Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the Health and Medicine Category

Conversation with Stephen Downs from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation about Technology and Health »

Conversation with Stephen Downs, Chief Technology and Strategy officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation talking about health, technology, RWJF and the MIT Media Lab. Audio available on iTunes and SoundCloud....

Plant-based whole foods diet »

Ever since I started my vegan diet the year before last, I've been looking for a good word for what my diet is called. This search was intensified when Lawrence Lessig started a similar diet and insisted that he didn't like the word "vegan" - although that is what he currently is. The problem with "vegan" is that it has some political overtones and the vegan diet includes high-calorie-low-nutrition foods such as refined starches and oils. The problem with this is that when you request a vegan meal on a plane, you end up with something like a pile of...

Preventive Medicine Research Institute retreat »

I spent the weekend at a Preventive Medicine Research Institute (PMRI) retreat. PMRI is the organization created by Dean Ornish to research and promote his work on preventive medicine. As readers of my blog should know, I started a vegan diet in December the year before last, started exercising and meditating and became Joi 2.0 in the process. Since then, I had been trying to express on my blog and to my friends what was going on in my head and my body. During this process I saw Dean's TED talk where he shows that a low-fat, vegan diet could...

The nutrition/environment connection »

I went to meet Dean Ornish the other day with Larry. We talk about various things trying to tie together free culture and health. After the meeting, Dean Ornish gave us his new book, The Spectrum. While the book isn't focused primarily on this, Dean Ornish points out the relationship between nutrition and the environment which I found very interesting. ...according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's report Livestock's Long Shadow, animal-based agribusiness generates more greenhouse gasses than all transportation combined. The livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as mesured in carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent than does transportatino...

Hard Vegan Redux »

Eight months since I started my vegan diet, I still feel much healthier than when I started, but with more alcohol, bread, pasta, rice and salt, I've slipped off the wagon a bit. I'm meditating less, exercising less, regained about 25% of the total weight I lost and don't have the euphoria that I had at the beginning. So as of today, I'm going to do the Eat to Live six week detox plan again. Basically the same vegan diet I'm on right now, but no salt, refined grains, alcohol or oils. See you on the other side. ;-) Technorati...

Six months of veganism »

I blogged a decision to become vegan on December 13, 2006 which is approximately six months ago. I'm happy to say that it was the right decision and that I've never been healthier or happier as long as I can remember and I intend to continue being a vegan. Other than some allergies, I've gotten rid every one of half-a-dozen or so chronic conditions including obesity, fatty liver, high uric acid (gout), heartburn/ulcers/stomach acid, nervous tension, sleeping problems and rising cholesterol. I also have more energy than I've ever had. I've lost approximately 18 kg (40 lb) or so and...

Neti Pot »

I got my Neti Pot today. Neti Pot is the Himalayan Institute version of the pot used for Jala Neti, a yoga practice where you pour a saline solution in one nose and out the other to clean your nasal passages. My sister Mimi turned me onto the Neti Pot. I was complaining to her about my allergies. I though that my newfound friendship with plants had rid me of them, but they hit me hard recently as I've started to spend more and more time in the garden. Mimi told me that she and Luna haven't gotten nasal allergies...

Forcing Lefties to be Righties? »

This used to be quite common in Japan. In Japan, if you were left handed, they would make you do everything with your right hand anyway. They would "fix" you. This happened to me. I'm pretty sure I'm a Lefty. I throw, kick and do most physical things with my left hand, but I write, cut and do other "formal" things with my right hand. I think this may be part of the reason that I have messy handwriting. As for as I can tell, while my brain may be "damaged" by this, I can, for the most part, function...

Veganism, business models and Wikia »

One thing I've noticed as I get more and more into my vegan diet (which I am still on) is that there isn't as that much information about it as you might imagine. Since the fairly "strict" veganism that I'm tracking right now discounts the value of supplements (some are useful like Omega 3 and B12) and since it's rather simple to do ("eat your veggies"), there isn't a "business model" for the dissemination of information about veganism - at least to the extent that there is for sophisticated and difficult "get thin quick" diets, "exercise in the comfort of...

Triathamedia »

Breaking the 10% rule...Chart from Nike Partly because I've always wanted to try a mini-Triathlon and partly because I'm beginning to get minor wear and tear on my body from exercising every day, I've started cycling, swimming and running. It's easier to follow the 10% rule that way too. (Don't increase your exercise routine more than 10% a week.) My current exercise media of choice for the 3 are: Running - Podrunner with Nike+ and iPod Nano (just donated to Podrunner) Swimming - Ambient music on my SwiMP3 (taking a rest while my shoulder repairs) Cycling (Stationary) - Lost, 24...

Pool water safety? »

I have a stupid question... Is there a risk swimming in a pool in a country where the water is not potable or does the chlorine basically "clean" the water?...

At peace with the water »

Austin Hilton Pool at 5:30AM I have not been swimming for over a week because I injured my shoulder while trying to win a battle with the water. Although the stationary bike has been interesting and used muscles that were surprised by the sudden call to arms, I've missed my swimming. When I checked into the Austin Hilton, I notice some sign saying "heated pool". I also noticed that it was open from 5:30AM. This morning, some remnant jet lag from some trip woke me up at 5AM. It looked chilly, dark and wet outside, but the idea of swimming...

Current meditation practice »

Several people asked about what kind of meditation I am doing. I'm doing a version of Kriya Yoga. You can find an explanation of the whole thing one the download page of the Kriya Yoga site of Ennio Nimis. In particular, I am focusing mostly on Maha Mudra and Kriya Pranayama which are pages 106-108 in section 2. The diagram on page 104 shows the path that your focus should take up and down your spine. I'm also taking random teachings about meditation that I've read in the past to try to keep my focus and fade out the chatter...

Energy »

I flew from Tokyo to San Francisco yesterday. I did a lot of work on the plane, started reading The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan that Howard recommended and arrived in San Francisco around 9AM. I checked in, took a shower and headed off for meetings. I had 7 1/2 meeting or so in Redwood City, Mountain View, Palo Alto and San Francisco. Then I went to the CC Salon, met all of the wonderful people, listened to Jim, John and Heather make their presentations and did a short blurb myself. When I got back to the hotel, I...

Total Immersion swimming »

Seth sent me a DVD of Total Immersion swimming (Wikipedia / Official Site) and I tried some of the drills in it for the first time last night. (Thanks Seth!) It appears to be a unique way of helping swimmers to learn balance, drag reduction and timing through a new approach to learning and thinking about your stroke/style. Some of the drills were difficult for me, but I could tell that it was because my balance was not "natural" yet. It was rather frustrating "starting from scratch" but I'm definitely going to give this a try and see how much...

Altered States and the Placebo Effect »

In my current journey pushing my limits for improving my heath, I've noticed significant changes in my mental state. I'm often euphoric, generally happy, have a much higher tolerance for stressful situations, am sleeping well and am generally extremely energetic. I have moments of strange memories like being reminded of my high school self when waiting for a train in nice weather. I think a lot of this can be attributed to the vegan diet, regular exercise, a slight calorie deficit and the goal oriented nature of my journey feeding my obsessive nature. Whatever the cause, I am currently in...

The China Study »

I just finished reading The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II. (Amazon) It is a strong argument in favor of plant-based diets and focuses on the risks and the negative impact of animal-proteins on health. It is more about the science of vegan diets than Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman. For people who might be slightly turned-off by the sometimes salesy tone of Eat to Live, The China Study might be a better first book to read. The China Study is an amazing argument with a large array of citations and references to supporting...

Side effects of medication while on a vegan diet »

It appears that I have caught a cold. I think it was the combination of not packing warm clothes and having stronger air-conditioning in India and during the flights than I anticipated. I have been taking my traditional medley of cold medications since yesterday. They usually make me sleepy, groggy and slightly irritable. I've noticed that I don't seem to be having these side-effects and I'm relatively alert and my mood is fine. Has anyone ever noticed this?...

6 week vegan detox completed »

I just completed the my six weeks of vegan detox described in a previous post. It has been an enjoyable and enlightening experience. I've lost 11 kg or so, mostly in the first two weeks. My blood levels including a high uric acid level and y-GTP have gone back to "normal". Per my previous post, my cholesterol is a bit "too low" according to my physician and I am in the process of investigating my response to this. I'm fairly convinced that this diet is really good for me and that it is much more feasible than I anticipated. I...

Low blood cholesterol »

I talked to a physician about my blood tests from yesterday. I will have the complete results soon, but the preliminary results are very interesting. I had 2 tests that were in or approaching the "red zone" a month ago. The levels are now well within the "healthy" range. However, the physician was very concerned that my blood cholesterol was "too low". It was 132 mg/dL. He said that this means that I don't have enough energy and that it was dangerous. The problem with this for me is that I have more energy than I've ever had and have...

Physical Activity »

I have just entered week five of the six week diet. Last night around 11PM I was humming a tune while walking up a hill to a train station in the rain. I realize that I was very happy in a situation that would have been dreadfully tiresome in the past. As I tried to understand my rather extreme change in perspective on physical activity, I decided I would share some of these thoughts. Swimming has gone from a chore where I used to make excuses not to go to something that I enjoy so much that I "sneak off"...

Music in the water »

I've started getting a rhythm in my swimming and end up staying between and hour and an hour and a half in the pool. I've been going around five times a week. I just realized that this might be a good time to catch up on my music. Jeff sent me a few links to possible solutions from Kiefer Online. (Aqua Tune II / Swimmers Waterproof MP3 Player ) Has anyone tried either of these or know of something else that actually works without causing too much drag or being dangerous to other people sharing a lane? Technorati Tags: swimming...

Swimming progress »

When I started this vegan++ ETL diet, I also started exercising as much as possible. I've tried to swim every day except when I was traveling. When I started, I was barely able to finish 100 meters without feeling really tired. I have been pushing my total swim time and distance every day. Today I swam 2.5 km in just over 1 hour. That's not very impressive for people who swim a lot, but I've been swimming like this for only a few weeks and I feel pretty good about it. (I used to swim in Jr. High School 30...

True Hunger »

In Eat to Live, there was a section that talked about "True Hunger". Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.Once your body gets to a certain level of better health, you begin to feel the difference between true hunger and just eating due to desire, appetite, or withdrawal symptoms. Your body is healthier at this stage and you won't experience the withdrawal symptoms such as weakness, headaches, lightheadedness, etc., that most people associate with hunger.(You can read more of the section here.) Words like "true" scare me so I wanted to wait a bit before I shared my thoughts on...

ETL Diet Update »

I wrote a longish update on my diet. The one line summary is that I'm excited and enjoying it. If you are interested read the rest of this post....

Nutrition Tracking Software »

Does anyone know of any good nutrition tracking software on the Mac? I want to be able to enter what I'm eating and have it produce a report of nutrients including vitamins and minerals. There are references with the information as well as nifty packages that keep track of what you eat and chart calories. However, I have yet to find something on the Mac that lets you track nutrients other than calories (and breakdown of calorie type) and a few other basics like sodium. It looks like there is a package for Windows called NutriBase. Another requirement is that...

Eat to Live by Dr. Fuhrman »

Almost like clockwork, hitting 40 years old seems to have triggered a series of alarms that I need to watch my health more. Blood tests show various things that I need to watch out for and I continue to be fatter than I should. I used to do low-carb diets when I got overweight, but it seems like a fat/meat diet right now wouldn't be good for my heart and other things. I was discussing exercise plans and being fat with a friend of mine who recommended that I check out Eat to Live by Dr. Fuhrman. I googled around...

Continuous Partial Attention »

I've blogged about Continuous Partial Attention. There is a difference between having CPA and multi-tasking. Linda Stone is the person who first turned me on to this concept and now she has a wiki about Continuous Partial Attention. Yay! Technorati Tags: continuous partial attention...

Adult Baby fetish guy working at SmartFilter? »

Sean Bonner has just posted an almost "too weird to be true" story about a guy who works at SmartFilter, a web filtering company that "protects children" from dirty content. They have been the target of a lot of blogging recently after Boing Boing ended up on their filter list and have been trying to be removed. It looks like the guy that they have been interacting with at the filter company is an Adult Baby or AB. (ABs like to dress up and act like babies.) Sean cites Violet Blue, a noted sex educator who thinks it is probably...

Will Digital Communication Undermine NGOs? »

By Thomas Crampton Just read the newly crafted elevator pitch for Benetech in a letter from Jim Fruchterman, the CEO, Chairman and Founder. His pitch: Benetech creates technology that serves humanity by blending social conscience with Silicon Valley expertise. We build innovative solutions that have lasting impact on critical needs around the world. Webcams and other digital communication could give ordinary people feedback on results acheived due to donation of their money and time. This would give the power of oversight formerly reserved for wealthy philanthropists. Does this hint toward disruptive digital technology underming the NGO world with individualized philanthropy...

Diseases of the Rich »

Posted by thomas crampton My minor hand operation this week highlighted to me how journalism/blogging are literally manual labor. Also, my ability to tell many people about this injury reminds me of how repetitive strain injury/carpal tunnel syndrome only became something of broad public concern when the chattering classes (ie: white collar workers, including journalists) were hit due to their typing on computer keyboards. Throughout the industrial revolution, however, the same problem had afflicted manual laborers who could not bring their problem to a wider audience. (Lately there seem to be fewer complaints about it here at the International Herald...

Plague on World of Warcraft »

ShacknewsHeres the skinny: Blizzard adds in a new instance, Zul'Gurub. Inside is the god of blood, Hakkar. Well, when you fight him he has a debuff called Corrputed Blood. It does like 250-350 damage to palyers and affects nearby players. The amazing thing is SOME PLAYERS have brought this disease (and it is a disease) back to the towns, outside of the instance. It starts spreading amongst the genral population including npcs, who can out generate the damage. Some servers have gotten so bad that you can't go into the major cities without getting the plague (and anyone less than...

Eating while travelling »

Posted by Thomas Crampton A friend is heading to Southeast Asia and asked advice on food. I find that travellers are often obsessive about the wrong things. They are very aggressive about - for example - making sure that the water has actually boiled in their soup, but then order a salad as a starter. Basically, I never eat anything that has been washed in tapwater (like lettuce) and avoid anything that has milk products (pies with cream or other milk products that can go bad in tropical heat) but you can eat almost anything that has been peeled (fruit)...

Heavy metals in Japan »

I spoke to the son of the man who died in or neighborhood. He told us that the doctor mentioned that it was possible that the cancer was caused by heavy metals. The doctor, the head of a hospital nearby, told him that there were dangerous levels of heavy metals in all Japanese water and that this information was being stifled by the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health in Japan is notoriously corrupt and have probably been under investigation for one thing or another for the last 30 years. I totally and completely don't trust them. I also...

Odd smoking habits »

Posted by Thomas Crampton Did a story on the closure of the last factory producing the famed pungent Gauloises brunes cigarettes. In reporting, I noticed that many of the tobacco shops in Paris are called La Civette. I asked a French colleague and here is her theory. Disgusting footnote: People smoked musk? Sounds even worse than brown tobacco!!! A "civette" is a shop selling tobacco and especially cigars. The name comes from a famous, fashionable shop which was on the rue St Honoré in the XIX century. It is not clear why that shop was called La Civette. Either because...

Myanmar/Burma »

Posted by Thomas Crampton I wrote a story on the Global fund deciding to pull out of Myanmar on Friday. The fund fights HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB, diseases that are the scourges of many developing nations. Click here for their press release. The fund had been criticised by some for going into the country (some feared they could be seen as providing a support for the goverment) and they were also criticized for pulling out (they did not try hard enough). Who is correct? BREAKING NEWS: Rumor is that general Maung Aye has ousted general Than Shwe. If true, we...

Asphyxiation and deep thoughts »

Jet lag woke me up at 4AM today and I've been sitting in my cabin in the high altitude mountains of Utah reading blogs and chatting with people. I just finished chatting with reverend AKMA about my last post, trying to see if there was something similar to good theologians and open source leaders. We talked about the importance of humility and the risks of greed. (AKMA pointed out that he was by far the most humble person on the planet.) I noticed that my thoughts seem to be somewhat more spiritual than usual. Then I remembered reading somewhere that...

Avian flu nightmare »

I was just reading an email from the ProMED medical mailing list I'm on. It was a monthly report on Avian flu outbreaks in Eastern Asia. Part of the report reads: Source of outbreaks: - introduction of new animals/animal products; - illegal movement of animals. Control measures A. Undertaken: - quarantine; - movement control inside the country; - disinfection of infected premises/establishment(s). B. To be undertaken: - partial stamping out; - vaccination. Treatment of affected animals: no.I read in the Wall Street Journal in the "We think this is sort of funny" section of the front page the other day,...

Brain Region Linked to Metaphor Comprehension »

3quarksdailyBrain Region Linked to Metaphor Comprehension From Scientific American:Metaphors make for colorful sayings, but can be confusing when taken literally. A study of people who are unable to make sense of figures of speech has helped scientists identify a brain region they believe plays a key role in grasping metaphors. Vilayanur S. Ramachandran of the University of California at San Diego and his colleagues tested four patients who had experienced damage to the left angular gyrus region of their brains. All of the volunteers were fluent in English and otherwise intelligent, mentally lucid and able to engage in normal conversations....

Wonderful avantouinti »

Just a day ago, I was in balmy Los Angeles noting how much the wonderful weather made me feel mellow and happy. Yesterday, I flew to Helsinki via Frankfurt and arrived at 5:30PM in pitch dark, freezing Finland and arrived at my hotel to find Marko and Jimbo waiting for me to go to Avantouinti. Avantouinti is ice-swimming which is often done in conjunction with sauna. Marko is a member of the 1337 sauna club, The Finnish Sauna Society, dedicated to the preservation of Finnish sauna culture. We went there and sat in the traditional smoke saunas packed full of...

A chat with AKMA about self-esteem »

A few weeks ago, there was an article in Scientific American "debunking" the myth of self-esteem. I've never been to therapy in the US so I don't have first hand experience, but my good friend John Vasconcellos is one of the founders of the movement and my impressions about the movement from him were that it was important and useful. John told me that he thought the definition that they used in the article was different from the one he was using. He said he would get back to me on his thoughts on the article. I found a thread...

Influenza vaccination »

Yesterday I got an influenza vaccination. I'm not sure what I expected but surprise surprise. I woke up this morning feeling like I had a mild flu. As a result I've slept all day. More than have slept all year probably. Which sort of sucks because I'm about to leave for Tel Aviv on the longest flight I'm going to take this year. (sigh) Speaking of vaccinations, does anyone know if I need any special health preparations to go to South Africa?...

Don't eat cheap sushi »

Gen says, "Don't eat cheap sushi". I agree. I had never heard about the carbon monoxide process before, but it make me not want to eat cheap sushi even more. On the other hand, I guess some places could start raising prices and still serve crap....

Radio Taiso »

10,000,000 people doing radio taisopicture via KampoOne of the participants of Fat Club uploaded an mp3 of radio taiso (morning radio exercise show) and I just set it to my alarm clock sound. radio taiso was banned by the US Occupation after WWII along with shogi (Japanese chess), all martial arts and a bunch of other things that were considered militaristic. I remember hearing a story on the radio that the original radio taiso came from the US. When life insurance just started as a business in the US, there was an uproar about "betting on people's lives." As part...

WQD Forums hit 100 »

In December, I announced that I quit drinking. I got a flurry of comments of support. Several of us who had decided to be sober, thought a group blog about quitting drinking would be interesting so we started We Quit Drinking, the blog. Soon, due to some weird Google magic, the blog became the first result for "quit drinking". A wide variety of people who were looking for support and help dropped in and commented. Jonas, who among other things works with addiction as a counselor, decided that a more private space, a message board requiring login might make...

USB weight sensor »

PhidgetsWeightSensor Wow! A USB weight sensor. Now we can automatically add our weight to the sidebar and make RSS feeds of our weight changes. Who wants to write the mt-weightsensor plugin? via Daiji Current Mood: chipper Current Weight: heavy Listening to: You Trip Me Up by The Jesus and Mary Chain from the album Psychocandy...

Fat Club redux »

Omron HBF-354Yesterday, Mutsumi in our office told me half a dozen times that I looked "bigger". I'd been thinking about how to lose some weight and I remembered Fat Club because Jane linked to a Fat Club entry on her blog. For some reason, I seem to be able to motivate myself to lose weight when I'm competing. I asked everyone in our office if they wanted to join Fat Club 2004. Kuri, Jim and Nob agreed to participate. The race is to see who can lose 10% of their body weight first and sustain it for one week. The...

Brainstorm 2004 notes - Bjorn Lomborg »

Bjorn Lomborg What if hospitals only dealt with patients who made the most fuss. That's what it seems like we do with global resource allocation for global problems. Why don't we prioritize? What if we had an extra$ 50Bn to allocate. What would you spend it on? HIV aids? Schools? Climate age? Malnutrition? We need rational basis on our spending. The Copenhagen Consensus was a group of leading economists who got together to try to prioritize based on best information available. What we would do: 1- Prevent HIV - $27Bn will save 29M lives 2- Micronutrients - $13Bn will help...

Brainstorm 2004 notes - Bill Joy »

Bill Joy I think there will be a crisis or catastrophic event that will take our attention away from terror or war and as a positive response may redefine our focus of the century. A global pandemic/epidemic - the positive response: New found respect for natural systems and focus on health. Environmental tip. A phase change with a irreversible climate change - the positive response: Understanding balance with natural systems. Over self-consumption like the oil supply - the positive response: Might help wastefulness and make it a century of efficiency....

No more sex for American youths »

AlterNetAlterNet: EnviroHealth: Condom Wars Lethal new regulations from President Bush's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, quietly issued with no fanfare last week, complete the right-wing Republicans' goal of gutting HIV-prevention education in the United States. In place of effective, disease-preventing safe-sex education, little will soon remain except failed programs that denounce condom use, while teaching abstinence as the only way to prevent the spread of AIDS. And those abstinence-only programs, researchers say, actually increase the risk of contracting AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).Reminds me of this billboard. via Bopuc...

Email from artist suspected by FBI of bioterrorism »

In the comments on an earlier post on this blog about an artist suspected by the FBI of bioterrorism, there was a great deal of speculation about the incident and the facts. (Read the link above to my previous post for the background.) I emailed the artist, Steven Kurtz, asking him for the facts, and here is his reply. Deleted by request. Many people talked to me about this incident and strongly support the FBI's position on this. I still don't know enough details on the FBI's handling of the matter, but I DO think biotech as art is a...

U.S. Won't Let Company Test All Its Cattle for Mad Cow »

The New York TimesU.S. Won't Let Company Test All Its Cattle for Mad Cow The Department of Agriculture refused yesterday to allow a Kansas beef producer to test all of its cattle for mad cow disease, saying such sweeping tests were not scientifically warranted. The producer, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, wanted to use recently approved rapid tests so it could resume selling its fat-marbled black Angus beef to Japan, which banned American beef after a cow slaughtered in Washington State last December tested positive for mad cow. The company has complained that the ban is costing it $40,000 a day...

Continuous Partial Attention »

Wet talked last night with Linda Stone about her idea of continuous partial attention. She says it is different from multi-tasking.Linda StoneFrom Inc.com It's not the same as multitasking; that's about trying to accomplish several things at once. With continuous partial attention, we're scanning incoming alerts for the one best thing to seize upon: "How can I tune in in a way that helps me sync up with the most interesting, or important, opportunity?This is really relevant to some of the thoughts I've been having about the UI of mobile devices and how they fade in and out of your...

Nathan and Michael of the American Cancer Society »

Today I met with Nathan Grey and Michael Mitchell of the American Cancer Society. Nathan is working on building their International network and Michael is in charge of the Futuring and Innovation Center. Randall Moss, who I met at ETech pointed them my way. My mother had cancer for decades before she passed away and my sister and I struggled much of our lives her cancer in the family and dealing with a variety of issues: financial, social, medical and psychological. I remember using the American Cancer Society web page when I was looking for help online. The idea...

Avantouinti! »

I woke up this morning with a headache and decided I needed to get my circulation going. I told Marko and he suggested avantouinti. Hmmm... Marko took me to the Finnish Sauna Society sauna where we hung out in traditional smoke saunas for awhile with a bunch of naked Finnish men. The saunas were covered in soot from the way they prepare them using real wood fires. The experience was about as similar to saunas back home as eating real sushi in Japan is similar to eating California supermarket sushi. After we were thoroughly heated, we sauntered out to a...

Gapminder »

Gapminder is a truly amazing site of visualizations of stunning facts and statistics. Thanks for the link David!...

Is my obsession a feature or a bug? »

A: How many people with ADD does it take to change a light-bulb? B: I don't know? How many? A: Want to go to the movies? Since I quit drinking, I've been doing a lot of talking and reading about addiction and the psychology of obsession. One path of inquiry lead me to the notion that obsessive compulsive disorder was often behind addictive behavior and that replacing one type of obsessive behavior with another wasn't a "cure" for the "disease". They seem to have a name for just about every kind of behavior, and interestingly enough, a medical "cure" for...

Breakfast between Global Leaders for Tomorrow, Social Entrepreneurs and Religious Leaders »

This morning, we had a breakfast between the Global Leaders for Tomorrow, Social Entrepreneurs and Religious Leaders. I got a great table with a broad range of people from developing nations, religious leaders, economists, and entrepreneurs. We started out the discussion talking about the nature of money. We talked about how greed and the idea that more money means more happiness is compulsive behavior and the notion that more money makes you more happy may hold true in developing nations, but is not necessarily true in developed nations. We talked about how this notion of more money means more happiness...

Smiling makes you happy »

An interesting theory that facial expressions affect blood-flow to the brain and are not just results of emotions. The assertion is that these blood-flows affect our emotions. So SMILE! :-)Zajonc, R. B., Emotion and Facial Efference: A Theory Reclaimed, Scince, 1985, 288, 15-2 He also asserted that elation follows the smile, not the opposite. The blood flow changes caused by contracting the facial muscles in the smile alter cerebral blood flow and cause an emotional change. He extends this reasoning to account for all kinds of other bizarre facial habits associated with emotions -- wrinkled forheads, rubbing one's eyes, hand...

Breathalizer Moblogging »

Phillip Torrone, moblogger extraordinaire breathalyzer moblogs his NYE....

We Quit Drinking »

We Quit Drinking: A blog by and about people who have chosen to not drink alcohol. A new blog for a new year....

A blog about addiction »

In my highly enlightened state this morning, I mused about the idea of a multi-author blog about resisting addiction. People could share their experience and we could also discuss the meta-issue of creating a network to support people who are trying to quit. I'm pretty set on getting this started today so I'm soliciting ideas before I kick it off. I need a name and a few key things to focus on. I guess that figuring out the URL is pretty important. Any ideas?...

Joi Ito Reloaded »

I just woke up from sleeping for 18 hours. I know some people who sleep 18 hours+ regularly, but for someone who averages 4-6 hours a day, 18 hours of sober sleep is quite a psychosomatic journey. I had had a full night's sleep the night before, but sitting in the sun cuddling Bo after a big huge brunch with Mizuka's family, their chatter turning into a comfortable drone in the background sent me into a deeeeeep sleep. I just woke up and my brain is in a interesting state. I've had two espressos but I still can't type properly....

Cheers Halley »

Halley, thanks for having #joiito over to your party. Thanks also for sharing your interaction with your wine bottles after the party. I'll be doing a lot of the same over the next few days. Ever since I noticed that I am now the top result for a google search on "quit drinking" I have this sense of responsibility to myself as well as others to show my/our resolve and share this. I was talking on the phone today with someone trained as a professional in treating addiction. It's interesting to note that when AA was started in the 60's...

Japan officially bans imports over U.S. mad cow disease case »

japantodayJapan officially bans imports over U.S. mad cow disease case TOKYO — The health ministry officially banned imports of U.S. beef and beef-processed products Friday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Thursday that a British laboratory confirmed initial U.S. test results indicating the first U.S. case of mad cow disease. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare notified the quarantine stations across Japan of the decision. On Wednesday, Tokyo halted imports of beef products after the USDA revealed the discovery of the case in Washington State. (Kyodo News)I remember when Japan was first warned that we may have a...

Jonas on curing addiction »

Jonas has a good blog entry in response to Marc's comment about the 12 steps. Interesting and thoughtful deconstruction of obsessive-compulsive disorders and curing and managing addiction. The only place where I would disagree is that I actually do exhibit a variety of symptoms of addiction and that's why I've chosen to stop drinking. Update: Jonas comments on the 12 steps. I have never been to an AA meeting, although I've ordered the book and intend to try going, but the comments from Jonas are... sobering. Any thoughts from people who swear by the 12 steps?...

Yo Marc! »

Actually, I guess the technical term is, "yo duuuude."Marc CanterWell maybe those days are over, but there's one thing for sure - Joi will have a drink - again.  Maybe on New Year's Eve - maybe 20 years from now - but once an addict, always an addict.  I mean that in a nice way. We can try and intellectualize our way out of our problems, manipulating our actions and behavior to suit our health - mental, physcial or economic - but you'll always go back to being - just you. I would beg to differ on this point Marc. Since...

Quit drinking »

I've been trying to "cut back" on my drinking, but it doesn't work. I got drunk last night and I regret it. So, I've quit drinking. If you're my friend please be supportive and don't offer me alcohol please.Thank you.

Inhaling nanodust »

Reading in the New York Times about the health hazards of inhaling carbon nanotubes reminded me of Snowcrash. I wonder what would happen if you inhaled these RFID's.

AKMA's hernia operation »

Reading about AKMA's hernia operation reminds me of my own hernia operation. My scar stings with the memory like Harry Potter's scar. This also reminds me of my tonsillectomy. I remember after the operation thinking, "this hurts WAY to much for it to be worth it. Note to self: remember how much this hurts." The funny thing is, I don't remember how much it hurt. My theory about anesthesia is that it's probably just as much about making you forget your pain as it is about making you not feel it. Would you choose to have more pain, but not remember it, or choose less pain but perpetual memory of it? I guess most people would choose no pain... ;-p Which reminds me of the Jack Handy quote, "I'd rather be rich than stupid." Enough associative memory fun...I hope you feel better AKMA. I'm still going to SD you. Actually, looking forward to SD'ing everyone this weekend in Boston. muahahaha!

Atkins FUD from the British Government »

The British Government warns that the Atkins diet is a bad thing.Guardian'Cutting out starchy foods, or any food group, can be bad for your health because you could be missing out on a range of nutrients,' the statement says. 'This type of diet also tends to be unrealistic and dull, and not palatable enough to be tolerated for a long time.' It adds: 'High-fat diets are also associated with obesity, which is increasing in the UK. People who are obese are more likely to develop conditions such as diabetes and some cancers. Low-carb diets tend to be high in fat, too, and eating a diet that is high in fat could increase your chances of developing coronary heart disease.' "Could be missing out on"? "unrealistic and dull"? "Associated with obesity"? Doesn't sound very scientific to me. Bah. I don't have a copy of the official report but sounds like FUD.Via BuzzMachine

Aspartame and alcohol off »

I've been drinking too much alcohol in the evenings and drinking too much Diet Coke during the day. Diet Coke is starting to taste weird and I'm having trouble moderating my alcohol consumption. I'm going to go off aspartame and alcohol for 1 week and try to turn alcohol on again in moderation after a week. I think this will make me feel happier and give me more energy. If this were a controlled experiment, I wouldn't do both at the same time, but I'm pretty sure that drinking myself asleep and jolting myself awake is not very good for me.This is probably more information than anyone really wants about my life, but I figured that if I blog it, I'm more likely to keep this promise to myself. Oh, and anyone who seems me drinking Diet Coke or alcohol during the next week can slap me around with a trout.

Doc jokes about the death of Dr. Atkins »

As a Quaker, I wonder if you're allowed to think about hard-on's in church and joke about people's deaths on your blog. Or maybe being an A-List blogger forces you to resort to deadpan humor to tighten up your style. ;-|Doc SearlsOther dead Atkins headlines   I'm still on the Atkins diet. Dr. Atkins isn't , of course. I mentioned that a couple days ago under the headline Ultimate Diet . Since then I've regretted not using either of two other headlines that came to mind at the time: 100% weight loss  Dead weight Anyway, both Doc and I are on the Atkins Diet which is basically a low-carb diet. Many people swear by it, but many people continue to warn me against it. It's too bad that Dr. Atkins died, but at least he died of an injury and not of something that could be tied to the Atkins diet.

Does SARS come from animals? Deja vu? - via ProMED »

A few quotes from the proMED-mail, which is a good list to follow for on the ground updates from the global medical community.

Fat Club Update - I won »

Yesterday, I officially weighed in at our gym with witnesses and I came in at 67.3kg with my clothes on. My target was 68.5kg so I cleared it comfortably. (Again, flashbacks from my wrestling days.) I had challenged myself to stop drinking alcohol completely until I reach the target weight. I was off of alcohol for exactly 2 weeks. It was a good experience. I lost a lot of weight, found out that I was an alcoholic (addicted to alcohol) and that alcohol was lowering my productivity and my general emotional quality.

Fat Club update »

I am now 9kg lighter than when I started my Atkin's Diet program about a month ago. I weighed in this morning at home at 68.4kg which is just barely under my target of 68.5kg.

SARS Roundup April 4 JST »

I just had lunch with a friend from Hong Kong. He said people are pretty freaked out. All of the schools are closed and hotels are at 10% capacity. He says that you can actually trace the infections back to a doctor from China who visited Hong Kong for a wedding. He sneezed in an elevator and all of the people who were in the elevator are now dead. There was a rumor that the people who got the disease from him all died, but the people who got the disease from those people haven't all died and that...

China coming clean on SARS after supressing information »

smh.com.auChina coming clean on spread of killer illness By Hamish McDonald, Herald Correspondent in Beijing, and agencies April 3 2003 China's wall of silence on the lethal pneumonia epidemic started to break open yesterday when health officials in southern Guangdong province reported 361 new cases of the illness and nine more deaths during March. This appears to contradict earlier claims that the outbreak was "under control". At the same time, a team of four experts sent by the World Health Organisation was given permission to visit Guangdong, the suspected origin of the new disease, after waiting five days in Beijing...

SARS update »

Is UN politics getting in the way of best practices?APTaiwanese accuse U.N. health agency of ignoring them; say it could aggravate spread of mystery illnessvia Technorati Hot Links.Also, Karuna Shinsho, former CNN and NHK anchorwoman now living in Hong Kong, has written a first hand report on Chanpon.org.

SARS getting worse 1000 quarantined in Hong Kong »

I reported earlier that the situation with the killer pneumonia was getting better, but it looks like it's getting worse. AP reports that over 1000 people in Hong Kong have been quarantined and travel alerts are increasing. The WHO has called on countries to screen international air travelers for symptoms.via Dan Gillmor

Fat club weigh-in »

So I went on a walk as Dave Winer suggested. Then, I called Yuichi, my fat club partner and we decided to play squash and have a weigh-in.

No more alcohol until I lose more weight... »

So new rule. No more alcohol until I hit my target.

SARS virus identified - no easy cure, but not so infectious »

"It is rather slow-moving, rather restricted to families and hospitals, not a rip-roaring affair, but still very nasty. "There are no anti-viral drugs against this family of viruses, and there are no vaccines available. It will be a question of several years work. "But it is not fantastically infectious, so I wouldn't expect there to be a massive outbreak in other parts of the world."

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Spreads Worldwide »

Yesterday, the NYT reported the outbreak of a killer pneumonia in Asia. I was freaking out getting ready to blog about it when the WHO just announced that it has gone global.

Fighting the flu with Tamiflu »

So there is a terrible flu making its way through Tokyo. High fevers that can take you out for a week or so. I've been in bed the last few days with this flu. Have you noticed that the flu seems to get worse every year? I seem to have more flu days every year. I wonder if the flu will become a debilitating problem for our global viral village? I went to the doctor yesterday and he gave me Tamiflu. It's a relatively new drug that fights the flu virus. I think I started taking it a bit too late to have maximum impact, but I looked it up on the Net and it sounds pretty cool.Neuraminidase (noor-uh-MIN-ih-dase) inhibitors treat the cause of influenza infection by inhibiting the critical neuraminidase protein on the surface of the virus.They have a cool animation on the web page. One more reason to love Google. You can pass the time in bed after a visit to the doctor's office googling all of the drugs you get. You can also check whether your doctor knows what he's doing.So I hope this flu gets better soon since I have the go to Davos the day after tomorrow. I remember the last time I was in Davos I had to walk for miles through a blizzard...

Fat And Fit Better Than Skinny And Sedentary »

They say this is from The New Republic, but I can't access the article so I will credit Plastic...Plastic"The problem is one of correlation vs causation. Research has been done correlating being statistically obese with a shorter expected life span. In more detailed studies found a stronger correlation with lack of activity and a short life span than being fat. So if you exercise and stay fit but can't lose pounds don't fret. You're likely more healthy than your thin couch potato friends."So for someone exercises regularly, but is fat, this is good news. I'll live long, but I'll probably...

Over-the-counter version of Prilosec delayed »

FT.comFDA request slows launch of cheap Prilosec By Christopher Bowe in New York Published: October 29 2002 21:38 A potential cheap version of Prilosec, the blockbuster heartburn medicine, is to be delayed after Procter & Gamble said it did not expect US regulatory approval of its over-the-counter product until late next year. Postponement of the final approval stems from the US Food and Drug Administration's request for a study to make sure consumers understood that the treatment was long-acting and once-per-day. That study will take eight more weeks and six months for regulatory review. The FDA has otherwise tentatively approved...

Is Diet Coke bad for you? »

Is Diet Coke bad for you? A lot of people think so.

Life Insurance and Suicides »

Earlier I wrote about suicides in Japan. I also recently wrote about the relationship between life insurance and murders. I found an interesting article in the Mainichi covering all of these issues. This article is interesting because it points to life insurance as the cause of many suicides where life insurance is the only way to get out of debt. I guess the choice is either to kill yourself or someone else. ;-p They actually let you use your life insurance as collateral for home mortages in Japan.. MDN: WaiWai From kamikaze to hara-kiri, Japanese just can't stop topping themselves...

Paying for Suicide »

Japan's suicide rate tops 30,000 / yr. Over 3X the 10,000 or so automobile related deaths. Most of the suicides are men in the 50's and 60's and often due to job related and financial stress. So, while many Silicon Valley ventures were built buy people who had lost their jobs in the defense industry. Japanese tend to commit suicide instead. Japan's suicide rate is among the top 10 in the world. It is said that Japanese mental health medicine is 30 years behind the US (Although Kurokawa-sensei is trying to do something about that.) So it makes sense that...

Blogs help your memory »

I find I have a terrible memory. I often confuse things that happened during my days at Tufts University and University of Chicago. I can't remember people at all. I have horrible problems remembering what I did when. I recently met someone I knew in college and he remembered a karaoke club that I took him to that has completely disappeared from my memory. Anyway... I've found that digging up old web entries from the past has helped me reconstruct my memory. I'm finding, having jumped into blogging rather agressively, that it is beginning to create an interesting trail of...

MRI and Game Theory Show Brain Likes to Cooperate »

Great article in the NYT about how a study shows that people's brains react positively when people cooperate. Using MRI scanning and the Prisoner's Dilemma, researchers were suprised by the results. This reinforces many of Toshio Yamagishi's ideas that I wrote about in a previous entry. Hard as it may be to believe in these days of infectious greed and sabers unsheathed, scientists have discovered that the small, brave act of cooperating with another person, of choosing trust over cynicism, generosity over selfishness, makes the brain light up with quiet joy. Studying neural activity in young women who were...

Deep sleep is key to women living longer »

From the Guardian by Tim Radford, science editor Women live six or seven years longer than men because they sleep more deeply, according to US scientists. Men who stay up late, and who toss, turn, count sheep, or who suffer from sleep apnoea - a respiratory condition - are at greater risk from diabetes, heart disease and other conditions probably because they sleep less well, said Alexandros Vgontzas of Pennsylvania State University. He told the journal Chemistry and Industry that women's mastery of the mattress was probably an evolutionary adaptation to the needs of child rearing. In effect, waking up...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe
Freesouls by Joi Ito

Category Archives

Monthly Archives