The Indiana Jones of Solar Power

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Aidan Dwyer – at 13 years old – has made a solar power breakthrough by looking at the way trees are shaped. That’s pretty darn impressive – a little bit like the Blackawton primary school science class and their academic paper on bees. What I love, though, is his explanation of the process of his discovery. It has pattern-spotting, curiosity, … Read More

Brunelleschi’s Eggs

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More from John Kay’s Obliquity: “The Florentine cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore was intended to have the largest dome of any modern building. The problems for over a century was that no one knew how to build it. According to Vasari in his Lives of the Painters, Brunelleschi won the commission to complete the structure by challenging his rivals … Read More

Searching the Brain for the Spark of Creative Problem-Solving – NYTimes.com

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researchers at Northwestern University found that people were more likely to solve word puzzles with sudden insight when they were amused, having just seen a short comedy routine.<br /> <br /> “What we think is happening,” said Mark Beeman, a neuroscientist who conducted the study with Karuna Subramaniam, a graduate student, “is that the humor, this positive mood, is lowering … Read More

Something to Remember

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Wise words from Euan.  The secret of Enterprise 2.0 success. .. isn’t to try to make people change … it is to do something that can’t already be done. Don’t try to get your powerful people to behave differently – they have everything to lose. Don’t try to improve your existing processes – you will be seen to be breaking … Read More

Teaching the Art of Problem Solving

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This MIT lecture by Sanjoy Mahajan was, I thought, well worth watching. He talks about a range of things. Mainly how the art of problem solving is distinct from the skill of pattern matching, and how to cultivate the former. He identifies the following types of problem solving approaches (as some): Reducing to already solved cases Look for simple/extreme cases … Read More