How Science Can Help You Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

How Science Can Help You Achieve Your New Year's Goals

Are you having trouble sticking to your New Year’s goals? I am.

I have two: to lose the weight I gained last year, and to complete and successfully defend my dissertation. Although this requires me to focus on two goals, I believe I can achieve these two goals by focusing on one goal: being disciplined. As Nike says, “Just Do It.”

Most of all, I remind myself to maintain a positive mindset, and iterate. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

How do you stay on track when you set a goal?

[Image via: Happify.com.]

Bullet Journal: Students and Analog-to-Digital Day Planner Conversion (Yes! It is Possible!)

I received this note last week from my contact page.

Hi! I really enjoyed reading about your experience with the Bullet Journal. I am thinking about giving it a go, but I am in grad school and a lot of my planning is around assignments. I have a LOT of homework…reading, lesson plans, etc. If you have any ideas about how to use the Bullet Journal system with tons of homework assignments I would really appreciate suggestions! I have a master list now in an excel spread sheet but I have no idea how I would put them into the Bullet system without planning every day of the month out with due dates. Thank you for taking the time to read my message and if you have a minute I would love to hear from you. Thank you and love your blog! -Jenna

I wanted to share my reply today.

Hi Jenna!

First, I apologize for taking a week to get back to you. What with the Thanksgiving holiday, and then catching up on work, I am only today getting through all of my emails.

I am a doctoral candidate, and I have not yet found the perfect solution for managing my time.

What I do with the bullet journal is on the monthly index, I’ll set aside 3 pages. They look something like this:

(Page 1)
December 2014 Index
Personal
**list tasks

(Page 2)
December 2014 Index
Dissertation
**list tasks

December 2014 Index
Research Assistantship
**list tasks

I tend to put appointments, meetings, etc. in my digital calendar, and then use the bullet journal for task tracking.

I hope this helps.

Also, FastCoDesign had this article today [about Adobe, LiveScribe and Evernote’s analog-to-digital work with Moleskine].

From one of the slides:

“It’s not the first time we’ve seen Moleskine embrace the shifting digital culture. Recently, they’ve released notebooks that pair with Livescribe pens to automatically digitize notes and doodles, and Evernote to upload your analog day planner into your cloud-based calendar.”

I plan to look into this, myself.

Best Regards,

Jewel

Do you all have any suggestions for Jenna? Has anyone tried Moleskine with Evernote, Livescribe, or Adobe?

How Almost Every TV Show Plays Out

Have you ever wanted to write for TV? You have? Well, the infographic below will help you in your plot development.

3039019-inline-i-1-anatomy-of-shows

Are you surprised by anything you read?

I am surprised by how few plot lines there really are.

Are You a Late Bloomer?

too-late-to-learn-late-bloomers-people-who-succeeded-infographic

Are you an early bloomer? A late bloomer? Mid-life?

I cannot answer that question, myself. I’ve been a life-long learner, and I’ve enjoyed every stage of my life. I’m curious, though, about how other people feel about their lives.

[Via: Funders and Founders.]

If Game of Thrones Had Mass Transit…

What would a mass transit map for Westeros and EssosThe Known World from The Game of Thrones—look like? Michael Tyznik decided to find out and created these wonderful maps that both explain and poke fun of the complicated story lines of the book and HBO series.

Inspired by the work of Cameron Booth and his awesome Transit Maps Tumblr, I created these rail maps of Westeros and The Known World. Hopefully fans will notice some small touches — the closed stations along the Wall Line, for example.

Prints of the maps are available starting at $40 at inPRNT: Westeros and The Known World. You can also view the maps at high resolution on my Flickr: Westeros and The Known World.

Here’s the starting point. Clicking on the images will take you to a larger, zoomable image.

  1. We’re at the main station for the city of King’s Landing, viewing a map of “Rail Transport in Westeros”.
  2.  
    King's Landing Header-Rail Transport in Westeros-Game of Thrones-Michael Tyznik
     

  3. Next, we can view more closely the full transit Routes map and Key of “Rail Transport in Westeros”.
  4.  
    Rail Transport in Westeros-Game of Thrones-Michael Tyznik
     

  5. As you can see, in Westeros, all roads lead to King’s Landing.
  6.  
    Close up King's Landing-Rail Transport in Westeros-Game of Thrones-Michael Tyznik
     

  7. Rail transport even extends to Pyke, on the Iron Islands.
  8.  
    Close Up-Pyke Iron Islands-Rail Transport in Westeros-Game of Thrones-Michael Tyznik
     

  9. The Known World has mass transit in Essos, as well. Here is the Key, plus “Routes in Essos”. Based on the map alone, Essos is more sparsely settled than Westeros.
  10.  
    Rail Transport in The Known World-Game of Thrones-Michael Tyznik
     

  11. Please note that the service to Valyria has been discontinued, while service to Slavers Bay and the Gulf of Grief continues.
  12.  
    Close Up-Slavers Bay-Rail Transport in Westeros-Game of Thrones-Michael Tyznik
     

  13. Please note the closed stations along the Wall. Castle Black, as always, remains open and on guard. The distance between Winterfell and Castle Black is approximate.
  14.  
    Close Up-Winterfell-Castle Black-Game of Thrones-Michael Tyznik
     

  15. Last, but not least, is a close up of the Key and “Routes in Essos” from “The Known World” transit map.
  16.  
    Key-Routes in Essos-Game of Thrones-Michael Tyznik

    These maps are a labor of love. They show a great attention to detail, artistic ability, and creativity. I think these maps are a lovely way to mix reality and fantasy.

    What do you think of the transit maps. Do you have any comments you’d like to make?

    Valar morghulis, dear readers.

    [Source: Michael Tyznik via Buzzfeed.]

How Do Cultural and Intellectual Centers Re-locate Over Time?

Have you ever wondered why cities rise and fall, as do empires?

Charting Culture” is an animation that examines when and how “notable” people are born, stay or migrate, and where they die. Over 12,000 notable historical figures were tracked and the migrations display how people moved from city to city, empire to empire, between 600 B.C. to 2012 A.D.

Charting Culture

Published on Jul 31, 2014

This animation distils hundreds of years of culture into just five minutes. A team of historians and scientists wanted to map cultural mobility, so they tracked the births and deaths of notable individuals like David, King of Israel, and Leonardo da Vinci, from 600 BC to the present day. Using them as a proxy for skills and ideas, their map reveals intellectual hotspots and tracks how empires rise and crumble

The information comes from Freebase, a Google-owned database of well-known people and places, and other catalogues of notable individuals. The visualization was created by Maximilian Schich (University of Texas at Dallas) and Mauro Martino (IBM).

Read Nature’s news story: http://www.nature.com/news/1.15650

Find the research paper in Science: http://www.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/…

Did you find anything unusual or surprising about this video?

I was fascinated by the data and by the visualization of it. However, I found it very Euro-centric. The authors did show Japan, briefly, but ignore the US South, the Middle East (the birth place of numbers 0-9), China, and the entire African continent.

What do you think?

[Source: Smithsonian Smartnews via Thomas Strömberg.]

Nomophobia? Can You Function Daily without Your Cell Phone?

Nomophobia is “the fear of being out of mobile phone contact”.

The term, an abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia”, was coined during a 2010 study by the UK Post Office who commissioned YouGov, a UK-based research organization to look at anxieties suffered by mobile phone users. [Source: Wikipedia.]

Nomophobia - fear of being without a cell phone

Do you ever disconnect from your mobile device? If so, do you have feelings of anxiety when you do? Are you guilty of engaging in any of the above situations?

I don’t tend to use my phone when I am driving, but I am guilty of reading it just before I go to bed…and staying up later than I had planned. Lost sleep is not conducive to high performance the next day.

[Source: HuffPo.]

What is the Cumulative Impact of Human Activity on the World’s Oceans?

Cumulative Impacts of Human Activity on the Oceans

Have you ever wondered what the impact is of human activity on the world’s oceans?

In short, a lot.

This animation shows the cumulative impacts of human activity on the oceans. Green represents areas with less impact, and red represents areas that experience much greater impact.

A study by Dr. Kenneth Casey in Feb 2008 , with NOAA’s National Oceanographic Data Center, shows that 40% of the world’s oceans are heavily affected by human activities like overfishing and pollution. The marine ecosystems most threatened by human activities are coral reefs.

The ocean impacts the lives of everyone on Earth, even those who do not live on or near the coast, and humans affect the ocean in a variety of ways. Individual and collective action is necessary to wisely manage ocean resources for all.

Which areas have been impacted the most?
What about the least?

Did you view the actual animation? If so, what surprised you about human’s impact on the world’s oceans? What did not surprise you?

Need a Heterogeneous Digital Preservation Solution?

Are you looking for a digital preservation solution that is open source but not one-size-fits-all? Then check out the tools of the Scalable Preservation Environments (SCAPE) Project, an EU funded digital initiative.

The SCAPE project develops scalable services for planning and execution of institutional preservation strategies on an open source platform that orchestrates semi-automated workflows for large-scale, heterogeneous collections of complex digital objects. SCAPE will enhance the state of the art of digital preservation in three ways: by developing infrastructure and tools for scalable preservation actions; by providing a framework for automated, quality-assured preservation workflows, and by integrating these components with a policy-based preservation planning and watch system. These concrete project results are being validated within four large-scale Testbeds from diverse application areas.

I like the policy-based preservation aspect of this system. That is my area of research for my dissertation.

Are there any particular aspects of this project that caught your attention?

[Source: SCAPE-Project.]