Insane Superhuman French People

(Found via Coudal Partners)

The land of frog legs and baguettes has produced, in recent years and unbeknowst to most, some of the worlds most mind-numbing acrobats. I found the above video last night and had to share it. Two questions:

What the hell are kids eating in France?

[Postscript: readers have noted in the comments that this first video was actually in Mexico, though some also claim Brazil.]

If you could have the physical capabilities of any athlete in the world, who would you choose?

I might opt for another French lad named Junior. I used to breakdance (at about 1:40 of this video), but he is superhuman. The clip below is from the Red Bull BC One competition of 2004. Be sure to watch the whole thing or jump to 2:40 — you won’t believe the move in the last five seconds… Continue reading “Insane Superhuman French People”

No Girl? How to Express Your Man Crush on Valentine's Day Instead

V-Day street cred.

No girl for Valentine’s Day? No worries. Problem solved.

Like millions, I’m enjoying National Singles Awareness Day as Lone Ranger this year, and it bothered me at one point. But then I realized…

V-Day isn’t about Y chromosomes. It’s all about sharing the love–period.

Why not show some Fight Club-style feelings for your homies with the testosterone-rich but heart-rending “I Man Crush You” T-shirt or Hoodie? 100% of profits for all products in February go to Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses… Continue reading “No Girl? How to Express Your Man Crush on Valentine's Day Instead”

The Choice-Minimal Lifestyle: 6 Formulas for More Output and Less Overwhelm

Photo: CyboRoz

I was stressed out… over dog cartoons.

It was 9:47pm at Barnes and Noble on a recent Saturday night, and I had 13 minutes to find a suitable exchange for “The New Yorker Dog Cartoons,” $22 of expensive paper. Bestsellers? Staff recommends? New arrivals or classics? I’d already been there 30 minutes.

Beginning to feel overwhelmed with a ridiculous errand I’d expected to take five minutes, I stumbled across the psychology section. One tome jumped out at me as all too appropriate—The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen or read Barry Schwarz’s 2004 classic, but it seemed like a good time to revisit the principles, among them that:

-The more options you consider, the more buyer’s regret you’ll have.

-The more options you encounter, the less fulfilling your ultimate outcome will be.

This raises an difficult question: Is it better to have the best outcome but be less satisfied, or have an acceptable outcome and be satisfied? Continue reading “The Choice-Minimal Lifestyle: 6 Formulas for More Output and Less Overwhelm”

Seeking Suggestions and Case Studies for New 4HWW (Plus: Twitter Giveaway Winners)

O Hai, my new copy editor. (Photo: easyAlchemy)

It’s nice to be focusing on writing again.

I am finally putting together the revised and expanded edition of The 4-Hour Workweek! A lot has happened since it was first published in April 2007, and quite a few cool updates will be included.

I’ve already incorporated many of your suggestions, but I’d love more of your resources and stories! Please take a second to look at the following three questions… Continue reading “Seeking Suggestions and Case Studies for New 4HWW (Plus: Twitter Giveaway Winners)”

George Carlin vs. Mark Twain – Can You Pick? (plus: Exclusive TV Preview)

Jon Stewart gives an example of Carlin’s brilliance (exclusive footage from a special appearing tonight on PBS, 9pm ET).

I first saw George Carlin around age 10. Much later, I discovered Mark Twain and realized both were philosophers of the same school: The Trojan Horse.

Twain and Carlin were experts at making important points with humor, oftentimes addressing topics that, even in Twain’s time, wouldn’t hit the politically-correct mainstream otherwise. Other skilled Trojan Horse comedians include Stephen Colbert (example from his speech following George W. Bush) and Chris Rock.

Motivated and pissed off by the rules and senseless authority of their times, both used humor via plain and simple language to poke fun where more than fun was at stake.

Separated at birth: Can you guess who said the following quotes, Carlin or Twain?… Continue reading “George Carlin vs. Mark Twain – Can You Pick? (plus: Exclusive TV Preview)”

The Weekend Retirement Test Drive: Groundhog Day and the Rest of Your Life (Plus: Competition)

Don’t be a groundhog [yes, I know this is a hedgehog, but I liked the shot]. (Photo: Anxious223)

There are a lot of rich and depressed groundhogs.

This is a critical concept, so let me introduce it with an e-mail I received from a reader and executive at a Fortune 500 company a few hours ago, edited for length:

Tim,

So I was out snowshoeing this morning and found myself completely taken in this moment thinking I was like the Snow Queen from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale and that I was walking through the Black Forest. And I was there, at least in my mind, which, really, is all that matters. …Here’s how this is relevant to you – the problem most people are going to have with your book is that these people don’t know how to dream. I think your book is like the 2nd in a series… unless you can find moments of the sublime in whatever present moment, and unless you can dream about creating the next one, what does it really matter how much time you free up from work?

Here’s how we make this e-mail hit home for you and get you $720 in the process:

1) On a scale of 1-10, 10 being best, how life-changing or personally fulfilling have the last two weekends been?

2) Is retirement from the 9-5, 50-weeks-per-year routine one of your current goals? (Yes/No)

3) How confident are you on a scale of 1-10, 10 being best, in your ability to fill 20-40 years of retirement, whether in one stretch or spread out as mini-retirements?

If your answer to 2 is affirmative, here are two worst-case scenarios… Continue reading “The Weekend Retirement Test Drive: Groundhog Day and the Rest of Your Life (Plus: Competition)”

Test Driving the Unreleased Audi R8, the Supercar Even Women Fantasize About (Plus: A Favor)

I love fast cars. Enter the Audi R8 supercar. OMFG.

I get a massive amount of e-mail — almost 300 per hour at one point during major media — which is why I outsourced my inbox in the first place to virtual assistants.

Sometimes, though, comes a snort-worthy e-mail — a zinger exciting enough to make me choke and spurt morning coffee out of my nose like a fire-breathing dragon (not recommended).

Here is one of them, received last week, from James Tate of Traction magazine:

“I’ve got a gray six-speed Audi R8 booked from the 28th through the 4th of Feb. and can do any of those dates. Any chance you’ll be in town?”

Continue reading “Test Driving the Unreleased Audi R8, the Supercar Even Women Fantasize About (Plus: A Favor)”

Services for a Hyperspeed Life: Faster Speed Dating, 100-Word News Summaries…

I was interviewed recently from Uruguay by Marco della Cava of USA Today for a cover story that appeared yesterday titled “Speeding Up the Mad Dash”. It’s a quick read and good food for thought:

If you’re reading these words, the chocolates and flowers are on their way. Because given the gazillion draws of modern life — the cellphone, the BlackBerry, the boss, the kids, the TiVo, the dog — it’s a small miracle this sentence has made it into your day.

Our fast society is only getting faster, putting inordinate demands on our time and prompting the people and companies that service our lives to come up with ways to help us reclaim some of it.

Don’t have time to read all those magazines you subscribe to?

Not a problem. A new website called Brijit offers one-paragraph summaries of even the most complex and deeply researched tomes. “It’s like drinking from a fire hose these days,” says founder Jeremy Brosowsky. “There’s more good stuff than ever, but the problem is consuming it day to day”… Continue reading “Services for a Hyperspeed Life: Faster Speed Dating, 100-Word News Summaries…”

Tips for Personal Branding in the Digital Age: Google Insurance, Cache-flow, and More…

Branding is no longer for Fortune 500 companies and Madison Avenue agencies with excessive budgets and inadequate tracking.

Personal branding is about managing your name — even if you don’t own a business — in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records.

Going on a date? Chances are that your “blind” date has Googled your name.

Going to a job interview? Ditto.

Here are 4 tips for preserving or promoting your name, whether personal or business, in a digital world:

1. Get Google insurance:

Register the URLs for your name and variants, and consider creating a blog. The objective here is to own the first 1-5 results that appear on search engines if someone searches your name. I don’t think most people should be bloggers, but having a Google-friendly and SEO-rich blog platform like WordPress or TypePad that is updated even twice per month as an online journal is worth the investment for having first say in your image. This recommendation comes from Mike Fertik, CEO of the much-buzzed ReputationDefender.

2. Remember to maintain positive “cache-flow”… Continue reading “Tips for Personal Branding in the Digital Age: Google Insurance, Cache-flow, and More…”

Relax Like A Pro: 5 Steps to Hacking Your Sleep

I once went almost five days without sleep in 1996 just to see 1) if I could make a week (I couldn’t), and 2) what the side-effects would be.

I was a new neuroscience major at Princeton at the time and hoped to do research with famed serotonin pioneer, Barry Jacobs.

Hallucinations cut my sleep deprivation trial short, but I’ve continued to experiment with sleep optimization and variation as a means of improving performance.

Here are a few effective techniques and hacks I’ve picked up over the last five years from sources ranging from biochemistry PhDs to biologists at Stanford University… Continue reading “Relax Like A Pro: 5 Steps to Hacking Your Sleep”