AJ Newsletter

Use your hand when you speak

"Sometimes it’s almost impossible to talk without using your hands. These gestures seem to be important to how we think. They provide a visual clue to our thoughts and, a new theory suggests, may even change our thoughts by grounding them in action." "Recent research has shown that people’s actions can influence how they think. A separate body of research has shown that the gestures people produce when they speak can also influence how they think. Susan Goldin-Meadow and Sian L. Beilock explain in Action’s Influence on Thought: The Case of Gesture that gesture actively brings action into a speaker’s mental representations, and those mental representations then affect behavior––at times more powerfully than do the actions on which the gestures are based. Gesture thus has the potential to serve as a unique bridge between action and abstract thought."

Mental illness in academe and industry

"Most ambitious people in academe and industry keep mental illness a secret. But when those who succeed in spite of their illness are open about their struggles, it can give hope to those who face similar challenges." Monica A. Coleman, Claremont School of Theology.

Pretend to be successful in research and ...

"One of the most important secrets to success is to learn to 'pretend.' You don’t wait till you really truly 100% sincerely feel like getting up in the middle of the night to comfort a crying baby, you just do it. Many things in life are like this, from marriage to praying. If you wait to be “sincere” you may never get anywhere. 'Pretend' to be a better student than you think you really are: always come to class on time, 'act' like or imitate students who get A’s and somewhere along the line you will discover that you have reinvented yourself. A priest friend tells me that this is even true of prayer: if you pray every day, even if it feels fake, you will discover down the road that you are different. Don’t wait for sincerity to strike you like lightning—to pray 'sincerely' or wait to start a diet or an exercise program until the stars are all perfectly aligned-- or you may never get where you want to go, which is the classical definition of freedom." Texas A&M University Kingsville.

Taking a chance

"There are a lot of ways to become a failure, but never taking a chance is the most successful."

Questioning sacrosanct myths about higher education

"Our national dialogue is finally starting to allow space for questioning some of these once-sacrosanct myths about higher education (due largely to the eye popping tuition bills, the insane amounts of debt some students are getting into, and the less-than-thrilling job prospects of recent graduates.) People are looking for alternatives. Cheaper, faster, quicker alternatives, which don’t require debt, or time off from careers. For that reason, I’ve written "The Education of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think, and It’s Not Too Late" I’ve spent the last two years interviewing people who did not finish college, who instead educated themselves in street-smart skills, and went on to become millionaires or even billionaires.
"My basic message is: if you’re motivated to learn, then life-affirming and financially-lucrative education is available to you everywhere, inexpensively, at any age, without having to go back to school. Despite their intense PR efforts to persuade you otherwise, institutions of higher education do not have a monopoly on education. You do not need to pay their laughable tuition fees to educate yourself. With the right motivation, you can get fantastic education cheaply or even for free, in the real-world. The only barrier is your attachment to shopworn myths about higher education, which haven’t been updated since slide rules were popular. It’s time we liberate ourselves from these myths. The era of self-education for success is upon us." Michael Ellsberg, The Education of Millionaires (cnbc.com)

An error in Sir Isaac Newton's 'Principia'

"A 23-year-old physics student named Robert Garisto at the University of Chicago, has discovered in June 1987 an error in Sir Isaac Newton's ''Principia'' that had gone undetected since the work laid out the laws of motion and gravity 300 years ago. The equation in question appears in Proposition Eight of Book Three of the ''Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica,'' one of the greatest works in the history of science. The Principia, published in 1687, argued that a unified system of scientific principles governed what happened on Earth and in the heavens.
In Proposition Eight, Newton tried to demonstrate the correctness of his explanation by calculating the mass, surface gravity and density of the known planets. To determine the mass, he needed to know the angle between a line from the center of the Earth to the Sun, and a line from a point on Earth to the Sun. Routine Class Assignment" New York Times