Around the web – Highlights Week 41

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Around the web – Highlights Week 41

A list of the articles I read this week (41) and the highlights I made for them. (Last week)


Toxic Habits: Overthinking

  • Rumination is thinking (and thinking and thinking) about something upsetting, but in a passive way, without actually taking action.
  • Rumination makes people think they are working on a problem, but not only does rumination not produce solutions, it also exacerbates the problem. All that thinking takes up time and energy individuals could spend fixing the problem.
  • In fact, those who ruminate develop major depression at four times the rate of those who don’t ruminate. It’s like a hamster running frantically on a wheel, exhausting itself without actually going anywhere.


Pluto’s moon Charon shows fractured surface, signs of recent activity


  • Charon is the largest moon relative to its planet in the entire Solar System, but that still means it’s quite small, at about 1,200 kilometers across.
  • Chief among them: a canyon/fracture system that stretches across the entire face of the moon and presumably extends to the far side. That means it’s easily in excess of 1,200km long.
  • “It looks like the entire crust of Charon has been split open,”
  • South of the fracture, the terrain becomes relatively crater-poor, indicating a recent remodeling of the surface there. That in turn implies some source of internal heat in Charon, just as there appears to be in Pluto.


How the Five “Love Languages” Can Help You Win at Relationships

  • but there’s a reason this whole love language thing has taken off: it makes a lot of sense, and it works. In fact, you don’t really need to read the book to understand the concept.
  • In the field of linguistics a language may have numerous dialects or variations. Similarly, within the five basic emotional love languages, there are many dialects….The important thing is to speak the love language of your spouse.
  • The five languages are pretty straightforward, but here’s a brief description of what each of them mean:
    • Words of Affirmation: Expressing affection through spoken affection, praise, or appreciation.
    • Acts of Service: Actions, rather than words, are used to show and receive love.
    • Receiving Gifts: Gifting is symbolic of love and affection.
    • Quality Time: Expressing affection with undivided, undistracted attention.
    • Physical Touch: It can be sex or holding hands. With this love language, the speaker feels affection through physical touch.
  • You can probably figure out what your language is by simply giving it a little thought, but Chapman offers a 30-question quiz on his website
  • When you realize what your partner does and doesn’t care about, you can empathize better.
  • Your reasons for fighting make a little more sense. When you understand why you’re fighting, you’re in a better position to come up with a solution.
  • You Can Use Love Languages for Other Relationships, Too


How to Improve Your Character Stats and Level Up in Real Life

  • Strength (STR)
  • Dexterity (DEX)
  • Constitution (CON)
    • is a slightly more abstract concept, but it represents your character’s health and stamina. It determines how many “hit points” your character has before they die, determines their resistance to poison, and gives them energy to keep going when they have a flail embedded in their shoulder. In the real world, you’re more likely to encounter constitution when you’re trying to tolerate physical pain or boost your immune system. Heck, even eating better can increase your constitution…because, you know, it makes you less likely to die from a heart attack
  • Intelligence (INT)
  • Wisdom (WIS)
    • Not to be confused with intelligence, the somewhat confusing wisdom skill determines things like willpower, common sense, and perception. It serves similar functions in both the D&D world and the real world, like detecting when someone’s lying or exercising self-control. In fact, willpower is an extremely useful skill when you’re trying to build new, healthy habits. And while it isn’t easy to increase the amount of willpower you have, you can ensure that you’re making efficient use of the willpower you have. To use another RPG metaphor: think of it like magic points. “Spend” them where they’re most important, because when you run out, you’re screwed.
  • Charisma (CHA)
    • is exactly what it sounds like, and it’s just as useful in the real world as it is in fantasy land. Contrary to popular belief, charisma isn’t something you’re born with: it’s a skill that you can develop by being expressive with your body and your voice. Good charisma also means engaging with others, and knowing when to listen instead of talk. Confidence makes a big difference here, too. The benefits of charisma go beyond “being liked”, too. Just like in the land of Dungeons & Dragons, having charisma means being more persuasive and being a better leader, which are invaluable at work and at home.


LibreOffice Being Ported To The Web Browser Via EmScripten – Phoronix

  • A port of LibreOffice to EmScripten has started for compiling this office suite into optimized JavaScript for web browsers.
  • This commit adds the initial porting of EmScripten so at least the build system is there.
  • This Wiki page details the ongoing work of porting LibreOffice to EmScripten with the eventual goal of running it in a web browser. As of today’s code, the configure setup runs but a lot of external modules still need to be supported.


Fill in Allen Bolts with Wax to Deter Bike Seat Thieves

  • Coming out to your bike and finding the seat missing or a wheel gone is the worst, and replacing it is expensive.
  • Fill each Allen bolt’s head with wax or bike grease, then push a BB or ball bearing into it. Now anyone who wants to steal your seat (or wheels) has to remove the wax first, standing there scraping it (and the bearing) out before they can take the seat and run.


If You’re Going to Multitask, At Least Do It Right

  • The Benefits of Multitasking despite its known cognitive downsides, multitasking does something you can never underestimate when it comes to our work: it keeps us interested.
  • Staying interested means staying motivated, and that’s the toughest part of the battle.
  • Multitask at the Right Times
    • Consider multitasking to be a tool that goes in your tool box.
    • No two people are the same, so knowing when it’s appropriate to multitask is largely up to the way you work.
  • Limit Yourself to Two Big Tasks at Once
    • While research has shown that your brain isn’t good at focusing on multiple tasks simultaneously, your brain might benefit from switching focus between a limited number of tasks.
    • found that bouncing back and forth between two tasks came at little cost to focus and task efficiency for participants. The trick, as Koechlin explains to Scientific American, is to make sure that the tasks are worthwhile
    • This also gives you the opportunity to give your brain a break. Working on two tasks at once lets you shift gears from one task to the other when you get frustrated, stumped, or need a breather from one task. If you hit a wall, you can shift to the other task and keep your productivity train chugging.
  • Layer the Right Kinds of Tasks Together
    • Layering your tasks with other compatible tasks not only makes multitasking possible, but it actually makes it more productive than single-tasking


Why Coworkers Steal Each Other’s Stuff (and What You Can Do About It)

  • The solution to this common problem could be very simple: Post reminders around problem areas (“Please don’t eat someone else’s food”), make it harder for people to steal things (lock away your headphones), and perhaps put up a camera or otherwise make it seem like workers are being watched.


Four Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Healthier Person

  • Truth #1. You Alone Are Responsible For Your Health and Fitness. Not Your Genes.
  • Truth #2. When You Fail, It’s Because You’re “Lazy”
    • You failed, because in some way—mental or emotional—you were lazy. You lacked the humility or drive to examine your habits, then adjust and sustain them.
  • Truth #3. You Probably Know Less Than You Think About Health and Fitness
  • Truth #4. You Are Too Sensitive About Your Existing Beliefs
    • The recommendations were explicitly created to break their respective patterns of failure. Yet, I’m met with a common response: “These are my beliefs. I know best.” They are no different from Claire in the example above.
    • People are unnecessarily sensitive about their beliefs. They take pride in them, which only leads to resistance to change, rather than disassociating beliefs from their sense of self. Of course, this isn’t always possible, such as with beliefs that make up your core principles. For example, while not everyone shares this belief, I am a strong believer in gay marriage. This belief is part of my personal moral code.
  • Take responsibility for your health, but be kind to yourself.
  • Introspect, rather than blame, for times that you have failed, and make sure to exhibit self-compassion.
  • Realize there is much to learn, and approach fitness with an open mind.
  • Disassociate yourself with your beliefs, and realize this is fitness, not religion we’re talking about.


Clear Out Clutter By Thinking of Every Possession as a Relationship

  • Our possessions are more psychological than physical. What a thing is much less important than what it does to your mind when you own it. But it’s hard to see what each item does when you’re feeling the effect of a thousand such relationships at once. That’s why you need to audit every single object on its own, and why owning fewer things is better overall.
  • Probably the most common reason people keep things they’re not using is because they “have value”— meaning they once cost money. But the real value in things is the experience they create for us. Even things with a monetary value can lower the quality of our experience in a lot of ways, by making us feel guilty, taking up space, or keeping us preoccupied with goals we’re not really committed to. And the money is already gone anyway. The important question is always “What does it feel like to own this?” and you can have the answer in seconds when you hold it in your hands and ask.


Improving YouTube video thumbnails with deep neural nets

  • Video thumbnails are often the first things viewers see when they look for something interesting to watch.
  • first sample frames from the video at one frame per second. Each sampled frame is evaluated by a quality model and assigned a single quality score.
  • Among all the components, the quality model is the most critical and turned out to be the most challenging to develop. In the latest version of the thumbnailer algorithm, we used a DNN for the quality model.
  • So, what is the quality model measuring, and how is the score calculated?
  • judging the visual quality of a video frame can be very subjective – people often have very different opinions and preferences when selecting frames as video thumbnails.
  • Fortunately, on YouTube, in addition to having algorithmically generated thumbnails, many YouTube videos also come with carefully designed custom thumbnails uploaded by creators.
  • We consider these custom thumbnails from popular videos as positive (high-quality) examples, and randomly selected video frames as negative (low-quality) examples.
  • We trained a DNN on this set using a similar architecture to the Inception network in GoogLeNet that achieved the top performance in the ImageNet 2014 competition.
  • Results
    • In a human evaluation, the thumbnails produced by our new models are preferred to those from the previous thumbnailer in more than 65% of side-by-side ratings.


Men Are Attracted to Nonconformist Women

  • Men are often advised to stand out from the crowd to attract women—there can be only one alpha male. Women, on the other hand, are told not to be too weird
  • In the new work, which studied subjects who identified as either heterosexual or bisexual, both women and men preferred nonconformist partners—those whose clothes, opinions or life decisions broke the norm—when selecting from online dating profiles, describing ideal partners or picturing dates with people they had just met. Men showed just as much interest as women in oddballs (and in one experiment, in fact more interest), even though subjects predicted women would like misfits more. Further, independent-minded people—in the U.S., the U.K. and India—reported more success in both short- and long-term dating. Other research has shown breaking rules to be a good indicator of status and power, which may explain part of its appeal for both sexes, but gender role expectations have yet to catch up.


Why Mosquitoes Like Some People More Than Others

  • You might’ve experienced this before. You hang out outdoors with a group of friends, but you alone leave with multiple mosquito bites while everyone else gets away scot-free.
  • It turns out that this attraction is largely based on genetics, blood type, and even your sweat—but also includes your scent and even how much beer you drink while you’re hanging out with those friends! (Spoiler alert: eating bananas to ward off mosquitoes is a myth.)


Distinguish Between Goals and Fantasies When Planning Your Future

  • Visualizing goals is perfectly fine, but excessively fantasizing is a grave mistake. Instead of setting “goals” around lofty outcomes, work on tangible, actionable things that can affect the here and the now.


Aim to Be the Rock Star While Interning or Working Entry Level Jobs

  • Even if you’re assigned to fetch coffee or do grunt work, working to impress your bosses will give you the opportunity to move up quickly.
  • By the last day of your internship, your boss should be begging for you to stay. She should be saying things like, “What are we going to do without you?” That is a lasting impression. That is a reference nailed.


By |2015-10-11T10:31:42+00:00October 11th, 2015|Allgemein, Lifehacker, Technology|0 Comments

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