Why do Chinese, Koreans, and Scandinavians save money better than Americans?

January 21, 2018

If I’m speaking in English, I speak grammatically differently if I’m talking about past, present, and future. It rained yesterday. It is raining now. It will rain tomorrow. Notice that English requires a lot of information with respect to the timing of events.

It’s simply not permissible in English to say it rained tomorrow. In contrast, that’s almost exactly what you would say in Chinese. They would say yesterday it rained, now it rained, tomorrow it rained. The Chinese language doesn’t divide up the time spectrum in the same way that English does.

Chinese is a futureless language. English, on the other hand, is a futured language, which means that time constantly intrudes into our speech in all kinds of ways.

That difference led UCLA professor of economics Keith Chen to an intriguing hypothesis – could how you speak about time affect the way you think about money?

You speak English, a futured language, and what that means is that every time you discuss the future or any kind of a future event, grammatically, you’re forced to cleave that from the present and treat it as if it’s something viscerally different. Now suppose that that visceral difference makes you suddenly disassociate the future from the present every time you speak. If that’s true, and it makes the future feel like something more distant and more different from the present, that’s going to make it harder to save.

If, on the other hand, you speak a futureless language, the present and the future, you speak about them identically. If that suddenly nudges you to feel about them identically, that’s going to make it easier to save.

More … https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=295356139

Stop stretching

January 14, 2018

I hear this advice all the time: Do stretching. Get flexible.

That is bad advice.

Your muscles are like springs. Kind of like the springs in your car. Do you want loose springs in your car? Of course not. You want firm springs.

When you bend down to pick up an object, you want tight hamstrings (ham-springs) to firmly move you back up to the standing position.

The back is not designed to bend or twist. It is designed to stop motion and hold your torso stiff. Stop doing crunches, sit-ups, bends, and twists. They will ultimately harm your back.

Last night I taped my mouth shut

January 10, 2018

I heard that taping the mouth shut will yield deeper sleep. Supposedly, mouth-breathing (and snoring) while sleeping is not conducive to deep sleep. I slept well, I think. I seemed to be more aware of my dreams. The tape that I used is called Somnifix. A good thing is the tape came right off, painlessly, in the morning. And it wasn’t uncomfortable to wear at night.

I no longer feel the need to know everything

December 27, 2017

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten a bit wiser. One thing that I am very pleased with is that I no longer feel that I must be an expert at everything. I’m okay with releasing control and letting others who have the expertise tell me how to do something. I will contribute my limited knowledge and expertise.  Perhaps working together, we can create great things.

Measure your height first thing in the morning

December 26, 2017

A little known fact is that we are all actually taller first thing in the morning than we are before we go to bed at night. This comes down to our discs. The discs in between each of our vertebrae are packed with very concentrated protein chains that love water. In scientific terms, this means they are “hydrophilic.” When we lie horizontally, the discs fill with fluid and gently push the vertebrae away from one another, lengthening the spine. The reason our backs are often stiff in the morning is that the discs are so full of fluid, like water balloons ready to burst. When we get up in the morning and our spines are once again vertical, the excess fluid in each disc begins to seep out and an hour or two after rising from bed we have returned to our normal heights. This natural ebb and flow is healthy and is what allows the discs to obtain nutrition.

The Back Mechanic, by Stuart McGill, Ph.D.

The masters of strength train both mind and body

December 23, 2017

The brain is the most critical part of the body when it comes to strength. What we perceive as strength, or powerful muscle activation, actually begins with a thought, or neural trigger, that produces a volley of nerve impulses in the brain that travel to the muscle. The denser the thought, the denser the neural drive or activation to the muscle.

The masters of strength train these elements and harness their brain power to attain new heights in the weight room. The weaker athletes strictly train muscle.

— Stuart McGill, Ph.D.

The length of your telomeres is the key marker for your health and longevity

November 19, 2017

The key marker for health and longevity is the length of your telomeres. A telomere blood test is infinitely more valuable than any other blood test for assessing your health and longevity. If the percentage of critically short telomeres is high, then the likelihood of a serious illness occurring increases exponentially. You can now get your telomeres tested through lifelength.com (https://lifelength.com/). For some fascinating info on telomeres and its relation to health and longevity, see this awesome YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5tQ0z8VbSg

Beliefs are really valuable even if they are wrong

November 13, 2017

The placebo effect has repeatedly demonstrated the power of the mind. If you believe strongly in something, then the mind has the power to make it happen.

If you believe that a vitamin or an exercise will keep you young and healthy, then the mind will make it happen, even if there is no factual basis for the vitamin or exercise having such a health- and age-altering effect.

So, …. Have a good set of positive, strong beliefs!

Reading, exercising, and life

October 30, 2017

I sometimes read some words and pronounce “I read it” even if I didn’t fully understand what I read. Sadly, the goal is to get through the words, with some minimal understanding. The goal is not to thoroughly understand it.

I sometimes do an exercise and pronounce “I did it” even if I didn’t fully feel the movement and the muscles that were used. Sadly, the goal is to get through the exercise, with some minimal sensory feeling. The goal is not to thoroughly feel the movement and the muscles.

The years are passing by quickly. I wonder if, unconsciously, my goal is to get through life, with some minimal awareness. I hope not.

We have too much confidence in our beliefs

October 21, 2017

We have too much confidence in our beliefs. When you cannot imagine an alternative to your belief, you are convinced that your belief is true. That’s overconfidence.

What I don’t know matters enormously and what I can’t see matters enormously. It’s very difficult for us to imagine how anyone could see the world in a way that’s different from the way we see it. There are other ways of seeing the world, there are alternatives, there are things that you do not see, and they are important.

— Daniel Kahneman