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Level Up Your Knowledge with These 6 Excellent Websites

Level Up Your Knowledge with These 6 Excellent Websites

Building knowledge: For some people it is a passing interest, for others it is a hobby, while for some it is an obsession. Regardless of where you stand on the spectrum, chances are that from time-to-time you look to learn something new. Luckily, for all of us there are a series of websites that can help us learn a thing or two about… well, anything. You are likely find an answer at one of these websites no matter what your interest or need is.

TED

If you are not just looking for information, but also inspiration, then TED.com is the website that will fulfill your needs. The Technology, Education, and Design oratory forums that take place in California are a collecting of inspiring and innovative minds. In fields ranging from architecture, dance, science, history, sociology, to philosophy and beyond, TED invites all great minds to present their concepts in 20-minute presentations.

It is hard to find a single TED oration that is not filled with inspiring concepts, motivating ideas, and worthwhile tidbits of information. As a whole, TED is a great way to both learn and be inspired to learn more. That is more, with TED gaining popularity, there is only more and more information being presented to feed the curious mind.

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If you’re keen to learn more Finance-related information, do check out post on “16 Great Personal Finance Resources & Blogs”.

Answerbag.com

While a rather informal website, Answerbag.com provides a great service to anyone who “just can’t remember how buoyancy works,” or “Am not sure who was the best baseball player of the 1970s.” Answerbag has a very simple concept and the right answer will be found sooner or later.

It is a committee source website, which allows anyone to answer any question. Think of it as a worldwide way of just shouting out a random question to a group of friends. The best part is that when a proper answer comes across, it is likely multiple people will verify that it is the case.

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One of the best parts of Answerbag.com is that since it is informal, you do not have to be embarrassed if your question is rather random or silly. The thousands of individuals who frequent Answerbag likely have either an answer, or some useful insight.

How Stuff Works

For those who are scientifically or design-oriented minds, HowSTuffWorks.com is a great site to answer the fundamental questions. You can simply type in your inquiry on the search page, and more than likely there will be a like, or similar, question that has already been answered. You can also browse through a great range of topics and areas of study. For the inquisitive mind, this site is a treasure-trove of interesting and practical facts.

    Khan Academy

    For those with a thirst for learning, who just found the lectures and dedication to be too much work, KhanAcademy.org has found the answer. Fit into small YouTube-sized videos are now information that is ever-growing, presented by the founder Mr. Kahn. You can learn about astronomy, how RNA turns to DNA, or learn about art history.

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    The library of the Khan Academy is growing each week. With the growing of the site, so to can your knowledge grow.  Of course, these “classes” should not take the place of actual education, but they are great for studying for tests. There are also fantastic brainteasers, which test the mind and general knowledge.

    Project Gutenberg

    For those who have a love of reading, Gutenberg.org is a true Godsend. With over 38,000 books on tap, each is fully free and available for anyone to read at any time. With the advent of Kindles and IPads, which allow for comfortable digital reading, there has never been a better time to have the literary bug.

    There truly is a book for any genre and style of writing one could hope for. Not only can one read great classics, but there are thousands upon thousands of lesser-known books spanning across literary time. This adds an element of true excitement for the bibliophile.

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    Brain Pickings

    If you are feeling like rolling the dice on what it is you might learn, then brainpickings.com is the site for you. Made by an MIT fellow, BrainPickings is a hodgepodge of art, history, science, anthropology, and so on. While the site itself may be a bit off-putting due to its rather highbrow nature, the site truly carries quite a punch when it comes to knowledge.

    Articles like “7 Must-Read Books on Emotions and the Brain” and “Mapping European Stereotypes” will entertain as well as inform. Soon, one will forget all about the “highbrowness” of the site and be thankful such well-informed individuals are also capable of quality writing.

    Photo credit: Idea via Shutterstock

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    Level Up Your Knowledge with These 6 Excellent Websites

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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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