How much exercise do I really need?

  • Two and a half hours a week of moderate intensity exercise is recommended
  • The ideal form of exercise is something that you’ll actually do

(CNN)Between work commitments, family responsibilities, and the stress of everyday life, we have legitimate reasons to fall short of our fitness goals. That’s why, for many, the pre-goal should be maximizing the efficiency of your workout regimen.

Interval training exercise could be a fountain of youth

Two and half hours a week of moderate intensity exercise is what is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Ideally, this means 30 minutes, five times per week, of activities such as jogging, ballroom dancing, biking or swimming. Moderate intensity means you’re working in the intermediate zone. If you’re able to hold a conversation with the person next to you while doing that activity, you’re in the zone.
If you don’t have time for five workouts per week, recent evidence in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that cramming 150 minutes into the weekend, the so-called “weekend warrior” model, transfers similar health benefits to spreading out fitness across the week. The only risk here is overuse injury, such as a case of Achilles tendinitis from running 10 miles on a Saturday after not doing any exercise all week.

 If you’re time crunched, intensity matters

Maybe that workout can wait till the weekend?

Newer evidence about high intensity workouts known as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), shows that intensity minutes reduce required exercise time by almost half. This means if you’d like 30 minutes of exercise but you only have 15 to spare, you’re in luck. As I’ve outlined in my book “The Workout Prescription,” ramping up intensity minutes reduces time requirements, and is safe for anyone.
 Unlike moderate intensity, high intensity exercise means you’re huffing and puffing and conversation is difficult. Although they’re tough, HIIT workouts don’t have to be fancy. They can be set up anywhere, a living room, a garage, or a basement. All that’s needed is an open space, a light set of dumbbells, and a strong dose of motivation.
HIIT programs are generally safe for all ages but we generally recommend touching base with your physician if you’re over 40 and haven’t been previously active before starting this type of program.

 Why it matters so much

How to keep your New Year's fitness resolution from failing

There are obvious benefits to exercise. People feel better, they look better, and they perform better in all aspects of their lives when they exercise regularly. Seen through the prism of the medical community, the medicine of exercise has strong scientific benefits that go far beyond the desire to fit into that new suit or pair of yoga pants.
Across the spectrum of the human body, irrefutable evidence shows that exercise isn’t just about getting a good workout, it’s about staying healthy in a broader sense. Exercise can treat depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances. For your heart, it lowers blood pressure, cholesterol levels, the risk of heart attack and stroke. Exercise reduces the risk of inflammatory bowel disease and both prevents and treats type 2 diabetes, the most expensive health problem in the United States with annual costs over $100 billion. Regular exercise has even been shown to reduce the frequency of 13 types of cancer including breast, colon, ovarian and endometrial in a large, recent study of 1.44 million subjects.
Bad heart? Time to hit the gym

The major health benefits of exercise kick in at 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity, or at 75 minutes per week of high intensity work.
Exercise is the most efficacious drug known to humankind, works for everyone who takes it, has no side effects, and is free.
That’s why there’s a push to include exercise, as determined through a fitness tracker, as a fifth vital sign along with height, weight, pulse and blood pressure. Movement promotes health and wellness, so why not start tracking it?

The best exercise for you

The ideal form of exercise for you is … something that you’ll actually do! As I discussed in my previous column, smiling and fun promote exercise compliance. If you’re smiling, keep doing exactly what you’re doing.
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In terms of body maintenance, most exercise recommendations involve a combination of endurance training such as walking or swimming, flexibility training such as yoga, and strength training. Although there’s no exact science here, finding the correct formula usually means picking some of each of these activities. This might mean jogging twice per week, trying a HIIT workout once or twice per week, and taking a yoga class. There’s no exact answer, the key is to find what works for you, smile and work hard.
Do as much exercise as you can, there’s no upper limit. When possible, try and keep your total above the recommended weekly “dose” and you’ll be more likely to stay out of the doctor’s office and on your field of choice.

Via: How much exercise do I really need? 

Habits of highly successful people, from a man who…

Marguerite Ward

What Happens If Uber Fails? 

REUTERS

The lesson here is that people trying to raise venture capital shouldn’t be worried about what Uber, specifically, might do to the economy if the company fails.

The thing about a market bubble is that you don’t really know how big it is until it pops. So it doesn’t pop, and doesn’t pop, and doesn’t pop, until one day it finally pops. And by then it’s too late.

The dot-com collapse two decades ago erased $5 trillion in investments. Ever since, people in Silicon Valley have tried to guess exactly when the next tech bubble will burst, and whether the latest wave of investment in tech startups will lead to an economic crash. “A lot of people who are smarter than me have come to the conclusion that we’re in a bubble,” said Rita McGrath, a professor of management at Columbia Business School. “What we’re starting to see is the early signals.”

Those signals include businesses closing or being acquired, venture capitalists making fewer investments, fewer companies going public, stocks that appear vastly overpriced, and startup valuations falling.

Then you have a company like Uber, valued at $70 billion despite massive losses, and beleaguered by one scandal after another. In 2017 alone Uber has experienced a widely publicized boycott that led to an estimated half-a-million canceled accounts, high-profile allegations of sexual harassment and intellectual property theft, a leaked video showing its CEO cursing at an Uber driver, a blockbuster New York Times scoop detailing the company’s secret program to trick law enforcement, and multiple senior leaders either resigning or being forced out.

“As someone trying to raise [venture capital] right now, I am very concerned that this is going to implode the entire industry,” one person wrote in a forum on the technology-focused website Hacker News earlier this week. It’s understandable that investors and entrepreneurs would be “watching this Uber situation unfold closely,” as Mike Isaac, the New York Times reporter, put it in a tweet about the Hacker News post. Especially at a time when rising interest rates give investors more options, and ostensibly make the highly valued pre-IPO companies like Uber less attractive.

But how much is the tech industry’s fate actually wrapped up in Uber’s? If Uber implodes, will the bubble finally pop? It’s a question that’s full of assumptions: Uber’s fate is uncertain, and nobody really knows what kind of bubble we’re in right now. Yet it’s a question still worth teasing apart. Trillions of dollars, thousands of jobs, and the future of technology all hang in the balance.

“These bubbles swing back and forth in fear and greed,” McGrath told me, “and when Uber stumbles, it triggers fear. Part of this bubble is created basically in a low-interest-rate environment. Money from all over the world is pouring into this sector because it has nowhere else to go.”

This is a key point— perhaps the key point that will determine whether Uber lives or dies. Uber isn’t worth $70 billion because it is actually worth $70 billion. Its valuation is that high despite the fact that it’s not profitable, and despite the fact that it has little protection from competitors baked into what it is and does. Uber’s valuation, in other words, is a reflection of the global marketplace and not a reflection of Uber’s own durability as a company.

“To me, it’s a big question of whether they are going to be able to sustain the business model,” McGrath told me. “They have been very disruptive to incumbents, but there are no significant barriers to entry to their model. If you switch [services], you maybe have to re-enter your credit-card information and download a new app, but from there you’re good to go. There are pundits who say it’s only a matter of time.”

And then what? If Uber goes kablooey, what happens to all the other unicorns — the 187 startups valued at $1 billion or more apiece, according to the latest count by the venture capital database CB Insights?

Despite Uber’s influence, it’s unlikely that the company’s potential failure would set off too terrible of a chain reaction in Silicon Valley, several economists told me. “You need to make a distinction,” McGrath said, “between the startups that are really creating value and have something that will protect them in the event of imitation — versus the ones that are built on a lot of assumptions that really haven’t been tested yet, and money has been pouring into them because [it] have nowhere else to go.”

One instructive example is Theranos, the company known for its needle-free blood-testing technology. A few short years ago, it was roundly considered a Silicon Valley success story, valued at some $9 billion. Then, The Wall Street Journal revealed in a deeply investigated series of stories that the technology didn’t actually work as claimed—information that led to federal sanctions, lab closures, and ultimately Theranos’s announcement that it would leave the medical-testing business altogether. Theranos failed spectacularly, but it didn’t pop the bubble. So perhaps that’s a sign that the bubble isn’t going to pop all at once the way it did last time. The key is whether investors see a significant failure—like Theranos, and maybe Uber—as a one-off, or as a reflection of a systematic problem bubbling under the surface.

“One hypothesis could be that if a large pre-IPO tech company fails, then the source of capital for the others will start to shrink,” said Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “That’s part of, I am sure, what happened during the dot-com bubble. But we are in a very different investment environment now.”

There are two big changes to consider. For one, practically every company is now a technology company. Silicon Valley used to make technology that mainstream consumers didn’t care about — or didn’t know that they even used. Not so, today. Technology is pervasive throughout the economy and throughout culture, which creates a potential protective effect for investors. “The investments into these companies are creating new business models in massive swaths of the economy, as opposed to being insulated,” Sundararajan said. “Also, a bulk of the money going into these companies is coming from players who are not dependent on the success of tech alone for their future financing.”

This is the second change to consider: Whereas tech investments were once made by a relatively small group of venture capitalists who funded companies that then went public, that’s no longer the case.

This is the second change to consider: Whereas tech investments were once made by a relatively small group of venture capitalists who funded companies that then went public, that’s no longer the case. “Even if you put Uber aside and look at some of the larger recipients of pre-IPO investment over the last few years — it’s a very different cast of characters,” Sundararajan told me. “There are large private equity firms that are much more diversified than, say, Kleiner Perkins was 20 years ago.”

Sundararajan’s referring to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the venture capital firm that “all but minted money” in the 1990s, as the writer Randall Smith put it. Back in the day, the company made its investors enormous sums of money with early investments in Google and Amazon, but has stumbled in recent years.

All of this means that the investment infrastructure supporting technology companies has changed, and that’s largely because of how technology’s place in culture has changed. “If Uber fails — and there’s no guarantee that it will — all of Uber’s investors won’t say, ‘Were we wrong to invest in tech?’” Sundararajan said. “They will say, ‘Did we misread the capabilities of this one company?’”

If anything, Sundararajan says, Uber is getting a tough, public lesson in how not to run a business. The company, for its part, is doubling down on attempts to rebuild its image. In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, executives for the ride-sharing service expressed support in Travis Kalanick, Uber’s embattled co-founder and CEO.

“By now, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the issues that are putting Uber in the news frequently don’t have much to do with either its business model or its identity as a tech company,” Sundararajan said. “If there is a serious reduction in Uber’s value over the next year, the lesson that people will take away is one of better corporate governance for early-stage tech companies — so that, as they get into a later stage, they are not in a position where the tradeoffs they made early-on ended up being more harmful than good.”

Meanwhile, many investors are shifting their focus away from platforms and to the underlying technologies that, if they succeed, will outlast any given brand — for example, sensors for self-driving cars, autonomous medical technologies, myriad robotics, and so on. This, too, has an insulating effect against any single company’s failure.

Uber, which may or may not fail, may or may not bring down the rest of the economy with it. But the bubble is still likely to burst sooner or later. “There was this fog hanging over Silicon Valley in 2001,” Roelof Botha, a partner with VC firm Sequoia Capital, told Bloomberg Businessweek last fall. “And there’s a fog hanging over it now. There’s no underlying wave of growth.”

Since 2015, CB Insights has counted 117 down rounds in tech, instances when a company raises more money by selling existing shares at reduced value. A down round doesn’t mean a company will fail, but it does signal a warning about the market it’s operating in.

The lesson here is that people trying to raise venture capital shouldn’t be worried about what Uber, specifically, might do to the economy if the company fails. There are plenty of other hints that a market correction is already well under way. The question now is whether the bubble will pop as dramatically as it has before, or simply go right on deflating the way it seems to be.

Via: What Happens If Uber Fails? 

7 Trailblazing Women Who Changed The World

    • Credit: Hopperstone
      Dear Hollywood,

      We’re so excited about Hidden Figures, the astonishing true story of how African American female mathematicians helped usher in some of NASA’s greatest achievements. The world needs to know about Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), the brilliant “female computer” who determined the launch and landing coordinates for John Glenn’s 1962 orbit around the earth. So let’s keep the momentum going: What about all the other impressive women who have busted up boys’ clubs? To get you thinking, here are a few more heroic ladies who ought to be in pictures.

    • Madam C.J. Walker
      Credit: Frank Espich/The Indianapolis Star/Ap Photo
      If you liked the heart-wrenching pluck of The Pursuit of Happyness and the empire building of Citizen Kane

      May we suggest Sarah Breedlove, a.k.a. the legendary beauty innovator Madam C.J. Walker. This Louisiana-born daughter of former slaves worked hard all her life, including as a laundress. In 1906, she created a haircare line tailored to black women and, harnessing her mighty marketing skills, began peddling her goods door to door. At her death in 1919, Walker’s personal worth was about $700,000 (that would be $9.76 million today), making her the wealthiest black woman in America at the time. The happy ending: The impact of her beauty products is still turning heads today.

    • Ada Lovelace
      Credit: SSPL/Getty Images
      If you liked the code-breaking wizardry of The Imitation Game and the corseted constraints of Wuthering Heights

      May we suggest Ada Lovelace, the numbers-loving daughter of poet Lord Byron who’s now considered the world’s first programmer. She was translating an 1842 paper on mathematician Charles Babbage’s computer prototype when she realized that it could one day be programmed to perform problem-solving calculations. Victorian math minds pooh-poohed her, but without algorithms, you couldn’t play Candy Crush.

    • Margaret Bourke-White
      Credit: Oscar Graubner/The Life Images Collection/Getty images
      If you liked the high-stakes reportage of All the President’s Men and the sweeping star-crossed romance of The English Patient

      May we suggest Margaret Bourke-White, a groundbreaking photojournalist who became the first female war correspondent, covering the air force in North Africa, the army in Italy, diplomats in the USSR, and migrant farmers in the Dust Bowl. Just picture Maggie the Indestructible doing, well, all the cool stuff she did in real life—risk her marriage to pursue her aperture ambitions! survive a torpedo attack! take a few snaps while perched atop one of the Chrysler Building’s glowering eagles!—in 3-D.

    • The Night Witches
      Credit: Tass Via Getty Images
      If you liked the band-of-brothers camaraderie of Saving Private Ryan and the high-flying theatrics of The Aviator

      May we suggest the Night Witches, the all-female Soviet WWII regiment that flew about 30,000 missions against the German military, dropping bombs from flimsy plywood-and-canvas crop dusters. Under the cover of darkness—and without parachutes, radios, or guns—they’d idle their engines near their target and glide in with a terrifying whoosh that made enemy soldiers think of broomsticks. By the time the credits roll, 30 Night Witches will have given their lives for their country, and 23—we’re picturing Slavic ringers Kirsten Dunst and Scarlett Johansson—will be named Heroes of the Soviet Union.

    • Pat Johnson
      Credit: Calmontney/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
      If you liked the child-rearing hijinks of Three Men and a Baby and the pint-size police work of Kindergarten Cop

      May we suggest LAPD officer Pat Johnson. In 1971, a 9-month-old girl was found abandoned in a Los Angeles hotel room. (She was discovered after guests told the manager she’d been crying for hours.) Policewoman Johnson (imagine a 1970s-ified Jennifer Lawrence) fed the baby milk, Jell-O, and cottage cheese and kept her swaddled in a desk drawer until the infant was taken to a foster home later that day. In the big-screen adaptation, Johnson abandons her desk duties to become a baby whisperer, visiting seedy and swanky hotels alike in search of neglected tots who depend on just her kind of savior.

  • Katherine Switzer
    Credit: Paul J Connell/The Boston Globe Via Getty Images
    If you liked the winged heels of Chariots of Fire and Jackie Robinson’s barrier-breaking triumphs in 42

    May we suggest Kathrine Switzer, the first female runner to officially enter the once all-male Boston Marathon. In 1967, after training with the Syracuse University men’s cross-country team and besting officials (she applied for a bib as K.V. Switzer), she was almost physically shoved off the course by blustering race codirector Jock Semple (we’re thinking Bryan Cranston), who’d be damned if he’d let a woman taint his testosterific event. Cut to Switzer’s proud finish—where (spoiler) her uterus doesn’t fall out.

Via: 7 Trailblazing Women Who Changed The World

This Brain Marker Could Identify Teens At High Risk for Psychosis 

VCHAL VIA GETTY IMAGES

Psychosis typically shows up in adolescence or early adulthood, and around 100,000 young people will experience their first psychotic episode this year. But woefully little is known about how to prevent the devastating disorder in teens who are at high risk.

Now, a Canadian study offers new hope for early identification and prevention of psychosis. Psychiatrists at the University of Montreal identified a brain marker that can detect early vulnerability to the condition ― years before the onset of full-blown symptoms.

“Our research reveals that vulnerability to psychosis can be identified at an early adolescence period,” Dr. Patricia Conrod, a psychiatry professor at the University of Montreal and the study’s senior author, said in a statement.

The study, published last week in the American Journal of Psychiatry, showed that long before a person begins having psychotic episodes, the brain shows a heightened emotional response to both non-threatening and non-emotional cues.

When this occurs, the brain is essentially assigning significance to benign things in the environment that simply don’t call for an emotional or threat-based reaction. This neurological abnormality can manifest in perceiving everyday objects and events as being laden with sinister intent, and even in imagining things that simply aren’t there.

This finding aligns with what we already know about how psychosis develops. Some of the main behavioral symptoms, like delusions and paranoia, are caused by the tendency to over-attribute meaning and relevance to environmental stimuli. Psychotic delusions, then, can be understood as a way for the person to make sense of the heightened importance (often accompanied by a sense of threat) that they perceive in the world around them.

Predicting psychosis in the brain

For the study, Conrod’s team conducted cognitive and brain testing on over 1,000 European adolescents between the ages of 14 and 16. The teenagers’ brains were scanned while they engaged in cognitive tasks testing for things like reward sensitivity, processing of emotional and non-emotional cues, and inhibitory control (the ability to regulate one’s attention and behavior). The teens also completed self-reported questionnaires asking whether and how often they had experienced various psychiatric symptoms.

The researchers isolated a group of the 14-year-old participants who reported that they were already having occasional psychotic-like experiences, and found that the brains of these teenagers responded to non-emotional stimuli as if they had strong emotional import.

At 16 years old, around 6 percent of the teens in the study reported having psychotic symptoms like delusions, paranoia, and visual and auditory hallucinations. The researchers found that heightened brain reactivity to neutral stimuli at age 14 strongly predicted the emergence of future psychotic symptoms in the 16-year-olds.

The analysis also revealed cannabis use prior to age 16 to be highly predictive of psychotic-like tendencies in the 16-year-olds. This didn’t come at much of a surprise, as a growing body of research has shown a link between marijuana use and psychotic disorders, suggesting that the drug could trigger or worsen psychotic tendencies in people who are already at risk. (It’s also possible, however, that people with pre-existing psychotic tendencies are simply more likely to smoke weed.)

Known risk factors for psychotic disorders include genetics, childhood stress and trauma, inflammation and exposure to neurotoxins, substance abuse, and use of drugs such as marijuana and amphetamines.

New hope for prevention and treatment

Earlier identification could make a huge difference in delaying the onset of psychosis and possibly even preventing some of its most devastating expressions.

As of now, clinicians have little to offer when it comes to preventing psychosis. Predicting which adolescents with early warning signs will develop the condition isn’t easy, according to Thomas Insel, former director of the National Institutes of Mental Health. What’s more, we don’t yet have interventions proven to prevent psychosis in those who are at risk.

“Given the morbidity and mortality of psychotic illnesses, there can be little doubt that we need interventions to prevent its onset,” Insel wrote in an NIMH blog post. “Even delaying the onset of psychosis for five years could make a huge difference in outcomes.”

While it’s not yet clear whether heightened emotional reactivity in the brain could be modified using drugs or therapeutic interventions, the research team already has follow-up investigations underway. In any case, better tools for predicting psychosis can only help to improve prevention, treatment and patient outcomes.

“Early identification of psychosis vulnerability gives clinicians a large window of time in which to intervene on risky behaviors and key etiologic processes,” Conrod said. “Our team hopes that this study helps guide the design of new intervention strategies for at-risk youth, before the symptoms become clinically relevant.”

Via: This Brain Marker Could Identify Teens At High Risk for Psychosis 

Lessons from meditating with the Dalai Lama 

  • CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta was invited to the Dalai Lama’s personal residence to meditate
  • He explains what the Dalai Lama shared with him and what he hopes to share with others

Vital Signs is a monthly program bringing viewers health stories from around the world

(CNN)For the past two months, I have been a changed man. It is hard to fully describe, except to say my mood is mostly sunny and more patient than usual.

In the past, my family and friends would’ve typically described me as pleasant but hurried. My baseline restlessness and edginess, however, have now nearly vanished.
Without difficulty, I have sustained attention when my young children spend time with me. Instead of constant surveillance of my phone, there is an ability to quickly hyper-focus on the task is at hand and a corresponding joy of living in a distraction-less world.
Playful humor: The Dalai Lama's secret weapon (and how it can be yours, too)

This change seems to have started the end of last year, after I spent a morning meditating with the Dalai Lama.
First off: Yes, I do feel a little ridiculous writing a line like that, and I didn’t feel worthy of his invitation at the time. Even though I meditate, I’ve never been sure whether I was using proper technique or whether there was an acceptable way to meditate in the presence of His Holiness.
If he was looking forward to a good meditation partner, I worried he was unlikely to find it in me. Even my posture is terrible when sitting cross-legged on the floor. My back starts to hurt, followed by my knees. Thus, my breathing, which is supposed to drive my focus, sounds raspy and uneven. All this makes my mind race instead of slowing down and calming.
Just thinking about meditating with His Holiness was making me anxious.
Nevertheless, who says “no” to a chance to meditate with the Dalai Lama? I agreed to join him early the next morning at his private residence.

A practice that begins at 3 a.m.

At 81 years, old, the Dalai Lama keeps a very active schedule. I met him in Mundgod, India, at the Drepung Monastery, where he was overseeing a symposium bridging Buddhism and science.
The monastery itself is a dazzling bejeweled structure built 600 years ago. Inside, there are enormous golden Buddhas standing next to ornate walls. The discussion hall itself is grand but warm, with doors and windows open to the hot South Indian sun.
Can meditation really slow aging?

For three days, his Holiness moderated sessions on weighty metaphysical topics such as the criteria for valid reasoning, the fundamental constituents of the universe, origins of life and the subjective experience of the mind.
It was fascinating and mind-bending — but also mentally exhausting. It was difficult to stay awake, let alone keep up with the rapid-fire debate between the Buddhists and the scientists. Yet his Holiness was mentally engaged and inquisitive throughout, even more remarkable given more than half the comments were being translated for him.
The Dalai Lama typically wakes about 2:40 a.m. and starts his daily meditation routine at 3 a.m., even as most of his staff is still snoozing.
This was the backdrop when one of his senior staff members picked me up outside the monastery early one morning. We drove in a three-car convoy to the gates outside his private residence.
If you struggle to meditate, try this

From there, several more staff members escorted us to a small conference room where his security detail was slowly waking and drinking their morning tea. Finally, his chief of staff walked me just outside the personal quarters of the Dalai Lama.

Meditating is hard for him, too

There were a few minor instructions before we entered. Eye contact is not a problem, and shaking hands is acceptable if you use two hands, not just one. Try not to turn your back to him when leaving the room, and instead walk backward, as much as possible facing him. When sitting cross-legged on the floor, don’t point your feet at the Dalai Lama. And the correct address is “your holiness.”
Dalai Lama: 5 things to keep in mind for the next four years

Shortly after, the doors opened, and I nervously walked into a very modest room where the Dalai Lama was sitting on a raised platform, already deep in meditation. I slipped off my shoes, sat cross-legged at a slight angle on the floor to avoid my toes being pointed in his direction, closed my eyes and started to focus on my breathing.
All my meditation insecurities immediately started to kick in. After a few minutes, I heard his deep, distinctive baritone voice: “Any questions?”
I looked up and saw his smiling face, starting to break into his characteristic head-bobbing laugh.
“This is hard for me,” I said.
“Me, too!” he exclaimed. “After doing daily for 60 years, it is still hard.”
It was at once surprising and reassuring to hear him say this. The Dalai Lama, Buddhist monk and spiritual leader of Tibet, also has trouble meditating.
“I think you will like analytical meditation,” he told me. Instead of focusing on a chosen object, as in single-point meditation, he suggested I think about a problem I was trying to solve, a topic I may have read about recently or one of the philosophical areas from the earlier sessions.
Religious thoughts trigger reward systems like love, drugs

He wanted me to separate the problem or issue from everything else by placing it in a large, clear bubble. With my eyes closed, I thought of something nagging at me — something I couldn’t quite solve. As I placed the physical embodiment of this problem into the bubble, several things started to happen very naturally.
The problem was now directly in front of me, floating weightlessly. In my mind, I could rotate it, spin it or flip it upside-down. It was an exercise to develop hyper-focus.
Less intuitively, as the bubble was rising, it was also disentangling itself from any other attachments, such as subjective emotional considerations. I could visualize it, as the problem isolated itself, and came into a clear-eyed view.
Too often, we allow unrelated emotional factors to blur the elegant and practical solutions right in front of us. It can be dispiriting and frustrating. Through analytical meditation, His Holiness told me, we can use logic and reason to more clearly identify the question at hand, separate it from irrelevant considerations, erase doubt and brightly illuminate the answers. It was simple and sensible. Most important, for me — it worked.

Meditation for skeptics

As a neuroscientist, I never expected that a Buddhist monk, even the Dalai Lama, would teach me how to better incorporate deduction and critical thinking to my life — but that is what happened.
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It changed me. And I am better for it. I practice analytical meditation every day, usually early in the morning. The first two minutes are still the hardest, as I create my thought bubble and let it float above me. After that, I reach what can best be described as a “flow” state, in which 20 to 30 minutes pass easily.
I am more convinced than ever that even the most ardent skeptics could find success with analytical meditation.
Over the holidays, I spent as much time as possible relaying the Dalai Lama’s teachings to my family and friends and teaching them basic principles of analytical meditation. This was the gift I most wanted to share with them. And now with you.

Via: Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Lessons from meditating with the Dalai Lama 

So THAT’S Why Men Never Use The Second Button On Suits 

JIM WATSON VIA GETTY IMAGES

It’s a well-documented style rule that men should never button the second button of a two-button suit jacket. It’s considered appropriate to button the top one when standing, sure, but never the second.

So if no one’s supposed to use the bottom button, why does it exist?

As with many fashion curiosities, history reportedly factors in. Legend goes that Britain’s Edward VII ― a king with several famous appetites ― grew too large for his suit and had to stop using the second button as a result. Not wanting to embarrass him, others followed. The tradition stuck.

Other theories include dandies who wanted to show off multiple layers of clothing, the comfort of horse-riding in a suit, and the favored style of an exclusive club at Eton. But GQ’s UK fashion director Robert Johnson said he favors the Edwardian theory, correctly pointing out “there is nothing so weird as court etiquette.”

Nowadays, men’s suit jackets typically have two or three buttons, though some are made with one. The “sometimes, always, never” rule for three-button jackets states that you should sometimes button the top button, always button the middle one and never use the last button. On a two-button jacket, you should always use to the top button and never use the second.

Whether Edward VII was the true inspiration for this or simply makes for a convenient tale, modern suits are now tailored to fit with the last button unbuttoned ― using it makes them both look and feel too tight.

“It induces a tension in the jacket that feels restrictive,” Clive Dilnot, a professor of Design Studies at The New School, told HuffPost.

Many men choose to leave their buttons undone altogether, Dilnot added. In the official style playbook, it’s acceptable to undo all the buttons before sitting to avoid pulling and tugging the fabric, according to menswear site Black Lapel.

Ahh, sweet release. Thanks, King Ed!

Via: So THAT’S Why Men Never Use The Second Button On Suits