The Stack Up: Unemployment Stories, Android Fitness Apps, 50-Year-Old Hotness and More

Unemployment Stories from Gawker

  • The most gripping stories I’ve read about being unemployed during the recession came from reader submissions to Gawker, of all places:

    Hello from the Underclass: Unemployment Stories (and Vol II)

    The compilation managed to touch on people from multiple classes, educational statuses and lengths of time out of work, showing that it’s not something as simple as “laziness” that keeps many unemployed people from working. (Though I hope the people out of work for just a few months don’t panic – that’s really not that long for a job search.) Each person without a job has to meet a different set of needs for getting back to work, but scorn and disgust from others aren’t going to fill any of those needs.

  • Quick review of the two free Android apps I use for fitness:
    1. JEFit: This is my lifting app of choice. It comes with a database of hundreds of exercises, which you can then place into routines and track your sets, weight, reps and all those other steakhead stats. It automatically tracks your one-rep max so you know when you’re getting stronger. Also includes areas to share your routines, track your body stats, etc. JEFit gets four phats:


    2. MapMyRun: I use this one for, yes, mapping my runs. You turn on your phone’s GPS and the app tracks your time (which you can pause via a big red button if you’re stopped for traffic or something) and your path, then calculates your pace and splits at the end and inputs the whole thing into a calendar of your workouts. The whole thing would be super convenient if it weren’t for the iffy GPS results – I took a look at my mapped routes, and MapMyRun had me running directly through Lake Michigan during a 5K last week. The app therefore adds distance to your run with the same amount of time, making you think you’re super fast when you’re still the same jungle sloth in a Dri-FIT shirt. You can manually go in and edit your maps, though, and then reuse those edited maps for later run tracking, which I’ve done and find way more effective. I give this one three phats with an asterisk, as I’m not sure whether to blame the app or the phone’s GPS itself for the mapping problem:


  • I was reading about Killer Joe and learned that Gina Gershon is 50. This is a 50-year-old:

    Gina Gershon

  • I passed a graffito yesterday where the dude named himself “Clunked”. That is a terrible graffiti handle.
  • Foreign news of the week: What could happen in Syria if/when Assad falls
  • In the wake of last week, some friends on Facebook have posted about buying a gun. I think most people make this decision based on emotion and not logic, so I’ll repost this comment I made on how to think about it:

    I think it’s a contextual game-theory thing where people should examine their most frequent circumstances before purchasing a gun. For instance, I think the guy in the video was in pretty extraordinary circumstances: he was unseen and thus able to get the drop on the criminals, so that was great and a benefit to all, but if you buy a gun to avoid being mugged, you’re planning for a one-on-one situation where someone’s probably pulled a weapon on you already, so your chances of drawing and firing before they harm you are a lot worse – better to avoid antagonizing things and escape with your life (e.g. if the goal is always to survive intact, you win every fight you walk away from.) You could shoot first if you get a bad vibe, but that’s what George Zimmerman did and now Trayvon Martin is dead for potentially having done nothing. Plus what about lawfully bought guns that are stolen (57,000 reported lost or stolen to the ATF between 2008 and 2010), guns in homes with untrained kids, relatives with mental illness, etc. Tally it up and a lot more of those things are likely to occur than a situation where you get the perfect drop on a genuine bad guy.

    Hunting? Sure! Protection when you live in an isolated rural area? Sure! But when in a populated area? I think most people imagine themselves as safer simply for carrying, but if you think through the situations in which lethal force might become an issue in a “how is this most likely to play out” way, owning a gun usually doesn’t make one more secure. It’s still a matter of beating base emotion, though, and that argument is rarely won by the numbers.

  • Pretty psyched to see Ireland find major oil reserves. There’s some kind of lame potatoes-as-natural-resource joke to be made there, but screw that, it’s cool news.
  • Good deed for the week: If you love seafood and the ocean like me, get your grub on sustainably using this handy guide from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Posting once per week: Not a high bar to clear!

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