Symbol for Post Office in Japan

That symbol with the two red horizontal lines and a vertical line below it is the symbol for a post office in Japan.  This photo was taken in the port city of Otura, on the north island Hokkaido of Japan.  Otura happens to be a famous tourist destination in Japan.  So this is where you can mail your postcards.

Post Office in Japan
Post Office in Japan

This photo happens to be taken in Otura, Japan.

Books on Bahavioral Psychology

Why Do People Do the Things They Do?

Why do people do the things they do? That is the subject of “behavioral psychology” which can be quite an interesting subject. If you didn’t get a chance to take such classes in college, there are numerous books out for the general public about this subject. A few are listed below…

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior

By Ori and Rom Brafman, this book explains some of the psychological forces that are in play that sometimes cause us to make irrational decisions. Written by two brothers, Ari and Rom Brafman, the book gives many real-life historical examples of how people had made irrational decisions — sometimes leading to terrible consequences.

One striking example is that of an experienced pilot who took the plane off without clearance at Tenerife causing one of the worst airline accident. Another is how doctors failed to perform the necessary tests causing the death of a child. How can experienced professional who normally would know better had made this mistakes? This book examines that situational and psychological forces are at play (some of which are quite strong) that causes people to sometimes make irrational mistakes.

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely.

MIT professor Dan Ariely studies behavioral economics. He says that there are situations where it is very predictable that people will behave irrationality. Watch video of him explaining how we are fooled by an optical illusion.

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less

Author Barry Schwartz explains the paradox of why sometimes having more choice actually makes us less likely to be able to make a decision. And when we do, we are less happy about it.

Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things by Madeleine Van Hecke

Clinical psychologist Van Hecke says that we all have psychological blind spots. He devotes each chapter to discussing one blind spot such as “Jumping to Conclusions”, “Missing the Big Picture”, “Fuzzy Evidence”, and more.

Books About Jobs

There seem to be no shortage of books about jobs – about how one hates their job, how one loves their job, and even how one is married to their job, and so on

Here are just some of the books about jobs and careers…

You Want Fries with That: A White-Collar Burnout Experiences Life at Minimum Wage

From the back cover: “Ever fantasize about quitting your successful job and starting over from the bottom up? Prioleau Alexander did just that”

The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed and Overworked

From the back cover: “The Joy of Not Working could change your view of the world forever. Ernie Zelinkski, “creatively unemployed” for 14 years, believes we work so hard — and overvalue work so much — that we have forgotten how to just live!”

Punching In: The Unauthorized Adventures of a Front-Line Employee

From the back cover: “Curious to know just what happens behind the “employees only” doors of big companies, journalist Alex Frankel embarked on an undercover reporting project to find out…”

Married to the Job

Why We Live to Work and What We Can Do About It – author and clinical psychologist Ilene Philipson has a self-quiz at the back of the book that asks the question “Are You Married to Your Job?”

Your Money Or Your Life

From the back cover: “Does making a living feel more like making a dying? Do you feel stuck in a job you can’t afford to leave? … They both gave up successful — and stressful — careers in order to live more deliberately and meaningfully.”

What Should I Do with My Life? The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question

Fascinating stories of real people who struggled to find their true calling in their work and life.

Working With You is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work

A national best-seller, this book contain chapters with titles such as “Change Your Reaction, Change Your Life”, “Difficult and Extreme Bosses”, “Corporate Culture – Is This the Right Place for You?”, and more.

Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: No Schedules, No Meetings, No Joke–the Simple Change That Can Make Your Job Terrific

In this book, the authors Ressler and Thompson introduces us to the concept of ROWE, “Results-Only Work Environment”.

The Joy of Burnout: How the End of the World Can Be a New Beginning

Burnout is our soul trying to tell us something and to give us a warning that we should not continue on this path. If we listen, then we can change and have a new better beginning with joy. If we don’t listen, we risk our health and possibly more.

Escape from Corporate America: A Practical Guide to Creating the Career of Your Dreams

Author, Pamela Skillings, talked about how after 12 years of climbing the corporate ladder to VP, she was burned out and escaped from corporate America to start her own company. This book talks about both the bad side of corporate as in Chapter 2 “The Trouble with the Rat Race” as well as the good side of corporate as in Chapter 5 “Corporate Jobs that Don’t Suck”. But if you do decide to escape corporate, there are advice in the various directions that one can go. For example, chapter 6 “Take a Break” talks about part-time, telecommuting, and leaves of absensces. Chapter 7 “Swim in a Smaller Pond” talks about working in a start-up. Chapter 8 “Going Solo” talks about becoming self-employed and freelancing. Chapter 9 talks about building a business. And more other chapters. Interspersed throughout the book are inspirational stories of those who have escaped from corporate America. On page 209 is one such story of Marie Elena who says “Having your own business is probably the most secure thing that you can do because no one is going to watch out for your best interests better than you are.”

Educational Wii Games

Some Educational Wii Games that are both fun and educational…

Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree

15 activities to challenge your brain and sees how you measure up in five categories: memory, analysis, number crunching, visual recognition, and quick thinking

Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader

Educational trivia video game based on the popular TV series of the same name.

Smarty Pants: Trivia for Everyone Wii Game

The questions are tailor to the player’s age. That is why everyone can play.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

Trivia game with over 3000 questions. Based on the TV show of the same name.

Books on Brain Health

Just as we need to keep our body health, we also need to keep our brain healthy. Here are some books on improving and maintaining brain health.

Brain Longevity: The Breakthrough Medical Program that Improves Your Mind and Memory

Author Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa is a holistic healer that combines Eastern and Western medicine. He believes cortisol plays a major factor in brain aging. He explains the four pillars to brain health: diet, exercise, stress reduction, and supplements.

The Better Brain Book

This book is all about improving memory and sharpness as well as slowing brain aging. Dr. David Perlmutter talks about nutrition, supplements, lifestyle changes, removing toxins, and brain workout. Book includes a “brain audit” as well as four recommended medical tests.

Dr. Daniel G. Amen, founder of Amen Clinics, is a physician, psychiatrist, and brain imaging specialist who had been featured on Public Television specials. He has a few books on brain health including Change Your Brain, Change Your Life and Magnificent Mind at Any Age.

Earth’s Magnetic North Pole is on the Move

The earth’s magnetic North pole moves (sometimes as much as 40 miles to 50 miles a year).

Note that this is the magnetic North pole, the north that you compass points to. It is not the geographic north pole, which is the north end of the earth’s axis of rotation.

This causes issues for us and devices that rely on the magnetic north pole’s position. In one instance, a Florida airport had to repaint it directional signs because of the shift.

In fact, in the Earth’s geological past, the magnetic poles has in fact reversed (the north pole became the south pole, and vice versa).


Scientists Unearth Gigantic Ant Colony

Watch an excerpt from the documentary “Ants! Natures Sceret Power” as scientists excavate an ant colony. This was done by pouring concrete into an abandoned ant colony and then excavating away the earth. This reveals an incredible an efficient structure that has highways and sideroads. The ants had to remove 40 tons of dirt in order to build this structure.

WATCH VIDEO on YouTube »

In another different ant colony that was not abandoned, scientists measure the air coming into and out of the ant tunnels and determined that it is analogous to an air-conditioned system where there are different shafts for incoming fresh air and outgoing carbon dioxide air.

Books on Longevity

Most of us wants to live longer. But how? The most like answer is lifestyle changes. Here are a couple of books that will show us what types of lifestyle changes we can make to help increase our longevity.

Longevity Made Simple: How to Add 20 Good Years to Your Life: Lessons from Decades of Research

“Made Simple” is correct. This practical book is short and easy to read without long lengthy technical dissertations. This makes it simple to understand and follow the advice of the authors, who are a father-daughter team.

The Forever Young Diet and Lifestyle The Forever Young Diet and Lifestyle

This book is written by husband and wife team of cardiologist and dietitian. Chapters includes “Chapter 10: Prescription Drugs That Improves Longevity”, “Chapter 12: Exercise: The Fountain of Youth”, and “Chapter 18: Longevity with Spirit”.