Interesting And Cool Stuff This Week (3/10)

Welcome to week 2 of “Interesting And Cool Stuff This Week”, where I pass on things that I have found interesting and/or cool over the last 7 days (with the disclaimer that you might not find the links either interesting or cool. If you missed last weeks post, you can find it here).


ONLINE DATING! – Obviously I’m a stud and in a very happy long term relationship, but I’m aware that not all my readers are. This article uses data to illustrate some of the dating trends that are being seen, which is really interesting, and provides some tips (should you need them).


SALAZAR – John Kiely shared this article on Alberto Salazar, coach to Mo Farah. The article is from 2010, but still an interesting and relevant read.


OVERUSE!Training-Related Risk Factors In The Etiology Of Overuse Injuries In Endurance SportsInteresting study highlighting the requirement for adequate rest, as well as age related issues (e.g. tendon overuse injuries are more likely the older you get).


NEESON! – Throughout his films, Liam Neeson’s characters have killed a lot of people. This map illustrates the reach and quantity of his reign of terror.


PLANK! – Athletics Weekly ran an interesting article on their website this week regarding the plank exercise, and whether or not we should be doing it. Personally, I still use the standard plank once a week as a “core” endurance exercise, but since my visits to the British Olympic Association’s Intensive Rehabilitation Unit (or, as the cool kids call it, the IRU) I have been using much more dynamic based stabilisations in my training. But then again, I’m hardly a good advert for spinal health.


SHARKS! – I like sharks. A lot. Not a weird amount, but a higher end of normal amount. I also like Hans Rosling. Here is his talk, which covers, amongst other things, how shark attacks affect what we know about global poverty.


Book I Am Currently Reading – I’m still plugging away with Future Of The Mind. It’s long, and I’ve been busy, but it’s really enjoyable. This week I have been learning about memories, dreams, CIA mind control, and mental illness. The mental illness chapter was interesting, it covered OCD, which is essentially a breakdown of feedback loops, and Joan of Arc, who heard voices from God, and therefore probably had temporal lobe epilepsy. In fact, up to 40% of temporal lobe epilepsy suffers have hyperreligiosity. You can use that as your interesting fact of the day.

Perhaps the most interesting chapter was on Einstein’s Brain. I found it particularly interesting as it provided a look at the genes vs. hard work arguement that is played out in various books, such as The Sports Gene, The Talent Code, Bounce, and Talent Is Overrated. The question of “Are geniuses made or born” was explored. The author concluded that Einstein was a genius because he spent a lot of time thinking (up to 10 years on each problem), and his personality suited it; he was a bohemian, and so it was natural for him to rebel against the physics establishment. The author also noted that Einstein’s brain was quite normal in terms of it’s physical characteristics. It was slightly smaller than average in size, but with larger than average areas associated with abstract thought. Overall, the author felt that “genius is perhaps a combination of being born with certain mental attributes and also the determination and drive to achieve great things.” This sums up pretty well my stance on genes vs. hard work; all the talent in the world won’t make you successful is you don’t have the determination and drive. Conversely, all the determination and drive won’t lead to success if you have zero talent.


Have a good weekend!

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