Great links for the weekend!

I’m currently sat with the cat on my lap.  A few days ago we realised that he must have been in a fight with someone (a someone with claws).  That or he took on an unusually prickly bush.  He’s got a big gouge just below his left ear – fortunately not near his eye but it looks nasty all the same.

It’s scabbed over and seems to be healing well, however it seems to have dented his pride a bit.  This cat that is usually so ruthless with his claws and teeth and only sits on laps on his own terms is suddenly desperate to curl up on a lap wherever and whenever he can locate one, you just need to stop still for a micro-second and he starts trying to climb on and curl up.  Not only that but he’s allowing far more stroking, tickling and close inspection of his ear than I would generally expect. 

He’s definitely feeling a bit bruised although whether his owners have also put him on antibiotics which are making him a bit woozy it is hard to tell.

It’s really making me feel rather motherly towards him…  But enough of this soppiness, you didn’t come here to read about that.  You came to find out what crazy batch of links I’ve managed to unearth for you this week.

  • I’ll kick off with a reminder to those in the UK who are interested that applications for volunteering at the 2012 Olympics in London opened on 15 September.  If you are interested in volunteering then you can find the necessary information on the website.
  • Moving onto the real links for the week, let’s go straight in at the deep end.  I take my fish oil, glucosamine condroitin and Vitamin D daily and am certain that they do everything I need but that’s been thrown into question (or at least the glucosamine bit has).  Scientists in Switzerland are now saying that they don’t think glucosamine condroitin has a beneficial effect on osteoarthritis of the hip or knee joint.  Watch this space to see where they go from here.
  • Are you pleased that you still fit into the same clothing size you were in a decade ago?  Women are generally aware that these days manufacturers are slowly changing the measurements that make up clothing sizes so that a size 10 is now quite a bit bigger than it was in the 1950s, but you would think that men’s clothes, measured in inches, would be safe from that.  Think again.  Someone has been out and measured clothes and found that they are rarely, if ever, the size they claim to be.  This might also explain why even men are never the same size in two consecutive shops.
  • I read a fascinating article this week showing the results of a study comparing the effects of 3 weeks bed rest to 30 years of aging.  The study seems to have been done well and suggests that 3 weeks of bed rest is far more detrimental to your health, although it can also be a state that people recover from.  But then, how different is bed rest to sitting in a chair at work, driving home, sitting in front of the TV and then heading to bed?  Plenty of people do that for far longer than 3 weeks.
  • If you are interested in the science of cravings then you may want to plough through this short, but incredibly technical, blog-post about the neural activity related to cravings and controlling them.  Fascinating stuff.
  • Staying on a similar theme, I’ve also found an article about how the munchies is connected to obesity.  It seems that gut health could affect our desire to have the munchies, therefore making us (a) obese and (b) desire more bad food which will affect our gut health, so yet another reason to maintain good gut health.
  • Now, for your entertainment, a scientific paper to explain to all of us (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) how to write a scientific paper of our own.  Looks easy, doesn’t it?
  • Anyone who’s read my blog in the last couple of weeks or who follows me on Twitter or Facebook will know that I do Krav Maga.  It’s not a martial art but it’s nature of kicking, punching and the odd throw while simulating real-life contact combat is often similar to martial arts.  I was therefore interested to see that a recent study suggests that martial arts may not be good for us.  The physiological and psychological stress of sparring creates a hormonal response which is catabolic.  Specifically, Testosterone goes down and cortisol goes up.  Something to keep an eye on I think.
  • I really liked this series of short videos of professional female tennis stars doing shots in slow motion.  It reveals the pure athleticism behind a single shot.
  • Did you, like me, sometimes just need someone to give you that kick to get you back to working hard in the gym.  It doesn’t happen often, but next time I might just go back and read a recent article by Tony Gentilcore which would have made me feel guilty even if I had only just left the weight’s room.

A friend of mine introduced me to Simon’s Cat pretty recently (thanks Jenny).  I really recommend going to the Simon’s Cat You Tube channel to see all the short films, but here are two of my favourites.

I hope you enjoy them.  I’m going to get back to looking after our friendly neighbourhood cat now and see if I can get him to cheer up back to Simon’s Cat levels of cheeriness.


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