MENTAL YOGA SUNDAY / 5 FAVORITE LONG FORM READS THIS WEEK / ISSUE No. 15


The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade.
— Anthony Trollope

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"This box contains the ingredients and recipes for this week’s Blue Apron meals. We know you’ve come to expect a high standard of quality from Blue Apron and normally we are happy to provide you with the best quality recipes and ingredients possible, but look, stuff has been rough for everyone lately and we’re doing our best. Things kind of got away from us this week.' - Read Full Story


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Aziz Ansari On Quitting The Internet, Loneliness, And Season 3 Of Master Of None (GQ)

After the smashing success of season two of his Netflix show, Master of None, Aziz Ansari vowed to go analog. No social media. No e-mail. No laboring over season three. So we invited the stand-up turned television auteur to be our plus-one at Paris Fashion Week—and got him to teach us the art of unplugging.

"Before meeting Aziz, I received a tip that he'd unplugged from everything but text messaging. He's off social media. He deleted the Internet browser from his phone and laptop. No e-mail, either.

Technologically speaking, he's living in, like, 1999.

Supposedly, anyway—I was a bit skeptical. I wanted to know: Did he unplug or “unplug”? Does he have an assistant sending him breaking news via messenger pigeon? Does he monitor his inbox for important e-mails but not reply directly? Is this just a really next-level Hollywood way to stunt after finding fame and fortune? And, most important, if it is true, has it made him happier?" - Read Full Story


A Comprehensive Guide To The New Science of Treating Lower Back Pain (Vox)

"When back pain strikes, your first instinct may be to avoid physical activity and retreat to the couch until the pain subsides.

But doctors now think that in most cases, this is probably the worst thing you can do. Studies comparing exercise to no exercise for chronic low back pain are consistently clear: Physical activity can help relieve pain, while being inactive can delay a person’s recovery." - Read Full Story



"In 1840, Edgar Allan Poe described the ‘mad energy’ of an ageing man who roved the streets of London from dusk till dawn. His excruciating despair could be temporarily relieved only by immersing himself in a tumultuous throng of city-dwellers. ‘He refuses to be alone,’ Poe wrote. He ‘is the type and the genius of deep crime … He is the man of the crowd.’ 

Like many poets and philosophers through the ages, Poe stressed the significance of solitude. It was ‘such a great misfortune’, he thought, to lose the capacity to be alone with oneself, to get caught up in the crowd, to surrender one’s singularity to mind-numbing conformity. Two decades later, the idea of solitude captured Ralph Waldo Emerson’s imagination in a slightly different way: quoting Pythagoras, he wrote: ‘In the morning, – solitude; … that nature may speak to the imagination, as she does never in company.’ Emerson encouraged the wisest teachers to press upon their pupils the importance of ‘periods and habits of solitude’, habits that made ‘serious and abstracted thought’ possible." - Read Full Story


"The trouble began, as it so often does, with a bottle of Chivas Regal.

Back in the 1950s, scientists at Sterling Drug, a now-defunct pharmaceutical company, synthesized a class of chemicals that made male rats temporarily infertile. They thought they might be onto something big: the first-ever birth control pill—for men. After identifying several promising compounds, including one known as WIN 18,446, a trio of researchers began testing them on a ready population, inmates at the Oregon State Penitentiary.

The results were astonishing. Within 12 weeks, the inmates’ sperm counts had plummeted. When the men stopped taking the drugs, sperm production returned to normal. Better yet, they experienced few side effects.

Then one of the participants drank some contraband Scotch and became unusually, violently ill. He confessed his transgression to the researchers, and follow-up studies confirmed his account: WIN 18,446 didn’t mix well with booze. Men who combined the two reported heart palpitations, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. The research was quietly abandoned.

For years, headlines have promised an imminent breakthrough in male contraception. Time and again, these efforts have fallen short. Last October, for instance, researchers reported that a hormone cocktail they’d been testing curbed sperm production and prevented pregnancies. But they’d had to halt the study early because men were reporting troubling side effects, including mood changes and depression." - Read Full Story