Category Archives: General Knowledge

Happiness

Happiness

Those who wander in the world avowedly and purposely in pursuit of happiness, who view every scene of present joy with an eye to what may succeed, certainly are more liable to disappointment, misfortune and unhappiness, than those who give up their fate to chance and take the goods and evils of fortune as they come, without making happiness their study, or misery their foresight.

-Frances Burney (1752–1840), British author.

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What is the most shitty thing about becoming an adult?

It’s hard to explain, but for me it’s that the sense of being part of some story where you are the protagonist kind of fizzles out unceremoniously and leaves you drifting for the rest of forever.

As a kid, you’re on a path, there’s a plan laid out for you, and whether you intentionally break from the plan or follow it to the letter, there’s this linear progression of growth, and an ultimate goal to strive for. You have allies, you have enemies, you have trials that you pass or fail, you have moments of catharsis, etc. You feel like part of a beautiful narrative, like the heroes in movies and books and tv shows and stories. You feel like there’s a right and a wrong way to go, and some ultimate fate waiting for you at the end that will sum up what all of it meant.

When you get to be an adult, that illusion crumbles away as you realize that you don’t have a narrative, there is no path or plan, things aren’t always linear, and you’re nobody’s hero. There are no allies, because friends can be both good and bad for you simultaneously. There are no enemies, because frankly no one cares enough to wage a personal war for long. You don’t have a destiny. You make choices that are more a product of random chance than you want to admit, and sometimes the consequences make sense, sometimes they don’t. You may flounder around in a bunch of different directions for many years, ultimately not making any progress, and having nothing of import to show for it. You’re not a good person or an evil person – you’re just an ant wandering around looking for crumbs. No, worse than an ant, because an ant has a purpose in life, to serve its queen and colony. You can choose to align yourself with a purpose, but it may never fulfill you or reward you. And nobody will be waiting with a shiny gold medal for you if you stick to it.

Life as an adult seems less and less like an exciting adventure story and more and more like a delerious, confusing fog of random developments and passing phases that raise more questions than they answer.

Edit: I somehow put my first edit in the middle of the text, which made it weird. But it said thank you very much for the gold and comments. I appreciate all the insights and solidarity, and the disagreement too.

I haven’t always felt this way about adulthood, and I probably won’t always feel exactly this way. It’s not as if everything’s hopeless, or that I’ll never try to find a direction for my life. It’s just that the realization of how small your impact actually is, and that you are not destined for anything great, and how subject you are to forces bigger than yourself – that’s a tough pill to swallow.

calliope720

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Putting Time In Perspective

 

Human Life

“Humans are good at a lot of things, but putting time in perspective is not one of them.  It’s not our fault—the spans of time in human history, and even more so in natural history, are so vast compared to the span of our life and recent history that it’s almost impossible to get a handle on it.  If the Earth formed at midnight and the present moment is the next midnight, 24 hours later, modern humans have been around since 11:59:59pm—1 second.  And if human history itself spans 24 hours from one midnight to the next, 14 minutes represents the time since Christ.
 
To try to grasp some perspective, I mapped out the history of time as a series of growing timelines—each timeline contains all the previous timelines (colors will help you see which timelines are which).  All timeline lengths are exactly accurate to the amount of time they’re expressing.
 
A note on dates:  When it comes to the far-back past, most of the dates we know are the subject of ongoing debate.  For these timelines, it’s cumbersome to put a ~ sign before every ancient date or an asterisk explaining that the date is still being debated, so I just used the most widely accepted dates and left it at that.” -Wait But Why
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Make Your Own Electrolyte Energy Drink

Energy drink

Gatorade, Powerade, electrolyte pumped-up sports drinks…they’re good for you, right? You see athletes chugging down bottles of the neon-colored liquid in every ad and real life, surely they do something, and they do. They help you maintain your body’s balance of electrolytes during or after periods of heavier exercise. But when you look closer, you’re really just paying an outrageous price for glorified, brightly colored, sugar water. An overload of processed and refined sweetener (in the case of sports drinks, high-fructose corn syrup) is never a good thing. And while artificial flavors and colors don’t technically do much to your health, a part of me just shies away from the idea of ingesting things that are “fake.”

Bright ‘n Early Recipe

You will need…

-1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
-1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
-1 ½ to 2 cups of fresh water
-1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
-2 tablespoons natural sugar or honey, to taste

Directions

Toss everything into a food blender and blend until the honey is dissolved, or just use some elbow grease and blend it by hand. Pour yourself a tall glass, drop in a few ice cubes, and enjoy.

-everydayroots

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Unwritten rules of foreign societies

Travel

Social rules governed the way we interact with people in society and define specific behaviors that’s acceptable for certain circumstances. Law and regulations are easy to understand, but nonverbal expressions or unwritten rules of foreign society are less likely to be recognize. It’s good sense to research foreign customs of traveling destinations to eliminate cultural offences or stay out of  trouble. Hopefully this zany forum will contribute to your learning and traveling experience, cheers!

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Trouble Sleeping? Go Camping

Camping

For those who have trouble sleeping researchers say that one week of camping, without electronics, resets our biological body clock and synchronizes our melatonin hormones with sunrise and sunset. 

Melatonin is the “hormone of darkness,” said Namni Goel, a psychologist and sleep researcher at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Scientists use the hormone to measure photoperiods, or the physiological response that organisms have to cycles of daylight and darkness. 

“It rises at night naturally, and falls during the day, suppressed by light,” said Goel.

Melatonin also drops the body’s core temperature, making it easier to sleep. People often take melatonin pills to help them fall asleep, she said.

By Joel N. Shurkin