Friday, 29 January 2016

Happiness and statistics

About 10% of our happiness increase depends on circumstantial factors. I will try to find few relevant statistics related to each factor.

1.National, geographical and cultural factors
According to the World happiness report the most happy people live in Switzerland, with the last place being Togo. Check the link for top of the 2015.

2.Age, gender, ethnicity
Older people are happier than young people. In 1970 women were happier than men, but after 2000-2004 women happiness decreased and now men are happier than women. White ethnic group is the happier, Black ethnic group is the least happy.

3. Life status - marital status, occupational status, job security, job income, health, religious affiliations.
People who are paid more are happier, middle class individuals are happier than working class, married people are happier than single, divorced or widowed ones, (following the studies mentioned here: Diener, Sandvik, Seidlitz, & Diener,1993, Warr & Payne, 1982, Mastekaasa, 1994, Diener, Gohm, Suh, & Oishi, 2000). Being religious, doesn't matter what religion is, will increase your happiness overall.

4. Personal history - childhood trauma, car accident, winning and important award are influencing the happiness too

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Need an idea?

One of them is here.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

What if superheroes are real? A true story about mutation.

You wil hear sometime that often reality is more amazing than fiction. Have you seen the movie "Unbreakable" ? I just finished reading one of this kind of stories. One with a happy ending this time. I hope you all will enjoy it. I will say no more. 

Link here

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Silly jokes for multipotentialites

1. Pavlov is sitting at a pub enjoying a pint, the phone ring and he jump out shouting: Damn, i forgot to feed the dog!

2. There are two types of people in the world.
Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.

3. Never trust an Atom. They make up everything.

4. Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Sodium Batman!

5. Two scientists walk into a restaurant, the first says "I'll have a H20" and the second says"I'll have a H20 too." He died.

6. Year 2320. What do you think about that new restaurant on the moon? The food is great but it has no atmosphere.

7. How can you tell the difference between a chemist and a plumber? Ask them to pronounce unionized.

Do you get them all?

Thursday, 21 January 2016


After months of penitence
I've seen my guardian angel,
he was in the coffee shop
across the street,
drinking a glass of milk.
I went inside,
i asked for a tray
full of sweet desires.
He told me:
Please pay my tab,
i need to
urgently go
to a meeting with

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

7 ways to kill your productivity

With the risk of being redundant, i will show you some of the advice i got from Oscar (from

1. Not planning your day.
You either run your day or the day is running you, there’s no third option. To take full control over your day, you need to plan it out, ideally the night before. Whenever I fail to schedule the tasks I need to complete and activities I want to perform, I’m more likely to make a minimal or even zero progress toward my goals. Writing down works like a kind of a commitment. Furthermore, you know exactly what needs to be done, so you can proceed without wasting the time.

By planning your day, you make yourself a huge favor. It takes me up to 15 minutes to prepare the strategy for the next day, and the results are always outstanding. My willpower levels are higher, I tend to be more disciplined and I work like a productivity freak. However, once I decide to go spontaneously, quite the opposite happens. I wander from task to task, which is ineffective and boring.

2. Allowing potential distractions to interrupt you.

Imagine trying to focus on your work while phone notifications distract you every 5 minutes. And then, there are people asking for your time. To make it even worse, there’s a complete mess in your room, so you are overwhelmed by the chaos.

You may travel all over the world, but you won’t find a person who could be productive in such an environment. For this reason, I always make sure to remove the potential obstacles before I even get to work. My phone is muted, my working space is fresh, clean and minimalistic, people around me know I need to be alone so I can focus. Paying attention to the possible productivity killers around you is incredibly important so never neglect that.

3. Checking Facebook Feed 114523 times a day.

Facebook is one of the biggest time-suckers ever invented. My brain would develop a tendency to want to check Facebook whenever I’d lose my focus. Sometimes, it happened automatically and I wouldn’t even notice until I wasted 20 minutes scrolling my feed to check out useless information. I found a solution which I recommend to anyone who’d like to keep Facebook to communicate with friends but also want to minimize the waste of time.

It’s a chrome extension named News Feed Eradicator for Facebook. Your news feed is replaced with motivational quotes so there’s no longer anything interesting to check.

4. Putting off the toughest task.

As they say, you should eat that frog first which translates to doing the most demanding task at the very beginning so that the rest flows more easily. We tend to postpone the hardest task over and over again so that in reality, we never get it done. If this happens, that’s a huge sign to actually make that thing the highest priority and complete it as soon as possible.

Accomplishing something which you were afraid of doing increases your motivation and discipline levels. Once it’s done you realize that things which seem hard can be easy once you do the first tiny step.

5. Trying to work like a robot.

We love automation because robots don’t insist on having breaks. They can work 24/7 for days, weeks, months or even years. Humans are the exact opposite. We need breaks, plenty of breaks. To reload the energy, to regain focus and to stimulate our minds and bodies. Whenever I try to work like a robot so I can spend more time on the things that need to be done, bad things happen. In reality, I always end up completing less that I planned.

It’s because there’re some rules in nature which we can’t overcome. One of the best ways to boost your productivity is to stop working in order to regain the energy. Take a short walk, perform a 7-minute workout or try to mute the throng of thoughts by meditation.

6. Ignoring your health.

There are certain elements we need to cover on a daily basis to make our bodies serve us well. These are physical activity and eating healthy. If you live a sedentary & lazy lifestyle and put crap into your body, you can’t expect yourself to be productive. Your body is the most precious asset you have, so neglecting it is ALWAYS a bad decision. I know the urge to put off a workout so you could work more on your project or to grab some fast-food so you don’t have to cook yourself. But be aware that it always works against you.

Based on my experience, if you put first things first: you treat your body properly without excuses, then you’ll spend the remaining time much more productive.

7. Neglecting the power of sleep.

People try to cheat their bodies with countless cups of coffee or energy drinks, but that’s a battle you can’t win. Whenever you cut on sleep, you drastically decrease your productivity. Personally, I need 8 hours of sleep to function at a high rate. Whenever I sleep less, the consequences are inevitable and they are always negative. Arranging a sleeping schedule works wonders for your productivity. you’ll be more energized and ready to conquer the day.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Become a better writer: 15 common errors made in writing

Here are 15 common errors made in writing formal diction. How many of these usage errors have you made?

1. A lot / lots of

Colloquial: Diana likes her apartment a lot.

Formal: Diana likes her apartment very much.

Colloquial: There are lots of books in our library.

Formal: There are many books in our library.

Note: Alot is not an English word.

2. Among / between (Tip: Among involves more than two; between involves only two)

Colloquial: Discussions between our group members were often very lively.

Formal: Discussions among our group members were often very lively.

3. Everyday/Every day (Tip: Everyday is an adjective meaning ‘typical’ or ‘not special’; every day specifies a habit)

Incorrect: We buy lunch there everyday.

Correct: We buy lunch there every day.

Correct: Our manager told us to wear everyday clothes to the Saturday meeting.

4. Loan/lend vs. Borrow. In some English dialects, the word “borrow” is substituted for “loan” or “lend,” as in, “Can you borrow me that book?” In Standard English, the person providing an item lends/loans it, but the person receiving it borrows it.

Colloquial: Borrow me that pen, please.

Formal: Lend me that pen, please.

Formal: Loan me that pen, please.

5. Based off of

Colloquial: Based off of that information, we can move ahead with the plan.

Formal: Based on that information, we can move ahead with the plan.

6. Kids/Mom/Dad (tip: When referring to family members or children, use the formal style in academic writing.)

Colloquial: His mom and dad took all of the kids to the park.

Formal: His mother and father took all of the children to the park.

7. Guys

Colloquial: I hope you guys can join me at the restaurant.

Formal: I hope all of you can join me at the restaurant.

8. Infer / imply (Tip: To infer is an act of thinking; to imply is an act of saying something.)

Incorrect: I saw your memo about a noon meeting. Are you inferring that we should have lunch together?

Correct: I saw your memo about a noon meeting. Are you implying that we should have lunch together?

9. It’s / its (Remember that it’s always means it is)

Incorrect: The committee has reached it’s goals this year.

Correct: The committee has reached its goals this year.

10. Less than / fewer than (Tip: Use less than only with uncountable nouns.)

Colloquial: There are less people in the store today than yesterday.

Formal: There are fewer people in the store today than yesterday.

11. Like / as (Tip: Use as when comparing actions, like when comparing things.)

Colloquial: Alan wants to write a new essay, just like Sarah does.

Formal: Alan wants to write a new essay, just as Sarah does.

12. Like / maybe (Tip: Avoid using like and maybe when estimating; use approximately, perhaps, or about instead.)

Colloquial: There were like thirty people at my birthday party.

Formal: There were approximately thirty people at my birthday party.

13. Meantime

Colloquial: Meantime, the rain continued to pour.

Formal: In the meantime, the rain continued to pour.

Formal: Meanwhile, the rain continued to pour.

14. Plenty

Colloquial: It has been plenty warm all week.

Formal: It has been very warm all week.

15. They’re / their / there (You’re / your) (Tip: remember that they’re always means they are, and you’re always means you are)

Incorrect: Do you know if their going to the party?

Correct: Do you know if they're going to the party?

Incorrect: You’re lunch is on the counter.

Correct: Your lunch is on the counter.

Incorrect: What is there address?

Correct: What is their address?

Monday, 18 January 2016

Quote of the day and the relevance of pessimism in the happiness level

What goes up will come down.

We will close an eye to the Newtonian laws, and we will go a bit more deep, talking about how to deconstruct happiness and develop our own methods to increase it. Some of the current researchers think that it is a set number or a set range of our daily happiness, and that whatever will happen, doesn't matter how high our level of happiness is, any gain will eventually decrease gradually, or even disappear completely. But how is this set level determined, how rigid it is, can we change it over time? Some says that it is not possible. That we are doomed to live normal, average life. Can you believe it? I do not.

Stay with me as we will explore this in some future blog posts.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Life hacks and unicorns

* For the ones too busy to read a book, here is an YouTube channel transforming book reviews in short movies. I find it brilliant. Try it.

**Norway. You can choose high school classes like E-sports, DOTA 2, Counter Strike or League of Legends. Students will study their game of choice for five hours every week, and classes will include – among others – physical training, lifestyle and nutrition advice, training of reflexes.b Amazing, where was this stuff when i was in school? Link here.

*** Life experiences. Meet a Sangoma. What is that? Sangoma is a practitioner of herbal medicine, divination and counselling in traditional Nguni (Xhosa, Zulu, Ndebele and Swazi) societies of Southern Africa. In effect they are the African Shaman. They perform a holistic and symbolic form of healing, embedded in the beliefs of their culture that ancestors in the afterlife guide and protect the living. Sangomas are called to heal, and through them ancestors from the spirit world can give instruction and advice to heal illness, social disharmony and spiritual difficulties.

**** And finally, the happiness code - psychological mumbo-jumbo that worth a look. Read it carefully, a lot to learn there. Link here.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Quote of the day

"There is a way of breathing that's a shame and suffocation,
And there is another way of expiring a love breath that let's you open infinitely."

I can remember a research on happiness, done by Barbara Fredickson, when she will give a token gift before tests, a bag of candy (packed, so it is not about the sugar rush). The one who received gifts had better test results, and camera focused on the eyes iris could see that for example in a picture of 3 babies, one in the middle and two side ways, the ones who did not received gifts focused mostly on the middle picture, while the ones who received gifts focused on all three pictures. The conclusion of this complex experiment was that positive emotions (and happiness as a complex set of positive emotions overall) open awareness, expands our peripheral vision, in other words, we see the world with new eyes when we are happy.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Alarm clocks and the flying saucer

Two days ago i had problems waking up, i was too tired to care about the alarm, and tried to cancel it automatically. Now, any problem will have at least one solution. What i find?

1. Do you have a hard time waking up in the morning? Are you the type of person that hits “snooze” over and over again? Then this alarm clock from Nanda Home might be just the thing!
Clocky the motorized alarm clock will permit you one snooze, but after that, it leaps from your nightstand and drives away. It can endure falls of up to 3 feet (about 1 meter), runs on 4 AAA batteries, and will continue beeping and flashing as it flees.

2. Meet the Ruggie, a new invention taking the Internet and our REM cycles by storm. To the naked eye, the device looks like a measly old rug, but it's actually an alarm clock. Yes, it's an alarm clock disguised as a rug, with built in speakers and a sensor that only shuts off once you stand on it for three seconds.

3. And the last one in my selection, take a look here, it is flying, yes, there is a flying saucer in the room.

Hope you enjoy it, you can find a better one, post the link here please.

‘Design Thinking’ for a Better You

Today i will start a new label simply called Happiness. First post is about habits and personal problems, and one key to solve them. This article is from New York Times, by Tara Parker-Pope.

‘Design Thinking’ for a Better You

January 4, 2016

A strategy called “design thinking” has helped numerous entrepreneurs and engineers develop successful new products and businesses. But can design thinking help you create healthful habits?

Bernard Roth, a prominent Stanford engineering professor, says that design thinking can help everyone form the kind of lifelong habits that solve problems, achieve goals and help make our lives better.

“We are all capable of reinvention,” says Dr. Roth, a founder of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford and author of the book, “The Achievement Habit.”

I’ve applied design thinking to my own life the past few months, and it seems to be working. I’ve lost 25 pounds, reconnected with close friends and refocused my energy on specific goals and habits.

Design thinking has helped me identify the obstacles that were stopping me from achieving my goals, and it’s helped me reframe my problems to make them easier to solve.

In the words of Dr. Roth, design thinking helped me “get unstuck.”

To get started, design thinkers focus on five steps, but the first two are the most important. Step 1 is to “empathize” — learn what the real issues are that need to be solved. Next, “define the problem” — a surprisingly tough task. The third step is to “ideate” — brainstorm, make lists, write down ideas and generate possible solutions. Step 4 is to build a prototype or create a plan. The final step is to test the idea and seek feedback from others.

Design thinking is normally applied by people who are trying to create a new product or solve a social problem or meet a consumer need.

For instance, Stanford students went to Myanmar to work on an irrigation project. The first two steps of design thinking — empathize and define the problem — meant that the students spent time with the farmers to understand their problems with watering crops.

In doing so, they discovered that the farmers’ real problem was not irrigation but light. The farmers used candles or kerosene lanterns, and the fumes filled their small huts. Managing their needs for light without electric power consumed a great deal of time and income.

As a result, the design-thinking students used empathy to shift their focus to the actual problem that needed solving. They developed affordable, solar-powered LED task lights. They have since provided millions of lights to 42 countries, creating an affordable lighting solution in parts of the world that don’t have electricity, or have spotty service.

Dr. Roth says the same type of thinking that solved the lighting problem for the poor farmers can be applied inward. To start, think about the problem you want to solve. Then ask yourself, “What would it do for me if I solved this problem?”

One example Dr. Roth uses is a person who wants to find a life partner. Ask yourself, “What would finding a partner or spouse do for me?” One answer might be that it would bring you companionship. The next step is to reframe the problem: “How can I find companionship?” There are more and easier answers to the new question — you can meet friends online, take classes, join a club, take a group trip, join a running group, get a pet and spend time at the dog park.

“Finding a spouse now becomes simply one of many possible ways to find companionship,” Dr. Roth says. “By changing the question, I have altered my point of view and dramatically expanded the number of possible solutions.”

For years, I would have told you that my biggest problem was being overweight, but I simply could not find a diet that worked. But design thinking helped me reframe my problem.

It happened a few months ago when I declined an invitation to a party with many of my favorite people who I hadn’t seen in years. I didn’t go because I was embarrassed by my weight, and I just didn’t feel up to seeing people who knew me when I was thinner. I realized that my issues with my weight were getting in the way of me living my life.

It was time for design thinking. At this point, a design thinker would ask “What would losing weight really do for you?”

The answer surprised me. I wanted to feel better about myself, feel less tired and have more energy and confidence to socialize and reconnect with friends. Conducting my own personal empathy exercise helped me realize that weight loss was really not my problem. Instead, I needed to focus on my friendships, on boosting my energy and getting better sleep.

So reconnecting with friends and getting better sleep became my focus. I bought new clothes, which made it easier to make social plans.

And surprisingly, this new, more empathetic approach to my own needs also illuminated some ways to improve my diet. I realized a carb crash around lunchtime was making me very tired during the day, so I eliminated sugar and processed carbohydrates and immediately had more energy. In shifting my focus away from weight loss to the real issues weighing on my life, I ended up losing 25 pounds.

I still have a long way to go, but developing empathy for myself was truly a breakthrough made possible by design thinking.

“Design thinking on the highest level is a way of reframing the way you look at the world and deal with issues, and the main thing is this idea of empathy,” Dr. Roth says. “If you have tried something and it hasn’t worked, then you’re working on the wrong problem.”

Friday, 8 January 2016

Quote of the day

“Creation is a better means of self-expression and possession; it is through creating, not possessing, that life is revealed.”
Vida D. Scudder, The Life of the Spirit in the Modern English Poet

Get it. Now go out there and improve your life. Create something. Doesn't  matter what. Could be a new recipe, a new photo on Instagram, poetry or short story, whatever you do in order to feel better afterwards. Right?


Wednesday, 6 January 2016

When the magic happen?


We’ve all heard the phrase “The magic happens outside your comfort zone”. But have you ever fully gotten the meaning of this? The truth is, breaking out of your comfort zone requires a lot courage. Effort. Dedication. You have to face the fear of the unknown. Jump in the deep end. Trust in your hard work and put your faith in the future. Scared? You should be. It’s frightening. But it’s even more rewarding. Here’s what is takes to step out of your comfort zone and why it’s totally worth it.

You must make the decision alone.

Doing something you have never done before requires making a decision. A life-changing decision. And although you will never be alone on your journey, you will be on your own for this. You and only you alone can decide to take the first step. Others can encourage. They can motivate. But they can never walk in your shoes. Your actions must come from within. Ask yourself: What do you want to achieve? Would you like to be better, stronger, fitter? Then, make your decision to get there.

There will be times when it’s hard!

The truth about greatness is: Getting there is not easy. You will have doubts. Tell yourself that your goal is unreachable. There will be a point when you want to quit. But this is all in your mind. It’s scared. Your mind prefers being comfortable. Because it doesn’t know any better. It’s unaware of what’s beyond your comfort zone. Trust us, there is so much in store.

Why it will all be worth it?

The pain, the struggle and the doubts are all a part of your journey to greatness. Stepping out of the comfort zone proves your strength and endurance. Teaches you discipline and determination. You will see things from another point of view. Discover a new side of yourself. And in the end you will understand that the real magic does not happen only once you’ve broken out of your comfort zone itself. But rather the journey of getting there.

(excerpt from the site

The science of Happiness

And as i was talking this days about how to be happy, here is one link.
A Berkeley course about the science of happiness. Yes, really!

Click the link to find more.

Good luck!

Let's all be happy!

He! He!


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Chemistry stuff, Lyft

Do you remember that Mendeleev periodic table? They just added 4 new elements on it. Super heavy elements, i should say. Known as ununtrium, (Uut or element 113), ununpentium (Uup, element 115), ununseptium (Uus, element 117), and ununoctium (Uuo, element 118). Proper names to come soon. Oh, and i just finished to memorize it. Ha! Ha!

More about that here.

* General Motors and Lyft joined together to make my driver-less car, and i am still waiting.

How to live a happy life! - Hint

Did you ever heard of Ann Marie Roepke and her concept of post-ecstatic growth

Quote: "While past research suggests that people experience positive psychological changes after adverse events, little is known about psychological changes that happen after positive events. Adult participants (N = 605) went online to complete a new self-report instrument measuring positive psychological changes linked to positive events, changes that I provisionally call post-ecstatic growth. Factor analysis indicated that this growth happens in four domains: deeper spirituality, increased meaning and purpose in life, improved relationships, and greater self-esteem. Participants were particularly likely to report growth after events that evoked feelings of inspiration and meaning, and events that led them to see new opportunities."

She is also assisting in positive gaming research with Dr. Jane McGonigal, Rose Broome, and the rest of the team at SuperBetter Labs. (I already wrote about this here and here!)

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Quote of the day

“Time, not money, is your biggest asset in life. You need time to invest in relationships (with yourself and your family) or to chase your passion. Think again" if you are still trading off time for money. Let your money work for you. You don't work for money. That is exactly what Financial Freedom is...”
Manoj Arora

That should be one of my mantras in regard with my personal finance this year. I will say...

Protein of the day: Melanopsin

Melanopsin is a type of photopigment belonging to a larger family of light-sensitive retinal proteins called opsins and encoded by the gene Opn4. Two other opsins in the mammalian retina are both involved in the formation of visual images: rhodopsin and photopsin in the rod and cone photoreceptor cells, respectively.

In humans, melanopsins is found in intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), as well as the cerebral cortex of the brain and in epidermal skin. Melanopsin also is found rats, mice, amphioxus, and other chordates. ipRGCs are photoreceptor cells which are particularly sensitive to the absorption of short-wavelength visible light and communicate information directly to the area of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), otherwise known as the central "body clock" in mammals. Consequently, melanopsin plays an important non-image-forming role in the setting of circadian rhythms as well as other functions. Mutations in the Opn4 gene can lead to clinical disorders, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to one study, melanopsin has been found in eighteen sites in the human brain (outside of the retinohypothalamic tract), intracellularly, in a granular pattern, in the cerebral cortex, the cerebellar cortex and several phylogenetically old regions, primarily in neuronal soma, not in nuclei. When you play with your phone or tablet in the evening, this is the one protein responsible with changing your circadian rhythm and messing up with your brain. 

Want to know more about, click here.

Now that you know, act accordingly!

Saturday, 2 January 2016

How meditation change your brain, quote of the day and some other theories of relative self-importance

1. "There is nothing that the busy man is less busy with then living; there is nothing harder to learn." Seneca

Did you meet this kind of people? Always busy, always doing something, obsessed by time, always in a hurry. Did you envy them? Not at all, right? As we learn to put a portion of our income for play, and used it each month, do not forget to put a portion of your time for play, and use it each week. Or day. You will see the effect in few months. And you will like it. Action is the key, just do it!

2. One link of Jim Kwik 3 simple ways of achieving your goals, right here

3. How meditation change your brain. click here

Quote of the day

The art of memory is the art of attention.
Jim Kwik

And is true. Raising your awareness will bring your memory to an all high. Is easy like that. One example. When you meet new people, just say: So your name is... If you repeat his name and associate with something you know (So, your name is Valentina, as my brother Valentin) and you will never forget it. You will be a Napoleon of the modern days. But now the challenge just begin. How we will raise our awareness? About this, in some other post.

Good night, good people!


Quote of the day