22 October, 2007

10,000 Steps - Only 7,071 to go today

I joined my company's "10,000 Steps Per Day" program, which officially begins at the end of the month. I bought a pedometer, at Target ($12.99), and I didn't put it on until I got to work and sat down, so I missed getting credit for walking to my car, entering and exiting the gas station (coffee), and walking to my desk. This saddens me, as every little bit will help, since I'm Mr. Inactivity.

I took a couple of small trips around the building for various reasons before going to lunch. At lunch I went to the mall, walked in through the food court, took a left and went down to Sears, then back again. I drove to Starbucks, went in and read my book, then went in and looked around, in a video store (bought some previously viewed {used} console games) , then came back to work. I've gone to a meeting, gone to the cafeteria, and back to my desk. And I'm at 2,929 steps so far, and it's 1:36 PM.

I had mentally counted my steps from one spot, to another, then checked my reading. It was 125 by my count and 126 by the pedometer, so the thing is accurate. My guess is it was I who miscounted.

10,000 is a lot. Schnikies! Cool though. Guess I've got to really walk at lunch. Mall-walking Winter, here I come.

21 October, 2007

My wife has succumbed to the bean

Our relationship evolved something like this.

Stage 1 - Denial -- "You can't really like coffee that much."

Stage 2 - Anger -- "Do you realize how much you're spending each week on coffee!?  It's basically just dirty water!!"

Stage 3 - Bargaining -- "Right then.  How about this.  You can take $25 a week and do what you like with it, coffee-wise.  No more."

Stage 4 - Depression -- "We have to up your life insurance policy, because with the amount of coffee you're consuming, you'll be dead within a few short years."

[Note: I responded to stage 4 with numerous articles about how coffee drinkers are smarter, live more active lives, may possibly be avoiding heart and other diseases, etc.  Thus, stage 4 was rather brief.  I wore her down.]

Stage 5 - Acceptance -- Weekend mornings she would say, "Make your coffee nowYou're a bear without it, especially when you get those headaches."

Stage 6 -- Possession/Sequestration into the Cult -- This just in as of two days ago, via cell phone to me at lunch, after about three months of making morning pots for her and putting them in a thermal dispenser for her to use throughout the day as she takes care of our toddler and another lady's almost-4 year-old:  "Oh my God!  I totally get why you drink this stuff!  Even though I only had a few hours of sleep last night, I feel like I can conquer the world today!  As I'm talking to you right now I'm even cleaning!  Sure...like you, I'll probably have to crash eventually and pay for all this, but until then...woooo!"

Another one has joined us.  It took years, but it was inevitable.  Conform or be cast out!  Long live the bean!

06 October, 2007

Neural Interface Systems - Interesting Reading

People sometimes ask me if I have heard of any real neural interface systems (referred to as 'brain computer interface', or BCI systems) being used in the world today. Below is some interesting reading. Oh, and I have no affiliation with any of the companies listed.

For a primer on what neural interfaces are, and what they aspire to become, see Wiki's entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain-computer_interface . It does a good job of outining the various technologies related to this field.

Cyberkinetics 'BrainGate Neural Interface System' - Currently in human testing, this system is comprised of a sensor, installed at the motor cortex of one's brain, and the brain impulses are then transmitted [possibly to a laptop or other receivers], interpreted, and used to guide mice, wheelchairs, TV remote controls, and other devices. Link: http://www.cyberkineticsinc.com/content/medicalproducts/braingate.jsp

An INFOWars piece: http://www.infowars.com/articles/science/brain_neural_interfaces.htm

Cochlear Implant: Bionic Ear: Check it out at the Wiki site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochlear_implant or by Googling 'cochlear'.

National Institute of Health (NIH) Grant to fund research: August 2007 article at Medical News Today - http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/78699.php