Driving Dogs :: Can You Teach A Dog To Drive?

dog-driving-car-0808-lg-86831827The New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is learning dogs how to drive in a bid to change the public’s perception on the intelligence of rescue dogs.

This is a serious question that the Auckland SPCA in New Zealand is attempting to answer.

Everyone knows that dogs are pretty smart animals. They can read body language, learn and follow commands and display an almost human-like quality of emotions at times. But that doesn’t mean that dogs are smart enough, have the reasoning capability or the quick decision-making skills to drive a car (though, I could probably argue the same for some humans).

But that isn’t stopping the Auckland SPCA from trying! Using simulators, employees at the shelter are attempting to teach a few dogs some new tricks. In partnership with Mini, the purpose behind teaching these dogs this mostly useless tricks is to show how smart dogs can be and how you should adopt a smart dog.

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Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead! A film by Joe Cross

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Joe Cross finds himself 100 pounds overweight and suffering from autoimmune disease and realizes he has reached a crossroad in his life. It occurs to him that he is “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” and undertakes a personal mission to reverse the dietary habits and lifestyle he had been living by replacing the junk food he normally ate with nothing but vegetable juice for 3 months.

Joe decided to try a controlled experiment to determine if replacing processed and junk foods with a source of high nutrient rich diet by drinking only vegetable juice would help him to regain his health by allowing his immune system and boost the body’s ability to heal itself.

He embarks on his 3,000 mile trip across America with a juicer and generator in his vehicle and begins his experiment of juicing and drinking nothing but fresh vegetables and fruit for 60 days. During his trip, he stops and speaks with over 500 Americans about what they eat, general lifestyle and their thoughts about Joes experiment.

“Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” the movie has gone on to inspire millions, and many now follow Joes “Reboot your Life” program. A path to better health and wellness by incorporating juicing into ones daily life.

Read More about Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

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Fast & Live Longer :: A Real-World Review

Dr Michael Mosley has set himself a truly ambitious goal: he wants to live longer, stay younger and lose weight in the bargain. And he wants to make as few changes to his life as possible along the way. He discovers the powerful new science behind the ancient idea of fasting, and he thinks he’s found a way of doing it that still allows him to enjoy his food. Michael tests out the science of fasting on himself – with life-changing results.

  • Better metabolic health
  • Lower BAD Cholesterol
  • Lower Blood Glucose
  • Lower IGF1 (Major cancer risk)
  • Lower obesity

A number of strong claims!

During the Great Depression it was thought that because there was little food and people were starving, there’d be a high mortality rate … the exact opposite was discovered to be the case.

IT TURNS OUT THAT DURING THESE HARD TIMES, PROPLE LIVED ON AVERAGE, SIX YEARS LONGER!!!!

It also turns out that there is an esoteric group of people who already know of this ‘hunger’ phenomenon, what being in ‘starvation mode’ does to the body and live their whole lives on calorie restricted diets.

Have a guess what the age is of the oldest man (at the time of writing) was to run the London Marathon?

60? … Nope!

70? … Wrong!

80? … Keep guessing.

90? … You gotta be kidding right?

In actual fact he’s 101 … let me repeat that … ONE HUNDRED AND ONE YEARS OLD.

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Marathon Man Fauja Singh

He maintains his secret is simply a calorie restricted diet.

I am in my late forties and like almost all people in the western world, including Dr Michael Mosley in the video, I had just received a number of wake up calls.  I had started to slow down, and although I am quite active, I’m a large build. I was putting on weight, I had a bout of kidney stones, I started getting gout, I always felt tired, low on energy and was suffering many of the horrendous symptoms of dreaded middle age.

I paid for a private medical and the results were sobering.  High cholesterol, high chance of diabetes, increased chances of a heart attack … bla, bla.

They wanted to put me on tables right away … So I looked for an alternative   My wife, Anna found it in the form of the video I’m sharing (no insurance payout for her now!).

I found the documentary fascinating and it makes total sense … so I tried it!

My experience

OK everyone … before I posted this I wanted to test it so have been following the 2 day, 600 calories (Mon & Tues) plan suggested in the video. Rest of the week I eat whatever I like!!!  Already I’ve lost 5KGs, which I’m not bothered about but after a rocky start you begin to feel so much better.

On a monday I wake and drink a lot of water, this feels great as it seems to wash away the excess of the weekend (I still like to party a lot).  I can feel my system flushing through. I then try to eat nothing till the evening, maybe snacking on a couple of nuts or whatever.

For my evening meal I’ll try to have 600 calories. I’m not religious about it and some weeks I’m really hungry so maybe over indulge, but as a rule,  I try to keep as close to the regime as posible.  I even pig out a little on the Sunday to stock up as it were. 600 calories, Monday and Tuesday.  That’s it! How simple can it be?

Well here’s an update after a couple of months on this.

I have to say the first few weeks are really hard as your body clears itself of the toxins and nasty stuff … but after that real changes begin to happen.

Now I haven’t changed my diet in the least which is great … I can still eat all the things I enjoy and as much of them as I care. I do try to eat healthily but that doesn’t mean I watch everything that passes over my plate.  I eat till I’m full and enjoy it.  If I’d eaten like this without fasting I’d steadily be gaining weight … fact!

But the weight drops off.  Now remember, my goal is to fix the ‘inside’ by giving my immune system chance to deal with my body, losing weight is not the main intention, but it simply melts away as a side effect!

I’m now down to just over 100kg which sounds a lot but then I carry a lot of muscle.  I’ve trained all my life at the gym etc so now I’m enjoying my six pack for the first time in a number of years.

And what is also incredible is the change in energy and stamina.

I started playing touch rugby a few months ago and was awful, I pulled hamstrings and was like an old slow man around the pitch.  Several months into this new fasting diet people have honestly made comments like “what the hell are you on!!!” … and that’s the truth!

I run faster than I ever have for longer. I go mountain biking regularly, proper mountains, not just trails, and I just generally feel good. And I’ve just stared playing full contact rugby at 47! I feel younger and stronger than ever!!!

fatMy theory is this: Fat is only insurance … to be used in time of need when you’re going through lean times hunting and gathering.  When your belly is full, all your resources are busy digesting and storing.

We’re simply not designed to sit around all day and we’re certainly expecting a lot of our bodies in asking them to deal with three square meals a day.  Never in history have we been so consumed with consumption!

Two hundred years ago the average person was lucky to get one good meal a day and if we were to go back even further, we’d have to rely solely on our skills as hunter gathers.

We evolved over hundreds of thousands of years living off the land and what we could grow and catch.  Now, thanks entirely to the discovery of fossil fuels, we are able to take control of the environment.  We produce far more food than nature intends and the population is exploding. If you get hungry, you go to the fridge!

We are actually designed to hunt down a rabbit or eat what’s available in the garden. Our bodies are simply overwhelmed and even what’s worse is that the food we eat is full of toxins, processed crap forced on us by big business, giant supermarket chains that have taken away our choice by putting the caring shopkeepers out of business.

Unless you have a great chunk of land and become totally self-sufficient, it’s virtually impossible to escape the rubbish added to everything we eat. So your body needs the chance to deal with it.  I’m now convinced that fasting is the best opportunity we can give our bodies to cope. Your immune system needs to deal with all all sorts of chemicals, processed fats, sugars, preservatives and stuff we don’t even know about.

As a hunter, gather to catch food you need to be in top shape, so when you’re hungry your resources are all sent to fix and mend the machine. If a hunter, gather is weak in any way they die … simple!

It all makes sense really and it’s just modern living that’s killing us.  We live longer because of modern medicine … combine that with a healthy immune system allowed to do its work and barring earthquakes and tsunamis … you will LIVE LONGER!

Further update

As I said above, I’m enjoying my new-found energy but I’ve just achieved something that totally astonished me!

A friend is also enjoying the outdoors here in New Zealand and is always out on his mountain bike. He was pleased when he discovered i’d just taken it up and asked if I wanted to do the ‘Rainbow Rage’ – bit of a girly name so I said yes, he ran home an entered me before I had the chance to research it.  Now I like mountain biking, more specifically, I like riding down them at full speed … it’s what gravity was invented for!!!

Having had a quick read of the details of the upcoming race I was shocked to find that it’s name really does bely the nature of this race. It’s 106km long, over the highest pass in New Zealand, with long, grueling climbs on old mountain tracks.

Now I’m not (or wasn’t)  an endurance guy.  Washing the cars tire me, so I decided that this race was going to kill me!  To this end I put it to the back of my mind and decided to treat it as a nice day out.  If I finished, all well and good, but I wasn’t expecting to last more than a third of the event.

To cut a long story and even longer ride short it turned out that the conditions were the worst in the eighteen year history of the race … and I completed it non-stop in under six and a half hours.

Remember, I didn’t train – I just got on my bike and did it … and felt great!

I came 166th out of only 268 that finished in the time … pat on the back for me!

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So that’s what fasting is doing for me.  I’ve shared this with a number of people now and they are all reporting the same results.  Higher energy, lower medical issues and feeling just great.

So I want to share this with YOU!

All I ask is that you try it and let me know.  There’s no harmful side effects of being hungry for a few hours as far as I am aware!

Further reading: See our Health & Body Category

Video Credit: BBC Horizon

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Red Bull Rampage

I do not know how these guys keep getting back up after falling off on a 60 ft jump,  this stuff is just MENTAL!

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About Red Bull Rampage

Back in 2001, the Red Bull Rampage concept was conceived to serve one of the fringes of the blossoming mountain-bike movement. There were riders — courageous, driven and a little crazy — who were at once exploring new terrain, testing their own limitations and defining a new genre of the sport, and their riding style was not represented at all in competition. Freeride mountain biking was rapidly evolving with every insane drop and first descent, and Red Bull Rampage was on board to help push it even harder.

The inaugural event was a landmark in the sport’s history and was followed by three more through 2004. If you won Red Bull Rampage — or even survived the weekend with all your bones intact — your reputation as a bad ass on two wheels was unassailable. Unlike events with a defined course and familiar obstacles, Red Bull Rampage let the riders determine their own route down treacherous cliffs; the more creative and risky the line, the better the score.

After 2004, the event went on hiatus, but the memories — and the reputation — grew in scale. The mountain-bike contest scene did evolve to address the changes in the sport, but in general it still lagged behind what the most progressive riders were capable of. As contest riders began to get pigeonholed into separate disciplines — downhill, slopestyle, dirt jumping — it was the freeride ethos that leveled the playing field. You needed skills in every aspect to survive a true freeride run, and the time came once again to prove who had the balls to get it done.

Red Bull Rampage made its return in 2008 with yet another epic gathering of the best mountain bike riders in the world. Anyone who believed the sport couldn’t progress further would have eaten their words on that dusty ridge near Virgin, Utah. Man-made “enhancements” graced the venue for the first time, but the main objective remained: find the most challenging lines down the mountain and ride them with style. Regardless of their background, the riders were all equal at the top of the mountain; equal in the challenge they faced to get to the bottom of it.

The next event was held in 2010, punctuated by Cameron Zink’s jaw-dropping 360 off a 40-foot drop. Every time Red Bull Rampage takes place, individuals push themselves like never before, collectively progressing the sport to a new level. The time has come again: On October 5-7, 2012, mountain biking’s best will return to southern Utah to climb the next — or the next few — rungs of the ladder.
Athlete selection criteria has been announced, and the aim has been to collect the best of the best, the top riders in many disciplines who own the skills to survive in the desert.

Zink and Brandon Semenuk, the 2010 and 2008 champions, will automatically be placed into the October 7 final. The top 12 finalists from 2010 are pre-qualified, excused from competing in the October 5th qualifying battle. Invites to the qualifier will go out to the top 12 ranked riders from the FMB World Tour, as well as the top two finishers at the Chatel Mountain Style in France in July. Red Bull Rampage serves as the final stop on the 2012 FMB World Tour.

View Red Bull Rampage