Archive for January, 2018

The knowledge that I am going to die brings focus and urgency to my life

January 28, 2018

It is the knowledge that I am going to die that creates the focus that I bring to being alive. The urgency of accomplishment, the need to express love – now, not later.

If we live forever, why ever get out of bed in the morning, because you always have tomorrow? That’s not the kind of life that I want to lead.

Larry King: Don’t you fear not being around?

Neil de Grasse Tyson: I fear living a life where I could have accomplished something and I didn’t. That’s what I fear. I don’t fear death. I want this written on my tombstone: Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. [Horace Mann]

— Neil de Grasse Tyson (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndj5KjKyr3E) starting at 3 minutes, 20 seconds into the video

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.