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3 Easy Stretches to Try at Work

The Benefits of Frequent Stretching Have you noticed that animals maintain muscle mass with minimal exercise?  For example, dogs spend the day eating and sleeping, with only a walk or two for exercise.  If there’s nothing to tear apart or steal, they’ll sleep.  Despite their laziness, dogs manage to maintain muscle mass and display peak performance during the weekend run at the dog park!  How do animals maintain their fitness with minimal movement? One theory is that stretching helps them to maintain muscle mass.  Resting dogs frequently stand up, stretch, and lie back down.  Some studies show that frequent stretching stimulates muscles and hormonal changes, thereby preventing atrophy and shortening of muscle fibers.  This week take a cue from your pet and add some stretches into your work day.  This may help you maintain your fitness, even if you have to skip your workout. Seated Pigeon Targets the outer thigh and glute Creates range of motion in the hip How to: Sit in your chair and cross the right ankle over the left knee. Sit …

Travel Pics: A Day At Tokyo DisneySea

While in Japan earlier this month, I finally made the journey to Tokyo DisneySea. I’ve been to Tokyo three times before and it’s so easy to get to, but not once did I visit Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea.  Time to see what it’s about!  As usual, critical thinking questions follow! Disney Sea is for Adults The first thing you’ll realize at Tokyo DisneySea is how popular it is with adults. Compared to Tokyo Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland, the ratio of adults to children is much higher here.   The atmosphere of DisneySea seems more adult themed: less cartoon-y, fewer venues with overly-cheerful music (not It’s a Small World!), less emphasis on animated characters and princesses.  Instead, the park is set up like a sailing adventure.  The architecture create fantasy scenes from the Middle East, the Mediterranean, South America, and early 20th century New York waterfront.  There are also make-believe locations such as Triton’s kingdom and the Mermaid Lagoon.  In the background to the right, you can see the Islamic architecture of Aladdin and Jasmine’s kingdom. Remember when you …

Travel Blog: Food in Japan is Too Perfect?

The first time you travel to Japan, you’ll be blown away by intricate handicrafts, perfectly folded origami, manicured gardens, clean streets, and meal sets. Indeed, this attention to detail shows high regard for quality and order, which the Japanese are now known for.  In my parents’ time, “Made In Japan” meant shoddy, but now “Made In Japan” is a mark of quality and innovation.  Today, I’m talking about “perfect” meal sets. Attention to detail is showcased especially the meal sets, even at casual restaurants. They are the stuff of an obsessive compulsive person’s dreams, each item delicately placed just-so, to ensure the best presentation of each small portion… one tomato sits gently on a single lettuce leaf, a few sheets of seaweed peek out of the ramen broth, and the slices of chaashuu pork are perfectly round, made of alternating ribbons of fat and meat. Even Japan Airlines economy class meals were served to us like this, complemented by a “Thank you for waiting. Here is your meal.”   Air Canada really has nothing on …

Travel Blog: Hong Kong Consumerism as an Identity

As I write, I am sitting in Hong Kong International Airport awaiting my flight to Narita from Hong Kong.  I knew my first post-Hong Kong blog post had to be about one thing: consumerism, and specifically consumerism of brand name products. That’s because one of the first things you’ll notice about Hong Kong is the prominence of high-end brand names: Atelier, Balenciaga, Chanel, Ermenegildo Zegna, Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Hermes, I.W.C., Jaeger-LeCoultre, Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, Montblanc, to name just a few.  Pacific Place and IFC are just two of the places where you can literally find everything on a “high brand” shopping list.  It’s not just foreign brands that are popular, either.  On practically every street corner in Hong Kong you are almost guaranteed to see a beacon of bright red and gold – jewelry stores Chow Tai Fook, Luk Fook, and Chow Sang Sang.  No matter what direction you turn, there are opportunities to brand the most special moment of your marriage with their trademark. Is it just the mainland Chinese tourists that are driving …

Do we always need evidence for our beliefs? William James, “The Will to Believe” v.s. WK Clifford, “The Ethics of Belief”

These two articles begin an argument that is still pertinent to epistemology today! In his paper, “The Will To Believe”, William James potently responds to William Kingdon Clifford’s famous statement that, “it is wrong, always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything on the basis of insufficient evidence.”  Clifford’s piece, called “The Ethics of Belief,”  was written in the 1876, and although Clifford does not explicitly direct his arguments to religion, the tone of the paper suggests that his target was religion and believers.  Clifford was a Christian-turned-mathematician and adopted strict scientific protocols to ensure hygiene of his beliefs.  James took heart in Christianity and it was an integral part of his mental life, having saved him from feelings of despair that overtook him during his study of psychology, especially after witnessing the suffering of an epileptic. Regarding the question of whether to believe in religious hypotheses especially, James wants to show that it is sometimes rational to believe in the absence of conclusive evidence. James draws attention to the point that Clifford and skeptics …