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I researched all facts (research papers and reviews, web, folklor, personal experience, associations). I made summaries (sometimes in form of abrupt conclusions) of interesting things I read, thought and dreamt about. Supporting information, definitions and variations of the stories are in the internet and libraries for you to check. Simple down to Earth conclusions were drawn from complex data. Some of them inevitably corny and/or horny. Most of the articles are about animals.
I made the following articles as concise as humanly possible (on the verge of being "skeletonal") although I tried to have fun of commenting here and there.
There are four types of articles:
- documented amusing and/or silly thing, absurdities
- documented amusing research that was not widely circulated
- my interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary research efforts leading to "novel" conclusions
- mix of all the above
If you are interested in references, please, click "View", "Source" in your browser's menu bar. I will try to include references there (commented out).
Nemose: "Prologue to Heir"
- I am so busy, have several ideas pending. Meantime, here is some writing about
a character named Nemose. He looks like a good person.
Just an exerpt (if you are an author and found this entry please contact me if you want this entry removed):
... The three black robed figures made a circle around the orange-eyed Nemose priest and started shrinking the circle. Quickly, they The Nemose twitched. The monsters approached. The Nemose gripped his sword and with his free hand gripped the crying baby. Then, the attack came. In a frenzy, the leader sung his sword down towards the priest. The priest, with a twitchy movement, blocked it and swung the monster’s blade up. Seeing their chance, the two other monsters then attacked. Singlehandedly, the priest disarmed them both and kicked one to the ground. Then he spun around to block a blow from the bloodblade wielding leader. Blocking the blow, and holding the blade in the air, he kicked the monster in the abs. Unharmed, the beast grabbed the Nemose's extended leg and twisted it around spinning the priest, baby in arms, to the ground. All he fell he muttered a quick spell, "Jemru haei prov!" The two fell to the ground. The baby landed smashed under the Nemose’s body. Instantaneously, the priest got up and, magically, the baby was unharmed. ...
Whole thing (or not?) can be found here (thank you, Author!): Prologue to Heir.
Hemingway cats, polydactyl cats
- Hemigway cats, descendants of those who lived
under same roof with the famous writer, are roaming Key West - HEMINGWAY HOME & MUSEUM
and its premises freely.
Some of them, as it can be seen on one of the photos, climb into his bed and sleep peacfully
blending with the pillows. Many, but not all of the cats, are polydactyl. They inherited the
trait of their predecessors, which long time ago gave them a pass into Hemingway heart.
Whether they brought luck and happiness to him is an open question.
Here some photos from the museum:
Key to power I (learning from macaques)
It is well established that Japanese macaques (snow monkeys) are extremely intelligent.
They are constantly inventing new tricks to make their lives better. For example,
benefits of bathing in hot spring water were discovered by some macaque grandma back in sixties -
just a few generations ago.
Nowadays, sitting in the hot onsen water during freezing temperatures and harsh winter winds
is customary for the snow monkeys.
Grooming behavior in macaques, in general, and in Japanese macaques, in particular, is being extensively studied. Like us, the monkeys can derive various social benefits from grooming each other (apart from hygenic part of it): reducing conspecific tension, increasing tolerance over food, developing social bonds and cooperation, etc. Grooming partners sometimes become mating partners.
I remember seeing on TV that some Japanese macaques can collect ticks from sika deers (some parks in Japan are teeming with the deers as well as with the macaques), plant them on their own hide and then present their backs, crawling with the ticks, to preferred grooming buddies. The buddies, in their turn, by instinct, would be eager to rid their fellow team members from the yummy parasites.
After reading "The 48 laws of powers" and "The art of seduction" books by Robert Greene I undersood that the macaques studied the books well before me and, apparently, honed their skills in applying the reading material to real world situations, for example, power laws "MAKE OTHER PEOPLE COME TO YOU - USE BAIT IF NECESSARY" and "WHEN ASKING FOR HELP, APPEAL TO PEOPLE'S SELF-INTEREST, NEVER TO THEIR MERCY OR GRATITUDE" are clearly in the works here.
By the way, I admire Greene's books and would recommend them to everybody.
I could not find direct reference for the behavior described above, but I found references that describe the macaques' "grooming" the deers is not uncommon.
Japanese macaque near Nikko on the road collects snacks form driving by tourists and sika deer on the street of Miyajima (island near Hiroshima) tries to chew on some garbage:
Key to seduction 101
Delay discounting (DD) and delay of gratification (DG) are
two main measures of impulsive behavior.
Delay dicounting occurs when an individual made irreversible choice between smaller reward that comes immediately and larger reward for which he/she has to wait, moreover, some degree of uncertainty can be present as to larger reward's availability (to add the element of gambling). Parents may use this method to teach their children: "OK, I'll buy you this fire truck, but we are not going to the zoo next weekend".
Delay of gratification occurs when an individual can somewhat satisfy his/her needs at any moment, but has to wait for greater satisfaction by consistently denying to accept the smaller reward (sustained choice). For example, you are going to a restaurant and anticipate a delicious dinner but, unfortunately, you started feeling hungry earlier. There are a lot of miserable old titbits in your refrigerator to quench your hunger but you decided to wait until the planned meal, work up even greater appetite and get huge satisfaction from the food.
During waiting period for the larger reward its value is naturally diminishing or gets discounted (this process has a lot to do with development of dissapointment as well as its opposite - escalation of commitment, both of which can lead to all kinds of psychiatric disorders - from depression to aggessive behavior). One of important aspects of studies involving DD and DG is obtaining indifference points: with time in minds of testees the larger reward becomes equivalent in value with the smaller reward. The subjects do not care anymore and make their choices randomly. Imagine them rolling their eyes and saying "Whatever...".
What this has do with seduction? In one of his great books, "The art of seduction", Robert Greene covered a lot of grounds on how to seduce a person (from very beginning to the very end). Despite of diversity of topics main point stays sound and clear through the whole book - even when the person is completely taken by you and you are going bonkers in anticipation of the victory you are better to evaluate the situation with clear head, and, most likely, you will conclude that the consummation should be delayed in order to extract as much pleasure from it as humanly possible once the moment is exactly right. However, you always need to make sure that your victim will never reach the indifference point.
Beast, ocean, and war, what else?
The foreign exchange market is the largest financial market in the world.
Unlike the stock markets it does not have a defined physical location -
it exists in the huge computer network where selected human beings
sit at their computers around the clock trading currencies worldwide in a split
seconds on a scale that is beyond imagination of the rest of us.
Fifty five of these human beings, senior foreign exchange experts in banks and at finantial news providers in Europe, were intervewed to find out how they feel about the market as an entity.
The subjects expressed their feelings in two different contexts: (1) they were rumbling about the market "predictability" without guidance, and (2), they were asked explicitly to find best metaphorical description of the market and their relashionship with it.
The former context is where they were expressing feelings sincerely and without reservations.
In the order of the frequency of the metaphor and with a sample expression in the brackets the market is:
- the living being (beast or lover) ("the market is nervous")
- the ocean ("money are sloshing around")
- the war ("if you do nothing, you are killed")
- bazaar ("very similar to people buying and selling vegetables")
- gambling ("it becomes like a compulsive gambler's syndrome")
- sports ("to me trading is like sports")
- machine ("I should have got more mileage out of this machine")
The order was different when the participants were explicitly asked to find best metaphor.
(Oberlechner T, Slunecko T, Kronberger N. Surfing the money tides: understanding the foreign exchange market through metaphors. Br J Soc Psychol. 2004 Mar;43(Pt 1):133-56. PMID: 15035702)
Yesterday (November 20, 2008) was the day when stock market had "hit rock bottom". Today, in the very early morning (6 am EST) of November 21, 2008 the banner phrase of the starting stock market day was "bottom fishing" meaning that US market is looking up because some valuable stocks became so cheap that "bottom fishers" will try to slurp'em.
Does phrase "bottom fishing" combine metaphors "ocean" and "sports"?
Is there a way to analyze our metaphoric thinking? Please ask them scientists.
Well, anyway, the market was merely floating above zero until mid afternoon. Then, the president-elect Obama announced his treasury guy and the market jumped 400+ points.
Market is: a beast?
neurotic housewife on "...-pam?"
optimistic driver on 270 at 7 am,
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Freeze, Flight, Fight, Fright, Faint
"Freeze, Flight, Fight, Fright, Faint" is one of popular descriptions
of the sequence of states experienced by frightened or
even amoeba rectracts its pseudopodia ("freezes") when bothered.
Many organisms, from ants to possums, take this initial reaction to the
they "play dead" when faced with
inescapable life-threatening danger. While playing dead,
these organisms are alert and aware of the situation, ready
to take an adequate action at the earliest opportunity.
This behavior is not inherent to humans but is often copied by trained
individuals to the great advantage in combat, etc.
"Normal" people, however, do not play dead as the animals and action heroes do,
they loose their consciousness (faint), fall down on the ground where
they lie in "blissful unawareness".
In literature it is also often called a "welcome relief".
It seems that in animal world only humans can blackout like that in a face
of danger. Why?
One theory is that the fainting
is a protective reaction against possible PTSD (postraumatic stress disorder).
What makes us so vulnerable to the PTSD that it became epidemic?
Is it the
complexity of our brains and psyches?
Was the PTSD so
deleterious to the fitness of our ancestors that
the apparent disadvantage of being helpless in the critical survival
moment was favored by evolution?
These questions face us today, in times when it became
obvious how many of us suffer from PTSDs.
To add to the mix: can our addictiveness to drugs or our impulse to drink ourselves to stupor under stress be akin the fainting reaction? The former usually occurs under chronic stress, the latter is caused by acute fear. Maybe it is just a matter of available time?
- Bracha HS. Freeze, flight, fight, fright, faint: adaptationist perspectives on the acute stress response spectrum. CNS Spectr. 2004 Sep PMID: 15337864
- Bracha HS. Human brain evolution and the "Neuroevolutionary Time-depth Principle:" Implications for the Reclassification of fear-circuitry-related traits in DSM-V and for studying resilience to warzone-related posttraumatic stress disorder. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Jul PMID: 16563589
- Benditt DG, Goldstein M. Cardiology patient page. Fainting. Circulation. 2002 Aug 27 PMID: 12196326
- van Dijk JG. Fainting in animals. Clin Auton Res. 2003 Aug PMID: 12955549
- van Dijk JG, Sheldon R. Is there any point to vasovagal syncope? Clin Auton Res. 2008 Aug PMID: 18682890
- Alboni P, Alboni M, Bertorelle G. The origin of vasovagal syncope: to protect the heart or to escape predation? Clin Auton Res. 2008 Aug PMID: 18592129