background preloader

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.

25 Useful Brainstorming Techniques by Celes on Feb 9, 2009 | ShareThis Email This Post Caught with a problem you cannot solve? Need new ideas and solutions? The process of brainstorming requires you to think out of the box that is keeping you in the problem. The idea for this post was triggered by a question from a reader, who asked me on my thoughts of the best brainstorming methods to achieve the best results. Here is a list of 25 brainstorming techniques you can use to get out of the situation you are in. Time Travel. Final note: To get a quick mental boost in just 15 minutes, check out: Increase Your Mental Clarity in Just 15 Minutes Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] 25 Useful Brainstorming Techniques Image ©

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.

Psychadellivision by ~Volcanic-Penguin on deviantART 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?

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.

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 F.lux: software to make your life better