Little Acorns is a place for me to share tidbits from the week that I found valuable or interesting, but didn’t merit their own posts. Even the smallest ideas can help build a greater understanding of the world around you, so grow your mind with this weekly wrap-up!
This first one doesn’t have a firm start date, so I’ve got some highlights from the last few months! After this, it will be weekly (when possible).
Something You Should Know Ep 86 (7/13/17)
In this episode, guest Michael Gelb debunks the myth that your brain reaches its full potential when you’re young, and starts declining in middle age. Ask any teacher, and you’ll realize that kids are forgetful too. But when young people forget something, they don’t automatically chalk it up to memory loss or having a “Junior Moment”, like aging adults and seniors do.
Illness aside, you are able to improve your memory and grow your brain’s potential as you age. While the typical suggested activities (crosswords of increasingly difficult levels, puzzles, etc) do help, there are three factors that are more important:
1. Attitude: If you don’t believe you can learn, you won’t try at all, or will give up when you get stuck. You need to believe that an aging mind is just as good as a young one, so you can persist through challenges and grow!
2. Exercise: In addition to drastic improvements in expected lifespan, regular exercise improves oxygen and blood flow to the brain.
3. Learn something NEW: Gelb says that it’s important to spend at least 15 minutes per day learning something completely novel and new. Working from a beginner’s perspective challenges your brain and improves neuroplasticity, or your brain’s capacity for learning.
I had totally bought into the aging myth, so this was a very interesting piece! Great to have some concrete tips for improving your brain, too.
From my own adventures in gardening:
Don’t get over-ambitious when planting in gardening pots. The world of fruits, veggies, and flowers is surprisingly cutthroat. Our zucchini and cucumber grew crazily, then died when they got too big for their (very large!) pots. The pansies killed the marigolds sharing their container. The two tomatoes did fine size-wise, but when one got sick, it infected the other one sharing its pot, too!
However, the plants that were potted alone, including blueberries, strawberries, citronella, and (now alone) pansies are doing great! The jalapeños and similar green bell peppers were potted together and are doing well, but I’ll be separating them shortly, now that they’re getting bigger.
Lesson learned: One plant per container, and way bigger than you think you need!
Update to the FCC’s Claim That They Experienced a Massive DDoS Attack, Rather Than Legitimate Complaints Regarding Net Neutrality (7/20/17)
An excellent write-up by Reddit user /u/MNGrrl debunking the FCC’s claims, with a ton of evidence to back it up.
Eat Your Kimchi Radio: What it’s like to be on a Korean TV show (8/23/17)
Simon and Martina‘s Marketing Tip: Don’t give media companies free labor by appearing on their productions “for exposure”, unless it has a very direct tie to your target consumer, or it’s an experience you personally want to have.
For example, as a blogger or vlogger, a television appearance is unlikely to increase traffic to your site in a noticeable way. Very few people are going to interrupt their morning routine or evening relaxation to specifically look up your site. However, if another blogger or YouTuber includes an easily clickable link from their site to yours, you are much more likely to see a difference in traffic.
Think about it. That type of linking means it’s only one easy step for the consumer, and it’s guaranteed that they like the same type of media. A television viewer might not like reading blogs, but a person already reading a blog probably does! If you are already listening to a podcast (and have the podcast app open), then it’s only one easy step to look up another podcast that got a shout-out.
Plus, keep in mind that companies are producing pieces for their own benefit, whether it’s generating content with shock value to get views, or trying to spread a particular message. They may have an agenda that they are not necessarily going to share with you before editing.
If you just want to go on TV, radio, etc for fun, or for some other personal benefit, then go for it! Just recognize the experience for what it is, rather than letting a company con you into thinking they’re doing you a favor.
Part-Time Genius: What’s the Best Day of the Week? (8/25/17)
Featuring Melissa Hecksher, author of Be Safe!: Simple Strategies for Death-Free Living (which looks super interesting and I definitely want to read now!)
If you need to schedule a surgery, the safest time is in May or June, and you should avoid July or August if possible. This is because the new residents start in July. So, in June, the previous ones have been there for nearly a year. However, in July, the new residents are still getting settled in, learning how to work with their team, etc.
I was interested, so I did more reading, and also learned that you should try and schedule procedures earlier in the day, be extra careful to avoid medical emergencies on public holidays, and keep your fingers crossed that you don’t go into labor at night or on a Friday afternoon.
Melissa also mentioned that the safest hotel room is between the 4th and 7th floors near the elevator, and that the cleanest stall in a bathroom is usually the one closest to the door.
Random Cleaning Reminders
If you wear makeup, have you cleaned your brushes lately? Also, clean your fridge, if you haven’t in a while! (Don’t forget the hidden bits, like under the produce drawers)
Also published on Medium.