@staycuriousorg

Interview w/ VoyageLA | VoyageOhio

1 min read

It’s the small victories that prevent me from jumping out the window. – Unknown

Today is a special day for @staycuriousorg. The interview with VoyageOhio went live today. Being called a ‘Rising Star’ still seems odd, however, I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to collaborate them. Hopefully, it’s the first of many interviews to come. Let’s go Cleveland!!

VoyageOhio is part of the LA-based Voyage Group of Magazines. Their mission is to promote mom and pops, artists, creatives, makers and small businesses by providing a platform for these hidden gems to tell their stories in their own words.


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How It Started

1 min read

Origin Story

The concept started in San Diego, CA back in 2012. This Satori-like experience was born out of the onslaught of social media that was being thrown out into the web from family, friends, and complete strangers.

Millions of us sharing the fun times and personal experiences we were creating in life, the weekend activities, commenting on pop culture and headlines, sharing memes or the latest app that kept us entertained.

Yet, there we were, connected to everyone with tons of information and knowledge. Literally at our finger tips. Paralyzed by social media boredom. The ‘anchor belief’ for this commitment is simple:  Promote autodidactism by create a brand that inspires self-directed learning outside of your network, as well as within.

Almost 10 years later, the amount of distractions both online and in real life have grown insurmountably. Yet, the core mission still remains, help you kung fu your curiosity.

Think of staycurious.org as a whirlpool. A whirlpool has a definite form but no water stays put. This is how your curiosity should operate.


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Body Positivity & Fashion | 2022 EveryBODY Fashion Show

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1 min read

Body positivity is more than a buzzword. It has a range of origins and cultural roots dating back to the fat acceptance movement of the 1960s. Over the past decade, it’s picked up momentum with brands & groups championing similar themes in their own campaigns.

The fashion merchandising class at Youngstown State University is doing just this as they head back indoors for 2022 and its EveryBODY Fashion Show.

The message the show sends is powerful: Everyone’s body is beautiful and deserves to be acknowledged as such. Many suffer from an eating disorder and the stigma around getting help for it. The show is aiming to reduce that stigma and connect people with the help they deserve.

The show promotes inclusivity for all ages, sexualities and body-types. The show is dedicated to Danielle Peters, a former merchandising, fashion and interiors student of Youngstown State University. Peters died due to complications from bulimia in the summer of 2012.

Youngstown State University’s Fashion Merchandising Department will be hosting the annual everyBODY Fashion Show on Wednesday, April 13th at 6PM at the Beeghly Center at YSU.

Special Guests: Professor Jennifer Frank, Nia Simms, Corinne Zielinski, Maddie Fessler and Erin Jackson.


Resources & Related Articles

Listen to last year’s  EveryBODY Fashion Show Podcast Ep. 18?

Want to read related articles here, here and here?

Looking for help & support for eating disorders?

Curiosity + Creativity = Innovation

6 mins read

If there’s an algorithm for Innovation, it must begin with two key components, Curiosity & Creativity.

These two words lie at the very foundation of every true innovative process. If great minds like Newton, Einstein, Beethoven, Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci have anything in common, it would be these two qualities: Curiosity and Creativity. But let’s back it up and try to define these three words: Creativity, Curiosity, and Innovation algorithm.

Creativity is the innate ability to use one’s imagination to bring an original idea to life.

It can also be the use of original ideas to invent something; it can indicate a flash of insight otherwise known as the “Eureka” or “Light Bulb” moment. A good example of Creativity is Sir Issac Newton’s flash of genius as an apple fell while he under the apple tree. This event sparked a moment of creative brilliance that inspired Newton to develop the theories of Gravitation. Creativity would ensure that one can connect with the original ideas and convert them into material that can energize innovation. On the other hand, how can Curiosity be defined?

Curiosity is a passionate desire to discover and to know.

Curiosity is a subtle quality of great that mostly goes unnoticed. It doesn’t seem to garner as much acclaim as it deserves which is also makes it difficult for those who embrace Creativity without it to produce anything meaningful that truly impacts and changes the world. Curiosity has proven to be a precursor to Creativity time and again. One very notable example of Curiosity is the Ford Model T designed and developed by American inventor Henry Ford.

Ford is known to have made a quote which goes thus: “If I had asked them what they wanted; they would have said faster horses”. Henry Ford was curious about what other forms of transportation existed beyond the horses and the carts. This pushed him into a creative zone that was hitherto unexplored simply because of sheer curiosity. This curiosity made him into one of the greatest inventors America has ever had. His curiosity made the Ford Model T to be named in 1999 as the most influential car of the 20th century at the Car of the Century competition. By now, it is must be clearer how critical the qualities of creativity and curiosity are to the Innovation algorithm.

So, what’s the Innovation algorithm?It is a set of creative processes that work together to convert a problem into a solution.

In 1485, Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci conceived and mapped out plans and designs for a ornithopter (a device intended to fly through aid of human power). Leonardo saw a transportation problem that carts and horses could not solve and he got curious. He was known to be obsessed with flight so much so that he would buy birds in the market and set them free. He was always curious about how birds took flight, the position of their heads and wings, the settings of their tail wings, the shape of their bodies while in flight and so forth. This made him think of transportation in ways that were out of the conventional transportation of his day. It was never really known if Leonardo’s ornithopter worked.

Four centuries down the line, transportation by air would become a major issue especially in the military sector. In 1903, two brothers named Wilbur and Orville Wright made four flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. And they had successfully invented the first airplane. Was this a coincidence? Absolutely not! There is a link in creative processes. The innovative algorithm that solved the problem of human flight began in the 15th century in Italy in the curious mind of the Italian maestro, Leonardo da Vinci. And this curiosity birthed creative processes in inventors like the Montgolfier brothers -who developed the hot air balloon flight in 1783- and George Cayley in 1843 who published the biplane design until the Wright brothers came along.

It is safe to assert that Curiosity and Creativity exists in a loop or some sort of continuum that keeps the core process of Innovation alive. When there is a problem, curiosity must be engaged. We must ask “Why” like Henry Ford did. “Why” is the article of curiosity. When we ask why, it becomes clear how our imaginations must work to solve the problem at hand. Einstein is noted for saying: “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”. Until curiosity is engaged and why is known, we cannot change our level of thinking.

Without changing the level of thinking, problems are never solved; they are simply recycled. As we become more curious about the ways to deal with problems, we become more creative in thinking of ways to solve the problem and the result is innovation that blows the world away.

Do you want your Innovation to blow the world away?

Embrace Curiosity and Creativity!

(Original Article Here)

What is an Autodidact?

19 mins read

Autodidactism: The ultimate guide to becoming a self learner

Ask any successful person how they feel about education, and almost all of them will tell you that education was a big part of their success. But with the skyrocketing cost of college, advanced education is becoming out of reach for a growing number of people. So how do you maintain and expand on your education without sinking into a lifetime of student loan debt? Enter the world of a little known practice called autodidactism.

In this very long article, we will explain what an autodidact is, why you should be one, and how to do it.

What is an autodidact?

So what is an autodidact? An autodidact is someone who studies new topics on their own in a deep and comprehensive manner. There are a lot of people who are curious about the world around them, but autodidacts take it a step further.

Instead of just visiting a museum or reading nonfiction books, an autodidact will get a textbook, perhaps even at the college or graduate school level, and take notes about what they learn. Depending on the field of study and their budget, an autodidact might even do some sort of lab work involving tinkering, experimentation, and hands on learning. The goal of autodidactism is to gain a deep understanding of the topic through self study.

Autodidactism vs lifelong learning

Autodidactism is related to the concept of lifelong learning. While some people bundle them together as one concept, we prefer to draw a distinction between them.

A lifelong learner is someone who keeps their mind active well into their adult life and old age. They probably read nonfiction, watch some documentaries now and then, and enjoy museums. They just stay curious and enthusiastic about any opportunity to learn something.

An autodidact takes it further than that. They don’t just learn, they actively study and take a deep dive into a subject, maybe even reaching a point where they can contribute new knowledge to the field.

If you want to use a fitness analogy, a lifelong learner is someone who lives a generally healthy lifestyle, while an autodidact is more like an amateur or even professional bodybuilder. The difference is really just a matter of depth.

Why become an autodidact?

At this point, you might be wondering why you should become an autodidact. We would argue that you not only should become an autodidact, but also that the world is reaching a point where autodidactism will become a necessity. In fact, we might have reached that stage already.

Many of the jobs available on job websites are positions that could be automated within the next decade. Cashiering and manufacturing jobs are already being handed over to machines, and truck driving will probably be automated within the next decade. The point isn’t to make a claim as to whether or not this is fair or right, but simply to say that it is happening either way.

The economy of the future will require people who can continue to learn new skills and continue to adapt. Everyone will be an entrepreneur to some extent, and that necessarily means you need to innovate. Those who are willing and able to pursue self directed learning are the people who will get ahead.

Famous autodidacts

Some of the great creators and thinkers throughout history have been autodidacts. Just to list a few:

Ray Bradbury

Author of novels in many fields, especially known for his science fiction works. Graduated high school during the Great Depression and couldn’t afford college. Instead, he went to the library 3 days per week for 10 years to continue his education.

The Wright Brothers

Invented the airplane. Neither one of them completed high school. They owned a bicycle shop to make a living and self studied aeronautics as a hobby.

Henry Ford

Founder of the Ford Motor Company. He did not attend college.

George Bool

Self taught mathematician and philosopher who made numerous contributions to both fields. In particular, he developed the field of boolean algebra, which lies at the heart of all computer logic.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

Considered the father of microbiology. Mostly self-taught, he developed microscopes that were more powerful than anything else at the time. Used his microscopes to make some of the first ever observations of many common microbes.

Autodidactism is not dead

Many of the famous autodidacts listed above lived a long time ago. When reading about autodidacts from a few centuries ago, it is easy to criticize autodidactism as an outdated concept. You might be wondering if autodidactism even still works in our modern world.

Engineering applicants at Google are no longer required to have a college education. The book “Biopunk”, by Marcus Wohlsen describes a similar DIY movement that is taking place in the world of biotechnology.

Autodidactism is not an outdated concept. It is still possible to learn new skills and use them to build something meaningful without any formal training.

How to be an autodidact

If you have read this far, you are probably interested in autodidactism enough to become one yourself. Remember that autodidactism is really just the practice of deep, self-driven studying of a certain topic, so becoming an autodidact is mostly a matter of just picking up a textbook and getting started. But with that in mind, here are a few tips that you might find useful.

Tools for autodidacts

There are some tools available that will help you on your autodidactic endeavors. I won’t bore you with the obvious tools like Google and Wikipedia, but here some useful sites you might no know about. They are divided up by the goals they can help you accomplish.

Free books and textbooks

Project Gutenberg

Under copyright law, book copyrights expire after a certain number of years (the number of years varies by country). At that point, the book enters the public domain. Project Gutenberg hosts the full text of thousands of public domain works for free download.

Librivox

Similar idea as Project Gutenberg, except Librivox makes public domain books available as audiobooks thanks to the work of volunteers who read the books out loud and record it. The quality of the recordings can vary, but some are very good.

Wikibooks

From the makers of Wikipedia, Wikibooks offers free textbooks about a wide selection of topics. Most are incomplete, but this page lets you browse by their level of completion and find the ones that are done or almost done.

Free courses

Khan academy

This incredible resource is listed first for a reason. Khan Academy offers high quality video courses for free. They offer subjects ranging from kindergarten math to advanced finance, cryptography, and even LSAT preparation.

YouTube

There is an impressive amount of free educational content to check out on YouTube. There aren’t a lot of organized courses, but if you have a specific question you need help with you can usually find a video about it on YouTube.

Open Courseware

Many colleges including Stanford and MIT now post their lectures online for free. The easiest way to find them is through the Open Education Consortium. Just be sure to check the date, because some of them can be a bit old, especially the ones from MIT.

Paid courses

Treehouse

Most of the courses on Treehouse are about computer programming, but they have a large selection of courses within that field. A monthly fee of $25 gives you unlimited access to their courses.

Research papers

Google scholar

This little-known section of Google will only return search results from peer-reviewed journals, patent applications, and legal documents. Excellent for science and engineering topics.

DeepDyve

DeepDyve lets you pay one monthly fee of $49 to get unlimited reading from thousands of scientific journals. That might sound like a lot of money, but it really isn’t when you consider that a single paywalled journal article can normally cost $10-15 or more just to read it.

Don’t forget the library

With the entire internet at your disposal, it’s easy to forget about your local library. In fact, a trip to your library will often be far more productive than hours of surfing the web.

This is especially true if you want to learn about business, marketing, and related fields, but also for many other fields. A lot of the content you find online for those fields is formulaic, repetitive, and of very little value. But if you browse the shelves at your library you can find many hidden gems.

For other fields like science and computer programming, most of the good stuff is online. The printing cycle for physical books simply can’t keep up with the speed at which STEM fields are moving forward.

Math is an exception. I’ve found that a real math textbook usually has better explanations of the subject and much longer list of practice problems than what you can find online. And unless you are at the very cutting edge, math doesn’t change very much so math textbooks age well.

After spending some time as an autodidact yourself, you will start to get a feel for which topics are best to search online and which ones are best to get from a book. Just try a bit of everything and see what works for you.

How to remember what you learn

Whether someone is learning on their own or as part of a formal class setting, one of the greatest challenges to the learning process is the issue of trying to remember what you learn. This is where Lernabit comes in handy. Lernabit is specifically designed for autodidacts to solve the challenges of learning on your own.

By using Lernabit to keep track of what you learn, Lernabit can remind you to review it and make the memorization process a lot easier. Also, certain feeds in Lernabit will prioritize the notes you already have created about that topic that are due for review.

For example, when you search for a hashtag, any notes you have with that hashtag that are due for review will show up first. That’s cool because it helps you recall what you already know about the topic before learning something new, which provides context that helps the new information sink in. This and other features on Lernabit are carefully crafted to help you remember everything you learn.

How to stay motivated as an autodidact

At some point, everyone loses the motivation to study for brief periods of time. Sometimes you get tired, sometimes you are too busy, but in any case, it’s normal to lose motivation sometimes.

If you need a break from studying for a day or two, that’s fine. In fact, some time away from studying can help the information take hold in your brain. By leaving your studies to go enjoy a hobby, exercise, or do something creative, you can help the new knowledge form connections with existing information in your brain. So losing motivation sometimes isn’t really a bad thing as long as you get back on track soon before you start to forget what you have learned.

One of the hidden benefits of Lernabit is that it helps you stay motivated to keep learning. By actively reminding you to come back each day to study, Lernabit helps yo retain what you have already learned with just a few minutes of studying, even if you can’t find the motivation to do any new studying that day.

How to avoid becoming a quack

If not done properly, autodidactism can quickly turn into quackery. You’ve probably seen what I mean before. When I talk about quackery, I refer to the people who claim all types of miracle inventions and breakthroughs. I’m talking about the guy who claims to have built a perpetual motion machine or a cure for cancer that won’t get funding because “nobody understands it”. Becoming “that guy” is one of the risks you take when you learn something on your own without the guidance of someone who is already at the level you want to reach.

But in any field, those at the cutting edge are necessarily autodidacts. If you are discovering something that has never been known before, or if you are building something that has never been created, you can’t get guidance from someone who is already at that level because there is no such person. So how does an autodidact push the limits of their field without becoming a crackpot?

First, get rid of the idea that autodidactism and outside instruction are mutually exclusive. Just because you are learning something on your own, that does not mean you can’t learn from other people. In fact, that is exactly what you are doing as an autodidact anyway. If you study a textbook, somebody had to write it. If you read a scientific paper, somebody did that research. If you visit a museum, there was a curator who put together the exhibits with an intent to teach something. So don’t think that autodidactism requires you to be an intellectual lone wolf. Indeed, self directed learning with a dash of collaboration is precisely what is going on at the highest levels of academia.

Second, keep an open mind. Becoming an autodidact requires discipline, but it also requires courage. It takes courage to approach a tough academic subject without a teacher. It also takes courage to admit when you don’t understand something or when you are wrong. You absolutely must keep an open mind and be willing to change your viewpoints as you gain more understanding of a subject. If you admit when you are wrong and take that as a sign of poor understanding of the topic, you will eventually gain a deeper knowledge of your field. But if you hold on to misunderstandings and try to warp reality to line up with your biases, you put yourself on the fast track to loony land.

Conclusion

A true lifelong learner realizes that education is not something you get and forget about. It is an ongoing process that must continue throughout life. I hope this introduction to autodidactism has inspired you to pursue lifelong learning and given you some tools to help get you started on making your education a lifelong experience.


Original Article here.

Color Your Self Calm | Ep. 19

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2 mins read

Recently, without thinking twice, I picked up a crayon and began to color my self calm with my kids.

It was only after a couple of minutes that I came to a few realizations:

1) This is therapeutic and calming. This moment of zen was short lived, because I also realized;

2) I don’t even have kids and I was coloring by myself. But it did get the curious and creative hamsters on their respective wheels and here we are.

It’s May. And according to NAMI, the National Alliance to Mental Illness, it’s Mental Health Awareness Month.

During this show we’re gonna gleefully talk about the Curious | FIRST EDITION | Coloring Pages now available FOR DIGITAL DOWNLOAD EXCLUSIVELY on staycurious.org.

We also take a look at how coloring can offer therapeutic benefits to people of all ages. Whether you’re a kid or an adult, coloring has a lot of benefits for your mental health.

Many books tout the benefits of coloring — a thing that kids have known for ages. Coloring can help you channel your inner artist, de-stress and bring a sense of peace. But is there truly a benefit to coloring for adults? And what does this pastime do to our brains to bring about such pleasure and calm?

Grab your favorite crayons, markers print a few pages of our digital download, and color your self calm.

Intro Music: Midnight Sun by Cleveland’s own Mr.Gnome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listening Time: 23 minutes

Sources: Here, here and here.

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