Music this week

  • Dr Dre – Compton. Although it was suddenly announced a few short weeks ago, this has to be the most anticipated hip hop album in years. In what has already been an amazing year for hip hop, this is a landmark release that lives up to the sky-high expectations set upon one of the most impactful artists in modern music. I’ve been listening to it on repeat all day. What I really love about this album isn’t only the phenomenal production quality: it’s the spectacular features from lesser-known artists like Anderson .Paak and King Mez. They shine on this album as much as popular favorites like Kendrick Lamar.
  • Tame Impala – Currents. Very much in the same psychedelic rock style as their last album in 2012, titled Lonerism. That’s a good thing. My favorite songs on the album are Disciples and ‘Cause I’m a Man.

Movies this week

  • It Follows – an American horror film released in 2014 that follows a girl pursued by a supernatural entity after a sexual encounter. I’m convinced that this movie is a metaphor for sexually transmitted diseases. It’s uncharacteristically beautiful for a horror movie and manages to evade many of the tired conventions of horror movies, including special effects. Very impressive film which critics love (96% on Rotten Tomatoes).
  • Dumb & Dumber To – I waited a year to watch this movie out of fear that it would spoil the magnificence of the original Dumb & Dumber. It has its moments but doesn’t hold a candle to the original, which is a timeless classic that should have probably been left alone.

Articles this week

  • Hey UFC, Bring Back Bare-Knuckle Fights to Stop Brain Trauma – the argument made in this article is very convincing, for a simple reason: “When you punch a man’s skull bare-fisted, the skull punches back.” Due to the presence of gloves on the hands of professional fighters, demanded by state athletic commissions, “fighting sports mainly come down to brain damage contests. A great fighter must have the skill to inflict blunt force trauma on his opponent’s brain and the “good chin” to take it.
  • It’s Starting to Feel Like the UFC Has Sold Its Soul – controversiality has been tailing the UFC in recent weeks along with its huge upswing in popularity and visibility. In the last month the UFC has hosted some of the biggest events in its 22-year history: title fights for both of its superstars, Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey (both of which defended their title). The question of whether or not the UFC serves its athletes and fans as well as it should is becoming an increasingly legitimate question as it rapidly acquires new fans around the globe.

Daily habits

Some new ones this week:

  • Logging daily mood with the Moodnotes app, made by ustwo, creators of the brilliant mobile game Monument Valley. The app uses information collected to provide feedback based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Video on that below.
  • Recording all food eaten with the MyFitnessPal app. Based on the Peter Drucker adage: “What gets measured gets managed”. I’m less likely to eat food that’s bad for me when I know it will be recorded and potentially scrutinized. Although it’s a hassle to input each meal, what’s really cool is that MyFitnessPal shares data with the Health app on iPhone so you can see charts for calorie and protein intake, among many other macronutrients.
  • Tracking sleep every night with the Sleep Cycle app. I used to do this, years ago, but have recently gotten back into the habit. The same as tracking food, once you start keeping tabs on data, you unconsciously move toward improvement. Just by tracking data from the last week I can see that I have a lot of progress both the quantity and quality of sleep.

Sleep Time August 2015

One Video

A quick overview of the Moodnotes app which charts your emotions and seeks to improve mental health and well-being: