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

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

The science of love: How "positivity resonance" shapes the way we connect by Maria Popova The neurobiology of how the warmest emotion blurs the boundaries by you and not-you. We kick-started the year with some of history’s most beautiful definitions of love. But timeless as their words might be, the poets and the philosophers have a way of escaping into the comfortable detachment of the abstract and the metaphysical, leaving open the question of what love really is on an unglamorously physical, bodily, neurobiological level — and how that might shape our experience of those lofty abstractions. She begins with a definition that parallels Dorion Sagan’s scientific meditation on sex: First and foremost, love is an emotion, a momentary state that arises to infuse your mind and body alike. Fredrickson zooms in on three key neurobiological players in the game of love — your brain, your levels of the hormone oxytocin, and your vagus nerve, which connects your brain to the rest of your body — and examines their interplay as the core mechanism of love, summing up:

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.

This Is How You Love An Introvert Make eye contact as frequently as possible. You should learn to know each earthy rim of her irises better than your own, so that when she doesn’t talk, you can at least understand the language of her glare. Ask her questions. Let her play the Call, not just the Response. While you are used to filling the silence with your own anecdotes and her cough-like laugh, still make the effort to hear her stories. They won’t come easy. Touch her. Do not confuse her patience with tolerance. When you fight, do not expect her to crack. Do not start a Cold War; muteness has always been her defense. When she chooses to wear the red scarf instead of the seven other brown, black and grey ones hanging in the closet next to it, let her know how beautiful it is to see her in color. Do not, though, lose yourself for her. When you see her, smile.

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:

The Pixel Density Race and its Technical Merits While this has always been an issue that’s been in the background since Android OEMs started releasing devices with display PPIs above the 300-400 “retina” range, recent events have sparked a broader discussion into the value of pursuing the PPI race that is happening between Android OEMs. Within this discussion, the key points of contention tend to center upon the various tradeoffs from increasing resolution, and whether an increase in pixels per inch (PPI) will actually have a perceivable increase. If there is any single number that people point to for resolution, it is the 1 arcminute value that Apple uses to indicate a “Retina Display”. This number corresponds to around 300 PPI for a display that is at 10-12 inches from the eye. In other words, this is about 60 pixels per degree (PPD). While all of these resolution values are achievable by human vision, in practice, such values are highly unlikely. Thus, there are multiple sets of tradeoffs that come with increased resolution.

What It’s Like to Live in a Universe of Ten Dimensions by Maria Popova What songwriting has to do with string theory. What would happen if you crossed the physics of time with the science of something and nothing? You might get closer to understanding the multiverse. In Imagining the Tenth Dimension: A New Way of Thinking About Time and Space, Rob Bryanton — a self-described “non-scientist with an inquisitive mind,” whose dayjob as a sound designer involves composing music for TV series and films — proposes a theory of the universe based on ten dimensions, a bold and progressive lens on string theory based on the idea that countless tiny “superstrings” are vibrating in a tenth dimension. For a taste, here is a mind-bending explanation of ten dimensions might mean: The project began as a set of 26 songs, exploring the intersection of science and philosophy. Before launching into the additional dimensions, Bryanton also breaks down the familiar three: HT It’s Okay To Be Smart Donating = Loving Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter.

The Science of Sleep: Dreaming, Depression, and How REM Sleep Regulates Negative Emotions by Maria Popova “Memory is never a precise duplicate of the original… it is a continuing act of creation. Dream images are the product of that creation.” For the past half-century, sleep researcher Rosalind D. One particularly fascinating aspect of her research deals with dreaming as a mechanism for regulating negative emotion and the relationship between REM sleep and depression: The more severe the depression, the earlier the first REM begins. But what has perplexed researchers is that when these depressed patients are awakened 5 minutes into the first REM sleep episode, they’re unable to explain what they are experiencing. Brain imaging technology has helped to shed light on this mystery. Cartwright spent nearly three decades investigating “how a mood disorder that affects cognition, motivation, and most of all the emotional state during waking shows itself in dreams.” This brings us to the regulatory purpose of dreaming. Donating = Loving Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter.

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