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This won’t hurt a bit

This won’t hurt a bit published on 1 Comment on This won’t hurt a bit

Pace Scott Stratten, sometimes the QR code saves the kitten from a potentially dangerous respiratory illness.

Previously on Noise to Signal:

There is no exact word for this kind of silence, defined less by any notion of “quiet” and more by a handful of conspicuously absent sounds. No ratcheting click of the sweeping sensor antennae on a Qaos Quartet hunter-killer droid. No distant rumble, minutes long, signalling the arrival of another Observatory atop another doomed city. No shambling syncopated steps to tell me that Candace – even Candace – proved as susceptible to the Night Heron’s heterogeneity field as the Night Heron himself. No cries of hope choked off with that tell-tale hum and final gasp, no rattle and clank of battle armour as futile as tissue paper, no inhuman chuckle from the skies.

The word I should use for this silence, I suppose, is “victory.” But tonight, surrounded by crates upon crates of Blue Epsilon that just three hours ago would have commanded a price exceeding the worth of entire nations – crates that would now be worth more empty – “victory” is the furthest thought from my mind.

— from Mayor Subramaniam’s Memories of the Oncoming

(Doctor to patient whose nose has impaled an iPad) No need to be embarrassed. We see a lot of using-a-tablet-on-the-treadmill injuries these days.

Run-time error

Run-time error published on 4 Comments on Run-time error

That looks painful, I know. But there’s no easy road to six-pack apps.

As someone who struggles with going to the gym, electronic devices may well prove to have been a life-saver for me. Without an ingrained workout ethic, it’s been hard for me to see a half-hour on a stationary bike as anything more than a sweaty waste of time.

Yes, I know it improves my lifespan over the long run, increases my endurance over the medium run and enhances my energy in the short run. But in a world of a million urgent deadlines, it takes a lot of self-talk to convince myself to take the time to get to the gym, change, work out, stretch, shower and get back to work.

But devices – they provide that immediate sense of accomplishment that working out, at least so far, doesn’t quite manage to do. I can listen to an audiobook while I row, read an O’Reilly tome while I run, or catch up on my favourite podcasts while I flail.

All well and good… but I’m getting pretty good at identifying moments when I’m dividing my attention instead of being truly present. The fact that I feel the need to multitask to feel productive, while I’m doing something that is objectively very productive, tells me I have some more work to do. There are mental muscles I need to work on in tandem with my lats and quads, wiring in some positive associations and finding a few immediate rewards.

Maybe those rewards come in the form of an endorphin rush, or the short-lived-but-gratifying muscular definition that sometimes emerges in my arms. Or maybe devices can come to my rescue again.

There are, after all, scads of apps (possible new word: “scapps”) devoted to encouraging, tracking and reporting your workout progress, and a slew of social networks centered around fitness and exercise.

Fitocracy caught my eye with the single phrase “turn working out in the gym into an RPG,” suggesting I can address both my basal metabolic rate and that conspicuous gap in my geekiness resumé around role-playing games. And the Kickstarter-funded Zombies, Run! had me at “Hello– AIEEEE! (gurgle)

What’s working for you?

Originally posted on ReadWriteWeb

Ease up!

Ease up! published on No Comments on Ease up!

Hmm. A below-the-waistline joke? Maybe a “Noise to Signal: After Dark” feed is in order.

I drew this on my iPad. For the record, I had a relaxed but firm grip.