Links and Quick Hits

~ Yet another hearthealthywholegrains vegetarian athlete disaster at Mark's daily Apple. Ultimately, it's a success story, but that's only because she stopped listening to all those trying to "help" her (like her doctors), did her own research, learned, applied, and transformed.

~ Keith Norris of Theory to Practice has created a fabulous resource in the form of a growing collection of very brief but butt-kicking exercise demonstrations on YouTube, now standing at 14 videos. I don't know that a lot of this would be appropriate for someone just starting out with resistance training (unless you do so under proper instruction), and frankly, I never thought this sort of thing would be of interest to me. But we change as we progress, and now things like free squats, deadlifts…and most recently, power cleans and barbell snatches are my favorites. The reason is because I spent a couple of years doing the standard isolation type stuff and have gained tremendous strength. It was time to move forward, so these compound (multiple joint) exercises are just the ticket. What makes it more interesting, particularly for something like a free squat, for example, is that form and technique are so important. I would say that virtually all your initial progress will be owed to getting your form right, and not so much increases in strength.

~ Big Surprise Here (not!). Something any primal or paleo practitioner can tell you: carbs don't don't help, and Red Bull doesn't give you wings.

~ Ornish Smornish. Yet another person finds out the hard way: the Dean Ornish Chubby Face Diet is an utter disaster, and it creates victims of what cardiologist William Davis calls "Post-Traumatic Grain Disorder." "I tried his plan on and off, but as so many people note, an almost-vegan diet is really tough. It was for me, and I could never do it for any length of time. But given that the “evidence” said that I should, I kept trying, and kept beating up on myself when I failed. And I kept gaining weight. I got to almost 200 pounds by the time I was 40 and have a strong suspicion that that’s what caused my blood sugar to go awry, but my doctor at the time never checked my blood sugar, and as a relatively young and healthy man, I never went in very often." Punchline: blood sugars ended up at 500 mg/dl. Yea, yea: "but if he had only followed the diet." Listen up, and listen good: unnatural diets designed for pea-brains and not humans are not supposed to be followed by humans with any ease. Dean Ornish is playing the oldest con-scam in the book: making you feel guilty for your own nature. Fuck Ornish.

~ Tom Naughton — who's as good of a comedian as he is a filmmaker — has a good and funny go at those PETA morons; or, "PETArds." And I mean it: every single one of 'em; wall to wall and top to bottom. That is, they're voluminous in their idiocy. "I realize the PETA folks like to blur the distinctions between various life-forms, but flies aren’t animals.  They’re insects.  They don’t plan for their futures, they don’t fall in love, and they don’t miss their cousin Boo-Boo if he has an unfortunate encounter with a presidential hand.  A fly is probably about as intelligent as a medium-sized potato – and therefore only slightly more intelligent than a medium-sized PETA volunteer."

~ And last but certainly not least, friend and fellow paleo-ish traveller, Diana Hsieh, is now Dr. Dianna Hsieh, having successfully defended her 300-page-plus doctoral dissertation on the problem of moral luck. It's a good thing to add just one more sane person to the disaster that has been modern philosophy these last hundreds of years. Now there's two docs in the household: MD Paul, and PhD Diana. Oh, yea, and Diana has other successes to be proud of as well: her transformation.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Monica on June 20, 2009 at 11:45

    Umm. I think he meant to say that flies aren't mammals or vertebrate animals. Make no mistake, PETA people are ridiculous, a point on which 99% or more of us will hopefully agree. Nevertheless, insects are most certainly animals ).

    Excuse me while I rant. 🙂 Arthropods (the containing group for insects, spiders, crustaceans and such) as a whole comprise about 70-75% of animal species on earth, while vertebrates constitute a very small portion of described animal species, around 4-5%. So it does bug me from a biological perspective when people assume that vertebrates somehow characterize the animal kingdom as a whole. Mammals are a truly minute portion of Kingdom Animalia as a whole, around 0.3% of animal species described so far. As we continue to discover new species, that proportion will no doubt get even smaller.

    Sorry, as a systematist of fungi on arthropods (mostly insects), I just cannot let that kind of taxonomic error slide. hahaha. 🙂

  2. Patrik on June 20, 2009 at 15:17



    You gotta try CrossFit. Come to the Dark Side. You will love it.


    Did "Grace" yesterday. 135 lbs C&J x 30 as fast you can. I got some crappy time in the 5 min range.

    This guy kills it here:

    Also, played Hoover Ball with fellow CFers on beach today.

    Good times.

  3. Skyler Tanner on June 20, 2009 at 11:00

    I would say that virtually all your initial progress will be owed to getting your form right, and not so much increases in strength.

    Indeed,although the improved form with improved strength is still improved strength. What isn't happening (typically) early on is hypertrophy of the tissue. You're going to see neural factors (movement practice, muscle-to-muscle coordination, volitional effort, alteration of body mechanics) contribute the most to strength gains early on.

  4. Patrik on June 20, 2009 at 15:29

    [Indeed,although the improved form with improved strength is still improved strength. ]

    @Skyler Tanner

    Well put.

  5. Robert on June 21, 2009 at 12:42

    Hi! Popped in from Art's blog. Paleo/EF changed my life for the better. Its not just a physical thing–its mental as well. Did the Ornish diet back in the late 90's–eat more weigh less. I tell you I became a skinny puffy depressed lump! Glad to be freeing the animal.

    By the way–kudos on the Rat Terrieres–have 4 of them and they are the best dogs on the planet.

  6. Richard Nikoley on June 23, 2009 at 08:51

    Yea, I grew up with black labs. Wasn't sure I'd like small dogs but ratties think they're big and they act big.

    I also like the off switch. We do about 3.5 miles every morning and they are off leash for much of it — chasing birds, squirrels, etc. Once we get back and they're fed, they usually lounge around until 3pm or so when they think it's time for another walk.

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