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"Facebook is trying too hard." Why some teens are turned off by Facebook.

"Facebook is trying too hard."  Why some teens are turned off by Facebook. | Ken's Odds & Ends |
At 13, I’ve been noticing something different: Facebook is losing teens lately. And I think I know why.
Ken Morrison's insight:

Regardless of the platform, this young writer appears to be quite media literate.  I am glad that some people are putting thought into the effects of social media.  One takeaway is that some kids feel that "Facebook is trying too hard."

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Ken's Odds & Ends
Links that I want to share and remember because they made me think more deeply on a topic. Warning: I do engage in some 'linkdumping' here. This is not a true curation page.
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An Eye on New Media

An Eye on New Media | Ken's Odds & Ends |

Welcome to 'Ken's Odds and Ends'. Click this link to go to my 'real' site.

Let me be the first to tell you that this "Odd's and Ends' site is not a polished Page. It is the 'waiting room' or 'overflow room' for my primary page which you can find here:

The focus of that site is New Media in Society, Business & Classrooms

This site reflects those interests as well as some other scoops that don't fit directly into nice little boxes under the 'new media' umbrella.

Ken Morrison's insight:

I am trying to streamline my primary site.  Oddz and Endz is kind of an overflow of this original site but will have content that doesn't fit into nice little  boxes under the 'New Media' flag

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The Science of Procrastination and How to Manage It, Animated

The Science of Procrastination and How to Manage It, Animated | Ken's Odds & Ends |

TeThis is where you insert the meta-joke about what else you're actually supposed to be doing this very moment.

From AsapSCIENCE -- who hav

Ken Morrison's insight:

The power of procrastination (and how to fight back).

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How Long To Nap For The Best Benefits -

How Long To Nap For The Best Benefits - | Ken's Odds & Ends |
If you’re anything like me, you love a good nap. It’s almost like rebooting your brain. But did you know that napping has some pretty far-reaching effects on your health? Shorter naps give you the ‘best bang for your buck’ according to experts, but longer naps have their benefits too.

A 10-20 minute nap can boost your alertness. Perfect for a midday break at work. But for improved memory, an hour long nap may do you good. Slow wave sleep helps with remembering places and faces, but you might feel a little groggy when you wake up. A 90 minute nap involves a full cycle of sleep, which can help with creativity and procedural memory.

As it turns out, sitting slightly upright during a nap will help you avoid deep sleep. If you start having dreams while napping, it may mean you aren’t getting enough sleep at night. Be sure to give yourself the eight hours your body needs to be healthy!

Sara Mednick, an assistant psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, said the most useful nap depends on what the napper needs.

For a quick boost, she recommends a 10-to-20-minute nap.
For cognitive memory improvement, however, a 60-minute nap may be better, Dr. Mednick said. The downside: some grogginess upon waking.
Finally, a 90-minute nap will most likely turn into a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity, emotional and procedural memory.
Ken Morrison's insight:

Oh. I miss my strategic naps. That was a healthy season (which I should recreate).  

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▶ Traveling Tips for India (New Delhi, India Travel Video) - YouTube

This week, Cities of the future visits India's capital - New Delhi. Here's what the city needs to do in order to maintain sustainable growth.
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A Liberal Decalogue: Bertrand Russell’s 10 Commandments of Teaching

A Liberal Decalogue: Bertrand Russell’s 10 Commandments of Teaching | Ken's Odds & Ends |
Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:

Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.
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We're Smarter Than 36th In The World: Using Data Analytics to Empower U.S. Teachers and Students

We're Smarter Than 36th In The World: Using Data Analytics to Empower U.S. Teachers and Students | Ken's Odds & Ends |
very three years, a select group of 15-year-old students from around the world is tested on their knowledge of math, science and reading. In the latest round of tests performed in 2012 by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), U.S. students ranked 36th in math, 28th in science and 24th in reading out of the 65 countries in the survey. Clearly, there is plenty of room for improvement.

One emerging area with the potential to significantly improve the performance of U.S. students might lie in harnessing something that has revolutionized the business world over the last several years: data analytics. 

Because the education system places great emphasis on measurement—of grades, national averages, teacher performance, etc.—it’s no stranger to data, especially large data sets that have been used for years to analyze things such as standardized tests. These analyses tend to focus on a measurement of what has been learned and how that compares to a larger population, all of which is important when evaluating students. However, the retrospective nature of this type of information fails to capitalize on the power of data to improve student performance in the classroom while they are actively learning.

Imagine a system that provides teachers with real-time insights to understand how a student is performing. The teacher can then use the data to spot weak areas and adjust the lesson plan accordingly. This type of tailored instruction has the ability to greatly improve student performance. 

Over the last seven years, Xerox researchers have been developing such a system by spending more than 400 hours embedded with teachers, administrators and students from school districts in New York and California. They discovered that teachers wanted a simpler way to grade, analyze and chart each student’s progress. Teachers then could determine what concepts were being taught successfully and which were missing the mark—and they could do it on a student-by-student, class-by-class basis.

This insight led Xerox to develop Ignite, an automated student assessment tool that combines scanning hardware and analytics software. It not only grades exams faster, but also extracts student performance measurements and creates real-time feedback for teachers. This gives teachers the ability to quickly address the reality that students learn concepts at different paces and in different ways, and to customize their teaching, so individually or in small groups, students get the extra attention they need to achieve.

“Instead of spending time scoring tests and making sense of the data, teachers can quickly access relevant views of the data and focus on meeting the needs of each individual student. This is something that is making our lives more effective as educators,” says Principal Marc Nelson of Harris Hill Elementary in Penfield Central School District, one of several districts using Ignite in New York.

Demonstrating its broader importance, the benefits of the system go beyond even the teachers and students. Parents receive a report that shows the progress of their child over the course of the school year. Meanwhile, another report is made available to school administrators showing how students are progressing throughout their district, by class, grade and subject—information previously only available from state-mandated tests.

No one wants American education to succeed more than American educators, 98 percent of whom view teaching as not just a profession, but a commitment to the world’s future. Empowering teachers with the data and insight they need to be more effective educators is just one example of how recent technological advancements can help dramatically improve teaching and the learning experience.
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The Hilarious Story Of Shane, The Walmart Deli Guy, Told Through Notes From His Bosses

The Hilarious Story Of Shane, The Walmart Deli Guy, Told Through Notes From His Bosses | Ken's Odds & Ends |

nnThis is the ridiculous story of Shane, a Walmart deli employee. The pictures are of notes left for Shane by store management.

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How You Can Function on Less Than 6 Hours of Sleep

How You Can Function on Less Than 6 Hours of Sleep | Ken's Odds & Ends |
I don’t have a multi-million dollar company (yet), but I’m one of those CEOs who function on 3-5 hours of sleep.

No, there aren’t any drugs involved, nor is there poor management (as far as I know). It’s a variety of things.

First, reduce TV. You sleep much better, and do much more work, when you don’t watch much TV. Your brain is actually less active watching TV than when it’s sleeping. This dullness is addictive. My daughter becomes a giant mess when she watches too much TV — huge tantrums, crying, screaming, complete meltdown. She doesn’t want to eat or listen. It’s like she’s addicted, and I’m taking away her drug. My husband is very similar, without the actual crying. He just sort of grunts more. I’m not certain it happens with everyone, but I’d be surprised if most people aren’t highly susceptible to this “one more show” mentality, and the gape-mouthed stare is the death knell for good work, good eating, good sleep or good play.

Second, limit carbohydrates. For me, anyway — they just make me sleepy.

Third, limit meetings. Same as carbs. Blah blah blah — hate just droning on, or being droned at. Nothing good comes of this.

Fourth, I actually have specific hours I need to sleep to do well, not a specific number of hours. It’s a quirk of my circadian rhythm, and it’s been that way since my 20s. If I can sleep from 4 to 8am, I’m very happy. However, my home life doesn’t permit that, so I usually end up sleeping from 1-4am, and 5-6:30am. I have a hard time sleeping in the early morning hours, and love the morning (once I drag myself out of bed).

Fifth, when I get a few energy slumps, I rely on some tried and true solutions: I switch tasks to things I really like (so I save that stuff for sleepy times). I hang out on Quora (dangerous, because I’m on here WAY longer than I should be. There should be a stopwatch or a clock on this thing…!) I go outside. I email or chat with someone personal (not usually on the phone—hate the phone.) I play a set number of solitaire hands. I read the news or, if read, one of three gossip sites I frequent (I’m not proud.) Or, if all else fails, I take a nap. I usually sleep more on slower days or if nothing is happening on a weekend, but it works out.

Sixth, and most important, I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LOVE WHAT I DO. I love it so much! I am so incredibly happy that I get to do my job. I have days that suck. I have strings of days that suck. But they are just sucky days — my life is still pretty spectacularly awesome. It makes me excited to wake up, to take the conference call I had today set at the incredibly ludicrous time of 6:30am, to take calls and go to meetings while visiting family, to get over shyness and speak to the stranger next to me on the airplane, to spend the evening playing with my daughter knowing that I’ll be working on a document until 4 am and begging Kinko’s for something (and I HATE begging.)

I mostly just think I am a very lucky person. I have a (pretty) supportive spouse, a fantastic kid, a wonderful dog. I’m healthy, I’m privileged to run a company that is about to split into 2, with customers that are acolytes that spare me marketing dollars. People believe in me and my ability to lead, they believe in what I’ve created. I do something that I think makes a difference in the world. And today I’m having a pretty good hair day.

I don’t really worry about the sleep that I get. I get what I can, and do what I have to do every day. Everyone around me is trying to help me out (for the most part), I keep my priorities in order (my kid never suffers, I can’t make myself sick), and I just focus on what I have immediately ahead and in the near future, and what I need to get those done. I truly believe it will all benefit everyone in the end, and my support group does, too.

And that’s how I do it.
Ken Morrison's insight:

Ken's Key takeaways:

Carbs and meetings make us sleepy.

Our brains are more active during sleep than when watching TV.

Some people get more cranky when TV is removed.

For this person, she knows her body well enough that she does not need a certain number of hours of sleep; she needs to be asleep during specific hours.

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A Few Maxims for the Instruction of the Over-Educated by Oscar Wilde

A Few Maxims for the Instruction of the Over-Educated by Oscar Wilde | Ken's Odds & Ends |
"Public opinion exists only where there are no ideas."

Oscar Wilde (October 16, 1854–November 30, 1900) was not only the twentieth
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9 Things Everyone Should Do When Reading the Bible

9 Things Everyone Should Do When Reading the Bible | Ken's Odds & Ends |
ery few of us have the inclination or interest in diving into three years of seminary education in order to get a better handle on the Scriptures. However, every believer should long to get a better grip on the Bible. The good news is that it does not require a graduate education to do so.

At seminary, I learned Greek, Hebrew and all manner of intimidating subjects ending in –etics, but some of the things that have stayed with me most clearly were not things from textbooks, but off-the-cuff comments from teachers who had walked with God far longer than I had. They were post-it sized truths, easily understandable and readily applicable. Years after graduating, these are the things I still remember.

1. Read ‘King’ When You See ‘Christ.’
Christ, or Messiah, means “anointed one,” and priests and kings were anointed. Substituting "King Jesus" for "Christ Jesus" when reading draws attention to the fact that Christ was not Jesus' last name, but in fact His title: one of great honor and esteem. Making that one switch alone breathes new life into reading the New Testament.

2. Read ‘You’ Differently.
Almost all the "you" words in the New Testament are plural you's rather than singular you's. The Southern "y'all" expresses it beautifully: the epistles are written to believers corporately, not believers alone. This does not diminish personal responsibility at all, though. If anything, it heightens it: we pray together, believe together, suffer together, raise the armor of God together. All y'all.

3. If You See a ‘Therefore,’ Find Out What It’s There For.
Therefore, take note in bibles where paragraphs are divided up with headings inserted by editors. If the paragraph begins with "therefore,” you might have to pick up a bit earlier to understand the context.

4. Realize That Not All ‘If’ Statements Are The Same.
This was a watershed one for me: not all "ifs" are the same. Conditional “ifs” are not the same as causal “ifs.” Some IF statements are always tied to the THEN one (if you stand in the rain, then you will get wet). Others have more risk involved: the IF statement is necessary, but not sufficient, to bring about the THEN one (if you study for an exam, then you will pass).

This makes the world of difference in studying Romans 8: "If you are led by the spirit of God, you are children of God." I had always read that and been afraid I wasn't spirit-led enough to be considered God's child. It was a glory-hallelujah moment to realize this was the first type of if: "If you are led by the Spirit of God (and you ARE!), then you are also always and forever His child.” What a difference!

5. Recognize That Lamenting is OK.
Yes, there is joy and peace and hope in Christ. But true believers still mourn and lament. There is space in the life of faith for complaining, tears, grit and depression. Just look at the Psalms.

6. Realize That Prophecy is More Often FORTH-Telling Than FORE-Telling.
So often, our focus in approaching prophecy is to ask “what did they say about the future?” However, often the prophets weren’t talking about the future (foretelling), they were explaining and interpreting Israel’s history and current predicaments in light of their covenantal behavior (forth-telling), and had little to do with the future. Israel may have painfully aware that they had just suffered military defeat at the hands of the Babylonians, but it took the prophet’s words to explain from God’s perspective why this had happened and what lessons they were to learn from their experience. Poor old Jeremiah.

7. Become Familiar with the Idioms of Your King.
Jesus' words were so often hard to understand: cryptic, in parables, couched in Hebrew idiom. He spoke of eyes being lamps and people being salt: language often so far removed from my understanding it was temping to skip over the gospels to the much more familiar epistles.

However, if we have called Jesus "King" and “Lord,” we dare not skip over His words just because they are hard. Commentaries and a little Internet research on the gospels go a long way towards filling in some of the cultural and linguistic blanks. As his followers and servants, it is our responsibility to keep on seeking understanding.

8. Remember What You Learned in English Class.
The Bible is not an instruction manual. It's not a "how-to" book for life. It is a collection of 66 books of literature, and to interpret it correctly, you need to remember what you learned in English class about interpreting different genres of literature.

Biblical truth is found in poetry, but we must read it as poetry. It is found in narrative, but we must read those as stories. It is found in proverbs, and we must treat those as such. Just a quick moment to think “what book am I reading from? And what type of literature is this?” can make a world of difference. Truth be told, the Bible is not an easy read, but it is absolutely worth the effort.

9. Read to Study. But Also, Read to Refresh Your Heart.
Amid the hours of serious Bible study, I treasured this advice. Sometimes, we read to study and understand and wrestle with the truth. But sometimes, we read to make our hearts happy. “Delight yourself in the Lord,” for “your words are sweeter to me than honey.”
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8 Ways to Spot Emotional Manipulation.. and Free Ourselves From It

8 Ways to Spot Emotional Manipulation.. and Free Ourselves From It | Ken's Odds & Ends |
We as human beings have a very strong self-centered aspect (even if it may not be truly ‘real’) of our…
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Artist Makes The Ordinary Extraordinary By Adding Clever Drawings Around Everyday Objects

Artist Makes The Ordinary Extraordinary By Adding Clever Drawings Around Everyday Objects | Ken's Odds & Ends |
The world is this man's playground.
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The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking

The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking | Ken's Odds & Ends |
Carl Sagan was many things — a cosmic sage, voracious reader, hopeless romantic, and brilliant philosopher. But above all, he endures as our era’s greatest patron saint of reason and common sense, a master of the vital balance between skepticism and openness. In The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (public library) — the same indispensable volume that gave us Sagan’s timeless meditation on science and spirituality, published mere months before his death in 1996 — Sagan shares his secret to upholding the rites of reason, even in the face of society’s most shameless untruths and outrageous propaganda.

In a chapter titled “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection,” Sagan reflects on the many types of deception to which we’re susceptible — from psychics to religious zealotry to paid product endorsements by scientists, which he held in especially low regard, noting that they “betray contempt for the intelligence of their customers” and “introduce an insidious corruption of popular attitudes about scientific objectivity.” (Cue in PBS’s Joe Hanson on how to read science news.) But rather than preaching from the ivory tower of self-righteousness, Sagan approaches the subject from the most vulnerable of places — having just lost both of his parents, he reflects on the all too human allure of promises of supernatural reunions in the afterlife, reminding us that falling for such fictions doesn’t make us stupid or bad people, but simply means that we need to equip ourselves with the right tools against them.

Through their training, scientists are equipped with what Sagan calls a “baloney detection kit” — a set of cognitive tools and techniques that fortify the mind against penetration by falsehoods:

The kit is brought out as a matter of course whenever new ideas are offered for consideration. If the new idea survives examination by the tools in our kit, we grant it warm, although tentative, acceptance. If you’re so inclined, if you don’t want to buy baloney even when it’s reassuring to do so, there are precautions that can be taken; there’s a tried-and-true, consumer-tested method.

But the kit, Sagan argues, isn’t merely a tool of science — rather, it contains invaluable tools of healthy skepticism that apply just as elegantly, and just as necessarily, to everyday life. By adopting the kit, we can all shield ourselves against clueless guile and deliberate manipulation. Sagan shares nine of these tools:

Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.”
Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
Arguments from authority carry little weight — “authorities” have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts.
Spin more than one hypothesis. If there’s something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Then think of tests by which you might systematically disprove each of the alternatives. What survives, the hypothesis that resists disproof in this Darwinian selection among “multiple working hypotheses,” has a much better chance of being the right answer than if you had simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.
Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours. It’s only a way station in the pursuit of knowledge. Ask yourself why you like the idea. Compare it fairly with the alternatives. See if you can find reasons for rejecting it. If you don’t, others will.
Quantify. If whatever it is you’re explaining has some measure, some numerical quantity attached to it, you’ll be much better able to discriminate among competing hypotheses. What is vague and qualitative is open to many explanations. Of course there are truths to be sought in the many qualitative issues we are obliged to confront, but finding them is more challenging.
If there’s a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work (including the premise) — not just most of them.
Occam’s Razor. This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well to choose the simpler.
Always ask whether the hypothesis can be, at least in principle, falsified. Propositions that are untestable, unfalsifiable are not worth much. Consider the grand idea that our Universe and everything in it is just an elementary particle — an electron, say — in a much bigger Cosmos. But if we can never acquire information from outside our Universe, is not the idea incapable of disproof? You must be able to check assertions out. Inveterate skeptics must be given the chance to follow your reasoning, to duplicate your experiments and see if they get the same result.

Just as important as learning these helpful tools, however, is unlearning and avoiding the most common pitfalls of common sense. Reminding us of where society is most vulnerable to those, Sagan writes:

In addition to teaching us what to do when evaluating a claim to knowledge, any good baloney detection kit must also teach us what not to do. It helps us recognize the most common and perilous fallacies of logic and rhetoric. Many good examples can be found in religion and politics, because their practitioners are so often obliged to justify two contradictory propositions.

He admonishes against the twenty most common and perilous ones — many rooted in our chronic discomfort with ambiguity — with examples of each in action:

ad hominem — Latin for “to the man,” attacking the arguer and not the argument (e.g., The Reverend Dr. Smith is a known Biblical fundamentalist, so her objections to evolution need not be taken seriously)
argument from authority (e.g., President Richard Nixon should be re-elected because he has a secret plan to end the war in Southeast Asia — but because it was secret, there was no way for the electorate to evaluate it on its merits; the argument amounted to trusting him because he was President: a mistake, as it turned out)
argument from adverse consequences (e.g., A God meting out punishment and reward must exist, because if He didn’t, society would be much more lawless and dangerous — perhaps even ungovernable. Or: The defendant in a widely publicized murder trial must be found guilty; otherwise, it will be an encouragement for other men to murder their wives)
appeal to ignorance — the claim that whatever has not been proved false must be true, and vice versa (e.g., There is no compelling evidence that UFOs are not visiting the Earth; therefore UFOs exist — and there is intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe. Or: There may be seventy kazillion other worlds, but not one is known to have the moral advancement of the Earth, so we’re still central to the Universe.) This impatience with ambiguity can be criticized in the phrase: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
special pleading, often to rescue a proposition in deep rhetorical trouble (e.g., How can a merciful God condemn future generations to torment because, against orders, one woman induced one man to eat an apple? Special plead: you don’t understand the subtle Doctrine of Free Will. Or: How can there be an equally godlike Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in the same Person? Special plead: You don’t understand the Divine Mystery of the Trinity. Or: How could God permit the followers of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — each in their own way enjoined to heroic measures of loving kindness and compassion — to have perpetrated so much cruelty for so long? Special plead: You don’t understand Free Will again. And anyway, God moves in mysterious ways.)
begging the question, also called assuming the answer (e.g., We must institute the death penalty to discourage violent crime. But does the violent crime rate in fact fall when the death penalty is imposed? Or: The stock market fell yesterday because of a technical adjustment and profit-taking by investors — but is there any independent evidence for the causal role of “adjustment” and profit-taking; have we learned anything at all from this purported explanation?)
observational selection, also called the enumeration of favorable circumstances, or as the philosopher Francis Bacon described it, counting the hits and forgetting the misses (e.g., A state boasts of the Presidents it has produced, but is silent on its serial killers)
statistics of small numbers — a close relative of observational selection (e.g., “They say 1 out of every 5 people is Chinese. How is this possible? I know hundreds of people, and none of them is Chinese. Yours truly.” Or: “I’ve thrown three sevens in a row. Tonight I can’t lose.”)
misunderstanding of the nature of statistics (e.g., President Dwight Eisenhower expressing astonishment and alarm on discovering that fully half of all Americans have below average intelligence);
inconsistency (e.g., Prudently plan for the worst of which a potential military adversary is capable, but thriftily ignore scientific projections on environmental dangers because they’re not “proved.” Or: Attribute the declining life expectancy in the former Soviet Union to the failures of communism many years ago, but never attribute the high infant mortality rate in the United States (now highest of the major industrial nations) to the failures of capitalism. Or: Consider it reasonable for the Universe to continue to exist forever into the future, but judge absurd the possibility that it has infinite duration into the past);
non sequitur — Latin for “It doesn’t follow” (e.g., Our nation will prevail because God is great. But nearly every nation pretends this to be true; the German formulation was “Gott mit uns”). Often those falling into the non sequitur fallacy have simply failed to recognize alternative possibilities;
post hoc, ergo propter hoc — Latin for “It happened after, so it was caused by” (e.g., Jaime Cardinal Sin, Archbishop of Manila: “I know of … a 26-year-old who looks 60 because she takes [contraceptive] pills.” Or: Before women got the vote, there were no nuclear weapons)
meaningless question (e.g., What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? But if there is such a thing as an irresistible force there can be no immovable objects, and vice versa)
excluded middle, or false dichotomy — considering only the two extremes in a continuum of intermediate possibilities (e.g., “Sure, take his side; my husband’s perfect; I’m always wrong.” Or: “Either you love your country or you hate it.” Or: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”)
short-term vs. long-term — a subset of the excluded middle, but so important I’ve pulled it out for special attention (e.g., We can’t afford programs to feed malnourished children and educate pre-school kids. We need to urgently deal with crime on the streets. Or: Why explore space or pursue fundamental science when we have so huge a budget deficit?);
slippery slope, related to excluded middle (e.g., If we allow abortion in the first weeks of pregnancy, it will be impossible to prevent the killing of a full-term infant. Or, conversely: If the state prohibits abortion even in the ninth month, it will soon be telling us what to do with our bodies around the time of conception);
confusion of correlation and causation (e.g., A survey shows that more college graduates are homosexual than those with lesser education; therefore education makes people gay. Or: Andean earthquakes are correlated with closest approaches of the planet Uranus; therefore — despite the absence of any such correlation for the nearer, more massive planet Jupiter — the latter causes the former)
straw man — caricaturing a position to make it easier to attack (e.g., Scientists suppose that living things simply fell together by chance — a formulation that willfully ignores the central Darwinian insight, that Nature ratchets up by saving what works and discarding what doesn’t. Or — this is also a short-term/long-term fallacy — environmentalists care more for snail darters and spotted owls than they do for people)
suppressed evidence, or half-truths (e.g., An amazingly accurate and widely quoted “prophecy” of the assassination attempt on President Reagan is shown on television; but — an important detail — was it recorded before or after the event? Or: These government abuses demand revolution, even if you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs. Yes, but is this likely to be a revolution in which far more people are killed than under the previous regime? What does the experience of other revolutions suggest? Are all revolutions against oppressive regimes desirable and in the interests of the people?)
weasel words (e.g., The separation of powers of the U.S. Constitution specifies that the United States may not conduct a war without a declaration by Congress. On the other hand, Presidents are given control of foreign policy and the conduct of wars, which are potentially powerful tools for getting themselves re-elected. Presidents of either political party may therefore be tempted to arrange wars while waving the flag and calling the wars something else — “police actions,” “armed incursions,” “protective reaction strikes,” “pacification,” “safeguarding American interests,” and a wide variety of “operations,” such as “Operation Just Cause.” Euphemisms for war are one of a broad class of reinventions of language for political purposes. Talleyrand said, “An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public”)
Sagan ends the chapter with a necessary disclaimer:

Like all tools, the baloney detection kit can be misused, applied out of context, or even employed as a rote alternative to thinking. But applied judiciously, it can make all the difference in the world — not least in evaluating our own arguments before we present them to others.

The Demon-Haunted World is a timelessly fantastic read in its entirety, timelier than ever in a great many ways amidst our present media landscape of propaganda, pseudoscience, and various commercial motives. Complement it with Sagan on science and “God”.
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The Greatest Books of All Time, As Voted by 125 Famous Authors

The Greatest Books of All Time, As Voted by 125 Famous Authors | Ken's Odds & Ends |
Why Tolstoy is 11.6% better than Shakespeare.

"Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work," Jennifer Egan once said. Th
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▶ Delhi's Incredible Growth Will Blow Your Mind - YouTube

This week, Cities of the future visits India's capital - New Delhi. Here's what the city needs to do in order to maintain sustainable growth.
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A view of New Dehli from the eyes of bike tourists, a policeman, and a politician.

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Goodbye weekend plans: Internet Archive now lets you play 900 classic arcade games

Goodbye weekend plans: Internet Archive now lets you play 900 classic arcade games | Ken's Odds & Ends |
The Internet Archive has added a collection of 900 video games from the 1970s to 1990s that can be played in your web browser -- no coins required.
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The Hilarious Story Of Shane, The Walmart Deli Guy, Told Through Notes From His Bosses

The Hilarious Story Of Shane, The Walmart Deli Guy, Told Through Notes From His Bosses | Ken's Odds & Ends |
This is the ridiculous story of Shane, a Walmart deli employee. The pictures are of notes left for Shane by store management.
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How The Most Successful People Conquer Burnout

How The Most Successful People Conquer Burnout | Ken's Odds & Ends |
Here’s the scariest thing about burnout: It’s easy not to see it coming when you’re doing something you’re passionate about.

After several years of head-down-focused work, day in and day out, you’ll start to feel the rigorous training you’ve forced your body to adopt has taken a toll. You’ll either push through or hit the wall hard. The most successful people have all dealt with this life-work challenge at some point. Below, seven of them share what they did to reset and recover.

Angela Benton, cofounder of NewME

“Burnout is a big issue, particularly for entrepreneurs, mainly because the culture in being in a startup, especially tech startups, is ‘go go go,’” Benton tells Fast Company. “You have to be ‘on’ 100% of the time. When you’re running a startup, most people know you’re not going to have overnight success … you’re in the trenches for a long period of time.”

Before moving to San Francisco to head up NewME, Benton ran four miles every day, but startup life quickly got to her and she stopped running because she became “too busy.” She also kept forgetting to eat because she became “too busy.”

“At the time, people told me to make sure to take time for myself, but when you’re working on something you’re deeply passionate about, it’s fun,” she says, “It doesn’t feel like work … but you just cannot keep up that level of intensity.”

Feeling the time pressure and signs of burnout slowly creeping up on her, Benton decided to become more deliberate with her time last year. “I was exhausted,” says Benton. “I had gotten disconnected from the purpose of why I’m doing what I’m doing, who I’m doing it for.”

Today, the chief executive meditates around 20 minutes every morning to keep herself centered on the important things and makes sure she maintains a healthy lifestyle.

Benny Luo, founder of NextShark

Luo, a 26-year-old serial entrepreneur, has at least four startups under his belt. He doesn’t know how to completely separate himself from startup life and startup mentality.

“It definitely runs my life sometimes,” says Luo. “For me, every other week, I am on the brink of burning out. There’s so much uncertainty. Your thoughts are always wondering if this is going to work.”

To push past his point of exhaustion, Luo reads about other entrepreneurs or companies that have similar stories to him.

“I like those stories. They remind me that startups are very volatile that anything can happen,” he says. “They’re almost therapeutic for me.” Luo also learns how other people make it past their burnout zone when he interviews them, like this interview with Robert Greene where the famed author of The 48 Laws of Power addresses burnout:

Burnout is real and the problem that people have is that when they get frustrated or feel bored or they’re not quite challenged, they give up and they go on to to something else. There is a point here, a fine line between finding challenges for yourself, moving on when you need to move, and giving up because you are not able to push past that point of frustration. It’s a very slender line.
Tina Martini, partner at DLA Piper

“I think one of the things I wrestle with and the reason why the whole work-life balance conversation is being had, is that it’s hard to say ‘no,’” says Martini. “It’s hard to take a step back and say, ‘This is what I already have on my plate.’”

“I think having a conversation with yourself about what’s important, taking a step back to look at your life holistically ... it becomes easier to channel those things that matter more and it’s easier to see when you’re about to be on the brink of burnout.”

Around five years ago, Martini felt herself cave in when she was wearing several hats and given additional responsibilities at her firm. To save herself, she tried to power down, not be on email and available all the time, and hired an executive coach.

“[The coach] really helped me take a step back and understand that with every opportunity, there’s an opportunity cost,” says Martini. “If you’re doing one thing, you’re foregoing something else.”

Jane Wurwand, founder of Dermalogica and FITE

To run her global company, Wurwand travels often and tells Fast Company that with the amount of traveling she does, a perfect balance is never really possible. However, she does keep a certain routine in order to remain fresh and focused.

"Traveling, especially overseas, means extremes and compromises, so it's all about resiliency and bouncing back after lost sleep, crossed time-zones, and crazy schedules,” says Wurwand. “For me, it's important to stay fit and work out, even when I travel for business, so that I have the stamina to meet the challenges that get thrown at us. Before I fly, I take loads of Vitamin C, oregano oil, and stay hydrated. Then, I try and follow my three R's: Reset, Recharge, and Rest.”

To reset, Wurwand suggests taking walks or simply go outside; to recharge, she takes long baths with stress relief oils; to rest, she loads up on water and turns off all smart devices at night.

Michelle Bernard, CEO of the Bernard Center for Women

“A few years ago, I worked on the first TV special I had ever done,” says Bernard. “It felt like I was working on adrenaline for months. I didn’t feel exhausted, but 24 hours after the show aired, I felt completely spent. I felt like I hadn’t slept in a year.”

“When you work on adrenaline for weeks or months at a time, eventually your body says, ‘I need a break,’” she continues.

Whenever she does have to work through these periods of exhaustion, Bernard says she now makes sure to take time out for herself to “retool.”

“You learn the routine, the ebbs and flow of how you’re feeling,” she says. “I know when I’m reaching my tipping point, I take some time off and reimagine myself stepping back into it.”

Barbara Bates, CEO of Eastwick

Bates has been running her business for 24 years and has experienced burnout several times. “Everyone at one point in their life has been at their wit’s end but I found, for business and for your personal life, that pushing yourself to that brink isn’t healthy but also isn’t productive,” she says. “It doesn’t yield better results. It doesn’t help you think strategically or creatively.”

To stave off burnout, Bates practice flex-time at Eastwick. She also encourages her employees to do the same. She believes that in a business where most people have classic type-A personalities, the best way to prevent burnout is stopping it before it sets in. Bates also encourages her team to mix things up and try new routines to keep them from feeling worn out and spent.

Bismarck Lepe, CEO of Wizeline

“When I first started at Google, I and the rest of my colleagues worked 15 to 20 hour days and were always available on the weekends. We did this because we were all working toward the common goal of making Google successful. Stress or burnout was not a factor, I think, because we cared about Google's success and we knew Google cared about us.”

“More generally, I don't believe 'burnout' is a function of the amount or intensity of work one takes on. Rather, feeling burned out is usually caused by a misalignment between the individual and their daily tasks. If you're plugged in--and are fully committed to, and believe, in the mission of your work--you'll never truly experience burnout. It's the difference between work-life balance and work-life integration.”
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Top 10 Hidden Features of OS X Yosemite

Top 10 Hidden Features of OS X Yosemite | Ken's Odds & Ends |
Yosemite is here with a bunch of new features, but a few of the best things are hidden away. Here are 10 hidden features you might not have noticed yet.
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Sloths Were Once As Large As Elephants - YouTube

The sloths we know and love today may be small and slow, but they’re survivors. The sloths we know and love today may be small and slow, but they’re survivor...
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8 Ways to Spot Emotional Manipulation.. and Free Ourselves From It

8 Ways to Spot Emotional Manipulation.. and Free Ourselves From It | Ken's Odds & Ends |
We as human beings have a very strong self-centered aspect (even if it may not be truly ‘real’) of our…
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Using Common Core Language

Using Common Core Language | Ken's Odds & Ends |
By bringing the Common Core language into the classroom, teachers can help clarify to students what they are responsible for, as well as reinforce what they themselves must teach. See how one teacher does this on a regular basis.
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Articulating common core language and objectives can be helpful in creating an atmosphere where all students are clear and on track with  expectations

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