Five interesting ideas for 15-minute projects

Jordana Divon

Interested in creating your own 15-minute projects? Prepare your typing fingers because we’ve got five ways to exercise your brain – and boost your mood in the process.

Random Research
Curious about eggplants?  Remedies for gout? The most effective method for trimming your nose hairs? In the age of unlimited access to information, there’s no subject too small or too strange. Think of something you’ve always wanted to know more about and plug it into Yahoo! See what you can learn before your attention wanes.  You may even discover a related book, film or event you’d like to pursue.

Family History
Did you know Eva Longoria shares a common ancestry with cellist Yo Yo Ma? Neither did she before researchers delved into her genetic history on the PBS series “Faces of America.” Compiling a family tree has never been easier thanks to a combination of science and online historical records.  See how much you can discover on your own.  And if you’re so inclined, you can find a reputable source to dig at your roots even further.

Keyword Mash

If you really want to go wild, throw three random keywords into a search engine and see what comes up. For example, a search using “coconut” and “animal” and “garburator” leads to an argument that the popular kitchen sink appliance isn’t as environmentally friendly as everyone thinks. Not life-changing information, but interesting nonetheless.

Discovery Walks
Become a hometown expert by choosing a different area of interest each week in your city, learning a bit about its history and then visiting it in person. You may be surprised to find your favourite restaurant used to be a 19th century post office (It would certainly explain the service). Plus, that stone monument you pass each day on your way to work may be more than just a pigeon urinal.

Home Schooling
Don’t have time for night classes? You can pretty much acquire a university-level education on the Web. Commit yourself to 15 minutes each day and choose a skill that’s always been on your to-do list. Cooking? Scrapbooking? All there online. Wish you could afford a feng shui home makeover? Pull up a few how-to videos and banish that negative energy yourself. You’ll gain a more positive space – and a happier mind in the process.