Last month I talked about how my father would teach me to count whenever we went somewhere in the car. I have always greatly enjoyed learning new stuff. I loved school and I always enjoyed beginning a new job – the computers, the software, the people and all the processes and procedures found at every company. I enjoyed it so much that I went to work at a new job forty or fifty times in my career, not to mention learning new people and skills numerous times in hospitals and rehabilitation clinics.
Now that I am retired and have a little bit of free time, I spend much of my time learning from the huge number of tools available on the Internet just by using my smartphone. During my TBI rehab at the Centre for Neuro Skills the therapists often used online TED Talks to help us learn more about the mental and physical problems we were experiencing from brain injuries, strokes and other learning disabilities. I really enjoyed learning so much just by watching and listening to these talks, especially since my ability to read is so limited. I could just sit and learn.
So after I was out of rehab and on my own I began looking for other online sources of education that did not require a lot of reading. The first thing I found was Curiosity where I get informed with 5 new amazing topics, delivered daily. For example, today’s topics are “Universal immune cells may have cured two babies of leukemia: Off-the-shelf, on-the-spot cancer therapy could be around the corner,” “The first Big Mac ATM popped up in Boston in 2017: Could robots replace fast-food workers?” “You can watch Dutch people take illicit drugs online in the name of science: They trip so you don’t have to,” “Kids prefer pets to their siblings: But boys and girls view pets a little differently” and “A single LEGO brick can take 950 lbs of pressure before it cracks.” These topics range from subjects like medicine, technology, research and the universe to history, science and much more. Every day I get five more of these memory expanding presentations most of which are spoken and displayed with little or no reading required. For the few that are mostly text, I have learned how to pause the presentation so I can read it.
In addition to Curiosity I have found many more such learning opportunities online, many of them on YouTube: List25, Today I Found Out, SciShow, Healthcare Triage (by Dr. Aaron Carroll), Big Think, The School of Life, Wonder Why, Inside Science, Gross Science, Thoughty2, How the World Works, etc. (like Curiosity covering a wide variety of interesting knowledge topics). By also using blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and other online media sources, I learn about other kinds of knowledge from politics (Reason magazine, The Fifth Column), skepticism (James Randi, Richard Dawkins, Penn Jillette, Neil deGrasse Tyson) and statistics (Gapminder from the late Hans Rosling). I also watch a few things on TV, mostly on PBS, such as NOVA, Nature, FRONTLINE, PBS News Hour and Washington Week, but also skeptics like Mythbusters (Discovery Channel) and Adam Ruins Everything (truTV).
So you can see I am not lacking for things to do. So now I must stop writing this blog and go watch my learning sources.