live eternally in memes across the internet.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may SLAAAYYYYYY over all the non-humans,” which was a pretty savage thing to say.

So God created humankind in His own image of #squadgoals; male and female and gay and lesbian and bisexual and queer and transgender and whatever anyone wanted. He created them all equally thirsty AF.

God blessed His fam and shouted, “YOLOOOOOOO.” And then spilled the tea about life on earth.

God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. But don’t buy too much avocado toast, or you will never be able to afford a house.” And they were shook.

“And to all the creatures of the earth, even the internet trolls and ratchet THOTs — everything that has the breath of life in it — I give every green plant for food.” And they all said, “OMG, preach!” and went to brunch.

God saw all that He had made, and He literally couldn’t even.

And there was evening, and there was morning. And God was like, for heaven’s sake! This place is cray, I’m OUTTTT! ✌🌎 And he requested an Uber, and it was so.

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2529 days ago
2529 days ago
At first I was proud that I caught 90% of the references! Then I was sad that I caught 90% of the references.
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