Sleep in your genes [Article]

How much sleep do you need? Depends on your genes, claim a group of geneticists from University of California.

In 2009, a team led by geneticist Ying-Hui Fu at the University of California San Francisco discovered a mother and daughter who went to bed very late, yet were up bright and early every morning. Even when they had the chance to have a lie-in at the weekend (a tell-tale sign that you are sleep-deprived) they didn’t take it. Tests revealed that both mother and daughter carried a mutation of a gene called hDEC2. When the researchers tweaked the same gene in mice and in flies, they found that they also began to sleep less 

Management exists to minimize the problems created by its own hiring mistakes [Article]

Thus says Scott Adams, referring to a video game company called Valve who have 400 employees, & no management structure, & his own start-up (about which he’s sharing very little, at least yet).  He reckons that the

need for management will shrink- at least for some type of businesses – because entrepreneurs have the tools to make fewer hiring mistakes in the first place 

Theodor Geisel’s book of art [Artivle]

Ted Geisel NYWTS 2 crop.jpgTheodor Seuss Geisel was well known as Dr. Seuss for his children’s picture books. He wasn’t as well known for his humorous story about n-u-d-i-s-t sisters, as Maria Popova helps us discover in the Atlantic. Take a look through “The Seven Lady Godivas: The True Facts concerning History’s barest family”. 

Samuel Clemens’ fan mail [Article]

Maria Popova shares a collection of the mail that Samuel Clemens (better known to the world as Mark Twain) received from his beloved readership
Eg: A poor & barely literate Englishwoman sent him this sincere personal story & a modest request:

Dear Sir

I wonder if you would care to hear how much my husband & self appreciate your books. We have been married 4 years & I have bought him one of your works each birthday & at Christmas. He is never tired of reading them & they keep him at home many a time when he would be out at night He reads them aloud to me & I enjoy the reading as much as himself. The reason I am writing is to beg a favour of you. Would you be kind enough to give me your phota so that I can give my husband a surprise on his next birthday? We have one hung up that I cut from a paper but I should dearly prize a real phota I dont seem able to come across one here & we arent so well off else I might if I was rich. My husband earns £ 1/-per week as a booking clerk on the railway. We have a little boy six months & his father says when he is older he will tell him about poor little Huck & Tom Sawyer. Perhaps you will be too great a man to answer this & grant my request as we are only humble cottagers. I trust Ive done no harm writing. I have just been reading some extracts in our paper copied from your articles in the “North American Review” I am sorry you lost your daughter Susy you seem to have had a lot of trouble in your life but you always come up smiling. This seems a long letter but I will have to pay 2 ½ to post so I will get my money’s worth. The only thing is I am sorry you arent an Englishman & more especially a Lancashire man, perhaps you will put this in the fire I hope I have a phota from you

I beg to remain

Yours respectfully

Edith Draper

An interview with a mortician [Article]

Caitlin Doughty, the woman behind Jezebel’s “Ask A Mortician” series, explains the benefit of confronting one’s own death. She discusses “Ars Moriendi,” a manual from the Middle Age that “was basically an instructional tract for how to die, or the best ways to die”:

There was an experiment done where they went into a nursing home with elderly people, and they gave them a plant to take care of. And they said, “This plant is going to die if you don’t take care of it. You’re responsible for watering and caring for this plant.” And they found that the people they gave those plants to lived significantly longer than those who didn’t have them, because they felt some control over their life, they had some reason to be moving forward and to be taking these daily steps. I think “Ars Moriendi” had a similar purpose: The dying person is given this measure of control over their own death and moving ahead, not just a victim of our medical system where they’re like, “I’m just going to lie here and slowly go crazy and rot and die.”

via The Daily Dish

The after effects of US in Iraq [Article, Video]

Around the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion by the US, investigative reporter from Al Jazeera discusses how the US has left behind a legacy and cancer:

Dr. Samira Alani actually visited with doctors in Japan, comparing statistics, and found that the amount of congenital malformations in Fallujah is 14 times greater than the same rate measured in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in the aftermath of the nuclear bombings. These types of birth defects, she said—there are types of congenital malformations that she said they don’t even have medical terms for, that some of the things they’re seeing, they’ve never seen before. They’re not in any of the books or any of the scientific literature that they have access to. She said it’s common now in Fallujah for newborns to come out with massive multiple systemic defects, immune problems, massive central nervous system problems, massive heart problems, skeletal disorders, baby’s being born with two heads, babies being born with half of their internal organs outside of their bodies, cyclops babies literally with one eye—really, really, really horrific nightmarish types of birth defects. And it is ongoing.

See for yourself the horrifying impacts, nearly a decade later mind you, that the stuff they use in the bombs has on the human body. And the powers that be continue to want to “shock & awe” the “enemy”