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36 Ways, Biohacking, Ghost Writer, and How to Vote from Antarctica
#41 of 10+1 Things|📍Delhi | 7° C
⚡ Welcome to #41 of 10+1 Things!
This edition of 10+1 Things is delivered in partnership with Alternative Assets, a newsletter about alternatives to the stock market.
I've enjoyed reading Alternative Assets for the last couple of months and have discovered crazy investment opportunities like investing in farmlands, fossils, wines, LEGO sets & more. It's written by Stefan and Wyatt, who find interesting investment opportunities and analyze the ever-living heck out of them, bringing you in-depth research and deep analysis.
Here are 10+1 Things that I thought were worth sharing this week:
🗓 2023: A Year of Execution
As the year 2022 comes to a close, I look back to see how I've done in 2022. Based on the results and experiences learned in the last year, I've created a set of objectives to achieve a set of goals I have for the year 2023. Like in 2022, all my goals and objectives revolve around the areas of health, wealth, and career. When I look back, the key achievements or highlights from 2022 were: switching my career to a field that I'm passionate about, getting engaged to my partner, and becoming a super randonneur by completing 200,300,400 & 600-kilometer self-supported bicycle rides. 2023 is the year of execution where I stick to my routine or principles for achieving standards of excellence that I've defined for myself. If you're curious, have a look at my 2023 plan below.
🛌 Solar Blanket
Mireille Steinhag, a design graduate has invented a solar-powered heated blanket that is made from conductive yarn. The blanket comes with a solar panel and is designed to be placed near a window to charge it. Once the built-in battery is charged, it can be plugged into the blanket for heating purposes. Personal responsibility is big when it comes to sustainability, but many who are living in poverty cannot make it a priority unless the sustainable future we are designing is affordable and accessible. The blanket is estimated to retail for less than 10$ and is an excellent example of a sustainable product that is accessible and affordable to everyone.
Chris Guillebeau has shared an interesting list consisting of 36 ways to live differently. An interesting way to live better is to live differently by exposing yourself to new ideas and practices. Chris is an interesting personality who leads an unconventional life and has been to all countries in the world. The list is very interesting like his books and is a good read to have a different perspective on how to live your life.
My favorite from the list that I'm trying to incorporate into my life is:
Think about the political party or group you most identify with, and consider what you disagree with them about. Do the same for any religious affiliation, nationality, organization, and so on. You’ll never learn to think independently if you adopt a platform without scrutinizing it.
What's your pick?
Ben Greenfield has compiled a list of 9 essential biohacking fundamentals based on an interview with Tim Gray, one of the leading biohackers in the UK. Biohacking is a citizen-driven DIY biology where biohackers make small incremental changes in diet or lifestyle for improvements in personal health. In a nutshell, the 9 fundamentals of biohacking are sleep, hydration, natural light exposure, interaction with nature, breathing, movement, nutrition, oral health, and community. I always take biohacking tips with a pinch of salt as some are not scientifically proven (I'm very skeptical about oil pulling!), but this list is informative and debugs the myth that biohacking requires fancy gadgets, extensive tracking, and different supplements.
🗳 How to Vote from Antarctica
In an interesting blog post, an IT worker who is currently stationed in Antarctica has explained the process behind voting for the fall 2022 election from there. Being a San Francisco resident, the author chose to vote by email thereby receiving the ballot via email. Even though he opted for voting via email, he still received his voter registration card in Antarctica and also some flyers from various parties. This might not sound fancy, but the logistics to fly stuff to Antarctica are complex. For recycling, this waste has to be sent back to America 8,000 miles across the globe which is an expensive affair even though it is heavily subsidized.
📕 Hacker News Books
I read Hacker News almost every day and love the high-quality discussions on various topics. The Hacker News Books website aggregates the top books that are found in comments and rank them on a weekly basis. Usually, books recommended by several users and top votes rise to the top of the list. The topics of books range from programming, startups, psychology, history, and more. There are multiple lists based on time(yearly/monthly/weekly) and topics. I'm currently reading this book which is an all-time top book on HackerNews.
🧵 Ghost Writer
I've enjoyed reading an interesting thread by Arvind Sanjeev showing the full process behind building the Ghost Writer, a typewriter powered by AI. I've been following Arvind for years as a creator/maker and Ghost Writer his latest invention. It is a typewriter that uses AI to chat with the person actually typing on the keyboard. The ghost inside it is Open AI's GPT-3, an AI model that enables the typewriter to interact with meaningful conversations. Ghost Writer makes an interesting statement about the relationship between humans and AI.
📚 So Good that They Can't Ignore You
I'm re-reading the famous book 'So Good that They Can't Ignore You' by Cal Newport this week. In the book, Cal discusses why 'follow your passion' is terrible career advice for the majority and puts forward a new perspective to get out of the 'passion trap'. Instead, the focus should be on producing valuable work and this will eventually help you to discover what you like, thus leading to a life of meaning and satisfaction. Nevertheless, a great book to start the year with a bang!
My favorite quote so far from the book:
“No one owes you a great career, it argues; you need to earn it—and the process won’t be easy.”
~Resurfaced using ReadWise(FREE)
Last week's read: What We Owe the Future
📷 Photographs of Films
This week I've enjoyed exploring an art project titled ‘Photographs of Films’ by the artist Jason Shulman. In his work, Jason explores viewers' relationship with movies using long-exposure photographs of the entire film into a flattened single image. The exposure of the camera is set for the entire duration of the film and the output is an abstract image with shifting colors and vague shapes. His work also does a good job of portraying the technological advances in the film industry as old movies are more crisp and newer ones are blurrier. The image attached above is that of 'The Jungle Book (1967)' movie and you can see the vivid colors. The cover image is that of the 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) movie.
“After watching a movie your relationship with the film changes as details are forgotten, so when you try to remember the hour and a half or so you’ll recall some things but invariably at the expense of others. But here in these photographs, I’m giving it all back to you. A pictorial translation on one page of every single frame that you saw.”
🎬 Ultra-Cycling Gear
I love long-distance cycling and came across this interesting video about Lael Wilcox's gear and bike setup for the 2019 Tour Divide race. For context, Wilcox is an ultra-endurance racer who rides more miles(<20,000!) in a year on her bike than most people do on their cars. Tour Divide is a 2745-mile (4,418 km) ultra cycling race traversing the length of the Rocky Mountains, from Canada to the Mexican border. It is a self-supported event and spans around 2 weeks. This was an interesting video as it shows what you should carry on such a long event that is self-supported. It's a great resource for folks who are into long-distance cycling.
📸 Water Mills of Himalayas
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 recently did a visit to Thachi Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India, and happened to click the photo of these traditional water mills also locally known as Gharat. These mills were once quite common in hilly regions of India, but most these days are not operational and are replaced by electric mills. Gharats are built near streams and water is diverted using bunds or small canals to run a turbine that turns the connected millstones to grind wheat, rice, and maize and also occasionally to extract oil. Many of these gharats have systems in place for regulating the speed, the coarseness of flour, and the amount of flour being fed. The one I visited was still operational and the owner told me that these works on a barter system. Usually, villagers give the operator a portion of flour as a fee. I have heard about these in the past, but never saw one that was operational and it was quite interesting. Some of these are being converted to small pico-hydro projects for generating electricity locally. Read more about gharats in detail here.
This interesting wearable helps you to get up to 30 more minutes of sleep a night.
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That’s 10+1 Things for the week.
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