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A fantastic blog – Human’s of New York. Humans of New York is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful artistic / biographical endeavors of all time. HONY’s founder, Brandon Stanton, began the project 2010. It has since grown into an international phenomenon.
- For more info on HONY, click here.
- For an incredibly touching interview with the blog’s founder, click here. Skip to 6:25 to avoid the advertising. This interview takes a while to warm up but it’s worth the wait.
A few posts from the site:
An interesting, 100% legal, method for altering your consciousness – Sensory Deprivation / Float Therapy
Although sensory deprivation tanks were initially developed in the 1950s and 60s, their use remained a relatively fringe activity for several decades. Recently however, spending time in sensory deprivation tanks (Also known as floating) has become far more popular with mainstream consumers.
A more in-depth description of floating from the center I usually go to: What Is Floating?
I first started floating in 2016, and have been intrigued by its effects on my mental state, both inside of the tank, and in the days following a float session. Although some of my floats have been mostly filled with boredom, during others I have dropped into a deep state of relaxation, and have occasionally seen pleasant blue visuals dancing across my field of vision. Post float, I generally feel calmer than usual, and enjoy a release of muscular tension. I even noticed an improvement in my handwriting in the days following a particularly deep float.
A decent amount of scientific research on the efficacy of floating been now been published. One of the largest of such studies can be read by clicking here.
For additional studies, click here.
Book recommendation: Energy and Civilization: A History, by Vaclav Smil
Energy and Civilization is one of the most informative books I’ve ever read. It is described by the MIT press as “A comprehensive account of how energy has shaped society throughout history, from pre-agricultural foraging societies through today’s fossil fuel–driven civilization.”
A few excerpts from Energy and Civilization:
“The brain’s specific energy need is roughly 16 times that of skeletal muscles, and the human brain claims 20–25% of resting metabolic energy, compared to 8–10% in other primates and just 3–5% in other mammals (Holliday 1986; Leonard et al. 2003).”
“A peasant working with a hoe would need at least 100 hours, and in heavy soils up to 200 hours, to prepare a hectare of land for planting cereals. Even with a simple ox-drawn wooden plow that task could be done in just over 30 hours.”
- Much of this book is devoted to describing the effects of technological advances on energetic efficiency.
“The energy cost of pregnancy and of bringing up another child is negligible compared to its labor contribution, which can start at a very early age.”
- This is primary reason for the high birthrates often seen in underdeveloped countries.
Documentary recommendation – FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
This is probably the most ridiculous documentary I’ve ever seen. It chronicles the planing and “occurrence” of the now infamous FYRE Festival. If you’re interested in in the downstream effects of delusional thinking, coupled with a lot of money, this movie is for you.
It is currently available on Netflix. Check out the trailer below:
Drone Photo – The Salish Sea