“That infinite abyss of data should be looked at as potentially the most beautiful thing man has ever created. Learning how to swim in that sea is more important than trying to swallow it in. Mastering Google is more important than memorizing an encyclopedia. Knowing where to find ever-changing answers more important than mindless regurgitation.”—How to deal with information/art/life overload? | Ask MetaFilter
In hard times, we all have to be a little bit smarter, a little more creative, and a little more productive. Your country needs you to actively manage your stress, and to elevate your attitude and your can-do optimism, so you’ll be better equipped to help rebuild the economy.
As a professional humorist, I realize pundits will turn my elegant discussion about the benefits of stress reduction into “That cartoonist idiot says we’ll cure unemployment and lung cancer by jogging.” So just to be clear, all I’m saying is that daily exercise will reduce your stress levels and help your mind and your body. Your country needs you at your best.
It turns out there’s an excellent rationale for this long-standing cultural habit: gum is an effective booster of mental performance, conferring all sorts of benefits without any side-effects.
The latest investigation of gum chewing comes from a team of psychologists at St. Lawrence University. The experiment went like this: 159 students were given a battery of demanding cognitive tasks, such as repeating random numbers backwards and solving difficult logic puzzles. Half of the subjects chewed gum (sugar-free and sugar-added) while the other half were given nothing. Here’s where things get peculiar: those randomly assigned to the gum-chewing condition significantly outperformed those in the control condition on five out of six tests. (The one exception was verbal fluency, in which subjects were asked to name as many words as possible from a given category, such as “animals”.) The sugar content of the gum had no effect on test performance.
When Senator Obama promised change, what people heard was “…from this lousy economy.” Today it’s hard to keep a straight face and say: “This is the change I wanted. This is the economy I wanted.” Even granting the administration’s claim that it “saved or created” millions of jobs, all that matters is how it feels. And it feels like we’re doomed. Is this Congress’s fault? Probably. But people love their own representatives. It’s always the other guy, the guy I can’t vote against. But you know who I can vote against?
The president would do well to look at these men and women on TV. It looks like they mean business.
One of the most amazing stories in the world of cycling has taken another remarkable turn this week as the Rabobank Women’s Cycling team has announced the signing of Monique van der Vorst, a former handcycling athlete who was competing in a wheelchair until 2010. Van der Vorst had been disabled since she was 13 years old, and after a very successful career in handcycling, which saw her take the world championship title three times, she recovered the use of her legs and will now start a career in the pro peloton.