4000 Weeks, Cheese Burger Inflation, Last Ski Maker and World of Moulds
#32 of 10+1 Things |📍Kerala |🌧 26°C
⚡ Welcome to #32 of 10+1 Things!
Apologies for not being in your inbox every week as promised. I took a deliberate break as I was caught up with a lot of things happening in my professional and personal life. For now, things are back to normal and I'll be publishing weekly.
I'm also really grateful to announce that this newsletter has crossed 1000 subscribers. I can't believe that something which started as a passion project to keep me on track has surpassed 1000 readers. To give you a perspective, this is how 1000 people will look in a theatre!
Without further ado, here are 10+1 Things that I thought were worth sharing:
🏃♂️ The Art of Slowing Down
After reading Rich Roll's Finding Ultra, I came across the concept of Zone 2 Training. In Zone 2 Training you slow down so that your heart rate stays low and you stay at an aerobic level. Proven by scientists and athletes for years, this has miraculous effects as it increases your endurance level. When I came across this, I couldn't comprehend the idea that working out at a slower pace can actually make you go faster and longer. This is a blog post based on my quick research on the topic and explains how training at a low intensity actually benefits you.
📓 What Should You Do with Your Life?
When Alex Guzey asked a bunch of people about their life plans, half of them replied that they have no idea where to move or what to do next. As a solution to this, Alex has created this working document where he has listed down what projects or problems to work on, how to work, how to find funding for this work and some other general advice. This was a gem of an article I found on Hacker News randomly and there are some interesting topics to research ranging from AI to creating one million jobs.
🍔 CheeseBurger Inflation
Consumers around the world are seeing food prices soar at an alarming rate for the last couple of years. The war in Ukraine, supply chain issues, labour shortages and climate change challenges are the main reasons for this crisis. Politico in an interesting article has explained the current situation by analyzing the increased cost of an all American cheeseburger. To start with the cost of buns has shot up 7.1% compared to last year, the main reason being the congestion at American ports causing bakers to wait longer for products. Another interesting fact is the rise in the cost of lettuce by 12% due to climate and weather-related challenges. The article gives us an excellent perspective on how economic forces and geopolitical conditions disrupt the journey of food onto our plates from the farm.
⌚️ Downfall of Pebble
I had my eyes on the Pebble Watch when they successfully raised $10M on Kickstarter. Even though Pebble sold 2M watches over the years, the company had to shut down in 2016. In a blog post, Eric Migicovsky, the founder of Pebble has shared the story of Pebble and how he failed to create a sustainable, profitable business. Long story short, Pebble lacked a long term vision or Eric was unsuccessful in laying down a structured plan to achieve the mission he had in mind. Also, Pebble could never expand its products beyond the initial hacker/geeky user base to a productivity brand. This along with some financial troubles due to wrong sale forecasts and rising operational expenditures eventually led to the downfall of Pebble.
“The underlying problem was that we shifted from making something we knew people wanted, to making an ill-defined product that we hoped people wanted.”
👓 Bionic Reading
Founded by typographic designer Renato Casutt, Bionic Reading revises texts so that the most concise parts of words are highlighted for readability. This helps the eye to guide over the text easily while the brain remembers previously learned words quickly. It is available as an online conversion tool, browser extension and also as an API service for developers in the freemium model. Still confused? Try to read the paragraph on the image above, first left then right. Chances are that the paragraph on the right, which is formatted via Bionic Reading would be easier for you to read. To be frank, I don't really understand the exact science behind why my brain can read the converted text easily, but it clearly works for me. When I'm reading long-form content, I use the Bionic Reading browser extension to convert the webpage so that I can read it faster.
🛌 Climate Change and Sleep
The latest study published in the journal One Earth has found that rising nighttime temperatures due to climate change are cutting the sleep time of people across the world. According to the analysis, an average global citizen is already losing 44 hours of sleep a year. When the outdoor temperature topped 30°C (86°F), people lost an average of about 15 minutes a night. Countries like India and Pakistan have been hit by severe heat waves this year and the issue will scale over time (50-58 hours by 2099) as the global temperatures are rising year by year. Airconditioning is a solution to this, but it is not a cost-effective solution and has also greenhouse gas emissions associated with it.
Billions of people in fast-growing economies with high levels of heat and humidity such as India, Indonesia, and Brazil will soon be forced to buy their first home air conditioner in the next couple of decades thanks to the rising temperatures. It is high time we think of an affordable, sustainable alternative for traditional airconditioning.
📸 World of Moulds
This week I'm exploring a photography project called 'Slime Moulds' by Barry Webb. Neither fungi nor plant, slime moulds are extremely small organisms(1-4mm) that feed on bacteria, yeast, and fungi and help with the decomposition of vegetation. Through his macro photography, Webb shows us the world of these fascinating organisms at their spore-bearing stage. From colourful spheres to translucent amorphous shapes, this photography project is a true testament to the things that we don't give attention to, but are actually spectacular.
“The incredible diversity of form and colour of slime moulds keeps me obsessively searching for new species to photograph,”
📚 4000 Weeks
I'm currently reading the book titled 'Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals' by Oliver Burkeman. The book is incredibly popular among productivity circles and it changed my perspective on time and our lifespan. The average lifespan of a human is around 4000 weeks and understanding this finitude is the key to living a truly fulfilling life according to Burkerman. In reality, we won't have enough time to accomplish all the things we want to do and is better to live fully in the moment than to cram more tasks into our lives in the name of toxic productivity. Even though the main concept of the book is simple, it blew my mind and would definitely recommend this book to anyone.
“We’ve been granted the mental capacities to make almost infinitely ambitious plans, yet practically no time at all to put them into action.”
~ Resurfaced using ReadWise(FREE!)
🧵 The Broiler Chicken
I found this interesting thread that explains how the chicken transformed from a delicacy in the 1960s to the modern one that is dry, bland, and flavourless. The average broiler in the early 1900s was around 0.9 kg and now an average broiler weighs around 4.2kg. Chickens were selectively bred to create broilers that are fat and can be grown in 35 days. Another reason why broiler chicken is often bland is that we are essentially eating baby birds that are just 40 days old contrary to the 1900s when chickens were slaughtered around 4+ months. Another key factor that contributes to the taste and nutritional value is the type of feed which now mainly is just corn and soy.
🎬Last Ski Maker Video
Thanks to the change in global temperatures, the future of skiing is quite uncertain in Scotland. The Last Ski Maker is the story of Jamie Kunka, who began to teach himself how to make sustainable skis out of wood inspired by a surfboard maker in Canada. Based in his cabin in Scottish Highlands, James is the last ski maker in Scotland, a proven testament to the shift in our living patterns due to climate change.
🐕 Himalayan Dogs with Metal Collars
This last section of the newsletter explores an original thought I had, an idea I'm exploring, a dream I experienced or something interesting that I observed:
A couple of weeks back, I went for this Nomad trail in Tons Valley, Uttarakhand, India. For centuries the shepherds or these nomads have followed this summer ritual of taking their sheep to the high altitude grasslands of the Himalayas. It was quite interesting to observe the relationship between these shepherds and their dogs in these high altitude grasslands. Most dogs we met were Himalayan mastiffs, a breed primarily used as livestock guardians. These dogs were equipped with an anti bite collar with spikes made locally from old tin cans to protect them from leopards. Since leopards usually strike at the neck to kill any animal, these spikes are quite effective against them. Some villagers even claim that two of these Himalayan dogs can easily take down a leopard!
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That’s 10+1 Things for the week.
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See you next week!
“Information is abundant, it’s the desire to learn that’s scarce.”
~ Naval Ravikant