Archive for May, 2007

Tweet Recently I watched a documentary about voguish student band Arcade Fire. I felt my age. I found I really did not like Arcade Fire’s music – even though they use French horns and declare themselves nouveau fans of the church organ: both instruments guaranteed a favourable reception in the Knackered household because played here. […]

Tweet Seth Roberts, author of the Shangri-la Diet, has been conducting a self-experiment with large doses of flaxseed oil to see if the increase in Omega-3 fatty acids creates noticeable benefits across functions such as balance, arithmetic and memory. The Knackered Hack has been “using” flaxseed oil for some considerable time, but intermittently and in […]

Knackered Downunder observes a man who tests endurance to the limit

Seeing as the Knackered Hack is losing his faith in marathon running, he’s unlikely to find the example of American endurance runner Dean Karnazes as inspiring as I did.

Karnazes has just finished a tour of Australia and New Zealand, getting in some long-distance running (naturally) and promoting his book Ultramarathon Man, Confessions of an all-night runner. The book is well worth reading. If you walk away with one theme, it’s the value of sheer doggedness and determination and how far they can get you. In Karnazes’ case, it’s literally hundreds of miles. Continue reading ‘ultra-marathon runner tells all’

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Today’s news from Bath is that it’s wet and windy out there — as is traditional for British Bank Holidays and school vacations. It looks like the walk to the park to play ball with the kids is off. Which is a shame, for more reasons than one.

Environmental psychologists have known for a while that green areas are psychologically good for us, helping us to recover from mental wear and tear. But now the good people at the universities of Sheffield and De Montfort, Leicester have found that some green spaces are better for us than others.

When it comes to urban green spaces, mental health benefits increase with the level of biodiversity, Dr Richard Fuller (Department of Animal & Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield) and colleagues have found. A green area rich in species is better for us than an equally green area with fewer species. And we seem to be pretty good at assessing how many kinds of species live in urban parks, just by looking at the plants.

The researchers point out that the world’s human population is increasingly concentrated in cities, isolated from nature. So perhaps we should now be investing the municipal parks manager with much higher importance. S/he is providing something of more profound human value than just pandering to preferences for busy lizzies or pansies. ;-)

Hat tip to The Situationist for alerting us to this story.

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It’s tough for us technological immigrants to get to grips with new gizmos. But take heart, Dear Reader, it was ever thus:-

A big thank-you to Hilary for making sure we saw this YouTube clip. And a big vote of confidence for the Scandinavian humour set.

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