Surprise! Strangers Can Improve Your Commute


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Hey, commuters, do you want to have a better commute, one that’s more productive and less depressing? If so, I have a helpful article for you that I found on

Justine Hofherr has written about how bad your everyday commute can be for you. But the good news is, if you use that time to reach out to talk to a stranger you can improve your health and your outlook on life. You’ll be surprised by the results of the research Justine shares that was done by Nicholas Epley, a professor at the University of Chicago:

Malavika Varadan, an Expert on How to Talk with Strangers

Some people just get the importance of talking to strangers and Malavika Varadan, a radio host for Bollywood Radio Station City 1016, is one of them. She was featured on a TEDx Talk on January 11, 2016. The title of her speech was “7 Ways to Make a Conversation With Anyone.” And she offers quite a useful and creative list of suggestions to follow.

“Every stranger comes with an opportunity,” Malavika says, and this is the core reason it’s important to talk with people. She believes we should ignore that old adage about never talking to strangers.

Here are two good ideas from her list: “be present when someone is talking to you” and “find the me too’s.” The “me too’s,” she says, are things “the two of you share in common,” which could be the mutual love you share for a certain kind of chocolate bar or a place you like to visit.

Another way Malavika suggests you can engage with a stranger is to ask for his or her opinion, but she advises to keep it simple and not “intimidate them.” For example, you could ask “What was the last movie you saw and how did you like it?”

Other bits of advice are to “pay someone a unique complement” and to “remember their name.”

Great advice, Malavika, and you deliver it with such positive enthusiasm!

Readers, take a look at her video and let me know what you think.

Near Naked Yoga


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A friend of mine told me about a friend of hers who tried out a new class this week at the yoga studio she regularly attends.

The male teacher, a stranger to her, had undressed slowly during the class, stripping off various layers of clothing, and by the end he was only wearing a jock strap.

Her friend was very uncomfortable witnessing this man shed his garments one piece at a time. She wondered how he could think his behavior was acceptable, and she was stunned by the boldness of it. How come he didn’t know what his boundaries were?

I wondered what made this yoga guy think that showing off his buttocks in a million different poses was okay with his students. Why didn’t he just call his class “Near Naked Yoga?”

To me the whole thing smacks of a man out of control, flaunting his body when no one asked for his body to be flaunted.

This flasher/teacher moment sounds like an episode from Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. I can just picture the students catching each other’s eyes and grimacing, but not saying anything until afterward, when they commiserated with one another in the parking lot.

Some people will really act out if they have an audience—and an unsuspecting, captive one was perfect for this man’s agenda.

Sounds like this man/boy needs to turn his focus from Yoga to Life Modelling. At least when the class arrives they’ll know what they came for and why they paid to look at him.