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The Serious Business of Laughing

Many years ago, when I was teaching bottom-line-focused teams of executives to make more money and spend less by reprogramming the way their brains were taught to approach every strategy in the book, I came to the realisation that they were all too serious for their own good and what they really needed was to loosen up. I devised a rather clever way to take their minds off the “important stuff” and introduced the “anything goes” crazy wall. A sizeable portion of our conference room walls, well apart from our “important stuff” mapping, was devoted to the posting of impossibly ...
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Music Mends Minds

I was chatting with a friend last night and she told me a fascinating story of an experience she and her husband had while they were in Australia a few years ago. As part of their visa requirements, they were sent to run a small pub for three months in a very small hamlet in the deep outback that only had one road in and out. “It was a dismal hopeless place”, she said, “where the customers appeared aged beyond their years with long drawn faces, sad expressionless eyes, colourless clothing and resigned demeanour. They never laughed or hardly ever cracked ...
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A Direct Line to Your Brain

I was 12 and I was in trouble. Again. I had just started Geometry and we had to learn to use a protractor to measure angles and wotnot. Never seen one before. I could not, for the life of me, figure out what the two sets of numbers were for. Why two? Made no sense. A twelve-year old boy’s mind works in mysterious ways. It got bad. I was worried. I was falling waaay behind. Everything seemed to hinge on this horrible, plastic, protracted, Protractor thingy. Out of desperation while doing my homework one autumn night, I quite predictably fell ...
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Earworms and Worrywarts

I don’t know about you but there are days when I walk around humming the same tune over and over again for days on end and it drives me (and my long-suffering wife) absolutely mad. I know it’s time for a change when she starts looking up divorce lawyers. We call these pesky little tunes ‘Earworms’. Naturally, being the boffin that I am, I started to wonder how big they are, the size of neural circuitry, the chunk of meat involved, anything that would give me an inkling of how to stop the darn things or, better yet, how to ...
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Flush away the Misery

Gord was a really miserable sod. His girlfriend said so. His coworkers said so. Heck, even his Mom said so. In the end, even Gord had to agree he was a very miserable sod indeed. Early on, I could tell he had poor mental hygiene habits. He literally wallowed in misery all the time. “Yes, but..” was his favourite phrase. Gord was a master plumber, a real craftsman and a bit of a perfectionist too. He very quickly caught on to how our brain’s GLYMPHATIC SYSTEM works. The glymphatic system is the brain’s waste disposal system. Who knew that your ...
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