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New research on antioxidants

Looks like the the human body's natural antioxidant defense is just fine without supplements. Why am I not surprised?
"…What these findings mean for those of us who work out regularly is still being determined by scientists. But one message is clear.'The evidence suggests that antioxidants are not needed' by most athletes, even those training strenuously, said Li Li Ji, a professor of exercise physiology and nutritional science at the University of Wisconsin and one of the authors of the rat study. 'The body adapts,' he said, a process that can, it seems, be altered by antioxidant supplements.
Another lesson: 'Eat well,' he said. Although this is not yet proved, it seems likely, he continued, that antioxidants from foods, like blueberries, green tea and carrots, may work in tandem with the body’s natural antioxidant defenses better than those from supplements.
But the overriding lesson of the newest science about exercise and antioxidants may be as simple as: let the body be. 'It is quite a smart machine,' Dr. Ji said. 'It knows how to respond' to stresses like a hard run, without the need for antioxidant pills."
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/phys-ed-free-the-free-radicals/?scp=1&sq=The%20body%20is%20quite%20a%20smart%20machine&st=cse

I love the New York Times' website these days.

This house rocks!

In Nas montanhas de Fafe in Portugal: http://is.gd/fQw7f

Mark Morford column on Republicans and climate change denial

Quote from gun-slinger writer Mark Morford's latest column at SFGate titled: "You want the good news, or the bad news?" Check out his 3 links here as well.
"…Every single one of the tiny-brained Republicans on the mid-term election sheet this very year are full-blown, moron-grade climate change deniers, rejecting any notion that humble little man and his seven billion voracious frogspawn has had any real, lasting effect on planetary ecosystems.
Should these GOP lugnuts get into power, expect obscene amounts of push-back against any significant environmental legislation, much fellating of Big Energy and the intellectually constipated Tea Party, lots of new muttering about nuclear power, oil exploration and how the severity of the BP spill was way overblown by the "liberal media elite.…"
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/10/06/notes100610.DTL

Power and grace: Giants' pitcher Tim Lincecum

"Tim Lincecum pitching in the first inning as the San Francisco Giants beat the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the National League Division Series at AT&T Park yesterday." Lincecum must be the most photogenic pitcher in baseball. This photo by Michael Macor, San Francisco Chronicle: http://is.gd/fRYUQ

Bird in the hand

I've been lying  around, using a circulating ice machine for my operated-upon left knee (torn meniscus, thanks to dumb down-hill running during Dipsea Race). Walked out into living room a half hour ago and a little bird was flying around inside. I hobbled around after him, opening windows, but he kept flying into another room and banging into the glass on windows as he tried to escape. Finally I was able to pick him up. Took him outside and he made a few attempts to fly and just fluttered to the ground. I kept him a while, shot a few pics, then he looked at me and flew away. Looks like a baby sparrow.

Tiny house in Seattle


Converted garage = 250 sq. ft. home for Michelle de la Vega, a visual and performance artist in Seattle. Photo by Ira Lippke for the New York Times: http://is.gd/fQul3. Ira is a wonderful international photographer: http://www.iralippke.com/

Outhouse by sculptor Patrick Dougherty


Thanks to Alan Wherry for sending us this article from the New York Times by Penelope Green about Patrick Dougherty, a sculptor in Chapel Hill, N.C. There's a slide show of Patrick's work, including a log cabin and his work with "…sticks and stones." Photos by Randy Harris, a prolific photographer; Check his website: http://www.randyharrisphoto.com

Robin Wood making a bowl on foot-powered lathe


"Robin Wood makes a nesting set of bowls to commemorate the death of the 'last bowlturner' George Lailey who died 50 years ago. Inspired by Lailey's tools and lathe in the Museum of English Rural Life, Robin recreated the lost craft fifteen years ago and now makes his living as a bowlturner."
robin-wood.co.uk

Vimeo film of Japanese teahouse construction

Also from Robin Wood (robin-wood.co.uk):
"Video of the Japanese Tea house being put together, probably filmed over a period of around 4-5 hours. The Japanese carpenters are very precise and each part actually went together and was taken apart again several times until they were satisfied with the fit."

Japanese tea house construction from Nicola Wood on Vimeo.
"It is difficult to estimate how long it took to prepare the timbers, but it was made entirely from trees that were felled on the worksite and converted using hand tools. The Japanese carpenters had done quite a bit of background work before we got there and then a mixed Japanese / European group of 15-20 people spent a solid seven days of work on it before this final construction."
Robin found this at: http://nicolawood.typepad.co.uk/kesurokai/2010/09/tea-house-construction-video.html#

Mountain monastery

Sümela Monastery in Turkey. It's on the Flickr site from someone named Mezitli. Go here to see his large collection of pix: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42146559@N08/
More info on monastery: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sümela_Monastery

Film of wooden bridge built of local curved sweet chestnut tree in England


We just got a wonderful email from builder Robin Wood, of Edale, Derbeyshire, UK. Robin makes countryside furniture and other wooden items.
"Robin's latest piece is a wooden footbridge, carved from a naturally-curved sweet chestnut tree growing just 200 yards from the site.
This beautiful bridge is in a special location; it is easily accessible but as you cross over it you come out onto open moorland and get a real sense of entering a wild and beautiful place."
More links from Robin to follow.
robin-wood.co.uk

Green roof on Big Sur guest house and garage

There are 15 green roofs shown on this treehugger posting: http://is.gd/fL729

Dining table made of recycled wood


I shot a bunch of photos around our house for my talk at the solar energy festival last weekend, but there was no electrical hookup, so I'll post a few here now and then. I've made a number of tables out of used 2" Douglas Fir floor joists. We eat meals at this table, and look out at the constantly-changing bird world on the ground, in the bushes, at the finch feeder, bathing in the bird bath.