Lagniappe

If you’re going to travel this summer, check out this list of the one thing you must do in each of the 50 states.

And if you’re going to travel the world, you might want to check out Restaurant magazine’s list of the 50 best restaurants in the world.

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Shakespeare was born 450 years ago last month (and 2016 will mark the 400th anniversary of his death).  Here is a quiz to test your knowledge of his works.

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In an earlier post I wrote about the Decorah [Iowa] bald eagles and their nest high up in a cottonwood tree.  Through the weeks I watched as the mother eagle sat on the eggs.  At times there was snow in the nest, and the cold winds blew.  Though she must have been miserable the payoff is that all of her eggs hatched and she now has three fuzzy, gray eaglets.  The eaglets are growing fast, so enjoy them while you can.  And be sure to pass the site link along to a child.

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“It’s like the mother ship calling me home.”  Is that what you think when you enter a book store?  If so, you might enjoy a list of 23 things people think when they enter a book store.

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Flavorwire offers some vintage photos of bygone bookstores from around the world that are interesting.

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What character in American literature are you most like?  The website PlayBuzz has a ten question quiz that you can take to find out.  I took it and (don’t laugh) I am most like Atticus Finch from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird!  Come to think of it, he and I do have a great deal in common.

Be sure to explore the other quizzes at this site.

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In my last post I highly recommended The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind by theoretical physicistMichio Kaku.  If you don’t have time to read his book, at least take time to watch an author event that he did recently.  He is an excellent speaker, and he has some amazing information to pass along.   When Professor Kaku mentions MRIs he is speaking of fMRIs (functional MRIs), not the sort of MRIs that we routinely get these days.

When we engage in an activity such as listening to music, for instance, we use a specific part of our brain to analyze it.  The section that responds to the music needs additional blood oxygen in order to function properly.  That highly oxygenated blood stands out on fMRIs.  That’s one way that researchers discover exactly which part of the brain is used for a particular activity.

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Time reports that researchers are finding that our brains make little distinction between experiences in our lives and experiences that we read about.  Again, fMRIs are providing the evidence that this is true.  So you can hone your social skills by reading about others in social situations or you can engage in those situations.  In some cases it’s better to read about them.

This article originally appeared on a blog hosted by Annie Murphy Paul.  Her blog is devoted to helping people to “understand how we learn and how we can do it better.”

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I found a trivia website that could keep me entertained for many hours each day if I did not control myself.  It’s called Fun Trivia, and it contains all sorts of trivia.  When you have a few minutes – or hours – to kill, check it out.

While you’re there, take time to sign up for the ten question multiple choice daily trivia quiz.  It will be delivered to your inbox automatically each weekday morning.

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The next edition of the live author interview program In-Depth on Book TV (C-SPAN2) will air Sunday, May 4, 2014 from noon to 3:00 p.m. ET.  The featured guest will be Chicano writer Luis Rodriguez.  He has written 15 books including My Nature is Hunger: New and Selected Poems, 1989 – 2004; The Republic of East L.A.: Stories; and It Calls You Back: An Odyssey through Love, Addiction, Revolution and Healing.

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