Flowingly

"A mind stretched to a new idea can never go back to its original dimension"

Archive for the ‘Personal Developement’ Category

7 ways to connect to yourself using screensavers that generate collages with your very own images

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The reason: we have personally relevant pictures that we’d like to be reminded of by default, instead of desiring what others lure our attention and imagination to (publicity).

So if you have pictures with things dear to your heart, don’t let them rust in some too easily forgotten folders.

First, in case you need to know:
How to change your screensaver in Windows XP
How to change your screensaver in Windows 7

1. Picasa screensaver

Pros: Has a Collage option. Also, you can select several folders and check/uncheck them. Useful when you want to see only some of the folders previously selected.
Con: Can be installed only along with Picasa.

If you need a bit of technical help: How-To: Create Custom Screensaver with Picasa

Downloadable from picasa.google.com

2. Cozi screensaver

Pro: very design conscious, very good-looking, very elegant. It shows 3 up to 8 pictures at a time (7+/-2 anyone? :) all from the same folder – which makes it unique in a surprisingly great way. I personally love it.

Downloadable from http://www.cozi.com/Download-Photo-Screensaver.htm

3. Album Art Screensaver

Particularity: Displays the pictures in a customizable rectangular grid.

Con: It squeezes the pictures a bit in order to make them square (like the album covers).

Downloadable from http://www.crayonroom.com/screensaver.php

4. Media Collage

Pro: Displays videos, not just static images. Big plus.
Uses a grid somehow similar to the one in Album Art Screensaver, but without stretching the pictures.
Con: Lacks randomness. Big minus.

Available at http://www.softpedia.com/get/Desktop-Enhancements/Screensavers/Media-Collage-Screen-Saver-Slideshow.shtml

5. Photo Slideshow Screensaver

Con: Trial
Pro: If you play a bit with the many options you may find really nice feeling effects. Video available here.

Downloadable from photo-slideshow-screensaver.com

6. Picturoid

Pros: Spectacular.
Cons: $5, the demo shows just the obnoxious “Buy or bye-bye” message. Despite the video, the trial version is so impaired that it’s not worth the time.

Site: http://www.jsr-productions.com/products.php?id=16

7. Photojoy

Pros: Eyecandy bonanza
Cons: Too eye candish for some.

Downloadable from photojoy.com

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Written by flowingly

December 25, 2011 at 16:45

Abrazotote

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Written by flowingly

April 4, 2010 at 04:29

Bill Gates – how do you make education better?

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Bill Gates, philantropist :)

“A goal I had there was to draw more people in to work on those problems, because I think there are some very important problems that don’t get worked on naturally. That is, the market does not drive the scientists, the communicators, the thinkers, the governments to do the right things. And only by paying attention to these things and having brilliant people who care and draw other people in can we make as much progress as we need to.
[…]
So, how do you make education better?

A top quartile (top 25%) teacher will increase the performance of their class — based on test scores — by over 10 percent in a single year. What does that mean? That means that if the entire U.S., for two years, had top quartile teachers, the entire difference between us and Asia would go away. Within four years we would be blowing everyone in the world away.

What are the characteristics of this top quartile? What do they look like?”

They’re not old and they donn’t have masters, which is what the educational system rewards.
They simply have students with good test results, and the teacher’s syndicates made the records of this tests unavailable. By law.

“You might say, “Do the good teachers stay and the bad teacher’s leave?” The answer is, on average, the slightly better teachers leave the system. And it’s a system with very high turnover.

Now, there are a few places — very few — where great teachers are being made. A good example of one is a set of charter schools called KIPP. They take the poorest kids, and over 96 percent of their high school graduates go to four-year colleges. And the whole spirit and attitude in those schools is very different than in the normal public schools. They’re team teaching. They’re constantly improving their teachers. They’re taking data, the test scores, and saying to a teacher, “Hey, you caused this amount of increase.” They’re deeply engaged in making teaching better.

When you actually go and sit in one of these classrooms, at first it’s very bizarre. I sat down and I thought, “What is going on?” The teacher was running around, and the energy level was high. I thought, “I’m in the sports rally or something. What’s going on?” And the teacher was constantly scanning to see which kids weren’t paying attention, which kids were bored, and calling kids rapidly, putting things up on the board. It was a very dynamic environment, because particularly in those middle school years — fifth through eighth grade — keeping people engaged and setting the tone that everybody in the classroom needs to pay attention, nobody gets to make fun of it or have the position of the kid who doesn’t want to be there. Everybody needs to be involved. And so KIPP is doing it.

How does that compare to a normal school? Well, in a normal school teachers aren’t told how good they are. The data isn’t gathered. In the teacher’s contract, it will limit the number of times the principal can come into the classroom — sometimes to once per year. And they need advanced notice to do that. So imagine running a factory where you’ve got these workers, some of them just making crap and the management is told, “Hey, you can only come down here once a year, but you need to let us know, because we might actually fool you, and try and do a good job in that one brief moment.”
Even a teacher who wants to improve doesn’t have the tools to do it. They don’t have the test scores, and there’s a whole thing of trying to block the data. For example, New York passed a law that said that the teacher improvement data could not be made available and used in the tenure decision for the teachers. And so that’s sort of working in the opposite direction. But I’m optimistic about this, I think there are some clear things we can do.
First of all, there’s a lot more testing going on, and that’s given us the picture of where we are. And that allows us to understand who’s doing it well, and call them out, and find out what those techniques are. Of course, digital video is cheap now. Putting a few cameras in the classroom and saying that things are being recorded on an ongoing basis is very practical in all public schools. And so every few weeks teachers could sit down and say, “OK, here’s a little clip of something I thought I did well. Here’s a little clip of something I think I did poorly. Advise me — when this kid acted up, how should I have dealt with that?” And they could all sit and work together on those problems. You can take the very best teachers and kind of annotate it, have it so everyone sees who is the very best at teaching this stuff.

Now there’s a book actually, about KIPP — the place that this is going on — that Jay Matthews, a news reporter, wrote — called, “Work Hard, Be Nice.” And I thought it was so fantastic. It gave you a sense of what a good teacher does.”

Written by flowingly

September 19, 2009 at 05:05

The Power of Time Orientation – Philip Zimbardo @ TED

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Philip Zimbardo: “Now lets tempt four-year-olds, giving them a treat. They can have one marshmallow now. But if they wait until the experimenter comes back, they can have two. Of course it pays, if you like marshmallows, to wait. What happens is 2/3rds of the kids give in to temptation. They cannot wait. The others, of course, wait. They resist the temptation. They delay the now for later.

Walter Mischel, my colleague at Stanford, went back 14 years later, to try to discover
what was different about those kids.
There were enormous differences between kids who resisted and kids who yielded, in many ways. The kids who resisted scored 250 points higher on the SAT. That’s enormous. That’s like a whole set of different IQ points. They didn’t get in as much trouble. They were better students. They were self-confident and determined. And the key for me today, the key for you, is they were future-focused instead of present-focused.

So, very quickly, what is the optimal time profile?

  • High on past-positive.
  • Moderately high on future.
  • And moderate on present-hedonism.
  • And always low on past-negative and present-fatalism.

So the optimal temporal mix is

  • what you get from the past — past-positive give you roots. You connect your family, identity and your self.
  • What you get from the future is wings to soar to new destinations, new challenges.
  • What you get from the present hedonism is the energy, the energy to explore yourself, places, people, sensuality.”

Written by flowingly

July 24, 2009 at 13:46

Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.

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From Positive Psychology News Daily

“Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”
Margaret Lee Runbeck (1905-1956)

According to the book Emotions Revealed by Paul Ekman, the 16 types of enjoyable emotions include

  • sensory pleasures (
  1. visual pleasure,
  2. tactile pleasure,
  3. olfactory pleasure,
  4. auditory pleasure,
  5. gustatory pleasure),
  • amusement,
  • contentment,
  • excitement,
  • relief,
  • wonder,
  • ecstasy or bliss,
  • gratitude,
  • elevation,
  • schadenfreude,
  • fiero, and
  • naches.

Too many for you? Indeed, Matsumoto noted that some of these enjoyable emotions do not even have denotations in English, like

fiero in Italian (refers to the intense enjoyable feelings that occur at the moment when one wins a sporting events or solves a difficult problem),

naches in Yiddish (refers to the pleasant feelings we have when we revel in the accomplishments of our children), and

schadenfreude in German (refers to the delights we feel for ourselves when we witness the misfortunes of others).

I am so impressed by what he said that the emotion exists even when there is no such emotion “term” in some cultures. Regrettably, related about Asian societies are limited. In order to unpack the mystery of happiness, researchers could probably learn much from crosscultural angles.

Written by flowingly

October 18, 2008 at 16:43

How to be happier

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I ask myself, “What are 10 things in my life from the last hour that I can be grateful for?” I ask myself “What are 10 doable things that I can do in the next hour that I’ll be happy I did?”

Lots of amendmends to make, but you get the spirit. I was at about no. 7 when I surprised myself smiling. :) (The mind was getting on a roll.) And at 8 I just remebered the most important thing that I did in the last hour, and that didn’t came to my my mind until then. Well, yes, retarded :) But happier, mind you. :)

Writing it down might help. Alot. I keep post-its handy, within arm-reach, that is.

Repeating is good. Dooh. :)

“But how about the IMPORTANT stuff?” I think it can only profit from the created momentum.

Written by flowingly

July 16, 2007 at 04:50

Jumping over my shadow

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Paul Watzlawick about paradox – profound, readable, entertaining, educational, soul healing. Here’s a sample from Oxymoronica, a collection by Marty Grothe (via Cool Tools):

The superfluous is the most necessary.
Voltaire

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
Margaret Mead

I shut my eyes in order to see.
Paul Gauguin

We learn from history that we do not learn from history.
Georg Hegel

Oximoronica

We are never prepared for what we expect.
James Michener

To be believed, make the truth unbelievable.
Napoleon Bonaparte

The final delusion is the belief that one has lost all delusions.
Maurice Chapelain

What we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.
Sydney J. Harris

When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.
Henry David Thoreau

Always be sincere, even if you don’t mean it.
Harry S. Truman

Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable.
Oscar Wilde

War is a series of catastrophes which result in a victory.
Georges Clemenceau

First I dream my painting, then I paint my dream.
Vincent van Gogh

We are confronted by insurmountable opportunities.
Walt Kelly, From Pogo

A man chases a woman until she catches him.
Anonymous

I want peace and I’m willing to fight for it.
Harry S. Truman

Study the past, if you would divine the future.
Confucius, in Analects

Love is a kind of warfare.
Ovid

All works of art should begin…at the end.
Edgar Allan Poe

Again, I can’t recommend enough Paul Watzlawick’s books for a fresh air of sanity and delivery from such apparent, but perverse wild & domestic stuff.

Paul Watzlawick - Change

Written by flowingly

July 14, 2007 at 17:17