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August 15, 2020

When it comes to food, stray outside the lines


Who said you had to follow directions or eat things the way they were intended to be eaten?

Lots of foods can be improved by straying outside the lines.

Consider, for example, Cup Noodles, an essential part of my diet since they arrived in the U.S. in 1971.

By ignoring the directions that say to add boiling water up to the line on the inside of the cup near the top, but instead only using enough water to reach the top of the dried noodles (about 3/4" lower), two things happen:

1) The flavor becomes more intense because the dry seasonings are more concentrated

2) The noodles become more of a dish and less of a soup

Try it, you might like it.

If not, let me know and I will refund twice what you paid for your Cup Noodles.

I will also publish your refund request here in its entirety.

August 15, 2020 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Classical Music Livestreams Worth Paying For

Anthony Tommasini, the chief classical music critic of the New York Times, offers guidance through the maze.

August 15, 2020 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running — Haruki Murakami


If you're a runner or you like Murakami you'll enjoy this book; if you're both you'll love it.

I know I did.

Excerpts below.

I'm struck by how, except when you're young, you really need to prioritize in life, figuring out in what order you should divide up your time and energy. If you don't get that sort of system set up by a certain age, you'll lack focus and your life will be out of balance. I placed the highest priority on the sort of life that lets me focus on writing, not associating with all the people around me. I felt that the indispensable relationship I should build in my life was not with a specific person, but with an unspecified number of readers.

My opinion hasn't changed over the years. I can't see my readers' faces, so in a sense it's a conceptual type of human relationship, but I've consistently considered this invisible, conceptual relationship to be the most important thing in my life.



In other words, you can't please everybody.

Rereading the article I wrote at the the time of this run in Greece, I've discovered that after twenty-some years, and as many marathons later, the feelings I have when I run twenty-six miles are the same as back then. Even now, whenever I run a marathon my mind goes through the same exact process. Up to nineteen miles I'm sure I can run a good time, but past twenty-two miles I run out of fuel and start to get upset at everything. And at the end I feel like a car that's run out of gas.



Muscles really are like animals, and they want to take it as easy as possible; if pressure isn't applied to them, they relax and cancel out the memory of all that work. Input this canceled memory once again, and you have to repeat the whole journey from the very beginning.

Even now, when I run along Jingu Gaien or Asakasa Gosho, sometimes I remember these other runners. I'll round a corner and feel like I should see them coming toward me, silently running, their breath white in the morning air. And I always think this: They put up with such strenuous training, and where did their thoughts, their hopes and dreams, disappear to? When people pass away, do their thoughts just vanish?



When I put on my jogging shoes in the morning and set out, my feet are so heavy it feels like I'll never get them moving. I start running down the road, slowly, almost dragging my feet. An old lady from the neighborhood is walking quickly down the street, and I can't even pass her. But as I keep on running, my muscle gradually loosen up, and after about twenty minutes I'm able to run normally. I start to speed up. After this I can run mechanically, without any problem.



What I mean is, a person's mind is controlled by his body, right? Or is it the opposite — the way your mind works influences the structure of the body? Or do the body and mind closely influence each other and act on each other? What I do know is that people have certain inborn tendencies, and whether a person likes them or not, they're inescapable. Tendencies can be adjusted, to a degree, but their essence can never be changed.

Basically I agree with the view that writing novels is an unhealthy type of work. When we set off to write a novel, when we use writing to create a story, like it or not a kind of toxin that lies deep down in all humanity rises to the surface. All writers have come face-to-face with this toxin and, aware of the danger involved, discover a way to deal with it, because otherwise no creative activity in the real sense can take place. No matter how you spin it, this isn't a healthy activity.



So from the start, artistic activity contains elements that are unhealthy and antisocial. I'll admit this. This is why among writers and other artists there are quite a few whose real lives are decadent or who pretend to be anti-social. I can understand this.

To deal with something unhealthy, a person needs to be as healthy as possible. That's my motto. In other words, an unhealthy soul requires a healthy body. This might sound paradoxical, but it's something I've felt very keenly ever since I became a professional writer. The healthy and the unhealthy are not necessarily at opposite ends of the spectrum. They don't stand in opposition to each other, but rather complement each other, and in some cases even band together.



Running is a great activity to do while memorizing a speech. As, almost unconsciously, I move my legs, I line the words up in order in my mind. I measure the rhythm of the sentences, the way they'll sound. With my mind elsewhere I"m able to run for a long while, keeping up a natural speed that doesn't tire me out. Sometimes when I'm practicing a speech in my head, I catch myself making all kinds of gestures and facial expressions, and the people passing me from the opposite direction give me a weird look.

The end of the race is just a temporary marker without much significance. It's the same with our lives. Just because there's an end doesn't mean existence has meaning. An end point is simply set up as a temporary marker, or perhaps as an indirect metaphor for the fleeting nature of existence.


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As I suspect is true for many who write for a living, as I write I think about all sorts of things. I don't necessarily write down what I'm thinking; it's just that as I write, I think about things. As I write, I arrange my thoughts. And rewriting and revising takes my thinking down ever deeper paths. No matter how much I write, though, I never reach a conclusion. And no matter how much I rewrite, I never reach the destination. Even after decades of writing, the same still holds true.

August 15, 2020 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hubble Ultra-Deep Field 3D Fly-Through

August 15, 2020 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Laser Hair Regrowth Cap

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From the website:

This baseball cap rejuvenates hair by stimulating follicles with laser light technology.

Effective for men and women, it uses the same Photobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT) that has long been demonstrated in clinical trials to be an effective treatment for hereditary hair loss.

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Its 272 medical-grade lasers emit red laser light waves at 650nm that help boost circulation in the scalp and encourage restoration of damaged follicles.

The cap has a flexible fit and a silicone lining for optimal comfort.

Ideal for active individuals, the cap operates with a rechargeable battery, allowing on-the-go activity during daily treatments.

Results may be seen in as little as 12 weeks with daily six-minute treatments.

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Features and Details:

• Programmed for automatic six-minute shut off

• Recharges via included AC adapter

• Includes carrying case

• One size fits most 

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August 15, 2020 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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