Category Archives: Misc

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.



ImageHow Smart Innovation and Agile Companies will help protect our future (2010) By Patrick Dixon and Johan Gorecki

This is a book with a lot of information, very detailed. Though I may not be able to grasp all the information mentioned, but there were quite a lot of interesting things that I learn.

The book mentioned that most green tech is profitable if oil prices stay above $75 a barrel – profits may more than double with every additional $25 above that basic ceiling. Today, oil price is more than $100 a barrel, hence green tech companies will be making good money for the cost savings.

Alternative energy such as solar, wind, tides, waves, geothermal energy should be explored. Seawater can also make electricity by osmosis. Every cubic meter of river water that flows into the sea could be used to generate electricity. Fill a reservoir with sea water and another with river water. Connect the two with a large semi-permeable membrane, which allows water but not salt to pass through. Water moves across to dilute the salty reservoir, and the salty reservoir rises. Now let the salty water flow down to sea level, driving a turbine as it does so.

Carbon capture is the only way to burn fossil fuels without damaging the environment and our future may depend on it. This technology is very attractive to large energy companies because it allows them to continue their business in a less polluting way. But some scientists worry that the underground stores of carbon may leak, and that the whole idea may be a dangerous waste of effort.

There are ways to save energy and emissions on travel and logistics. Review all logistics and give teams tough energy saving targets. Make every effort to use empty lorries by selling space to other organizations.

One of the world’s greatest challenge is the lack of clean water. Wallenius has developed a way to purify water instantly without using any chemicals, killing all bacteria and viruses. It can work for public water supplies, swimming pools or in any other situation. The secret is ultraviolet light shinning into the water as it passes over a specially treated metal plate.

The Shadow of Your Smile

The Shadow of Your Smile

By Mary Higgins Clark (2010)

At age eighty-two and in failing health, Olivia Morrow knows she has little time left. The last of her line, she faces a momentous choice: expose a long-held family secret, or take it with her to her grave.


Olivia has in her possession letters from her deceased cousin Catherine, a nun, now being considered for beatification by the Catholic Church–the final step before sainthood. In her lifetime, Sister Catherine had founded seven hospitals for disabled children.


The letters Olivia holds are the evidence that Catherine gave birth at age seventeen to a child, a son, and gave him up for adoption. Olivia knows the identity of the young man who fathered Catherine’s child: Alex Gannon, who went on to become a world-famous doctor, scientist, and inventor holding medical patents.


Now, two generations later, thirty-one-year-old pediatrician Dr. Monica Farrell, Catherine’s granddaughter, stands as the rightful heir to what remains of the family fortune. But in telling Monica who she really is, Olivia would have to betray Catherine’s wishes and reveal the story behind Monica’s ancestry.

The Gannon fortune is being squandered by Alex’s nephews Greg and Peter Gannon, and other board members of the Gannon Foundation, who camouflage their profligate lifestyles with philanthropy.

The Gannon fortune is being squandered by Alex’s nephews Greg and Peter Gannon, and other board members of the Gannon Foundation, who camouflage their profligate lifestyles with philanthropy.


This story tells me that behind every great or noble person, there may be a hidden secret or scandal that was not revealed. Some men who are infaturated with a woman may resort to violence and rape, in a desperate attempt to be with the person. However, a child born in such situation may never get to know his parents and will always be left wondering about his ancestry.

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 the backbone of leadership (2006)
by Gus Lee

Churchill of Great Britain once deemed courage “the first of all human qualities.”  It is the one quality needed for human survival. He talks about 3 base skills : courageous communication, courageous leadership, and courageous problem solving.

There are 4 steps to courageous communication model :

1) Communicate Collegially
Approach others with unconditional positive respect. Be ethical, supportive, and encouraging.


2) Listen Actively with Empathy

Capture what the other person is feeling – the in feeling in that person’s context, without being detached from or swamped by it. You must geniunely hear the other person and reflect back what you hear.


3) Ask Questions on Point.

Ask open-ended questions.


4) Relate Respectfully

Focus on support, encouragement, moving forward, partnering and accountability.


Competence comes from practicing a skill until it becomes second nature. Courage in practice is powerful. Practice produces big dividends; fear is faced, which improves important things like decision making. It builds big things like relationships and quality of life.

Everyone needs continual feedback, encouragement, and support. It will be better to have a routine performance returns (RPR) with a 4:1 ratio of positive to negative feedback.


There is a story in the book in which a Major H. Norman Schwarzkopf was telling the experiences to the author. He said that careerists are self-centered, self-absorbed. They act out of selfishness. They sacrifice their men for a promotion. They lie to pump up results. They save their skins instead of others’. Careerists can’t really lead because their men do not trust them and will not willingly follow.

You cross the border. You destroy the enemy to protect your men. You then take the personal consequences to your career, knowing that you violated an order, but acted for what is right. You feel pride in getting court-martialed and being reduced to a private. Everyone’s a leader or isn’t . It’s not rank. It’s character.

We are all wierd

We are all wierd

The Myth of Mass and the End of Compliance (2011)
By Seth Godin

I am quite disappointed with this book, as I have read Seth Godin’s “Poke the box” before, and I have high expectations of his books. The book just emphasize that the trend is now towards a “werid” choice instead of a more normal one by the masses. You literally yawn as you read the book.

Normal begets normal. As totalitarian regimes of government or brands or event the organiations of society begin to gain power, they demand more compliance. Those who are in the tribe of normal understand that their power will increase if they can push others to comply as well.

And so the powerful spend money and media and authority to ensure compliance, until it approaches the maximum. Then an interesting thing happens – pockets of people discover that they can gain power and increase joy by being werid. So they splinter off. They spray graffiti on the wall or start their own projects or speak up.

And weird begets weird. The weird set an example for the rest of us. They raise the bar; they show us through their actions that in fact we’re wired to do the new, not to comply with someone a thousand miles away. That’s where we are as a culture right now – on the up part of the curve.


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Coffee with Buddha

Coffee with Buddha

By Joan Duncan Oliver (2007)

This is one of the “Coffee with…” series book. It is a bit confusing, and I think it gives only a very superficial introduction of buddhism.

Nevertheless, I like the part about mindfulness and meditation.

Practically speaking, the Buddha’s teachings are about training the mind. A well-trained mind is calm, clear and aware. It isn’t pulled this way and that by desires, disturbances, or delusion. Mindfulness – attentiveness – makes every experience richer and more rewarding. When you’re paying attention, you live in the here and now, not in the past or future.

Meditation sharpens your focus, giving you insight into your motivations and behavior. A mind that’s calm and focused can support insight meditation. This practice is the basis for mental mastery. Insight leads to release of the five hindrances to awakening – desire, ill-will, laziness, restlessness and doubt – and to “clear knowing”, or seeing things as they really are.

If your mind is constantly chasing after distant phantoms to avoid feelings of boredom or dislike, how will you ever learn to deal with the reality of displeasing mind states – or discover that acknowing them is the first step to reducing your discomfort? When you stay in the moment mindfully, any number of things can happen. For one, you’re less likely to break a dish or trip over your rake – harm yourself or others. For another, you’ll finish your task faster with better results.  Above all, you’ll see your habitual responses clearly, giving you an opportunity to change your attitudes and behavior.

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Coffee with Oscar Wilde

Coffee with Oscar Wilde

By Merlin Holland (2007)

The author Merlin Holland is the only grandson of Oscar Wilde. The family was forced to change their surname to Holland after the trial of Oscar’s homosexuality. Thus the family has never reverted to the name Wilde.


Oscar wrote many works including “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, which was described as an immoral and obscene work dealing with sodomitical and unnatural practices. His unnatural relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas, resulting in a trial lead him to be convicted of homosexual practices and sentenced to two years with hard labour.


I felt quite sad reading the book. Sometimes, in life it is important to meet the right friends and not be lead astray by bad characters. If Oscar Wilde had not met Lord Alfred Douglas, perhaps his reputation and family will all be intact. Artistic people who may be lead by curiousity to be adventurous in life, could be lead astray by people who have such bad habits.


Though Oscar Wilde wrote several literacy greats, I have never read it yet other than ‘The Happy Prince’. Sometimes in this world, there are too many books written. No matter how great a literacy work is, it is not good to leave a book in this world that explores of a sexual or violent nature. This will lead more people to be curious and may want to venture to unnatural sexual practice too.


I feel sad for his wife who has to bear with all the blunt of his doings. She has to change her surname and leave the country with the children to start life all over again at another place.