Saturday, July 19, 2008

The physics of weight loss

In response to a discussion on another blog, I sat down to do some thinking on weight and weight loss. For those who cite mass-and-energy balance principles, "calories in = calories out" where "calories in = food intake" and "calories out = exercise" is so oversimplified that it's actually wrong.

"Calories out" has to be adjusted for base metabolism rate. This is affected by growth rate, for the youthful, and such things as pregnancy, lactation, and menstruation in women. The efficiency of exercise also depends on muscle proportions: those with comparatively more/larger muscles (such as men) will be more efficient at expending calories with exercise. Both of these are also affected by body shape and proportions. People generate heat in proportion to their volume or weight, but get rid of it roughly proportion to their surface area (affected by shape). Volume goes up much faster than surface area.

This also helps account for why obese people find it harder to exercise. The body only tolerates a narrow range of internal temperature. A person who can't shed heat as fast through sweating and rapid breathing as he (or she) is generating it through exercise will be psychologically compelled to slow down or shut down the exercise. It seems to be one of those limits on what your body will let you do with it. Those who have found a reasonably effective balance between heat generated and head expended in extended aerobic exercise may find incomprehensible that an overweight person can't, or won't do the the same exercise and get the same benefit. But it's true. Different people sometimes really do require different approaches.

"Calories in" has to be adjusted for digestive efficiency (the ration of calories absorbed to calories ingested). This tends to change with age. I've seen studies that show it's affected by the types and proportions of gut bacteria. It's also affected by the kinds of food one eats, since some foods are more easily digested than others.
Altogether, these suggest that the efficiency of increased exercise in losing weight tends to do down as one gains in weight. Adjusting the diet would seem to be the more effective approach.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


There are several things I've wanted to comment on in the past couple of weeks, but it takes me forever to write things, simply because I keep going back and rewriting, and rethinking, and rephrasing anything I write so much. The final draft may have very little resemblance to what I started out to say, and then I wind up deciding I probably shouldn't say it at all.
I'm becoming rather disappointed with my selection of political blogs. I tend to read the comments, and...gah..I want intelligent discussion, not insane ranting and raving:

XYZ said 987. What a @?*! Everybody knows 123
ABC said 234 and he's a &*$#.
No. XYX is a @#%.
No, ABC is, and so are you, you #&@ !
Same to you, $#%& !

Except that blogs from the other side of the other end of the political spectrum look even worse.

I've also been following LDS-oriented blogs, and might like to link to some of them, except that the largest aggregator or portal seems to have something of a liberal bias, and I haven't found a better one yet. (yes, I'm too lazy to maintain a list of my own favorites here. Or maybe it's not lazy...It's just that blogging isn't really all that high a priority and I have other things to do).
Reading intelligent, informed commentary on practically any subject makes me feel ignorant, so wind up going back to work on my knowledge base . so I don't feel like I'm in one of those nightmares where I find myself suddenly unclothed in front of a crowd whenever I say anything.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Indenendence Day

I'm thankful that I was born and raised in the United States of America. 232 years ago, when faced with a government that refused to hear their petitions and sent troops to crush their protests, a freedom loving group of men declared that they would no longer be ruled by a king or his representatives, but that instead they would govern themselves. The signers of the Declaration pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to the cause of liberty, and most of them paid a price, some of them a heavy one, for that support. But not one of them turned back and renounced it.

Some of those same men met 11 years later to craft a new government, intended to express the principles of self-government, strong enough to protect the liberties they had fought for, but not so strong as to take them away. By the test of time, they succeeded magnificently: They established a nation that has set an example to the world of the blessings of liberty, the greatest defender of that liberty, the wonder and envy of all other people.

Like the grandsons of a wealthy man, we have not earned these blessings by our own effort or worth. We are warned that we become lifted up in pride, and become full of lies, and deceits, and mischief, hypocrisy, strife, murders, whoredoms, and secret abominations, the sword of God's justice will hang over us, and it will fall when the voice of the people chooses evil over good.

So I take a brief moment to celebrate, but then it's time to take my three hundred millionth part to help us, and our future generations, to keep and preserve the kind of freedom our ancestors fought and bled for.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

So I've been gone a while

Did anyone miss me? I didn't really think so. I got involved in other things and I just didn't think I had anything I really felt I had to say. But, if I want to be a common 'tater of any kind, I suppose I need to generate some comments.
I've been looking at the California gay marriage issue. It's amazing to me how easily some people are taken in by the rhetoric about "equal rights". I'll probably have words to say about that, but probably not tonight.

Just for entertainment, over at Hot Air , I saw this.
At the start of the event Tuesday morning, City Council President Michael Hancock introduced singer Rene Marie to perform the national anthem.
Instead, she performed the song “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” which is also known as the “black national anthem.”

Afterwards, she explained:
“When I decided to sing my version, what was going on in my head was: ‘I
want to express how I feel about living in the United States, as a black woman,
as a black person,”

Some of the more pointed/funnier comments at Hot Air

How about putting her race before her country, and deceiving the audience as to her intent? Tribalism before country?

This reveals much about a certain subset of negro society. They view themselves as ‘living here’, but they are not Americans.

But the singer herself said she did it for racial (racist) reasons. It’s not knee-jerk to take offense when offense is intended. The singer did not replace the lyrics in order to expose her audience to a great, spiritually-uplifting song. She did it to make a point about how racist she thinks America still is. She did it to metaphorically raise her middle finger at the country that gives her the freedom to replace the lyrics of its national anthem without fear of reprisal beyond public outrage.

Rene Marie is a jackass. I’m a musician. If you are hired to play/sing something-play it!If the bride wants to hear Wagner’s Wedding March for her wedding processional, I don’t play “Farmer in the freakin’ Dell” ’cause I felt like it.When I order scallops at a restaurant, I don’t want the chef to cook liver and onions for me ’cause he felt like it.In a word-unprofessional.