Are you a bird brain?

We’ve all heard the expression “Bird Brain.” Watch the video below to discover how stupid birds really are or aren’t.

http://wallythekat.tripod.com/A_Pages/AA-Videos-YOU-Tube/Crow-Einstein.html

FIND THE HIDDEN MESSAGES IN WORDS

REARRANGE THE LETTERS IN WORDS TO DISCOVER HIDDEN MESSAGES. HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES..

 

 

PRESBYTERIAN:

When you rearrange the letters:

BEST IN PRAYER

 

ASTRONOMER:

When you rearrange the letters:

MOON STARER

 

DESPERATION:

When you rearrange the letters:

A ROPE ENDS IT

 

THE EYES:

When you rearrange the letters:

THEY SEE

 

GEORGE BUSH:

When you rearrange the letters:

HE BUGS GORE

 

THE MORSE CODE:

When you rearrange the letters:

HERE COME DOTS

 

DORMITORY:

When you rearrange the letters:

DIRTY ROOM

 

SLOT MACHINES:

When you rearrange the letters:

CASH LOST IN ME

 

ANIMOSITY:

When you rearrange the letters:

IS NO AMITY

 

ELECTION RESULTS:

When you rearrange the letters:

LIES – LET’S RECOUNT

 

SNOOZE ALARMS:

When you rearrange the letters:

ALAS! NO MORE Z ‘S

 

A DECIMAL POINT:

When you rearrange the letters:

I’M A DOT IN PLACE

 

THE EARTHQUAKES:

When you rearrange the letters:

THAT QUEER SHAKE

 

ELEVEN PLUS TWO:

When you rearrange the letters:

TWELVE PLUS ONE

 

MICHAEL MICHALKO AUTHOR OF THE HIGHLY-ACCLAIMED “THINKERTOYS (A HANDBOOK OF CREATIVE THINKING TECHNIQUES). www.creativethinking.net

 

The Power of a Word

words

The Greek philosopher and scientist, Aristotle, was responsible for producing some of the greatest advances in human thought during his lifetime in ancient Greece. In his book On Interpretation, Aristotle described how words and chains of words were powerful tools for his thinking. He described how words reflected his thoughts and how he used words to shape his thinking.

Once I stayed for a week at the storied Ritz-Carlton in Montreal. Usually I don’t like staying in expensive hotels because of my frugal nature. Yet in the Ritz I felt great. The longer my stay, the better I felt. I discussed my feelings with the manager, and he told me his secret. He told me that the most significant factor for their success was training their employees to frame everything they say in a positive manner. For example, employees who perform services for you will say, “It’s a pleasure,” instead of something like “No problem,” when you thank them. Or “Our restaurant would be pleased to serve you tonight,” instead of “Why don’t you visit our restaurant?” Or the bartender will say, “Thank you. I look forward toward your return” when cashing out patrons. Guests feel welcome and appreciated, and find themselves feeling happy and positive.

This feel-good feeling becomes contagious among the guests and they soon subconsciously begin emulating the positive speech patterns they hear from the staff. By consciously transforming their speech patterns into positive ones, the staff influenced themselves to be positive and happy. The Ritz-Carlton experience demonstrated to me how language allowed the staff to influence themselves in a particular way and how their mental state was then transferred to the minds of the guests and how the guests transferred it to the minds of others. This was a dramatic example to me of how language can be used to influence behavior and emotions.

Many educated adults have a negative mindset which you can hear in the language they use. They talk about “what is not,” instead of “what is.” For example, when you ask someone how they are, how many times have you heard something like “No complaints or no problems.” What does that mean? Does it mean the person has a list of possible complaints taped on the bedroom wall and then reads the list every morning? “Gee, what do you know, no complaints today.” Ask a child and a child will tell you how they feel. “I feel great,” “I feel sick,” “I feel excited,” and so on. Following are some common example of “what is not” language. Offer an idea to your boss at work and instead of saying “That’s good,” your boss says “Not bad.” What does that mean? Does that mean every other idea you offered was bad? Instead of “Go ahead and do it,” why do we say “I don’t have a problem with that.” Does that mean we had a problem with everything else? Instead of “We can solve this easily by looking at our options,” why do we say “There is not any reason why we can’t solve this easily.” Does this mean we should look as hard as we can for reasons why it can’t be solved? Instead of “It’s a pleasure,” why do we say “No problem,” when someone thanks us for a favor. Does that mean every favor we did before was a problem? Instead of “Here’s what will happen,” why do we say “It won’t hurt.” Does this mean some ideas hurt and some ideas don’t? Why do we say “Why don’t we get together for lunch?”, instead of “Let’s get together for lunch?” Does it mean to try and think of some excuse not to have lunch? Why do we say “What’s wrong with this idea?” instead of “How can we improve the idea? “Does it mean that if one part of an idea is wrong then the whole idea is wrong?

Aristotle believed that the words and chains of words that we use in framing a problem play a significant role in the way we approach problems. Toyota once posted a notice asking employees to offer suggestions on how to increase production. They received only a few ideas. A manager reworded the request to asking employees for suggestions on how to make their work easier. They were inundated with ideas. A manager at a large computer company had a mission to put together an on-line database that would make life easier for all his telephone support people, but he couldn’t get any cooperation from them. His memo began, “As you know, are legally obligated to provide a 4-hour response on all customer calls. Currently, we are backlogged with customer calls and making little or no progress; complaints continue to grow…” This is a negative approach. He later reworded the memo to say, “How would you like to get through your stack of backlogged customer calls quickly? How would you like to have all the researched answers to customer calls at the tips of your fingers? Help is on the way. For the next 30 days, I’ m asking you simply to record and forward to me a copy of…”. The positive approach generated a much better response. Positive framing means to say what you’re for, not what you’re against; what you’re going to do.

YOU CAN USE WORDS TO PRIME BEHAVIOR Language also influences behavior. In a pair of studies, University of British Columbia researchers had participants play “dictator game.” The game is simple: you’re offered ten one dollar coins and told to take as many as you want and leave the rest for the player in the other room (who is, unbeknown to you, a research confederate). The fair split, of course, is 50-50, but most anonymous “dictators” play selfishly, leaving little or nothing for the other player. In the control group, the vast majority of participants kept everything or nearly everything. In the experimental condition, the researchers next prompted thoughts of God using a well-established “priming” technique: participants, who again included both theists and atheists, first had to unscramble sentences containing words such as God, divine, love, and sacred. That way, going into the dictator game, players had God on their minds without being consciously aware of it. Sure enough, the “God prime” worked like a charm, leading to fairer splits. Without the God prime, only a few of the participants split the money evenly, but when primed with the religious words, 62 percent did.

There is a curious term in Japanese that refers to a very special manner of polite, aristocratic speech known as “play language,” (asobase kotoba), whereby, instead of saying to a person, for example, “I see that you have come to Tokyo,” one would express the observation by saying, “I see that you are playing at being in Tokyo”–the idea being that the person addressed is in such control of his life and powers that for him, everything is a play, a game. He is able to enter into life as one would enter into a game, freely and with ease. What has to be done is attacked with such a will that in the performance, one is literally “in play.” For example, “I see that you are playing at being unemployed?” That is the attitude designated by Nietzsche as love of one’s fate.

Ralph Summy, who directs the Matsunaga Institute for Peace, is well aware of the influence of language and encourages students to replace violent emotions by replacing violent expressions with nonviolent language. Instead of describing someone as “shooting a hole in an argument,” he suggests that person could be described as “unraveling a ball of yarn.” Summy also recommends that the expression “to kill two birds with one stone” be replaced by “to stroke two birds with one hand.” “Dressed to kill,” he adds, might become “dressed to thrill.”

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT. Language profoundly changes the way people think. Consider our relationship with animals. We typically regard ourselves as superior as we see animals as a lower form of life. We see them as “its.” In contrast to our relationship to animals, the Native Americans Algonquin and Lakota Sioux regard the animal as equal to humans and in many ways superior as expressed in their language. The Native Americans address all animal life as “thou,” an object of reverence. The deer, the dog, the snake, the buffalo are all “thou.” The ego that sees a “thou” is not the same ego that sees an “it.” Whenever you see an animal, silently think the words “thou dog,” “thou bird,” and so on. Try it for a few days or so to see for yourself. I guarantee you will feel a dramatic change in your psychology toward all animal life. – See more at: http://creativethinking.net/the-power-of-words/#sthash.oOkQFBgw.Kf7jPh3U.dpuf

The Optimistic Counselor

african chiefOnce in Africa there lived a chief who had an optimistic counselor who was so positive that the chief was often irritated by his practice of constantly spinning the positive on everything. The counselor never uttered a negative thought about anyone or anything. One day while the chief and his counselor were chopping their way through the thick jungle, the chief’s machete slipped and he cut off his thumb. “That’s great!” cried the counselor. “Believe me, behind this accident there is some good we do yet see.”

Angered by this insane comment, the chief grabbed the counselor and tied him to a tree. “You are a fool,” he yelled, “And now you will be food for the lions. See what good you can find in that, you idiot.” Then he wrapped his hand and set off for his village. On the way, he was accosted by a group of wild native warriors that decided that the chief would make an excellent sacrifice for their yearly offering to the volcano. They took him to their witch doctor to prepare him for this honor. As the witch doctor was anointing him with oil, he unwrapped the chief’s hand and noticed the missing thumb. “I’m sorry,” the witch doctor told the chief, “We can’t use you. The Volcano god only accepts perfect sacrifices. He would be angry if we offered him a maimed one. You are free to go.”

Ecstatic, the chief ran back to where he left his counselor. To his delight, the counselor was still alive. He was sitting there, grinning and whistling cheerfully. The chief untied him and profusely apologized. “I am terribly sorry that I tied you up for the lions.” The chief said as he untied him. “I was taken prisoner and was about to be sacrificed. But when the witch doctor saw my missing thumb, they let me go. It was a miracle, which you foretold and which I did not believe. Can you ever forgive me?” “No apology necessary,” replied the counselor. “It was a blessing that you left me tied to the tree. Because if I were with you, they would have taken me for the sacrifice!”

(Michael Michalko is the author of Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative Thinking Techniques; Cracking Creativity: The Thinking Strategies of Creative Geniuses;  Thinkpak: A Brainstorming Card Deck, and Creative Thinkering: Putting Your Imagination to Work. http://www.creativethinking.net)

WHAT CREATIVITY MEANS

creativitySuppose I go into the woods and see a bird. I know the bird is a brown-throated thrush, but in Germany it’s called a halsenflugel, and in China it’s called a chung ling and even if I know all the different names in different languages for it, I still know nothing about the bird. I only know something about people and what they call the bird. Now that the thrush sings, teaches its young how to fly, and flies many miles away during the summer and somehow always finds its way back and nobody knows how it does so and so forth. There is a difference between knowing the name of something and understanding something.

It is the same with creative thinking. We go to school and learn about Albert Einstein and his theories about the universe and we say he was creative. We are not taught how he thought. We’re taught he was simply more intelligent than other scientists. We’re taught nothing about his mental process of “combinatory play” of visual images or the irrationality of his way of speculative thinking about “damn fool ideas,” or the many dead ends and failures he experienced. We’re presented with his idea as a product of superior intellect and knowledge. Analogically, as if we are taught how to measure daily rainfall by the rise of water in a pail without ever realizing that the rain arrives in individual drops.

To continue further, think of the sentence “The mouse is confined in a box.” A box is made by nailing six boards together. But it’s obvious that no box can hold a mouse unless it has “containment.” If you study each board, you will discover that no single board contains any containment, since the mouse can just walk away from it. And if there is no containment in one board, there can’t be any in six boards. So the box can have no containment at all. Theoretically then, the mouse should be able to escape.

What, then, keeps the mouse confined? Of course, it is the way the way the boards are combined that creates a relationship that prevents motion in all directions. The secret of a box is simply in a certain combination of relationships. That’s what “containing: means. So it’s silly to expect any separate board by itself to contain any containment, even though each contributes to the containing.

The reason box seems non-mysterious is that we understand perfectly that no single board can contain by itself. Everyone understands how the boards of a well made box interact to prevent motion in any direction. The same applies to the word “creativity.” It is foolish to use this word for describing the smallest components of a process because this word was invented to describe how larger assemblies interact. Like “containment,” the word “creativity” is used for describing phenomena that result from certain combinations of relationships. This is the difference between knowing the name of something and understanding something.

But how much more difficult it is to think of creativity as a phenomena that results from a certain combination of relationships. This combination includes the principles of intention, belief, attitude, behavior, language, the willingness to work harder than anyone else, knowing there is no such thing as failure, knowing how to change the way you look at things, knowing how to think in different ways and learning how to think inclusively without the prejudices of logic. We’ve been schooled to think of them all as separate and distinct entities so they can be described and explained. Despite the apparent separateness of these at this level, they are all a seamless extension of each other and ultimately blend into each other.

When you look at nature, contents aren’t contained anywhere but are revealed only by the dynamics. What matters to nature are the ways relationships interact, the way they cooperate and combine to form coherent patterns. In nature form and content are inextricably connected and can’t be separated. The healthy pattern of trees bending in concert creates harmony and beauty, whereas, an unhealthy pattern is destructive and ugly. With the trees, it is the combination of relationships between the wind, rain, roots and soil that forms the healthy or unhealthy relationships. With people, it is a common body of human behaviors and generalized principles from which patterns blend together to create the person.

Like nature, the contents of creative genius aren’t contained anywhere but also are revealed by the dynamics. When you look at the behaviors of creative geniuses throughout the history of the world, you will find that, like the patterns of nature, the form and contents of their behaviors are inextricably connected and can’t be separated. Creators have the intention to create, and act and speak in a positive and joyful manner. Creators look at what is and what can be instead of what is not. Instead of excluding possibilities, creators consider all possibilities, both real and imagined. Creators interpret experiences for themselves and disregard the interpretations of past thinkers. Creators learn how to look at things in different ways and use different ways of thinking. Creators understand that when you attempt to do something and don’t get the result you want, you haven’t failed. You’ve produced a result. It’s what you do with the result that counts. Have you learned something you didn’t know before? Have you discovered something new? Can you explain something you couldn’t explain before? And most importantly, creators are creative because they believe they are creative, have the intention to create, and work harder and more passionately than the merely talented to create.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Michael Michalko is the author of the highly-acclaimed Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative Thinking Techniques.  http://www.amazon.com/Thinkertoys-Handbook-Creative-Thinking-Techniques-Edition/dp/1580087736/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0T6TTX3RDA7VQ9NEJR5C

How to Prevent the Breakage of Eggs

EGGWorld-renowned physicist, Professor Freeman Dyson, has been described as a ‘force-of-nature intellect’ and a visionary who has reshaped scientific thinking with his skepticism about theories that are based on chains of inferences. One of his humorous examples is about an expert who has an established theory about the danger of boxes and their effect on human life and the environment. The theory is that boxes might be harmful and the use of boxes should be regulated. Now, suppose that I leave a box on the floor, and my wife trips on it, falling against my son, who is carrying a carton of eggs, which then fall and break.  The expert’s approach to an event like this would be that the best way to prevent the breakage of eggs would be to outlaw leaving boxes on the floor. As silly as this example is, it is analogous to what is happening in the world of global warming. The chief difference is that in the case of atmospheric CO2 and climate catastrophe, the chain of inference is longer and less plausible, according to Dyson, than in the example.

Dyson’s impression about climate change is that the experts are deluded because they have been studying the details of climate models for 40 years and they have come to believe the computer models are real. After 40 years they have lost the ability to think outside their models.

I suspect that this is why climatologists are feverishly working hard to prove, that warming, freezing, droughts, hurricanes, tidal waves, flooding, ice caps, deserts, monsoons, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, and our last ice age were all the result of global warming.

……………

Michael Michalko www.creativethinking.net

4 O R T Y or 40

When we learn something, we are taught to program it into our brain and stop thinking about or looking for alternatives. We have been taught to have “spotlight” awareness and to exclude alternatives and possibilities. Over time this spotlight mindset become stronger and stronger. To get a sense of how strong this mindset is, try solving the following problem.

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT

Consider the following problem which involves multiples of five. It’s a complex problem which can only be solved thinking inclusively and unconventionally.

05, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35?

Of the five numbers below, which complete the series above?

06, 15, 18, 20, 25

The series is a progression of multiples of five and the expected answer should be 40. But 40 is not listed below.

A creative thinker would ask “How else can I look at this problem?” “How can I rethink the way I see the number 40?” “Can it be expressed in a different way?” Well it can be expressed many different ways, for example, Roman numerals and so on. But the answer must be listed below, so the thinker would wonder about different ways of looking at the listed numbers below. Can they take some other form?

One different way of looking at the numbers is to transform the numbers into alphabetical letters. F is the #6 letter of the alphabet; 15 = O; 18 = R; 20 = T; and 25 = Y. The numbers when converted to letters spell “Forty.” The answer to the problem is all five numbers are necessary to complete the series. This problem can only be solved by thinking inclusively and considering the least obvious approaches as well as the conventional ones.

For more information about creative thinking, read Michael Michalko’s book CREATIVE THINKERING. http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Thinkering-Putting-Your-Imagination/dp/160868024X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424553466&sr=8-1&keywords=CREATIVE+THINKERING

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