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38 Ways, Animalograms, Ice Age Map and Thalinomics
#46 of 10+1 Things|📍Delhi | 26° C
⚡Welcome to #46 of 10+1 Things!
Here are 10+1 Things that I thought were worth sharing this week:
🗣 38 Ways to Win an Argument
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), a renowned German philosopher, introduced a comprehensive set of tactics known as the "38 Stratagems" in his work "The Art of Controversy. Schopenhauer talks about things like exaggerating your opponent's point, using different meanings of their words to undermine them, and even making them angry to throw them off their game. It's all about playing with words, finding inconsistencies, and diverting the conversation when things get tough. These stratagems are like little nuggets of wisdom for mastering the art of argumentation.
My favourite one is:
If your opponent has admitted to all or most of your premises, do not ask him or her directly to accept your conclusion. Rather draw the conclusion yourself as if it too had been admitted.
🌏 A Pragmatic Guide to Climate Change
Olivier Corradi, the founder of Electricity Maps, has an excellent pragmatic guide to climate change, explaining its drivers and what we as individuals can do about it. Climate change is one of the biggest threats to our planet, Earth, and our species. If you look at the history of Earth, the climate has always changed. However, the worrying thing now is the speed at which this change is taking place, occurring within decades instead of thousands of years. Since Earth is a complex system, even a few degree changes in the average yearly temperature will have drastic effects. As temperatures increase, the likelihood of extreme weather events such as droughts, cyclones, and floods also increases. These extreme events cause crop failure, leading to food insecurity. Rising temperatures and humidity will make more and more areas on Earth uninhabitable for humans. Climate change is indeed one of the biggest problems we face, and this guide is an excellent resource to understand it.
🥬️ Kale World
I found this interesting calculator called Kale.world that lets you find the most nutrient-dense-rich foods and recipes. The website features a variety of filters such that you can find foods with the most amount of fibre, protein, vitamins and essential minerals. There is also an option to find the foods with the least amount of not-so-good things like sugar, sodium, saturated fat, etc. I'm always on the hunt for high-protein/high-fibre food and found that mustard/beet greens were packed with fibre and protein! This is a great resource for finding specific items for your diet!
The Indian Economic Survey of 2019-20 revealed a new way of measuring household income in India. "Thalinomics: the economics of a plate of food in India" is an attempt to figure out how much a meal costs in India. For my non-Indian readers, a thali is a traditional Indian meal served on a large plate or platter consisting of rice, roti (Indian bread), dal (lentil soup), vegetables, yoghurt, etc. The survey examined the prices of vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals in 25 states/union territories, taking into account the cost of cereals, vegetables, pulses, and fuel. It reveals that since 2015-16, there has been a change in thali prices, attributed to agricultural reforms and improved price discovery in agricultural markets. It further highlights that the affordability of thalis in relation to daily wages has improved over time, suggesting improved welfare for the common person. The data is a bit outdated as it was published pre-COVID, but the methodology is quite interesting! Another latest unofficial report on the same can also be read here.
🫂 Next Decade Problems
Found this interesting discussion on Hacker News on the problems or ideas that are important to be solved by the end of this decade. Some interesting ones were:
An ageing population with a flat birthrate.
Figuring out fusion to solve the energy crisis (I always thought fusion would be a breakthrough. The discussion has some valid points against it as well!)
Water and water rights in a world where freshwater scarcity is increasing!
Interesting to observe that population collapse was mentioned by many!
🗻 Coolest Library
Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark has one of the coolest libraries on this planet. At this freezer facility, Jørgen Peder Steffensen and his team curate an extensive ice core library. The library stores around 40,000 segments of ice cores, which are long cylinders of ice drilled from polar regions and preserve the history of past climates. Like tree rings, the layers of snow that fell and formed these ice cores can be counted and correlated to specific years in the past. These ice cores are crucial for studying climate change, as they contain records of atmospheric chemistry, temperature, and ancient DNA. The ice cores serve as valuable historical records and allow scientists to understand Earth's climate history and predict future climate impacts. The library's collection is meticulously catalogued and serves as a resource for international collaborations and groundbreaking research in the field of glaciology.
📚 Diet Myth
The whole idea of the 'Gut Microbiome’ fascinates me and this week I'm reading the book titled 'The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat' by British epidemiologist Tim Spector. In the book, Prof. Tim Spector demystifies the common misconceptions about fat, calories, vitamins and nutrients. He also stresses the importance of gut microbiome diversity and why we should improve it for better health and longevity. In a nutshell to improve your gut microbiome, eat a lot of plants, increase fibre intake, avoid processed food and eat as much variety as possible. I'm enjoying the book and was surprised by the number of misconceptions we have about diet and foods.
An interesting quote from the book:
“The famously pungent Limburger cheese is made from the same bacteria that many people have between their toes (Brevibacteria linens), the ones that cause smelly feet.”
~ Resurfaced using ReadWise, a FREE service for book highlights.
Last Week's Read: I Hate Running and You Can Too
🗺 Ice Age Map
In an interesting graphic, Visual Capitalist offers us a snapshot of Earth during the last ice age that occurred 20,000 years ago. During the last ice age, known as the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), sea levels were lower, exposing landmasses that are now underwater. The climate was cold and dry, with large ice sheets covering polar regions and glaciers forming in mountainous areas. Deserts expanded, and diverse megafauna roamed the world. If you look closely, you can see a subcontinent called 'Sahul' made up of mainland Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, and other islands. As sea levels rose, the land bridges flooded, separating Australia from Tasmania and New Guinea. It's fascinating to see that before the sea levels rose, most of the landmass in the world was connected through land bridges, allowing humans to migrate to different parts of the world.
This week, I'm exploring a photography project called "Animalograms" by Zana Briski. A photogram is a cameraless photography technique created by placing objects directly onto a light-sensitive material, such as photographic paper, and exposing it to light. In this project, the artist creates photograms of animals by placing large light-sensitive sheets of photographic paper in wild places during moonless nights. She patiently waits for an animal to pass by and quickly exposes the animal with a small handheld flash. After the animal disappears, she collects the paper and later develops it in a darkroom. The results are unique and give a magical, life-sized impression of the wild animal. For large animals like bears, the photographic sheets used are 8 feet in length!
🎬 The Bilona Ghee
I've enjoyed watching this mini-documentary on how 'Bilona Ghee' is made in Rajasthan, India. Ghee is a type of clarified butter that is commonly used in India for cooking and is more nuttier and concentrated than butter. Bilona ghee is a type of ghee that is manually churned from the milk of native South Asian cows using a wooden beater called 'Bilona'. It is more expensive compared to factory-made ghee, selling for up to three times the price in India and over $100 per kilogram internationally. The process of making bilona ghee is much longer, taking approximately 30 hours to produce 1 kg. It was quite interesting to see the process, and you can order the same from their website here.
❓ How to Clear your Inbox?
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:
In the last couple of months, I’ve struggled to gain control of my Gmail inbox. Lately, I’ve prioritized the publications/newsletters that I want to read and have gained control of my inbox with labels and filters on Gmail. But I had 2000+ unread messages to be filtered. I didn’t want to miss any important stuff but had to mark all emails that are unimportant as read. So I wrote a small script that scans your Gmail unread emails and sends you an email with the senders and the number of emails. This helped me filter out and clear my inbox faster. If you’re interested, here are the steps to follow:
Go to script.google.com and click on a new project.
Copy the script from here and paste it into the script window.
Replace the email with your email and run the script. Allow any necessary authentications required.
If everything goes well, you will receive a similar email to the one below:
Filter out all the emails and use this formula “is:unread from:(firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org)” to mark the unwanted emails as read.
Let me know if you’ve tried this or need help!
This is the daily 1-minute hack you need in your inbox!
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That’s 10+1 Things for the week.
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See you next week!
“ It’s ok if you fall and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire.”
~ Colette Werden