Friday, July 29, 2016

Learning! Colours, altruism, achievements, poisons, and feelings

A woman can see billions more colours than the rest of us

Can you paint with all the colours of the wind?

A woman has been found who can see millions more colours than the rest of us, all because she has one measly extra cone in her eyes - most of us have three, those who are colourblind have two, and she has four.

Remember when we learned about colours as children? How confusing must this woman have been, trying to point out colours no one else could see? How long do you think it took her to figure out that the rest of us were just colour deficient? I hope she made up really cool names for the colours that are only hers, and that she uses them to make glorious imaginary utopias.

What's the deal with altruism?

Whether you think there is any true charity or not, research shows that people can be motivated to help others through empathy or a sense of reciprocity, but that different people react to these prompts differently. People who tend to be selfish are going to be motivated by empathy, whereas "prosocial" people will be more generous when given reciprocity prompts.

It's like you need to fill in the blanks for someone to get them to act altruistically - a selfish person might already have thought about what was in it for them (reciprocity), but if you fill in the empathy blank, then you've completed the picture and they'll act on it. Fascinating!

It really is all about the journey

Given how quickly our iPhones went from being incredible instruments of life-changing magic to shackles of bitter, slow-moving addiction, it's not surprising that the afterglow of great life achievements fades quickly as well. Turns out we are happiest when we feel we are making progress towards a goal, not when we have achieved them.

Don't poison your cat!

Among other things, lilies, onions, and chocolate, can be poisonous to your dear feline. Even string isn't save - as a friend of mine learned the hard way, a wayward ribbon left on a chair can wind up tangled inside your kitty's bowels causing all sorts of problems.

Read about more feline dangers at Lifehacker.

Men and their feelings

I have often joked with my lady friends that despite women being reputed for being "too emotional" to work, we often find ourselves tiptoeing around the feelings of our male bosses and coworkers. Now a recent set of studies shows that men's feelings are actually the reason why women aren't able to achieve equality in the workplace. Sorry, ladies, the demoralizing truth is that even men who are outwardly supportive of women in the workplace likely feel threatened by us and act out in different ways (interrupting, much?)

The best argument for early retirement

Looks like working full-time after the age of 40 is not so good for our brains! Sadly (or fortunately, depending on your bent) this is not an excuse to abandon work all together - working less than 25 hours is also not so hot. So let's all find a happy medium of productivity without overloading ourselves and stick with it!


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