28Sep/101

Good Night Sleep

Good night sleep is precious. You miss it only after you've lost it.

Here's info by familydoctor.org staff on how to sleep well:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends, even if you didn't get enough sleep. This will help train your body to sleep at night.
  • Develop a bedtime routine. Do the same thing every night before going to sleep. For example, take a warm bath and then read for 10 minutes every night before going to bed. Soon you'll connect these activities with sleeping, and doing them will help make you sleepy.
  • Use the bedroom only for sleeping or having sex. Don't eat, talk on the phone or watch TV while you're in bed.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark. If noise is a problem, use a fan to mask the noise or use ear plugs. If you must sleep during the day, hang dark blinds over the windows or wear an eye mask.
  • If you're still awake after trying to fall asleep for 30 minutes, get up and go to another room. Sit quietly for about 20 minutes before going back to bed. Do this as many times as you need to until you can fall asleep.

A bedroom in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

http://www.normalroom.com/displayimage.php?pos=-2296

20Sep/100

Get a flower – be happy

People are filling their homes and gardens with flowers, all kinds of flowers - yellow and red, tulips, roses and whatever. Flowers are even brought to hosts as gifts by polite and thoughtful guests. A lot of examples of houses with flowers can be found in Normal Room gallery..

I don't know much about flowers, so it often makes me wonder what is it in bringing fauna inside the house. My opinion is that they don't look great in vases, they are just a poor attempt to move the beauty of nature somewhere where it can be controlled.

But maybe all this is just subconscious action? Maybe people who decorate their homes and gardens with colourful flowers do that because there's some psychological benefit in it? Maybe colour and nature help people to relax, or to concentrate better?

And actually this is the case. I just found a study that was published few years ago that confirms this. The study was done by Rutgers, the state University of New Jersey. According to the research presence of flowers trigger happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and has an effect on social behaviour in a very positive manner.

"What's most exciting about this study is that it challenges established scientific beliefs about how people can manage their day-to-day moods in a healthy and natural way," said the lead researcher of the study Professor of Psychology at Rutgers Jeannette Haviland-Jones.

The link between flowers and life satisfaction was explored by investigating participants' behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers during ten monts. The results show that flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. Flowers also have a long-term positive effect on peoples' moods and they induce intimate connections - if people are surrounded by flowers they want contact their loved ones.

Academic paper can be read here -

http://www.aboutflowers.com/images/stories/HealthBenefits/ep03104132.pdf

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A lobby in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

http://www.normalroom.com/displayimage.php?pos=-2595

14Sep/100

Bed quotes, part 1

I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.

- Muhammad Ali

Rather go to bed with out dinner than to rise in debt.

- Benjamin Franklin

Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed.

- George Burns

We always get up about 5:30, and George gets up and goes in and gets the coffee and brings it to me, and that's been our ritual since we got married. And we read the newspapers in bed and drink coffee for about an hour probably, read our briefing papers.

- Laura Bush

For six years, I kept my five Olympic medals wrapped in a plastic bread bag beneath my bed.

- Mary Lou Retton

If it weren't for the rocks in its bed, the stream would have no song.

- Carl Perkins

Don't get married to an actress because they're also actresses in bed.

- Roberto Rosselini

A revolution is not a bed of roses.

- Fidel Castro

A man would prefer to come home to an unmade bed and a happy woman than to a neatly made bed and an angry woman.

- Marlene Dietrich

Being married means I can break wind and eat ice cream in bed.

- Brad Pitt

A bedroom in Auckland, New Zealand.

http://www.normalroom.com/displayimage.php?pos=-515

9Sep/100

Today’s world is full of junk

Junk is everywhere. Finnish interior designer and professor of furniture design in Aalto University in Helsinki Simo Heikkila wrote in today's newspaper Helsingin Sanomat that an average urban person during his/her life will be confronted with 20 000 - 30 000 different objects. Heikkila also estimated that normal daily routines in a household require only 50 objects including ten different pieces of furniture and smaller objects needed mainly for preparing and consuming food.

This means that there's lots of useless junk everywhere. Heikkila argues that people in western world surround themselves with objects in order to boost their status. He says that it's tragicomic that identity is built with junk.

Heikkila writes about his days in art school when the teachers taught the students that production of an object is acceptable only if the product replaces a worse object, preferably more than one. Today the situation is completely different - as soon as someone manages to design an useful object which is also easy to use, there will be several cheap copies.

Heikkila likes wood as a material, and dislikes plastic. He says that plastic destroys our relation to the nature. And the result can be seen in massive floating plastic waste rafts in Pacific Ocean and in Atlantic.

Heikkila believes that the new, slower world is coming. And that is a great challlenge and an opportunity for designers.

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Simple is beautiful - a flat in Miami Beach, Florida

http://www.normalroom.com/displayimage.php?pos=-554

8Sep/100

Minneapolis?

Finance&Commerce magazine wrote few days ago that the existing home prices in US rose in June 2010 for a third straight month. Sounds good for the Americans, but don't you there celebrate yet. The same article stated that housing markets across US are expected to resume their decline.

The article also listed the top three cities where home prices rose the most. And the cities were San Francisco, San Diego and Minneapolis.

I don't know much about the US. I've never been there, and I've propably known less than ten US citizens in my whole life. My understanding of the country is based on television and films, and there's something here that I don't understand.

I assume that home prices are a sign of how desirable an area is to people. San Francisco I understand, all that cultural vibe and freedom and the nice bridge and that funny street that looks like a serpentine going on top of that hill - I've seen a lot of car chases on that street. San Diego is not surprising either for an average television viewer. I've heard that SD has a great Californian weather without all the LA problems. But Minneapolis? What's that all about? Are people already moving north anticipating the global warming?

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A Flat in San Diego -

http://www.normalroom.com/displayimage.php?pos=-2170