Better Grad Student

Be the best grad student you can be!

Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

40 Days of Tips, Tricks, and Links: Day 21

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Efficiency in anything you do is a very logical goal. Who wants to spend more time than necessary accomplishing some task? Being efficient in grad school gives you more time to experience life outside of school. Imagine being able to gain over 40 hours a week to do what you please! With this extra time, you can choose to reinvest it in your work, or you can choose to learn something new. Perhaps your piles of money need counting, or maybe you want to take your Maserati to get polished again. Whatever the goal, having extra time can be a massive boon to your success in life.

The least efficient action you take right now is sleeping. Most everybody you know keeps a monophasic sleep cycle: sleep in one big chunk during the day and stay awake for about 16 hours. But if we want to make sleep more efficient, then monophasic isn’t going to cut it. Polyphasic is the way to go. Polyphasic sleep allows you to sleep for only 2 hours total in the day and gives you a massive 22 hours to do with what you please. The key to polyphasic sleep is entering the REM cycle of your sleep quickly. If you can learn to do this, then you can be in peak performance with just 2 hours of sleep per day. This 2 hours is broken up over the entire day in 20 minute naps every for hours. Once you train your body to immediately enter REM sleep upon falling asleep, the total time you need to sleep will be decreased and you will feel amazingly rested after each nap.

If you really want to be truly successful in graduate school and in your future career, you need to be more competitive and accomplish more than your peers. With polyphasic sleep you can claim that you have more hours in your day than anybody else. Nobody would be able to compete with you because every day you’d be able accomplish more than double the work they could possibly hope to do. You would truly be an unstoppable grad student machine and you would finally discover the meaning of life. Polyphasic sleep is the way to go for everyone in academia. And if you’re still reading this and aren’t convinced, well, then happy April Fool’s Day! Here are some of my favorite pranks from today. Enjoy!

Please tell me what you think in the comments! Also, if you like what you’ve been reading here, sign up at the top of the page to receive emails every time I make a new post. Thank you for reading!

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Written by Taylor M.

April 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm

40 Days of Tips, Tricks, and Links: Day 8

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Photo by Ivn8ive

Today’s tip is simple: go outside! I know that most of my readers (for now) are here in the South. Here in Nashville, it’s an absolutely gorgeous day. Many months of cold weather finally gave way to some warm temperatures and sunshine. So get out there and do something! Suggestions:

– Go for a Run / Walk

– Sit and read somewhere

– Play some sport

– Get a tan

Whatever you do, just make sure you enjoy this beautiful day somehow. I know it’s a Thursday, but that’s no excuse not to get outside at least once and just relax for a few minutes. You’ll be glad you did!

Please tell me what you think in the comments! Also, if you like what you’ve been reading here, sign up at the top of the page to receive emails every time I make a new post. Thank you for reading!

Written by Taylor M.

March 17, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Posted in Fun, Productivity, The Basics

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40 Days of Tips, Tricks, and Links: Day 7

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Photo by SergioTudela

It’s questionable whether today’s link will make you a better grad student or not. It will make you smarter, so that’s at least worth something. This link comes from the all-knowing Wikipedia. As I’m sure you’re familiar with, Wikipedia is packed with information on just about any topic you could ask for. In recent years it has become an indispensable tool for research and quick fact-checking. The problem with just using it for research or school though, is that you never get to explore the randomness of the 3,500,000+ articles on the largest crowd-sourced encyclopedia.

Enter Wiki Random. From any article in Wikipedia, you can hit the link on the side of the page and go to a random article. To make that even better, you can set that link as a bookmark in your internet browser. Add http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random as a bookmark to your bookmarks bar or favorites. Whenever you need a mental break, hit that link and you’ll be transported to a page to learn about who knows what. This magical ability is also available to you via the keyboard: while on Wikipedia, hit control-option-x (or alt-x for you Windows users) and you’ll be taken to a random page. Use this when taking a break to learn about something new and unexpected, but be careful not to let it take too much time. Too many hours to count have been lost in the sea of knowledge that is Wikipedia.

Please tell me what you think in the comments! Also, if you like what you’ve been reading here, sign up at the top of the page to receive emails every time I make a new post. Thank you for reading!

Written by Taylor M.

March 16, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Posted in Fun, Internet

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40 Days of Tips, Tricks, and Links: Day 4

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Photo by Nasa Goddard Photo and Video

One of the many reasons I started this blog came from the fact that I enjoy reading many other blogs. I like seeing the way other people think and what they consider important enough to put into words. Finding quality blogs can sometimes be quite a challenge, especially considering the size of the blogosphere: as of February, there are over 156 million blogs out there. Science blogs, in particular, can be very elusive. The goal of today’s post is to rectify this situtation for you, my science-y readers.

ScienceBlogs.com is an aggregator of excellent science related blogs. They have over 70 different blogs that cover a range of topics including Life Science, Physical Science, Technology, and Education. I subscribe to several of the blogs on the site and I’ve engaged in different discussions on a variety of topics. Uniquely interesting are the blogs that challenge ideas or misconceptions that I have; I find this type of challenge to be exciting because of the new aspects of science that I’m constantly learning. Take some time to peruse the numerous blogs on the site and I’m sure you’ll find something you enjoy!

Please tell me what you think in the comments! Also, if you like what you’ve been reading here, sign up at the top of the page to receive emails every time I make a new post. Thank you for reading!

Written by Taylor M.

March 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm

40 Days of Tips, Tricks, and Links: Day 1

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In the spirit of the lenten season, I wanted to do several mini-posts (40 to be exact) of some quick tips, tricks, and links that may help in the quest to be a better grad student. Come back everyday, excluding Sundays, for a short post on something relating to grad school. It could help you work smarter, it could make you laugh, or it could save you some time. I don’t know even know yet! Hopefully we’ll all find these posts useful… enjoy!

Let’s kick things off with a little humor. Most of you probably already read these, but if you don’t, then get on it! PhD Comics are a hilarious source of grad school and research oriented humor. Updates are seemingly random, but every single one of them is hilarious especially if you’ve been there before. Be sure to check them out, but don’t get lost in the archives… it could suck down a ton of time!

Red Ink

 

Please tell me what you think in the comments! Also, if you like what you’ve been reading here, why not sign up at the top of the page to receive emails every time I make a new post. Thank you for reading!

 

Written by Taylor M.

March 9, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Fun, Internet, Web Links

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