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Curiosity: Reasons Why You Should Have It

Curiosity: Reasons Why You Should Have It

Curiosity killed the cat, but we all have to go one day. Curiosity is the basis of all great science and art in human history. Without it, we’d all be sitting in a cave somewhere eating whatever we could hunt and scavenge, hoping not to be attacked by our neighbor. Curiosity fuels innovation, and it’s what drives hackers, trolls, pirates, and other great human explorers to continue pushing the boundaries of human civilization. Here are some random facts you can learn if you’re curious…

Curious Facts about Love

  1. Although most wedding planning services are geared toward women, modern wedding rituals are mostly based on barbaric Germanic tribal rituals. Women didn’t start having equal rights in most places in the world until within the last half century, and even today, they don’t have all the rights they should. They have taken over the symbology of wedding ceremonies, though, so score one for the ladies.
  2. Even in the ancient Mayan days, chocolate was considered the drug of love. Cocoa and its many extracts have been used in love potions, lotions, elixirs, and other concoctions meant to stir people’s loins.
  3. Roses, with their variety of scents and colors, have also symbolized love for a very long time. Valentine’s Day, however, has been associated with several acts of violence.

Curious Facts about Nature

  1. Synthetic grass is actually better for the environment than a natural lawn. Studies have shown synthetic grass lowers your carbon footprint by eliminating lawn mower emissions, water usage, chemical fertilizers, and more. Advances in artificial turf technology have made synthetic lawns even more comfortable to walk on than natural grass.
  2. Big cats are one of the most hunted animals on the planet. Nearly every cat species in the wild is endangered and on the brink of extinction. Although cats are arguably the world’s most dangerous predator, human beings used invention to decimate big cat numbers. Unless something is done soon, big cats will stop existing in nature within a generation.
  3. Insects are consumed around the world as a viable source of protein. In fact, insects are ground up to make much of the junk food consumed in the US. The majority of your favorite syrups, cookies, candies, etc. contain some form of insect. Even without the help of major corporations, you’ll swallow dozens of creepy crawlers during your sleep.

Curious Facts about Technology

  1. The internet is the largest database of information ever collected in human history. With a wide array of drones already developed, technology has far surpassed humanity, and a computer-human war is a potential prospect, although it’s much more likely that a human being will be behind the next world war. Honda, Google, and many other companies are hard at work building cyborg versions of the most powerful animals on earth.
  2. Any device you have with a Wi-Fi or data antenna can be accessed by a third party without your knowledge, even if it’s turned off. Many governments and corporations have back doors in their software and databases to allow access to any of your private communications. Edward Snowden and Glen Greenwald have released a trove of data to the public regarding web security.
  3. Vegetable glycerin, the main component of the juice vaporized in electronic cigarettes, is also used by corporations to make cough syrup, dilute eggs, and more. Any drug can be dissolved in vegetable glycerin, so many municipalities have banned the devices. eCigs are healthier than cigarettes, though, as they release no carcinogens and can be used without the addictive nicotine.

Curious Facts about Law

  1. In the United States, you are innocent until proven guilty; however, it’s very easy to prove you guilty. You violate over a dozen laws on any given day. All a police officer has to do to find probable cause is follow you for a few hours. The US is still one of the best places to live for police responses, though, as many countries imprison, kill, or torture citizens with no provocation.
  2. Even though you’re the creator of a product, song, work of art, etc., until you register the copyright and/or trademark you can’t pursue someone else for infringing on your rights regarding your creation. Even if you protect your creation within the US, it’s very hard to pursue copyright infringement across international borders and your creation, if successful, could be copied and sold at will.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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