Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The essence of good discipline is respect

For christmas I got Andre Agassi's autobiography 'Open'. I've been a fan of Agassi for years and was really excited to read it. I was shocked that the first thing I learn about him is that he hates tennis. I couldn't believe it. But I learn from the book why.

I can't say I enjoyed the book because it's full of so much anger. I feel I'm more interested in who Andre has become than where he has come from. I get that he had a lot of troubles while he was young like many people in sport and was forced into tennis rather than being given a choice.

I stuck with the first half of the book then just plain got bored. After reading about winning or losing 4 or 5 slams I've pretty much heard it all.After hearing him slag of most of the people on the tennis circuit, again, I've pretty much heard it all. I don't need a play by play account.

Maybe the book changed its tone later on but I didn't detect any change whilst skimming it. The last 20 or so pages ended up being what I'm really interested in. Unfortunately the book has put me off Agassi as a tennis player. He's another example of someone constantly trying to prove himself, rather than realising he has nothing to prove. He was one of the mosted gifted of his generation and at times achieved the level that Federer achieves now.

I can accept that he was simply maturing. Sports, these days, are a young persons pursuit at the highest level and  the book describes a young man maturing. I just want to hear a lot more about the man who built a world class teaching facility for the poor of Las Vegas and through foundation. The dreams he has for the school, it's staff and pupils. What has tennis and it's fame and notoriety taught Andre that he wants to pass on to these kids and his own children. What can his generation teach the next.

I found something I really like near the end of the book (p382). The code of respect the pupils and Andre recite every day before school.
The essence of good discipline is respect.
Respect for authority and respect for others.
Respect for self and respect for rules.
It is an attitude that begins at home,
Is reinforced at school,
And is applied through life.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Laws defined in biomechanics

Reading sportex medicine issue 18 oct 03.
There are now a few laws that can be applied to functional rehabilitation through biomechanics.
Wolfes law, davis' law, sensorimotor control and the specifity of muscle training. Also known as said or specific adaptation to imposed demands

Finally I've seen two laws defined for sports science. Finally they're coming up with laws.

Woolfes law
Bone remodels according to the forces imposed upon it.

Increasing the force transmitted through bone causes it to increasee its density and mechanical strength, whereas decreasing the force transmitted threough bone e.g immobilisation, bed rest, causes it to decrease its density and mechanical strength.

Wolfes law also states the specificity principle. That the remodelling is speicific to the area where force is applied and the type and degree of force applied.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Simple web tutorials

some people I know are very new to the web and computers in general. So I like to help out by giving some tips and tutorials. Thought I'd start putting them up on my blog to help share and because a big part of learning is about immersing yourself in the environment and letting yourself adjust.

So this is about introducing the concept of blogs to people and how rich they are in information.

Once you start using mail regularly your inbox will quickly get so full you have trouble finding mails and conversations. That's when it's time to start using the search box at the top of the gmail screen more effectively. Gmail has the ability to find all mails sent by someone (from:), sent to someone (to:) and many other rich features.  There is a full list of search terms, but lets just start with finding all mails from a friend:

  • in the search box type 'from:' then start typing your friends email address. You may see a list of addresses matching the letters you've typed. this is 'autocomplete' working for you. If so, click your friends address. 
  • When you have 'from:yourfriendsemailaddress' in the search box click 'search mail' or press 'enter'
  • You should now see a list of all the mails from your friend. magic!!!
You can use all the other search terms in exactly the same way, so now I've shown you one you can do them all. It takes a little practice but if you get no results remember there are always other searches to run or places to look to find what you're looking for. So don't fret just Google or ask some one who knows. 

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Can Golfs handicap system work in tennis?

Just been playing tennis. I've always wanted a handicapping system like that in golf to help each player compate themselves fairly given different skills and abilities.

Then realised new tech like fitbit and other wearable activity monitors could do this by helping me limit the shots I play or the speed I run to match my opponent.

I have learnt to do this anyway to make the rallies last longer. At first it seems boring because I'm constnlantly holding back but I've just realised I should be using this time to developer my own strategic skills.
It's rare I play someone of my own skill. I'm not particulalry brilliant I just don't know so many people who arte able to play. So it's actually more fun to bring the physical parts of the game back down to equal levels and emphasise strategy to win.

I'm finding it a really useful way to develop my game further but also help my ftriend imrpvoe at thew same time.
The tech could just automate this by telling me when I exceed a certain speed, even telling me when I should act tired and go slower or something.

Then I could just focus on playing the game to these new rules and enjoy the challenge of winning on these terms
Comparing to golfs handicapping system is important because I find many people, guys in particular, don't like the idea of handicapping. Yet these same guys play golf which has handicapping built right in. So I wonder how golf managed to instil the idea nd whether this comparison helps people understand its benefits.

Listening with big ears

Been hearing about etherpad recently. Decided to check it out. then came across a great article describing the main points to coming up with world class product features. Just had to pass it on. It's my philosophy exactly.

I've talked about points like this in previous posts like

Old age: Wear and tear or lack of use?

Does old age represent lack of use and practice or wear and tear? I think
both but it's assumed wear and tear is the biggest contributor. I don't see

Get confident in tight situations by practicising what can go wrong

The best way to train is practicing what can go wrong. You'll end up more confident when things are difficult.

Managing risk is a key skill of life.

The essence of the article is that in every aspect of my life, my ability to manage the inevitable risks determine how successful I am. So learning to manage risk. No matter how big or small should be a core life skill you work on

The thymus gland. Prevent disease improve life and longevity

I saw a statistic on a web feed showing reasons for death. Most things on the list can be linked to infections and disease. So could the ability to fight disease determine life length and quality?

Should we focus on improving natural immunisation and use the thymus properly while young. Or consider  keeping the thymus large by training it.

Taking this further I just saw an article linking the thymus with the idea that well-trained immune cells keep HIV in check

Got some food to use up but don't now the recipe? try supercook.com

Heard from the gadget show about the supercook.com website. Just checked it out and was impressed within the first minute. Why? Cos I have some fresh broccoli at home that I didn't know what to do with. I know.. I know it's just broccoli but recipe books don't list all the things you can do with broccoli and since it's fresh I didn't just want to boil it and serve. I want to do something special.

I had some ideas but I heard supercook gives you tons of ideas. I tried it and it did. 2000 ideas. And that's after I narrowed things down by adding a bunch of other ingredients. Signed up in a flash. All the ingredients I'd added were still stored. Turns out that I could make 30 or so of the recipes listed with the few ingredients I'd added. So I've added a bunch more ingredients and now I can make 569 recipes right now!! How cool.

A few things I'd like to see is how long each recipe is going to take both in preparation and cooking. that helps me pick the recipe for my mood. sometimes I want quick easy food. Other times I'm in the mood to cook.

So far though I'm seriously impressed. It's been so user friendly and helpful.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

How does our food get processed.

This is a big question I've always had, just like everyone else. I've learnt a lot over the years from working in several meat factories to topics during a levels and later on.

Adding to that I'm watching the series jimmys food facts on bbc. It really brings home the quality of the food accessible to us today. I feel we have no real idea how good it generally is and how the standard has risen for the masses compared to years ago.

I've just been watching how eggs reach our shelves and didn't realise how much is known about getting quality eggs and picking the best and safest to eat. Also how the waste is used in many other products such as cakes and pastry.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Learning Google wave

ok, Just like everyone else right now I'm getting into Google wave. So thought I'd put what I've found here.

Long term I'm trying to figure out how to record this all in wave (simple) and publish the wave to my blog (Harder) then I can truly write once, in wave, and re use anywhere.

I've started this process by trying to embed a google wave into a blog post. No luck yet but I'll keep trying.

For now I thought I'd link to the wave keyboard shortcuts for things like Shift then Enter = click done button and space when viewing a wave goes to the next unread post. found another list of keyboard shortcuts. Most are the same but with some useful differences like ctrl+space when focused on wave panel marks all messages as read

Obviously I'm going to have to learn the terminology too.

There also has to be a section on 'What is the point of wave?' since that's the question everyone asks.
I can see so many 'points' to it I just can put them down. The more I use it the more reasons I find to use it. The only issue for me is will it stay around? I think it will but it's very early days.

Anyway daniel tenner has put together an insightful analysis of wave that I discovered reading the public wave 'Ides for wave in learning'. Reading this post I'm wondering whether this is also Google subtle, or blatant, sales pitch to companies considering switching to Google services. There are growing rumours that gmail will switch to wave sometime in the future. Therefore any company who opts for gmail now can look forward to the option of wave later. those that stay with other providers may have trouble retro fitting wave later on. Just a guess but it's interesting.