Saturday, March 7, 2015


Dr. Andrei Aleinikov explains an easy way to improve grades in his book “Mega Creativity”.

He has students sit in a circle around him. They get comfortable, ready for a lecture. He then tells them to freeze.Don't move.

Many students have folded or crossed arms, legs or ankles. He says this is a defensive position and it keeps new knowledge from entering their minds. To get better grades uncross arms, fingers, legs ankles. Be open to new information.

I use this technique not only when attending lectures but also when I am reading. It works.


Dr. Aleinikov also addresses listening. He tells his readers how to listen better in conversations. He says to be aware of speech volume, speed and even pronunciation. When speaking to someone try to match their language style.


Dr. Aleinikov says that most people just need to make small changes to enjoy more success. He has worked with many individuals. He might suggest a better handshake or better eye contact. Figure out what small change you most need.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Things I wouldn’t Know if I were not a reader.

1. Elfshot, small stones believed by medieval people to be arrowheads shot from fairies. These are believed to protect humans.

2. Tattoos are often used as protective devises.

3. A Crayola will burn for thirty minutes. They make great cheap candles.

4, Tarragon, the spice, is used in magic spells for courage as tarragon means little dragon.

5. The Greeks believed in two kinds of fate. Ananke -just because you are there.Hurricane katrina, ten years ago wiped out whole towns. Everyone was affected. Heimarmene, stuff that happens because of the choices you made. Cynics were a cult who spent their time figure out the two kinds of fate.

6. Dandelions are for courage, also to keep from being evicted. Collect dandelions and place them around the apartment or home.

7. Ben Franklin published “Pamela,” the first novel published in the colonies that would become the U.S. Written by Samuel Richardson, it was originally published in England and reprinted by Franklin in 1744.

8. The Hall of Fame for Great Americans is at Bronx Community College in New York. Inductees have a bust made by a famous sculptor.Edgar Allan Poe’s sculptor was Daniel Chester French, who also sculpted the Lincoln Memorial This was America’s first Hall of Fame. The only non American appears to be General Lafayette,who was granted honorary U.S. citizenship. 9. When Teddy Roosevelt was police commissioner in New York, he took steps to preserve Edgar Allan Poe’s home in New York. The house Poe rented is still there on a land called Poe Park.

10. Gerardus Mercator, a cartographer born in 1512 coined the word “Atlas” after a mythical Titan whom he idolized? Mercator used the word “Atlas” for his collection of world maps.

11. Who gets heart and kidney transplants? One prison inmate received a heart transplant which will probably end up costing taxpayers a million dollars. A death row inmate gets dialysis and has been recommended for a kidney transplant.

12. There are 193 nation members of the United Nations.

A question for the research minded. Could General Lafayette who was, of course, born in France, have become president of the U.S.?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Wednesday is Poems Prayers, Promises Day for our blog. Let’s start with a poem.

There is no frigate like a book

To take us lands away,

Nor any coursers like a page

Of prancing poetry.

This traverse may the poorest take

Without oppress of toll;

How frugal is the chariot

That bears a human soul!

Emily Dickinson.

What can you do with a poem?

Memorize it.

Take it apart and study the words and lines.

Write a response. What do you think of lines like “Prancing poetry”?

Listen to it. Some online sites have a reader reciting the poem.

Learn more about the life of the author.

Find other poems by this author.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


WHAT ROBOTS MEAN TO WORKERS BY MARY ANN SLAVCHEFF Are workers disposable like outdated machinery? We may soon learn the answer to that question as robots take over more and more of our jobs.

Dead end jobs are a form of slave labor. If robots bagged all groceries, folded all clothing, scrubbed all floors and tended all assembly lines, the workers who now tend these jobs would be freed from repetition and drudgery. They could spend their hours reading books,walking in the park or grooming a pet dog.

But are we willing to grant these workers their freedom? Freedom from work is one thing. Support for unwanted beings is yet another thing. Society uses people and products and then dumps them. Look what happened to horses when motor driven vehicles took their jobs.

What do we do with unwanted human workers? This is an issue that should concern all of us. Unskilled jobs won't be the only jobs lost.

Several medical, and engineering jobs are now done by robots. Robots can teach, and that alone puts millions of people out of work.

What can we do? Retrain? Lower the retirement wage? Some wages are already at starvation levels.

Education may not be the answer when robots can do anything a smart person can do and do it better. Robots don't need breaks or vacations, and they make fewer mistakes. People with leisure will probably crave learning, and the role of robots in education will be to teach people not other robots. Thus education will change. It will no longer be about training for jobs, but about training for leisure and self enlightenment.

Back to the original question. What do we do with unneeded and, therefore, unwanted workers?

Let's look at our history. Perhaps we can find some answers there.

Workers skilled and unskilled were once necessary.

Survival throughout our history depended on working men and women. Great wealth could not have been created without our muscle. We built the bridges, roads and the pathways to outer space. We have been faithful employees to businesses, big and small. How much have we been appreciated? Our wages were kept as low as possible.

Governments had to create minimum wage laws to help us survive. Even skilled musicians and writers are often asked to perform for free. Labor despite its necessity has historically not been valued.

A leisure class developed. Their freedom met with little resistance. The wealthy could spend their days playing tennis, learning French, writing poetry or sleeping in the sun. They could drink themselves to death; gambling was a gentleman's sport.

These “gentlemen” probably seldom gave a thought to the men, women and children who mined their ore or toiled in their factories. Segregation exists that has nothing to do with race. The wealthy do not eat or socialize with their help. Maids take the bus to work; they don't get a ride home from the chauffeur. Air planes have first class accommodations. Those who can afford to spend a little more, don't want to rub elbows with the working class.

For lower or middle class individuals to be jobless, is practically a sin. The unemployed are called bums and freeloaders. These ad hominem attacks have increased recently. Ronald Reagan's fictional Welfare Cadillac was just the beginning. Listen to the rhetoric when Congress plans its budget. Attacks on the unemployed grow as globalization and robotics put more and more people out of work?

The wealthy take our jobs away, give them to unskilled workers in other countries or to robots, and they call us lazy bums. Then they return to their leisure. Is leisure the right of only the very wealthy?

What do we do with workers when we don't have enough jobs for them?

Do we give them forty acres and a mule and expect them to be self supporting?

Those who don't want the farm can perhaps have an eBay store.

Those ideas seem too simplistic. Too 18th and 19th century. (Yet an eBay store is just a small shop, and Thomas Jefferson dreamed of making America a nation of farms and small shops.) Do we do away with money? Greed used to be one of the seven deadly sins. But some people on Wall Street, and in Congress (and in Ayn Rand fan clubs) have turned it into a virtue.

The rich aren't going to want to feed us or clothe us if we aren't working our butts off. And they aren't going to part with their beloved bank accounts. Look at the currant resistance to taxation among the wealthy. They don't want to pay their share.

Is it possible we will give the working classes leisure?

In a world without other people's work, can we be our own masters as Thomas Jefferson and others dreamed we could be? What will workers do, if we don't have shelves to stock, groceries to bag or streets to clean?

We can write novels and poetry.

We can golf or hike or watch sunsets without being so tired from a day in the factory that we can't appreciate the beauty.

We can watch our children grow up and teach them to appreciate things like old cats and dogs, sunflowers, butterflies and dandelions.

We can grow tomatoes or walnut trees.

We can appreciate life before we get so old we are more ready for death than retirement.

Robots can do the work so men, women and children can enjoy the freedom even Thomas Jefferson never dreamed possible. Robots can provide food, clothing and shelter for all of us.

We can be a society where the different classes respect and support each other as equals, not as master and slave, upper and lower class.

What is the alternative? Robots serving their privileged masters while the rest of humanity dies? Let's hope not.

Please read the following.

Monday, March 2, 2015


People in my generation know what year the battle of New Orleans was fought. We simply remember the first line of a Johnny Horton hit song. “In 1814, we took a little trip along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.”

Johnny Horton had an entire album of songs about history, “October 1871, that’s when this great big fie begun.” It was easy to learn history from Johnny Horton.

Many years later Tom Lehrer sang about the “Elements.” Hundreds of kids memorized the lyrics and the elements. Gosh that was fun. And while singing along with Lehner or with their friends, kids didn’t even have to use chaining or pegging.

In my record collection, I have an album that includes campaign songs from each president and another album that includes campaign songs from some of the presidential losers. Google songs about history. A huge list will come up.

There are songs about adverbs, adjectives, nouns and even pronouns. On the old "Mickey Mouse Club" television program, Jiminy Cricket sang about the "ENCYCLOPEDIA." He spelled out the letters.

The days of having to buy these albums are over, thanks to Youtube, where you can find most of the songs I mentioned and more.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


Blog Schedule for March:

Sunday: Career and job advice

Monday: Mnemonics

Tuesday: Anything Can Happen Day

Wednesday: Poems, Prayers, Promises

Thursday Things I wouldn’t know If I Were Not A Reader

Friday: Play Day

Saturday: Learning Hacks


Here is a Sound way to get a better nights sleep.

Insomnia was described by the ancient Greeks as one of the tortures of hell. There are many causes of insomnia and the condition causes problems not only for students, but individuals of all ages all classes and in in all walks of life.

An easy solution to insomnia is “pink noise.” According to a recent article in ”O" magazine pink noise helps shut the mind down and produce sleep. Studies show sleep is deeper and more relaxing with a pink noise background.You tube has several pink noise recordings. I listen to the ten hours of pink noise.

Warning there are commercials. Some people would consider this subliminal advertising. I think the payoff of better sleep is worth a few minutes of commercials that don’t wake me up, and that I don’t remember.

During the day, try “Coffitivity,” coffee shop noises, for increased production.

Go back to You Tube for relaxation music, some of which is designed for study.

It is as easy as it Sounds.