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Saturday, September 17, 2011

learning: Animal Rights

I apologize for the unmentioned week long hiatus from writing. I was super busy this week as school is kicking off again, and all the projects come rushing at me once again.

I am researching the justification, morality, and philosophic view of animal rights. I will be posting a collaboration of arguments for and against animal rights.

Thank you for reading!

Friday, September 9, 2011

learning: Obama's Speech

GO U.S.A., right? 
Obama delivered a phenomenal speech on Thursday, 8 Sept. 2011:

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, and fellow Americans: Tonight we meet at an urgent time for our country.  We continue to face an economic crisis that has left millions of our neighbors jobless, and a political crisis that has made things worse. This past week, reporters have been asking “What will this speech mean for the President?  What will it mean for Congress?  How will it affect their polls, and the next election?”But the millions of Americans who are watching right now:  they don’t care about politics.  They have real life concerns.  Many have spent months looking for work.  Others are doing their best just to scrape by – giving up nights out with the family to save on gas or make the mortgage; postponing retirement to send a kid to college. These men and women grew up with faith in an America where hard work and responsibility paid off.   They believed in a country where everyone gets a fair shake and does their fair share – where if you stepped up, did your job, and were loyal to your company, that loyalty would be rewarded with a decent salary and good benefits; maybe a raise once in awhile.  If you did the right thing, you could make it in America. But for decades now, Americans have watched that compact erode.  They have seen the deck too often stacked against them.  And they know that Washington hasn’t always put their interests first. The people of this country work hard to meet their responsibilities.  The question tonight is whether we’ll meet ours.  The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy; whether we can restore some of the fairness and security that has defined this nation since our beginning.    Those of us here tonight can’t solve all of our nation’s woes.  Ultimately, our recovery will be driven not by Washington, but by our businesses and our workers.  But we can help.  We can make a difference.   There are steps we can take right now to improve people’s lives. I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away.  It’s called the American Jobs Act.  There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation.  Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans – including many who sit here tonight.  And everything in this bill will be paid for.  Everything. The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple:  to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working.  It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for the long-term unemployed.  It will provide a tax break for companies who hire new workers, and it will cut payroll taxes in half for every working American and every small business.  It will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled, and give companies confidence that if they invest and hire, there will be customers for their products and services.  You should pass this jobs plan right away. Everyone here knows that small businesses are where most new jobs begin.  And you know that while corporate profits have come roaring back, smaller companies haven’t.  So for everyone who speaks so passionately about making life easier for “job creators,” this plan is for you. Pass this jobs bill, and starting tomorrow, small businesses will get a tax cut if they hire new workers or raise workers’ wages.  Pass this jobs bill, and all small business owners will also see their payroll taxes cut in half next year.  If you have 50 employees making an average salary, that’s an $80,000 tax cut.  And all businesses will be able to continue writing off the investments they make in 2012. It’s not just Democrats who have supported this kind of proposal.  Fifty House Republicans have proposed the same payroll tax cut that’s in this plan.  You should pass it right away. Pass this jobs bill, and we can put people to work rebuilding America.  Everyone here knows that we have badly decaying roads and bridges all over this country.  Our highways are clogged with traffic.  Our skies are the most congested in the world. This is inexcusable.  Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us an economic superpower.  And now we’re going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads?  At a time when millions of unemployed construction workers could build them right here in America? There are private construction companies all across America just waiting to get to work.  There’s a bridge that needs repair between Ohio and Kentucky that’s on one of the busiest trucking routes in North America.  A public transit project in Houston that will help clear up one of the worst areas of traffic in the country.  And there are schools throughout this country that desperately need renovating.  How can we expect our kids to do their best in places that are literally falling apart?  This is America.  Every child deserves a great school – and we can give it to them, if we act now. The American Jobs Act will repair and modernize at least 35,000 schools.  It will put people to work right now fixing roofs and windows; installing science labs and high-speed internet in classrooms all across this country.  It will rehabilitate homes and businesses in communities hit hardest by foreclosures.  It will jumpstart thousands of transportation projects across the country.  And to make sure the money is properly spent and for good purposes, we’re building on reforms we’ve already put in place.  No more earmarks.  No more boondoggles.  No more bridges to nowhere.  We’re cutting the red tape that prevents some of these projects from getting started as quickly as possible.  And we’ll set up an independent fund to attract private dollars and issue loans based on two criteria:  how badly a construction project is needed and how much good it would do for the economy. This idea came from a bill written by a Texas Republican and a Massachusetts Democrat.  The idea for a big boost in construction is supported by America’s largest business organization and America’s largest labor organization.  It’s the kind of proposal that’s been supported in the past by Democrats and Republicans alike.  You should pass it right away. Pass this jobs bill, and thousands of teachers in every state will go back to work.  These are the men and women charged with preparing our children for a world where the competition has never been tougher.  But while they’re adding teachers in places like South Korea, we’re laying them off in droves.  It’s unfair to our kids.  It undermines their future and ours.  And it has to stop.  Pass this jobs bill, and put our teachers back in the classroom where they belong. Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get extra tax credits if they hire America’s veterans.  We ask these men and women to leave their careers, leave their families, and risk their lives to fight for our country.  The last thing they should have to do is fight for a job when they come home.Pass this bill, and hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged young people will have the hope and dignity of a summer job next year.  And their parents, low-income Americans who desperately want to work, will have more ladders out of poverty.   Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get a $4,000 tax credit if they hire anyone who has spent more than six months looking for a job.  We have to do more to help the long-term unemployed in their search for work.  This jobs plan builds on a program in Georgia that several Republican leaders have highlighted, where people who collect unemployment insurance participate in temporary work as a way to build their skills while they look for a permanent job.  The plan also extends unemployment insurance for another year.  If the millions of unemployed Americans stopped getting this insurance, and stopped using that money for basic necessities, it would be a devastating blow to this economy.  Democrats and Republicans in this Chamber have supported unemployment insurance plenty of times in the past.  At this time of prolonged hardship, you should pass it again – right away. Pass this jobs bill, and the typical working family will get a fifteen hundred dollar tax cut next year.  Fifteen hundred dollars that would have been taken out of your paycheck will go right into your pocket.  This expands on the tax cut that Democrats and Republicans already passed for this year.  If we allow that tax cut to expire – if we refuse to act – middle-class families will get hit with a tax increase at the worst possible time.  We cannot let that happen.  I know some of you have sworn oaths to never raise any taxes on anyone for as long as you live.  Now is not the time to carve out an exception and raise middle-class taxes, which is why you should pass this bill right away.     This is the American Jobs Act.  It will lead to new jobs for construction workers, teachers, veterans, first responders, young people and the long-term unemployed.  It will provide tax credits to companies that hire new workers, tax relief for small business owners, and tax cuts for the middle-class. And here’s the other thing I want the American people to know:  the American Jobs Act will not add to the deficit.  It will be paid for.  And here’s how:The agreement we passed in July will cut government spending by about $1 trillion over the next ten years.  It also charges this Congress to come up with an additional $1.5 trillion in savings by Christmas.  Tonight, I’m asking you to increase that amount so that it covers the full cost of the American Jobs Act.  And a week from Monday, I’ll be releasing a more ambitious deficit plan – a plan that will not only cover the cost of this jobs bill, but stabilize our debt in the long run. This approach is basically the one I’ve been advocating for months.  In addition to the trillion dollars of spending cuts I’ve already signed into law, it’s a balanced plan that would reduce the deficit by making additional spending cuts; by making modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid; and by reforming our tax code in a way that asks the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share.  What’s more, the spending cuts wouldn’t happen so abruptly that they’d be a drag on our economy, or prevent us from helping small business and middle-class families get back on their feet right away.  Now, I realize there are some in my party who don’t think we should make any changes at all to Medicare and Medicaid, and I understand their concerns.  But here’s the truth.  Millions of Americans rely on Medicare in their retirement.  And millions more will do so in the future.  They pay for this benefit during their working years.  They earn it.  But with an aging population and rising health care costs, we are spending too fast to sustain the program.  And if we don’t gradually reform the system while protecting current beneficiaries, it won’t be there when future retirees need it.  We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it. I’m also well aware that there are many Republicans who don’t believe we should raise taxes on those who are most fortunate and can best afford it.  But here is what every American knows.  While most people in this country struggle to make ends meet, a few of the most affluent citizens and corporations enjoy tax breaks and loopholes that nobody else gets.  Right now, Warren Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary – an outrage he has asked us to fix.  We need a tax code where everyone gets a fair shake, and everybody pays their fair share.  And I believe the vast majority of wealthy Americans and CEOs are willing to do just that, if it helps the economy grow and gets our fiscal house in order.   I’ll also offer ideas to reform a corporate tax code that stands as a monument to special interest influence in Washington.  By eliminating pages of loopholes and deductions, we can lower one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.  Our tax code shouldn’t give an advantage to companies that can afford the best-connected lobbyists.  It should give an advantage to companies that invest and create jobs here in America.  So we can reduce this deficit, pay down our debt, and pay for this jobs plan in the process.  But in order to do this, we have to decide what our priorities are.  We have to ask ourselves, “What’s the best way to grow the economy and create jobs?”Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies?  Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers?  Because we can’t afford to do both.  Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires?  Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs?  Right now, we can’t afford to do both.  This isn’t political grandstanding.  This isn’t class warfare.  This is simple math.  These are real choices that we have to make.  And I’m pretty sure I know what most Americans would choose.  It’s not even close.  And it’s time for us to do what’s right for our future.     The American Jobs Act answers the urgent need to create jobs right away.  But we can’t stop there.  As I’ve argued since I ran for this office, we have to look beyond the immediate crisis and start building an economy that lasts into the future – an economy that creates good, middle-class jobs that pay well and offer security.  We now live in a world where technology has made it possible for companies to take their business anywhere.  If we want them to start here and stay here and hire here, we have to be able to out-build, out-educate, and out-innovate every other country on Earth.  This task, of making America more competitive for the long haul, is a job for all of us.  For government and for private companies.  For states and for local communities – and for every American citizen.  All of us will have to up our game.  All of us will have to change the way we do business. My administration can and will take some steps to improve our competitiveness on our own.  For example, if you’re a small business owner who has a contract with the federal government, we’re going to make sure you get paid a lot faster than you do now.  We’re also planning to cut away the red tape that prevents too many rapidly-growing start-up companies from raising capital and going public.  And to help responsible homeowners, we’re going to work with Federal housing agencies to help more people refinance their mortgages at interest rates that are now near 4% -- a step that can put more than $2,000 a year in a family’s pocket, and give a lift to an economy still burdened by the drop in housing prices. Other steps will require Congressional action.  Today you passed reform that will speed up the outdated patent process, so that entrepreneurs can turn a new idea into a new business as quickly as possible. That’s the kind of action we need.  Now it’s time to clear the way for a series of trade agreements that would make it easier for American companies to sell their products in Panama, Colombia, and South Korea – while also helping the workers whose jobs have been affected by global competition.  If Americans can buy Kias and Hyundais, I want to see folks in South Korea driving Fords and Chevys and Chryslers.  I want to see more products sold around the world stamped with three proud words: “Made in America.” And on all of our efforts to strengthen competitiveness, we need to look for ways to work side-by-side with America’s businesses.  That’s why I’ve brought together a Jobs Council of leaders from different industries who are developing a wide range of new ideas to help companies grow and create jobs. Already, we’ve mobilized business leaders to train 10,000 American engineers a year, by providing company internships and training.  Other businesses are covering tuition for workers who learn new skills at community colleges.  And we’re going to make sure the next generation of manufacturing takes root not in China or Europe, but right here, in the United States of America.  If we provide the right incentives and support – and if we make sure our trading partners play by the rules – we can be the ones to build everything from fuel-efficient cars to advanced biofuels to semiconductors that are sold all over the world.  That’s how America can be number one again.  That’s how America will be number one again.     Now, I realize that some of you have a different theory on how to grow the economy.  Some of you sincerely believe that the only solution to our economic challenges is to simply cut most government spending and eliminate most government regulations. Well, I agree that we can’t afford wasteful spending, and I will continue to work with Congress to get rid of it.  And I agree that there are some rules and regulations that put an unnecessary burden on businesses at a time when they can least afford it.  That’s why I ordered a review of all government regulations.  So far, we’ve identified over 500 reforms, which will save billions of dollars over the next few years.  We should have no more regulation than the health, safety, and security of the American people require.  Every rule should meet that common sense test. But what we can’t do – what I won’t do – is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades.  I reject the idea that we need to ask people to choose between their jobs and their safety.  I reject the argument that says for the economy to grow, we have to roll back protections that ban hidden fees by credit card companies, or rules that keep our kids from being exposed to mercury, or laws that prevent the health insurance industry from shortchanging patients.  I reject the idea that we have to strip away collective bargaining rights to compete in a global economy.  We shouldn’t be in a race to the bottom, where we try to offer the cheapest labor and the worst pollution standards.  America should be in a race to the top.  And I believe that’s a race we can win.  In fact, this larger notion that the only thing we can do to restore prosperity is just dismantle government, refund everyone’s money, let everyone write their own rules, and tell everyone they’re on their own – that’s not who we are.  That’s not the story of America.   Yes, we are rugged individualists.  Yes, we are strong and self-reliant.  And it has been the drive and initiative of our workers and entrepreneurs that has made this economy the engine and envy of the world.But there has always been another thread running throughout our history – a belief that we are all connected; and that there are some things we can only do together, as a nation.We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union.  But in the middle of a Civil War, he was also a leader who looked to the future – a Republican president who mobilized government to build the transcontinental railroad; launch the National Academy of Sciences; and set up the first land grant colleges.  And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set. Ask yourselves – where would we be right now if the people who sat here before us decided not to build our highways and our bridges; our dams and our airports?  What would this country be like if we had chosen not to spend money on public high schools, or research universities, or community colleges?  Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the GI Bill.  Where would we be if they hadn’t had that chance? How many jobs would it have cost us if past Congresses decided not to support the basic research that led to the Internet and the computer chip?  What kind of country would this be if this Chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do?  How many Americans would have suffered as a result? No single individual built America on their own.  We built it together.  We have been, and always will be, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all; a nation with responsibilities to ourselves and with responsibilities to one another.   Members of Congress, it is time for us to meet our responsibilities. Every proposal I’ve laid out tonight is the kind that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans in the past.  Every proposal I’ve laid out tonight will be paid for.  And every proposal is designed to meet the urgent needs of our people and our communities. I know there’s been a lot of skepticism about whether the politics of the moment will allow us to pass this jobs plan – or any jobs plan.  Already, we’re seeing the same old press releases and tweets flying back and forth.  Already, the media has proclaimed that it’s impossible to bridge our differences.  And maybe some of you have decided that those differences are so great that we can only resolve them at the ballot box.  But know this:  the next election is fourteen months away.  And the people who sent us here – the people who hired us to work for them – they don’t have the luxury of waiting fourteen months.  Some of them are living week to week; paycheck to paycheck; even day to day.  They need help, and they need it now. I don’t pretend that this plan will solve all our problems.  It shouldn’t be, nor will it be, the last plan of action we propose.  What’s guided us from the start of this crisis hasn’t been the search for a silver bullet.  It’s been a commitment to stay at it – to be persistent – to keep trying every new idea that works, and listen to every good proposal, no matter which party comes up with it. Regardless of the arguments we’ve had in the past, regardless of the arguments we’ll have in the future, this plan is the right thing to do right now.  You should pass it.  And I intend to take that message to every corner of this country.  I also ask every American who agrees to lift your voice and tell the people who are gathered here tonight that you want action now.  Tell Washington that doing nothing is not an option.  Remind us that if we act as one nation, and one people, we have it within our power to meet this challenge.President Kennedy once said, “Our problems are man-made – therefore they can be solved by man.  And man can be as big as he wants.”These are difficult years for our country.  But we are Americans.  We are tougher than the times that we live in, and we are bigger than our politics have been.  So let’s meet the moment.  Let’s get to work, and show the world once again why the United States of America remains the greatest nation on Earth.  Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.    
 Although I am not involved in politics as much as I should be, I believe Obama's play on this event was brilliant. Obviously, Obama is trying to win the American people through this. If the economy goes even more haywire due to the rejection of the bill, then the republican party will soak the blame. If the bill does pass, and it works as Obama theorized, then Obama will receive much of the credit, and most likely win another term in his office.  Just my $0.02. Haven't thought much of it, and, like I said, I'm not very involved in the political world.

Friday, September 2, 2011

yearning: Gattaca & Blade Runner

Wow. Wow....

Just ," W-O-W!"

I watched both of these movies with my brother the other night. I have a confession to make:  I have a strange fetish for these sci-fi philosophical films.

Both of these movies have brilliant twists at the end that lead you to think about the film forever. My idea of the  excellence behind Gattaca, though, is much different from the brilliance of Blade Runner. Gattaca's setting was very different from the typical futuristic vision that was made by movies en masse. The themes are also very easy to relate to. Vincent's passion for space and burning desire to join the Gattaca space program leads his character to develop through different conflicts. Vincent rises through the ranks of the program, but he is known as Jerome, a one-time Olympic swimmer. Throughout the movie, messages of inspiration are shot at the audience. In Blade Runner, Deckard, retired android hunter, is sent on a final mission. Throughout the movie, the shots are made in cloudy and mysterious and futuristic areas. The whole movie is very dark and gloomy. The movie's plot line moves so slowly, that, in fact, the movie should be renamed Blade Crawler. The ending twist is both emotionally powerful and thought provoking.

Have you seen these movies? If so, what did you think about them? Do you think Deckard is an android or human?

If not, what type of movies do you enjoy? Fill us in with some examples too!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Yearning: Goals

Post image for 11 Goal Hacks: How to Achieve Anything
IMAGE CREDIT: Matthias Weinberger
Goals. We all have goals. As children, we have all said to ourselves, " This is what I want, and I'm going to get it." Even if sometimes it meant doing the ridiculous or trying for the impossible, we still had those goals. I'm going to share with you all some tips I've found that help us achieve anything. 

1. Fast forward in time a few years: Visualize process, NOT outcome
-Visualizing the process of achieving our dream will help keep us in line and aware of the needed steps.

2. Forget the goal. What's the point?
-No, not literally forget the goal. Goals should be made to guide us in the general direction of what we want our lives to be like; they are in service for our overall points and aims. When goals get too specific, its easy to get stuck. When they are too short term, they encourage short-term thinking.

3. Start Committing 
-The main reason we don't achieve our goals is because of the lack of commitment. A power psychological technique to increase the commitment is called:metal contrasting . Follow the link for more information

4. Sidestep procrastinationWhen goals are difficult and we wonder whether it's really worth it, procrastination can creep up on us. Under these circumstances the key is to forget about the goal and bury yourself in the details. Keep your head down and use self-imposed deadlines.
5.Reject robotic behaviorOften our behaviour is robotic. We do things not because we've really thought about it, but because it's a habit or we're unconsciously copying other people . This type of behaviour can be an enemy of goal striving. Ask yourself whether what you are doing is really getting you closer to your goal.

So what are your goals? How are you going to change them after reading this? Do you usually have long-term or short-term goals? What do your goals generally revolve around?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Back from vacation!

I deeply apologize for all the days I've missed blogging and writing! I hope I didn't cause much confusion and misery =P

I was at Santa Cruz for a little while. I've also been working on some art projects. Anyway, I'll back to posting educational and intellectual posts. Summer is coming to an end, and the learning and yearning feeling is gradually coming back!

A new crop of college graduates have just landed on the job market. Right now they’re probably just hoping to get any job, if at all. However, for psychology majors, the salary outlook in both the short and long term is particularly poor, according to a new study which will be published in an upcoming issue of Perspectives onPsychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
It’s generally known that psychology majors don’t make a ton of money when they’re starting out; they’re not like engineering students, many of whom go straight into a job that pays well for their technical skills. But some people have suggested that a psychology major may pay off later in the career, as the critical thinking skills and literacy of the liberal arts education become more valuable. D.W. Rajecki of Indiana University was skeptical. “Psychology educators say liberal arts skills should be valuable in the workplace. Employers say they value liberal arts skills in employees,” he says. “I say, ‘show me the money.’” So, with Victor M.H. Borden, he set out to examine several data sets on earnings for people in different fields.
As expected, they found that psychology majors’ median starting salary of $35,300 is well below the average for college graduates. But they found that this is also true at midcareer, when psychology majors are still paid below the average. They fare particularly poorly when compared to graduates in other science fields, engineering, and health.
“Face it, wages are tied to specific occupations, and real-world data show that psychology alumni just don’t work in areas that pay top dollar,” says Rajecki. Advanced degrees don’t help, either. “Even psychology professors obtain appointments at the lower end of that salary scale.”
Rajecki doesn’t think this means 18-year-olds should stop choosing psychology as a major. “Psychology is a remarkable academic discipline that seems to get more interesting every passing year.  Why should any student avoid the field?” he says. And, of course, money isn’t the only thing that matters. But when academic counselors are giving students advice, they should make it clear that psychology isn’t necessarily the road to riches.
For more information about this study, please contact: D. W. Rajecki at

Do you know any psych majors? How are they doing in life now? Did they ever see yourself majoring in psychology? Do you think it is a good major? 

Please voice your opinion on psychology majors down below!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

UB researcher Mark Frank, PhD, studies microexpressions that may indicate a person is being deceptive.

Be Still My Eyebrows: Liars Under Scrutiny Can't Completely Suppress Facial Expressions, Researchers Say

ScienceDaily (July 18, 2011) — Mark Frank has spent two decades studying the faces of people lying when in high-stakes situations and has good news for security experts.

"Executing Facial Control During Deception Situations," a new study he co-authored with former graduate student Carolyn M. Hurley, PhD, reports that although liars can reduce facial actions when under scrutiny, they can't suppress them all.
Frank, PhD, a professor of communication at the University at Buffalo, supervised and co-wrote the study with lead author Hurley, now a research scientist at the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.
Published earlier this year in theJournal of Nonverbal Behavior, the study examined whether subjects could suppress facial actions like eyebrow movements or smiles on command while under scrutiny by a lie catcher.
It turns out subjects could to a degree, but not completely and not always.
The results are derived from frame-by-frame coding of facial movements filmed during an interrogation in which participants, some lying, some telling the truth, were asked to suppress specific parts of facial expressions. Hurley and Frank found that these actions can be reduced, but not eliminated, and that instructions to the subjects to suppress one element of expression resulted in reduction of all facial movement, regardless of their implications for veracity.
Despite these findings, the majority of the 60 study participants reported believing that they had controlled all facial movement and had remained "poker faced" during the interview/interrogation.
"Behavioral countermeasures," says Frank, "are the strategies engaged by liars to deliberately control face or body behavior to fool lie catchers. Until this study, research had not shown whether or not liars could suppress elements of their facial expression as a countermeasure.
"As a security strategy," he says, "there is great significance in observing and interpreting nonverbal behavior during an investigative interview, especially when the interviewee is trying to suppress certain expressions."
Hurley and Frank say prior research in Ironic Process Theory (IPT) has shown that when individuals are required to monitor their thought patterns so as to suppress a thought or image, the process places that thought or image into their monitoring memory, enabling it to intrude more frequently into their regular memory.
Hurley and Frank say this is even more likely to occur when one is telling a lie because, as research has shown, lying raises the cognitive load and reduces the ability to successfully and naturally engage in interaction with others.
The study involved 33 female and 27 male undergraduate subjects who were introduced into a crime scenario in which they were randomly assigned to either take (lie) or not take (tell the truth) a pair of movie tickets from an envelope.
They were then interviewed about the theft of the tickets by an experienced but neutral interrogator blind to the experimental conditions. Participants were told they would be rewarded if they convinced the interrogator of their honesty and punished if not. All denied taking the tickets.
Prior to the interview some subjects were specifically instructed to suppress upper face activity (manifested through eyebrow-raising actions) and lower face activity (manifested through smiling).
"Although these facial movements are not necessarily guaranteed signs of deception," says Frank, "expression suppression -- regardless of its validity as a clue to deception -- is clearly one of the more popular strategies used by liars to fool others. What we didn't know was how well individuals can do this when they are lying or when they are telling the truth.
"Based on the research literature on the nature of facial expressions of emotion, the neuroanatomy of the face, emotional suppression research and IPT research," he says, "we correctly predicted that in interrogations in which deception is a possibility, individuals would be able to significantly reduce their rate and intensity of smiling and brow movements when requested to do so, but would be able to do so to a lesser degree when telling a lie.
"And, since the lower face (and smile in particular) is easier to control than the upper face, we predicted that our subjects would more greatly reduce their rate of smiling, compared to their rate of brow movement, when requested to suppress these actions," he says, "and that turned out to be the case as well. We can reduce facial movements when trying to suppress them but we can't eliminate them completely.
"Whether we are dealing with highly skilled and motivated liars who have practiced their nonverbal expression in high-stakes scenarios, or untrained individuals who learn from a television program about a particular brow or lip movement that is allegedly a telltale sign of deception," Frank says, "the findings of this study have important implications for security settings."
Frank is a social psychologist who conducts research on human non-verbal communication -- particularly micro-expressions -- focused on truth-telling. He founded the Communication Science Center at UB in 2005 and his work, funded through major foundations, is recognized and employed by defense, science and security agencies throughout the world

Monday, July 18, 2011

Starting Strength: Nutrition

From this point on, I will be posting alot of things related to the Starting Strength work-out program. This program is for scrawny teenagers who want to bulk up.

Method Three: Weekly Weigh-In/Food JournalEdit Method Three: Weekly Weigh-In/Food Journal sectionEdit

This is in my opinion, the most accurate way to identify your ideal calorie intake. The only downside is that it takes a little more work from you to get it right. 
  1. Weigh yourself after your morning bowel evacuation. Note this weight.
  2. Catalog your diet in a nutritional log, such as the one found here, for an entire week.
  3. After a week of following your controlled nutrition plan weigh yourself again and see what the difference is.
  4. If you've gained a lb, then you are approximately 500 calories per day above your daily caloric maintenance level, assuming you ate the same # of calories each day. (½ lb over = 250 cal over, 2 lbs = 1000 cal, etc). If you've maintained your present weight, then you are eating approximately at your maintenance level (calories in = calories out). If you've lost a pound, then you're 500 calories below your maintenance level.
  5. Determine your maintenance level. From there, adjust your calories for your weight gain/loss goal. +500 kcal daily to gain 1-lb weekly, +750 kcal daily to gain 1.5 lbs weekly, +1000 to gain 2-lb weekly (don't do this if you're over 25, you'll get fat), +1500 if you want to gain 3-lb weekly (don't do this if you aren't still growing in height, you will get fat, unless you are a mutant). This is NOT 100% IRONCLAD, but is a pretty easy and cheap way to get the ball rolling.
This works in combination with the above methods too. You can make a quick determination of daily calories with Method 1 or 2 and then use Method 3 to check the efficacy of your menu. I recommend doing this every week or two and reassessing where your calorie needs stand. 

How many Proteins, Carbs and Fats should I be getting?Edit How many Proteins, Carbs and Fats should I be getting? sectionEdit

Skinny dudes probably will want higher carb and fat levels, and can shoot for about 25-50-25 for their PRO-CHO-FAT ratios. This means, 25% of calories will come from protein, 50% from carbohydrates and 25% from fat. This is NOT an exact specification! Skinny dudes don't need to follow the "super-high protein" type diets. You simply won't build muscle all that fast. You'll need the carbs and especially the fats to keep your body from catabolizing muscle tissue to use as fuel, just make sure you have a steady supply of nutrients entering your body during the day. NO SKIPPED MEALS!!!!

Chubbies will want lower carb levels and higher protein levels. give 50-30-20 or 50-25-25 a try and see how that works for you. Again, no skipped meals.

Natural mesomorphs (i.e. athletic types, those who are naturally pretty strong and lean) can probably do best (or do real well) on a diet that is somewhere around 40-40-20 of protein-carb fat. To be honest, almost anything will work for these guys, as long as they have their caloric needs met throughout the day.

Almost everyone can do pretty well on a 30-40-30 or a 33-33-33 type diet as well, assuming the carbs are clean (specifically this applies to chubbies).

Are these absolutes? No, of course not; they are starting points. Use them as such. If you know that you don't respond well to those same ratios, then great! Congrats. You already know what to eat, why are you reading this? :p

Let's do the calculations for a skinny 150-lb teenager, using the "Body Type Method".

150lbs x 22kcal/lb = 3300 calories.

25% protein = .25 x 3300 = 825 calories. 825 calories divided by 4 calories/gram ~ 205 grams PRO.

50% CHO = .50 x 3300 = 1650 calories. 1650 / 4 ~ 410-415 grams CHO

25% fat = 825 calories. 825/ 9 ~ 70-75g FAT.

That is the BASELINE. You will almost definitely want to add to this, especially because you have to account for the extra calories you are burning during training. Chances are good skinnies will want to add to the carbs andespecially the fats.

Other General ConsiderationsEdit Other General Considerations sectionEdit

Eating a ton does NOT mean you're absorbing a ton. You have to properly absorb your calories in order for them to be of use. If you are farting and crapping yourself every 10-15 minutes, then you added too many calories too fast. Scale back a bit and work your way back up. Too much too soon can overload your system. A good digestive enzyme can help remedy this.

You also may have a food allergy (wheat gluten and dairy lactose are 2 major culprits here) There are volumes upon volumes written about diet, go read up and learn more for yourself.

It takes approximately 3500 calories above maintenance to add a pound of bodyweight in a week (3500 calories/7 days = 500 calories/day).

It is consistent with typical muscular weight gains to put on .5-1.5 lbs. per week. If you're gaining more than that, and you're not a teenager, chances are you are gaining more than a bit of fat. If you're not a teenager and are gaining more than 2 lbs per week and it's muscle, then you're either a) a genetic freak, b) on steroids, or c) a genetic freak on steroids. Only teenagers (damn them all) have this unique ability.

Bottom line:

Eat too few calories, your gains will suffer. Eat too many calories, you'll add fat. As far as gains go it's better to overeat. In the end, it's up to you to determine your sweet spot as far as total calories. Keep a food log if you want to see how many actual calories you're eating, it's VERY difficult to estimate correctly.