Author: Lotlot
•2:28 PM
[ Yesterday night I read this article on MSN. I immediately copied this because I knew this could help me as a teacher. I need to exercise my brain because I'm now forgetful and I need to know some memory tricks to help me when I study and memorize my lessons. I want my very good memory back; but, I don't know if drinking coffee ( or chewing gums ) is a help. As far as I can remember, I had a very good memory when I was still studying. I could memorize quickly; and, everything I learned would retain in my brain for a long time. But it changed after I graduated college. Maybe because I seldom memorize lines or paragraphs now. Or, probably because of AGE.
Thus, I was very happy after I read this article last night. At last, I have coffee to sharpen my memory and I now have 12 memory tricks to help me memorize my lessons.]

12 Memory Tricks
By Tamim Ansary

Here are 12 concrete steps you can take to remember particular facts and improve your general capacity to retain what you learn. Note that only the last step is one you can take when you're actually trying to remember. All the rest have to do with how you absorb information and how you convert it into memory.

1. Pay attention. You can't remember what you never knew, so don't be multitasking when you're trying to learn or memorize something: Give it the spotlight of your full attention at least once.

2. Understand. The more completely you get it, the less likely you are to forget it. (If you don't understand football, you're not likely to remember the scores.)

3. Repeat and apply. Directly after learning something, repeat it, preferably out loud. Even better, use it in your own way. If you want to remember a joke, for example, tell it to someone and try to make them laugh.

4. Chunk. Although short-term memory can deal with only about seven items at a time, you can finesse this limit by grouping items together and thinking of each group as a unit. Later, you can unpack those units. Remembering the numbers 5, 4, 6, 1, 9, 8, 6, 5 and 8 is harder than remembering the numbers 546, 198 and 658.

5. Make meaning. Nonsense is hard to remember. Compare this:

disease reported control Chicago mumps the for of center an in outbreak

with this:

The Centers for Disease Control reported an outbreak of mumps in Chicago.

To make meaning where none inherently exists, the experts recommend embedding the information in an invented narrative. The license plate 3PLY981 thus becomes: Three carpenters cut a piece of plywood into nine pieces and ate one. Yes, I know, no one eats plywood; but that's actually a strength of the narrative in this case. (See step 7.)

6. Look for patterns. Stanford researchers have found that forgetting is a key aspect of good remembering, but not because you have to clear out space; rather, it's because forgetting the less relevant details reveals the more meaningful underlying structure.

7. Visualize. Search the information for some element you can turn into an image. If you've just met a Bridget Brooks and want to remember her name, you might picture the Brooklyn Bridge spanning her face from ear to ear. The more striking or ridiculous the image, the more likely it is to stick in your mind.

8. Hook it to something funny. Stalagmites or stalactites -- which ones go up? Well, it's like ants in your pants: The 'mites go up, the 'tites come down.

9. Hook it to a melody, chant, rhyme or rhythmic motion. Remember singing A-B-C-D-E-F-G to the tune of "Baa Baa Black Sheep"? How about: "In fourteen hundred and ninety-two/Columbus sailed the ocean blue"? Or try pacing rhythmically while memorizing a table of data.

10. Associate new with old. Greek and Roman orators had a trick for remembering a speech. They would create a striking image for each topic they meant to cover (see step 7), mentally put these images in the rooms of their home, and then, while giving the speech, picture strolling through their home. Each next room would remind them of their next topic, and in the proper order. Note that they didn't have to remember the order of their rooms, because this knowledge was already imprinted in their brains.

11. Link learning to environment. The memory tends to associate information with the environment in which one learns it. If you're going to be tested on something and you know where the test will occur, study the material in the same sort of place. If you don't know anything about the test site, study in a variety of locations so the memories won't get locked into cues from one environment.

12. Let 'er drift. If a memory is staying out of reach, stop fishing for it, the experts say. Instead, let your mind drift to the general area: to friends you knew then, to the school you went to, the car you drove ... with luck, you'll happen into the end piece of a chain of links leading to the memory you're after.
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Author: Lotlot
•6:15 PM

[ I'm not a good cook but I cook everyday for me to assure that I eat healthy and clean food. Moreover, I try to shop healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, fish etc.. Because I believe in the saying, " Prevention is BETTER than cure"; so, I'm trying to prevent myself from harmful diseases. For, I don't want to find myself in the hospital one day or to walk with medicines in my bag. I believe that eating healthy and clean food is a KEY to a healthy life.
When I read this topic, " Quick Tips for Healthy Eating" I was able to confirm that I'm in the right track..., are you too?]

5 easy ways to stick to your diet
By Julie Upton and Catherine Broihier

Healthy Eating Tip #1: Plan Ahead
Plan your menus ahead of time to avoid last-minute pizza runs and take-out meals that can derail your progress.

Healthy Eating Tip #2: Shop Healthy
What you bring home is what you're going to eat, so
make it healthy. Create a shopping list and stick to it when you go to the store. A go-to list helps prevent unplanned forays into the candy and chip aisles.

Healthy Eating Tip #3: Prep Snacks Ahead
When you get home from the store, take a few minutes to prepare a few healthy snacks for later. Wash and trim vegetable sticks; portion out pretzels, trail mix, etc. into snack-size baggies; and put fruit out in a bowl. Next time hunger strikes, you'll be ready with a healthy snack.

Healthy Eating Tip #4: Make Recipe Substitutions You Won't Even Notice
Whenever you can, opt for lower fat ingredients in recipes: skim milk instead of 2% or whole, low-fat cheese and mayonnaise instead of regular, light or fat-free salad dressing instead of full-fat dressing, ground turkey instead of ground beef, fat-free cream instead of regular. You can also reduce the sugar and fat a recipe calls for by one-quarter without affecting the taste or texture of your creation.

Healthy Eating Tip #5: Get Cooking!
Limiting restaurant meals is a good way to limit fat, sodium, and calories in your overall diet, and it makes it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan.
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Author: Lotlot
•2:39 PM
By Peter Jaret,

Help your heart and overall health with these simple steps.

1. Replace butter with olive or canola oil whenever possible.
2. Snack on nuts, seeds or fruit instead of processed foods.
3. Include a generous leafy green salad with most dinners.
4. Help yourself to whole-grain bread, pasta, rice and other grains.
5. Fix at least a couple of vegetarian meals every week.
6. Add a dish or two that contains legumes (beans and lentils) to your weekly menu.
7. Have fish (not fried) at least twice a week.
8. If you eat meat, favor chicken and other poultry.
9. Eat red meat only occasionally, and in small servings.
10. If you drink, have no more than a glass or two with a meal.
11. Enjoy fruit for dessert.
12. Set aside enough time to savor every bite.
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Author: Lotlot
•2:13 PM
By MarketWatch

1. Subtract your age from 100.

The answer is the percentage of your investments that should be in stocks or stock mutual funds.
This rule became popular in the 1970s and '80s with the emergence of retirement plans, as individuals tried to come up with a handle on asset allocation without necessarily trying to conquer the subject matter.
In practice, this rule is severely flawed, failing to look at the whole picture. Everything from life expectancy to age at retirement, from amount invested to expected returns and much more, affects a portfolio's ability to last a lifetime. Most advisers seem to think this rule is ultraconservative and would be more comfortable if the number were readjusted to 130 or 140.
"This rule has completely outlived its usefulness because people are retiring younger and living longer," says Peg Eddy of Creative Capital Management in San Diego. "People are retiring with 20 years or more to live, and a portfolio that is too conservative just isn't going to work for them. They need more growth, or they will be too vulnerable to inflation over that longer stretch of time."

2. Keep three to six months of salary in an emergency fund.

Advisers have struggled with this one for years because an investor can spend years trying to save six months' salary, and then keeping that money liquid for emergencies surrenders big growth potential.
A better rule might be to focus on living expenses rather than gross income. That would allow an emergency fund to cover its intended purpose: paying the bills, not replacing lost paychecks. The necessity of these funds can depend on a variety of factors, including disability insurance protection, the availability of credit and the potential costs a family would face from a job loss, health problems or the breakdown of cars or big-ticket household appliances.
Chances are, the average consumer will never face an emergency that requires him or her to come up with six months' salary within 24 hours, which is why some advisers suggest that emergency funds can do double duty, being an investor's most conservative bond investments while being accessible if the worst happens.

3. Set aside 10% of gross income for savings.

This isn't really a rule, according to experts, so much as a starting point. It's hard to put a number on "the right percentage" to save because that ignores several factors, such as the return the money can earn, how long someone has to build a nest egg and the lifestyle someone wants to maintain.
If this rule gets people to save -- even if they can't afford to get all the way to 10% of income -- then it's better than nothing. But if you follow this rule expecting it to deliver a secure retirement, you may be sorely disappointed.

4. To retire comfortably, your investments must generate 70% to 80% of the income you received while working.

Not a bad idea, but too many critical factors are being ignored (again). Retirement needs are a function of life expectancy, good or bad health, inflation and spending, not previous salary. Living a jet-set lifestyle requires a lot more money than staying home and watching television; failing to generate enough income can force retirees to give up activities that would make their retirement years more enjoyable.
"Most folks who hit 65 these days -- if they wait that long to retire -- are finding that they have more energy and more desire to do more things, and they need to plan on a higher level of spending in the early years of retirement," says Rick Brooks, the vice president of investment management for Blankinship & Foster, a Solana Beach, Calif., advisory firm.
"Sixty-five is the new 55, where folks still have energy, they have resources and they are no longer shackled by the 9-to-5-job thing. While those conditions will change over time, someone who doesn't replace all of their income may draw down too much early and then may be in a position where they outlive their assets."

5. The stock market will give you a 10% annual return.

This is a fuzzy interpretation of the famous Ibbotson-Sinquefield stock market study, research that showed the stocks deliver an annualized average return of 10%. The problem is that Roger Ibbotson, the guy behind the study, now says that he expects the next 25 years to be different from the past 75, with returns closer to 8%.
Moreover, the 10% number includes several assumptions, such as a long time horizon, no active trading, no taxes and no transaction costs. That's hardly the real world.
Also, many people forget that the historical returns are an average, not an annual total. When people live by this rule and make it their expectation, they tend to be disappointed, which makes it tough to stick to an investment strategy.

6. Life insurance benefits should equal five times your current income.

Critics say this is a longtime insurance industry marketing ploy, while supporters call it an honest benchmark. Either way, it's usually off-target; a key problem, again, is the focus on income rather than expenses.
Experts say the five-times-income rule applies to the sole breadwinner in a family with two kids. That makes it inadequate for larger families and a waste for people yet to start a family. Like most financial rules of thumb, this rule's suitability is a function of your personal situation.
Rather than relying on income, a more accurate formula for many consumers will be to insure what they can't afford to pay for without coverage. That means taking their mortgage balance, the kids' college education and four or five years' worth of expenses to allow your loved ones to get back on their feet emotionally.

7. Refinance your home when interest rates drop by 2 percentage points.

This rule came from the era where the points -- the fee paid to lenders for making the loan -- and closing costs associated with a mortgage refinancing took years to pay off. Today, there are many available mortgages with little or no closing costs. As a result, consumers can get long-term savings by shaving half a percentage point or more from the mortgage, or by keeping the rate but shortening the loan's duration.
The consensus of the experts: Work the numbers. You could be wasting money waiting for rates to fall further before you make a deal.
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Author: Lotlot
•3:09 PM

[I've just read this news on MSN. I'm interested about this article. It makes me think of many strange things that the world of science & technology could possibly do these days and in the years to come. Well, as long as it's for the good of everybody and as long as it wouldn't harm anyone, why not?]

British scientists make human-cow embryos
Experts assure public such experiments wouldn't result in ‘monsters’

WASHINGTON - British researchers say they have created embryos and stem cells using human cells and the egg cells of cows, but said such experiments would not lead to hybrid human-animal babies, or even to direct medical therapies.

Dr. Lyle Armstrong of Newcastle University presented preliminary data on his work to Israel's parliament last week. It has not been reviewed by other experts in the field, Newcastle University said in a statement released on Tuesday.

They said they had hollowed out the egg cells of cattle, inserted human DNA to create a growing embryo, and then taken it apart to get embryonic stem cells.

Other experts agreed such work would only be an interim step aimed at understanding the biology of embryonic stem cells — the body's ultimate master cells, which can give rise to all of the other cells and tissues.
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Author: Lotlot
•5:03 PM

Top 10 Useless Body Parts
The Science Channel

When you're sick you may feel that certain body parts are more trouble than they're worth. And in some cases, you'd be right. While the human body has evolved and adapted significantly since the caveman days, a few biological traces of our prehistoric ancestors still remain with us in the form of freeloading body parts we lug around with us, but have no use for. Take a gander at the top offenders!

10. Plica semilunaris
You may not know it, but you have a third
eyelid. Pull open the two more noticeable eyelids and take a look -- it's located right in the corner by the tear duct. This small third eyelid is left over from what's known as a "nictitating membrane," which is still present in full form in some animals including chickens, lizards and sharks.

9. Body hair
No doubt we were once hairier. Up until about 3 million years ago, we were covered with body hair. But by the time Homo erectus arrived, the ability to sweat meant we could shed our woolly ways.

8. Sinuses
Doctors don't really know much about sinuses -- only that we have a lot of them. Possibilities for their function range from insulating our eyes to changing the pitch and tone of our voice.

7. Adenoids
Adenoids trap bacteria, but they're also prone to swelling and infection. Just ask any 7-year-old. Luckily, our adenoids shrink with age and are often removed, along with ...

6. Tonsils
Also prone to swelling and infection. If you still have them when you reach your 30s, it's almost an accomplishment.

5. Coccyx
More useful as a game-winning Scrabble word than as part of the anatomy, the coccyx or tailbone, is made up of several fused vertebrae left over from the olden days when we had tails.

4. Arrector pili
When we were hairier (see No. 9), the arrector pili made the hairs stand on end when we needed to appear bigger and scarier. Now, it just gives us goose bumps.

3. Wisdom teeth
Back in the day, when we ate mammoth meat off the bone and didn't floss afterward, our teeth tended to fall out. Therefore, when those reserve molars, aka "wisdom teeth," came in, they were welcomed. Nowadays, fluoride and dental plans have made them just a huge pain.

2. Appendix
Darwin claimed the appendix was useful for digestion during our early plant-eating years; it's dwindled down to little since we started eating more digestible foods.

1. Male nipples
Because, why?
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