Alberto's weekly email #30: Murakami, Bombs, Milk and more! 🇻🇪

Hi All,

Last week was packed and filled with lots of fulfilling and unexpected experiences.

I realized that some of the best moments with friends come when you least expect them. Not everything needs a plan.

Now, here's what I've been up to!

What I am reading 📚

I just published my notes and highlights of “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Haruki Murakami. The book continues to inspire me as I try to develop a habit of running every single day no matter what. I’m only 4 weeks into this process and I can already notice some changes not only in my stamina—I’ve been able to run longer distances week after week—but also mentally: I don’t dread the cold weather and I find myself thinking about excuses less and less as my running session approaches. I hope I can keep this trend going forward 💪.

The book has as many tips about running as it has advice for life, here are some of my favorite bits:

"The fact that I am me and no one else is one of my greatest assets. Emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent."

"I’m struck by how, except when you’re young, you really need to prioritize in life, figuring out in what order you should divide up your time and energy. If you don’t get that sort of system set by a certain age, you’ll lack focus and your life will be out of balance. I place the highest priority on the sort of life that lets me focus on writing, not associating with all the people around me.

"The body is an extremely practical system. You have to let it experience intermittent pain over time, and then the body will get the point."

"It doesn’t matter how old I get, but as long as I continue to live I’ll always discover something new about myself. No matter how long you stand there examining yourself naked before a mirror, you’ll never see reflected what’s inside."

Nerd Corner 🤓

I’ve been reading more and more about climate and weather forecasting. What I hoped would be a blog post is turning out to be an essay. While I research more and organize my thoughts in writing, here are some nuggets that surprised me:

  • The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, at the end of World War II, was influenced by the weather. Before the bombing, an airplane was sent to fly over the region and report back on the weather. When the airplane radioed "Cloud cover less than three-tenths. Advice: bomb primary”, the operation moved forward.

    While we don’t think much about it, all throughout history the fate of military operations has been influenced and decided by the weather.

  • Rome is a city known for its mild winters and hot summers, but it wasn't always like that. The city was founded during what amounts to a “Little Ice Age”. And some historians argue that thanks to changes in the regional climate, Rome was able to flourish and expand as more areas became suitable for agriculture, and navigation in the Mediterranean Sea became less dangerous.

💻 Code For Venezuela 🇻🇪

Over the weekend the organization hosted its Second Hackathon, this time in partnership with Hult Business School and focused around data analytics.

I had the opportunity to help in the organizing efforts. It was a wonderful weekend in which students from all over the world learned about Venezuela’s situation and worked tirelessly to develop solutions that will have a direct impact on Médicos Por La Salud's efforts on the ground.

If you want to know more about the organization and what we are working on visit our website and subscribe to our newsletter. Or even better, click here to contribute!

Cool Finds 🤯

  • I grew up learning that milk was one of the best and most nutritious foods that one could ingest in order to keep healthy and solid bones. It turns out that this might not be true. Barring any confusion between correlation and causation (we’re not implying that more milk causes more hip fractures), it seems that drinking lots of milk and dairy products are not required to keep one’s bones healthy. Source.

  • There are weird hobbies and then there is “Mud Larking”, or the art of scavenging in river mud hoping to find something valuable or unique. While it doesn’t appeal much to me, it is very entertaining to see what can be found in the Thames riverbanks. Head to this Twitter account to see it for yourselves.

  • While privacy advocates have been focusing around protecting what we do online through our laptops and smartphones, nobody seemed to be paying attention to what companies do to track what we watch through our TVs. Now, researchers are starting to look at TVs and streaming devices and the picture is very scary. Check out this Morning Paper edition for more.

Until next week,