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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Stay Fit At Work?

mcsqueak Ride a bike (635 comments)

Do you like cycling?

Ride your bike to work. It's a simple way to add exercise into your day.

I was always too lazy to go to the gym, but found cycling was something I enjoyed. So I started doing it more and more, and eventually started riding to/from work.

My office is 18km from home, and the ride takes me about 45-50 minutes. So one day of riding gives me almost two hours of working out, which is great. I do that a few times a week and it really helps. I was never fat, but at one point I was pushing 190 lbs, and at 5'11" I'm a bit short to weigh that much. I'm down to 175 and think it's a much better weight:height ratio.

On the way to work I try and take it easy so I don't get too sweaty, but in the evening I really try and hammer to get a good workout. And when it's light later in the summer I'll make my ride home longer so I can get an even better workout in and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather.

about 2 years ago

Electric Car Environmental Impact: Power Source Matters

mcsqueak Pollute once rather than twice? (341 comments)

From the bottom of the news item:

However, "In regions where fossil fuels are the main sources of power, electric cars offer no benefits and may even cause more harm." The study says, "It is counterproductive to promote electric vehicles in regions where electricity is primarily produced from lignite, coal or even heavy oil combustion."

That statement doesn't make a lick of sense to me.

I don't know anything about how gasoline is made, other than it needs to be pumped out of the ocean/ground, shipped around, refined in huge plants, and then shipped to the final destination such as the corner gas station.

So, making gasoline and providing it to market creates a lot of pollution I'd assume. Not only does making it pollute, but transporting it pollutes again, and then lastly using it driving around pollutes.

How is that less worse than manufacturing electricity (at one location, be it hydropower or coal, whatever) and shipping it via power lines to the distribution source (the plug at your home). No pollution shipping the product around, and no pollution while you drive.

more than 2 years ago

To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

mcsqueak Re:But that's not the real problem. (1651 comments)

You mean, in the velodrome *track* bikes are the thing. They don't allow road bikes in the velodrome here, unless you're riding by yourself and no one is around...

more than 2 years ago

Peter Jackson Announces Third Hobbit Movie

mcsqueak Faster frame-rate, less movies (303 comments)

You know, I thought with the faster frame-rate they're shooting in, they'd be able to fit MORE action into LESS films...

more than 2 years ago

Jack Daniels Shows How To Write a Cease and Desist Letter

mcsqueak Seeing this makes me happy (402 comments)

It makes me happy whenever I see companies operate in this manner - wish more would act this way, but I actually have experience with a larger company being nice.

As part of my job I file and keep up all the trademark filing for the company I work for, and we actually had a trademark dispute a few years ago, involving a name we were registering being a little too close to an already registered name. They are probably a billion dollar revenue company in size, while we are only a few million.

Despite being in two totally separate markets (but both involving technology products that can communicate with databases, etc.), their lawyer was very nice to me, and simply said they wouldn't pursue any actions against us as long as we dropped our current registration and simply filed a new one with our company name in front of it - so rather than "trademark", it became "companyname trademark". Not a big deal as we usually put our company name on our products any ways.

Their lawyer even helped me better define the wording on our product registration, to make absolutely sure there wouldn't be any overlap with theirs. Didn't cost my company a dime, other than my time and a $325 refiling fee. I was very happy with the outcome, considering they could have buried us in legal crap had they wanted to.

more than 2 years ago

12 Dead, 50 Injured at The Dark Knight Rises Showing In Colorado

mcsqueak Re:"No terrorism link" (1706 comments)

Yes, that quote bothers me as well.

At least for me, this feels much more like terrorism than anything out of the middle east (though I was not in NY or DC on 9/11, so I'm sure those who were there feel differently, and rightfully so).

I'm far more afraid of some random gunman opening fire in a public place than any airliner I fly being hijacked and crashed. Yet look where we spend all of our money...

more than 2 years ago

AT&T Introducing Verizon-Style Shared Data Plans

mcsqueak Re:Saves nothing, really. (307 comments)

I have a similar situation, my brother-in-law runs our Verizon family plan with four of us on it.

We all have iPhones with data and unlimited text. My share of the bill is $58/mo.

I don't monitor my use, but I've never gone over my data cap, even when I was moving and didn't have internet at my home for over a month, using my iPhone over 3G exclusively for web browsing (laptop couldn't pick up any open wi-fi networks from my apartment).

Seems like a decent price for a smart phone to me, considering my last dumb-phone was on T-Mobile and by the time I added the text messaging and all that it was nearly $50/mo - and this was almost 4 years ago now.

more than 2 years ago

'Social Jetlag' May Be Making You Fat

mcsqueak Re:Just do it (197 comments)

Everybody is busy. It's a question of priorities. For you, exercise ranks below all of the things you mention there. For me, it ranks above TV, and it counts as a hobby. I have enough fat relatives to have a good idea of what will happen if I don't stay active, and it isn't pretty.

This is the secret that I think separates those who enjoy exercise from those who don't: those who enjoy it have somehow managed to find a form of exercise that they have turned into a hobby. It is not not just done for the end results and benefit, but also for the fun of doing the activity itself.

For me, it's cycling. I LOVE to be out riding my bike, so exercising isn't a chore, it's a hobby and to be honest somewhat of a lifestyle.

As an example, in April I cycled 27 hours for a total of distance 361 miles and 15,695 ft of elevation climbed. If I didn't love doing it and make time to do it above other activities, I'd never fit that much time in.

I'm sick of listening to friends complain that they are tired of being "fat" (usually not obese, just excess mid-section fat from lack of activity), yet hardly devote more than an hour or two to "working out" per week (none of it high intensity), then spend all weekend eating and drinking out at bars and whatnot. If you don't like it, make a fucking change. I did three years ago and it was one of the best things I've done for myself.

more than 2 years ago

Hybrid Car Owners Not Likely To Buy Another Hybrid

mcsqueak Re:Diesel: The Way Forward (998 comments)

And how much does the bike cost you if you get hit by a car? (As happened with my dad, my uncle, my coworker, and one of my dad's friends.) Then you're spending close to $100,000 on broken bone repair, rehabilitation, and will likely walk with a limp the rest of your life. I'd rather have my body surrounded by the $20K of solid metal.

Yes, because no one is ever killed while driving. The NHTSA lists 30,797 people died in automobile accidents in 2009. Source: http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx

It also shows that 630 "pedalcyclists" and 4,092 pedestrians died.

Of course, proportionally more people drive, and the amount of time spent driving vs. other transportation activities is significantly higher.

If we're bringing out personal anecdotes however, I've been in one roll-over car crash, and zero crashes on the bike. So I in my reality, cycling is no more dangerous than driving.

I'd estimate that last year I spent ~50 minutes per day in my car 5x a week commuting, with an unknown quantity on weekends/evenings/non-work trips.

That works out to 208 hours of driving strictly for work, covering somewhere around 5,000 city miles. I'd estimate I have probably a little over twice that amount in actual usage, as my annual driving is almost 12,000 miles.

However, I *do* know that I spent 164 hours last year cycling a total of 2,168 miles, as my GPS + Strava software tracks everything.

And you can't predict an accident. I might cycle for 20 years with no issues and get into another serious car wreck tomorrow. Besides, I'd rather spend my time cycling if I can rather than driving... much more fun.

more than 2 years ago

Shmoocon Demo Shows Easy, Wireless Credit Card Fraud

mcsqueak Re:Mitigating factors (273 comments)

The only exception to this, I think, would be when transit cards are connected to debit cards or bank accounts, to auto-refill when your transit pass runs low. You could potentially siphon money from someone's account that way, but safeguards could be in place (such as the transit company not authorizing any transactions that would result in the purchase of more than "xx number days worth" of transit fare, for example.)

more than 2 years ago

Shmoocon Demo Shows Easy, Wireless Credit Card Fraud

mcsqueak Re:Mitigating factors (273 comments)

Exactly, this technology gains you nothing and exposes you to more potential fraud vectors. I don't see the point - I'd rather swipe my own card through a standard pad and type in my PIN. I'm already standing there; I don't need some stupid tap technology to go "DURRR, IT TOOK MUH MONEY AND I DIDN'T EVEN HAFTA ENTER MUH PIN!!".

The one place I think contactless cards make a difference is in transit systems. While in Japan I used the refillable PASMO card, and it was nice to be able to tap my wallet on the train "turnstiles" to go though, I hardly had to reduce my walking speed. I could also use it on buses, rather than cash. However I have no comment/knowledge on the security of those, or potential vulnerabilities that may exist.

more than 2 years ago

World's Worst PR Guy Gives His Side

mcsqueak Re:Don't (576 comments)

>>The douchebag loves attention and "connections".

Hey, don't mock his connections, okay?

Turns out he knows the guy at the door of the convention center.

You mean those little old ladies that are super nice and ask to see your badge? I don't know who works at the "convention center" in Boston, but in my city it seems to be mostly staffed by retiree-aged people.

about 3 years ago

Vanity Fair On the TSA and Security Theater

mcsqueak Re:provide conceal carry? (256 comments)

I read someplace that significant number of people

What constitutes significant? Compared to automobile deaths?

shot are friends and family either from "moments of rage"

Given how few people die from firearms each year, I can't imagine this being that many. Perhaps it is a significant proportion of accidental shootings. The statistics are clear here: guns save lives. Arguments to the contrary are based on emotion, hearsay, conjecture, and fearmongering.

I'd call the 30,000 people killed in 2001 in the US by firearms fairly significant. Source: http://harvardmagazine.com/2004/09/death-by-the-barrel.html

Lots of other interesting statistics in that article as well. I'm not going to point-by-point argue with you because I'll never convince you that I'm right and you're wrong, but I feel that a lot of the reasons people want to own guns are based on "emotion, hearsay, conjecture, and fearmongering" just as anti-gun arguments are based on the same thing.

FWIW I have no problems with guns, I learned how to shoot while in Boy Scouts, would enjoy the chance to try hunting at some point, and I find target shooting fun, but I don't personally own a firearm as I don't feel I need one to be safe.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Ideal High School Computer Lab?

mcsqueak white boards (268 comments)

I haven't read all the comments that have been posted, but...

I think having very long white boards (or even entire walls painted out with that "whiteboard" paint) would be a great way for the kids/instructors to be able to communally hash out ideas in meatspace. Most rooms don't seem to have enough spaces like this to jot down ideas, draw, write, and think out loud...

more than 3 years ago

Apple May Build Oregon Data Center Next To Facebook's

mcsqueak Re:Its like mcDonalds (91 comments)

When I was a kid, I remember my store manager (one of the franchise owners) mentioning how much research went into a new location for McDonalds. The sheer amount of research, planning, etc. And he (probably jokingly) said that Burger King would just look for where McDonalds was building, and go across the street :)

He may have been "half joking", but that is indeed done, and it's why you often see clusters of fast food (or coffee shops, or whatever) businesses together. The basic idea is that one company did a bunch of research and determined the site was good. The next company comes along, and says "Hey, Brand A is here, so we should probably be here as well". They'll preform their own market research and due diligence regarding the site of course, but the existence of other brands there drives up the idea that the site is good location.

Furthermore, these business clusters serve to actually drive up business far all the brands located there, despite them being competitors and for the most past interchangeable with each other, as you gain a larger share of customer traffic to an area with many businesses.

Lastly, my current company is majority owned by one of the early investors and owners of Hollywood video. He said that Hollywood and Blockbuster would engage in the same practice of locating physically close to a competitor's store, because that area would have good customer demographics.

Its a pretty interesting topic, really..

more than 3 years ago

Scientists Put an End To Smelly Socks

mcsqueak Re:Great... (238 comments)

I would not recommend anything alcohol-based to be used with children who's development is still in progress.

So you're saying I shouldn't be giving my toddler bottles filled with whiskey then?

more than 3 years ago

Windows Phones Getting Buried At Carriers' Stores

mcsqueak Re:Windows Mobile (412 comments)

But at least they had an iPhone funeral before the launch!! (wait, or was that for the Kin's launch?)

Am I the only one who notices that when a company B introduces a "Company A Product Killer!", its always Company B who loses out in the end?

more than 3 years ago

NYTimes Unveils Online Subscription Plan

mcsqueak Re:Two words why I'll never buy a NYT subscription (194 comments)

I was an editor at the school newspaper when I was in highschool, so we were also required to read the NYTimes and our local city rag every day (delivered free to us at school). I too formed a high opinion of the NYTimes that has stayed with me, despite their errors over the past decade. I'll be sad to say that I'll be browsing it less frequently once they start charging, because $15/mo just seems a little steep to me.

more than 3 years ago

NYTimes Unveils Online Subscription Plan

mcsqueak Re:Too much? (194 comments)

Damnit! Evil plan is already foiled. I'm sure there will be services that pop up to handle that, though...

more than 3 years ago

NYTimes Unveils Online Subscription Plan

mcsqueak Too much? (194 comments)

I personally think $15 is a little steep. I'd pay $5... I'm a daily reader of the NYTimes online, but news can come from many sources, not just the Times. I guess if I really want to read a story I'll just post it for myself in Facebook and follow the link...

more than 3 years ago


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