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  1. All, Now that summer is approaching (in the northern hemisphere!), many of us will be spending more time outdoors. In this post over on the Sensible Diet and Lifestyle Advice thread, TomBAvoider spells out the importance of protecting against sun damage, both for the skin and especially the eyes. In this post a bit later in that thread, I share the two different pairs of sunglasses I use for eyewear whenever I am spending any time outdoors. Since sun protection, and in particular eye protection, is such an important topic, I figured I'd start a thread about it, as well as cross-post to the Cool Tools thread. The sunglasses I wear and recommend are the Uvex S1933X Skyper ($8.99) and BluBlocker Viper ($32.95) - both available on Amazon. Here are photos of the two, with the Uvex on the left and BluBlocker on the right: Here are my reasons for choosing them, and why I wear two different models of sunglasses. First, what they have in common. Both pairs block not only all the UV wavelengths (UVA & UVB), but also the shorter visible wavelengths as well - especially blue, and hence give everything an orangish tint. If you don't like that effect, you can stop reading now. I personally prefer blocking mostly blue and higher wavelengths, while letting through lower wavelengths (red, orange, yellow and some green), rather than attenuating all visible wavelengths about equally - the way most standard "dark" sunglasses do. I find these sorts of "blue blocker" sunglasses give the world a brighter (and hence, cheerier) illumination, while at the same time protecting my eyes from harmful UV radiation. Some people say blocking blue light in the evening helps them get to sleep easier (see Uvex Amazon reviews) - although I have no trouble falling asleep and I don't use these sunglasses indoors or in the evening for this purpose as some people with sleep troubles do. To get a quantitative feel for how these two glasses compare with each other, and with a "standard" pair of dark sunglasses that darken wavelengths across the board, here are the filter characteristics of the Uvex (left), Blublocker (middle) and a "standard" pair of high quality sunglasses, Maui Jim's (right), from this helpful website. Note - if the three images wrap for you, they'll be ordered vertically rather than horizontally: As you can see, from the text I've highlighted in yellow, the three sunglasses make the world appear 49%, 77% and 89% dimmer, respectively. It's also apparent from the graphs that the "standard" Maui Jim's let through some light from all the visible wavelengths, and even a little down towards the ultraviolet end of the spectrum, but not much - making everything look almost uniformly darker. In contrast, the Uvex and BluBlockers filter out nearly 100% of all wavelengths below green, giving everything a more yellow/orange/reddish tint. Finally, you can see the Uvex lets through significantly more green, yellow and orange than the BluBlocker, meaning they don't make the world look nearly as dark. Subjectively, the BluBlockers make the world seem about as dark as normal sunglasses like the Maui Jim's, but just with a more reddish-orange tint. They are therefore my choice to wear on days when the sun is very strong/bright. When it's a bit cloudy / hazy, I like to wear the Uvex because they don't make the world so dark and depressing. The other thing to notice that both the Uvex and BluBlockers both have in common is the wraparound feature - they both protect the eye from stray light sneaking in through the sides where standard sunglasses often don't cover. The nice feature about the Uvex that isn't readily apparent is the adjustability of the two "arms" - they can be made longer or shorter depending on the size of your head (specifically - how far back your ears are from the plane of your face), which is really nice, especially since I wear them when jogging and you can make them stay in place quite securely even without a strap. Finally, there is a big difference in price between the two - Uvex @ $8.99 and BluBlocker @ $32.95. But both of them are pretty inexpensive as sunglasses go - a comparable pair of "designer" Maui Jim's, but with regular lenses rather than blue blocking lenses) is around $200. One difference, and some would say potential shortcoming of both the Uvex and BluBlockers glasses is that they aren't polarized, while the Maui Jim's are. Unlike my wife, my eyes aren't that sensitive to glare or bright sun - so I haven't felt the need for polarization. I'm more concerned about getting rid UV and not making the world look too dark, which both the Uvex and BluBlockers do well. But I'd be interested to hear what others say about the benefits of polarization. Here is one sunglasses expert discussing the pros and cons of polarization. Finally, I won't characterize either pair as "stylish". The Uvex look more like safety glasses (which they are!) and the Blu Blockers bear somewhat of a resemblance to wraparound granny sunglasses. They aren't nearly that bad, but I won't try to fool anyone into thinking your friends and family will think you're cool wearing either pair. I wear them for their functionality, rather than style. Anyway, those are my $0.02 on sunglasses. I curious to hear what others chose for their sunglasses. --Dean
  2. All, I'm sometimes asked by friends and family who aren't quite as obsessive as I am about health & longevity for a few tips they might be able to adopt that might help them stay healthier longer but without "going overboard" like I do. Today I stumbled across an article that I think fits the bill really well, and that I'll point such people to in the future. It is titled 13 Habits Linked to a Long Life (Backed by Science) and it is from the website AuthorityNutrition.com, which I've never considered much of an authority on nutrition, but this article is quite good so I may have to reconsider... Here is the list: Avoid Overeating Eat Some Nuts Use The Spice Turmeric Eat Plenty of Healthy Plant Foods Exercise and Be Physically Active Don’t Smoke Keep Your Alcohol Intake Moderate Prioritize Your Happiness Avoid Chronic Stress and Anxiety Nurture Your Social Circle Increase Your Conscientiousness Drink Coffee or Tea Develop a Good Sleeping Pattern Each of the 13 is explained in clear, easy to understand language. The article describes the science to back up the recommendations, and has references for people who want to learn more. Finally, it's really brief for those with a short attention span. There are three additional items I can think of that I would add to the list: 14. Don't Sit Too Much (ref) 15. Practice Good Oral Hygiene (discussion, discussion) 16. Ask Your Doctor - Get regular medical checkups and recommended tests after age 50, or earlier if you've got risk factors (discussion) Anyone else have health and longevity "best practices" you would or do suggest to friends/family that aren't included on the list? --Dean
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