September 26th, 2011

bornean beards

Borneo is home to the bearded pig. Via Tetrapod Zoology blog

September 14th, 2011

the zeigarnik effect vs procrastination


One of the simplest methods for beating procrastination in almost any task was inspired by busy waiters.

It’s called the Zeigarnik effect after a Russian psychologist, Bluma Zeigarnik (above left), who noticed an odd thing while sitting in a restaurant in Vienna. The waiters seemed only to remember orders which were in the process of being served. When completed, the orders evaporated from their memory.

Zeigarnik went back to the lab to test out a theory about what was going on. She asked participants to do twenty or so simple little tasks in the lab, like solving puzzles and stringing beads (Zeigarnik, 1927). Except some of the time they were interrupted half way through the task. Afterwards she asked them which activities they remembered doing. People were about twice as likely to remember the tasks during which they’d been interrupted than those they completed.

What does this have to do with procrastination? I’ll give you another clue…

Read further at psyblog.

September 14th, 2011

saturn abides

If you look to the top left of Saturn, seen here eclipsing our sun, you can see the planet Earth as a tiny white dot in the background. The perfect order of such a massive object and the debris bound by it’s pull, and the perfection in turn of its alignment in space, is glorious.

From Nasa’s image of the day September 04 2011.

September 10th, 2011

how transistors work

I’m trying to improve my knowledge of electronics but most books tell you either too much or too little and leave you frustrated. This video filled in the missing gaps for me, regarding transistors.

The most beautiful thing about it is how elegant these electronic components are. They each contain very few materials and mechanisms, but demonstrate a tremendous understanding of the physical world.

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