Our brains can brake a car faster than our feet

If you’ve ever had to slam on the brakes to prevent an accident, you know that the time it takes to get your foot to that pedal can seem like an eternity. Now, German researchers aim to cut that reaction time by getting drivers’ brain waves to help stop the car. Their findings appear in the Journal of Neural Engineering.

When you’re behind the wheel, or doing anything physical, your brain knows what it wants you to do before your body swings into action. Most times, this minor delay between thinking and doing is no big deal. But when you’re moving at 60 miles an hour and the car in front of you stops short, every fraction of a second counts.

Researchers recorded how quickly volunteers reacted when the lead vehicle in a driving simulator suddenly hit the brakes. Sensors monitored the subjects’ brain activity. Turns out drivers knew they needed to slow down more than a tenth of a second before they tap the brakes.

That might not seem like much, but if cars could read minds, they could stop 12 feet sooner at highway speeds. Which could mean the difference between a scare and a smash.

Listen to the podcast version of this story – Brain Brakes Car Faster Than Foot

Continue reading Our brains can brake a car faster than our feet

Do what unsuccessful people don’t like to do

The key to success is sometimes just the willingness to put one foot in front of the other one more time.

I have ten marathons under my belt, including four New York races and one Boston.  When you are running a grueling race with thousands of people, for the most part it doesn’t matter where in the pack you finish.  What matters is simply that you finish.  It’s all about persistence.

The difference between those who finish and those who give up lies in the old axiom that successful people do those things that unsuccessful people don’t like to do.  Successful people have the determination, the will, the focus, the drive to complete the tough jobs – like running a marathon.

Keeping your eye on the prize is usually easier said than done.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the demands of a long-term project.

  • Focus on what you can accomplish rather than the obstacles that stand in front of you.  Direct your energy toward achieving a goal, and tackle the problems with an emphasis on edging closer to a successful result.
  • When you identify a roadblock, develop a realistic plan to overcome it.
  • To paraphrase Winston Churchill: Never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up.

Read the full article – Harvey Mackay, Inc.

 

// Photo via Mike Baird

My First Surfboards

I love these boards.

They are my coolest toys. I would sleep with them if I didn’t have a pretty lady, so instead I dream about them. Like Mitchell dreaming about Pepe the Spanish-speaking shark in Airborne (see clip far below).

Toffler

This is my current board, a 7’6 white and blue learner board. It’s not custom made or even brand name. As near as I can tell it was made in a factory with about 1,000 others.

We call her Toffler after a friend on Twitter (World Future Society) suggested the name. It refers to Alvin Toffler the American writer known for his work on the digital revolution.

Barnstormer

This is Amy’s current board and it’s a boat. So called the Barnstormer because in the surfing world ‘barney’ refers to a very inexperienced surfer and the board has ‘Wavestorm’ written across it.

It’s 8 feet long and you really can’t do anything with it except float. Which is perfect for the beginner who just wants to feel safe. It gives you a chance to learn the basics like paddling, sitting on the board, learning how waves break, and catching the crumblers (small waves).

Chuck

My very first surfboard, called Chuck, although Dent might be a better name. I bought this way before I was committed to surfing and even then it was a piece of junk.

Dents all over it, nose previously broken and repaired, and already turning post-white yellow (the picture doesn’t do the yellow-ing justice).

It stands 6’5 tall and could probably still shred. I’m gonna have to take it out one of these days and see if it still floats.

*at least the leash is rad with retro 80s colors*

Surf Rug

Where would we be without surfing memorabilia everywhere. Here is one piece from my house…maybe I can practice my pop ups on it..

Surfboard Bag

Surfboards are pretty fragile. I’m always denting, scratching, and cracking mine. After all they they are just shined up pieces of fiberglass. This is where the padded surfboard bag comes in. Great for garage storage and for the surf trip (will I ever take one of those?).

Mitchell on Stylin

From the movie Airborne, where Mitchell is a kid from California who moves to the midwest and has dreams about the ocean, specifically about Pepe the Spanish-speaking shark.

Here he is introducing himself to the class.