There is a blog post here about How to Fall Asleep Fast. The technique comes from the Second World War and making WW2 pilots get enough sleep. A person called Bud Winter was tasked with training pilots to fall asleep quickly. The trick is to physically relax and then mentally relax. If you can keep your mind clear of thoughts for 10 seconds, apparently you will be asleep. 96% of pilots who had been trained on this technique by Winter were able to fall asleep within two minutes or less.
This morning I was wondering why my dreams can be almost indistinguishable from reality, yet when I visualise something, it lacks vividness and clarity. Not only that but I often get distracted when I visualise something – I vanish down a stream of consciously only to snap out of it a few seconds later and realise that I had lost focus.
There is a great post over at Charlie Stross’ Blog that gives the text of his keynote at the 34th Chaos Communication Congress in Leipzig, December 2017. He makes some interesting points about old, slow AI – i.e. corporations, and compares them to cannibalistic organisms that shed people like cells. He talks about the ways the standard limiter of regulation are failing (regulatory capture and regulatory lag). He ends with a fairly negative assessment of where we are heading. It’s a thought-provoking talk, and well worth reading / watching.
I had heard a while ago that the ideal holiday was one in which you had a fairly bad start to it, but with a peak experience close to the end of the holiday. The rationale is that we tend to base our judgement of the holiday on the range of our trough-to-peak experiences. The larger the spread between the trough and the peak, with the peak occurring towards the end of the experience, the better we perceive the experience to be.
There is a wonderful story over at Runner’s World about Bret Dunlap, a guy who was badly injured when he was a kid. His brain and body are damaged. It’s about how he moves on and adapts. How his mother helps him recover and build a life. How he discovers running and it helps change his life. The story is poignant and well written. It’s definitely worth reading.
There is an interesting clip over on YouTube, that shows what having Google Glass (or something similar) might someday be like.
A couple of years ago, when I was thinking a bit about frugality (as in; “Hey, that’s a characteristic I should have more of), I came up with the idea of a “Zero-Six Week”. This is a week where I am only allowed to spend money on one of the days (typically a Sunday). The aim is to buy enough necessities on the Sunday to see me through the week, and not spend any money at all the rest of the week. That means walking everywhere, making all the meals for the week, etc.
Lifehacker has a infographic giving research-based workout exercises that will work your whole body. The best bit is that you apparently can do the whole thing is 7 minutes (30 seconds per exercise, with 10 seconds rest between them).
There is a poignant account of a person falling into depression over at Hyperbole and a Half. It is beautifully illustrated too. The author explains how you can’t externally induce happiness in someone who is depressed. This really struck home for me, as someone who is obnoxiously upbeat. There is actually a light at the end of the rather long blog post.