Self Improvement


Social media is a stream

The information never ends.

To use social media effectively, realise that you can never catch up with all of it. Instead, partake in the conversation, then leave.



Self Improvement

The Internet can be a powerful tool for good or a terrible waste of time. The difference is if you are using it to create instead of consuming.

Watching endless videos on YouTube is consuming. Instead, write a blog, create a video, share your opinion of Facebook, or encourage a friend on Instagram.

The Internet has become a platform for comparison. We can compare our homes' size, the model of our car, the vacations, even the food we eat.

When you see somebody living a picture-perfect life, remind yourself that nobody is living a perfect life. We use social media to show the story we want the world to see. Nobody is posting photos of themselves exhausted or bored on the couch, but everybody does it.

Advertisers pay many websites based on how many page views they receive. The site owner's business plan is to get as many people clicking onto and within their website to earn more income. They don't care if they are providing value.

To use the Internet effectively, focus on websites and articles that offer genuine substance.

A great aspect of the Internet is that you can find any information 24/7. That also makes it the most dangerous.

Just because you can know what your ex-girlfriend is up to these days, who starred in that movie, what the weather is like in Barcelona, doesn't mean you need it or should find it. It may be much better to be in the moment.

It is remarkable that great minds produce fantastic content for free on the Internet.

Find the voices that you trust and enjoy. When you discover a content creator that is helpful to you and challenges you in positive ways, return to their work routinely.

It is crucial to remain true to yourself and be the same person you're online and offline.

If you lie about yourself on social media, you lied about yourself. A lie online is still a lie. Don't be someone you're not.

Information is great and mostly positive, but it still has its limitations.

It can be helpful to research a possible disease you're waiting to hear back from your doctor. But knowing more may not make you feel better about it. It can make you feel worse.

Talk with your friends, sure, but if you want to increase your enjoyment of the Internet and life in general, steer clear of debating politics with strangers.

It's far too easy to make negative assumptions about a stranger's character or motivation.

Even if you disagree with it, not every negative statement about your diet, industry, religion, lifestyle, or political party is a personal attack on you.

Generally, it is more productive to let it go and move on with your life.

Websites can be faked; reviews can be faked; identities can be faked; news can be faked; photos can be faked; videos can be faked.

Sometimes it is faked for fun, and other times people have really bad motives. Don't believe everything on the Internet. Verify it.

Take time away from the Internet and do more things that make you forget to check your phone.

Anne Lamott puts it this way, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.

The nickname "Oscar" for the Academy Awards

In 2013, the Academy Awards were rebranded as The Oscars.

A popular theory is that the nickname for the statuette was coined by Margaret Herrick when she said that the figure looked like her Uncle Oscar.

Sidney Skolsky made the first documented use of "Oscar" as a nickname for the statuette in a 1934 New York Daily News article, but his assertion that he coined the nickname is still in doubt.

Many claim that during Walt Disney's Academy Award acceptance speech for Three Little Pigs in 1934, Disney referred to the statuette as his little "Oscar". It was then already a well-established nickname but the first time the name was used in a positive light.

The design came from MGM director Cedric Gibbons. He thought to have a knight holding a sword while standing on a film reel.

The first Academy Awards ceremony was held on May 16, 1929, in Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel. The nickname Oscar was only adopted for the statuette by the Academy in 1939.

Sophrosyne: The Greatest Virtue

Sophrosyne is the epitome of the most desirable traits of one’s mind and character. It is defined by ancient Greeks as the greatest virtue, describing a sound mind, refined character, self-control, temperance and moderation.

Today’s complicated and often chaotic world requires a person to shun the hubris mindset (extreme pride, arrogance and self-confidence) and move towards sophrosyne. This fourth cardinal virtue is the union of self-knowledge and self-restraint.

Sophrosyne is a way to feel more in control of one’s emotions, leading a life of moderation, calm and self-control.

  1. One can practise mindful moderation and avoid indulging in unnecessary consumerism. One trick is to delay any purchase for a few days/weeks and then reconsider the decision.
  2. Practise journaling, meditation and breathwork to consciously cultivate a calm mind in this chaotic world.
  3. Practise self-awareness and self-control to consciously build up self-governance and being in charge of your own life.
Choosing An Oscar Nominee

The complicated and long-drawn process to shortlist Oscar nominees involves more than 8000 voting members along with the actors, actresses, directors and other professionals in the moviemaking business.

An accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers is assigned the duty to mail out the ballots and tabulate the votes, a process that takes a total of 1700 hours.

To become a voting member for The Academy, one has to ‘have a distinction in the motion picture arts and sciences’ in their chosen field of work, and also fulfil certain quantitative criteria. Wannabe Academy members can also choose two sponsors to refer them to the Academy committee, who can then take a call.

The members can only belong to one field, say a producer, director or actor, and not multiple branches.

A movie producer/distributor has to submit a form in early December, with the content meeting certain criteria: length is at least 40 minutes, theatre screening is done for at least seven days, and is not being premiered on television.

Once the ballots are sent out, the voting members can pick whatever they want, and then once the voted ballots are sent back, PricewaterhouseCoopers starts the number crunching.

  • The counting is still done by hand, filling up the nominations as a certain threshold of votes is reached for each nominee.
  • The counting process is repeated based on the voter’s second choices until five nominees are reached.
  • The Best Picture category can have up to ten nominees, but not less than five.
  • Once the nominees are decided, the winner is voted by the whole Academy, with each member getting one vote.
  • The process of deciding the winner takes about three days.
An episodic memory

If you fall off a bike, you'll probably have a cinematic memory of the experience: the wind in your hair, the pebbles on the road, then the pain.

Researchers have identified cells in the human brain that makes this episodic memory possible. The cells are called time cells that place a sort of time stamp on memories as they are being formed. This allows us to recall sequences of events or experiences in the right order.

The time cells are situated in the hippocampus and another area of the brain involved in navigation, memory and time perception.

The time cells are marking out discrete segments of time within an approximately 30-second window, explaining why people who have damage to the hippocampus may experience a scrambled sequence of events.

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