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In the News 01.07.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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In the News 01.07.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 01.07.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 01.07.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

You can increase your intelligence: 5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential

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First of all, let me explain what I mean when I say the word “intelligence”. To be clear, I’m not just talking about increasing the volume of facts or bits of knowledge you can accumulate, or what is referred to as crystallized intelligence—this isn’t fluency or memorization training—it’s almost the opposite, actually. I’m talking about increasing your fluid intelligence, or your capacity to learn new information, retain it, then use that new knowledge as a foundation to solve the next problem, or learn the next new skill, and so on.

Now, while working memory is not synonymous with intelligence, working memory correlates with intelligence to a large degree. In order to generate successfully intelligent output, a good working memory is pretty important. So to make the most of your intelligence, improving your working memory will help this significantly—like using the very best and latest parts to help a machine to perform at its peak.

Read the rest of this article at Scientific American

Refugees Encounter a Foreign Word: Welcome

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TORONTO — One frigid day in February, Kerry McLorg drove to an airport hotel here to pick up a family of Syrian refugees. She was cautious by nature, with a job poring over insurance data, but she had never even spoken to the people who were about to move into her basement.

“I don’t know if they even know we exist,” she said.

At the hotel, Abdullah Mohammad’s room phone rang, and an interpreter told him to go downstairs. His children’s only belongings were in pink plastic bags, and the family’s documents lay in a white paper bag printed with a Canadian flag. His sponsors had come, he was told. He had no idea what that meant.

Across Canada, ordinary citizens, distressed by news reports of drowning children and the shunning of desperate migrants, are intervening in one of the world’s most pressing problems. Their country allows them a rare power and responsibility: They can band together in small groups and personally resettle — essentially adopt — a refugee family. In Toronto alone, hockey moms, dog-walking friends, book club members, poker buddies and lawyers have formed circles to take in Syrian families. The Canadian government says sponsors officially number in the thousands, but the groups have many more extended members.

When Ms. McLorg walked into the hotel lobby to meet Mr. Mohammad and his wife, Eman, she had a letter to explain how sponsorship worked: For one year, Ms. McLorg and her group would provide financial and practical support, from subsidizing food and rent to supplying clothes to helping them learn English and find work. She and her partners had already raised more than 40,000 Canadian dollars (about $30,700), selected an apartment, talked to the local school and found a nearby mosque.

Ms. McLorg, the mother of two teenagers, made her way through the crowded lobby, a kind of purgatory for newly arrived Syrians. Another member of the group clutched a welcome sign she had written in Arabic but then realized she could not tell if the words faced up or down. When the Mohammads appeared, Ms. McLorg asked their permission to shake hands and took in the people standing before her, no longer just names on a form. Mr. Mohammad looked older than his 35 years. His wife was unreadable, wearing a flowing niqab that obscured her face except for a narrow slot for her eyes. Their four children, all under 10, wore donated parkas with the tags still on.

Read the rest of this article at The New York Times

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Tuscany Tote in Midnight

Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight at shop.thisisglamorous.comBelgrave Crescent

How Exercise Shapes You, Far Beyond the Gym

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When I first started training for marathons a little over ten years ago, my coach told me something I’ve never forgotten: that I would need to learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. I didn’t know it at the time, but that skill, cultivated through running, would help me as much, if not more, off the road as it would on it.

It’s not just me, and it’s not just running. Ask anyone whose day regularly includes a hard bike ride, sprints in the pool, a complex problem on the climbing wall, or a progressive powerlifting circuit, and they’ll likely tell you the same: A difficult conversation just doesn’t seem so difficult anymore. A tight deadline not so intimidating. Relationship problems not so problematic.

Read the rest of this article at New York Magazine

Lost Highway

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From the air, I did the inevitable thing, the thing anyone who flies into Roswell must do: I imagined I was looking down from a flying saucer. The outline of the town had surely changed, but the pale gray desert where it’s set would have looked more or less the same on July 4, 1947, the approximate date when, depending on whom you believe, either a military surveillance balloon listening for Soviet atomic activity or a spacecraft of extraplanetary origin went down during a violent storm, fireballing to the ground at a ranch 30 miles north of the city. Depending, again, on which source you trust, this mysterious silvery object either did or did not fall to earth so hard that it left a 500-foot scar in its wake, and the resulting twisted wreckage either did or did not contain a number of alien corpses, the number itself being intensely disputed, which may or may not have been taken to the nearby Roswell Army Air Field, flown to Washington, D.C., to be viewed by Dwight Eisenhower, and/or transported, along with the remains of their craft and its potentially recoverable advanced extraplanetary technology, to the secret military installation known as Area 51, in Nevada, where they were autopsied, or not, and/or redeployed in military applications whose potential significance and unimaginable danger to humankind absolutely boggle the mind, or else are total bunk.

Read the rest of this article at MTV.COM

Brexit: a disaster decades in the making

On the day after the EU referendum, many Britons woke up feeling that the country had changed overnight. But the forces that brought us here have been gathering for a very long time

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One week ago, against the advice of its political establishment, Britain narrowly voted to leave the European Union. Within a few days, that establishment was in the process of a full-scale implosion: the country is effectively without government or opposition, shorn of leadership, bereft of direction. As the pound crashed and markets tanked, the chancellor of the exchequer went missing for three days while Boris Johnson, the most prominent member of the Leave campaign, spent the weekend not sketching out a plan for the nation’s future, but playing cricket and writing his column for the Telegraph. Having asserted its right to sovereignty, the country can now find nobody to actually run it.

Meanwhile, the very prize won in the referendum – to leave the EU – remains unclaimed. Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty sets out the process for leaving the EU. Once invoked, a country has two years to negotiate the terms of the divorce. But no one will touch it. Prime Minister David Cameron, who led the losing campaign to remain in the EU, announced his resignation within hours of the result, insisting that his successor should be the one to pull the trigger. Johnson, who is favoured to replace Cameron, protests that there is “no need for haste”. During the campaign, our departure from the EU had many proud and pushy parents. In victory it is an orphan.

Cutting the figure not so much of a failed state as a state intent on failure, the nation’s credit rating was downgraded, its currency devalued and its stock market depleted. On polling day the Leave campaign reminded us that we were the fifth-largest economy in the world and could look after ourselves. By the following afternoon our currency was sufficiently decimated that we had fallen to sixth, behind France.

In the ensuing panic, some politicians argued that we could simply ignore the referendum result: David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, suggested it was “advisory and non-binding”, and urged parliament to call another referendum, in order to avert economic catastrophe. A huge number of people petitioned the government to do the same – while the eminent barrister Geoffrey Robertson insisted a second referendum was not necessary to overturn the result: parliament could just vote it down. “Our democracy does not allow, much less require, decision-making by referendum,” he wrote. “Democracy has never meant the tyranny of the simple majority, much less the tyranny of the mob.”

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @domsli22, @elle_ferguson, @domsli22