Before you start reading, I hope you’ll follow my new instagram account @observeandrapport
Whenever I’m too busy to write these full weekly articles (which is often), I’ll use this Instagram account to post daily updates of things or products I’m consuming and sharing. Feel free to follow along. Or don’t, if you like living a morbid, meaningless life…
Anyway! Here is your weekly guide of things I’m enjoying, consuming, using and loving. Enjoy.
Documentary I’m Still Shaking Over
This was fucking absurd. I’ve been following Alex Honnold for a bit now via his appearances on the Rich Roll and Joe Rogan podcasts over the years. Definitely listen to those if you want a little more background into his personal details and lifestyle.
Yes, he literally climbs rock walls with zero rope or equipment. Just chalk, hands, feet, and whatever the hell part of your brain that isn’t scared of FUCKING DYING EVERY SECOND. The documentary is filmed and in-part produced by Jimmy Chin, who is also a badass in his own right. Sidenote: check out his HBO doc Meru if you haven’t – one of the best docs I’ve ever seen. Free Solo just won the Oscar for Best Documentary. AND the rock he climbs… you may recognize it as the background on your Macbook
The first half of the movie follows Alex from his childhood and how he got into climbing. It also shows how he explores the routes and plans his climbs thoroughly with excruciating detail. The second half, however, is when you’ll need some medicine. It is essentially close up shots of him making “the climb” up El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. All I can say is I nearly pulled my hair out and my palms were so sweaty the remote control was slipping out of my hands.
$10 on Amazon Prime
New Book I’m Exploring
Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett
I say “exploring” because this is more of a textbook than a traditional “how-to” book. Kelly Starrett is an expert on functional movement and correcting body imbalances with simple adjustments in posture, foot placement, and overall positioning throughout everyday movements – it’s super nerdy but I’m really into this sort of stuff for some reason. I began following his Instagram @MobilityWod for daily stretching and mobilty tips. Through his podcast The Ready State, I heard about this book. I’ve read about a third of it, and have taken a lot of valuable insights from it – always stand with your two feet pointed straight ahead, your butt clenched, abs flexed and your shoulders back. And sit in these weird positions if you don’t want back pain. Have fun doing this in meetings…
Since following Kelly though, I purchased a standing desk for work to lessen my back and hip pain (which is working), began foam rolling more often, extended range of motion in my hips, shoulder and ankles. I also improved my form in a lot of different workouts like front squats, deadlifts, and especially overhead squats, which suck.
Pro Tip: since following Kelly, I’m attempting to overhaul the bulk of my shoe collection to be “zero-drop” only. Meaning I try to only wear shoes that are flat to the ground, with no heel – think Vans or Converse. You’d be surprised how much of your back pain and tight hamstrings just comes from wearing wedged-heel shoes.
Coffee I’m Drinking
My brother sent me a discount code for Four Sigmatic, so I ended up getting their famous Mushroom Coffee with Lion’s Mane & Chaga (wow does that sound hippy) for just $5. They also sell the coffee grounds but I prefer the mix where you can just pore the packet into hot water and drink. I had my first cup of mushroom coffee the other day and it fueled me up WAY more than a typical cup of coffee. It has a cool taste somewhat like a hot chocolate mixed with coffee. I tend to drink coffee more for the ritual and taste than the caffeine fix, but if you really need a pick me up, this is a great coffee to buy.
Great YouTube Video to Watch
Growing up a Yankees fan, I was obviously obsessed with Derek Jeter. When A-Rod joined the team, I was kind of confused and not sure how to feel. I knew Jeter would handle it gracefully, but I also knew that he had a sour relationship with A-Rod after his ordeal with the Rangers and free agency. Not many details ever emerged about how they were together in the locker room, and even after all these years, the relationship still confuses me.
SBNation put together a great video highlighting how and why the beef started.
Wild Stat of the Week
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How do government policies affect innovation? Research shows a surprising relationship: A study of all U.S. patents filed from 1990 to 2007 found that states implementing two specific policies — the legalization of medical marijuana and the recognition of same-sex civil unions — subsequently saw a significant rise in their innovation output, as measured by the number of new patents granted. The researchers controlled for a wide range of variables and suggest that the relationship is causal: “Social liberalization policies at the state level significantly influence local rates of innovation,” they write. That’s because these policies trigger more diverse collaborations on the ground, which subsequently produce inventions with more novelty and impact. The researchers recommend that policy makers who want to stimulate innovation in their own region should consider social policy as well as economic stimulus. And executives thinking about where to locate their businesses should consider social regulations as well as business regulations. Adapted from “Research: Legal Marijuana and Gay Marriage Have Been Good for U.S. Innovation,” by Keyvan Vakili Laurina Zhang.
Great Reads Across the Internet
- Wealthy Successful and Invisible – Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit wrote a great piece about what makes people truly happy in their working life. Although it’s cliche at this point, what he found was that it didn’t matter how many millions of dollars his former classmates were making, they were miserable. If you truly want to be happy, you have to find meaning in your work.
- Germs in Your Gut are Talking to Your Brain. Scientists Want to Know What They’re Saying – “As recently as 2011, it was considered crazy to look for associations between the microbiome and behavior,” said Rob Knight, a microbiologist at the University of California, San Diego. I keep reading more and more about how much your gut biome is related to your mental health. Scientists are discovering that diseases like autism and alzheimer’s could all be linked to the bacteria in your gut. You literally are made up of what you put into your body. Written by Carl Zimmer, author of She Has Her Mother’s Laugh
- Apple’s Best iPhone Photos Around the World
Enjoy the rest of your week!