Friday, November 21, 2014

Choices, Choices, 2

Your brain has only two hemispheres. When considering options it will assign an option to each hemisphere for consideration, dividing its brain power, if you will.  If you give it three or four or five options to consider, it will focus on two of them and, consequently, may miss or overlook an option that could be important or desirable in the long term.  Interestingly enough, people who try to analyze multiple options at the same time and agonize over making the perfect or optimum choice, often end up less satisfied with the decision they finally do make, which sometimes is to not make a choice (a choice in and of itself). Practice evaluating only two options at a time. Compare A and B, and make a choice. Let's say you select A. Now compare A and C and choose between those two options, and so on.  Knowing that you never can have it all, that you always give up something to get something, you may prefer to weigh the pros and cons of each option separately. Ask: "What do I get with A and what do I give up? Which one outweighs the other, what I get or what I must give up?"  Practice.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Choices, Choices

Are you the type of person who wants to evaluate all the possible choices that could possibly be available to you before selecting one?  The more choices you have to consider, the smaller the number that seem really viable.  It can be so confusing that you find yourself just walking away and not making a selection, which, of course, is a type of choice in and of itself. Making choices can be exhausting whether you're doing it in a shopping mall or searching for something on the internet. Researchers at the University of Minnesota did a study in a shopping mall. They found that people who made more shopping choices were less able to pay attention and complete simple mathematical problems. The study conclusion was that if you want to focus your attention on an upcoming activity or if you need emotional energy to handle challenging situations, you are much better off to limit the number of choices you make beforehand. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Aging Perspective and Humor, 2

Old is when:

  • A sexy baby catches your fancy and your pacemaker opens the garage door
  • Your sweetie says, "Let's go upstairs and make love," and you reply, "pick one because I can't do both."  (Anyone for one-story living?)
  • Getting l"ucky" means you find your car in the parking lot
  • Getting "some action" means you don't need to take any fiber today 
  • You'd don't really mind where your spouse goes as long as you don't have to tag along
  • Going braless is an instant and inexpensive face lift
  • An "all-nighter" means not having to get up to pee
So be glad you are still around to grow older and hone your sense of humor so you can stay younger longer . . .

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Aging Perspective and Humor

Yes, things do changed as the brain and body age. It would be downright ludicrous to pretend they don't. However, if more than half the factors that impact aging are within your partial if not complete control, and if 70 percent of how long and how well you live is in your hands--you have a huge role to play. And humor can play a very positive part in healthy aging. Think ahead. Prevent what you can. Identify and manage what you can't prevent. Be serious about life and avoid taking every little think too seriously. Laugh about aging--a lot. Humor is just an exaggeration of real life. It's healthy medicine or at least it helps the medicine go down more easily. The other day I got an email containing definitions for "old." I'd love to know the author but none was listed. Nevertheless, here are a couple definitions and I'll include the rest tomorrow. Enjoy them. Think up some more and send them along--I'd be happy to pass them on. Old is when:

  • Your friends compliment you on your new alligator shoes and you are barefoot
  • Your friends mention that your shirt is rather wrinkled and you don't have one on
  • Your doctor cautions you to slow down (instead of the police doing so)
More tomorrow.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Autism Spectrum and Seinfeld

In September I reported new research from neuroscientists at the University of Toronto and Case Western Reserve University related to the brain and the autism spectrum. Imagine my delight when I heard an interview with Seinfeld that mentioned autism. The interview was reported on many sites, Huffington Post being one of them. Seinfeld mentioned he thought his brain was likely somewhere on the autism spectrum and described it as just an "alternate mindset." Another time he reportedly said it was just "another way of thinking." Brilliant! Naturally, people only know their own brain, and there is a great tendency to stereotype what has come to be the preferred way of thinking--your own will likely fall into that box--and other ways of thinking tend to be perceived as disordered. Education typically teaches to the stereotype; business hires to the stereotype; parents raise children to the stereotype. Those that fall outside the stereotype are often marginalized if not outright ostracized, bullied, punished, or you name it. And yet the world loves those "outside-the-stereotype" brains, especially comedic brains that share so much laughter as they bring to the listener's attention a perspective hitherto never perceived in exactly that same way before.  I so agree with Seinfeld. The autism spectrum brains do exhibit "another way of thinking." It is only "bad" if compared against the stereotype. It is often "great" when compared against itself and what that brain offers to the world. In this, the age of the brain, my brain's opinion is that it is high time people started looking at what different brains can offer rather than whether or not they match the age-old stereotype...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Brain and Trick Eye

Having never had the opportunity to experience a Trick Eye Museum, imagine my delight to discover that one had recently opened in Singapore. I had the great good fortune to experience this trompe l’oeil with a personal tour guide, Roger Wong. Located at Resorts World Sentosa's Waterfront, the Singapore Trick Eye Museum includes more than 80 three-dimensional paintings and optical illusions in 800 square meters of space. These works are presented in six themed zones: Love, Circus, Masterpiece, Safari, Fairytale, and Adventure. And “adventure” is exactly what it is! Created with the local context in mind, the works reportedly aim to capture Singapore's essence as a cosmopolitan city with a thriving ecosystem, and feature influences from both Eastern and Western cultures to reflect the island's status as a cultural melting pot. If you get the opportunity to go to a Trick Eye Museum, take it. I had lots of fun when I went. For once in my life I felt “taller.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Brain and Trick Eye, 3

The technique of forced perspective is used in some theme parks, as well. You may have seen it, too, but may not have realized what you were actually seeing. Disneyland, for example. The Sleeping Beauty Castle in America’s Disneyland and in the Hong Kong Disneyland makes use of forced perspective. The actual height is reported to be 77 feet. However, the scale of the architectural elements is much smaller in the upper portions of the castle as compared with the scale at the foundation. This makes the castle seem much taller than it really is. A similar technique is used for Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and at Tokyo Disneyland. The actual height is listed at 189 feet. Again, the scale of the architectural elements gets smaller the higher up you go on the castle. The human eye thus perceives the height of the castle to be significantly taller than it really is. Hmm. More tomorrow.