You work at the college library. You’re in the middle of a quiet afternoon when suddenly, a shipment of 1,280 books arrives. The books are in a straight line, but they're all out of order, and the automatic sorting system is broken. How can you sort the books quickly? Chand John shows how, shedding light on how algorithms help librarians and search engines speedily sort information.
Tips for the wine connoisseur (or amateur) in your life. Read the rest
If you have gunked-up stove burner grates, this might do the trick. I wonder if it works for barbecue grills, too? Read the rest
Zeos Pantera gives a high energy tour of how he keeps his apartment humming. He's funny and the tips are pretty good! Read the rest
John Green of Mental Floss tested 30 different "life hacks" found on the Internet. About 40 percent of them really worked. The others were failures and semi-failures. He didn't test some of life hacks fairly, though. For instance, he tried making whipped cream by shaking cream in a plastic bottle. He only shook it for a few seconds though, which isn't long enough. Read the rest
You’d think hitting the defrost button in your car on a chilly morning would be the quickest way to defrost your windshield. But not necessarily so, according to ex-Nasa engineer Mark Rober, who has come up with a way to defrost car windows in half the normal time. In his video, he explains how to speed-defrost our car windows, along with a peppy science lesson that backs his method. In a nutshell, here are the four steps:
1. Blast the heater 2. Blast the AC 3. Turn OFF the air circulation 4. Crack open the windows a bit.
Q: Why is it so hard to remember the name of someone you've just met? A: Because our memories evolved to be associative, and the name of a person doesn't have much of an association with who they are. Mind Hacks offers a way to help you remember names by inventing false associations. The sillier or weirder the association, the better.
I've been using a similar method to help me remember the order of a shuffled deck of cards. My goal is to be able to hand someone a deck of cards, ask them to shuffle it and return it to me. I will then spend a minute or two going through the deck, looking at each card. Then I will hand the deck back to the person and ask them to look at the cards while I call them out one-by-one.
I'm using a memorization method from an e-book called How to Learn & Memorize a Randomized Deck of Playing Cards Using a Memory Palace and Image-Association System Specifically Designed for Card Memorization Mastery by Anthony Metivier. I've been practicing for about 4 days (10-15 minutes a day) and I can remember the mnemonically-derived "names" of 26 cards so far. For example, the 2 of Spades is "tin can." The King of Hearts is "ram." The 9 of Spades is "tape."
To help me memorize the names of the cards, I'm using a free cross-platform flashcard app called AnkiApp. It keeps track of the cards that you easily remember, and focuses on the ones you have difficulty remembering. Read the rest
We live in an older house and the plumbing clogs up frequently (usually an hour before a dinner party). I rarely get good results from Draino or other lye-based clog dissolvers. I end up with a sink full of caustic swill that splashes on me when I vigorously agitate it with a plunger. A Drain Weasel works well for bathroom sinks, provided the clog is near the drain opening. The clog problem I had this morning, though, required more powerful clog-busting technology. Read the rest
"Being a starving artist only works if you actually make art." This is just one of many excellent life tips offered by people ranging from 6-years-old to 93-years olds in a video made by CBC Radio WireTap, called "How to Age Gracefully."
Most people tie their shoes with the inefficient "bunny loop" shoelace knot. Let kindly Professor Shoelace show you the superior “Ian Knot."
Read the rest
Besides being faster, the Ian Knot is also more symmetrical, works equally for right or left handed people, and has fewer steps to memorize, all of which make it easier to learn.
Gareth Branwyn came across this neat way to quickly find information in your notebooks.
Based on his index of recipe types, [Adam, who runs the blog, High Five] puts the appropriate marking on the outside edge of the page for this Chinese recipe.
And here you can see that by placing corresponding marks on the edges of the pages that map to the recipe index in the back, Adam has organized his recipes for much easier access.
"Vocal fry" is term used to describe the creaky sound some people make at the end of an utterance (especially by people from Southern California, and extra-especially by young women from Southern California). Read the rest
The bottoms of your feet contain blood vessels right below the skin surface. When exposed to cool air, this will lower your body temperature, making you sleepy. So stick a foot (or both) out of the covers and sleep better.
But, as one YouTuber points out, "what if the monster eats my foot away? Read the rest
Chris Colin, co-author of What to Talk About: On a Plane, at a Cocktail Party, in a Tiny Elevator with Your Boss's Boss has simple suggestion for extricating yourself from a small-talk conversation you no longer what to have. From Atlas Oscura:
Read the rest
"Whether you’re having a lovely conversation or a crappy one, I think that the way to get out of either is identical," he says. "My approach is to look them in the eye with a big smile and say, 'It’s been so nice talking with you.' And then you just do a hard pivot and you walk away."
If you are hereby emboldened to try Colin's approach, note that the technique needs to be deployed with appropriate warmth and congeniality.
"What has to go with it is being a nice and decent person," says Colin. "When you say ‘It’s been nice talking to you,’ you should probably mean it, and you should communicate that with your eyes and your smile and all that stuff. If you do that, then I think it’s okay."