Checklist Manifesto

24th May 2019

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Books of the Week

  • Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science, by Atul Gawande. We’ve often wondered about exactly who gets to be the guinea pig when surgeons first begin to branch out independently in their practice, or when they begin to use new procedures. After reading Gawande’s book, we realize we should have wondered about much more. How do experts make decisions in that amorphous period when someone’s dying, but there are a thousand and more reasons why—and different experts will have different opinions? Virtually every chapter of Gawande’s beautifully written book starts like a thriller. This is one of those books you can’t put down. A National Book Award finalist. [Recommended by Tom Hiebert, who points to Gawande’s quote: “Surgeons don’t believe in talent. They believe in practice.”]
  • The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande. Gawande is actually perhaps best known for The Checklist Manifesto, so, having read Complications and been converted into lifelong Gawande fans, we couldn’t resist picking up this important book. The biggest breakthroughs in life are often due to surprisingly simple ideas, and the Checklist Manifesto reveals how simple checklists make an extraordinary difference in industry after industry, including, as it turns out, surgery.  (Is it possible that checklists of the sort Gawande describes could help teachers as they lift students off for learning?) Great, thought-provoking book.

Memory Hacks for Medical Doctors

Shiv Gaglanico is simultaneously a medical and MBA student at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Harvard Business School. His writing about using associations to remember key pieces of information is a good reminder for us all.  And notice, in medicine, the idea of “you can always just look it up” leads to poorer patient care.  For medical doctors and K-12 students alike, a foundation of knowledge in long-term memory is an essential part of learning.

How to Memorize the Morse Code

4-time US Champion Nelson Dellis is back, this time with a fantastic video that helps you to not only remember how Morse code looks, but remember what the code sounds like—the way the experts want you to remember it.  Wonderful, creative memory work at it’s best!

The Optimal Number of Children

Perhaps surprisingly, we’ve been asked our advice on having children. Having children is a pretty ducky thing to do, in our experience. 🙂  This wonderful, semi-tongue-in-cheek article from The Atlantic explores the optimal number of children to have.

Great (well, at Least Kinda Fun) Moments in Olive Oil Video Reviews

As you know, we here at LHTL are rather geeky about the physical and mental health effects of well-made extra virgin olive oil.  We enjoy watching the videos made by Dylan Ebbers of Olive Oil Lovers. Here’s a not-to-be-missed (if you’re into low key quirky olive oil nerdiness) video about the extra virgin olive oil ULIVA produced by Agraria Riva del Garda from the Province of Trento in Italy. (Meanwhile, we’ve been enjoying oil from all sorts of tiny cottage olive oil producers at farmers’ markets in Western Australia.)

How Smartphones Sabotage Your Brain’s Ability to Focus

This sharp video from Daniela Hernandez of the Wall Street Journal uses terrific visual metaphors to help you understand why you should step back and avoid letting smartphones dominate your life.

An Encouraging TED Talk about Language Learning

As this very nice TED talk by Lýdia Machová observes: “Want to learn a new language but feel daunted or unsure where to begin? You don’t need some special talent or a “language gene.” In an upbeat, inspiring talk, she reveals the secrets of polyglots (people who speak multiple languages) and shares four principles to help unlock your own hidden language talentand have fun while doing it.”

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team

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