Friday, January 22, 2010
Don't let the title fool you. This is a song of peace. I have started out every morning this week with this one from Shontelle, "Battle Cry "- positive, uplifting, good vocals and a great beat...this will put a smile on your face and go ahead let your body move to it. What ever happened to Shontelle? I love this tune and want to here more from her. What is she up to today, I think this song is Ocotber '08 - just before the electionAnother Big notable is this quote from Greg Mortensen's "Three Cups of Tea", written in the fall of 2003Former Brigadair General Bashir of Pakistan, " As a military man, I know you can never fight and win against someone who can shoot you once and run off and hide while you have to remain eternally on guard. You have to attack the source of your enemy's strength. In America's case, that is not Osama or Saddam or anyone else. The enemy is ignorance. The only way to defeat that is to build relationships with these people, to draw them into the modern world with education and business. Otherwise the fight will go on forever." Yup.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Brain Rules is a book written by John Medina where he goes through 12 principles called brain rules describing how our brain works and how to improve our life based on those principles. John is a molecular biologist who spent his whole life studying how the brain works, and in the book he shares what scientists know for sure about the human brain.
In this article I want to share five powerful lessons I’ve learnt from Brain Rules. Most of them are common sense for many people, yet they are rarely applied in our everyday life.
- Exercise. Everyone knows that exercise is good for our body, but few know it’s good for our brain too. Cardio exercises are extremely healthy because they improve our cardio-vascular system which in turn helps the oxygen to flow in our body. Many studies have shown that exercise is good for preventing aging and common diseases, but also brain performance. The good news is that it doesn’t matter how old you are and if you haven’t exercised regularly until now, as our body can easily adapt and you can see dramatic improvements by starting to exercise regularly now.
- Repeat. If you want to remember something, all you have to do is repeat it. Repeating helps both on remembering new information, but also in integrating new habits. When you are doing something new, your brain doesn’t know how to do it, so it seems un-natural at first for you to do it, but when you keep repeating it for some time, your brain will eventually store your movements and actions into long-term memory, and it’ll become easier and easier for you to do the same thing was previously resulting difficult to do.
- Sleep well. It’s amazing how bad most people sleep. Sleep is essential for our brain to process information, and some studies have shown that by cutting sleep to less than 7 hours per day, your cognitive performance can drop from the top 10% to the bottom 10%. 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day, plus an afternoon nap are the amount of sleep needed by most people. A study at nasa has shown that an afternoon nap of 26 minutes can increase performance of 34%.
- Integrate all senses. It’s true that sight is the sense that we use the most, but all the other senses are equally important. When you use more than one sense, you are accelerating your learning process because your brain can capture information from multiple sources, thus creating new connections in your brain. Multi-sensoring has also been used in many businesses, especially with smell, to recreate particular emotions when needed (think of coffee smell).
- Be Curious. Curiosity is the most important thing when it comes to learning. When you are a child, you learn new things because you are curios to see how everything works. You don’t just read the instructions of a toy (chances are you can’t even read), but instead you try to do everything you can think of with your toy. We can learn from children and apply the lesson in our everyday life. When we want to learn something new, we don’t just have to read the manual, but we should also experiment and interact directly with what we are learning if we really want to grasp the subject.
There’s still a lot to learn about how our brain works, but we can apply what we already know to improve the quality of our life. unfortunately most of these basic principles are not known by the people who are supposed to be teaching us, so it’s up to us to learn and apply them.
If you are interested, the book also talks about stress, memory, gender, wiring, attention, and more.-->
I love number 3 - sleep well. I can always tell if I have slept well by the way I feel when I wake up. This is a biggie folks and I bet we are all missing that one. And so I bid you a good night...now go get some sleep
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
All these delicious fun facts from the safety of the living room... not bad for a days work.
Monday, January 18, 2010
So, Last FM and LaLa....
These two I don't know, Last Fm just didn't do it for me...so much re-dux of the same old thing and this one kicks you right into a video player...so as far as getting work done, wasn't happening. Although nice layout on the history of the artist and for me personally there's something about red that I find to distracting to leave on at work. Which reminds me one last criticism of Jango..the player plays only one song if the window is not open on top in your browser big boo for multi-tasking.
And LaLa....please. I know this one get lots of props from the folks at work and Jobs just bought it but c'mon ...way too complicated. I don't know I even tried but you open an account and get some kind of free points that expire, I have no idea what you're supposed to do with them though because I tried to make a play list and somehow accidently burned a few points just putting the list together and not even playing the songs. As if that weren't enough you can only play the song 1x all the way through or maybe that's when you use the points to play it again...I don't know. And then the when I went back I still had the play list but it wouldn't play automatically, and it kept making new playlists...I guess because I had played some of the songs once. So as it turns out I can name a playlist and select artists but I couldn't keep and play the exact songs...so at first I was super psyched to get an exact song list free to stream..but then it turns out ...not really...only once and for the effort of creating the thing...I get nothing. I'd rather just hit play and let it roll right out of the gate. And what were those damn points for anyway?? And if Apple thinks I am going to pay them to stream tunes I have already bought...or some such guff...I got one word for you....Google.
Finally my current favorite...or what was going to be my new favorite....Slacker radio. Very nice design in black. Standard type in artist's name and start playlist. I like this one also because it actually doesn't play videos right away unless I choose too...which really helped in terms and getting going and getting out. But the best thing about Slacker is that the playlist that was auto generated was awesome. I went for a list I called Pop Boys...starting with Train and got all these bands I like...Counting Crows, Wallflowers, Sheryl Crow...I had totally forgotten about the Wallflowers, Collective Soul, Maroon 5, Jason Mraz...John Mayer who I can only take in very small doses. Then I mellowed it out some by putting in Jack Johnson and they suggested the Grateful Dead! The Dead, how awesome....."what a long strange trip it's been". The app played seamlessly in the background and played hits, not Bsides and mixed them well so that it never went from Blues Traveller to say those jarring Modest Mouse tunes. Nicely done. The problem seems to be bandwidth. I couldn't get on last night and even as I type this whole post is is still loading. Bummer. So it is Last FM today who has the last word. C'mon Slacker... get off the couch and let's go!