From sciencedaily.com:

According to research by psychologists at UC Santa Barbara and the University of British Columbia, exposure to the surrealism in, say, Kafka’s “The Country Doctor” or Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” enhances the cognitive mechanisms that oversee implicit learning functions. The researchers’ findings appear in an article published in the September issue of the journal Psychological Science.

Read the full article here.

This is a basic backgrounder for Americans, primarily, who might think Europeans do nothing all day but bitch about Americans. Don’t get me wrong—they do love bitching about Americans. But they also like bitching about each other, as well. Bordering countries, especially, have complex caricatures of each other, even when an outsider might think they’re more or less the same.

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9 Tips to be More Creative

September 4th, 2007

Courtesy of here to create.

Everyone can use a little more inspiration, whether at work, school, or home. Try these tips to boost your creativity.

1. Remember, being creative isn’t only for “artsy” people

Many people think creativity is about having artistic skills. They say, “I can’t write, I can’t paint, and every time I take a photo I put my finger over the lens. I’m just not creative.” I say, “You can be a creative person. You are a creative person already, you just don’t know it.” Creativity is about using your imagination in every endeavor. It’s not just for artists.

2. Learn something every day

Creativity often involves adapting an idea to make it your own. Continually expose yourself to new ideas and the creative well will never run dry. Always have a book on your nightstand, if you can. Download audio books or check them out from the library to play while driving or exercising. Above all, learn something from every experience.

3. Get outside

Whether it’s outside your house or just outside your mind, changing your perspective will help the ideas flow. Many people find connecting with nature to be a good way to slow their frantic lives. Sometimes all you need is a little peace and quiet to hear what your mind has to say.

4. Drink enough water

I’m always amazed at how much more clearly I think when I’m well-hydrated. The Mayo Clinic says that symptoms of mild dehydration include tiredness, headache, muscle weakness, and dizziness. So drink up and think more clearly.

5. Exercise

As with drinking water, I don’t always realize how much of my energy comes from exercising until I have to stop. I had an amazing spurt of productivity recently when I renewed my commitment to exercise every day. But I pushed myself too hard, hurt my knees, and had to take a break. I’ve felt sluggish ever since. I’m looking forward to the burst of creative energy I’ll get when I go back to the gym.

6. Think big

If you’re stuck working out the details of a project, step back. Go over your goals for the project, and remind yourself what you expect from the result. Remember: the world will not end if every detail is not perfect. Being able to relax and see things from the long view helps keep the creativity flowing.

7. Think small

At the same time, don’t get lost in the big picture and forget to think about the details. Having a creative vision is important, often essential. But the details make the whole thing come together. Take time to plan out the small steps you’ll need to climb to your final result. Having a well-designed plan will give you a solid base from which to let your creativity run wild.

8. Pretend you’re ten and haven’t yet forgotten how to use your imagination

One of my favorite books is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Every time I read it I’m reminded of the importance of wonder. Curiosity, imagination, and wonder are qualities we often expect to leave behind as we grow to adulthood. But that’s a mistake. These three things are the basic ingredients of creativity. Remember what it was like when the whole world was waiting to be discovered? Recapture that feeling and your creativity will surge.

9. Daydream

Productivity is important, but it’s not an end in itself. Being organized, motivated, and getting things done only improves your life when it leaves you time to dream. Have you ever noticed that a lot of your best thinking is in the shower? Having time to yourself when you don’t have to be tightly focused on your next deadline is essential to creativity.

From lifehack.org:

Most people learn over time, but often learning comes too late to be fully useful. There are certainly many things that I know now that would have been extremely useful to me earlier in my life; things that could have saved me from many of the mistakes and hurts I suffered over the years—and most of those that I inflicted on others too.

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From Giles Bowkett’s web site:

With a corporation, you should only tell your boss about success you’ve attained or problems you need him to solve. This is because corporate managers deal mainly in delegations, introductions, and schedules.

If you tell a corporate manager about a problem only you can solve, he/she will think, ah, they’re telling me about a problem they have, I don’t know how to solve it, so I’ll delegate this to XYZ person. Then you end up with XYZ person tripping all over the problem space, trying to figure it out, while you try to implement the solution.

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Every day, 2.2 million Americans complain of being tired. Most of us chalk it up to having too much to do and not enough time to do it in, especially during extra-busy periods. But often the true culprits are our everyday habits: what we eat, how we sleep, and how we cope emotionally.

Click here for some simple, recharging changes that can help you tackle all of the energy stealers in your life.

Reincarnation or (Tanaasokh) has been always a question for me, I found the following paragraph cool:

“Your book references quantum physics. How do quantum theories relate to reincarnation, do you think?

I think they relate in the sense that the physical universe is not what it seems to be, from what we can tell from quantum mechanics. And at least on a quantum level, it seems to be dependent on our observation of it. Quantum physicists talk about electrons, or events being potential, rather than actual physical entities. So that there are various potentials, basically until somebody looks, and then it sort of forces the universe to make a determination about which potential is going to be actualized.

So one take-home message from that is that consciousness is not just a by-product of a physical brain but is actually a separate entity in the universe that has a big impact on things in the universe. And there are people looking at the idea of how, in a quantum way, consciousness can affect the physical brain. If you are open to that possibility, if you are truly going to consider the fact that consciousness is that separate entity in the universe, then you have to consider the possibility that consciousness is not dependent on just being a by-product of a functioning brain. It’s going to continue after the brain dies.”

Above paragraph was one of the questions of an interview with a Phsyciatrist, here is the link to the full interview:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2006/06/12/findrelig.DTL

Courtesy of Reza (Vancouver)

Ever get bullied at work?

November 19th, 2006

Coworkers use blundering used car salesman as air rifle target, ashtray…

The Turnip

July 25th, 2006

The Turnip, by The Brothers Grimm.

Good Karma

June 16th, 2006

Most of us have probably seen this at one point, but it’s a good to have a read of it again, eh?

Right-click and download (PowerPoint file)

L&R