The Random Show – Drinking Urine, Exploring Japan, and Figuring Out Life (#224)

Photo credit: Kevin Rose

Coming to you from a late night in rural Japan, this is a special edition of The Random Show.

Per usual for The Random Show, I am joined by Kevin Rose (@KevinRose), serial entrepreneur, world-class investor, and all around wild and crazy guy. We discuss Japan and how to do it cheaply, building apps, urine drinking, love and marriage, beauty and absurdity in 2017, why Kevin doesn’t have New Year’s resolutions, favorite books, and much more.


You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#224: The Random Show - Drinking Urine, Exploring Japan, and Figuring Out Life

Want to hear another episode of The Random Show? — Listen to this earlier conversation with Kevin Rose. In this episode, we discuss saunas and cold treatment, dating apps, and fitness apps (stream below or right-click here to download):

#146: The Random Show, Ice Cold Edition

This podcast is brought to you by iD Commerce + Logistics. I’m asked all the time about how to scale businesses quickly. Rule number one: remove unnecessary bottlenecks. Many businesses can do so by outsourcing inventory management and fulfillment to a company that makes this its primary focus.

iD Commerce + Logistics is just such a company. It helps online retailers and entrepreneurs outgrow their competition by handling all types of details — from inventory to packing and shipping. I depended on iD to handle these types of details when I launched The 4-Hour Chef, so I could focus on promoting the book. As a listener of this podcast, you can get up to $10,000 off your start-up fees and costs waived by visiting or

This podcast is also brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is the future of financial advice. It’s become especially popular among my friends in Silicon Valley and across the country because it provides the same high-end financial advice that the best private wealth managers deliver to the ultra wealthy — but for any account size, at a fraction of the cost.

Wealthfront monitors your portfolio every day across more than a dozen asset classes to find opportunities for rebalancing and harvesting tax losses, and now manages more than $5 billion in assets. Unlike old-fashioned private wealth managers, Wealthfront is powered by innovative technology, making it the most tax-efficient, low-cost, hassle-free way to invest. Go to to take the risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and it’ll show you — for free — exactly the portfolio it would recommend. If you want to just take the advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it. Well worth a few minutes: As a Tim Ferriss Show listener, you’ll get your first $15,000 managed for free if you decide to go with its services.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

  • Connect with Kevin Rose:

Twitter | The Journal

Show Notes

  • Why are we in Japan? [06:56]
  • At Araya Totoan, Kevin doesn’t have to hide his tattoos. [09:17]
  • What it’s like in Japan if you don’t speak the language. [11:23]
  • The difference between losing a personal item in Japan and the US. [12:26]
  • Tokyo has a reputation for being an expensive city, but you can still have fun on the cheap. [15:20]
  • Book recommendations for people who want to learn Japanese. [20:02]
  • Book research and development, and mantra meditation app creation. [21:22]
  • Weighing the benefits of Slack vs. a private Facebook group for community feedback. [29:20]
  • Why is Kevin creating an app for mantra meditation, and what would its success look like? [31:43]
  • What do developers and designers mean when they talk about “wireframes?” [36:08]
  • Why don’t I have a “4-Hour” app yet? How can developers minimize maintenance once an app goes live? [37:51]
  • What can an app developer expect in terms of cost and maintenance for the first year if their launch is successful? [44:02]
  • Some of the features I’d like in my own app. [47:50]
  • Aside from app development, what has Kevin been up to? [49:27]
  • Book promotion is busy work. [50:09]
  • My recent Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon experience. [52:40]
  • The merits of deep work and blocking time “for unknown purposes.” [55:32]
  • Epitaph ideas, writing, and podcasting as vehicles for teaching. [56:55]
  • The three keys to achieving goals. [58:28]
  • How can you apply data to love and marriage? [1:00:06]
  • On drinking urine. [1:03:23]
  • How this podcast evolved as a break from writing to what it is today. [1:07:29]
  • Absurdity and beauty as project criteria — case studies: court jesters and Mark Rothko. [1:09:38]
  • Why Kevin got into woodworking. [1:17:23]
  • How Kevin avoids costly impulse purchases. [1:23:36]
  • Hedonic adaptation (aka experience stretching). [1:26:49]
  • Parting thoughts: Kevin’s podcast, our tour of a sake brewery, and book and documentary recommendations. [1:32:00]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

Leave a Reply

Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)

58 Replies to “The Random Show – Drinking Urine, Exploring Japan, and Figuring Out Life (#224)”

  1. If you haven’t seen it already, check out The Moaning of Life Series 2, Epidode 4 – Karl Pilkington is hilarious in general, but that aside, in this episode he finds a man in India who practices Shivambu… referring to the issue “you’re in” to at 1:03:23.

  2. pleased to observe urine drinking reference. Shivambu Shastra in sanskrit, also known as amaroli in yogic hygiene (which I suppose is sanskrit also)

    the psychological barrier is the main thing and thats not that hard to over come. the other thing to overcome is that urine is purely toxins excreted.

    the golden (haha) rule is not to use the first 25ml or the last 25ml, not to use if using drugs or medicines or if urine is ‘scanty’ or dark. Mid stream ( ie not the beginning or the end) of the first morning urine is the best, it has the best concentration of antibodies and nutrients. one really only needs a couple of ml, if that.

    There are quite a number of books, I’ve read many of them – but the main facts can be found on the web. it is worth simply exploring what is available although there are some seminal texts.

    so many testamonials of people struggling with serious illness that didn’t respond to treatment for decades, and urine was the the last resort that cured everything.

    It’s very powerful and potent as it is an exact blueprint of your personal unique status, which means it should be treated respectfully – use when sick, small quantities, cease when recovered. Over dosing can be shocking to the system because it is such a sophisticated and complex substance, just small amounts are required to trigger the bodies immune response and provide the key information of the disease picture

    Oh – and open that mind of yours! It’s been used for thousands of years all over the world 🙂

  3. oops. I meant to say, the other thing to overcome is the belief that urine is purely all about toxins excreted. It is not, however of course if one is not living a clean lifestyle then yes urine will contain metabolic byproducts which is not desirable to re ingest, so yes there are exceptions and a discipline to observe as to how urine is used as medicine. Be careful on the web with information obtained, because there are going to be all the medical doctor types saying oh blah blah it’s dangerous it’s a lie, we know best. like any unusual therapy the internet can be tricky, Books are best and there are quite a number written in english by europeans – don’t worry about the indians ones translated I haven’t come across any that were helpful

    1. Well, interestingly, the Sami people have found that the urine of reindeers actually reduces the potency of a magic mushroom, fly agaric, making it _less_ toxic. Obviously, only recommended to trained professionals and shamans, or the MDs Tim had on the show about hallucinogenic mushrooms. (From BBC : Magic mushrooms & Reindeer – Weird Nature – BBC animals)

    1. LOL… So Funny. A public figure and your fans come by while you’re in the bathhouse getting naked. I think they should have had to pay a fee to have gotten the works. No Freebies here Folks!

  4. Tim,

    I love your podcast and books. One of the large missing pieces I find to all of them is that you attend to those individuals without children and that have had the ability to invest thoroughly in their earlier years. I am 35, mother or two (and no more), business owner, and open to so much more! I get excited about so many concepts in both your books and your podcasts only to find that they don’t really translate to me. As am avid audience member, please consider that there are parents with (still) limited income who could benefit fro you and your guests expertise who may have not been tech marvels in their 20’s so to live to freely on 25k/yr…..

  5. Heading over to Japan for the 12th time next Sunday–great timing to get me (more) amped up about my upcoming adventures. 行って来ます~ 😀

  6. You guys always offer great actionable tips and I really appreciated the app talk here, but this was a different kind of talk. This was a great conversation between two friends. Really appreciate you guys sharing this.

  7. Just throwing this out there: If your ever back in that neighborhood, I work at the Vans store on University ave in Palo Alto. I’m usually closing there a good half of the week. It would blow my mind to sell you some shoes sometime. If it’s a slow weekday at the shop we could talk about the few ways that I’m attempting to become superhuman, from breathing like Wim to having a pair of Pavel’s grippers and other such sorts of whatnot.

  8. Tim Try this experiment and dress only in white robes or all white clothing for 3 months. See if people treat you differently and see if you feel different.

  9. Hey Tim!

    Does that mean you are in Japan now? If you go to Osaka and want something to do, Mail me. Got a small group of guys would take you out on the town. 😉

  10. Hi Tim,

    Very good episode! I absolutely adore your smart uniqueness:) I think your very own advise (think big, question limitations, test and experiment after limiting your losses) could be applied to your insights about marriage/love relationships and kids. Do not overthink it, get yourself out there, test it and see what happens! Wanna meet sometime? Do not get me wrong, it is just a friendly invite for a chat and hang around when you are in Europe.

    Best of luck and have a great time in Japan!

  11. Urine therapy is a thing! I have drank my own for medicinal benefits. Theres a lot of information out there on drinking ones own urine. Not so weird actually 😉 Check out Timothy Shieff’s latest video, he talks about it in depth.

    Love ya Tim!

  12. Hi Tim… love the podcast and this again is a fantastic one with Kevin.. one very specific ask in case you have time for some guidance in the right direction…. If you have an app idea and want to build it, how exactly do you find a good app developer, but more importantly how do you make sure they don´t steal your idea?



  13. So great to hear two good mates chatting like this, this was one of the best Random shows you have done with some great honesty.

    Looks like you had a great time with some lovely people in Japan, Kevin is a great guy. Very grounded and married to one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen who seems equally grounded.

  14. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!! I’ve obviously been leaving under a rock. I’ve discovered you, Tim Ferriss, just a fortnight ago. I cannot thank you enough for everything you do. I’ve been binge listening to your podcasts and going down many a rabbit hole – and converting my husband and some colleagues along the way (sharing condensed bits of information, sending links, placarding post- its on people’s desks!!). I’ve always thought i was just odd and should try to ‘smarten’ up. I got to subscribe to the feedback i received over the years that being interested in a million things, and wanting to learn about everything and always seeking a better answer to a more precise question was the sign of a slightly deranged, unsatisfied, ungrateful mind!! Through your generous, detailed and honest sharing of your ongoing life experimentations of all kinds, and sharing the journeys and stories of an ARMY of extraordinary humans, themselves challenging status quo – you’ve changed the way i perceive myself and life in general in a matter of days! I am by no means in that realm, but at least i don’t feel odd anymore, instead of thinking i need to ‘settle down a bit’ and not question everything so much, i’m feeling for the first time in many, many years, quite normal really 🙂 Even elated indeed! So, yup, just thank you, thank you, thank you. Going through your list of guests was like a dream come true!! Charles Poliquin, Pavel Tsatsouline, Tony Robbins, etc. and then discovering total legends i had never ever heard of – it’s corny but i feel totally juiced up and alive! Last one: THANK YOU!!!! Two things for you: if you haven’t yet, check out New Caledonia, this is where i grew up. If you’re into diving, this is some of the best diving in the world, and a strange mix of french culture on island time! You might have already come across her, but if not, check out Venerable Robina Courtin. i’m not a buddhist (haven’t taken vows) but i follow her, albeit sporadically, because she manages to peel out the exotic and ritualism of tibetan buddhism to extract the pragmatic content of the buddhist view of the world/mind in plain, no nonsense, not hairy-fairy-pseudo-spiritual language. And with an Australian accent! I’m not affiliated in any way, shape or form, just thought i’d share 2 things you might get something out of. Keep TimFerrissing about!

  15. I enjoyed Kevin poking you to share information concerning areas of your life you don’t feel you’ve completely mastered. With that being said, I laughed out loud then subsequently snorted at your attempt to quantify love. Attempting to quantify love is far more absurd than drinking your own urine. From a business standpoint marriage does have a terrible success rate, however, if you do what you do best and identify the problems and errors, you could write the 4 Hour Marriage.

    Marriage isn’t the problem, it’s two people entering a contract without negotiating terms. I’m from a small town, I’m 26, I know people who are on their second marriage by 28. Why? They didn’t actually want to get married, they’re ‘supposed to’, so they do the thing then hate the thing.

    You’re miscalculating the wrong data – marriages fail because of the people in them, not because of marriage. What about people in open marriages? Are they more or less successful than traditional marriages?

    You can’t predict the future and maybe after 35 years of marital bliss you get a brain tumor and start fucking goats – does that negate 35 years? Nope. The 35 years were successful, 6 months of fucking goats was an odd hiccup….which maybe can be cured by drinking your own urine. Who knows? No one. Life is weird and unpredictable, step away from the calculator.

  16. A term we were just discussing yesterday related to stress was allostasis, a resetting of the baseline of tolerance, tendency,…. or a reset of homeostasis. Great random show. I like 2-3 hours (N:1)

  17. Really interesting discussion about app development. What jumped out at me was your fantasy about being able to reach people during your travels via push notifications, and Kevin’s reference to geofencing. It was nice to hear further validation of our geofencing and push notification efforts – delivering text, audio and video content that is contextually relevant to mobile users based on their current location and activity. Thanks.

  18. Re: your observations on enjoying the moment and reducing FOMO, Dave Chappelle walked away for 7 years, but he’s baaaaack.

  19. Hi Tim, as a black belt in world travel who hasn’t made it (yet!) to Japan, thanks for giving me a taste!

    Also appreciated the open nature of the podcast ramble you did with Kevin. Most of all, was great you took his invitation to be a bit vulnerable and talk about goals in your life and cast a glance toward the love/marriage part of life for yourself. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of that side of your life. For me as a single girl, it was heartening to hear how dating/relationships can at times be challenging for someone like you, reminding the rest of us that even successful people are “just humans” too…We are all works in progress, on all fronts. I appreciated that personal aspect of the podcast.

    Keep up the wayfaring adventures, and good work!

    Rachel in SF

  20. Hi Tim,

    Love your podcasts and been a followers for quite some time. You spoke about the potential of building your own app. Being cognizant of your time, I’m wondering if you’d like me and my colleagues help you build it – as a side hobby.

    I have a good enough understanding of your needs as you described on this Podcast.


  21. Tim, if you are an NT in the Meyers Briggs, your partner should be an NF. Look for a teacher, healer. My husband is a graph-oriented architect (NT) and I’m an emotion-centered artist (I like to think I’m an outlier in your demographics). We have a great time together, learning and growing. I would be interested in knowing what MB types Kevin and his wife are.

    And if I ever make it to Japan I will be sure and check out the Studio Ghibli Museum. I showed my kids My Neighbor Totoro the other day and they kept saying, “This is the best movie ever!”

  22. Hi Tim!

    I feel like Kevin failed to mention Progressive Web Apps in your talk about making a Tim Ferriss app.

    Since you already have this website, and presumeably is not looking to add a ton of new features, you could just “turn” your website into your app.

    It’s already responsive so you don’t need much initially.

    Granted, Push Notifications don’t work in Safari (yet), but if anybody could persuade Apple to follow Google into the future, I’m sure it’s you 🙂

  23. Kevin Rose, thankyou. The ‘Lesson’? Sometimes the best questions expose raw human vulnerability. A rare and beautiful insight into the offline Tim Ferris, relatable and beautifully human, a welcome break from the usual chest-beating pace of the show. I’m a huge fan, this was by far my favourite episode, and this particular question – what don’t you have figured out yet – was, and is, the lesson.

  24. A note about Amazon Wishlist. I have done the same for years. Put something I want on the wishlist and most of the time I change my mind or find something better or wonder why I even wanted the item in the first place. It’s like renting the item in your mind. If I ever get a gift card or something I peruse my wishlist and usually end up not getting anything.

  25. Good episode! Only honest feedback I could provide would be continuing to be the excellent teacher that you are and no questions that feel like an interview on some tv show. Hold the standard! Great work!!

  26. Tim,

    Have you ever researched drinking food grade hydrogen peroxide? Check out the research on it. I tried it for a bit, but didnt stick with it though. Super interesting stuff! I’ve not drank my own urine, but I think the hydrogen peroxide is a bit tougher to get down. Ps loved this podcast with K.Rose.

  27. The easiest way to enable sorting things on Facebook would be to build a browser extension or UserScript, as long as you can live with working in a browser that supports extensions (desktop browsers or Firefox on Android for example.)

    If all the information you need is available to you as a user — meaning you can see it with your eyes, or when you inspect the page using the browser developer tools — you can add the features you want without going through the official channels.

    Building a browser extension, UserScript or UserStyle is easy, if you know basic JavaScript/CSS.

    UserScripts/Styles are the easiest because you just write the code you want to run and a host extension takes care of the browser integration for you. You can write your own scripts or install scripts made by others.

    The Tampermonkey UserScripts extension is available for all major browsers:

    Learning basic HTML/CSS/JS will give you incredible power since we spend so much of our time in web browsers today.

  28. Tim, I don’t know if it’s because of your interview, but suddenly everywhere I look, articles are popping up discussing the medicinal purpose of DRINKING YOUR OWN URINE.

    In fact, Ben Greenfield JUST interviewed a doctor who discussed it in the context of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

    Also, in school I majored in religious studies and Japanophile I am, actually wrote my thesis on the topic of how different sources over time influenced the development of Japanese UNIQUE thought and culture, from rice and agriculture, to nature and the sense of awe, to the sensitivity they developed to the subtleties of the world around them, their sense of unity and oneness, to Buddhism – I won’t get into it…

    BUT I HIGHLY recommend you check out a book by Kenji Ekuan that really helped me weave together all these different concepts and ideas: The Aesthetics of the Japanese Lunchbox.

    [Moderator: link removed]

    And if you’re curious about these “tricksters” and “jesters” that occupy the fringes of society, check out the Native American “heyokas.” 😉

  29. Tim, hearing your take on the marriage/love/kids made me wonder if you’ve read Neil’s book, the Truth. You must have read it as you had him in your podcast. Did that book give you any insight or did actually confirm your ambivalence?

  30. Hey Tim.

    You spoke about your weakness being marriage and relationships.

    You also spoke about always wanting to be a teacher and you have found you can maximize that role through the podcast as opposed to the traditional route in a classroom.

    I think your biggest goal would be to bridge those two together and if you succeeded you could bring about some of the best change to society, happiness, and general well being.

    A basic understanding of the effects of divorce tells us that it has huge negative implications to both the partners and more importantly, in my opinion, the children.

    It creates a vicious cycle whereby children of divorce have diminished life satisfaction and success and a much higher chance of having their own failed marriages thereby keeping the cycle alive.

    If you could somehow figure out how to dramatically increase the success rate of marriage and then impart your wisdom you could have the biggest positive change to society then any other endeavor.

    Get it done Tim! For all of our sakes :).

  31. Tim — RE 45 minutes in… need help building an app? I’m a long time product manager who’s built many apps and can help figure out feature sets & roadmap and get the right team in place to build it. Feel free to get in touch.

    From a longtime fan


  32. The riffing of Tim and his closest friends is a privilege to be brought inside! Nice prodding questions, Kevin Rose.

    You both had me thinking in moments around the fine balance between striving, ambition and self-imposed stress and unhappiness. As always, the musings on relationships are fascinating. I too am “late single” though believing in love as the beautiful and the abstract, and that it is a combination of choice and life experience to stumble into and embrace that person.

    I valued a sense for Japan from the episode too, thank you.

  33. I like your podcasts. I am intending to make podcasts of french villa designs in the place where i work [Moderator: link removed] can you help me?

  34. Tim-

    Loved your quote in your last 5-bullet Friday. I’m an active duty army officer who read that at the tail end of a long and miserable exercise. I needed that to refill the tank and remember how rewarding my profession can be. Thanks.

  35. Since you have mentioned that this is to be the year of Beauty and Absurd I thought about two new “experiments” for you.

    First: Read multiple versions, translations, annotations of the Tao to finally rewrite your own version. (I have done this twice, once in English and once in French both handwritten. Active meditation at its best. Almost as good as trail running.)

    Second: interview David Sedaris. He is the king of seeing beauty in the absurd and the absurd in the beauty.

  36. Dear and smart man Tim,

    All episodes and books are very, very good (I can make a list, of course…) but, #224…..fantastic !!

    I learned a lot from you and your guests (I can make a list too 🙂 ), they are so brilliant !


    God bless you !


    Nikola (Serbia, Belgrade)

  37. Tim, I just enjoyed this podcast on a road trip. Talking about art projects, pranking, doing things just for the hell of it- I seem to recall you’ve been to Burning Man already. Are you familiar with the Cacophony Society?

    Let me know if you want an invite to some fun stuff going on around San Francisco that may be up this particular alley.