Good Training

Since I deadlift heavy every other week and this was not one of those weeks, I took the opportunity to do some box jumps and single leg squats. These light deadlift weeks are probably the most fun I have in weight training.

Having mastered the highest box at the Gold’s Gym where I train, I’ve taken to buying notebooks four at a time to continue increasing the box height every week.

Doing the single leg squats on the overturned stability dome has really increased my balance over the months. I’m strong enough now to comfortably “surf” the DC metro, which is generally unheard of because the relatively modern transit system accelerates and decelerates very rapidly–much faster than the NYC subway, for instance. Maybe I’ll post a fun surfing video in the near future.

Lego Roundup

Here’s a likeness of former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal clutching a real basketball. 

Reasons Why The Walking Dead Scares the Crap Out of Me, Ctd.

Apropos of previous posts about how the zombie genre hits closer to scientific home than most of us realize, here’s one about parasitic bacteria taking over the function of plants for their own monstrous ends:

The plant parasite in her study is dependent on both insects to spread and  on which to grow. It induces the plant to transform its flowers into leaf tissue, sacrificing its reproductive success and becoming sterile. It is now a zombie plant – dead to the future and destined to benefit only the survival of the bacteria.

When leafhoppers eat infected plant material, the bacteria colonize the insects, including their salivary glands. If the insect dribbles saliva as it sucks on another plant, the bacteria are able to spread into new plant tissue. The bacteria set to work on making the plant more attractive to leafhoppers.


Stay vigilant.

Good Training

Pulled 425 for 3 yesterday. That breaks my previous record of 415 for 2 by 10 pounds and an extra repetition, making this decidedly the strongest I have ever been. My lifetime max is 430 for 1, so in two weeks I’ll set a new max by pulling 440. I should get it for two.

Previous training here, here, here, and here.

The Whale Wars Are Over

….for now, anyway.

This morning, the International Court of Justice ruled in Australia’s favor in a suit against Japan’s “scientific” whaling program in the Antarctic. The judgment:

Taken as a whole, the Court considers that JARPA II involves activities that can broadly be characterized as scientific research (see paragraph 127 above), but that the evidence does not establish that the programme’s design and implementation are reasonable in relation to achieving its stated objectives. The Court concludes that the special permits granted by Japan for the killing, taking and treating of whales in connection with JARPA II are not “for purposes of scientific research” pursuant to Article VIII, paragraph 1, of the Convention.


[Read more...]

US Reaffirms Its Rejection of International Human Rights Law Overseas

I wrote previously that the United States was expected to reject the applicability of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to non-US territories under its effective control (as in the case of Iraq during US occupation). As expected, the US government upheld this interpretation before a meeting of the UN Human Rights Committee. The Committee expressed its “regret” with this interpretation, with the Committee Chair concluding thus:

The provisions of the Covenant were rather clear on the fact that it applied to both people in the territory and people under the jurisdiction of the State Party, and this was the most common interpretation.  It was worrying that the United States presented such an example to the international community.

Marko Milanovic has a good summary of the ultimately futile efforts of Harold Koh, former Legal Advisor to the US State Department, to shift US policy toward a more legally tenable interpretation of the treaty’s application.

Good Training

Squatted yesterday. Of the power exercises that I do, the squat is the least intuitive to me. My squat max is well below that of my deadlift. I’m not sure what this means.

Tuesdays are also core day for me and my training partner/girlfriend Caryn Benisch. I usually superset back extension curl-ups with hanging vertical leg scissors. You can watch the latter below.


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