The Myopia Myth

Once you go glasses, you never go naked (eye) again!

For a great while, I believed if I ever started wearing spectacles, I would have to wear them all my life. At least, that was what I’d heard from people who wore glasses. So with a heavy stone over my instinct, I believed them. But here’s what my instinct told me :

The size of the lens is adjusted by muscles. And all muscles can be rehabilitated. No muscular configuration is permanent. Hence the muscles that expand or contract the lens can be brought back to the original position through exercise/therapy.

But like all instincts facing the massive general opinion, I silenced my inner voice. And from then on, I worked hard to keep my eyes healthy. I promised myself that I would never need to start wearing glasses.

So I kept my eyes healthy. I ate a lot carrots. Also, I read books instead of reading on the internet. And whenever I could, I spent a while in pitch darkness, adjusting my pupils to it. In short, I just minimized the time I exposed my eyes to artificial light. All this worked very well until college ended and I was off to get a bachelor’s degree.

This was the time when I developed a keen interest in writing. I started spending tremendous amounts of time on the computer, typing my days away. And in that authory fervour, I lost focus on keeping my eyes healthy.

And soon enough, I developed a 0.25 power in both my eyes.  And I though, my fate was practically sealed. I’d have to spend my days looking at the world through a glass wall.

Here ends the first half of the story. The second half has a beginning, which I will tell you in a minute. But the end of the second half, is something I leave to your own action and effort.

The second half began when I stumbled across a video about reversing eye defects. I found it to be quite sound and useful. I m sharing the video down below, and I urge every reader (power or no power) to watch it at least once.

 

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The Toy of a Hyperactive Generation

I asked my friend what it does.

“It spins.” He said.

I asked him if it had a motor, or a remote control.

“Nothing, you just hold it between two fingers and you flick it.” He said.

I was dumbfounded.

“So you’re telling me that for a price range of 3 to 1000$, it does absolutely nothing.”

If you haven’t guessed already, I am talking about the ‘fidget spinner’.  The spinning toy has recently catapulted to stardom, with its sales growing exponentially over night. But for such a brilliant success, the fidget spinner is merely a toy that does nothing. It doesn’t talk back to its owner, it does not self correct after bumping into walls, it isn’t mouldable and more so, I repeat, it does nothing!

Or so I thought.

But there’s a silent purpose behind the existence of the fidget spinner

Inventor Catherine Hettinger suffered from Myasthenia Gravis, a disorder that caused muscle weakness. As a result she couldn’t play with her daughter. So she designed a toy to keep her daughter entertained. She also filed a patent for it. But years later, when she couldn’t pay the renewal fees, she lost the patent.

Now when the toy has achieved its much deserved success, many officials and researchers have quoted its usefulness in tackling ADHD. ADHD ( attention deficit and hyperactive disorder) patients have difficulty remaining still or focusing on a single task for more than a few minutes. They have this constant urge to keep fidgeting with something, much like normal people fidget with stuff when they’re bored.

The fidget spinner satisfies this urge of ADHD patients by giving them something to fidget while they work on something. Since their urge is satisfied, they can concentrate better on the task at hand.

Having established that the primal calling of the fidget spinner is to help tackle ADHD, it serves one more purpose which isn’t that apparent.

The present generation of the human species is afflicted by a severe disorder called hyperactivity. And the severity of the disorder can be sensed in the phenomenal success of the fidget spinner. It is an indication that humanity can’t keep still. We have forgotten what it is like to just be in the moment. So much so that our senses and our limbs crave constant movement.

Whether hyperactivity is good or bad, is a debate for another time. But whatever the result of that debate may be, we need to learn to keep still. We need to learn to pause for a moment and really be in that moment.Because silence is just as important as sound. Keeping still is just as important as hyperactivity.


 

I’ve just bought a fidget spinner. And I can’t keep my hands off it. May be I’m hyperactive too. So tell me about your experience with the toy. Feel free to get hyperactive in the comments section below, or hit me on my email – mindfeedwp@gmail.com

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Huff and puff, life in the rough.

Nicotine is a chemical stimulant that relaxes the mind. It induces positivity and feelings of pleasure in the brain.

Eggplants, potatoes and tomatoes posses trace amounts of nicotine ( 200 nanograms per gram). Such amounts are healthy to consume. But an average cigarette emits about 2 mg of nicotine. So when you smoke a cigarette, you are taking in hazardous amounts of the chemical, which leads to a nicotine addiction and also various other ailments. This is all about nicotine.

But on the World Tobacco Day, it would be a waste to not discuss the most popular form of tobacco consumption – the cigarette. Tobacco is prepared by curing the leaves of the tobacco plant. These leaves contain 0.6 to 3 percent nicotine by weight. Being rich in nicotine, these leaves are finely cut and rolled into a thin sheet of paper. This forms a cylindrical object called the cigarette.

So a cigarette must only deliver nicotine to the blood stream, obviously. In Utopia, that would’ve been the case. But in fact, the burning of tobacco leaves in the cigarette creates a smoke that is no less than poison. It contains 4000 harmful chemicals, 50 of which can cause cancer. Also, the combustion releases carbon particles into the lungs which cause irreversible damage to the respiratory system.

A cigarette is death in consumable form.

Despite complete knowledge of the ill effects, people chose to subject their bodies to the torture that is smoking. And even if one puts aside the self harm, the harm caused to people around smokers is even more pronounced. So when you choose to smoke, you are in fact knowingly, killing yourself and the people around you. And if you search the terrorist’s thesaurus, that’s the definition of a suicide bomber.

So do you want to be a suicide bomber? Or you want to live your life with a working set of lungs? It’s completely your choice. But on the occasion of the World Tobacco Day, I would urge you to quit smoking. I would tell you to put your life back in order. I also know that if you’ve decided to let your life waste away, my words won’t change your opinion. Only you can change your opinion. I can only hope that any change you make, leads you to a full life and not tar filled lungs.

Keeping you cool in Summer

Summer has hit Southeast Asia and in a few months, the whole Northern Hemisphere will experience a heat wave. Following that, the Southern hemisphere will battle summer in December. So if you take the whole world as a reference, Summer isn’t an annual phenomenon. But the main question is, are we equipped to deal with this year long season?

Here are a few ways to beat the heat:

1. Stay Hydrated

This one is so obvious, I need not elaborate. And yet I will. The body of a mammal deals with the heat by sweating. Salt water oozes from pores on the skin. It then absorbs heat from the skin and evaporates away, thus transferring heat from your body to the surroundings. The best way to maintain this cycle is to keep replenishing the source of sweat. Keeping yourself hydrated will ensure that you have enough water available to sweat.

2. Wear clothes of lighter shades

The colour white reflects most of the light coming from the sun. The colour black doesn’t reflect any. So wearing clothes with shades closer to white will reflect most of the light from the sun and keep your body comparatively cooler. And trust me, choosing to wear black on a sunny summer’s day is tantamount to suicide.

3. Get a haircut

This one might not be so obvious. Hair on the head performs the function of heat dissipation. It keeps your head from overheating. So logically, the more hair you have, the cooler your head must be, right ? Well, not exactly.  Beyond a certain length, hair proves to be a nuisance during summer. Long hair tends to trap heat. This proves to be a hindrance in heat dissipation. So the best way to deal with the heat is to get a haircut – but don’t cut it too small – this will leave your skull exposed to heat and thus susceptible to overheating.

4. Get an Air Conditioner and stay at home

If the first 3 steps don’t work for you, may be going outside isn’t meant for you. Beg your parents to get an AC installed in your room and stay inside. I’d suggest reading up on something and not thinking about how much fun your friends are having on the beach.

 

So to those who are tackling with summer, goodluck. And to those who aren’t, summer will get you soon enough.

 

Sandwiches & America

Everyone loves a good sandwich. The reason behind this is the same reason that the USA is so successful as a nation. So to uncover the secrets of successful food and a prospering nation, we must delve into the what exactly makes a sandwich.

What is a sandwich?

A quick look at the Wikipedia page for ‘Sandwich’ gives you a clear and concise definition of a sandwich – one or more types of food wrapped in two or more slices of bread.  This definition is just another metaphor for America – many ethnicities from all around the world wrapped in a solid nation of 50 states.

Diversity is tasty.

The reason a sandwich feels tasty is because of the plethora of tastes bundled up in it. The human tongue has evolved to appreciate many good tastes together, instead of one single excellent taste. This is the reason why a sandwich tastes so good. Diversity is tasty. The United States of America are a testament to the fact. America is so successful as a nation because of one key reason – Diversity. People from all around the world have settled here. And this has led to an ocean of varied opinions cohabitating peacefully. It is also this diversity of opinions that makes the constitution of America so liberal and modern.

Next time you eat a sandwich,

recall that you’re not just eating a sandwich, you’re consuming an edible product of diversity. And also keep in mind that what you are eating holds the key to a better and more perfect world.

See you tomorrow, until then, keep mindfeeding !

 


 

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Exercising is better than dieting.

If fitness is a spaceship then it has two engines. The first one is exercise and the other a proper diet. But we naturally assume them both to be equally important. But that isn’t the case.

Assume you are eating a proper diet – fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals etc. And also suppose that you get moderate exercise every day. You’ll notice that despite exercise, fats still tend to gradually accumulate. By the time you are 40-50, you develop a protruded belly. That is because the body is not 100% efficient at burning fats. Every time you exercise, a little amount of fat is left unburnt. This little amount accumulates over the years and causes the familiar middle-aged belly.

There’s a solution to this problem. If you focus more of your time on exercise and less on a proper diet, all of the excess fats get burnt. I’m not saying that a proper diet is not important – I mean that if you increase your exercise time, fats do not accumulate in your body. A body free from excess fat stays healthy and the rest takes care of itself.

Disclaimer: A proper diet is vital to a healthy body. Exercise is merely a great complement to food. In no way can exercise be a complete substitute for eating right.

 

Health is moderation

The internet is rampant with tips and tricks to improve health. And considering the vastness of health information available, applying all those tricks can be overwhelming. But what if you could just follow one simple principle?

Moderation

If you exercise too much, you run the risk of heart failure. But even if you exercise too less or none at all, still you run the risk of heart failure. The sweet spot is midway between the two alternatives.

Similarly, health is also about moderation between the extremes. To stay healthy, eat everything but in moderation. Eating only leafy vegetables might result in protein deficiency. Depending only on meat will result in many vitamin deficiencies. Sticking to just one kind of food is bad for your body. So keep it a habit to consume all kinds of food but in moderation.

This will ensure that your body meets the daily optimum intake for all nutrients. The benefits of moderation are so well recognised that even school curriculums recommend a balanced diet. A balanced diet is a method of moderation in food.