Around the web – Highlights Week 01/16

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Around the web – Highlights Week 01/16

A list of the articles I read the last weeks (44/2015 – 01/2016) and the highlights I made for them. (Last week)


Clear Your Mind and Get Some Exercise With Walking Meditation

  • Spend some time walking around your town fully engaged in your surroundings. That means no earbuds, no mind wandering off thinking about whatever. Just meander around and engage with your environment. Say hello to random people on the street.
  • Just be present.
  • I like to think of this as “walking meditation…”
  • While you walk, clear your head, feel each breath as it goes in and out, and take notice of each step as you walk. As Mathieson suggests, if something in the environment demands your attention, go with it. If you want to make your walking meditation even more peaceful, leave your phone and other gadgets behind.


Four Advertising Tricks That Get Us To Buy Stuff We Don’t Need

  • Empowerment:
    • Think the “Dove Real Beauty” campaign, which used women’s empowerment to promote their brand.
  • Shared values:
    • Think REI’s “Opt Outside” campaign this past Thanksgiving. They encouraged people to enjoy the outdoors rather than shop, but it was excellent brand building for REI.
  • Celebrity:
    • Sofia Vergara in those Pepsi commercials.
  • Fear of missing out:
    • The video uses Budweiser commercials as an example. They show everyone else doing cool stuff and make you want that lifestyle, too.


US-Psychologe: Brainstorming funktioniert nicht

  • seine Erkenntnisse im Buch „Das Aha-Erlebnis“ zusammengefasst.
  • Unsere Interpretation ist die: Auf irgendeine Art spürt das Hirn, dass eine unbewusste Idee bereit ist, ins Bewusstsein zu dringen. Also schaltet es alle Ablenkungen ab, um das Signal-Rausch-Verhältnis zu verbessern.“
  • „Dabei haben wir in jeder einzelnen Studie festgestellt, dass plötzliche Einsichten genauere Lösungen brachten als ein analytisches Herangehen. Dabei hören die Leute nämlich oft zu früh mit dem Denken auf, um zu erkennen, dass ihre Lösung nicht korrekt ist. Aber unbewusste Prozesse kennen keinen Zeitdruck. Eine Idee dringt erst dann ins Bewusstsein, wenn der Vorgang abgeschlossen ist.“
  • Oft verhindert die Fokussierung auf eine analytische Lösung allerdings, dass intuitive Lösungen ins Bewusstsein dringen.
  • Um die Intuition hervorzulocken, empfiehlt Kounios altbekannte Maßnahmen wie Entspannung, Ablenkung und Abwechslung, kommt aber auch zu überraschenden Hinweisen: „Nachtmenschen sind am frühen Morgen am kreativsten und umgekehrt. Wenn Ihr Kreislauf auf dem Tiefpunkt ist, ist auch Ihr analytisches Denken heruntergefahren. Und dieser Mangel an Fokussierung erlaubt es, neue Ideen an die Oberfläche kommen zu lassen.“


Why We Sabotage Ourselves

  • Sometimes we set ourselves up for failure, and while we probably don’t even realize we’re doing this, there’s a reason for it: it’s comfortable
  • Happiness is something we assume we want, but in reality, we sometimes give it up in exchange for comfort.


Instead of Making Resolutions, Make a List of Your Successes and Fears

  • Why make a list of fears for new years? Before you even think about your goals you’ve got to confront your fears and understand how they hold you back. This confrontation starts with admitting to yourself what you’re afraid of, and then figuring out if the fear is rational, and how you can overcome.
  • Further, any hope of success requires that you’re open to change. It seems simple but this is the step that most people skip or avoid thinking about all together because change is terrifying. The known, even if it is miserable, is easier and even preferable for many than the uncertainty that comes with change.


How Creativity is a Numbers Game

  • First, creative geniuses simultaneously immerse themselves in many diverse ideas and projects. Second, and perhaps even more important, they also have extraordinary productivity. Creators create. Again and again and again. In fact, Simonton has found that the quality of creative ideas is a positive function of quantity: The more ideas creators generate (regardless of the quality of each idea), the greater the chances they would produce an eventual masterpiece.
  • Thomas Edison—one of the greatest inventors of all time—had roughly a one-third rejection rate for all the patents he led.
  • By taking on a range of projects, Simonton notes, “Edison always had somewhere to channel his his efforts whenever he ran into temporary obstacles—especially any long series of trials followed only by consecutive errors.”
  • One reason for variable quality is the need to innovate. All creators—whether inventors, actors, or choreographers—are under constant pressure to avoid doing things the exact same way. In this quest for originality, creative geniuses fail and fail often. Indeed, the creative act is often described as a process of failing repeatedly until something sticks, and highly creative people learn to see failure as simply a stepping-stone to success. Doing things differently sometimes involves doing things badly or wrong.
  • As many Harry Potter fans know, the first book in Rowling’s series was rejected by twelve publishers before being accepted by Bloomsbury—and only then because the chairman’s eight-year-old daughter insisted on it.
  • “Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.”


How to Be a Good Listener When Someone Needs to Vent

  • Letting someone vent off their frustrations makes you a good friend, a caring family member, and a comforting significant other. Being a good listener, however, often requires a little more effort than nodding your head while they rant. You need to make the people you care about feel comfortable, understood, and validated.
  • Open the Floodgates and Make Them Feel Comfortable can sometimes be as easy as demonstrating
  • you ask a few simple questions. If your significant other is noticeably irritated about something, for example, start with something like
    • “Have I done something to bother you?” If you are the cause, you’ve now shown initiative and have the power to fix it. If not, follow up with questions in the realm of
      • “Are you upset about something?”
      • “Is there something that’s bothering you?”
  • Helping someone vent is like opening a flood gate, and your job is to help them safely empty large reservoirs of emotion, anger, stress, and frustration
  • If you try too hard to calm them down or hold them back, you’ll run the risk of trivializing their complaints and making them feel worse.
  • Be an Active Listener
    • The key is to listen and respond in ways that show you’re listening by repeating back key information like names or previous parts of the story. This practice is known as “reflective listening.” However, try to avoid sounding like a parrot on their shoulder
    • Also, you shouldn’t ever try to change the subject.
    • respect their pauses According to the Red Cross
    • offering non-verbal encouragement can help keep your friend comfortable venting. A nod, a genuine smile, and even an “mmm” or “huh” can go a long way in showing that you’re still engaged.
    • Remember, the more they can let out, the faster their emotional pressure will stabilize and the sooner they’ll feel better.
    • incorporate an occasional “dangling question.” Say something like “So, your family makes you feel…?”
  • Understanding Is More Important Than Fixing
    • More often than not, the person venting is looking for validation and understanding, not specific solutions
    • Let the venting person feel whatever they’re feeling.
    • If the venting person wants your help, they’ll ask for it.
    • If a coworker is too shy or uncomfortable to ask, you can offer your services with an open question like “Is there anything I can do?”
  • Know When to Stop Them
    • While it’s good to let people vent, you should also have a limit. Listening to someone complain constantly can be toxic, and even lead to you venting to someone else about it—creating a chain of venting frustrations that may never end.
    • venting can feel like problem-solving to some
    • it can become an issue when viable ways of confronting their problems exist and they substitute venting for acting.
    • start incorporating a mental time limit for listening.
    • In a healthier relationship, it would be possible to say, “When you complain about things and aren’t willing to do anything about them, it frustrates me. I want to help you, but I only see you going around in circles.”
    • On the other hand, if you’re not close or on good terms with the person venting, Acosta notes that sometimes the only way out is usually to shut it down completely.
  • It’s good to be nice and offer to listen, but it’s important to protect your own mental state when people try to take advantage of your kindness.


Avoid Surprise Bowel Movements When Running by Changing Your Pre-Run Diet

  • Adjua Fisher at Philladelphia Magazine spoke with Dr. Christine Meyer to find out why running seems to make our bowels decide to evacuate.
  • It all comes down to two things:
    • serious runners tend to have a higher gastrointestinal motility (things move through faster), and when you run,
    • your body releases hormones that increase the sensitivity of your intestinal lining (which makes your gut become more easily irritable).
  • Meyer suggests a change in your pre-run diet can help you avoid any problems. Go for complex carbohydrates (like whole grains and vegetables) and protein (poultry, seafood, and some dairy) instead of simple carbs and fatty foods that are high on the glycemic index.
  • It’s also a good idea to try and take care of business before you go running, so drink some hot liquids to get things moving.


Scientists may have found formula for a painless existence

  • The sodium ion channel, called Nav 1.7, helps generate the electrical signals that surge through pain-related nerve cells. It’s known to play a key role in pain, but researchers’ past attempts to power-down its charged activities did little to soothe suffering.
  • In a bit of a shocking twist, researchers figured out why; the channel has a second, un-channel-like function— regulating painkilling molecules called opioid peptides. That revelation, published in Nature Communications, provided researchers with the know-how to reverse painlessness in a woman with a rare condition, plus make mice completely pain free.


Plan Your Cheat Meals with a “Risk vs. Reward” Mindset

  • Everything carries a risk-to-reward ratio. It varies for everyone, but the decision to stray far away from your diet can carry a certain amount of risk:
    • Losing control and binging
    • Feeling anxious and guilt
    • Losing motivation
    • Feelings of failure and general emotional turmoil
    • In extremely rare cases, temporary weight loss regression
  • You know yourself best; just be honest, using ideas of risk/reward, and avoid losing yourself in guilt, or worse, losing motivation.


Power Through Your Work With a “Forcing Function”

  • A forcing function is any task, activity or event that forces you to take action and produce a result. I believe the best way to work is to put ourselves into a position to execute. Essentially, forcing us to complete a task.
  • I do the same thing when I have a hard time getting over a work slump. Knowing the clock is ticking eliminates distractions you didn’t even know were bothering you. You’re supremely focused on the task at hand, and I find that I can get through my work in significantly less time.
  • That’s when I slam through a bunch of emails, get some serious planning done or design some new product features. There’s something magical about a 3 hour forced completion work session.


How to Read an Entire Book in a Single Day

  • Find the Perfect Reading Location
  • Read In Intervals and Keep Active
  • ego depletion
    • When you focus on one task for too long, you experience ego depletion, which is your mental energy, self-control, and willpower being wiped out. If you don’t take regular breaks, your motivation to keep reading will all but disappear, and that will mean game over for you.
    • Set a timer and read for 20 minutes, then do something active to keep yourself energized for 5-10 minutes. Think of it as the pomodoro method for reading.
  • Take Notes on Everything
    • Note everything! Words you don’t know, the things you read between the lines, character motivations, thoughts, and even how you feel emotionally about major plot points.
    • suggest you write an analytical book review that follows these four rules once you’ve finished reading:
      • Classify the book according to subject matter.
      • State what the whole book is about. Be as brief as possible.
      • List the major parts in order and relation. Outline these parts as you have outlined the whole.
      • Define the problem or problems the author is trying to solve.
  • Incorporate Audiobooks
    • For example, you could read for a couple of hours, download the audiobook and listen to it while you drive, shop, do house chores, and exercise, then return to your book once you have everything done.
  • Don’t Make Reading Marathons Your Go-To
  • Now, before you dive in, keep in mind that books aren’t generally meant to be read within a day.


Prototyping That’s Less Prone to Failure

  • Honda’s principles are known as “the three realities”, or sangen shugi:
  • Gen-ba
    • Physically go to the real location where the activity or problem is occurring. This could be a server room, a factory floor, a living room, inside a car on a summer road-trip – wherever you must go to gain firsthand knowledge.
  • Gen-butsu
    • Once at the location, carefully observe the conditions and begin to formulate a decision or recommendation.
  • Gen-jitsu
    • Support your decisions with data and information collected at the real location.
  • Six Sigma practitioners, place undue weight on the last reality, gen-jitsu, because their focus is on data-driven process efficiency.


Respond to Criticism With a “Thank You” to Get the Most Out Of It

  • If you want to get better feedback, and improve your reaction to it, respond to criticism with a heartfelt “Thank you.”
  • Delivering constructive criticism can be a challenge. Demonstrate your grace by thanking your boss or colleague for his or her honesty and professionalism when offering feedback. Ask for clarification if you have any questions. Consider thanking the person for his or her input.



The Secret to Better “Reflective Listening”: Use Your Own Words

  • When you practice reflective listening, don’t simply repeat the speaker’s words to her. Use your own words to show that you’ve absorbed the information.


Why Asking Good Questions Actually Makes You Seem Smarter

  • Researchers think it’s because people love a good ego boost. When you ask someone for their advice in a challenging situation, it makes that person feels smart. If the person feels smart, they think highly of you. And if they think highly of you, it makes you feel good and confident. It’s a nice cycle of circular ego boosting.


You Can’t Manage Emotions Without Knowing What They Really Are

  • To tackle the first problem: emotions are interpretations of feelings. While in everyday speech, “emotion” and “feeling” are often used interchangeably, psychologists distinguish between them.
  • The feelings you have (what psychologists call affect) emerge from your motivational system. You generally feel good when you are succeeding at your goals and bad when you are not. The more deeply your motivational system is engaged with a situation, the stronger your feelings.
  • In order to make sense of what you’re feeling, you use information about what’s going on in the world to help you translate those feelings into emotions – emotions help to guide your actions by giving you explicit feedback on how well you are currently achieving the goals the motivational system has engaged.
  • But things are not always so clear. You might have a bad interaction with a family member before getting to work. As the day wears on, you may interpret your negative feelings as a frustration for the project you’re working on rather than lingering negative affect from the events of the morning.
  • Many people try to power through their negative feelings rather than attempting to understand them. But this is a lost opportunity. Emotions provide valuable information about the state of your motivational system.
  • When you have negative feelings, slow down and pay some attention to what you are feeling and to help you understand why you are feeling the way you are.
  • When you find yourself stressed, anxious, or angry, take five or 10 minutes for yourself during the day. Sit alone and breathe deeply. The deep breaths help to take some of the energy or arousal out of the feelings you are having. That can help you to think more clearly.


Absolve Yourself of Guilt to Better Deal With Your Debt

  • routinely beating yourself over the head with the guilt of past mistakes doesn’t help your budget
  • Emotional overload can blind you to the fact that there is always a solution. It can debilitate your ability to find clarity and move to a better place.


Get People to Do You Tiny Favors by Giving Them a Reason—Any Reason

  • For the most part, people don’t mind helping out one another. If you’re asking for a favor, however, it never hurts to explain why. In fact, according to a classic study, your reason doesn’t even need to be a good one.
  • It suggests that people are more likely to do you small favors if you provide some sort of reason why, no matter how obvious the reason is. For example, participants in the study were more likely to let someone cut in line to use the office copier 90% of the time if the cutter had a reason why.


Make the Grieving Process Easier at Work by Being Upfront With Coworkers

  • When you’re trying to focus, the last thing you need is a reminder of the tragedy you’re dealing with. Morin suggests you tell your coworkers what you’re going through first thing.
  • Send out an email to thank them for their sympathies and let them know how you they can help. If you don’t want to discuss it at work, tell them so they know not to bring it up. If you want them to give you some space, ask that they only come to you with work related things. The earlier you can address things, the easier you’ll make it on yourself and the people you work with.


Schedule Like You’re in High School to Be Better Organized

  • But as I look back on my 16-year-old self, I realized the quantity of time wasn’t the issue, but rather the quality of it. It’s more about how I used that time, than the sheer quantity of the time, that ultimately determines what gets done.


How to Travel With a Friend Without Driving Each Other Nuts

  • Be Clear on Who Pays for What, and When
  • Plan a Basic Itinerary
    • “What is the number one thing you want to accomplish with this trip?” she asked. I just wanted to relax. “Okay, well I want to do some exploring,” she said. “Are you cool with me taking your car a couple of days on my own?”
  • Discuss Your Travel Styles
  • Share Responsibilities


How to Spot a Bad Boss During an Interview

  • One of the greatest predictors of your happiness at work is your relationship with your manager.
  • you should gather as much information as possible
  • “Failing to realize someone is a terrific boss is a very costly mistake, perhaps even more costly than failing to realize someone is a bad boss,” he says. Terrific jobs — and managers — are hard to find. Read on for tips on how to discern between the good managers and the bad.
  • Know what you’re looking for
    • there are three minimal conditions that must be met
    • Is this an honest person
    • Are you looking for someone who will stand back and let you run with your work?
    • can be an involved mentor?
  • Trust your instincts
    • It’s also important to check in with yourself throughout the process. Being laser-focused on getting the job can sometimes cloud your judgment.
    • ask yourself whether this is the job you want and the manager you want to work for.
    • ‘I should have known,’ because there are those small things that lead to a gut feeling we often ignore,”
    • observe how you’re handled as a candidate, from the quality of the information the manager gives you to the way he looks after you when you arrive for the interview.
  • Ask questions, but tread lightly
    • “People say an interview is a two-way process,” Lees says. “In practice, that doesn’t work very well.” The interviewer might misinterpret multiple questions about his management approach as disinterest in the job.
    • “What you should not do is ask direct questions, like ‘Tell me about your leadership style,’”
    • “What will I do on a day-to-day basis?” “How will I learn?” Phrasing your questions as if you already have the job will help the hiring manager create a mental picture of you in the role.
    • “Look for her willingness to engage in dialogue, rather than asking you pre-established questions,”
  • Do your homework
  • Meet the colleagues
    • After you’re offered a position, ask to spend a half-day with the company and your future team.
  • Principles to Remember
    • Do
      • Pay attention to how the manager treats you throughout the interview process
      • Research the manager, and if possible find former employees to ask for their perspective
      • Request to spend a half-day at the organization so you can interact with your potential colleagues and boss
    • Don’t:
      • Ignore your gut instincts about the manager as you go through the interview process
      • Ask direct questions about leadership style — you’re unlikely to get an honest answer, and they might signal that you don’t want the job
      • Neglect to look up your potential boss’s social media profiles


Four Resolutions that Got Me Out of My Comfort Zone This Year

  • You learn more: By exposing yourself to new information and experiences, you challenge your confirmation bias, the tendency to only seek out information you already know or agree with. Who wants to think they’re right all the time? That’s boring.
  • You’re more resilient: When you get used to being a hermit, it’s harder and harder to do uncomfortable things. Over time, even the simplest thing makes you uncomfortable. After working from home for a while, I found it hard to leave the house just to go to the grocery store. I was spoiled.
  • It can help time slow down: Not literally, but getting too comfortable in your routine does make
  • time feel like it’s flying by, and breaking out of your comfort zone is one way to counteract that.


How To Decode Any Whisk(e)y Label | VinePair

  • Age: basically, whiskey can age longer in a colder climate. A warmer climate, like a fire under a pot of water, will speed up the reactions that take place between spirit and barrel.
  • Scotch: All Scotch whisky has to be aged in oak barrels for at least 3 years
  • Irish Whiskey: Like Scotch, all Irish whiskey has to see 3 years in oak barrels.
  • Bourbon: To be called “bourbon” whiskey, there’s actually no aging minimum. True story.
  • Straight Bourbon Whiskey: This is where you can count on an age minimum: 2 years in charred new oak barrels. If it’s aged for fewer than 4 years, that age has to be stated on the bottle.
  • Japanese Whisky: Japanese whisky is at least spiritually modeled, if not produced quite the same as, scotch. So the minimum 3 years in oak—though it may be Mizuna oak—applies here.
  • Canadian Whisky: Once more, the minimum 3 year rule applies.


You Can and Should Be Eating Banana Peels

  • Not only are banana peels edible, but they’re pretty good for you, and contain fiber, vitamins C and B-6, potassium, and magnesium.


Obese Dad’s Sperm May Influence Offspring’s Weight

  • the research suggested that what our parents, or even grandparents ate—if they grew up during feast or famine—could actually affect ourrisk of heart disease and diabetes.
  • And they found that the heavyweights had epigenetic changes to their sperm—meaning additional chemical groups on their DNA that affect how genes are expressed. And many of those changes were to sequences known to affect brain development—including genes that regulate appetite.
  • But the changes were not permanent. Because when the researchers studied the sperm of men who underwent weight loss surgery, they found that many of those genetic alterations reversed post-surgery, especially the ones in areas related to appetite control.
  • The big question now is how much these epigenetic changes actually influence the next generation. Barres is now comparing fathers’ sperm to the cord blood of their babies, to find out.


Get Past Your Gut Reaction to Someone You Don’t Like by Imagining Someone You Do

  • When an adversary asks for a favor at work, criticizes you in conversation, or even just offers up a perfectly valid point, it’s easy to get grumpy about the whole affair simply because you don’t like them. Harvard Business Review suggests recalibrating your assumptions by reframing their points as if they’re coming from someone you actually like.
  • It’s a silly little mental trick, but it can work wonders. Essentially, it’s about removing the person you don’t like from the equation and substituting in someone you do like. The result gets rid of you prejudices and hopefully on your way to something more constructive.
  • Sure, that adversary might still be a jerk, but at the very least, you’ll now have a better chance of getting something productive out of the whole experience.


Get People to Do What You Want With These 11 Clever Psychological Tricks

(c) by Lifehacker


How a Fast Casual Chain Shows Employees Their Work Matters

  • But I was recently reminded that it’s actually not that hard. You just have to look for and seize every opportunity to make your people feel valued and purposeful in their work.
  • We’d reminded them that they are our most important brand ambassadors. We’d made them feel valued.


Why Managers Are More Likely to Be Depressed

  • According to a new study, middle managers are the most likely people in an organization to suffer from depression.
  • After controlling for a variety of factors, the researchers found that supervisors and managers had the highest likelihood of depression, with 19% and 16% rate of depression respectively. Owners and workers had much lower rates of depression, just 11% and 12% respectively. As for anxiety, the story was similar, with owners and workers at rates of 2% and 5% while supervisors and managers were at elevated rates of 11% and nearly 7%.
  • One explanation Prins and his colleagues offer is that middle managers don’t have much authority or autonomy to make decisions like owners do, but still face a lot of external pressure to perform.
  • that they could best be described as those ‘stuck in the middle of everything,
  • “For the most part, these unhappy people were steady, good performers who’d been in the organization for some time but appeared to have gotten lost in the shuffle.”
  • The first is to stay connected to the front-line, even if your promotion means you’re removed from it.
  • The second is to get a clear picture early on about how much decision-making authority your new role comes with.
  • Get clear on what you can and cannot change, and keep your focus on things inside your span of control.
  • And new managers might even find some cold comfort in this research. If your new job feels hard … that’s because it is.


Deflect, Explore, or Confront Your Relatives’ Nosey Questions

  • when are you two going to start having babies
  • Deflect:
    • “Nope, we’re still using condoms. How’s your sex life going?”
    • “That’s an interesting question. Sadly, I don’t have an answer for you,“
  • By responding in this way, Gross concludes, you are reasserting your boundary and reestablishing an equal playing field.
  • If you feel safe with this person, perhaps consider letting them in on your plans or struggles. Some who have experienced miscarriages may feel relief in sharing about it. Or if you are trying and it’s taking a while, share your frustration


How Understanding Disruption Helps Strategists

  • First, disruption directs you to look in places you might otherwise ignore.
  • companies develop significant myopia over time, only seeing things that are squarely in the mainstream of their market. Disruptive innovation theory expands your view, increasing the odds that you spot important trends early.
  • That’s the second advantage that comes from using disruptive innovation theory: it helps you to separate the early-stage developments that have the highest potential to drive change from those that are likely to fizzle.
  • Does the upstart have a unique way that makes it easier and more affordable for target customers to get the innovation job done? Are they following a business model that looks unattractive to market leaders? One yes bears watching; two yeses is a standup moment.
  • The third advantage of disruption theory is it helps to make predictions.
  • “The theory of disruption predicts that when an entrant takes the incumbent competitors head-on, offering better products or services, the incumbents will accelerate their innovations to defend their business.”
  • Disruptive innovation theory doesn’t answer every strategic question, of course.
  • All good ideas have three pieces:
    • First, they target a real market need, even if that need can’t be readily articulated by the customer.
    • Second, they deliver against that need consistently in the face of current and future competition.
    • Third, the numbers work, allowing the company to create and capture value.


Get Over Your Crippling Self-Doubt by Answering These Three Questions

  • When you’re riddled with self-doubt, having any sort of confidence can seem like a pipe dream.
  • it shouldn’t keep you from doing the things you want to do.
  • get to the bottom of them with these three questions:
    • Where did I learn this?
      • Did someone say you weren’t smart?
      • Is it because you had a hard time in a certain class? Or did you come up with it on your own?
    • How true is it really?
      • More often than not, your belief isn’t rooted in fact, but assumption. Maybe you assume you aren’t smart because of one little incident.
    • What is the unconscious gain?
      • What is this self-doubt protecting you from? Maybe it’s really just a fear of taking risks and experiencing failure.
  • If you’re having a hard time answering, try to look at it from the third person.


How to Enjoy the Holidays Without Messing Up Your Weight Loss

  • Especially considering that, for many, December’s poster boy is a morbidly obese old man that gorges himself on cookies and cake.
  • The fact is, an average adult gains about 0.5-1kg per year.
  • It’s just that being a bit heavier over the holidays is normal, and you shouldn’t freak out and punish yourself over it.


We Like Leaders Who Underrate Themselves

  • The Stanford Graduate School of Business asked the members of its Advisory Council which skills were most important for their MBA students to learn. The most frequent answer was self-awareness — possessing an accurate view of your skills, abilities, and shortcomings, as well as understanding how other people perceive your behavior.
  • We decided to find out. We delved into 360-degree feedback data describing 69,000 managers as seen through the eyes of 750,000 respondents at hundreds of firms. We found that leaders’ views of themselves generally don’t fit with how other people perceive them.
  • “Do managers tend to overrate or underrate themselves?” Both overrating and underrating could be technically defined as lacking self-awareness.


A Leadership Lesson From an Army General: Use “Briefback” Communication

  • Being an effective leader means having strong communication skills, and this tip from a retired three-star general will make sure your communication is always ironclad.
  • suggests that your communication should always be a three-part process, or what’s known as “briefback” communication. You give orders, they reflect those orders back to you, and you clarify everything that may have been misunderstood.
  • We are in a world where most communication is one way. Email is a classic example. We make assumptions that people understand our intentions, but just because you’ve sent an email doesn’t mean that people have read it, much less understood it. With three-way communication, you clear things up easier and faster.
  • leadership is deliberate: you don’t accidentally have successful teams


Improve Your Memory of an Event by Replaying the Scene in Your Head

  • Unfortunately, we still forget all kinds of things, but BBC points out that replaying a scene in your head immediately after it happens can help reinforce it.
  • research from the University of Sussex gives a bit more of a “how to” angle to remembering events.
  • They found replaying that scene really helped in remembering the video, and brain scans seemed to reflect that as well.


Are Energy Drinks Bad for You?

  • Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, and 5-Hour Energy
  • Taurine
    • is considered safe by medical researchers.
    • may help with mental and physical performance, but there’s very little evidence to support it. It may, however, help your eyes if you look at a screen all day,
  • Guarana
    • gives you energy is actually just naturally occurring caffeine
    • no major effect on your mood, anxiety, or psychological well-being. Essentially, it’s comparable to ingesting caffeine
  • Ginseng
    • no overwhelming evidence of ginseng being harmful for most people, especially in the short term
    • preliminary evidence that Ginseng could potentially have a positive effect (though modest) on fasting blood glucose levels in both people with and without type 2 diabetes.
    • suggests that long-term use (more than 6 months of regular ingestion) may cause insomnia, and possibly interfere with proper drug action of certain medications such as insulin, oral hypoglycemic agents, blood thinners, and diuretics.
    • the amount of ginseng commonly found in energy drinks is less than the amount traditionally considered to be beneficial anyway.
  • there are two more major players when it comes to energy drink ingredients: sugar and caffeine.
  • Sugar isn’t always bad for you, but in high amounts, it’s very unhealthy.
  • Caffeine improves your motivation and focus by increasing catecholamine signaling, once you’ve developed enough tolerance, only the wakefulness effects will still be present.
  • We’ve talked about how caffeine affects the body at great lengths if you want to learn more.
  • the occasional energy drink is probably okay when you’re having one of those long days, but regular consumption (daily, for example) may have adverse health effects:
    • The reason is that energy drinks typically have a lot of different ingredients, so it’s a crapshoot as to how they’ll affect your health in the long term. In fact, I can imagine a House MD type scenario where the culprit is some weird energy drink that the patient felt they needed to get through each day.
  • As most caffeine drinkers already know, habitual caffeine consumption can possibly lead to dependency in some people.
  • Withdrawal symptoms, such as headache or fatigue, are somewhat common after short-term consumption of 600 mg or greater per day.
  • The Bottom Line
    • Consider sticking with energy drinks that have a nutrition facts label
    • Look for one with a modest amount of caffeine; somewhere around 100mg
    • Keep your eye on each energy drink’s sugar content.
    • energy drinks are the ultimate band-aid solution that can cover up actual health issues (like thyroid health, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc). So I don’t like the idea of them.


TensorFlow – Google’s latest machine learning system, open sourced for everyone

  • We’ve used it to demonstrate that concepts like “cat” can be learned from unlabeled YouTube images, to improve speech recognition in the Google app by 25%, and to build image search in Google Photos.
  • Today we’re proud to announce the open source release of TensorFlow — our second-generation machine learning system, specifically designed to correct these shortcomings.


The Most Popular Dating Deal Breakers, According to Research

  • The research suggests that people give more weight to the deal breakers than they do to deal makers, which means those pesky negative traits of yours are probably interfering more than your charming smile can make up for.


Recently Watched: A Data Story – The Official Twitch Blog

  • Following is incredibly powerful once a user has 5 live followed channels. A user needs 40 follows to get to this stage.
  • Power users make up 30% of viewership, and following predicts 90% of what they’ll watch. So power users on Twitch are sitting pretty when looking for content. They have following and it’s incredibly useful for them. But 30% of our viewership is by logged out and as such following nothing.
  • It’s easy to find popular broadcasters on Twitch without actively seeking them, but it takes effort to find small broadcasters.
  • It’s been found that repeated, unplanned interactions are critical to building close friendships. Twitch doesn’t need to rely on serendipity. Recency will help viewers casually bump into broadcasters regardless of popularity.
  • If you work on a product, consider adding recency. Keep in mind recency is about helping you get back to where you left off, not about finding new things you’d be interested in.


If you think your own logic came from someone else, you might not believe it

  • Many people are already familiar with the concept of confirmation bias, which is the tendency for people to seek out arguments that support their existing opinions. It turns out that we’re not only addicted to seeking information that confirms our biases, we’re also willing to tolerate really weak arguments to support our opinions. So weak, in fact, that if we’re tricked into thinking our own arguments come from a stranger, we’re likely to reject them.


How to Fart in Public and Get Away with It

  • If you must fart and there’s no hope for private relief in sight, do so when you’re on the move. Don’t linger in the cloud or return to the scene of the crime.
  • You can try to mitigate the smell — for example, if you carry scented lotion in your purse, take it out right after you fart and start nonchalantly applying some to your hands. Nothing to see here. Just a lady passing gas and moisturizing…
  • If you can steal away to an empty stairwell, you can fart without a care in the world.
  • what he calls “the gentleman”: Open your date’s car door for them and let it all out while you make your way to your side of the car.
  • Win the Blame Game
    • The key is to keep your cool, fart as quietly as possible, and follow what P.J. Whitehill, the author of Catch That and Paint it Purple: A Complete Guide to Farting, calls “the rule of three or more.” The bigger the crowd you can find the better, but there must at least be three people in the area before you should even try pass off your fart as someone else’s.
    • …wait for others around you to sniff a little. Once you see they have their faces in disgust, it’s up to you to react too. This is your cue. Slowly, screw up your face and put your index and thumb finger up to your nostrils. This will show your disgust and will instantly prove your innocence…
  • Save Your Elevator Farts for When the Doors Open
    • During that time, three important things happen:
      • The elevator and doors make noise
      • People go out
      • New people come in


Paintracker erkennt, ob bewusstlose Patienten Schmerzen haben

  • selbst wenn Patienten Schmerzen nicht bewusst wahrnehmen, richten sie Schaden an: Sie können etwa die Atmung erschweren, das Herz belasten und damit den Blutdruck steigern oder die Wundheilung verzögern.
  • macht sich das Gerät den Schmerzreflex zunutze
  • Der Paintracker gibt leichte Stromreize und misst über Elektroden, wo genau die Reflexschwelle liegt.
  • Schmerzhafte Maßnahmen führen dagegen zur Senkung der Schwelle, das zeigen laufende Studien


How to Sabotage Your Relationship and Get Them to Break Up with You Instead


The Best Productivity Tricks Used By Evil Dictators

  • Force Difficult Decisions on People When Their Willpower is Weak
    • the idea is to catch your enemies (or allies) when their willpower is low and they’re willing to do anything to work with you.
    • it’s a reminder that decision fatigue is real and easily exploitable by anyone for a variety of means
  • Create a “Five-Year Plan” for Personal Goals
    • Here are some elements to think about when making this sketch:What will your job be like?What will your family be like?What will your physical appearance be like?What will your home be like?What will a typical day be like?What will you be looking forward to?
    • What will your social circle look like?
  • Purge Threats to Your Power
    • In their book The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics, authors Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith outline this idea as “Rule 1: Keep your winning coalition as small as possible.”
    • If someone is challenging your authority, the easiest way to deal with it is to get rid of the person in question. Be careful and keep an eye out for anyone gunning for your position. On the flipside, if you’re looking to move up in the ranks, you’ll either want to be extra nice to the person who’s job you’re gunning for, so they don’t feel threatened. Alternatively, you could try to get rid of them before they get rid of you, but that’s much riskier (and not as nice).
  • Embrace Your “Cult of Personality”
    • The idea is to present yourself as the most amazing thing possible. To do this, dictators would pick up ridiculous habits, plaster their photos all over the country, or even give themselves nicknames.
    • shameless self-promotion during interviews isn’t a bad thing. More important is establishing and maintaining your online identity, which is essentially the non-dictator version of the “cult of personality.” If you control what others see, you can control their perception of you, and come off looking a lot better than you are in real life.
  • Give Direct, Powerful Speeches
    • Before Hitler started to take power, public speaking was often an intellectual thing, filled with complex, lecture-like readings. Hitler’s performance, in contrast, was excited, emotive, and filled with slogans
    • He used simple, straightforward language that ordinary people could understand, short sentences, powerful, emotive slogans. Often beginning a speech quietly, to capture his audience’s attention, he would gradually build to a climax, his deep, rather hoarse voice would rise in pitch, climbing in a crescendo to a ranting and screaming finale, accompanied by carefully rehearsed dramatic gestures…as he worked his audience into a frenzy emotion. There were no qualifications in what he said; everything was absolute, uncompromising, irrevocable, undeviating, unalterable, final…he exuded self-confidence, aggression, belief in the ultimate triumph of his party, even a sense of destiny.
    • Hitler was far more over the top. Still, a lot can be learned from his speech style.
    • Simplify your speech (as opposed to trying to sound smart), put some emotion into it, build up slowly, and you’ll have your audience eating out your hands.
  • Learn From Experiences, Not Books


Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes Actually Makes You Less Empathetic

  • In a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers conducted a series of experiments that measured how compassionate people were toward other people who endured the similar struggles but made poor decisions.
  • We found that people who endured challenges in the past (like divorce or being skipped over for a promotion) were less likely to show compassion for someone facing the same struggle, compared with people with no experience in that particular situation…
  • First, there’s something called an “empathy gap.” It basically means we tend to forget just how hard something was.
  • Second, successfully conquering an experience kind of downplays how hard the experience can be. Because we can’t really remember it with the same intensity, we feel confident that it was at least easy enough to overcome.


You Might Be Able to Alleviate Hangover Headache Pain With Relaxing Music

  • There’s been a lot of research that suggests music is capable of relieving the pain associated with migraine headaches and other ailments
  • We have good proof that music works for pain of any kind. There is no reason to think that hangovers would be any different. It’s not as powerful as morphine, but it might be as good as Tylenol.
  • I would think of a hangover as similar to migraines in the sense that you don’t want anything too sharp, too loud. But if it can distract you, it theoretically is going to offer you some relief. People who really like music or like certain types of music or musicians, if they were in pain and they could get access to that type of music, there would be a memory that they would recruit and impart experience. Both of those would have an additive effect on their ability to displace and drown out the pain loop they’re experiencing.


Roomba, I Command Thee: Use Raspberry Pi for Voice Control | Make:

  • Specifically, I’ll show you how to use an open source speech recognition toolkit from the Speech Group at Carnegie Mellon University called PocketSphinx, designed for use in embedded systems.
  • As I mentioned earlier, everything that PocketSphinx hears, it will try and fit into the words of the grammar.


Build Better Habits With an Improvisational Mindset

  • Noticing. Creating. Discovering.
  • Give Up Control
    • By giving up control of how you always do things, you can create space for new ideas and a more receptive outlook.
  • Make More Mistakes
    • “You need to be experimenting and exploring and trying new things all the time,” Barrett says. “If everything you play is clean and fresh and slick, that means you’ve given up experimentation.”
  • Seek Out the Unfamiliar
    • Researchers suggest that the best way to break from routine and seek out new ideas is to literally put yourself in unfamiliar places and situations.
  • Break Routines to Break Bad Habits
    • Even if we don’t plan for them, bad habits can be just as engrained in our routines as good ones.
  • Give Yourself a Fresh Start
    • According to research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, taking a fresh start can have a powerful psychological effect that leads to positive behavioral change. This “fresh start effect” suggests that creating shifts in your routine can lead to a sense of starting anew, which helps to reinforce positive habit changes.
  • Embrace an “Improvisational Mindset”
    • embrace the “yes, and…” rule, rolling with what comes at them rather than refuting it. The key here, of course, is a willingness to go out on a limb, make yourself feel uncomfortable, and fall flat on your face


Top 10 Skills You Need at Work That Have Nothing to Do with Your Job


Why Screams Are So Upsetting

  • found that screams occupy a dedicated position on the auditory spectrum. Specifically, what sets them apart from other human vocalizations is how fast they change in loudness. Normal speech has only slight variations in loudness—changing at a rate of just four to five times per second—whereas screams violently clamor through our vocal cords varying in volume 30 to 150 times per second. This rapid, large variation is too fast to be perceived consciously as volume changes; instead it results in what is called roughness, a certain startling discordance in sound that the human brain associates with fear. To this end, Poeppel and his colleagues used functional MRI to show that increases in roughness raise the activation of the amygdala, the brain’s fear and emotion center
  • Roughness is what allows screams to outcompete other sounds. Plenty of things are loud—jet engines, for example. Yet a wailing five-year-old tends to cut through the roar and grab our attention.


By |2016-01-10T14:02:09+00:00January 10th, 2016|Allgemein, Uncategorized|0 Comments

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