How changing my bedding helped me at the gym

You don’t often think about the things you have for­ev­er believed to be right for you.

My shoul­ders have trou­bled me for years — OK, they weren’t exact­ly helped by a cou­ple of acci­dents that caused rota­tor cuff dam­age, but the prob­lem has gone one much longer than that. And in Octo­ber it got to the point that it was hold­ing every­thing up at the gym; and for three months I got very frus­trat­ed with that, as any­one who fol­lows me on twit­ter will attest.

A cou­ple of weeks ago I decid­ed that, in order to let them calm down, I need­ed to sleep flat on my back at night. Now, I don’t like doing that. I snore. But the snoring’s mit­i­gat­ed by a spe­cial gumshield now, and any­way, the shoul­ders are more impor­tant. So I dug the spe­cial­ly-shaped mem­o­ry foam pil­lows out the attic, and put them on the bed.

It didn’t work. Just like last time. The time they end­ed up in the attic in the first place. I kept turn­ing on my side and curl­ing up — as I always have done. So much so that my pos­ture is very poor: my left shoul­der is usu­al­ly car­ried a lit­tle for­ward, caused by always sleep­ing on my right hand side.

So I began to think about why I do that. I had nev­er con­sid­ered it before. OK, I like curl­ing up, but that’s not enough of a rea­son, espe­cial­ly when asleep. Then I final­ly realised why I do this.

My duvet is too light.

I’m get­ting cold.

I’m curl­ing for warmth.

After that blind­ing flash of the obvi­ous, I dug out my 15 tog duvet (for com­par­i­son, I was pre­vi­ous­ly using a 4.5 tog one, through­out the year) and tried it out.

My good­ness, it’s heavy. But I don’t find myself auto­mat­i­cal­ly curl­ing up now. And lying flat at night is hav­ing a slow but sig­nif­i­cant effect on the shoul­ders — they’re nowhere near per­fect yet, but I’m able to work out prop­er­ly, with­out pain. I’m not at full strength, but that will come back in time. Too light­weight a duvet. Who would have spot­ted that one?

How to stay safe at a public Wi-Fi hotspot

Using pub­lic WiFi is becom­ing risky, if you pass impor­tant infor­ma­tion inse­cure­ly over it. There are freely avail­able tools out there that will lis­ten in to all the net­work traf­fic, look­ing for pass­words — and now there are tools, like Firesheep, men­tioned below, that will hijack ses­sions you’ve already secure­ly logged into.

Take­away les­son? Any time you’re using a pub­lic WiFi spot, encrypt all activ­i­ties if you can. And def­i­nite­ly encrypt pass­words going to your mail serv­er. I’ll be enforc­ing that last one on my mail serv­er in the next few days.

How to stay safe at a pub­lic Wi-Fi hotspot

(from Ars Tech­ni­ca)

Viking found organic compounds on Mars in 1976

Viking Found Organ­ics on Mars, Exper­i­ment Con­firms : Dis­cov­ery News:

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Using Mars-like soil tak­en from Ata­ca­ma Desert, a study con­firms Mars has organ­ics, and Viking found them.

A reanaly­sis of Mars Viking exper­i­ments shows the probes did find organ­ics.
The result was not ini­tial­ly under­stood due to the strong oxi­da­tion effects of a salt in the Mars soil known as per­chlo­rate.
A fol­low-up study on per­chlo­rate-enhanced soil sim­i­lar to what’s found on Mars revealed fin­ger­prints of com­bust­ed organ­ics.
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The Viking 1 Lan­der, illus­trat­ed in this mod­el, touched down on the west­ern slope of Mars’ Chryse Plani­tia (the Plains of Gold) on July 20, 1976.