Month: October 2019

How to Increase Productivity by Switching Off and Getting Cozy

The working world is in a constant state of flux. We have come a really long way in the last 150 years or so in terms of employment law and workers’ rights. In the grand scale of human history, we’ve barely stopped sending our children to work in factories. The 40-hour week was only adopted in the USA in 1940. Despite all this progress, why are so many people feeling burned out?

As quickly as we industrialized, we’ve digitized. We no longer work menial jobs en masse. Over 80% of Americans work at a desk, sitting down in air-conditioned buildings. Despite that, there’s still an underlying feeling of exhaustion, sadness, and a lack of work-life balance.

Technology is a double-edged sword

Computers and the internet were instrumental in securing a 40-hour week as they reduced the time it took us to do our work. 60 hours of work can now be easily done in 40 with computers. At the same time, the omnipresent tentacles of technology means that it’s harder than ever to switch off.

Being successful in your career and working hard is a virtue. But you can increase your output and your health by learning how to switch off from work properly and creating a safe retreat for yourself.

The concept of switching off is quite ingrained in some cultures, while others still promote the idea of constant work. Some people are suited to that always-on, always-working lifestyle, but for most of us, this is a fast track to burnout.

Setting Up Your Home for Success

switch off from work

To be more successful in our lives, it’s easy for us to look at productivity gurus and sleep-hacking entrepreneurs for answers. But for a great deal of the workforce, what works for these people won’t work for us. Perhaps the most important place to start is at home, because a cozy home has associated health benefits.

Unless you’re in a senior management position and above, you’re unlikely to have much say over how your office is set up. You can make suggestions, but there’s no guarantee these will be obliged. For example, lots of office workers want more ’breakout’ spaces, informal work areas, and access to green space whether that’s just a view of a park from the window or an actual place where they can take a time out and regroup.

You can make changes at home to foster a sense of belonging, calm, and restoration. You need a space to return to that is entirely separate from work.

If there are any similarities between the two places, it becomes harder to disassociate the two. We’re not talking exclusively about the interior design as it’s unlikely your home’s interior looks anything like your office. Rather, it’s how you spend your time at home and steps you can take to create a greater sense of peace.

So, How to Switch Off From Work?

The first thing you can do is to stop checking work emails outside of work. Technology has created this ‘always-on’ work culture. There are some roles where you do have to be accessible at all times, but for most roles, you shouldn’t be expected to be always on.

A good way of doing this is not linking your phone to work emails. You can only look at them when you’re at your desk. Leave the work emails at work because your personal time is your personal time. You’re not receiving extra salary to check those emails and reply to them outside of work.

This isn’t possible for everyone though. We can easily feel pressured to be available outside of work. So what else can we do?

Other countries have downtime ingrained into their cultural fabric. Let’s discuss a few examples.

Everyone knows the Danish art of ‘hygge’ now. A word to describe a unique cozy and special moment. This can be something as simple as having an open fire going, putting on your favorite pair of thick socks or playing a board game with loved ones.

The Spanish have something called ‘sobremesa’. This refers to being at the dinner table, having finished your meals, just sitting and chatting with your family and friends. Spaniards have perfected this art. This social behavior is key to their national identity with Spanish diners often talking into the early hours of the morning. The key thing here is family time.

‘Tech Sabbaths’ are being advocated by the Jewish faith and more, where all screens and tech are put away for 24 hours a week. The Japanese have an expression that translates to “too little tea,” referring to someone too busy to stop and drink a cup of tea now and then. In Croatia, they have a word — “fjaka” — which refers to the joy of doing absolutely nothing.

Some things you can do to embrace these qualities is setting some time aside to have a hot drink in the evening, without your phone or a screen. Just take 10 to 20 minutes to sit and enjoy your drink.

Candles and open fires, these foster a sense of relaxation. If you work at a computer all day, read a book in the evening. Staring at screens isn’t good for our health.

See Also: How Your Home Affects Your Mood (And What To Do About It)

How To Make Your House a Home

to switch off from work

What you do in your downtime is one thing, but the settings you do it in is another. Here’s how you can make your house feel like more of a retreat:

  • Personalize – Make your house feel like a space that’s catered to you. Lots of modern design trends have created these minimal spaces that don’t have an identity, like your home has been copied and pasted from Pinterest. Put your stamp on your space with treasured pictures, memories, and things that reflect your values and your personality. It gives more a sense of ownership and strengthens your sense of personal identity. Being in touch with yourself can improve your mental health.
  • Declutter – Organizing our homes is one of the most tangible steps you can take to decluttering your mind. It’s so easy to put off but every time we do it, we feel so much better. The Marie Kondo effect has seen people embrace a decluttered life. Let go of things you don’t need. Let go of things that serve your home no purpose. This brand of minimalism isn’t about living by your bootstraps, but only bringing things into your home that add value to your life.
  • Snuggle – Make your home a retreat. Comfort is key to this. Get candles and warm lighting to create ambiance. Pillows, blankets, slippers and warm, comfy clothes to wear create this stark difference to the office that we mentioned earlier. You want work to feel like the furthest place in the world when you get home. This helps you to switch off and reclaim some work-life balance.

See Also: 5 Features to Achieve a Peaceful Home

These are just some things you can do to reclaim your time and add value to it. This isn’t about shying away from duties and work. This isn’t about rejecting the working world, either. This is how to switch off from work so you can make yourself a better and more valuable worker.

A happy employee is a productive employee. Taking yourself as far away from the working world as possible, outside of office hours, is a way of making yourself more productive, more personable, and more satisfied during office hours.

The post How to Increase Productivity by Switching Off and Getting Cozy appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Emilia Clarke has revealed the true culprit behind the ‘Game of Thrones’ coffee cup

Game of Thrones may have ended, but the rivalry between Daenerys Targaryen and Sansa Stark lives on. 

On Wednesday’s episode of The Tonight Show, dragon queen Emilia Clarke addressed Sophie Turner’s implication that she was behind the infamous coffee cup that appeared in Game of Thrones‘ final season.

The Queen of the North had pointed the finger at Clarke when she spoke to Fallon back in May. However Clarke has claimed innocence, and is now accusing Conleth Hill, who played Varys, of being the true culprit – an accusation backed by some pretty compelling evidence.

“It was Conleth’s coffee cup! He said so!” Clarke exclaimed to Fallon. “He’s like, ‘I think it was, I’m sorry darling, I didn’t want to say anything ’cause it seemed, you know, the heat was very much on you,’ and I was like, ‘WHAT!?'” Read more…

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Deadspin writers quit after being ordered to stick to sports

Writers Laura Wagner, Kelsey McKinney, Tom Ley, Lauren Theisen, Patrick Redford, Albert Burneko and Chris Thompson all tweeted today that they have resigned from Deadspin, the sports-focused site owned by G/O Media.

A quick refresher: G/O Media was formerly known as Gizmodo Media Group, and before that as Gawker Media. It took on its current name and current leadership earlier this year when Univision sold the unit to private equity firm Great Hill Partners, who appointed former Forbes.com CEO Jim Spanfeller as its new chief executive.

Since then, the relationship between G/O Media leadership and the editorial staff has been rocky, as you would have learned by reading Deadspin itself, particularly an in-depth story by Wagner in August about how employees were unhappy with “a lack of communication regarding company goals, seeming disregard for promoting diversity within the top ranks of the company, and by repeated and egregious interference with editorial procedures.”

Just now I resigned my position at Deadspin today along with many of my colleagues. I have been here only five months but they have been some of the best of my career and I will miss it deeply.

— kelsey mckinney (@mckinneykelsey) October 30, 2019

A few weeks later, Deadspin’s editor in chief Megan Greenwell resigned, saying that G/O Media’s new editorial director Paul Maidment was directing the staff to stick to sports coverage — a decision that she argued wasn’t dictated by traffic, since “posts on The Concourse, Deadspin’s vertical dedicated to politics and culture and other topics that are not sports, outperform posts on the main site by slightly more than two to one.”

Apparently Maidment repeated that edict in a memo earlier this week, which was leaked to The Daily Beast, and in which he said, “Deadspin will write only about sports and that which is relevant to sports in some way.”

The Deadspin homepage was subsequently filled with non-sports content, and editor Barry Petchesky tweeted that he had been “fired from Deadspin for not sticking to sports.”

I quit today too https://t.co/W7meIcW0Cx

— Laura Wagner (@laurawags) October 30, 2019

At the same time, Deadspin also posted a story criticizing auto-playing ads on the site, declaring, “We, the writers, editors, and video producers of Deadspin, are as upset with the current state of our site’s user experience as you are.” The post is no longer live, but the criticism reportedly prompted advertiser Farmers Insurance to pull the campaign.

This all appears to have prompted a mass exodus from Deadspin today. The Gizmodo Media Group union also issued this statement:

Today, a number of our colleagues at Deadspin resigned from their positions. From the outset, CEO Jim Spanfeller has worked to undermine a successful site by curtailing its most well-read coverage because it makes him personally uncomfortable. This is not what journalism looks like and it is not what editorial independence looks like.

“Stick to sports” is and always has been a thinly veiled euphemism for “don’t speak truth to power.” In addition to being bad business, Spanfeller’s actions are morally reprehensible. The GMG Union stands with our current and former Deadspin colleagues and condemns Jim Spanfeller in the strongest possible terms.

We’ve reached out to G/O Media for comment and will update if we hear back.

How To Identify A Narcissist At Work: Nailing Down The Key Factors

Crossing paths with a narcissist is not rare. In the USA alone, 6% of the general population has been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. That is not a small number. Now apply the same number to the estimated population of the world and you have 450,000,000 people having the disorder.

So, tell me, how common would it be to encounter a narcissistic coworker? Quite common, no?

Dealing with a narcissistic individual at work can be mentally taxing. It will begin to take a toll on you alone since the mental condition of the narcissist will never waver.

However, knowing who the narcissist is at your workplace involves a lot more than your gut feeling and the uneasiness you feel when being around them. Since identifying a narcissistic coworker can be a real ordeal, here are some signs you can look out for.

They are control freaks

Pathological narcissists crave control. They would never let go of a situation where their ‘leadership’ tendencies are compromised. Such individuals are prone to controlling and leading operations, especially when they know they will be in the spotlight.

And no, it is not always your manager. Hunting for a narcissist using this trait can be confusing. However, know that there is a difference between leading and dominating. Once you know how to differentiate between the two, you will know who is a narcissist and who isn’t.

They love to blame

the narcissistic coworker

They are never wrong. When narcissists are called out for their noxious attitude, they tend to shift the blame to the offending party.

To them, life works like the UNO reverse card. Whenever they are stuck facing a situation where they have to face criticism, they start playing the blame game. They would come up with the most ridiculous of excuses to prove they aren’t wrong.

If a co-worker gives them negative feedback or criticizes them, they believe they are entitled to lash out and blame them for feedback, not themselves. That’s because they can never be held accountable for their actions.

Toxicity surrounds them

Passing judgmental remarks, throwing tantrums, and ridiculing others in the workplace — for what? Only to hide their measly self-conscious selves. But they don’t showcase what lies at their core.

They indulge in criticism and personal attacks to hide their own insecurities. It only creates a toxic environment for the entire workplace.

If you see a narcissistic co-worker trying to put you down and shoving their ego in your face, you should not give in but stand strong against their toxic nature. The moment you give in to their emotional attacks and threats, you will forever stay a victim of their abuse.

See Also: 5 Really Useful Tips For Dealing With Toxic Bosses At Work

They exploit and take advantage of you

It is common for a child to toss away the toys he gets bored of. But for a grown-up working in a prestige organization to do the same? How would it feel?

Well, narcissists will only approach and befriend you if they seek some sort of benefit from you. Soon, they will set you aside or just walk over your good deeds. They only ask for help because they have an ulterior motive.

Once you are of no use to them, you will be treated like a nobody despite your help and care for them. Narcissists never feel guilty to behave as they do and there is no possibility for them to feel bad about it.

The world revolves around them

a narcissistic coworker

It’s all about them. The pleasure of narcissistic people lie in their need to enjoy talking only about themselves. That satiates their narcissistic tendencies. Your opinions and contribution at work won’t matter.

Bombarding others with their achievements and disregarding what others have to share is a common trait as well. If you think your coworker is not giving you enough space and suffocates you during meetings, then you are likely working with a narcissistic coworker.

When they feel someone is more vocal and interesting than they are, they will sever ties immediately. Only they are meant to be in the spotlight and nobody else matters.

Do these red flags ring a bell and seem a lot similar to your situation at work? Now that you are well aware of their narcissistic traits, you will know how to ignore them and pave a separate path. Always remember, never feed a narcissist’s ego.

The post How To Identify A Narcissist At Work: Nailing Down The Key Factors appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

As Juul announces mass layoffs, a new lawsuit alleges it shipped a million contaminated pods

A lawsuit filed a by former Juul executive alleges that the company knew a batch of contaminated e-liquid had been used in about one million pods shipped to retailers earlier this year, but did not inform customers. The lawsuit, first reported by BuzzFeed, was brought by Siddharth Breja, former senior vice president of global finance at Juul from May 2018 to March 2019, who alleges he was fired after complaining about the contaminated pods.

News of the lawsuit comes the same day as Juul’s announcement it will lay off about 500 people, or 10% to 15% of its workforce, and the departure of four executives, including chief financial officer Tim Danaher. Juul is currently under scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration, which claims the startup made misleading statements about its product and targeting of teens.

In the lawsuit, Breja claims that during a meeting on March 12, he learned a contaminated batch of mint e-liquid was used to make 250,000 refill kits, or a total of one million pods, that had already been shipped to retailers.

Breja alleges that when he complained about Juul’s refusal to issue a product recall or health and safety notice, Danaher said doing so would cost the company billions of dollars in lost sales, hurting its then-$38 billion valuation. About a week later, Breja says the company fired him, telling him that it was because he had misrepresented himself as former chief financial officer at Uber. In the lawsuit, Breja says the claim was “preposterous,” and that he had accurately represented his former position as a chief financial officer of a division at Uber.

In the lawsuit, Breja also claims that Juul wanted to sell pods that were almost a year old and when he asked the company to include an expiration or best by date, or a date of manufacture on the packaging, he was told by former CEO Kevin Burns that “half our customers are drunk and vaping like mo-fos, who the fuck is going to notice the quality of our pods?”

TechCrunch has contacted Juul and the law firm representing Breja for comment. In a statement to BuzzFeed, Breja’s attorney Harmeet Dhillon said “Mr. Breja became aware of very concerning actions at the company, and he performed his duty to shareholders and to the board by reporting these issues internally. In exchange for doing that, he was inappropriatey terminated. This is very concerning, particularly since some of the issues he raised concerned matters of public safety.”

Burns was replaced in September by K.C. Crosthwaite, a former executive at Juul’s largest shareholder Altria . A replacement for Danaher has not been announced yet.

HBO Max just announced how much you’ll pay for 10,000 hours of content

HBO announced on Tuesday that their streaming service HBO Max will launch in May 2020 for $14.99 a month (existing HBO customers and HBO Now direct subscribers will get it bundled for free), as well as a feature it calls “human-powered discovery.” 

“Talent & influencers will be the humans behind our Recommended by Humans feature, sharing the content they love and why it’s worth watching,” it announced in a tweet.

The service will also offer “co-viewing”, a joint profile that gives recommendations based upon joint views without interfering with personal profiles.

In addition, the company announced a Game of Thrones prequel as the crown jewel in their upcoming slate for HBO. Co-created by George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal, the Targaryen prequel House of the Dragon will also be written by Condal, and both he and Miguel Sapochnik will act as showrunners. Read more…

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Navigating The Job Market Before Earning Your Degree

It’s never too early to prepare for your future or consider the steps you’ll need in building a successful career. We’re asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up,” from the time we enter primary school. However, the system isn’t quite set up to guide us to where we envision ourselves. It’s no secret that the job market comes with a rigorous map to navigate. To put this into perspective, in 2017, 53% of newly graduates are underemployed and having a tough time finding the right job.

It’s your career

You are the one going to work everyday. The job is yours. Timing and preparation for your future career is completely in your hands. To ease your scares, there are simple ways to start building a successful career for your future right now.

“College students are enjoying the longest run in job growth since the late 1990s,” Phil Gardner, Director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute says, “but that doesn’t mean navigating the job market is easy.” Available wages for young college graduates has been on a steady incline since 2012. This year, graduating seniors were offered 1.10 jobs on average. It’s considered a 12-year high.

build a successful career

Understanding your options

From 2000 to 2018, college graduates experienced a 1% increase in unemployment and a 4% increase in steady underemployment. 2014 to 2018 brought on the difficulty of college graduates finding successful internships. This meant that there was a 5% less chance of students being offered a position upon completing their internship and a 6% less chance of students being hired on full-time.

See Also: Can Vocational Training Help In Redefining Success?

Moving forward, deciding your future path comes with understanding the job and college markets. When picking a major, keep in mind that 4 in 5 employers look at applicants with a wide knowledge of liberal arts and sciences. About 93% of them find soft skills really important.

Considering investing in a liberal arts education will provide you with the critical thinking, communication, and problem solving skills to help you succeed in the workplace.

Furthermore, you’ll need to select a major during the decision-making process. 88% of 2017 high school graduates considered the in-demand jobs before making a decision regarding their major.

17% of high school students planned to chase the business path, 87% planning on a STEM career path. Although 8 in 10 of the fastest growing jobs for college graduates are in STEM, many graduate-level STEM programs do not require a related bachelor’s degree. STEM careers do require the soft skills learned through liberal arts.

See Also: Top Jobs You Can Get With A Math Degree

What you can do

On the other hand, there are simple steps for a high school student to take in the beginning phases of building a successful career. For example, if you are interested in the arts and medicine fields, consider seeing a career counselor or visiting a job fair. Business minds could benefit from collecting letters of reference and building an online portfolio to let employers see your creative work by hosting your projects digitally.

building a career successfully

Upon graduation, it can take about 6 months for you to find your desired field. Building experience in the field beforehand is always a great step to take. The same goes for applying for positions 3 to 4 months before graduation. You can do this by looking online. Handscape, WayUp, and Indeed are great platforms to job hunt on.

If you have a passion for going to great lengths, you may benefit from starting a professional network on LinkedIn. It’s what I consider “social media for professionals.”

Don’t let this frighten you, however. Essentially, everyone is qualified to be a professional. LinkedIn is a great platform to network on since nearly 9 of 10 recruiters use it when conducting an online search for job candidates.

The initial step in establishing a successful career begins with oriented planning. Continue down to the infographic below for specifics on how to find key influencers on Linkedin, what a professional headshot looks like, how to create meaningful content, stay memorable, and maintain a professional presence.

64% of American graduates are employed or engaged in further study. Don’t let yourself be a potential victim to the 36% of graduates struggling from under or unemployment.

College to Career
Source: Bellarmine University

The post Navigating The Job Market Before Earning Your Degree appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Watch John Cena and Jimmy Fallon play Fish Slap, which is exactly what it sounds like

WWE wrester and professional meme John Cena appeared on Sunday’s episode of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon to help introduce a new segment called Fish Slap. It was exactly what it sounds like.

In Fish Slap, a game invented by Cena’s opponent Fallon because apparently he loves to suffer, players take turns guessing if a card drawn from a deck will be higher or lower than the previous one. If they get it right, it becomes the other player’s turn to guess. If they get it wrong, they get a real, slimy, dead fish to the face.

It sounds like an awful time but the pair get into it, Cena joyfully proclaiming, “In the name of salmon and mackerel, the day is mine!” Read more…

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Stochastic disaster

As I write this, massive fires are erupting all over California, and massive protests are erupting all over the world. Is the former a facet of the climate crisis? Is the latter a symptom of hyperpolarization caused by hyperconnectivity? Yes, I mean no, I mean it’s impossible to say. That’s what it means to live in a stochastic age.

During the past few weeks there has been an extraordinary outburst of popular protests in all corners of the world.

Here’s a map of the locations, and primary causes, of recent unrest around the world. @gzeromedia pic.twitter.com/V7Lelxw9kj

— Xavi Ruiz 🇪🇺 (@xruiztru) October 23, 2019

This is an era of stochastic terrorism: “The use of mass public communication, usually against a particular individual or group, which incites or inspires acts of terrorism which are statistically probable but happen seemingly at random.” It is also an era of climate crisis as a stochastic disaster, causing a whole spectrum of ‘random’ natural disasters to become ever more probable and terrible.

Is ours also an era of stochastic political strife? Does the world’s increased connectivity, aided by social media’s inherent amplification of outrage, have second-, third-, or fourth-order effects which heat rhetoric and protest, triggering secession movements and massive rejection of the status quo? Is our hyperconnectivity the political equivalent of global warming?

If so, it would explain a lot. The baffling and horrifying rise of neo-Nazis and white supremacy around the world. The increasing political polarization of seemingly every polity. The growing dearth of anything like a political middle ground. The huge protests scattered across the globe, against almost every form of government.

But let’s not be too quick to diagnose this. This might be somehow periodic: terrorism and protests were both more common (per capita) in the late 60s and early 70s than they are today. It might just be a symptom of, and backlash against, a global trend of neoliberalism-morphing-towards-antidemocratic-oligarchy, which, sadly, is the recent economic / political history of much of the world.

The hypothesis is that this stochastic strife has something to do with technology and hyperconnectivity, that across the world we’re experiencing the political equivalent of global warming. Intriguing, but far from proven. How might we test or measure it?

The obvious test is to introduce a control group, A/B across a representative slice of the planet — but that seems pretty unlikely, and I’m not aware of any reliable quantitative measures of political strife, and either way it suffers from the inevitable problem that it’s impossible to tease out just one of the myriad factors which accumulate (or not) into political fury and protest.

— At least it’s impossible at any given moment. But we do know that connectivity is likely to just keep increasing, especially across the developing world, and that averaged across nations it is likely to change faster than almost any other factor at play.

So if this hypothesis is correct, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Political outrage, massive protests, and secession movements will continue to grow worldwide, eventually at a pace which makes California wildfires seem leisurely.

Let’s hope that either the hypothesis is proved wrong, or that we find a new way, transcending traditional nation-states, to distribute political power … before all those eruptions turn into conflagrations.

ProtonVPN on sale for over £20 off

TL;DR: The ProtonVPN Plus plan is on sale for £6.89 a month, saving you over £20 on list price.


We’re all for saving money, and spending as little as possible wherever possible, but sometimes it really is worth dropping a little more cash.

This definitely applies to the protection of your online identity and data. Even though there are loads of cheap VPN services that do an adequate job of keeping everything under wraps, it might actually be beneficial to spend more to get everything you need at once.

ProtonVPN offers three different services, and the most popular is the Plus plan. The reason for this is that whilst it’s more expensive than the Basic plan, you get so much more for your money. You get everything that’s included with the Basic option, plus five simultaneous connections, better speeds, advanced security features, and more. Read more…

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Original Content podcast: If you haven’t watched ‘Succession’ yet, what are you even doing?

You’ve probably already heard that HBO’s “Succession” (which recently completed its second season) is amazing. And as three East Coast tech reporters, we were probably the easiest targets for the show’s many charms.

Still, we felt like we had to talk about it. In fact, our “Succession” review on this episode of the Original Content podcast is perhaps our most epic discussion so far. And we probably would have gone for even longer, if we thought anyone would still be listening.

The series revolves around the Roy family, whose patriarch Logan Roy (played by Brian Cox) founded and still leads the Waystar Royco media empire. Throughout the course of the two seasons, his four children — heir apparent Kendall (Jeremy Strong), political fixer Shiv (Sarah Snook), snarky smart aleck Roman (Kieran Culkin) and libertarian weirdo Connor (Alan Ruck) — all take turns vying for their father’s attention and scheming against him.

All three of us loved “Succession,” but even without a long argument about the show’s merits, there was still plenty for us to debate: How a story with such morally bankrupt characters can still be so compelling, to what extend those characters are motivated by love versus hate versus greed (and whether they can even tell the difference) and who, in the end, deserves to sit on the corporate throne.

We also discuss next week’s launch of Disney+ and Apple TV+, and which shows we’re most excited about finally watching.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you want to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:41 Apple/Disney discussion
10:16 “Succession” spoiler-free review
25:50 “Succession” spoiler discussion

Don Valentine, who founded Sequoia Capital, has died at age 87

Sequoia Capital founder Don Valentine passed way at his home in Woodside, Ca., today at age 87 of natural causes.

Sequoia posted a tribute to Valentine shortly afterward, calling him “one of a generation of leaders who forged Silicon Valley.”

A native of New York, Valentine majored in chemistry at Fordham University before joining Raytheon in South California, then moving north to the Bay Area to work at Fairchild Semiconductor, where over the years, Valentine began investing his own small checks into technology companies that he was meeting. According to Sequoia Capital, he soon attracted the attention of an early mutual fund group, Capital Group, which staked Valentine, allowing him to form a $3 million venture fund in 1974. Among his first bets from that pool of capital: Atari and Apple. He later led the firm into numerous other high-flyers, including Cisco Systems.

Valentine continue to lead Sequoia until handing over the reins well before retirement age to Doug Leone and Michael Moritz, though he continued attending partner meetings for another 10 years. The partners have said they were happy for his continued advice and guidance — not that they always agreed with him.

In 2017, in keeping with the firm’s focus on succession and ensuring smooth transitions, partner Roelof Botha was made U.S. head of the firm working under Leone, who oversees the firm’s global operations with Neil Shen, the founder and managing partner of Sequoia Capital China. (Moritz stepped away for health reasons in 2012, though he has continued to remain actively involved in the firm.)

Leone issued a statement this afternoon about Valentine’s passing, writing: “We are deeply saddened to share that Don Valentine passed away on October 25, 2019. Don’s life is woven into the fabric of Silicon Valley. He shaped Sequoia and left his imprint not just on those of us who had the privilege to work with him or the many philanthropic institutions that invested with Sequoia, but also on the founders and leaders of some of the most significant technology companies of the later part of the twentieth century. Our thoughts are with Don’s wife, Rachel, with his family, and with all those inspired by his pioneering vision and indelible impact.”

Valentine chose the name Sequoia because it “conveyed the longevity and strength of the tallest of redwoods,” according to the firm’s tribute today to Valentine. The partners note, too, the “humility of someone who refrained from putting his own name on our business.”

Valentine is survived by his wife; three children; and seven grandchildren, according to Sequoia.

Valentine joined TechCrunch at a Disrupt event back in 2013. He appeared along with another pioneer of the venture industry, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers cofounder Tom Perkins . Perkins passed away in June 2016 at age 84.

The Effects of Being In A Sexless Marriage On Your Mental Health

What is a sexless marriage? Can it affect your mental health?

Research suggests that being in a sexless marriage doesn’t mean that you and your partner are never intimate. It means that you are only having sex once or fewer times a month.

When sex is lacking in a marriage, both partners suffer. It’s more than just having an orgasm and feeling great (though that doesn’t hurt either). It’s about connecting with your partner in mind, body, and soul. It is about feeling secure in your relationship.

When these important aspects of love are taken out of the marital equation, trouble is soon to follow.

Here are 7 studies that prove that a sexless marriage can hurt your relationship and your mental health- and there’s nothing shallow about it.

Sexless Marriage Causes Depression

Research proves that marital satisfaction is significantly associated with being satisfied in bed. Not only does sex feel amazing and lower your stress levels, but it also connects a couple on a romantic and emotional level.

Another study highlights that increasing sexual activity from once a month to once a week can raise happiness levels as much as making an extra $50,000 at your job.
When you do not have the emotional connection and the flow of beneficial oxytocin running through your body that comes from having sex, you may begin to feel depressed.

Here are some signs that your mental health has taken a turn toward depression:

  • Feeling helpless, sad, and alone
  • Experiencing feelings of worthlessness
  • Constant fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Constant pessimism
  • Feeling unmotivated
  • A significant change in appetite or eating habits
  • Irritability
  • Digestive issues
  • Scattered thoughts or difficulty concentrating

See Also: 7 Ways You Can Start Coping With Depression Naturally

Reduces Marital Trust

cope with a sexless marriage

Studies done by Northwestern University and Redeemer University College found that trust is important to a happy marriage.

The precious oxytocin hormone released during intimacy has been shown to cause a substantial increase in trust, allowing people to feel braver, more trusting of their spouse, and more willing to take emotional and social risks together.

When you are in a sexless marriage, you may feel less physically and emotionally trusting of your partner, which can damage other areas of your relationship.

Straying Thoughts and Hearts

Couples who spend time together are happier than those who don’t and it doesn’t have to be special. Studies show that anything from washing dishes side by side to romantic date night can boost happiness and lower stress. And sex certainly contributes to happiness.

Studies also suggest that the oxytocin released after sex is responsible for feelings of monogamy – particularly in men.

When you are not feeling emotionally or sexually satisfied in your marriage, you may have thoughts of looking elsewhere for such satisfaction. This may cause you to feel guilty or worse, follow through with your desire to cheat and possibly ruin your relationship.

See Also: Tips For Happy Marriage: 7 Simple Ways To Maintain A Loving Relationship

Stunts Communication Skills

When you are no longer intimate with your spouse, you may feel uncomfortable opening up and being vulnerable with one another. This can severely stunt your communication skills.

We have all heard that communication is the backbone of a healthy marriage, but did you know communication also contributes to a healthy sex life? Research proves that couples who are willing to talk about sex enjoy higher relationship satisfaction and increased orgasm frequency in women.

Couples need to discuss their sex life. Communicate about what feels good in bed, what kinks you’re into, and what you and your spouse can do to make sex feel more satisfying for you. It is also essential that couples be open, honest, and kind about what may be stopping them from enjoying a healthy sex life.

Studies show that stress can negatively affect your libido. Hurt feelings from past relationship mistakes, marital boredom, and certain medications can also play a role in a lowered libido.

You Become Easily Irritated

Sexual satisfaction predicts heightened emotional intimacy for couples. The more satisfied you are in bed, the closer you will feel to your partner. When this intimacy is lacking, you may find you are growing apart or becoming irritated with one another.

Because oxytocin makes you feel calmer and less stressed, a lack of this love hormone can do just the opposite. As your mental health and relationship happiness decline, you may start to feel annoyed with your spouse over small things. Arguments become more frequent and you may even hate being in the same room with them.

Lack of Intimacy Hurts your Emotional Connection

Is it normal for your sex life to take a dip? Yes and no. Research shows that later life couples (ages 70-86) were more likely to choose emotional intimacy over sexual intimacy as they age. But those same studies also indicate that midlife couples (ages 50-69) often become distressed by changes in their sex life.

So yes, your sex life is sure to change and go through ebbs and flows the older you get. However, a complete lack of sex or only having sex once a month is sure to create problems in your marriage and with your mental health. Instead of favoring your emotional connection, you may feel like you are growing apart.

Resentment Snowballs

coping with a sexless marriage

When you are not being regularly intimate with your spouse, it can cause resentment to build. You may start to wonder why your spouse doesn’t care about your sexual satisfaction. More importantly, you begin to question why they are giving up on the emotional connection you share or overlooking the wonderful benefits that sex brings to your marriage.

If you have discussed your sex life at length and your spouse doesn’t seem to want to change or communicate about why they are resistant to intimacy, it can cause you to feel neglected, hurt, and angry.

If a lack of intimacy is causing you to have thoughts of straying, you may even start to resent your spouse for making you feel the need to look outside your marriage for pleasure or validation.

Are you living in a sexless marriage? If so, this can affect your fidelity and self-esteem. It can weaken the love you once felt for your partner. There is no doubt that a lack of sex can hurt your mental health, your feelings, and in some cases, even your physical health.

The post The Effects of Being In A Sexless Marriage On Your Mental Health appeared first on Dumb Little Man.