Monday, December 12, 2011

100 Up

By now you've heard about barefoot running. A few years back, while running with Native Americans in Mexico, Chris McDougall "rediscovered" that humans haven't always been running with thick soled shoes. A billion dollar industry has emerged in barefoot running shoes, which I've found interesting, but have never tried. As he did more research, McDougall has a new rediscovery, and I'm inclined to try this one to help my running (which of late has been a lack of running!)

The 100 up is a training exercise to help re-teach your muscles running form that is theoretically less damaging to heels, knees and backs. Though I've never had running injuries, my size predicts that I should. I've been giving the 100-up a try for the past weeks, with almost daily practices. It seems like just the right investment for me right now. Now if my haole feet would tolerate my trying this over at the Wilbur Cross High School track, I just might give it a try this winter...

Here's a demo video...

Anybody else try this out?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Toxic Lily-of-the-Valley

Remember how I posted a couple years back that I had started working on a research project to try and measure toxin from the lily-of-the-valley plant using a hospital lab test?

Well, it works!We are still putting the finishing touches on it before submission, but are pretty happy with the outcome. If you click on the poster, it should bring up a larger version.

And don't let your kids or dogs eat this plant. (Though in New Haven, you are safe until the spring...)

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Garbage Bins

This weekend, my region of East Rock received new garbage bins. We never filled our old blue 96 gallon tote, and I doubt we will fill our new black 48 gallon tote every week. The 96 gallon tote is now our recycling bin for all unsorted recyclables. Hopefully this change will do the following:

- Encourage my fellow New Havenites to recycle more.
- Reduce the amount of bottle scavenging that occurs every trash night.
- Make my recycling efforts easier (no sorting)

I have to admit that I am skeptical. One of the biggest waste components in residential areas is yard waste. On at least 5 instances this summer and fall, I've seen my garbage men (specifically the crew of truck 148) dumping my yard waste into my trash tote and then loading it into the same dumpster as all of my other trash. It's interesting that the only mention of yard waste in the New Haven recycling guide is that homeowners can pick up a do-it-yourself compost bin. While it's nice that this is free, the type of mesh bin they provide is wholly inadequate for turning more than 10% of my small lot's leaf and garden debris into compost. I remain unconvinced that New Haven is committed to actually reducing waste stream. I can't even gather from the officials where our yard waste goes. The best answer I've received is "a contractor." In Hamden, residents can pick up for free compost to enrich their garden soil. This could easily be sold for profit.

I've brought this issue to the attention of my alderman and several folks in the sanitation department. They always say they will look into it. As far as their looking is concerned, either they are blind or lost.

So hooray for a progressive recyclables policy, but come on New Haven! Follow the lead of Hamden, West Haven and others in the area and turn our yard waste into a quality product.

Photo taken from an 8/3/11 New Haven Independent story.