Friday, November 28, 2008

Weird Communications

10 Most Used Imagined Languages

Occasionally, a work of fiction is so inventive it needs more ways to express itself than possible with just the speech it’s written in, and a new language is born. Some are merely hinted at while others are fully constructed and usable. Here are ten that in one shape or another are frequently seen and heard.

Imagined Language Use Number One: 
“I grok Spock”


Martian language hinted at by science fiction author Robert Anson Heinlein in his 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land. The word ‘grok’ means to understand a person or thing on a deep level and the word is still thrown around whenever science fiction fans gather.

Imagined Language Use Number Two: 
Esperanto is easy – But can I use it for my major?


In his 1887 novel Unua Libro, L. L. Zamenhof writing under the name Doktoro Esperanto wanted to create an easy and flexible language that could serve as a universal second language. The result is Experanto a language so effortless to learn it has caught on with many people and can be found on Google searchable websites through an Esperanto portal. It is the language of instruction at Akademio Internacia de la Sciencoj in San Marino.

Imagined Language Use Number Three: 
Alienese – What writers do when they’re bored


Spotted frequently and usually as graffiti on the television show Futurama Alienese is a complex language that translates easily into English. Fans claim they have translated these messages and found humorous hidden messages.

Imagined Language Use Number Four: 
Just like clockwork


In his 1962 dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess created a slang type language called Nadsat. The language is a mix of modified Slavic and Russian as well as words simply invented by the author himself. Terms such as droog meaning friend or Bog for God are occasionally still used by college students who wish to annoy or mystify those around them.

Imagined Language Use Number Five: 
Simlish – lost in virtual translation


Simlish is a language improvised by the voice actors for the video game The Sims. The project director not wanting the extra cost and effort of recording dialogue and then having to translate it to other languages decided to use a partially constructed adlibbed one that allowed the actors to better portray the characters. Songs begin to appear in new Sim’s games and a written form of the language caught on outside the series. Artists have used the written form and singers have performed in this gibberish based speech.

Imagined Language Use Number Six: 
The Myst Game Series


The Myst Series of video games and books created by Rand and Robyn Miller features a fictional world with a culture known as the D’ni. They’ve created a language complete with numerical symbols for the D’ni which is used throughout the game series.

Imagined Language Use Number Seven: 
1984’s Newspeak keeps up with the times


A recent renewed interest in George Orwell’s novel 1984 has newspeak being spoken again. In his book Orwell saw language shrinking as the ideas of free thought and rebellion were outlawed. The goal of the government control speech was to remove any vagueness or capacity of creativity from it. This means nothing negative can be said as one positive sounding word is given all the language use by the utilization of prefixes or suffixes. For example, the negative word stupid becomes “unsmart”. Other words become both nouns and verbs. If you listen closely you’ll find the people using newspeak every day.

Imagined Language Use Number Eight: 
Be careful what you say


Fans of Lovecraft can tell you all about Aklo with a happy light in their eyes, but the fictional language was actually first invented by Arthur Machen for his short story “The White People” in 1899. H P Lovecraft referred to it in several works as did Alan Moore in his story The Courtyard. Aklo is only used only briefly in these works so not much is known about other than it’s being related to alien or demonic worlds.

Imagined Language Use Number Nine: 
The Languages of Arda


Created by J R R Tolkien for his fantasy novels The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Simarillion this language is fully constructed developed to give a linguistic depth to the series. The Tolklang, Lambengolmor and the Elfling are mailing lists for those interested in Tolkien linguistics.

Imagined Language Use Number Ten: 
Not the language of love – Klingon


Dedicated Star Trek fans can tell you that Klingonese the language of a type of gruff, often violent alien species is first mentioned during the original series’s episode The Trouble with Tribbles. In the Star Trek III, The Search for Spock director and actor Leonard Nimoy thought the Klingons should speak a language that sounded realistic. A linguist named Mark Okrand was commissioned to develop a complete language. Books and CD’s teaching Klingonese are still available and entire marriage ceremonies have been conducted in the language by fans of the show.

10 Weird Ways Of Communicating

In your next conversation if you watch closely you’ll realize that communication or the entire habit of transferring the thoughts, ideas, and emotions from one person to another is in itself weird. Some methods of communication are just a bit wilder and weirder than others.

1. Pucker up


Just because the only use whistling currently has is to exasperate the person working in the next cubicle doesn’t mean it was always a source of annoyance. Long ago in places where the terrain makes walking difficult whistled languages closed the communication gap. Much like spoken speech this type of communication had expressions and a “vocabulary” based on the language commonly used in the area, and could easily convey a complex message over a long distance. You can find out more about whistled language here.

2. Smoke Signals


This is one of the oldest forms of communications. In old western movies the typical picture we have is the Native American using this unique form of getting a message across, but the truth is ancient people from all over the world have used this method. Soldiers guarding the great wall in ancient China used smoke signals to alert one another to the approach of an enemy. Greeks devised a very complicated system involving an entire alphabet of smoke signals used around 150 BC. The Greeks used torches while the Native Americans used dried grasses tied together in a bundle. While most people in recent times think of smoke signals as being bound to a specific location where a large fire has been built these methods of carrying small combustible, but long burning materials meant the signals could be sent at anytime from anywhere. In fact, some tribes of Native Americans used this mobility as part of the signal itself. For example, signals from midway up a hill could indicate safety, while signals from the top meant danger.

3. Sing it!


Yodeling seems like a silly past time to many in the west, but its initial purpose was communicating over long distances and across deep expanses. In yodeling the voice register is switched sharply and can be easily heard over long distances. This made communication possible between mountain peaks or across wide expanses. It is believed the practice of yodeling was developed in the Swiss Alps, but it is also found in such places as Central Africa. Now if you wanna learn to yodel, do it here!

4. Just beat it


It was a staple of many old radio shows and movies like Tarzan. Explorers fearfully making their way through a jungle would hear the drums pick up tempo and volume, and they knew they were in deep trouble. Far from being a source of terror the drums in the jungles of Africa or Asia were really more the equivalent of the local news. In fact, drums were a simply method of communications across distances since tempo and volume could be used much the same way as Morse code.

5. Just draw me a picture


It was not as immediate a form of communication as whistling or yodeling, but the earliest of this type of writings were believed to have been used since pre-historic times to tell stories, warn of danger, claim territories, and even to mark mass grave sites. The pictures were usually crude and created to look like a physical object. These symbols were employed at first to represent physical items, but later developed into ideograms, which could represent ideas. From early cave drawings to the detailed artistry of Chinese calligraphy this type of writing has developed into a complex and beautiful art form still practiced in some cultures.

6. I know what you’re thinking


People have always watched each other closely looking to see if they could detect a lie. Gamblers search each other’s movements or ticks for a ‘tell’ or a habit that indicates when someone is bluffing or holding high cards. Something as small as a raised eyebrow or a lip twitch could mean that someone might be trying to lie or it could mean they simple have an itch.

Body language involves the common indicators we give subconsciously whether we are happy, sad, worried, guilty, trying to hide something or any of a thousand emotions in between. Studying these indicators has only been a science since the 1950’s, and what scientists have discovered is now used by law enforcement and the military to spot terrorists. This language is slowly being demystified, which may make you worry how you’ll keep that full house to yourself when everyone knows what you’re thinking.

7. When dot, dot, dot means HELP!


Just after midnight on the 14th of April 1912 the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg. The ship was designed by the most experienced engineers of that time to be unsinkable nevertheless the captain was told there was no hope. The ship would sink into the icy water carrying its 2,223 passengers and crew to their deaths, unless quick action was taken. Captain Edward J. Smith was on his retirement cruise. He’d be with White Star Line, which owned the Titanic a long time, and he knew there were not enough lifeboats for even half the passengers much less the crew. Drowning was not the worst fate possible since in the icy water no one could last more than 15 or 30 minutes. Among those passengers were the rich and famous of the time including millionaire John Jacob Astor IV and his pregnant wife Madeleine, Benjamin Guggenheim, the journalist William Thomas Stead, the Countess of Rothes, and silent film actress Dorothy Gibson among many other notable names, and some of them the Captain knew had attended their last party. After commanding as many passengers placed in the lifeboats as possible Captain Smith made his way to the wireless operator Jack Phillips and Harold Bride in ship’s wireless station. He ordered them to send out the emergency distress call. The distress call used up to this point was known as CQD an international distress signal that reads as “ -.-. –.- -..” which is a rather long signal to send out quickly. In desperation the wireless operators began sending out the new signal S O S which at just three characters “. . .” was much shorter. As weird as it sounds the lives of the passengers of that ship that night depended as much on the wireless operators and the language of dots and dashes as they did what space was available in the lifeboats.

The code was invented by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897. CQ in this language was meant to indentify messages of interest to all stations and D was to indicate distress. That night Jack Phillips was the first to use the shorter S O S, but it was all for little good. Only the crew of the Carpathia 58 miles out answered the call and was so slowed by icebergs in their path they couldn’t reach the Titanic for almost two hours. By that time the loss of life was considerable. Still, the new signal caught on to the point that even now when the use of the wireless is minimal ships in distress still call out an SOS when they are in trouble. Learn morse code and phonetic alphabets here.

8. Sky talking


Skywriting started almost as soon as airplanes became popular. The trick is to use a pressurized container containing low viscosity oil, which is then injected into the hot exhaust manifold. This vaporizes into a white plumy trail behind the plane. While new techniques can make the smoke last a little longer the trail evaporates quickly so if you decide to use this method to ask for your love’s hand in marriage you better make sure your intended is looking skyward at the proper time, or she will be wondering what ‘arr e’ means.

9. If u r reading this… hagd


Texting is a weird phenomena when you consider all the technology that progressed into people having small cell phones to carry around and how odd it is that instead of talking into them many chose to write messages. These messages are short, almost incomprehensible to anyone not familiar with the code, but they are becoming a favored mode of communication in part because of privacy, they afford the user. So popular is texting on cell phones that entire novels have been written using this method.

10. Talking to the Stars


The question of how mankind can find other life in the Universe is almost as quickly followed by the question of how to communicate across the fantastic distances in space. Yodeling just won’t cut it this time. The length of time radio signals travels means that any signal detected would come from the distant past. There are some projects being conducted looking for radio signals, but another suggestion is using laser signals to draw attention to Earth’s status as a hot spot of intelligent life. As the plots of many science fiction movies have advanced there is no promise of how friendly any other life forms might be once they get our message.

If you look up at the stars you might wonder if anyone is really out there. You might also wonder if they have found as many strange ways to communicate with each other as we have.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Don't effin annoy me!

Ticking someone off could get you a ticket in one Michigan city. The Brighton City Council on Thursday approved an ordinance allowing police in the Livingston County community to ticket and fine anyone who is annoying in public "by word of mouth, sign or motions."

The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus of Howell reports the measure is modeled on a similar ordinance in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak.

A city attorney says there could be situations where the measure would violate freedom of speech, but that those cases will be reviewed by the city.

The new ordanice goes into effect on January 2.
View the full article:

You might not find this as amusing as I do but this is the city I live in!
What are they thinking!? Were they even thinking?

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Know who Charles Darwin is?

Charles Robert Darwin FRS (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist who realized that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection. He published his theory with compelling evidence for evolution in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species. The fact that evolution occurs became accepted by the scientific community and much of the general public in his lifetime, but it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed that natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. In modified form, Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life.

Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh, instead he helped to investigate marine invertebrates. Studies at the University of Cambridge encouraged his passion for natural science. His five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's uniformitarian ideas, and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author.

Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage, Darwin investigated the transmutation of species and conceived his theory of natural selection in 1838. Although he discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research and his geological work had priority. He was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay which described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both of their theories. Darwin's work established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. In 1871 he examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. His research on plants was published in a series of books, and in his final book, he examined earthworms and their effect on soil.

In recognition of Darwin's pre-eminence as a scientist, he was one of only five 19th-century UK non-royal personages to be honoured by a state funeral, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, close to John Herschel and Isaac Newton. Read more @ WIKI

The Darwin Awards
A Chronicle of Enterprising Demises

List of Intellectual Doubters of Darwinism

Friday, November 21, 2008

Facts about the ZZzzzZZzz's

Facts about sleep you probably didn't know...

(Or were too tired to think about)

-The record for the longest period without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon. The record holder reported hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, slurred speech and memory and concentration lapses.

- It's impossible to tell if someone is really awake without close medical supervision. People can take cat naps with their eyes open without even being aware of it.

- Anything less than five minutes to fall asleep at night means you're sleep deprived. The ideal is between 10 and 15 minutes, meaning you're still tired enough to sleep deeply, but not so exhausted you feel sleepy by day.


- A new baby typically results in 400-750 hours lost sleep for parents in the first year

- One of the best predictors of insomnia later in life is the development of bad habits from having sleep disturbed by young children.

- The continuous brain recordings that led to the discovery of REM (rapid eye-movement) sleep were not done until 1953, partly because the scientists involved were concerned about wasting paper.


- REM sleep occurs in bursts totaling about 2 hours a night, usually beginning about 90 minutes after falling asleep.

- Dreams, once thought to occur only during REM sleep, also occur (but to a lesser extent) in non-REM sleep phases. It's possible there may not be a single moment of our sleep when we are actually dreamless.

- REM dreams are characterized by bizarre plots, but non-REM dreams are repetitive and thought-like, with little imagery - obsessively returning to a suspicion you left your mobile phone somewhere, for example.

- Certain types of eye movements during REM sleep correspond to specific movements in dreams, suggesting at least part of the dreaming process is analagous to watching a film


- No-one knows for sure if other species dream but some do have sleep cycles similar to humans.

- Elephants sleep standing up during non-REM sleep, but lie down for REM sleep.

- Some scientists believe we dream to fix experiences in long-term memory, that is, we dream about things worth remembering. Others reckon we dream about things worth forgetting - to eliminate overlapping memories that would otherwise clog up our brains.


- Dreams may not serve any purpose at all but be merely a meaningless byproduct of two evolutionary adaptations - sleep and consciousness.

- REM sleep may help developing brains mature. Premature babies have 75 per cent REM sleep, 10 per cent more than full-term bubs. Similarly, a newborn kitten puppy rat or hampster experiences only REM sleep, while a newborn guinea pig (which is much more developed at birth) has almost no REM sleep at all.

- Scientists have not been able to explain a 1998 study showing a bright light shone on the backs of human knees can reset the brain's sleep-wake clock.


- British Ministry of Defence researchers have been able to reset soldiers' body clocks so they can go without sleep for up to 36 hrs. Tiny optical fibres embedded in special spectacles project a ring of bright white light (with a spectrum identical to a sunrise) around the edge of soldiers' retinas, fooling them into thinking they have just woken up. The system was first used on US pilots during the bombing of Kosovo.

- Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%.

- The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska, the Challenger space shuttle disaster and the Chernobyl nuclear accident have all been attributed to human errors in which sleep-deprivation played a role.

- The NRMA estimates fatigue is involved in one in 6 fatal road accidents.

- Exposure to noise at night can suppress immune function even if the sleeper doesn’t wake. Unfamiliar noise, and noise during the first and last two hours of sleep, has the greatest disruptive effect on the sleep cycle.


- The "natural alarm clock" which enables some people to wake up more or less when they want to is caused by a burst of the stress hormone adrenocorticotropin. Researchers say this reflects an unconscious anticipation of the stress of waking up.

- Some sleeping tablets, such as barbiturates suppress REM sleep, which can be harmful over a long period.

- In insomnia following bereavement, sleeping pills can disrupt grieving.

- Tiny luminous rays from a digital alarm clock can be enough to disrupt the sleep cycle even if you do not fully wake. The light turns off a "neural switch" in the brain, causing levels of a key sleep chemical to decline within minutes.


- To drop off we must cool off; body temperature and the brain's sleep-wake cycle are closely linked. That's why hot summer nights can cause a restless sleep. The blood flow mechanism that transfers core body heat to the skin works best between 18 and 30 degrees. But later in life, the comfort zone shrinks to between 23 and 25 degrees - one reason why older people have more sleep disorders.

- A night on the grog will help you get to sleep but it will be a light slumber and you won't dream much.

- After five nights of partial sleep deprivation, three drinks will have the same effect on your body as six would when you've slept enough.


- Humans sleep on average around three hours less than other primates like chimps, rhesus monkeys, squirrel monkeys and baboons, all of whom sleep for 10 hours.

- Ducks at risk of attack by predators are able to balance the need for sleep and survival, keeping one half of the brain awake while the other slips into sleep mode.

- Ten per cent of snorers have sleep apnea, a disorder which causes sufferers to stop breathing up to 300 times a night and significantly increases the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.


- Snoring occurs only in non-REM sleep

- Teenagers need as much sleep as small children (about 10 hrs) while those over 65 need the least of all (about six hours). For the average adult aged 25-55, eight hours is considered optimal

- Some studies suggest women need up to an hour's extra sleep a night compared to men, and not getting it may be one reason women are much more susceptible to depression than men.


- Feeling tired can feel normal after a short time. Those deliberately deprived of sleep for research initially noticed greatly the effects on their alertness, mood and physical performance, but the awareness dropped off after the first few days.

- Diaries from the pre-electric-light-globe Victorian era show adults slept nine to 10 hours a night with periods of rest changing with the seasons in line with sunrise and sunsets.

- Most of what we know about sleep we've learned in the past 25 years.


- As a group, 18 to 24 year-old's deprived of sleep suffer more from impaired performance than older adults.

- Experts say one of the most alluring sleep distractions is the 24-hour accessibility of the internet.

- The extra-hour of sleep received when clocks are put back at the start of daylight in Canada has been found to coincide with a fall in the number of road accidents.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

4 weddings and a funeral (How to be offensive)

Ways to be Offensive at a Wedding

Usual dumb-list disclaimers apply...

Show up with a baby and claim he belongs to the newlyweds.

Cover yourself with glue to improve your chances of catching the bouquet.

Offer to show people pictures of the bride having sex with a dog.

Tell people that you knew the bride before the sex change operation.

Tell the bride that the only reason you can look at her is that you used to be a proctologist.

Instead of a standard gift, give the newlyweds a gift certificate for a drug rehab. clinic.

As you move down the receiving line, spit on each person.

Ask the bride's mother to give you a hand job.

Give the bride some Bianca, and tell her it kills the taste of sperm.

Propose a toast to the bride's nose job.

Steal the cards from the wedding gifts so no one can tell who they came from.

Walk up to various guests and demand to see their invitations.

After the bride throws her garter, start people chanting, "Throw your bra, throw your bra..."

Tell everyone that the groom had to be given Quaaludes to keep him from backing out.

Tell the rabbi that there's no money to pay him, and ask if he'll settle for stupping the bride.

Assure the bride's mother that the groom is "hung like a horse."

Return a bra which the bride left in your car.

If there's a hunchback at a Jewish wedding tell hin that he has to wear one yarmukle on his head and another on his hump.

When the bride is coming down the aisle, push the organist out of the way and start playing, "The Lady is a Tramp.

Ways to be Offensive at a Funeral

Tell the widow that the deceased's last wish was that she have sex with you.

Tell the undertaker that he can't close the coffin until you find your contact lens.

Punch the body and tell people he hit you first.

Tell the widow that you're the deceased's gay lover.

Ask someont to take a snapshot of you shaking hands with the deceased.

At the cemetary, play taps on a kazoo.

Walk around telling people that you've seen the will and they're not in it.

Ask the widow to give you an enema.

Drive behind the widow's limo and keep honking your horn.

Tell the undertaker that your dog just died and ask him if he can sneak him into the coffin.

Place a hard boiled egg into the mouth of the deceased.

Slip a whoopee cushion under the widow.

Leave some phony dog mess on top of the deceased.

Tell the widow that you have to leave early and ask if the will can be read before the funeral is over.

Urge the widow to give the deceased's wooden leg to someone poor who can't afford firewood.

Walk around telling people that the deceased didn't like them.

Use the deceased's tongue to lick a stamp.

Ask the widow for money which the deceased owes you.

Take up a collection to pay off the deceased's gambling debts.

I DO NOT recommend that you do any of these.
I just thought the lists were amusing and worth posting.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bizarre Phobias

From Wikipedia: “A phobia is an irrational, persistent fear of certain situations, objects, activities, or persons. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. When the fear is beyond one’s control, or if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made.” Here are my selections of the top Bizarre phobias!

Bizarre Phobias

Ablutophobia – fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning. [Wikipedia]

Is the persistent, abnormal and unwarranted fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning. This phobia is a situational specific phobia. Ablutophobia tends to be more common in children and women than in men and especially with those people who are very emotional.

Anthophobia – fear of flowers. [Wikipedia]

Is an abnormal and persistent fear of flowers. Though sufferers generally understand that they face no threat from flowers, they invariably experience anxiety at the sight or thought. Any genus or species of flowers can instill fear, as can any flower part, such as a petal or stem.  

Ithyphallophobia – Fear of]

Defined as “a persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of an erect penis”, each year this surprisingly common phobia causes countless people needless distress. To add insult to an already distressing condition, most fear of erection therapies take months or years and sometimes even require the patient to be exposed repeatedly to their fear. Known by a number of names – Medorthophobia, Phallophobia, Ithyphallophobia, and Fear of an Erect Penis being the most common – the problem often significantly impacts the quality of life. It can cause panic attacks and keep people apart from loved ones and business associates.

Ephebophobia – Fear of Youths [Wikipedia]

The psychological and social fear of youth. The effects of ephebiphobia appear to cause damage throughout society. At least one major economist has proposed thatthe fear of youth can have grave effects on the economic health of nations. Coinage is attributed to a 1994 article by Kirk Astroth published in Phi Delta Kappan. Today, common usage occurs internationally by sociologists, government agencies, and youth advocacy organizations that define ephebiphobia as an abnormal or irrational and persistent fear and/or loathing of teenagers or adolescence.

Coulrophobia – Fear of Clowns [Wikipedia]

Coulrophobia is an abnormal or exaggerated fear of clowns. It is not uncommon among children, but is also sometimes found in teenagers and adults as well. Sufferers sometimes acquire a fear of clowns after having a bad experience with one personally, or seeing a sinister portrayal of one in the media. The weird appearance of the clowns, swollen red noses and unnatural hair colors makes these persons look so mysterious and treacherous. Adults who are victims of coulrophobia know what they fear is completelyirrational and illogical, but they can’t escape the circumstance.

Ergasiophobia – Fear of Work [Wikipedia]

Ergasiophobia can be a persistent and debilitating disorder in some people, causing significant psychological disability and dysfunction. These individuals may actually be suffering from an underlying mental health problem such as depression or Attention Deficit Disorder.

Gymnophobia – Fear of Nudity [Wikipedia]

Gymnophobia is a fear or anxiety about being seen naked, and/or about seeing others naked, even in situations where it is socially acceptable. Gymnophobes may experience their fear of nudity before all people, or only certain people, and may regard their fear asirrational . This phobia often arises from a feeling of inadequacy that their bodies are physically inferior, particularly due to comparison with idealized images portrayed in the media.The fear may also stem from anxiety about sexuality in general, or from a persistent feeling of vulnerability associated with the thought that those who have seen the gymnophobe naked will continue to imagine the gymnophobe nude.

Neophobia – Fear of Newness [Wikipedia]

Neophobia is the fear of new things or experiences. It is also called cainotophobia. In psychology, neophobia is defined as the persistent and abnormal fear of anything new. In its milder form, it can manifest as the unwillingness to try new things or break from routine. The term is also used to describe anger, frustration or trepidation toward new things and toward change in general. Some conservative and reactionary groups are often described as neophobic, in their attempts to preserve traditions or revert society to a perceived past form. Technophobia can be seen as a specialized form of neophobia, by fearing new technology.

Nomophobia – fear of being out of mobile phone contact. [Wikipedia]

Yeah, just what it says, heh.

Paraskavedekatriaphobia – Fear of Friday the 13th [Wikipedia]

A Friday occurring on the 13th day of any month is considered to be a day of bad luck in English, German, Polish, Bulgarian and Portuguese-speaking cultures around the globe. The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia, a word that is derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Παρασκευή, δεκατρείς, and φοβία, meaning Friday, thirteen, and phobia respectively; alternative spellings include paskevodekatriaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia, and is a specialized form of triskaidekaphobia, a phobia (fear) of the number thirteen.

Panphobia – Fear of Everything [Wikipedia]

Panphobia, also called omniphobia, Pantophobia or Panophobia, is a medical condition known as a “non-specific fear”; the sufferer finds themselves in a state of fear but with no known target, and therefore no easy remedy. It has been described as “a vague and persistent dread of some unknown evil”. This fear is often seen as a secondary condition to schizophrenia.

Pteronophobia – Fear of being Tickled by Feathers [Wikipedia]

Pteronophobia is the irrational fear of being tickled by feathers. Certain childhood events, such as tickling a baby, can lead to this fear as the child may feel trapped. It is related tothe fear of tickling.

Taphophobia – Fear of being Buried Alive [Wikipedia]

Fear of being buried alive is the fear of being placed in a grave while still alive as a result of being incorrectly pronounced dead. The abnormal, psychopathological version of this fear is referred to as taphophobia. Before the advent of modern medicinethe fear was not entirely irrational. Throughout history there have been numerous cases of people being accidentally buried alive.

Tetraphobia – fear of the number 4. [Wikipedia]

Is an aversion to or fear of the number 4. It is a superstition most common in East Asian regions such as China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Most of these languages the number four sounds like or similar to the word death. Read more about it if you're interested.

Triskaidekaphobia, Terdekaphobia – fear of the number 13. [Wikipedia]

 Is fear of the number 13; it is a superstition and related to a specific fear of Friday the 13th, called paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia.

 See the complete list of phobias in Wiki here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Meaning of: Human Habits

Habits are routines of behavior that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously, without directly thinking consciously about them. Habitual behavior sometimes goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting them, because it is often unnecessary to engage in self-analysis when undertaking in routine tasks. Habituation is an extremely simple form of learning, in which an organism, after a period of exposure to a stimulus, stops responding to that stimulus in varied manners. Habits are sometimes compulsory.

Habit formation is the process by which a behaviour becomes habitual. As behaviours are repeated in a consistent context, there is an incremental increase in the link between the context and the action. This increases the automaticity of the behaviour in that context. Features of an automatic behaviour are all or some of: efficiency, lack of awareness, unintentionality, uncontrollability.
Habit formation is modelled as an increase in automaticity with number of repetitions up to an asymptote.

Habits and Goals
The habit–goal interface is constrained by the particular manner in which habits are learned and represented in memory. Specifically, the associative learning underlying habits is characterized by the slow, incremental accrual of information over time in procedural memory Habits can either benefit or hurt the goals a person set for themselves. Goals guide habits most fundamentally by providing the initial outcome-oriented impetus for response repetition. In this sense, habits often are a vestige of past goal pursuit.

A bad habit is a negative behaviour pattern. Common examples include: procrastination, fidgeting, overspending, nail-biting, smoking, nose picking, thumb sucking etc.

Will and intention
A key factor in distinguishing a bad habit from an addiction or mental disease is the element of willpower. If a person still seems to have control over the behaviour then it is just a habit. Good intentions are able to override the negative effect of bad habits but their effect seems to be independent and additive — the bad habits remain but are subdued rather than cancelled.

Eliminating bad habits
According to author Bill Borcherdt, the best time to correct a bad habit is immediately, before it becomes established. So, bad habits are best prevented from developing in childhood.

There are many techniques for removing bad habits once they have become established. One example is withdrawal of reinforcers - identifying and removing the factors which trigger the habit and encourage its persistence. The basal ganglia appears to remember the context that triggers a habit, meaning they can be revived if triggers reappear.

Dark Side Habits of the Human Mind
If you desire to stay positive in your life, try to avoid these bad human habits.  When you make these changes, you will feel it will make great changes in the way you see things and will help you live a happier life.

“Fear” is one of the harmful negative or depressing emotions. Fear, like all other depressingdepression 300x241 7 Dark Side Habits of the Human Mind emotions, poisons the body. This is not said in a figurative sense. It is an actual scientific fact; it has been demonstrated chemically. Were it not for the fact that the lungs, skin, kidneys and the bowels are constantly removing poisons from the body, an acute attack of fear would prove fatal.

Worrying is perhaps the most common and the worst of our mental sins. Worry is like a cancer: It eats in and in. It is destructive of both body and mind. It is due largely to lack of self-control and is a symptom of cowardice. Much worry is also indicative of great selfishness, which most of those afflicted will deny. Those who worry much are always in poor health, which grows progressively worse. The form of indigestion accompanied by great acidity and gas formation is a prolific source of worry, as well as of other mental and physical troubles. The acidity irritates the nervous system and the irritation in time causes mental depression.

For one thing, we are all guilty. We live not knowing as much as we need to know about the problems that we have, and so we make mistakes, all of us. It is Nature itself that is imperfect, and we are all the heirs of this imperfection. Knowing that you are totally created makes it possible to rise above personal injuries and move beyond guiltiness and regret. In the words of Lao-Tse, “When I let go of who I am, I become who I might be.”


Depression affects more than just an individual’s mood and general overall sense of well being. Depression surfaces in a number of other ways, including the form of eating disorders. To be a whole person again, you can move away from ignoring or repudiating your bad feelings and move into a position of being receptive to change. From this position you are compassionate - you recognize that you are more than your bad feelings. Implicit in this attitude lie the words, “I am with you. I do not turn away from you. I acknowledge you. I recognize your bad feelings. My compassion recognizes that you are more than you think you are. Who you are and who you have been have been produced by the processes of Nature/life. I do not repudiate or desert any of you. I do not turn my back on you. I do not try to will you out of existence. I acknowledge your existence, each part of your body and each part of your mind. A person is going to feel the full range of human feelings, including fear, shame, hostility, and guiltiness.

Anger is a normal human emotion. However, when it’s unresolved or unchecked, it can angry 232x300 7 Dark Side Habits of the Human Mindlead to devastating consequences for the person holding onto the anger and those around him or her. The major reason that anger is so difficult to manage for most people is that it has become a habitual response to certain people, places and situations. Most habits tend to operate below our awareness—meaning we react without considering our choices

If you are down on yourself, practicing a lot of self-blame, please remember that it is very difficult to get by in this complicated world as it is without any disorders. Blaming yourself for all kinds of stuff such as whether other people are happy, whether other people work hard, whether your relationship fails to thrive, whether a social event is going well - is so much work! People who blame themselves for too much mistake influence for control. A mother may be able to influence her child when it comes to academic study but she can’t completely control the child’s motivation (or lack of). You may be able to influence whether your partner or friend has a good time but you certainly can’t be totally responsible.

Indifference is an absence of compulsion to or toward one thing or another.
To be indifferent is to realize that I have no interest — not now, not yet or maybe ever — in something I have become aware of and spent some time prioritizing. To not know is to realize how futile self-importance is. Ignorance however represents a procrastinization of thought. Ignorance is the substitution of belief for knowledge. Where continuing ignorance would curtain with darkness, realization provides the ubiquity of sun light. The bliss of ignorance is ironic — I’m giving away my bliss to the rapturous

See also:

Fixation is the state in which an individual becomes obsessed with an attachment to another person, being or object (in human psychology).
Sigmund Freud theorized that some humans may develop psychological fixation due to:
  1. A lack of proper gratification during one of the psychosexual stages of development, or
  2. Receiving a strong impression from one of these stages, in which case the person's personality would reflect that stage throughout adult life.
Whether a particularly obsessive attachment is a fixation or a defensible expression of love is at times debatable. Fixation to intangibles (i.e., ideas, ideologies, etc.) can also occur. The obsessive factor is also found in symptoms pertaining to obsessive compulsive disorder.

An addiction is an obsession, compulsion, or excessive psychological dependence, such as: drug addiction (e.g. alcoholism, nicotine addiction), problem gambling, ergomania, compulsive overeating, shopping addiction, computer addiction, video game addiction, pornography addiction, television addiction, etc.

In medicine, an addiction is a chronic neurobiological disorder that has genetic, psychosocial, and environmental dimensions and is characterized by one of the following: the continued use of a substance despite its detrimental effects, impaired control over the use of a drug (compulsive behavior), and preoccupation with a drug's use for non-therapeutic purposes (i.e. craving the drug). Addiction is often accompanied by the presence of deviant behaviors (for instance stealing money and forging prescriptions) that are used to obtain a drug.

Tolerance to a drug and physical dependence are not defining characteristics of addiction, although they typically accompany addiction to certain drugs. Tolerance is a pharmacologic phenomenon where the dose of a medication needs to be continually increased in order to maintain its desired effects. For instance, individuals with severe chronic pain taking opiate medications (like morphine) will need to continually increase the dose in order to maintain the drug's analgesic (pain-relieving) effects. Physical dependence is also a pharmacologic property and means that if a certain drug is abruptly discontinued, an individual will experience certain characteristic withdrawal signs and symptoms. Many drugs used for therapeutic purposes produce withdrawal symptoms when abruptly stopped, for instance oral steroids, certain antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and opiates.

However, common usage of the term addiction has spread to include psychological dependence. In this context, the term is used in drug addiction and substance abuse problems, but also refers to behaviors that are not generally recognized by the medical community as problems of addiction, such as compulsive overeating.

The term addiction is also sometimes applied to compulsions that are not substance-related, such as problem gambling and computer addiction. In these kinds of common usages, the term addiction is used to describe a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences, as deemed by the user himself to his individual health, mental state, or social life.

Vice is a practice or a habit considered immoral, depraved, and/or degrading in the associated society. In more minor usage, vice can refer to a fault, a defect, an infirmity or merely a bad habit. Synonyms for vice include fault, depravity, sin, iniquity, wickedness and corruption. The modern English term that best captures its original meaning is the word vicious, which means "full of vice". In this sense, the word vice comes from the Latin word vitium, meaning "failing or defect". Vice is the opposite of virtue.

Vice is also a generic legal term for criminal offenses involving prostitution, lewdness, lasciviousness and obscenity. Illegal forms of gambling are also often included as a vice in law enforcement departments that deal with gambling as a crime.

Dante's seven deadly vices

The poet Dante Alighieri listed the following seven deadly vices:
  1. Pride or vanity — an excessive love of the self (holding the self outside of its proper position regarding God or fellows; Dante's definition was "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbor"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, pride is referred to as superbia.
  2. Avarice (covetousness, greed) — a desire to possess more than one has need or use for (or according to Dante, "excessive love of money and power"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, avarice is referred to as avaritia.
  3. Lust — excessive sexual desire. Dante's criterion was that "lust detracts from true love". In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, lust is referred to as luxuria.
  4. Wrath or anger — feelings of hatred, revenge or denial, as well as punitive desires outside of justice (Dante's description was "love of justice perverted to revenge and spite"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, wrath is referred to as ira.
  5. Gluttony — overindulgence in food, drink or intoxicants, or misplaced desire of food as a pleasure for its sensuality ("excessive love of pleasure" was Dante's rendering). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, gluttony is referred to as gula.
  6. Envy or jealousy - resentment of others for their possessions (Dante: "love of one's own good perverted to a desire to deprive other men of theirs"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, envy is referred to as invidia.
  7. Sloth or laziness; idleness and wastefulness of time and/or other allotted resources. Laziness is condemned because it results in others having to work harder; also, useful work will not be done. Sloth is referred to in Latin as accidie or acedia.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gigantic Hearts!


So you've got some spare air miles and want to impress on a date but you're struggling to think of a place to go which is unique and romantic at the same time. Well you can't go wrong with a visit to one of the many heart-shaped features of our planet. Heart-shaped forests, lakes, islands.... provided you can find the right vantage point when you arrive, these spots can't be beaten when it comes to romance.

1. Heart-Shaped Forest, Cantabria, Spain


This beautifully shaped forest can be found in Cantabria, Northern Spain. However, the forest will only take on the heart shape seen in the above photograph when viewed from this angle. See the forest on Google Maps here.

2. Heart-Shaped Island, Gutierrez Lake, Patagonia


A beautiful heart-shaped, tree covered island can be found in Patagonia, Argentina, and is best viewed from the East side of Gutierrez Lake. See the island on Google Maps here.

3. Heart-Shaped Wetland, Guandu Nature Park, Taiwan


Guandu Nature Park is, believe it or not, a nature park situated in Taipei City. Within the park you'll find the heart-shaped wetland pictured above. See it on Google Maps here.

4. Tavarua Island, Fiji


Tavarua Island is a stunning heart-shaped island paradise just off the coast of Viti Levu, surrounded by coral reef. It's also home to a beautiful resort, perfect for a spot of romance. See the island on Google Maps here.

5. Galesnjak, Croatia


Another beautifully shaped island can be found just south of Zadar in Croatia. Called Galesnjak, this little gem measures just 1/2 kilometre at its widest point and must be reached by boat. See the island on Google Maps here.

6. Heart-Shaped Lake, Ohio


A perfectly heart-shaped lake can be found near Columbia Hills Corners in Ohio, but not much else is known about this curious feature. It seems to be part of a private residence. See the lake on Google Maps here.

7. Heart-Shaped Mangrove, Voh, New Caledonia


Probably the most well-known heart-shaped piece of land is this incredible mangrove in New Caledonia, made famous by aerial photographer Yann Arthus Bertrand and featured on the front cover of his book, Earth From Above. See the mangrove on Google Maps here.

8. Heart-Shaped Lake, Chembra, India


Itself a major tourist attraction, the lake near the top of Chembra Peak in India is said to have never dried up. Apparently over 150 people pass the lake every day during the 3km journey to the top. See the area on Google Maps here.

9. Heart Reef, Great Barrier Reef of the Whitsundays


Heart Reef is a naturally formed, heart-shaped collection of coral in Australia. Obviously the reef can only be appreciated from the air, but the view is definitely worth the cost. See the area on Google Maps here.

Other hearts in nature












So sweet!