Get A Hobby!

Hobbies are the things that keep us human allow us to keep learning when feeling stagnant. How do we obtain a hobby and what does it do for us?

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Finally getting that day off you have been dreaming of. You kick up your feet and binge watch the final season of that show you never got to finish. After taking a long needed nap you wake up and find yourself bored, you don’t know what to do with yourself. You start to eat and watch tv to fulfill your time, but you find it to still be boring and unproductive. You get to the gym to kill more time only to get home and realize its only a little past noon. You can just seem to make the day feel useful or productive. This is a very profound problem that many people specifically young adults and teens have today as they flip through the endless stream of updates on their phone.

Yes, finding a hobby can be difficult, but the journey of finding that thing you love to do can be the most interesting story you have to tell. Hobbies are one of single most important things to find as it keeps your life feeling fulfilled and allow us to keep on learning if our careers seem to be stagnant. A hobby is defined as an activity done on one’s leisure time, so trying to learn something for work or getting ahead on a project won’t count. To find a true hobby its something you do outside of work and is something you find enjoyment out of doing, not like a chore. For me, a hobby is programming, even though its something I will continue to do in my future job, hopefully, I am able to work on independent projects that don’t correlate to any work I am required to do.

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How To Find A Hobby

This is the hardest step in to finding a more meaningful and productive life. Finding the hobby that you always wanted is like trying to apply to very different jobs and see which jobs accept you. You have to try new things every day and see how they feel. If something seems boring just stop right there and move on. If you find enjoyment in a general topic try narrowing it down into different fields until you find the right one for you. A hobby can be as something as simple as reading!

I urge you to not follow the pack as I did to just to stand out or fit in. In the beginning, I tried to do all the typical hobbies a person would expect only to find boredom out of it. Now feeling determined I have found a love for programming and circuits. I no longer feel the need to tell my friends or family about the latest book I am reading to show them that I read on a daily basis, or to show them the latest project I have completed to undermine them.

Stick To It!

One of the things I found time and time again when I was first trying to stick to a hobby is that I felt like was never getting anywhere. I would struggle with the simplest of applications. After figuring out that this was because I never really stuck to it I was determined to keep it in my schedule.

Make sure that when you start your hobby, that thing you love to do, you stick to it. Even if it is reading an article about it on the train on the way to work or possibly a video that will keep the hobby appealing and fresh in your mind. Learning about new techniques or cool projects can also keep your excitement to continue when you get home!

Keep Learning

If you exhausted all resources on a hobby, which is highly unlikely, I encourage you to move on and keep learning. There is an unimaginable amount of resources and topics to learn about that are so interesting and learning is what keeps us at our best! Learning is one of the things that allows us to get up in the morning and know we are going to perform to the best of our ability. Learning is without a doubt one of the most fulfilling things in the universe. No I don’t always mean learning to become a scholar it can even be about working out or determining the most efficient way to complete projects! Keep learning and keep growing!

 

The Future of Meat

Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1940-1945, once said :

“With a greater knowledge of what are called hormones, i.e. the chemical messengers in our blood, it will be possible to control growth. We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.”

That day is here. Companies in the United States and around the world are now in the process of creating real meat without the need to raise and slaughter an animal. Memphis Meats from San Francisco, JUST in Northern California, Mosa Meat in the Netherlands, Modern Meadows from Brooklyn, New York, Finless Foods also in Brooklyn, New York and Supermeat from Israel are all startup companies who have created what is called cultured meat in laboratories and are continuing to improve their products. Bill Gates, Richard Branson and agriculture companies like Tyson and Cargill have invested in this new technology. This new technology certainly will revolutionize animal agriculture. Before we get into the science of how cultured meat is produced let’s talk about the negatives of out current animal agricultural system.

The first issue with modern animal agriculture is that it is highly unethical in terms of the treatment of animals, one of which are pigs which are thought to be even more intelligent than dogs. We won’t get into the graphics but we are sure you’ve all seen some videos. It’s an animal holocaust.

The second issue is the amount of resources it consumes in order to produce the animal products purchased and eaten by consumers. Resources such as water, land, food, fuel, medicine and time are all used at absurd levels in order to produce animal products. This is a leading cause of climate change. De-forestation is often done in order to clear land to grow food for animals on farms to eat or to raise the animals. In addition lots of green house gases are released by the animals being raised for consumption. 1 pound of beef requires 38 pounds of food and 1,799 gallons of water. The land used to grow that food and the food and water used to feed the animals could be used to end world hunger.

The third major issue is health risks for people. The animals are crowded so close together that this creates a breeding ground for viruses. This is how the avian flu and swine flu broke out multiple times. The animals are also often very ill because of the conditions and so they are loaded up on antibiotics. Not only does this consume a huge amount of antibiotics that could be used for people and domestic animals, but this also causes the rapid evolution of deadly bacteria. Scientist are afraid that this could lead to incredibly strong bacterial illnesses in the near future that will be unable to be defeated by antibiotics.

These are major issues for our modern world. These will potentially be extinction level issues for the future if we continue animal agriculture in this way. This is because the human population is projected to rise to 9.6 billion people by 2050 and economies around the world are growing which leads to more middle class populations and higher levels of meat consumption. Our modern agricultural practices are not sustainable at our current population level so 9.6 billion people will be an even bigger horror show. There is no way our planet will be able to handle this. Highly unethical slaughter methods will continue, land will be destroyed, ecosystems will be destroyed, and viruses and bacteria will become too strong to be defeated with medicine. Massive extinction of many species will occur, green house gases will rise along with water levels and the human population will suffer greatly from natural disasters, droughts, famines and illnesses.

So yeah, we’re talking an apocalyptic scenario all because of food production. Well cultured meat can stop this. Before we explain how it will stop this, let’s talk about how cultured meat is produced.

The basic science of cultured meat is that there are cells in animal muscle tissue that can self renew. These cells are extracted from the animal and placed in controlled laboratory conditions. They are given the nutrients needed to replicate and grow into the particular muscle tissue that is needed. Eventually the cells grow to become whatever meat it was intended to be. It is called cultured meat because a culture is an artificial medium that provides nutrients for microbial organisms to reproduce. The cells are placed in a controlled environment and given nutrients to reproduce until they become meat. The companies working on cultured meat are also working on creating cultured dairy, sea food and eggs as well. Memphis Meats plans to have their products on the market in 3 years. Of course right now it is pretty expensive but as mass production gets underway the price will go down significantly.

Here is how this new science could help ward off that potential apocalypse we spoke about earlier. First off at a mass production level this new science would eliminate the need to raise and slaughter an animal for meat. Second, an incredible amount of land, food and water would be saved because you wouldn’t need to grow food to feed animals or raise animals. The meat production would be done in buildings. This also means no green house gases being released by farm animals. This would also save fuel because the buildings can be near by the locations in which the meat will be sold. Third, this also conserves anti-biotic usage and staves off the growth of viruses and bacteria into super bugs. The meat will also be much healthier because bacterial contamination would not occur in a clean controlled lab. Most bacterial contamination of foods comes from fecal contamination due to slaughter methods. This is also why cultured meat is sometimes called clean meat. The nutrient content could also be controlled. This would be able to be used to limit fats in the meat and fortify the meat with other essential nutrients people and domesticated animals may need. The prices may even get lower for animal products in the future if cultured meat, sea food, dairy and eggs becomes mass produced because it would take much less resources to create the animal products. Cultured animal products in combination with vertical farming of crops, spoken about in a previous article, could produce healthier food at a rate high enough to end world hunger without harming animals, the environment or people. Everybody wins.

Many people who have tried cultured meat products have said that it tastes just like meat. So yeah, clean cultured meat is coming to the market and it could save the world without making people give up consuming animal products. Let’s hope it does because 2050 doesn’t sound too pretty with 9.6 billion people if we still produce food the same way we do today.

The information here can be found at these links:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/winston-churchill-imagined-lab-grown-hamburger-180967349/

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/23/bill-gates-and-richard-branson-bet-on-lab-grown-meat-startup.html

Check out this video:

Are You Happy?

Time has come! You are ready to retire and relax for the remaining time you of your life. You plan to do all the things that you never got the chance to do! You don’t know how long you have left, but you just want to lay back and enjoy it without any responsibilities or duties, but are you happy with that? Do you feel like you lived a meaningful life and that you had purpose and fulfilled those goals you had as a kid?!

Finding happiness is one of the hardest things that any human can do. Is happiness having enough money to buy your own island? I mean yes that would be pretty fun for a time being, but after a few days or weeks you might get bored of it. Is happiness posting on social media how good your life seems while on the inside you just want people to like or envy you? This feels like it is coming to social norm today as people are more satisfied when people like their picture or that they have more followers than another person, but are they truly happy? People always seems to be happy on the outside just to show people that everything is okay or great, but all of us always have this feeling of not doing enough or feeling like they can do better. Unfortunately this thought causes depression in many people but we can only push forward and find what is actually means to be happy.

In my own opinion, I find a lot of happiness in trying to find my purpose in life. Finding that one thing you are really good at and contributing it to the world. The sad reality of it is that most of us pick jobs for the money and not really the enjoyment. Society is becoming more and more materialistic as well feel that the more items we have the more happiness we should obtain and this is not truth as we come to realize.

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A quote by Jim Carrey 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”. Its so simple, but it is extremely true. Most of us think that the answer is to get rich and famous as the meaning of happiness, but more of those who are rich and famous seem to not be happy enough with their lives if not at all!

Happiness is hard to find and some of us will never find it. One of the main things people should do is always chase their dreams. Find something you find happiness in doing everyday, either it being a hobby or a lifetime career, do it everyday and enjoy it as much as possible. Do things that you won’t regret. I feel a lot of people skip over opportunities and then sometime later think about how they should of took advantages of things including myself. One last thing which has helped me immensely in my life is never settle and never think that you aren’t good enough. As long as you put yourself to it and apply yourself you can go extremely far!

The Keto Diet

The Keto diet is a diet that has been getting a lot more publicity now on social media. This has inspired even more people to try out the diet in their everyday lives also. What is the keto diet though?

The keto diet is a diet in which people consume approximately 70 percent of the calories from fat, 25 percent from protein and 5 percent from carbohydrates. Human beings usually consume most of their calories from carbs and we are often encouraged by nutrition experts to consume approximately 60 percent of our diet from carbs for multiple reasons. The first is that carbs are the easiest source of energy for humans to derive glucose from, which is necessary to power our cells. The second is that too much protein can result in kidney issues. The third is that too much fat can result in blood flow issues. Now this is an oversimplification but that is the simple run down.

The keto diet advocates such low carb intake and high fat intake because of the very reason people turn to the diet. People use the keto diet in order to burn fat as quick as possible. Predominately people looking to loose a lot of fat quickly or bodybuilders looking to get lean quickly will turn to the keto diet. But why do they use the keto diet to do this as opposed to any other diet?

The reason people turn to keto for fast fat burning is because of what the diet is named after. Keto is short for ketogenic. Ketogenic means of ketogenesis. Ketogenesis is the process by which the body creates energy from fat in order to power the cells. This process is much more difficult than deriving glucose from carbs. During ketogenesis, the body creates ketones from fat cells and uses them for energy. The body usually resorts to ketogenesis when it is not getting enough carbs to create the amount of glucose needed. This is the situation that occurs when people are starving. However, the keto diet has figured out a way to not actually starve, but to make the body act as if it is starving in order to more efficiently burn up body fat. It does this by having its adherents consume very high fat and very low carbs. The body will get enough calories but not have enough carbs to create enough glucose. It will have to resort to the fat that is being taken in and the fat that is in the body already to create glucose. This will make the body more efficient at using fat as its main source of energy and so people use it in hopes that it will help them loose fat quicker. This is typically a short term thing and once the goal is reached people usually go off the diet.

But how does one eat a diet 70 percent in fat, 25 percent in protein and 5 percent in carbs? And what foods do people on the keto diet eat?

Well since fruits, veggies and grains are predominately made of carbs, people on a keto diet usually totally avoid grains and have a very minimal amount of vegetables and fruits. When it comes to veggies and fruits avocados are a must since they are a very fatty fruit. They may have a slice of a tomato or onion but other than avocados they will usually stick with a fist worth of leafy greens a couple of times a day to get some carbs,vitamins, minerals and fiber. The predominant foods that are eaten on a keto diet are meats (red, white, sea creatures), eggs, high fat milk and dairy products, nuts, seeds and oils such as olive oil or coconut oil. These foods are high in fat and protein and so it fits the needs of the diet perfectly. When it comes to drinks, water and milk are the only choices.

So besides helping to burn fat quicker, are there other benefits of following a keto diet? There are a few. Because of the high amount of fat and protein that is taken in, people on a keto diet will feel fuller more easily. This makes it easier to stick with the diet because you won’t have an appetite to munch on snacks on the side or have more than your portion. The keto diet has also been found to treat cancer, epilepsy and may treat Alzheimer’s. In the case of cancer, cancer cells thrive on glycogen from carbs and so the low amount of carbs essentially starves cancer cells and stunts or slows their growth. It helps to control epilepsy for some people who suffer from seizures. The diet was originally created to help control epilepsy. The keto diet may help Alzheimer’s patients by slowing the progression of the disease. There seems to be a link between blood sugar glucose and Alzhiemer’s disease. The keto diet makes the body more insulin sensitive because of the low amount of glucose we are receiving from carbs. This would help decrease the blood sugar glucose and maybe slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. However, regarding Alzhiemer’s this is not certain.

Ok so what are the negative aspects of following a keto diet? Unfortunately there are a lot more cons than pros:

  1. The extremely high fat intake will slow blood flow by making the blood thicker.
  2. The extremely high consumption of animal products (meats, sea creatures, eggs, dairy) will raise cholesterol by a lot.
  3. High cholesterol will lead to atherosclerosis if gone on for too long. This is the build up of plaque on the artery walls. This will narrow the blood vessels.
  4. Slower blood flow, higher cholesterol and atherosclerosis will increase risk of heart attack and stroke.
  5. Ketoacidosis could occur. Ketones are released during ketogenesis. Ketones are converted to energy for the cells. Ketones are blood acids. Too many ketones present in the blood can make the blood too acidic and cause ketoacidosis. This happens to diabetics when they cannot process glucose properly. This can be fatal.
  6. Higher cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone. It is released in response to stress. This most likely occurs during a keto diet because the body thinks it is in starvation mode. That’s pretty stressful.
  7. Low fiber because of low grain, fruit and vegetable consumption. This can cause constipation. Constipation can lead to shorter term negative conditions such as hemorrhoids and longer term negative conditions such as diverticulitis.
  8. You may have less energy to perform very intense workouts because of the low levels of carbs. Low carbs means less glycogen to power muscles.
  9. It may be harder to build muscle after being on the diet a while because of the low levels of carbs. Low carbs means less glycogen to fill muscles for recovery.

The keto diet is gaining popularity but that doesn’t mean everyone trying to loose weight or lean out should use it. Ultimately, the choice is up to the individual and that individual should consult a dietician if they feel weary about starting any new dietary program. However, the main plus of a keto diet for the vast majority of people would be fast fat loss. However, being that there are many serious health drawbacks to this diet, it is safer to loose fat the good old fashion way. If someone eats incrementally less calories than they need, they will lose weight. It’s that simple. Eating healthier and exercising are great ways help reduce the calories that are taken in everyday but those are not even necessary for weight loss. No fancy diets are needed either. Less calories in is all that is needed. You can eat carbs, fat, protein, alcohol, grains, nuts, seeds, cookies, veggies, fruits, sodas, meats, junk food, healthy food, sit around or exercise. If your goal is weight loss, all you need is less calories. If your goal is to be healthier and ripped, well then that’s another story. Eating healthy and exercising will be necessary in that case.

Does Meditation Actually Work?

Meditation is the act of focusing on nothing but your breathing and the energy around you, in my opinion. I meditated for the last 7 days to see if I feel a difference and surprisingly I do! There is something about meditation that takes your mind off everything and helps you focus on the here and now. I only did 5 minutes every morning just so I can get the idea of it. I did this by searching up “guided meditation” on youtube and it came back with great results.

First I started to notice I am able to focus on projects more. I don’t reach for my phone every 10 seconds, instead I only answer when I lose this focus which has becoming less and less. Next I noticed when doing these guided meditations, I could feel the energy rising as they described. This energy help me fall into a deeper relaxation. By the the end of the meditation I felt like there was no stress and nothing to worry about. I mean of course there is something to worry about cause ya know life and all, but taking about 5 minutes out of the day to realize your existence and to remember that everything is gonna be okay definitely help bring you back down to earth. In a way doing meditation in the morning it helped me feel a lot calmer throughout the day and seem to not let any situations get to me. I definitely helped me think through problems clearer.

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Studies have shown that only about 8% of Americans meditate, as per NIH, which I find to be extremely low. For me, since I live in New York, meditation has definitely helped me to relax in situations where I would get very upset about. Along with relieving stress, meditation is also known to help, alleviate high blood pressure, IBS, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. For those who idolize very wealthy or productive people, it is known that these individuals usual meditate on a daily bases to help them focus on what has to be done throughout their day.

My thoughts on meditations in general are as follows. I do feel like society views meditation as a very ‘weird’ thing to do in this day and age. As a kid you will be judged as weird if you do this so it sticks with most people as they become an adult and they never tend to try it. I also do feel like most people are glued to their phone, so trying to not look at it for 5 minutes can be a real problem for them. I hope that society will come to the fact of doing things such as yoga, mediation, or some other form of this, helps them become more stress free. If you haven’t tried yoga, do yourself a favor and try it, you won’t regret it.