Thursday 4: Nuggets For Your Noggin

Coming ‘atcha with another installment of brain food. Today, it’s about getting a quick fix, a sort of fast food for the mind, or as I like to call them; nuggets for your noggin.

Talk Chineasy Podcast

Wanna learn Chinese? (Seriously, consider it – is has approximately 1.051B speakers worldwide.

Chineasy is a one-of-a-kind brand, with a super cool mission, lead by one kick-ass woman, Shaolan, who has developed a unique technique for learning Chinese. The Chineasy motto? Break down the Great Wall of Chinese language. Chineasy has books, flash cards, Youtube vids, and they currently have a Kickstarter campaign for Chineasy Tiles aimed to help teach children Chinese.

Anyhoo, if you are pressed for time, or just want to dip your toes in the waters of this fascinating language, I suggest giving the podcast a whirl – each episode is only 7 minutes long! Shaolan brings guests on to discuss a certain topic of interest/expertise of the guest speaker and along the way you learn a few key words or phrases, the occasional fun slang word or phrase; but always with some insight into how the language is structured and how Chinese culture had and has a direct impact on its language. It’s truly fascinating, but also highly accessible for Westerners that feel intimidated to learn Chinese. I adore it.

Check out Shaolan’s TedTalk about the Chineasy.



In my opinion, not enough people know about Highbrow and it is a real shame. They are a straight-up brain-morsel delivery system – right into your inbox. Chose from a plethora of 10-day mini-courses – from the Beginning Backpacking to Relational Database Design – and everything in between, jam-packed with knowledge that can be read in under 5 minutes. Seriously, there is something for everyone.

What I really enjoy is that you can sign-up for only one class at a time. (I have the tendency to be over-zealous and want to sign-up for everything at once.) One email every day for ten days and  – voila! – you’ve gnawed on some super noggin nuggets and perhaps it even whetted your appetite for more? I wouldn’t doubt it.

Some of my favorite courses have been: SEO Fundamentals, The Most Important Numbers in the World, Active Listening and Significant Futurists and their Ideas.





Okay, I am a sucker for Blinkist’s tagline(s) – Never Stop Learning AND Bigs Ideas in Small Packages – and boy, do these guys deliver! Their service? Giving you books-in-a-blink, which are intelligently summarized non-fiction, self-help/improvement/development, and business books that you can read or listen to every day!

Why is this cool?

Because nowadays there is always that must-read book; either one your friends are buzzing about; like how their meditation practice has been totally improved by reading such-and-such or that book that your boss ‘suggests’ you read, like, a study of the psychology of customer happiness, to build up brand loyalty. Life is busy and there are too many books to get to. Let these folks help get you the best bits of these reads by sending them straight to your brain in this ingeniously streamlined way. 

What an awesome hack, eh?

This company is beyond hip. Check their story out. (FYI, they’re hiring!)

Oh…and download the app and follow them on Twitter – they are so engaging.



Daily Lit

Spoon-feeding you fiction every day. This is the best way I can describe DailyLit. Long term fan here, like since before the rise of the iPhone and I just love it. Heck, I’ll read anyway I can. But if building a reading habit does not come easily, or if feels like a chore, but you really are determined to read more, this could be the service for you, too.

How does it work?

Easy. Sign up and choose a book. (The classics are free, contemporary literature paid.) Presto! Receive a 15-minute slice of delicious lit every day into your inbox. It is a great way to ease yourself into reading regularly, to get familiar with the classics OR to finally slog through the wonderful immensity of Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

Find yourself hooked on a book and can’t wait until tomorrow? There’s a button for that. Chances are you’ll use it more than once.

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Happy brain-noshing friends!


Nicole Michelle


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