Tag Archives: information

The Handwriting On The Wall

The future of school looks a lot like a computer keyboard. . . but maybe it shouldn’t.

Right now, young dudes and dudettes in elementary school, middle school and high school mostly take notes by hand. Every parent knows the nightmare of not getting the right color composition book and having to rush back to Walmart with a sniffling child and rooting in vain amongst the dregs of the school supplies, knowing the color won’t be there and school starts tomorrow and why won’t he just be quiet and for the love of peter just take the green one because it really doesn’t make a difference.

*ahem* Yeah, I might have some issues there. Moving on.

So, most notes are taken with pencil and paper in grades k-12, but that might not last for long. And that could be a problem as life goes on.

While college students still take some notes with pen and paper, I’m seeing more and more computers or tablets on college student desks as they take notes to the clicking of keys and not the clicking of a ball-point pen. And that technophilia is moving down into the primary school years as well.

The future is wall-to-wall computers and our schools are changing to accommodate that. According to some recent research, that could be a big mistake.

Children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information. In other words, it’s not just what we write that matters — but how.

“When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated,” said Stanislas Dehaene, a psychologist at the Collège de France in Paris. “There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation in your brain.

Which we will discuss tomorrow when I come back with a bit more about the whole handwriting versus typing debate.

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Consequences Of Going Sleepless Even If You’re Not In Seattle*

Sleep. Ah, blessed, wonderful, energizing sleep. How I love you so.

And, yet, sleep is something I tend to try and avoid as much as possible. I’ll stay up as late as possible before heading to bed. Once there, I will sleep as little as I can possibly get away with before forcing myself awake and starting another sleep-deprived day.

Back in my day, when I worked at my first newspaper, my normal shift didn’t start until 10 am. Which meant I could stay up until 1 am, sleep eight hours and still be in on time to start work.

That was, and I use this word with complete certainty that it is the right word for the job, beautiful.

Of course, things changed and, for the most part, I started changing with them. I still remember the horror with which I faced the night before the first day of Sarcasmo’s high school. He had to catch a bus at 6:30 am, which meant we had to be up before 6 and getting ready to head out.

I hit the hay before 11 pm for the first time in a long, long time. And I never really did acclimate to the whole early-to-bed-early-to-rise thing. Benjamin Franklin was a great dude for the most part, but he had some serious issues when it came to sleep.

So, I tend to be on the lookout for information about sleep. I like to make sure that, when I sleep too little, I am at least sleeping deeply and getting the most restorative efforts for my time. So when I ran across this great infographic from my apparently new go-to magazine for post kickstarters, Popular Science, I knew I had to talk about it.

Should you stay up late bingewatching House of Cards, or finishing off that really big book? Probably not. And here's why.

 

I can’t be the only dude who sees things like chronic depression on there and starts getting nervous about his sleep habits, yeah?

Which means that, dudes, if you’re reading this at night, it might be time to sign off the old IntarTubules, brush your teeth, change into the comfy jammies and hit the sack. See if you can get a good night’s sleep for a change.

You never know. You might actually enjoy it.

Footnotes & Errata

* Wow, did that reference date me or what? Erm, I saw it on Netflix? Not in theaters? Yeah, that sounds good.

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Replay The Day But Be Smart About It

Today is the annual Bill Murray Appreciation Day.

Otherwise known as Groundhog Day. Murray stars in the wonderfully daft and philosophic movie of the same name and today being the actual Groundhog Day, I use it as an excuse to rewatch the movie again and again.Bill Murray, Groundhog Day and the movies. Also predestination and fate.

To get into the spirit, mind.

So, Happy Groundhog Day to all of you who actually care about that sort of thing.

Personally, I think if there were any chance that a groundhog seeing or not seeing his/her shadow had any sort of effect on long-term global weather patterns, we’d be living in a much stranger place indeed.

So, instead, let’s talk about idiots.

Some computer boffins decided to do a little sifting through the detritus of bad computer acts. That is, with all the recent information thefts (Target, etc) lately, we have access to a lot of information about a lot of people.

And that includes the passwords these people use when they want to secure something on their computer. Which is what the computer wallas went looking for. And, dudes, you’ll never guess what they found. Or maybe you will considering I actually started this bit talking about idiots.

The most popular password, according to the folks at SplashData, and the worst on the internet is a new one. It unseated “password,” which was the top baddest last year.

Drumroll, please. . . .

The most popular password and the worst on the internet is. . . “123456”. I kid you not.

Here’s where you may feel free to point and laugh.

It’s not that hard, dudes. All you’ve got to do is have a place where you can keep the passwords and the sites to which they belong. Heck, any halfway decent web browser will come equipped with software already installed to create difficult-to-guess passwords and then store them for you.

And yet. . . And yet. . .

Anyway, I’m going to leave you today with SplashData’s top (bottom) 25 worst passwords on the internet for 2013.

Presenting SplashData’s “Worst Passwords of 2013”:

Rank Password Change from 2012

1

123456

Up 1

2

password

Down 1

3

12345678

Unchanged

4

qwerty

Up 1

5

abc123

Down 1

6

123456789

New

7

111111

Up 2

8

1234567

Up 5

9

iloveyou

Up 2

10

adobe123

New

11

123123

Up 5

12

admin

New

13

1234567890

New

14

letmein

Down 7

15

photoshop

New

16

1234

New

17

monkey

Down 11

18

shadow

Unchanged

19

sunshine

Down 5

20

12345

New

21

password1

Up 4

22

princess

New

23

azerty

New

24

trustno1

Down 12

25

000000

New


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