I’ve taken on a personal challenge to info-sponge for at least 10 minutes a day. It’s part of my daily agenda and I see it written on my goals list EVERY day (I look at my goals multiple times a day).
This action was inspired by an episode of Geoff Wood’s podcast The Mentee. A guest stated that every day for at least 10 minutes a day, he would read about something that he didn’t know anything about. Over time, he saw how everything is related, and he was able to use these influences for his personal and professional development.
As a lifelong learner, I’m excited to partake in this activity!
I don’t know how long I’ll be maintaining this and how vast it’ll get, but I’m posting it here to keep myself accountable!
I started this habit on March 6th, 2016.
March 6th: Zildjian – the oldest family-owned business in America. What I love about this? Like the USA, it was started by immigrants 🙂
March 7th: Roads in ancient Rome. I was curious about how the Romans built roads and what inspired the Romans to build them. What really struck my interest was the design of the layered structure of the roads!
March 8th: Harvesting sea salt. Curiosity for this was inspired by Gandhi’s genius catalyst movement for India’s independence from England – when they stopped exporting salt from the Brits! Reading about harvesting methods, I then watched this beautiful video about traditional saltmaking in Hawai’i!
March 9th: A brief history of chocolate – I met a chocolatier today who really knew her stuff! I wanted to dig a little deeper and learn more about how chocolate is made and how it came to be known as the food of the gods 🙂 Thanks to the steam engine, it became widely available! Oooh SWEET!
March 10th: Growing and maintaining bamboo – bamboo is actually a very inspirational plant! It’s resilient, fast-growing, spreads out and multiplies like breeding rabbits! This page has a great group of pictures from the root structure of a bamboo propagation. I love a strong, persistent, hardy plant <3 What a cool read!
March 11th: Lavender’s calming effect – this article discusses two scientific experiments validating lavender’s calming effects (and also shows that rosemary boosts energy – this one gave me a two-in-one!). A great read after lighting tonight’s lavender candle in my bedroom 🙂
March 12th: Fat-tire bikes – these bicycles are *everywhere*!!! What purpose do those huge-ass tires serve? Well, turns out they were designed for snowy trails. They’ve become very popular in the coldest states in the United States, and then became popular world-wide. Even here in sunny Florida, people are riding them all over the place! Also, apparently riding them makes people feel like a little kid again. Fat tires on bikes make it easier to go over rough terrain, and from the article, they just are fun to ride. Now I want to try it!
March 13th: Coconuts – I ran out of coconut milk, which sparked interest in where coconuts come from and how their popularity spread around the world. A big takeaway from this is that fruits have three layers: exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. It’s also pretty cool that One Thousand and One Nights was the big public-relations/shoutout/social networking of the day that got the word out!
March 14th: Pi! 3/14 is known as Pi day, and this mathematical history refresher taught me that folks way back in 2000 B.C. were implementing this constant. The Greeks took it even further. With the computer age, we now know at least one billion digits of pi beyond the decimal point. Here I thought the number itself was irrational – that much computation is irrational! *rimshot for the nerd joke* Cracking myself up here 🙂
March 15th: How to prepare an avocado seed to eat it! This completely shifted my avocado-seed awareness, and I put it into action immediately! I had no idea that there are major nutrients in an avocado seed, so I got right to it and took the suggestion and roasted, chopped and ground two avocado seeds and have been enjoying the crumbles!
March 16th: Corned beef and cabbage is actually authentic! Irish immigrants came to New York looking for a lower-cost alternative to pork, and upon frequenting Jewish delis, they discovered corned beef. Potatoes were more expensive than cabbage, and the tradition was born. Just like the St. Patrick’s Day parade originated in New York City, so did corned beef and cabbage 🙂
March 17th: Origin of the slang term guns for arms! This was super nifty. I looked this up to give a reference to a friend who was lost on the guns reference. Knowing what the term referred to and not knowing why, I wanted to give her a good, solid reference. In doing so, I learned something and this totally counts as my info-sponging activity for the day!
March 18th: Today I learned how to use my ATR2100 microphone, and made it work properly with Audacity! Since today was an interview with another Smashing Success Story, I really had the fire lit under my ass to do it properly!
March 19th: Why do I break crayons EVERY time?! Breaking crayons symbolizes the need and act of change. Ah, I feel better. And I still got this lovely piece done with the pieces of my broken crayons. 3 our of 6 split in half 😛 I also dig the art teacher’s response to this post.
March 20th: Coconut sugar – I was doing some market research (browsing the shelves at Love Whole Foods) to find a healthier version of chocolate chips for a client. One brand was made with coconut sugar, and this is an ingredient I’ve had a little bit of experience with and wanted to understand more the benefits and comparisons it has to refined sugars. This article is just one reference, and while I may do some more research in the future, I’ll also keep looking for more alternatives (especially the elusive ‘healthy’ chocolate chip)!
March 21st: How bees make honey. Mmmmmm bee vomit! Wow learned that today! After gathering a flower’s nectar, a bee stores honey in the honey stomach, pukes it over to another bee, and then the liquid goes into a honeycomb. Bees speed the evaporation process with their wings (that’s super cool). Honey can be stored indefinitely in the hive, which is pretty stellar since it’s produced so bees have food during the cold, non-flowers blooming months! This part comes from that second hyperlink: A single worker bee produces only 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. Working cooperatively, thousands of worker bees can produce over 200 pounds of honey for the colony within a year. Hard workers!
March 22nd: Ketosis – hearing about Ketogenic diets had kinda pissed me off. This was something that I had been dogmatically against. However, I’ve been listening to Robb Wolf‘s interviews on Mark Divine’s Unbeatable Mind Podcast and I want to be more open-minded about this, especially as more and more of my clients are interested in foods prepared by me in this fashion. It’s also got me curious about my glycogen use and dependency on complex carbs. As I write this, I’m doing a 30-day Paleo-style challenge with a client and will be extending it for another 30 days with another client, so this definitely applies to me and my work! Time to be less dogmatic!