Mind Tip……Remember more: Turn off your computer and smartphone to give your brain a break.
All that multitasking you’re doing online — especially on social media — could be causing you to squander memories or forget important information. Contrary to common belief, what looks like an idle brain from the outside is in fact doing important work on the inside: storing and integrating information. Data overload may be handicapping your brain’s ability to retain certain kinds of information. The problem begins in a part of the brain known as working memory (also called short-term memory). Working memory enables you to search for pertinent details, filter out extraneous information, identify precisely what you need, and remember it. But it’s a limited resource. At any given time, working memory is limited to three or four items. Attempting to stuff in more information — which is what happens when we browse Facebook and Twitter — causes your processing capacity to suffer. Bottom line: When you’re working on an important project that you will want to remember well later, don’t compromise the active part of your brain with social surfing.
noun: a shelter occupied during the winter by a dormant animal (as an insect or reptile)
“The affliction has spread and stands to threaten major bat hibernacula to the south and west.” — From an article by Curtis Runyan in Nature Conservancy, Winter 2009
“The Game Commission estimates that close to 100,000 bats hibernated in Long Run Mine as recently as two years ago, making it the largest hibernaculum in the state then.” — From an article by Mary Ann Thomas in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, October 28, 2013
Did you know?
If you’re afraid of snakes or bats, you probably won’t enjoy thinking about a hibernaculum, where hundreds, even thousands, of these creatures might be passing the wintry months. Other creatures also use hibernacula, though many of these tend to be a bit inconspicuous. The word “hibernaculum” has been used for the burrow of a woodchuck, for instance, as well as for a cozy caterpillar cocoon attached to a wintry twig, and for the spot in which a frog has buried itself in the mud. Hibernacula are all around us and have been around for a long, long time, but we have only called them such since 1770. In case you are wondering, “hibernate” didn’t come into being until the second decade of the 19th century. Both words come from Latin “hibernare,” meaning “to pass the winter.”
verb1 : to evade the point of an argument by caviling about words 2 a : cavil, carp b : bicker 3 : to subject to minor objections or criticisms
There always seemed to be one person at the meeting who wanted to quibble over the fine points rather than focus on the larger plan.
“I could quibble about some points in the job search section but the author is so generous with her advice and samples that I’d rather not pick at the little things.” — From an article by Amy Lindgren in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 9, 2013
Did you know?
“Quibble” can also be a noun meaning “an evasion of or shift from the point” or “a minor objection or criticism.” Both forms of the word arrived in English in the mid-17th century. Presumably (though not certainly) “quibble” originated as a diminutive of a now obsolete word, “quib,” which also meant “quibble.” In fact, although language experts may quibble over this, there is a possibility that “quib” can be traced back to the plural of the Latin word “qui,” meaning “who,” which was often used in legal documents. If so, that makes “quibble” a very distant cousin of the English word “who.”
adjective: producing good or helpful results or effects : beneficial
Coach Reed is a strong proponent of the view that participation in sports has a benefic influence on young people.
“The benefic properties of potassium hydrate have made it a commonly found element in many natural remedies.” — From a press release from SBWire, July 15, 2013
Did you know?
“Benefic” comes from Latin “beneficus,” which in turn comes from “bene” (“well”) and “facere” (“to do”). The word was originally used by astrologers to refer to celestial bodies believed to have a favorable influence, and it’s still used in astrological contexts. “Benefic,” “beneficent,” and “beneficial” are all synonyms, but there are shades of difference. “Beneficial” usually applies to things that promote well-being (as in “beneficial treatment”), or that provide some benefit or advantage (as in “beneficial classes”). “Beneficent” means doing or effecting good (as in “a beneficent climate”), but in particular refers to the performance of acts of kindness or charity (as in “a beneficent organization”).”Benefic,” the rarest of the three, tends to be a bit high-flown, and it’s mostly used to describe a favorable power or force.
noun1 : a blank space or a missing part : gap; also : deficiency, inadequacy 2 : a small cavity, pit, or discontinuity in an anatomical structure
The newly discovered Civil War documents will fill many lacunae in the museum’s archives.
“There are some peculiar lacunae in this volume, however. While Mr. Ellsworth-Jones quotes from earlier interviews (mainly via e-mail) that Banksy has dispensed over the years to others, he did not bother to submit his own e-mail questions….” — From a book review by Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times, February 8, 2013
Did you know?
Exploring the etymology of “lacuna” involves taking a plunge into the pit—or maybe a leap into the “lacus” (that’s the Latin word for “lake”). Latin speakers modified “lacus” into “lacuna,” and used it to mean “pit,” “cleft,” or “pool.” English speakers borrowed the term in the 17th century. It is usually pluralized as “lacunae,” as in our example sentences, though “lacunas” is also an accepted variant plural. Another English word that traces its origin to “lacuna” is “lagoon,” which came to us by way of Italian and French.
Food Tip….Your body relies on the energy and nutrients you get from food, so what you eat — and when you eat it — can either drain you or sustain you.
Whenever you go more than a few hours without eating, your blood sugar drops, and that may be bad news for your energy. Plan on refueling with a healthy snack or meal every few hours to keep your blood sugar steady. And never skip breakfast! Eat something within an hour of waking, when your blood sugar is lowest. Choosing a breakfast with either soluble fiber or insoluble fiber — the kind in beans, fruits, vegetables and whole grains — actually protects against blood sugar spikes and crashes later in the day.
verb: to protest or complain bitterly or vehemently : rail
Several property owners wrote letters to the paper inveighing against the high property taxes that they are required to pay.
“The anti-mine forces recruited personalities such as filmmaker and actor Robert Redford to inveigh against the project; companies such as Tiffany & Co. and Zale Corp. and dozens of others signed pledges to boycott the mine’s products….” — From an article by James Greiff in the Anchorage Daily News, October 2, 2013
Did you know?
You might complain or grumble about some wrong you see, or, for a stronger effect, you can “inveigh” against it. “Inveigh” comes from the Latin verb “invehere,” which joins the prefix “in-” with the verb “vehere,” meaning “to carry.” “Invehere” literally means “to carry in,” and when “inveigh” first appeared in English, it was also used to mean “to carry in” or “to introduce.” Extended meanings of “invehere,” however, are “to force one’s way into,” “attack,” and “to assail with words,” and that’s where the current sense of “inveigh” comes from. A closely related word is “invective,” which means “insulting or abusive language.” This word, too, ultimately comes from “invehere.”