A weird episode in Internet “marketing” this week. A real company, HUVr Tech, seeking funding sought buzz. First, they faked up a Promo video for Hoverboards, complete with the famous and Back to the Future references. Note the 0 noise and that the video is named “belief” (on their web site). They apparently used the Back to the Future wire harness.
Fake promotions and fake apologies? Lame. Pranks are funny only if you include the punchline. Has their home page been updated to reflect this? Nope. This is what they think of their possible customers?
Tags: first nations, overview, treaty negotiations
The City of Vancouver has produced a Guide for newcomers to aid in establishing roots here. Along with that is an overview of local First Nations (PDF) as it’s often something an immigrant is interested in but not always readily accessible. It’s also a useful general summary of local First Nations for everyone.
As may be obvious from the maps, there is a great deal of overlap in traditional territories. Lands were not owned and thus not formerly defined by fixed boundaries. Rather, they were working territories that included seasonal uses. When finally the provincial government agreed to treaty negotiations, they began by working with individual nations. But until the overlaps had been negotiated and defined, it created an unfair process and problems with individual treaties. Not every nation was as far along in establishing self-government expertise to handle such an important representation. Instead, the nations needed to negotiate amongst themselves and bring that agreement to the provincial government to negotiate their own settlement. This required a common meeting ground as this Chiefs document (PDF) reviews.
We have a rich history, far beyond a one hundred year-old building or a European sailing ship.
A short film about “trophic cascade“- the cascading consequences of changes in individual species populations – especially of top-of-the-pyramid predators.
After 70 years absence, wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in the United States. They restored balance to grazing populations. This created a cascading effect that allowed the natural restoration of plant life, improvements in bear and rodent populations, and better river flows. Wolves changed the geography.
Although Food and Science are technically more applicable to a science blog, due to the psychological nature of our food relationships, I’ve tended to discuss the subject more over on my other blog. But in this case, I wanted to share it on both.
Firstly, in North America, research lead to an anti-fat movement in the 1960′s. We shifted to margarine and low-fat foods. Unfortunately, low fat meant low taste, so food producers replaced fat with sugar and salt and foods became increasingly processed. (we won’t go into artificial sweeteners)
After millions spent on research, they discovered the “bliss point” – the optimum level of sugar that triggered peoples pleasure centre. Sugar became the #2 ingredient in many foods.
Unfortunately, the high sugar content had several consequences. For one, people became habituated to it and expected it, even in baby food. For another, the body stores excess sugar as fat. High sugar levels lead to a much larger weight problem than the original fat content did. Further, the liver got overloaded and plugged up, leading to a lot of middle fat and a number of heath consequences.
As it turns out, the early research was faulty. Only certain types of fat are an issue. Healthy fats in a natural form are part of a balanced diet. But independent sugar research was not healthy for a food scientists career so there was a major lack of research for some years. The government food guides remain much the same.
A further issue that is less discussed is that sugar is addictive. Once we become habituated, the body craves it and our natural signals for “enough” or for specific nutrients are suppressed. Craving overwrites healthy eating habits. This becomes very clear if you’ve ever gone on a low carb diet or a fast. The first 3-4 days are often accompanied by craving and withdrawal symptoms. And once off a diet, most people easily re-engage their old habits again and step back into their addictions.
Don’t believe foods can be addictive? Scientists now have a scale called the “Yale Food Addiction Scale” from the Yale Rudd Centre for Food Policy and Obesity.
Further complicating the issue is that some people use sugar and carbs as “comfort” foods to soothe stress. Rather than finding healthy release such as in meditation or exercise, we reach for the candy drawer or ice cream.
For many, changing such behaviour becomes a contest of will which increases stress and drives up the craving. Personal failure doesn’t help. Or you play denial mind games with yourself much like an alcoholic.
(and yes, I did a juice fast last month and supported some others in a forum having struggles)
Here’s a Harvard Medical School article “Why stress causes people to overeat“
I also noticed mention in the tech rags that Microsoft is experimenting with a bra to monitor stress levels so you can be notified when you may eat badly. But isn’t that like a new Pavlov’s signal? Get ready to eat!
The most immediate thing you can do is find a new outlet for stress. Maybe having a tennis ball in the drawer you can squeeze when a craving hits? Or a bit of fresh air? Change of scene? Just watch the feelings. They’re your flags for triggers.
The idea here is not to get into a fight with it or yourself but to deflect it. This is all about energy. Getting into resistance or a will battle will make it stronger and can add layers to the issue for you.
Also, this is not a long term solution – the motivators are still present. This is to get you started. And make healthy choices here – you don’t want to replace one bad behaviour with another. Shopping can also be addictive, for example.
In the talk below, they recommend introducing meditation. This introduces several benefits. For one, it is a great way to release stress. Secondly, it makes us more settled and peaceful. And thirdly, it makes us more conscious and self-aware. Another term for this is mindful. Then we can make better choices.
I talk here about types of meditation.
As you become a little more conscious, you become more aware of the process that’s taking place within you and you begin to catch your triggers. When the urge comes up, see if you’re settled enough to allow the feeling to arise and feel what it’s coming from.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna talks of the impulse to act. When we’re trying to change behaviour, at first we realize after the fact that we’ve done it again. We have a Doh! moment. When we’re less caught, we begin to recognize what we’re doing during the act. We begin to be a bit more conscious about it, maybe enough to make a new choice or to stop. But often then we get into internal battles over it. Finally, we can notice the impulse to act, the feeling, as it is arising. Then we have real choice – do we act or not? Do we let it go or fight?
That is also the point where we can find out what this driver is that’s arising. Instead of getting into a battle over choice, we can investigate the urge itself. What is the feeling or energy behind this urge? Big stuff like food can have layers. Early associations of food with mother, reinforced by sweets as rewards, adapted as a stress coping tool, and so forth. So similarly, we may have to resolve each layer to end it, most recent backwards.
If you can see your own dynamic, you can recognize it no longer serves and let it go. But that takes a little skill and practice. It’s usually easier to start on simpler things than chronic lifetime drivers. Food associations can be the deepest as they’re often programmed in early childhood.
But this is much more effective than deflecting (distracting ourselves) I mentioned above. We want to resolve the energy behind it to heal.
Finally, this 2 part talk by Dr. Pam Peeke: Hacked by a Cupcake. She talks about current science on the subject and solutions.
It’s not just food addiction – it’s toxic lifestyle.
She talks about reward, food as a “science fair project”, and a lot of current research. The dopamine reward cycle and why it’s addictive. It’s not the consumption – it’s the cues. Decreased impulse control. Why the will doesn’t work.
“Stress is the Achilles heel of addiction”.
Every choice changes gene expression which changes your destiny. We pass those epigenetic markers on to our children. By our lifestyle, we gift or condemn them.
Mind, Mouth & Muscle:
- eat whole foods
- move your body. Walking dampens the obesity gene.
- meditation, with initial research results.
Start with the mind, otherwise you fall off.
The importance of sleep. Coffee.
At a TEDx talk in Victoria, Ian MacKenzie explores the history of the mask that came to be used by Anonymous, then the Occupy movement. Then he looks at the Occupy movement itself. Then how to Occupy the Noosphere with Memes via Mindbombs.
What is the ultimate Mindbomb we could release?
Ian was also involved in Velcrow Ripper’s film, Occupy Love. While not as far reaching as the 2 previous films in his trilogy, it does better explain the Occupy phenomena than anything else I’ve seen.
Kostas Kiriakakis is an illustrator. In an illustrated cartoon muse, he explores the collection of Questions and Answers. Not your typical cartoon.
They ask: Who will You make peace with?
If you’re in the Vancouver, BC area, there is a free concert and the 2nd annual attempt at the world’s largest human peace sign. The Mayor has officially proclaimed it “Kindness Day.” (The local theme)
One of the performers, Ranj Singh, an Indo-folk-rock musician and fav of mine, did this related song.
Peace, Ranj Singh:
(That’s the seawall in Stanley Park)
Here’s my fav Ranj song, Fly Away, performed by the river. It’s with his former band, The Discriminators. The sound is not as good but its a great song. This version has a slow build:
Just remember – Peace begins within.
As you may know, our ears loose their sensitivity to the outer ends of the audible spectrum with age. This can be exacerbated by noise extremes and loud music, such as I enjoyed in my youth playing drums in an acid rock band. As the principle goes, if your ears are ringing afterwards, you’ve done some damage. The longer the ringing, the more hearing you’ve blown off.
Here’s a little test for your ears, best done with headphones. Although they didn’t help in my case.
When you browse the products in a store and are searching for a specific brand, where might you be expected to find a bearded baseball card, an autographed girls photo, and a multi-million dollar painting? Why Amazon, of course. Who knew Monet was so available? Amazon recently opened a new fine art section, featuring some rather pricey artworks being offered by various local galleries.
Someone with that kind of budget for art would be pretty unlikely to buy through a reseller. It’s not exactly discreet. And who carries plastic with $5 million on it? Do they even offer such a thing? (consider the insurance cost for a stray card)
The effort has attracted some cheeky “buyers” feedback (“I returned it – the Monet was used”) and price comparisons (Warhol vs bulk canned soup). I notice several of the highest-priced Monet’s are gone now. Some galleries may not consider such attention desirable. Not to mention some observations, like on a Norman Rockwell for close to $5 million: Is it art or “just an illustration”? But look – free shipping.
I wonder how many are adding to their Wish list. Missed birthday anyone?
I suppose if you enjoy throwing some extra cash around and advertising it on Amazon and Facebook, it’s an option. Bet your home insurance company may not appreciate it though. Better get that rider. And a better security system.
Hey – the Monet poster (Nympheas) is on sale for $2.76, regular $15. I can afford that! Over in Artwork though, not Fine Art.
PS – there are thousands of more modest paintings to choose from under Fine Art. And if this helps some of the smaller galleries survive, great. (this is reseller, not Amazon stock)
Ever heard of Elon Musk? TED branded him a serial entrepreneur, but that’s an understatement. He is a practical visionary:
1 – the co-founder of Paypal
2 – the CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors. Their new all-electric model S has just been named by Consumer Reports as the highest rated car ever! It’s still a luxury car but it’s phase 2. Phase 3 is a mass production model. And the company has posted it’s first profit. That will keep it going.
3 – he’s involved with solar power company SolarCity
4 – and he’s the chief designer at SpaceX, a reusable rocket company. They’re already doing work for NASA and the space shuttle.
His TED talk from February this year: