What’s a life hack?

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I recently ran across these things called “life hacks.” The word, hack, has been defined as – to cut or chop, a worn out horse, a basketball foul, a cab for hire, or a writer whose services are for hire. It can also mean an untalented professional, a cough and a quick solution that solves a problem, but not particularly well. Another meanings is to explore problem-solving capabilities of a computer. But life hacks mean a trick, skill, shortcut or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency in all walks of life.
I decided to research these “life hacks” and see if they are accurate.
Life hack No. 1: “You feel like you need something, but can’t figure out what it is? It’s water; it’s always water!”
We have all heard of the need to drink eight glasses of water a day. Sometimes I just can’t think of drinking another glass of water. The Mayo Clinic website says, “Your need for water changes frequently and from person to person, and every day you lose water through breath, perspiration, etc.”
For your body to function properly, of course, you must replenish the water. Are eight glasses of water actually necessary?
Not only is water recommended, but also all types of fluids. For men, that figure is about 13 cups of total beverages a day, and for women, about nine cups. For me, that was good news. It somehow seems better than eight glasses of water to me. My glasses are about two cups each.
So, do what your body tells you. If you’re thirsty, drink.
Life hack No 2: “You have to use your email to sign up for something, but never want to hear from them again. Add plus spam to the end of your email username (for example 100lifehacks+spam.com). This will send all emails from them to your spam folder and still treat it like a real email address.”
I could find nothing in my research to support this, but I have put that address out there and am looking forward to arrival of the emails in my spam folder.
Most of the conversation about spam circulates around the unwanted act of perfectly good emails going to a spam filter and not showing up in expected email. It’s not how to keep things out of your regular mail and purposely go to a spam filter. Try it the next time you need this help and see if it works for you.
Life hack No. 3: “Want to learn piano? At the website – howtoplaypiano.ca – you can take a step-by-step interactive piano course 100 percent free.” Here is a really cool hack leading to this site. This turned out to be exactly as advertised when I visited the site. A young man, who is an accomplished pianist, has 40 YouTube videos on the site beginning with the very first step of numbering your fingers, and he teaches you to play piano for free. All you need is a keyboard. Good luck.
This is probably a useful one – life hack No. 4: “When buying bagged lettuce, purchase the flattest bag possible. When greens are packed, the air is sucked out. Then as they age, they give off gas, making the bag puffier.” So, in addition to the use-by-date, you also have the puffiness to look for.
My research tells me that the oxygen is sucked out of the bag when packed and some carbon monoxide and nitrogen are added to help preserve the lettuce and that puffs the bag up a bit. That will help keep the lettuce for quite a while, but as soon as you open the bag, all bets are off and normal air is in action so the lettuce will spoil quickly. My advice would be to look at the use-by date and make sure it’s going to be gone at your house by then.
Life hack No. 5: “Having trouble falling asleep? Rapidly blink your eyes for about 60 seconds. Physically tired eyes will make you fall asleep faster.” Seriously? Here’s the first one that I really question and for good reason. I blinked and blinked, but no sleep followed that action. I think you would have to blink those eyes for about an hour to be tired enough to fall asleep. I can’t really recommend this. Let me know how you do with it.
Now we have life hack No. 6: “Eating guacamole can make you happier. Avocados help boost serotonin levels in the brain.”
Serotonin is a natural chemical that assists neurotransmission in the brain aiding in reducing depression. Avocados are also high in potassium and mono-saturated fat, which help reduce blood pressure. Need I say more? I’ve always enjoyed guacamole as an appetizer. It has, in fact, been my dinner sometimes! I like it, but some in my family won’t even try it because it’s green. What is wrong with them?
Not only do avocados have serotonin, but also they have three to four grams of fiber each. This soluble fiber slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in your body helping you to feel full longer. Don’t we all need that? It also has oleic acid, which activates the part of your brain that makes you feel full. Its a double whammy here. Oleic acid also can help reduce cholesterol levels. So let’s all eat more avocados!
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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