Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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January 25 2019

Weekly Link Love—Edition 13

By Mark Sisson
21 Comments

Research of the Week

Gene drives—genetic engineering that the recipients pass along to all their offspring—now work in mammals.

Researchers fix Alzheimer’s in mice by targeting epigenetics.

Skipping dinner three times a work helps overweight women drop body fat.

During the age of great migration, Scandinavians with an individualist streak were more likely to move to the U.S. than Scandinavians with a collectivist streak.

Turns out that every single gene is probably important for every single cell.

Facial recognition is being used to fight illegal chimp trading.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 306: Logan Schwartz: Host Elle Russ chats with movement coach Logan Schwartz about strength, performance, movement, and mobility.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.

Media, Schmedia

Coming soon: GOOP ayahuasca ceremonies presided over by Gwyneth Paltrow.

Super poo wanted.

Interesting Blog Posts

Asking patients to draw their illness.

How pigs made it to Okinawa.

Social Notes

Ten wellness leaders (including yours truly) gave their opinion on the best snack to curb cravings.

Paleo Magazine’s annual “Best of” contest is on, and it’s time to vote for your favorite [enter paleo-themed thing here]. There are some good selections in the Best Paleo Cookbook, New Product, Food Company, Lifestyle Company, Nut-Based Bar, and Paleo-Related Story sections.

Everything Else

Big data changed the way basketball is played in the NBA, and Carmelo Anthony is its most notable victim.

Seed sovereignty for small farmers and local varieties passes in the U.N.

Aging and tennis.

Did a planet crashing into Earth seed us with the ingredients for life?

Horrible bullying from this elephant. Toxic.

Fighting fungi.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

I’d play this: Boardgame about the conflict between Viking settlers, Inuit settlers, and native Greenland Tunit peoples.

Article I found interesting: After getting a taste of freedom abroad, kids who move back to the U.S struggle with overparenting.

Something I always considered but never followed up with: Homeschooled kids tend to be better-educated and more tolerant, and homeschooling is on the rise.

Deal I’m happy to share: Trying to prep for the Big Game? Want something everyone will love, Primal or not? Just really, really love wings? Sign up for a membership at Butcher Box and get three pounds of organic chicken wings added free to every order for life. Get your orders in by 1/28 to ensure your wings arrive in time for the game.

I’m reminded of an oft-forgotten Primal Law: Avoid Stupid Mistakes.

Question I’m Asking

What do you think of homeschooling? Tried it, experienced it, for it, against it?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Jan 20 – Jan 26)

Comment of the Week

“Hey Mark,
I assume your referencing the article regarding a supposed link between skipping breakfast and increased risk of diabetes due to how absurd it is?
Just checking, because otherwise my whole fasted morning routine from the last few years now seems that it could be my undoing.
Cheers!”

– I’d love to respond in full, Josh, but sadly I skipped breakfast and now I’m in an ambulance headed to emergency.

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21 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love—Edition 13”

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  1. Hey Mark! Please would you do a video or article refuting Jillian Michaels’ absurd comments about Keto?? I realize you’re probably far too busy doing just about anything to address her ridiculousness, but it would be so awesome if you did.
    Thanks for everything you do!

    1. Why bother? Her comments are insignificant and she has no scientific background whats so ever. To remind you, she did a video promoting keto drink and all the matters to her is the side the butter is spread on if you know what I mean ($).

  2. Our family homeschools. Some people think it’s a magical “best thing ever.” I see it as a form of education (there are big schools and smaller, private, public, parochial, charter, private tutor, etc.) Homeschooling has its pluses and minuses, just like any other form of school. I try to give people a balanced, truthful view of it, because I often find that people often are polarized, either against homeschooling or talking about it as if homeschooling is Nirvana.

    For our family, some pluses are family bonding time, more adventure, a smaller and more focused academic load, kids following their interests more, and going at the pace that’s right for them. We’ve enjoyed lots of adventures together, like field trips and special workshops, and know each other really well.

    The downsides include lots of multitasking for the parent-chauffeur-cook-housekeeper-coach-music teacher-scheduler-etc. Another downside is when kids are in difficult phases, you see all of it, all day, every day! But, I enjoy being a Jill-of-all-trades, like our DIY education, and think it’s character building for us all. With homeschooling, it’s harder to let bad habits “fly under the radar” like I could when I was a student in public schools.

    I am thankful that this education path works for us practically, and treasure the memories we’ve made. Also, I am proud of our family and how far we’ve come. I didn’t originally plan to homeschool or be a teacher, but now I’m amazed to be able to look back and see how much our kids have learned, and how I’ve been a part of that process.

    1. I’ve schooled my 7 children at home for the last 20 years.

      It started when my 3rd child was in 5th grade and he felt like public school was not set up for him to be able to compete with his homeschooled peers. He also saw how much time was wasted in public school with group management, standing in line, and busywork.

      I was terrified of ruining his life but after much research on curriculum and the befits of selfdirected study we pulled him out of public school.

      His 2 older siblings were still in public school and I was questioning methods and ideology. It made me quite unpopular with administrators. I never expected school to give my children everything they needed to succeed in life. We always took trips to the library, researched anyone’s interests and had plenty of reading material aavailable at home. When I suggested that I wanted my child to be taught to think and do research I was laughed at. The principal actually told me that they didn’t expect junior high school kids to learn anything academic as they were too busy concentrating on the opposite sex.

      My older children’s public school experiences gave me the confidence to believe I at least wouldn’t mess up as badly as the school was doing! I was dedicated to doing it right and it really is a full-time job.

      I think my children have been able to succeed despite my fears. My children are successful in various fields. We have a mechanical engineer, a social work PhD candidate, a dental assistant, a law enforcement officer, 2 students, and an aerospace engineer who teaches at a prestigious university. We like to say ” it might not take a rocket scientist to do this but if it did, we have one..”

      Home schooling requires much dedication and commitment. The benefits are well worth the sacrifices. But if you aren’t willing to completely commit, don’t try it.

  3. The “Aging and Tennis” article was interesting, although before clicking on the link I assumed it was the article out there about a study that was done correlating longevity with a number of sports, with people who play tennis living the longest. People who play tennis probably tend to have a higher income, eat healthier etc. so that skews the results no doubt.

  4. We didn’t homeschool, choosing a private Christian school instead. But as a worker in my church’s children’s choir program, I usually have 2 or 3 homeschoolers in each year’s group of 20-24 third-graders. These kids are well-socialized, involved in sports, music, dance, Scouts or similar. They fit right in with the other kids in the class, but are better-behaved (in general, there have been a few that weren’t), have a wider range of interests, and are more comfortable conversing with adults. The homeschooled students who switch over to my kids’ school for high school mostly do quite well.

  5. Our children are homeschooled. They started in a Montessori school. When we moved to a rural location, we began homeschooling because the local public schools were not up to par. We estimate, based upon their test scores, that they are a couple grades ahead of their public school peers.

    We socialize our children in public sports programs and find that our children are very well behaved, very sportsmanlike.

    A few “hidden” benefits of homeschooling: (1) We can schedule vacations freely, including non-peak times at popular locations, (2) we can allow sick or rest days based upon a natural flow of events, without being accountable to public officials, (3) our children are getting a STEM-heavy education that is not accessible at most schools, and (4) we expect our children to be in college courses (maybe local community college) by the time they are in high school.

  6. My wife and I homeschool our 7 year old boy, and 4 year old girl. It’s fun to watch how different they do things, and the paces they learn things at. My son (7) does not read yet and they will probably both be reading around the same time. He’s learned how to climb a tree better than other kids his age though, and often scares adults with his adventurous ways. He also knows countless things about the Titanic. My daughter, however, is an artist and scholar in the making, and we have every intention of keeping them out of school until they decide differently on their own. It’s nice to bring them to group plays with likeminded parents who can watch them wrestle or fight with “toxic masculinity” running through their veins, just as those elephants too. When you leave kids to figure out some of these problems on their own, they learn how to deal with someone who’s too aggressive or rough in ways that can’t be taught with words. My wife does most of the work however, so I can’t speak about it as well as she can, but she loves it. It also drives her nuts, but we believe when they lead us into what they want to learn, it’s better for their future. It’s abouf them after all.

  7. Those elephants are too cute! Thanks for linking that article:)
    As a side note: Play fighting occurs among every mammal I’ve ever seen. Humans are no different and letting kids wrestle around with each other shouldn’t be seen as a problem. We can’t protect them from everything, no matter how much we might want to.

  8. Okay, so the article on overparenting in America – with the story about the pencil on that bus being viewed as dangerous? I live in that city, Fairfax, Virginia. It rings true. Last week, I was standing in line at a Costco, while my ten year old stood with my four year old maybe twelve feet away from me and the person behind the counter asked me wherey children had gone because she had seen them with me a moment before. It’s insane. I can’t leave my kids directly unsupervised for a second without getting nailed by a at stranger in some way. Thankfully, I live in an incredible neighborhood where kids roam almost entirely freely from house to house and in the woods and the park, but that is not the norm in Fairfax. Most kids here are supervised and chaperoned and scheduled to death.

  9. Oh, and I also homeschooled for two years. It was intense, absolutely wonderful at times, absolutely exhausting, and I both miss and don’t miss it. I’m a high school teacher, now, and I have worked for years with students who have been homeschooled. I see many benefits, and it does fit in well with a more primal life style. Y boys could spend much time in the park, outside, moving. For me, it felt too long, intense and isolating to me. But it can certainly be a rich, natural learning experiences for children!

  10. In regards to home schooled children performing better than public school children, I would wonder how much of this is attributed to the educational equivalent of “healthy user bias”. Parents who place a higher value on their children’s education may either pass on a genetic aptitude for learning or place higher expectations on educational performance. My comment isn’t arguing for or against home schooling, only how we are drawing correlations based on the data.

    1. I’d like to point out that many people begin homeschooling when their kids are really struggling in school. Those kids are often very bright, but would get poor marks in school. Homeschooling can give young people space and time free from artificial performance and social pressures. We homeschooled our two sons. One has a computer science degree and a great full-time job. The other is working on a Visual Communications degree.

      1. so the picture is mixed. p.s. I don’t mean to imply that the outcomes for my two are “superior” in any way. People seem to be reassured when they hear of homeschoolers with post-secondary ed and/or good jobs. Success to me is harnessing that feeling of purpose.

  11. I am sceptical of the link between homeschooling and academic performance/open-mindedness. I might have missed them mentioning it, but did the study adjust for income? It seems to me that only the wealthier families –
    wherein one parent can afford to stay home – have the option of homeschooling. Higher income students perform better on average than their low-income peers across the board.

    1. I was homeschooled for 10 years. I went to highschool the middle of the sophomore year. I tested higher than senior level but had to take some freshmen, and sophomore classes for credits to graduate. Most of my homeschooled peers were pretty poor. They had to make their own clothes, raise, or grow their own food, and often their parents (usually the fathers) hunted for food. My family didn’t make their own clothes but everything we owned was either castoffs or bought second hand. My family made sacrifices to homeschool.Their big expenses were the curriculum ( similar to college text book prices). The only luxury that everyone had was a two parent household. I went to community college and I found the best performers were always the homeschooled kids. Regardless of how well they did as homeschoolers. It became a game for me to suss out the homeschooling kids. Leadership roles, and high academics were some of my clues. It was always a secret too, most of them wouldn’t just come out and state they were homeschooled ( there is still a social stigma after all).
      One of my jobs at the community college was too peer mentor the at risk students, most of those came from affluent family’s living in half a million dollar homes. Maybe those affluent kids had performed so poorly in highschool their parents were making them prove something in community college, or maybe it was something else… But the poor homeschooled kids always seemed to do better.

  12. Hey Mark,

    I love your Weekend Link Love posts. I am wondering how you collect the data for them weekly? How do you find all these great articles?

    Thanks, Hannah