Eat Fat, Get Thin

26th March 2020

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

A new record of brand new Learning How to Learners this week—26,000 learners have joined since last week.  Welcome to our vibrant community, approaching 3 million total registered students on all platforms. If you are wrangling children or teens at home, don’t forget our companion course, Learning How to Learn for Youth! (Actually, even long-time LHTLers will learn new information there!) And speaking of schooling at home, hear this mother’s fervent, funny prayer.

Book of the Week

Eat Fat, Get Thin: Why the Fat We Eat Is the Key to Sustained Weight Loss and Vibrant Health, by Mark Hyman, M.D.  For the heroes on the front lines of the pandemic, as well as those of us at home, good nutrition is more important now than ever.  Hyman’s book has an unusual take on diet—he describes why fats and oils are so important, and how the US government went astray decades ago in its low fat recommendations. Although Hyman’s approach is similar to some low carb and keto diets, his explanations help us understand why consuming fats is actually a healthy idea.  See also Dr. Hyman’s article “How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19: Supporting Your Immune System When You May Need It Most.” 

Scott Young’s Six Week Learning Course

Barb’s friend Scott Young, author of the wonderful book Ultralearning, is opening a new session of his six-week learning course. He’s offering a free lesson series this coming week on how to start your own ultralearning project. This is a wonderful time to start an exciting learning challenge, and Scott’s course will give you fantastic guidance. Check it out!  

Class CentralYour Source for the Best in Online Learning

At a time when almost everybody is looking to discover new ideas and inspiration online, Class Central is seeing enormous boosts in traffic.  Here are some of their most popular articles:

Encourage Youngsters to Take MOOCs

Maureen Winningham, Director of Learning & Development at PCG, notes: “My daughter already took a Stanford class on Nutrition and Health on Coursera and is now into Mountains 101 from U of Alberta.  I told her that while others are goofing off or playing video games when she applies to college, she can submit a stack of MOOC certificates to show colleges.”

The MOOCathon Challenge

Rassul-Ishame Kalfane, a PhD Candidate at Université de Montpellier, has started a MOOCathon challenge to help people grow and develop while they are social distancing. Feel free to join in—just hit the translate button at the bottom of the webpage if you don’t speak French.  (Rassul-Ishame, like Barb, is a fan of the iDR flashcard system.)

10 Ways to Help Your Students Cope with the Transition to Virtual Learning

This nice article by Tsedal Neeley in Harvard Business Publishing Education provides insights on shepherding your students into their new online relationships with you. [Hat tip: Jose Fernando Gallego Nicholls.]

Maintain Social Interactions While Learning Online

Pat Bowden of Online Learning Success is back with another valuable post about how MOOCs can help you to stay mentally strong and alert by keeping your social interactions in high gear—even in a time of social distancing!

Homemade Coronavirus Masks

Here is a recipe from a neurosurgeon (a brilliant medical school friend of Barb’s daughter Rosie) for improvising protective equipment if you can’t get anything better.


Zoom has emerged as people’s prime choice now for video conferencing. We love its simplicity. But use the safety features to avoid “Zoombombing.”

Job Opportunity at the National Academies

There’s a job opening at the National Academies for an Associate Program Officer. Please apply if you’ve got the appropriate background and interest—the National Academies is one of the world’s most fascinating places to work. 

Cool Promotional Videos for MOOCs

Barb had the fortunate opportunity to speak with Vincent Renken,  Program Director BioTech Delft at Delft University of Technology. Delft is making some innovative MOOCs—take a look at these cool promotional videos related to the exciting basics of transport phenomena! (Haven’t you sometimes wished you could fly?)

If You’re Going to Write About Science of Reading, Get Your Science Right

This excellent article by Daniel Willingham takes to task the confusing mishmash of a policy statement on reading by the National Education Policy Center. Key graf: “ The NEPC didn’t say ‘science doesn’t matter.’ That would sound like climate change denial. But note too they didn’t say ‘they’ve got the science wrong. HERE’S the way the science of reading really works.’ Instead they said ‘hey, this is all pretty murky and complicated…no one really knows what’s right, it’s all controversial, but those folks are pretending that they’ve got the science of reading figured out.’ The authors of this report try to render science irrelevant by claiming it’s premature to apply it. This argument is undercut by their repeated demonstrations that they misunderstand science, the application of science, and the extant literature

on reading… [These problems] are a result of wrong-headed (in the NEPC’s view) paths toward educational goals, or wrong-headed educational goals. They are not a direct result of reading science. Whoever wrote this report did not know enough science to see the difference.”

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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