Go Ahead, Get Rid of it

There is just too much stuff in our lives nowadays. Victorian era maximalism got turned up to 11 thanks to globalization and hyper-capaitlaism. Odds are you have useless items around you right now that you thought at one time was a good idea. Well, here’s a better idea: get rid of it.

Take all that useless stuff and recycle, reuse, or donate it to better places. Of course, once you get rid of it be sure to buy less in the future.

I look forward to throwing things away every weekend. I have been living in shitty studio efficiency apartments for the better part of the last seven years. This precludes me from owning very many things. I guess I could own a lot of things, but then I wouldn’t have a lot of space for myself. Also, most stuff is crap. And there is nothing more beautiful than an almost-empty apartment.

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The 7 Common Points in Self-Help Books

“There’s always room for one more self-help book” said every publisher ever. On the other hand, there are too many books and not enough time to read them all (especially if you read self-help books). Having never read one, I was interested in what all the fuss is about then I saw Forbes’ article on the core tenets of the genre.

Save yourself some time and check out this short list of seven things to think about.

7. Human needs: Accept your inherent irrationality and learn to fight it.

Human beings are neither robots nor computers – and as it turns out, we’re not even all that rational. Many great self-help books put forth the idea of a divided inner self: In Carrots and Sticks, they’re Homer Simpson and Mr. Spock. In Predictably Irrational, it’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The inner elephant and its rider represent the two selves in Switch, and in Thinking, Fast and Slow, the scientific terms System 1 and System 2 are used. While your rational side might be able to make a decision about what’s best for you, such as quitting cigarettes, eating healthier, or abstaining from social media, the impetuous irrational self who favors short-term gratification – smokes, booze, and endless hours on facebook – can derail you. To combat your inner Homer, set up disincentives for irrational behavior. The example that Carrots and Sticks offers is the following: if you promise to give 1,000 dollars to Scientology for every cigarette you smoke, you give Mr. Spock (Rational System 2), far more power than if the only motivation is a fleeting New Year’s resolution.

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Lose Weight by Taking the Bus

Obesity is a health problem in North America and this is due to modern lifestyle choices. One choice is to live far from work and commute using a car (this has led to environmental problems in addition to health problems) which means that people physically move less than before. Some new research now points out that you can lose weight and keep it off by ditching the car and taking transit!

So now you can better manage your weight while reducing pollution!

In the study, which looked at 40,000 households throughout the country, men weighed around seven pounds less when they used public or active transit, and women weighed about 5.5 pounds less.

The researchers controlled for a range of other reasons that someone might weigh more or less–like diet, activity at work, fitness routines, and age.

“From the analysis we performed, it is not possible to ‘explain away’ our findings by saying that active commuters are more likely to be young, urban, wealthy, for example, and therefore thinner for these reasons rather than how they commute,” says Flint.

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Ozone Layer is Recovering

Many years ago a bunch of countries decided to take action to stop damaging the ozone layer in the hopes that it will eventually recover. It’s great to see that the efforts of working together to protect the environment of come to fruition and let’s hope we see efforts like this directed towards climate change.

Scientists said the development demonstrates that when the world comes together, it can counteract a brewing ecological crisis.

For the first time in 35 years, scientists were able to confirm a statistically significant and sustained increase in stratospheric ozone, which shields the planet from solar radiation that causes skin cancer, crop damage and other problems.

From 2000 to 2013, ozone levels climbed 4 percent in the key mid-northern latitudes at about 30 miles up, said NASA scientist Paul A. Newman. He co-chaired the every-four-years ozone assessment by 300 scientists, released at the United Nations.

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