guide

‘Never get out of bed before noon.’ —Charles Bukowski

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Tips for Working From Home

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1. Have a Backup Plan

{ WSJ | Continue reading }

Charlie Delisle sittin’ at the top of an avocado tree

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Recent research on circadian rhythms has suggested a reliable method to reduce or even completely prevent jet lag. […]

Circadian rhythms are the roughly 24-hour biological rhythms that drive changes within humans and most other organisms. […] Usually these rhythms align with the environment’s natural light and dark cycle. […]

Whether circadian rhythms align with the environment is determined by factors such as exercise, melatonin, and light. Bright light exposure is the most powerful way to cause a phase shift — an advance or delay in circadian rhythms. Light in the early morning makes you wake up earlier (“phase advance”); light around bed time makes you wake up later (“phase delay”).

This simple insight can be used to minimise jet lag. For example, Helen Burgess and colleagues from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago studied whether jet lag could be prevented by phase shifting before departing. After three days of light exposure in the morning, the participants’ circadian rhythms shifted by an average of 2.1 hours. This means they would feel less jet lagged, and would be fully adjusted to the new time zone around two days earlier. Several field studies have reached similar conclusions.

{ Scientific American | Continue reading }

Narcolepsy is a disorder of the immune system where it inappropriately attacks parts of the brain involved in sleep regulation. The result is that affected people are not able to properly regulate sleep cycles meaning they can fall asleep unexpectedly, sometimes multiple times, during the day.

One effect of this is that the boundary between dreaming and everyday life can become a little bit blurred and a new study by sleep psychologist Erin Wamsley aimed to see how often this occurs and what happens when it does.

{ Mind Hacks | Continue reading }

related { The U.S. is addicted to advice. Americans honestly believe that someone out there knows how to fix all our problems. }

art { Nathan James }

I’m a 50, an eighth, you a half a blunt

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In love, as with genies, we only get three wishes, says relationship expert Ty Tashiro. The more traits you pick that are above the average, the lower the statistical odds that you’ll find a match. And three is the tipping point.

{ NY Post | Continue reading }

related { Divorce Rate Cut in Half for Couples Who Discussed Relationship Movies }

If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?

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If you want hassle-free fame, don’t live in Los Angeles or New York City. It’s hard to feel sorry for stars who bitch about tabloid coverage while lunching at Fred Segal or Nobu. They know perfectly well that paparazzi will be buzzing around these hot spots. Live in a city where the main local paper is struggling and laying off reporters. Believe me, they don’t have the budget to cover anyone you’re sleeping with. […]

If you want your fame to be durable, you can’t hate the rich. […]

Never answer your critics. […] The reviewer always gets to answer your complaints, so now he or she has yet another chance to say how untalented you are. […]

Roger Ebert […] would give my later films terrible reviews that really did hurt the box office in the Midwest and then, right after, greet me warmly at film festivals and ask me to be on his panels. Of course, I accepted. It’s a thin line between being a pro and a masochist. […]

Consistency through the years in body hair will bring you respect, especially in the confusing pubic-hair-generation-gap times we live in today. […] Men, shaving your chest and legs is kind of creepy—and your crotch? A lack of pubic hair in your “private” celebrity sex tape won’t make your unit look bigger, it just suggests you are an adult baby and makes the viewer and your partner feel like suddenly confused pedophiles. […]

If you really want your name to last in history, invent a new sex act.

{ John Waters/W | Continue reading }

Alice had a thing for Bob, or Animal as his friends called him

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{ How To Make Your Face (Digitally) Unforgettable | NPR | MIT | PDF }

‘If I heard Graduation and it was made by somebody else, I would go to the bathroom and take a shit, because I would be scared. This record speaks to me so much.’ –Kanye West

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‘You think you’re thinking, but you’re actually listening.’ –Terence McKenna

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Neuman examined three common types of fallacious arguments:

• The false cause fallacy.
• The appeal to the people fallacy.
• The appeal to ignorance fallacy.

An argument using the false cause fallacy […]: I watered my lawn and then it rained. It must have rained because I watered my lawn.

An argument that appeals to the people […]: Most people believe that extraterrestrials exist, so you should too.

An argument that includes an appeal to ignorance […]: We know that Big Foot exists, because no one has been able to prove that it doesn’t.

Neuman’s idea is that the ability to detect fallacious arguments, such as these, is related to skill in drawing inferences from text. In order to test his idea, Neuman measured student’s performance on detection of argument fallacies, deductive logic, and the inference process in reading comprehension.

He found that comprehension was significantly related to spotting fallacies. Performance on the pure deductive logic task was not.

{ Global Cognition | Continue reading }

image { Slater Bradley and Ed Lachman, Production still from Shadow, 2010 }

For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo

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Okay, if you want to know…

Will my date have sex on the first date?

Ask…

Do you like the taste of beer?

Because…

Among all our casual topics, whether someone likes the taste of beer is the single best predictor of if he or she has sex on the first date. No matter their gender or orientation, beer-lovers are 60% more likely to be okay with sleeping with someone they’ve just met.

{ okcupid | Continue reading }

photo { Maurizio Di Iorio }

‘Embracing a means so hard that it nullifies the end; a strategy against strategy.’ –Rob Horning

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“Goals are for Losers” and “Passion Is Bullshit” are among the messages Dilbert creator Scott Adams shares in his new book. […]

Adams takes a very personal approach to show how he failed his way to success, but did so using a system and a strategy that increased his odds of meeting up with Lady Luck. […]

In his chapter “Goals Versus Systems,” Adams sets out why goals are for losers, but having a system can bring a lifetime of achievement and satisfaction. Adams’s system – which he lays out in detail – begins with “optimizing your personal energy” through diet and exercise, then drills down into area such as learning multiple skills, controlling your ego and sticking things out for the long haul.

{ Slashdot | Continue reading }

‘What you are comes to you.’ –Emerson

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There is a motif, in fiction and in life, of people having wonderful things happen to them, but still ending up unhappy. We can adapt to anything, it seems—you can get your dream job, marry a wonderful human, finally get 1 million dollars or Twitter followers—eventually we acclimate and find new things to complain about.

If you want to look at it on a micro level, take an average day. You go to work; make some money; eat some food; interact with friends, family or co-workers; go home; and watch some TV. Nothing particularly bad happens, but you still can’t shake a feeling of stress, or worry, or inadequacy, or loneliness.

According to Dr. Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist, our brains are naturally wired to focus on the negative, which can make us feel stressed and unhappy even though there are a lot of positive things in our lives. True, life can be hard, and legitimately terrible sometimes. Hanson’s book (a sort of self-help manual grounded in research on learning and brain structure) doesn’t suggest that we avoid dwelling on negative experiences altogether—that would be impossible. Instead, he advocates training our brains to appreciate positive experiences when we do have them, by taking the time to focus on them and install them in the brain. […]

The simple idea is that we we all want to have good things inside ourselves: happiness, resilience, love, confidence, and so forth. The question is, how do we actually grow those, in terms of the brain? It’s really important to have positive experiences of these things that we want to grow, and then really help them sink in, because if we don’t help them sink in, they don’t become neural structure very effectively. So what my book’s about is taking the extra 10, 20, 30 seconds to enable everyday experiences to convert to neural structure so that increasingly, you have these strengths with you wherever you go. […]

As our ancestors evolved, they needed to pass on their genes. And day-to-day threats like predators or natural hazards had more urgency and impact for survival. On the other hand, positive experiences like food, shelter, or mating opportunities, those are good, but if you fail to have one of those good experiences today, as an animal, you would have a chance at one tomorrow. But if that animal or early human failed to avoid that predator today, they could literally die as a result.

That’s why the brain today has what scientists call a negativity bias.[…] For example, negative information about someone is more memorable than positive information, which is why negative ads dominate politics. In relationships, studies show that a good, strong relationship needs at least a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions.

{ The Atlantic | Continue reading }

photo and pill bottles { Richard Kern }

Bunny Gets Snookered

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“Brain training makes you more intelligent.” – WRONG

There are two forms of activity that must be distinguished: working memory capacity and general fluid intelligence. The first one refers to the ability to keep information in mind or easily retrievable, particularly when we are performing various tasks simultaneously. The second implies the ability to do complex reasoning and solve problems. Most brain trainings are only directed at the first one: the working memory capacity. So yes, you can and should use these games or apps to improve your mental capacity of memorizing.  But that won’t make you any better at solving math problems.

{ United Academics | Continue reading }

images { Matt Bower }

Looks horrid open. Then the insides decompose quickly.

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Lying well is hard — but not in the way you might think.

We usually look for nervousness as one of the signs of lying. Like the person is worried about getting caught. But that’s actually a weak predictor.

Some people are so confident they don’t fear getting caught. Others are great at hiding it.

Some get nervous when questioned so you get false positives. And others are lying to themselves — so they show no signs of deliberate deception.

So lying isn’t necessarily hard in terms of stress. But it is hard in terms of “cognitive load.” What’s that mean?

Lying is hard because it makes you think. You need to think up the lies. That’s extra work.

Looking for nervousness can be a wild goose chase. Looking for signs of thinking hard can be a great strategy.

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They tend not to move their arms and legs so much, cut down on gesturing, repeat the same phrases, give shorter and less detailed answers, take longer before they start to answer, and pause and hesitate more. In addition, there is also evidence that they distance themselves from the lie, causing their language to become more impersonal. As a result, liars often reduce the number of times that they say words such as “I,” “me,” and “mine,” and use “him” and “her” rather than people’s names. Finally, is increased evasiveness, as liars tend to avoid answering the question completely, perhaps by switching topics or by asking a question of their own.

To detect deception, forget about looking for signs of tension, nervousness, and anxiety. Instead, a liar is likely to look as though they are thinking hard for no good reason, conversing in a strangely impersonal tone, and incorporating an evasiveness that would make even a politician or a used-car salesman blush.

{ Barking Up The Wrong Tree | Continue reading }