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My Google+ Account October 6, 2011

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Just a note that I’ve moved a lot of my blogging to Google+, but I intend to keep using WordPress as a repository for my “greatest hits”.

Why taking notes (especially by hand) matters April 23, 2011

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Lectures work best if you take notes, especially by hand. Note-taking prevents information from going “in one ear and out the other” because, like discussion, you activate more areas of your brain as you take notes; think of it as having a discussion with your notebook; I don’t know anyone who can write as fast as a lecturer talks, so you have to be constantly deciding what to write down instead of letting your mind drift around. This doesn’t just work at school. When I go to a baseball game (for pleasure, anyway, rather than to schmooze with clients), I try to get a scorecard and track every play. I’ve found that I remember the details of those games much better that the ones where I kicked back and drank a beer. (And I remember *any* game that I actually attended better than the ones I watch on TV, so try to actually attend class, not depend on someone else’s retransmission.)

Baseball scorecards are optimized for taking notes on baseball games. Likewise, at a lecture you should use Cornell Notes, a tools optimized for taking notes at lectures. There are thousands of web site dedicated to this, so research it yourself at http://www.google.com/search?q=%22cornell+notes%22.

Finally, if you don’t believe me then look at what others have to say. For example, http://brainz.org/brain-hacks/ claims (in bullet point 3) that “Taking notes by hand instead of typing them, will help you retain the information more effectively, as the pressure points activated by holding a pen are linked to the creative and memory centers of the brain.” If that sounds a bit unbelievable, research reported at http://www.mpiweb.org/magazine/pluspoint/20110124/Taking_Notes backs up the claim.

 

More NYTimes articles March 26, 2011

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The new York Times is changing its online access model. People will now be able to access up to 20 articles per month via their computer for free. They will also be able to access the day’s top stories via their smart phones for free.
http://mobile.nytimes.com/article?a=762434

So I am moving my favorites list from my smart phone to this webpage so I can easily access them via a computer. You will find these to be an eclectic mix. Some are for myself, some are for my wife, and some are for my children. I hope you enjoy them.

VITAL SIGNS
Risks: Fewer Heart Problems Among Moderate Drinkers
By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
http://nyti.ms/ieCWgc

SUSTAINABLE LOVE
The Happy Marriage Is the ‘Me’ Marriage
By TARA PARKER-POPE
http://nyti.ms/fcOlqU

German Military Braces for Scarcity After ‘Peak Oil’
By JOHN COLLINS RUDOLF
http://nyti.ms/b3KjRn

CASES
It Was Benign, but Almost Killed Him
By JENNIFER S. CHANG, M.D.
http://nyti.ms/glWYxj

OP-ED COLUMNIST
The Genteel Nation
By DAVID BROOKS
http://nyti.ms/aAC4Ub

PERSONAL HEALTH
What We’re Not Looking After: Our Eyes
By JANE E. BRODY
http://nyti.ms/fRxYat

CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK
Light Out, Huck, They Still Want to Sivilize You
By MICHIKO KAKUTANI
http://nyti.ms/gzdTyo

Just Manic Enough: Seeking Perfect Entrepreneurs
By DAVID SEGAL
http://nyti.ms/dtVoZi

MIND
Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits
By BENEDICT CAREY
http://nyti.ms/cPHCsv

A Physicist Solves the City
By JONAH LEHRER
http://nyti.ms/edeiaB

10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology
By SAM GROBART
http://nyti.ms/glBYJz

PERSONAL HEALTH
What to Do Now to Feel Better at 100
By JANE E. BRODY
http://nyti.ms/cjFp8Z

VENTURE PHILANTHROPY | RWANDA • CONGO • NEPAL
D.I.Y. Foreign-Aid Revolution
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
http://nyti.ms/9xX3V9

Business Class Rises in Ashes of Caste System
By LYDIA POLGREEN
http://nyti.ms/bm93Py

Effort to Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum
By HILARY STOUT
http://nyti.ms/hsChQK

Theora vs H.264 January 21, 2011

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Here’s a Reddit discussion from about a year ago of the technical merits of Theora. It features several people who actually implement codecs for a living, so it’s pretty in depth, as opposed to “Theora is inferior for technical reasons” and “probably isn’t of sufficient quality”. The Executive Summary: Theora *was* designed with hardware in mind (albeit not “modern” hardware) and is roughly equivalent to the way H.264 is normally used.

posting via email March 5, 2010

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This is a test. Makeuseof.com has recently pointed out that you can use Google Voice to phone in your blog posts, so I’m setting things up for that.

Wild turkeys! January 24, 2009

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Two of my kids and I took our first hike of the year along Grant’s Trail last week. We started at the eastern end and walked a little over a mile to Trailnet‘s office. On the way there, we surprised a flock of turkeys. (more…)

A photo of Bill Blass December 26, 2008

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The NYT has an article on the discontinuation of the Bill Blass collection. I’m not all that interested in the world of high couture, but I was intrigued by the black-and-white photo of Mr Blass that accompanied the article. (more…)

Hearty stew recipe December 8, 2008

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This is a very approximate recipe, as I wasn’t the cook.  We made it during while brewing beer a week ago. (more…)

Big Homebrewing Rig December 1, 2008

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A few years ago, my friends John and Dave decided they wanted to brew large batches of beer.  So they built a really big rig.  Every time they brew, they invite a few friends and neighbors to help out.  I’ve been coming for a few years now.  This time, John explained everything to Glenn, a first time visitor.

A few good beers December 1, 2008

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Every so often, I get invited to a friend’s house to brew some beer.  Being a good guest, I try to bring an interesting gift.  This time I procrastinated until late the night before, then ran to Friar Tuck, a local beverage store.  Wandering the aisles, I finally found some Bourbon County Stout by Goose Island Beer Company.  This is a seriously good beer, at a serious price.  A four-pack was almost $20, but I have to say it’s worth every penny.  The first sniff confirms what the label tells you, that this beer was aged in bourbon barrels.  And it’s so thick and dark it makes a Guiness look like an ale.  Buy one of these, you’ll not regret it.