Scholars: “Grit” May Not Be Related to Creativity

Kiersten Marek:

Interesting new research on the lack of connection between grit and creativity. However, I do think in order to make it in most creative endeavors, you have to be persistent and have stamina to deal with failure.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

An article in Education Week reports on research about “grit” or perseverance at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. Scholars reported that it had more bearing on academic outcomes than on creativity.

“Magdalena G. Grohman, the associate director of the Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology at the University of Texas at Dallas, argues that grittiness is not the end-all, be-all for student success. “When you look at it, these [areas studied by Ms. Duckworth] are well-defined areas and the rules for achievement are well-defined in those areas,” she said. “We know what to do to get good grades, what to do to stay in military school, and what to do to win in contests such as spelling bees. The rules are pretty clear on what the achievement is and what success is in these domains. But what about creative achievement?”

“In two separate analyses of…

View original 241 more words

Susan Ochshorn: Play Is Necessary for Children’s Healthy Mental Development

Kiersten Marek:

Social Worker’s orders: take time to play today and every day.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Susan Ochshorn, a specialist in early childhood education, demonstrates in this post (as she has before, and will again) that play is crucial for the healthy mental development of young children. Ochshorn is the founder of ECE Policyworks and a tireless advocate for childhood.

Ochshorn cites the research of Deborah Leong to explain the importance of play.

“Self-regulation, as the non-neuroscientists among us refer to executive function, has to do with the development of the prefrontal cortex, and influences both cognition and emotions. Leong compares this “muscle,” which grows exponentially in the years from birth to five, to a traffic controller, allocating mental resources to focus on the tasks at hand. Here are the three components of executive function:

Inhibitory self-control, which allows children to delay gratification, and to stay on task, even when they’re bored;

Working memory, which enables kids to take multiple perspectives and hold two strategies in…

View original 192 more words

Small Investors Just Proved Why Fed’s ‘Wealth Effect’ Is Bogus

Kiersten Marek:

Some interesting analysis on why the “wealth effect” is not happening, and statistics on how little the American public knows about recent events in the stock market.

Originally posted on Your Newsline Independent Reporting From Around The World :

The American public is astute about a lot of things, but the stock market – despite all the hoopla in the media and even on NPR – apparently isn’t one of them. That’s what the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index survey found.

And it raises some thorny issues about the Fed’s strategy to print a few trillion dollars and force interest rates down to near zero in order, as it said, to inflate stocks and other financial assets, thereby triggering the “wealth effect,” which would stimulate the Main Street economy. This is, of course, precisely what has not happened. And the American investing public just told us why.

The survey asked American investors with $10,000 or more in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or in a self-directed IRA or 401(k) – so not the entire American public but only those who have a stake in the markets – to comment on…

View original 18 more words

Sauerkraut: A Superfood You Should Be Eating

Kiersten Marek:

A good primer on all the benefits of homemade sauerkraut, with recipe!

Originally posted on The Rogue Vegan:

The other day, I decided to make some raw, homemade sauerkraut, since it had been a while since I made any. It is one of the top foods I would recommend incorporating into your diet. 70% of your immune system lies in your gut so it is really important that we have the necessary bacteria present to fight off any pathogens that may enter our system.

Reasons I love using cabbage:
1) Unique cancer preventative properties with respect to bladder, colon and
prostate cancer.
2) Rich in antioxidants
3) Rich in anti-inflammatories

Cancer prevention tops all other areas of health research in regards to cabbage. It is impressive in terms of antioxidants, which is partly responsible for its cancer prevention benefits. You can also count on cabbage to provide cardiovascular support in reducing cholesterol. The fiber in cabbage binds to bile acids and when this happens, your liver replaces the…

View original 545 more words

Nexus Has to be Nursed Back to Life After Battery Dies

So, I’m not one to do a lot of ranting about products, and there are many features to my Nexus that I appreciate, but one I don’t appreciate is the need to nurse it back to life in 15 to 45 minute procedures involving multiple steps every time the battery dies. Here is what happened recently: I took my Nexus for a walk to raise money for the World Food Programme. I came home and put it on the sideboard. When I went to look at it the next day and resume my walk, it was dead. I tried turning it on — got nothing but a tiny flare of light in the middle button on the screen. I went on another computer (good thing I have two) and looked up what to do next. I followed multiple instructions including:

  • Plugging it in to a computer.
  • Allowing it to sit for 5 minutes. Trying to turn it on again. 
  • Unplugging it and plugging it back in within 10 seconds. Trying to turn it on again.
  • Allowing it to sit for 15 minutes, trying it again. This time I got the outline of a battery, which was supposed to mean that if I held the power button for 15 to 30 seconds, it should turn on, but it didn’t.
  • Allowing it to sit for another 15 minutes, then trying it again, at which time it deigned to turn back on again.

Am I crazy or is this a lot of time to be spending nursing an electronic back to life? So a little word to the wise: if you are going to buy a new handheld, you might want to read some reviews and find out how the battery life works on that device. This was an unexpected side job that I got with my Nexus: the job of Chief Nurse and Technician for a battery that seems to be saying, like the famous Bartleby the Scrivener: “I’d prefer not to.”