13 Maps, Einstein's Diet, How I Curate and Wearable Muscle
#35 of 10+1 Things |📍Kerala |☔️ 26°C
⚡ Welcome to #35 of 10+1 Things!
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Here are 10+1 Things that I thought were worth sharing this week:
✍️ How I Curate my Newsletter
This newsletter was started as a personal project back in 2021 when I came to know about the importance of Curator Economy. Over time, the newsletter has grown and has a readership close to 2000 subscribers. Since I receive occasional questions on how I curate this newsletter, I thought of penning down the behind-the-scenes. In this blog post, I discuss the structure of my newsletter, the sources that I use for curation, the system in place for curating and the process behind publishing. An effective system that works for me has ensured that the process of publishing this newsletter is smooth and without any friction!
🌍 11 Solutions
If you haven't heard about Project Drawdown, it is a non-profit organization that seeks help from the world to fight climate change and reach 'drawdown' - a point in time when the levels of greenhouse gases stop rising and start to steadily decline. In their latest update, the team has added 11 new ways to address the world's climate crisis in a responsible and systematic manner. These include seaweed farming, improving fisheries, methane leak management, recycling metals and many more. These solutions were added by experts in various fields ranging from oceanography to mechanical engineering and AI by modelling using the latest available data and feasible technologies. If you're looking for a career in climate change or want to make an impact, these are 11 areas on which you can focus and explore!
💻 Internet from Rocks
I've been lately reading a lot about the world of computers and found this long form, high-level explanation by Julian on computers and the internet. To understand how a computer works, we have to understand many different unrelated topics that are extremely difficult.
Even as a student studying computer science, Julian found it difficult to connect the dots and he thought of explaining the concepts in an interesting blog post with illustrations. The blog post will give you a high-level understanding of all the components of a computer and how it fits together. To give you a context, just check the illustration above that shows the map of computer science and Julian has done a great job in distilling the complex concepts to the layman!
🥩 Einstein's Diet
Ever wondered what a genius like Einstein ate in his everyday life? Well to start with, Einstein was an omnivore major part of his life and only became a vegetarian a year or so before his death. His breakfast mainly consisted of fried eggs and mushrooms. Lunch was not a regular occurrence in his daily life and there are some accounts of him eating canned beans for lunch. For dinner, he preferred a simple meal consisting of sausages, Gruyère cheese, fruits, and tea. To sum up, it is impossible or there is no evidence to infer that Einstein's diet contributed to his tremendous brain power!
🧑🤝🧑 Sound of Colleagues
If you're working from home and miss your colleagues, check out this cool white noise generator that simulates the sounds in an office environment. You can tweak various options like sounds of people, coffee machine, printer, telephone, rain on windows, keyboards, etc and find the perfect ambient mood for working. The website was created as a reaction to the strict work-from-home policies in Sweden during the pandemic. You can either tweak your optimal settings using the simple website interface or you can also to the Spotify playlist created by the team!
💪 Wearable Muscle
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a wearable textile muscle that can be worn to increase upper body strength and mobility. The wearable exomuscle is called Myoshirt and is a vest with cuffs with a small box for the electronics. When the sensors embedded in the fabric detect movement, the algorithm instructs the motor present in the system to shorten the cable that runs through the fabric to create a sort of artificial tendon, thereby supporting the movement. The prototype was tested in a small group study and was quite effective for the ones with muscular dystrophy.
🧵 13 Maps
I found this interesting thread featuring 13 maps that takes you on a journey from ancient Mesopotamia to the map of Europe on the eve of World War I where the old world tore itself to pieces. History is much simple once you have a basic understanding of time frames and the location of events and this thread exactly does that. I especially loved the maps of the book of the bible that shows the scale of the bible and where all it was written centuries apart!
This week I'm exploring an ongoing photography project called 'Fauxliage: Disguised Cell Towers of the American West' by Annette LeMay Burke. Through her photographs, Annette explores iconic western landscapes in America that are populated by cell phone towers that are pretending to be palm trees, cacti, flagpoles, crosses and clock towers. Originally these towers were intended to camouflage the tower's aesthetic impact on the landscape, they typically do the opposite and look so out of place. Annette calls these towers a new brand of flora called Fauxilage (Faux + Foliage).
“While I was initially drawn to the towers’ whimsical appearances, the more I photographed them, the more disconcerted I felt that technology was clandestinely modifying our environment, I began to explore how this manufactured nature had imposed a contrived aesthetic in our neighbourhoods… I dubbed the series Fauxliage.”
📚 How to Fight a Hydra
Last week I finished a short book (~ 30 mins) titled, 'How to Fight a Hydra' by Josh Kaufman. I'm a great fan of short books and this is a survival manual for ambitious, artists and entrepreneurs. From marking a new journey as an entrepreneur to creating art, Josh Kaufman explores the uncertainty and fear inherent in attempting any ambitious challenge in life. By extrapolating the lessons learned from a medieval hero's journey to hunt, fight and kill a hydra(the Greek mythological monster!), the author gives us tips on overcoming challenges and fear while pursuing our goals. No revolutionary ideas or revealings in this book, yet this is a great fun read with some deep thoughts that can shift your perspective!
My favourite quote from the book is:
“Fear of the unknown will always be with you, no matter what you do. That’s comforting in a way: if there’s nothing you can do to change it, there’s no reason to let it stop you.”
~ Resurfaced using ReadWise(FREE!)
Last week's read: Dorito Effect
🎬The Salt Desert
This week I was amazed after watching a short video on the salt farmers in India who risk their lives to harvest salt that bringing them an income of less than $4 for a ton of salt. India is one of the world's top producers of salt and the majority of it comes from the desert of Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. Agariyas are the community of people that work in this desert doing the dangerous job of farming salt at scorching temperatures touching close to 50°C or 118°F. Despite enduring extreme temperatures, skin diseases and blindness from the white landscape, these farmers merely make less than $4 per ton of salt harvested. The majority of the profits are made by the traders and these poor farmers are caught in a vicious cycle.
📈 Intermittent Fasting Tracker
This last section of the newsletter explores a thought I had, an idea I'm exploring, a dream I experienced or something interesting that I observed:
I've been practising Intermittent Fasting for over a year now, following the 16/8 method. As a data junkie, I like to track my progress and see various stats on my fasting pattern at the end of the year. I especially love the 'Zero' fasting tracker as it allows me to export the data in CSV format, which is perfect for me. Even though the app was perfect, I often forget to log my start and end timings of fasting. To tackle this issue, I found a cheap, yet effective solution. I purchased some cheap NFC stickers from Amazon and stuck them on my dining table. Using the Shortcuts app on my iPhone, I configured automation such that every time I tap these stickers with my phone, it triggers an action on the Zero app. I have one sticker on my dining table that reminds me to end fasting and another one on my desk that reminds me to start fasting!
This has worked for me and you can use the same trick to track your water intake(stick one on your glass or bottle), sleep or even any habit! Let me know if you need me to write it as a blog post with further details!
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That’s 10+1 Things for the week.
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Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
- Albert Einstein