Question: was Polio created as a weapon against us?

Here is a fun fact I just stumbled upon – apparently Polio was the first synthetic virus created in a lab.

This New York Times article wrote about this exactly 16 years ago:

Scientists reported yesterday that they had constructed a virus from scratch for the first time, synthesizing a live polio virus from chemicals and publicly available genetic information.

Why would they make a virus from scratch? Listen to this blathering bullshit:

Dr. Eckard Wimmer, professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at Stony Brook and leader of the project, said they made the virus to send a warning that terrorists might be able to make biological weapons without obtaining a natural virus.

And once again, DARPA (an agency of the United States Department of Defense) funded this project:

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said it had provided about $300,000 over the last three years for the work. “Understanding the process of viral DNA production is key to identifying new ways to kill viruses and understand how viruses could change and escape from vaccines,” the agency said.

DARPA has a history of funding these viruses and testing them out on innocent people. The US government admitted doing so in this Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male:

The purpose of this study was to observe the natural progression of untreated syphilis in rural African-American men in Alabama under the guise of receiving free health care from the United States government. The study was conducted to understand the disease’s natural history throughout time and to also determine proper treatment dosage for specific people and the best time to receive injections of treatments.

Happy anniversary?

How to make bug spray that works like crazy

This is a super cool video on how to make our own bug spray from scratch:

The punchline is this – lemongrass essential oil is the key ingredient to keep those pesky bugs away.

Even better:

We can combine lemongrass essential oil with lemon eucalyptus oil and Rosemary oil in these nifty small glass misting bottles for an insect repellent that can protect us for roughly 6 hours per application.

If you do not want to mess with making your own bug spray AND want an all natural bug spray that is ready to use, this bug repellant is my favorite.

“This is why I walked out of a Tony Robbins seminar…”

Noah Kagan is a sharp dude. And his no-nonsense way of thinking appeals to me.

So when I read his latest blog post about him attending a Tony Robbins seminar, I knew I would get the straight scoop on the great Tony Robbins.

I never attended a Tony Robbins seminar. Something seemed wrong about it, but I do not know what it was. And dropping thousands of dollars and giving back rubs to my seat neighbors did not appeal to me.

Yet, some of my closest business friends RAVE about Tony Robbins.

So, I was excited to read about Noah’s experience at the Robbins seminar.

And man o’ man – clearly, Tony Robbins did not unleash the power within.

Here is the punchline quote from Kagen’s blog post:

It finally hit me. Dread.

I was officially dreading the rest of the seminar.

To stay for three full days felt like a self-imposed prison, rather than an opportunity to genuinely grow.

I thought about what I most wanted to get out of my time, and whether this event was the best use of it. I decided it would be better for me to work on my specific issues, one-on-one with a friend.

So, I walked out.

Here is the best part. Instead of bitching and moaning about it, Noah invested the same time creating his own “personal-development day”. Great idea…

By the way, for those who do not have thousands to pay to see a Tony Robbins seminar…

We can read these 3 books for less than $20 (and read it in less than a week) to get basically the same advice:

The Magic of Believing by Claude M. Bristol

It Works: The Famous Little Red Book That Makes Your Dreams Come True!

The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Here are the 3 secret ways the Japanese train operators nudges their train riders for efficiency

Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler wrote a fascinating (and HIGHLY controversial) book titled Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

Their how-to-influence book’s contents were clearly used within The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations. In this tl;dr (too long, don’t read) article, Japanese officials use little “nudges” and subtle behavioral tricks to keep its train riders in check.

Here are the takeaways:

Using the color blue to stop people from jumping
Japan is the capital of suicides. Most people jump from train bridges into speeding trains. Besides the gory mess to clean up, these suicides delay trains.

While there are hopes to have platform barriers installed in all 243 of Tokyo’s train stations by 2032 (at a cost of $4.7 billion), they came up with a quick fix. Train stations installed blue-colored, LED lighting panels to thwart off jumpers. The color blue has a calming effect. And so far, this nudge seems to be working… a 10-year study shows an 84 percent decline in the number of suicide attempts.

Harsh buzzers replaced with 7-second soothing sound
During each rush hour, capacity doubles. It is super stressful as commuters rush to meet their connecting trains.

In the past, loud buzzers and station attendants’ whistles were broadcast to warn people of a train’s imminent departure…

But now, a soothing 7-second ear-pleasing jingle is played to warn commuters, instead. It reduced rushing injuries by 25%. Take a listen to the jingle here:

Silent sounds stop loitering in its tracks
Generally, only people under the age of 25 can hear a 17-kilohertz sound. So to stop loitering and vandalism by young riders, train stations broadcast ultrasonic deterrents. These are small, hard-to-see devices that emit a high-frequency tone only heard by young people. (Older people usually suffer from an age-related hearing loss known as presbycusis – so they cannot hear this annoying sound).