Weekly Head Voices #156: Karma Chameleon.

Scene from a recent lunch with a very flat cat. Whilst appreciating these moments with direct experience mode set to 11, one does have to realise that it’s all much more complicated than it looks.

Welcome to this, the 156th edition of the Weekly Head Voices, voices who are planning to sing about the two weeks from Monday October 8 to Sunday October 21.

Summer has arrived, and it’s really very hot down here.

As I’m writing this at 21:41, I am doing my best to limit my motion to the absolute minimum in a bid to keep my temperature within healthy limits.

You have to imagine me sitting utterly still, almost like a chameleon on a twig, with only my fingers making small darting movements over the keyboard.

Time is fun when you’re having flies.

Karma Running.

This morning, after losing all my karma in traffic (there was an accident on one of the main roads in my town, resulting in the normally already impressive level of stupidity of the driving mob, which I am part of, reaching hitherto unseen levels; WHEN IS THE AI GOING TO TAKE OVER PLEASE?!), I started my long road to forgiveness, and zen, by taking a barefoot run on the beach near my place of work.

It looked like this:

Goldilocks sand: Not too hard, not too soft, just right.

I wish I could better communicate how it felt.

Imagine the 30 Celsius morning sun on your back, a slight breeze from the sea and your bare feet rhythmically brushing the wet sand as you glide softly along the coast.

Simply keep on doing this until your body creates the stillness that your mind needs.

This is my new favourite run.


A friend from work told me about this idea of exercising at 80% of your maximum heart rate.

The idea behind this is to train your aerobic system without injuring anything, and also to be able to do so with much more volume (read: more kilometres).

Four weeks ago I tried to squeeze in too much running in the half hour I had at my disposal. Due to me being doubly stupid, I also did this in my Xero Tolerance 5mm sole sandals, and so I was rewarded with a brand new kind of pain in my posterior tibial tendon.

This is the same tendon previously mentioned on this blog, also in the context of running injuries.

However, this time I must have injured the tendon more effectively than the previous time (practice makes perfect!), because the pain seemed to be a more permanent new inhabitant of my foot.

Long story short, the suggestion of lower heart rate training came at the perfect time, with my ankle serving as a continuous and visceral (literally) reminder to keep an eye on my heart rate.

This has been going swimmingly.

I am slowly increasing my distance, but, more importantly, runs are again characterised by a whole lot of grinning.

It has not escaped me that a man running on sandals (or barefoot) with a probably fairly unpredictable-looking grin on his big hairy face could give fellow humans pause for thought.

Grab bag of thought- and/or debate-provoking pieces.

Not exercising worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease, study reveals

Over a period of more than 20 years, 122000 people were put on a treadmill at Cleveland clinic. It turns out that exercise plays a crucial role in not dying.

Core quote: “Being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker”.

Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth

I’m really sorry about this one, fellow meat lovers.

This also looks like a pretty solid study. Core quote: “The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world.”

(I have slowly started to work on the vegetarian recipe section of my notes.)

World’s largest sleep study shows too much shut-eye can be bad for your brain

It is well known that we here at The Voices are huge fans of sleep.

However, now it turns out that lots of sleep is not going to cut it. You have to sleep just the right amount: Not too much and not too little.

You probably knew this, but this large study confirms it: Between 7 and 8 hours of sleep, no more and no less, is best for optimal mental performance.

Hard hitting quote: “One startling revelation was that most participants who slept four hours or less performed as if they were almost nine years older.”

The End

Thank you for connecting with me by reading this post. I am already looking forward to our next encounter, whichever form that may take!

More cowbell! [weekly head voices #46]

There’s a really big dude with a cowbell dancing around in my head:

My life seems to be just full of cowbell at the moment. During the coming months, more will be revealed. During the past weeks, the following things seemed mention-worthy at the time:

  • On Sunday, April 17, I went with a posse consisting exclusively of spectacularly hip people, who prefer to remain anonymous on this blog but who might pop up in the comments now and then, to the Coldcut Energy Union gig in Amsterdam. As you will know, if you’re also unbearably cool, Ninja Tune the record label is run by the same two dudes making up Coldcut. On this particular Sunday, Matt Black was doing the honours. He can certainly DJ, but unfortunately the performance was dominated by its green message, and much to its detriment. When I go to a gig, I really prefer not being preached to. Whatever the case may be, the presence of the spectacularly hip posse made for a fabulous night nonetheless.
  • Completely of my own accord (this was done on the Saturday BEFORE the coldcut gig) I have now changed to a green energy provider. My household’s electricity quota is filled with exclusively wind and sun energy, and my gas usage is compensated for by lush forests in the Amazon. Coupled with my house’s 95% warmth efficiency (on heat-emission aerial photos, our whole neighbourhood appears to be completely dark) and my bicycle-addiction, I now have a license to be more snooty about environmental matters at parties, so there.
  • There are two job opportunities I would like to bring under your and your social network’s attention: The first is a well-paid Ph.D. position under my supervision here in Delft, working on the next generation modelling and visualisation required for the Virtual Surgical Pelvis. See the VSP vacancy website for all the details. If you don’t feel like getting a Ph.D., or you already have one, but you still want to work on visualisation and bio-mechanical modelling, you could do much worse than apply for this software application developer position at Motek Medical under the supervision of my good friend Frans Steenbrink, who is an alround kickass-type but still doesn’t have his own website or blog.
  • I made a nice MobiPocket / Kindle version (that’s an ebook, you caveman) of the latest available web-version of the Django Book 2.0, and then I wrote a geeky blog post about it.
  • Beautiful easter weather made for some stunning outings, such as an early-morning visit to the Delftse Hout and to a café called Knus (“cozy”):
The fabulous Knus in the Delftse Hout.

That’s about it for the mentionables. It seems that the good weather has a significant effect on the frequency and length of my blog posts, which I interpret as a positive sign. What’s not so positive, is that I really like this helmet (found via engadget):

This is a really pretty helmet.