General


Can swearing increase your physical strength?

I sure as F#%k hope so!

A recent study from Keele University finds that the act of swearing out loud can increase strength and power output in physical challenges.

Source: Medical News Today


How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All

So, I stumbled across this article while comparing prices for some OCR gear – a wetsuit for WTM in particular.  This is a fascinating behind the curtain look at how online retailers set prices and takes advantage of buyer’s naiveté.

One tool I strongly recommend everyone have when comparison shopping is a price tracker plugin like camelcamelcamel.com or keepa.com to ensure that a sale isn’t right around the corner.

Even still, as the article notes online retailers are making huge strides in predicting consumer behavior.  It’s probably only a matter of time before these trackers are no longer effective.

Will you pay more for those shoes before 7 p.m.? Would the price tag be different if you lived in the suburbs? Standard prices and simple discounts are giving way to far more exotic strategies, designed to extract every last dollar from the consumer.

Source: The Atlantic


“Zombie” Outbreak Caused by Synthetic Cannabinoid

Image result for zombiesFrom the New England Journal of Medicine comes a weird one today.  Apparently there were clusters of “mass intoxication” in New York that public health officials were having a hard time explaining.  They ended up attributing it to the use of synthetic cannabinoids.  This study details the:

close collaboration between clinicians and public agencies to detect the causative agent of a mass intoxication in New York City. The patients they reported on had psychomotor slowing, intermittent groaning, and a blank stare as signs of depression of the central nervous system.

Sounds like an April Fools joke, except it’s not.  I know one thing for sure, I am always going to keep my distance from a crowd that is moaning and groaning!

Source: NEJM


How wearable heart-rate monitors work, and which is best for you

 

If your considering a wearable heart rate monitor for your fitness regime this is a good article to review.

Chest straps and optical heart-rate monitors are the two most common types of pulse trackers available for modern wearables, and they both use similar methods to measure your pulse. However, their key differences in methodology and design will dictate which device you choose when picking a workout companion.

Source: Arstechnica


More than 20 million Britons ‘physically inactive’

I know obesity is often thought of as an American problem (especially by Americans!) but it’s really a problem that impacts any developed countries.  A new survey in the UK determined that there is a big problem with inactivity among Brits.

They found that three-quarters of people in England (76%), when referred for rehabilitation after suffering a heart attack or having heart surgery, are considered physically inactive.

They warn that more than 5 million deaths worldwide can be attributed to physical inactivity, making it one of the top 10 leading causes of death.

Source: BBC News


Safety Standards Heading to Obstacle Course Racing? 

I expect I am not the only person who has gone to a race, seen an obstacle and wondered how safe it really is. Was it something that looked like it had been assembled hastily, or was it something sturdy that is cleverly designed to look like it is less stable than it really is? The whole point of the sport is to get people outside of their comfort zones, but no one wants a race to end with a trip to the emergency room – not the racers, not the race directors, and certainly not the organizations that are trying to build the sport up.

I’m an engineer, and there has been more than a few occasions where I’ve wondered what level of safety went into the design of some courses – or if any design was involved at all.  You hope that the whole thing is not slapped together but sometimes you have to wonder when you see a wall that moves by more than a foot at the top as people climb over it.

I have always assumed that there was some basic standards in place at these courses.  I’ve always considered them kind of like traveling circuses – you know there not as safe as a destination amusement park but there is some basic precautions that have taken place.  I guess I was wrong.

Nevertheless, it is in the best interest of everyone involved to keep the risks of OCR in check, and to make sure that the sport challenges us, and even sometimes scares us, but that it doesn’t hurt us (at least not too much). This is why races are coming together around the idea of implementing safety standards.

This is a very good thing – and long overdue.  Glad that industry is taking it upon themselves rather than having it foisted upon them.

Source: Obstacle Racing Media


Conor McGregor Takes Shots at Mayweather & Reveals Possible Fight Date

I’m getting sick of the foreplay. Will these guys stop the verbal jabs and get a fight scheduled already?

“I am boxing,” the statement Conor McGregor yelled into the microphones Saturday night when defending his boxing acumen against Floyd Mayweather.For months now these two juggernauts have been rumored to be close to a mega-deal that would put UFC’s brightest star in the ring against the undefeated boxing legend. What makes this go around different is that dates for a fight are being mentioned as well.

Source: Muscle & Fitness