Musings on Everything

I muse, therefore I write.

Posts Tagged ‘running

On Hunting

Human beings are pretty terrifying creatures, from the perspective of other animals. I don’t mean in some kind of OMG EXTINCTION way, either. Humans are the global heavyweight champions of endurance running.

Primitive man would take some rocks – later on they’d use slings or spears or even bow and arrows, basically some type of projectile- and they would find an animal, and then start chasing it. The projectiles were mostly to harass the poor prey. A fit human being can run for hours and hours, whereas most of the animals humans ate can only sustain a sprint for a few minutes. Humans hunted by more or less running their prey to death. Or, rather, chasing them until they couldn’t run any more, at which point said animal would be killed. For some animals we found we could save effort by driving them over cliffs.

As for the other animals with great endurance, rather than hunting them, we domesticated them as herd animals. Ancient goats, sheep, cows, horses… those were the animals humans couldn’t outrun over marathon distances.

So, from the perspective of a delicious animal, a human being represents a predator that can strike from a distance, can thwart all but the most heroic attempts at escape, and will not stop chasing you until you die. And they hunt in packs. Like wolves.

Aliens should be afraid of humans, too. We’re crazy, for God’s sake. We constantly fight each other in horrible, bitter wars that frequently have no better reason to be fought than petty arguments. A bunch of humans went and executed one of their gods.

It’s nice to know that you’re a member of a completely badass species, huh? It sort of begins to make up for the terrible fatties we’ve become. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

P.S. For more information, check this out.

Written by Sri

November 27, 2009 at 8:22 PM

Posted in Musings

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On Exercise, Part 1

*Disclaimer* Let it be noted that I am not against running/jogging as a form of exercise, nor am I against exercise in general. I’m just saying that excessive running can be and is very very bad for you. And also ranting a bit. *Disclaimer*

As I noted in my Twitter stream recently, every time I go to a park, I tend to spend some time watching the joggers go by. I mean, they are fantastically fun to ponder about. What other demographic, at any time in humanity’s history, would run, thankless and alone, on hard asphalt for hours at a time in “running” shoes while blasting away their eardrums with cheap iPod earbuds? I mean, the medical costs of running like this are going to really come back and bite each and every one of these people in the ass in a few decades. Let’s take a closer look, hm?

  • Feet. By encasing their feet in running shoes, joggers remove the benefit of having feet in the first place. While the shoes may protect against the occasional sharp rock or all-too-squishable slug, they also kill your feet faster than pretty much anything short of arthritis. Did you know that the arch in your foot absorbs and counters 17% of the impact shock of putting your foot down when you run or walk? Don’t believe me? Here’s a simple experiment. Go outside, put your shoes and do two laps around your backyard. Now take your shoes off (socks too) and run two laps barefoot. See that? The foot comes down, not on the heel, but flat down, when you go barefoot, utilizing the arch structure of your foot to absorb shock. Eliminating this counter increases the stress on the bones in your foot and leg, your knee, and every muscle involved in the process as well, leading to foot fatigue. Furthermore, the running shoe forces the foot to come down on the heel, further destabilizing the foot, and, even worse, completely wrecking the natural running movement.
  • Knees. I will assume all of you are familiar with the high-heels effect (tilting of the pelvis forward, also known as kyphosis-lordosis posture), yes? Good. Now, note that this efficet is not limited to high heels alone. Any time your heel is elevated above your toes, that high-heels effect comes into play (though perhaps not as noticeably). This is an incredible amount of stress for your knees and feet, when you think about it, especially when running.
  • Chests. This is more of an issue for the females in my readership (hi, you two!), so you guys can skip down to the next paragraph. Anyway, Cooper’s Ligaments. They’re not at all made for heavy shocks like running on asphalt for extended periods of time. Especially repeatedly. It stretches the ligaments out, and from there, it’s sorta clear what happens next.

Stay tuned for Part 2, the psychological side of exercise-as-drudgery, coming tomorrow later!

Written by Sri

July 5, 2009 at 7:11 PM

Posted in Musings

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