Five Books for Friday

Every week I hit the library, yard sales, bookstores, kindle and my own collection in search of something interesting to read. I thought I could start sharing what I’m reading each week and let you know what I liked and didn’t like. So here’s the first installment.

  1. How to Read Nature by Tristan Gooley

Gooley is one of the world’s foremost experts on natural navigation. For those of you not familiar with the term, natural navigation is land navigation using ones knowledge of nature and nature’s patterns. This book will tell you things like what plants and can tell you about the direction you’re facing or how the presence of certain birds can indicate the time of day.

You’ll learn a lot about observation and how to use your surroundings to live a more engaged and fulfilling life.

2. Look Big: and other tips for surviving animal encounters of all kinds by Rachel Levin

Look Big is a fun, quick read. It’s not just about surviving life and death encounters with animals. Levin is also full of advice on what to do when you come across raccoons and turkeys. I’ve come across wild turkeys, skunks and deer right in my front and back yard. It would have been nice to have read this book before then. But better late than never as they say.

3. Sitting Kills, Moving Heals by Joan Vernikos

I’ve written on this blog about the benefits of standing desks and the dangers of sitting too much. There’s really not a whole lot that needs to be added and I can’t believe there are so many books on the subject. Most of them can be boiled down “get up and move around more”. I mean, write a tweet or something but an entire book?

I’m also reading Get Up! : why your chair is killing you and what you can do about it by James A. Levine. I think the message is obvious from the title. Your chair is killing you! For goodness sake, get out of it; that’s what you can do about it! I might make a special trip to the library to return these two books early.

4. Mind Gym: achieve more by thinking differently by Sebastian Bailey

Your mind is like a muscle and you have to keep exercising it, blah, blah blah. I think the author needs to achieve a better book by thinking differently than all the other books saying the same thing. To be fair, I stopped reading this one early on so it might have been spectacular toward the end. However, you can buy it on Kindle for only $1.99 so it’s probably not spectacular toward the end.

5. Wits Guts Grit: all-natural biohacks for raising smart, resilient kids by Jena Pincott

I decided to give Jenna’s book a chance because it had the work hack in it. The premise is that the gut biome and the foods we put in it can affect our mood, memory and fortitude.

Most people understand that when you swallow medicine or a vitamin, it absorbs into your blood stream and affects your body and mind in extremely powerful ways. But then they shove their face full of sugar, colorings and artificial this-and-that without a clue these things act on us in the exact same way. This book looks at the foods we eat with a true understanding about how powerful they are.

This one was interesting, the writing was good and I liked the subject. But I never made it through the whole thing. Maybe someday I’ll come back to it.  It’s $11.99 on Kindle but free as an audio book so the jury’s still out on this books true worth.

There you go. Five books I’ve been reading (or just paging through and then putting down with good intentions) recently. What books are you into? Let me know in the comments.

Invention 237: X-Ray Toothbrush

Kids hate getting x-rays when they go to the dentist. For that matter adults don’t usually care for it either. You have to have a big sharp piece of plastic shoved into your cheeks and then you’re told to sit in an uncomfortable chair and hold still while the hygienist runs and hides behind a lead wall. I mean, they’re hygienists, are they even qualified to use this kind of equipment?

So I got to thinking, what’s another situation where kids can have pieces of plastic shoved in their mouths where we could take x-rays without the uncomfortable chair? Then it hit me that the toothbrush is the perfect tool for this. I just have to figure out how to miniaturize a machine needing 10,000 volts to work. I’ll probably just make this a hard wired device which will require an electrician (or at least someone who kind of knows what they’re doing). I’m sure it will be very safe.

Every night this toothbrush will image your child’s teeth to check for cavities or hidden knives in their cheeks. As an added bonus your child gets a healthy dose of radiation which I once read in some random blog actually promotes stronger bones!

Just download the free app on your iPhone or Android and the images will be transferred directly to your device. You can then configure it to send updates straight to your kid’s dentist.

Each toothbrush is shipped with a lead lined parent smock.

Fear is a Unique Motivator

Fear is a unique motivator. If we find some abnormality in our body we go to the doctor because we fear what it could be. We fear old age so we just continue acting like children. Or we fear failure so we avoid ever trying to succeed.

Why don’t we take care of our bodies and optimize our health before we get sick? Or why don’t we mature early so that old age isn’t a transition but merely a continuation of our youth? Perhaps we could put forth continuous effort in our endeavors so we have such a large body of work, we’re bound to succeed somewhere?

Instead, we wait until events are upon us and then react to them. Usually with poor results.