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Larry Fields profile image

Larry Fields

Joined 3 years ago from Northern California

64

131

18

Education: M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from Oregon State University.

In addition to being a science buff, I'm interested in animals, Baroque music, evidence-based environmental policy, health & fitness, Nature, offbeat humor, and prehistoric art.

Because of my passion for the outdoors, I'm fortunate to live in Northern California, where I'm within driving distance of the coast, the high country, and the river canyons of the Sierra foothills.

My Content: Hubs, Answers, and Forums

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  • Religion and Philosophy (1)
  • Technology (2)
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  • Books, Literature, and Writing (1)
  • Education and Science (11)
  • Food and Cooking (2)
  • Games, Toys, and Hobbies (4)
  • Health (11)
  • Pets and Animals (4)
  • Politics and Social Issues (7)
  • Religion and Philosophy (1)
  • Sports and Recreation (5)
  • 1

    Chaos, Quantum Effects, Supercomputers, and Free Will

    11 months ago

    In the 19th Century, many scientists viewed the Universe as being predictable in principle, like the inner workings of a clock. We've come a long way since then.

  • 8

    Tactical Toothbrush in Defense of Liberty?

    11 months ago

    This article is about do-it-yourself political theater for those who support the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. And yes, it involves 'tactical' toothbrushes.

  • 7

    How Safe are Children Adopted by Gay Married Couples?

    12 months ago

    Should our government's child adoption policies make a distinction between gay married couples and straight married couples?

  • 9

    What Should We Do About Forest Fires in the USA?

    11 months ago

    We now know that forest fires play a vital ecological role. It's not desirable or possible to prevent all forest fires. But how much is too much?

  • 17

    Larry's Take on the Aspartame Debate

    12 months ago

    This article explains why Aspartame is not 'evil'. But Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners do not help overweight people to slim down either.

  • 10

    A West Coast Mystery: The Butterscotch Tree

    11 months ago

    Why does the resin of California's Jeffrey Pine tree smell like butterscotch?

  • 6

    Is the Body Mass Index Pseudoscience?

    14 months ago

    This article looks at the uses, as well as some problem areas of BMI--including basic maths and individual differences.

  • 10

    Larry's Strength Training Exercises for Hiking

    11 months ago

    This article describes strength training exercises that can enhance performance on mountain hikes, and prevent sore muscles afterward.

  • 14

    A Surprising Fact about Prime Numbers

    12 months ago

    This article shows that the difference between the squares of any two prime numbers greater than 3 is always divisible by 6.

  • 10

    I Do Not Bite Stray Dogs

    12 months ago

    This article looks at two nonstandard approaches for preventing bites from stray dogs, at any time of the day or night.

  • 7

    Safe Handshaking Puzzle

    12 months ago

    This article explores the mathematics of low-cost, sanitary handshaking between men and women. Although the general solution is unknown, the solution for the 3 by 3 case is described in detail.

  • 4

    Mamikon's Psychic Computer Program?

    11 months ago

    This article looks at Mamikon's Attractor Puzzle. At first blush, it appears to be a psychic computer program. But is the 'obvious' interpretation correct?

  • 10

    Larry's Pony Express Hike

    12 months ago

    This article describes a little-known hike along a short segment of the famous Pony Express Trail, in the Northern Sierras. Driving directions from Sacramento are included. Hi-yo Silver! Away!

  • 7

    Do you have the Right Stuff to be a Cryptozoologist?

    12 months ago

    This article considers the limitations of Cryptozoology as a scientific career. We also touch upon some credible albeit inconclusive evidence for one particular Cryptid, Bigfoot.

  • 4

    Larry's Tetrahedron Puzzle

    14 months ago

    Can you find the distance from the base of a Regular Tetrahedron to its center, if you know the height of this figure? This article also describes an important tetrahedron for chemists.

  • 2

    Larry's Symmetry Puzzle

    12 months ago

    This article describes a geometric puzzle involving symmetry, and the lack thereof. No specialized mathematical background is needed, just the ability to visualize.

  • 6

    We Can Have Meaningful Multiparty Elections

    14 months ago

    This article uses a novel Game Theory approach to compare true multi-party systems that use rank-order ballots, with Tweedledee-Tweedledum two party systems.

  • 8

    Kick the Filthy Smoking Habit

    12 months ago

    This article describes conventional and nonstandard approaches for kicking cigarette addiction. Subtopics: acetaldehyde, Cold Turkey, exercise, gradual withdrawal, harm reduction, and Swedish Snus.

  • 9

    Weather, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and More

    12 months ago

    This article contains informed speculations about the putative connection between weather and rheumatoid arthritis. It also mentions some non-medicinal, do-it-yourself approaches.

  • 12

    Language Concepts in Border Collies

    24 months ago

    We humans are not the only ones who can build upon an existing vocabulary, when a novel situation arises. Super-smart Border Collies can do that too.

  • 11

    Larry's Tips for Hiking Safety in Cougar Country

    12 months ago

    This article describes some lesser-known safety precautions for people in mountain lion country. It also reviews common-sense measures, like always hiking in a group.

  • 18

    Larry's Experiment, Does MSG Cause Obesity?

    13 months ago

    In some developed countries, obesity has become a serious health problem. This article describes a simple experiment, which sheds some light on the putative link between MSG and overeating.

  • 7

    The Scare-of-the-Month Club and Evil Chemicals

    12 months ago

    Some of our infinitely wise opinion leaders tell us that 'evil' chemicals in our food and water are 'bad for us', and that we should be very afraid. Let's separate the wheat from the chaff.

  • 47

    Does Cotton Clothing Kill Hikers?

    12 months ago

    Some hikers believe that it's always dangerous to wear cotton clothing on outdoor treks. We'll examine this claim from a chemistry perspective.

  • 4

    Alternatives to Traditional Dog Ownership

    13 months ago

    Being a responsible dog owner requires a lot of time, effort and patience. This article explores four alternatives to conventional dog ownership for busy people.

  • 6

    Trikke for Arthritic Hips

    17 months ago

    Aerobic exercise is helpful for people with arthritis. However you need to be especially careful in choosing the right exercise if you have an arthritic hip. I recommend the Trikke.

  • 2

    First Impressions of Just War Theory

    14 months ago

    Political and military leaders have less integrity than ordinary citizens--even in 'democracies'. Now the Pentagon has recruited professional philosophers to legitimize its wars of choice.

  • 19

    Larry's Take on Gun Control and Violent Crime

    13 months ago

    Let's analyze some firearms scenarios involving self-defense and violent crime. The insight that we gain could be useful in tweaking gun regulations in a rational way.

  • 4

    Additional Uphill Hiking Techniques

    23 months ago

    We'll look at two uphill hiking tactics: Rhythmic Breathing and the Rest Step. However if you're already an endurance athlete, uphill hiking technique may be less important for you.

  • 22

    Who's Afraid of the Flying CO2 Monster?

    13 months ago

    "The science is settled" on Man-Made Global Warming, according to Al Gore's famous oxymoron. However there's been no measurable global warming trend since 1998. What's up with that?

  • 8

    Hacking Dr Pepper

    12 months ago

    The recipe for the Dr Pepper beverage is a big corporate secret. This article attempts to shed some light on the subject. It is based upon information that is readily available on the Internet.

  • 10

    Larry's Take on the Population Disinformation Bomb

    11 months ago

    The available evidence supports the Demographic Transition model over the outdated neo-Malthusian hypothesis, favored by environmental extremists.

  • 2

    Can You Solve Larry's Polygon Puzzle?

    15 months ago

    Not all mathematical puzzles are hopelessly complex. Here's a geometry puzzle that can be solved by drawing simple pictures.

  • 21

    Why is the Product of Two Negative Numbers Positive?

    14 months ago

    Most of us were befuddled by sign conventions in high school algebra. This article explains the reasoning behind the two product/quotient rules.

  • 46

    Larry's Take on the Claim that Gravity Is Magnetism

    14 months ago

    We don't know enough to state with certainty that gravity is magnetism, as some bloggers speculate. However Einstein's famous energy-matter equivalence from Relativity theory is relevant here.

  • 4

    Larry's Take on Hiking Poles

    17 months ago

    This article explores the pros and cons of using hiking poles. It also describes how to use your hiking pole to save the life of another hiker, who's being attacked by a mountain lion.

  • 17

    The Saturated Fat Monster

    13 months ago

    Conventional wisdom has it that saturated fats are 'bad for you'. However that's not quite accurate. This article presents a balanced view of dietary fats for grown-ups.

  • 8

    Larry's At-Home Exercise to Strengthen Weak Upper Legs

    12 months ago

    This article describes a slow-paced indoor exercise, called Gorilla Walking. This therapeutic exercise isolates and strengthens the thigh muscles, aka the quadriceps,.

  • 8

    The Lobotomy Nobel

    12 months ago

    The Lobotomy Nobel of 1949 had tragic consequences. How could the highly educated people within the medical profession and the Nobel Committee make such a huge mistake?

  • 12

    Don't Jump Up; Sit!

    12 months ago

    Many dog lovers are annoyed when their canine friends jump up. Here's a distraction technique for dealing with the problem, without losing your cool.

  • 22

    The Vocabulary of Murder

    14 months ago

    This article is a lighthearted look at the language used to describe an unspeakable crime--murder. For international readers, it can provide some insight into the culture of the USA.

  • 2

    Frank Benford's Law

    14 months ago

    When we look at the first digits from a wide variety of measurements, a striking pattern emerges. This is known as Benford's Law, and as the First Digit Problem. Does Nature have a sense of humor?

  • 9

    Tweak your Aerobic Exercise Routine to Boost Well-Being

    15 months ago

    Tweak your aerobic exercise routine with ABAB Testing, to find the 'sweet spot' that optimizes your well-being. This article also explores a few aerobic options, including Trikking.

  • 9

    Exercise for Wimps

    13 months ago

    This article explores the psychology of exercise. Having a good exercise routine just plain feels good. If you're skeptical of this claim, try the Slouch Day experiment described in the hub.

  • 6

    How to Pace Yourself While Hiking Uphill

    12 months ago

    If we're in good health, hiking uphill is not difficult--if our upper legs have normal strength. However we must pace ourselves properly. And uphill pacing is a skill that can be cultivated.

  • 9

    How to Make Salty Tasting Rice or Pasta with Less Salt

    15 months ago

    It is possible to make rice or pasta, using less salt, without sacrificing the salty taste. How? With common-sense chemistry.

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