All posts by Arjen Lentz

Second Guessers Question Their Way to Depression – Sara Novak

You surely know someone like this or maybe that someone is you. Second guessers research and research decisions before hesitantly stepping forward only to wonder whether they made the right decision in the in.

and just maybe a new interest as a fashion trend will return
quick weight loss Too Much Hype over H

with Karen’s eyes set keenly on the future Dr
xnxxWholesale Lingerie At Rock Bottom Prices

Navigating Love and Autism

Navigating Love and Autism (NY Times)

Jack Robison and Kirsten Lindsmith, two college students living in Greenfield, Mass., discuss how aspergers/autism affects their lives and relationship.

Seasonal Consideration

The time of Christmas and New Year can be troublesome. I’ll provide a couple of examples, and offer some ideas on what you can do to make this a good time for people around you!

Certainly, some people don’t care for it at all and are fine doing stuff on their own. If they get time off work during the period, those people will be the ones going on a nice cycling or hiking holiday. Awesome. But that’s not everybody.

Consider this

  • There are lots of social activities. Some people don’t want to partake in big events, but would be fine with something small.
    Invite a friend (yes, an individual one) over for dinner or another explicitly small activity. This means you’re specifically making time for them: it shows real care.
  • Many social events have costs (gifts, food at a restaurant, drinks in a cafe) and it all adds up – for many this is a significant burden, and it becomes a toss up between feeling left out, or potentially overextending financially. You can imagine how the choice alone makes for stress and anxiety.
    If you do a potluck style event, people can bring something small or home made, or do something else to contribute. When going out, there are also ways to be inclusive without creating awkwardness.
  • Around Christmas, “everybody” tends to be busy with their family. But what if you don’t have nearby family? You can be on-your-own throughout the year, but that’s not the same as being-alone while you know “everybody else” is having fun. It’s fairly crap. This is of course relevant whether or not you care about Christmas as an institution.
    Of course it’s not always suitable to have a “stranger” partake in say a family dinner, but hey with some families that works perfectly – please do it then!
    Perhaps you can do a more general event on another day, and invite a few extra friends.
  • A single parent can find it difficult to participate in adult-only events (who will be available to mind the smurfs?), and some activities you’d normally undertake with other parents tend to not happen at this time because they’re busy or away. If you’re one of those other parents, perhaps you can find time to do those things together anyway, and suggest some playdates and sleepovers! It’s fun for you and the kids, but it’s so easy to forget with lots of things going on.

People regard it as a time of caring, but restrict it to a very restricted subset. I do understand why that occurs, the time can be ridiculously demanding and overwhelming. Expectations…

Tweak “the rules”!

  • Stuff the complaining retailers, you don’t have to buy everything that’s advertised. And, home made gifts are extra awesome.
  • If you don’t like spending time with your relations, don’t!
    You pick your own friends, organise something! You can always pretend you got that special invite from one of the others, providing you with an excellent excuse to pike out of the family event “for once”.
  • Look around you, add to your own family as you see fit.

You will know people around you for whom these things can make all the difference – with a few thoughts and actions you can make extra awesomeness this year!

(comments and extra suggestions welcome, as always)

Patching your own Brain

This video is from the Open Source Developers’ Conference in Canberra, November 2011. The term patching is used in the hacker/programmer sense: you find a bug, figure out what’s going on, and fix (aka patch) it.

Apart from my lightning talks over the last three years, this is probably the first specific “bluehackers related talk”. For this reason I was actually a bit nervous beforehand, but it worked out very well. Those present found it fun and educational, with plenty of questions and chats triggered later – which is excellent. Feel free to talk more here in the comment thread!


  • Prof Martin Seligman, numerous books and papers in the space of cognitive psychology (and connections to depression) incl. “Learned Optimism” and “The Optimistic Child”.
  • The OpenOffice ODS and Excel XLS files referenced in the talk will remain online. Note that the talleys have to be adjusted from the explanations in the Learned Optimism book, in part because I use used fewer questions (42 rather than 48) and also most questions were mine rather than the originals. Still, they provide a rough indication, which was the intent.

Note: Yes, the video does show a prototype game board at the end. It was an unexpected spin-off during the talk preparation months ago, and I’ll post on that separately!

such as hats
xhamster A Guide To Buying Sexy Men

with two more movies yet to come
xhamsterIndian Fashion Salwar Kameez and Kurtis

Sleep Cycles

Jenson Taylor made an insightful post on Google+, I’m reproducing it here as its topic -sleep- is important and has already come up several times. From my own experience, the observations hold quite true.


Sleep Cycles by Jenson TaylorStudies show that the length of sleep is not what causes us to be refreshed upon waking. The key factor is the number of complete sleep cycles we enjoy. Each sleep cycle contains five distinct phases, which exhibit different brain- wave patterns.

For our purposes, it suffices to say that one sleep cycle lasts an average of 90 minutes: 65 minutes of normal, or non-REM (rapid eye movement), sleep; 20 minutes of REM sleep (in which we dream); and a final 5 minutes of non-REM sleep. The REM sleep phases are shorter during earlier cycles (less than 20 minutes) and longer during later ones (more than 20 minutes).

If we were to sleep completely naturally, with no alarm clocks or other sleep disturbances, we would wake up, on the average, after a multiple of 90 minutes–for example, after 4 1/2 hours, 6 hours, 7 1/2 hours, or 9 hours, but not after 7 or 8 hours, which are not multiples of 90 minutes.

In the period between cycles we are not actually sleeping: it is a sort of twilight zone from which, if we are not disturbed (by light, cold, a full bladder, noise), we move into another 90-minute cycle.

A person who sleeps only four cycles (6 hours) will feel more rested than someone who has slept for 8 to 10 hours but who has not been allowed to complete any one cycle because of being awakened before it was completed.

There’s Never a Justification for Bullying

I posted a reference on G+ to an article about a Michigan anti-bullying law (named after a boy who committed suicide) where republicans effectively provide a loophole if the abuse happens on the basis of “genuine moral or religious conviction”. The text is:

“This section does not prohibit a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil and parent or guardian.”

One comment approached the issue by questioning the definition of bullying and tying their position to their religious beliefs, and that’s prompted me to post this blog entry. I reckon the definition of bullying is fairly clear and simple. I phrase it something like this:

Bullying is ongoing psychological, verbal and physical abuse against a person and their environment and property.

I didn’t look that up anywhere, it’s just loosely based on my own experience. I think this sums it up concisely, but feel free to comment with improvements!

Even if you don’t agree with people being gay, or atheist, or you reckon reds look funny, or whatever, I’d urge anyone to think long and hard before being in favour of laws like the Michigan one – you’re as different as the next person, and one day you’ll become the victim yourself.

Unlikely? Let’s look forward a bit: considering the current Christian fundamentalist extremism in the US, I consider it quite likely that at some point there’ll be a backlash and Christians will find themselves persecuted – let’s please have laws in place that protect them then as well as other people now. So even on a purely selfish level, you don’t want to gamble on this.

Someone’s right to expression and beliefs have nothing to do with it. We simply don’t want people (kids or adults!) persecuted in their school, work, sport, home or social environment whether they’re black, gay, use a wheelchair, wear glasses, have red hair, are socially awkward, believe in a god or faeries, or in fact happen to not believe in something someone else does believe in.

What’s the point of being different if we can’t live together?

R U OK day

Put-Down Humour

while it may provide a cheap thrill in the short term rastreamento correios It’s a Wrap The Dressing Gown Inspired Coat

One of my favorite comfort foods is homemade soup etech partsAnalysts Split On Gap’s New CEO

8 Common Myths About Dehydration

More Hints for the Sleepless Mind

First: Warm milk before bedtime does help you get to sleep, cold milk does not. Warming up milk activates the tryptophan that’s naturally present. Good.

I’m not a fan of either medication or dietary supplements, but obviously sometimes they can help you get back (and/or stay) on track – less to worry about.

From a pharmacist friend I’ve learnt that Calcium+Magnesium can assist with sorting out sleep issues, as it’s involved with relaxing your muscles, as well as enabling you to not waking up too early (the latter is something I’ve had problems with and it’s clearly very difficult to “work on that”).

Another acquired wisdom, not quite related but relevant in context, is for men to avoid taking extra Vitamin A. Chances are you have enough already, and more may cause you nasty headaches. Problem is, many multi-vitamins contain it so pick one that doesn’t, and I’ve noticed some milk is fortified with it (usually shown on label so easy to identify) – again pick one that hasn’t.