Saturday, September 30, 2017

How Long to Nap

10-20 minutes. The power nap is ideal for a boost in alertness and energy, experts say. This length usually limits you to the lighter stages of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, making it easier to hit the ground running after waking up.

30 minutes. Some studies show that sleeping this long may cause sleep inertia, a hangover-like groggy feeling that lasts for up to 30 minutes after waking up, before the nap's restorative benefits become apparent.

60 minutes. This nape is best for improvements in remembering facts, faces, and names. It includes slow-wave sleep, the deepest time. The downside: some grogginess upon waking up.

90 minutes. This is a full cycle of sleep, meaning the lighter and deeper stages, including REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, typically likened to the dreaming stage. This leads to improved emotional and procedural memory (i.e. riding a bike, playing the piano) and creativity. A nap of this length typically avoids sleep inertia, making it easier to wake up.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Joy of Tech-Meditation

From the Joy of Tech by Nitrozac and Snaggy (Liza Schmalcel and Bruce Evans). I like this techno approach to meditation! In your mind's browser, clear your cache... now delete your history... now navigate to a blank web page.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Powers of 10: Cosmic Perspective

I've seen a lot of "Powers of 10" videos, but this one is my favorite! What a powerful way to get some perspective on just how small you are... and how big you are... at the same time:

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Things I do in my spare time.

Yep, that's me, ha ha. But luckily I get to work with books and share books with people every day as part of my job, not just in my spare time.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Procrastination Humor

You can never have too much procrastination humor. :-)

I'm taking care of my procrastination issues; just you wait and see.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017

Yesbody ... and the power of improvisation

I really like this cartoon by Rick Detorie:

And this delightful idea of "yesbody" reminds me of one of the great rules of improv: "not Yes, but ... Yes, AND." You can learn more about the power of improvisation in this article at MindShift: How Improv Can Open Up the Mind to Learning in the Classroom and Beyond.

A quote from the article: “Improv says yes to the idea of ideas,” [Deana Criess, director of ImprovBoston’s National Touring Company] says. Not every original thought will turn into the next invention, but offshoots of that first idea may lead to better ones, she explains. “Let’s agree to have ideas,” she says. “And set up a culture where risks are encouraged, and greeted positively and with respect.”

In the cartoon above, for example, the answer is not correct in terms of a dictionary-correct answers, but it is a great piece of improvisation! :-)

(Illustration by Bauke Schildt)

Friday, August 25, 2017

The more that you read...

This graphic shares the wonderful words of Dr. SeussThe more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Dalai Lama on Tolerance and Compassion

Here is what the Dalai Lama said in his Ocean of Wisdom (via Wikiquote):

It is the enemy who can truly teach us to practice the virtues of compassion and tolerance.

The Dalai Lama's words have been rephrased and memed as in the graphics below, and I made one here with the quote itself:

Buddha image by Angela Marie Henriette

Here are the graphics which inspired me to make my own; they come from 20 Quotes That Can Change Your Thinking And Perception.

In the practice of tolerance,
one's enemy is the best teacher.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Live to Inspire: Dance

From the DotMove YouTube channel dedicated to dancing: "We are proud to bring you a motivational and inspirational video which features the dancers from Cuban sensation "Ballet RevoluciĆ³n." We firmly believe that one shouldn't be afraid to express their passion, and that it is our duty to live them to the fullest and inspire each other along the way."

What do you you see happening around you...? And what are you showing to others?

You can find out more about Ballet RevoluciĆ³n at their Facebook page:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Small acts of kindness and love

Here is a fuller version of Gandalf's words (from J. R. R. Tolkien): “Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.”

Friday, August 11, 2017

Rights of the Reader

I hope that the "Rights of the Reader" by Daniel Pennac as illustrated by Quentin Blake can inspire some great reading adventures in this class! You can read a book review at the Guardian online.

1. The right not to read.
2. The right to skip.
3. The right not to finish a book.
4. The right to read it again.
5. The right to read anything.
6. The right to mistake a book for real life.
7. The right to read anywhere.
8. The right to dip in.
9. The right to read out loud.
10. The right to be quiet.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Tomorrow's Pages

Since I like to write, that means I also like the metaphor of "the book of life" ... with pages that you have not yet written. Let them be happy pages!

You can't rewrite yesterday's pages,
but tomorrow's are blank,
and you have the pen . . .
. . . so, write something good.

Here's the graphic I saw at Twitter that inspired me; the image is from Wikimedia.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Books We Leave Behind

This is a truly beautiful reflection on life, and a life of reading:

How I mourned my sister through the books she left behind... but in Emily's library, I also saw a life well lived by Tom Rachman (Washington Post; you can get a free .edu subscription)

Here's a quote from the article to give you a sense of what it is like:
I kept about 250 volumes. The books sat on the floor behind me in my study, piled where my girlfriend and I had spent two afternoons writing “Emily Rachman” in the front of each, to ensure that they never just dissolve into my collection. Months passed before I could alphabetize hers among mine. My study remained impassable with Emily’s books. I devoted myself exclusively to reading as many as I could — an imagined dialogue, as happens whenever books are borrowed, one reader hearing the perceptions of who preceded. [...] When I left her apartment, the built-in bookshelves were empty but for the dust. What, I wonder, have the new owners placed there? Books? Something else altogether? They’ll never know the jubilation those shelves once brought to a young woman.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

What you should focus on

Things that matter and things that you can control: where they overlap is what you should focus on. And if you want to make a Venn diagram of your own, there are lots of Venn-diagram-makers. :-)

Things that matter.
Things you can control.
The intersection: what you should focus on.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Reader's Alphabet

The Reader's Alphabet is by Hemant Anant Jain; find out more: Reader's Alphabet. Click for a full-size view. Each item in the alphabet has a description that goes with it, so if there is one you are not familiar with, you can read about it on the poster. Do you have a favorite? I think mine would be... Zaphod Beeblebrox, from Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. :-)

A is for Alice, B is for Brer Rabbit, C is for Charlie Brown, D is for Dracula, E is for Eeyore, F is for Frankenstein's Monster, G is for Gandalf, H is for Hamlet, I is for Ignatius Reilly, J is for Jean Louise "Scout" Finch, K is for Krazy Kat, L is for Lucifer, M is for Matilda, N is for Captain Nemo, O is for Othello, P is for Pinocchio, R is for Robin Hood, S is for Sherlock Holmes, T is for Tom Sawyer, U is for Uncle Tom, V is for Voldemort, W is for Whiskey Priest, X is for Xanthus, Y is for Yossarian, Z is for Zaphod Beeblebrox.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Time You Have (In Jelly Beans)

When I've shared this video with people, I've seen a range of reactions from enthusiasm to anxiety. So, take a few minutes to watch the video, see how it makes you feel, and then take a step back from your feelings to see what you can learn about yourself based on the way you find yourself reacting to the video. You can also find some supplementary materials at the TED-Ed page.

A Field Guide to Procrastinators

Here is a great comic from twentypixels: A Field Guide to Procrastinators - click here for full-size image, and here is a link to more 20pixels comics. I created an animated GIF that goes through the items one by one:

And here is the poster:


On the subject of procrastination, Finally, here is a cartoon by one of my favorite cartoonists, Dan Piraro a.k.a. Bizarro:

Monday, July 17, 2017

R.E.A.D. Resist - Empathize - Act - Discuss

As you can tell from the name of this blog (H.E.A.R.T.), I am a fan of acronyms as a form of creative expression, so of course I like this sign from outside the Harvard Bookstore:

R.E.A.D. Resist - Empathize - Act - Discuss

Stages of Procrastination

This fun procrastination cartoon is from My biggest problem is making excuses... because there are always plenty of good excuses! :-)

Choose to be optimistic; it feels better.

You can see more of Molly Hahn's beautiful "Buddha Doodles" at her website, and she also has a series of books (including a Kindle book) at Amazon.

The quote is: Choose to be optimistic; it feels better. Dalai Lama XIV

You will see this quote all over the Internet; I don't have a specific source for it... but it sounds like the Dalai Lama! You can find out more about Tenzin Gyatso (the 14th Dalai Lama) at Wikipedia, and you can find more quotes from the Dalai Lama at Wikiquote.

Be kind.

This is one of the lovely graphics from

Be kind;
everyone you meet
is fighting a hard battle.

Life is like a Camera

Here is another great one from Sylvia Duckworth! It has some good growth mindset advice (develop from the negatives and, if things don't work out, take another shot), plus some good attention advice (focus on what's important) and happiness advice too (capture the good times).

Improve Your Sleep

This is a fantastic article about sleep... not just for teachers! See the infographic below for a summary, and read the article for details about each item: 10 proven ways teachers can improve their sleep.

find your optimal bedtime
get into a routine
beware of cold feet
embrace the darkness
lose the laptop
use the 90-minute rule
avoid caffeine before bedtim
exercise in the morning
de-clutter your bedroom
try a bit of meditation

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Odysseus and Facebook

Here's a good one from Shoebox: in the ancient world, they were called Sirens; today... Facebook. You can read about the legend of Odysseus and the Sirens at Wikipedia, and, yes, this is where the modern English word "sirens" comes from!

Coffee Flowchart

And here's another one for the coffee files:

Half-Full or Half-Empty

Here's another fun one from the Grammarly blog! Remember that proverbial glass of water, half-full or half-empty? Well...


I found this fun cartoon from Jeff Stahler at Amanda Patterson's Pinterest Board:

Monday, April 24, 2017

Losing Yourself, Finding Yourself

Here's a beautiful graphic about reading: this is true for the stories you read, and for the stories you write too!

We lose ourselves in books;
we find ourselves there too.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Unplug for a few minutes

Good advice from the writer Anne Lamott; more quotes here: Wikiquote.

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes... including you.

If you look online, you will find that many people have made graphics for this one. Here are just a few:

The best weapons in the universe.

As a firm believer in the power of words, and especially in the power of words-in-books, I agree with the sentiment in this meme:

The best weapons in the universe.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Why is it so hard to stop surfing the Internet?

I love Google... but it can be dangerous. Especially late at night.

Holy crap! Look how late it is! Why do I always do this? Why is it so hard to stop surfing the Internet and just go to bed? 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Yoga for Book Lovers

You can find out more at Quirk Books.

1 Squatting Librarian
2 Standing Bookbend
3 Oxford Comma
4 Downward Pageview
5 Middle Shelf
6 Tangled Plot
7 Standing Footnote
8 Standing Blurb
9 Table of Contents
10 Dangling Participle
11 Final Chapter
12 Sleeping Editor

Do It Anyway

This beautiful graphic comes from Contessa.Rocks.

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends, and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spent years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Given the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the end, it's between you and mirror. It was never between you and them anyway.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Reading is Magic

The words come from the astronomer Carl Sagan, who was also a great writer; here is an extended quote as reported in BrainPickings:
What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.

(the image is from Pixabay)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Brand-New Week

Here is some advice for Monday:

Guess what? You have a brand-new week ahead of you to slay dragons, achieve goals, sweat more, gripe less, and ditch the fear! Go!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from a Book

This great graphic comes from @IntrovertDoodle: it uses the metaphor of reading books to illustrate happiness in real life!

Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from a Book
Things usually turn out okay in the end. If not... there's probably a sequel.
It's bood to be different. Be weird. Be complex. Be anything but trite.
All the best characters are flawed. You are NOT a failure.
When things go wrong, hang in there. It's just a plot twist.