Researchers have analysed the somniloquies of the world’s most prolific sleep talker

12 Feb

Alzheimer’s Research UK: sharetheorange video

12 Feb

More on speed reading

10 Feb

Last week I blogged on speed reading.

One interesting area of research is rapid serial visual presentation  (RSVP) of words. Unfortunately, while RSVP can significantly increase reading speed for short texts, the available evidence suggests that comprehension suffers for longer texts.

However, here is a Quantified Self video making the case for RSVP

Kyrill Potapov: Finding My Optimum Reading Speed from Quantified Self on Vimeo.

Toxic algae blooms and dementia

8 Feb

Living on the shores of Lake Erie, I am very much aware of the dangers of toxic algae blooms. Here is a recent article on the hypothetical link between these blooms and human diseases including dementia.

“We have discovered that chronic exposure to an environmental toxin triggers Alzheimer’s-type pathology in the brain,” he told CBS News. “Thus people can reduce their risk of disease simply by avoiding exposure to cyanobacteria in harmful algal blooms or contaminated foodstuffs.”

You can find the original paper here. One interesting note is the potential protective effect of the amino acid L-serine.

All time best Trader Joe’s hack

5 Feb

Just like everyone else, I like Trader Joe’s product, but hate shopping there. Last Sunday, while my son was in Barnes and Noble, I thought I would stop in the nearby Trader Joe’s and pick up a few items. The store was so packed and noisy that I left without purchasing everything.

Now Daniel Engber of Slate has the best life hacking tip for shopping at TJ’s: don’t.

World’s longest running battery

3 Feb

I first read about the Clarendon Dry Pile, also called the Oxford electric bell,  decades ago. It was turned on in 1840 and is still ringing today!


Brain function differs in obese children and mindfulness may help.

1 Feb

A paper in the journal Heliyon titled: “Imbalance in resting state functional connectivity is associated with eating behaviors and adiposity in children.”

The authors write:

“We hypothesized that unhealthy eating habits and adiposity among children are associated with functional connectivity between brain regions associated with impulsivity, response inhibition, and reward.”

You can find a good summary here.

One interesting note:

“Our results indicate the importance of identifying children at risk for obesity for earlier intervention. In addition to changing eating habits and physical activity, strategies that normalize neural functional connectivity imbalance are needed to maintain healthy weight. Mindfulness may be one such approach as it is associated with increased response inhibition and decreased impulsivity.”




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