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About Jo498

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  1. Jo498

    Laws That Keep Me From Drinking

    These rules are so odd for most people from Europe. In Germany almost all stores are closed on Sunday (and after ca. 8-10 pm on weekdays). But the ones that are allowed to be open (like in gas stations or small newsagent's etc.) all sell alcohol. It shows that the US is an odd mix of puritanism and market worship. In a christian country one does not work on Sunday (that's one of the commandments after all), but has drinks either in a pub or with booze bought before on a working day. In the US one apparently should work on Sunday (at least the people in shops and stores) but not drink!
  2. Jo498

    Exercise and Fitness: Keep On Keepin' On

    Pullups seem very hard for most women (it is probably the clearest example for the superior upper body strength of human males) . My sister used to be a decent climber (far better than I managed during the ca. 3 years I dabbled at the sport) weighs maybe 50-52 kg and I think she can do barely one or two (maybe more chin-ups). I could always do two pull-ups, even as a "skinny-fat" mid-40s man with almost 10 kg too much. Now with about 8kg of that 10 lost and a few months of not very systematic training I can do about 8. chin-ups are easier for most people and also a good exercise but they train different muscles. Many probably will not need the additional biceps training chin-ups provide and profit more from pull-ups. @trisk if you can hang for a minute you have enough grip for >10 pull-ups, the limiting factor is certainly elsewhere @Impmk2: good race weight for distances from 1500m onwards is in fact gaunt to emasciated... your weight sounds fine to me, I would not strive for any less at your level, though. What is your best at 10k and how old are you? 65km/week is not that much for Marathon preparation where you need a weekly long run that should be going up to about 25km eventually. Running (middle distances) was my sport as a kid (12-16) but I have some orthopaedic troubles by now and quit my attempts to get back to running already twice (once from ca. 2007-09 and again ca. 2014) because of hurting feet or knees. I am now going again at it very slowly (typically 5-6km runs about every other day) but I fear that I will not be able to get again close to decent times (say at least sub 45 min for the 10k) because I am simply too old (46) and slow and my body would not bear the mileage I'd need.
  3. Jo498

    Exercise and Fitness: Keep On Keepin' On

    I don't think grip strength is a factor if one can only do none to five pullups. The bar has to be gripped 10 seconds or less for this. It will become an issue with lots/series of pullups, toes to bar, or other hanging exercises, e.g. holding the body in a "L-shape" for some period of time. There are several guides at youtube and elsewhere for pull-ups. One trick is "negative" pullups: jump or step with a stool or box into the end position and slowly lower the body into the hanging position. To do the "negative part" of the movement very slowly is also good training if one can already do a few pullups. Another important thing I tended to ignore before I was made aware of it, is to engage the shoulders by pulling the scapula back and trying to "pull with your lats/back", not only with your arms. Besides for pull-ups and the like, simply hanging from a bar, both in the "dead hang" (ears between shoulders) and the active hang (shoulders pulled back) is good for your shoulders, your spine and training grip strength as well. Also every pound less is an advantage. Gymnasts and Climbers are well-muscled but they do not look like bodybuilders or strength athletes.
  4. Jo498

    U.S. Politics- This Is Us, Basically Fascists

    It is rather disingenious to describe Kuhnian normal science as "trapped" in a paradigm. Sure, it is limited and guided by the paradigm but there is nothing blameworthy or dysfunctional about it. On the contrary, the restriction by the paradigm is necessary for the specialized puzzle-solving to emerge and to discover more and more anomalies that point beyond the paradigm and eventually lead to a revolution and a new paradigm. But the dependence on institutions for reliable information about science and other specialized topics is far more general than any quasi-Kuhnian models of the growth (or rather not really growth) of knowledge and hard to deny. I don't know about the US but in Germany the "official" unemployment numbers are about a million lower than the "unofficial" ones because many de facto unemployed are not counted. This information about this difference is available in principle but one will usually not become aware of it by watching daily news, reading tabloids etc. Some newspapers would point out the caveats but one would typically have to read a longer article and/or a more substantive paper/magazine. There will be far more frequent headlines, comments and editorials ignoring this problem and patting themselves on the back for low figures etc.
  5. Jo498

    Exercise and Fitness: Keep On Keepin' On

    For pull-ups or other hanging exercises grip strength will "only" become a limiting factor when you can do quite a few of them. (I can do around eight or 3x5 with rests but arm strength will fail me long before grip strength.) Generally, it seems good to prepare for this kind of stuff with something like the "hanging challenge": simply hang from the bar, both in the "dead hang" and the "active hang" (shoulders engaged and scapula pulled down) for a while...
  6. Jo498

    August '18 Reading- (Insert Clever Subtitle)

    I ran across a Bruce Sterling anthology (in German translation, the original title is Crystal Express, I think) which was mixed but overall pretty good. Interestingly, I did not prefer the shaper/mechanizer stories which felt somewhat confusing without a background in that universe.
  7. Jo498

    Laws That Keep Me From Drinking

    Whose first miracle was turning water into wine so the party could go on. Don't blame him.
  8. Jo498

    July '18 Reading - What We Read in the Shadows

    This could become an interesting TV adaptation. The book is very good, it must have been incredible (and incredibly prophetic in hindsight) when it came out in the early 1990s. But it holds up very well (I only read it about 2 years ago).
  9. How does one figure out the "marginal productivity" of a firefighter, a teacher or a police officer? For most civil servants the concept does not make any sense. Obviously, even if there are hardly any fires and low crime, one needs a certain minimum of firemen and police just in case. So one can hardly make a quotient with the number of firemen employed and their cost and the number of fires or something like that. (I am not an economist but I read that even in typical production industries the marginal productivity of another worker is almost impossible to calculate objectively.)
  10. Jo498

    Shopping Cart Craziness

    Of course, one EUR is still quite cheap, if you want to keep a shopping cart... So it will not help much against real mischief but it does help against the casual chaos in the parking lot or the area where the carts are stored. I remember when a friend of mine was living in a student dorm in Bonn in the early 1990s, this was in a somewhat run-down area with ugly huge apartment buildings/projects and the students frequently kept a shopping cart or two around the entrance of the dorm for all kinds of transportation needs.
  11. Jo498

    Shopping Cart Craziness

    One does not have to pay in Germany. It is a deposit (usually a 1 EUR coin, most slots accept two kinds of coins and many people also have re-usable tokens they have on their key-rings) one gets back when the cart is brought back. OTOH hand it saves the menial job that exists sometimes in the US of the person who patrols the parking lot and collects the carts. It was not always like that. I think until the early/mid 80s or so shopping carts were "free". But I don't remember, I was a child and not frequently enough shopping (or caring for other stuff (sweets, icecream...) while shopping with a parent).
  12. Jo498

    What binds people together (?)

    But the European Identity is supposed to be "better", more peaceful than the more local ones, isn't it? I think that there is a lot of doublespeak here (not by you, but by the press and European politicians). It's like terrorist vs. freedom fighter. Tribal identities are "good" if one has some vague claim to a be an (oppressed) minority (e.g. Catalan, Basque, Kurd etc.), "bad" if they concern an established or even powerful nation. Sure, with many cases on the Balkans or in the former SU this distinction gets very muddy. (There is probably a level of violence beyond which oppression does not give any bonus points, i.e. when the freedom fighter turns into a terrorist in the perception of the somewhat neutral observer.) Only identity emotions for (western) Europe as some whole are supposed to be an exception. Europe or rather the EU and its institutions is powerful, somewhat established, certainly not suppressed but not as "bad" as Spanish, Polish, British identities that reek of 19th cent. nationalism (although the Poles would certainly have a claim to having been somewhat suppressed (non-existent as a Nation) for centuries and never enjoyed being a colonial power). It seems open if Catalan or Scottish identity politics are acceptable or too "anti-European".
  13. Jo498

    What binds people together (?)

    The analysis is basically the same as what Marx wrote about the "paleo-liberal" mid-19th century: All (traditional) relations are dissolved in favor of business relations (to paraphrase somewhat bluntly). I agree that the nationalism vs. anti-nationalism debate misses more important causes. But nevertheless, it cannot be ignored. I think "European national loyalty" is mostly a fiction. Preached for decades now but rather irrelevant in practice. Who would cheer for a pan-European soccer team...? Furthermore, what could be focal points of common European identity cannot be stressed (or have become irrelevant anyway) because of secularization, general ignorance of history and culture and of falling into the mortal sins of anti-islam, anti-Americanism/Internationalism, implied European supremacy or whatever. One should keep in mind what historically the main alternatives to the nation are: The Tribe and the Empire. Those two are more peaceful or more civilized per se. Now we basically have all three. We have (quasi-)Empires like the US or wannabe-Empires like the EU, we have had nations for a sufficient number of generations that most people take them for granted (even if they are historically rather recent) and we of course still have tribes (what you call regions) like the Flemish or the Catalans (and certainly smaller subtribes of all kinds). While it is true that nationalism was one factor leading to the World Wars in the first half of the 20th century it was by no means the only factor and other times with only empires or tribes fighting were not necessarily more peaceful. Nowadays, for me nationalism seems a straw for the "frustrated masses" and the charge of nationalism is a cheap strawman that is used to avoid the more important issues of economic and political powerlessness many people feel, although they struggle to pinpoint the causes for it. Basically, the EU elites blaming everything on nationalism is the flipside of the "smallfolk" blaming everything on the EU elites. I have not read this text but from what I know of Scruton I am pretty sure he would also be in favor of more regionalism in many ways (it might be a pose but he personally cultivates a very rural regional lifestyle), but probably thinks that the nation state is still necessary (defense etc.). Most nations were not asked about the EU constitution. Their parliaments decided. This is what pisses people of and makes them hate Europe. I was mostly too young but I hardly remember any strong feelings about the more "minimal" EU (or predecessors) in the 1980s. But it has grown immensely like all bureaucracies tend to, it very often favors big business, sometimes because of very trivial reasons because a small business cannot afford a specialized employee or EU lawyer or whatever one needs to comply with the flood of regulations. It also seems unreformable. I don't see any solutions. I don't think that the EU should be dissolved but I tend to "slimming down" and restricting its power instead of the opposite course which is of course favored by almost all established politicians of the larger continental European nations. Although with Italy and middle-Eastern Europe already converted to the anti-EU-side, who knows what will happen.
  14. "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty or justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary." - Adam Smith https://www.azquotes.com/quote/1312502 The difference between unions and the guys Smith has in mind is that unions are more necessary because they used to be unions of the relatively powerless. Whereas the associations of the capitalists are for multiplying and leveraging the power of the already powerful. Which increases an imbalance whereas worker's unions decrease a power difference.
  15. Jo498

    Exercise and Fitness: Keep On Keepin' On

    I believe you are right. This is roughly what I tried to do and it didn't work. I now managed to get the feet to the bar with your advice, thanks! Still, it does not feel very comfortable, certainly not enough to start with repeats. (One reason might also be the way I have the bar in the doorframe, I don't have a proper freestanding gymnastics bar.) But at least I know that they are not impossible for me which is a relief. I did some elementary gymnastics as a boy from ca. 10-13 and track&field (somewhat more competitively, but mostly middle/distance running) from about 12-16. So I am familiar with quite a few body weight and similar exercise. But this was >30 years ago, I weighed almost nothing then and even then I was not the best with mobility and complex movement patterns. (E.g. I sucked at hurdling and all throwing events)