Day: May 21, 2018

Citrus-Brined Grilled Pork Chops

Grilling Pork Chops

Boneless pork chops seem to be a popular grilling option during summer because they are always available and are easy to season and toss on a hot fire.

But they also tend to dry out quickly and are easy to overcook.

That’s why I love this Citrus Brined Pork Chop recipe! The salty sweet brine keeps the pork chops really tender and moist, even if you do accidentally overcook them a few degrees.

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5 Things to Let Go If You Want to Be Happy

There are some things in life that have us convinced that life without them would be terrible or uncomfortably weird.

In reality, however, life generally gets better without those things. Nothing in life should create a dependency.

I recently let go of a lot of junk, including material possessions, and I’ve never felt better in my life. If you want to experience the same things, here are the top things to let go so you can start living the life you’ve always wanted.

Checking Facebook Daily

checking facebook daily

Value your time and emotions.

What tangible good comes from Facebook? Ask yourself that and be critical for a moment.

Are you feeling uplifted and motivated by what you see there? If not, it’s time to abandon ship. If scrolling through all the baby, house, and vacation photos makes you jealous of your “friends,” it’s time to let go of Facebook.

You’re not going to “miss out” by not checking Facebook. If someone needs you to know something, they’ll text or call you.

Studies show that Facebook makes us feel bad about ourselves. That’s enough reason to leave it. Jealousy isn’t something you want consuming your emotional life.

I caught myself getting upset by the lack of engagement on my posts while I saw plenty of engagement on angry, political posts. That feeling was not helping me. Spending 45 to 60 minutes on Facebook per day was a huge time drain that could be spent improving my skills and life instead.

So, I replaced reading my Facebook feed with more positive things that stimulated my mind without causing emotional turmoil, like Futurism.

See Also: Social Media Causing Depression and Anxiety: Is It True?

Watching Football

Value your time. It’s so important that I have to mention it again.

I used football as an example because it was an excuse to day drink for me. Watching football was an excuse to be lazy all weekend. Fortunately, I was only burning one full day on it (Sunday), but if you add up all the time I spent reading about fantasy football, that was a whole day’s worth of work per week.

Maybe for you, it’s watching reality shows and keeping up with celebrity gossip. Maybe it’s binge-watching an entire Netflix series each weekend. The exact television program doesn’t matter. We Americans watch five hours of shows per day. Yet, we complain about a “lack of time” for things we say we want to do.

Don’t know how to spend your time in a more positive way?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Go on a hike
  • Take a yoga class
  • Hit the gym
  • Cook healthy meals
  • Read good books
  • Play board games with friends

Watching football or any sport, for a lot of people, is filling a void – the football team is part of an identity. That’s not a good route, my friend. Just be yourself and accept yourself for who you are and what you like. Love yourself and don’t tie your identity to anything other than you. You are enough.

Trust me, addressing that inner void feels much better than avoiding it forever. Then, you can enjoy watching a game without being invested in the outcome, which is freeing for your mind and spirit.

Drinking Alcohol Regularly

drinking alcohol

Value your money and your body.

I used to drink three or more nights per week. And, predictably, I did not stop at one drink. That was Thursday through Sunday of drinking and feeling less than my best. For what?

This past December, I did a 30-day challenge of zero alcohol. It felt amazing for my body and it also boosted my mental clarity. There were no sloppy nights and subsequent hungover mornings which meant better productivity.

If you want to find a bunch of extra time in your week – stop drinking.

Did I accomplish anything by drinking alcohol?

No. Alcohol consumption prevented me from accomplishing my goals, actually. Time and money were wasted on an activity that was not fulfilling me or helping me grow. Fortunately, I was saving money by hosting parties instead of spending $10+ per drink at a bar, but that did nothing for saving time.

After letting go of alcohol and my emotional baggage, I lost 18 pounds in less than two months. That was more than 10% of my body weight at the time (cut from 173 to 155). Drinking tons of water, like Tom Brady recommends, helps, too. I also changed my diet to be a dairy-free pescatarian, thanks to the guidance of my health coach, Laila Robins.

See Also: The Tell-Tale Signs You May Have Alcoholism

Consuming the News

Most of the news doesn’t actually affect us. The news is meant to stir emotions and keep us hooked to the platform.

The big media outlets push fear and we absorb that fear, causing us to turn against each other. How?

Fear becomes anger and anger becomes hate. It’s a horrible cycle we’re spinning.

The only way out is to disengage. Unplug from the sources of negativity and fear-mongering. Stop tuning into the voices trying to drive a wedge between you and your fellow humans. That wedge does zero good for humanity.

We need positivity and love pouring from people. Be one of the people making the world lighter, happier, and better. Love your neighbors and don’t stop showing love even when it’s tough.

Show love for people who disagree with you instead of getting mad at them. And definitely don’t look down on others – condescension is really bad energy.

Be positive. Be happy.

Complaining

Eliminate the negativity in your life. You can start with complaining.

Negative emotions wreck our health and productivity. It spreads negativity from within ourselves to the world, too.

If we stop complaining about what we don’t have, we’ll be happier.

Tim Ferriss is brilliant and provides fantastic insight into this. He puts emphasis on the benefits of taking time for gratitude by challenging himself and others to go through 21 days without complaining.

This challenge will be a whole lot easier to accomplish if you let go of the aforementioned things.

Think about it: you won’t be able to complain about your “friends” having more than you because you won’t see posts about those things. No more complaining about your team or a celebrity making a dumb decision because you missed that, too. There won’t be any political talking head getting you to complain about other people with different views. You won’t be drunk or hungover, too.

Research shows how much we’re influenced by the people around us. This provides extra incentive to not stick with negative people. Let them go and cut them from your life. It may be painful at first, but you’ll be better after.

Who knows?

Maybe they’ll realize that being negative is costing them friendships and they’ll soon change their lives as well.

Conclusion

If you start eliminating those top things to let go, you may find yourself enjoying life more.

So, start today and give up something that isn’t serving you. Let that positive life energy flow through you and to the world!

The post 5 Things to Let Go If You Want to Be Happy appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Microsoft acquires conversational AI startup Semantic Machines to help bots sound more lifelike

Microsoft announced today that it has acquired Semantic Machines, a Berkeley-based startup that wants to solve one of the biggest challenges in conversational AI: making chatbots sound more human and less like, well, bots.

In a blog post, Microsoft AI & Research chief technology officer David Ku wrote that “with the acquisition of Semantic Machines, we will establish a conversational AI center of excellence in Berkeley to push forward the boundaries of what is possible in language interfaces.”

According to Crunchbase, Semantic Machines was founded in 2014 and raised about $20.9 million in funding from investors including General Catalyst and Bain Capital Ventures.

In a 2016 profile, co-founder and chief scientist Dan Klein told TechCrunch that “today’s dialog technology is mostly orthogonal. You want a conversational system to be contextual so when you interpret a sentence things don’t stand in isolation.” By focusing on memory, Semantic Machines’ AI can produce conversations that not only answer or predict questions more accurately, but also flow naturally.

Instead of building its own consumer products, Semantic Machines focused on enterprise customers. This means it will fit in well with Microsoft’s conversational AI-based products, including Microsoft Cognitive Services and Azure Bot Service, which are used by one million and 300,000 developers, respectively, and virtual assistants Cortana and Xiaolce.

OnePlus 6 review: Flagship Killer

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There are no shortcuts to greatness and no smartphone maker knows this more than Chinese startup OnePlus.

To fully understand and appreciate the company’s new OnePlus 6 Android smartphone, we need to take a brief trip back a couple of years.

In 2014, the company nobody had heard of had, against all odds, successfully launched its first phone, the OnePlus One.

The sales pitch was remarkably simple: The best Android hardware paired with virtually unmodified (aka “stock”) Android software with prices that’d cost hundreds less than premium phones from Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, or whoever.

Android diehards flocked to OnePlus. Through word of mouth and gimmicky “invite-to-buy” tactics, the company delivered what Samsung and Google’s Nexus devices couldn’t. Read more…

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