LIFE IS A JOURNEY, ARE YOU READY?

THE STRANGEST SECRET (OF SUCCESS) BY EARL NIGHTINGALE 1950



I have many conformist friends. And I would like to think that I am less of a conformist. I do have goals. What about you? Believe and succeed.

HAPPINESS 250114

MIND OF A CHEF. CROCHETING MAKES WATCHING VIDEOS EFFICIENT. A PRESSIE AT THE END OF IT. SUPER SUNDAY OF REST AND RELAX. LEARNING NEW THINGS EVERYDAY. MEDITATION ONE STEP AT A TIME. CHICKEN RICE SUNDAY. REST AND MORE REST.

HAPPINESS 240115

MIXING YARN IN CROCHET. REALISING A NEW WAY TO APPROACH CROCHET. HOMEMADE BREAD, WITHOUT KNEADING AND WITHOUT THE BREAD MACHINE. WHO USED BREAD MACHINES IN THE PAST ANYWAY?.IRON CHEFS AND EVERYTHING AWESOME ON YOUTUBE. GETTING IN TOUCH WITH AN OLD FRIEND. NEW AND OLD, ORTHODOX VS UNORTHODOX. WHICH WAY TO GO? RETHINKING FINANCIAL FREEDOM. REST AND MORE REST.

LEARNING UNORTHODOXY FROM IRON CHEF JAPANESE


I am a fan of Iron Chef Japan. And yet of the past episodes on YouTube, I have not watched many as Iron Chef Nakamura's battles. It is only now that I am watching his last battle and understand how difficult it was for someone to switch from orthodoxy to unorthodoxy. In order to be great, we have to adapt and create new things. If not, what would be the point of progressing and living to the next day. Following templates and orthodoxy has a new meaning for me. Let us move on and be creative once we have mastered the principles.

COURSERA : LEARN HOW TO LEARN. HOW TO BEAT PROCRASTINATION

WORLD PRESS PHOTOGRAPHY AT RAFFLES HOTEL SINGAPORE

I went to the World Press Photography exhibition today, amidst errands. It is held at the Raffles Hotel and it is free for all. I have recently stumbled upon the movie '1000 Goodnights' with Juliette Binoche which centres around a conflict photojournalist. It made me appreciate this exhibition much more. It is very moving and it definitely opens our eyes, or at least mine, to the many issues around the world. Our world is not just my world.

Amongst the many photographs, this one captured my attention the most. At a glance, it seemed normal, at a glance that is. At the corner of my eye, I saw a man hugging a woman, which could mean affection and what not and so forth. But then on second look, my eyes teared up. 
                    

This was another photo that caught my attention. Minus the colour, these albino Indians look just like another westerners. We are all one people. Perhaps colour is present to teach us all that it actually doesn't matter at all.



WORLD PRESS PHOTO EXHIBITIONThe annual World Press Photo exhibition is the best known of World Press Photo's activities and is a highlight in the organization's calendar.Every year following the World Press Photo Contest, the winning images go on tour. In April, the exhibition is officially opened in Amsterdam and can be seen at venues around the globe until March of the next year. The tour program takes in approximately 100 cities in 45 countries and is still expanding.The exhibition is a showcase for creativity in photojournalism and a platform for developments in the profession, part of World Press Photo's aim of encouraging and stimulating the work of press photographers around the world. The show also attracts a broader public and, because of the wide-ranging focus of the contest, forms an eyewitness record of world events from the previous year.

HAPPINESS 210114

IT IS HAPPENING, JUST A FEW DAYS AND I SHALL BE CELEBRATING. THE GOODNESS OF COCONUT OIL. VIDEOS, LEARNING, CROCHET. SUPER DARK CHOCOLATE>85%. CAB SAU, THE ONLY WINE TO DRINK DUE TO ITS HIGH POLYPHENOL AND ANTIOXIDANTS COMPARED TO OTHER WINES. OUTINGS AND FREE TALKS. REST AND MORE REST.

WHAT HAPPINESS MEANS TO ME IN 2015

I LOVE THIS NEW 2015 WITHOUT NONSENSICAL PEOPLE, PEOPLE WHO WASTE MY TIME, UNAPPRECIATIVE PEOPLE, STAGNANT PEOPLE. WHAT A REFRESHING NEW YEAR. A SOBERING LOOK AT THE WORLD. MEDITATION AND VISUALISATION TOWARDS A MORE PEACEFUL BEING. LEARNING NEW THINGS EVERY SINGLE DAY, CROCHETING SOMETHING EVERY SINGLE DAY. MAKING AND LEARNING, NOTHING IS STILL. STICKING TO MY PRINCIPLES AND THE TRUTH. I WORK HARD AND I HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS. AND WHY SHOULD I HAVE LOWER STANDARDS FOR MYSELF IN THIS WHOLE SCHEME OF THE WORLD? I AM WORTH IT. UNDERSTANDING THE LAW OF ATTRACTION, AND THAT LIKES ATTRACT LIKES. AND IF YOU ARE NOT IN MY CIRCLE OF THOUGHT, PLEASE WANDER SOMEWHERE ELSE, I ONLY WANT LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE. EVERYTHING IS CONNECTING, YOUR INNER=YOUR OUTER, YOUR THOUGHTS=YOUR PEOPLE.

HAPPINESS 200115

A POT IN MY NAME. HE FINALLY MADE A POT FOR ME. NEW CLOTHES AND THAT FEELING OF BRAND NEW. LOVING THAT KONBU FROM HOKKAIDO, EASY, NO COOK, JUST DUMP IT IN THE SOUP. UNRELIABLE PEOPLE SET US APART, THERE IS NO POINT WASTING TIME ON THEM. WE TRIUMPH. STILL FEELING LIKE A PRINCESS. THE LAW OF ATTRACTION IS HAPPENING AGAIN TODAY AND I AM GRATEFUL FOR THAT. AUDIOBOOKS AND CROCHET MAKE THE JOURNEY PASS BY SO LEISURELY.

THE MANY OTHER USES OF MOISTURISER



Please feel free to add a comment on some other uses I might have missed out on this list, or uses that we do not know of yet!
  1. To moisturise your body of course.
  2. As a makeup removal. You will still have to wash your face after that to fully remove the residue in the moisturiser left on your face. Nonetheless, your makeup will be off your face. Use cotton buds for your eyeliner.
  3. As a leather softener. I would be careful and check that your moisturiser is fragrant-free and do a patch test before smearing it all over. Some leathers are not finished off properly and hence their dyes or coloured coatings could come off easily.
  4. Soften calluses. Rub in the moisturiser and then smear more of it on your feet. Wrap your feet with those A4 size plastic bags you find at the supermarket aisles for vegetables and fruits. Then put on socks over the bags and then go to sleep. Your feet will be moisturised the next morning and your calluses will also be softer. Wash the moisturiser off your feet and soak your feet for about 10 minutes before your remove your calluses by pumice, scrapping or the Ped Egg.
  5. As shaving cream. Some of used shampoo or shower gel or simply the suds when you are showering. But if you are not shaving in the shower, moisturiser is something to consider. You do not need to rinse too. Just wipe it off and your skin is moisturised at the same time.
  6. As a massage oil. Massage oils are sometimes expensive to buy, so you can consider simply using your moisturiser or add a few drops to your moisturiser for that extra oomph.
  7. For dry hair ends or fly-away hair. I am not suggesting applying it as your serum or leave-in conditioner. It would be too oily. If you do not need an overall serum or if you just want to tame your dry ends, try this. Rub the moisturiser between your hands. This should not be creamy, if so, rubs the excess into your skin, your arms or legs. You just need some oil from the moisturiser on your palms, activate the oil by rubbing your palms together and clean off the oils onto your hair ends or tame fly-aways.
  8. Prolonging your perfume. I think I have read this somewhere or it might be with vaseline. But I think a fragrant-free moisturiser would work too. What you want is something that will stick to your skin a bit longer than the ethanol in the perfume which will evaporate into the air throughout your day. Apply some fragrant-free moisturiser onto your neck, wrists or areas where you apply your perfume and then spray away. It should last longer than usual. Do try this on days in first, you do not know what is in your moisturiser that might react with the perfume sometimes. If it starts to smell different from your perfume after a while, you know your moisturiser probably contains too many chemicals and nonsense.

COURSERA : LEARN HOW TO LEARN. 10 RULES OF GOOD AND BAD STUDYING

10 RULES OF GOOD STUDYING

Excerpted from A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel in Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra), by Barbara Oakley, Penguin, July, 2014

  1. Use recall. After you read a page, look away and recall the main ideas. Highlight very little, and never highlight anything you haven’t put in your mind first by recalling. Try recalling main ideas when you are walking to class or in a different room from where you originally learned it. An ability to recall—to generate the ideas from inside yourself—is one of the key indicators of good learning.
  2. Test yourself. On everything. All the time. Flash cards are your friend.
  3. Chunk your problems. Chunking is understanding and practicing with a problem solution so that it can all come to mind in a flash. After you solve a problem, rehearse it. Make sure you can solve it cold—every step. Pretend it’s a song and learn to play it over and over again in your mind, so the information combines into one smooth chunk you can pull up whenever you want.
  4. Space your repetition. Spread out your learning in any subject a little every day, just like an athlete. Your brain is like a muscle—it can handle only a limited amount of exercise on one subject at a time.
  5. Alternate different problem-solving techniques during your practice. Never practice too long at any one session using only one problem-solving technique—after a while, you are just mimicking what you did on the previous problem. Mix it up and work on different types of problems. This teaches you both how and when to use a technique. (Books generally are not set up this way, so you’ll need to do this on your own.) After every assignment and test, go over your errors, make sure you understand why you made them, and then rework your solutions. To study most effectively, handwrite (don’t type) a problem on one side of a flash card and the solution on the other. (Handwriting builds stronger neural structures in memory than typing.) You might also photograph the card if you want to load it into a study app on your smartphone. Quiz yourself randomly on different types of problems. Another way to do this is to randomly flip through your book, pick out a problem, and see whether you can solve it cold.
  6. Take breaks. It is common to be unable to solve problems or figure out concepts in math or science the first time you encounter them. This is why a little study every day is much better than a lot of studying all at once. When you get frustrated with a math or science problem, take a break so that another part of your mind can take over and work in the background.
  7. Use explanatory questioning and simple analogies. Whenever you are struggling with a concept, think to yourself, How can I explain this so that a ten-year-old could understand it? Using an analogy really helps, like saying that the flow of electricity is like the flow of water. Don’t just think your explanation—say it out loud or put it in writing. The additional effort of speaking and writing allows you to more deeply encode (that is, convert into neural memory structures) what you are learning.
  8. Focus. Turn off all interrupting beeps and alarms on your phone and computer, and then turn on a timer for twenty-five minutes. Focus intently for those twenty-five minutes and try to work as diligently as you can. After the timer goes off, give yourself a small, fun reward. A few of these sessions in a day can really move your studies forward. Try to set up times and places where studying—not glancing at your computer or phone—is just something you naturally do.
  9. Eat your frogs first. Do the hardest thing earliest in the day, when you are fresh.
  10. Make a mental contrast. Imagine where you’ve come from and contrast that with the dream of where your studies will take you. Post a picture or words in your workspace to remind you of your dream. Look at that when you find your motivation lagging. This work will pay off both for you and those you love!


10 RULES OF BAD STUDYING

Excerpted from A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel in Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra), by Barbara Oakley, Penguin, July, 2014

Avoid these techniques—they can waste your time even while they fool you into thinking you’re learning!

  1. Passive rereading—sitting passively and running your eyes back over a page. Unless you can prove that the material is moving into your brain by recalling the main ideas without looking at the page, rereading is a waste of time.
  2. Letting highlights overwhelm you. Highlighting your text can fool your mind into thinking you are putting something in your brain, when all you’re really doing is moving your hand. A little highlighting here and there is okay—sometimes it can be helpful in flagging important points. But if you are using highlighting as a memory tool, make sure that what you mark is also going into your brain.
  3. Merely glancing at a problem’s solution and thinking you know how to do it. This is one of the worst errors students make while studying. You need to be able to solve a problem step-by-step, without looking at the solution.
  4. Waiting until the last minute to study. Would you cram at the last minute if you were practicing for a track meet? Your brain is like a muscle—it can handle only a limited amount of exercise on one subject at a time.
  5. Repeatedly solving problems of the same type that you already know how to solve. If you just sit around solving similar problems during your practice, you’re not actually preparing for a test—it’s like preparing for a big basketball game by just practicing your dribbling.
  6. Letting study sessions with friends turn into chat sessions. Checking your problem solving with friends, and quizzing one another on what you know, can make learning more enjoyable, expose flaws in your thinking, and deepen your learning. But if your joint study sessions turn to fun before the work is done, you’re wasting your time and should find another study group.
  7. Neglecting to read the textbook before you start working problems. Would you dive into a pool before you knew how to swim? The textbook is your swimming instructor—it guides you toward the answers. You will flounder and waste your time if you don’t bother to read it. Before you begin to read, however, take a quick glance over the chapter or section to get a sense of what it’s about.
  8. Not checking with your instructors or classmates to clear up points of confusion. Professors are used to lost students coming in for guidance—it’s our job to help you. The students we worry about are the ones who don’t come in. Don’t be one of those students.
  9. Thinking you can learn deeply when you are being constantly distracted. Every tiny pull toward an instant message or conversation means you have less brain power to devote to learning. Every tug of interrupted attention pulls out tiny neural roots before they can grow.
  10. Not getting enough sleep. Your brain pieces together problem-solving techniques when you sleep, and it also practices and repeats whatever you put in mind before you go to sleep. Prolonged fatigue allows toxins to build up in the brain that disrupt the neural connections you need to think quickly and well. If you don’t get a good sleep before a test, NOTHING ELSE YOU HAVE DONE WILL MATTER.

FREE MEDITATION EVERYDAY IN FRONT OF YOUR COMPUTER : THE LAW OF ATTRACTION CENTRE

Sometimes we might be too busy with work, with our families, with life, whatever it may be. Or it could be inertia or procrastination. It happens to the best of us. It has happened to me before when I thought it to be a hassle to get dressed and then travel to meditate for an hour. I know, I know. That is nothing. Many people get dressed and go play tennis, hit the gym or something.

But all that aside, how about a meditation session that comes to you? I stumbled upon The Law of Attraction Centre on Meetup.com when I was toying with the idea of meditation in the beginning. They broadcast the free meditation session which spans about 25-30minutes online and there are 4 different times to choose from.

Just sit back in the comfort of your home and close your eyes and plug in your earphones. This is very personal, yet you know there are people doing it with you because you will see the numbers of meditators connected to the online session. The screen grab above doesn't show it as it is on the disconnected mode.

The broadcast meditation starts with a 15 minutes relaxation and then a 10 minutes visualisation exercise which I think is brilliant. The voice is that of a female and it is calm and soothing. There are also tibetan singing bowls in the background.

Again on Fidgety Fingers, I urge you to try meditation and why not when it is free and in the comfort of your home? You will have more clarity, you will enjoy a healthier state of mind, you will feel more calm and relax, you will not be bogged down by inertia because it is just there right in front of you.

http://www.lawofattractioncentre.com/meditation/

THE SHABBY CABBIE

I was on the sidewalk the other day and I stopped to look at this license plate of the taxi. 88 is an auspicious number (in the Chinese culture) to have as it means prosperity and abundance. However, when it is mixed with the other letters, it could mean something else. This is a major fail for a taxi. I call it the shabby cabbie.

COURSERA : LEARN HOW TO LEARN. CHUNKING





10 UNSOLVED MYSTERIES OF THE HUMAN BODY

COURSERA : INTERVIEW WITH WRITING COACH DAPHNE GRAY-GRANT

I am not much of a writer and all the writing on the blog is for my own archive and anyone who is interesting to read my rant. However this is a video from the Coursera module on Learn how to Learn and it features Daphne Gray-Grant and some of her techniques and tips on writing. If you are interested, you can go to her website publicationcoach.org and subscribe to her free weekly learning tips.

Focused mode: Creative or writing mode
Diffuse mode: The Editing brain

  • Do not do an outline when you are writing. An outline is the focused mode. You really want to be creative when you are writing.
  • Mindmapping might be more useful, coming from a more diffuse mode. Mindmapping extracts the key points of the subject.
  • Never edit while you write.


COURSERA : DR. ROBERT BILDER ON CREATIVITY AND PROBLEM-SOLVING

  • You will always be creative even when you try to solve something which has already be solved creatively by someone else. Because the topic is new to you and you have never gone through the process. Only when you have successfully solved it then you are creative.
  • Leadership is the ability to disguise panic.
  • Always adopt the same amount of curiosity to your own shortcomings and difficulties getting the big picture that you will apply to others and problems in general. Be always willing to accept discomfort. To make progress, there will be some degree of discomfort. This is the theory of change. No pain no gain, this may be true to an extent in relation to the brain.
  • Creativity and being disagreeable: Personality and models are boiled down to 5 factors (OCEAN) Openness, Conscientiousness, Extra-virgin, Agreeableness, Neuroticism.
  • Disagreeableness often push the envelope and challenges.
  • It is a fine line to agree and disagree and it is an important mind to find HOW TO DISAGREE.
  • Like the benzene ring, our minds already have the components needed for the solution, it is what happens within our minds that spur the solution.
The Benzene Snake

HOW TO BE CREATIVE : SWITCHING BETWEEN FOCUSED AND DIFFUSE THINKING

I work in the creative industry, and this is an industry which is very used and abused because a lot of people do not understand what it takes to have inspirations to be creative. Whenever people interview me, I always tell them that I do not believe in my team working late. If we have to work late, I can safely say that it isn't me being inefficient. I am probably one of the efficient people around and I always give more than what is expected. So, if we have to work late, which other departments are then being inefficient? Should this be creative department who suffers the late nights and long hours then? I beg to differ. The creative department is the brains and the life line of all creative agencies and extra care needs to be taken.

I always ask my designers to go home when it is time. There is no point staying late to earn brownie points or to keep trying when you are stuck in a creative rut. Go home, or go out, see new things, enjoy yourself and come back to me tomorrow refreshed. If you are stuck, I am not going to tolerate it if you continue to dug a deeper rut. And there is much truth about this in the Coursera Learn how to learn module.

When we do not give our brains the time to detox in the form of sleeping or the diffuse section of our brains to digest and subconsciously figure out the information and ideas absorbed during the focused mode, we will be going nowhere and the foundations of those thoughts will be weak.

Salvatore Dali practiced his diffuse thinking in the form of his dreams. He would sit on an armchair holding a bunch of keys and fall asleep to dream. He would then be woken up when he drops the keys onto a plate, thereby making noise to wake himself up to quickly note down his ideas and visions.
Focused thinking is what we develop when we are learning from textbooks for example. Diffuse thinking of a more relax and creative state of mind. It is exercising, it is pause, it is walking, it is relaxing, enjoying music, whatever it is. In this state of running around and moving creates new neurons in our adult brains (even) that helps us to process the focused thinking and be better thinkers.

Using the analogy of pinball machines, focused mode has tighter bumper that keep thoughts concentrated and diffuse mode have looser bumpers that aid in  more broad-ranging thinking.

Focused: Familiarity (textbook)
Diffuse: Broad-range, dealing with new things, creativity

AS A SUMMARY OF THE 1st MODULE OF LEARN HOW TO LEARN WITH COURSERA
  • To activate the diffuse mode, sleep or go for a walk, just relax. The trick is to focus and then relax to let things settle and process. 
  • It always takes time to build a foundation. 
  • Patterning procrastination is important in practicing focused and diffuse mode. Practice to make permanence is important in dealing with more abstract topics. 
  • Long term memory is a huge trustworthy storage unlike working memory which is like a blackboard (erasable). If you work your working memory repetitively, it can become long term memory.
  • Never cramp all learnings in one day. The mind and neutrons need time to build a solid foundation.
  • Exercise is valuable in improving our memory and ability to learn so that we can build new neutrons in our brains.

COURSERA : LEARN HOW TO LEARN. SLEEP FLUSHES OUT TOXINS FROM OUR BRAINS

Do you know that just by being awake creates toxic products in your brains? When you sleep, your brain cells shrink and create passages for the toxics to wash themselves out. During sleep, the brains tidies and organises the information, ideas and concepts. It erases the less important parts of memory and strengthens the more important parts. The brains go over and over the neural patterns to strengthen them. This is the diffused mode. Dreaming about what you are studying can enhance your learning process.


COURSERA : LEARN HOW TO LEARN. PRACTICE MAKES PERMANENT

I have been reading up, listening to audiobooks really, about how we learn, the law of attraction and all that about the subconscious mind. And in this 1.5 chapter of the Coursera Learn how to Learn. It is true again. There is nothing about inborn talent. No one is born with talent so to speak. it is all about learning and practicing. 
Someone is good at music and can play musical instruments quite readily because they are probably better at focusing and are more receptive to the subject and performance of it. I recently watched 'Nowhere Boy' during my holiday. It is a film about how John Lennon became the musical genius he was. He was not born with musical talents. He practiced and he practiced. He hung out with people of the same interest and he went all out to pursue his interest in music.This led me to think that if we want something bad enough, we will go all out to make that happen. It will not happen overnight because cramping all the knowledge will only make you have a weak foundation. But if we were to practice hard enough and beat procrastination with the Pomodoro Technique, we can one day truly be masters of what we want to become.
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