Do you have a simple childhood memory that you could never forget?

Do you have a simple childhood memory that you could never forget? by Corey Herbert

Answer by Corey Herbert:

Yes. It’s 1986, I’m 9 years old and I come downstairs to get ready for school. My dad is reading the paper and he says, “Hey Corey, what do you know about comets?”

I immediately spout off everything a space-addicted 9 year old kid can/should know about comets. My dad beams at me and tells me bedtime will be postponed.

Night falls and my dad comes home early. We get into his Ford Escort and drive to K-Bee toys where he buys me a pair of GI Joe binoculars just as it is closing.

I can still remember what they looked like in the packaging.

We drive to a subdivision that is under construction and park on a mound of dirt that is now someone’s home.

We both lay on the hood of that car and look at the stars. We talk about space. We talk about life. He tells me that the next time this comet passes by Earth he will be long gone, but he hopes I will watch it and remember what it is like to be a child staring at the night sky with his dad.

We never saw Haley’s comet that night. Our binoculars were too cheap, the light pollution was too strong, the comet was too far away. To be honest, I think I prefer it that way.

Because what I want to remember about that day has nothing at all to do with a comet.

There’s a great many things I wanted for my life. Some of them have come to pass, others never will. But above all I hope that, one day, I will sit on a mound of dirt as an old man. I will sit with the great love of my life and our children and our children’s children.

And we, all of us, will look at the stars. And maybe we’ll see a comet and maybe we won’t.

But we’ll look regardless and we will think of the ones we have loved.

Do you have a simple childhood memory that you could never forget?

New year, New look, New URL, New goodness

Woo Hoo! FInally I’ve migrated to an own domain for this site that has always been my side chick! 😀

So yeah. dumped the old subdomain freeloading off of spsdarj.org and moved to… err… another free domain. But this time, things are real. Top level domain better than sub-domain bullshit any day. Let me now explain what’s going on.


New year: It’s 29th Dec, 2016 as I write this today. 2017 too close for comfort. Yeah, you’re welcome!

New look: Well, WordPress just announced their new theme, Twenty Seventeen. Before switching to this, I was using Twenty Fourteen. Which also had a nice look, but made the block quoted text look ugly. And it’s significant to me as I share a lot of Quora content, and they all get block quoted, which the twenty fourteen made into a dull grey colour with a grey vertical line running the entire length of the block quote on its left. Ugly as my 2nd ex!

Oh and also… you saw the new video at the home page? Yeah! That’s a new feature introduced by WordPress in this new theme! So I got my hands dirty and boy does it look amazing! The video is 720p and only 7mb.

New URL: abhinav.ga

It’s so named because I’m originally Abhinav Singh. The Singh when pronounced, sounds like the english “Sing” which translated to hindi is pronounced “Ga”. That means the present site url says Abhinav Sing(h). Cool right? Also, I got it free from this site http://dot.tk. Although it says only .tk domain can be registered free, actually there are 5 different TLDs that are free to rent for a year. After which, renew your rent for another year. It’s that simple.

New goodness: That’s because our 2nd year theory papers at KMC just finished today with the last paper being Forensic. And as I type this, I’ll tell you this! I’ve been awake now for 22 hours straight. That too the sleep before that was 4 hours long! Damn that exam was scary. At least the preparation was. Heck! So I’m enjoying myself after customising and moving this site to its own domain. At least new year’s day will be exam free! Plus… I’ve been in the exam phase since 10th November. And they will finish on 12th Jan. But this crucial gap in the middle of exams… worth it!


Alright then! I’m done with this blog post. I don’t generally make a personal themed post. Too much typing! 😛 (Should’ve narrated, come to think of it now.)

Hasta La Vista, Babayyy!

What are some interesting experiences you’ve had as a teen?

What are some interesting experiences you've had as a teen? by Dana Fletcher

Answer by Dana Fletcher:

A few years ago, I was at my friend Kristina's house, and after a few hours of fun, I was ready to go home. This was before I could drive, so I relied on my dad to pick me up. The only problem was my dad had a few more beers and couldn't come get me.

This also happened to be the night of prom at the local high school. Because of this, every taxi service was booked. So my dad had to arrange a ride for me with the only thing available:

A 33 foot stretch limousine.

My family is not rich by any means. But my dad is always doing something weirdly creative, and when the chauffer came to my friends front door and said “I'm here to pick up Dana”, I knew my dad had struck again.

What are some interesting experiences you've had as a teen?

What are the 10 must-read books during the ages of 21-25?

  1. The Defining Decade by Meg Jay. This book is entirely about you. It will answer questions about life, you didn’t even know you was asking. It will tell you all the things you parents didn’t about what you should do to get as much out of your 20’s as possible.
  2. The Art of Manliness by Brett McKay. The best book on long forgotten etiqutte, dedicated to generation of boy who forgot how to grow up. McKay explores manliness in this beautiful book. Worth reading regardless of your gender, as girls should read it in order to be able to recognize true gentlemen.
  3. On the Shortness of Life by Seneca. You should read this as fast as possible, and if you haven’t read it before reaching 30, this is the first thing you do. Now.
  4. Mastery by Robert Greene. Greene studies how titans through history gained mastery in their respective craft, and there is much you can learn from it.
  5. How to Achieve True Greatness by Baldesar Castiglione. In this short read, Castiligione discover what it task to be the perfect courtier. While entertainingly written, it will describe how one is charming and noble.
  6. Of Human Freedom by Epictetus. This book is, as the title suggest, about the theme of freedom. But it will shake your world, and help you to focus on the finer, more important things in life.
  7. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. While this is a book about rapid decision making, it concerns itself a  great deal with memory. Gladwell gives training your memory a higher  purpose than just remembering strings of digits or memorizing a deck of  cards. Training your memory will eventually change your life, and  Gladwell will show you what you can look forward to.
  8. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. Tim Ferriss is a master martketeer and entrepreneur, and he gives you his view on life to, which I have found many books on entrepreneurship neglects. This book explore how to train and eat inexpensively. It will save you time, money and make you better.
  9. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. Read it. Read it all.
  10. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. This book is the most important of all philosophy (in my opinion). Please read this.

I hope that help! If you want to expand you literary world further, I suggest your subscribe to the Reading List. The best of luck on your reading.
Source: What are the 10 must-read books during the ages of 21-25?

From a therapist’s office wall

I don’t like the phrase “A cry for help.” I just don’t like how it sounds. When somebody says to me, “I’m thinking about suicide, I have a plan; I just need a reason not to do it,” the last thing I see is helplessness.

I think: Your depression has been beating you up for years. It’s called you ugly, and stupid, and pathetic, and a failure, for so long that you’ve forgotten that it’s wrong. You don’t see good in yourself, and you don’t have any hope.

But still, here you are; you’ve come over to me, banged on my door, and said, “HEY! Staying alive is REALLY HARD right now! Just give me something to fight with! I don’t care if it’s a stick! Give me a stick and I can stay alive!”

How is that helpless? I think that’s incredible. You’re like a marine: Trapped for years behind enemy lines, your gun has been taken away, you’re out of ammo, you’re malnourished, and you’ve probably caught some kind of jungle virus that’s making you hallucinate giant spiders.

And you’re still just going “Give me a stick! I’m not dying out here!”

“A cry for help” Makes it sound like I’m supposed to take pity on you. But you don’t need my pity. This isn’t pathetic. This is the will to survive. This is how humans lived long enough to become the dominant species.

With NO hope, running on NOTHING, you’re ready to cut through a hundred miles of hostile jungle with nothing but a stick, if that’s what it takes to get to safety.

All I’m doing is handing out sticks.

You’re the one staying alive.

What are some study hacks every student should know?

Answer by Nela Canovic

You can try one or all of these 9 study hacks to help you work smarter towards your exams:

ONE. Create a morning habit to give your energy for the day ahead.

You can be on top of your game by following a morning routine so that you accomplish more early, which in turn can motivate you to be even more productive throughout the rest of the day. A routine gives you structure and breaks down your morning hours into smaller chunks of work that are easier to do. I recommend listening to a podcast called Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod, the author of a book called The Miracle Morning. If you’d like some more tips on creating a morning routine, read more about it here.

TWO. Feed your brain right.

  • Start your day with a balanced breakfast, for example with a combination of protein, fruits, and healthy fats (such as nuts): it can be oatmeal or yogurt with granola, fresh fruit, walnuts and almonds.
  • Have an egg! Eggs are a powerful mix of B vitamins (they help nerve cells to burn glucose), antioxidants (they protect neurons against damage), and omega-3 fatty acids (they keep nerve cells functioning at optimal speed).
  • Did you know that some excellent brain food includes sardines, beets, spinach, and lentils? Try to incorporate these and other foods into your daily meals to boost your brain power.

THREE. Do your deep work early.

Deep work is what your analytical brain does that requires a lot of concentration to perform the most complex tasks (in the case of studying, these can be reading, comprehension, application, repetition). Some scientists call this time of day the brain’s peak performance time, and it’s roughly 2-4 hours after we wake up. So, for example, if you wake up at 6, your peak times are between 8 and 10 a.m. Be sure to block this time off to cover your most important work, and leave other activities such as checking your Facebook and Instagram updates, your emails, and the news for later in the day.

FOUR. Become a time management pro.

When you’re ready to start studying, use a timer to divide up your day into manageable increments that will allow your brain to focus in a more targeted and effective way. You can set the timer to 30 or 60 minute blocks, for example. You can also try the Pomodoro technique which consists of 25 minute blocks of time, followed by 5 minute breaks. When you’re done with one segment, step away from your desk, and do something completely unrelated to work to give your brain a chance to rest: take a 5 minute walk, stretch your body, grab a cup of coffee or tea.

FIVE. Take a power nap.

To boost your concentration and cognitive abilities, take a nap for about 30 minutes in the afternoon; find a comfortable space (a couch, an armchair, your bed). Block away environmental noise with noise-cancelling headphones. If you prefer, you can listen to music that can help you relax (anything that is instrumental; it can be classical music, chillout, sounds of nature).

SIX. Take a walk.

Performing some form of physical exercise, even if it is targeted and short, improves your brain’s cognitive performance, problem solving ability, and even boosts long-term memory. Aim for 30-45 minutes. If your neighborhood or college campus is noisy, take your headphones with you and listen to some relaxing instrumental music.

SEVEN. Use your evening for strategic thinking.

This is typically the time of day when the brain slows down, doesn’t go at top speed to adhere to deadlines, so it has space for more creative thinking. Use this time for activities such as:

  • Setting study goals for the week
  • Strategizing how to optimize your learning (find new learning tools or apps)
  • Reviewing your schedule for the next day
  • Contemplating the big picture with these questions:
    • Where you would like to be once you’ve completed your exams?
    • What are your long term goals?
    • What is the career you want for yourself?
    • What are the steps you’ll need to take to get started on the next phase of your professional development?

EIGHT. Train your brain to be calmer.

So much information to absorb, so many details to remember, and all those tough deadlines to adhere to. Studying is hard! You can help your brain by training it with meditation. This practice can help you deal better with the input of information that could lead to feelings of chaos, overwhelm, and stress.Start with just 10 minutes. Download the Headspace app; it makes meditation easy, fun, and great for beginners.

NINE. Use a nighttime routine to unwind faster and get ready to sleep.

This habit will help you ease away from your studies and signal to your body that it’s time to slow down and prepare for rest. You can (a) set a bedtime alarm to go off 30 minutes before going to sleep, (b) stay away from electronics (mainly your computer), (c) stretch your legs with a short walk after dinner for about 20-30 minutes to boost digestion and give your brain some extra oxygen, and (d) do something relaxing before bedtime: read a book, listen to music, or just close your eyes and breathe deeply for 10 counts before you brush your teeth and get ready for bed.


What are some study hacks every student should know?


Also, here’s some extra guidance from me in my PDF: Get it Here.

How do I quickly and efficiently learn a new language?

How do I quickly and efficiently learn a new language? by David Bailey

Answer by David Bailey:

I've learned several foreign languages as an adult.  I was able to learn French to conversation fluency in 17 days using the following techniques.  Note that I had previously learned Spanish to fluency so this was not my first foreign language. 

In summer of 2005 I stayed with a French friend in a tiny village in the Beaujolais region of France.  No one in the village spoke English and, since my friend knew I had an ambitious learning goal, she refused to speak to me in English as well. 

I set up a routine where I did the same things every day. 

In the mornings, I woke up and wrote out longhand the regular and irregular verb tables for 1.5-2 hours.  I managed to get through an entire pad of paper in two weeks.  I still believe that writing things out by hand is the best way to memorize things.

While I wrote, I would listen to Michel Thomas' language learning mp3s (http://www.michelthomas.com/).  On the CDs you listen as he teaches French to other English speakers.  It's really helpful to hear other students make mistakes that you can learn from, just like a regular classroom environment.  In two weeks I listened to the foundation, advanced and language building courses twice.

I would run for 45-60 minutes in the early afternoon in the French countryside listening to catchy French music.  Music is a great way to learn the intonation of a language and train your facial muscles as you sing along.

I had lunch with my friend and her French friends everyday.  As they refused to slow down when speaking to me in French, it was learn or starve!

In the afternoon, if I wasn't playing darts or Boules with my French friends, I was reading "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" in French.  Reading the children's books you read as a child is a great hack to learning new languages.  Firstly, the language used is simple and secondly, knowing the story helps you to guess the meaning of new words and avoid using a dictionary.  Surprisingly children's books are more entertaining in a foreign language.

I spent at least an hour writing basic essays about myself which I had my French friend check for errors.  When you meet new people you inevitably get asked the same things:  "Where are you from?", "What do you do?", "Do you like France?".  By learning ready-made answers, you get to practice what you learned and build up your confidence.

Another good tip is to learn the filler words.  These are the words and phrases people say then all the time between sentences (alors, en fait, etc.) but have no real meaning; allowing you to buy time in a conversation and increase your confidence.

After 17 days I left the small town and went to Paris.  I met a girl in a coffee shop and we started talking.  After a few minutes, she asked how long I had lived in France.  When I told her I had been learning French for 17 days, she swore that I had lived in France for at least a year.

Hopefully there are some useful tips you can use in your learning.  Let me know and bonne chance!

How do I quickly and efficiently learn a new language?

What was one experience in your life that hardened you as a person?

What was one experience in your life that hardened you as a person? by Anonymous

Answer by Anonymous:

My father still thinks I am an engineer but am not!

Going anonymous for obvious reasons… and it’s a long story.

I am from India, a small town 6 hours from Bangalore. My dad is a farmer, had a small piece of land and did his best to educate us. My brother (he is 4 years younger) and I studied in a government school. My dad and mom wanted us to get good education and we worked really hard. After my 12 (PUC); I was hoping to get into engineering – I got decent marks and secured good rank as well (Engineering Common Entrance Test); after this, I was supposed to travel to Bangalore for Seat Selection (it’s a session conducted by the state government and based on your rank you get to choose colleges). While I could get into a college I wanted, I could not get the stream I wanted (E&C) – I am from general category and my rank didn’t make it. 

This was my first time in Bangalore and I was alone (Friends dad accompanied me). I was a little confused and back then we didn’t have mobile phones or even a telephone (at my home) to call home and discuss (my dad is not educated, can barely read would not have had no clue, I was the most educated; but still); during this confusion, I met a man who claimed to be a parent accompanying one of the students. He spoke to me nicely and was advising me on engineering courses, I was happy I found someone knowledgeable.  He also spoke to me about his connections and assured me a seat that I wanted if I was ready to pay a ‘little extra’ and advised me to let go of what I had. 

And I did. I also gave him all the marks cards (he wanted that to start the process) and as a token, gave him the money I was carry to pay my fees (INR 3000, about USD 500); I was told the ‘extra fees’ would be INR 2 Lac (USD 3000)  (one time) and was told to get the money as soon as possible. I was so confident about the decision I made – I went back home and convinced my dad to mortgage the small piece of land he had and get money from a local moneylender. I went back to Bangalore with exactly INR 2 lac and extra 700 for expenses. I met this new friend of mine, and handed over the money to him…

By now you would know what I had done. I was naïve but arrogant – a deadly combination which can ruin your life… The man disappeared… I lost all my money and all my pride. I didn’t know how to face my dad so I decided not to tell him. I called home and told them that I had been admitted to the college and the courses start immediately (my dad is still naïve and he believed every word I said; he even asked me if I needed more money to buy books).

After this, I tried to find the man who cheated me (went to all the places I met him; even to a police station; no one helped); after 3 days I was out of money – I started working in a mess (it’s a kind of eatery); I thought I will work hard and earn back whatever money I had lost.. I did that for 3 years… In another year I was expected to graduate as an engineer; find a good job and help my brother get into engineering…

My pay when I started off was 30 rupees a day with food and accommodation and end of 3 years was 50 rupees; I worked 7 days a week and with tips and others could save about 600 rupees a month (+ I saved whatever my dad sent every month for me to buy books and as hostel fees).  End of three years I had saved about 75000 rupees (USD 1200); which was nowhere close to what I had lost. It’s then when a few of my friends helped me to get a job in an event management company (in 2006) with a starting pay of 4500 rupees per month (USD 75)… I guess that was the turning point… I slogged my ass off for; got promotions and salary hikes regularly (attrition at event management agencies is high so that helped as well).

Right now, I work as marketing manager for a global MNC (I did complete my Graduation at a night college); got my brother into engineering – he finished and is working now. I paid back the mortgage and got the land back. So life is good… But, my dad still thinks I am an engineer (except for my wife). And I hope it remains that way (he is proud and happy).

So what did I learn…?

Bad things happen… Learn as much as you can

Accept whatever comes your way… once you accept, life becomes a lot easier and your mind will automatically start finding ways to make best out of the situation.

Love is a powerful motivator, it can make you do some amazing things to keep someone happy

Don’t ever give up. Life is too short to whine and cry.  Humans are survivors and you will find a way out.

Be nice. Sometimes we take people for granted; judge them on work they do or their education. Please don’t.

Lastly, hard work pays.

What was one experience in your life that hardened you as a person?