Friday, August 1, 2014


There is some evidence that for specific types of tasks, particularly judgment and decision-making, willpower = blood sugar

Percentage of paroles granted by Israeli judges, circles are cases immediately following food breaks:

The decisions you make when you're well-fed are more likely to weigh the nuances of the matter, take positive risks, and avoid the "default" choice. Making complex judgments rapidly depletes the brain's energy stores, and as blood sugar declines, people make progressively more default-driven choices. It isn't pessimism, it's unwillingness to take the tougher choice. Good salespeople and other social engineers use this fact against you: they force you to make a series of unimportant decisions, then once you're experiencing decision fatigue, hit you with the big choices and present the more expensive option as the default. Depleted willpower biases people to make bad decisions. 

The chart of the judges' decisions should alarm you. This is a group of highly-experienced, super-deliberative experts, making judgment calls in matters of great importance (sometimes life or death), and the strongest predictor of outcome is how hungry the judges are. 

Decision order is more strongly correlated with granting parole than time served, and arguably as important as repeat offenses:

Thankfully, some studies have shown that a snack break can reverse or reduce the decline in cognitive decision-making capacity. Always keep small, healthy snacks with a little sugar in them on hand when you're working hard on tasks requiring focus and judgment. (This does not mean energy drinks, those will cause you to peak and crash.) Other types of breaks also help a lot, but blood sugar specifically seems to have a measurable impact. Snack breaks replenish your willpower.

[Note: Followup studies have raised some confounding factors in this specific example, such as parole lawyers front-loading the docket with more promising cases. But the point about blood sugar impacting willpower is legitimate.]

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Wise Words From Captain America

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Student converts old school bus into versatile mobile home

"The bus was purchased on Craigslist for $3000, and has had about $6000 in improvements. It’s not pocket change, but it’s less than a down payment on a home, and it’s less than I paid in tuition for my last semester of grad school." 

"There are too many architecture students who don't understand basic physical limitations of materials or how they can be joined. This project was a way to show how building a small structure with simple detailing can be more valuablethan drawing a complex project that is theoretical and poorly understood."

One of the primary goals during the design phase was to develop a living space in 225sqft that is as open and un-restricting as possible.

"The seating space is one of the most versatile, and as it occupies four bays, it is also the largest. In it’s neutral state, the zone features four large seats on either side of the aisle.  Either side of the aisle can be raised or lowered to create a table surface for eating or working."

The sleeping space is comprised of two narrow beds, of equal width, on either side of the aisle. There are drawers beneath each each bed, deep storage underneath the mattresses, and built-in shelves facing the seating area. In order to accommodate varied sleeping arrangements, the port-side bed rolls into the center aisle, creating a queen-sized sleeping area, with a third mattress revealed in the vacated space. This allows for a total sleeping capacity of up to six adults.

The cabin of the bus almost entirely untouched, except for the rats nest of wires from the added electrical systems. The cabin can be separated from the living space by a sliding door panel, which is left open while on the road to communicate with the driver.

See more at:  Hank Bought a Bus

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Good guy Tesla

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sometimes its not about winning.

A Kenyan elite runner passes water to a dehydrated disabled Chinese runner who was suffering. This slowed her time. She came 2nd in the race not only costing her the win but also the $10,000 cash prize. It's not all about winning.

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And I see light

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Felix Baumgartner

The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it.

~ from the blog of Felix Baumgartner ( the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power).

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