Friday, July 9, 2010

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

So if I follow George Bernard Shaw's words to their logical conclusion, if I keep on playing, I won't get old?

Can I go one step further and reverse the ageing process?

Well, recently I've been trying to do just that. Kind of. I did try a year or so ago to get a 6-pack but I quickly gave up because I had no real desire for a 6-pack and guess what; it ain't easy!

Anyway, fed up of the ever increasing spare tyre and the aches and pains after playing football with people much younger than me, I started looking through the vastness of the web for a quick fix and a few different things caught my eye.

Firstly, I realised that there are no quick fixes.

Second, diet IS important. I know, you're thinking the same as me... "bugger". Giving up chocolate and losing 6lbs in that week kind of drummed home the message for me.

Thirdly, there may not be quick fixes, but there are ways to be much more efficient about the whole lose weight and get your body buff looking thing.

It started with this dude who believes in training exercises based on the way animals move. It kind if makes sense doesn't it. You don't see obese lions do you, and they sleep 22 hours per day (and get their women to sort out their dinner, what a gig!).

Then I discovered The Tabata Protocol. Sounds impressive doesn't it. Click the link check it out. In a nutshell, high intensity kicks butt over long duration.

That got me looking into functional movement as opposed to the very limited and therefore unnatural movements that (I suppose having never lifted a weight in my life) you find in gyms across the world. And on that note, how many people go to gyms and make a huge difference to their overall fitness and physique? In my experience very few and those are the ones that spend hours upon hours upon hours in there... I just don't want to do that.

Anyway, that led me to Bodyweight Exercise Revolution When the page loads, at the bottom a pop up box appears and if you fill in your details, they email you a FREE workout plus some info on their rationale.

I really liked this and importantly, it made sense to me. Bodyweight exercises target different areas of the body at the same time so that's the first efficiency step. Secondly by doing exercises that to a degree mimic the way that the body moves in real life there are less chance of injuries and by going about your day to day lives your reinforcing those movements - to a degree anyway.

That then got me looking into their mentor Scott Sonnon who if the hype is to be believed used to train UFC combatants and learnt all of his secrets training with secret services in Russia soon after the fall of the 'Iron Curtain'. Regardless, I like this dude's style! He's created this Tacfit Commando workout which really whet my appetite, but could I really justify a hundred odd nicker?

Luckily I came across this. The Israeli Tacfit Challenge which if the hype is to be believed, Sonnon taught the Israeli Special Forces Commandos this training regime for when they were in the field; it's quick, brutal and effective. It's free!

After doing the Bodyweight Exercise Revolution for a couple of weeks I then switched across to this and have been following this ever since.

What I love about this is it only takes 20 minutes, three times a week. That's it.

It only needs as much space as I take to lie down. That's it.

Equipment? My missus's discarded yoga mat. That's it.

Timer? Ha ha, I got your back, here's a free one; Speedbag Forum

The results? First month, I lost a stone. First 6 weeks it was actually a stone and a half. Not much weight loss since, but my body shape has changed rather dramatically.

As for the diet side of things... I haven't been anywhere near as good as I could be. I still eat anything I like and I still eat at least one bar of chocolate a day despite my best efforts to give that up!

What I have done, is started eating salad. Never used to before, but sticking in a bit of garlic, some spring onions and the odd chilli or some mozarella and I've quite happily taken to it. I'll eat it before a meal for two reasons. Firstly I read somewhere that salad and fruit digest quicker than other foods and if you eat them after a main meal, they just get clogged up in the system and you don't get their full benefit. Secondly, it curbs my appetite a bit. Less often will I have seconds and really stuff myself which I used to do ALL the time before.

Naturally, this has made me a bit more conscious about what I eat. I'm looking at ingredients before and really notice it when I eat something overly greasy or oily.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

— William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

That's an old fashioned way of saying, 'truth is stranger than fiction'.

Of course, the next generation would probably write 'trth wdr dn fikshun, innit blud?' - but that's another matter!

This whole ash cloud debacle from that Icelandic volcano provides more evidence of Mother Nature's awesomeness.

I mean c'mon, where was Bruce Willis when we really needed him, playing inter-gallactic snooker, diverting comets into the volcano to plug the damn thing. Or Will Smith, happy to take on little aliens when he's dressed in black, or hide behind Martin Lawrence whilst he's chanting "woosah", but exploding a chunk off a glacier so that it lands in the crater? Oh yeah, they couldn't get a flight out!

By the way, check this link, there are some amazing photo's of Eyjafjallajökull and the surrounding area.

I guess the point is, don't play with Mother Nature, because, invariably, she will win, even in the truth v fiction stakes.

Exhibit one are those awesome white lions. I went to a place called Paradise Wildlife Park just off the M25 the other week and I had no idea that such a thing existed. I swear, I turned a corner, saw these magnificent creatures and thought **** me, they're ghosts!

At this juncture, can I point out that I don't swear. My mind actually articulated "beep me". Honest!

Anyway, WHITE LIONS!! My favourite animal has always been the tiger and I've never had much time for lions, but WHITE LIONS?! They are not albinos, but some genetic mutation that only occurs in one area (Timbavati) of Southern Africa.

Now I guess that the human equivalent is probably ligers or tigons (half lions and half tigers). These are two different species and not designed to mate. Humans have forced the issue (must be money involved somewhere). Whilst the ligers are impressive because of their size (the growth inhibitor gene is in the male tiger and the female lion and so ligers (male lion + female tiger) never stop growing until they die), I think there is something sad about these normally majestic animals being reduced to crazy doctors playthings and they live short, illness riddled lives - see these tigon and white tiger videos.

Second case for Mother Nature whooping fiction's butt? Watch this video about the crocodile, the hippo and the deer. Now, I'm not one to anthropomorphize animals as a general rule (for instance, the feline that shares our house and eats bloody more than I do, is known rather functionally as 'Cat'), but if anyone can tell if this hippo is doing anything other than trying to give mouth to mouth to the deer, please enlighten me!

The why is easy - "FOR NARNIA... AND ASLAN!" Oh never mind.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food."

I think WC Fields was an alcoholic. When you say stuff like "I don't drink water, fish f*** in it", that kinda swings it for me.

Anyway, I'm not judging. I'm a chilliholic. Or maybe, I should say chilli addict.

You see, eating chillis causes your body to release endorphins, which gives you a (natural) high. The reason I'm calling myself an addict, is that I loooove spicy food and I find myself needing hotter and hotter chillis. Nandos extra hot? Pah! Tabasco? Double PAH!!

Now, I'm not like Ms Tamuly in the video below, who is a nutter (official medical term). But, I need heat. Lots of heat! GIVE ME HEAT!!

Anyway, (regains control and manages to ignore shaking hands), did you know that there is an official, scientific measurement of food spiciness?

Obviously you didn't, and I did, 'cos I'm smart.

It was created by a certain Wilbur Scoville, way back in 1912. Imagination wasn't really his strong point as he called his measure The Scoville Heat rating.

Now Tabasco which all you wimps add the odd drop to in food and think you're living on the edge comes in at around 5000 SHU (Scoville Heat Unit). Ask Tabasco, they'll tell you. Or more likely they'll direct you to their website, that's how the world works these days.

The hottest chilli sauce ever created? Blairs 16million which comes in at, yep, you've guessed it, an incredible 16,000,000 SHU! They only made 999 bottles of this stuff and originally it cost about $200, now the bottles are going for over $5000! This stuff is PURE chilli. It's the ultimate. This is as hot as it gets.

Now, over the last couple of years, I've gone through Dave's Insanity Sauce (about 500,000 SHU), a special reserve version which was about 750,000. My latest one is Blairs Ultra Death. This is 1,100,000 on the Scoville rating!! (bought from - oi, how about some freebies for my plug on my MASSIVELY popular blog?)

"You're MAAAAD" I hear you cry! Wrong, chilli's are good for you, straight up guv. They have lots of vitamins, reduce the chances of heart attacks, keep me slim and good looking, the list goes on, look at this link or this one, or this one.

So, who wants to come round for dinner? We won't do the eye rubbing thing honest! I'll even tell you the story about the time I sprinkled on chilli flakes in a restaurant and then went for a wee without washing my hands first. That sort of heat, I don't need!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

For the record, that quote is from Maya Angelou, an American poet, memoirist and very important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement.

I feel it is important to state who it is from, to separate myself from the masses who have inevitably at one point or another come across this quote and have been unable to resist sharing it with anyone and everyone until the next fad overwhelms them.

Anyway, for this clip, the quote works!

Monday, January 25, 2010

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours. "

I don't believe in Karma - well not in the way most people do, ie, you do a bad thing and it will come back and bite you on the backside.

I do wish bad Karma on others though, usually when I'm driving - be honest, who doesn't!

After seeing this, I'm not so sure.

Apparently this clip went crazy and in the top ten most watched YouTube vids last year. I've only just come across it and felt that I had to share - why is it 18+ though?

I'll be honest, I see people either talking or texting on the phone whilst driving and it always pisses me off.. usually because they don't thank me for giving way or because they cut corners or speed through a changing light whilst I'm in the opposite lane waiting to turn right!

This is where the Karma (or lack of the instant variety) thing comes in. They could leave a trail of destruction in their wake and would be totally oblivious to it, because their attention is elsewhere.

Now, I'll be pissed at them because they could do what happens in this vid.

By the way, the full 30 minute version was on BBC iPlayer until today. It showed how the girls got to be in the car at that particular time (including an earlier breathaliser test - driver was clear).

It also shows the aftermath - Police telling parents of their child's deaths, driver's family being ostracised, that sort of thing.

It's deeply unpleasant, but rivetting all the same.

If I can find the full 30 minute version on the net, I'll post it, otherwise, it's called, appropriately enough "Cow".

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions."

Well Mr Da Vinci, that may be the case, but I tell you, I'm right about this one thing... I have an almost genius ability to read people's faces.

Oh, I also know the answer to one your greatest mysteries, you irrepresible genius you.

Well, let me clarify about my genius ability; it's not bad for an ordinary joe anyway. I'm no Paul Ekman - he's a bloke who has written a whole bloody manual on reading faces, (FACS), cataloguing every single type of expression a face can make. Apparently, these facial expressions, i.e. disgust, fear, hatred, contempt etc are universal.

The interesting thing about this malarky is, you can't hide these expressions. They may only appear fleetingly, but nevertheless, if someone asks you a question and you intend to lie, for a fraction of a second, your face will give the game away.

That's what the TV series, Lie To Me is about. You have this independent company headed by Tim Roth who specialise in finding out if people are lying by either using FACS or body language.

In the pilot, a character called Ria Torres is poached from her job as she is a 'natural' at reading faces, body language etc and ends up with a briefcase full of money as a 'signing-on' fee!

I want that, I'm a natural! Anyone know a real life company that does this? If they want a CV, just tell them that I got 100% in the following test;

As for Leonardo, probably the greatest genius that ever lived, inventor of SCUBA gear, the hanglider, the helicopter, mirrored writing adept etc etc, you'll always be known for one thing - Yep, the Mona Lisa.

By the way, the answer to Da Vinci's most famous enigma about Mona Lisa's smile? Yeah she's faking it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes...

Obviously, because you are reading this, you have a modicum of intelligence. Obviously therefore, one knows that when one contemplates motivation, one must first consider Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs model. One must then consider, why is he talking posh, he's from East London!

OK, let's change the vernacular... Ok,ok, the posh is gone, just me again, innit?

Motivation. I only had a scrap to start with, and now it's gone, long gone.

My body into temple thing... Didn't really work. Well, it did for a month, I was looking and feeling better, and looking forward to my daily routines which included;

Then one day, mid session, got into position for 'the plank', thought "I can't be asked", got up, walked away and haven't done a thing since!

It's actually worse than that. Whilst I was exercising, my appetite increased, and I started eating more chocolate, and when I stopped exercising I carried on with the chocolate and therefore I've actually put on weight!

Anyway, you're probably wondering what that has to do with Morpheus? Well, I briefly looked into the reasons for my failure.

Now, there is a theory that if you 'announce your plans to others, you satisfy your self-identity just enough, that you're less motivated to actually do it'. Trouble is, not only does that not make for good blog writing (yes I'm aware of the irony), I wouldn't want that to become common knowledge and be single-handedly responsible for the collapse of goal orientated communication around the world (great responsibility, great power, blah blah).

But that's not the reason for my failure. Oh no, there is a deeper darker reason. To quote Morpheus in full;

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
So, are you ready to take the red pill?

Ok, here goes... The New World Order/Freemasons/Illuminati/Reptilian Shape-Shifters, call them what you will, they didn't want me to succeed!

There, I've said it.

Now I know you're wondering what earth shattering proof I possess?

Well firstly, see this video that demonstrates that President Obama is really a robot and therefore controlled by shadowy figures in the background!

Now follow this link to see that the recent MTV music awards really were an occult ritual 21st Century style (and tedious link to the Katie Perry in a West Ham basque picture at a different MTV shindig).

These conspirators are everywhere, Jay-Z, Susan Boyle, the ubiquitous dollar bill, controlling what you see, hear, read and think.

Wait, what's that noise? Who'se outside? Men in white coats? NOOOOOOO
Like Nobel prizewinner Milosz said "In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth rings out like a pistol shot"