New Project / Idea

Slow film, an ND filter (ouch! that’s going to hurt at 93mm…), and a tripod during rush hour… wonder if it’ll work? Could be that i’m just blinded by the sense of perspective in the ceiling, and it’ll end up being one of those geometric scenes that only really floats my boat.

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Durable Bombs

Those cheeky types over at the New York times (bugmenot):

But if the economy is about to begin growing again, it will be from a very low level. The recession has produced declines far greater than in previous downturns over the past half-century. As a result, the economy may seem to be depressed even after growth resumes.

One area where that can be seen is shipments of durable goods produced by American companies. The rate of such shipments fell by more than 20 percent during this recession, and would have declined further were it not for increased production of weapons.

It’s almost like they don’t believe… As previously noted, what america really needs is a good old fashioned world war – it’s about the one thing that they’ve really though through and for which they are prepared!

0801-biz-webCHARTS

The accompanying chart doesn’t leave you with hope that they have ‘other plans’.

One more that really just speaks for itself.

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Good times, they are a coming… Keep an eye on CIT and AIG.

Change of Diet

I’ve been putting off writing about this for a while, mostly due to not being sure if it was something that i’d stick with… but after a month, it seems like that decision has been made.

Back at the end of May both M. and i had colds that we couldn’t seem to shake for weeks. The whole thing left me feeling pretty wiped out, and run down. My usual approach to dealing with this has been to stop drinking and get more sleep. Having done that for all of June… i still felt like crap. What to do?

My weight has been bothering me again recently, and despite efforts to eat well (i’ve never had bad eating habits), limit my calories (never been a big eater), and take regular exercise (still swimming four days a week), just sitting in front of a computer 8 to 12 hours a day becomes a lot to overcome.

A few years ago i remember Joi Ito doing something called “Eat To Live”, and having good results with it. It was close enough to what i already eat that it wasn’t a big deal to start doing it.

The general idea is to eat a diet that is predominately raw and cooked vegetables, lots of fruit, and getting protein from beans. The doctor who came up with this plan (and prescribes it to obese / diabetic americans) designed a six week ‘purge‘ that takes this to some extremes, ruling out all oil (except a little Flaxseed for Omega 3), no dairy, no meat / fish, no refined carbohydrates / grains, no salt, no sugar, limited starchy vegetables.

The diet is really easy to do during the Japanese summer – it’s generally too hot for my pathetic english constitution to be demanding hot meals, and there is lots of cheap salad / vegetables around.

So far, a month in, i’m really enjoying it… which seems like an odd thing to way about changing the way that you’re eating. Some of the ‘side-effects’ that i’ve noticed are:

  • weight loss, in the region of 5 – 7kg (i forgot to weigh myself before starting, thereby missing the most dramatic initial change. Oops.)
  • energy levels much higher – swimming makes me happier, feel like i’m gliding through the water, really enjoying it again. I do find that if i push it beyond a certain point it really provokes hunger… and hunger feels different. Hard to describe.
  • sleep is now deeper, easier, and more refreshing (this is probably related to also cutting out my morning litre of earl grey…)
  • less bloating – i’m not ending most days blown up like a balloon.
  • the condition of my hair has ‘changed’… hard to describe what has changed, it’s just straighter, and lighter. very odd.
  • mood appear to be more stable – at least until the last couple of days, i’ve been coping with work stress much better, and enjoying life a little more.

I’m guessing that this is something that will be easy to stick with for an extended period of time. There isn’t really much that i’ve given up that i really miss… tis true that i’ve been drinking a few pints of Guinness on a Friday evening, but we all have our weaknesses. In a few weeks time i’ll be able to add back a few things that will make life more interesting… but i’m not entirely sure that i will, at least until the end of the summer. As my weight loss has slowed down to something like 1 – 1.5Kg per week, it should be relatively sustainable, and i can just let my body decide how much it wants to weigh.

It has never been easy for me to go at these things ‘in moderation’ therefore having something strict to work with appears to be suiting me well. My plan is to wait another month or so after the initial six weeks is over, and book my self in for a health check. It will be interesting to see what has changed in my notoriously bad blood chemistry…