J.D. Moyer

sci-fi writer, beat maker, self-experimenter

Month: August 2011

Ambient Music I'm Madly In Love With

Just a quick post to turn you on to a new artist we’ve signed to Loöq Records.  As soon as we heard Kleidosty’s music we knew we had to get some of that for ourselves.  His music is textural, emotive, and other-worldly (without being too spacey).  Part of what keeps the music grounded is that the sound sources are entirely analog, but with digital manipulation (guitar reverb tails that are warped and otherwise manipulated).  It’s a unique sound.

We’ve just released the first Kleidosty EP (self-titled).  We’re giving away one of his tracks at looq.com (if you join our email list), but the whole EP is available on iTunes for only $2.97.  Music is so inexpensive these days — it’s insane!  Even though we’re on the label side, we fully appreciate what an incredibly bountiful time this is for music consumer/appreciators.

We’ll be following up the EP with a full-length release entitled “Edifice of Artifice” towards the end of the year.

Let me know what you think of Kleidosty’s music.  We’re considering signing even more of his material.

If you’re feeling it, please consider recommending this release to your friends, and/or writing an iTunes review (as a small independent label, word-of-mouth is a HUGE help to us in terms of getting the music we love out to the world).

My 11-day "30-day experiment" of Giving Up Coffee

Magic beans.

Earlier this month I decided to go without coffee for 30 days.  I’ve done a number of 30-day experiments over the last few years, including giving up booze, sugar, web-surfing, video games, and even artificial light.  30 days is a good amount of time to break old habits and establish new ones, or at least to reset your physiology and brain to a new set of stimuli.  Coffee was the only substance I hadn’t tried to give up.  In the interest of facing my fears, I decided to give up my favorite morning brew.

I also wanted to see if giving up coffee would alter my sleep cycle (sleeping deeper, and longer without waking), and/or affect my ability to concentrate and work on difficult tasks for long periods of time.  Lately I had been feeling that my mental wheels were spinning without the gears being fully engaged.

I did a one-day taper (only 1 cup in the morning, as opposed to my usual two cups in the morning and a cup in the afternoon), and then switched to only tea and dark chocolate.  At some point I may attempt a no-caffeine experiment, but that wasn’t the point of this experiment.

Physical withdrawal took about 5 days, with effects as follows:

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Three Levels of Using Your Brain to Improve Your Life, and World

There are ways to get the biggest bone, but does it have any meat on it?

There are different ways of using whatever wits you may have been blessed with to improve your quality of life.  Are you effectively using all three?

Level 1 — Maneuvering

This is the level of simple tactics.  Observe the situation, and act to better your position.  In traffic, you might try to get in the fastest lane.  In a fast-paced conversation, you might listen for a gap so that you can speak your mind.  In doing your job, you might CC your boss on a deliverable to a third-party (to make sure your boss knows you’re actually doing some work).

Effective maneuvering demands concentration and cleverness.  Most of us master the basics on the school-yard, and later refine our maneuvering skills by learning to work more efficiently and effectively.  Time-saving tips and optimization techniques fall into this category.

Maneuvering, on its own, won’t take us very far.  The other day I got caught in Giant’s traffic — the approach to the Bay Bridge was agonizingly slow.  Drivers (myself included) maneuvered to get into the best lane, to “cheat” and get into a lane at the last minute, or to drive close to the car ahead in order to prevent other drivers from cheating.

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Four Simple Ways to Increase Growth Hormone (Burn Fat, Build Muscle)

Actor/power-lifter/wrestler Nathan Jones (from Troy)

Most of us would like to be leaner and stronger.  The hormones that have the biggest effect on body composition are growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).  After the age of 25, most people will experience some negative effects from declining levels of both these hormones, including:

  • weaker bones
  • poorer sleep quality
  • increased body fat, especially in the abdominal area
  • older looking skin
  • less physical strength and slower recovery time

Anything we can do to keep GH and IGF-1 levels up will help us look and feel younger.  So what can we do?

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