Archive for ‘Health’

November 10, 2018

Plogging

David_Sedaris

Plogging (Swedish: ‘plocka upp’) is a combination of jogging with picking up litter. It started as an organized activity in Sweden around 2016 and spread to other countries in 2018, following increased concern about plastic pollution. As a workout, it provides variation in body movements by adding bending, squatting and stretching to the main action of running.

Author David Sedaris combines litter picking with exercise in the Parham, Coldwaltham and Storrington districts of West Sussex, taking up to 60,000 steps a day in pursuit of local rubbish. He was so effective in keeping his neighborhood clean that the local authority named a waste vehicle in his honor.

September 18, 2018

Pollyanna Principle

14,000 Things to be Happy About

The Pollyanna principle (also called ‘Pollyannaism’ or ‘positivity bias’) is the tendency for people to remember pleasant items more accurately than unpleasant ones. At the subconscious level, the mind typically focuses on the optimistic. At the conscious level, it tends towards the negative.

This subconscious bias towards the positive is often described as the Pollyanna principle and is similar to the ‘Forer’ or ‘Barnum’ effect, a tendency for individuals to give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically to them, that are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people (an impulse that fortune tellers and personality tests take advantage of).

read more »

July 1, 2018

Cat Lady

Eleanor Abernathy

cat lady is a cultural archetype or a stock character, often depicted as a woman, a middle-aged or elderly spinster, who owns many pet cats. The term can be considered pejorative, though it is sometimes embraced.

A cat lady may also be an animal hoarder who keeps large numbers of cats without having the ability to properly house or care for them. They may be ignorant about their situation, or generally unaware of their situation. People who are aware of it are not normally considered cat ladies.

read more »

February 15, 2018

Choke

Miracle at the New Meadowlands

In sports, a choke is the failure of a sportsperson or team in a game in a situation where maintaining their performance is highly important.

This can occur in a game or tournament that they are strongly favored to win, or in an instance where they have a large lead that they squander in the late stages of the event. It can also refer to repeated failures in the same event, or simply infer an unexpected failure when the event is more important than usual.

read more »

January 31, 2018

Endurance Training

Raramuri

Endurance training is the act of exercising to remain active for extended periods of time, resisting fatigue. The term generally refers to training the aerobic system as opposed to the anaerobic system.

The need for endurance in sports is often predicated as the need of cardiovascular and simple muscular endurance, but the issue of endurance is more complex. Endurance in sport is closely tied to the execution of skill and technique. A well conditioned athlete can be defined as, the athlete who executes his or her technique consistently and effectively with the least effort.

read more »

November 29, 2016

Rolling Coal

kiss my gas

Rolling coal is the practice of modifying a diesel engine to increase the amount of fuel entering the engine in order to emit an under-aspirated sooty exhaust that visibly pollutes the air. It also may include the intentional removal of the particulate filter. Practitioners often additionally modify their vehicles by installing smoke switches and smoke stacks.

Rolling coal is a form of conspicuous air pollution, for entertainment or for protest. Some drivers intentionally trigger coal rolling in the presence of hybrid vehicles (a practice called ‘Prius repellent’) to taunt their drivers, who are perceived as being environmentally motivated in their vehicle choice. Coal rolling may also be triggered at foreign cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Users cite ‘American freedom’ and ‘a stand against rampant environmentalism’ as reasons for coal rolling.

read more »

November 22, 2016

Naïve Realism

lee ross

bias blind spot

In social psychology, naïve realism is the human tendency to believe that we see the world around us objectively, and that people who disagree with us must be uninformed, irrational, or biased. It provides a theoretical basis for several other cognitive biases, which are systematic errors in thinking and decision-making.

Naïve realism causes people to exaggerate differences between themselves and others. Psychologists believe that it can spark and exacerbate conflict, as well as create barriers to negotiation through several different mechanisms. 

read more »

November 1, 2016

Death From Laughter

chrysippus

Death from laughter is a rare form of death, usually resulting from cardiac arrest or asphyxiation, caused by a fit of laughter. Instances of death by laughter have been recorded from the times of ancient Greece to the modern day. Certain brain injuries can cause pathological, uncontrollable laughter such as infarction of the pons and medulla oblongata.

Laughter can cause atonia and collapse (‘gelastic syncope,’ a short episode of low blood pressure caused by laughter), which in turn can cause trauma. Gelastic seizures, a rare type of seizure that involves a sudden burst of energy, usually in the form of laughing or crying, can be due to focal lesions to the hypothalamus. Depending upon the size of the lesion, the emotional lability (mood swings) may be a sign of an acute condition, and not itself the cause of the fatality. Gelastic syncope has also been associated with the cerebellum.

read more »

October 25, 2016

Einstellung Effect

two-string

nine dots problem

Einstellung [ahyn-stel-luhng] (German: ‘attitude’) is the development of a mechanized state of mind. Often called a ‘problem solving set,’ Einstellung refers to a person’s predisposition to solve a given problem in a specific manner even though better or more appropriate methods of solving the problem exist. The Einstellung effect is the negative effect of previous experience when solving new problems. It has been tested experimentally in many different contexts.

The Einstellung effect occurs when a person is presented with a problem or situation that is similar to problems they have worked through in the past. If the solution (or appropriate behavior) to the problem/situation has been the same in each past experience, the person will likely provide that same response without giving the problem too much thought. This behavior is heuristical (related to mental shortcuts), it is one of the human brain’s ways of finding solutions as efficiently as possible.

read more »

October 11, 2016

Vanity Sizing

sizes

Vanity sizing, or ‘size inflation,’ is the phenomenon of ready-to-wear clothing of the same nominal size becoming bigger in physical size over time. This has been documented primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom. Vanity sizing tends to occur where clothing sizes are not standardized, such as the U.S. market. In 2003, a study that measured over 1,000 pairs of women’s pants found that pants from more expensive brands tended to be smaller than those from cheaper brands with the same nominal size.

In Sears’s 1937 catalog, a size 14 dress had a bust size of 32 inches. In 1967, that bust size was used for size 8 dresses. In 2011, it was a size 0. Some argue that vanity sizing is designed to satisfy wearers’ wishes to appear thin and feel better about themselves. Designer Nicole Miller introduced size 0 because of its strong California presence and to satisfy the request of many Asian customers. However, the increasing size of clothing with the same nominal size caused Nicole Miller to introduce size 0, 00, or subzero sizes.

read more »

October 5, 2016

Roseto Effect

outlier

The Roseto effect is the phenomenon by which a close-knit community experiences a reduced rate of heart disease. From 1954 to 1961, the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania had nearly no heart attacks for the otherwise high-risk group of men 55 to 64, and men over 65 enjoyed a death rate of 1% while the national average was 2%. Widowers outnumbered widows, too. These statistics were at odds with a number of other factors observed in the community. They smoked unfiltered cigars, drank wine ‘with seeming abandon’ in lieu of milk and soft drinks, skipped the Mediterranean diet in favor of meatballs and sausages fried in lard with hard and soft cheeses. The men worked in the slate quarries where they contracted illnesses from gases and dust. Roseto also had little to no crime, and very few applications for public assistance.

It was first noticed in 1961 when the local doctor from Roseto encountered Dr. Stewart Wolf, then head of Medicine of the University of Oklahoma, and they discussed, over a couple of beers, the unusually low rate of myocardial infarction in Roseto compared with other locations. Many investigations followed. Wolf attributed Rosetans’ lower heart disease rate to lower stress. ‘The community was very cohesive. There was no keeping up with the Joneses. Houses were very close together, and everyone lived more or less alike.’ Elders were revered and incorporated into community life. Housewives were respected, and fathers ran the families. A 50-year study comparing nearby towns of Bangor and Nazareth found that heart disease rose in the Bangor cohort as it shed their Italian social structure and became more Americanized.

July 23, 2016

Self-monitoring

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

Dramaturgy

Self-monitoring is a theory that deals with the phenomena of expressive controls, the ability to regulate behavior to accommodate social situations.

Human beings generally differ in substantial ways in their abilities and desires to engage in expressive controls. Individuals concerned with their expressive self-presentation (i.e. impression managers) tend to closely monitor their audience in order to ensure appropriate or desired public appearances. Self-monitors try to understand how individuals and groups will perceive their actions. Some personality types commonly act spontaneously and others are more apt to purposely control and consciously adjust their behavior.

read more »