So I Finished Reading the Bible…

He dies.

But seriously, if you were smart 2,000 years ago, you probably had something to do with religion (that was the only place they taught anything and where the first universities began). So I figure there’s gotta be somethin’ smart up in there.

Jesus. A very nice dude. In all honesty, I think he was the most understanding man to have lived. He just really loved, understood, and accepted people while wanting the best for them. If you read only his words, it paints an extremely different picture than the rest.

If you want the quick version, you can get 90% of the way by just reading Genesis and Exodus, Matthew, Mark, and Luke (John gets a touch long winded and preachy). Those last three are the new testament and have all of Jesus’s actual words. If you want to have fun, read Revelations. Yikes. The old testament has a lot of… well genealogy and God being mad at various groups of people, telling them to do something, them not doing it, and then him being mad again. Most of the other books in the new testament are letters from Paul or other apostles and they’re pretty preachy. Most of the good solid content is contained in the books I outlined above.

Now onto the Quran.

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The Things You Choose to Change

There are things about yourself that are easy to change. And there are things that are more difficult. What defines a characteristic, into either category, is a combination between how much you want it to change and how engrained it is.
Self improvement is a lifelong process. If you think you’re done, you fucked up.

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Whatever is meant to be

Sometimes the right decisions are some of the toughest to make and it is with very heavy hearts we say that although we love each other very much, we have decided to end our engagement. We wanted to take some time to come to terms with our situation before announcing it. We want everyone to know that we both still very deeply believe in the kind of love that we were looking for when we went on the show and we believe this love exists now more than ever. Our love for each other has been very real and we’ve learned an incredible amount from each other that we will grow positively because of. We’ve experienced so much love, we have no regrets and we cherish the journey we’ve gone through together. We’ve come to realize that we are better suited as great friends and we will always remain so. We know in our hearts that this is the right decision for us, even though it has been one of the hardest decisions in our lives.
We are so thankful to everyone who supported us and who has shown us so much love throughout our relationship.
April & Tim

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Droughts and the Arab Spring

I recently read the most tangible example of how climate change is affecting our world. It put things into perspective just in that it wasn’t about sea levels or this or that part of the world being warmer.

How?

In recent years, Russia has been experiencing drought much akin to southern California. It has been ravaging crops. Now usually, Russia is an exporter of grain and some of that grain goes to the Arab world. But just before the Arab Spring in 2010 there were spikes in grain prices due to the droughts that Russia was facing. And these droughts, argue climate experts, (http://rt.com/business/grain-prices-hike-crisis-464/) are directly linked with man-made climate change… if you so happen to believe in that mumbo jumbo.

And so climate change makes grain a little harder to grow, which makes it more expensive in Russia, which makes it more expensive to already-poor Arab populations, which in turn piles another reason on the camel’s back for people to revolt and create the Arab Spring.  To me, that’s just such a clear and apparent chain reaction.

Now maybe the Arab Spring would have happened without the food price pressure. But I’d prefer to err on the side of caution when doing so, correct or wrong, brings a small downside, while not doing so, brings enormous downside risk (in the case of being wrong).

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Why Your Life Is Half Over at Age 10

The idea is that time passes in your head relative to how old you are. So, a ten year old experiences a year as 10% of his life (1/10). While a 50 year old experiences one year as just 2% of his life (1/50). The child experiences time 5x slower than the older man.

Take this to our title today and further the calculus, as T. L. Freeman has done, and we arrive at the notion that by age 10 (for the average human life span in Canada), we have lived HALF our experienced life by age 10.  I made a google doc to show how this works (though my, albeit, simpler version, shows the midway point at age 11).
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fu

So from age 1 to 10, time passes slowly. It feels longer. While after age 10, it passes quickly. It feels shorter. So years 10 to 80 feels the same as your first to tenth birthday.

For every single year that you live, time will seem to slip more and more quickly away. As you become older, time becomes ever more precious because you perceive it to be passing more rapidly.
So… do something with it. Anything. Just don’t sit there, because odds are, if you’re reading this, you are passed the halfway point…

 

This is taken from Daniel Tammet’s new work “Thinking in Numbers”. Tammet cites the originator of the idea as one American philosopher William James and his 1890 classic, “The Principles of Psychology.”

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HOW We’re Made of Stardust

Ok, you know how all those really high hippies say “We’re just all made of stardust maaaaannnnnnnnn!!”?

Well, I’ve always wondered too and I’m going to explain why it’s true.

In 1945 it was known that the big bang didn’t have the right conditions to create anything else other than helium and hydrogen, which are the two lightest elements know. Ok, so everyone wondered, where the hell did all the other elements come from? Well, someone figured out that stars (like our sun) are only made of helium and hydrogen and when they get really old, if they’re the right size, they explode. And when they explode, they produce temperatures approaching a billion degrees which is enough for them to produce the heavier elements, like carbon and oxygen, that… wait for it… make up our bodies!!!

SO. We are literally made out of stuff that was cooked up in an exploding star billions of years ago.

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Jimmy Boy and Fame

In 1996 Jim Carey was quoted as saying: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”
I went on the Bachelor Canada to find a wife in a kind of an online-dating-on-steroids scenario. But a side effect is that in recent months I’ve had the fortune to become a Canadian D-list celebrity. And it’ll likely last for all of a few months. But I say ‘fortunately’, not because I’ve enjoyed some recognition, but because five minutes ago I let a little girl, who really looked like she needed to pee, go in front of me in the bathroom line.
When someone gets recognized from being on TV, they’re privy to a sense of belonging, acceptance and validation of self worth, that only popularity can bring. Humans crave this. It’s why everybody just wants to be the popular kid in high school (but hey, maybe you didn’t and in that case, by god good for you). Think of it like an emotional high.
But this kind of emotional high is fleeting and relative to what the person has had before. And once they have 1000 ‘likes’ on an instgram photo, 1000 ‘likes’ doesn’t give the emotional high the first one did. They need 2000 or probably more really..
I don’t know why, and maybe someone can enlighten me, but humans get ‘high’ on this attention and it’s addictive the same way drugs are. The worst part is that we acclimatize to it very quickly and need more the next time for the same level of excitement and ‘high’.
But it’s the things you’ve heard of all your life that really make you sustainably happy that aren’t relative. Being a good person doesn’t require you to be an exponentially better person the next day. It’s a very different kind of positive emotion. Letting the little girl who really looks like she needs to pee go first, even though you’ve just had a beer, will always make you a nice person. And that feeling is sustainable. It will make you happy forever. And the reason is because you are happy with yourself. You are happy with who you are as a person.
I’m incredibly fortunate to have had a taste of fame that makes people happy in such an unsustainable way. It’s made me appreciate the sustainable side and really know how powerful it is.

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