Author Archives: dailytools

About dailytools

I live in Singapore. Out of impulse, I decide to try out wordpress blog, despite having always blog my daily readings on for over the past 2 years.

Modern Romance


modernromanceBy Aziz Ansari (2015)

There were some funny aspects in the beginning part of the book. The book did examined some research that was done, but it did give me a feeling that times have changed and future relationships have become more vulnerable than ever.

Finding someone today is probably more complicated and stressful than it was for previous generations – but you’re also more likely to end up with someone you are really excited about.

The search for the right person – the meaning of “right person” has changed radically in a very much short amount of time.

A few generations ago, if I had been a young person, I would have gotten married pretty young say around 23 years old. Most will end up marrying someone who live in the neighbourhood.

In today’s era, at 23years old, I wasn’t thinking about marriage at all. Instead I got the chance to experience “emerging adulthood” and grow as a person. I met people from all over the world in this part of my life. I wasn’t limited to just the folks I knew in my neighbourhood.

The “good-enough marriage” is definitely not good enough for today’s singles. We are not content to marry someone who happens to live down the street and gets along okay with our parents. We want a soul mate. We want a lifelong wingman/wingwoman who completes us and can handle the truth.

Today, once you start dating someone, your physical lives aren’t the only things that get entangled; your phone worlds also merge. Treat potential partners like actual people, not bubbles on a screen. With online dating and smartphones, we can message people all over the world. However, it is important to analyse options in the real world, not just on the screen.





Making Modern World : Materials and Dematerialization


By Vaclav Smil  (2013)

Makingmodernworld Over the course  of time, the modern world has become dependent on  unprecedented flows of materials. Now even the most efficient production processes and recycling may not be enough to result in dematerialization rate.

I am still at the beginning of the book. I think it is a little dry though it does start to explore the history of how organisms use materials.

The use of materials fall into 5 major categories :

1) Rarest to inconsequential category : use collected natural materials as tools. Chimpanzees use blades of grass or twigs to collect termites or small stones and they use stone anvils to crack open nuts.

2) Use of secreted materials to build protective / prey catching structures. Spider silk is one of the most remarkable secreted material, with a tensile strength similar to that of good quality steel.


3) Removal of biomass and man made materials to create remarkably designed structures example from beaver dams to intricate nests. Leafcutter ants (genus Atta) harvest leaves, drag them underground into nests to cultivate fungus. Beavers are active harvesters of wood used to build their dams. Birds’ nests offer the most varied and sometimes spectacular examples of construction using natural materials.


4) Removal and repositioning of soils  and clays (termite mounds, intricate rodent burrow) Some bower birds of Australia and New Guinea attract females using colorful natural objects such as shells, berries, leaves and flowers, but also discarded bits of plastic, metal or glass. Termites are the greatest aggregate movers and users of soils in subtropical and tropical environments as they construct often impressively tall and voluminous mounds that not only shelter the massive colonies, but also provide induced ventilation driven by pressure differences.


5) Extraction of minerals from water, mostly to build ecoskeleton example corals, phytoplankton.  The largest use of natural materials are the marine biomineralizers that are able to secrete the inorganic compounds they produce from chemicals absorbed from water. Great Barrier Reef may be the world’s largest structured built by largest animals.


Breakthrough creativity

Breakthrough creativity

breakthrough_creativity.jpgBy Lynne C.Levesque (2001)

The author define creativity as the ability to consistently produce different and valuable results. There is no one right or best way to be creative.

Creativity takes many forms and manifests itself in many different ways. By defining and identifying your talents, you can then figure out how to be more consistent, purposeful, and effective in producing your creative results.

One method for discovering how you are creative is to determine how you recognize information, define problems and challenges, and then go about producing creative responses and solutions.

Levesque uses C.G. Jung’s theory of psychological patterns for gathering information and making decisions about it. Her explanation of the theory and how we can use it is clear and easy to understand. She presents a method for self selecting our creative talents (we all have them) and then creates eight interesting, attention grabbing profiles. The profiles give us something to identify with as individuals and team members. Breakthrough Creativity makes it clear that all people are not pegged or pigeon-holed in only one area of creative talent. With exercises designed to help us learn more about our own creative processes and the barriers and blocks associated with them, we have the freedom to seek to expand our talents and capabilities.

There are 8 creative talents :

  1. Adventurer
  2. Navigator
  3. Explorer
  4. Visionary
  5. Pilot
  6. Inventor
  7. Harmonizer
  8. Poet

Example of

Results and Contributions
– Provocative questions that challenge the group to find profound answers and solutions.
– New designs and solutions through unusual connections.
– imagination full of hard to describe images and futuristic possibilities
– multidiscipline perspectives.
– Penetrating, far reaching insights into future trends.
– Ability to integrate, synthesize and move the group forward.

Maximizing their contributions
– Structure the right environment.
– Provide focus and limit
– Provide space and time.
– Work with their ideas to ground them.
– Help them share their thoughts and ideas.
– Help them with managing conflict.
– Encourage the use of their decision making talent.
– Work on development plans.
– Encourage time out and play.


Results and Contributions
– An aesthetic appreciation for grace and elegance in solutions.
– Building an environment of trust, respect, support and a safe place for testing out new ideas and solutions.
– independent and thoughtful perspectives on the challenge, addressing people related values, content and circumstances.
– serving as the team’s ethical backbone.
– Generation of new possibilities and options through reflection and incubation.
-Articulation and portrayal of values, feelings and perspectives, often through writing.

Maximizing their contributions

-Check to be sure structure is needed.
-Provide time and space needed to be most creative.
-Make sure they are engaged and motivated.
-Recognize their sensitivity and show them uniqueness.
-Allow them opportunities and show them uniqueness.
-Help them build their conflict management and communication skills.
-Help them define objectives, set boundaries, prioritize and plan.
– Encourage critical thinking
– Build objectives for improving new skills into their performance plan.
– Watch for symptoms of stress.






How to learn almost anything in 48 hours

How to learn almost anything in 48 hours

howtolearnShortcuts and brain hacks for learning new skills fast by Tansel Ali (2015) 

The author list out a 7 step guide to learn anything in 48 hours.

1. Gather materials and resources to learn (3 hours)

2. Develop memorization strategy (2 hours)

3. Organize / prioritize materials (1 hour)

4. Create accountability (Up to 1 hour)

5. Memorize (30 hours)

6. Review (spaced repetition) (1 hour)

7. Practice and apply (10 hours)

Imagination is the key to making anything more memorable. Build on foundation memory principles with SMASHIN SCOPE and bring your story to life. You can practise on anything you can visualize.


S : Senses / Sensation
M : Movement
A : Association
S : Sexuality / Self
H : Humor
I : Imagination
N : Numbers

S: Symbolism
C : Color
O : Order
P : Positive images / negative images
E : Exaggeration

The Yellow Elephant Memory Model will help you when you are not sure how to remember something. Break it down by looking at how you can create memorable mental images and link the story. There is a 4 step guide to make something memorable.

  1. Abstract – identify abstract thing.
  2. Image – Need to convert abstract to image example the word “creativity” is abstract, but we can use the image of a light bulb or even Albert Einstein to convert the abstract nature of the word to an image we recognize and understand.
  3. Association  – use physical connectivity to make a strong association.
  4. Communication -consider ways to craft info that others can understand.

When reading, use your finger as a guide by running it under the words. Doing this will not only help you read faster but also improve your comprehension.

When linking numbers, make sure you don’t mix up the order of the numbers you are trying to remember. If you make an incorrect story, you will recall wrong numbers.

When using the Method of Loci to remember numbers, always attach the story deeply into the location. Remember, physical connection makes for stronger memorisation. The Method of Loci is the fastest way to memorise playing cards. Create as many loci as you can so you don’t get your stories mixed up by repeatedly using the same location.

Create a spreadsheet listing people and their actions is super helping when using the Dominic system.

Make time to learn things you want to, not just need to, to free your mind from everyday routine. Don’t ever stop learning. It provides fuel for the soul and changes in the world.

Use mind maps or illustrations to help encode big blocks of data.

For languages, make sure you memorize the pronunciations before memorizing the phrases. It will make learning much more effective.

The best way to promote 21st century skills is to embrace Art of Memory techniques.

Real life examples of high speed learning exist. One competitor at first World Memory championships, Bruse Balmer taught himself 2000 foreign words in a single day. Another competitor from the 1999 World Memory championships famously taught himself Icelandic in only one week and then went on a talk show in that language.  These individuals have nothing special about them. Rather, they all employ a small set of simple techniques, known collectively as the Art of Memory. The Art of Memory originated in Ancient Greece. They were almost universally practiced by the thinkers of the ancient world.

The Innovator’s Cookbook


innovationcookbook.jpgThe Innovator’s Cookbook : Essentials for Inventor’s What is Next (2011)
By Steven Johnson

Its unbelievable that this book was published in 2011. The contents of it are still very relevant as of today in year 2017. The author gives many real life examples to state what he thinks are essential for innovation.

He talks about old buildings and innovation. What kinds of old buildings are most freeing? These buildings are usually shabby and spacious. Any change is likely to be an improvement. They are discarded buildings, fairly free of concern from landlord or authorities : “Do what you want. The place can’t get much worse anyway. It’s just too much trouble to tear down.

Example in MIT, there is a temporary building called Building 20. Its a 250,000 square foot three storey wood structure. Because its an old building, it puts on the personality of the people in it. The alumni of the building got feedback of the building “Windows that open and shut at will of the owner! The ability to personalize your space and shape it to various purposes.”

Only operations that are well established, high-turnover, standardized or highly subsidized can afford to carry the cost of new construction. Chain stores, chain restaurants, and banks go into new construction. But neighbourhood bars, foreign restaurants and pawn shops go into older buildings. Supermarkets and shoe stores often go into new buildings; good bookstores and antique dealers seldom do. The unformalized feeders of the art – studios, galleries, stores for musical instruments and art supplies, backrooms where the low earning power of a seat and table can absorb uneconomic discussions – these go into old buildings.

Old ideas can sometimes use New buildings. New ideas must come from old buildings.


Cities and regions that attract lots of creative talent are also those with greater diversity and higher levels of quality of place. That’s because location choices of creative class are based to a large degree on their lifestyle interests, and these go well beyond the standard “quality of life” amenities that most experts think are important.

Talented people seek an environment open to differences. Many highly creative people, regardless of ethnic background or sexual orientation, grew up feeling like outsiders, different in some way from most of their schoolmates. They want a place that reads “Nonstandard People welcome here”

Creative-minded people enjoy a mix of influences. They want to hear different kinds of music and try different kinds of food. They want to meet and socialize with people unlike themselves, trade views and spar over issues. Creative-class people value active outdoor recreation very highly.


Do not go after the affluent segments, wage cost differentials, but to serve the mass market. Only there will you be forced to innovate in the ways required to succeed in future.

Over the years, consumer packaged-goods companies have reduced their products’ unit size in emerging markets to unlock demand among consumers who can’t afford bigger portions. Coco-cola for example began selling 200ml bottles of coke in india in 2003, Britannia launched Tiger Biscuits in 20-gram packages in 1999.








breakthrough.pngHow one teen innovator is changing the world (2015)

I think it is pretty impressive for a teenage at 15 years old in his high school years to win on several science competitions and garnered international attention for his fast and easy way to detect pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers using a 4 cent strip of paper.

Although he is openly gay, but I guess with lesser distraction, that’s why he is able to focus on science and creativity matters.

He even wrote his own book, which I find that at a young age, he has achieved much more things than many people in their lives.

After reading this book, it occurred to me that going forward, science and creativity will be more important than ever.







Total Money Makeover


daveramsey.jpgA Proven plan for financial fitness (2009)

By Dave Ramsey

The author supports the debt snowball method, where debtors pay off the lowest balance debt first before paying off for the highest interest rate debt. Small victories give the debtors motivation.

He has certain myths and truths in his book.

Myth : Debt is a tool and should be used to create prosperity.

Truth : Debt adds considerable risk, most often doesn’t bring prosperity, and isn’t used by wealthy people nearly as much as we are led to believe.

Myth : If I loan money to friends or relatives, I am helping them.

Truth : If I loan money to a friend or relative, the relationship will be strained or destroyed. The only relationship that would be enhanced is the kind resulting from one party being the master and the other party being a servant.

Myth : Car payments are a way of life, you’ll always have one.

Truth : Staying away from car payments by driving reliable used cars is what the average millionaire does; that is how he or she becomes a millionaire.