The Colder War Book Review & Notes – Understanding Trends in Energy, Russia & The Future

the colder war book coverI just finished reading The Colder War from Marin Katusa and it was an amazing read for those interested in actually understanding world news currently and how it (almost always) relies on control of energy production.

I will first summarize what I enjoyed the most of the book and then explain why I am heavily interested in this topic since last year.

I read it within 2 days, which I rarely do. Not because it was short (272 pages) but because it had a lot of information on various topics I was happy to learn more about.

The Colder war, of course, does cover the rise of Putin in Russia and what this implies for the world economy (particularly in the energy sector) which was a great read but I also enjoyed a lot the historical lessons in the book around the topic of energy production in many countries. It thoroughly covers the history of many Middle Eastern countries and the development of many modern energy sources such as coal, oil & natural gas. This book confirms a lot of what most people know on some level (especially when it comes to the Middle East) but underestimate the importance of, which is the HEAVY connection of the energy sector and what we see in the news on world politics.

From 155 to 176 Pounds (70 to 80KG) in 2 months at the gym – My geek to freak workout experience

155 to 176 Pounds geek to freak workout in 2 monthsFirst off I have to say I am amazed that I was finally able to gain so much muscle/fat weight in general, I am very much a hard gainer when it comes to both gaining muscle or even getting fat.

My geek to freak workout was basically:

  1. Going 2 times at the gym per week for 10-15 minutes each
  2. Eating A LOT 6 days a week
  3. Not eating 1 day a week until 1-3 hours before bed (24 hour fast)
  4. A few (probably optional) supplements, ALA (before big meals) and BCAA’s (on fasting days) that you can find easily online or at local stores.

What I Learned After 2 Years of Experimenting With Primaforce Phenibut Supplements, Highly Recommended

2 year expirement with phenibut dosage and benefitsSo it has been more than a year now since I first started trying Primaforce Phenibut (beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid) as a friends recommendation that it can replace alcohol and is completely legal. I wanted to try it because while I often drink alcohol and have been able to almost never get a hangover using the protocol posted here, I still was drinking 5-7 nights a week after my workday and I figured using an alternative could give my liver some rest. Phenibut is legal in US/Canada and I got it shipped to many countries while traveling (Hungary, Romania, Vietnam, Bangkok).

So far, phenibut has been awesome for me, helping me feel calm, have a great time, and amazing sleep. But it has some limitations and mild side effects (or maybe benefits depending on what you want). With the uses I did, it can be used both as a replacement for alcohol or a great “mood enhancer/confidence booster” before a networking event or something stressful (public speaking?), WITHOUT the tipsiness/slurring of words of alcohol.

How To Negotiate On Airbnb as a Permanent Traveller

airbnblogoMost people that travel at this point probably heard about airbnb.com but if you have not, it is basically the best thing that has come to travelers since the internet and Google maps. When I first left Canada and went to Miami for 3 weeks, I was very homesick living in youth hostels, I never thought long term traveling was for me, I can’t live with minimal privacy in the same location for long and having “my stuff” to cook with so I can avoid constant processed food or overpriced restaurant meals.  That is, until I discovered airbnb the year after in 2012 and I have now been traveling for 2 years from Ukraine and most of Europe) to currently living in Thailand with an apartment found on airbnb. Before airbnb, you either had to book overpriced hotels in advance and then, if you enjoyed the country, had to look around for an apartment you like and a lease term you can work with.

The Guide on Optimizing Sleep? The Cheap (And Very Effective) Way!

why cant i sleep gorilla styleSleep is something that is fundamental to all of us and I have of course done a few experiments on the subject in the past few years. From tracking my sleep with a ZEO device or smartphone devices I’ve been able to get a good picture on how to improve sleep quality.

This article will start with things to avoid, and then tricks to help you sleep better which will include natural sleeping pills.

What you MUST avoid

1) Blue Light from electronic devices, destroys your bodies natural melatonin cycle

how to improve sleep quality by removing blue lightsIf you watch TV, work on a computer or simply have normal lights in your room, this is harming your sleep due to the spectrum of blue in the light which prevents your body to start fully going into “sleep mode” until everything is turned off (or you are so exhausted you pass out, with shitty sleep quality). Basically the sun emits blue light, so the lack of blue light entering our skin or eyes is a signal to our body to go sleep, and our body would start to produce a natural sleep hormone, melatonin, to regulate our sleep cycles. Blue light from electronic devices stops this release.

Far Infrared Sauna Benefits – 4 Reasons why you should Detox in a pleasant way

Enjoying the benefits of an infrared sauna!

Me trying to strike a pose for a selfie while melting under heat

You probably have heard of a normal sauna but what about an infrared sauna? While the end result seems very similar (a lot of sweating) the composition of the sweat is different and contains a lot more heavy metals which are removed from your body this way (~15% of your sweat is heavy metals/other toxins), instead of 1%. You basically sweat from the inside –> outside due to the infrared light heating the surface of your skin which makes it more effective at removing toxins stored in your body and at levels of heat more manageable consciously. For a more detailed explanation on the working part, Wikipedia is always there.

Here are some of the benefits, optimal usage guidelines and dangers of infrared saunas:

What are the benefits of far infrared sauna that made me want to try it?

1) Heavy metal detox and a way to remove BPA from the body, while my diet is very clean when I stay in a country over a few weeks and can find local sources of organic vegetables and meats, I still accumulate toxins from restaurant food, the air I breathe and just from days I did not eat a perfect meal. One of the greatest benefits of infrared sauna is that, as I mentioned above, it detoxifies your body of a lot of heavy metals and other toxic stuff. Also if you read my post on finding a plastic free electric kettle, I am very concerned with the dangers of BPA and how to remove BPA from the body (while traveling I drink a lot of water from plastic bottles). Infrared saunas, it turns out, probably is a great way to remove BPA since a pubmed study shows how BPA is found in human sweat. Finally, being in a cabin 30 minutes a day is pleasant to get some reading done. Just make sure to bring a good old paper book, as my phone and kindle seemed like they could overheat and I did not want to risk it.

2) Enhanced endurance/muscular performance. While not entirely a far infrared sauna benefit, I did read on Tim Ferris’ blog a guest post from Rhonda Perciavalle Patrick, Ph.D about how Saunas probably have been underestimated for a long time in how they can benefit performance. One of the coolest benefits is how as she mentions in another study “One study demonstrated that a 30-minute sauna session two times a week for three weeks POST-workout increased the time that it took for study participants to run until exhaustion by 32% compared to baseline.

Post workout is key here, as I tried it PRE WORKOUT a few times and I had a terrible gym performance, the same as the week before or worse, which is unusual since I’ve been using Tim Ferris’ Occam protocol to add on weight each week to all my exercises.

3) Far infrared sauna does help with weight loss not only due to calories burned (perhaps up to 800 calories per 30 minutes) but also due to the toxins removed from your body and fat cells. However this comes with a possible short term danger that I mention below for overweight people.

4) Possibly fights off cancer as you can see a better explanation of in the video below. Personally, I think just the fact that it detoxifies your body of heavy metal probably makes it prevent many cancers in the first place.

How to optimize your “FIS” experience for the most benefits

1) do your infrared sauna session AFTER a workout, for more benefits AND a great detox tool.

2) As for time length and heat, I personally pushed the unit I could test in Bangkok at the maximum of 66 Celsius/150 Fahrenheit starting at my third session, Dr Clement from the Hippocrates institute recommends a “FIS” session of 70-80 Celsius/160-180 degrees Fahrenheit, for 15-30 minutes. I would love to go higher but I definitely feel its still quite an experience so far in the last 5 minutes to hang in there. I can definitely see how this is not only a great detox but a great stress on the system (that will make you stronger, like conventional exercise).

I’ve done it both while eating a meal before and fasting, I did not see a difference in my well being (I was thinking maybe I would be completely drained and exhausted when doing it on an intermittent fasting day which means I did not eat in the last 12 hours at that point). Just in case anyone was wondering.

Portable far infrared sauna can be used in your homeFar Infrared saunas are portable and can be built in your home

Nowadays infrared saunas are affordable to anyone (under $100 if you google a way to make it yourself at home), as long as you have the room in your home. Sadly a (rare I guess…) disadvantage of being in my 20s and traveling the world is I do not have a “permanent” home so I usually go to clinics and get it done there. When I’m in a city like Bangkok where I can walk there, its no problem and I get a few sessions a week done with a solid 30 minute reading experience. I bring books in paperback, as I feel like my kindle or phone might burst into flames, but more seriously I worry on the lifespan of the conductors inside.

Some people have “near”/portable infrared saunas by using blankets they wear on their body and such, but I wont comment as I never used it.

Finally, there are a few obvious and less obvious infrared sauna dangers that I will mention:

  • Overheating (heat exhaustion and heat stroke)