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A life ordinary by Amit Sarkar - Issue #13

Amit Sarkar
Amit Sarkar
Hello friends,
Welcome to the first late edition of my newsletter. I have been busy with many things so couldn’t write the newsletter on time.
Last week my wife ran her second 10K run at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and improved her timing by more than 4 minutes which is a huge thing, especially since the track was not flat and had ups and downs.
It was also India and Pakistan’s 75th Independence day from British rule. So it was a huge moment of celebration for both countries.
Last week we also played Catan, our favourite board game, with our friends after a long time and it was so much fun. We love the game and always try to find an excuse to play it with others. Can’t recommend it enough.
I also ran the Bromley Parkrun, after 3 weeks, with my local friends. It was a perfect day with a pleasantly cool breeze and warm sunshine. I achieved my personal best at this event with a time of 24 mins 25 secs.
Temperatures in UK have been consistently hovering above 20°C with very little rain. I am increasingly getting worried about the future of our son. But on a positive note, we have registered our son in an Ofsted-rated outstanding nursery close to our home.
It’s incredible to see so many public institutions that take care, monitor, and govern the various sectors in the UK and keep it under check to ensure the maximum benefit for the wider public.

👑 Leadership principles
Amazon's Leadership Principles
We hold ourselves and each other accountable for demonstrating the Leadership Principles through our actions every day. Our Leadership Principles describe how Amazon does business, how leaders lead, and how we keep the customer at the center of our decisions. Our unique Amazon culture, described by our Leadership Principles, helps us relentlessly pursue our mission of being Earth’s most customer-centric company, best employer, and safest place to work.
A friend of mine recently started working at AWS and he shared with me these amazing principles that Amazon looks for when they interview anyone. They also live by these principles on a regular basis.
  1. Customer Obsession
  2. Ownership
  3. Invent and Simplify
  4. Are Right, A Lot
  5. Learn and Be Curious
  6. Hire and Develop the Best
  7. Insist on the Highest Standards
  8. Think Big
  9. Bias for Action
  10. Frugality
  11. Earn Trust
  12. Dive Deep
  13. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
  14. Deliver Results
  15. Strive to be Earth’s Best Employer
  16. Success and Scale Bring Broad Responsibility
When you read these principles they make so much sense. In order to grow a company as big as Amazon and as rapidly as Amazon you have to really focus on certain key things without which it’s difficult to grow. And these guiding principles for their leaders are really helpful.
I will endeavour to apply these in my work life as well.
👦🏽⏱️ Skincare routine
My Evidence-Based Skincare Routine
My Evidence-Based Skincare Routine
After watching this video from Ali Abdaal and also listening to my wife, I have started a skincare routine and I can definitely see the difference.
This video essentially talks about 4 skincare products that we should use daily
  • Moisturiser - to keep the moisture in skin
  • Cleanser - to clean the skin from oil and foreign particles
  • Sunscreen - to protect the skin from UVA (ages skin) and UVB (burns skin)
  • Retinol/Retinoid - to help skin cells reproduce faster
I haven’t tried retinols yet, but I have been using everything else on this list and I can safely say that it has definitely improved my skin and is also protecting it.
📷 Webcam like no other
Introducing Insta360 Link - The AI-Powered 4K Webcam
Introducing Insta360 Link - The AI-Powered 4K Webcam
I recently saw the review of the Insta360 link and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Some of its features which are game-changing are as follows -
  • It’s a 4K AI-powered webcam with a 3-axis gimbal which means the camera tracks and moves with you.
  • It can focus on objects that are closer to the screen and then refocus back on you.
  • It can focus top-down perfectly aligned which is amazing.
  • You can use gestures to control the camera like zoom in and out.
  • You can go into whiteboard mode and just show the whiteboard on the screen instead of the whole background.
  • You can shoot in portrait mode.
  • It has noise cancellation in its built-in mic.
  • There is a privacy mode where the camera turns down.
Talking about all these features makes me want to order it right away 😀. But I will wait till Black Friday to get a good discount.
📚 How the world really works
I resumed reading How the World Really Works by Vaclav Smil this week. I have finished about 16% of it on my Kindle and it has been very insightful.
Currently, I am reading about how we are eating fossil fuels.
But the modern world’s most important - and fundamentally existential - dependence on fossil fuels is their direct and indirect use in the production of our food. Direct use includes fuels to power all field machinery (mostly tractors, combines, and other harvesters), the transportation of harvests from fields to storage and processing sites, and irrigation pumps. Indirect use is much broader, taking into account the fuels and electricity used to produce agricultural machinery, fertilizers, agrochemicals (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides), and other inputs ranging from glass and plastic sheets for greenhouses, to global positioning devices that enable precision farming.
Below is a small list which outlines the amount of energy needed to produce a kilogram of it -
  • Chicken -> 300–350 mL of crude oil / kg
  • Bread -> 210–250 mL of crude oil / kg
  • Greehouse tomatoes -> 500 mL of crude oil / kg
  • Seafood -> 700 mL of crude oil / kg
Each of these foodstuffs has a different nutritional role (bread is eaten for its carbohydrates, chicken for its perfect protein, tomatoes for their vitamin C content) but none of them could be produced so abundantly, so reliably, and so affordably without considerable fossil fuel subsidies. Eventually, our food production will change, but for now, and for the foreseeable future, we cannot feed the world without relying on fossil fuels.
This is such an eye opener and made me realize how much energy is used to grow food. Imagine with the rising temperatures, if we keep spending this much energy on our food consumption, then what impact will it have on our environment?
Following on from this I also read an article in the Financial Times about the rise of methane in our atmosphere, which has a warming impact 80 times greater than CO₂. The future is getting warmer, one way or the other, and it’s important that we get prepared for it. Not by increasing heat emissions but by controlling them.
Thank you so much once again for reading my newsletter this week. Please feel free to Buy me a coffee if you are enjoying what I am sharing.
Until we meet again next week, please stay cool, stay hydrated, eat your local produce and save energy.
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Amit Sarkar
Amit Sarkar @amit_Sarkar007

Newsletters are the new form of blogging where instead of you coming to the blog, the blog comes to you. Every week I will aim to publish my newsletter to talk about things I have done, read, heard or watched. The idea behind this newsletter is to talk about my ordinary life in the hope that you might find something interesting in it.

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Bromley, Greater London, United Kingdom