Quote of the Day

According to a great deal of research, positive fantasies may lessen your chances of succeeding. In one experiment, the social psychologists Gabriele Oettingen and Doris Mayer asked eighty-three German students to rate the extent to which they “experienced positive thoughts, images, or fantasies on the subject of transition into work life, graduating from university, looking for and …

Justification for My “Art of the Day” Interludes

Exposure to art increases intelligence: FOR many education advocates, the arts are a panacea: They supposedly increase test scores, generate social responsibility and turn around failing schools. Most of the supporting evidence, though, does little more than establish correlations between exposure to the arts and certain outcomes. Research that demonstrates a causal relationship has been …

Failures of Willpower May Be Related to the Uncertainty of Time

So reports Maria Konnikova: WHAT do you do if, when you get to a subway platform, you see that it is already packed with people? Do you join the throngs to wait for the train, or do you shake your head and seek an alternative way to get where you’re going? If you go the …

Being a Polymath Is Being Human

So sayeth Robert Twigger: Polymaths such as Da Vinci, Goethe and Benjamin Franklin were such high achievers that we might feel a bit reluctant to use the word ‘polymath’ to describe our own humble attempts to become multi-talented. We can’t all be geniuses. But we do all still indulge in polymathic activity; it’s part of …

Brainbuilding

For those among us who want to make sure that we remain sharp, there is bookreading, chess, Go, crosswords, exercise, and this. I played n-back games for a while a couple of years ago, and have fallen off the wagon. I need to get back on it.

This Is Also My Brain in Heaven

Want to live forever? Drink coffee: For hundreds of years, coffee has been one of the two or three most popular beverages on earth. But it’s only recently that scientists are figuring out that the drink has notable health benefits. In one large-scale epidemiological study from last year, researchers primarily at the National Cancer Institute parsed health information …