Belgium, Health

Dry Heat

Today is the first day of a week-long heat wave! Since we are currently in the middle of a serious drought, the upcoming dry heat will definitely be fatal to a lot of living things. For weeks, grass has dried up and gone dormant. Certain plants will not survive this summer. Heck, there were already a few drownings in the past weekend when we were still below the 30s. These poor souls wanted to cool off by jumping into a body of water. Unfortunately, there are some of us who are oblivious to the dangers of thermal shock.

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Health

Melatonin

According to Wikipedia, melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in animals and regulates sleep and wakefulness. I personally find the following excerpt regarding blue light quite interesting and relevant to our modern lifestyles:

Blue light, principally around 460 to 480 nm, suppresses melatonin, proportional to the light intensity and length of exposure. Until recent history, humans in temperate climates were exposed to few hours of (blue) daylight in the winter; their fires gave predominantly yellow light. The incandescent light bulb widely used in the 20th century produced relatively little blue light. Light containing only wavelengths greater than 530 nm does not suppress melatonin in bright-light conditions. Wearing glasses that block blue light in the hours before bedtime may decrease melatonin loss. Use of blue-blocking goggles the last hours before bedtime has also been advised for people who need to adjust to an earlier bedtime, as melatonin promotes sleepiness.

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Health

More Sleep

I just read an article which encourages more sleep. Some of the interesting topics covered by the research are:

  • why 8.5 hours of sleep is the new eight hours
  • the genes that dictate if you’re a morning person or a night owl
  • why you should take a nap instead of meditating
  • how sleep deprivation can be a tool to fight depression
  • why sleep should be the new worker’s rights
  • and tips on how to get a better night’s rest
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Creative Business, Health, Human Nature

Not Paranoia

Today, I came across yet another article which detailed and confirmed the fact that our modern day gadgets are spying on us. It is entitled Your Phone Is Listening and it’s Not Paranoia.

I shall not, in this lifetime, willingly own an iPhone. I shall continue being the proud owner of a Google-less Android phone. I do have to be more diligent when it comes to my tablet. Leaving it on the night stand next to my bed after I have read my e-books is not such a smart practice.

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Health, Simplify, Travels

Biking Around The Lake

Today is warm and sunny. It is the perfect weather for a bike ride and a picnic lunch at the lake. So, D and I packed up some sandwiches and drinks, biked to the lake and enjoyed our lunch sitting on a bench under the trees. After lunch, we biked around the lake just for fun. It was lovely. I am still amaze and grateful that I get to experience all these wonderful things for free.

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Food & Drinks, Health

Veggie Goodness

I feel much better today. So it is no surprise that I am once again busy in my kitchen, brewing up one of my witchy concoctions.

I made a vegetable dump soup. This uses up the rest of a cabbage, one potato, two onions, and a limp parsley stalk. A few bowls of this warm and nutritious vegetable soup will work wonders.

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Health

The Black Hole Of Illness

Damn, it is Monday already. I have not turned on my computer since Thursday and my latest blog-post was last Wednesday! Instead of back-blogging, and despite this sickly haze I am still in, I will try to recollect and jot down what happened during this gap:

Tuesday – Walked to the pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions. Coughing man in front of me was purchasing a serious batch of medication. Pharmacist was coughing too.
Wednesday – Found myself coughing (lightly) while chatting with my mom. I was not able to sleep well that evening due to sudden and persistent coughing fits.
Thursday – Coughing, sneezing, runny nose, dizzy, sharp pain at upper left skull, no appetite. Spend most of today sitting and staring into space.
Friday – Dizzy spell worsened, tired, uncontrollable runny nose, do not enjoy food. I managed to prepare dinner, but today’s dishes remain in the sink (this has not happened since my Vegas days).
Saturday – No longer dizzy but terribly tired, sneezing, using up lots of handkerchiefs, and coughing up phlegm. Food taste like salted cardboard. Despite the lack of energy, I have somehow managed to complete most of my Saturday chores.
Sunday – Felt a bit better but still coughing up nasties. Occasional bouts of sickly feeling while eating. Sharp sudden left skull pain is back in the evening. And what the hell, sore and scratchy throat too.

I hate sick days.

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Health, Simplify, Travels

Spring Day Picnic

Today is one of those sunny breezy spring days. So after some light gardening, I suggested to D that we bike to the Gavers for lunch. I prepared and packed up some sandwiches, took some cold drinks out of the fridge, and put these into D’s bag. Although I was prepared to carry these, we ended up dividing the tasks. We biked leisurely to the lake, parked our bikes near a cafe, and then walked to our favourite bench to enjoy our simple lunch. After lunch, D took some photos of the lake and its surrounding. While biking home, we made a quick stop in the forest and took some photos of wild hyacinths.

D and I are truly fortunate to live so close to a lake. We need not travel far to get in touch with nature, to see beautiful things, and to have a picnic lunch outside our home.

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Health, Movies, Books & TV Shows

Repotting & Reading

For the past two weeks, I have been experiencing mild lower back pain. The culprit is known – my science fiction e-books! To read, I have to sit. And to read long intense stories of space adventures means sitting down way too long.

So this morning, I made the decision to not read even if I have the chance to do so. Instead, I occupied myself with some light household chores. I also took on a task of transplanting and repotting some of my house plants. I planted the sad looking pansies into the flower bed under the bird house, knowing that it will probably die anyway. The potted Chrysanthemums I got for free were planted next to the hibiscus. These stand the chance of surviving spring and summer. I moved my young avocado plant into a bigger pot. Also did the same for the tough little Christmas plant.

Time to reward myself now. Time to finish up the first book of a Chinese science fiction trilogy: The Three-Body Problem.

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Health

Ability To See

The following paragraph is taken from a WIRED article entitled What Are Screens Doing to Our Eyes—and Our Ability to See?:

But of course now so many of us read all day long. And I opt to flood my field of vision with the merry play of pixels and emoji rather than the less scintillating, brown-gray “real world.” This means wearing the reading glasses, even on the street, and affecting blindness to everything but my phone.

I only needed reading glasses when I was in my mid-forties – to read the fine prints and food labels. Despite all the books I have read and the ridiculous amount of screen time I have logged-in, I am rather fortunate to still have normal and relatively healthy eyesight. I have stopped myself from reading in the dark in a laying down position, but I do need to gaze out once a while to stop or even reverse this modern day disease of deteriorating eyesight.

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