We have a million ways to communicate in the workplace today – fax, email, instant message, and in-person meetings, plus a wide variety of project management programs and apps that provide space for updates and conversations. Unfortunately, most people struggle with communicating effectively in any of them – in part because we’re trying to use the same strategies and techniques for all of them. Beyond the basics of getting your ideas across, it’s important that you be able to understand what your colleagues, customers, and vendors have to say, and, when necessary to persuade them to follow your recommendations. Games teach you how to talk to other people in ways that are specific to settings and scenarios, and help you become more consistent, more concise, and most importantly more understandable in all of your communication endeavors.
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In their book, How People Learn, Bransford, Brown, and Cocking illustrate how multi-sensory learning can affect the brain. One of their studies reared rats in cages with and without play objects. The following excerpt illustrates the result of this study:
The weight and thickness of the cerebral cortex can be measurably altered in rats that are reared from weaning, or placed as adults, in a large cage enriched by the presence both of a changing set of objects for play and exploration and of other rats to induce play and exploration (Rosenzweig and Bennett, 1978). These animals also perform better on a variety of problem-solving tasks than rats reared in standard laboratory cages. Interestingly, both the interactive presence of a social group and direct physical contact with the environment are important factors: animals placed in the enriched environment alone showed relatively little benefit; neither did animals placed in small cages within the larger environment (Ferchmin et al., 1978; Rosenzweig and Bennett, 1972). Thus, the gross structure of the cerebral cortex was altered both by exposure to opportunities for learning and by learning in a social context.
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Textiles have been a fundamental part of human life since the beginning of civilization. Cultures create textiles with both a functional and historical purpose – stories and myths were often woven directly into the piece.
A long time ago in a place called Lydia lived a young spinner and weaver called Arachne. Lydia had a reputation for producing splendid textiles and had some of the finest spinners and weavers in the world. No spinner or weaver was more talented or gifted than Arachne.
Patchwork is a form of needlework that involves sewing together pieces of fabric into a larger design. In the past, it was a way to make use of leftover pieces of cloth to create clothing and quilts. Today, patchwork is a form of art, in which the designers use precious fabrics to create beautiful textiles. The use of uneven pieces of fabric in particular can result in real masterpieces and is therefore being practiced by a large number of textile artists. To create a beautiful quilt, however, requires effort and time, but the available patches just do not want to fit together. So choose your patches carefully and keep a healthy supply of buttons to not only finish your quilt, but to make it better and more beautiful than your opponent‘s.
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Dreary days, books, games, and coffee. Is there anything better?
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