Can we perfectly understand our imperfect senses?

Spectrum1 SoundHave you ever met someone who has a perfect pitch? It is pretty cool. I once asked a friend who had perfect pitch if he could tell me what note a street building ventilation system was producing. He listened for a minute and said: “Just below Bb.” I loaded my tuner app to check and sure enough he was spot on.

In reality, most people can’t do this. Instead, they have relative pitch, which means that when they hear a certain note they can then determine other notes relative to that one. One can develop this relative pitch more through practice and listening, yet even then, if you play someone a note and ask what note it is, they will still at most make a rough guess whether it is in the bass, mid or treble range.

Throughout the years I myself have learned to hear how certain note intervals, chords and chord progressions sound and how notes relate to each other, but if you played me a note I still wouldn’t know what note it actually is. In fact, I perceive music more visually than through hearing which makes it even harder for me to “hear it”. I visualize scales and calculate and count relationships between notes.

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Why can’t villains in kids’ movies ever find love?

Villains never find LoveOnce we label someone evil, we are very easily prone to conclude that all that’s left for them is to be punished. When we decide they have wronged us, they don’t deserve love, nor any kind of understanding. Because, when someone is “evil”, no amount of kindness and empathy will work on them, so they must be either penalized, locked away or killed. But if we like someone or they are close to us in some way, they seem to often get leave-way on this, even if they end up doing similarly “bad” acts. Classic Disney movies tend to especially perpetuate this way of thinking and behaving. Here are some movies I’d like to explore, especially since I just recently finally saw some of these cartoon classics:

The Little Mermaid

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Walk this way, Work this way!

Treadmill Standing Work StationI first heard about the work-desk treadmill back in 2008 from John Medina’s “Brain Rules” book. In a nutshell, moving and exercise improves the way our brain works and we get better work done if we are physically moving while we are working. It has been six months since I’ve actually made this idea a reality. A good friend had emailed me at the beginning of the year saying that he was planning on putting this together himself.

I suddenly realized that I didn’t want to wait another five years knowing about this amazing vision and not implement it. So I organized myself, planned it and built it. Since then, I have been walking at least five miles a day while working alone. In the past, I would have gone for exercise between work, now I sit to rest in between doing work! This has been hands down, one of the best investments I have ever made. And it doesn’t have to be a large investment at all if you are a bit resourceful. Believe it or not, this set-up cost me less than $150 in total!

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A belief is all you have, so how do you get it as close to reality?

Beliefs and SleepA friend sent me a link about a research where people camped in nature for a week and discovered that their sleep patterns synched with the rising and setting of the Sun. Having accepted myself as a natural night owl, I promptly dismissed this research in my mind and didn’t finish reading the article.  I’d read research in the past about chronotypes and other articles, talks and books (Medina – Brain Rules) that explained that small percentage of people are natural night owls and I had accepted this belief.

Regardless of whether this new article would in reality conflict with my previous beliefs, I was so glad have caught myself dismissing this new info purely because it didn’t “resonate with me”. This happens all the time to all of us. And most of the time we are not even aware of it and we end up going along with some belief that is not only incorrect, but can sometimes even be harmful to us. Yet we take ourselves seriously about what we know. Here’s the thing: all humans have are beliefs. It’s just a matter of how close our beliefs and understandings come to what is really going on out there. Surrounded by an ocean of online information and “popularity contests” through social networks, we are bombarded with information. Most people  barely have time in their busy lives to finish reading a blog like this, let alone put the time into the subject matter and check out in detail any reference links. Even if they did, would they know how to tell apart a trusting source from an untrusting one or to discern well framed reasonings from ones that are flooded with hard to spot logical fallacies?

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The Art of balancing Love and Work

The Art of Balancing Love and WorkI fully enjoyed going through Richard Templar’s simple list of love rules in his book “The Rules of Love” and when I found out that he wrote other books with similar topics I wanted to see what he had to say about work in his book “The Rules of Work”. I was curious about the differences and similarities between these two worlds that are such a big part of everyone’s life and how one can learn to balance the two and know which rules not to mix up and which to apply in both circumstances.

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My Lesson on Sexism – The Female Perspective

Man and Woman 2A couple of months ago I wrote an article where I explored my first hands-on experience with a man passing a sexist comment and my conversation the day after with some women that were affected by it. I mainly explored what might be going on for the person passing on the sexist comment, and now, to close the loop, I’d like to explore what might be going on for the person on the receiving end of the sexist comment. My intention with creating the full picture of the situation is to support everyone in connecting in a challenging situation like this. It is usually an unpleasant experience for everyone when communication breakdown in these circumstances happens.

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See no Red, Hear no Red, Speak no Red

See Hear Speak No RedI’ve just recently learned what the expression “to see red” means.  And right around the same time I learned what the word alexithymia meant too. Two are related in such a way that if you have alexithymia, you might likely end up seeing red.  In case you are ESL just like I am (although I’m actually ETL), “seeing red” is associated with one becoming angry. And in case you are not a clinical psychotherapist just like I’m not, alexithymia stands for a behavioral trait where one has a difficulty experiencing, expressing, and describing emotions.

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My Lesson on Sexism – The Male Perspective

Man and WomanUp until last summer I actually did not know what the expression “sexist” meant. We were in a group discussing music, and one female participant said that she loved seeing more and more teenage girls involved in music, as it’s a male dominated world. As she thanked the teenagers who were there for coming, a male friend who was there added, “yah, and you girls are hot too!” At the time I didn’t make much of it.

The next day, a female friend approached me and said, “can you believe the nerve on that person, so sexist!” I was a bit surprised, “ah really? That was sexist?” She was taken aback by my response and said, “of course it was.” As I curiously asked, “what really is sexism?”, she got tense, assumed a position, her voice raised, “you really want to bring on this topic!? Are you sure you want to do this!?” Unguardedly, I replied, “totally, I would love to know what sexism is”.

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My Relationships Upkeep Resolution

Relationship UpkeepI recently started visiting a physiotherapist regularly.  People asked me whether I was injured. I realized that this had more to do with preventing injury, rather than repairing an injury. It is just like taking a car to a maintenance shop. Our bodies need simple upkeep, especially if we might have slightly pulled a muscle during a strenuous activity or went out of alignment when we lifted some heavy box or did an excessive stretch. Relationships are no different.

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A Closer Look