☝️ Upwarding #52: iPhones travel back in time, Parasympathetic tools, 10x returns, and a Lazy generation.

Welcome to this week's Upwarding newsletter. My blog, with more in-depth content, can be found here.


Could it be that iPhones are going to travel back in time!  There are many examples of iPhones in old artwork, and here are two of my favorites.  From Umberto’s 1937 mural, “Mr. Pynchon”…it even has a bezel!

And then Waldmuller’s “The Expected One” from the 1850s.  Check out the screen glow.

When I used to come home during my college years in California, I always thought I’d see people from my school on the streets of Toronto.  The mind filters what it sees through the lens of what you are expecting.

So even though these paintings are showing 1) a mirror and 2) a prayer book, it’s kind of fun to imagine a time traveling iPhone, isn’t it?


I’ve tried three different devices that help activate your parasympathetic nervous system – think “rest, digest, relax”.

The Cove -  Believe the 3.1* ratings on the app store.  This product is terrible.  I spent thirty minutes trying to set it up, reading across three separate sets of directions that conflicted with each other, before finally giving up and sending it in for a refund.  Rating: F.

Neuvana Xen – buzzes your left ear drum through headphones to activate the relaxation response via the vagus nerve.  It works (a bit), and has the advantage that it is entirely passive so you can do it anytime, anywhere.  Session setup is not seamless, but overall a good product that seemed to have some benefits. Keeping it in the repertoire.  Rating: B-.

RESPeRATE – you breathe in time to sounds, that gradually slow down to get you into a relaxed and slow breathing pattern.  This one works wonders but requires you to sit in a chair for the 15 minute sessions, preferably with your eyes closed.  You can listen to it while reading or doing another passive activity, but can’t walk around or get up.  Can be a bit finicky to get it to work, but undoubtedly the most effective one I’ve tried.  I use it when I wake up in the middle of the night and am back to sleep almost immediately afterward.  Rating: A.


I’m about three weeks into Marty Kendall’s Data Driven Fasting program, during which I’ve been wearing a continuous glucose monitor.  I would not be exaggerating to say this is the most I’ve ever learned about my health in a short period of time.  I’ll be doing several blog articles about my lessons from this program.  The number one lesson:

The healthiest thing you can do is only eat when you are truly physiologically hungry.  I’m shocked by how often I was eating because I was bored, walked by a good looking cookie, etc.


Investing service Motley Fool did a study showing that 1.8% of US stocks grow by 10-fold in a given 15 year period*.

However, that rate goes to up to 8.5% depending on…whether you enter during panic lows like: dot com bubble burst, financial crisis fallout, and (presumably) the COVID crash of March 2020.

Ultimately these outsized returns are a version of “be greedy when others are fearful”.

*they didn’t really give much info on their “study” beyond this.


“…children used to be punished by being sent to their rooms, but these days you have to force children to come out of them. One generation got told off for not being able to sit still, the next gets told off for never moving.” – Frederick Backman

Please forward this newsletter to two friends who might enjoy it!  Thank you,