Sleep apnea and sonomed

This article from the BBC describes a sleeping pattern involving two sleeps of about 4 hours with a period of wakefulness in between, known as segmented sleep. It seems there is evidence that this was the normal sleep pattern until the night was pushed back by street lighting at the end of the 16th century.

During this waking period people were quite active. They often got up, went to the toilet or smoked tobacco and some even visited neighbours. Most people stayed in bed, read, wrote and often prayed. Countless prayer manuals from the late 15th Century offered special prayers for the hours in between sleeps.

This is interesting to me as I have experienced long periods of wakefulness at night for most of my life. Recently I underwent a sleep test and was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea. The recommended treatment was a dental device manufactured by Sonomed an Australian company. After an adjustment to reduce the pressure on one of my teeth the device is now relatively comfortable to wear - it takes some getting used to having two substantial pieces of plastic in your mouth all night!. The device works by preventing the lower jaw from dropping back during the night which causes the throat to close and the airway to be occluded. The brain reacts by waking you up to some degree. This may occur many times every hour and is can be quite disturbing to anyone sharing the bed with you!

So far I am positive about the Sonodent and look forward to having more energy during the day.


The ongoing challenge of how to spend your time

There has been a continuous stream of media about finding your passion and reviewing your working life against higher goals. This post from workawesome is a nice summary, and once it referred to the Eightfold Path and Right Livelihood I had to link it.

Is it a Job, Career or Your True Calling?:

What is it that you love doing the most? What are you passionate about and what brings you alive? What work would you engage in if you had no other considerations? How could you use your talents to make a difference to society? Stepping back and deliberating on these thoughts can provide you the stimulus towards discovering your deeper purpose and true calling. (Via

Still very much an ongoing challenge for me.


Off the map

I noticed this post recommending the movie "Off The Map" recently.

We watched it last night and really enjoyed it. We have been talking about it on and off all day today which is the sign of a movie that has gotten under our skin. I particularly liked the understated direction that let the landscape and the story unfold without joining all the dots for the viewer. Fascinating also to see the homesteading life depicted. I was scanning each frame for those small details that give authenticity and was not disappointed. We already had the Taos region on our destination list as we love native american jewellery, so now we have another motive to visit.
(Via Cage Free Family)

Tina Ferguson
Some notes from the director Campbell Scott


Crisis of faith in the financial system

Thought provoking post by Adam Richardson at Harvard Business Review on the levels of abstraction implicit in the financial system and the trust that is required from all participants for it to continue to operate.

Crisis of Faith in the Financial System

From Bernie Madoff to derivatives to the housing bubble to dubious AAA credit ratings, we continue to find new ways to encourage people to make financial leaps of faith. Have we reached a breaking point where the abstraction has gone too far, and is too complicated for 99% of people to understand what they're signing up for, that we must backtrack to more conventional methods? And has the level of trust in private and state financial institutions sunk so low that most people now feel there is no accountability or responsibility for the promises made, or that sound decisions will be made to guarantee "circulation forever"? (Via


Fairfield Horseshoe

We had a long and rewarding day walking the Fairfield Horseshoe in the hills around Ambleside. It was mid September 2011 and the weather blessed us with clear skies and warm temperatures which added up to fantastic views.

Flickr gallery


Looking for meaning by paying attention

This stimulating post from Art Markman at has a focus on Innovation.

It turns out that if you practice finding the meanings of proverbs, you can get better at finding the same kind of essential definitions of problems you are trying to solve. Describing problems in this way will help you retrieve the knowledge you have that is most likely to lead to innovative problem solutions.

Ultimately, the key to innovation is not to "think different," but rather, to think about different things. (Via

Beyond business innovation, paying attention to the meaning of the words we use and the cultural stories we retell is also a tool for deepening our understanding of the world around us. Many of us go though our daily routine in a somewhat robotic state with our actions being driven by habitual routines. This lack of attention is sometimes seen in the way we use words and proverbs without considering their original and often insightful deeper meanings.

Numerous esoteric disciplines feature exercises to help people look below the surface veneer of life by paying attention to multiple meanings of culturally common words, phrases and stories. For example - the Sufi's have a practise that aims to find seven levels of meaning inside traditional teaching stories. These are a somewhat like extended proverbs in the sense that they are usually involve folk lore characters and common situational contexts e.g. the Mulla Nasrudin stories. These stories are constructed to prompt the mind to seek the underlying message which is indirectly pointed to by the characters and plot.