This is the ultimate diet (really)

May 22, 2018

In my lifetime I have tried just about every health diet ever created. In just the last month I’ve tried two diets. In every case, the first day of the diet I notice a remarkable increase in energy and alertness. I tell all my friends what a fantastic diet it is. The next day, a little less energy and alertness. By the end of a week on the diet, I am back to the same energy and alertness levels as before starting the diet. Nonetheless, I continue the diet. By day 10 I feel worse than before the diet – less energy, less alertness, and sometimes even nausea. I feel like an idiot for boasting to my friends about what a great diet it is. Eventually I wise up and I jump onto the next diet. And the cycle starts all over again.

I have come to realize two important things:

  1. My body adjusts shockingly fast to a new diet. It just takes 2 or 3 days for my body to fully adjust. Once adjusted, the improved energy and alertness levels fade rapidly.
  2. My body loves change. Every time I change my diet I get a significant boost in energy and alertness.

What is the ultimate diet? The ultimate diet is one that constantly changes.

My aquarium fish have a good life

May 5, 2018

They are safe, no predators to eat them. They don’t have to scavenge for food, I feed them every morning. The water temperature is controlled, so no need for housing or clothes.

All they have to do is, well, nothing. Just live. Just swim around and enjoy life.

I check my email 52 times a day – yikes!

May 2, 2018

Recently I counted the number of times that I checked my email. 52 times in one day.

Yikes!

Email is evil (mostly).

Every time I check my email, it is a context switch. That is a productivity killer.

Why Multitasking is Killing your Productivity

Change my mind on what I expect to get from attending workshops and conferences

May 1, 2018

This week I attended a technical workshop. I always get both intimidated and depressed whenever I attend these kinds of events. The speakers go through their material way too fast for me to understand. They seem so smart, far smarter than I.

But I just had an insight: the purpose of conferences and workshops is not to teach you new stuff, but, rather, to give you flashes of ideas which can then be pursued afterwards. In other words, the purpose is to give you pointers to new ideas. Also, I need to remember that the speaker has been thinking about the subject for a long time, whereas I am hearing it for the first time. The speaker may indeed be very smart, but I shouldn’t make a judgement based on one brief talk.

For some people, conferences and workshops also provide a place to make new connections (meet new people). I suppose that I do make some connections, but being an introvert, I am terribly uncomfortable in such situations and don’t make much in the way of meaningful connections.

I need to change my mind on what I expect to get out of workshops and/or conferences.

People a few moves ahead of everyone else in humanity’s chess game against reality

April 29, 2018

Computer Scientist Scott Aaronson:

There’s plenty of mathematics that strikes me as boutique scholasticism [produced by a small, narrow-minded clique]. But there’s mathematics that looks to me like boutique scholasticism, until [mathematicians] Greg Kuperberg or Ketan Mulmuley explains it to me, and I say: “Ah, so that’s why [mathematicians] David Mumford, Alain Connes, and Edward Witten cared so much about this. Now that I understand it, it seems … almost like an ordinary applied engineering question, albeit one from the year 2030, being studied by people a few moves ahead of everyone else in humanity’s chess game against reality. It will be pretty sweet once the rest of the world catches up to this.”

Perfect practice makes perfect

April 22, 2018

You’ve probably heard the expression, “Practice makes perfect.” However, that is not quite true. If one practices using sloppy form or practice is done mindlessly, then perfection will never be achieved. It is perfect practice that makes perfect.

Look longer and see more

April 14, 2018

Artist David Hockney:

“Most people don’t look much. They scan the ground in front of them so they can move around. I’ve spent my life looking.”

Talking about his portraits: “I’m trying to get the personality. I’m trying to capture something of them.”

The subjects sit in a chair on a raised platform in Hockney’s studio. The sittings last 20 hours over 3 days. “For most people it’s a strange experience to have someone looking, peering at you for such a long time.”  One of his subjects (Stephanie Barron) is interviewed and says this: “I found that it was exhausting. To be the subject of an artist who is concentrating so intently on you can be a bit daunting.”

Comparing the work to photographs, Hockney calls his portraits “20-hour exposures”.

“Photographs have a fraction of a second in them. Drawings and paintings, of course, have more time because it takes time to do it.”

The interviewer asked: “A lot of people think this is an old-fashion idea. Painting is old fashion. Portrait painting is even more old fashion.” Hockney responded: “It’s not really, I know the argument about painting is dead. But painting can’t die because photography is not good enough actually. It’s just a snap. Why not look longer at something? Look longer and maybe see more.

http://www.pbs.org/video/david-hockney-thinks-you-should-look-longer-at-life-1523654485/

Loss of innocence about Yoga

March 29, 2018

When I was a child, I was enchanted by the stories I heard about Yogis. I heard they possessed supernatural powers. I heard they had such control over their bodies that they could live for several hundred years, or more.

Sadly, I’ve come to realize that the stories I heard were more fiction than fact. For their supposed supernatural powers, well, they were never scientifically proven. And as for longevity, the Yogis that I am aware of had surprisingly short lives:

  • Paramahansa Yogananda only lived to 59 years of age
  • Swami Vishnudevananda only lived to 65 years of age
  • Maharishi Mahesh Yogi lived to be 90
  • K. S. Iyengar lived to 95
  • Yogi Bhajan lived to 75

That is hardly an impressive longevity list.

Smarter when I have a cold

March 19, 2018

Today I have a cold (maybe the flu, I can never tell the difference).

I am not as restless as I normally am. I am able to stay still for hours at a time and focus with laser-sharpness.

I am definitely smarter when I have a cold. I wonder why?

Banana bread

March 4, 2018

Today I made banana bread. It turned out really well. The recipe that I followed called for 1 stick of butter, I replaced it with ½ cup Avocado oil and ½ ripe avocado. The recipe called for 1 cup sugar, I replaced it with ½ cup sugar and about 10 drops of liquid Stevia (I didn’t count the number of drops, I’m guessing it was around 10 drops). Here’s the recipe:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan (I use a cast iron loaf pan) with parchment paper.

Mash 3 medium-sized ripe bananas in a bowl. Add ½ cup Avocado oil, ½ mashed ripe avocado, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 10 drops liquid Stevia, and 2 eggs. Mix.

In another bowl add 2 cups flour, ½ cup sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, and ½ cup chopped walnuts. Mix.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until everything is just combined, don’t overmix.

Pour into the loaf pan. I baked it for 50 minutes and tested it, it was not nearly done. I baked it another 10 minutes, still not done. Another 7 minutes, finally done. So, I guess that it baked for about 67 minutes.

Take out of oven, remove from pan and let cool down for 20-30 minutes. Eat warm. Yummy!