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Memory champion Nelson Dellis recommends his favorite tools

13 Nov

Paying crows to clean up cigarette butts

1 Nov

From FastCompany:

“If a bird drops a cigarette butt in the machine’s funnel, a camera will verify that it’s a cigarette, and then the machine will automatically dispense a small piece of food. They expect the birds to learn quickly.”

“Group work is overused in schools”

30 Oct

From The Guardian:

The limitations of group work have really struck me when I’ve taken part in professional development sessions using this approach. At the end of the day everyone would put their work up on the wall and what was depressing was that it all looked drearily alike – there wasn’t a spark of a good idea.

Psychiatric Disorders and Brain pH

27 Oct

From Scientific American:

There were earlier hints of the acid-disorder link: studies that directly measured pH—a metric of how acidic or basic something is—in dozens of postmortem human brains revealed lower pH (higher acidity) in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Multiple studies in the past few decades have found that when people with panic disorder are exposed to air with a higher than normal concentration of carbon dioxide—which can combine with water in the body to form carbonic acid—they are more likely to experience panic attacks than healthy individuals are. Other research has revealed that the brains of people with panic disorder produce elevated levels of lactate, an acidic source of fuel that is constantly generated and consumed in the energy-hungry brain.

If these findings hold up, there may be new avenues for treatment.


Horse facial expressions communicate information

25 Oct

An interesting PLOS paper describing The Equine Facial Action Coding System.

From the paper:

Horses are predominantly visual animals, with reasonable visual acuity that, at 23 cycles per degree, is better than domestic cats and dogs. While horses’ use of head and body posture in signaling has been described in observational literature, surprisingly their use of facial expressions has been largely overlooked. This is despite attempts to quantify facial expressions in horses’ close relatives, plains zebra (Equus quagga), and reports that horses do routinely use some apparently complex facial expressions (e.g. snapping and the estrous face, which both involve pulling back the lips and flattening of the ears)

(Hat tip to BoingBoing)


Memory palace video

6 Oct

I have been thinking about creating a new memory palace for myself. So from time to time I may post about this project. Here is a video on the memory palace technique:

Program for International Student Assessment ranks U.S. students 24th in Science Achievement

2 Oct

(Hat tip to BoingBoing)

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