Reading List – 19th Oct

1.) Talking about the book “Permanent Present Tense” (Basic), by Suzanne Corkin, the article tells us the story of a man who inspired the story of “Memento“, the English movie.

Article: Memory

Some interesting definitions/lessons from the article:

  • Retrograde amnesia-  victims are unable to retrieve some or all of their past knowledge.
  • Anterograde amnesia – victims can’t lay down new memories but memory of the past is more or less intact.
  • Transient global amnesia – a situation when one person has both retrograde and anterograde amnesia.
  • Episodic memories- memory of discrete events in his life
  • Semantic memories- general knowledge of the world, including the meanings of newly encountered words
  •  New memories live in the hippo-campus of the brain

2.) A short piece on psychological pricing argues that pricing at INR 19.99 and not INR 20 has science behind it.

Article: Psychological Pricing

Some interesting definitions/lessons from the article:

  • Prices ending in .99 have higher sales conversion rates than prices ending in one cent/paisa higher!
  • As we’re reading prices, we either round down after the whole numbers in our minds or essentially forget what comes after the beginnings of prices.
  •  When we see a price ending in 9 or .99, we believe the seller has priced the item at the lowest point possible and that we’re getting a great deal.
  • While pricing ending in 9 is perceived as bargain, those (products/services) who position themselves as elegant and special avoid pricing that ends in 9 and often price their products/services with even numbers!

3.) The article talks about the possibility of increasing the speed of internet access by atleast 10 times by using the ubiquitous light bulb!

Article: Li-Fi

Some interesting definitions/lessons from the article:

  • The amount of data that can be transmitted depends upon the frequency of the electromagnetic wave. The lower the frequency of the wave, the less it can transmit.
  •  Energy-saving compact fluorescent bulb flickers between 10,000 and 40,000 times per second. The human eye can not perceive the flicker.
  • Light could be a key source of internet connectivity underwater where wi-fi does not work.

4.) How does honey kept sealed in a jar last for so long?

Article: Honey

Some interesting definitions/lessons from the article:

  • Honey has very little water. Water is necessary for survival of microbes which lead to spoilage.
  • When the bees regurgitate the nectar from their mouths into the combs to make honey, an enzyme mixes with the nectar, breaking it down and releasing hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is an agent that does not let microbes survive.
  • Honey will not spoil till it is not allowed to absorb water from the atmosphere.
  • Honey sucks water out of things it comes in touch with and hence used for healing wounds in ancient days.

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