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Fun stuff from around the web

Grab a coffee and spend some times perusing our blog.

Many years ago customers swooned over our groovy Spirit House CD – a collection of down-tempo, ethnic tracks from around the world. Sadly, the record company we used to license and distribute the CD closed and the Spirit House CD became a collector’s item.

We still get calls for the CD and thanks to the magic of the interwebs we have created a spotify playlist of the tracks – except for two tracks that aren’t available on spotify so we swapped them with similar tracks from the same artist.

Time for some ear candy:



Here’s a very unique opportunity to study with leading chefs such as Ferran Adrià from elBulli as well as leading mathematicians and physicists from Harvard as they unlock the science behind cooking.

Part of Harvard’s FREE edX program you complete the course online and either do it for your own enjoyment or gain a Certificate of Mastery should you wish to complete the exams and coursework.

If you don’t know anything about edX you should check out their other cool courses – this is the future of education.




We have given sugar a pretty bad wrap over the years in this blog – but this very cool online calculator from Coca Cola shows just how much exercise is needed to burn off one can of their sugary delights. As you’d expect, you can drink Diet coke all day and you won’t have to do any exercise at all – as to what that aspartame is doing to you is for another chart I guess.

However the calories from a can of coke can be burnt off with 19 minutes of hard walking – if you’re a sprite fan then you need 20 minutes to knock out that sugary goodness.



Need to have your mind blown? Paul Stamets is a mycologist – he studies mushrooms. Prepare to be amazed as Paul shows you the latest medical breakthroughs coming from his work as well as innovative new uses of funghi to control insect born diseases. But he saves the best for last:



Grab the kleenex – here are two of my favourite Thai life insurance ads.

This one gets really philosophical – I love it:

Damn allergies :-)



Back in 2009 Dr. Robert Lustig gave a lecture called: ‘Sugar, the bitter truth’ this was posted to youtube a year later and was a scientifically heavy 1.5 hour long video that you’d think not many people would sit through. But this video went viral gaining over 1,000,000 viewers. Packed with amazing research and biochemistry Dr. Lustig argued that a calorie is not a calorie.

In short, your body handles 120 calories in two slices of white bread very differently to 120 calories in a can of soft drink or beer. Dr. Lustig’s particular area of expertise is childhood obesity. Back in the 70s it was argued that our high fat diets were making us fatter which has been the prevailing wisdom for the past 30 years – but what everyone had overlooked that our diets were much higher in sugar – particularly fructose.
To cut a long lecture very short, the body uses up glucose very efficiently (sugar found in bread etc.), but turns most of the calories found in fructose and glucose into fat. The big problem is high fructose corn syrup which is found in just about everything. Basically, he argues, if you cut out the fructose you’ll cut out the fat which is why the Atkins and Japanese diets work so well – they’re very low in sugars. There’s more to the lecture than ‘fat’ – he demonstrates how sugar/fructose create problems like diabetes, hypertension etc. all diseases that have also increased since the 70s.

You can watch this fascinating video below but I’ve also linked directly the biochemsitry and interesting part here.



We’re constantly bombarded with ads offering the latest scientific way to lose weight – usually when you add the word ‘science’ in your claim then you know there’s going to be money involved. Wired.com has a fantastic article on how to lose weight mathematically . . .

Want to drop 10 pounds in two months? All you have to do is the math, says Autodesk founder and Hacker’s Diet author John Walker. Here’s the skinny:

  1. Multiply the pounds you want to lose by the number of calories in a pound of fat: 10 x 3,500 = 35,000.
  2. Divide the total by the days you’ll diet: 35,000 ÷ 60 = 583.
  3. Calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate 100 calories per ten pounds of body weight
  4. Calculate your calories expenditure from exercize
  5. Then use the formula (BMR+Exercise)-diet=total allowed calories

Or stated more simply: if you can eliminate 100 calories per day, that can add up to about 11 pounds a year, says Dr. Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating. 100 calories – that’s less than the calories in a can of Coke! Substitute one glass of water for one can of soda a day, and you’re well on your way to permanent weight loss.

Obviously exercise can help but eating less also makes sense. And how do you know if you’re over-eating?

One night, eat only half the amount of food on your plate. Wait 30 minutes, assess your feelings of satiation, and then wait 90. If you’re still not hungry, you’ve probably been overeating. Most people grossly overestimate the amount of food they need to feel full, says Dr. David Kessler, author of The End of Overeating

You can read more of this article at wired.com



I don’t know why, I just love this video – makes you realise the world is amazing:



Guaranteed: You’ve never seen data presented like this. By any logic, a presentation that tracks global health and poverty trends should be, in a word: boring. But in Rosling’s hands, data sings. Trends come to life. And the big picture — usually hazy at best — snaps into sharp focus.

Rosling developed breakthrough software which animates trends in incredible ways showing you that most of the third world is on the same trajectory toward health and prosperity, and many countries are moving twice as fast as the west did. This has UNBELIEVABLE impacts on the world as you and I might know it.



Cleaning up the bookmarks in my web browser I found this gem. At the time of this clip, Paul Potts used to be a salesman at ‘carphone warehouse’ … just shows you never to judge anyone by their job. Turn your speakers up, and try not to cry.



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