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5 Characteristics of Successful Work Groups (at Google)

Google’s internal study of work groups found that successful teams are made of reliable, engaged workers who feel psychologically safe to take risks. Keeping this in mind the next time I introduce a group project. We learned that there are five key dynamics that set successful teams apart from other teams at Google: Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed? Dependability: Can we…

The Feynman Technique

To master a topic, pretend you are teaching it to someone. Use simple language and analogies. If you stumble, study the topic some more, then try again. Richard Feynman was a physicist who received a nobel prize for his work in quantum electrodynamics. He was notorious for asking his mathematicians to explain concepts in simple language to test their understanding. Here his unique technique to learn new materials: Step 1.…

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‘Fontgate’: Microsoft, Wikipedia and the scandal threatening the Pakistani PM

I would call this “typefacegate,” but then I am an insufferable pedant. The daughter of Pakistan’s prime minister has become subject of ridicule in her home country after forensic experts cast doubts on documents central to her defence against corruption allegations. … Documents claiming that Mariam Nawaz Sharif was only a trustee of the companies that bought the London flats, are dated February 2006, and appear to be typed in Microsoft Calibri.…

Explore Geotagged Wikipedia Pages as a Text Adventure Game

For humans who like browsing through Wikipedia and also like playing old-school text adventure games, this is awesome. Wikipedia: The Text Adventure was written in June 2017 by Kevan Davis. Its map is pulled live from the Wikipedia API, and it uses all articles which have specified geo-coordinates. (If two articles share an exact location they get nudged in random directions.) The way the map is rebuilt on the fly…

A Time magazine with Trump on the cover hangs in his golf clubs. It’s fake. #fakenews

Donald Trump has a lot to say about “fake news” — a label he hurls at almost any journalism that portrays him in unflattering light. It seems he’s been using a fake Time magazine cover in his clubs. The news organization has asked him to take down the fake covers. “Donald Trump: The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!” the big headline said. Above the Time nameplate, there was another headline…

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10 questions to help you write better headlines

I already have some handouts on writing titles for web pages and writing titles for college papers. I don’t (at the moment) have a full handout on writing headlines for news stories. In this age of clickbait (“Clickbait Tactics Drive the Writing of Headlines on ABC News,” 2015), revisiting Poynter’s advice on writing traditional news headlines is worthwhile. Clickbait headlines generate visits, but they don’t generate shares or trust. If…