Image: False Creek Lagoon

January 9, 2015


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Still Stupid After All These Years

January 9, 2015

In the last few months I have noticed a renewed onslaught of “Have I got $13 million to share with you!” kinds of email. They rarely seem to come from Nigeria these days, but they are still the same scam. My spam filter catches most of them, and I delete the rest.

However, it occurs to me that these are still being sent only because some people some place are still getting taken in by these crooks and their deliberately misspelled missives. Surely it is almost willful stupidity to ignore a decade of warnings about engaging with these characters. Perhaps we need a new class of Darwin Awards for these unfortunates.

Skip The Coffee and Take A Nap

January 9, 2015

Regular readers will know that I like my sleep, especially in the form of naps.  I don’t really need “experts” to tell me how useful naps can be, but it is pleasant, I guess, to have one’s self-knowledge confirmed.  Sleep scientists have confirmed that naps beat coffee hands down for restoration and memory retention:

In this study, we find that a moderate dose of caffeine impaired motor sequence learning and declarative verbal memory compared to placebo and daytime sleep. These decreases were found despite the fact that caffeine increased subjective alertness, suggesting that the caffeine dose was sufficiently high to have some psychoactive effect. An afternoon nap, on the other hand, improved free recall memory relative to the caffeine group after both a 20min and a 7hr retention interval and produced greater learning on a motor sequence task than caffeine … Overall, a daytime nap generally improved performance across three different learning paradigms, while caffeine impaired (or at least did not benefit) performance.

The nappers win — hooray!

On a similar note, this graph shows the daily routines of a variety of creative people. I was surprised to see so few naps but Balzac, Darwin, Mann and Kafka obviously knew what was good for them!