Random Thoughts

Since I’m in the last semester for my grad program and currently living the life of having a newborn (read: lots of interrupted sleep) I thought I’d put a few things down that, while too small for a full blog post, might be nice for my readers to dig on.

1. Lessons from my Health Education class

I’ve been trying to work on a health ed post for some time but I think I can put things together in a way that makes sense. Health Education and Public Health are two sides of the same coin. Specifically, Health Ed aims to work on health habit change at the Intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, and organizational level, To compare, Public Health is largely driven by policy change efforts (though there are proxy wars over who is “qualified” to do what in this sphere). Health Ed does this using theories derived from experience to help make subsequent interventions better for the population being treated. The problem is that practitioners and academics exist largely in opposition to one another, with the practitioners doing “what works” (and being able to explain that internal logic even if the research is spotty for their reasoning), while the academics continue to hone the theory so that practitioners, who should be using it, can save themselves a lot of time and get better results. So what should be a two-way street of communication amounts to two-way disdain.

Stop me if you’ve heard of this happening in YOUR field.

Practitioners are using a lot of deductive reasoning, while academics are using a lot of inductive reasoning. This is good and the commingling leads to a better product, but only if both sides belly up to the table and quit acting like either the other side is too stupid to cooperate or the other side is condescending and thus not worth the hassle.

In a related discussion, my friend Jeannette posted this article, titled “Why Can’t the Sciences and the Humanities Get Along?” though “humanities” in this case means “social sciences and humanities.” It’s a really solid read, and if you’ve been very “hard” science all of your life, you might come away at least beginning to appreciate the social sciences, which is what I’ve started to do as a result of the previously mentioned health education class.

2. Take a coffee break

Prior to the birth of my son, I took a ~15 day fast from caffeine. I didn’t do this for reasons of “purifying” or “giving my adrenals a break” (because we can actually diagnose “adrenal fatigue,” it’s called addisons disease and doesn’t require hippy bullshit supplements); rather, I did this so that my sensitivity to my normal intake was heightened. I drink ~2 twelve ounce mugs of coffee per day, so I didn’t want that my be my “level” with a newborn, thus requiring a jump to 3 or 4 cups to create a nice caffeine buzz. By dialing back, I now require only 1 (sometimes 2) mugs to have the same feeling, depending on how interrupted my sleep was the night before. If you’ve not done this I suggest you consider it; I may even post how I “reduced” my intake to avoid headaches and feeling like death without the stuff.

3. My post over at Dadlifts.com: “The Kind of Father I want to be.”

I recently wrote a post about the existential angst that I had preceding the birth of my son, both in how I wanted to be a father and how being a father would affect my own psyche and self-identity. This post can be found here.

4. If you can, try Longhorn beef.

Sarah and I have been spending roughly all of our income on food; it’s really the choice we make in our lives: we like to eat well and would rather spend money on great steak and wine than a concert (for instance). Our local farmer’s market is fortunate enough to have a rancher who only raises Longhorn cattle, which are leaner than other cattle by a wide margin. Last night we had the chance to try Longhorn tenderloin, which was so sweet and tender, with no “gamey” flavor (though I don’t taste “gamey” flavor in even wild game). If you can, give it a try.

5. Project: Kratos

Drew Baye recently released a manual that bridges the gap between high intensity training principles and body weight training. The manual is titled “Project: Kratos” because while Adonis was all show and no go, Kratos was the badass who got shit done. You can purchase the manual here.