Tyler Cowen reviews his time management tips

19 Sep

Blogger Tyler Cowen reviews and extends his time management tips. He adds three new rules:

“6. Don’t drink alcohol. Don’t take drugs.
7. At any point in your life, do not be watching more than one television show on a regular basis.
8. Don’t feel you have to finish a book or movie if you don’t want to.”

One of my favorite sources for time management advice is Zen Habits. Here is a recent entry.

Here are some ideas from LifeHacker:


How to memorize a formula

18 Sep

Yesterday, I blogged about a mnemonic for learning the quadratic equation. Here is an excellent video that teaches a general mnemonic technique for formula memorization:



Using a summaries in your foreign language study to increase retention and understanding

18 Sep


How summaries can help language learning.

Originally posted on Self Taught Japanese:

In a previous blog post I discussed how the element of necessity makes the brain more active in the learning process, increasing retention and understanding of foreign language.

One little trick I discovered is that if you are planning on giving a summary to someone about some media you are consuming (article, podcast, movie, etc.) then  suddenly you have some necessity and the above effect kicks in.

For example, if you are listening to a podcast in a foreign language, promise to yourself you’ll give a summary of that podcast to someone in the same foreign language. If nobody is available you can just write a blog entry about it, and even if you don’t publish the entry publicly it will have some effect.

Without some sort of external goal, you mind has less reason to really focus on each and every word, and less motivation to remember specific words later…

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Quadratic formula mnemonic

17 Sep


Going through some of my notes I rediscovered this mnemonic for the quadratic formula:

From square of b, take 4ac;
Square root extract, and b subtract;
Divide by 2a; you’ve x, hooray!

I am not sure of the origins of this mnemonic. The earliest version I could find was from J. S. Mackay in 1894, but he says the mnemonic was given to him by a member of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society.

Here’s another mnemonic for the quadratic formula:




And let’s not forget the Quadratic Formula Rap:


Learn a language at any age

16 Sep

A great piece in the Guardian, “Am I too old to learn a new language?” The answer is no.


‘Despite the difficulties, Black regards learning foreign languages as fun, and treats the endeavour like a puzzle that has to be solved. “I’m doing it partly to keep my brain active,” he says. “When you have some success and can express yourself, it feels like you’re using different parts of your brain that you weren’t using before.”

Indeed, research shows that bilingual children use the same brain regions for both languages if they are learned during childhood, whereas learning a second language later on in life recruits different regions from those involved in using one’s mother tongue. And learning a foreign language, much like learning to play a musical instrument, does indeed appear to be a good way of exercising one’s brain, and keeping it healthy, throughout life.’

Here is an interesting TED talk on language learning and teaching:

2 Alcohol Health Benefit Myths Busted!

16 Sep


“The evidence about the possible health benefits of alcohol has always been uncertain .”

Originally posted on The Zeit:

glass of red wine on carpet

The evidence about the possible health benefits of alcohol has always been uncertain .
Photo by Grant Cochrane

According to popular belief moderate alcohol consumption may provide the following health benefits:

  1. Reduce the risk of developing and succumbing to heart disease
  2. Possibly reduce the risk of ischemic stroke

The evidence about the possible health benefits of alcohol has always been uncertain and alcohol may not benefit everyone who drinks it.

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Cat versus lemon

16 Sep


This is why the Internet exists.

Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

The citrus must be smited! Repeatedly.

h/t: Su

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