November 15, 2018 in 2,213 words

Avoid Burnout and Increase Awareness Using Ultradian Rhythms

Circadian rhythms’ lesser know cousins may hold the key to a more fruitful day

The Cycles of our Nature

…every organism — from paramecium to pachyderm — is born, lives out its days, and dies influenced by a complex web of rhythms interwoven in time.” — Ernest Rossi, The 20-Minute Break


Science has discovered a number of biological rhythms that play out in our lives on scales both large and small. This field of study is called chronobiology, underscoring the intricate relationship between our biological rhythms and time itself.

By understanding how these internal rhythms operate, we can learn to use them to our advantage.

Many people are probably familiar with circadian rhythms. These are biological rhythms that play out over about 24 hours and are informed by the Earth’s rotation around the Sun. These form the broad structure of our individual days; the most obvious example of a circadian rhythm is the sleep-wake cycle, where we are alert and awake part of the day, and then move toward drowsiness and eventually sleep later in the day.

But circadian rhythms have lesser known cousins that can help us optimize our internal body clocks for maximum efficiency and well being. These are ultradian rhythms, or rhythms that play out in increments shorter than a day.

Examples include everything from heartbeat to digestion to the varying stages we go through during sleep.

For productivity, we are concerned with the specific ultradian rhythm known as the Basic Rest-Activity Cycle (BRAC). This is a rhythm that plays out in 80–120 minute cycles non-stop, day and night. It is most detectable during sleep, when we move from non-REM sleep to REM sleep and back, over and over again throughout the night.

But it is also present in subtler forms throughout the day. To differentiate it from its nighttime twin, I’ll call this the waking rest-activity cycle — and this is the focus of this article.


The Lessons, Surprisingly, That Marketers Can Learn From John Oliver’s ‘Last Week Tonight’

The comedian’s biting political commentary offers a lesson in authenticity for marketers who want to level up their brands.

As a marketer, how do you cut through the noise and drive attention to your brand in a genuine way? Some marketers buy backlinks. Some hire people to create for them 10,000 Pinterest accounts that all share the same junk infographic. Some do reciprocal link exchanges.

But none of these actions are useful to the reader or customer. There’s no added value, and no organic conversation happening.

In order to learn how to build an audience in a genuine, passionate and engaging way, look no farther than your television screen. (Though you may need to poach your mom’s HBO password.) To master that specific skill on how to stand out from the pack, check out what’s happening on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Yes, Last Week Tonight: The program actually has an outsize impact because it starts a conversation with its viewers. It challenges them to think. It makes complex topics fun while calling viewers to action. Here’s how it works — and what you can learn from it.


Fake fingerprints can imitate real ones in biometric systems – research

DeepMasterPrints created by a machine learning technique have error rate of only one in five.


An image from the New York University paper, DeepMasterPrints.

Researchers have used a neural network to generate artificial fingerprints that work as a “master key” for biometric identification systems and prove fake fingerprints can be created.

According to a paper presented at a security conference in Los Angeles, the artificially generated fingerprints, dubbed “DeepMasterPrints” by the researchers from New York University, were able to imitate more than one in five fingerprints in a biometric system that should only have an error rate of one in a thousand.

The researchers, led by NYU’s Philip Bontrager, say that “the underlying method is likely to have broad applications in fingerprint security as well as fingerprint synthesis.” As with much security research, demonstrating flaws in existing authentication systems is considered to be an important part of developing more secure replacements in the future.

In order to work, the DeepMasterPrints take advantage of two properties of fingerprint-based authentication systems. The first is that, for ergonomic reasons, most fingerprint readers do not read the entire finger at once, instead imaging whichever part of the finger touches the scanner.

Crucially, such systems do not blend all the partial images in order to compare the full finger against a full record; instead, they simply compare the partial scan against the partial records. That means that an attacker has to match just one of tens or hundreds of saved partial fingerprint in order to be granted access.


5 Ways Normal People Allow Evil Rulers To Thrive

A wise person — no one has any fucking idea who — once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” And while I hate to disagree with whoever it was, the reality is a little more alarming. Evil people gain power because otherwise-good people actively help them along.

Now seems like a good time to figure out why. Hi! I’m Robert Evans. I study the greatest monsters of history and today, and I’ve found that …

5. Above All Else, Citizens Just Want To Pay The Rent


Here is one of the single most underrated contributors to evil on Earth: Many people fear losing their jobs almost as much as death itself. Now let me explain how this sort of thinking helped Joseph Stalin stay in power.

From 1931 to 1934, he starved at least five million people to death in Ukraine. Millions more were executed or died in gulags. We usually tend to assume some mix of mortal fear and propaganda is why no one stood up to the old bastard while he was alive. But there’s another, scarier explanation: His Soviet Union put a lot of food on a lot of tables.

We usually think of the USSR as an impoverished place dominated by breadlines, but that’s comparing it to the United States. Compared to the old Russian Empire, where most people had been essentially serfs, it was a huge step forward. The Soviet Union’s per capita GNP rose every year from 1928 to 1985. Russian children actually grew larger during the years of industrialization, while the opposite was true in most Western nations.

This, then, is the first universal truth we have to deal with: If everyday people are able to buy food and school clothes for their kids, and if they don’t have to see too much of the bad shit with their own two eyes, they can overlook just about anything.


System error: Japan cybersecurity minister admits he has never used a computer

Yoshitaka Sakurada also seemed confused by the concept of a USB drive when asked in parliament.


Yoshitaka Sakurada, 68, said he has never used a computer, instead instructing his secretaries and employees.

A Japanese minister in charge of cybersecurity has provoked astonishment by admitting he has never used a computer in his professional life, and appearing confused by the concept of a USB drive.

Yoshitaka Sakurada, 68, is the deputy chief of the government’s cybersecurity strategy office and also the minister in charge of the Olympic and Paralympic Games that Tokyo will host in 2020.

In parliament on Wednesday however, he admitted he doesn’t use computers.

“Since the age of 25, I have instructed my employees and secretaries, so I don’t use computers myself,” he said in a response to an opposition question in a lower house session, local media reported.

He also appeared confused by the question when asked about whether USB drives were in use at Japanese nuclear facilities.

His comments were met with incredulity by opposition lawmakers.


Raccoons Suspected of Having Rabies Were Actually Just Drunk as Hell

Following recent reports that two masked perpetrators were raising alarm in a town in West Virginia, police say they have reason to believe the troublemakers had just gotten wrecked.

The Milton Police Department reportedly received accounts of stumbling and disoriented raccoons at least twice in the last week, and locals worried the raccoons might have rabies. But those suspicions were wrong. The raccoons in question—including one who was identified by police as Dallas—had reportedly gotten wasted by eating some fermented crab apples.

“Ptl Scarberry made his first apprehension today, taking this masked bandit into custody with assistance of Sgt Collins and several neighborhood residents,” the Milton Police Department wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. “Ptl Withers caught one yesterday on Brickyard Ave with the help of the city street department. Today’s culprit was on Highland Ave and Mason Street and it was a community effort.”

Both raccoons have been safely collected and dropped off in the woods. The department noted that if you happen to stumble upon one of these drunk idiots, you should not approach them. Call the city’s non-emergency line and they’ll come to collect the bombed raccoon themselves.


Video Goodnesses
and not-so-goodnesses

Never. Never, had they seen anything like it. Never, did they think it could get to this. Never, did the residents of Paradise, CA think a fire would actually swallow their community whole.

“It was just like in the movies,” said 81 year-old Paradise resident, Bobbie Covington. “I was stuck in a line of traffic and cars were blowing up around me from the heat.”

The Camp Fire, which was at 35% containment as of Wednesday night, is on record as the most deadly and destructive fire in California’s history, having killed 56 people and destroying 8,817 structures, as of Wednesday evening.

“I called my son and said, ‘I love you, I’m not going to make it out of this,” said Covington, who lost her home of 45 years to the flames.

While investigators are still looking into what started the Camp Fire, a coalition of lawyers filed a lawsuit Tuesday, accusing PG&E of negligence for how they handled the power lines when conditions worsened.

“If they cut the power off the night before, this wouldn’t have happened,” said Paradise resident Cindy Heike, 59, who lost one of her properties.

PG&E, which expects to pay about $2.5 billion for its role and the losses in 14 wildfires last year, said they, “will fully cooperate with any investigations.”

Meanwhile, fire crews continue to work on putting an end to the Camp Fire and residents are left coming to terms with what was unimaginable.

THANKS to HBO and VICE News for making this program available on YouTube.


Following their big wins in the midterm elections, the Democratic House majority is planning to launch a “subpoena cannon” at the Trump White House. Plus, Michael Kosta stars in a PSA showing Dems how to avoid committing “presidential harassment.”


Florida begins an arduous double recount for its midterm elections, Michelle Obama doesn’t hold back in her new memoir, and a ballet shoe manufacturer gets with the times.

THANKS to Comedy Central and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah for making this program available on YouTube.


Donald Trump has reportedly ‘retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment’ as the midterms results are looking bluer and bluer.


To say that Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was a snake oil salesman would be to leave out the other items from his catalogue, like toilets for the well-endowed and the concept of time-travel.

THANKS to CBS and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for making this program available on YouTube.


Seth takes a closer look at the Trump White House panicking as the midterm elections results get worse and the Russia investigation looms.

THANKS to NBC and Late Night with Seth Meyers for making this program available on YouTube.


2008年の映像を使って紹介ビデオを作ってみました。長いです。Maru’s introduction video by the collection of 2008. This is long.


FINALLY . . .

Cannabis companies are paying federal taxes in cash and it’s giving the IRS a headache

FISTFULS OF DOLLARS


Higher costs are an inherent part of the cash economy.

Marijuana is now legal, in one form or another, in 33 US states and the District of Columbia. To the federal government, pot is still a drug classified no differently than heroin or cocaine. Yet cannabis businesses are still required to pay federal taxes. (More taxes than most, as Quartz’s Ephrat Livni pointed out last year.)

The government collected an estimated $4.7 billion in taxes from legal cannabis companies last year on nearly $13 billion in revenue. Unlike most American businesses, which pay electronically or by check, most of these marijuana-product firms were forced to pay their federal taxes in cash.

Although cash payments are not explicitly required by the IRS, an estimated 70% of all legal cannabis businesses are unbanked. The US government has guidelines for banks to provide services to cannabis companies, but “99% of banks don’t want to mess with them [because] there’s a lot of internal compliance if you’re going to serve the cannabis industry,” says Jim Marty of Bridge West CPAs, a Colorado accounting firm that represents roughly 250 cannabis businesses and license holders nationwide. This means customers pay in cash, their employees are paid in cash, and their taxes are paid in cash.

How all of this cash is processed remains something of a mystery. But federal spending data reveals the IRS is paying a Virginia company $1.7 million for “large cash payments for processing cannabis federal taxes.”


Ed. More tomorrow? Probably. Possibly. Maybe. Not?