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Suplement Sample Test – Ion

After the 2016 Arnold Fest I received this text message from my friend who attended with me.   So of course, this was moved to the top of my supplement test list.

PERFORMIX ION 

Warning, if this is in your stash from this year’s Arnold Fest, please note, there are two servings.

With that being said, I used it twice, for my leg day on Wednesday, and back day on Friday.  I don’t think I felt the same kick as my friend, I felt a mild boost before both workouts.  I feel that there was an also kick of endurance as I continued with my workout.  The product description on bodybuilding.com states:

PERFORMIX ION embodies the PERFORMIX promise. ION uses the most advanced Multi-Phase Bead nutrient delivery system, precision engineered with ballistic Terra Intelligent Beads to disperse hard hitting ingredients in stages throughout your workout. Unlike any other pre-workout, ION releases a 2nd wave during your workout with a flood of additional anti-catabolic and metabolic energy stimulants to push you through. This innovative multi-phase system is designed to get you started, keep you going and finish strong when all others fail.*

Which is how a marketing team would write my review in their attempt to sell this product.  I would like to try a whole container to see if these continues after a few weeks.

I feel that all pre-workout supplements feel great at first and then we simply become immune to the effects of the new latest and greatest ingredient.   I did like the small servings, which you get 45 in a container, with an option of four flavors.  But with a regular price of $69, and a current sale price of $59, this stuff better work.

We’ll see what pre-workout wins my love this year.  Back to my pile of supplement samples.

cp

Arnold fest 2016

Yet another Arnold fest, and another stash of supplement samples, as always, I will attempt to share my opinion about each sample via this blog.

Pretty nice stash, we went on a Sunday this year, which helped with the crowd issues this made the experience much more pleasant.  There were still many annoyances like people with babies in carriers and people with oversized backpacks.  Not to mention the little guys showing off their new “muscles,” with the best in bodybuilding and powerlifting in the room is silly – put a shirt on!

Best Vender Booths 

I’ve received millions of shirts before at Arnold Fest, never socks, I really love my MusclePharm socks and shaker bottle.

  I liked that bodyfortress    used the sign in process to test their product using one of the biggest R&D labs you can find, giving us two flavors of protein – Peanutbutter and Jelly vs. Mango Habanero (which was fantastic) to choose from having the testers vote for their favorite.  The also gave us weight belt key chains and “swole mate” tee shirts for you and a friend.

But overall, the best booth was Optimum Nutrition  which gave away tons of Gold Standard and Isolate protein packets, pre workout samples, BCAA samples, and a t-shirt, I was tempted to go back through again.

Sample Review: 

VPX Redline 7 hour shots are usually the first things I try.  I love them, I made sure to wait for the morning because I know how powerful these things are.  Always a great pick-me-up provides endless energy.  This specific energy shot caught my attention because there was no added color.

I paired the Optimum Nutrition Protein Water with my morning energy shot.  On face value seems like like a good idea, easy to drink, people who have issue with whey can take this product without issue, and an easy source of 20 grams of protein and 4.5 BCAAs.  But with any non-whey protein isolate, the odd, tongue numbing aftertaste is there.  These are okay sometimes, but by no means would this replace my whey protein on a daily basis.

 

Italian Superstition Part I – Toccare le palle

metal

I really started thinking about Italian superstition when I was at an Italian wedding with my parents and now wife.  My mother leaned over, and whispered into my ear

 “Toccare le palle”

or

“touch your nuts”

I did.  I giggled.  My wife asked me “what was so funny,” so I told her

“my mom asked me to touch my man parts.”

She asked

Why”

I told her

Italians believe that if a “witch” is giving you the “evil eye,” you have to touch yourself, to ward off the powers of said “evil eye.”

When I said this in English, it sounded silly, So I had to do a little research.

The evil eye or “malocchio”  noted in Dundes (1992) who references Italian folklore scholar Giuseppe Pitre explains that

In Italian scholarship there has always been an avid interest in the “jettatura” (curse of the evil eye, whereby all that the cursed looks upon will suffer bad luck), which is cast via a spell either because they envy the wellbeing of others or because they desire that evil befall them.”

In the presence of the evil eye curse, or the fear that it might appear, there are many words trinkets, and gestures to avert or exorcise the evil eye curse. The most common is the extension of the index and little fingers on one or both hands while bending the others inward, to resemble horns.  Another is when you see an individual spit when a “lady of easy virtue” stares at him (Dundes, 1992).  The crotch grab is intended to block the evil eye curse to a man’s genitals, thus protecting their most valued asset – the future fruit of a man’s loins (Lapidos, 2008).

Some common trinkets (either in plastic or a precious metal) Italians wear or carry to protect from the bad luck generated from the maloccio are; un “corno,” which is shaped like a horn, a small hand making the horns gesture, or a “humpback” a little man with a horn as his lower half, in a tuxedo and a top hat, holding a horseshoe making a horns gesture.

trinkets

If you have any more Italian superstitions, feedback, corrections, arguments or whatever, please post below.  I plan on posting more about different Italian wives’ tales along with any other random ideas about culture, society, and technology on my blog alpha5marmoset.com

Chuck Piscitello Ed.D

Dundes, A. (1992). The evil eye: a casebook. Madison : University of Wisconsin Press.  https://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/nfile/1799

Lapidos, J. (2008). slate.com. Retrieved from Can’t Touch This – Why Italians grab their crotches to ward off bad luck.: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2008/03/cant_touch_this.html

Read my dissertation

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Discussion Thread Best Practices

discussion thread

An online discussion thread can provide a great opportunity for interaction that can potentially be lost in an online college setting, providing students the opportunity to voice their opinion in a comfortable and safe place.  But, sometimes instructors lose sight of the point of these assignments, depriving students the true benefit of discussion boards.  Here are some best practices that can help an online instructor design discussion threads that will improve student involvement and enthusiasm when interacting on discussion boards.  This document provides some examples and best practices from real teachers.

TIP #1

Address the need for a discussion thread:  In Hew, Cheung, and Ling Ng’s (2010) student contribution in asynchronous online discussion, they review factors leading to limited student contribution and various guidelines to improve online discussion threads.   They noted some best practices in ensuring that discussion threads are not just busy work.  Many of these ideas I discuss in greater detail below.

    1. Select discussion topics directly related to students’ main curriculum.
    2. Make online discussion activity mandatory or give incentives (e.g. grades).
    3. Provide added value in the discussion threads, like learning resources such as websites directly related to the main curriculum.
    4. Give students clear expectations of the purpose of the online discussion as well as instructor expectations.
    5. Use ground rules.
    6. Use controversial topics

TIP #2

Be specific in what you want from the student; many times new online/hybrid teachers have an idea in mind, and just post a simple question in the discussion thread.  We must always keep the student in mind; you are the subject matter expert, but your students are not.  Here is an example from Aultman College instructor Kathy Hawker’s NRS402 Informatics for Clinical Judgment class.  Please note the great level of detail she provided her students, the due date and examples of what she expects in an answer and in a peer response.  This helps us hold our students to a higher standard.

Discussion Question

Discuss the benefits of using standardized terminologies within the EHR and what standardized terminology would be most beneficial in the exchange of data?

Discussion Requirements/Step-by-Step Instructions:

1. Discuss the topic above in your posting.  Your post should be at least 250 words with at least one scholarly reference.  The reference should follow the end of your discussion in APA format.

2. Post your discussion by Thursday July 17th @ 11:59 PM

3. Read a selection of classmates postings and consider how their postings reflect/differ from your own perceptions, experiences, and opinions.  Respond to at least 2 classmates.  Your response post should be at least 100 words, with at least one scholarly reference supporting your response.  The reference should follow the end of your discussion in APA format

4. Post your 2 discussion responses to classmates by Saturday July 19th @ 11:59 PM

Suggested ways/ideas for response to classmates

* Suggest why you might see things differently

* Ask a probing or clarifying question

* Describe how the discussion topic would ultimately increase the quality of patient care

* Identify and explain a new practice insight gained from reading this discussion

* Offer and support an opinion

TIP #3

Tie the discussion thread directly to the material; make sure to align the discussion thread to the course objectives and unit objectives.  This should help the students understand why they are doing the assignment, and not interpret the assignment as just “busy work”.  Here is an example from Aultman College instructor Charity Smith’s Human Growth and Development Class.

Discussion 3: Early Maturation and Vulnerability

In Chapter 3, we learn about the risks inherent to early maturation in young girls. Several ideas are presented, in terms of potential outcomes, including an increased risk for smoking/drinking, depression, eating disorders, and early sexual experiences/promiscuity.

What factors do you believe contribute to these potential outcomes?

Given that young girls are reaching menarche earlier than in previous generations, what types of prevention programs would you create in order to address these issues?

Remember: Initial responses must be 100 words and you must reply to at least two of your classmates’ posts (50 words each).

TIP #4

Make it interesting; choose a discussion that you want to have.  Although your textbook may have some good questions, try to spice up your discussion questions.  These are college students, make them think!  Here is an example from Aultman College instructor Mike Polnik’s Medical Ethics course.

A 33-year-old male swallows 30 antidepressants and tells his wife, “I want to die.” She takes him to the local hospital’s emergency department where he is treated and released that same evening. In the hospital parking lot he pushes a security guard and is arrested and taken into custody. In the county jail a nurse places the man on suicide watch. The following evening, while still in custody, a psychologist speaks to the man for five minutes, then releases him from suicide watch. The man is returned to his cell and two hours later he hangs himself.

Does the emergency department have liability for discharging a suicidal patient without further treatment?

Does the psychologist have liability for releasing the patient from suicide watch after a five-minute consult?

The psychologist is and “independent contractor” of the jail. Is the county liable for his actions?

TIP #5

Use multimedia!  Link or embed a YouTube video to the discussion that you would show in a face-to-face class, have the students discuss specific questions about the movie.  Here is an example from Chuck Piscitello’s Introduction to Sociology class:

The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram, which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience.

Why do you think the participants listened to the authority figure and continued to shock an innocent man?  In the original Milgram experiments, over 65% of participants went all the way to 450 volts, in the above 2009 version of the Milgram experiment, 75% of participants went to 450 volts.  Why do you think there was such a sizeable increase in people willing to listen to authority in the more current version of the experiment?  Do you feel that this experiment explains authority relationships in the medical field?  Why or why not?

Tip #6

Interact with your students online.  In Hew, Cheung, and Ling Ng’s (2010) student contribution in asynchronous online discussion, they review factors leading to limited student contribution and various guidelines to improve online discussion thread.   They noted that we must use instructor facilitation techniques such as:

    1. Identify areas of agreement/disagreement
    2. Seek to reach consensus/understanding
    3. Encourage, acknowledge or reinforce student contributions
    4. Focus the discussion on specific issues
    5. Confirm understanding through assessment and explanatory feedback
    6. Diagnose misconceptions to enhance knowledge constructions

Tip #7

Make the assignment worth it!  If the point value seems like the students can blow it off…they will.  I’ve seen many instructors make the discussions a percentage of their grade, but each thread in the end was only worth five points each; please avoid.

Dissertation so far

dissertations-text-image

dissertations-text-image.jpg

So, for the most part, the most nerve raking part of the process for me is over, I wrote my first chapter, where I complained about how most academics are not willing to try new technology let alone incorporate it into their classroom, I found some literature for chapter two that provided a history to technology, education, and technology in education, and a focus on the iPad in education.  I discussed my method in chapter three.  Defended my proposal, the IRB was accepted and all of my results are in.

I am now in the process of analyzing my data and writing chapter four, I feel that my findings provide good insight on how to approach technology integration (in this case the use of iPad, but any tech integration works).  I’m excited but a little sad that it’s almost over.

That’s all I have so far, just wanted to write about something today, when I really should be writing chapter four.

Thirty Seven

37

I’ve been obsessed with the number 37 for many years.  The source of my obsession stems from Kevin Smith, in the original Clerks movie, the scene where Donate and Veronica argued over the amount of people they’ve been with (up to and including each other).  In a childish, sexual way, the number 37 was part of my life.  I started to notice the number 37 popped up everywhere, at least once or twice a day.  I grew up in Maple Heights Ohio and the zip code is 44137.  My dad was born in 1937.  My birthday is January 11th, 111, three times 37 is 111, and 37 is the root of all triple numbers,  6×37 is 222, 9×37 is 333, 12×37 is 444, and so on, so any triple number also represents 37. 

In my 20s, I worked in a convenience store during college and graduate school.  I worked with another Kevin Smith fan, who at the time was my manager Josh, who since then has become my very close friend. We worked in a store that was grossly understaffed by a variety of odd people.  The convenience store was enough of a connection to Clerks and Smith’s movie where the movie was a common theme in our daily lives, as was the daily reoccurrence of the number 37.  The number 37 almost had a calming effect on us in our daily stressful work lives.  Every time we would notice the number 37, we would make a point to tell each other, followed by another quote from the movie, usually, “in a row.” 

I have been out of the retail world for almost four years, and I’ve noticed 37 pop up in new, very different ways.  I go to two churches, my Roman Catholic Church which I belonged to since I was a kid, which I attended with my mom weekly.  And a Nazarene church which my wife has been a part of since she was a teenager.  In the past year, the old pastor from her church (it’s our church, but, it’s easier to explain which one I’m talking about with stating it’s either mine or hers) was called to do something else, providing us a new, pastor.  Pastor Mike’s first sermon was based on Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God” (ESV) and has come up multiple times in many of his sermons.

“For nothing will be impossible with God,” has been integral to my life over the course of the last year (1:37) in helping me overcome many of the monkey wrenches, kitchen sinks, and fecal matter at the fan the life has thrown my way.  So, “in a row,” this year I’ve experience my good friend Josh being diagnosed with stage four cancer, I was laid off from my full-time job in July, and my mother passed away one month before her 75th birthday in September, all while teaching as an adjunct instructor at three schools and attempting to write my dissertation. 

If I did not have faith in God, and did not believe that (1:37) “For nothing will be impossible with God,” I don’t know how I would have reacted to this chain of events.  I cannot say that any of these events were easy, but I know I could have not done it alone.  So, some will say this is a stretch, that I can take a silly dirty joke from a Kevin Smith movie and translate it to God’s message which gives me comfort, which gives me faith that through Him, we’re going to be okay.  It could be a stretch, that God knew to communicate that message to me at an early age, in a way that I would pay attention, in a way that would perk my interests and transform it to something meaningful, because, 37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Haiku Deck and Sociology

Piscitello, C. (2013, Summer). Teaching/Learning Matters ASA’s Newsletter for the section on teaching and learning sociology, 42(1), pp. 9-10.

 Technology is growing at a rapid pace.  Since the time I graduated from college, we’ve seen great advances in computer technology, specifically, the ability to make technology mobile. In, I was the only student with a laptop computer, taking notes, cross referencing what my professors taught on the web and maybe, some less productive activities when class seemed boring and endless.

Now, technology is everywhere and can take you anywhere.And students have a variety of hardware and software options from laptop to tablet to smart phone, from email to twitter to Facebook, to Google chat. This article will examine the use of the Apple iPad in an Introduction to Sociology classroom. In particular, I am interested in discussing the ways in which the mobile application Haiku Deck, an intuitive presentation application, helped support a learner-centered environment and initiate creativity,group discussion and interpersonal communication skills in learning and brainstorming complex sociological concepts in a learner centered environment.

In the classroom, teachers must compete with new advancements in technology. We can either ban the use of smart phones, tablets, and computers from being used in
the classroom, or we can find interesting and productive ways to employ these new forms of technology and actually improve learning in the classroom. Many school systems, colleges and universities are beginning to realize the potential opportunity in integrating technology into the classroom, allowing students the chance to learn using their mobile devices as opposed to banning their use altogether.

Many of us would prefer having a classroom of students learning, taking notes, researching ideas and collaborating with peers, as opposed to playing games.

As stated above, there are many options for both teachers and students when deciding on what technology fits an individual’s specific teaching or learning needs. I have chosen the iPad and Haiku Deck since my specific college has fully integrated iPad technology into the classroom, each student and teacher has access to and uses the iPad for pedagogical and personal reasons. It is important to understand that this is only one example of the use of technology in the classroom, and that there are many options to consider when integrating technology. In terms of choosing
a best practice of what works best in the classroom, an educator must assess the needs of the students. But, as mobile technology becomes more prevalent, more options will be available to both Apple and Android users.

Haiku Deck is a free iPad app that allows users to create visually stunning presentations quickly and easily (haikudeck.com). The biggest attraction to using this software in a classroom is the built-in picture database that allows the user to search pictures that are mentioned in the presentation text, creating an aesthetically pleasing slide with very little time searching the Internet for pictures.

In introduction to sociology, an elective class popular in many colleges and universities, the information can become dry for many students who choose not to continue as sociology majors. It is important for a sociology instructor to initiate class discussion and collaboration to ensure that the complex theory can be applied to everyday life. A student centered approach can be utilized to ensure that the students are the focus, applying the importance of the content to each student with hands on approach brought to life with the use of mobile technology in the classroom (Brown & Green, 2005). The specific assignment in my own classroom is given in two parts. First, the students are given a homework assign- ment to research a specific sociological topic to be covered in the class, “How popular culture defines American culture,” “How social control oversteps our freedoms,” or “How do you define family and how has it changed in your lifetime.” The students are instructed to break into small groups, and share their findings with each other, and to collaborate on a short Haiku Deck presentation that they will share with the class. The students quickly compile the presentation and share with the rest of their peers.

The use of mobile technology and the right applications allow students to utilize technology already familiar to them. As educators we can stifle their abilities by  emanding that they “turn off their toys,” or we can create a student centered  earning environment where they can learn from not only the teacher, but they can learn from each other. The iPad is a wonderful tool if used correctly, teachers
must keep up with the fast paced world of technology to stay connected to our  students.

REFERENCES
Brown, A., & Green, T. (2005). The essentials of
instructional design: Connectiong fundimental principles
with process and practice (1st ed). NJ: Prentice Hall.
haikudeck.com. (n.d.). Retrieved May 23rd, 2013, from
Haiku Deck Home Page: http://www.haikudeck.com/

Supplement “Guinea” Pig

20130308-103419.jpg

Once a week, my co-worker Aaron and I, work out heavy, so I felt that this is the opportunity to do the Vpx stack along with a random protein shake, in this case a monster milk. I did cut out using friction with all of this in fear of a heart attack.

I will use the same stack next week and see the gains from week to week. But, the first week using this supplement stack made me feel jittery, but it was nicely counterbalance with the complex carb supplement. Next week I will mix the carbonox and the power shock.

We’ve been exercising this way for more than a month now, so any net gains I’m sure come from work and dedication, but the supplements provide a nice kick in terms of energy, motivation, and a little placebo effect, any advantage helps really.

You can find information on these supplements at bodybuilding.com

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