Learning A New Language At Home

rocketspanishThe advancements in home personal computers have made a lot of things possible at home, and one of those things is learning a new language.  You no longer have to take night classes to learn a new language, and you don’t have to purchase cassettes with antiquated lessons on them that are difficult to take with you.  You can now personalize your lessons suiting to what you want to learn, and you can vary the lessons to suit your learning stye.

Learning on tape has always been a hassle and just doesn’t work that well.  Learning a language at home with books and tapes was always a hassle, driving people to take actual classes.  However, with the interactive lessons that you can do at home on your computer, you can easily learn an entire language on your own.

There are a few great programs that have been taking over the industry the past few years.  The first one is the ever-popular Rosetta Stone.  Their great marketing has led the company to become almost a household name.  They offer a “learn like a child” approach, where you are virtually immersed in the language like a child would be.  The only problem is that this can sometimes be frustrating for adult learners.  As you grow older your learning style does change a bit, especially with languages.  It can sometimes be counterproductive to learn in this manner.  Total immersion is hard unless you’re really in the country.

That brings us to another option: the Rocket Languages series.  This series became a sleeper hit.  It was a course sold online and was kind of sparse at first, but they redid a lot of the course, made it compatible with mobile phones, and suddenly they’re getting amazing reviews.  The Rocket Languages series has many of the most popular languages, and you can easily take it with you and personalize it for whatever type of needs that you’ll be using the language for.

I suggest trying out the free trials for each of these programs to decide which one is better for you.  Some people would thrive using the Rosetta Stone method while others would do much better with the more traditional feel of Rocket Languages.

Computing Smart

If you’re a Windows computer user then there are a few tips that you can follow to make your computing experience that much easier.  Many people don’t understand the simple basics of using a PC and therefore they tend to do things that degrade system performance without even realizing it.  They also miss out on ways to improve their computer experience because they simply don’t know about them.

RAM

One of the best ways to simply speed up a computer is to install more RAM.  RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and it’s a direct measure (and limit) of what your computer can do at once.  When you open a software program it loads into the memory.  Therefore, the more programs you have open, the more memory gets used.  Once you go over the RAM memory space your computer will start to use “virtual memory” by using hard disk space.  However, hard disk data rates are much slower than RAM, and performance suffers quite a bit.  The more RAM you have, the faster your computer will run.  RAM is cheap and relatively easy to upgrade, especially if you go to a site such as Crucial.com where they offer an automatic memory scan that shows exactly how much RAM your computer can add and exactly what type to get.  They definitely make it easy to get more.

Spyware / Adware

computersecurity4One thing that many people are less aware of these days than they were when the internet first started is spyware and adware.  Back in the early 2000′s it was very common to have a computer bloated with a zillion adware popups.  This was because everything was still in its infancy, and the internet was a wild west of software.  People would download programs and other things (such as music) willy nilly and not even think about where it was coming from.  Thankfully today browsers are a bit more advanced and internet security is much tighter.  However, there is still a chance that you could get adware on your computer that rides on the back of a software program.  I’m usually very careful about what I install on my computer, but even I got an adware infection from Conduit recently.

If you have adware and spyware, and you need to get rid of it, then programs such as Enigma Software’s Spyhunter 4 is a great option.  It’s the easiest way to remove ALL the pieces of the software.  When I had to get rid of Conduit, I used Spyhunter to make sure I got all the pieces out – I didn’t have time to sit there and do a manual removal and I wanted to make sure I didn’t have anything lingering behind that could potentially spy on my data.

 

 

Studying Early Brain Formation And Disease

1024px-Gray728.svgNew studies have found that abnormal brain functions can be detected early on in-utero as different genes are switched on and off.

New mapping has been done on fetus brains that show where certain genes are being turned on and off during the midpoint of pregnancy when crucial structures of the brain are in the middle of formation.  It’s incredibly new technology and can help pinpoint the roots of things such as autism and schizophrenia.

The human brain is often called the most complex object in the universe. Yet its basic architecture is created in just nine months, when it grows from a single cell to more than 80 billion cells organized in a way that will eventually let us think and feel and remember.

However the use of fetus brains that were aborted is causing a bit of a controversy.  I’m not even sure how I feel about it, and it kind of bothers me.  I grew up in a very conservative Christian household and always thought abortion was not a good thing.  But you could debate that for ages.  Even as a woman I feel that once you’re pregnant it’s not about your own body anymore but about two humans.

But that is besides the point.

The new mapping technology will show researchers where they can start to look for trouble signs of these and other diseases early on in the child’s life.

The second important finding from the mapping project, Lein says, is that the human brain is different from a mouse brain in ways researchers didn’t know before. These differences could explain why a number of brain drugs that work well in mice have failed badly in people.

The map also reveals just how little scientists had known about the brain of a fetus.

“It’s an enormous surprise to us that the genes that get expressed in the fetal brain don’t look anything like what we would have expected from the adult brain,” Insel says. “It’s almost as if the fetal brain is a different organ altogether.”  ( npr.org )

The whole enterprise is rather mind blowing (pardon the pun) and could perhaps enhance developments in brain science that could lead to major breakthroughs not only for autism and schizophrenia but other brain disorders as well.

What do you think?