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Archive for Learning Unlimited Tutoring

Until recently, losing an hour of daylight in the fall presented a problem for the candy industry. That’s because Daylight Saving Time traditionally ended on the last Sunday in October, a.k.a. before Halloween night. Intense lobbying to push back the date went on for decades. According to one report, candy lobbyists even went so far as to place tiny candy pumpkins on the seats of everyone in the Senate in 1985. A law extending DST into November finally went into effect in 2007.

451 degrees

Bradbury’s title refers to the auto-ignition point of paper—the temperature at which it will catch fire without being exposed to an external flame. Bradbury asserted that “book-paper” burns at 451 degrees, and it’s true that different kinds of paper have different auto-ignition temperatures

The Three Princes of Serendip

The lost camel

No sooner do the three princes arrive abroad than they trace clues to identify precisely a camel they have never seen. They conclude that the camel is lame, blind in one eye, missing a tooth, carrying a pregnant woman, and bearing honey on one side and butter on the other. When they later encounter the merchant who has lost the camel, they report their observations to him. He accuses them of stealing the camel and takes them to the Emperor Beramo, where he demands punishment.

Beramo then asks how they are able to give such an accurate description of the camel if they have never seen it. It is clear from the princes’ replies that they have used small clues to infer cleverly the nature of the camel.

Grass had been eaten from the side of the road where it was less green, so the princes had inferred that the camel was blind on the other side. Because there were lumps of chewed grass on the road that were the size of a camel’s tooth, they inferred they had fallen through the gap left by a missing tooth. The tracks showed the prints of only three feet, the fourth being dragged, indicating that the animal was lame. That butter was carried on one side of the camel and honey on the other was evident because ants had been attracted to melted butter on one side of the road and flies to spilled honey on the other.

As for the woman, one of the princes said: “I guessed that the camel must have carried a woman, because I had noticed that near the tracks where the animal had knelt down the imprint of a foot was visible. Because some urine was nearby, I wet my fingers and as a reaction to its odour I felt a sort of carnal concupiscence, which convinced me that the imprint was of a woman’s foot.”

“I guessed that the same woman must have been pregnant,” said another prince, “because I had noticed nearby handprints which were indicative that the woman, being pregnant, had helped herself up with her hands while urinating.”

At this moment, a traveller enters the scene to say that he has just found a missing camel wandering in the desert. Beramo spares the lives of the three princes, lavishes rich rewards on them, and appoints them to be his advisors.

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Look at a Tree

In 1984, a researcher named Roger Ulrich noticed a curious pattern among patients who were recovering from gallbladder surgery at a suburban hospital in Pennsylvania. Those who had been given rooms overlooking a small stand of deciduous trees were being discharged almost a day sooner, on average, than those in otherwise identical rooms whose windows faced a wall. The results seemed at once obvious—of course a leafy tableau is more therapeutic than a drab brick wall—and puzzling. Whatever curative property the trees possessed, how were they casting it through a pane of glass?

That is the riddle that underlies a new study in the journal Scientific Reports by a team of researchers in the United States, Canada, and Australia, led by the University of Chicago psychology professor Marc Berman. The study compares two large data sets from the city of Toronto, both gathered on a block-by-block level; the first measures the distribution of green space, as determined from satellite imagery and a comprehensive list of all five hundred and thirty thousand trees planted on public land, and the second measures health, as assessed by a detailed survey of ninety-four thousand respondents. After controlling for income, education, and age, Berman and his colleagues showed that an additional ten trees on a given block corresponded to a one-per-cent increase in how healthy nearby residents felt. “To get an equivalent increase with money, you’d have to give each household in that neighborhood ten thousand dollars—or make people seven years younger,” Berman told me.

Are such numbers fanciful? The emerald ash borer, which has killed a hundred million trees across North America in recent years, offers a grim natural experiment. A county-by-county analysis of health records by the U.S. Forest Service, between 1990 and 2007, found that deaths related to cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses rose in places where trees succumbed to the pest, contributing to more than twenty thousand additional deaths during the study period. The Toronto data shows a similar link between tree cover and cardio-metabolic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. For the people suffering from these conditions, an extra eleven trees per block corresponds to an income boost of twenty thousand dollars, or being almost one and a half years younger.

What is most interesting about this data, though, is one of its subtler details. The health benefits stem almost entirely from trees planted along streets and in front yards, where many people walk past them; trees in back yards and parks don’t seem to matter as much in the analysis. It could be that roadside trees have a bigger impact on air quality along sidewalks, or that leafy avenues encourage people to walk more. But Berman is also interested in a possibility that harks back to Ulrich’s hospital-window finding: perhaps it is enough simply to look at a tree.

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The Pomodoro Technique® Daily/Weekly Process

The Pomodoro Technique book is organised into six incremental goals. The objectives should be achieved in the order in which they are given here:

1. Find out how much effort an activity requires

Ever wonder where all your time goes? Wonder no more: it’s all on the page. Your Pomodoro To-Do sheet is a visual overview of the time you’ve spent on various tasks.


2. Cut down on interruptions

Usually, you can afford to take 25 minutes before calling back a friend or replying to an email. You’ll learn how to handle the inevitable interruption while staying focused on the task at hand.


3. Estimate the effort for activities

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the technique, you’ll be able to accurately predict how many Pomodoros it will take to accomplish tomorrow’s — or next month’s — tasks.


4. Make the Pomodoro more effective

While the contours of the Pomodoro are set, what you do within them can be adjusted to maximize efficiency. One way to make a Pomodoro more effective is to use the first few minutes to review what you’ve done before. Other methods are discussed in the book.


5. Set up a timetable

A timetable sets a limit, motivating you to complete a task within a set period of time. It also delineates your work time from your free time. Creating a clear timetable will allow you to enjoy your time off without worrying that you could be doing more work.


6. Define your own objectives

The Pomodoro Technique is a tool you can use to reach your own objectives. For example, a writer might realize he’s spending too much time revising, and adjust his Pomodoro timetable to allow for more brainstorming time.

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#7-9

Focus on Getting Better, Rather than Being Good — Think about your goals as opportunities to improve, rather than to prove yourself

Be a Realistic Optimist — Visualize how you will make success happen by overcoming obstacles

Don’t Tempt Fate — No one has willpower all the time, so don’t push your luck

Roughly two years ago, I wrote about the “Nine Things Successful People Do Differently,” which became HBR’s most-read piece of content over that time span. It was a list of strategies, based on decades of scientific research, proven effective for setting and reaching challenging goals. I later expanded that post into a short e-book, explaining how you can make each one a habit. But how would readers know if they were doing enough of each “Thing”? (After all, we’re terrible judges of ourselves.) To help answer that question, last spring I created something I called the Nine Things Diagnostics — it’s a free, online set of questionnaires designed to measure your own use of each of the nine things in pursuit of your personal and professional goals.

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The Water Pump Solution

What Were Helen Keller’s First Words?

On April 5, 1887, less than a month after her arrival in Tuscumbia, Anne sought to resolve the confusion her pupil was having between the nouns “mug” and “milk,” which Helen confused with the verb “drink.”

Anne took Helen to the water pump outside and put Helen’s hand under the spout. As the cool water gushed over one hand, she spelled into the other hand the word “w-a-t-e-r” first slowly, then rapidly. Suddenly, the signals had meaning in Helen’s mind. She knew that “water” meant the wonderful cool substance flowing over her hand.

Quickly, she stopped and touched the earth and demanded its letter name and by nightfall she had learned 30 words.

Helen quickly proceeded to master the alphabet, both manual and in raised print for blind readers, and gained facility in reading and writing. In Helen’s handwriting, many round letters look square, but you can easily read everything.

In 1890, when she was just 10, she expressed a desire to learn to speak; Anne took Helen to see Sarah Fuller at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Boston. Fuller gave Helen 11 lessons, after which Anne taught Helen.

Throughout her life, however, Helen remained dissatisfied with her spoken voice, which was hard to understand.

Helen’s extraordinary abilities and her teacher’s unique skills were noticed by Alexander Graham Bell and Mark Twain, two giants of American culture. Twain declared, “The two most interesting characters of the 19th century are Napoleon and Helen Keller.”

The closeness of Helen and Anne’s relationship led to accusations that Helen’s ideas were not her own. Famously, at the age of 11, Helen was accused of plagiarism. Both Bell and Twain, who were friends and supporters of Helen and Anne, flew to the defense of both pupil and teacher and mocked their detractors. Read a letter from Mark Twain to Helen lamenting “that ‘plagiarism’ farce.”

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Doing less accomplishes more

When your goals are so spread out into different areas of your life, you simply do not have enough time or energy to reach them all. You halfheartedly accomplish a few, but the momentum doesn’t pick up because you’re not making real progress.

Radical reinvention shocks the system

You change your life one piece at a time. Anything less thrusts you so far from your comfort zone, you start to panic. I call this “adjustment shock.” Anything new — no matter how good — is uncomfortable until it is also familiar. That is why we have to lean into new ambitions slowly, until they become a natural part of our everyday lives.

You’ll figure out what you really care about

Despite what culture would have you believe, you’re not here to be everything. You do not have to master every single aspect of your life, and feeling pressured to even pretend that you want to is robbing you of your energy to affect change where it really matters. Get crystal clear on exactly what you want and what you care enough about — that passion will help motivate you in the months to come.

Your goals need a hint of realism

A list of huge goals that are so far off from where you are right now seems intimidating. Three goals, even if they are big ones, seems more fathomable.

You can always make adjustments

Your 2020 goals might be accomplished by March. That is a totally possible thing to have happen. It’s not that you’re only aspiring to do 3 things total this year, it’s that you’re focusing on these 3 until they are mastered, and you can be onto the next thing.

Growth is not an isolated event

When you improve one part of your life, it tends to touch everything else. When you raise your standards in one way, everything else has to rise to meet it. Growth is interesting in this way: often when we focus completely on changing one thing, we inadvertently create a ripple effect in which we are naturally motivated to change others, too.

Choosing less than a handful of goals for the new decade doesn’t mean you’re diluting your ambition. In fact, quite the opposite. You’re getting focused and crystal clear on what you want to do, and funneling your energy toward creating real, and lasting, impact.

Brianna Wiest

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www.constitutionfacts.com

 

Welcome to ConstitutionFacts.com where you’ll see the entire text of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence – and much more! You’ll find interesting insights into the men who wrote the Constitution, how it was created, and how the Supreme Court has interpreted the United States Constitution in the two centuries since its creation.

The Constitution is certainly the most influential legal document in existence. Since its creation some two hundred years ago, over one hundred countries around the world have used it as a model for their own. And it is a living document. It is one of the world’s oldest surviving constitutions. And, while the Supreme Court continually interprets the U.S. Constitution so as to reflect a rapidly changing world, its basic tenets have remained virtually unchanged since its inception, and unchallenged as well. People quarrel over its interpretation, but never do they question the wisdom of its underlying principles.

At ConstitutionFacts.com, you’ll begin to see why. You’ll get a taste of some of the Founding Fathers’ thoughts. You’ll see some of the reasoning behind the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions. But, most importantly, you’ll get a feel for the United States Constitution itself and how it is that a document that was written over 200 years ago still plays an integral role in our everyday lives.

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Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Ulysses by James Joyce

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marque

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

 

 

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