I daresay, my good fellow – you look like you’ve got quite the conundrum on your hands if I do say so myself!
You see, you’re sitting at your computer, reading this blog post and trying to learn something. And of course, that’s all well and good.
But there’s something nagging at the back of your mind, now isn’t there? Some small voice telling you:
“I really should go hit the gym.”
And so you should – but I’ll agree that it’s quite unfortunate you can’t continue reading and learning while you do so.
…or can you?
Alright, you can stop imagining this post being voiced by an elderly British gentleman. If you’re looking for a way to make all that gym time productive for your mind as well as your body, then podcasts are your answer.
In fact, any time you’re doing something less than mentally stimulating – driving, walking to class, doing your laundry – you can probably pop in your headphones and listen to a podcast at the same time.
What is a podcast? Put simply, it’s some form of episodic content that you can subscribe to and download. Usually it’s audio or video, and anyone with a mic and an internet connection can make one.
Podcasts aren’t nearly as numerous as blogs, but there are still a lot to sift through out there. So, to help you dive into the world of podcasts, I’ve created a list of my favorites. Read More…
I walk really fast. I mean, there might be cultures in the world where the average walking speed is faster than mine, but at least in the U.S. and Japan, you could say I set my pace with posthaste.
It doesn’t help that I’m a broad-shouldered, 200-pound dude – but at least my years of DDR addiction have enabled me to somewhat gracefully dance through crowds without much shoulder jostling.
However, my walking speed today isn’t nearly what it was during my first couple years of college. During my academic years, the only apt description for my style of walking was “booking it” – pun intended.
Why? Well, you see, I had this irrational idea that I had to achieve ALL THE THINGS.
I’m a pretty goal-oriented person, as you might know, and during my first couple years of college I thought I basically had to achieve everything before I graduated.
In my mind, once I crossed the stage, framed my degree, and got a job, that was it. The buck stopped there.
Of course, I didn’t truly believe that – I knew there was ample opportunity to advance, get promoted, keep learning, etc. I mean, that’s obvious, right? College isn’t the only place to learn and grow… right? Read More…
Without thinking too hard about it, let your intuitive brain try to convert the following sentence from text into imagined sound:
Unless you’re Japanese, or one of the few people who have learned it as a second tongue, you probably imagined, well… gibberish.
And you’d be completely justified in doing that. Foreign languages aren’t exactly easy to understand, especially when they’re written using symbols that you don’t know how to pronounce.
On my most recent trip to Japan (this past May), gibberish was mainly what I was still hearing. My Japanese studies in between my first trip and this one had been lackluster, to say the least; I had finally learned all of hiragana, but my grammar and ability to put together sentences was still severely lacking.
As a result, most things people said to me made no sense.
Well, no longer. Ever since returning from my second trip, my resolve to learn Japanese has been incredibly strong. I’ve managed to make time for studying almost every day for the past few months, and since returning I’ve shoved over 130 kanji and over 220 vocabulary words into my brain. My grasp of Japanese grammar is steadily improving as well.
One of the more recent methods of learning I’ve come up with is using Twitter.
I’ve set up a completely new Twitter account specifically for learning Japanese, and after about a week of using it, I can safely say it’s a very effective tactic for learning any language. Read More…
The red and white-dominated screen stared right back at me, daring me to second-guess its sobering proclamation. 2,073,600 pixels all banded together to thrust a singular message down my optic nerves and right into my occipital lobe:
“A night class. A. Night. Class.”
That was my option? My only option? After almost four years of careful planning, multiple trips to the advisor’s office, meticulous scrutinization of the course catalog and major requirements, and no small amount of Excel gymnastics – this is what it had come to?
It seemed so. To complete my MIS major, the project I had dedicated almost 1/5th of my life to, I would have to take a night class. No other option presented itself on the course scheduler.
In a dance of alignment that merited astrological likening, the school, professors, schedules, FORTRAN-based computer systems, and – not least – the very quarks in my little corner of the universe had all colluded to force me into this decidedly disagreeable class arrangement.
This could not be allowed. Something had to be done. And so a plan was hatched. Read More…
I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.
This quote marks the start of James Gleick’s Genius, a 438-page biography and tribute to one of humanity’s greatest scientists – Richard Feynman.
Richard Feynman is a legend.
Ranked as one of the 10 greatest physicists of all time, Feynman contributed a staggering amount to our understanding of the universe.
Feynman taught himself trigonometry, analytic geometry, calculus, and a host of other advanced math topics at the age of 15. After high school, he attended MIT and afterward become the first person in history to attain a perfect score on the math and physics portions of the Princeton entrence exam.
In the 1940’s, he joined the Manhattan project at Los Alamos and helped the Allies to develop the atomic bomb before Nazi Germany could do it. Read More…