in: Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends: June 21, 2024

A vintage metal box labeled "Odds & Ends" with a blurred background, photographed on April 14, 2023.

How the Seasons Change Our Sleep. Do you feel like your sleep’s been crappier lately? Shorter and less restful? Well, the summer season may be to blame. Research published last year found that sleep is subject to seasonal variations. Study participants slept an hour longer in the winter than they did in the summer, and experienced 30 minutes less REM sleep in the summer than the winter. The human body seems to need less sleep this time of year. (The study was done with people who were already experiencing sleep disturbances, and further research will be done as to whether it holds true for people with normal sleep, but there’s a good chance it will.) Our perception of our rested-ness is a product of both the objective physiological quality of our sleep, but also our subjective expectations around sleep; if we think we slept less than we should have, we may feel more tired than we actually are. So, if you’ve been worried about your sleep recently, take heart (and adjust your expectations!). You may be getting enough sleep, for this season of the year. As the researchers postulate, we may need to change our sleeping schedules seasonally, planning (and expecting) to spend more time in bed in January than in June.

Charles Bronson Japanese Mandom Cologne Commercials (1970s). Charles Bronson was a manly dude. Back in the 1970s, he did a series of extremely manly commercials for an awesomely-named Japanese cologne called Mandom. They’re amazing. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t inspire the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World and the Old Spice Man You Wish Your Man Smelled Like brand icons. If someone were to ask what my ideal aesthetic was, I would show them these commercials. I want my life to look like Charles Bronson in the 1970s splashing on Mandom.

The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone. AoM podcast guest Jon Tyson gifted a first edition copy of this book to me last year after our interview about “the 5 shifts of manhood.” It’s a biographical novel about the life of the Renaissance artist Michelangelo. I really enjoyed it. Not only did I learn a lot about Renaissance history from reading The Agony and the Ecstasy, but Stone’s insights about the discipline needed to develop great works in any domain were inspiring. Stone paints a picture of an artist who fused spirituality, genius, grit, and cunning to produce some of humanity’s greatest paintings and sculptures. Highly recommend. 

Fage 0% Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt. If you’re looking for a low-calorie, high-protein food that can be used in a variety of ways, look no further than Fage 0% Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt. I go through two 32-ounce tubs a week. A single serving has 90 calories and 18 grams of protein. That means 72 of the 90 calories in Fage 0% come from protein. Amazing! It’s basically like a spoonable protein concentrate. Plus, you get some gut-friendly probiotics to boot. It tastes like tangy sour cream, and I use it as such, putting it on my tacos and mixing it with a splash of milk and some adobe chipotle peppers to use as a sauce in my burritos. But I also eat Fage 0% yogurt with a bowl of oatmeal and blueberries for my daily mid-morning snack. I’m still exploring all the ways I can use this versatile high-protein food. Get ya some!

Quote of the Week

Have no fear of change as such and, on the other hand, no liking for it merely for its own sake.

—Robert Moses

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