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Brillant Thinkers Relish Ambiguity

Ambiguous situations may offer unique opportunities to form creative ideas and new solutions, according to a Lifehack article. As Lifehack reports:
Brilliant thinkers are very comfortable with ambiguity — they welcome it. Routine thinkers like clarity and simplicity.

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There is a tendency to reduce complex issues down to simple issues with obviously clear solutions … The brilliant thinker is wary of simple nostrums. He or she knows that complex issues usually involve many causes and these may need many different and even conflicting solutions.

Routine thinkers are often dogmatic. They see a clear route forward and they want to follow it. The advantage of this is that they can make decisive and effective executives — up to a point.

The downside is that they will likely follow the most obvious idea and not consider creative, complex or controversial choices. The exceptional thinker can see many possibilities and relishes reviewing both sides of any argument.

Albert Einstein was able to conceive his theory of relativity because he thought that time and space might not be immutable. Neils Bohr made breakthroughs in physics because he was able to think of light as both a stream of particles and as a wave … Picasso could paint classical portraits and yet conceive cubist representations of people.

Cognitive dissonance is the concept of holding two very different ideas in your mind at the same time … When you mull over the interaction of two opposing ideas in your mind, then the creative possibilities are legion.”

Source:
Lifehack March 4, 2010  :

You may click to see:
Your Creative Genius Mindset: The Essential Qualities for Thinking Outside the Box
Creativity and Insanity More Alike Than You Think
Dangerous Ideas Worth Reading

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Health Alert

Hourglass Figure not Always Healthy

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Having an imperfect body may not be all that bad, says a new article, which claims that ‘imperfections’ come with substantial benefits for some women.
………..
The report has been published in the December issue of Current Anthropology. The hormones that make women physically stronger, more competitive and better able to deal with stress also tend to redistribute fat from the hips to the waist, according to Elizabeth Cashdan, an anthropologist at the University of Utah.

So in societies and situations where women are under pressure to procure resources, they may be less likely to have the classic hourglass figure.

Cashdan’s hypothesis aims to explain a peculiar observation. Women around the world tend to have larger waist-to-hip ratios—more cylindrical rather than hourglass-shaped bodies—than is considered optimal.

Medical studies have shown that a curvy waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7 or lower is associated with higher fertility and lower rates of chronic disease. Studies have also shown that men prefer a ratio of 0.7 or lower when looking for a mate.

The preference makes perfect sense, according to evolutionary psychologists, because the low ratio is a reliable signal of a healthy, fertile woman.

But in data that Cashdan compiled from 33 non-Western populations and 4 European populations, the average waist-to-hip ratio for women is above 0.8. If 0.7 is the magic number both in terms of health and male mate choice, why are most women significantly higher? That’s where the hormones come in.

Androgens, a class of hormones that includes testosterone, increase waist-to-hip ratios in women by increasing visceral fat, which is carried around the waist. But on the upside, increased androgen levels are also associated with increased strength, stamina, and competitiveness. Cortisol, a hormone that helps the body deal with stressful situations, also increases fat carried around the waist.

“The hormonal profile associated with high WHR (waist-to-hip ratio) may favour success in resource competition, particularly under stressful circumstances,” writes Cashdan.

“The androgenic effects—stamina, initiative, risk-proneness, assertiveness, dominance—should be particularly useful where a woman must depend on her own resources to support herself and her family,” the expert added.

In other words, trading the benefits of a thin waist for better ability to collect resources may be a good deal in certain societies and situations. And there is evidence that male mate preferences may reflect this trade-off, according to Cashdan.

Source : The Times Of India

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Featured

Women’s Natural Scent More Seductive Than Perfume

Women might want to think twice before spritzing Chanel No. 5. A new study suggests that a woman’s natural scent may be all she needs.

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Recent research shows that a man’s testosterone levels, which are linked with sexual interest, are significantly higher when they smell the shirt of a woman who is ovulating.

Other studies have linked higher levels of testosterone with an increase in sexual arousal as well.

In surveys, men have reported being more attracted to ovulating women. The new study builds on this research by measuring the response of men to a specific chemical cue

Rersources:
Discovery News February 10, 2010
Psychological Science December 22, 2009

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News on Health & Science

Men Married to Smart Women Live Longer

A study has determined that for men, long life and good health have nothing to do with the man’s education and everything to do with his wife’s. Men married to smart women live longer.

………………………man married smart woman
The effect may relate to skill at processing advice about healthy lifestyles, and passing it on — educated married women are more likely to share their good lifestyle habits.

These habits could include healthy food choice, exercise routines, and risk-avoidance.

Resources:
Times Online October 18, 2009
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health December 2009; 63(12):992-8

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Healthy Tips

Hope for Clumsy Clods

Right handed or left? Worldwide, about 90 per cent of the people prefer to use their right hand for doing things. Not surprisingly, life in all cultures is geared to the right-handed individual. Implements like nuts and bolts are difficult to handle for the left-handed. Incidentally, “right” also means “correct”. The word “left” is derived from the Anglo-Saxonlyft” which means “weak” or “useless”.
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Our brains are wired for handedness. During the process of evolution, the centre for language moved to the left hemisphere in the majority of the people. The human brain functions such that the left and dominant hemisphere controls the right side of the body, making the majority (80 per cent) totally right-handed. The dominance does not extend to the use of the hand alone — such people are also are “right sided”. Their dominant eye, ear and leg are on the same side of the body.

Problems arise in 20 per cent of the population that doesn’t have a dominant hemisphere to determine laterality or handedness. Their brains are “cross wired”, giving them mixed handedness or laterality, cross dominance, mixed dominance or cross laterality. In short, the right hand may be matched with the left foot or the left hand with the right eye. This leads to confused, crossed signals in the brain when complex tasks are performed. The electrical and chemical signals have to criss-cross the midline before they eventually reach their final destination in the designated area of the brain. Therefore, such individuals are accident prone, and have things around them explode, collapse, catch fire or fall apart. Day-to-day objects are misplaced, and navigation from one place to another (with left to right confusion) — even along familiar roads — becomes a nightmare.

These adults evolved from clumsy children, who kept bumping into things and frequently fell down. Their bodies have scars and evidence of healed fractures. Their school projects get “excellent” for imagination and “zero” for execution. Life is difficult for people with mixed laterality. Career choices are affected, with professions like driving or piloting a plane remaining distant dreams.

People with mixed laterality alternate hands when writing and legs when kicking. They hold the telephone to the ear opposite to their writing hand. They subconsciously use one hand first and then the other to perform complex tasks. Earlier, such people were considered ambidextrous, but true ambidexterity is almost unknown.

The uncertainty also extends to the mental image of their own limbs or body surface. This causes an inability to rapidly execute commands to turn right or left. The march past becomes a formidable hurdle, with everyone doing a “right turn”, while the affected individual wanders off in the wrong direction. Hesitation is evident if they are asked to perform complicated tasks with alternating hands initiating the movement. Slowed reactions preclude split second decisions, causing frequent accidents. Also, people with mixed laterality do not perform well in track and field events. Their feet do not alternate quickly enough. Running is slow and uncoordinated. The good news, however, is that they excel in games involving a bat (such as hockey, cricket, tennis, badminton and table tennis). This is because the bat is held across the body on the dominant side.

Mixed laterality also has its advantages. The criss-crossing of brain signals uses and strengthens many normally unused brain synapses and pathways. Hence such people are exceptionally talented, creative and artistic. If portraits or photographs of some famous artists — such as Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt — are scrutinised, you will see that they may paint with one hand, while tilting the head to the other side and crossing the opposite leg. This demonstrates mixed laterality.

To check your laterality, figure out —

* Which hand you use to write, pick up objects or dial the telephone

* Which leg you use to kick or which is uppermost when your legs are crossed (this remains constant all through life)

* If you cannot hear clearly, to which side you tilt your head

* The side of your jaw you use to chew (this is also constant unless there is a dental problem)

If you have mixed laterality, it is possible to overcome the “defects” and strengthen both sides equally, in a way that it “compensates” for mixed laterality. These exercises, that require 10 repetitions, may be of help

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• While walking, clench and unclench your hands, alternating them with the foot you use to step forward (right hand and left foot)

• Standing on one leg at a time

• Close one eye first and then the other

• Close one ear at a time

• Doing yogic breathing through one nostril at a time.

If a child is “left” handed, that may be the “right” laterality for him or her. Punishment, ridicule or forceful correction messes up the brain connections. Desist from interference, or you might just have sabotaged the emergence of the next Einstein.

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Source:
The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)