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Greg Batmarx
Open Source Advocate and Biosocial Revolutionary, Vegan all the way and Brain Researcher, Philosopher and Human. A Human Conundrum.
Open Source Advocate and Biosocial Revolutionary, Vegan all the way and Brain Researcher, Philosopher and Human. A Human Conundrum.


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In Thailand, the saga of 12 young soccer players and their coach trapped deep inside the inundated Tham Luang cave complex gripped the world; their successful rescue was a cause for global celebration. Juxtapose this outpouring of compassion and solidarity with the catastrophe facing millions of children in Yemen, and the ongoing debacle created here in the United States by President Donald Trump with the forced separation of migrant children from their parents.
These comparisons do not make America look great.
Since 2015, Yemen has been subjected to unrelenting airstrikes by Saudi Arabia, with critical support and arms from the United States, slaughtering the civilian population. The recent siege of the port city of Hodeida has forced at least 121,000 civilians to flee. Shireen Al-Adeimi, a Yemeni scholar and activist based in the U.S., told the “Democracy Now!” news hour: Any kind of disruption to the aid that’s coming in through the port of Hodeidah means the starvation of millions of Yemenis. More than 8 million are on the verge of starvation, and another 22 million people, 80 percent of the population, are relying on humanitarian aid that is coming in through this port.
Since the war in Yemen began, according to UNICEF, more than half of the country’s health facilities have closed or been destroyed; 1,500 schools have been damaged by airstrikes and shelling; and at least 2,200 children have been killed, and 3,400 injured.
These are only numbers we have been able to verify. The actual figures could be even higher UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said last week in Geneva after returning from a trip to Yemen. There is no justification for this carnage.
At least 1 million children are suffering from severe malnutrition in Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, heightening susceptibility to the world’s largest cholera epidemic that has swept the nation, infecting over 1 million Yemenis.
Images of these skeletal children, in some cases just hours before death, are devastating.

Meanwhile, in the United States, over 3,000 children remain separated from their parents in the wake of Trump’s disastrous “zero tolerance” policy.
A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite these children with their parents or other family members. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, who earlier claimed under congressional grilling that he could locate the children and their parents with mere “keystrokes,” missed the first deadline (July 10) to reunite all 102 children under the age of 5 with their parents, which doesn’t bode well for releasing all 3,000 children by the judge’s deadline of July 26.
As that first deadline loomed, Secretary Azar attempted to describe their failure to reunite the children as a success, telling CNN It is one of the great acts of American generosity and charity, what we are doing for these unaccompanied kids who are smuggled into our country or come across illegally.
Parroting his boss Donald Trump’s infamous 2015 campaign launch speech, in which he denigrated Mexicans as rapists and murderers, Azar told CNN that some of the parents of these separated children were murderers, kidnappers, rapists.
In fact, many of these people fled to the United States from Central America to avoid just such violence. The self-proclaimed “law and order” president violates the law, which guarantees a hearing to those seeking asylum.

On Monday, the U.N. Security Council met to debate a resolution on children and armed conflict. It passed unanimously. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nimrata “Nikki” Haley (nee Randhawa), the daughter of immigrants, said: The Security Council must hold governments accountable for how they treat children both during and after active conflicts. They cannot neglect the unseen damage done to children’s hearts and minds.
If Haley and the Trump administration care about children’s “hearts and minds,” they could show it by immediately reuniting the thousands of children they have taken from their parents, and ensure those families receive due process. They also should stop backing the Saudi-led bombing of Yemen, which is killing thousands of children.
The New York Times reports several of the young soccer players and their coach rescued in Thailand are stateless refugees, having fled violence and persecution in neighboring Burma. Let the migrant children locked up by President Trump here in the United States and the children of Yemen feel a similar outpouring of kindness, an equal, global effort to deliver them to safety.
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Eating a vegetarian or primarily plant-based diet is associated with a variety of health benefits. But simply being vegetarian is not enough to reap those benefits-;the quality of the food matters, too. The Nutrition 2018 meeting will feature new research into the health impacts of eating a plant-based diet and how dietary quality influences those impacts.

Mounting evidence suggests a plant-based diet lowers heart disease risk
Eating more plant protein, less animal-derived protein associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease
In a study of nearly 6,000 people based in the Netherlands, those who ate more plant protein at the expense of animal-derived protein showed a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease during a median follow-up period of more than 13 years...

Eating more plant protein, less animal-derived protein associated with less plaque in the arteries
A study of 4,500 Brazilian adults finds that people who regularly consumed more plant-based protein were nearly 60 percent less likely than those consuming more animal-based protein to show evidence of plaque in the heart's arteries based on coronary artery calcium scoring, a measure of plaque buildup commonly used to assess heart disease risk...

Vegetarian diet associated with reduced risk factors for heart disease and diabetes
Among South Asians living in the US, people following a vegetarian diet were found to have a lower number of risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, including a lower body mass index, smaller waist circumference and lower amounts of abdominal fat, lower cholesterol and lower blood sugar compared to people in the same demographic group who ate meat...
Don't forget: The quality of plant-based food impacts health, too

Eating healthful plant-based foods associated with less weight gain
An analysis of changes in body weight among more than 125,000 adults over 4-year periods shows plant-based diets rich in high-quality plant-based foods (such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts) were associated with less weight gain, while a higher intake of unhealthful plant-based foods (such as sweets, refined grains and fries) was associated with significantly greater weight gain.

Eating higher quality plant-based foods associated with lower risk of death
A study of nearly 30,000 US adults bolsters evidence that a higher quality diet helps you live longer and suggests that the quality of plant-based foods in the diet is more important than the quality of animal-based foods.
Better choices in the plant-based components of the diet lowered mortality by 30 percent while higher quality animal-based components had little effect on mortality.
The beneficial effect of high-quality plant-based foods was even more pronounced among people with chronic health conditions.
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Many famous studies of human behavior cannot be reproduced. Even so, they revealed aspects of our inner lives that feel true.
The urge to pull down statues extends well beyond the public squares of nations in turmoil. Lately it has been stirring the air in some corners of science, particularly psychology.
In recent months, researchers and some journalists have strung cables around the necks of at least three monuments of the modern psychological canon:
The famous Stanford Prison Experiment which found that people playacting as guards quickly exhibited uncharacteristic cruelty.
The landmark marshmallow test which found that young children who could delay gratification showed greater educational achievement years later than those who could not.
And the lesser known but influential concept of ego depletion, the idea that willpower is like a muscle that can be built up but also tires.
The assaults on these studies aren’t all new. Each is a story in its own right, involving debates over methodology and statistical bias that have surfaced before in some form.

But since 2011, the psychology field has been giving itself an intensive background check, redoing more than 100 well-known studies. Often the original results cannot be reproduced, and the entire contentious process has been colored, inevitably, by generational change and charges of patriarchy.
This is a phase of cleaning house and we’re finding that many things aren’t as robust as we thought said Brian Nosek a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, who has led the replication drive. This is a reformation moment, to say let’s self-correct, and build on knowledge that we know is solid.
Still, the study of human behavior will never be as clean as physics or cardiology, how could it be?, and psychology’s elaborate simulations are just that.
At the same time, its findings are far more accessible and personally relevant to the public than those in most other scientific fields.
Psychology has millions of amateur theorists who test the findings against their own experience. The public’s judgments matter to the field, too.
It is one thing to frisk the studies appearing almost daily in journals that form the current back-and-forth of behavior research. It is somewhat different to call out experiments that became classics, and world-famous outside of psychology, because they dramatized something people recognized in themselves and in others.
They live in the common culture as powerful metaphors, explanations for aspects of our behavior that we sense are true and that are captured somehow in a laboratory mini-drama constructed by an inventive researcher, or research team.

The Stanford prison experiment is a case in point.
In the summer of 1971, Philip Zimbardo, a midcareer psychologist, recruited 24 college students through newspaper ads and randomly cast half of them as “prisoners” and half as “guards,” setting them up in a mock prison, compete with cells and uniforms. He had the simulation filmed.
After six days, Dr. Zimbardo called the experiment off, reporting that the “guards” began to assume their roles too well. They became abusive, some of them shockingly so.
Dr. Zimbardo published dispatches about the experiment in a couple of obscure journals. He provided a more complete report in an article he wrote in The New York Times, describing how cruel instincts could emerge spontaneously in ordinary people as a result of situational pressures and expectations.
That article and Quiet Rage a documentary about the experiment, helped make Dr. Zimbardo a star in the field and media favorite, most recently in the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in the early 2000s.
Perhaps the central challenge to the study’s claims is that its author coached the “guards” to be hard cases.
Is this coaching not an overt invitation to be abusive in all sorts of psychological ways? wrote Peter Gray a psychologist at Boston College who decided to exclude any mention of the simulation from his popular introductory textbook.
And, when the guards did behave in these ways and escalated that behavior, with Zimbardo watching and apparently (by his silence) approving, would that not have confirmed in the subjects’ minds that they were behaving as they should?
Recent challenges have echoed Dr. Gray’s, and earlier this month Dr. Zimbardo was moved to post a response online.
My instructions to the guards, as documented by recordings of guard orientation, were that they could not hit the prisoners but could create feelings of boredom, frustration, fear and a sense of powerlessness — that is, ‘we have total power of the situation and they have none’ he wrote. We did not give any formal or detailed instructions about how to be an effective guard.
In an interview, Dr. Zimbardo said that the simulation was a “demonstration of what could happen” to some people influenced by powerful social roles and outside pressures, and that his critics had missed this point.
Which argument is more persuasive depends to some extent on where you sit and what you may think of Dr. Zimbardo. Is it better to describe his experiment, questions and all, or to ignore it entirely as not real psychology?

One psychologist who doesn’t have to choose is David Baker executive director of the Center for the History of Psychology at the University of Akron, which hosts the National Museum of Psychology.
We put everything in that’s an important part of our history, including the controversy Dr. Baker said.
To me, the target question of an experiment should be considered he added. In this case, do social context and expectations significantly change behavior. And if so, when and how so?
The issues surrounding the marshmallow studies and the ego depletion work are different, but land researchers in the same fundamental bind: Is this something, or is it nothing?
Even younger psychologists who are eloquent partisans on the side of self-correction can be conflicted.
With ego depletion especially, it seems like there’s some truth there, we have a subjective feeling of cognitive fatigue after exercising self-control, said Katie Corker as assistant professor of psychology at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.
A recent replication, rigorously done by one of the original authors, found evidence of an effect, but it was a small one, Dr. Corker said.
Maybe we’re not studying it right, I don’t know. The better question may be, what does it take to kill off a big finding like this? Or, what should it take?

Given modern ethics restrictions, mounting precise replications of old experiments is not always possible. The prison experiment would likely have to be seriously modified to pass institutional review.
The marshmallow test and ego depletion studies are fair game for further examination, and in those cases modifications may in fact clarify the picture.
Some children do exhibit a streak of self-restraint early that seems to become central to their developing personality. What is the best way to measure that ability, or trait? What are its rewards over time, and its costs?
A more careful investigation of the subjective cognitive fatigue resulting from exercising self-control might help answer the latter question. It may also save ego depletion from being discarded prematurely as a useful scientific concept.
When Dr. Nosek published his first major replication paper in 2015, finding that about 60 percent of prominent studies did not pan out on a second try, it was a gift to skeptics eager to dismiss the entire field (and maybe all of social science) as a joke, a congregation of poorly anchored findings that shift in the wind, like nutrition advice.
It’s not. On the contrary.
Housecleaning is a crucial corrective in science, and psychology has led by example. But in science, as in life, there’s reason for care before dragging the big items to the curb.

Benedict Carey has been a science reporter for The Times since 2004. He has also written three books, How We Learn about the cognitive science of learning; Poison Most Vial and Island of the Unknowns science mysteries for middle schoolers.

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Understanding sleep has become increasingly important in modern society, where chronic loss of sleep has become rampant and pervasive. As evidence mounts for a correlation between lack of sleep and negative health effects, the core function of sleep remains a mystery.
But in a new study publishing 12 July in the open access journal PLOS Biology, Vanessa Hill, Mimi Shirasu-Hiza and colleagues at Columbia University, New York, found that short-sleeping fruit fly mutants shared the common defect of sensitivity to acute oxidative stress, and thus that sleep supports antioxidant processes.
Understanding this ancient bi-directional relationship between sleep and oxidative stress in the humble fruit fly could provide much-needed insight into modern human diseases such as sleep disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.
Why do we sleep? During sleep, animals are vulnerable, immobile, and less responsive to their environments; they are unable to forage for food, mate, or run from predators. Despite the cost of sleep behavior, almost all animals sleep, suggesting that sleep fulfills an essential and evolutionarily conserved function from humans to fruit flies.

The researchers reasoned that if sleep is required for a core function of health, animals that sleep significantly less than usual should all share a defect in that core function. For this study, they used a diverse group of short-sleeping Drosophila (fruit fly) mutants. They found that these short-sleeping mutants do indeed share a common defect: they are all sensitive to acute oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress results from excess free radicals that can damage cells and lead to organ dysfunction. Toxic free radicals, or reactive oxygen species, build up in cells from normal metabolism and environmental damage. If the function of sleep is to defend against oxidative stress, then increasing sleep should increase resistance to oxidative stress.
Hill and co-workers used both pharmacological and genetic methods to show that this is true.

Finally, the authors proposed, if sleep has antioxidant effects, then surely oxidative stress might regulate sleep itself. Consistent with this hypothesis, they found that reducing oxidative stress in the brain by overexpressing antioxidant genes also reduced the amount of sleep.
Taken together, these results point to a bi-directional relationship between sleep and oxidative stress, that is, sleep functions to defend the body against oxidative stress and oxidative stress in turn helps to induce sleep.
This work is relevant to human health because sleep disorders are correlated with many diseases that are also associated with oxidative stress, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases.
Sleep loss could make individuals more sensitive to oxidative stress and subsequent disease; conversely, pathological disruption of the antioxidant response could also lead to loss of sleep and associated disease pathologies.
Antioxidant Benefits of Sleep
Antioxidant Benefits of Sleep
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The ability to obtain new memories in adulthood may depend on neurogenesis, the generation of new neurons in the hippocampus, to clear out old memories that have been safely stored in the cortex according to research in male rats published in Journal of Neuroscience.

Previous research suggests that the hippocampus has a finite capacity to acquire and store new memories.
It is unknown how the brain compensates for this limitation to facilitate learning throughout life.
Kaoru Inokuchi and colleagues show that reducing neurogenesis in rats impairs recovery of learning capacity while promoting neurogenesis through physical activity on a running wheel increased hippocampal capacity.
This finding implies that neurogenesis, which can be reduced by stress and aging, underlies the brain’s capacity for new memories.

The study may also explain why exercise is especially important for patients with memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease as well as for healthy people to help maintain memory as they age.
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It seems like just yesterday we did a story about Hyundai investing in US solid state battery company Ionic Materials. Oh, wait. That actually was yesterday! And yet here it is tomorrow already and there is fresh news on the battery front.
Researchers at Norway’s Department of Energy Technology (IFE) in Kjeller say they have perfected a way to substitute silicon for the graphite commonly used in the anodes of lithium ion batteries.
The discovery will lead to batteries that can power an electric car for 600 miles or more, the researchers claim.
You can say we have found the X factor we’ve been looking for. This has enormous potential and is something scientists around the world are trying to make says IFE research director Arve Holt, according to a report by Bergens Tidende.

Pure silicon has ten times more capacity than graphite but it loses capacity faster than graphite. The researchers have found a way to mix silicon with other elements to create an anode that is stable and long lasting and which has three to five times higher capacity than a conventional graphite anode.
Laura Brodbeck of Kjeller Innovation works to commercialize research results from IFE. She says the new technology is already being tested by both material manufacturers and battery manufacturers to determine if it can be marketed successfully.
In order to reach consumers, the new material and batteries with the technology must be manufactured on an industrial scale. This is something we are working with together with our partners says Brodbeck, who declined to name the companies involved with testing the new technology.
She did say that some Norwegian companies are involved as well as companies in other countries.
Kjeller Innovation and IFE are actively working to make the technology available as quickly as possible and we aim to enter into a production agreement with one or more players during the project period says Brodbeck.

We have tested that it works on a lab scale with good results. Now that we have received support from the Research Council in the FORNY2020 program, we will test it further with international industry partners and see if it works in their industrial processes. The project that will focus on bringing the new material to the market, we call it SiliconX, is becoming very exciting to work towards such big goals together with Kjeller Innovation says Marte O. Skare one of the researchers in the project.
Professor Ann Mari Svensson of the Department of Materials Technology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology finds the results of the research interesting but adds a note of caution.
They have achieved good results, but when it comes to industrialization of such research, costs are important. It is possible to make better batteries than those on the market today, but they are often too expensive to pay off she says.
As usual with stories like this, the prospects are tantalizing but we are still a long way from being able to buy one of these batteries at your local AutoZone store.
But you can almost feel the pace of development in battery technology accelerating day by day if not moment by moment. We certainly do live in interesting times.
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Environmentally friendly building trends have boosted the popularity of window coatings that keep heating and cooling costs down by blocking out unneeded parts of sunlight.
They have also inspired scientists and engineers to create thin, see-through solar cells to turn windows into miniature electricity generators.
Researchers in China have gone a step further and combined these two functions into one window compatible material that could double the energy efficiency of an average household.
Their work appears July 3 in the journal Joule.
Building-integrated photovoltaics are a great example of a market where silicon photovoltaics, despite their cheapness and performance, are not the most appropriate due to their dull appearance and heaviness says senior author Hin-Lap Yip a professor of materials science and engineering at the South China University of Technology.
Instead, we can make organic photovoltaics into semi-transparent, lightweight, and colorful films that are perfect for turning windows into electricity generators and heat insulators.

To construct a prototype capable of simultaneously outputting electricity and preventing excessive heating, the researchers, who were additionally led by Fei Huang also a South China University of Technology materials science professor, needed to perform a three-way balancing act between harvesting light for electricity generation, blocking it for heat insulation, and transmitting it as a window normally would.
Mixing and matching from among materials and chemical compounds previously proposed for these different purposes, they put together a device that let the familiar visible portions of sunlight through, turned back the infrared light (a major heating culprit), and converted the near-infrared region in-between into an electric current.
Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that in theory, installing windows outfitted with dual electricity-generating and heat-insulating properties could cut an average household's reliance on external electric sources by over 50%.

Although that estimate assumes that every square inch of every window would be panelled with multifunctional solar cells, it only requires a slight uptick in power-conversion performance from the 6.5% figure realized by Yip, Huang, and their colleagues.
For this demonstration, we are not even using the best organic photovoltaics that are out there in this field. Their efficiency is improving rapidly, and we expect to be able to continuously improve the performance of this unified solar-cell window film says Yip.
These dual-function materials are still very much in their infancy, but the authors expect them to pave the way to new beneficial technologies.
Making heat-insulating multifunctional semitransparent polymer solar cells is just the beginning of exploring new applications of organic photovoltaics Yip says.
A version tailored for self-powered greenhouses is only one of many impactful products that we want to develop for the future.
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The phrase peak oil was coined to explain when the world’s supply of oil would start running out. Over the past decade, however, the meaning has shifted from supply to demand consumption of oil may dwindle out before resources do.
What changed? The rise of electric cars means that there will come a time when more drivers will get their energy from the grid than the gas station. Cars and trucks account for the largest share of global oil demand, by some distance.

Wood Mackenzie an influential oil consultancy, thinks that the threat to oil will become more severe with the rise of self-driving cars. Ed Rawle, WoodMac’s head of crude oil research, told the Financial Times:
Autonomous electric vehicles or robo-taxis will really change the face of transport in the coming decades. We presume they become commercial by 2030 and widely accepted by 2035, with each autonomous electric vehicle expected to have a larger impact on curbing oil demand than a conventional electric car.

The logic goes: When there are self-driving cars, people would increasingly prefer to be driven than to drive.
That means self-driving cars will spend more time on the road than normal cars. These newer cars are more fuel efficient, so widespread use will curb oil demand, regardless of whether they are electric or not. But if self-driving cars are also electric, which is likely to be the case, the threat to oil is even greater.
How big will the impact be?
WoodMac predicts that oil demand could peak as soon as 2036. That’s sooner than BP’s prediction of 2040. Saudi Aramco and ExxonMobil, meanwhile, don’t think that peak oil will come until later, if at all.
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...We remember things because they either stand out, they relate to and can easily be integrated in our existing knowledge base, or it’s something we retrieve, recount or use repeatedly over time, explains Sean Kang PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Education at Dartmouth College, whose research focuses on the cognitive psychology of learning and memory.
The average layperson trying to learn nuclear physics for the first time, for example, will probably find it very difficult to retain that information. That's because he or she likely doesn’t have existing knowledge in their brain to connect that new information to.
And on a molecular level neuroscientists suspect that there’s actually a physical process that needs to be completed to form a memory, and us not remembering something is a result of that not happening, explains Blake Richards DPhil, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Fellow at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
In the same way that when you store a grocery list on a piece of paper, you are making a physical change to that paper by writing words down, or when you store a file on a computer, you’re making a physical change somewhere in the magnetization of some part of your hard drive, a physical change happens in your brain when you store a memory or new information.
So the ultimate question, at the cellular level, as to whether or not a memory gets stored in the brain is does that process actually complete properly he explains. Do all of the molecular signals get transmitted to ensure that that cell changes physically?
So there are strategies for better organizing what may at first glance appear to be unrelated information to connect it to what we already know to help us better remember things, according to Kang and others. But as far as changing the physical processes in the brain that make memories stick, there’s likely not much you can do now to affect that, Richards says.
And that’s probably a good thing, he adds.

In a recent paper, Richards and his colleague Paul Frankland, PhD, senior scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children and Fellow at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, looked at previous studies that have investigated the physical changes in the brain associated with memory, and why sometimes that process completes and sometimes it does not.
We found that there’s a variety of mechanisms the brain uses, and actually invests energy in, that undo and override those connections, ultimately cause us to forget information Richards says.
And that would mean that some “forgetting” is actually a very natural and normal process, rather than a “failure” of our memory, Richards says.
Our brains may want us to remember the gist of what we’ve experienced because that will be most adaptive for making decisions in the real world.
For example, let’s say you remember a friend’s phone number, but that friend moves away and gets a new phone number. Remembering the old number becomes useless and may make it more difficult to remember your friend’s new number.
It’s not the case that as much forgetting as possible is good, obviously he says. But at the same time it may not be the case that as much remembering as possible is always the best course either.

Sure, some of what determines how well you remember things are the genes you’re born with, Kang says. But training can definitely plays a role in memory, as is the case for people who compete in memory competitions, he adds. “No one suddenly wakes up one day being able to memorize 60,000 digits of Pi.”
If you want to hone your own skills (whether that’s for memorizing Pi or better remembering names or facts), here’s what might help:

Decades of research support the fact that sleep is a critical time when memories consolidate and get stored. And that means missing out on sleep, or high enough quality sleep, can compromise some of those processes. The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimal health and brain function.

What is exercise not good for? It’s important for your heart, your mood, your sleep and your mind, particularly the part of your mind involved in memory. In one study in middle-age women with early signs of memory loss, starting a program of regular aerobic exercise actually increased the size of the hippocampus (a part of the brain known to be involved in the memory storing process) and improved verbal memory and learning scores when the women were tested.
And a new 2018 guideline from the American Academy of Neurology recommends regular exercise as one of the things people with mild memory problems should do to help stop those problems from getting worse or turn into serious neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

Psychologists and others call this one the spacing effect. The idea is that the more you re-learn or remind yourself of information again and again spaced out over time the better you’ll retain that information.
Perhaps you first learn about an Olympic figure skater’s difficult upbringing watching a news clip about his story; then a day or so later you read an article about that same skater; and then a few days later a coworker starts telling you about the same figure’s skater story.
Repetition helps make that story stick in your head, and so does the fact that you re-learned that information on different days in multiple different settings, Kang explains. (Multiple studies show that there is indeed merit in this approach.)
The richer the contextual details associated with a particular memory, the greater the number of possible cues that could be helpful in evoking the memory later Kang says.

People often think testing is useful because it tells you what you know and what you don’t. But the more important power of testing is giving you practice retrieving information you’ve learned and establishing that connection in the brain, explains Rosalind Potts, PhD, teaching fellow at the University College London, who researches how cognitive psychology applies to education.
For example, in one study that tested a group of students on new information they had learned one week earlier, students who were also tested on the new information immediately after learning it outperformed students who were simply instructed to study the information on the test they all took one week later.

Some say this approach dates back to ancient Latin scholars, but it’s also been proven in much more recent literature to work. The idea is if you want to remember something, such as a shopping list or a code, you visualize those items or numbers in different rooms of your house (or some other physical place you are very familiar with).
The memory palace approach (also called the Method of Loci) has been studied extensively in psychology. Research shows it can be more valuable in terms of remembering than having more intellectual capabilities in the first place, and that it can be more effective for remembering than straightforward repetition and memorization.

It’s easier to remember things that relate to knowledge we already have because we connect it to what we already have stored in our memory, Potts says. That’s why mnemonic devices work, they create a bridge between two pieces of information.
So when we want to call that memory to mind, there are lots of different possible routes to it she says.
If you want to remember the meaning of the Spanish word “zumo” (“juice” in English), you might conjure up an image in your head of a sumo wrestler drinking juice. When you hear the word “zumo,” you might then think of that sumo wrestler drinking his juice and remember the meaning of the word.

Sure, it’s obvious. But concentration is important if you’re trying to learn something, Kang says. If you don’t pay much attention to the information, the likelihood you encode that in your long-term memory is low.
For example, he says, how many Americans could accurately draw the details of the dollar bill, even though they likely look at it all the time?

Based on the neuroscience explanation of how memory works, if you really want to remember something, your best bet is trying to connect it to some other part of your life or a topic you already know, Richards adds. Figure out some other facet of life why it’s relevant, and use it.
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By now you must have been aware that Microsoft has acquired GitHub. GitHub has been the favorite place for hosting open source projects. But with Microsoft entering the scene, the scenario might be changed.
It’s not a secret that Microsoft doesn’t have a favorable view in open source community. In fact, some open source people are strictly anti-Microsoft. Microsoft taking control of GitHub would surely prompt the open source developers to look someplace else.
And this is why I have written this article to suggest you some worth alternatives to GitHub where you can host your Git repositories.
Best GitHub alternatives
The focus here is on GitHub alternatives that have at least some sort of free service. Because that was the main attraction of GitHub. There are several Git repository hosting services but not all of them provide a free option in their package.

1. GitLab
GitLab is the number one choice to replace GitHub. It is the closest to GitHub in terms of use and feel. Best of all, GitLab is an open source software. You can download and install it on your own server.
Many open source projects have already been using GitLab. GNOME and GIMP are some of the examples.
Aware of the current situation, GitLab now provides an easy way to migrate from GitHub.
Migrate GitHub to GitLab
You are not bound to deploy GitLab on your own server. GitLab provides hosted service as well but it costs money. Here’s the pricing structure if you want to host at GitLab’s servers.
GitLab Pricing
The pricing is not cheap of course. Hence I recommend using a cloud service like Digital Ocean that provides one-click installation of GitLab. You can run your own GitLab instance for as low as $5 per month. Digital Ocean also gives $10 free credit to new users. You can read this tutorial to see how easy it is to deploy GitLab on Digital Ocean servers in minutes.

2. BitBucket
BitBucket is a version control repository hosting service from Atlassian. It is tightly integrated with other Atlassian project management tools like Jira, HipChat and Confluence. This makes it a preferred choice for big enterprises.
But you don’t have to be a big enterprise to use BitBucket. It has got something for everything. If you look at its hosted account price, you can see that it is free for projects with upto five team members.
Open source projects with more than five members can still use BitBucket for free. All you have to do is apply for community license and adhere to Atlassian’s open source guidelines.

3. SourceForge
SourceForge is another big name on this list of GitHub alternatives.
SourceForge has been popular among open source projects. Many Linux distributions and projects provide their downloads through SourceForge. It enables developers to create open source projects by providing all necessary tools.
Source Forge popularity got hit with the surge of a more intuitive GitHub. However, under the new leadership of Logan Abbott, SourceForge has redesigned its interface and is focusing to regain its lost spot in open source code hosting.
For GitHub migrants, SourceForge provides tools to import entire GitHub repositories or selected repositories into existing projects. This video shows how to use this tool:

4. Launchpad
Launchpad is a software collaboration platform from Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu. Launchpad has been extensively used by Canonical and projects around Ubuntu. It has been instrumental in providing the PPA and bug tracking for Ubuntu related projects.
Though Launchpad has been on the scenes for years, it has not gained as much popularity as the other GitHub alternatives on the list. It has been typically seen as an ‘Ubuntu stuff’.
That being said, Launchpad has good support for Git. You can host or import Git repositories on Launchpad. And this is entirely free.
Launchpad is a good choice if you can ignore the stale interface and slightly different workflow than GitHub.
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