Archive | February, 2011

“Paranormality” news

28 Feb

Following on from my previous blog post spurred by Richard Wiseman’s upcoming latest book, thought I’d share the news I just received from Amazon.co.uk.

Paranormality has been named a “Deal of the Week” on the UK Amazon site, dropping the price to £5.84 (about $9.42), 55% off the cover price (known on Amazon UK as “RRP”)! So adding in shipping to the States, it’s now the same price as if you (if you’re American) ordered from the US site and didn’t have to pay shipping.

If you’re in the UK or a weird Yank like me, you’ll want to get on this, as I assume the price is only good this week.

Would You Stop Acting Your Age? (via Health and Humor)

27 Feb

Reblogging an awesome post that reflects a lot of my own thoughts as a 32-year-old woman who unapologetically loves Disneyland, watches cartoons, and plays with my 11-year-old nephew.

Also put me in mind of the research conducted by psychologist Ellen Langer where she put a group of elderly men in an isolated house decorated in a style from twenty years earlier. The men were instructed to act as though the date was that time, twenty years ago. As described here, the men’s health – both physical and mental – markedly improved after only a week!

“You’re only as old as you feel.”  That saying has been around a lot longer than any of us.  It’s a statement of rebellion against time and the effect it has on us all.  It’s a refusal to give in.  It’s an excuse for not acting our age.  And why should we?  After all, age is just a number – does it have to be a state of mind? A few days ago my grandson was being pretty silly, making noises and just generally acting up.  I finally looked at him an … Read More

via Health and Humor

Edited to add: This is a fantastic quote!:

Dreams: Perplexing, powerful…precognitive?

26 Feb

To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil
Must give us pause…
(Sorry; on this blog, quoting Hamlet is required.)

Richard Wiseman has a new book coming out next month: Paranormality: Why we see what isn’t there, which – like all intriguing books from UK authors – has me in the “where to buy it?” quandary, due to a weird disparity in pricing where books on Amazon UK are often cheaper (even after accounting for currency exchange) than the same book on Amazon US (which will likely have Americanized spellings, boo! Yes, this is the sort of thing I think about and deem important. If the author is English, why change his spellings? And then there’s the issue of some Americanized books being censored…), but might take longer to get here. I could get around that via Kindle, if I could shop from the UK Kindle store. Actually, since I haven’t read his LAST book yet, I’m not sure why I care about the shipping time…!

When Wiseman’s last book came out, I was about to visit the UK, and the book wasn’t going to be out in the States until two months after my trip; so I asked Leda to pick me up a copy and she hand-delivered it to me. Take that, artificial international distribution walls! [insert your own side rant about DVD Regions here]

But I digress.

The Guardian recently ran a lengthy excerpt from Paranormality in which Wiseman debunks the idea of precognitive dreams. Now, I’ll put out the caveat that I’m a natural-born skeptic, someone who’s never really believed in things like precognition, before I say that everything he says makes sense: the Law of Large Numbers, the human penchant for seeing patterns where there aren’t necessarily any (especially when we’re looking for a pattern), etc. One thing he doesn’t directly mention (though he hints at it when discussing having three dreams and only remembering the one that seems to predict a later event) is our ability (tendency?) to ignore evidence that doesn’t fit our theory/expectations: confirmation bias.

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When teleportation is finally possible…

3 Feb

…is today’s writing prompt from the Daily Post blog, set in place by WordPress to encourage the PostADay/PostAWeek challenge participants. I opted for PostAWeek, because if you’ve been following this blog at all, you know I have trouble sticking with daily posts even for a month, let alone a year. And I still haven’t managed to post every week. Oy.

Anyway, to the topic.

When teleportation is finally possible, of course I’m going to the UK – and not coming back, except to move my belongings and sometimes visit family/friends. You follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or here. You already knew the answer to this question. 😉

I have to agree here with my one of my LJ friends, who always complains about the binary questions on offer through their “Writer’s Block” prompts. “Where will you beam yourself first?” isn’t necessarily binary, but it can be answered in a word or two. It’s hardly a writing prompt.

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