Archive for December, 2007

Benita Albert.

Meet Benita Albert, a science teacher at Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In 1983 she realized that although her community had a wealth of scientists, its high school science curriculum had no zing. Click on the link below to find out how she  and a band of hardworking students would ultimately score $800,000 to fund bioethanol research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

http://www.pbs.org/kcet/wiredscience/education/2007/12/featured-teacher-benita-albert.html

Elephants coming to a river.

Ahhh, sweet randomness. Go to Blogplay and burn about 10 minutes viewing a slideshow of whatever random pictures are being added to the Blogger site at any given moment. No guarantees of “G” rated material, although when I came into it, the naughtiest pic was a cartoon giving me the bird.

 http://play.blogger.com/

If you must know more, see the FAQ for Blogplay here:

http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=75868

Take macho cowboys on the range and add cuddly cats.

Heaven on earth!

Intuition

Do you listen to gut feelings? Gerd Gigerenzer thinks you are on the right track. My boyfriend recommended Gigerenzer’s book “Gut Feelings : The intelligence of the Unconscious” (he says I _need_ this book). I am in the habit of researching every decision to death. If I have gut feelings, I don’t know if I can sense them anymore.

But here are just a couple of tidbits from Gut Feelings that do resonate with me:

Amateurs frequently outperform experts when put to the task of performing a prediction about a future event. Amateurs have less information, and so focus on 1 or 2 important factors in making decisions. It so happens that when dealing with an uncertain environment, focusing on the most important clue and ignoring the rest is effective.

Most people require a selection of, at maximum, 5 to 9 things, or they are less liable to make a decision. Reason? Most people can only keep 5 to 9 things in their short term memory. For example, when faced with a table of 24 jams in a supermarket, many customers are attracted to look at them, but few actually buy. A table of only 6 jams in the same supermarket compels fewer customers to stop and look, but a much greater number end up buying one of the jams on the table.

This is the sort of book you can glean great wisdom from even if you only skim it. Gotta say, I think I will give a listen to my gut more often now.

What are this guy’s credentials? Gigerenzer is the director of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany. A link: http://www.mpib-berlin.mpg.de/en/forschung/abc/index.htm