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How charismatic are you?  Take this test and find out
INFOGRAPHIC: We can instinctively sense charismatic people but defining the attribute in objective terms is not that easy. Simply put, a charismatic person is warm, welcoming, approachable, and sets others at ease. True, but is there an objective way to measure it? Seems like there is; take this test and find out. SOURCE: Big Think ...
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Did people in the middle ages (before modern footwear) walk differently from us?
VIDEO: This interesting video proposes that medieval people walked with different body mechanics, planting the toe first, rather than the heel first—or at least, softening the heel strike. A lot of this had to do with the lack of strong footwear and the absence of paved walking surfaces. Try it an you will see what the difference is. SOURCE: YouTube ...
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What is cognitive behavioural therapy and why does it work so well?
LONG ARTICLE FOR HARDCORE READERS: There are many routes to emotional equanimity: it is the thoughts in our heads, and the words we choose to express them, that are the gatekeepers of our psychological wellbeing. This concept is at the core of cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, a tried and tested compilation of practices that support us while we straighten our thoughts in order that our emotional states remain in equilibrium and we safely and effectively get through daily life. SOURCE: Aeon ...
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The basic laws of human stupidity
LONG ARTICLE FOR HARDCORE READERS: It is not difficult to understand how social, political and institutional power enhances the damaging potential of a stupid person. But one still has to explain and understand what essentially it is that makes a stupid person dangerous to other people - in other words what constitutes the power of stupidity. This brilliant piece from 30 years ago remains fresh and vital in the age of venal politicians and fake news. SOURCE: Carlo M. Cipolla via Whole Earth Review and Zoon ...
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SMMRY (pronounced SUMMARY): the best text summarising tool on the Internet
UTILITY/ WEBSITE: : Don't let the stark, visually unappealing interface get in the way of the value of this site. It is easily the best, most powerful utility of its kind. The plain interface comes with a host of options for refining the output. SMMRY was created to summarise articles and text. SMMRY's mission is to provide an efficient manner of understanding text, which is done primarily by reducing the text to only the most important sentences. SOURCE: SMMRY ...
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You're much more successful than you think if you say yes to most of these 7 statements
INFOGRAPHIC/ ARTICLE: Regardless of how ahead of the game you really feel, there is always somebody else who looks more fortunate. Look for these 7 signs that show you're more successful than you might think - and, in all likelihood, that you're happier than you think, too. SOURCE: Inc ...
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The global learning crisis — and what to do about it
VIDEO: Easily the most crucial infrastructure we have in hand is educated minds, declares former Tunisian government minister Amel Karboul. Too often large investments go to more visible initiatives such as roads and bridges, when it's the minds of our children that will really create a brighter future. In this incisive public lecture, she discusses actionable recommendations to guarantee that every single child remains in school-- and learning-- within just one generation. SOURCE: TED ...
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Correlations can’t imply causation? Not always: a primer on causal networks
VIDEO: The old statistics axiom that correlation doesn’t imply causation is true, but causation can be drawn from more than one correlation. A clever and impressively efficient explainer, this short animation from MinutePhysics clears up a common maths misconception by showing how the concept of causal networks can be used to draw a straight line between correlations and causation via a process of elimination. SOURCE: Aeon via YouTube ...
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Feel a need to boost your empathic reliability? Shut your eyes and pay attention to people speaking.
ARTICLE: That’s the takeaway of a new study that explored the empathic accuracy of various forms of communication. The results are some of the first to demonstrate that the primary way we convey emotions may be through the voice – not facial expressions or body language, as previously thought. SOURCE: Big Think ...
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Climate change and our health: a small document that must be read
DOCUMENT: Here is a brief, well written document that outlines how climate change may affect our health. The report was released by the Royal Society of New Zealand but is highly relevant to all of us. Despite the confusion that politicians have created, there is near unanimity amongst scientists and thinkers that this huge problem is man-made and can be tackled only by the combined, concentrated efforts of right-minded people. The future of Mankind is at stake. We can't afford to be dismissive. SOURCE: The Royal Society, New Zealand ...
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The improbable origins of PowerPoint
LONG ARTICLE FOR HARDCORE READERS: Microsoft boasts of 1.2 billion copies of PowerPoint at large—one copy for every seven people on earth. In any given month, approximately 200 million of these copies are used. Our cumulative generation of PowerPoint slides surely reaches well into the billions. PowerPoint began its lifetime as a commercial product that came onto the scene 30 years ago, in 1987. Remarkably, the founders of the Silicon Valley firm that created PowerPoint did not set out to make presentation software, let alone build a tool that would transform group communication throughout the world. SOURCE: IEEE Spectrum ...
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Get it done: 5 strategies that will help
INFOGRAPHIC/ ARTICLE: It takes five steps to change your habits and meet your goal. There are likely a lot of things standing in your way but the biggest is your own motivation. The motivational centres of the brain take your goals and drive you to act. But the brain uses your habits as shortcuts to getting things done. So if you want to reach a big-picture goal, you have to change your habits. SOURCE: FAST COMPANY ...
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Infogram: creating engaging infographics from data
INFOGRAPHIC/ UTILITY/ WEBSITE: Beautiful charts, maps, graphics, and dashboards are a snap with Infogram. Create engaging infographics and reports in minutes. More than 35 interactive charts and over 500 maps to help you visualise data, including pie charts, bar graphs, column tables, and word clouds. SOURCE: Infogram ...
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Cultivating our memory in the age of Google
INFOGRAPHIC/ VIDEO/ ARTICLE: When the sum total of human knowledge rests an arm’s length away in each person’s pocket, why do we have to remember anything anymore?vThis instant-fact setup clouds our judgment on what information to filter and store, leaving us with greater cognitive space. But how do we select what we remember? SOURCE: New York TImes ...
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Do we have free will or are we predetermined?
VIDEO: The question of whether we are fundamentally free or pre-determined in our thoughts and actions has been the subject of philosophical debate for many centuries. The two points of view are mutually exclusive; accepting one automatically shuts out the other. This leaves most of us, non-philosophers, in a quandary with regards to the practical utility of this debate. Here, the well known populariser of philosophy, Alain de Botton, presents a middle ground that could be useful in our day-to-day lives. SOURCE: The School of Life via YouTube ...
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