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Roseto Study

This is, in my mind, one of the most important scientific studies ever conducted. It makes a compelling case that having an active social life, and being around people you love might actually be just as important for your health and longevity than what you eat or how much you exercise. If you’d like to read the study, click here. If you’d prefer to watch a summary of its contents, check out the video below.


Key facts:

  • In the 1960s, researchers observed that inhabitants of Roseto, Pennsylvania has incredible cardiovascular health relative to the average U.S population, despite the fact that they ate relatively poor diets and frequently smoked.
  • Additionally local death rate for men living in Roseto was half the national average.
  • The only factor that significantly differentiated Roseto and other neighboring towns, was the high level of social cohesion.
  • Roseto eventually modernized and the social cohesion between its inhabitants dropped. After this transition, Rosetans’ heart attack rates rose to the national average.


Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

This is the most watched TED talk of all time. In it, Sir Ken Robinson outlines some of the biggest problems with today’s educational systems. He finishes with an incredibly touching anecdote (Starts at 15:10) about a child who couldn’t sit still, was not given ADHD medication, and went on to achieve some pretty great things. It is one of the most powerful stories I have ever heard. In fact, it might just be my favorite story of all time.


The benefits of napping and the impact of sleep deprivation

In this video, molecular biologist John Medina summarizes some of the cognitive benefits that one can derive from taking cat naps in the afternoon. This fascinating information made me feel much less guilty about my frequent habit of passing out for twenty to thirty minutes immediately after eating lunch.


Another post from this week (And topics it covers)


  • Lichenberg Figures
  • The Price of Light
  • Blindsight
  • The effect of gestational period on personality


A few stories about Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet is a remarkable person. You may disagree with his investment choices, but you can’t disagree with the fact that said choices have worked out quite well for him (At the time of this writing, he is worth over 80 billion dollars). I recently watched an interesting documentary on his life, which provided great insights into what he was like as a child, and the secrets to his astronomical success.

Two stories from the documentary particularly fascinated me:

A common theme throughout the film is Warren’s profound disconnect from certain aspects of reality. In his earlier years, he was a bit lost socially, and often struggled to connect with the physical world. One day, a few years after getting married, his wife was bedridden with the flu, and asked him to bring her something into which she could vomit. He went downstairs to the kitchen, rummaged around in the drawers, and returned to her with a colander. Incredulous, she pointed out the holes in its sides. Warren searched the kitchen once again, and returned to the bedroom. He was still holding the colander, which was now sitting on top of a baking sheet.

As they say, genius and madness often go hand in hand. Though he may have been unable to wrap his mind around the fact that a pot or trash can would have probably been a better choice than a colander, Warren Buffet has some incredible mental capabilities. His combination of mathematical prowess, ability to read for hours on end (And remember what he has read), and his savant-like knack for predicting which companies are worth investing in, have clearly paid off.

Later in the documentary, Warren provides another telling anecdote, this time about his greatest strength:

During a meeting with Bill Gates, and around twenty others, Gate’s father asked all who were present to write down, on a sheet of paper, the one thing they felt was most influential to their success. Bill and Warren, who were not yet well acquainted and had no knowledge of what the other would say, both wrote down same word: Focus.


Photo of the Week