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Lubricating the brain: Nootropics, pt 1

Sometimes you just need an extra “kick” to get things moving. Here are my results with various “nootropics” or cognitive enhancers.

Caffeine

I didn’t try coffee until I was 22 and didn’t drink it regularly until a year ago.

At the time I was having problems with a recurring, rather annoying spasm in my right eye-lid and nose. I had read that low doses of caffeine was could treat this and began to use it.

I’m not 100% sure if it did the job, but the other effects I read about during research intrigued me. In particular among them were caffeine’s ability to help the body recover post-workout when taken with carbs/protein, its anti-aging effects, and finally, as a jump-starter.

I’ve since experimented with coffee naps and caffeine-aided workouts, among other things.

My experience: 

Caffeine kicks in within 3-5 minutes of my first sips of coffee, usually signaled by a rather intense wave of what I can best describe as ‘positivity’ flooding over me.

I had caffeine’s effects explained to me as ‘taking the breaks off’ one’s brain, where now dopamine and glutamite run free. Which in a way makes sense, given that my energy levels don’t change during caffeine consumption.

I think its important to note that I definitely don’t achieve or do more when ingesting caffeine; rather, my thoughts seem more focused and optimistic, leading me to believe that progress is occurring, despite normally not acting on said thoughts. I still have much more success brainstorming and writing when ingesting alcohol than caffeine.

Lion’s Mane (+ caffeine & chaga)

A favorite of Buddhist Monks, this mental-growth promoting “bearded mushroom” has experienced a huge surge in popularity recently thanks in part to Tim Ferriss and his glowing praise of affiliate Four Sigmatic’s mushroom coffee, which according to Ferriss, “…lit [him] up like a Christmas tree.” Continue reading

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The Car Search, Part 1: In which I Attempt to Buy a Car From a Scammer

Last month I decided to start looking for a new car.

My then-current car, a beat-up ’96 Sunfire nicknamed “The Blue Crush” by one of our friends (but not because of summer vibes, rather, it owed its name to the badly patched body damage along the passenger side) was having transmission issues. About 60% of the time it needed to be started from 3rd gear, and this proved problematic and at times terrifying when in traffic or going up hilly Colorado back-roads with lifted trucks glued to my tail. It was time for an upgrade to something with 4-wheel drive and good clearance that could handle the cratered Colorado Springs city streets.

Buying a car is a usually a simple-enough process: Check out Craiglist and Ebay, send some messages, see the car in person, test drive, and after haggling a bit, purchase the car. Continue reading

Going Clear, The Musical: Breaking Down Tom Cruise’s Tonight Show Performance

While doing press for his recent earth-shaking Scientology expose, Alex Gibney made it a point to call out some of the more well-known Scientologists that the film focuses on. After a screening in early March, Gibney made headlines after calling Tom Cruise’s silence amidst accusations that he called for wiretapping of then wife Nicole Kidman’s phone and  used underpaid workers to maintain his car and plane “irresponsible.” Continue reading

Motivation After Setbacks

And we’re back with another generically titled post.


This past summer I decided to start a blog. So I went ahead and bought a domain and hosting. The name? The Doystoyevsky-inspired TheBrothersKraker.  I figured my brother and I would end up using it for one thing or another; we had a couple of business ideas in the wings, including early thoughts on an OCR website and an OCR training-camp (the latter of which has actually become a reality, more on that this weekend) that we’d probably need a website for.

I wrote up 2 month’s worth of blogs, maybe 15-20 separate 1000-3000 word hot takes on things I felt needed to be discussed in the OCR community: where it was doing well, where it wasn’t, what its future held, etc. I had another 5-10 written on sports, travel, and gear reviews. We were all set to launch this spring.

Then I was robbed while in Oakland this winter. I was living out of my backpack at the time, so when it was taken I lost pretty much everything I owned. Among the stolen items was my MacBook. Continue reading

Pop Culture Recap- How to Cheer for Criminals in Sports, and TV has Gotten Really Good

1. This past week news broke that light-heavyweight champ and UFC star/Reebok athlete/Golden Boy Jon Jones was involved in a hit and run accident. In this case, the “run” actually means run, as he was last seen grabbing a wad of cash out of his wrecked rental car and then sprinting away from the scene. I assume he made sure his Reeboks were fully pumped before taking off. Police also found drugs at the scene of the crime. This latest event occurs only a short time after Jones was fined and briefly entered rehab after testing positive for cocaine before his title fight with Daniel Cormier.

Jones is the latest in a long string of high-profile athletes from major American sports to find themselves in legal trouble. I don’t feel like wasting my breath talking about the NFL, but it’s been a rough year for sporting role models. Continue reading