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Read the books that helped sharpen the mind of SpaceX founder Elon Musk

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION -

Struc­tures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down

by J E Gor­don

This book is an in­for­mal ex­pla­na­tion of the ba­sic forces that hold to­gether the or­di­nary and es­sen­tial things of this world. In a style that com­bines wit, a mas­ter­ful com­mand of his sub­ject, and an en­cy­clo­pe­dic range of ref­er­ence, Gor­don in­cludes chap­ters such as ‘How to De­sign a Worm’ and ‘The Ad­van­tage of Be­ing a Beam,’ of­fer­ing hu­mor­ous in­sights in hu­man and nat­u­ral cre­ation.

Ein­stein: His Life and Uni­verse

by

Wal­ter Isaac­son

The book re­volves around let­ters writ­ten by Ein­stein. The bi­og­ra­phy of­fers an in­sight into the life of the great physics prodigy. Right from his fail­ure to be a good hus­band, fa­ther, and a teacher, the book ex­plores how an or­di­nary man be­came ex­traor­di­nary enough to de­code the mys­ter­ies of the uni­verse.

Ig­ni­tion! An in­for­mal his­tory of liq­uid rocket pro­pel­lants

by John D Clark

This book has the right mix of tech­ni­cal de­tails, de­scrip­tions of ex­per­i­ments with spec­tac­u­lar re­sults and back­ground in­for­ma­tion about the why’s and how’s of rocket science. Clark cap­tures his vivid en­thu­si­asm for rock­ets well in this en­gag­ing and in­for­ma­tive book.

by J R R Tolkien This clas­sic fic­tion has been Musk’s all-time favourite. In an in­ter­view to The New Yorker, Musk said that he would read a lot of science fic­tion and fan­tasy in his lone­li­ness. He felt that the he­roes of th­ese fan­tasy books thought it was their duty to save the world, which served as an in­spi­ra­tion to him.

The Lord of the Rings

Do you set your alarm for half an hour ear­lier than you need to, then hit snooze three times be­fore fi­nally get­ting up? Bad idea. You end up cheat­ing your­self of 30 min­utes of restora­tive sleep as you slip in and out of light and poor qual­ity sleep. As a re­sult, you’ll end up feel­ing more tired in the day.

Set your alarm clock for when you need to wake up and pop the clock on the other side of the room so you have to get up to turn it off. Chances are you won’t sneak back into bed af­ter that.

A t rial pub­lished i n The Jour­nal of t he Amer­i­can Den­tal As­so­ci­a­tion found that vol­un­teers who first brushed their teeth with a dry tooth­brush (fol­lowed by a ses­sion with tooth­paste) had a 63 per cent re­duc­tion in plaque and a 55 per cent re­duc­tion in bleed­ing gums. “Bristles tend to be stiffer when dry and hence they re­move more plaque,” ex­plains den­tist Dr Stephen Pitt. Plus, you’re more likely to keep brush­ing for longer with a dry brush be­cause you can feel when teeth sur­faces are clean with your tongue. When you use tooth­paste, your mouth feels minty quickly, so you may stop brush­ing be­fore plaque is re­moved. With a dry brush, you’re not re­stricted to the bath­room, so you can spend longer brush­ing as you do other morn­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. But use tooth­paste for flu­o­ride pro­tec­tion.

Don’t just stand in the shower — stretch. This im­proves cir­cu­la­tion and gets your lym­phatic sys­tem mov­ing — which helps get rid of tox­ins. The warmth of the wa­ter will help your mus­cles move with more ease. First, lean down and try to touch your toes. Hold for 30 sec­onds. Lift your arms over your head and push to­wards the sky. This length­ens your spine and can help im­prove pos­ture.

Drink­ing cof­fee on an empty stom­ach can cause heart­burn, in­di­ges­tion and blood sug- ar f luc­tu­a­tions which can make us ir­ri­ta­ble. What’s more, a morn­ing cof­fee might not have the wake-up ef­fect you crave.

Be­tween 8-9 am, our lev­els of cor­ti­sol (a hor­mone that makes us feel awake) are at a peak. Sci­en­tists have found that drink­ing cof­fee dur­ing peak pe­ri­ods of cor­ti­sol pro­duc­tion di­min­ishes the ef­fect of caf­feine and means you build up a greater tol­er­ance to it (mean­ing you need more and more to feel awake in the fu­ture).

Fling open the cur­tains and eat your break­fast by the win­dow. A US study found peo­ple who were ex­posed to even moder­ately bright light in the morn­ing had a lower body mass in­dex (BMI) than those who were ex­posed to light later in the day. The study said not enough light in the morn­ing may de-syn­chro­nise your in­ter­nal body clock which can af­fect me­tab­o­lism and lead to weight gain.

Jen­nifer Anis­ton has been keep­ing jour­nals since she was 13 years old. She con­sid­ers them to be her ther­apy ses­sions

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