Dec
13
2009

Didn’t stretch when I played basketball earlier this afternoon. I didn’t have the time, this was somewhat comforting. PS I was able to do some warmups so the evidence is for what I did! hehehe!

More negative evidence on stretching

For Dr. [Stephen] Thacker's paper “The Impact of Stretching on Sports Injury Risk: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” he and his colleagues pored over nearly 100 other published medical studies on the subject. Their key conclusions: stretching does increase flexibility; the highest-quality studies indicate that this increased flexibility doesn't prevent injuries; few athletes need extreme flexibility to perform their best (perhaps just gymnasts and figure skaters); and more injuries would be prevented by better warmups, by strength training, and by balance exercises, than by stretching.

via The .Plan: A Quasi-Blog: More negative evidence on stretching.

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Dec
13
2009

Peter Watts, distinguished Canadian SF writer, arrested by US border police while trying to re-enter Canada

Posted by Patrick at 12:51 PM * 262 comments

From Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing: Dr. Peter Watts, Canadian science fiction writer, beaten and arrested at US border.

I already linked to this from the sidebar, but on reflection, I have a little more to say.

First, it’s worth noting that comment #2 to the Boing Boing post observes “And now the inevitable ‘we don’t know the whole story so we shouldn’t pass judgments but he probably did something to provoke them’ comments can commence.” Indeed, there seems to be a kind of person who makes it their business to hover around at sites like Boing Boing or Consumerist to explain that probably the police had no choice but to beat up that guy, or that we don’t know that Wal-Mart abused that customer, since after all it’s her word against theirs. And indeed, comment #5 shows up right on schedule: “It’s my observation that most of these cases begin with a person who becomes belligerent when asked to do something he doesn’t want to do (get out of the car, step away from the car, etc.) These officers may very well have overstepped their bounds, but I doubt very seriously that Watts is completely innocent.”

For what it’s worth, I don’t know exactly what happened, but a couple of things seem pretty evident to me. One is that this wasn’t a routine border search. Rather, American border guards in Port Huron, Michigan demanded to search Watts’s car as he was leaving the US for his native Canada. This is very squirrelly. We’re conducting exit searches now?

via Making Light: Peter Watts, distinguished Canadian SF writer, arrested by US border police while trying to re-enter Canada.

This is nothing. If you see a checkpoint here and a car similar to yours in model is flagged one wrong move and you’d get sprayed with bullets or drugs get planted on your car.

Hope people can think more clearly. We give law enforcement people more power to combat something without stopping to consider that we are only helping enemy we are fighting. To foster a society without trust, full of paranoia and other fucking attituted related with fear and insecurity. We cannot let the terrorist win.

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Dec
13
2009

The Right to Know, Right Now! network urged the Senate to sustain the momentum by immediately approving the bill on third reading. The network said it is important for both Houses of Congress to name their respective representatives and convene the bicameral conference committee to finally pass the measure for signing by President Arroyo.

According to the network, the right to information has been held by the courts to be executory, but it is difficult to enforce in practice. The Freedom of Information Act will make the Constitutional right to know and the state policy of full disclosure of transactions involving public interest fully operable. It provides a standard procedure in dealing with requests, and clarifies the exact scope of the right. It provides implementing mechanics for the automatic disclosure of key government transactions. It also puts in place effective sanctions to deter or make accountable the violation of the right.

“The Freedom of Information Act, if passed into law, will be a significant and lasting contribution of the 14th Congress to political and governance reform in the country, to benefit our generation, and the generations to come”, said the network. – PCIJ

via Senate lauded for passing Freedom of Info bill on 2nd reading – Nation – GMANews.TV – Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs – Latest Philippine News.

Had a discussion with a former professor about the freedom of information act as practiced in the Philippines.  The problem has always been about practicality, though in essence a law like this is unecessary we have a society that necessitates it. I pray that the Freedom Of Information act pave the way for a more involved polity.

I have my misgivings, of course. If GMA has showed us, with executive privilege that Mr. Neri used to hide what was said between him and the President, laws are really only as good as the people who serve under it, in some respects the law is still useless as long as we elect people who have no respect for it.

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On the 8 Spot is Stephen Fry proof thanks to caching by WP Super Cache