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Is ignorance really bliss?

ignoranceAccording to the age old saying, “Ignorance is bliss”. This implies that we can hope to stay blissfully happy if we remain ignorant of life’s inevitable pitfalls… or so the saying would want to make us believe. To be honest it sounds correct on the surface. After all, when you don’t know how ruthless and unfair the world can be, you are in effect shielded from the mental torment that such knowledge brings. When you don’t know how hard becoming a surgeon or mastering a musical instrument really is, you are more apt to paint a pleasurable vision of these accomplishments with a naive disregard for the intense hard work and drudgery these disciplines require over extended periods of time. When you don’t know how hard it is to love the same person for 30+ years, you are more likely to fetishize the idea of holy matrimony. On the other side of the coin, knowledge of a potentially negative outcome can make us fearful and skittish. For instance, fighters who have previously been knocked out in a combat sport become less likely to take the calculated risks needed for victory in future battles. People who have been fired from previous jobs refrain from asserting themselves at the next one for fear of repeating the same fate. Athletes returning from a serious injury sustained in their competitive sport of choice often lose the verve that once made them unstoppable. At first glance all these points seem to validate the “ignorance is bliss” cliche… but is this really true? Does the saying – ignorance is bliss – really stand up to intensely thoughtful scrutiny on a deeper level? Continue reading Is ignorance really bliss?

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How to get really good at (fill in the blank)

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Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

We all intuitively know when we have experienced a display of exceptional skill because it stirs up emotions in us that words cannot quite capture. It is the feeling that causes you to shake your head in disbelief at Stephen Curry’s accuracy from 3-point range on a basketball court. It’s the emotions you feel when a soulful guitar solo leaves you in tears. It is the excitement that forces you to dance when you hear Alicia Keys belt out the chorus to “Empire State of Mind” from her famed vocal chords. Words cannot describe these feelings because exceptional skill predates language in our human culture. Before the invention of language or the existence of insanely skilled musicians, writers, and athletes, our ancestors were insanely skilled hunters and navigators who could deftly weave their way through the rich African jungle and strategically plan the efficient killing of prey. Master’s of their respective domains seem to possess skill that is otherworldly and beyond the average person’s grasp. This apparent unattainability of mastery is further heightened by the fact that there are so few masters in history who really stand out. These masters form a shining line through the annals of time: Galileo, Leo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Sir Isaac Newton, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Albert Einstein, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Michael Faraday, Benjamin Franklin, Martha Graham, Marie Curie, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jeffrey Jordan, Steven Paul Jobs, Floyd Mayweather Jr, and John Mayer amongst others. The otherworldly skill these masters possess seduces us into repeatedly asking certain questions. How does exceptional skill come about? Are their brains just different from that of the average person? Are these people just born geniuses? Can anyone become a genius? Do I have what it takes to be like that or should I just accept my lot in life and stop fooling myself? Well my friends, I invite you to follow me on this literary journey as I attempt to explain where exceptional skill comes from. Continue reading How to get really good at (fill in the blank)

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Nutrition

Why should we eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and seeds? They taste awful.


The glorious humanfruitsandveggies body requires a few essential things to thrive. Sleep/rest, adequate nutrition, and the occasional stressful event. This stressful event may take the form of physical exercise such as running away from a sabre tooth tiger or beating the hell out of a punching bag, as long as it is followed by long luscious periods of rest. With our busy lives, most of us ignore at least one of the above stated categories but the human body in all its amazing glory can actually compensate for the absence of any one of these pillars of good health for a surprisingly long time. There is a limit however to how much abuse the human body will put up with before it starts to tell you of your negligence. The human body is divine and therefore very respectful… It won’t “yell” at you unless it has to. It will begin warning you with small cryptic signals: catching the common cold more than once a year, dizzy spells, rashes, acne outbursts, heartburn, or like in my case, migraine headaches and frequent muscle strains. It is important to note here that your body isn’t the enemy. The pain it is strategically delivering is actually good for you. Your body is merely trying to get your attention ina way that you cannot ignore in the hopes that your spirit will wise the fuck up and change something. Most of us are too detached from the beautiful instrument that houses our souls to heed these warning signals. If the signs continue to go unheeded, the body will eventually lose its temper and ratchet up the intensity of the pain signals it delivers. Very often, this culminates in a catastrophic event which leaves you no choice but to do something. Continue reading Nutrition

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SEDUCTION

The dangerously seductive unavailable person…


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From a male heterosexual perspective. The point of view I can see most clearly…

Gone are the days when women stayed at home to take care of the children while the man went off to work everyday to earn money for the family’s upkeep. In those days, women were literally dependent on their men for financial solvency which often times directly predicted the probability of the survival of their offspring. It is deplorable to think it now but back then, women couldn’t drive, vote, or work for a living. Their place was in the home… raising children, cooking, cleaning the fort, and politely entertaining guests that their men brought home… or so they were erroneously told. Continue reading SEDUCTION

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How MRI Works

MRI_magnetThe interior of the human body is largely made up of bones (the skull, tibia, fibula) and soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) most of which are invisible to the naked eye. Prior to the invention of MRI, the x-ray was the gold standard for getting a detailed view of the body’s innards without cutting it open. Even though the x-ray worked brilliantly for decades, it had a few drawbacks. First, excessive exposure to x-rays leads to deadly radiation poisoning. As a matter of fact, radiation poisoning actually claimed the life of the esteemed inventor of the x-ray (Marie Curie, 1867 – 1934).
Second, it only allowed you to visualize things that were dense enough to block or significantly attenuate the x-rays. This meant that in visualizing the human body, the x-ray method was largely limited to the skeletal system. X-rays were perfect for diagnosing broken bones but were found wanting when it came to diagnosing torn muscles or severely sprained ligaments. Continue reading How MRI Works