January 30, 2005

Kettlebell pushups

Posted in: Sport

Kettlebell PushupWhen you can do more than 20 reps of a given exercise any further progress is strictly in the realm of muscular endurance rather than strength gains. Building strength means increasing resistance. This is a bit tricky with pushups, a bodyweight exercise.

So, having been staring at Henry Rollins's arms at one of his spoken word gigs the last three hours something had to be done. And that almost certainly would involve a kettlebell...

Continue reading "Kettlebell pushups"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 01:50 | Comments (11) | TrackBack

January 26, 2005

Kettlebell grip training

Posted in: Sport

Kettlebell!Experimenting some more with KB juggling today. Changing how the KB rotates in the air caused me to catch in a way that kept the thumb out of the grip forcing me to catch with just the fingers. I discovered what turned out to be a fairly intense grip training exercise.

Pics and explanations follow...

Continue reading "Kettlebell grip training"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 13:37 | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 25, 2005

Captains of Crush

Posted in: Sport

GripperPossibly the cheapest piece of functional home gym equipment's gotta be a hand-gripper, bar perhaps a 10kg plate. Whereas it's quite easy to ignore a 10kg lump of iron lying on the floor, resisting picking up and squeezing a hand-gripper presents a serious challenge, at least for those of us with Y chromosomes. Can I close it? How many reps can I do? Can I do more than my friend? If I use this regularly, just how Herculean and irresistible would my forearms be?!

Now imagine that appeal combined with a real challenge: that the gripper itself is so hardcore you can't even close it...

Continue reading "Captains of Crush"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 12:14 | Comments (22) | TrackBack

January 24, 2005

More chance meetings

Posted in: Drivel

As if by some form of manifestation chance meetings have continued: Friday, on the Tube spotted a Southfields inhabitant Kate (nowhere nr Southfields) who once gave me a pile of info on street hockey in Hyde Park. Saturday John Howitt in Leics Sq. Meeting John resulted in a whole pile of us getting pretty cut the whole afternoon in the Lowlander pub in Covent Garden. Superb!

Late Sunday night in Highbury Corner after I'd thought "there's just no way I'm going to meet someone else": ran into the "flirtatious city" architect Sarah I met at Wireless London.

This is all getting a bit creepy. I may stay in today.

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 10:46 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 21, 2005

Chance meetings in an anonymous city

Posted in: Drivel

There's a urban lore that in London people tend not to bump into each other by accident. In the kind of city that's 30+miles across and has over 7million people it's not hard to see where this idea comes from.

A few months ago I started recognising people I knew, quite randomly from travels in and around London. Sometimes in obvious transport nexuses, other times in far off parts. I thought this was an anomaly, but it kept happening, more and more frequently. I recently wondered, jokingly, when I might meet someone each day for seven days straight. Now I don't think it's a joke. I met three people in one day on Saturday, including a very cool guy (downstairs in a reserved area in a pub in Notting Hill Gate, while waiting for friends) from Bristol I was remotely acquainted with 13 years ago. Quite how my neuro-circuitry pulled off that recognition move is beyond me. But lord knows, I'm grateful for it.

Tonight, walking past a bar in Farringdon—an area I essentially don't frequent—I spotted a friend giving someone a massage. Literally twenty minutes before that I bumped into a friend from university. Yesterday in Bethnal Green I met a guy I have only ever seen once a year ago. Couple of weeks ago in Tooting, Tooting f'chrissakes, I spotted a guy I sort of know through a social circle on the Tube going the same direction and we swapped numbers. And so on.

London doesn't have to be an anonymous city.

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 03:49 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

House contents: free!

Posted in: Drivel

A little while back someone on FreeCycle London, a group that offers up their unwanted stuff for free, posted their entire house contents! Being FreeCycle that means it's well, free. The entire booty of a house. A news hound at The Independent picked it up and thanks to my blog got in contact with me. So if you read a story there you heard it here first ;-)

But wow, a whole frickin' house.

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 02:49 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 18, 2005

Wireless London

Posted in: Art, Events, Tech

Tonight I attended a packed lecture hall for the inaugural, and as it turned out engaging and super-smoothly executed, Wireless London event that featured talks from Armin Medosch and Usman Haque. Both were great; interesting and provocative...

Continue reading "Wireless London"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 23:40 | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Kettlebell juggling

Posted in: Sport

For the last few months I've been training exclusively with kettlebells, an old-skool form of weights used in Russia. They're like a cannonball with a handle on them, provide some brutal work-outs, and have recently been popularized in the US by Pavel Tsatouline. They're mostly unheard of in the UK1. Credit Karen in SF for putting me onto them.

They're amazingly good fun, and today I tried playing catch with one - complete with cheesy video.

Continue reading "Kettlebell juggling"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 15:11 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gender neutral pronouns

Posted in: Language

A café conversation prompted me to re-look up a page I'd found years ago but mentally filed to read properly some time later. One of those times you read just enough of a page to sound clever in a conversation but yet be left with a secret nagging sensation you might've missed something...

English is cursed with the inability to refer to a third person without giving away their gender, or talk about a general third person without specifying a gender they mightn't have: you've got just 'she' or 'he'. And the raft of possible alternatives mostly all have severe disadvantages: 's/he' is pronounced 'she'; 'he/she' is awkward; 'one' is archaic; 'they/them' only works in certain grammatical situations. And on.

What to do?

Continue reading "Gender neutral pronouns"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 03:16 | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 15, 2005

Reading out loud

Posted in: Drivel

I am lucky to have a few friends who really like my voice. It's nice to be liked, even if just for the patterns of one's laryngeal oscillations. An idea struck me the other day after a combination of some encouragement from a new friend, and thoroughly enjoying reading out loud to another friend (from "What do women want?", oddly enough). The idea is this: how about reading a book and putting it online, maybe a chapter a week?

Then I thought, if the chosen book had characters in it, how about having friends and other blog readers do the voices! I would be happy to stitch the recordings all together.

A free (as in freedom) book from Project Gutenberg would be ideal so everyone has the same text, easily readable, and copyright-free.

The only firm requirement is the text is in English (maybe Esperanto next time...). My own preference is fiction; reasonably modern; well thought of; not too heavy; and broadly appealing. Drop a comment down or email me!

Search Project Gutenberg

PS Don't think by not volunteering to read you'll be any more likely to hear me speaking in falsetto for female parts...

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 04:20 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 11, 2005

Instant Messaging: any good?

Posted in: Drivel

This thread on IM just came up and I commented thus.

I had originally written in the list of delicious experiences, "Been privy to the most depraved halogen-lit whipped-cream-enhanced parking-lot sleaze of my life. So far." But decided against including it in the context of some guy talking about his daughter on IM. Heh. Who knows whom you might meet online... :-)

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 04:26 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Binary reflex

Posted in: Drivel, Humor, Tech

You know you've been hanging around computers too much when...

Dave Gould says:
  6 OR 7?
paulm says:
Dave Gould says:
  scuse caps lock
paulm says:
  oh, in that case I don't know
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 03:02 | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 10, 2005

Ideas confluence over a Beermat

Posted in: Drivel, Phone

Felt a little shaky this afternoon and so, thanks to the joy of a freelance lifestyle (freestyle life-stance?) crashed for a few hours, woke up around 20:00 and dragged myself to a Beermat Monday networking do. I've repeatedly learnt even when I don't feel like it to force myself to go out, if I'd previously planned it. 80+% of the time it works out. Certainly did tonight, despite a far from promising start...

Continue reading "Ideas confluence over a Beermat"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 23:30 | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 6, 2005

"Please delete your webpage"

Posted in: Drivel

Well, this is a first. Random surfers occasionally get in contact about stuff I've written from mathematical curios like base twelve to asking the names of cute girls. I was once flamed for having written any positive about Landmark (self development) but that's about it in terms of negative feedback. I've never intended to piss people off either in real life or online (there's plenty of amusing examples of that already).

But check this out...

Continue reading ""Please delete your webpage""
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 15:44 | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 2, 2005

Street mattresses

Posted in: Drivel

There is a site on the Internet that people upload pictures of mattresses they find abandoned in the street. It's called Street Mattress .com. That something like this exists is probably no surprise to anyone these days. Still, it's kind of funny realising one of your good friends is a top poster there.

So, eyes open to the possibility of street mattress action ...

Paul And Mattress
right by Wyllen Close, Bethnal Green

Pau,l Gaia, And Mattress
somewhere else in E2-ish

Stephen's ninja mattress spotting skills bagged both of these ;-)

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 22:00 | Comments (0) | TrackBack