Friday, September 01, 2017

Breath Diet

So apparently there's this new fad going around called the Breath Diet.

Basically, by breathing vigorously in a specific position for 5 minutes a day, you can lose weight. The founder realised this method works for weight loss by accident when he was doing these exercises for his back pain. I have so many problems with this. Let me list them for you: 1. It claims the increased intake of oxygen will lead to increased burning of fat. This is bloody pseudo-science. Science has shown that the only effective way to burning fat is through med to high-intensity exercise. 2. Correlation vs causation Assuming he is telling the truth, there is zero evidence that the breathing was what led to his weight loss. Just because two things happened at the same time does not necessarily mean one thing caused the other. If I started losing weight around the same time I start being extra creepy around women, does that mean being creepy helps people lose weight? 3. He is an actor. Why the hell would anyone look to an actor for health tips?? I don't understand why people love to follow health advice from celebrities (Gwyneth Paltrow is another one, although I am very ok with her advising women on how to have anal sex, that's perfectly fine). It's as dumb as letting a politician advise you on whether climate change is real and no one does that do they?

4. Why 5 minutes?
How did he come up with the magic number of 5 minutes? Why not 10? Or 2 minutes? I did not see any explanation for this number. 1. Counter-argument 1: People have apparently tried it and it works If a million people try it (apparently he sold a million books or videos in Japan), some of them will lose weight, but it might not mean they lost weight because of this "diet". These people would have lost weight either way even without doing this diet, but because the weight loss happened while they did this diet, they will then believe this is the reason (correlation, confirmation bias). This is very naive. Let me give you an example. Let's say I was a con man and I start going around the hospitals in Singapore claiming that I have magical powers that can heal the sick. I start praying (fake praying of course) for all the very sick people there. Out of a 1000 people I do this for, there is a pretty decent chance that some of them might get a bit better, and if I am really lucky a few of them might even recover fully. These people would have gotten better even if I didn't visit them but they will remember me praying for them so they will immediately point to me or God as the reason for their recovery. The majority of those who did not get better will ignore the fact that my prayers didn't work because they were no worse off than before. This is what is happening here as well, and this is what is known as confirmation bias. And this is why faith healers are bullshit too.
2. Counter-argument 2: It's only 1 minute a day, it's no harm doing it, what if it works then you benefitted from it. This sounds like an almost valid argument, but here is my counter. If I say to you if you call my name 3 times before you sleep you will be safe from harm because I will watch over you, would you do it? Obviously not, even if it takes minimal effort because it is bloody ridiculous. Ditto with respect to this, I would get the same benefit by praying to God for weight loss. And even if it works, how do I know it is because of the breathing? (see counter-argument 1) If this thing was real, he could provide it by doing a scientific study (I can bet given how popular it is, he will have no issue getting scientists to test his claim). But he will not because he knows it will be debunked as soon as he does it.

I am begging you all who want to believe this nonsense, just think through it logically. And not just this, but also other fads like juice diets that are supposed to detox your body (nonsense), foot pads that drain the toxins out of your body (more nonsense). Stop believing what these celebrities or other people tell you, and listen to doctors and scientists. Rant over. Selamat Hari Raya!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Handmaid's Tale

A couple of things that came to my mind while I was watching A Handmaid's Tale , i am now on episode 5. For those who are not aware of the show, it's about a dystopian future (is there any other type of future in Hollywood?) where due to poor fertility, fertile women are captured and forced to be slaves (ahem handmaids) to rich powerful couples who want a child. No prizes for guessing how they use these women. (Super duper mild spoilers, if you can even call them that)
1. Not a fan of the lead actress , they should have gotten Megan Fox.
2. These are the most covered sex slaves in any show ever made about sex slaves.
3. Asian women must not be very fertile in the future despite having the highest birth rates currently, as I did not see a single Asian handmaid so far. At least they have black handmaids.
4. This would make a really twisted but entertaining porn parody. I am already writing the screenplay in my head.
5. Joseph Fiennes is back!! Haven't seen him since that sex movie with Heather Graham.
6. Gilmore Girl Rory as a handmaid? I am not sure I am cool with that.
7. Why not handmaiden instead of handmaid? What's the difference anyway?
8. Scrabble? Really?
9. It would be awesome to be a man in this future. For women, not so much.
10. It would have been really cool if the handmaids were called that because they had to use their hands to know....
This is a really good show , but super disturbing. Go catch it.

from Facebook

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Another day , another walk.  Truth be told, I had spent the day in quiet reflection on my actions 2 days ago.  Sure, these old people did not really matter, but does that mean I should have treated them as I did? These thoughts weighed heavily on my mind and slowed me considerably as I trudged along the gravelly path around Bedok Reservoir. Guilt is such a heavy cross to bear, especially when you are speed walking.

And then , out of the corner of my big beautiful eyes, I saw him.  He was barely a blur , but I knew it had to be him. I clenched my fists and waited for him to catch up to me . A minute later, the race was afoot!

As expected he took an early lead but I managed to maintain a quick enough pace that I wasn't that far behind but it was definitely a struggle, considering unlike my adversary I did not benefit from any performance enhancing drugs. Suddenly, and I swear this is true, he turned back to me and said "Indian Stallion? More like Indian Buffalo!! HAHAHA!!".  My nostrils flared at that horrible insult and I walked even faster. My lungs were literally bursting trying to get more air than they ever had to before.  My heart was pumping so fast that blood started oozing out of the pores in my chest .  Yet no matter how much I tried I still couldn't catch up to him.

I knew I could not keep this up without endangering my life, so dejectfully I slowed down, conceding defeat.  But then suddenly a beautiful woman in a white dress ran up alongside me and whispered into my ear. "Don't give up , my lovely Stallion" she said.  I did not know who she was or why she was trying to help me, but I heeded her advice and sped up once more.  If I died doing this, so be it .  There are few worthier causes to die for.

The next few minutes were a blur. I looked down at my feet and they were moving so fast I could barely make them out. I looked up and it was as if time stood still , no one else was moving except me and the old man.  The lady was nowhere to be seen.

Nearing the (imaginary) finish line at the entrance of the park, we were neck to neck .  With my last ounce of energy I thrusted my chest forward. It was enough to beat him. I screamed out in joy and raised my right fist in triumph, while pointing at him with my left index finger. He looked at me quizzically and said something in Chinese that sounded like "Sent Ching Ping" and sped off . I do not know what it means, but if I had to guess it probably means "Great walker, you have bested me and now I shall slink away in shame." .

Mystery woman , whoever you are, thank you.  Also you were kinda hot so I would love to take you out sometime if we ever meet again.