Naps Help Improve Your Memory

EurekAlert has posted a study that states that naps can dramatically improve your memory retention, particularly when trying to recall something you learned earlier that day.

Here's the Lifehacker summary:

"At noon, all the participants [39 healthy, young adults] were subjected to a rigorous learning task intended to tax the hippocampus, a region of the brain that helps store fact-based memories. Both groups performed at comparable levels.

At 2 p.m., the nap group took a 90-minute siesta while the no-nap group stayed awake. Later that day, at 6 p.m., participants performed a new round of learning exercises. Those who remained awake throughout the day became worse at learning. In contrast, those who napped did markedly better and actually improved in their capacity to learn."

This study suggests that if you're trying to cram in facts you need to recall later, a same-day nap before your last-minute cram might be more helpful than powering through your day with nervous energy.

Here's yet another reason why you should consider incorporating a "siesta" into your day!


Laverne & Shirley Theme Song Meaning


Those of us who watched television or reruns in the 1970s, 80s, or 90s probably are all familiar with the "Laverne & Shirley" show's theme song:

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight!

Schlemiel! Schlemazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!
We're gonna do it!

But what on earth does it mean?

Maybe the definitions will help:

Schlemiel: n, an unlucky burglar; chump; clumsy person (Yiddish)

Schlemazel: n, a very unlucky or inept person who fails at everything (Yiddish)

Hasenpfefffer: n, a highly seasoned stew made out of marinated rabbit meat (German)

Maybe the only ones who would try to start a rabbit stew company would be a couple of inept people?

Actually, the first two lines of the theme song are said to be from a Yiddish-American children's hopscotch chant. As we know from our childhood playground chants (One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, et al.), sometimes they are just nonsense. This one in particular, though, is reported to be one that Penny Marshall (who played Laverne) used to chant on her walk to school as a kid.

That's my best answer. :) At the very least we learned what the meaning of the words are!


Why Do We Celebrate Flag Day?

Happy Flag Day everyone!

Why do we set aside an entire day just for the American flag?
On June 14th of 1777, in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress passed a resolution specifying that the flag carry 13 stripes and 13 stars. The colors would represent hardiness and valor (red), purity and innocence (white), and vigilance, perseverance and justice (blue).

The concept of a specific day to annually recognize the American Flag came 108 years later. In 1885, a Fredonia, Wisconsin schoolteacher, B.J. Cigrand, arranged for the students in his school district to observe the resolution on June 14th as ‘Flag Birthday’. In 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned similar festivities for his school’s students. In 1893, Philadelphia became the first city to celebrate Flag Day, and in the following year, New York was the first state to observe it. After decades of expanding community observances, President Woodrow Wilson established Flag Day on May 30, 1916.

Still many communities did not celebrate Flag Day. It wasn’t until 1949, when President Harry Truman signed into an Act of Congress that National Flag Day be observed every June 14th. The Unites States Flag Code, as adopted by Congress, states “The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.” This is why we should give the flag our full respect.
Wow. That's intense! Plus, look at the power of a schoolteacher! It's a good thing to keep in mind; maybe one of your classroom traditions will birth a new American holiday someday?

Happy Birthday? :)