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Dreamland: What Happens While You Sleep and How It Affects Your Every Waking Moment

Dreamland: What Happens While You Sleep and How It Affects Your Every Waking Moment
by Maria Popova “We are living in an age when sleep is more comfortable than ever and yet more elusive.” The Ancient Greeks believed that one fell asleep when the brain filled with blood and awakened once it drained back out. Nineteenth-century philosophers contended that sleep happened when the brain was emptied of ambitions and stimulating thoughts. “If sleep doesn’t serve an absolutely vital function, it is the greatest mistake evolution ever made,” biologist Allan Rechtschaffen once remarked. Even today, sleep remains one of the most poorly understood human biological functions, despite some recent strides in understanding the “social jetlag” of our internal clocks and the relationship between dreaming and depression. Most of us will spend a full third of our lives asleep, and yet we don’t have the faintest idea of what it does for our bodies and our brains. Lions and gerbils sleep about thirteen hours a day. What, then, happens as we doze off, exactly? Donating = Loving Related:  sort

How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love “Find something more important than you are,” philosopher Dan Dennett once said in discussing the secret of happiness, “and dedicate your life to it.” But how, exactly, do we find that? Surely, it isn’t by luck. Every few months, I rediscover and redevour Y-Combinator founder Paul Graham’s fantastic 2006 article, How to Do What You Love. What you should not do, I think, is worry about the opinion of anyone beyond your friends. More of Graham’s wisdom on how to find meaning and make wealth can be found in Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age. Alain de Botton, modern philosopher and creator of the “literary self-help genre”, is a keen observer of the paradoxes and delusions of our cultural conceits. In The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, he takes his singular lens of wit and wisdom to the modern workplace and the ideological fallacies of “success.” His terrific 2009 TED talk offers a taste: One of the interesting things about success is that we think we know what it means. 16.

Technological singularity The technological singularity is the hypothesis that accelerating progress in technologies will cause a runaway effect wherein artificial intelligence will exceed human intellectual capacity and control, thus radically changing civilization in an event called the singularity.[1] Because the capabilities of such an intelligence may be impossible for a human to comprehend, the technological singularity is an occurrence beyond which events may become unpredictable, unfavorable, or even unfathomable.[2] The first use of the term "singularity" in this context was by mathematician John von Neumann. Proponents of the singularity typically postulate an "intelligence explosion",[5][6] where superintelligences design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds, that might occur very quickly and might not stop until the agent's cognitive abilities greatly surpass that of any human. Basic concepts Superintelligence Non-AI singularity Intelligence explosion Exponential growth Plausibility

Japanese Students Create Brilliant Straw Home Heated by Compost Japanese students at Waseda University have designed and built an innovative straw house that produces its own heat through agricultural fermentation. During the cold months, dried straw is composted in acrylic cases within the house using the low-odor Japanese “bokashi” method. The fermentation naturally heats up the house by generating 30° celsius heat for up to four weeks. The project, called “A Recipe To Live,” stands in the coastal town of Taiki-cho in Hokkaido. During the hot summer months, the natural shelter dries straw inside transparent window shelves. Photos by LIXIL Design Firm Attempts To Create Floating Islands To Save Locals From Flooding The Maldivian government has signed a deal with Dutch Docklands International, an architecture firm that specializes in floating developments and infrastructures, to build artificial islands that will be able to rise along with the sea level. The Republic of Maldives is a nation made up of 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean. It’s also the lowest country in the world (the highest natural point tops out around 8 ft above sea level), which makes them great destinations for tourists looking for a short walk to a tropical beach. But the locals, more than 300,000 people across 200 inhabited islands, have a rising concern: because of climate change the rising oceans may leave them homeless before the next century. Most artificial islands are made by drawing sand up from the seabed and projecting it from a boat into a pile in the desired location. The first structures to be built will be a golf course and a series of private luxury islands formed into a loose archipelago arrangement.

Bruno Munari on Design as a Bridge Between Art and Life by Maria Popova “The designer of today re-establishes the long-lost contact between art and the public, between living people and art as a living thing.” In the preface to his 1966 classic Design as Art (public library) — one of the most important and influential design books ever published — legendary Italian graphic designer Bruno Munari, once described by Picasso as “the new Leonardo,” makes a passionate case for democratizing art and making design the lubricant between romanticism and pragmatism. Revisiting Munari’s iconic words is at once a reminder of how much has changed, and how little — but mostly a timeless vision for design’s highest, purest aspiration. Munari begins: Today it has become necessary to demolish the myth of the ‘star’ artist who only produces masterpieces for a small group of ultra-intelligent people. In the introduction, he cites Maxim Gorky: Munari cautions against holding on too stringently to conceptions of what art is and isn’t: Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr

35 Surprisingly Useful Websites You Never Knew You Needed GMin's Innovation Labs: Enabling Generations of Young Innovators | GLOBAL MINIMUM It will take anywhere from 3 seconds to 1 minute for your pic to upload, depending on how big it is. You're going to see this message every time you post a new pic. So, we're making the text really long so that it'll take you at least five picture uploads to read it all. Here's what we're thinking...While your first picture is uploading think about someone you want to kiss.

Working Out Doesn't Just Make You Stronger, It Makes You Smarter We already know the facts: Our country is in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Few American adults exercise enough, and that poor lifestyle choice is getting handed down to our children, who are getting fat at record levels. And all that obesity is affecting our health, causing heart disease, diabetes, and untold other health consequences. But what if the effects aren’t only physical? This new infographic, from OnlineCollegeCourses.com points out that exercise has some great benefits for not just how our body works, but how our brains work, too. First, let’s review the facts. So what? This applies to adults, as well. The lesson? See the full infographic here or see it below, if you’re not too busy at the gym:

Venus with Biceps: A Pictorial History of Muscular Women by Maria Popova Exploring gender identity and cultural disposition through rare archival images from 1800-1980. Having competed in amateur (a.k.a. drug-free) bodybuilding in my college years and to this day remaining the dedicated maintainer of a six-pack, I’m tremendously fascinated by the intersection of femininity and muscularity. So I was thrilled to come across Venus with Biceps: A Pictorial History of Muscular Women — a fascinating collection of rare archival images by David L. Chapman and Patricia Vertinsky 30 years in the making, chronicling nearly 200 years of sociocultural narrative on the strong female physique. These women expanded and redefined femininity itself, reining in a new era of relating to the will and the body, but their plight was and remains far from easy, carried out most prominently in the battlefield of popular imagery. Among the earliest strongwomen whose names have come down to us is the subject of this lithograph: Elise Serafin Luftmann. Donating = Loving

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