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Category Archives: Nootropics

Grocery CPG Trends Based on Industry Adoption and Market Strength, from CB Insights – Food Industry Executive

Posted: March 5, 2020 at 7:05 pm

A recent report, Grocery CPG Trends To Watch In 2020, from CB Insights looks at 15 trends across food, beverage, and household essentials.

The trends fall into four categories, based on a combination of industry adoption and market strength:

The report identified five necessary trends.

Traditionally, retailers and other platforms that drive shopper engagement have been intermediaries in CPG companies relationships with consumers. However, in 2019, companies invested significantly to develop one-to-one consumer relationships. A more sophisticated ad tech landscape and more direct-to-consumer plays will enable CPG companies to establish deeper and more informative relationships with customers, states the report.

Per capita milk consumption in the United States went down almost 18% from 2010 to 2018, according to USDA data. Traditional dairy companies, such as Dean Foods and Borden Dairy, have filed for bankruptcy. As a result, plant-based dairy alternatives are set to reach their full market potential in 2020, as companies continue to expand alternative dairy options.

Although researchers are still attempting to understand how the gut microbiome affects health and wellness, food and beverage companies are developing products to target the microbiome. As understanding increases, CB Insights expects more companies to develop personalized nutrition services to help consumers with their diets.

Like most other food trend predictions, CB Insights sees continued growth in plant-based meat. Companies will develop new partnerships, distribution agreements, and production capabilities in 2020.

Startups and changing consumer behavior have forced some leading CPG companies to dramatically speed up the product innovation cycle. As more companies look to accelerate innovation cycles, these techniques will help companies more precisely tailor new products to individual markets, including localizing new innovations within emerging markets, states the report.

The report identified five experimental trends.

Blockchain and AI technology are helping companies address the challenge of traceability. However, moving large network supply chains to a new technological infrastructure will require more time and investment.

Developing dehydrated products is a way to reduce the cost of shipping. This cost limits e-commerce profits for many CPG companies. However, the compact nature of dehydrated products means differentiated in-store merchandising is difficult, making the products primarily valuable for e-commerce channels.

Even with all the interest in cannabis, food and beverage companies still face uncertain regulations.

The increase in human-grade pet foods will accelerate in 2020, given Increased spending on pets, declining birth rates, and premiumization trends.

Lab-grown meats are not yet commercially available, primarily due to high costs. However, recently-funded startups are working on new technology to scale production.

The report identified four threatening trends.

Nootropics and adaptogens are emerging as the go-to ingredients for everything wellness, according to the report. Products containing these ingredients can potentially take market share from traditional CPG categories. However, companies will need to prove the effectiveness of their product to attract consumers.

With all the sustainability concerns, selling models based on reusable packaging will increase.

The implementation of IoT-connected products and brand services for consumers will increase with the rollout of 5G.

Although theres interest in tech-enabled vending machines, most are still in the proof-of-concept stage.

The report identified only one transitory trend.

The healthy beverage trend is maturing. An increasingly crowded and competitive enhanced water market could stall growth. Also, more sustainable packaged-water alternatives, such as carboned at-home hydration systems, could lead to new consumption patterns and affect how enhanced water products are manufactured, packaged, and sold.

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Why the New Right Loves Nootropics – The New Republic

Posted: March 3, 2020 at 7:44 pm

A class of supplements bills itself as neuroenhancers or nootropicscompounds you dont need a prescription for that promise to augment your mental functioning without side effects. A notable subset of the people interested in these brain pillsand sometimes hawking themare on the right. Its not hard to see how todays pressures might make a person want to amplify their cognitive abilities, but is there something about the idea of chemically optimizing ones mind that meshes especially well with a conservative politics? In Episode 2 of The Politics of Everything, the Australian writer Richard Cooke joins hosts Alex Pareene and Laura Marsh to talk about vitamin regulation, the history of amphetamine usage in the arts, how nootropics fit into the tradition of right-wing snake-oil peddling, and the unmistakable influence of the movie Limitless, which celebrates a mysterious substance that vastly improves its protagonists brainpowerand spurs him to commit a murder.

Later in the episode, campaign reporter Walter Shapiro calls in from South Carolina with a dispatch on the state of the primary race and his reflections on the possibility of a contested convention.

Related Reading:

Richard Cooke wrote about nootropics and the conservative commentariat for The New Republic last fall.

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7 Nootropics That Combat Daytime Sleepiness and Boost Energy – The Crypto Coin Discovery

Posted: at 7:44 pm

It is necessary to get a good nights sleep. This keeps you fresh, energized, and motivated during the day. It also eases stress, repairs your body to keep you productive for the day. This is why it is important to have a regular sleep pattern and a good sleeping habit. By improving sleep quality, you can keep yourself going for the next day. It helps eliminate daytime sleepiness and fatigue. It also boosts energy and keeps energy level high throughout the day.

Sleepiness during work in the day can lead to laziness a sedentary lifestyle. This is where Nootropics help. The brain-boosting supplements and medicines are known as Nootropics. These help you to stay awake during the day or when necessary, so that you can sleep well at night. These medicines can be prescribed by your doctor. It is useful for healthy people. It is often used by people with daytime jobs. Sometimes students take it to enhance their cognitive function during examinations.

It was in 1972, when the Romanian chemist, Corneliu E. Giurgea coined the term Nootropic. A Nootropic substance is the one that has a cognitive-enhancing effect. It should have no or only a few side effects, and should be safe to use. Nootropics are not cognitive enhancers such as Ritalin or Adderall. The latter two have short-term or long-term side effects. They may also cause you to get dependent on the medications. Nootropics, on the other hand are safe to choose for improvement of cognitive activities such as energy, memory, focus, learning, motivation, creating, and more.

Below-mentioned are some of the effective Nootropics brain-boosting supplements that you can rely on:

It is a synthesized derivative of Thiamine or Vitamin B1. The medication is for those with Thiamine deficiency and people who suffer from fatigue and tiredness. Sulbutiamine has several Nootropic benefits in people who are healthy. It helps to increase energy level and alertness. The supplement also reduces anxiety and boosts mood. It works by increasing the production of dopamine and glutamate. These are the two chemicals in the brain responsible for overall drive and well-being. Sometimes, Sulbutiamine is also recommended for erectile dysfunction treatment.

If you are aware of Nootropics, then you must have definitely heard of Modafinil. It is one of the most popular Nootropic medications. The substances in Modafinil enhance wakefulness. It has stimulating effects, yet it is not categorized as a stimulant. The stimulation caused is not forced but encouraged. It does not showcase the euphoric side of other known stimulants. Thus, you may not develop a dependency on Modafinil as easily compared to stimulants.

Some of the benefits of this Nootropic are motivation, wakefulness, focus, increased energy level and productivity, etc. Like other stimulants, Modafinil does not only focus on one or two neurotransmitters. Its mechanism is rather focused on increasing excitatory neurotransmitters such as orexin, serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, glutamate, and histamine. It also reduces GABA, the primary inhibitory brain chemical.

Oxiracetam was developed in the 1970s. It is a member of racetam class and one of the safest stimulating Nootropics. It has stimulatory effects like that seen by the use of phenylpiracetam. The mechanism of action is not clear and still being researched. However, the medication increases your endurance level. It thus helps you carry out tasks smoothly. The supplement is a mild stimulant. Thus, it brings wakefulness rather than forced stimulation.

It also increases the speed of recall. Thus, you can pay attention to tasks and remain focused for a good amount of time. Oxiracetam may even reduce symptoms of dementia by halting the pace of brain damage. It increases blood flow to the brain, allowing you to feel wide awake when necessary. It also speeds up energy metabolism.

Noopept is a member of the racetam class Nootropic. It is a synthetic peptide and a hundred times more effective than Piracetam. You need a lower dose of this medication to bring the same effect of a high dose Piracetam. This supplement clears head, lowers social anxiety, and promotes focus. It also helps improve verbal fluency. Noopept also increases blood flow to the brain.It has a mild stimulating effect, which is less apparent than caffeine. But it is more lasting and with no negative side effects.

Noopept works by increasing the production of BDNF and NGF. These are two substances containing neuro-protective properties. It also promotes short-term and long-term memory. The medication also causes focus for extended period by improving learning ability. It also enhances the ability to consolidate memories.

This Nootropic has a unique mechanism of action, and does not work like other racetams. It does not increase the acetylcholine levels. But it does eliminate excessive calcium and glutamate.

One of the potent Nootropics, Phenylpiracetam belongs to the racetam class. This medication is structurally similar to amphetamines. It is a synthesized version of Piracetam. But, it has an added phenyl ring. The effects of this agent are similar to that of popular stimulants. It causes an increase in the level of acetylcholine, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Thus, it functions like a typical racetam nootropic. Many say that they find Phenylpiracetam effects are the same as that of Modafinil. But there could be a few differences inexperience.

Russian cosmonauts were known to use this medicine to get over stress and keep their cognitive ability intact when working in space. Along with mental boost-up, this medication also has anxiolytic effects. Thus, you can experience relief when working under pressure or in stressful events.

Also known as Arctic Root or Golden Root, Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen herb. People have been using this root in Scandinavia and Russia for centuries. This herb is excellent to overcome brain fog, fatigue, poor memory, and sluggishness. It has stimulating effects and adaptogen properties, easing high stress, and reducing anxiety. Rhodiola Rosea improves mood and wakeful state by boosting norepinephrine and serotonin levels.

The herb also has several other health benefits. It has marked effectiveness in the treatment of infertility, impotence, flu, infections, depression, and tuberculosis. All this is because of its Nootropic and tonic effect. This substance protects the brain from oxidative stress as it contains salidroside. It also re-grows neurons and causes brain repair. This is done by re-synthesis and activating the synthesis of ATP.

Creatine is a well-known amino acid. It is essential for your body to make protein. Being a Nootropic, it also functions as a bodybuilding supplement. This is because it helps with muscle growth, and has benefits for brain health.

After consumption, creatine goes to the brain. Here, it binds with phosphate and creates a molecule responsible for fuelling the brain cells. The increased availability of particular brain cells helps build energy. It improves reasoning skills, short-term memory, and reduces stress.

Due to daytime sleepiness, your productivity and performance at work or academics can be affected drastically. It may also cause difficulty in sleep at night time. To overcome this problem, Nootropics are the best. These supplements and medication increase energy levels and do not have any negative impact on health. These also promote brain activity and enhance cognitive activity. The right type of Nootropic will be decided by your health practitioner.

As everyones brain chemistry is unique, the doctor will recommend the medicine based on case to case. Stacking of these medicines may decrease dependency on these. Thus, your doctor may recommend one or two Nootropics for a better effect and overall experience.

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Brain health: The next big trend in functional beverages? – FoodNavigator-USA.com

Posted: February 27, 2020 at 1:54 am

"I think the future is from the neck up. To be dramatic, I think its the next step in human evolution, and were at the forefront of that," Miller told FoodNavigator-USA.

"I dont think our brains have caught up from an evolutionary standpoint to keep up [with advances in technology], which is why you have guys like Elon Musk worried about brain function, and why hes made huge investments in it."

Before founder and CEO Chris Miller started Koios in 2015, he was doing what many other members of the workforce did to keep energy levels up throughout the day: drinking copious amounts of caffeine.

"As I became more entrenched in work, I did what everyone else does in this information age does to keep up, and I self-medicated with energy drinks and too much coffee," Miller said.

The company launched with a nootropic(referring to a group of substances linked to improved cognitive function)capsule, and after seeing strong success with its supplement line, Miller and his team decided to enter the beverage category.

"[We thought to ourselves]how do you have a better technology instead of just coffee? Because it can only get you so far," said Miller."We thought if we could get this drink into Whole Foods, more people would be open to the idea. For us, it was how do we get this into more peoples hands?'."

Koios' line of carbonated canned beverages features nootropic ingredients including medium chain triglycerides from coconut oil, vitamins B6 and B12, ginseng, Lion's Mane mushroom, and caffeine from green tea.

The drinks are available in Whole Foods and at Walmart in the retailers' functional beverage set. With its clean and fresh branding, Koios drinks are doing especially well with active female consumers, said Miller.

"When we repackaged we wanted it to be feminine, we wanted it to be clean, we wanted it to be very ingredients focused. Like a sparkling water with a ton of benefit.Who we really saw traction with is 25- to 45-year-old females who are upwardly mobile and really care about their body. Kind of the same demo[graphic] as Lululemon would have," Miller said.

According to Grandview Research, the global market size of digestive health products is more than five times the size of the market for brain health products ($32.7bn vs. $6.2bn).

"I look at nootropics as sort of where kombucha was seven years ago," said Miller.

If the general consumer now understands to a certain degree what a probiotic is, then it's not too far of leap to develop a basic understanding of nootropics, noted Miller.

"I think youre about to see this huge explosion [in brain health]. We saw the explosion in gut health, everyone understands probiotics and prebiotics now. I think in the next few years, everyones going to want a nootropic. I think if gut health can be that fancy so can brain health. I think its an even more attractive category."

According to Miller, the hottest brands that have come out of the functional beverage space in recent years have all started online where they built a loyal following (e.g. Soylent, Bulletproof, Dirty Lemon).

The reason Koios was able to gain distribution with major retailers such as Walmart and Whole Foods, is because the brand built a strong online audience first, noted Miller.

"I personally think that people are more brand loyal than theyve ever been.I think youre going to see a lot of brands like Bulletproof did come in and sort of take over...brands that are really direct-to-consumer focus are going to win the battle,"Miller said.

Miller also believes that theFDA's final guidance of Nutrition Facts labeling regulationswill have a noticeable impact on food and beverage manufacturers.

"I do think theres going to be some sweeping changes in how products are labeled. I think there will be even more accountability,"he said.

Koios has the advantage of operating their own production facility, opposed to working through a copacker to produce its wares, which can delay production cycles, speed to market, and innovation, according to Miller.

The brand's latest innovation is Fit Soda, a more indulgent option for consumers looking to get their soda fix. Fit Soda contains BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) and zero sugar (it's sweetened with sucralose)."I think one of the things that holds CPG brands back is innovation, because most of us are dealing with co packers, third party faculties, and that almost killed us in the beginning,"Miller said."So whats unique about us is we can innovate as often and as quickly as we want."

"We really wanted something that was non-caffeinated that was indulgent and still incredibly healthy. Kind of following the footsteps of Halo Top and Smart Sweets,"Miller said.

"If everyones being honest, I really want to drink soda."

Interested in learning more about the future of the functional beverage category? Tune into our FREE-TO-ATTEND LIVE Beverage Trends webinar on Thursday, March 19th at 11:30 a.m. CST.

Check out our panel of beverage industry stakeholders and the topics that will be covered HERE.

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Would you try hacking your brain to perform better? – VOGUE India

Posted: at 1:54 am

Consider the brain to be a piece of hardware, where therapies and technology can be applied to manipulate and upgrade it. This understanding is loosely the basis of neurohacking, which is simply any process that tweaks brain function or structure to improve a persons experience of the world. Usage of nootropics, dopamine fasting, neurofeedback and brain stimulation are all different ways to change the way your mind functions. While these practises were relatively unknown until a few years ago, theyve now become quite popular, especially amongst the in the Silicon Valley crowd or professionals in high-performance jobs. Vogue spoke to a neurohacking expert, a psychiatrist and a nutritionist to find out more about the trend.

My interest in neurohacking came from the search to create a better experience in the life I was creating and living, says Ben Cote, a director at Neurohacker Collective in San Francisco. To put in simply, neurohacking is about taking control of your diet, sleep, exercise through a specific technology like nootropics, or practices like red light therapy and meditation. The great thing about it is that there are so many entrances into discovering what is possible when you take responsibility for your own health. It has the ability to show that with a deliberate and thoughtful decision about one aspect of your lifeand the amazing results that come from thatwhat all is possible in other areas of your life,

While neurohacking is usually safe, doctors suggest that is is best to check with a professional first, especially if you already have medical conditions, or are consuming medications that could alter the results. Part of the world of neurohacking and biohacking is the notion of N=1 experimentation. N=1 is the nomenclature for a test with a single subject, which is yourself.It is important to experiment and see what works for you, says Cote. Try a new food routine, experiment with a new product or technology, and add in a new supplement or practice. Then, document your results. Tweak the experiment to see how those change the results, and then begin to stack those experiments on to one another, he explains. If youre nervous about trying something too complicated, clinical nutritionist Juhi Agarwal has a suggestion that might ease some of the stress. Instead of resorting to extremes, I think simple practices like maintaining a gratitude journal could help you equally, as you also end up learning about yourself on the way. This can be a great first step, she says. On the other hand, Mumbai-based psychiatrist Dr Kersi Chavda, is still wary. "There is still not enough clinical evidence backing it," he says.

While some non-invasive practices can be tested without too many side effects, doctors caution against jumping into oral medication or making other long-term changes before carrying out due diligence. They suggest that nootropics or other drugs wont work like magic pills, but could be an upgrade for an already healthy system. Taking few selective ingredients in high doses can cause the system to get out of balance, which can lead to down-regulation or dependence.We understand the body has an innate ability to self-regulate, and we want to support those pathways and processes that help this, and increase the capacity and resilience of the system towards that goal, says Cote. "Many believe that nootropics make a lot of difference in cognitive abilities, concentration, attention span, memory issues, but the fact is that there is no definitive proof of how effective they are. There are no specific studies done to prove that they are as useful as they are made out to be. At best one can believe they are useful as adjuvants [an ingredient used to boost or modify the effect of other ingredients] but they certainly cannot take on the role of the main drug given for that particular disorder," says Dr Chavda.

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NOOTROPIC FOODS TO BOOST THE MEMORY DURING EXAMINATION – NewsPatrolling

Posted: at 1:54 am

While we as parents worry about the nutrition content of the food of our kids, we rarely think about how food can also affect our childs brains.

The feeding of children, the right way, has to be well monitored by their parents for their proper physical and mental growth of children. Healthy eating can stabilize childrens energy, sharpen their minds, and even out their moods.

Children who dont get proper nutrition during their first three years may be losing ground in intelligence to their better-nourished peers and hence children should be encouraged to eat healthy foods from an early age, and to avoid foods that arehigh in fat and sugar, as far as possible.

Nutrition has been called the single greatest environmental influence for children, and it remains essential during the initial years of life and during examination for their memory.

WHAT ARE NOOTROPIC FOODS

Nootropics are brain booster they are drugs or supplements which helps to improve cognitive function, memory, creativity or motivation particularly executive functions which is beneficial for the human brain.

The foods which are rich in nootropics are:

Eggs:are rich in choline, which helps transmit signals across neuronal membranes. Body use the choline in eggs to produce acetylcholine, which aids the body in achieving deep sleep to retaining new memories.

Spinach:Dark greens leafy vegetable like spinach and kale are the best source of brain-boosting nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin these nutrients helps in quicker mental recall, and increased capacity for memory.

Turmeric:turmeric which belong to ginger family helps stimulates neurogenic cellular creation, and is used in the treatment of depression, Alzheimers disease, and strokes.

Blueberries:contain Anthocyanin, an antioxidant which prevents the brain from aging. Anthocyanin helps improve memory and cognitive function, and even helps intra-cellular communication within our brains.

Dark chocolate: Flavanol-rich cocoa beans actually increase blood flow to the brain and can even trigger the production of new brain cells.

Oily fish:the long chain omega 3s in oily fish may improve learning and memory and reduce inflammation in the brain which helps in decreased risk of Alzheimers disease, depression and other mental health conditions.

Red wine: nootropic benefits in red wine are in its high levels of resveratrol, an antioxidant compound that targets the free radicals associated with some forms of cancer.

Nuts:walnuts have high amount of vitamin E that forms a protective layer around the brain cell membranes and ward off free radicals.

Coffee caffeine content in the coffee shows cognitive performance by blocking the activity of adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. This neurotransmitter can reduce mental stamina and make one feel drowsy.

Green tea contains catechin and L-theanine which promote relaxation without sedation which is favourably promote brain function.

Water When we are dehydrated, we are more likely not to be able to think clearly. around two litres of water a day is recommended but it also depends on body weight, and level of physical activity of a person.

BY:Ms. Pavithra N Raj, Chief Dietician, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur

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The optimization trap: what you give up when you hustle – The Verge

Posted: at 1:54 am

The venerable New York Times does its fair share of trolling these days, and because the paper of record is The Paper of Record, it is quite amusing to see people up in arms about its latest diversion. (Looking specifically at you, Styles and Opinion. Well done.) A friend posted the latest in a Slack I frequent: a video titled Dont Just Live Your Life, Optimize It. It was a funny, beautifully animated argument against the productivity fetish disguised as a piece of productivity messaging. It was an attack or, at least, a shot across the bow.

The video, created by Tala Schlossberg, describes steps to get rid of the downtime left in your life minimize friction, maximize hustle; iterate; accelerate; and eventually you die but the real victory is the tone of the narration, which strikes a nice balance between enthusiasm and cynicism. Yes, there is a jape about polyphasic sleep.

Productivity, strictly defined, is the state of being productive the time it takes to make stuff. In macroeconomics, its the thing that makes the economy grow without having to add jobs, and its defined as gross domestic product (GDP) divided by total hours worked. Or to put it differently, its a measure of the ratio of value added to a system versus the labor put into in the first place. Schlossbergs video references one of economist John Maynard Keynes more famous essays, Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, which was published in 1930 and is credited with popularizing the theory that technological advancement would lead to more productivity and, crucially, less labor for workers. (Its where the idea of a three-hour workday / 15-hour workweek comes from.)

But Keynes vision was far grander than that: he believed that 100 years in the future, the economic problem of the human race would be solved. And the insight startled him because, drawn out to its logical conclusion, it meant that mankind would decouple itself from having to strive to subsist. If the economic problem is solved, mankind will be deprived of its traditional purpose, he wrote. Were about a decade away from the period Keynes was imagining himself into, and while I dont think its too early to say the gains he predicted havent materialized, there is a case to be made that the ennui has. Its no coincidence that Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla and SpaceX, and David Michael Solomon, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, are both record producers.

In 2017, Ben Friedman, a Harvard economist, published a paper that explained why. Keynes was right (so far) about output per capita, but wrong about the workweek, he wrote. The key reason is that he failed to allow for changing distribution. With widening inequality, median income (and therefore the income of most families) has risen, and is now rising, much more slowly than he anticipated.

That means: were working harder for less now because the people who have more have so much more. The economy is optimized to push gains to the top. The whole point of personal optimization, on the other hand, is to increase your productivity in this system, to work harder in a way that mostly does not benefit you at least not in the end.

In recent years, Silicon Valley, that hotbed of technological advancement, has begun to push the gospel of personal optimization into the mainstream. Things like intermittent fasting (previously known as orthorexia), polyphasic sleep (napping), and nootropics (sketchy brain drugs) have been given a new health-boosting, wellness-enhancing glow because they allow you to work harder, maybe. At the same time, hustle culture the native argot of the small business owner has arisen from the personal responsibility wing of society and has taken over the internet. A day rarely goes by that I dont encounter some success story about a person who didnt take any days off and has been rewarded with a handsome exit from their startup or something.

More people are freelancing now than ever before. A study last year concluded that Americas 57 million freelancers bring in $1 trillion to the economy, or about 5 percent of Americas GDP. (They also represent a full 35 percent of the countrys workforce.) But there is a worrying generational trend. The younger the worker, the more likely they are to freelance, reported CNBC. According to the study, the increase is clear in generational results: 29% of baby boomer workers freelance, 31% of Gen X, 40% of millennials and 53% of Gen Z.

While freelancing is flexible, it doesnt usually come with any of the benefits that make a life in America sustainable: theres no health insurance and flexibility is another way to say that its very easy to get fired. There arent really regulations for how to treat freelance workers only norms because the default assumption is that if you dont like the work, you can quit, regardless of whether you need it or not. In all of these senses, freelancing is the ultimate state of productivity, the perfectly optimized job for a perfectly optimized present. Freelancers are 2020s rugged individualist frontiersmen, living off the fat of corporations, owing nobody anything.

Problem is, thats nearly impossible to sustain. You get tired, eventually. Human bodies can only be made to work so much; there is a reason sleep is still the most mysterious, widespread function in the animal kingdom. The truth of the matter is its impossible to do anything alone forever, which is why co-working spaces for freelancers (offices) are gradually turning into co-living spaces for alienated people. Hustle culture makes the argument that your worth is your productivity, your ability to stay busy and ahead of the pack. As much as Id like to think I want to make a living by my wits alone, I know that relying on other people makes those stakes manageable. Theres a reason you dont see many old cowboys.

After I finished watching Schlossbergs video for the second time, and I was trying to make sense of it all, I remembered a tweet Id seen about art and millennials. I cant find it now, but it went something like: art is bad now because nobody has the time to sit still. Lately, Ive been trying to spend more specifically unproductive time at home time when I cant do any thinking and when I have to figure out a way to turn off the part of my brain that says the only way out is through.

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Fast food and nutrition: for the sake of our brain health we need to watch what we eat – The National

Posted: at 1:54 am

With reference to Kelly Clarke's story What are trans fats and why are there calls to ban them in the UAE? (February 24): it would help if we stopped advertising these fast food chains. The adverts are sometimes posted over each lamp post around town.

Ashwin Amin, Dubai

Nutrition is the single greatest environmental influence on children. It is essential during the initial years of life. The effect of food and memory is especially important during the time of school exams. Healthy eating can stabilise childrens energy, sharpen their minds and even out their moods.

Children who dont get proper nutrition during their first three years may lose ground in intelligence to their better-nourished peers and hence children should be encouraged to eat healthy foods from an early age and not be fed foods high in fat and sugar, as far as possible.

During exams they need foods that all the more boost brain function such as nootropics. Some foods rich in them are eggs, dark greens leafy vegetables like spinach and kale the best source of brain-boosting nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, these nutrients helps in quicker mental recall.

Turmeric helps stimulate neurogenic cellular creation, blueberries contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant which prevents the brain from ageing. Anthocyanin helps improve memory and cognitive function, and even helps intra-cellular communication within our brains. Dark chocolate actually increases blood flow to the brain and can even trigger the production of new brain cells.

These besides other nutrient rich oily fish and nuts, coffee, green tea and water should be consumed.

Pavithra N Raj, chief dietician, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Benguluru, India

Justice served: Harvey Weinstein has had it coming for years

About the report Harvey Weinstein found guilty of rape and sexual assault (February 24): the former Hollywood producer is getting what he deserves. The guilty finally have to accept what they have had coming to them for years. The judgement will give his victims and the #MeToo movement some form of solace and will set an example to predators world over. Let's hope this verdict teaches people to not abuse their positions of power.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru, India

Let's hope countries can control the spread of coronavirus

In reference to your report Coronavirus: Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Afghanistan confirm first cases (February 24): As per your paper's reported cases in Iran, it's evident that the virus has started to spread to some countries in the Middle East also. Let us hope that local governments are able to control the situation and they all co-operate generously to manage this dreaded virus. Apart from combining our medical resources and knowledge across the world, we also need to pray that we can control the virus.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Updated: February 26, 2020 05:38 PM

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Artists Mine Data and the Mostly Chilling Implications of AI in ‘Uncanny Valley’ – KQED

Posted: at 1:54 am

The appearance of ones doppelgnger usually presages disaster. Today, a shadow version of oneself exists constantly alongside our flesh-and-bone selves, for the most part concealed under the surface of our smartphones, in the ebb and flow of data behind our screens. These statistical alter egos, as de Young contemporary art curator Claudia Schmuckli calls them, are part of the modern conditionat least for anyone who engages with the networked world.

Instead of shying away from this uncomfortable truth, the artists of Uncanny Valley, Schmucklis first group exhibition at the de Young, meet these doppelgngers head on, mining and manipulating that data to confront audiences with their digital lives, and the real-world implications of all that information.

Uncanny Valley is billed as the first major exhibition in the U.S. to explore the relationship between humans and intelligent machines through an artistic lens, which sounds like it could be a show of unwieldy and intangible technology. It does, however, hew fairly close to the standard exhibition format, just with slightly more interactive features. Dealing in such nebulous, digital stuff, Uncanny Valleys strongest moments turn those themes into room-sized installations, as happens in Zach Blas The Doors, Lynn Hershman Leesons Shadow Stalker and Christopher Kulendran Thomas Being Human.

The exhibition opens with Blas green-tinged mystical corporate garden, organized around the sacred geometry of Metatrons cube in a nod to the Bay Areas past and present relationship to psychedelia. At the rooms center, a glass case displays readily available nootropics (so-called smart drugs), popular with a Silicon Valley set interested in optimizing everything, including their own minds. On hanging screens, video projections trained on various neural networks (Fillmore-esque posters, Jim Morrisons poetry, lizard skin) create a frenetic ambiance, the textbook cacophony of a bad trip.

While Blas LSD-inspired garden asks questions like Who gets to have a vision of the future today? other projects supply an onslaught of unsettling information we didnt necessarily know to ask after. Soliciting visitors email addresses, Hershman Leesons Shadow Stalker broadcasts what personal data can be gleaned from an internet search of that email, yielding current and former addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers and even, sometimes, credit scores. (Schmuckli assured me the museum isnt keeping peoples email addresses on file, so at least theres that.)

Hershman Leeson further implicates her audience (their physical and digital shadows become part of a projected map) by linking this invasive search to the reality of predictive policing, which uses data about past arrests to identify high-risk areas and determine heightened surveillance of those spaces. The feedback loop is dizzying.

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Artists Mine Data and the Mostly Chilling Implications of AI in 'Uncanny Valley' - KQED

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Sleep cages and ice baths: The extreme lifestyle of local biohackers – Minneapolis Star Tribune

Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:38 am

In the predawn darkness, you can see an eerie red glow shining from the windows of the Hudson, Wis., home of Thaddeus Owen and his fiance, Heidi Sime.

The couple are awake, having slept in their Faraday cage a canopy over their bed that blocks electromagnetic fields like the Wi-Fi signals or radiation from cellphone towers, which they believe are harmful.

Their primal sleeping environment also has special pads under the bed that are supposed to mimic the effect of sleeping on the ground under the influence of the Earths magnetic field, thus combating Magnetic Field Deficiency Syndrome.

Their house is bathed in red light because they think white incandescent, LED and fluorescent lighting robs them of sleep-regulating melatonin hormones. They wear special sunglasses indoors for the same reason, blocking the blue light from computers, cellphones or televisions when its dark outside.

Their morning routine includes yoga in a shielded, infrared sauna designed to create an EMF-free ancestral space, and putting tiny spoonfuls of bitter white powders under their tongues. These are nootropics, so-called smart drugs, which are supposed to improve focus, mood or memory.

When day breaks, they go out in their yard and face the rising sun Thaddeus in shorts and no shirt, Heidi in a sports bra and yoga pants doing Qigong in the snow and 25-degree air.

Getting early-morning sunlight, they believe, will correctly set the circadian rhythm of their bodies. Exposing their skin to the freezing temperatures, they hope, will help release human growth hormone, stimulate their immune system and trigger the body to burn fat to heat itself.

Forget Blue Zones. This is what your morning looks like if youre biohacking your way to an optimal you.

Biohacking is a DIY biology movement that started in Silicon Valley by people who want to boost productivity and human performance and engineer away aging and ordinary life spans. Think of it as high-tech tinkering, but instead of trying to create a better phone, biohackers are trying to upgrade to a faster, smarter, longer lasting, enhanced version of themselves.

Owen, 44, describes it as a journey of self-experimentation, using practices that are not talked about by mainstream media and your family doctor. His aim is to combine the latest technology and science with ancient knowledge to modify his environment, inside and out.

My entire goal is to basically age in reverse, he said.

Aiming for supernormal

Owen, who is from New York, studied chemical engineering in college. He worked for Procter & Gamble, helping to create beauty care products, and for pharmaceutical firms, developing manufacturing processes.

Now he works from home, managing worldwide product regulations in the sustainability department for office furniture company Herman Miller. But he moonlights as a biohacking guru.

He started a Twin Cities biohacking Meetup group that organizes weekly cold-water immersions at Cedar Lake in Minneapolis. Hes given a TEDx talk urging audience members to wear blue-light-blocking glasses indoors at night.

Hes helping to organize a Cold Thermogenesis and Heat Shock retreat at the end of next month in Pequot Lakes, Minn., where 50 people will pay up to $2,300 to spend four days going on shiver walks, drinking Bulletproof coffee and plunging into ice water.

He founded the website primalhacker.com and he and the 45-year-old Sime (who also goes by the name Tomorrow) run a website called thaddeustomorrow.com, where they market biohacking products like red light panels, a baby blanket that blocks EMF radiation and a $5,499 Faraday cage sauna thats the same type used by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.

Owen said he relies on tons of research to support avoiding blue light at night and the healing properties of the early morning sun.

The Harvard Health Letter, for example, said that blue light from devices, LED and compact fluorescent bulbs can throw off the bodys circadian rhythm, affect sleep and might contribute to cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Some studies have shown that exposing people to cold temperatures burns calories and repeated cold-water immersions might stimulate the immune system.

And those infrared saunas? They dont appear to be harmful and maybe they do some good, according to Dr. Brent Bauer, an internal medicine expert at the Mayo Clinic.

But being healthy really doesnt need to be that complicated, according to Dr. Michael Joyner, a human performance specialist at the Mayo Clinic.

All these things sound great, Joyner said of the biohacks. Theres a ring of what I call bioplausibility to them.

But Joyner said its often hard to find evidence that biohacking practices actually work and that most Americans would be healthier if they just followed basic advice.

You need to go for a walk, not smoke, not drink too much, dont eat too much, he said.

But Owens goal is not to be merely healthy.

I want my biology to be shifted to that supernormal range, where Im optimally healthy, he said.

Moving into the mainstream?

When he started biohacking about 12 years ago, Owens goal was to improve his sleep. As a competitive athlete, he was fit, but he had problems with anxiety and insomnia.

So he started wearing special glasses to block blue light. His co-workers used to think he was odd. Now Owens company is asking him for advice on what kind of lighting should be used in work settings to keep employees healthy. And his sleep and anxiety problems have gone away.

I went from being the weird guy to being consulted, he said.

We all sort of watch what he does, said Gabe Wing, director of sustainability at Herman Miller and Owens boss. Wing said Owen has influenced some co-workers to try blue-light-blocking tools. But no one at the Michigan-based company is going outside shirtless in the winter.

Still, more people are biohacking. When Owen first got into it, he didnt know of any other biohackers in the Twin Cities. Now there are more than 500 people in the Biohackers Twin Cities Meetup group.

Susan Eiden regularly gets advice from Owen. The Minneapolis resident said using red lights at home has drawn comments from neighbors, but the lights combined with blue-blocking glasses and turning off the Wi-Fi at night have improved her sleep.

While many biohacks seem odd now, Owen is convinced that some of them will become common practices.

This whole blue light thing, its not going away, he said. More research comes out every day and its becoming more mainstream. And using nootropics is growing bigger and bigger every day, he said.

Owen takes supplements, some of which are considered prescription drugs in Europe and Russia, like phenylpiracetam, which is said to have boosted stamina among Soviet cosmonauts. Other preclinical compounds he and Sime use are in a regulatory gray area in the United States. Nootropic developers give them supplements that arent on the market yet because theyre biohacking influencers.

Were like lab rats. They send us stuff. We try it out, Sime said.

All for longevity

Owen and Sime have five of their children, ages 8 to 17, living with them. The kids wear blue-light-blocking glasses when they watch TV, but theyre OK with it, the couple said. Some of the kids have made videos or given talks to peers about the benefits of the glasses.

I think cellphone radiation is going to be the new lead, asbestos and smoking, said Owen, who turns his Wi-Fi off at night, keeps his cellphone in a special Faraday pouch when he sleeps and sometimes wears radiation-proof underwear.

(The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says scientific evidence has not conclusively linked cellphone use with any adverse human health problems, although scientists admit that more research is needed.)

Owens diet isnt typical, either.

Hes been a vegan and a vegetarian. Now he eats what he describes as a local, seasonal diet: local vegetables, fruits, nuts and honey during the growing season. Thats followed by a high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet in late fall and early winter. Then an all-carnivore diet in late winter, including animals hes raised at a friends farm.

One of the few white light bulbs he has in his house is pointed at the stove because in red light, its hard to tell if meat is cooked.

He also consumes ceremonial grade cacao, coffee with collagen peptides and chocolate ghee and homemade sauerkraut thats fermented and subjected to special music that has the frequency of love.

Those are living microbes, so I infused them with a love frequency to make them happy and healthy, said Owen, who has a masters degree in holistic nutrition.

While he used to do marathons and triathlons, he now exercises for longevity rather than competition, with high-intensity training, weights, racquetball and cross-country skiing.

If its too cold to be barefoot when he goes out in the morning, hell put special straps on his boots to create a conductive connection between his body and the Earth.

Its a practice called grounding or Earthing thats supposed to allow electrons to pass between the Earth and his body to reduce inflammation and neutralize free radicals. Gwyneth Paltrow swears by it, according to an article on goop.com.

Owen doesnt have a particular longevity goal, unlike biohacker and Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey, who has said he wants to live to at least 180.

Owen just wants to be healthy and independent for as long as he lives.

I want to maximize the health of my biology to what its capable of, he said. I want to live the best life that I can. I want to be happy. And I want to have a body and a mind that does the things I want them to do.

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Sleep cages and ice baths: The extreme lifestyle of local biohackers - Minneapolis Star Tribune

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