Hello! How are you? What exciting things are going on in your life? How is vaccine rollout going in your city? How is your creative spirit these days? Do you have any plans for the week ahead?
It’s 80 degrees in Phoenix and I am insanely jealous of the snow I’m seeing across others’ posts, but I also am beginning to understand why people are moving here in droves. Phoenix has 300 days of blistering heat per year, but I’ve never in my life had to shovel a driveway or had my car skid across black ice…
This week, I got my heart health score back and my physiological heart age is 58 (at true age 32) and I’m at a 3% risk of heart attack in the next 5 years (normal is <1% at age 32). While my doctor is extremely concerned as these are values he sees in his elderly patients, he did note that all severely elevated levels are related to cardiac injury/inflammation (IL-16, eotaxin, Fas, FasLigand, and HGF), meaning that I theoretically should be able to halt or reverse the heart damage. The news is extremely disheartening, though hopefully the markers will serve as clues to what’s going on with my health.
I hope that your weekend and the week ahead are filled with joy and amusement, and that you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and healthy. Here are a few links from around the web. Feel free to share anything interesting you’ve stumbled upon in the comments.
- Food for thought: “The curse of modernity is that we are increasingly populated by a class of people who are better at explaining than understanding, or better at explaining than doing.”— Nassim Taleb in Skin in the Game
- From the archives: Disengaged Learning. “We are moving away from Industrialism and towards a world hinged on creativity, innovation, and new perspectives. Millions of children memorizing the same vocabulary lists and math problems is not going to achieve that.” This post was written three years ago, but seems pertinent given the current learn-from-home model. It’s also disappointing that contingencies we not put into place prior to this widespread emergency to protect children’s education and development.
- Some great blog posts from Austin Kleon: Want to be a lifelong learner? Learn to play the fool. He also makes the case for searching outside the algorithm and blogging as a forgiving medium.
- Why The Yuppie Elite Dismiss Bitcoin. This piece is fascinating. My boyfriend has been following Bitcoin since its 2009 release and has been trying to sell me on the idea since 2013. As a tech-savvy libertarian, he understands and appreciates the blockchain transaction verification approach. I don’t understand it well but, based on what my boyfriend has taught me and my own research, I believe that blockchain technology is setting the stage for real change with real-world applications.
- Perspective: Cell danger response Biology—The new science that connects environmental health with mitochondria and the rising tide of chronic illness. In 2018, the leading valley fever expert said I didn’t have an active fungal infection anymore, but instead dysfunctional mitochondria. This lengthy piece is helping me make sense of my experience over the last six years.
- Phoenix metro home values grew by 13.5% in 2020 and 19% in my zip code. I am watching a new development be erected just beyond our front door, where large homes on tiny lots start at $2 million. What?! Between 2004 and 2015, our home value remained stable; between 2015 and 2021, the value of our condo has tripled. Is this happening in all major cities or is this phenomenon unique to Phoenix?
- As a desert rat who has seen snow a total of three times in her entire life, these images of what snow really looks like in NYC are kind of depressing.
- Old Ski Gondolas Find New Life as Private Dining Rooms. This is such a lovely and romantic idea.
- ‘I get better sleep’: the people who quit social media. I have been off social media for several years and consider it one of the best decisions I have ever made. I would highly recommend it.
- I’m sure I’ve shared this several times over the last few years, but I love this live performance of Depth Over Distance by Ben Howard. The lyrics, the rhythm, the vocal tone… it’s all just beautiful. Enjoy!