Proud to be non-technical?
Tell a caffeine addict she can’t drink a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and things could get a little ugly—or maybe not.
Coffee is more than just a fetishized drink or a daily ritual. It has the power to transform your productivity. But maybe we’ve been going about it all wrong.
Researcher Steven Miller of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesada found that because our bodies already produce natural hormones that make us feel more alert at certain times in the day, we should curb our caffeine consumption during these times so as not to diminish its effect when we need it most.
He found that the best times to drink coffee (or any caffeinated beverage) for those who wake up between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. is from 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and between 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., since this is when our cortisol levels usually drop off and we begin to feel sluggish.
In other words, having a cup of coffee when you first get up doesn’t actually make you feel more awake.
While the science behind this seemed pretty sound, we wanted to know if the payoff for adjusting our coffee consumption is worth the sacrifice. Some were able to pull it off and loved the results, while others weren’t even able to make a dent in the challenge.
The Beginning of the End of Government Suits?
Despite my advice in yesterday’s post, sometimes you can wear whatever the hell you want to a job interview. Wired calls attention to a the White House’s attempt to recruit IT talent to its new U.S. Digital Service—a project led by ex-Google engineer Mikey Dickerson. A point this video returns to over and over is the government’s accommodation of coders’ traditionally lax dress code: Dickerson seems to favor nondescript, untucked cotton button downs and khakis, while most of the President’s men are all suit all the time. In one segment Dickerson is wearing a jacket and tie—he jokes that it’s only because the President is in the room; Dickerson’s dress shirt appears to be made of denim.
The often-stereotyped uniform of the computer programmer/IT guy/coder is really the politician’s “can’t look like I care too much” uniform taken a step further: politicians won’t wear clothes that might be perceived as flashy because they could signify vanity, conspicuous wealth, or a lack of seriousness. They want you to know they have more important things to worry about. The Silicon Valley aesthetic’s rejection of, uh, aesthetics is more about, as Jesse put it, creating the facade of meritocracy: “Whoever hacks best wins.” Politicians want the approval of everyone, or at least 51% of everyone, and enough people still believe that SERIOUS BUSINESS requires a suit and tie to justify them. Tech guys’ attitude is a rejection of needing any approval at all. “This is what I feel like wearing. You need me. Take it or leave it.”
The implication of the video is great: that the government is worried its missing the opportunity to hire the best people for the job because those people wouldn’t even consider taking a job where they’d have to wear a suit.
If you said “from the sky,” then congratulations! You are hilarious. But it’s a lot more interesting than that. The pungent perfume that accompanies rainstorms carries special chemical signatures, some born from lightning, some from deep within the soil.
And beyond just being pleasant and nostalgic, those smells are actually useful to some living things, such as telling plants when it’s time to grow, guiding camels across the desert, and even signaling some fish when it’s time to get “romantic”.
Take a big whiff, because there’s a science storm a-comin’!