Showing posts from February 3, 2019

Banshee - Irish Mythology

What is a Banshee?
It’s a dark night in Ireland, and the forests are filled with mist. A bloodcurdling wail slices open the silence—and it is followed by more cries. You might think that the anguished cries are coming from a dying person, and in a way, you would be right. These are the cries of the ghostly Banshee, meant as a warning that death approaches.

Physical Description Despite their good intentions, Banshees don’t look like the friendliest of creatures! They can appear as withered old hags or supernaturally beautiful women. They wear shadowy grey cloaks or silvery shrouds over red or green dresses. Their hair, which can be red or a pale color that “shimmers like wildfire,” is long and windblown. And their eyes are always inflamed from weeping.
The Scottish bean nighe, which are often considered Scottish banshees, can be identified by a few unusual signs: their breasts droop, they have only one nostril, and their feet are webbed like a duck.

Personality Banshees may seem ghoul…

Why Celebrating Birthdays Are Important

When we were younger, most of us knew that having a birthday meant having a birthday party, getting treated special, not getting in trouble and getting presents and cupcakes. When we were younger, birthday parties were where we decided who the great friends are; you know, the ones who would give you that birthday present that you secretly eyed and left not-so-subtle hints about or those who loved chocolate cake as much as you. When we were younger, birthdays were fun social events that we eagerly anticipated; so what happened?
Why is it that as we get older, birthdays become something to be ashamed of and age is corresponded with irrelevance and lack of importance? I still have trouble wrapping my mind around why it is that people who seemingly have lived a fulling life are so eager to put life into slow motion and anxiously counting down days till the next birthday. The way I see it, birthdays should be celebrated at all ages.
Let me break down my thought process here…
First of all,…

Existential Depression in Gifted Individuals

It has been my experience that gifted and talented persons are more likely to experience a type of depression referred to as existential depression. Although an episode of existential depression may be precipitated in anyone by a major loss or the threat of a loss which highlights the transient nature of life, persons of higher intellectual ability are more prone to experience existential depression spontaneously. Sometimes this existential depression is tied into the positive disintegration experience referred to by Dabrowski (1996).
Existential depression is a depression that arises when an individual confronts certain basic issues of existence. Yalom (1980) describes four such issues (or "ultimate concerns")--death, freedom, isolation and meaninglessness. Death is an inevitable occurrence. Freedom, in an existential sense, refers to the absence of external structure. That is, humans do not enter a world which is inherently structured. We must give the world a structure w…

You Have A Hive Mind

Every decision you make is essentially a committee act. Members chime in, options are weighed, and eventually a single proposal for action is approved by consensus. The committee, of course, is the densely knit society of neurons in your head. And “approved by consensus” is really just a delicate way of saying that the opposition was silenced.
Our brains seem to work not by generating only “correct” actions and executing them in serial, but rather by representing many possibilities in parallel, and suppressing all but one. When this inhibitory action is lost, as happens in people with frontal lobe damage, these multiple possibilities become a burden, and can lead to so-called utilization behaviors. Such impaired individuals will indiscriminately reach for objects placed in front of them - a hairbrush or a hammer, for example - and use them even in inappropriate contexts.
In essence, despite our feeling that we are singular, unified agents, we are more like hive minds unto ourselves, …

Marie Curie: Mother of Radiation

Marie Curie (1867 – 1934) was a Polish scientist who won a Nobel prize in both Chemistry and Physics.She made ground-breaking work in the field of Radioactivity, enabling radioactive isotypes to be isolated for the first time. During the First World War, Curie developed the practical use of X-Rays; she also discovered two new elements, polonium and radium. Her pioneering scientific work was made more remarkable because of the discrimination which existed against women in science at the time. She was the first female professor at the University of Paris and broke down many barriers for women in science. “Humanity needs practical men, who get the most out of their work, and, without forgetting the general good, safeguard their own interests. But humanity also needs dreamers, for whom the disinterested development of an enterprise is so captivating that it becomes impossible for them to devote their care to their own material profit.”  – Marie Curie  Short Bio Marya Sklodowska was born …

Project Blue Book

In June 1947, while flying his small plane, businessman and civilian pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine objects moving at high speeds through the skies over Washington’s Mount Rainier. Widely publicized reports of Arnold’s experience, followed by an increasing number of reported UFO sightings, led the U.S. Air Force to begin an investigation into the sightings, called Operation Sign, in 1948.
The initial investigation resulted in the formation of Project Blue Book in 1952; that project became the longest running of the U.S. government’s official inquiries into UFO sightings, compiling reports on more than 12,000 sightings or related events from 1952 to its dismantling in 1969.

Early Sightings Though reports of mysterious flying objects–often attributed to spirits, angels, phantoms, ghosts or other supernatural phenomena–have existed for centuries, World War II and the accompanying development of rocket science marked a new level of interest in what would officially become know…

Living a Meaningful Life

Although we might think happiness – or the pursuit of it – will make us feel better about ourselves and our lives, research indicates that it’s actually finding greater meaning in our lives that, at the end of the day – or our lives – is more fulfilling.In Emily Esfahani Smith’s fascinating article, "There is more to happiness than being happy," she reports, "While happiness is an emotion felt in the here and now, it ultimately fades away, just as all emotions do; positive affect and feelings of pleasure are fleeting. The amount of time people report feeling good or bad correlates with happiness but not at all with meaning. Meaning, on the other hand, is enduring. It connects the past to the present to the future." We wholeheartedly agree, and have devoted our professional careers to helping to make that a reality shared by as many people as possible.

The Pursuit of Happiness
In the days of yore, our nation’s Founding Fathers included in the Constitution a concept…