I can’t wait for the cold! I plan on getting back into my ice training this winter (Wim Hof method). I have a lot of upcoming projects, reviews, and (hopefully) a live “The Random Show” podcast with Tim Ferriss this December in NYC.
As always, I want a full 30+ days using these products before I recommend them (or not) in The Journal. Have a great month everyone. Consider joining me for a fast in December (read the story below).
The five-day “Fasting-Mimicking Diet” (I’m on day 2 right now)
As you’re reading this I’m on day two of a five-day fast, developed by Valter Longo, Ph.D. His “fasting-mimicking diet” is a restricted diet that is meant to simulate some of the biological effects of prolonged fasting while still allowing some food. Clinical trials have demonstrated efficacy for this diet for type 2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and cancer patients. This isn’t a TV doctor spouting BS, his research is real published science.
Why do this?
For me: Cancer prevention, longevity, and hopefully improved glucose disposal (I’m having blood work done post-fast, more on this in a later issue).
Fasting challenge, want to join me?
Ready for a post-Thanksgiving reset? If all goes to plan I’ll be repeating this fast with a larger group in early December. If you have interest in participating, now is the perfect time to check with your doctor to see if you’re healthy enough to take on a five-day fast. More details coming in next months issue and via twitter!
There is a lot to unpack here. Fortunately, Dr. Rhonda Patrick has a new in-depth interview with Dr. Longo that you can watch here.
Dr. Longo interview (Video: 1 hour 18 minutes)
Video: Microsoft surface studio (Microsoft nails the marketing)
I’ve been using Microsoft products for many moons. My first PC ran DOS 5.0, and I was a die hard fanboy until MacOS 9 lured me away in 1999.
Looking back on why I left I believe there were two reasons. The shit-show that was the software drivers in late 90’s (a.k.a. the infamous blue screen of death), and the lack of cool factor/sexiness.
Microsoft has been many great things, but never sexy.
Although it seems that is starting to change. With Satya Nadella taking over as CEO, I’ve noticed a shift in the way Microsoft builds and presents products. It’s very apparent Satya is taking a design first approach to create a less utilitarian Microsoft.
This launch video, showing off the just announced Microsoft Surface Studio, just might be the coolest video they’ve ever created. I say this because it does two very important things. First, this is the first time I’ve seen modern PC/tablet innovation coming from Microsoft, not just “me too” features or minor improvements. Second, it shows they know how to make hardware sexy. This is the first time (aside from Xbox) that I’ve thought “wow, I kinda want one of those,” that same feeling I had when the iMac launched in 1998.
Keep it up, Microsoft.
Microsoft Surface Studio (Video: 2:13)
Zero oxygen coffee?
A little over two years ago I met with a small startup in San Francisco called “Perfectly Ground Coffee.” Rumor on the street was that these engineers had figured out a way to pre-grind and preserve coffee so that even months later it would taste as though it had just been roasted and ground that day.
I entered the meeting extremely skeptical. To begin the demo, the head engineer removed a little-sealed pouch out of his backpack, opened it up, and made me a cup of coffee with his Chemex.
Him: “Taste this.”
Me: “It’s great…fresh, well-balanced, love it.”
Him: “That cup was ground two months ago.”
I’ve tasted my fair share of stale coffee, and this was not that. I was floored.
Next, they ran me through their Powerpoint presentation. They illustrated that there are only a handful of variables to making the perfect cup: quality beans, freshness, water temperature, brewing vessel, and grind size.
The variables they could control are grind size and freshness. To address the freshness they had created a proprietary oxygen free environment called “the dome.” While I can’t share the confidential details of the chamber, I can tell you it was insanely over the top and geeky. The result is coffee that can stay fresh in the pouch for many months.
The last variable is grind size. Depending on the brewing method (pour-over vs. coffee maker vs. French press etc.) the grind size should match the specifications of the system in which they are brewed. They were also looking for a very consistent ground size, as smaller particles mixed in will brew at different rates and can create undesired tastes. To that end, they had evaluated their grind with a microscope to ensure consistency.
A few weeks after the meeting I was told that Blue Bottle Coffee had quickly acquired the company (I didn’t get the chance to invest). Fast-forward to today (a couple of years later), and Blue Bottle has now further perfected and scaled up the process, having just recently launching “Blue Bottle Perfectly Ground” coffee.
While I didn’t invest in Perfect Ground, I am an investor in Blue Bottle. To celebrate this new product launch, I’m working with Blue Bottle to give away Perfectly Ground coffee to my first 100 readers. Fill out this form, and we’ll get them shipped out right away (limit 100 readers).
Blue Bottle “Perfectly Ground” coffee ($17.50 / 5-Pack)
17 million views: “Can we auto-correct humanity?”
Note: Big thanks to a school teacher in Texas for sending me this video.
Can we auto-correct humanity (Video: 3:27)
The Japanese practice of “forest bathing” is scientifically proven to improve your health
“From 2004 to 2012, Japanese officials spent about $4 million dollars studying the physiological and psychological effects of forest bathing, designating 48 therapy trails based on the results. Qing Li, a professor at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, measured the activity of human natural killer (NK) cells in the immune system before and after exposure to the woods. These cells provide rapid responses to viral-infected cells and respond to tumor formation, and are associated with immune system health and cancer prevention. In a 2009 study Li’s subjects showed significant increases in NK cell activity in the week after a forest visit, and positive effects lasted a month following each weekend in the woods.”
Full article (Quartz, 6 minute read)
Quotes to live by
“But it is not what I am saying that is hurting you; it is that you have wounds that I touch by what I have said. You are hurting yourself.”
~Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements
To get the latest issue delivered to your inbox, once a month, sign up for the newsletter here. Also, please tap or click “♥︎” to help to promote this issue to others.