click here to skip the menu and go to the page content

rebecca's pocket

about / archive / syndicate

.: archive --> Creativity


How to be a more effective researcher

» Q: Question: How do I start researching? Answer: Treat research as a lifestyle not an assignment. A great approach from what appears to be an academic librarian, including a new (to me) term: The Invisible College. [Wikipedia article] Bloggers will immediately see themselves in this role, so it's worth pointing out that anyone who limits themselves to blogs will miss many other communities of interest, online and off. (1) Comments  / [ 06/01/07 ]

UPS's whiteboard ads

» It turns out those new UPS commercials featuring whiteboard drawings are directed by documentary filmmaker Errol Morris ("Fast, Cheap, & Out of Control", "The Thin Blue Line", and "The Fog of War", among others).   [ 04/16/07 ]

Happy Boat: Homemade Amphibious Vehicle

» 100% awesome: The Happy Boat, a farmer-made amphibious vehicle.  [ 10/10/06 ]

Alfred Sirleaf, Liberia's Blackboard Blogger

» Liberia's Blackboard Blogger is a "self-taught newshound" who reads half-a-dozen newspapers every day and then summarizes the most important stories on a blackboard that hangs in front of his plywood shed. He puts up a painted "Breaking News" sign to signal a big story, he has recruited a set of stringers to send him scoops via text messages, and he's designed a system of symbols to convey the news to those who can't read. "I try to write it really clear and simple so people can read it far away, even if they are driving by. I like to write the way people talk so they can understand it well. You got to reach the common man." Alfred Sirleaf, the 33-year-old managing editor of The Daily Talk. (via Kevin Kelly's awesome new Street Use(1) Comments  / [ 08/17/06 ]

Entertainment industry: mix tapes are stealing

» The entertainment industry's new term for making mix tapes for your friends: songlifting. They just don't know when to stop.  [ 08/10/06 ]

Continued fractions

» You know, I sort of gave up on math when they introduced imaginary numbers. In general, I found math to be rather boring. The only thing it had going for it was that it was strictly rational, which I understood some people found comforting. It wasn't enough to keep me interested, but at least you could count on it. Until i. They'd broken their own contract. I was done.

I can't say what would have happened I'd had a glimpse of continued fractions. All of which is a long way of saying MATH NERD! Not that there's anything wrong with that.... (3) Comments  / [ 08/04/06 ]

How to get to Carnegie Hall? Practice

» How to get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Jonah Lehrer suggests that two of the most famous child prodigies—Amadeus Mozart and Tiger Woods—are notable as much for their work ethic as for their innate talent. He references Ericsson's assertion that world-class performance requires 10,000 hours of practice. Now, most of these studies are focused on people who started their study at young ages and emerged as experts when they reached adulthood (or as accomplished practioners, which takes 7,500 hours of work). But, barring physical limits, why couldn't someone become an expert practitioner later in life? "Other golfers may outplay me from time to time, but they'll never outwork me." Tiger Woods.  [ 07/31/06 ]

Ericsson on Practice and Expert Performance

» K. Anders Ericsson: Expert Performance and Deliberate Practice.

When experts exhibit their superior performance in public their behavior looks so effortless and natural that we are tempted to attribute it to special talents. [...] The critical difference between expert musicians differing in the level of attained solo performance concerned the amounts of time they had spent in solitary practice during their music development, which totaled around 10,000 hours by age 20 for the best experts,  around 5,000 hours for the least accomplished expert musicians and only 2,000 hours for serious amateur pianists.

  [ 07/31/06 ]

The Two Flavors of Genius

» Wired: What kind of genius are you? A new "unified field theory of creativity" asserts that genius comes in two flavors: young, "Conceptual Innovators" like Mozart and Orson Welles, and late-blooming "Experimental Innovators" like Alfred Hitchcock and August Rodin.  [ 07/12/06 ]

Paul's Tips: 6 steps to learning difficult things quickly

» 6 Steps for Learning Difficult Subjects. Similar in its initial stages to the approach recommended in the essay How to Read a Difficult Book and book How to Read a Book [ 05/16/06 ]

Freakonomics: Genius is made, not born

» The Freakonomics guys argue that talent is over-rated — it's practice that makes perfect(1) Comments  / [ 05/12/06 ]

Diabled youngsters are ballerinas for a day

» This one will have you smiling all week: a ballet class for 3 to 7-year-old girls with cerebral palsy and other debilitating physical conditions. "Ballet made me realize I can still do stuff that other kids can do. [...] Even if you feel scared, it's the same for anything: If you don't try, you'll never know what you can do." Veronica Siaba, 7.  (1) Comments  / [ 05/09/06 ]

Brain shuts down introspection as it enters 'flow state'

» Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have have caught the brain in the act of losing its sense of "self" as it shuts down introspection and enters a flow state during a demanding sensory task(1) Comments  / [ 05/01/06 ]

'DaVinci Code' Justice embeds 'Smithy Code' in ruling

» When Justice Peter Smith's handed down his ruling on the "Da Vinci Code" copyright case, he embedded a secret message in the text, decipherable only by figuring out his own "Smithy Code". (thanks, jjg!) (1) Comments  / [ 04/27/06 ]

The Phoebe Hearst Elementary School Inventor's Showcase

» Forget the Science Fair. What young people want is a showcase for their inventions. "Would you be bored if you were stuck having to swim in a bowl all day?" Fourth grader Lexee Hutchens, explaining her invention, the Fishtastic Maze.  [ 04/25/06 ]

Making Generous Trouble

» Making Generous Trouble: Creativity for Your Smart Heart by Anne Herbert is too long (save it for your lunch hour), and will lose you over and over again. But stick with it because you will find your thread again a little further down the page. (via tboapw)

The idea is you have some great ideas. The idea is sometimes you don't notice your great ideas because they are very different than what already exists. That difference, which makes you shy off your ideas, is part of what makes your ideas great, and needed.
The idea is that the rest of us could use your great ideas if you get them out among us. The idea is your different ideas could help make a different world that would be a better place for us all to live. [...]
A guy I used to work for, Stewart Brand, said that once you have an idea you have about five minutes to do something about it. You don't have to do everything the idea calls for within five minutes, but you've got to do something right away to make it real.

I also like this part:

I was at the stuff-from-Tibet show at the De Young Museum, and the standing Tibetan metal Buddha looked me in the eye and said..."Do it directly."
And I agreed, yep, I'll do it directly. I didn't know what "Do" or "directly" meant in this case. [...]
In alternative activist organizing, one of the ways you know you're doing a good thing is that the bad guys notice it and don't like it. So you and the bad guys keep fixated on each other and on what you both understand to be activities. Einstein and others said you can't solve a problem on the level at which it was created — you have to move to another level.

  [ 01/24/06 ]

Lego Tarot Deck

» Wow. The Lego Tarot Deck. (via rw [ 01/20/06 ]



» primary link / supplemental information / internal link

my book

» the weblog handbook
amazon editors' best of 2002, digital culture

recent posts

» Questions about the safety and efficacy of sunscreens, and what the FDA needs to do about it
» Does remembering alter memories?
» African Garden Pests
» Summer Reading - 07/05/10
» Cameras offer an animal's eye view of the world
» Italy for the Gourmet Traveler Q & A
» Publishers to use e-novellas to promote new novels