Brain food: just my dish

I don’t remember when she started, but my mother long ago found a reliable answer to “What’s for dinner?” “Goddagoes.”

You’ve had them yourself: you open the fridge, poke around, and say, “That’s gotta go… and that’s gotta go.”  Goddagoes.

I’ve been feeling a little mentally undernourished–too much attention to Twitter, maybe.  Watching the stream is like channel-surfing: often not much there, but you hope things’ll get better.  (Physically undernourished, maybe?  It’s been four weeks since I had a kitchen.)

So a few items I found rummaging around my feedreader:

Tom Stone at the Element K blog posted a great primer on RSS.  Yeah, I know; if you’re reading this, you probably don’t need the primer–but you may know people who can make use of it.

One welcoming touch: Tom put a bunch of feeds into an OPML file and explained how to pull them into Google Reader–to give a jumpstart to RSS newcomers.

At the Neurotopia 2.0 blog, Scicurious asks if you’re an egghead.  She reminded me about the Scientific American podcasts, which come in sturdy 40-minute and low-calorie “60-second science” versions.  Most of her post is a review of a print collection of those mini-morsels, The Instant Egghead Guide to the Mind.

And at the SharpBrains blog, a twofer.  Alvaro Fernandez posts a monthly online newsletter (here’s January’s) about cognitive health and brain fitness.

One of the items: an interview with Joshua Waitzkin.  A former chess champion (whose early years were turned into the film Searching for Bobby Fischer), Waitzkin recently wrote The Art of Learning.  In the interview, he mentions the work of Carol Dweck (about whom I posted here) in the context of being called a child prodigy:

The most perilous danger, in the language of Carol Dweck, is that we internalize an entity theory of intelligence. The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability as opposed to resilience and hard work, we will be brittle in the face of adversity. For that reason, it is incredibly important for parents to make their feedback process related as opposed to praising or criticizing talent. Think about it-if you tell a kid that she is a winner, which a lot of well-intentioned parents do, then she learns that her winning is because of something ingrained in her. But if we win because we are a winner, then when we lose it must make us a loser.

Not that any of these items had to go, so much as I thought I’d like to set them out.