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Category: the odes

11/20/11 10:31 - ID#55559

Fortnightly reads

Things have reached a rather bad state when these three documents are your only regular fortnightly anticipated reads.

1. Walgreens Chocolate mania.

2. Random Pricerite ogling.

3. Coop Bulk Food craziness.

{The coop is 20 minutes away, which is also a bit of dealbreaker for me. Grocery shopping is a time-eater on days I am struggling to find extra time.}

I wish Guercio's were not a complete 2.1 miles away. I know that's not much when you drive or even bike but it takes me 30 minutes to get there. Once I do, it's hard not to linger and buy a ton of awesome things and carrying or carting all of it back takes more than 40 minutes. That's a good 2-4 hours down the drain. I just cannot afford the time.

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Permalink: Fortnightly_reads.html
Words: 156
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/20/11 10:42

Category: the odes

11/20/11 10:08 - ID#55557

TODO or not TODO.

(e:heidi)'s comments on the powerlessness of individuals in changing their diet always makes me think about my wages (slightly above minimum, almost the lowest bin in terms of taxation), dependents (none) and quality of diet (I want to believe, fairly good).

I think that people can change their diets if
a) they have the will power
b) the motivation
c) proper guidance for the switch
d) options to aid a gentle and gradual but complete switch
e) some level of daring
f) a shop like pricerite within a mile of where they live.

I want to do a couple posts on this after I am done "dissertating".

A personal debate on BMI and obesity and what are the right tools of measurement. This is a complicated issue. Arguments can be made on every single side and indecision reigns supreme. Emotions come into play depending what kind of personal brushes you have had with the medical community, your current and past health and issues you have had or are still having with weight loss/control/gain. In addition, there is the dry statistical debate. Mixing all of this leads to arguments sounding slightly biased and unconvincing. So I want to tackle each in context but in independent posts.

The unending Coop Vs. pricerite opinion

The unending "is organic farming really worth it?" and "is eating organic really worth it" current evidence post.

On secondthoughts, this is a completely worthless debate. Coop activists need to wake up and smell their snobbery and bias against the poor. Organic farming is only relevant for animal products not plants or fat-free produce. It's not logical to argue that organic produce is somehow better because really, there is ZERO evidence or even likelihood of any "inorganic" chemicals being anything other than fat soluble. Thus, no arguments that include such points as chemical residue in washed produce is accurate. The "it just tastes better to me" is so lame as to not merit any mind space.

The thing is all of these require a ton of research and review. In fact, I could take my research on these and turn it into journal articles and submit them for peer review. Which is probably what I should do, since this will eat into my time.


Just ignore all these TODOs. Hold on to what I believe and keep encouraging people that healthy eating is not about political beliefs, snobbery, or even activism. Its about eating what makes your body not die inside and rejuvenates your organ systems instead of overloading them with toxins and other tough to process components.

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Permalink: TODO_or_not_TODO_.html
Words: 439
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/20/11 10:17

Category: music

11/19/11 12:48 - ID#55547

Wachet auf, ruft uns die stimme

I am re-discovering all of Bach magnificent Cantatas once more and BWV140 is one of my all-time favourites.

I love the absolutely perfect build up of the vocal ornamentations to the crescendo of the choir from 4:26. Hearing the cantatas is almost equivalent to getting a virtual pair of wings if you close your eyes.

Did you know that Bach wrote a brand new cantata every single week for the Sunday worship service, and that there are nearly 260 of them? Prolific was a gross understatement when it came to Bach.
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Permalink: Wachet_auf_ruft_uns_die_stimme.html
Words: 96
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/19/11 01:00

Category: linux

11/18/11 12:27 - ID#55542

djvu files in Fedora

Evince has djvu file support but just not in Fedora, at least by default.

You need the evince-djvu module to make Evince launch djvu files:

sudo yum install evince-djvu

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Permalink: djvu_files_in_Fedora.html
Words: 29
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/18/11 12:28

Category: dance

11/18/11 09:37 - ID#55540

The Emperor's Waltz

The Waltz is my most favourite kind of classical music after sonorous abstract cello recitals and baroque orchestral works. Wait till you reach around 3:20, when they give the dance a modern interpretation. :)

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Permalink: The_Emperor_s_Waltz.html
Words: 34
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/18/11 09:38

Category: science

11/17/11 07:10 - ID#55537

United States of Obesity


Though I like the poster below for how it presents information, I think all of us need to review this really informative book on reality and myths surrounding Obesity: directly leads to the PDF.
Source: Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF)

The book has some excellent data presentation - far prettier than the poster below. A pity, its locked into PDF. I am going to see if I rip those diagrams and also put it on this post in direct contrast to the pretty poster in my original post.

For me, the real challenge is to examine if I am cherry-picking results or have done a balanced survey of the peer-reviewed literature. I am currently disinclined to accept any pigeonholed set of beliefs on the many sides of this whole obesity discussion. In many ways, I see more confounders in the equation than is comfortably explained away. If there is an epidemic that needs immediate addressing, its one of confusion and indecision.

And now my original post:

Just saw this here:

Now, that is classy presentation. Twenty years back, I would have been a 4 instead of being relegated to 2s and 0s most arbitrarily.

The real sources
I posted this because I find the data presentation in this poster very compelling. It is capable of eliciting a strong response from everyone just because it is so directly and simply presented. However, you have raised some concerns over the source of the chart. So I dug more and came up with the real sources of this compilation:
  • The portion size statistics and graphics came from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) website. They have 2 full slide sets for post and present portion sizes:
  • Set 1:
  • Set 2:
  • The BMI chart was adapted from the NHLBI's evidence report titled: "Clinical guidelines on the identification, evaluation and treatment of overweight and obesity in Adults. The evidence report." Available at:
  • The facts for the diagram came from here:

I am also going to keep adding equivalent data presentations from non-commercial sources to this post.
Source: RAND health, an offshoot of the famous RAND Corporation, a non profit think tank whose name expands to just Research And Development
Data from Sturm, R., J. Ringel, and T. Andreyeva, "Increasing Obesity Rates and Disability Trends," Health Affairs, Vol. 23, No. 2, March/April 2004, pp. 1–7.
Source: Centers for Disease Control a.k.a. CDC
Food subsidies and the food pyramid
{Re: (e:heidi)'s observation. Last para Comment #66257}
From PCRM. Physicians Comittee for Responsible Medicine

Note that the government recommended food guide pyramid is now a plate with %s. I personally think it makes more sense and is more comprehensible even though the new food plate also has its critics. An argument is that the government shouldn't be telling us what to eat. However, people who determine the food pyramid or the plate are just scientists working for the government. This diagram raises the real parallel question for me, why are these scientists who come up with food portion recommendations not on the committees that decide on what to subsidize?!
And just for fun, from Apples From Oranges:

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Permalink: United_States_of_Obesity.html
Words: 659
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/20/11 08:12

Category: linux

11/17/11 08:36 - ID#55532

Oh no! Something has gone wrong

You have to hand it to the Gnome3 folks. At least the message looks crisp and smart.


Even though what followed was an undeniably ungraceful crash.
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Permalink: Oh_no_Something_has_gone_wrong.html
Words: 28
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/17/11 08:42

Category: linux

11/17/11 08:14 - ID#55531

All the pretty horses

sounds very much like all the running processes. Well, it does if you slur and clip the last sss.

All the running processes

ps aux | less

  • gives you the full command or name of the process, which you can then use to create keyboard shortcuts or just kill processes with their PID numbers
  • piping the ps aux to less makes the display not run amok on your screen and you can scroll the output with your keyboard

All the processes run by you

ps -u username

  • drawback is it doesn't give you the full command

Grepping for particular process.

ps aux | grep screen

  • simple, you pipe the ps aux through grep.
  • in the example above I was trying to search for what the screenshot utility was called. The output is below:

[user@comp ~]$ ps aux | grep screen
user 1527 0.0 0.1 429476 11664 ? Sl Nov14 0:11 gnome-screensaver
user 19804 0.0 0.1 415516 12696 ? Sl 07:54 0:00 gnome-screenshot --interactive
user 20066 0.0 0.0 109112 840 pts/0 S+ 08:07 0:00 grep --color=auto screen

The bolded text is what I was searching for.

How to find the internal commands of the processes/programs/applications in linux. Can use these commands to assign keyboard shortcuts. Can use process IDs to kill applications/programs

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Permalink: All_the_pretty_horses.html
Words: 192
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/01/11 12:03

Category: buffalo

11/16/11 09:18 - ID#55530

Buffalo General has a rooftop disco.

Or so it seems today.

l stare at this building everyday and I couldn't help but notice that they added another beacon light on its rooftop. It's almost like a discotheque now.


If you can't clearly see the gaudy three lights in the super crappy picture that my phone has taken, the new light starts off as yellow, slowly turns a dark bright orange and then dims to a low green. The older two lights were red and yellow. That's quite a spectrum there.

Did they receive complaints from the pilots of random helicopters that keep zooming around the place? Or maybe they are jazzing it up for thanksgiving. Or maybe its an alien spaceship sending signals that Buffalo is safe for landing?
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Permalink: Buffalo_General_has_a_rooftop_disco_.html
Words: 125
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/17/11 08:57

Category: i-tech

11/16/11 08:39 - ID#55528

Arrgh. Google Bookmarks Lists

Back when Google introduced the Google Bookmarks Lists, I should not have jumped at it.

But I did. BIG mistake. Now ALL my zillion bookmarks are stuck in lists without ANY way of exporting them anywhere. The export-bookmarks function only works for bookmarks that are NOT in lists.

This is so annoying. I hate you, Google Bookmarks List makers. Haven't you ever heard of the data liberation front, your company's own sister concern????


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Permalink: Arrgh_Google_Bookmarks_Lists.html
Words: 80
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/16/11 08:40



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