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How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes: Lessons in Mindfulness and Creativity from the Great Detective

How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes: Lessons in Mindfulness and Creativity from the Great Detective
by Maria Popova “A man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.” “The habit of mind which leads to a search for relationships between facts,” wrote James Webb Young in his famous 1939 5-step technique for creative problem-solving, “becomes of the highest importance in the production of ideas.” But just how does one acquire those vital cognitive customs? That’s precisely what science writer Maria Konnikova explores in Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (UK; public library) — an effort to reverse-engineer Holmes’s methodology into actionable insights that help develop “habits of thought that will allow you to engage mindfully with yourself and your world as a matter of course.” The idea of mindfulness itself is by no means a new one. It is most difficult to apply Holmes’s logic in those moments that matter the most. Our intuition is shaped by context, and that context is deeply informed by the world we live in.

From Dickens to 9/11: Exploring Graphic Nonfiction to Support the Secondary-School Curriculum | The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults By Barbara J. Guzzetti, Professor, Arizona State University and Marcia A. Mardis, Associate Professor, Florida State University Abstract Graphic nonfiction has been under-researched for content-area instruction, yet these hybrid texts may motivate reluctant readers as they blend elements of art, journalism, and scholarship. Introduction Recognizing the need to motivate adolescents, researchers have recommended using multiple texts for content instruction (Stahl and Shanahan 2004). In considering multiple texts for content instruction, graphic nonfiction has been underused and under-researched (Lapp et al. 2012). Yet graphic nonfiction may help to reach goals for learning in both language arts and social studies and may be the most appropriate resource for doing so. <h1>Purpose</h1> This study aimed to determine the appeal and utility of graphic nonfiction in relation to other types of nonfiction texts (i.e., textbooks, trade books, and original source documents). Theoretical Framework

How To Make It Impossible To Fail Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Maneesh Sethi of Hack the System. It’s funny how long two minutes can be. Just a few weeks ago, a package arrived: a Sonicare EasyClean Toothbrush. It’s a strange thing, the mental passage of time. The third ding? Of course, each ding really takes exactly thirty seconds, but time doesn’t always act like it should. The Sonicare toothbrush, however, is an example of a Failure-Proof Environment. So, how can you build a failure proof environment? How to Construct a Failure-Proof Environment Think about this: how many times have you promised yourself to eat better? Damn lizard brain. The good news? Precommitment is the process of making a promise, when you are in your sane state, that will prevent your tempted insane-emotional-id-self from doing something bad. My first experience with precommitment was during a 28 day trek through the wilderness. Precommitment is the process of creating an enviroment that forces you to succeed. Putting it all together

7 Essential Principles of Innovative Learning Big Ideas Culture Teaching Strategies Flirck:WoodleyWonderworks Every educator wants to create an environment that will foster students’ love of learning. Researchers at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) launched the Innovative Learning Environments project to turn an academic lens on the project of identifying concrete traits that mark innovative learning environments. Their book, The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice and the accompanying practitioner’s guide, lay out the key principles for designing learning environments that will help students build skills useful in a world where jobs are increasingly information and knowledge-based. “Adaptive expertise tries to push beyond the idea of mastery,” said Jennifer Groff, an educational engineer and co-founder of the Center for Curriculum Redesign. [RELATED READING: How Can Teachers Prepare Kids for a Connected World] Educators can also test ideas with students before implementing them.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre People Escape Google With These 12 Search Engine Alternatives - SEW As concerns over the de facto monopoly status of Google continue to grow, I'm reminded of the great philosopher Herman Cain and his infamous line "blame yourself". As long as "Google" is a generic phrase for Internet search, their dominant position is assured. That said, you can do something about it. There are plenty of Google alternatives and many of these players offer a better search experience, depending on your needs. Step 1: Bing If you're a digital marketer using advanced search operators, then use Bing for these queries. LinkFromDomain: There are any number of tools that can give you inbound link data. Feed: Finds RSS or Atom feeds pertaining to the term you specify. Contains: Returns search results that have links to the file types that you specify. Near: Useful for spotting patterns. Step 2: Blekko If you hate spam and love slashtags, then use Blekko. Step 3: Boardreader If you're looking for a simple way to search forums and boards, then Boardreader is for you. Step 4: BuzzSumo 11.

Buddha Had It Right: Relax The Mind And Productivity Will Follow “The great enigma for psychologists and philosophers is the mind.” --Bhante Wimala Several decades ago, the term ‘mindfulness’ used to imply Eastern mysticism related to the spiritual journey of a person, originated by Gautama Buddha. Buddhists believe that being ‘well, happy, and peaceful’ comes from practicing ‘mindful’ living. Today, from self-help gurus to business leaders, and scientists to politicians, many talk about mindfulness. Mindfulness has been described as “bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis” (Marlatt & Kristeller, 1999) And as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” (Kabat-Zinn, 1994). The scientific community now believes that by practicing daily mindfulness we can take advantage of the neuroplasticity of our brains and thereby improve the state of our lives. In my experience, mindful people make much better leaders than frenetic, aggressive ones. Letting Go

Open Access: New York Public Library Makes 20,000 Hi-Res Maps Available Online, Free to Download and Use It’s a big day for map geeks! Here’s news about a new and large treasure chest of map content that is also free to download (hi-res) and use. Enjoy! From the NYPL: The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division is very proud to announce the release of more than 20,000 cartographic works as high resolution downloads. We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions.* To the extent that some jurisdictions grant NYPL an additional copyright in the digital reproductions of these maps, NYPL is distributing these images under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Some of What You’ll Find 1,100 maps of the Mid-Atlantic United States and cities from the 16th to 19th centuries, mostly drawn from the Lawrence H. How to Access the Maps Learn More About Map Warper Here and Here The full blog post has more about some of the projects that digitized these as well as this disclaimer about there use:

How to Stop the Inner Cringe When Good Things Happen to Others Puzzling “How many hours a day do you write?” is one of the most frequent questions I encounter when I speak at schools. That’s a tricky one to answer when you write nonfiction. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of emptying and solving our family’s wooden tray puzzles. In my teen years, I returned to puzzling, but this time they were the 500-piece cardboard variety. Many years later, after I became an author, I realized I could not have found a better way to prepare my mind for a life of research and writing. But the picture—that’s the one difference between puzzling and authoring. I’m in the puzzling phase of a project right now. How many hours a day do I write? How To Meditate Without Meditating At All Your meditation doesn't have to emulate the Buddha's 49-day retreat. Whether you think there's no time for a mindfulness meditation practice, or the concept of sitting in stillness is more daunting than restful, there are still ways to reap the benefits of the ancient art. That's right -- you can manifest an informal practice within your daily habits. Informal mindfulness practices are ones in which you pay attention to your moment-to-moment experience. Many successful people (like Oprah, Rupert Murdoch and even Arianna Huffington, to name a few) credit meditation for their razor-sharp focus, enviable level of productivity and bountiful amounts of creative juice. Try Some Mindful Cleaning Before you roll your eyes, think about the fact that you'll be killing two birds with one stone. If you're fortunate enough to have a dishwasher that does it all (except meditate, that is), consider turning your morning bed-making routine into a mindfulness practice. Find Some Zen In Shower

The Nonfiction Detectives: Determining Nonfiction Writing Styles Today I had the pleasure of co-moderating a School Library Journal webcast with my friend, Amy Koester from The Show Me Librarian blog. The webcast focused on using nonfiction series in schools and public libraries, and we heard about new books from Scholastic, Gale, and Reference Point Press. Visit The Show Me Librarian Blog for programming ideas related to the titles mentioned in the webcast. While Amy and I were sharing our ideas about recent trends in nonfiction series, I mentioned different nonfiction writing styles. Expository The information is presented in a straight-forward manner. Narrative The information is presented as a story. Descriptive The author describes the topic in great detail using rich language so that readers may picture it in their minds. Persuasive The author presents the information in a manner that will sway readers to think a certain way about a topic. Poetic The information is presented in poetic form.

Six Unconventional, Scientific Ways to Be Happier Comics in the Classroom: Comics as Educational Texts Throughout the month of August, and Reading With Pictures are bringing you Comics in the Classroom, a blog series about using comics in education, including why graphic novels are complex texts as defined by the Common Core Standards, how to use graphic texts to teach in the content areas, how and where to find the best graphic texts, and more. We hope you’ll join us and bring the power of comics to your classroom! The following guest post is written by Tracy Edmunds, M.A., Curriculum Manger at Reading With Pictures Humans have been using pictures in sequence to communicate and educate for thousands of years; hieroglyphics are the ancestors of comics. The next time you’re on a flight, pull out the Aircraft Safety Card in the seat-back pocket in front of you and take a look at it carefully. This is one of the best and most immediate examples of the power of images in sequence to instruct and educate, but there are many more. There is, of course, much more to the story.

School Evolutionary Stages | The concept of common global school evolution