Sunday, 9 June 2013

Cheer Up Charlie

Not that Charlie!

Anyway, so where was i?  Um, hold on while i check...ah, it's this:

Click to tweet: .  This is an unusual pranayama (Yoga breathing technique) which has often been met with incredulity and scepticism, but which i've been practicing for more than thirty years.  It also happens to be one of the methods i'm using in making the male pregnancy vlog.  Since many people have shown interest in how it's done, i've decided to make a video on the main channel to teach it.  I tend to take it for granted because i've been doing it so long, but people seem to find it difficult.

It's basically swallowing air.  You take a deep breath and exhale via your windpipe and oesophagus down into the stomach and colon.  One reason i can do this is that my peak expiratory flow is unusually high - 700 litres per minute.  However, i also think there's a knack to it which ends up "clicking" after a while.  It's said to be useful for weight loss (i've lost five kilos since i started the pregnancy vlog), clearly useful for relieving hiccups and constipation and kind of massages the abdominal organs.  Aversion - dvesha - and attraction - raga - are also involved because the urge to belch and to avoid the unpleasant sensations of bloating and nausea are quite strong.  Other benefits are said to include relief from intestinal parasites and the ability to float on water, and it's good for all the abdominal organs which are in fact most of them.

I'm also willing to teach this in person if anyone's interested.

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So, there it is - that thing i do.  There's a lot to say about this but let's keep it simple.  For some unknown reason, i am incredibly healthy and i do this regularly, so is that the reason?  If so, how does it work?  I think of it as a kind of internal therapeutic massage.  Obviously you shouldn't go too far.  It reminds me of the kind of stretching in asanas, and the question of aversion is definitely relevant too, and it must increase control over what are normally automatic body functions.  Since health is often adversely affected by a runaway drift away from a stable state, being able to control those could put that in check.  There are some obvious effects.  It would clearly help mechanically with at least mild constipation, and trivial though this might be, with hiccups.  Intestinal parasites wouldn't do very well out of it either.  Colonic irrigation also comes to mind.


Click to tweet: .  Rhetoric is the art of persuasion and is often analysed into logos (rational argument), pathos (eliciting an emotional response or sympathy) and ethos (the reputation of the speaker or what they represent).  Christian authority is analysed in a somewhat similar way, where it can be seen as arising from reason, Scripture, the Church or the Holy Spirit.  These have interesting associations with each other, which i address in this video.

This could be more coherent, to be honest, but i'm trying to come across more spontaneously by not writing a script.  There are interesting parallels.  Another thing i'd like to do with religious authority sources is to place them in a non-religious context and see what happens.  I would also like to know a whole lot more about rhetoric.

Finally, and sadly, there's this:

Click to tweet: .  Iain Banks, also known as Iain M Banks, has just died aged 59, of gall bladder cancer.  Obviously i'm gutted about this as he's the closest thing i've got to a hero.  As well as being known for his SF, Iain was an excellent mainstream author, and i've been a fan of his for nearly thirty years.  The Culture series i've talked about elsewhere on here but another good science fiction novel of his is 'Against A Dark Background', which includes the Lazy Gun and a gang of solipsists.

My condolences go to his family and friends.

It's happened earlier than i expected, even after hearing the news.  Now i'm really going to start reading 'The Algebraist'.  Sad, but my sadness is nothing compared to that of people who knew him.  Also, i sort of did all the grieving already.  I met him once.  That's something.  What a great guy.