Four Websites to Spark Your Brain

SparksBrain Pickings .. what a great title!  I get their enewsletter and it taps into my creative side; the side that wants to ‘think about things’.

The core ethos behind Brain Pickings is that creativity is a combinatorial force: It’s our ability to tap into the mental pool of resources — ideas, insights, knowledge, inspiration — that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world, and to combine them in extraordinary new ways. In order for us to truly create and contribute to culture, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these ideas and build new ideas — like LEGOs. The more of these building blocks we have, and the more diverse their shapes and colors, the more interesting our creations will be. WEBSITE

Tufts Magazine produces thought provoking articles.  Up in Arms takes a hard look at the 11 regions in the United States established long ago and how they affect our stance on gun control.

What’s less well appreciated is how much the incidence of violence, like so many salient issues in American life, varies by region. Beyond a vague awareness that supporters of violent retaliation and easy access to guns are concentrated in the states of the former Confederacy and, to a lesser extent, the western interior, most people cannot tell you much about regional differences on such matters. Our conventional way of defining regions—dividing the country along state boundaries into a Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest—masks the cultural lines along which attitudes toward violence fall. These lines don’t respect state boundaries. To understand violence or practically any other divisive issue, you need to understand historical settlement patterns and the lasting cultural fissures they established. WEBSITE

There’s a little page on Facebook called Word Porn.  You’re never too old to learn new words, and they share some of the best words.  They are powered by their website www.thispageisaboutwords.com and here’s some great advice from Mark Twain.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”  WEBSITE

I‘m in the business of small businesses.  I read www.smallbizsurvival.com like a guide book – great advice and welcome advice.  They are doing a series on 7 Most Common Weaknesses of Local Shops.  Here’s an excerpt from Weakness #5.

Ever walked into a small town store and felt like you stepped into a time warp, and not in a good way? You know the type of store I mean: one with faded labels, piles of dust, and items that might as well be “vintage” because they’ve been aging on the shelf. Or maybe the clothing store still carrying 1990′s fashions. Or the cafe serving the same old stuff, when your customers and visitors would love something fresher. Then there are the business owners who smoke in the building.

What about those ugly storefronts? Or weedy parking lots? Who wants to go in there? And if you think customers won’t notice that mess out front, … well… you’re wrong. They do notice. They aren’t in your building every day, so they aren’t used to it.  WEBSITE

I’ve put this blog post under the category ‘tech tools’.  I believe your brain is the biggest tech tool you own, and you’ve got to keep it sharp!

photo by: Daniel Dionne

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