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Mindconnection eNL, 2015-07-05


In this issue:
Good News | Product Highlight | Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Factoid | Thought 4 the Day

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1. Good News

Item 1

A teenager invented something that brings new hope for mastectomy victims. Read the full story here:

Item 2

Lithium-ion batteries may undergo a revolution:

Item 3

An advancement in chip design could improve speeds by 30%. It's more that's happening with graphene (we mentioned another graphene development in our previous issue). Full story, here:

It's good news, because Microsoft's next OS will probably reduce program execution speed by 50%, plus there's all that jumping around and obnoxious behavior that sucks down your productivity thanks to "usability enhancements" that have plagued us since W7.

Item 4

It's not just graphene that has something good going on. Goodyear is using next-generation advanced silica in its tires; it reduces rolling resistance without degrading traction, and it takes less energy in manufacturing than the silica it replaces.

Item 5

You may find this video inspiring (no, it's not Obama's resignation speech--but hold that thought!):

2. Product Highlight

We are still selling these on eBay at a huge discount.

COBRA DIGITAL CA BTCB4 Wireless Cell Phone/CB 4-Pin Radio Microphone System

  • Bluetooth Wireless Microphone System For CB Radio & Cell Phone Use.
  • For All 4-pin CB Radios.
  • Pairs With All Bluetooth-enabled Cell Phones.
  • One-touch, Hands-free Protocol.
  • Rechargeable.

Be safe on the road and never reach for your CB microphone or cell phone, with the all-in-one wireless CB microphone system plus Bluetooth headset.

(you may need to paste that link, in two parts, into your browser).

You can buy from us with confidence. We've been making online customers happy since 1997.

3. Brainpower tip

Do you find yourself being dragged into mindless arguments, by people who don't know the basic facts about a topic but who feel compelled to "challenge" something you've said with some baseless "point" that conflicts with reality?

It used to be considered impolite to expose one's ignorance in this manner. But increasingly, it is a common mode of "discussion" even though it wastes everyone's time.

When someone tries to drag you into one of these forays into abject stupidity, what is your response? You gently try to educate the person, to bring that person up to speed on the topic--right? This makes sense, but sadly it doesn't really work. A person who engages in this behavior isn't interested in learning, so teaching is not the best response.

You can try changing the topic, but if the other person is really determined to drag you into a mindless argument--that isn't going to work. I recently read an article in Discover Magazine, on the topic of dealing with this kind of irrationality. Among other things, the author suggested asking that person to explain his/her point.

The other person may resist this. But insist, "No, I really want to know the basis for what you're saying." Of course, there isn't a basis. What happens is the person trying to drag you into a mindless argument isn't allowed to drag you there because you refuse to argue.

Using this method, you're not arguing with an idiot; you're asking the idiot to do all the arguing. By not arguing with an idiot, you make it easy for passers by to determine which of you that is.

Here's an example from Idiotland. A correspondent tried to assert that the U.S. Constitution governs individuals rather than the government. This is a truly idiotic position, given the plain language of this short document and given its structure and given the circumstances under which it was written. Anyone who can make that idiotic assertion clearly cannot be convinced by stating what that person should already know. Even someone who had previously never seen the Constitution would know after the first minute or two of reading it that, a priori, it governs the government rather than individuals. Concluding anything else is the work of a single digit IQ mind.

The solution in this case is to say something like this. "That's an interesting assertion. Can you explain which of the seven Articles restricts the powers of individuals? It can't be any of the first three, which govern the legislative, judicial, and executive branches respectively. Which of the other four performs this function?"

You can use this technique to short-circuit efforts to drag you into mindless arguments with people who turn their brains off and want you to do the same. Bantering with such people does not build your own brainpower, it merely exasperates you and wastes time you could use to build brainpower.

Worse, it encourages them to continue in this behavior. They infect others with the stupidity, the way zombies infect normal people by biting them.

Of course, you first line of defense is to avoid the walking braindead as much as you can. But it's not possible to avoid them completely. When they attack, ask them to explain their position as if you really want to understand it. This moves them from offense to defense.

Be aware, however, their primary defensive weapon is the non-sequitor. This means their initial "explanation" won't make any sense. That's why you have to keep asking them to explain at each level of bull hockey, for at least a few levels. If they are truly idiotic, they'll believe their own line of BS and there's no hope. Just thank them and walk away.

Some idiots are immune to any sort of rational response or handling technique. This one (asking them to explain), however, is often effective. So the next time you feel your eyes start to roll, stop and take a deep breath. Then ask that person to explain that "interesting position." And remember to probe deeper than the first fake explanation.

Another expert recommends that if you get an evasive answer, ask a probing question (same technique as for when you get a simply stupid answer). Some idiots don't quit while they are behind, and if you're assaulted by one of those then keep asking questions the idiot can't possibly give an honest answer to without giving up the attack. I'm not a fan of this approach, but here's an example of how it would go with the Constitution idiot:

You: "So, you say it's not in a specific Article. Why do the Articles all have specific titles?"

Idiot: "It's everywhere, not in a specific place."

You: "I see. So why is everything else in a specific place?"

Idiot: "Well, we're all under the Constitution. We all live here and we're under it."

You: "So why would people who feared oppressive government more than anything else write a document restricting their own rights instead of one protecting their rights by restricting government?"

Idiot: "It does both."

You: "Can you show me a specific passage that limits, rather than protects or acknowledges, the rights of individuals?"

Another approach is to just tell the person, "I don't have time for fools." The risk here is the person disrespecting you with this foray into abject stupidity may perceive you as rude. But is it really rude to tell a rude person to buzz off?

To me, this last approach has the right concept but just the wrong approach. If you care about your intelligence, you really don't have time for fools. But what is the point in telling a fool that s/he is a fool? This isn't going to make a reality-averse person suddenly decide to stop wasting people's time with mindless arguing.

To me, the best approach is to be selective about with whom you have conversations. There's no law requiring you to engage with idiots at their level of idiocy. You can avoid idiots and choose to comport with good company.

Now, some astute readers may be saying, "Ah, grasshopper. But you forget that we cannot choose our boss we work for! And we have to deal with idiotic customers, too."

As for the idiotic customers, listen. Then give a respectful response. Don't argue. If the person is an idiot, steer him/her to the issue you can help with. "Yes, I realize some bozo at this company was rude. I wouldn't like that either. So tell me about this warranty issue and what kind of help you're seeking." Argumentative idiots often get disrespected, for the obvious reason that they are idiots. But if you treat them with respect while diverting their attention away from their nascent mindless argument, you can score big points.

What about the boss who's a total idiot? For most of my career, I had idiotic bosses (the last boss I worked for, I want to note, is NOT an idiot and is truly a role model in many respects).

I had some smart bosses, too, but most were just incredibly stupid. Once I figured out that many organizations promote the least competent person "up and out of the way" and depend upon the subordinates to make up for the ineptness (see "The Peter Principle"), I learned to manage up. Bosses who were total idiots would defer to me, yet lord it over my coworkers. Why?

The reason is I would not argue with the boss, but instead ask, "Have you thought of" questions to steer him to reality. My coworkers nearly always took the approach of complaining behind the boss's back (which has a way of getting back to the boss) or just outright telling him he was wrong. They came across as pests, but I came across as a mentor or consultant. I made it not about me, but about my boss' career success.

The one exception to this "be a mentor" policy was a boss for whom I had no respect. He was a lying, conniving, back-biting twerp. I told him that to his face, and had several brutal confrontations with him. But I took care to stage those confrontations. For example, I'd build a case and then verbally outline it to a Vice President and "suggest" a meeting between the three of us. The way I presented the case, the VP didn't need much prodding to have that meeting. And at that meeting, my idiot boss would get excoriated for his incompetence and dishonesty. He'd had that job for a good number of years before I hired on, but I got rid of him pretty quickly.

You would think that after one dressing down by a VP, this boss would have learned not to mess with me again. But he was an idiot, and he didn't figure out how foolish this was. That cost him his job.

When you're being abused with mindless arguing, take control of the situation rather than letting the idiot control it. Redefine not just the terms of the debate, but the very debate itself.

4. Finance tip

Many people think cruise control is just for the highway, yet most driving is done on city streets. Cruise control has many advantages, such as keeping your car at a steady speed instead of constantly accelerating and decelerating as your ankle tries to stay awake while you're driving. It can also help you avoid a speeding ticket.

The exception to this is where the terrain is hilly. Living in the Kansas City metroplex, I've found cruise control generally is not a good idea here. This area was carved by glaciers and rivers and is extremely hilly. In fact, I live on the convergence of two very large hills. My experiment in cruise control had my car racing down hills and crawling up them. So I risked a speeding ticket without increasing my average speed or decreasing my transit time.

Cruise control is responsive enough for subtle, or even moderate hills. It fails on the very steep hills I drive on locally.

Many experts advise to set your cruise control to a little less than the speed limit, under the theory that slower speed means better gas mileage. That is not always the case, but what is always the case is a slow driver is a road hazard to other drivers. Set the cruise control a little above the speed limit if doing so matches you to the surrounding traffic. The efficiency gain is not so much from the absolute speed (44 MPH vs. 46 MPH is hardly any difference in fuel consumption), but in not cycling between acceleration/deceleration (big difference in fuel consumption).

Also anticipate what's ahead so you aren't doing hard braking (which wastes not just fuel but brake liner).

5. Security tip

This article:

…holds no surprises for online merchants. It should also hold no surprises for informed American citizens, because all informed American citizens know that our malignant dictator is an Indonesian citizen and being fraudulent is what he does best.

If you're not an online merchant and if you smelled the rat in Soetoro's act a long time ago, how is this relevant to you? Well, the Indonesia part probably isn't. But fraud is highly relevant. In this newsletter, I've long provided various tips on protecting yourself from various types of fraud. I have some friends who say you cannot be too paranoid (as in it's not possible) and others who say you cannot be paranoid enough. Of course, what they mean is to be always vigilant, never complacent.

Here are some tips that apply generally to fraud:

  • If it sounds too good to true, it probably is.
  • Those who flatter you are probably lying about other things (flattery is insincere, thus false, praise).
  • Stay diligent.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions, even ones that seem "paranoid."
  • Try to insert a time factor. For example, "It sounds good. Let me think it over and get back to you in two days."
  • Those who try to rush you into a decision intend for you to make a bad decision.

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

Avocados have the  highest calories of any fruit: 167 calories per hundred grams. But they are also very nutritious, so don't be afraid to add them to your meals. I eat avocados almost daily, and am presently about as ripped as in the photo at right (5.2% body fat, as I write this). I'm planning a photo shoot this September, and you'll see the effects of a "high fat diet" on the lean physique (with those updated photos).

I average a dozen whole eggs each day. That's quite a bit of fat. I consume a liter of olive oil every 4 to 6 weeks. That's quite a bit of fat. If it were true that eating fat makes you fat, I'd look like those folks who are on the low-fat diets!

Eggs are the body builder's friend, because the albumin promotes the burning of body fat and because the stomach breaks down the yolk's cholesterol into the precursors of DHEA and testosterone.

Avocados don't have those advantages (as far as I know), so eat them in moderation. I typically have a quarter of one in a given day. Similarly, if you eat nuts (which are very expensive right now), don't gobble them down. A handful a day is plenty.

So if I'm eating all this fat, am I not getting lots of extra calories?

Lose weight, be strong, burn fat, gain muscle

No, actually. And that's because of what I don't eat. It's not the healthy fats that give you "lots of extra calories," it's the processed grains and related products such as the high fructose corn syrup that's in so many "foods".

Many people fail to completely process this message. So let me be very clear on this point. When I say "processed grains" I am talking about nearly every item that goes into the typical grocery cart.

It's not that Americans might have a few too many Ho-Hos, it's that Americans eat mostly nutrient-sparse, calorie-dense "foods" that they think are "normal" rather than harmful. They are, however, quite harmful. The list of processed grains includes pizza, sodas, snacks, breads, and nearly everything that comes in a plastic, paper, or metal container. Really!

Read the ingredients on that bottled salad dressing, and you'll see it's based on processed wheat and corn. It's far better to own a cruet and make your own dressing with olive oil and vinegar (spike it with mustard for a great flavor). And don't put that on iceberg lettuce. Put it on a mix of nutrient-dense raw vegetables such as bok choy leaves, kale, spinach, diced eggplant, and cubed squash. Make that mix higher in protein by slicing a couple of boiled eggs to go on top of it.


At, you'll find plenty of informative, authoritative articles on maintaining a lean, strong physique. It has nothing to do with long workouts or impossible to maintain diets. In fact:
  • The best workouts are short and intense.
  • A good diet contains far more flavors and satisfaction than the typical American diet.

7. Factoid

The moon moves about two inches away from the Earth each year. The US Congress moves us trillions of dollars deeper into debt each year.

8. Thought for the Day

Every time you make a mistake, the errorists win.


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The views expressed in this e-newsletter are generally not shared by criminals, zombies, or brainwashed individuals.

Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.

Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).

The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).

Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader. Please pass this newsletter along to others.

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