Can't sleep? Try the technique that claims to help you nod off in 60 SECONDS

The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

1) Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
2) Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
3) Hold your breath for a count of seven.
4) Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
5) This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

More info:


Why men don't listen to women. Male and female voices affect brain differently

Men have to work harder deciphering what women are saying because they use the auditory part of the brain that processes music, not human voices. Men's brains are not designed to listen to women's voices. It's not the pitch of the woman's voice, but rather the vibration and number of sound waves that cause the problem.

But guys have no trouble at all hearing each other because men use a much simpler brain mechanism at the back of the brain to decipher another man's voice and recognize it as speech.

"The female voice is actually more complex than the male voice, due to differences in the size and shape of the vocal cords and larynx between men and women, and also due to women having greater natural 'melody' in their voices. This causes a more complex range of sound frequencies than in a male voice," lead researcher Michael Hunter told The Mirror. "When men hear a male voice they process it in the 'mind's eye.' This is the part of the brain where people compare their experiences to themselves, so the man is comparing his own voice to the new voice."

Here's a really bizarre side effect: These findings help explain why people who suffer hallucinations usually hear male voices. It's just too hard for the brain to create a false feminine voice as accurately as it can create a false masculine voice.

The research findings were published in the journal NeuroImage.


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The greatest eclipse of the decade visible in The Netherlands

Between 09:30 and 11:48 on 20.03.2015 in the morning, we’ll see a partial solar eclipse. At the maximum, just after half past ten, 81% of the sun’s surface will be covered. That’s not enough for complete darkness, but more than enough for a magnificent photography experience.

This will be the largest solar eclipse in The Netherlands since August 11, 1999, when about 95% of the sun’s surface was covered. The total solar eclipse is visible only in the northern parts of the Atlantic Ocean, between the Faroe Islands and Spitsbergen. Nevertheless, photographing the sky above The Netherlands will absolutely be worth it.

The next solar eclipse falls only on June 10, 2021, in which the moon for will only cover a third of the sun. So this is the one to photograph!

Don’t damage your eyes

When photographing directly into the sun, never look through your viewfinder. Use the camera’s liveview/LCD.

How to photograph a solar eclipse

For this, using a 10 stop ND filter is a good start. A 10 stop ND filter can be purchased for a price starting at 50 Eur:

1. Set your camera and lens on a tripod.
2. Set your ISO to the lowest value.
3. Set your camera mode to Manual
4. Start out at the fastest shutter speed your camera has to offer (e.g.. 1/8000) and see if you need to lower it.
5. Start out at f/8. Stop down a little more if the shutter speed is too fast.

Info: Amsterdam-Photo-Club


Ikea Stops Hide-And-Seek Games Planned For Over 32,000 In Its Stores

Looks like Ikea doesn’t believe in fun anymore: This week, the company forbade people from taking part in hide-and-seek games in its Netherlands stores. The policy came after thousands of people hoped to play the game in various events in stores across the Netherlands. But all those dreams are now over, as all events related to playing hide-and-seek in Ikea have been canceled due to safety concerns.

The different events on Facebook were hosted by either individuals or groups, each with their own twist of how to play hide-and-seek. In Amsterdam, for example, teams of five people would all wear yellow shirts to participate. During each round of the game, there would be five “sardines” with red shirts and if you found one of them, you’d sit next to them on the ground. The first team to find all of the sardines would win — just as long as no one misbehaved, or they’d be disqualified.

But there’s apparently a huge difference between Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing games in Ikea versus a group numbering in the thousands. With that many people around, the situation becomes ripe for danger and can quickly become a risky situation. “It’s hard to control,” Ikea Group spokeswoman Martina Smedberg told Bloomberg. “We need to make sure people are safe in our stores and that’s hard to do if we don’t even know where they are.”

For example, an Ikea store in Eindhoven was bracing for a hide-and-seek event of 32,000 people, and wasn’t the only one with a large number of people hoping to play hide-and-seek. An Amsterdam store event had 19,000 people RSVP as attending in a Facebook event, while 12,000 were expecting to play in Utrecht.


Be surprised by our routes in nature and listen to the wonderful stories of our foresters. Download the free app route of Nature: Nature Routes.

The unique route app offers a wide choice of walking, cycling and canoeing routes throughout the Netherlands. Special routes for children to long-distance routes through beautiful landscapes.

The app now includes 167 routes. New routes are automatically displayed in the app. See an overview of all available routes here:

1Walking, cycling and sailing routes through beautiful nature

2Striking waypoints along the way

3Audio stories forester

4Display of waypoints in audio, text and pictures

Download now. The routeapp is free to download for iPhone and Android devices:



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