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 Post subject: Re: Knotwilg's practice
Post #281 Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:37 am 
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Today I completed another completely unrelated challenge: learning the periodic table of chemical elements by heart, all 118.

I'll first prove it to myself by spelling it out here (as a "proof" for you, I won't have all the abbreviations correct).

H He
Li Be B C N O F Ne
Na Mg Al Si P S Cl Ar
K Ca Sc Va Ti Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Sn Ga Ge As Se Br Xe
Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Md Tc Ru Ro Pd Ag Cd In Zn An Te I Kr
Cs Ba Lt* Hf Ta W Rn Os Ir Pt u Hg Th Pb Bi Pn As Rn
Fr Ra Ac* Rf Db Sb Bo Hs Mt Ds Rg Cp Nh Fv Ms Lv Ts Og

Lantanides: Lt Ce Pr Nd Pm Sa Eu Ga Tb Dp Ho Er Th Yb Lc
Actinides: Ac To Pc U Np Pt Am Ci Bk Cf Ei Fm Ml No Lw

Then, an interesting observation. In university I knew the table by heart up until line 3. For that line, we had a mnemonic device using foul language on our lecturers of the time. Since I have memorized the rest of the table by no other device than "synestesy", a kind of intrinsic capacity to connect numbers to something else, that 3rd line now comes slowest because I remember it as a whole have to reverse the punchline to the abbreviations while counting. All other elements are now more strongly linked to their atomic number.


This post by Knotwilg was liked by 2 people: Elom0, xela
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 Post subject: Re: Knotwilg's practice
Post #282 Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:30 pm 
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Knotwilg wrote:
...various bad habits...

I can't help wondering if there are some "XY problems" here.

- Eating less sugar, eating fewer chocolate bars, consuming fewer calories, losing weight are four different things. Suggestion: develop a taste for dark chocolate, the darker the better. Personally, I find that if something is at least 70% cocoa, then eating 20 grams will satisfy my cravings for chocolate, which is healthier than a whole chocolate bar or piece of cake.

- Going to bed earlier and getting more sleep are two different things. Going to bed earlier only helps if you *fall asleep* earlier. Google "sleep hygiene" for some hints (most of which don't work for me, but they work for many people, so you might be more fortunate). Another way to get more sleep is to get out of bed later (this may or may not be acceptable depending on your circumstances).

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 Post subject: Re: Knotwilg's practice
Post #283 Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 5:25 am 
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Knotwilg wrote:
Kirby wrote:
How is your week going so far?


I was planning to report out after 1 week but responded to your kind interest!
Here are the stats:

Alcohol V V V
Sugar V V X (one chocolate bar on Wednesday)
Early bed V X V* (after one sleepless night going to bed early, and then a cheat, I moved up my bedtime to 1AM)
Computer V V* V* (I did use the computer but for useful purposes, not procrastinating)

The impact on weight is already noticeable (dropped 2 kilos from the weekend). The craving for sugar and alcohol is there but they seem progressively easier to resist. Not touching the computer has been fairly easy since I went practicing table tennis instead on Tue & Wed, and on Mon I watched Netflix with my wife (which is a "good" activity).
Towards the future I think the biggest challenge will be changing the bedtime hour and getting enough sleep. The urge to procrastinate at night instead of getting enough sleep has a deeper cause than just a bad habit.


Very nice! I asked midweek, just to check in :-)

I think the effort is admirable. I should do something similar with alcohol. I don't drink every day, and sometimes not even weekly. But when I do drink, I drink somewhat heavily. Folks who I've met at the US Go Congress probably know this.

I would like to have better moderation for the times I do choose to drink... But in the moment, sometimes I don't seem to want that, too.

It's typically fun when I drink a good amount, but it certainly doesn't seem healthy.

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 Post subject: Re: Knotwilg's practice
Post #284 Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2022 5:28 am 
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Knotwilg wrote:
Today I completed another completely unrelated challenge: learning the periodic table of chemical elements by heart, all 118.


Nice! Was there a particular motivator to drive you to memorize this, or was it just for fun?

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 Post subject: Re: Knotwilg's practice
Post #285 Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2022 3:26 pm 
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Kirby wrote:
Knotwilg wrote:
Today I completed another completely unrelated challenge: learning the periodic table of chemical elements by heart, all 118.


Nice! Was there a particular motivator to drive you to memorize this, or was it just for fun?


A couple of motivations: 1) I'm member of a quiz team playing in a competition. We're all allrounders but I'm assuming the role of "science expert". 2) We have dementia running in the family and I'm cherishing the illusion that exercise will hold if off 3) I often do such things for fun. Once I learnt a Polish poem by heart, with correct pronunciation and all. I can still do it, especially when meeting Polish people, for jawdropping effect. The periodic table is a less impressive feat but still somewhat "intellectually" rewarding.

These days I'm learning to play both solos in Sultans of Swing. For the poor guitar player I am, that's quite a challenge. It's very unlikely I will ever be able to play it at actual speed (148 bpm). Solo 1 I can play at around 120. Solo 2 only at around 80. It will take a lot of time.

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 Post subject: Re: Knotwilg's practice
Post #286 Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2022 3:50 am 
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The memory exercises continue, now the "list of tour de France winners" is being absorbed, containing 109 items.
On a whole other level, I'm also trying to master the two solos in the poprock masterpiece "Sultans of Swing".

Meta observations:

- Rote memorizations for quizzes are perfect fodder for car drives (commuting is the place & time)
- Guitar playing works best in an isolated, focused environment (in casu my second house in the Ardennes)

This leads me to think that a learning plan should not only focus on what & why but also on when & where. You can plan for "deliberate practice" as much as you want, if you don't take into account the conditions that will be necessary or beneficial to the activity, you'll likely end up with a miss.

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 Post subject: Re: Knotwilg's practice
Post #287 Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 12:36 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Knotwilg's practice
Post #288 Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 1:57 pm 
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BTW, since I've been visiting Taipei (I assume the past continuous is the way to describe I will do so again in the future) I've ventured into studying Chinese. I haven't advanced much beyond Ni Hao and Zai Jian (tones omitted), counting 1 to 10 and saying "Wǒ hěn gāoxìng lái dào zhèlǐ". First time I did, I got the obligatory accolades, while I probably said something like "I'm jealous for apple tree sleepwalking"

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 Post subject: Re: Knotwilg's practice
Post #289 Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 2:29 pm 
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Best of luck with it! I remember from another thread that you play guitar and so have a musical ear, in which case tones will come quite easy to you. At least they did to me, as a long-time piano player.

I've been studying Chinese for around 6 years already, so let me know if you need some resources/tips. Having been to Taiwan several times, I happen to be much more familiar with the Taiwanese accent & traditional characters than their mainland counterparts.

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