memory

Listen: Did You Know?

That we listen to people at a rate of 125-250 words per minute, but think at 1,000-3,000 words per minute?

That less than 2 percent of people have had any formal education on how to listen?

That images go into your long term memory, whereas words live in your short term memory?

Take a look at this infographic from Get In Front Communications for more:

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Soapbox Time: the Midwest

I was born in Michigan and now live among highly educated East Coast types, who refer to my homeland as ‘flyover country.’  As if that weren’t bad enough, when something happens in Minnesota, they may gesture vaguely north and west and say “out there in Mich-zouri, right?”

Enough with this verbal and geographic ignorance! I can hardly imagine Michigan and Missouri in the same sentence, they are such different places. The American Midwest is an awesome slice of territory, upon which we all depend for food, fuel, industry, and even culture (seriously. click the link).
Most of us are a little vague about what the Midwest is. Fortunately this post from Vox goes into glorious detail about my home region. The current Census definition is based on the area’s evolution from ‘Northwest territories’ to ‘North Central Division,’ which now includes the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Those pale pink states, plus Oklahoma and Kentucky do not qualify.

freighter

we even have our own ships

That is a serious chunk of real estate, smaller than Australia, but larger than Mexico. It’s function as the breadbasket is due to the lucky confluence of climate and excellent soils plowed down by the glaciers which also carved the Great Lakes.

The population is slightly larger than France. And if it were a country, it would have the 6th largest economy in the world, sandwiched between Russia and Brazil.

So, think about that next time you enjoy your corn (in the form of soda, beef, packaged food, gasoline, and so much more.)

True Password Strength Needs a Story

I’m sure many of you are frustrated by managing passwords, I know I am.  Security concerns are rising as major retailers have been hacked. I’ve had a good system for some years but it’s beginning to fail as the requirements for secure passwords increase.

Along comes comic xkcd to save the day! This is the best explanation and example I’ve seen to cut the confusion!

I’m guilty of using the base word & numeral method. I figured my great vocabulary and intelligence could outwit hackers. LOL. It’s not the hacker you have to worry about, its the machine and it’s speed.

Seeing the diagram of ‘entropy bits’ and the formulas for decryption made it abundantly clear that my old system was fatally flawed.

Notice how the recommended method requires telling a story! Clever humans, we’re still smarter than the machine, especially if we think about the ways we really shine.