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  • David Bloomfield

#22 Sharing some things that I’ve Read, Heard & Seen

What I’ve heard

I have really enjoyed this new and very entertaining series based on how we decide upon and administer fairness. And when things are badly refereed, it is often underpinned by a happy integral referee, driven by self interest. We still need our referees to protect us but its not easy and these examples show the pitfalls. Such enlightenment can help to challenge and trigger us to ask better questions.

Find a happy referee and you have a problem - Michael Lewis

With the genius storytelling of Michael Lewis, in this particular episode (The Hand of Leonardo) he looks at the controversial attribution of the Salvator Mundi painting to Leonardo Da Vinci, auctioned by Christie's in 2017 for $450m. Up to that point there wasn't a record of Leonardo working on it or promising to work on it, he painted so little that when he did it was worth mentioning and no reference can be found nor can his signature fingerprint be found on the painting.

Lewis takes a close look at how and who refereed to decide upon the attribution of this painting to Leonardo and especially when such high financial stakes were on the line - how the art experts are under pressure to say yes.

With the heavy restoration there are doubts as to whether there is a single brush stoke on this painting from a brush that was attached to the hand of Leonardo, leading me to think back to the Ship of Thesus. Plutarch coined the term in reference to the ship of the mythical hero Thesus. As the legend goes, the Athenians had preserved the famous vessel by replacing broken parts with new wood, until at last none of the original wood remained. Philosophers have and continue to argue whether the ship of replacement parts was still the ship of Thesus...

What I've read

Packed with science and the results of many of his own studies, this is an important book to understand and take action on healthier sleep habits that lead to a much improved quality of life. With so many impacted by chronic sleep restriction over months and years, it has become the norm for many to live and acclimatise to an impaired state of low energy, exhaustion and low awareness. This book helps to go way beyond the traditional headlines of how much sleep one should have by explaining the science, the consequences and techniques to take control and live with vitality.

Some things that I learnt and found useful

There are two things that determine when you want to go to sleep and when you want to be awake. 1) your internal 24hr clock - the circadian rhythm 2) a substance (adenosine) the builds up in your brain and creates sleep pressure - the more you've been awake, the more of the chemical accumulates, which peaks usually at 12 to 16 hours of being awake.

Caffeine works by battling with adenosine, tricking you to feel alert and awake. With caffeine having a half life (the time it takes for the body to excrete 50%) of five to seven hours, meaning that sleep will not come easy or smooth through the night if caffeine is consumed later in the day - A rule that I adopted a few years back was to limit coffee to no more than 2 cups (often having 1 cup) a day not consuming caffeine after 2pm.

When you don't get enough sleep adenosine concentrations remain too high and will continue to accumulate. And keeps rolling over leading to chronic fatigue.

Sleep in a dreaming state fuels creativity, transferring newly learned information into the long-term storage sites of the brain. The hippocampus offers a short-term information store with limited storage - those that limit sleep become progressively worse at learning. Electrical pulses during NREM stage of sleep transfer the fact based memories from the temporary storage (the hippocampus) to the long-term vault (the cortex), clearing out the hippocampus for a refreshed capacity. By sleeping six hours or less you are short cutting the restoration benefit...

The human mind cannot accurately sense how sleep deprived it is - After 10 days of just seven hours of sleep, the brain is as dysfunctional as it would be after going without sleep for 24 hours.

During NREM sleep a neural sanitisation occurs that bathes the brain, flushing out metabolic debris. The brain shrinks during NREM sleep and therefore better and more NREM sleep enables more proficient cleaning out the debris from the days activity. One piece of debris cleaned out is the amyloid protein which is the poisonous element associated to Alzheimers disease. the loss of deep NREM sleep lessens the ability to remove amyloid from the brain at night.

What I've seen

Every Brilliant Thing - A wonderfully written production, that is both funny and deeply emotional. This is a story of a little boy who starts a list of all the brilliant things that the world has to offer in an attempt to make his mother happy after she tried to kill herself. As he grows he continues the list that evolves from Ice cream, the colour yellow to falling in love.

It shines an important light on the very dark battle that so many of us face in silence and how our dearest also fight with the guilt of not being able to make those we love happy. The meaning that I hope we can all find from this wonderful show is Finding joy and happiness in those things around you and what you have today

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