The US Library of Congress


The United States Library of Congress was founded in 1800, making it the oldest federal cultural institution in the nation. It is also the largest library in the world, with more than 164 million items on approximately 838 miles of bookshelves.

The Library receives some 15,000 items each working day and adds approximately 12,000 items to the collections daily. The majority of the collections are received through the Copyright registration process, as the Library is home to the U.S. Copyright Office. It is no surprise therefore that its collection is impressive. The Library houses: Continue reading

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On Consciousness


“Consciousness is a fascinating but elusive phenomenon: it is impossible to specify what it is, what it does, or why it evolved. Nothing worth reading has been written on it.”

– Stuart Sutherland

Pomodoro Technique


The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system.

For many students, time is an enemy. Or at least something tricky to get their heads around. The Pomodoro Technique allows people to work together with time instead of against the clock. It also allows them to manage priorities better and eliminate procrastination. It may even increase the enjoyment of relaxing between study sessions because the student does not have to worry about questions like “Should I be working right now?”

“Let us study things that are no more. It is necessary to understand them, if only to avoid them.” – Victor Hugo

The Pomodoro is not just about helping people get things done in the present; it is also about learning how you work so you can save time in the future: Once students have got the hang of the technique, they are more likely to predict how many Pomodoros it will take to accomplish their next study task.

There are five basic steps to implementing the technique:

  1. Decide on the task to be done.
  2. Set the timer to P minutes (usually 25 minutes).
  3. Complete the session.
  4. Take a short break (usually 5 minutes).
  5. After four sessions, take a longer break (usually 15–30 minutes).

The Importance of Rereading


Rereading consists of on-going and repeated encounters with a text, guided by a particular task so that segments of the text get revisited and rethought.

“I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.” – C.S. Lewis

In fact, rereading is the most effective type of reading, especially of foreign language texts, because it offers learners the opportunity to re-think messages and see features they have not noticed in initial reading. Having said that, there are good reasons for rereading any old text.

When learners read through the whole text two or three times, they will find that their own comprehension of the text improves, especially if their goal is to find how information is presented or arranged in that text—how it is sequenced and weighted. Such assessments help readers take a further analytic step. Readers start identifying ways a text’s structure or semantics can suggest a point of view (positive, negative, dismissive, laudatory, impartial, incomplete, etc.) or an approach typical or atypical for the text’s genre.

“It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” – C.S. Lewis

To further argue the case for rereading texts, let’s examine some the arguments involved.

1. It reminds you of the good ideas
Research shows that in just 24 hours people will forget most of what they have read. You might get a lot of good ideas from a book, but it is easy to forget most of them. Rereading a book helps you refresh those ideas in your mind.

2. It helps you notice the ideas you did not notice before
Just as it is easy to forget ideas, it is also easy to have some ideas skip your attention when you first read a book. Rereading the book helps you notice the things you may have missed first time around.

“You could not step twice into the same river.” – Heraclitus of Ephesus, (As quoted in Plato, Cratylus, 402a)

3. It gives you a new perspective
Rereading a book allows you to see everything with fresh eyes. The ideas that did not make sense before could now make sense; and the things that did not matter before could now be connected to your new experience.

4. It helps you apply the ideas
The primary value of reading is the application and not the reading itself. Mere reading could expand your knowledge but application could change your life. By rereading a book, you can see which parts of it you have applied and which parts have not. You can then focus your effort on the parts that need more work.

Take Your Time


The interesting stuff doesn’t just roll over and ask to have its tummy tickled. We reckon it takes three hours of reading, thinking and researching to get into the right mood, when you might notice the unseen link, the mind-altering fact, the life- changing insight, lurking in the fireplace.

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write: a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” – Samuel Johnson

See other: Philosophy of Interestingness

Sheepskin [Noun.]


1. The skin of a sheep, especially when used to make parchment or in bookbinding.

2. (United States of America) A diploma.

3. The tanned skin of a sheep with the fleece left on, especially when used for clothing, rugs etcetera.