Mettā (Pali) or maitrī (Sanskrit) is benevolence, friendliness, amity, friendship, good will, kindness, close mental union (on same mental wavelength), and active interest in others. It is the first of the four sublime states (Brahmavihāras) and one of the ten pāramīs of the Theravāda school of Buddhism. Mettā is love without the suffering that arises from attachment (known as upādāna).
The cultivation of benevolence (mettā bhāvanā) is a popular form of meditation in Buddhism. In the Theravadin Buddhist tradition, this practice begins with the meditator cultivating benevolence towards themselves, then one’s loved ones, friends, teachers, strangers, enemies, and finally towards all sentient beings. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, this practice is associated with tonglen(cf.), whereby one breathes out (“sends”) happiness and breathes in (“receives”) suffering. Tibetan Buddhists also practice contemplation of the Brahmavihāras, also called the four immeasurables, which is sometimes called ‘compassion meditation’.
What is the difference between empathy and compassion? Is it possible to train compassion? Can it be measured? How useful is compassion training in schools, clinical settings, and end-of-life care? Can the brain be transformed through mental training?
The free eBook: Compassion. Bridging Practice and Science by Tania Singer andMatthias Bolz describes existing secular compassion training programs and empirical research as well as the experiences of practitioners. The state-of-the-art layout of the eBook includes video clips and a selection of original sound collages by Nathalie Singer, and artistic images by Olafur Eliasson.
In addition, the film Raising Compassion by Tania Singer and Olafur Eliasson brings together workshop participants in a remarkable exchange between science, art, and contemplative practice.
Surprisingly few, it seems. According to a new review of studies related to running and health, jogging for as few as five or six miles per week could substantially improve someone’s health.
The climate impacts of food choice in the United States are analyzed and the impacts from life-cycle transportation and life-cycle production are compared.
Organic agriculture produces smaller harvests than conventional methods, but the difference can be minimized by employing the right techniques, a study finds.
Measuring Physical Activity http://www.participaction.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/The-January-Research-File_eng.pdf
(These typically require participants to self-report their level of activity)
International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) – short and long version, multiple languages https://sites.google.com/site/theipaq/questionnaire_links
Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors (CHAMPS) – available in english and spanish http://dne2.ucsf.edu/public/champs/resources/qxn/
Global Physical Activity Questionnaire – available in multiple languages http://www.who.int/chp/steps/GPAQ/en/
Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire http://www.godin.fsi.ulaval.ca/Fichiers/Quest/Godin%20leisure-time.pdf
(These can be used to record a value to the activity level of participants)
6 Minute Walk Test http://www.rehabmeasures.org/Lists/RehabMeasures/DispForm.aspx?ID=895
Push up Test at Home (upper body strength) http://www.topendsports.com/testing/tests/home-pushup.htm
Squat Test at Home (lower body strength) http://www.topendsports.com/testing/tests/home-squat.htm
Sit and Reach Flexibility Test at Home http://www.topendsports.com/testing/tests/home-sit-and-reach.htm
Shoulder Reach Flexibility Test http://www.topendsports.com/testing/tests/shoulder-flexibility.htm
Rehabilitation Measures Database (some tests may be beyond scope of course project) http://www.rehabmeasures.org/default.aspx
Series on Physical Activity ★ Recommended by Dr. Steven Blair
Note: Articles in the Series on Physical Activity are available free of charge if you create a username and password.
Energy Balance Basics
Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults
Physical activity and health – A Report of the Surgeon General
Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging
Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
Examining The Use of Evidence Based and Social Media Supported Tools in Freely Acessible Physical Activity Internvetion Websites
Tools, Calculators and Resources
American Council on Exercise
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention – Benefits of Physical Activity
How fast does the Grim Reaper walk? Receiver operating characteristics curve analysis in healthy men aged 70 and over.
To determine the speed at which the Grim Reaper (or Death) walks.
Population based prospective study.
Older community dwelling men living in Sydney, Australia.
1705 men aged 70 or more participating in CHAMP (Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Walking speed (m/s) and mortality. Receiver operating characteristics curve analysis was used to calculate the area under the curve for walking speed and determine the walking speed of the Grim Reaper. The optimal walking speed was estimated using the Youden index (sensitivity + specificity-1), a common summary measure of the receiver operating characteristics curve, and represents the maximum potential effectiveness of a marker.
The mean walking speed was 0.88 (range 0.15-1.60) m/s. The highest Youden index (0.293) was observed at a walking speed of 0.82 m/s (2 miles (about 3 km) per hour), corresponding to a sensitivity of 63% and a specificity of 70% for mortality. Survival analysis showed that older men who walked faster than 0.82 m/s were 1.23 times less likely to die (95% confidence interval 1.10 to 1.37) than those who walked slower (P = 0.0003). A sensitivity of 1.0 was obtained when a walking speed of 1.36 m/s (3 miles (about 5 km) per hour) or greater was used, indicating that no men with walking speeds of 1.36 m/s or greater had contact with Death.
The Grim Reaper’s preferred walking speed is 0.82 m/s (2 miles (about 3 km) per hour) under working conditions. As none of the men in the study with walking speeds of 1.36 m/s (3 miles (about 5 km) per hour) or greater had contact with Death, this seems to be the Grim Reaper’s most likely maximum speed; for those wishing to avoid their allotted fate, this would be the advised walking speed.
A two dimensional, reaction-diffusion model of compost piles
Thiansiri Luangwilai, Harvinder Sidhu, Mark Nelson
We consider the self heating process in a two dimensional spatially dependent model of a compost pile which incorporates terms that account for self heating due to both biological and oxidation mechanisms. As moisture is a crucial factor in both the degradation process and spontaneous ignition within a compost pile, this model consists of four mass-balance equations, namely, energy, oxygen, vapour and liquid water concentrations. Analyses are undertaken for different initial water contents within the compost pile. We show that when the water content is too low, the reaction is almost negligible; whereas when it is too high, the reaction commences only when the water content evaporates and the water ratio drops to within an appropriate range. However, for an intermediate water content range, the biological reaction is at its optimum and there is a possibility of spontaneous ignition within the compost pile. Continue reading “model of compost piles”