FingerReader is a wearable reading device that will read any text out loud for you, slowly but surly. Finger Reader is intended for visually impaired people. According to MIT Media Lab which developed Finger Reader, “only 7% of all books are available in Braille, audio and large print. In a 2009 survey, nearly three quarters (74%, 72%) of blind and partially sighted people reported that they could not read the information provided by their hospital or their GP. In addition, things like letters, menus, reports, magazines, rarely exist in Braille.” Read more about Finger Reader and watch a video of Finger Reader in action.
One study on skimming found that skimming a text before going on to reading it, improved comprehension in the majority of cases.
Word recognition is one of the major slowing aspects for most readers. Research suggests that subvocalisation that nemesis of speed readers, is slower on unfamiliar words. If you want to speed up reading, build your vocabulary and learn to recognize words faster and naturally you will improve your reading speed. If English is not your first language or if you want to learn another language or anything else try an intelligent flash cards system called Anki which is useful for learning new words, new terms and anything else.
Yuval Harari’s international bestseller, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, is a brilliant account of humankind’s extraordinary history, from insignificant apes to rulers of the world. Bill Gates, Barak Obama and others rave about it.
Watch Yuval Noah Harari’s talk about how humans managed to dominate life on Earth. A short answer: through the power of myths, stories and fiction that they’ve created as well as their ability to cooperate in large groups.
Exercises for eyes for optimal speed reading It’s harder to read when your eyes are tired. Keep your eyes in an optimal state for reading by doing eye exercises from time to time:
Change focus / 20-20-20
Look up from what you’re reading and alternate a few times between focusing on something in the distance and on something up close. This is called 20-20-20. Your eyes need regular breaks to prevent strain. Every 20 minutes make sure that you take 20 second break from what you’re doing to focus on something 20 feet or more away.
Palm your eyes
Briskly rub the palms of your hands together to warm them slightly. Place the palms over your closed eyes and gently massage the bony areas around the eyes (not directly onto the eyeballs) with the outsides of your palms for about 30 seconds. Open your eyes under your hands, and create a seal with your palms so that you’re looking at complete darkness for a moment or two.
Clock gazing Sit comfortably with an erect spine and both feet on the floor. Imagine a huge clock face about 30 cms away directly in front of you. Without moving your head, look up to 12 o’clock – then down to 6 o’clock.
Up to 1, down to 7
Up to 2, down to 8
Right to 3, left to 9
Down to 4, up to 10
Down to 5, up to 11.
Close your eyes and rest (or palm them) for 30 seconds.
Lazy eights Make a fist with your thumb sticking up. Hold it out at arm’s length in front of you. Draw a figure 8 on its side – start in the middle, move up to the right, round, down the outside, up towards the middle again and then round over the top on the left, down the outside, up into the middle again. Make sure you’re going up in the middle and down round the outsides. Keep going. Keep your head still and follow your thumb with your eyes.
Other factors Eating healthy: the link between good eye health and diet is well established. Vitamin A helps maintain healthy vision. Good source of vitamin A is sweet potatoes. Stopping smoking: Smokers are up to four times more likely than non-smokers to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts – the UK’s leading causes of blindness. Cut down and quit smoking.
How to improve eyesight naturally? • Diet is one way.
• Relaxation is another.
• Blinking helps to relax the muscles around the eyes which stops you squinting.
• Whenever you’re squinting, stop and relax your eyes.
• Avoid the use of sunglasses (most of the time).
• Don’t increase the size of the font on your computer, etc.
• Use tapping / EFT to tap the acupuncture points around your eyes to relax them and release stress.
For more info on the key points above watch the video below.
Watch this National Geographic and Stanford University documentary on how stress kills your brain cells and affects hippocampus which is responsible for your learning and memory (from 25 min of the documentary). “Stress is not a state of mind… it’s measurable and dangerous, and humans can’t seem to find their off-switch.” says author and award-winning neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky in the documentary Stress: Portrait of a Killer.
Coffee triggers a mechanism in your brain that releases a growth factor called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) which also activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons in your brain, which can have definitive benefits for your brain function. Research conducted at Johns Hopkins University found that 200 milligram (mg) of caffeine enhanced participants’ memory for up to 24 hours. Natural blend of polyphenol antioxidants (including chlorogenic acids), bioflavonoids, vitamins and minerals in coffee beans all work together to help neutralize the harsher effects of the caffeine.
Read more about the benefits of drinking coffee
Top Tips for Digital and Online Reading (ebooks, Kindle, pdfs) Digital reading is a relatively new – and growing – phenomenon, and it merits specific consideration.
All 37 of the spd rdng techniques apply equally to paper-based texts and digital reading (including online reading). Some need slight modifications, some are easier digitally (such as scrolling quickly when downloading or previewing) and some of the things that we take for granted on our computers, reading devices and mobile phones (such as searching for information, not feeling obliged to read every word, stopping once we’ve found the information we need, etc) are strategies which can profitably feed back into our paper-based reading.
There is a lot of research on the role of sleep and memory formation and learning. But only recently scientists discovered how it happens. During sleep your brain forms new synapses and nurons that help with learning and memory. “…sleep is important to the process of forming long term memory,” says Wen-Biao Gan, a neuroscientist and physiologist at New York University who discovered that learning, or making long term memories, is a two part process in which sleep plays an important role. Sleep is also an essential aspect of health. Not enough of sleep can lead to all kinds of health problems such as diabetes, heart problems, cancer,obesity and so on. Top tips for getting good night’s sleep include sleeping in total darkness and avoiding electromagnetic pollution which will disturb melatonin production which is critical for good night’s sleep. Read top tips for good sleep
Watch this video about the importance of optimising your sleep below. Research shows that most people need eight hours of sleep – ideally in total darkness (one photon of light can disturb melatonin production which is responsible for good sleep – make sure that you have low electromagnetic pollution levels in your bedroom – light falls into an electromagnetic spectrum and our bodies perceive electro-smog as light – so switch off your wifi router for the nigh – read top tips on how to avoid and minimise electro-smog).
According to WIRED magazine three professions might be extinct in the near future and replaced by smart software doing their work in a fraction of time and at almost no cost. The three professional categories due to be automated are: education, writing and military. Philip M Parker, whose company ICON Group International has published over 1m algorithmically generated books in a very short time breaking all the Guinness book records. It usually takes his software about 20 minutes to write, check and publish the ebook online. $0.20 to $0.50 is the production cost which is the cost of electricity and hardware and some of his books sell for hundreds of dollars. Any material that has a formulaic structure can be written by an automated system.
Most of his books are for niche subjects within larger categories such as health for example, but his team has taken the challenge of writing a software to produce novels. His software is not limited to written works. Continue reading →
Old-fashioned note taking by hand can enhance your memory. Studies show that people who take notes in shorthand not only comprehend information better but also remember for longer. Although we type more than write by hand, it makes sense since we all learnt to write first before typing and this is our primarily mode of inputing and coding information. (Although, in some schools in America they started to experiment with teaching kids to type first.) Also, in English we say ‘learn by heart’ and handwriting is more analogue way on coding information as opposed to typing which is more digital and cerebral. Read top tips for boosting your memory and drinking moringa tree tea can enhance your memory too. Read how to hold your pen ergonomically
Write down your goals by hand and/or to remember better (ideally on something permanent)
Other studies suggest that people who write down their goals by hand are more likely to achieve them.
World Book Day or World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Days) is a yearly event on 23 April, organized by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright. In the United Kingdom, the day is instead recognised on the first Thursday in March. World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April 1995. The connection between 23 April and books was first made in 1923 by booksellers in Spain as a way to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes who died on that day. There is also Word Book Night to follow the day, if you like. Continue reading →
Top 9 lifestyle tips for improving your memory (according to A Man’s Guide to Healthy Aging). By the way, don’t worry if you momentarily forget your ATM pin number – you really need to start to worry about your memory if you forget what the ATM is used for. 1) Physical (daily) exercise is important and will enhance your memory and decrease the risk of dementia. 2) Cognitive exercises such as doing jigsaw puzzles, puzzles, games and thinking challenges and whenever the brain is challenged will bolster memory functioning and builds reserves. 3) Antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids – include these in your diet and you will reduce your risk of cognitive decline. Top antioxidant super-foods are: chaga mushrooms, moringa tree, green tea, berries, broccoli, garlic, coco and other antioxidants. Read more about how antioxidants work 4) Have a good night sleep. Lots of research suggest that sleep is critical for boosting your memory because sleep-loss impairs memory consolidation. The more you learn the more you need to sleep. For examples, babies sleep so much because everything is new to them and they need to process that information during their sleep. 33 top tips on good sleep Continue reading →
Moringa tree – perfect nutrition for everyone Meet the moring tree, the most important tree on this planet with the most amazing properties – that ancient medicine claims that prevenst 300 diseases. New evidence and preliminary studies on moringa oleifera suggest that moringa leaves could be a miracle cure for malnutrition and a host of many illnesses (cancer, diabetes, liver and kidney problems, ulcers, anemia, high blood pressure, stress, and much more). Moringa tree contains a perfect combination of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and proteins (at least 90 nutrients, 20 amino acids, 46 anti-oxidants (which boost memory – but the highest content of antioxidants have chaga mushrooms) and 36 anti-inflammatory) for everyone, especially for the ones who need extra energy boost and are leading busy lives.
We are delighted to announce that our spd rdng (speed reading) courses are now CPD accredited. The two-day speed reading course gives you 14 hours CPD points. One-day speed reading courses depend on the number of teaching hours.
We were led to believe that stress is bad for us and can affect our performance. And it is, when you think that way. The new science reveals that stress is a natural response to challenge. The way we think and act about stress can build our stress resilience.
Watch this enlightening TED talk about how to deal with stress that can help you understand and appreciate stress more and live longer (if not save your life).
If you ask a human and a computer both to read a single page of natural language, the computer wouldn’t have a chance. But if we ask both a human and a computer to read 200 million pages, a human wouldn’t have a chance.
Over 14m USD was paid for the most expensive book at the moment (at New York’s Sotheby’s) which is Bay Psalm Book which was published in 1640. Only 1700 copies of the psalm book were published by settlers in Cambridge, Massachusetts and currently there are only 11 copies in existence. The book has 300 pages. Only manuscripts and hand written books were more expensive. In 1994, Leicester Codex (writings and notes made by Leonarda Da Vinci in XVI century) fetched 30.8m USD.