Fit not fat

Almost everything there is to know about compassion in a multimedia eBook!

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.

Food-Miles and Climate Impacts

Food-Miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2008, 42 (10), pp 3508–3513
DOI: 10.1021/es702969f
Publication Date (Web): April 16, 2008
Copyright © 2008 American Chemical Society
* Corresponding author e-mail:


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.

Measuring Physical Activity

Measuring Physical Activity

Physical Activity Measurement–a_primer_for_health_promotion/links/02bfe511842852620a000000.pdf


(These typically require participants to self-report their level of activity)

International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) – short and long version, multiple languages

Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors (CHAMPS) – available in english and spanish

Global Physical Activity Questionnaire – available in multiple languages

Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire


(These can be used to record a value to the activity level of participants)

6 Minute Walk Test

Push up Test at Home (upper body strength)

Squat Test at Home (lower body strength)

Sit and Reach Flexibility Test at Home

Shoulder Reach Flexibility Test

Rehabilitation Measures Database (some tests may be beyond scope of course project)


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?

BMJ. 2011 Dec 15;343:d7679. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d7679.

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).


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.

model of compost piles

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”