Speed-Watching: Download information straight to your brain (Matrix-style)


Remember the movie Matrix where Trinity instantly learned how to fly a helicopter by downloading the program straight to her brain? While we’re not there yet (see perceptual learning via neurofeedback), it is possible to learn things in half the time by listening to lectures at double speed. I call it speed-watching.

If you’ve ever taken a class on Coursera, you’ve likely noticed the +/- buttons that allow you to do this. If you feel overwhelmed by 2x speeds, watch a lecture at 2x for one minute and then reduce to 1.75x. Sooner or later your brain will adjust to faster speeds and you’ll be blazing through lectures in no time. In fact, 2x will even start to feel slow at times.

I also ‘speed-watch’ my news, recipe videos, and topics on Khan Academy. The only time I don’t speed-watch is if I’m listening to music videos or learning a language. To access this speed feature in YouTube, you will need to enable HTML5. Do it here: https://www.youtube.com/html5.

Beyond saving time, speed-watching also keeps your mind engaged, thereby increasing comprehension. Lack of engagement is why many in classrooms let their minds wander, doodle, or catch up on email. Now that education can be customized to ‘your’ learning curve, what will education be like in the future?

If you can see the bigger picture, you recognize that we are at the verge of exciting times. 

For those interested in accelerated learning, here’s a link that compiles a few resources to help your endeavor: http://nahyaninc.com/blog/accelerated-learning-level-1/


How to Train with a Heart Rate Monitor

Heart Rate Monitor

Trouble losing weight? Plan on running a marathon? Afraid of overtraining? You really should consider training with a heart rate monitor (HRM).

In the running world, miles that are run without achieving any benefit are called junk miles. Training with an HRM will help you reduce junk miles by targeting optimal heart rate zones that enable you to increase speed/strength, burn fat, or recover from overtraining and injury. While the examples in this article are for running, you can easily adapt them for other cardio pursuits such as cycling or swimming.

There are generally three types to choose from: finger sensor, chest strap, and strapless.

Types Pros Cons  Examples
Finger Sensor watch Cheap Non-continuous monitoring Timex Health Touch
Chest Strap w/watch Cheap Inconvenience of putting on strap Polar FT7
Strapless watch Convenient Expensive Mio Alpha

I personally use the strapless Mio Alpha watch synced to the Endomondo app on my iPhone. It works well for its first iteration but hope they release a backlit version soon. Go ahead and purchase one now. I’ll wait.

Got it? Okay, let’s learn how to use it. Continue reading

Optimize Your Dating Potential

Data analytics collected from information/communication technologies (ICT) is revolutionizing what we can learn about crowd behavior. We are now able to glean real-time data from subjects who for the most part believe their actions are unobserved. Patterns in the data are often revealing. Let’s dive in to see how we can use statistics to optimize your dating potential!


OKCupid has an interesting blog where they make the case for an older woman. According to their data, woman are most desirable between ages 20 and 26, while men are most desirable between 26 and 31. Because men are more inclined to date much younger woman, OKCupid believes finding your potential mate can be optimized if you target this sweet spot:

*Green indicates high messaging activity, red indicates low messaging activity, while yellow sits in the middle. The solid blue lines indicate user-set thresholds of age ranges that they will consider dating. Source: OKCupid


Facebook also aggregates user data that bring forth interesting conclusions. According to Facebook, prime days people get into a relationship are:

Feb. 14: 49% net gain in romance
Dec. 25: 34% more
Dec. 24: 28% more
Feb. 15: 22% more
April 1: 20% more

Beginning a relationship on April 1st (April Fools Day) is not recommended however. Mysteriously, those relationships do not last very long (haha). The other dates mentioned are clustered around Valentines Day and Christmas. I’m willing to bet that these days are optimal because people feel a bit lonelier during the holidays. Here is a poll result I found to help support that intuition. On the other hand, most people are in relationships weeks or months before making it ‘Facebook official’. So the holidays could just be a good time to share good news. Continue reading