Mirror, Mirror: Appearance Matters More Than Talent

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I’ll start by discussing people, self-appearance, and how it affects our lives.

A major study in 2013 revealed that when rating a musicians performance visual information reigns supreme over the music itself. When attending a concert presenting classical music humans rate the performance not by what they HEAR, but by what they SEE. This was found to be true for both novices and professional musicians. Even the experts unknowingly judge music by sight instead of sound. Incredible.

If we unknowingly rate musical performance through appearance, then it is a safe bet that appearance affects the way we evaluate EVERYTHING.

The mind is constantly on the lookout for identifying and assimilating patterns. Everyone unconsciously evaluates how I dress, my hair style, my vehicle, how I walk, if I mirror another’s body language, and an array of other non-verbal cues.

All this non-verbal information becomes the foundation of others perceptions of us. Our verbal communication and behaviors have impact, but only as a scaffolding built upon the foundation of appearance. This is because our words and actions are evaluated in the context of our non-verbal cues.

Put more bluntly, our non-verbal cues anchor peoples perceptions of us. Our words and actions allow those perceptions to shift, but only a certain distance from the anchor point.

This does not just concern initial impressions, but is a lasting effect that very slowly loosens over time. Once a perception is anchored all incoming information is judged relative to that anchor. Two people can behave identically, but be judged radically differently because judgments are always made relative to the anchor point.

If Mother Teresa volunteers at a soup kitchen she would be perceived as a caring individual due to her anchor point. If a person you don’t like does this the mind will quickly conclude it is for self-serving reasons.

This is why when making a radical life change it is useful to change jobs, locations, or friends. The people we regularly interact with have a set anchor of who we are, and the way they act reinforces that perception. People treat us according to how they see us, and the way we perceive ourselves is strongly affected by how others behave toward us.

I hold in my head the notion that any person, on any given day, can choose to change themselves. I am not the same person I was 5 years ago; no one is. This allows my to loosen my instinctual desire to evaluate someone today based on who I decided they were 1 year ago.

Even more profoundly, if you reinforce through language the idea that a specific person is noble and moral, they will begin seeing it in themselves and reflecting that. This psychological effect is called “priming”, and it is a significant driver of our daily actions and perceptions. If you continuously communicate to someone how that they’re not to be trusted they will in time begin reflecting that idea.

We frame other peoples realities every day, and most of the time we do it unconsciously by acting in a way that validates how we perceive them. Take control of your mind and your perceptions of others. Speak the good you see in them, and they’ll begin acting in accord with that evaluation.

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The Tape of Superman: Scotch Tape and X-Rays

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Scotch tape emits x-rays when peeled in a vacuum.

How many x-rays? Enough to take an x-ray of a finger!
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Even under standard atmospheric conditions (STP) peeling Scotch tape emits a flash of light visible to the naked eye in a dark room.

Scotch tape is the Clark Kent of tape; it seems weak and feeble compared to any other tape, but it has hidden x-ray vision super powers. For instance, duct tape, the meat-head of the tape world, does not have this property. What exactly is going on to make this unassuming tape emit powerful and damaging radiation?
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This phenomena was confirmed just 6 years ago in 2008, and there are no conclusive answers – mostly because 3M keeps a tight lip on it’s secret adhesive formula for Scotch tape.

Soviet scientists reported discovering it in 1953, but no one seems to have believed them. To put this in perspective, the U.S. spent $20 million on remote viewing and clairvoyance research when they discovered the Soviets were doing the same. But when the Soviets said that Scotch tape may emit x-rays? The U.S. said no, freaking, way; not possible; not even worth testing.

Scientists do have a loose understanding of what is occurring. The visible light emitted when you step into a dark room and peel the tape is strikingly similar to what happens during a lightning strike:

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As the layers are peeled apart a difference in electric charge forms between the two separating pieces. Hundreds of strings of adhesive stretch then snap apart – this locks in the charge differential. A massive charge difference builds and builds until the laws of physics say it has gone too far, a single line of air molecules form an electric circuit by ionizing to transfer the charge, and ZAP lightning flashes. The view for an ant on the roll of tape would be no different than you observing an intense lightning storm.
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The mechanism for the x-ray emission in a vacuum is identical, but much more powerful for a simple reason. The strength of the charge difference that builds before the release is proportional to how easily charge can travel through a medium (air, water, metal, space, etc). The moment a charge difference is strong enough to travel the gap it does so.

This is why lightning has its odd zig-zag form – out of the hundreds of trillions of paths the charge could travel it automatically and instantaneously finds the easiest, laziest route. Think you’re lazy? The universe is lazier.

The Oyster – Nature’s Ugly, Edible Water Filter

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An oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day, and a single acre of oysters filters 150 million gallons of water a day.

   

Put a single oyster in a fish tank of dirty water, and the water will become crystal clear before your eyes. Oysters act as a natural and free filter for pollutants, algae, dirt, and nitrogen in waterways.

 Closeup of up-ended oysters surrounded by sponges and anemones.

People of this generation complain that the Chesapeake Bay is murky and dirty, but in the past the Chesapeake was known for its pristine, clear water. It should come as no surprise – the Chesapeake Bay has less than 1% of its original oyster population due to overharvesting.

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It isn’t all bleak though. The problem is well known, and significant restoration efforts will soon come a long way to restoring the crystal clear beauty that the Chesapeake once symbolized.

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Oysters use those murky bits they filter out to build their tissue. Mmmmm tasty!

 

Red Lobster Revolution

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In the 1800s lobster was considered so disgusting that it was served only to servants and prisoners.

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Lobster was considered such a revolting dish that it led to a servant rebellion – the servants felt they were force fed this wretched concoction too often.

 

This rebellion caused Massachusetts to pass a law stating that lobster could be fed to servants and prisoners no more than twice a week – to eat lobster more often was legally defined as cruel and unusual punishment!

 A Great Article On This Subject

People once found this food revolting because their culture and society told them it was. Today we find it to be an expensive delicacy, mostly because our culture and society tell us it is.

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History is littered with examples of fads that are considered high brow in one place or time, and laughable in the next.

 

The amazing thing is that these influences are so strong it can make a “delicacy” like lobster taste utterly revolting. When you eat lobster the same flavor molecules that led to rebellion hit your tongue’s palette.

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On an absolute level the flavor is precisely the same, but our mental evaluation is starkly different depending on how our culture told us to experience it. If this is true with something as easy to evaluate as “does this taste good?” then it is true of nearly EVERYTHING in your life.

 

Now that’s some food for thought.

 

Mystery of the Dog Poop Dance Solved?

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Dogs seem to have an awful lot of ritual before hunkering down and soiling the sidewalk. It’s not uncommon to see a dog owner—plastic bag in hand—rolling his eyes as his furry companion sniffs and spins, getting just so before hunkering down to do the least considerate thing possible.

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But for whatever its worth, all that spinning is far from arbitrary. What dog owners witness is a small and furry version of the aurora borealis and a link between species and environment that’s as holistic and beautiful as a dog pooping can be. A team of Czech and German researchers found that dogs actually align themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field when they poop.

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Proving at least that they’re really devoted to their work, the researchers measured the direction of the body axis of 70 dogs from 37 breeds during 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations over the course of two years, and found that dogs “prefer to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis under calm magnetic field conditions.” They fittingly published their results in the journal Frontiers in Zoology.

 

You might wonder why dogs bother to do this, and uh, so do the researchers.

It is still enigmatic why the dogs do align at all, whether they do it ‘consciously’ (i.e., whether the magnetic field is sensorial perceived (the dogs ‘see,’ ‘hear’ or ‘smell’ the compass direction or perceive it as a haptic stimulus) or whether its reception is controlled on the vegetative level (they ‘feel better/more comfortable or worse/less comfortable’ in a certain direction). Our analysis of the raw data (not shown here) indicates that dogs not only prefer N-S direction, but at the same time they also avoid E-W direction.

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This isn’t the only example of animals seemingly sensing the Earth’s magnetic field. Birds, turtles, and fish are known to use magnetic guidance while migrating. Cattle and deer are known to graze on a north-south axis—as with defecating dogs, this is magnetic north, not the geographic one. Some bats navigate using a magnetic compass and given the large ranges of the dog’s closest relatives in the wild, wolves, scientists suspected that canines might also sense the magnetic field.

But this was perhaps the first time that magnetic sensitivity was proven in dogs, and it was also the first time that a predictable behavioral reaction to the fluctuations in the magnetic field—magnetic storms, often as resulting from solar flares—was proven in a mammal.

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If you’re out walking your dog later, and he sidles up and pees on a tree facing east-west, don’t be terribly surprised. The magnetic consciousness was observed only in dogs off leash, in the middle of a field. All things considered, the owner matters more to the dog than the Earth’s magnetic field; a nice little ego-booster that you’ll need as you bend over to pick up warm dog droppings.

(I copy pasted this article because it was perfection. It said everything I wanted to say, in logical order, AND with a touch of good fun. Great job Vice!)

Low-Cost Miracle Drink Burns Fat, Adds Muscle

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A mysterious, new, low-cost miracle drink called “milk” burns fat and adds gains.

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Seriously, don’t pay $4 for a glass of a GNC “Ultimate MAX Gains Bio-Elite Whey Formula” unless you’re competing in this years Mr. Universe.

New studies this year confirm that if you’re an average Joe looking to have a healthy body and a healthy bank account, then plain old milk is ideal for cutting fat, adding muscle, and bulking the size of your checking account.

Here’s the Study For the Curious

Mammals produce milk for the growth and development of their young.

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It makes perfect sense that a blend of nutritional goodness specifically for growth and development would be a great “workout recovery drink”.

For 40 cents we can drink 12 oz. of milk. The fact that it is cheap obscures its hidden power – it is a substance with tens of millions of years of evolutionary selection backing it.

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With milk we let nature do the work for us over millions of years, and we reap the rewards for free.

Is milk perfect? Of course not, but studies now confirm what makes intuitive sense – milk has a great nutrient profile for post-workout recovery.