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Here’s What Happens in the Hour After You Drink a Can of Coke (and What Happened to Me When I Tried It)

As a kid, I remember liking the famous “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” commercial. As a teenager, I remember seeing a series of Coke ads in the summer, with the theme of “It’s too hot, look at these pictures of happy people in the snow, buy a Coke,” and then 6 months later I remember seeing commercials with the theme “It’s too cold, look at these happy…

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How Finland Keeps Kids Focused Through Free Play

Normally, students and teachers in Finland take a 15-minute break after every 45 minutes of instruction. During a typical break, students head outside to play and socialize with friends while teachers disappear to the lounge to chat over coffee. I didn’t see the point of these frequent pit stops. As a teacher in the United States, I’d spent several consecutive hours with my students in the classroom. And I was…

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The Hidden Benefits Of Daydreaming

When your mind wanders, its like P. T. Barnum putting on a sideshow while the stage is being rebuilt….[P]articipants who did more mind wandering got more creative on the repeated unusual uses tasks; they came up with more creative solutions to the problems presented to them after they had some time to let their brains chew on them, so to speak. The other three groups—the one that performed the cognitively…

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This Is Your Brain on Writing

When I teach creative writing, I notice that novices frequently write as if describing a what a TV screen would show if a camera had zoomed in for a close-up of their narrator’s face. By contrast, an experienced writer would rely on a much wider range of storytelling techniqes, including dialogue and interior thoughts. “What do you mean?” I say, my brows furrowing in confusion. “Hold on,” says the old man.…