Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday's Work-out

Sorry guys I forgot Tuesday's work-out, it's not getting posted this week. But here's today's.

200yd Warm-up

4 x 50yd kick @ 20s rest
4 x 25 yd fast @ 40s rest

do this 2 times:

200yd pull buoy @ 30s rest
100yd back stroke @ 20s rest
100yd breast stroke @ 20s rest
2 x50yd fast freestyle @ 1:15 interval

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Book of Abraham

So during the 1970s, there were a powerful number of attacks laid against the Book of Abraham, a piece of LDS canon found in the Pearl of Great price. I need not even post those attacks here because of the incessant number of anti-Mormons that troll everywhere they can in the wide expanse of cyber space (just look it up on wikipedia).

Now, when I first saw these attacks I was very confused, because at the surface, they seemed valid, but at the time I had just had a very powerful spiritual experience and wondered if I was crazy, or what I should even believe. Luckily, I was able to find an old article written by Hugh Nibley and LDS scholar that lays those claims to rest. I know you're thinking "but Eric, he's LDS, isn't he biased?" That's a valid concern, but everything he references to lay those claims to rest are historical accounts or even research done by non-LDS scholars, so it was good research.

From this experience I learned what it meant to have faith. I learned that faith was relying on the answers that Heavenly Father gave me, not on what my head or others tell me. How did I learn this? I found out that many members of the Church actually left the Church due to these attacks. What was even more interesting though, was that in disproving some of the arguments against the Book of Abraham, Hugh Nibley actually managed to provide evidence of its divine origin.

A link to Nibley's article can be found here.

On page 11 of the PDF (or 219 according to numbering in the PDF), Hugh Nibley points out that recent discoveries have validated the existence of the city Olishem referenced in the Book of Abraham. To me, this gives evidence of its authenticity. The research he references was dated @ 1985, over a hundred years after the translation of the Book of Abraham. So my question to the naysayers is how did Joseph Smith know that city even existed if he wasn't translating a valid document?

This if anything, gives evidence of his abilities as a prophet.

Now those who know me well know that I would be the last one to join the Church over "logical" evidence or even encourage others to, but I'm posting this to show the world that the people who troll the LDS Church will neglect evidence even when it's there and to take everything they say with a grain of salt.

The reason why I'm posting this is because recently there was a Washington Post Social Reader article that referenced the attacks on the Book of Abraham in an indirect way when talker about Park Romney, a relative of Mitt who is campaigning against the LDS Church. I'm also getting the feeling the attacks on the Book of Abraham are being posted a lot more places because the brother of a friend of mine is having problems with his testimony due to hearing stuff on it in a podcast and I felt this is a piece of knowledge I needed to share with the world.

Now, if you were to ask me how to know the LDS Church is true or why you should join it, I would tell you to listen to what the LDS missionaries teach you, apply those teachings in your life, see what the Gospel gives you and pray for an answer. The things you should be looking for are the good the Gospel brings to your life, the answer that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our Saviour and the answer that Joseph Smith was a prophet called to bring back the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ after a long night of apostasy after the death of the Christ's apostles. When you get those answers and you see those things, you know what to do. The Gospel has opened a Pandora's box for me, because it's brought both trial and also the greatest good in my life. But it's a box I would open again if given the second chance, because I know my Saviour lives, that my Heavenly Father loves me and that I can make it back to home to Him.

One of these days I'm going to post this article formatted well in a blog post because digging up the PDF required me using a lot of "tricks" to get it from its source (it's not directly linked from the site I originally found it on anymore) and the world apparently still needs to know why the Mormons have moved on and will continue to when stuff like this comes up.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A powerful remedy (respiratory)

So I've been sick this past week with a fever and light cough. I recovered from the fever on Friday, with a light cough left over. Then on Saturday, that cough was starting to get really bad. Why? It was unproductive, meaning no mucous was coming out or even moving when I coughed, but I could feel mucous building up in my lung. I was thinking "o crap, this is the last thing I have time for, being sick longer and having to go to a doctor..."

So in an act of desperation, I looked up online remedies. I found one for a garlic peppermint lemonade. I realized the lemonade probably wouldn't be as good as a tea because the warmth of a tea can help your body warm up and loosen mucous in your lungs. So using that recipe, I made the following tea:

2 cups of boiling water
2 cloves of garlic (peeled, by the way I found out a clove was a piece of a bulb from this experience....)
1 package of peppermint herbal tea (should be made from only peppermint, no other ingredients)
1 and 1/2 tbs of lemon juice (this is about half of what's in a fresh lemon)
Sweetener (usually honey) to taste

1. Cut or mince cloves. Remove water from heat, throw in garlic and peppermint tea.
2. Let the water steep for a couple minutes while the heat source is off. After a couple minutes, put the water back on the heat source (it shouldn't be bubbling when you put it back on), then turn the heat source on to a low/warm setting (the most you should be getting is tiny bubbles). Let the water steep a total of 15 minutes.
3. Remove water from heat, Remove peppermint tea bag. Add in lemon juice and sweetener.
4. I kept the garlic in and ate it afterwards, I'll explain that later.

So it worked! My coughs started getting productive about an hour afterward. Sunday morning, there was no "ball" of mucous I could feel in my lung, even though I was still coughing, I could feel I was getting better. And I felt completely fine after taking it again Sunday morning. I guess I had 2 doses Saturday night (because I felt like it was wearing off and I needed it again), but it seemed to do a good job of loosening up the mucous and I'm sure it helped kill bacteria in my respiratory system. (Did you know that your breath stinks from garlic because sulfurous compounds in it leave through your lungs? So basically I was fumigating the bacteria in my lungs.)

I also did some research on garlic afterwards. It turns out that in a test tube, it's anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It's not clear if it has the same effects in the body, but the Cherokee did use it as an expectorant (and they're right, I know from personal experience now...) So it definitely can't hurt when you're battling a respiratory infection.

I'm in no way advocating not going to the doctor if you have an emergency, but if a remedy can heal you to prevent that, what do you have to lose from trying it?

Monday, March 12, 2012

I'd had enough

So today I had my doctor's appointment for a beard card here at BYU. Actually, to be quite honest, I had been breaking the honor code guidelines on facial hair for years, because I knew that if I shaved every day like I was supposed to my face would break out and get irritated. So for the last 2 years since I've been home from my mission I've been dodging the rules by shaving just enough to get away with it.

Well last Monday, I had had enough. Why? Because my usual strategy was to try one of two offices at the RB (the building where the pool is) for my pass to use the facilities and if one didn't take me, try the other one. Well this time the guy behind the counter swiped my card BEFORE telling me I wasn't shaven. For those of you who don't know, they'll only swipe your card once for the pass, they'll think something is up if you come in again for the pass and they see you've already been swiped for it, so he pretty much trapped me.

Well after he told me I wasn't shaved well enough, he gave me a razor and some shaving cream. I knew there was going to be problems, not only because my face wasn't quite ready to be shaved again, but the razor that he gave me was low-quality. Well I used it. My face was covered in blood. The so sick it's kind of funny part? He had the nerve to tell me "thank you for doing that" while giving me the pass, with my face covered in blood.

I'm just sitting there thinking, if you gave me another day, I would have been shaven, there's a reason I don't have a full-out beard. Not only that, but this rule was put into the BYU honor code due to the counter-culture (hippie) movement. The beard was one of its symbols. BYU didn't want to be associated with those elements so instead of just including Gospel standards in the honor code, they also added elements that were in direct opposition to the counter-culture movement during the 1960s. The reason for this is clear. By implementing those rules into the honor code, BYU was preserving itself from becoming a breeding ground for that movement.

The irony? There are still hippies, but they are few in number now. The world still has values similar to what it adopted around when the honor code was implemented, but the beard isn't what's associated with low morals any more. In fact, someone who has a well-trimmed beard is probably keeping the spirit of the dress and grooming standards of BYU better than some of the Math majors in the Talmage building that seem to have issues with showering...

I'm not mad, I mean seriously, I guess I wasn't keeping my word, and now I will be, because from what I understand I passed my appointment today. I should have done this sooner, just for honesty's sake.

But what irks me is the following:
1) The rule is clearly outdated. Moustaches are allowed now and beards aren't. The reason is many people I know associate moustaches with pedophiles (thank you Peewee Herman...)
2) If you look hard enough, it's also a form of discrimination. Not every guy can even grow facial hair, so it's unfair to those who can to be forced to shave most of it off. I agree that we should keep a well-groomed appearance, but it does seem to ask more of people who can grow facial hair than those who can't.
3) The rules about facial hair have never been reviewed since their implementation. I mean these rules are a little old now, shouldn't we take anachronisms like this out? And seriously, if we're going to ban any kind of facial hair, it should be moustaches. Seriously.

I hope no one gets the wrong idea when reading this post. There are plenty of great people at BYU. Most of the people who gave me passes the last two years would only complain if my facial hair got really out of control, this last semester has just been a bit worse than normal. But I really wish someone would take the time to review the honor code and rewrite it to reflect what was meant and not the cultural issues of the 1960s.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday's Swimming Work-Out 3/8

Our instructor was gone, and so we had a sub (so no helpful tips : (. But on a completely different note, I noticed our sub must have the easiest job ever, write a bunch of numbers on a board and then start reading her favorite book).

So here's today's work-out

200yd warm-up
100 yd kick (I split this between dolphin and flutter kicks)
6x 25yd on a 40s interval (1, 3 and 6 fast)

Do the following 2 times:

4x 50 with 15s rest between
3x100 free style on 2:00, 2:15, or 2:30. I usually did 2:15

Afterwards, I practised flip turns. It was awesome! I love doing them, I suck at them, but flipping in the water feels awesome, it gives me a rush.

EDIT: I guess I really liked the 25 yard on 40s intervals. It really helped me focus on my stroke and I was really fast when I was focused (one of the times I got the 25 done in 21s, my target (some day) for a 50 to 200yd swim is 20s for every 25yds of it. I can't sustain that speed though. Yet...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday's Workout (And flip turn tips)

Sorry guys (well I don't know if anyone actually looks at these posts, but if you do, here I'm sorry). I didn't get around to posting my workout from yesterday). Tuesday's work-out is here a long with some of my experiences when learning flip turns.


200yds Warm-up
4 x 50yds with 20s rest

Do this twice:
3x 100yds of kick with fins
100 yds of swimming with fins @ 2:30 interval

4x 50yds with fins on a 50 second interval

Flip turns:

So yesterday long after class I started practising my flip turns. First, I practiced flipping right next to the wall and pushing off with no momentum. The hard part about flipping with no momentum is you need to bring your legs in at the right time in order to flip properly.

Flipping with no momentum goes something like:
1) Make sure you have air in your lungs.
2) pull your head into your chest, you should start curling your torso in after your head gets to your chest. Be sure to start breathing out when your nose starts getting upside down with respect to the surface of the water, otherwise you'll get water up your nose (you'll get better at not getting it up there the more your practice).
3) start pulling your legs into your torso after you've rotated enough that it will help the flip go to completion

Flipping with momentum is easier because if you have enough momentum, your body will just follow your head. I did notice however that if I didn't bring my legs in while flipping with momentum, I tended to move the opposite direction away from the wall sooner than I'd like to (making pushing off the wall harder).

What I did while practising with momentum was I would start swimming or push off the floor while half-standing and then right when I got close to the wall, force my head to start the turn (I almost felt like I was forcing it to do the turn to avoid collision with the wall). If you're scared of the wall, then you'll never get close enough to be able to push off when you're done.

Other than making sure that I do my flip completely straight (sometimes I end up kind of sideways), I have some issues with orienting myself in the water properly. My friend who coaches swimming gave me the following advice:

try after the flip to just come out of the water straight on your back and then flip over to continue freestyle, get use to that first then once your use to that just flip over on your belly right before you emerge from the water. it doesn't have to be perfect since you probly won't use it in a race but it will help your endurance for the race since flip turns help your body get use to holding your breath more :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

More lameness

So today we reviewed for the only test you have to take for my swim class. So yeah, nothing to report today. I took it right after and got a 93, so I'm going to pass the class! Yay!