4 Mar 2016

FROM SGT Kelvin Moore

My Dear Friend,
 
My name is SGT Kelvin Moore I am a war veteran with the United Nations troop in Afghanistan on war against terrorism. I served in the 1st Armored Division in Kabul.Based on the United States legislative and executive decision for withdrawing troops from Iraq, I have been redeployed to come and work in Kabul on the platform of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Our mission is to help beef up terrorist targeted states, mostly the United States and the European Union on the war against terrorism.
 
On the other hand, I want to inform you that I and my partner (Trooper James Anthony Leverett) have the sum of 43Million USD, which we got from a crude oil deal in Iraq before he was killed by an explosion while on a vehicle patrol. Due to this incident, I want you to receive these funds on my behalf as far as I can be assured that my share will be safe in your care until I complete my service here(in Afghanistan) and come over to meet with you. Since we are working here on Official capacity, I cannot keep these funds hence my contacting you.
 
I guarantee and ensure you that this is a risk free deal. I want you to know that we have successfully moved these funds out with the help of a Red Cross agent, I will inform you where the fund is as I hear back from you. All i want  is your acceptance to receive these funds on my behalf, Since the death of my partner, my life is not guaranteed here anymore, so I have decided to share these funds with you, than the funds being dumped at a great risk.
 
I want you to tell me how much you will take from this money for the assistance you will give to me. One passionate appeal I will make to you is not to discuss this matter with anybody, should you have reasons to reject this offer, please and please destroy this message as any leakage of this information will be too bad for us as soldiers here in Afghanistan. I do not know how long we will remain here, and I have been shot, wounded and survived so many suicide bomb attacks,this and other reasons I will mention later to you.  I honestly want this matter to be resolved immediately, please contact me as soon as possible on my e-mail address which is my only way of communication for now.
 
Regards,
 
SGT Kelvin Moore
 
 
 

13 Aug 2015

Scam Compensation Payment In Your Behalf Act Fast Now.

Dear.Beneficiary
 
The Newly Elected president of Nigeria  Gen Muhammadu Buhari and secretary of
the United Nations, in-conjunction with the Central Bank of
Nigeria Pl c has instructed that 20 scam victims should be paid a
Compensation fee of $1.5 million.
 
Get back to me if you want to be part of this new
Resolution and do not communicate or duplicate this message to any one
As, the US secret service, FBI, and EFCC are already on trace of the
Remaining criminals.
The payments are to be paid through Federal Reserve Account Unit,
Funding assistance by the Union Bank Pl c.and United Bank For Africa (UBA)
 
 
You are to receive your compensations payment via any of the below Options:
 
(1) DIPLOMATIC CASH DELIVERY
(2) THROUGH ATM SWIFT MASTER PAYMENT.
 
Let us know your choice of payment as I will not disclose further
Information's until I hear from you.
Yours faithfully,
Rev Peter Abel
Call Me Now +2348158459931
Private Email: revpeterabel39@yahoo.co.nz
 



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21 Mar 2015

GOOD NEWS FROM MARK OBINNA.

 
DEAR.
    
I AM MR. MARK OBINNA A COMPUTER SCIENTIST WITH CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA. I AM 28 YEARS OLD, JUST STARTED WORK WITH C.B.N. I CAME ACROSS YOUR FILE WHICH WAS MARKED X AND YOUR RELEASED DISK PAINTED RED, I TOOK TIME TO STUDY IT AND FOUND OUT THAT YOU HAVE PAID VIRTUALLY ALL FEES AND CERTIFICATE BUT THE FUND HAS NOT BEEN RELEASE TO YOU. THE MOST ANNOYING THING IS THAT THEY CANNOT TELL YOU THE TRUTHS THAT ON NO ACCOUNT WILL THEY EVER RELEASE THE FUND TO YOU; INSTEAD THEY LET YOU SPEND MONEY UNNECESSARILY.
    
    
I DO NOT INTEND TO WORK HERE ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, I CAN RELEASE THIS FUND TO YOU IF YOU CAN CERTIFY ME OF MY SECURITY, AND HOW I CAN RUN AWAY FROM THIS NIGERIA IF I DO THIS, BECAUSE IF I DON'T RUN AWAY FROM THIS COUNTRY AFTER I MADE THE TRANSFER, I WILL BE SERIOUSLY IN TROUBLE AND MY LIFE WILL BE IN DANGER. PLEASE THIS IS LIKE A MAFIA SETTING IN NIGERIA; YOU MAY NOT UNDERSTAND IT BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT A NIGERIAN.
    
    
THE ONLY THING I WILL NEED TO RELEASE THIS FUND IS A SPECIAL HARD DISK WE CALL IT (120 GIGS). I WILL BUY TWO OF IT, RECOPY YOUR INFORMATION, DESTROY THE PREVIOUS ONE, AND PUNCH THE COMPUTER TO REFLECT IN YOUR BANK WITHIN 24 BANKING HOURS. UPONCONFIRMATION OF THE HARD DISK I WILL CLEAN UP THE TRACER AND DESTROY YOUR FILE, AFTER WHICH I WILL RUN AWAY FROM NIGERIA TO MEET WITH YOU. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, DO GET IN TOUCH WITH ME IMMEDIATELY, YOU SHOULD SEND TO ME YOUR CONVENIENT TELL FOR EASY COMMUNICATIONS AND ALSO RE CONFIRM YOUR BANKING DETAILS.
    
CALL ME ON: +234-817-5320-765
    
REGARDS,
   
MR. MARK OBINNA
COMPUTER SCIENTIST
 

Words and pictures

Little islands are all large prisons; one cannot look at the sea without wishing for the wings of a swallow. 
Richard Francis Burton
(Writer and explorer, 19th century)








14 Feb 2015

Pictures and words

Aniversário de Auschwitz

Visitors are seen walking behind barbed-wire fences at the memorial site of the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-BirkenauPicture: Joel Saget/AFP (from the Telegraph )












30 Jan 2015

Words and pictures

Barbara Tuchman: Books are the carriers of civilization...They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print. 










9 Oct 2014

Very, very old art

From The New York Times: Hand outlines found on a cave wall in Indonesia are at least 39,900 years old, researchers said.








8 Aug 2014

Dear Friend,Reply Asap.

Dear Friend,
I am Ms Caroline Owen. A computer scientist with central bank of
Nigeria. I am 26 years old, just started work with C.B.N. I came
Across your file which was marked X and your released disk painted
RED, I took time to study it and found out that you have paid
VIRTUALLY all fees and certificate but the fund has not been release
To you. The most annoying thing is that they cannot tell you the truth
That on no account will they ever release the fund to you.
Please this is like a Mafia setting in Nigeria; you may not understand
It because you are not a Nigerian. The only thing I will need to
Release this fund is a special HARD DISK we call it HD120 GIG. I will
Buy two of it, recopy your information, destroy the previous one, and
Punch the computer to reflect in your bank within 24 banking hours.
I will send you the names of some  Boss and his colleagues who specially
involve in this scheme of evil.
 
 
I will clean up the tracer and destroy your file, after which I will
Run away from Nigeria to meet with you. If you are interested. Do get
In touch with me immediately, you should send to me you're convenient
Tell/fax numbers for easy communications and also re confirm your
Banking details, so that there won't be any mistake.
For phone conversation,
Regards,
Ms Caroline Owen

2 Aug 2014

The tirany of happiness

The idea that we're entitled to be happy - and should be - comes from the second half of the 18th century and has spread all over the world.

Reality, however, tells us differently and his well explained in this article:

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/philosophy/against-happiness-why-we-need-a-philosophy-of-failure







13 Jul 2014

Words and pictures 1

A few days ago I saw a movie whose title is Words and Pictures, Fred Schepisi, featuring Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche. In spite of being a romantic comedy, the subject is very important for us psychotherapists. We work with words and metaphors and the crafted specialist knows when to apply one or the other.

In spite of the "war" between Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen,I like both, words and pictures and I propose to post one or the other each week-end.

I'll start with the words:

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

Mark Twain

5 Jul 2014

Change

I saw recently In another blog this image (author um-identified).

 

Again, I thought about change and transformation.

 

Almost everybody is ready to say they want to change.

 

But do we really want to change? Deep down, isn't true that most of the times we've rather keep to the old habits, routines, ways of thinking, attitudes? As I often tell my patients, it seems that we prefer a known evil to the unknown.

 

We're afraid of change. The human animal resists to change. Could it be that hell really exists, as this image suggests?

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

2 Jun 2014

No man is an island: about making new friends

We psychotherapist frequently hear the complaint that it was much easier to make friends when one was in high school, that when was is an adult it is much more difficult.

Let me be straightforward. It was never easy, either when you're sixteen or now that you are an adult, if you had not the will, the availability needed and some other skills that you can learn how to develop.

The first issue is will. Do you really want to make a new friend? Are you willing to listen to the other person but also to open up to someone else? Are you willing to search for new friends? Friends don't fall from the sky as you should know by now. The truth is, nothing comes from the sky except rain or snow. You have to work for it.

Now let's suppose you really want to make new friends. That you're aware that human beings need their own space but also need human contact.

Let's see what you should do.

1. Get out of your confort zone, home- o-work, work-to-home. Try to attend a long term cultural activity, a reading group, volunteer to work in a library, to enroll in a gym or dancing classes, practice a sport that implies regular attending, frequent an internet forum to share ideas and experiences with people with similar interests, learn a new language (attending classes, not on the internet), etc etc.

2. Be true to yourself. Think it over: what do I enjoy? Strange as it may seem, many people cannot answer this question. Try an exercise: if you'd wake up tomorrow morning with a new ability, what should that be? Would you like to know how to dance? Join a dance class. Would you like to be writer? Join a creative writing class. Do it right away. Make a search on the internet or ask someone, enroll, go the quickest you can to your first class. Don't think too much, just go. If it's a voluntary work, the same applies.

3. Let's assume you won your first battle again that comfortable inertia that has been pesting you for years if not decades (we'll talk about that later) and you've managed to enroll or join some group activity.

So, today is your first day in..... (fill in). Now you wonder: what shall I say when I make my appearance in .... ? Be true. Other people know well enough when we're not genuine. Introduce yourself, tell the others why you chose that activity and that you'd like to make friends with people with similar interests. Show yourself as curious and open to new experiences. Try to speak with most of the people present. Show a genuine interest in their lives and they'll be interested in yours as well. Human interaction is about exchanging. You'll find that you'll find yourself closer to a couple of persons, others will remain a bit more distant. Don't worry. We cannot please everyone - that's a childish and dangerous illusion. Not everyone has to like you and vice versa.

Let's assume that between you and another person the room there appear to exist a few affinities: it could be a smile, some mistake you two made in common, a similarity quickly perceived. Be alert to small signs.

4. Share thoughts and experiences with this person. You don't want to overwelm him or her with too much information in the beginning, but show openness and reveal something about yourself, preferably something personal and even slightly embarrasing. You'll see it's contagious.

5. On the first opportunity, invite that person to lunch, to a movie, whatever. But - this is very important - agree on a date the sooner you both can. Avoid vague phrases like "we should meet one of these days". It's the same as saying that you've no interest at all in it.

6. Sense of humour is crucial. Everyone enjoys laughing (except sick people). There's nothing like the sense of humour to bring together two persons. Between a woman and a man, a shared sense of humour is as important as sex itself.

7. After a first encounter, be it going to see a movie together or any other shared activity, it's important to keep connected. Send an email or text this other person saying how much you enjoyed it (if it's true, of course). And then comes all the rest. Some people say it's more difficult to keep a friendship than to make a new one and we're inclined to agree. Friendship demands close attention, availability and also the willingness to cut your friends some slack. Nobody is perfect.

But then again, keeping friendships is not the subject of this post. The subject is making new friends.

Thus, let's move to the most difficult part. Some readers may be thinking: yeah, I'm aware of all that but the fact is that I can't make myself do what you suggest...

First of all: are you really aware? Of it all? Really?

In the second place: it's a fact that depression usually implies emotional withdraw - and we're not talking about schizoid personalities. A depressed person feels - that's the nature of his problem - that (s)he has nothing to say, that people don't enjoy his company, that she's afraid that being more forward makes men mistake that being on the hunt for a boyfriend, that he's afraid of treacherous friends...

The list of "buts" is infinite. Almost all of them are excuses for not daring, not taking risks, avoiding exposure. To sum it up, excuses for avoiding life and the joys and pains that it necessarily brings. We need affective bonds. All of us do. "No man is an island", as John Donne wrote.

Do you want to live or not?

 

 

No man is an island: about making new friends

We psychotherapists often hear the complaint that it was much easier to make friends when one was in high school, that when was is an adult it is much more difficult.

Let me be straightforward. It was never easy, either when you're sixteen or now that you are an adult, if you had not the will, the availability needed and some other skills that you can learn how to develop.

The first issue is will. Do you really want to make a new friend? Are you willing to listen to the other person but also to open up to someone else? Are you willing to search for new friends? Friends don't fall from the sky as you should know by now. The truth is, nothing comes from the sky except rain or snow. You have to work for it.

Now let's suppose you really want to make new friends. That you're aware that human beings need their own space but also need human contact.

Let's see what you should do.

1. Get out of your confort zone, home- o-work, work-to-home. Try to attend a long term cultural activity, a reading group, volunteer to work in a library, to enroll in a gym or dancing classes, practice a sport that implies regular attending, frequent an internet forum to share ideas and experiences with people with similar interests, learn a new language (attending classes, not on the internet), etc etc.

2. Be true to yourself. Think it over: what do I enjoy? Strange as it may seem, many people cannot answer this question. Try an exercise: if you'd wake up tomorrow morning with a new ability, what should that be? Would you like to know how to dance? Join a dance class. Would you like to be writer? Join a creative writing class. Do it right away. Make a search on the internet or ask someone, enroll, go the quickest you can to your first class. Don't think too much, just go. If it's a voluntary work, the same applies.

3. Let's assume you won your first battle again that comfortable inertia that has been pesting you for years if not decades (we'll talk about that later) and you've managed to enroll or join some group activity.

So, today is your first day in..... (fill in). Now you wonder: what shall I say when I make my appearance in .... ? Be true. Other people know well enough when we're not genuine. Introduce yourself, tell the others why you chose that activity and that you'd like to make friends with people with similar interests. Show yourself as curious and open to new experiences. Try to speak with most of the people present. Show a genuine interest in their lives and they'll be interested in yours as well. Human interaction is about exchanging. You'll find that you'll find yourself closer to a couple of persons, others will remain a bit more distant. Don't worry. We cannot please everyone - that's a childish and dangerous illusion. Not everyone has to like you and vice versa.

Let's assume that between you and another person the room there appear to exist a few affinities: it could be a smile, some mistake you two made in common, a similarity quickly perceived. Be alert to small signs.

4. Share thoughts and experiences with this person. You don't want to overwelm him or her with too much information in the beginning, but show openness and reveal something about yourself, preferably something personal and even slightly embarrasing. You'll see it's contagious.

5. On the first opportunity, invite that person to lunch, to a movie, whatever. But - this is very important - agree on a date the sooner you both can. Avoid vague phrases like "we should meet one of these days". It's the same as saying that you're not interested.

6. Sense of humour is crucial. Everyone enjoys laughing (except sick people). There's nothing like the sense of humour to bring together two persons. Between a woman and a man, a shared sense of humour is as important as sex itself.

7. After a first encounter, be it going to see a movie together or any other shared activity, it's important to keep connected. Send an email or text this other person saying how much you enjoyed it (if it's true, of course). And then comes all the rest. Some people say it's more difficult to keep a friendship than to make a new one and we're inclined to agree. Friendship demands close attention, availability and also the willingness to give your friends some slack. Nobody is perfect.

But then again, keeping friendships is not the subject of this post. The subject is making new friends.

Thus, let's move to the most difficult part. Some readers may be thinking: yeah, I'm aware of all that but the fact is that I can't make myself do what you suggest...

First of all: are you really aware? Of it all? Really?

In the second place: it's a fact that depression usually implies emotional withdraw - and we're not talking about schizoid personalities. A depressed person feels - that's the nature of his problem - that (s)he has nothing to say, that people don't enjoy his company, that she's afraid that being more forward makes men mistake that being on the hunt for a boyfriend, that he's afraid of treacherous friends...

The list of "buts" is infinite. Almost all of them are excuses for not daring, not taking risks, avoiding exposure. To sum it up, excuses for avoiding life and the joys and pains that it necessarily brings. We need affective bonds. All of us do. "No man is an island", as John Donne wrote.

Do you want to live or not?

 

 

16 Mar 2014

Quotation

 

Creativity, again

Those who read my posts already know that creativity is a particular obsession of mine. In point of fact, although I'm not an artist in the usual meaning of the word, life has taught me that it's essential to mental health to cultivate this aspect of our humanity. We are the species who created art. Why was that?

I think our brains are naturally creative but unfortunately most of us let life and its routines kill it slowly. We need to be vigilant about not letting energy and creativity die away (those two come hand in hand).

This post at Big Think (a site to follow) gives out a few clues to keep/increase our creativity. But there are more ways. Each of us must find what works for him or her. For instance, I personally think that traveling always change my mindset. Meeting different people and different ways of living is a case in point. Some movies have this same effect: bring out new ideas and perspective. The web, which has often too much information, has a few gems. Yesterday I found out about an artist who sketches with his finger on window panes and then takes photos. Simple and feasible. It "only" demands creativity.

http://bigthink.com/think-tank/10-steps-to-creativity-and-boosting-intuitive-awareness

 

9 Feb 2014

Freud's last statement

Those interested in the matters of the mind and the person of Sigmund Freud might take an interest in this video. One can hear his frail voice days before he died.

http://youtu.be/wcev6lNZeDc

28 Dec 2013

A testimony of depression

A published author, Andrew Solomon has been suffering from severe depression and writing about it.

"The opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality"

25 Dec 2013

Empathy and sympathy

Empathy is a rare skill. It can be defined as the capability of understanding what the other person is thinking and feeling, without judging.
It's not easy. However, it can be learnt and developed. Why is it so important? Well, without empathy relationships become very difficult and dry. Also you need empathy to find your way through the maze that life in society is. I mean your love life, your friendships - and your job.
One may say that empathy is one of the most important things a person learns in psychotherapy.a.
This lovely cartoon aims at explaining what empathy is and distinguishing it from sympathy.
Enjoy! Have a Happy New Year!

16 Dec 2013

Pop music, viral videos and the 21st century


Viral videos are one of those concepts that was recently introduced in modern society and seems to have had such a profound effect. Even for those of us less technology-inclined, after the massive success of Psy and his Gangnam Style, the concept seems to have caught on. An enormous online movement was started to try and create the next big viral video. Some succeed, others not so much. What is the right formula? A comedic approach to life seems to be one of the implied traits. Such is the case of the next music video straight from Norway. With almost 290 million (!!!) views and rising, the music "The Fox" became an extraordinary online success. So what is the formula? The lyrics are almost nonsense, the rhymes are purposefully comical and poorly chosen. Is it the catchy rhythm of the song that captures attention? Or the implied criticism to 21st century pop music, where the lyrics seems to be less and less important? Will we ever find a way to use this phenomenon for positive purposes? Many advertising agencies have tried to create viral publicity, but with a fairly small success rate. Whatever moves such massive amount of people is still an unknown variable (more likely, a large set of variables). But if we could, what form of positive messages could be spread worldwide?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jofNR_WkoCE

8 Dec 2013

Schizophrenia and Depression

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FU4aQ51lIXA&rdm=yd4ji3fu&client=mv-google&hl=pt-PT&guid=&gl=PT

The spiral of anxiety

Anxious, stressed, are words for a mental state where you feel you're loosing control. This feeling of loosing control both over things and ourselves is connected to most anxiety states.
However, some people are more prone to it, anxiety being part of their mental functioning since the beginning. Contact with anxious and stressed adults doesn't help because the child convinces herself that this is a normal way of functioning.
It's difficult to cope with this generalized anxiety. The biggest problem is that the person feels frustation and anger at not being able to handle it. And this brings guilt, more anxiety and sometimes depression.
One has to learn to cope with this terrible spiral that may escalate to a panic atack, which is no more than an acute state of extreme anxiety, bringing a terrible fear of death.
A panic atack may be an awful episode but has the merit of making the person realize that really needs professional help. The spiral of anxiety-frustration-anger-guilt has to be broken.
A good psychotherapist can help you understand this mechanism and start a process to break the spiral. It's not quick, since even a young person has been having this mechanism for long. But it sure helps.



(From The New Yorker)

16 Nov 2013

Trees and dreams

Between dream and reality or should I say different realities, please have a look at Daniel Barreto's photography here, a young man living and studying in Boston.

 

10 Nov 2013

The three elements of communication

We start communicating as soon as we are born. However, spontaneous as this drive may be, good and effective communication is hard to learn.

It's a life process and a never ending one. It's crucial to our professional lives but also to the way we deal with family and friends.

According to Scott Edinger, on the HBR blog, the three pillars of a good communication were devised by Aristotle more then two thousand years ago. They are: ethos, pathos and logos. Nowadays, says Scott, we should speak of integrity and credibility, emotional conexion and reason.

Do read Edinger's post interesting post here.

 

13 Oct 2013

Art as therapy

Art as been used for many years as a terapeutic technique. The link between mental health and creativity has been well established.

Philosopher Alain de Botton created a site in the same vein, based on the creativity of painters trough the centuries. It's not about your creativity but it helps. You can have a look here.

The idea is to choose the words that better describe your state of mind. I tried with "anxiety" and then "I worry about everything", a state I guess most people experience now and then.

The picture that came up is of one of my favourite painters ever, David Caspar Friedrich: "Rocky Reef on the seashore". Do try it. It's soothing and makes you think.

 

17 Sep 2013

Too much fusion becomes confusion

 

This is the last line of an interesting article by Esther Perel. She's a well know sexologist and a specialist in relationships.

In this article she analyses what she calls the perversions of intimacy: "There is sometimes a coercive element to intimacy that wants to force the adhesiveness of transparency. You want to force yourself onto someone else. Sometimes discursive elements as a disguised control. “I need to be able to tell you everything.” “If your conscience is clear, there’s nothing you can’t tell me.” Jacques Salome calls it a form of “intimate terrorism.” You have to listen to me. You have to take care of me. If you don’t, then you don’t love me".

This terrorism of intimacy may well take place under the disguise of love. That's what makes it dangerous and perverted.

You may find this article by Esther Perel here:

 

http://www.estherperel.com/the-perversions-of-intimacy-or-intimate-terrorism/

 

 

 

18 Aug 2013

Humans are creative creatures

Cave paintings are fascinating. The one above is from Chad and the other from Altamira (Spain).

What made these men who were dealing with surviving 24/24 to indulge for hours painting ceilings and walls? Was it about religion? The effects of alucinogenic drugs? You may want to read the book by Davd Whitley "Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit: The Origin of Creativity and Belief".

Who painted? Men? Women? Children? Who made those wonderful inks and pigments that lasted for centuries? I like to think that everybody could paint. Not only priests of some kind but anybody.

And why did they paint? I believe for two reasons: because they were human and because it was therapeutic. I mean, art is an intrinsic part of our mental set. Many of us just forget it and think that art is for kids or artists. We're all artists, we're all creative human beings.

Only sometimes we just don't know. Depressive people have often a tendency for not even trying. They give absurd reasons, like: "I was told when a child I was not artistic".

Who says so? Some long forgotten teacher in elementary school?

We're to blame. Nobody has the right to deprive you of this most basic human right: to express yourself. To create.

There are so many forms of artistic expression today. Painting, composing, writing, acting, sculpting, dancing, crafs, singing, playing. And also those allowed by the new technologies, which are countless: video, photo, music, etc. Try for yourself, pick up something that gives you pleasure, don't let anyone tell you what you should do or not. It's therapeutic, makes you better, improves communication, fights isolation. As the cave people had already found out.

If in doubt, look in the net for what Martha Beck has to say about art, therapy and depression. She wrote some good piece of advice.

The bottom line is: We're human, therefore we create.

 

 

12 Aug 2013

Communication can be a powerful tool

In this small video Dr. Dan Seigel, psychiatryst, suggests we can use our hand to explain how the mot primitive brain, the lymbic system, evolves to our thinking brains.

Simple and effective from the communicational point of view!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD-lfP1FBFk

 

9 Aug 2013

Children's creativity is decreasing in the US and in Europe?

(Photo: Psychology Today)
 

Americans prize themselves, and rightly so, for being great innovators, capable of figuring out new ways of doing things and new things to do.

Quoting from Peter Gray of Psychology Today:

"Perhaps this derives from our frontier beginnings, or from our unique form of democracy with its emphasis on individual freedom and respect for nonconformity. In the business world as well as in academia and the arts and elsewhere, creativity is our number one asset".

It seems things are changing for the worse. According to new reasearch, "the scores on these tests [Torrance tests of creative thinking apllied to schoolchildren] at all grade levels began to decline somewhere between 1984 and 1990 and have continued to decline ever since".

The explanation? Maybe the following, according to Peter Gray: "more and more we are subjecting children to an educational system that assumes one right answer to every question and one correct solution to every problem, a system that punishes children (and their teachers too) for daring to try different routes. We are also (...) increasingly depriving children of free time outside of school to play, explore, be bored, overcome boredom, fail, overcome failure—that is, to do all that they must do in order to develop their full creative potential".

Are we over-protecting our children and getting the results of this? I'm quite sure this is not a problem exclusive to Americans. Although I don't know of any research in Europe, I believe conclusions would point in the same direction.

If the subject interests you, you may want to have a look at the following link in Psychology Today:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201209/children-s-freedom-has-declined-so-has-their-creativity?utm_source=swissmiss&utm_campaign=cd24a79f4c-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2660ad4d17-cd24a79f4c-393315113

 

30 Jun 2013

Do your homework

Job interviews are always stressful. You never know they'll ask. How to behave is the issue.
Now, it's not only about how to behave during the interview but before. Be thoroughly, prepare yourself in advance.
The most important thing is to communicate motivation, intelligence, curiosity and initiative apart from a solid backgroung. Be your own market researcher and do your homework about the company and its competitors.
Below you'll find the link to Melissa Martin's excellent post in Carreerlism. She gives pratical suggestions as to do your own market research before encountering your prospective employer.
Hard work, no doubt. But a sure way to outstand in a crowd of job seekers.
Photo: Carreerlism

http://www.careerealism.com/interviewer-competitive-intelligence/

 

9 Jun 2013

Vertigo and fear of heights

Fear of heights is quite common and often comes with other types of phobias. Psychoanalysis considers phobias as an excessive ansiety in particular situations but also a kind of defense against more primitive kinds of anguish. It may seem pradoxical, but fear of heights often goes along with attraction for dangerous situations.

In cinema, "Vertigo", the movie by Alfred Hitchcock, is a particularly disturbing illustration of this kind of psychic phenomenon. Vertigo was recently voted the best film ever made and those who saw it know why.

No the movie, James Stewart is an ex-cop who has a paralysing fear of heights. He suffers from vertigo but also from a particular attraction for dangerous situations - and dangerous women.

The photos below come from a BuzzFeed link and don't have anything to do with the movie, except for one. They are of specially beautiful and vertiginous stairs. Hold on to the handrail!

http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/staircases-that-will-give-you-instant-vertigo?utm_source=Triggermail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Buzzfeed&utm_campaign=BuzzFeed%20Today%20v2.2

 

17 May 2013

An interesting post from Moodscope

A very interesting post about (un)hapinness from the Moodscope team.

When you look back, how do you remember yourself? Memories ann moods does't always coincide.

Read more:

http://moodscope.blogspot.pt/2013/05/what-is-happiness-anyway.html

 

14 May 2013

Avoid or dive in? The decision can determine your level of anxiety

How do you deal with emotions or painful situations?
 

 

From Time:

"When faced with a challenge, whether you deny the problems it poses or dive in to solve them in a positive way may determine how much anxiety you feel overall"


Read more:

http://healthland.time.com/2013/05/13/how-you-deal-with-your-emotions-can-influence-whether-you-have-anxiety/?xid=newsletter-healthland

 

12 May 2013

Sunrise over the South Pacific Ocean

Have a look at this awesome photo taken from the orbital station.

 

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2505.html

 

11 May 2013

Learning and curiosity

Listen to this wonderful TED talk by Kenneth Robinson

http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_how_to_escape_education_s_death_valley.html?utm_source=newsletter_weekly_2013-05-10&utm_campaign=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_content=talk_of_the_week_button

13 Apr 2013

Expressive writing

 

According to James Pennebaker, writing about our feelings and emotions or about what's upsetting us, can help not only mental health but also pshysical health.

Prof. James Pennebaker, from the University of Texas, has been conducting experiments for decades and found that writing 15 min a day for, say, 4 days in a row, can be truly helpful.

I have been listening to his interview to BBC 4 and was specially struck to the benefits in general health felt by women with breast cancer who followed Pennebaker's instructions.

The procedure is quite simple. I'll quote from Prof. Pennebaker's site:

Promise yourself that you will write for a minimum of 15 minutes a day for at least 3 or 4 consecutive days.

Once you begin writing, write continuously. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. If you run out of things to write about, just repeat what you have already written.

You can write longhand or you can type on a computer. If you are unable to write, you can also talk into a tape recorder.

You can write about the same thing on all 3-4 days of writing or you can write about something different each day. It is entirely up to you.

What to Write About

Something that you are thinking or worrying about too much
Something that you are dreaming about
Something that you feel is affecting your life in an unhealthy way
Something that you have been avoiding for days, weeks, or years.



http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/homepage/faculty/pennebaker/home2000/WritingandHealth.html

 

5 Apr 2013

Stop smoking

These are only some of the chemicals smokers inhale from a cigarette:
 


The good news is, according to NHS and ASH Report on the benefits of stop smoking for life,

After 20 minutes, blood pressure drops to a level close to that before the last cigarette. Temperature on hands and feet increases to normal.

After 8 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the body drops to normal.

After 24 hours, the risk of a heart attack decreases.

Within 3 months, the circulation improves and lung function increases by up to 30 per cent.

After 120 days, a new supply of healthy blood cells have developed.

After 1 year, the excess risk of (coronary) heart disease is half that of a smoker.

After 5 years, stroke risk is reduced to that of someone who has never smoked.

After 10 years, the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.

After 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of someone who has never smoked.
(this text was written by Helena Meadows)

3 Apr 2013

Quote by Neil deGrasse Tyson


“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you".

- Neil deGrasse Tyson's response on Reddit when asked "What can you tell a young man looking for motivation in life itself?"

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments

 

31 Mar 2013

Photography by Jean-François Rauzier


Amazing pictures by Jean-François Rauzier, a French artist.

See more at

http://www.yatzer.com/jean-francois-rauzier

 

30 Mar 2013

Brene Brown - The power of vulnerability



On a world that seems to spin faster and faster and always more agressively, where perfection seems to become a mandatory trait, from time to time someone shows up with such a simple and yet viral idea that they can change the lives of millions of people. In this extraordinary talk, Brene Brown speaks about her work and the importance of vulnerability in our everyday lives.

It never ceases to amaze me how we can change our lives for the better, sometimes by simply allowing ourselves to see our own beauty... So true of psychotherapy as well!

If you haven't had the opportunity yet, I deeply advise you to invest your free time listening to this amazing speaker:


http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html
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