Archive for May, 2014

The power of a 30 minute walk to alter your body chemistry

May 31, 2014

A few weeks ago I was inspired to do an ultra-high intensity bike workout: go all out for 30 seconds, then 60% max for 30 seconds, repeat for 10 sets. Just prior to doing this I went for a 30 minute, brisk walk. Although the bike workout was hard, it was not devastating. A week later I was inspired to do the bike workout again, but this time I didn’t precede it with the 30 minute brisk walk. I felt like puking my guts out. My body did not like it at all.

What I learned from that experience is that a 30 minute brisk walk has a deep impact on the body’s internal chemistry.

Walking is the best exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far. [Thomas Jefferson]

Want better skin? Stop using soap and shampoo: they destroy your skin-friendly bacteria

May 30, 2014

A fascinating article by New York Times reporter Julia Scott:

For most of my life, if I’ve thought at all about the bacteria living on my skin, it has been while trying to scrub them away. But recently I spent four weeks rubbing them in. I was Subject 26 in testing a living bacterial skin tonic, developed by AOBiome, a biotech start-up in Cambridge, Mass. The tonic looks, feels and tastes like water, but each spray bottle of AO+ Refreshing Cosmetic Mist contains billions of cultivated Nitrosomonas eutropha, an ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) that is most commonly found in dirt and untreated water. AOBiome scientists hypothesize that it once lived happily on us too — before we started washing it away with soap and shampoo — acting as a built-in cleanser, deodorant, anti-inflammatory and immune booster by feeding on the ammonia in our sweat and converting it into nitrite and nitric oxide.

My skin began to change for the better. It actually became softer and smoother, rather than dry and flaky, as though a sauna’s worth of humidity had penetrated my winter-hardened shell. And my complexion, prone to hormone-related breakouts, was clear. For the first time ever, my pores seemed to shrink. As I took my morning “shower” — a three-minute rinse in a bathroom devoid of hygiene products — I remembered all the antibiotics I took as a teenager to quell my acne. How funny it would be if adding bacteria were the answer all along.

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Learn within a meaningful context

May 29, 2014

I am reading a book on a certain technology. The author of the book explains why it is useful to learn the technology: the technology contains many topics that are generally useful. The author lists the topics. Then the author says this, which I found to be profound:

Although each of these [topics] can be studied in isolation, it is educationally more valuable and satisfying to do so in a meaningful context.

What happened to the future? Why can’t we solve big problems anymore?

May 25, 2014

You promised me Mars colonies. Instead I got Facebook.

— Buzz Aldrin

It feels as if technologies have diverted us and enriched themselves with trivial toys, with things like iPhone and apps and social media and algorithms that speed automated trading. There’s nothing wrong with most of these things; they have expanded and enriched our lives. But they don’t solve humanities big problems. What happened to the future?

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By sheer will power I will survive

May 4, 2014

The below picture shows a person making a herculean effort. For me, the picture symbolizes a great deal. It symbolizes indomitable willpower. It symbolizes passion. It symbolizes that no matter what obstables life may throw at me, I will, by sheer willpower, survive. When an obstacle confronts me, I will grit my teeth, summon all my strength and passion, and I will overcome. So it is more than merely a picture of a person exercising; it is a symbol for life itself.