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Recommended Reading

Focus on renewable energy, not carbon capture, say researchers


  • “Early studies have suggested that these CCS solutions could be 85 to 95 percent efficient. A new study that is among the first to study actual field data suggests this wildly underestimates the impact of upstream and downstream sources of emissions, as well as the energy needs of CCS solutions themselves.”
  • “New research published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science shows that this reduction may actually only amount to between 10 and 11 percent.”

Want to protect the health of 35 million Americans? Legalize cannabis. 

  • “In 2016, 87 percent of all pot sales were from the black market. Today, it’s around 80 percent, according to an estimate by New Frontier Data, a firm that follows trends and sales in the cannabis industry.”
  • “Black market cannabis is saturated with pesticides.”

Humans of New York Post


  • “He’d been working since the age of fourteen.  Never for himself.  He never spent his own money.  It was all for us.”


Interesting Anecdote

A few weeks ago, a friend and I were talking about the nature of the mind. She mentioned that she used to have frequent nightmares. Apparently however, they went away after she thought about the experiences that caused them, and journaled about them an analytical way. If anyone else has had a similar experience, or ends up having a similar experience after reading this and trying the technique, please let me know.


Highlight from Ken Robinson’s TED Talk

I’ve already posted the TED Talk that the clip comes from, but thought this specific part warranted a repost.


Documentary Recommendation: Do You Trust This Computer?


  • This entire film can be watched for free on YouTube.


Podcast Recommendation: World Changers

  • Half hour biographies of the world’s most influential people.
  • Some of the early episodes have sound quality issues, but they’ve been fixed in the later ones.



“If I realize my focus is off, and certainly when I’m experiencing any negative emotions, I ask myself, “Where should my attention be right now?” Almost always, the answer is “my mission,” which is like a beacon that always beckons.”

– Adam Robinson

“A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”

– Albert Einstein


Drone Photo



Post Photo Section (Experimental)

  • I generally try to put information in the above section that seems likely to appeal to a wide range of people. Below the photo, I’m going to start putting some slightly more esoteric content, and some random musings of my mind.


Questions (A few queries that have been on my mind. If you know of any research that would enlighten me, please send it to samuelheller15@gmail.com)

Could the government radically improve public health by paying workers to swab down frequently touched surfaces with disinfecting wipes?

  • Surfaces such as the handle to doors (Particularly in schools and colleges), elevator buttons, etc.
  • Could also be a cool way of creating new jobs.
  • What might possible negative effects of such a program be?
    • Impaired immunity due to reduced exposure to normal pathogens?


Does text size and spacing affect reading speed or comprehension?

  • I find it much easier to read on my kindle when I increase the font size to well above that which you would find on a normal book. I’m not sure if this has something to do with the way eyes work, the psychological reward that turning the pages more frequently gives to the subconscious mind, or something else entirely.


Had anyone quantified the physiological effects of gratitude journaling?

  • Having used this practice for several years, and been very impressed with the results, I wouldn’t be surprised if it lead to quantifiable changes in a biomarker such as cortisol.
  • If you know of any research on the topic, please send it to me.


Charity I’ve Been Learning About: Trees for the Future


This charity teaches sustainable farming practices to subsistence farmers in developing countries and helps them plant lucrative “forest gardens” that revitalize their land. It’s pretty awesome.


The Economics of Madagascar 


  • A beautiful way of visualizing the numbers behind the work that goes on in an underdeveloped country.


Thoughts and ideas of the week (A few insights that came into my mind over the past 7 days)

(Success = What you know x Who you know)

  • Success largely comes down to what you know multiplied by who you know. It’s rarely just one or the other.


Visualizing progress is a fantastic way of building motivation.

  • It took me a while to realize this, since I’m not a user of any fitness trackers or other self quantification tools. My parents on the other hand frequently check an app called pacer that gives them a daily report of the number of steps they have taken. It’s pretty amusing to see the degree to which it has increased the amount of walking they do each day.