May 02, 2014

Tasty Links

By Crabby McSlacker

Remember I said I was gonna do these link round-ups more often?  Yeah, well, vacation blah blah blah whatever.  I'm lazy and easily distracted, let's not sugar-coat it.

Similarly, you may have noticed the Monthly-Goal-Support-or-Whatever-We're-Going-to-Call-It Post went AWOL in April. Fear not, it will be back soon--this coming Monday I'm thinking.  I want to find out how y'all are doing in your various pursuits.

So, in no particular order, and lacking any sort of coherent theme, here's some cool stuff you might want to check out 'round the web!

Chocolate Love:

My kinda study: compounds in cocoa may prevent weight gain and diabetes. Hooray for oligomeric procyanidins!

You Can Skip This One, Vegans:

Big Bites O' Buffalo: I had forgotten that I apparently left my contact info with the Tanka people when I went to the Natural Products Expo West.  They make various kinds of healthy meat-stick type things out of buffalo, like jerkys and bites and bars etc, and 3 sample bars (not boxes of bars, alas) arrived at my door a couple weeks ago.

I actually like these things!  The buffalo/dried fruit/spicy combo is tasty and relatively healthy, and they attempt to do things as naturally as possible, and portable protein sources can be hard to find.

Like many jerkys, there's are still sugars in it, but at least these come from fruit:

Of course being the opportunistic greedy blogger I am, I tried to leverage this into a giveaway, or at least a product grab of more than 3 bars for myself. But my email went unreturned, which is why this is a quick mention and not a whole long-ass review post.


Some weight loss blogs I've been enjoying recently:

Cammy from Tippy Toe Diet is always fun to read, and lately she's been sharing recipes and tips from her kitchen, for example:  low calorie salad dressing, or the very tempting peanut butter banana pudding for one. (Note: I love that she lists the calories for this as: "Approximately 200-250, depending on how many vanilla wafers you eat while you’re stirring."

Beginning Anew has some very insightful posts, linking the struggles of weight loss to other life challenges. "Yes to the Dress and No to the Job" really got me thinking about the funny way we can kick-ass in one area of life and yet feel stuck in others; her posts are honest about her struggles and yet ultimately hopeful.

And another blog I've been enjoying is Lucky Mama's A Long Weigh Away. She starts each post with "Here I am..." and then writes whatever she's been feeling or thinking about. And whether it's stubborn scale numbers or numerous evil temptations like brownie pushing co-workers or WTF Ribs, she brings along her in-the-trenches sense of humor and honesty.

Fascinating Speed Reading Gizmo:

Is your reading list getting pretty huge and you never seem to make a dent in it?

I'm kinda fascinated by Spritz, which is only just starting to roll out in limited contexts but may well be all over the place soon.

It's a text reader that feeds you only a small window of text at a time, so your eyes don't have to scan a page, and it zooms right along at a speed you set up in advance.  Not only can it increase your reading speed, but it forces you to actually pay attention because it ain't waiting around for you to let your mind wander to all the other tempting thoughts you may normally like to distract yourself with.

Try the demo at the Spritz site, and if it intrigues you, you can try it on an actual book over at Oyster. Note: if you are naturally a fast reader, you need to set it pretty fast or it will be really annoying.

The downside: it takes a little getting used to, and it lacks the natural breaks your brain takes when a thought is complete and you need to ponder it. So you have to be mindful of when you are getting ahead of yourself in terms of your own comprehension and need to hit pause and absorb.

I also miss the ability to scan ahead so I can skim or prepare my brain; this is a very "bottom up" and not a "top down" sort of experience.

But I definitely thought it was cool to play with!

Because it's open source, readers like this could soon be proliferating. Some early attempts at a Spritz-like experience include Readerfaster, which lets you paste your own text, and goes to higher speeds than the Oyster reader which seems to top out at 600 wpm, at least in the demo.

Geek Art!

The Art and Science Journal, (which I don't have a subscription to so probably shouldn't be posting their photos), also has a very cool blog.

It has all kinds of fascinating photos and videos that, well, combine art and science!

I'm hoping that the very talented artist behind this work, Janet Echelman, will not be upset that I used this as an example and if she is I will promptly take this down.  The blog has the full photo credit.

What's Crabby Listening To Now?

I don't know why, but the tune on my playlist that currently has me most likely to make a complete ass of myself on the elliptical by dancing and fake-singing and fist-pumping is Lasgo's "Feeling Alive."

But then I used audacity to turbo-charge my version, boosting the normal pokey tempo (I estimate 128 bpm) to a much zippier and more elliptical-friendly 160 bpm.

But I know you normal people actually like pokey 130 bpm songs, go figure.

Love them trashy dance tunes!

Any thoughts on any of the above? How did everyone's week go? Got a favorite trashy tune you can't get out of your head?


  1. Great links!!

    I just put up a column that I feel is a rare worthwhile read.

    1. It was a great read, Dr. J!

  2. I like letting my mind wander as long as it promises to come back.

    1. Crabby McSlackerMay 2, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      You always crack me up Leah!

  3. Great links for sure!!
    And, Dr. J's recent column is definitely worth reading!!

    1. Crabby McSlackerMay 2, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      Thanks Kim! And your latest post on "excuses" was quite inspiring too!

  4. Buffalo jerky…that might be good.

    1. Crabby McSlackerMay 2, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      Well, I guess not if you're the buffalo Kimberley, but I thought it was tasty! :)

  5. OMG Crabby!!! You mentioned me.....ME..... in your blog!!?!?!! I feel like I'm a blogger and not just some schmuck trying to lose the poundage!!! Thank you!!! I'ma have to start spellchecking now!

    Love the tune. I'm partial to Fitz and the Tantrums lately.

    1. Crabby McSlackerMay 2, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      Well deserved LuckyMama!

      And you have excellent musical taste--"walker" is on my playlist too!

  6. Thanks so much for the mention! Not so much the reminder that I have vanilla wafers in my house. :)

    Hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Sorry 'bout them wafers Cammy but thanks for the great recipe ideas!

  7. The speed reading gizmo sounds intriguing, i'll have to take a look at it, thanks.

  8. Still waiting to find out about the cereal made from beans if it's on the market yet...the chocolate one. Even more patient as my foot is healing.

  9. Always good reads here & good links too! Love Cammy!

    Just same ole crap here.. ;) But just trying to find the good stuff in between the struggles... :)

  10. OH I neeeed to finally try the TANKA!!


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