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The Idea Swap

The Idea Swap

The Power of Habit and How to Rewire Our "Habit Loops" by Maria Popova What Iraqi kebob vendors have to do with your New Year’s resolutions. As a young man, Benjamin Franklin set out to improve himself by devising a chart-based log for tracking his progress against the virtues he identified as essential to good personhood. Each week, he would pick a virtue to cultivate, then put a black pencil mark in his calendar chart on any day he failed to uphold the virtue. We try to reverse-engineer willpower and flowchart our way to happiness, but in the end, it is habit that is at the heart of our successes and our failures. Duhigg, whose chief premise echoes many of Timothy Wilson’s insights in Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change, takes a deep dive into the bleeding edge of neuroscience and behavioral psychology to explore not only why habits exist in the first place, but also how they can be reprogrammed and optimized. So the major summoned Kufa’s mayor and made a strange request: Get the food vendors out of the plaza.

6 Tips to Generate Outstanding Ideas What’s the secret creative geniuses share to come up with their remarkable ideas? Even though idea generation may look like a somewhat mysterious and random process, there is a practical, simple lesson we can all apply to increase our chances of having great ideas. Connections, Connections, Connections Everybody wants to have great ideas, but have you ever wondered what an idea is? If you haven’t, take a few moments to think about it. The answer is probably simpler than you initially thought: ideas are connections. Any idea, no matter how trivial, is an association between previous, established ideas. Another interesting characteristic of these connections is that you can’t predict anything about them beforehand. Creativity and Productivity Because of the randomness in idea generation, having great ideas is not a task that can be approached directly. The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas. Being prolific, then, is the key to have great ideas. How to Have Tons of Ideas 1. 2.

The World's First Vertical Forest Is Growing Sky High Did you know that Milan is one of the most polluted cities in Italy? Apparently urban sprawl and increased emissions are major causes for slumping air quality in the international fashion capital. So Italian architect Stefano Boeri has formulated an unusual plan to give the city back what it’s lacking: namely, some greenery. Bosco Verticale is Italian for “Vertical Forest.” Though Harvard Design Magazine called the project “dreamily utopian,” this tower is no fantasy. There’s lots of science behind the project to prove that it’ll actually improve the city atmosphere, and not just the skyline. The diversity of the plants and their characteristics produce humidity, absorb carbon dioxide and dust particles, producing oxygen and protect from radiation and acoustic pollution, improving the quality of living spaces and saving energy. The presence of this vegetation will also encourage the presence of birds and insects within the miniature gardens.

9 Productivity Tricks for Procrastinators Irony: As I started to write this article, I thought, “I’ll just go play one quick Sudoku game first.” I caught myself in the act and marched myself to my laptop. People who say that procrastination is about laziness are probably the same people who think that anorexia is about not eating enough. Procrastination isn’t about laziness. It’s about fear. The good news is that there are ways to get moving again. Here are 9 of my favorite tricks to help even the worst procrastinator break the habit: 1 – When you get an idea, do some little thing to begin. When I read Stephen King’s book On Writing, I noticed something. Most people get an idea. Then they sit there. They wonder if it’s a good idea. Then, they wonder if it’s a good idea some more. Got an idea? 2 – All hail small chunks of time! Lots of us complain about having no time. Are you waiting for many hours of spare time to begin your idea, your project, or your taxes? 3 – Agree to do it badly. Set a goal to do it badly. 4 – Commit aloud. Why?

An IdeaRally can generate great ideas for innovation at IdeaConnection Are you interested in emerging thoughts and Ideas focused on your key R&D interests? Are you interested in breakthrough thinking that will help you set strategic future directions for your R&D? There are many types of “cold fusion” problems that have had incremental advances over time, but need fresh, new perspectives to move research and discovery to the next level. An IdeaRally® is an online gathering of hundreds of experts, all put together for one purpose – to discuss new, embryonic ideas that will advance scientific thought for long standing problems, and to give you new directions and possibilities in which to target your research activities. Sponsor your own IdeaRally® and receive hundreds of ideas and in-depth discussion. Thousands of Experts IdeaConnection has access to thousands of experts and professionals in a wide range of disciplines who are eager to lend their knowledge and expertise to your topic of interest. Participation A Unique and Powerful Way to Push Boundaries

Aquatic Village Proposed by Reusing Abandoned Oil Rigs With all of the controversy now surrounding off shore oil exploration, we're hoping to see more and more oil rigs become obsolete. But what can be done with these massive structures after they are no longer pumping out fuel? This provocative proposal, which was one of the finalists for the 2011 eVolo Skyscraper competition, takes an old rig and turns it into renewable energy equipped aquatic villages. The idea is not new. The former oil producing industrial structure is now laden with renewable energy technologies — a shell of solar electric panels on the roof, tidal energy generators, and a huge wind turbine make for a robust level of energy harvesting day and night. Via eVolo THE MENTAL MARATHON THE MENTAL MARATHONBy Mindy Solkin Owner and Head Coach The Running Center We all know that running requires a great amount of physicality. But your mental fortitude is equally important. There are two types of mental training in the sport of running: "Association" and "Dis-association". ASSOCIATION Association refers to running where your mind is focused on the body and you are intentionally concentrating on physical sensations. The strengths of association include: 1) Integrates mind and body to create a flow state. 2) Creates a mental awareness and alertness called "mindfulness" or "being in the moment". 3) Develops mental control. 4) Develops focus. 5) Allows you to react to changes in the running course such as hills (change your stride length) or fatigue (change your pace or breathing). The limitations of association include: 1) Harder to learn and apply. 2) Requires mental effort. 3) Requires mental skills. © 2003 The Running Center™ All Rights Reserved

100 Incredible Lectures from the World's Top Scientists Posted on Thursday June 18, 2009 by Staff Writers By Sarah Russel Unless you’re enrolled at one of the best online colleges or are an elite member of the science and engineering inner circle, you’re probably left out of most of the exciting research explored by the world’s greatest scientists. But thanks to the Internet and the generosity of many universities and online colleges, you’ve now got access to the cutting edge theories and projects that are changing the world in this list below. If you’re looking for even more amazing lectures, check out our updated list for 2012 with more talks from great minds. General Let the world’s top scientists explain exactly how they do their job when you listen to these lectures. Science and Engineering From materials science to the study of thermodynamics, learn more about the science of engineering here. WTC Lecture – collapse of WTC Buildings: Steven E. Biology and Medicine Chemistry Physics and Astronomy Earth and Environment Technology Science and Business