Daydreaming gets a pretty bad rap. It’s often equated with laziness, and we tend to write off people with wandering minds as being absent-minded “space cadets” who can’t get their heads out of the clouds.
Though we all spend close to 50 percent of our waking lives in a state of mind-wandering, according to one estimate, some research casts daydreaming in a negative light. A 2010 Harvard study linked spacing out with unhappiness, concluding that “a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.” But could these unconscious thinking processes actually play a pivotal role in the achievement of personal goals?
In a radical new theory of human intelligence, one cognitive psychologist argues that having your head in the clouds might actually help people to better engage with the pursuits that are most personally meaningful to them. According to Scott Barry Kaufman, NYU psychology professor and author of Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, we need a new definition of intelligence — one that factors in our deepest dreams and desires.
December 6, 2013
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December 6, 2013
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Close to 50 percent of our waking hours are spent daydreaming — so why not make those visions worth your while? Not only does a wandering mind provide a quick mental escape, it actually produces numerous brain benefits. Studies have found that daydreaming can be linked to better test scores and a more engaged mind, which may help with recalling information when surrounded by distractions.
Putting our head in the clouds is also crucial to the creative process. In fact, many great ideas — from Salvador Dali’s great works of art to songs by the Beatles — came from letting dreams and imaginations run wild. Check out the imagination quotes below from these famous dreamers and thinkers. Then, the next time your mind starts to drift, let it.
December 5, 2013
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Making choices about life depends critically on the ability to imagine possibilities. Speaking as an advocate for liberal education, I believe that the central liberal art — the art that frees us from the shackles of our pasts, our times, our places, our familiar opinions, our inherited prejudices, and the conventions of our day, the art that gives us the freedom to think about the world of possibilities — is the Art of Imagination. We all possess imagination, just as we all possess intellect. But sometimes we suppress it, or we have had it beaten out of us, or we have dulled it by our daily routines. To see what our lives might become, we need to awaken the imagination and give it room to roam. We need to be able to wonder at the possibilities that are open to us. Both imagination and wonder can be nurtured by stories from our childhood, by fairy tales, by books, dramas, and musical performances — in short, by exposure to the great and the beautiful in any form. Photographs, works of fine art, and movies provide powerful stimulants to the imagination, and seem to be able to show us wonderful things we might not encounter in our everyday lives.
December 5, 2013
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One woman’s Italian vacation took a turn for the worse when she woke up with pain in her ear one night. She had no way of knowing then that she’d just been bitten by a Mediterranean recluse spider, and that a chunk of her ear would soon be liquefied by the spider’s venom. But that’s exactly what happened, according to a recent report of her case.
The 22-year-old woman soon sought treatment for her pain in an Italian hospital, where doctors prescribed an antihistamine. But the swelling in her face and pain in her ear didn’t get any better. Once she was back home in the Netherlands, the ear got worse, and portions of it turned black — a clear sign that the skin and cartilage cells were dead.
The dead tissue made it clear to doctors that the woman had been bitten by a Mediterranean recluse, a spider whose bite is known to destroy skin and underlying fat, causing “sunken-in” scars or “a disfigured ear, if you are very unlucky,” said Dr. Marieke van Wijk, a plastic surgeon in the Netherlands involved in the woman’s treatment.
November 30, 2013
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If you’re feeling completely confused about whether you should cut fat from your diet, you are not alone. But here’s the bottom line: Fat does not make you fat or sick.
So, why do so many people believe that fat is bad for you and causes heart attacks? This all started in the Dr. Key’s Seven Countries Study decades ago that examined heart risk based on lifestyle and dietary habits. He found that in the countries where people ate more fat — especially saturated fat — there were more cases of heart disease, and he concluded that the fat caused the disease. But here’s the problem with this study: Correlation is not causation. Just because both fat intake and heart disease were higher among the same population doesn’t mean the heart disease was caused by the fat consumption. Here’s another way to look at it: Every day, you wake up and the sun comes up, but although these events happen at the same time, you waking up doesn’t cause the sun to come up. A study that observed this would show a 100 percent correlation between these two events, but it would be wrong to conclude that you caused the sun to rise.
November 30, 2013
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It feels like there is a simultaneous conversation happening at Thanksgiving tables across the country. You eat a big meal — which includes a generous helping of turkey — and all of a sudden you’re feeling like you really want to lie down and take a nap.
“It’s the tryptophan,” says Aunt Doris or Grandma Peggy or that cousin who always makes a big point of announcing that she’s watching her weight this year. Everyone nods in agreement, as if the tryptophan is a perfectly reasonable excuse. Unfortunately, the reality is that you just ate way too much.
It’s high time that we set the record straight.
November 29, 2013
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A healthy 20-year-old woman was running on a beach with friends when she fell on the wet sand. After briefly standing, she fell again, and within 30 seconds, became unresponsive. Her lips turned blue and she started gasping for breath. Her friends quickly called the paramedics and performed CPR, but it didn’t help, according to a recent report of her case.
She was pronounced dead within half an hour. What happened?
According to the case report, the impact of the woman’s body on the sand when she fell was enough to prompt a rare heart condition called commotio cordis, in which the heart is jolted into an arrhythmic pattern, after which it stops altogether. The report was published online Nov. 1 in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine.
November 27, 2013
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I just watched ‘RED DAWN”
November 23, 2013
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Vitamin D deficiency and autoimmune disorders
A study has linked vitamin D deficiency with an increased risk for cancer and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis MS, and lupus. Researchers found, through mapping vitamin D receptors binding throughout the human genome, that vitamin D deficiency is a major environmental factor in increasing the risk of developing these disorders.