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Study Finds That Weird Typing Styles Can Still Be Effective

Recently spent time marveling at your co-worker's orderly typing style? As it turns out, it's probably not more efficient. According to a recent study at Aalto University, those who never learned the touch typist method (or who may have skipped a few classes and computer drills) can be just as fast and accurate as their trained colleagues.

For the research, a group of 30 volunteers with varying skill levels and experience were given typing exercises. As they completed the tasks, the experts monitored their efficiency and style using motion capture, eye-tracking technology, and keypress data. They found that despite what you may have learned in computer courses—for instance, that you should stick to the home keys (ASDFJKL:) and use all ten fingers—you can get by with using less.

"We were surprised to observe that people who took a typing course, performed at similar average speed and accuracy, as those that taught typing to themselves and only used six fingers on average," study co-author Anna Maria Feit said in a statement.

For each strategy, there were both fast and slow typers, but the touch typists did keep their eyes on the screen more, which could be useful for some lines of work.

via Aalto University on YouTube

So if using all ten fingers doesn't equal a clear advantage, what does? "We found a range of other factors that can influence performance," co-author Dr. Daryl Weir said in a video (above). "Fast typists more consistently used the same finger to press the same key every time. And also fast typists learned to keep their hands steady and don't move them over the keyboard as much as slow typists do."

The researchers believe that our typing techniques are a reflection of what we do on our computers, not training. "The touch typing system was developed for typing sentences on typewriters," Feit said. "It is not advantageous for Photoshop shortcuts or gaming, often done with one hand on the mouse."

[h/t Gizmodo]

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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