Posted in Books, Canada, Uncategorized

Smart as a whip and ready to crack

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Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking,
Socrates, Bach, da Vinci, Mozart,
Darwin, Tesla, Kepler, Galileo,
Newton, Van Gogh, Pythagoras,
Bell, Homer (obviously not Simpson),
Shakespeare, Hippocrates, Marie Curie,
Gandhi, Edison, Kant, Plato, Banting,
High IQs or gifted in immeasurable ways?
Does a high IQ (Intelligence Quotient) =
success, fame, fortune, or happiness?
Does having high IQ matter if you can’t use it effectively?
Traditional definitions of intelligence can be restrictive, but thankfully, that thought process is being widely challenged.

The world is now all about: smartphones, smart cards, smart bombs, smart TVs, smart water, smart cars, hmmm, does this sound like we might be overcompensating? Is our stuff getting smarter than us, and does that matter?1IQ12

I had to know, what is Beyond IQ, so being a nosy parker, I read the book of the same name by Garth Sundem (Three Rivers Press). Countless MacGyver references and quizzes later – I didn’t include my scores, I didn’t want to make anyone feel bad also, I, umm, forgot to keep them, and a dog randomly came into my house and ate them, but I assure you they would’ve made Stephen Hawking so totally jealous. This entertaining and enlightening book vividly highlights how practical intelligence can be even more important than standard or analytical intelligence, but then why are we so obsessed with knowing everyone’s IQ?

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There’s even a new CBC show, Canada’s Smartest Person, loosely based on Harvard professor and psychologist Howard Gardner’s absorbing 1983 book, Frames of Mind (Fontana Press) where Gardner outlines his theory of multiple intelligences. Obviously they didn’t waste time on politicians, if they’re intelligent most of them are hiding it well. Gardner and others have suggested our abilities, aptitudes, skills, and even quirks make us intelligent in a way that can’t be measured on a standardized test.
We know negative factors can lower our intelligence so can adding positive factors make us smarter? It’s worth a try.

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Still don’t know all the answers, but I’m going with this, intelligence shouldn’t be measured in how smart you can be on a test, but about how you can use your smarts. By Jove, I think I’ve got it!

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Posted in Books, Christmas, Food, Holidays, Televison, Uncategorized, Weight

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

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Society is degenerating to a constant state of anxiety and fear, especially the fear of missing out. What if we missed an email, text, post, tweet, party, sale, invitation, night out, gossip, especially about celebrities, trips, trends…what if we just missed something? The only thing we don’t fear missing out on…voting.

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While reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by the stunningly beautiful, talented, and hilarious Mindy Kaling (Three Rivers Press) I had an a-ha moment. The book itself was funny, charming, authentic, very much what you’d expect from the writer and star of The Mindy Project and The Office, she’s a hot mess and makes it work, but I started thinking about why more and more people are more depressed, stressed, anxious, suicidal, homicidal, etc. than ever, even children. I’m sure there are multiple reasons, but being in constant contact, rampant consumerism, extreme inequality, and fear of missing out must be high on the list.

So a bunch of money-grubbing, self-regulating corporations appeal to natural human curiosity, use culturally complex language, jargon, fear of missing out, pop culture references, celebrities, and even bullying to ensure we feel compelled to consume, which leads to wanting and buying and consuming even more which leads to, well, you get the picture. This isn’t just adults, we’re letting our children be groomed, to be exploited, for profit. Isn’t there a name for that?
The good news, there’s no need to stop consuming, or watching TV, or going on the internet…we just slow down and consider the source, who will profit.

Symptoms of  a fear of missing out may include, but are not limited to:

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1. Forgetting those you love or those in need while rushing around trying not to miss out.
2. Rationalizing buying products manufactured under deplorable conditions.
3. Describing wants as needs or worse believing wants are needs.
4. Obsessing about products, services, and activities.
5. Putting items above people.

There is hope. Some people might be doing things you’re not or having things you’re not, that doesn’t mean they’re happier or more content. It’s not a contest. Hopefully this will all level out and people will finally see what’s important instead of what’s advertised.
Since the holiday season is already being forced on us to stretch out the shopping and socializing so we’ll spend more, don’t fear missing out, celebrate what you have.

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Posted in Books, Doctor Who, Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

Dear Luke, We Need To Talk. Darth

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 Icebergs, henchmen, Fight Club, The Walking Dead, Friends, Twilight, Dora The Explorer, Jurassic Park, The Superbowl, Beastie Boys, Star Trek, Disney, The Grinch, Seinfeld, X-Files, B-52’s, Twilight Zone, Elton John, NASA, Harry Potter, Kurt Cobain, War Horse – no one is safe from John Moe’s satirical pop culture whimsical correspondence, and I’m so glad.

1darth18This book Dear Luke, We need to Talk. Dad Darth and other Pop Culture correspondences by John Moe (Three Rivers Press/Penguin) is hilarious, a remarkable, one might even say, noteworthy poke at pop culture. I love to laugh and when I saw the title on http://www.bloggingforbooks.org I knew I was going to have fun.

Some of my favs include, Bruce: A Shark’s Journal, which had me in giggles, especially the June 14 entry where Bruce fell off the wagon. Some of you may remember the eating issues Bruce had in Finding Nemo, now have that go Jaws.

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Also, a letter from the Pea1darth17nuts gang teacher regarding the lack of adults in Charlie Brown and his friends’ lives; also, how grateful she is to have a job considering her speech issues.

An explanation of what happened to Agents 001 through 006.

All of Jay Z’s 99 Problems.

Concerns about the overall direction the Doctor Who franchise is taking.

A letter to the island on Lost on how to promote tourism there.

1darth27Saul Hudson (Slash from Guns’N’Roses) as a Heavy Metal Editor, explaining to Axl Rose why Sweet Child O’Mine isn’t going to be a hit.

CIA 1darth111report from Agent Gilligan from the Island ProjectGilligan’s Island goes to a dark place on April 21, 1973 when they ate The Howells (It was time)…

A Welp! review of Cheers, Rick’s Café, Bronto Burgers, Overlook Hotel, Bates Motel, etc. A funnier version of Yelp!, not just people whining about the their First World Problems with restaurants, here’s a hint, you can afford to go to restaurants.

Correspondence between Batman’s producer and Neal Hefti the writer of the 1966 Batman theme; this money man versus artist exchange pits artistic integrity against commercialism which explains why the theme ended up being, you know, Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na Batman! and so on.

1bat20 Muppet Studios Casting Office where we find out some of the reasons certain Muppets could not be included…

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An Oral History of Pac-Man Ghosts (I think Inky had it the toughest). Wocka wocka wocka.

And some dysfunctionally tasty drink recipes from Mad Men:

Drapertini

4 ounces gin
1 ounce vermouth
3 olives
5 tears that I never shed as a boy

Shake, stir, then pour down the sink because those days can never return.

1darth19Draper Manhattan

2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce vermouth
2 ounces of aromatic bitters
3 dashes of bitterness about my own need to hurt everyone who loves me
2 scrapes of the grime from that apartment I had after Betty and I split
1 maraschino cherry
Pour contents over ice into a glass, catch a distorted reflection in the ice for a moment, and wonder who you are or who anyone is really, sit in chair.

There, it’ll all be ok now.

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