Author Archives: GN
In light of a recent purchase of mine, my usual YouTube trolling stumbled me into this video. At first, I couldn’t stand the guy. But if you watch it ’til the end, you’ll see why I’m posting it.
This is an even better response video:
Finally, as a tribute to Will Smith’s awesome new movie (saw it last night, worth 7 bucks!!):
God speed, and Best wishes.
Have you ever heard the term: “think outside the box”? Okay, do you know the origin of the phrase? Complete this puzzle:
Draw four straight, continuous lines that connect all 9 dots without lifting the pencil off the page (or in this case your finger off the screen):
Here is the solution: Click Here for Solution
If you couldn’t figure it out, you probably assumed you had to stay inside the box. If that’s the case, you know have the first major step in thinking outside the box. Eliminate your assumptions. The rules presented didn’t say you couldn’t draw outside the lines.
How do assumptions affect our ability to create success? Write down or type out your answer or answers, and think about what you came up with. This whole post can be applied to just about any area of your life, if you apply it properly.
This is a core element of the Blue Ocean Strategy. The Blue Ocean Strategy is geared towards business, and is spoken on and written into application towards business. But even if you’re simply drawing a design in a competition, or even just for fun, this will expand the creative processes your brain goes through. (refer to my past posts on the brain: Brain Train [part 1] and Brain Train [part 2])
Some DOs and DON’Ts are as follows:
Follow sequence in your plan – if you plot out steps, follow them step by step.
Focus on the big picture FIRST, focus on numbers SECOND. – If you have a time constraint, first take a look at what needs to be done, what your mission is, then think about the time, or the money involved, then tweak it.
Get into the field – see what other people are doing, and ask questions but listen when they answer.
Build enough time into the project – If you do have a time constraint, and you feel it’s a tight one, plan for it.
Approach field work as an anthropologist – Ask questions about the things they love and hate in the particular field you’re dealing with. If you’re drawing something for a contest, you may think of this as a no brainer, but ask what they look for, what “strikes their fancy” so to speak.
Do this work in a vacuum – Don’t do this work in an environment where the creativity is vacuumed out. If you’re drawing, like our examples are following, set yourself down in an inspiration environment.
Go too fast – Haste makes waste. Going in line with making a time plan, or some sort of schedule (preferably a time plan like a guideline rather than a strict schedule) so you aren’t rushing and lowering the quality of a specific part of the work.
Skip steps – If a baseball player skipped a step while running to home plate, the consequence to his action will be simple – he’ll trip and miss home plate. You’re going for a home run, run through all the bases without missing a step!
Too locked into current mindsets – Take time to think, without thinking about others in the field. If you’re drawing something, don’t think about other people’s drawings. Don’t think about any drawings. Just think about your own. Create a vision in your mind, visualize your completed drawing, and do it. However, you will eventually need to make some sort of comparison, but only to see what has been done, so you aren’t copying something else.
This is all part of the Blue Ocean Strategy. I highly, highly recommend you research it, buy a book on it if you can find one, or watch some videos online. If the place or company you work for is having any seminars or speakers on Blue Ocean, GO TO IT. You will reap major benefits. It will not be like any seminar or lecture you have ever been to, and it will be fun – guaranteed!
The book “Blue Ocean Strategy” is published by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne and you can find it at any bookseller.
Another great post I stumbled across is here: http://techiteasy.org/2006/12/05/nintendos-wii-the-blue-ocean-strategy/
Please comment with feedback on your experiences or anything you know about Blue Ocean Strategy as well!
[ Source: The Change Agent Group ( changeagentgroup.com ) ]
God speed, and Best wishes.
As my intentions were for the second volume of Staying “off the grid”, I would like to present to you part of the inspiration for the interest in this lifestyle: 30 Days by Morgan Spurlock, and in this episode, 2 big time “waste consumers” live in a small off the grid experimental area with other people who are accustomed to living off the grid. Whether or not you agree with the lifestyle, the show itself is very entertaining, and offers things other than how to live an off the grid lifestyle. Please watch:
This was the ONLY place I could find this video, so for the MySpace haters out there (you know who you are it’s ok.) try to grin and bare it. You don’t need a MySpace account to watch, this is a direct link to the video page. Enjoy!
God speed, and Best Wishes.
We all need a Social Security number, but who said we actually have to use it?
If you’re unsure what living “off the grid” refers to, think of M. Night Shymalan’s The Village. Complete disconnection from the rest of the world, especially corporations and the government. That’s true living off the grid, however, today that’s near, if not impossible for almost everyone, so I’ll bring you monthly tips on how to keep yourself as best off the grid as possible.
What’s the benefit from staying “off the grid”? Hopefully you’ll find your own personal reason(s) as you read through these posts. I can think of one thing that most of us can enjoy with little to no fear of having a shaded knock at our doors.
First, the basics;
Before I begin, I want to say: stop, using, Google. They index everything you search, and while it may be anonymous, if you have to use it, do it at a library.
- Financial: No checks, no credit cards. Green = good, pay for everything in cash and change only. Don’t get a bank account, get a piggy bank. Also, loans or anything that require your information to truly optional places of financial standing are something you should avoid. Save your money and store it securely.
- Security: Invest in a good ol’ fashioned Louisville Slugger, not an alarm system. Some alarm companies (Brinks, ADT, not necessarily them however) have the capability of monitoring the activity of their systems without any malicious activity having to go on, not to mention that’s another place where some of your most sensitive information goes. Look at the bright side, an alarm system offers no physical defense. Baseball bats, now, that’s another story. Be creative with a homemade alarm system. Get in the green mentality and recycle those noisy soda cans in a unique way.
- Health: This one’s tough. Hospitals are nice, but if you can manage to find the right free clinic and take good care of yourself, you won’t have to give anything more than your name and a place for them to send the bill, which brings me to my next point.
- Mail: Get a post office box, and have ALL of your mail go to that. An average post office box costs a little over $100 a year. Not bad at all for personal security. Not to mention any spam that you catch is diffused by the simple change of your box number, instead of having to move.
While that may be a short list, it takes a good effort to implement into your life. Please comment on this post with your experiences or if you have any suggestions.
[ Source: experience ]
God speed, and Best wishes.
Briefly, I would just like to apologize for being absent last week. However, due to the events I promise you better information than what was available last week.
Also, I have two shout outs: One for all the Indy fans out there! I hope you all enjoy the movie today (or last night) as much as I’m sure I will this weekend. Secondly, a dedication to a very special someone who has loyally read my articles and grown to become one of the single most important things in my life. You know who you are. : ) Thank you for everything.
On to this week in That’s GN:
Have you ever done something, and later you realize you have no idea why? This is commonly dubbed as an “impulsive action” or usually something you do that you “didn’t think about”. How would you like to be in better control of, not only your impulses, but know how to tap into the impulses of others?
You have three brains, similar to what we discovered last week. What we’ll talk about this week is the survival part of our brain, that controls involuntary actions like breathing and our heart beat.
There are 6 stimuli, or, “attractions” that need to be understood about our “old brain”. It has been dubbed the old brain since every living creature requires it, and in fact has it, to sustain their life. The other 2 brains we as humans possess, many other mammals and creatures do not. Let’s divide these stimuli into points:
1: Self centered – To illustrate, please watch this video:
This is an example of the old brain lacking communication with your other brains, thus working on instinct rather than incorporating and reason into the decision. Thus the humor of the commercial, since anyone in their right mind would make a different decision.
2: Contrast – Our old brain easily picks out differences, or contrasts such as night and day, near and far, black and white.
3: Tangible – Things we can touch and feel whether it be physically or something we perceive to be real, despite how unrealistic it is to our minds (in other words by sight), it can appeal to us. Here’s another commercial that will give you an exaggerated idea of this:
While we know it’s (most likely) impossible to get the strength to push a car over a cliff from an energy bar, the point is well made, that this energy bar will give you a very good dose of energy. Instead of telling the consumer it does, they make the idea tangible by appealing to your tangible senses.
4: Beginnings and Ends – Please read this passage out loud:
“Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.”
How long did it take you to read that? Surely not very long compared to if it was unscrambled. In addition to this point, YOU MAY NOTICE THAT IT’S PROBABLY EASIER TO READ NON-CAPITALIZED SENTENCES SINCE CAPITAL LETTERS ARE NON-FEATURELESS BLOCKS yet sentences with letters having more variety in ascending and descending fashion are easier to differentiate between letters.
5: Visual – Aristotle said the mind needs an image to think. This is fundamentally entirely true. You can first think of when we hear a loud crash, you might think someone is breaking into your house. You naturally visualize on impulse someone breaking into your house, so you think of that. When we see an image, a split second process occurs.
To explain, there are actually two reactions that occur, and each follow a separate path through your brain. Both paths start at the thalamus where they split. The faster reaction path goes to the amygdala which specializes in reacting and triggering what you would consider the emotional fear. The second path travels to the cortex first, where the information received is analyzed using information from the other parts of the brain, then to the amygdala. The first, faster path produces an immediate “instinct” like reaction 250 times faster than the second path, which determines whether or not the reaction is actually needed. In this example, the loud crash could be a harmless cat, instead of a robber as our immediate reaction might tell us.
Even though the reaction differences are so fast, 250 times is still much faster. Coupled with that reaction speed, once an emotion is turned on, it’s difficult for the cortex and your reasoning to turn it off, so fishing for this sense makes your “hook” difficult to unhook.
6: Emotion – Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on 9/11? For the more experienced audience, what about Apollo 13 or Kennedy’s assassination? I remember where I was and what my family said exactly during the morning of 9/11. Our old brain makes associations with emotion. Very few of us weren’t heavily impacted by 9/11, and most of us probably remember exactly what was happening when we actually heard the news, not necessarily when it actually happened.
Whether your talking to someone, giving a sales pitch, or even picking someone up, keeping in mind these 6 stimuli will give your message more attraction to that instinctual part of your brain. Why is that such a big deal? When something appeals to your involuntary senses, it makes more sense to your voluntary senses to move forward or progress in that direction; it makes it more reasonable to come to an acceptance of it.
God speed, and Best wishes.
Have you ever felt stupid? Seriously, in any given situation, you jst feel like you’re a complete moron. We all have, unless of course pride gets in the way. What about pride? Do you have enough pride to warrant self-denial? Probably not if that’s true. However, these are, in fact very common. Everyone of us experiences things like this on a daily basis. Yes, even you.
It’s all about brain cells. Until about 10 or so years ago, researchers didn’t actually know the brain created new neurons all the time – this is true, and you can encourage it. The usual “exercise and eat well” blah blah advice is included, but it’s only a portion of the training you can start doing to, literally, get smarter.
Ask yourself this: “If I could see my brain right now, would it have any holes in it?” If you sit down and think about the fact that it is possible, it’s a pretty scary thought. I’m sure we’ve all heard or seen the “this is your brain on drugs” ad campaign of old, where the young woman smashes an egg with a frying pan. Well it hit the nail right on the head.
This is your brain due to various events that may affect or have affected your life:
Doctor Daniel Amen is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable brain doctors today. With 25 years of experience and a passion to informing people on how to heal their brain, rest assured this stuff is solid gold.
I stumbled upon his research when a family member told me about his program on Public Television. I watched the latter hour of his 1 1/2 hour speaking session, and it was brilliant.
To summarize what I saw, I’ll tell you a little about the parts of the brain he talked about.
First in his talk was the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain deals with things like, judgment, social behavior, personality, reasoning; general emotional type activity. If you’re an awkward or angry person, there’s a chance, not 100%, but still a chance that this part of the brain isn’t getting enough exercise.
Yes. Exercise can heal your brain. It increases blood flow, and we all know how blood is needed throughout the body, so why not boost the travel of it? Attention problems, people with ADD and like issues could have a damaged prefrontal cortex – that has been proven to be taken to a more mild level just with a 15 minute job per day. Procrastination is another related thing to the prefrontal cortex.
Another very interesting thing he mentioned was he mentioned research that flat out showed the advantages of exercise over Zoloft. Not only that, but fish oil, or Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and a supplement called Coromega (I take this, I highly recommend it – it’s not gross at all!) does wonders to brain healing. Everyone should definitely be taking Coromega (NOTE: talk to your doctor first).
Second, what is called the cingulate area of the brain, has influence on things like opposition without reason and error detection. Error detection, meaning when someone starts to see all of the negative things in someone or life in general, or they pick out everything that’s wrong. One thing he said is if you know someone like that and you want to get back at them for something, just move something on their desk, they’ll freak out. Of course he was joking about doing that, but it was worth the laugh. Reverse psychology is something that works very well on people with low cingulate activity. He suggested telling the person the opposite of what you want them to do, of course not in an obvious way. Be tactful about it.
Seratonin levels was something he emphasized when talking about the cingulate functions. If you recall my article on sleep when I joined The Underground, I talked about seratonin. When it gets dark, seratonin is released in our brains, causing us to get tired. If you force yourself to stay up, there’s a good chance you’re dealing damage to your cingulate. That is to say, you don’t necessarily have to go to bed when it gets dark out. Also, exercise majorly boosts seratonin levels. Work hard and rest well!
What about food and diet? Absolutely important! He listed 10 things that you can fit very easily into your diet, none of this crazy stuff from special markets and organic food stores – every day regular stuff. I didn’t catch the whole list, but I got most of it. Number one in my opinion was the green tea. While he said caffeine actually is not good for your brain, he said to drink green tea – obviously caffeine free is better than the caffeinated, though both are very good for you. It provides you with energy, and relaxation of focus, so he said it’s like a perfect supplement! Which I agree. My suggestion is, carry a few sticks of honey with you to give it some flavor.
Also on the list were oranges, avocados, spinach, red bell peppers and of course fish oil, found in salmon especially. Most of us probably eat something from this list quite often – though you shouldn’t over do it either. “Everything in moderation.” Balance is vital. He said that red bell peppers actually have a significant amount of vitamin C over oranges, if I recall correctly, and are much healthier for you than green peppers, which is sometimes more common in restaurants and fast food.
He also talked about another area of the brain, but I missed that section. I plan to re-watch it sometime and pick up what I didn’t see, but until then keep this information dear to you, because if you do feel you suffer from any thing like depression, bad attention span, personality issues like anger or awkwardness, you should definitely implement some of these steps. Of course, make sure that you talk to your doctor before taking or eating things you haven’t taken before. I’m personally allergic to avocados, even though I love guacamole.
Finally, it’s very important that you note:
THIS IS ALL FOR GENERAL INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. Get a medical exam if you feel something needs to be done. Also:
SUFFERING FROM THE MENTIONED ISSUES DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE BRAIN DAMAGE. It certainly can’t hurt to take at least some of these steps to improve your brain health though.
Either way, don’t do drugs, get good sleep, get exercise, but most importantly:
[ Source: http://amenclinics.com/ ]
P.S.: My apologies for all the head and brain cliche, I seemed to let them get aHEAD of me…..
God speed, and Best wishes.
Well ladies and gentlemen, it’s the first of May. GTA IV has hit the shelves, spring is screwed up and it’s time for GN’s Gutbuster Thursday!
I would like to set a pseudo-theme for this edition. Classic memes. Yes, you’ve seen them, you’ve pooped your precious trolling pants, and it’s time to revisit it. There are millions, if not billions and trillions of memes out there, and every single one is considered to be ranked at the top, so, I give you a collection of those revered by myself, and those around me. Let’s start with some classic pictures.
No, there will be no Rolling of Ricks in this post. However:
This next one is a shout out to a special someone; I totally remember them being THIS cool:
The longest joke in the world – read it all, DON’T skip ahead!
How about YTMND! (make sure you open in Internet Explorer and refresh if no sound)
Finally, I give you a classic meme in internet history. Watch out for an R Kelly reference at 1:28!
God speed, and Best wishes.