angstypantsy

seriously

shapefutures:

adcouncil:

glsen:

LGBTQ youth! Have you taken GLSEN’s 2013 National School Climate Survey? Did you know that it’s the only national survey to examine the educational experiences of LGBTQ youth, and that it’s used to inform education policymakers and the public about the right of all students to be treated with respect? Learn why it’s so important in this video, and please take the survey now! www.glsen.org/2013survey

Please help spread the word about this survey!

Hey all —

If you’re LGBTQ and in school and you’re reading this, if you feel comfortable doing so, please take this survey.  I can vouch for the fact that educators, administrators, researchers, rights advocates, and mental health professionals alike — sometimes even politicians and related groups, individuals, and institutions — often look to this survey for a picture of the school experience and environment for students who are LGBTQ.

They may not know what’s really happening if people don’t tell them.

So, again, if you feel comfortable doing so, go ahead and follow the link.  It’s one of a few different regular surveys from a few different organizations that lead to reports that are meant to help us make positive changes in our schools (and other environments) for people who are LGBTQ.

(via girlwithalessonplan)

neurosciencestuff:


Mindfulness Improves Reading Ability, Working Memory, and Task-Focus
If you think your inability to concentrate is a hopeless condition, think again –– and breathe, and focus. According to a study by researchers at the UC Santa Barbara, as little as two weeks of mindfulness training can significantly improve one’s reading comprehension, working memory capacity, and ability to focus.
Their findings were recently published online in the empirical psychology journal Psychological Science.
“What surprised me the most was actually the clarity of the results,” said Michael Mrazek, graduate student researcher in psychology and the lead and corresponding author of the paper, “Mindfulness Training Improves Working Memory Capacity and GRE Performance While Reducing Mind Wandering.” “Even with a rigorous design and effective training program, it wouldn’t be unusual to find mixed results. But we found reduced mind-wandering in every way we measured it.”
Many psychologists define mindfulness as a state of non-distraction characterized by full engagement with our current task or situation. For much of our waking hours, however, we are anything but mindful. We tend to replay past events –– like the fight we just had or the person who just cut us off on the freeway –– or we think ahead to future circumstances, such as our plans for the weekend.
Mind-wandering may not be a serious issue in many circumstances, but in tasks requiring attention, the ability to stay focused is crucial.
To investigate whether mindfulness training can reduce mind-wandering and thereby improve performance, the scientists randomly assigned 48 undergraduate students to either a class that taught the practice of mindfulness or a class that covered fundamental topics in nutrition. Both classes were taught by professionals with extensive teaching experience in their fields. Within a week before the classes, the students were given two tests: a modified verbal reasoning test from the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and a working memory capacity (WMC) test. Mind-wandering during both tests was also measured.
The mindfulness classes provided a conceptual introduction along with practical instruction on how to practice mindfulness in both targeted exercises and daily life. Meanwhile, the nutrition class taught nutrition science and strategies for healthy eating, and required students to log their daily food intake.
Within a week after the classes ended, the students were tested again. Their scores indicated that the mindfulness group significantly improved on both the verbal GRE test and the working memory capacity test. They also mind-wandered less during testing. None of these changes were true of the nutrition group.
“This is the most complete and rigorous demonstration that mindfulness can reduce mind-wandering, one of the clearest demonstrations that mindfulness can improve working memory and reading, and the first study to tie all this together to show that mind-wandering mediates the improvements in performance,” said Mrazek. He added that the research establishes with greater certainty that some cognitive abilities often seen as immutable, such as working memory capacity, can be improved through mindfulness training.
Mrazek and the rest of the research team –– which includes Michael S. Franklin, project scientist; mindfulness teacher and research specialist Dawa Tarchin Phillips; graduate student Benjamin Baird; and senior investigator Jonathan Schooler, professor of psychological and brain sciences –– are extending their work by investigating whether similar results can be achieved with younger populations, or with web-based mindfulness interventions. They are also examining whether or not the benefits of mindfulness can be compounded by a program of personal development that also targets nutrition, exercise, sleep, and personal relationships.
(Image: fotopakismo)

neurosciencestuff:

Mindfulness Improves Reading Ability, Working Memory, and Task-Focus

If you think your inability to concentrate is a hopeless condition, think again –– and breathe, and focus. According to a study by researchers at the UC Santa Barbara, as little as two weeks of mindfulness training can significantly improve one’s reading comprehension, working memory capacity, and ability to focus.

Their findings were recently published online in the empirical psychology journal Psychological Science.

“What surprised me the most was actually the clarity of the results,” said Michael Mrazek, graduate student researcher in psychology and the lead and corresponding author of the paper, “Mindfulness Training Improves Working Memory Capacity and GRE Performance While Reducing Mind Wandering.” “Even with a rigorous design and effective training program, it wouldn’t be unusual to find mixed results. But we found reduced mind-wandering in every way we measured it.”

Many psychologists define mindfulness as a state of non-distraction characterized by full engagement with our current task or situation. For much of our waking hours, however, we are anything but mindful. We tend to replay past events –– like the fight we just had or the person who just cut us off on the freeway –– or we think ahead to future circumstances, such as our plans for the weekend.

Mind-wandering may not be a serious issue in many circumstances, but in tasks requiring attention, the ability to stay focused is crucial.

To investigate whether mindfulness training can reduce mind-wandering and thereby improve performance, the scientists randomly assigned 48 undergraduate students to either a class that taught the practice of mindfulness or a class that covered fundamental topics in nutrition. Both classes were taught by professionals with extensive teaching experience in their fields. Within a week before the classes, the students were given two tests: a modified verbal reasoning test from the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and a working memory capacity (WMC) test. Mind-wandering during both tests was also measured.

The mindfulness classes provided a conceptual introduction along with practical instruction on how to practice mindfulness in both targeted exercises and daily life. Meanwhile, the nutrition class taught nutrition science and strategies for healthy eating, and required students to log their daily food intake.

Within a week after the classes ended, the students were tested again. Their scores indicated that the mindfulness group significantly improved on both the verbal GRE test and the working memory capacity test. They also mind-wandered less during testing. None of these changes were true of the nutrition group.

“This is the most complete and rigorous demonstration that mindfulness can reduce mind-wandering, one of the clearest demonstrations that mindfulness can improve working memory and reading, and the first study to tie all this together to show that mind-wandering mediates the improvements in performance,” said Mrazek. He added that the research establishes with greater certainty that some cognitive abilities often seen as immutable, such as working memory capacity, can be improved through mindfulness training.

Mrazek and the rest of the research team –– which includes Michael S. Franklin, project scientist; mindfulness teacher and research specialist Dawa Tarchin Phillips; graduate student Benjamin Baird; and senior investigator Jonathan Schooler, professor of psychological and brain sciences –– are extending their work by investigating whether similar results can be achieved with younger populations, or with web-based mindfulness interventions. They are also examining whether or not the benefits of mindfulness can be compounded by a program of personal development that also targets nutrition, exercise, sleep, and personal relationships.

(Image: fotopakismo)

(via afro-dominicano)

The thing that doesn’t fit is the thing that is most interesting. Richard Feynman (via explore-blog)

(Source: , via explore-blog)

Comparing yourself to others will ruin you. It will end your dream before it can start. Storyline (via azspot)

(via afro-dominicano)

explore-blog:

How big is the universe, really? An animated explanation from Minute Physics, who gave us this fantastic open letter to President Obama on the state of science education and have previously explained why the color pink doesn’t exist, why the past is different from the future, the science of touch, and why it’s dark at night.

This episode is based on astronomer Janna Levin’s How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space.

Complement with an animated explanation of how we measure the universe and five fantastic visualizations to grasp its scale.

(Source: explore-blog)

We’re as sick as our secrets and the shame keeps us in isolation. And when we find that shared experience, we gather our strength and our hope. So for example, I’m a three-time survivor of rape, and about that I have no shame, because it was never my shame to begin with—it was the perpetrator’s shame. And only when I was a grown empowered adult and had healthy boundaries and had the opportunity to do helpful work on that trauma was I able to say, okay, that perpetrator was shameless, and put their shame on me. Now I gave that shame back, and it’s my job to break my isolation and talk with other girls and other women. Ashley Judd, possible Kentucky Senate candidate, opened up about sexual assault in a speech in DC today. (via motherjones)

fastcodesign:

From A Genius Mixologist: The Only Ratio You Need For Perfect Cocktails

Drink tips from expert mixologist Gabriella Mlynarczyk.

“There’s definitely a formula,” she says. “My basic ratio for any drink is usually 1.5 to 2 ounces of alcohol, to one ounce of tart, to one ounce of sweet.”

CHOOSE YOUR BASE NOTE

“Most perfumes started with a solid base note. So I start tasting different spirits, trying to figure out which one I want to start with as my base mix for the drink. Because at the end of the day, when you take a sip of the cocktail, what you’re going to be left with is that base flavor.”

GO COMPLEMENTARY

“I have a cocktail I played with for a while that had a lot of popcorn in it. I wanted to prolong that flavor of popcorn, so I used an unaged white corn whiskey,” she explains. “During the first sip you take, usually you taste the whiskey. Then it progresses in this long-lasting buttered popcorn flavor. Without the two [corn flavors], I don’t think you’d get that.”

BUILD GLUE THROUGH COMPLEXITY

With your 2:1:1 core cocktail complete, the next step is that of adding aromatics. And the easiest way to do that is to add a few drops of bitters—a scant amount of liquid that won’t throw your ratio out of whack.

“Technically, in the classic cocktail world, a cocktail is not a cocktail unless it contains bitters,” she explains, referencing the fact that the original formula for a cocktail was just alcohol, sugar, and bitters. “If you don’t add bitters, you can taste something missing. They add this final kind of balance that brings everything together—like the glue.”

ATTENUATE POTENCY AND MOUTHFEEL

Whatever you have at this point should taste pretty good, but what if it’s just too boozy? What if it’s simply not very satisfying? Or what if it would just look more beautiful in a taller glass? These are issues you can tweak at the end of your cocktail design process, by altering the potency and mouthfeel.

“I’m not crazy about just adding water to a cocktail, but it is more interesting to have bubbles,” Mlynarczyk says. “So I tend to add beer to a lot of my highball drinks because I love beer. It adds a yeasty or floral quality.” She also prefers to dilute a drink with champagne or soda water that’s been enhanced with some citric acid and simple syrup (again, playing on that idea of tart and sweet).

SWEAT THE ICE

“I think the perception that a shaken drink will get colder than a stirred one is actually incorrect,” Mlynarczyk explains. “If you crack your ice, then you stir it, you get far more chill on the drink than you would shaking it. But some people, you can’t change their mind. They want shards of ice in their drink.”

For any drink on the rocks, ice should be thick and dense—those solid cubes that look straight out of Antarctica’s freezer, so favored by mixologists, have nothing to do with saving money; they actually melt more slowly, watering down your drink less as you enjoy it.

Here’s the full story.

(Source: fastcodesign, via fastcompany)