Happy people generally have something known as a “signature strength” — at least one thing they’ve become proficient at, even if the learning process made them uncomfortable.
Lego rules the world.
In one study, participants tasted chocolate, either ritualistically (i.e., with the instruction to break the bar in half without unwrapping it, unwrap half the bar and eat it, and then unwrap the other half and eat it), or as they normally would. Those who performed the ritual reported finding the chocolate more flavorful and enjoying it more. They also took more time to savor it, and were willing to pay nearly twice as much for more of it.
Not surprising yet fascinating little nugget of information.
Serpent d’océan by Huang Yong Ping
This installation on the Loire River in France looks dramatically different from day to day depending on weather conditions; this article discusses the project and has a link to a Flickr account documenting it.
Electoral college reform: If you redrew U.S. state lines so that every one had the same population, this is what the country would look like. In addition to being an awesome visualization, this map proposes some truly great names for the new territories. How cool would it be to say “I’m moving to Big Thicket,” or “let’s take a trip to Shiprock this summer?” Neil Freeman, the creator of the map, argues that this plan would not only eliminate the well-documented issues with the electoral college, but also create House districts that are perfectly equal in size. It sure sounds a lot more reasonable than the GOP’s proposals for electoral college reform. source
Awesome map. Not gonna happen, but food for thought.
Universities in South Dakota, Nebraska, and other states have cut the number of credits students need to graduate. A proposal in Florida would let online courses forgo the usual higher-education accreditation process. A California legislator introduced a measure that would have substituted online courses for some of the brick-and-mortar kind at public universities.
Some campuses of the University of North Carolina system are mulling getting rid of history, political science, and various others of more than 20 “low productive” programs. The University of Southern Maine may drop physics. And governors in Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin have questioned whether taxpayers should continue subsidizing public universities for teaching the humanities.
Under pressure to turn out more students, more quickly and for less money, and to tie graduates’ skills to workforce needs, higher-education institutions and policy makers have been busy reducing the number of required credits, giving credit for life experience, and cutting some courses, while putting others online.
Now critics are raising the alarm that speeding up college and making it cheaper risks dumbing it down.
Read more. [Image: Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters]