Mar 23, 2013

15 best tips for being productive and beating procrastination

A good list from Psychology Today

1.          Take breaks from your desk to stimulate your productivity.  "Walk Away: Without realizing it, I spent years trying to be productive in the most unproductive way--sitting at a desk for hours. Now I 'walk away' from my office after a few hours (or less). Moving, if only to get a cup of coffee, water a plant, or walk outside for five minutes, made me sharper and more focused.  With short breaks, improvement in concentration and productivity soars. Try it."  - Susan Newman, Ph.D.

2.          Don't be afraid to close your door.  "There are a couple, seemingly simple things that I do to ensure that I am productive. The first is simply closing my door at the office! Although I am extremely welcoming, I am often approached by colleagues, peers, and students about various topics ranging from sports to clinical considerations. Closing my door ensures that I remain productive. Second, I schedule "avoided" tasks; when I block out time (and get reminded on ALL of my Apple devices), this ensures that I engage in productive action. Action precedes motivation; these small steps facilitate more action and lead to me feeling accomplished." - L. Kevin Chapman, Ph.D. 

3.          The George Washington Method. "I use the 'George Washington Method', which I learned from one of my literature professors in college. Washington, a farmer, always carried a portable sundial with him. His method entails picking an arbitrary point deemed 'Noon' and moving forward in segments from there, keeping your focus only in the 'hour' in which you are working. The White House cleaning staff still use this method today." - Michael J. Formica, MS, MA, EdM.

4.          Stress relief helps reduce distractibility. "Plan exercise breaks: stress leads to binary (either/or) thinking, distractability, and procrastination. Taking time to reduce stress enhances productivity by keeping you sharp and boosting your capacity for creative problem-solving." - Craig Malkin, Ph.D. 

5.          Buck conventional wisdom if something else works better for you. "I think you really have to know yourself. For example, conventional wisdom says to do your most important task first; however, I find that if I start with a few easy tasks, I feel better and get on a roll because I get something checked off my list right away. Then, I'm motivated to tackle the harder things." - Barbara Markway, Ph.D.  

6.          The Pomodoro Technique. "When I don't want to do something, or my confidence is low, I use a productivity technique called The Pomodoro Technique. You set a timer for 25 minutes of work, then take a five minute break, then set the timer again. I know I can do anything for 25 minutes (and starting is the hardest part) so it works great for me. For more information: PomodoroTechnique" - Heidi Reeder, Ph.D.

Mar 15, 2013

How the hell you get White or Black smoke Cardinals?

This is a timely piece to end my misery of not knowing how do they get white or black smoke at the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. 

The Vatican being a mysterious place, it was hard to find out how do they do it. As almost all the time smoke is gray.

National Geographic spoke with a pyrotechnic expert to find out some of the ways to do it.

What might be used to make white smoke?"There are certain combustion products that are white or lighter gray based on their nature," says Mocella. He points to certain zinc compounds and elemental phosphorus, which attract moisture when burned and can produce thick white smoke. "These are fairly straightforward reactions for a pyrotechnic chemist," he adds.
Any idea about the Vatican's white smoke methodology?Vaporization is definitely an option, but it's complicated to master, Mocella says. He suspects that the cardinals use the simpler process of combustion. One easy way to create white smoke is to burn "metallic zinc dust with elemental sulfur, generating zinc sulfide gas that is a thick off-white cloud of smoke when generated."

Mar 13, 2013

11 Stephen Hawking Quotes

To those who does not know who is Stephen Hawking, below image will make things a little bit clear.

This is what Wikipedia says about him: Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA (born 8 January 1942) is a British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. Among his significant scientific works have been a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularities theorems in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Was diagnosed with motor neuron disease at age 21.

You can read more about him here. 

11 quotes on various things he has said at different times:


"At school, I was never more than about halfway up the class. It was a very bright class. My classwork was very untidy, and my handwriting was the despair of my teachers. But my classmates gave me the nickname Einstein, so presumably they saw signs of something better. When I was twelve, one of my friends bet another friend a bag of sweets that I would never come to anything. I don't know if this bet was ever settled, and if so, which way it was decided..."
From the lecture "My Brief History," 2010.


"If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans. We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet."


“I wouldn’t compare it to sex, but it lasts longer.”
From a lecture at Arizona State University, April 2011.


"If you are disabled, it is probably not your fault, but it is no good blaming the world or expecting it to take pity on you. One has to have a positive attitude and must make the best of the situation that one finds oneself in; if one is physically disabled, one cannot afford to be psychologically disabled as well. In my opinion, one should concentrate on activities in which one's physical disability will not present a serious handicap. I am afraid that Olympic Games for the disabled do not appeal to me, but it is easy for me to say that because I never liked athletics anyway. On the other hand, science is a very good area for disabled people because it goes on mainly in the mind. Of course, most kinds of experimental work are probably ruled out for most such people, but theoretical work is almost ideal. My disabilities have not been a significant handicap in my field, which is theoretical physics. Indeed, they have helped me in a way by shielding me from lecturing and administrative work that I would otherwise have been involved in. I have managed, however, only because of the large amount of help I have received from my wife, children, colleagues and students. I find that people in general are very ready to help, but you should encourage them to feel that their efforts to aid you are worthwhile by doing as well as you possibly can."
From "Handicapped People and Science," Science Digest 92, No. 9, September 1984.

Mar 11, 2013

The limited edition Ferrari, you can't buy !

This is a beast...963 Horse Power to the selected 499 people in the world.

Various links on the internet suggests that there are more than 1000 orders already placed so getting a chance to buy one is very slim......The rumored price tag is around 1.2 million.

don't worry, you can still enjoy the awesomeness below.