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LifeStyle Newsletter - Life Logging

| January 02, 2014

Chronicles of You and You and You…

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and other social media websites have changed the way we communicate, learn, and behave. Each option has its proponents and its critics. It will be interesting to see what social media pundits have to say about a newly emerging trend that eventually may contribute content to or pull information from a variety of sites. It’s called life-logging.

Researcher and life-logger Cathal Gurrin has documented his daily life for the past seven years, amassing an archive of 14 million photos, as well as weeks of video and sound samples. According to The Economist, his goal is to collect data and create a search engine that can help people better understand themselves and the reasons they behave as they do.

Life in lotsa bytes

Collecting the data is relatively easy. Many life-loggers rely on wearable cameras (available through companies like Narrative, Looxcie, and Autographer) that snap photos every few seconds. These devices make it possible for anyone to clip a camera to his or her lapel and snap thousands of pictures every day, automatically. Judging from Mr. Gurrin’s experience, all of that digital information may require lots and lots of byes of storage.

Is it frivolous or useful?

Is there value to creating a digital version of your life experience? Gurrin has said the data could help life-loggers better understand their actions so they can make better lifestyle decisions. Also, digital recordings could supplement fallible human memory, as well as providing a historical record for future generations.

While there are a variety of potential uses for the data, there are some significant challenges to developing a search engine that can sort through the minutiae of recorded daily life. In addition, there may be privacy issues since other people are in every recording.

If you are thinking about recording your daily life – or at least an event or two that could provide treasured memories for future generations – you may want to google life-logging and see what you discover.

Chicken Pot Pie: A Wintertime Favorite

Most people are familiar with fruit and custard pies, so it may surprise you to learn that meat pies were popular before sweet pies were even a glimmer in the eye of the cook who invented them! From British pasties to American chicken pot pie, savory pies are wonderful comfort foods, especially on cold winter nights.

2 teaspoon cooking oil
1 pound chicken, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 (9-inch) unbaked pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425 F°.

Add oil to heated large fry pan. Cook chicken pieces over high heat until golden. Set aside. Combine carrots, peas, and celery in a medium sauce pot. Add a quarter cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and steam for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are brightly colored and still somewhat firm. Remove from heat, drain, and set the vegetables aside. In the same pot, over medium heat, cook onions in butter until they are soft and translucent. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly add the chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside. Spoon the chicken mixture into the pie crust. Pour the onion mixture over it. Cover the pie with a top crust, seal edges, and remove excess dough. Make small slits in the top crust so steam can escape.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

What Do You Know About Weather?

Etiquette is so demanding! Polite people are not supposed to talk about religion, politics, money, illness, sex, bodily functions, or people’s looks and possessions. So, what can you talk about? Weather is a recommended topic. See what you know about this well-mannered subject by answering these questions! 

1. Weather is the state of the atmosphere at a specific time and place. What affects weather?
a. Cities
b. Mountains
c. Air masses
d. All of the above

2. The difference between a hurricane, a cyclone, and a typhoon is the:
a. Temperature of the air
b. Location of the storm
c. Degree of solar radiation
d. All of the above

3. Which of the following terms refers to a type of frozen water?
a. Rime
b. Graupel
c. Hail
d. All of the above

4. Forecasting the weather is not easy because it involves a math concept known as:
a. Symplectic geometry
b. Chaos theory
c. Hilbert's Nullstellensatz
d. Conceptualism

Go with Your Gut

That old phrase, ‘You are what you eat,’ has taken on a whole new meaning. Dr. Emeran Mayer, a gastroenterologist and professor of medicine at UCLA, thinks it’s possible the bacteria in our digestive systems helps form our brain structures when we’re young and may affect our moods, behavior, and feelings when we’re older.

His research correlates MRI scans of volunteers’ brains with the types of bacteria found in their guts. So far, the data shows the species of bacteria that dominates a person's intestinal tract may affect the connections between different regions of their brains.

Emeran isn’t the only one studying the idea. In research on mice, other scientists have found replacing the gut bacteria of anxious mice with that of fearless mice made the anxious mice calmer and more gregarious. The opposite was true as well; bold mice became more timid when their bacterium was replaced with that of anxious mice.

Don’t worry. People probably don’t need to trade gut microbes to improve their moods or mental health. It’s possible simply changing our diets could make a difference.

Quiz Answers:
1. D. All of the above affect weather.
2. B. Location of the storm. Hurricanes occur in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, typhoons happen in the Northwest Pacific, and cyclones occur in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.
3. D. All of the above are names for frozen water.
4. B. Chaos theory.


The above material was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance.