Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for January 16th, 2011

More on Scrivener

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This book on my fitness project is difficult to organize because it has lots of parts in complex relations. A mind-map sort of approach sounds good, but the intention is to emerge with a book, and a book still is linear: you read from beginning to end, without hypertext or leaping about. An outline is a great tool not just because of the hierarchical aspect, indeed quite useful, but also because it is linear: once the outline is complete, you have the sequence of your book as well as how the contents are structured.

I’ve been going through the Scrivener tutorial, and I think it will be uncommonly helpful in this effort. It will allow me to write little sections and then, in the corkboard view, treat each section as an index card to rearrange, put into different stacks (folders), and so on. And you also have an outline view.

Thus I can start figuring out the pieces of what I want to say now, and Scrivener will help me organize and outline those later.

Written by Leisureguy

16 January 2011 at 4:33 pm

Posted in Software, Writing

Cool illusion

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This is from Dan Colman’s Open Culture:

Colman adds:

Every year, The New Scientist sponsors an illusion contest, and, above, we have the winner of the 2010 edition: A contraption created by Koukichi Sugihara (Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences, Japan) that appears to defy gravity, allowing wooden balls to roll up slopes. But, in actual fact “the orientations of the slopes are perceived oppositely, and hence the descending motion is misinterpreted as ascending motion.” You can now make submissions to the 2011 edition.

Written by Leisureguy

16 January 2011 at 11:31 am

Posted in Daily life, Video

Scrivener is extremely cool

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I blogged earlier about Scrivener. I’m now using the (free) beta version for Windows, and I’m liking it a lot. From the Scrivener tutorial:

Scrivener is aimed at writers of all kinds—novelists, journalists, academics, screenwriters, playwrights—who need to structure a long piece of text while referring to research documents. Scrivener is a ring-binder, a scrapbook, a corkboard, an outliner and a text editor all rolled into one. It is primarily intended to be a first draft tool – although it is possible to complete a project that requires only basic formatting – such as a novel or short story – in Scrivener, often you will want to take your draft to a dedicated word processor or layout program for final formatting. Scrivener is intended to be a kind of “writer’s shed” for those of us who don’t have a spare shed.

If you do much writing—on Windows or Mac—take a look at Scrivener. The tutorial is quite useful.

Written by Leisureguy

16 January 2011 at 8:55 am

Posted in Software, Writing

Movie notes

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I’ve been enjoying some movies lately. Last night I watched—and enjoyed—Despicable Me.

More interesting were some backstage musicals I watched together, and recommend: 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933, and Broadway Melody of 1940. The first two are Warner Brothers musicals—very working-class in atmosphere and tone—and the last is an MGM musical, quite highfalutin. This is the only time Fred Astaire danced with Eleanor Powell, a shame (though I’ve read he was somewhat intimidated to dance with her). We also George Murphy, later a GOP Senator from California, stepping out. The special features, especially the one on the Gold Diggers DVD that tells us all about 42nd Street, are quite interesting and informative.

The dance routines in all three movies are wonderful.

Written by Leisureguy

16 January 2011 at 8:48 am

Posted in Movies & TV

Open-source hardware

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Written by Leisureguy

16 January 2011 at 8:43 am

Posted in Techie toys, Technology

More on the hazards of sitting

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Jack in Amsterdam points out this article by Roni Caryn Rabin in the NY Times:

Many of us sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day, and then go home and head for the couch to surf the Web or watch television, exchanging one seat and screen for another. Even if we try to squeeze in an hour at the gym, is it enough to counteract all that motionless sitting?

A mounting body of evidence suggests not.

Increasingly, research is focusing not on how much exercise people get, but how much of their time is spent in sedentary activity, and the harm that does.

The latest findings, published this week in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, indicate that the amount of leisure time spent sitting in front of a screen can have such an overwhelming, seemingly irreparable impact on one’s health that physical activity doesn’t produce much benefit.

The study followed 4,512 middle-aged Scottish men for a little more than four years on average. It found that those who said they spent two or more leisure hours a day sitting in front of a screen were at double the risk of a heart attack or other cardiac event compared with those who watched less. Those who spent four or more hours of recreational time in front of a screen were 50 percent more likely to die of any cause. It didn’t matter whether the men were physically active for several hours a week — exercise didn’t mitigate the risk associated with the high amount of sedentary screen time.

The study is not the first to suggest that sedentary activities like television viewing may be harmful. A study last year found that men who spent more than 23 hours a week watching TV and sitting in their cars were more likely to die of heart disease than those who sat for 11 hours a week or less, even if they exercised. And a 2009 study reported that young children who watch one and a half to five and a half hours of TV a day have higher blood pressure readings than those who watch less than half an hour, even if they are thin and physically active.

Another small study found that when overweight adults cut their TV time in half, they burned more calories than those who watched five hours or more a day. Children whose TV time is cut tended to eat less, but that wasn’t true for adults. And the light activities adults filled their time with, like reading and playing board games, actually burned more calories than watching TV.

In both the United States and Britain, people are spending three to four hours a day on average watching television, said the study’s author, Emmanuel Stamatakis, of the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London.

“This is excessive,” he said. “It is more than 20 percent of total waking time for most people.” And, he added, “it’s 100 percent discretionary.”

During the study’s follow-up period, from 2003 to 2007, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

16 January 2011 at 8:33 am

Morning weight: 199.0 lbs

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That’s a nice milestone to hit. 24 lbs to goal.

My GOPM lunch and dinner, by layer from the bottom:

6 scallions, sliced thinly
1/3 c rice
8 oz boneless pork chops, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
5-spice powder, salt, and pepper on the pork
a sprinkling of crushed red pepper
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thinly (I used orange, in fact)
6 kumquats, each sliced cross-ways into several slices
6 asparagus, chopped
1/2 can sliced water chestnuts, drained.
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 head cabbage, chopped
2″ piece of ginger, grated

Mix in small bowl:

2 Tbsp soy sauce or ponzu sauce
2 Tbsp sherry (I use Amontillado)
2 Tbsp vinaigrette

Whisk together and pour over the contents of the pot. Cover pot, put it into 450º F oven for 45 minutes. Serves two (or one for two meals).

Written by Leisureguy

16 January 2011 at 8:26 am

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