Category Archives: Behavior

In Search of Happiness

What is your approach to happiness? This subject came to my attention recently thanks to the cover article in the Jan 16-23 issue of Time magazine. This special section, entitled “The Happiness Revival Guide,” includes a brief article “Catastrophizing Doesn’t Have to Be Catastrophic” by Martin Seligman, a University of Pennsylvania professor and coauthor of

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On Wasting Time

The older I get, the more time becomes important. (This leads to some interesting discussions with middle school students when I think they are wasting their time, but that’s another subject.) So I was intrigued by the article “The Biggest Wastes Of Time We Regret When We Get Older” by Kristin Wong (https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-biggest-wastes-of-time-we-regret-when-we-get-older?). It sounded

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Addition by Subtraction

When you are asked to improve something, how often do you think about additions? For home renovation, isn’t it always what you can add? Or for business brainstorming sessions, which new projects to take on? But there is a case to be made for taking away. Sometimes we can do better by removing, streamlining and

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How To Avoid Emotional Decisions

Have you ever felt you needed to make a decision, but you really didn’t feel up to it? And whenever you’ve felt that way, your decisions don’t turn out well? You may be onto something. We simply don’t function well under certain conditions, like when we’re tired or hungry. That’s when you’re most likely do

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How Many Emotions Do You Have?

In the 2015 Pixar animated feature Inside Out, Riley had five emotions — Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. Cute, but is that all? How many emotions do we really have? According to “The Benefits of Emodiversity” by David Brooks in The Atlantic (www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/11/benefits-emotional-diversity/620629/?), there are more. A lot more. For example, the Japanese have age-otori,

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Confronting Aging

I had signed up to substitute teach yesterday and today for an English/language arts teacher at the middle school. While I was working another job earlier in the week, he made it a point to come find me. In order to teach his eight-graders, I was going to have to prepare, so he gave me

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Time To Hug Your… Rice?

Of all the adaptations forced on us by the pandemic, I’ve found one that really takes the cake… er, prize. Perhaps the worst part of the pandemic is the cutoff from human contact. From routine family visits to special events like weddings and graduations, we haven’t been able to get together. The worst is when

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Declared Insane For Speaking Up

Nancy Pelosi needs help fast! There is either something wrong with her “upstairs,” or she just plain doesn’t like our great Country. She had a total meltdown in the White House today. It was very sad to watch. Pray for her, she is a very sick person! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2019

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Why Do Humans Dominate?

Most people might think this is a dumb question. Our dominion over the Earth was the Divine plan. But scientists approach such questions from a different angle. Consequently, they get a different answer. From a purely scientific viewpoint, the key to humanity’s world domination is our use of energy. First came our mastery of fire.

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The Laws of Stupidity

In the Disney animated feature The Lion King, when the royal usurper Scar exclaims, “I’m surrounded by idiots!”, he may have been onto something. Carlo M. Cipolla certainly thought so. In 1976, Cipolla, a professor of economic history at the University of California, Berkeley, published an essay entitled “The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity” (http://harmful.cat-v.org/people/basic-laws-of-human-stupidity/).

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