Many people dream about moving to the country, escaping the city for good. Most Australians live in cities, but there seems to be a collective desire to escape the concrete and glass for green fields and open spaces. Those who do this are popularly known in Australia as seachangers and treechangers.
I am always repeating the mantra that we should “work hard and play hard”. But is having fun professionally productive? As someone who studies animal behavior I sometimes look to my experimental subjects for an answer.
The story of Count Dracula as many of us know it was created by Bram Stoker, an Irishman, in 1897. But most of the action takes place in England, from the moment the Transylvanian vampire arrives on a shipwrecked vessel in Whitby, North Yorkshire, with plans to make his lair in the spookily named Carfax estate, west of the river in London.
Halloween used to be kid stuff. To quit dressing up was an important rite of passage. It meant you were one step closer to becoming an adult. Not anymore. Today adults have become avid Halloween revelers, especially young adults.
There is an old story our Elders teach us about a Water Snake who lived in a pond up high at the base of a sacred mountain. He was a very healthy, wealthy, strong, and handsome man. He was on top of the world, you might say. He had the whole pond to himself and he had everything a person could ask for in life: plenty of natural resources, open space, lots of food, good weather, ample shelter...
Throughout the ages, Greece has created an inspiring legacy in the arts and culture. Renowned Greek philosophers, architects, sculptors, poets and playwrights like Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Herodotus, Sophocles, Euripedes and Aeschylus have made remarkable contributions over the centuries to the arts and culture and have left an indelible foundation for future generations.
With AI becoming incorporated into more aspects of our daily lives, from writing to driving, it’s only natural that artists would also start to experiment with artificial intelligence.
When you think about creativity, it might be highly creative people like Mozart, Da Vinci or Einstein who spring to mind. They were all considered to be “geniuses” for their somewhat unique talents that led to global innovation in their fields.
Ancient innovators were poets, thinkers, artisans and scientists, not business owners. The classical Greek philosopher Socrates did not become famous for the massive dividends that he provided to his shareholders in the hemlock industry.
People often believe those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder face challenges that could hinder future employment, but a new study finds that adults with ADHD feel empowered doing creative tasks, which could help them on the job.
All over the world, community stories, customs and beliefs have been passed down from generation to generation. This folkore is used by elders to teach family and friends about their collective cultural past. And for African Americans, folklore has played a particularly important part in documenting history too.
Knowledge can take many forms. There is “knowledge by acquaintance”, as in knowing a person or place. There is propositional knowledge, or “knowledge that” – for example, knowing that the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016. There is also “knowledge how”, as in knowing how to ride a bicycle.
Narcissism is defined as excessive self-love or self-centredness. In Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love when he saw his reflection in water: he gazed so long, he eventually died. Today, the quintessential image is not someone staring at his reflection but into his mobile phone. While we pine away for that perfect Snapchat filter or track our likes on Instagram, the mobile phone has become a vortex of social media that sucks us in and feeds our narcissistic tendencies. Or so it would seem.
As a boy in late-1940s Memphis, my dad got a nickel every Friday evening to come by the home of a Russian Jewish immigrant named Harry Levenson and turn on his lights, since the Torah forbids lighting a fire in your home on the Sabbath. My father would wonder, however, if he were somehow sinning.
Could disc golf become more popular than ball golf by 2028? Ask disc golfers and they’ll say, “You bet – our sport is growing like crazy.” But for most Americans, the answer is, “What’s disc golf?” And the typical ball golfer will likely respond, “No – and stop calling my sport ball golf.”
For almost two years now, Americans have been confronted daily by ominous tidings. We are living through stressful times. Reading the news feels awful; ignoring it doesn’t feel right either.
Most of us spend much more time with digital media than we did a decade ago. But today’s teens have come of age with smartphones in their pockets. Compared to teens a couple of decades ago, the way they interact with traditional media like books and movies is fundamentally different.
When I give talks, I am often approached by people who are worried about their memory. Maybe they are studying for an exam and don’t feel that they learn as well as their peers. Maybe they keep forgetting to close the window when they leave the house. Or maybe they struggle to remember an event that happened a few weeks ago but which everyone else can describe in vivid detail.
One of the first albums I owned was a tape of Madonna’s 1987 remix collection You Can Dance. I’m not sure where I got it from – and I’m not sure I even liked it – but the bright red cover and Madonna’s hard, direct stare are etched in my mind’s eye even now, 30 years later.
If you like independent, art-house films or other specialised movies, you may have heard of the Romanian comedy-drama Sieranevada, which was released in 2016. The film was formally premiered as part of the main competition programme of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and was subsequently shown at other international film festivals, including Toronto, New York and London.
The duck-rabbit image above is one of the most iconic in philosophy – so iconic that a former undergraduate of mine had it tattooed on his leg. So what’s philosophically significant about this dot and wavy line?
Our brains hold the magic that allows us to find our stories and to make and remake our meaning. When split-brain research began in the 1960s, the findings expanded horizons on how our storytelling minds work.
Craft can be done solitary or with other people, and its up to you to decide.
British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Ali G, Borat, and Brüno), is back – just in time – with his new show: Who is America? Based on 12 months of undercover interviews, this satirical comedy series “explores the diverse individuals… across the political and cultural spectrum, who populate the United States”.
Many sociologists, psychologists and cultural critics argue that the rapid spread of exhaustion syndromes such as depression, stress and burnout are consequences of modernity and its challenges.
Do you sometimes feel you need a vacation from your vacation?
Mark Twain once said, ‘Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
The Brothers Grimm have been dead more than 150 years, but they recently released a new story with a little help from artificial intelligence.
As a cognitive scientist who studies the relationship between cognition and narratives, I know that movies – like all stories – exploit our natural tendency to anticipate what’s coming next.
Some selfies are more dangerous than others… Earlier this month, an Indian man was killed while trying to take a selfie next to a wounded bear.
People in parks are more positive, and around areas like major transport hubs more negative, according to our analysis of 2.2 million tweets in Melbourne.
As far as mammals go, we humans are pretty good at using our voices. We sing, talk, lie — and imply — with the subtle dips and rises of our voices.
If you say, 'I am not creative,' then that's an affirmation that will be true for you for as long as you continue to use it. You can never express yourself creatively by talking or thinking about what a klutz you are. We create our lives every day...
Images are not static. They grab our attention, incite desire, alter our relations to others, and tweak our beliefs, as they usher us into new worlds.
When the issue of “How safe is mom or dad?” and “Can they stay in their home?” arises, it often causes a conflict between the kids and the parents. It’s natural to view the situation through our own lens, thus creating different and sometimes clashing versions of the same reality.
The idea of arts on prescription and social prescribing may seem like a new one, but it is actually more than 10 years since UK government policy first referenced linking patients with non-medical support in the community.
Even in the 20th century, it was commonly believed that people born blind were unable to have a true understanding of the world around them. For instance, in 1950 the psychologist Geza Revesz wrote: “[No] one born blind is able to become aware of the diversity of nature and to apprehend all the rich and various appearances of objects.”
Artists persist in challenging assumed knowledge in their attempts to awaken the conscience of the world. Artists can become witnesses for the prosecution of the crimes of our times, as well as enabling some viewers to see the world differently.
Flowers and plants describe the attributes that they hold through their form, function and behaviour. The way they grow and attract pollinators; the way they look, smell, taste, feel and even sound, are all indications of this. From closely observing these factors, we have an opening into the world of the language of plants.
A train hurtled around a corner at 82 mph, eventually coming off the rails and killing four passengers. Decades earlier, faulty decision-making resulted in the deaths of the seven-person crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Daydreaming is one of life’s great joys. You can indulge in it when you’re stuck in a boring meeting or a long queue. This seemingly innocuous pastime, however, is a double-edged sword.
The internet is filled with lists of which rom-coms will “get you through” Valentine’s Day—the assumption seems to be that, otherwise, we singles would be festering alone in our living rooms, drinking vodka and singing “All By Myself” à la Bridget Jones. I enjoy the genre, but as a feminist I have some qualms.
Drinking alcohol is fun – the after-effects, less so. It is little wonder, then, that people the world over have sought remedies to mitigate the dreaded hangover.
“The Disaster Artist” – which just earned James Franco a Golden Globe for his portrayal of director Tommy Wiseau – tells the story of the making of “The Room,” a film that’s been dubbed “the Citizen Kane” of bad movies.
New research examines what makes the people of Iceland so creative—and how the United States could adopt some of those factors.
At times it seemed as though the impossible suddenly became possible. How can these things be explained? A stroke of genius, intuition, inspiration? Yes, probably all of these, but much, much more. All the ability involved in the logical process of reasoning could...
For centuries, musicians have used drugs to enhance creativity and listeners have used drugs to heighten the pleasure created by music.
Being trapped in a tedious job, with no possibility of escape, is a recipe for real boredom. This kind of boredom is unpleasant and definitely bad for us.
To boost your creative powers, I suggest mild, mindless activity. Go for a walk around the block. Get up out of your office chair and do some knee bends. Pace from your kitchen to your bedroom and back. Swing your arms in figure-eight formations until it’s mindless. Just get moving.
To live our own creativity in a self-determined way – this may be one of the most difficult tasks there is. Although we should first dispel a misconception – this does not mean that we just “do our thing” without regard for others. It is better thought of as a service of love for our community in attunement with ourselves.
Creativity is often defined as the ability to come up with new and useful ideas. Like intelligence, it can be considered a trait that everyone – not just creative “geniuses” like Picasso and Steve Jobs – possesses in some capacity.
Life expectancy has given senior men a whole new phase of life to explore. There’s no reason to see this as a dead end. More likely than not, it’s a whole new beginning.
"There’s actually a science to why stories matter. So when we hear a good story as human beings our brain lights up.
Whether you get mesmerized by Vincent van Gogh’s painting The Starry Night or Albert Einstein’s theories about space-time, you’ll probably agree that both pieces of work are products of mind-blowing creativity. Imagination is what propels us forward as a species
You might think Lego is just a kids’ toy – one you played with as a child and now step on as you walk through the house as a parent.
Creativity has nothing to do with any activity in particular. Anything can be creative. Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach -- how you look at things. You can paint in an uncreative way... You can clean the floor in a creative way...
In the run-up to Christmas, we’re subjected to a daily barrage of festive music – on the radio and television, in shops, train stations, restaurants, pubs and bars. So are you humming Jingle Bells or All I Want for Christmas while you wrap your presents?
The Star Wars universe is no stranger to political allegories. Many viewers have pointed out the parallels between the original Empire and the Nazis, to give the most famous example, with the plucky Rebel Alliance cast as the US/British resistance who never gave up hope in the face of unconscionable evil.
One of the biggest media industry stories this year is Disney’s announcement that it will launch its own internet-distributed television service in 2018.
Imagine an apple floating in front of you. Now see if you can rotate it around in your mind. Look at it from the top, bottom – does it have any blemishes? How clearly can you see it?
I have a tiny suspicion that someday, far in the future, people will look back at our ideas about the right brain-left brain dichotomy and laugh. I suspect they will wonder at our lack of understanding, in much the same way that today we cringe at outdated medieval medical practices.
The Shape of Water is a gorgeous and entertaining movie, but it also has a timely, allegorical message about our willingness to accept difference.
For as long as we have been able to stand upright and speak, we have told stories. They explained the mysteries of the world: birth, death, the seasons, day and night. They were the origins of human creativity, expressed in words but also in pictures...
Did you ever say to yourself, "I wish that I might never again be afraid of anything"? Or have you met someone who had such a deep calm and peace that you have thought, "How I wish that I might be like that person"? Did you ever, in some still moment, feel as though you could...
Most Americans probably don’t realize that we have a very limited understanding of the first Thanksgiving, which took place in 1621 in Massachusetts.
If you want to change your life today—to make it radically different tomorrow—you must engage in the creative process. This process requires the ability to respond without sifting through past memories. It also requires cohesiveness of intention, and purposefulness.
Many of us have experienced the effects of sleep deprivation: feeling tired and cranky, or finding it hard to concentrate. Sleep is more important for our brains than you may realize.
Chaya Grossberg is one of the creatively maladjusted. Her process of spiritual development can serve as a model for other psychiatric survivors who have not broken out of the psychiatric net and not discovered their identities...
Albert Einstein attributed his brilliant mind to having a child-like sense of humor. Indeed, a number of studies have found an association between humour and intelligence.
Although we tend to compartmentalize our lives — this is work, this is family, this is entertainment — it doesn’t actually work that way. Everything we think and do and feel is interconnected, and what occurs in one realm of our lives affects all the others.
He is famous for his love of honey, and being a bear of “little brain”. So Winnie the Pooh might be a little surprised to find himself the subject of a major new museum exhibition.
I think I might be a hedonist. Are you imagining me snorting cocaine through $100 notes, a glass of champagne in one hand, the other fondling a stranger’s firm thigh?
Do you ever have trouble telling right from left? For example you’re taking a driving lesson and the instructor asks you to take a left turn and you pause, struggling to think of which way is left.
I had just been outdoors, but I couldn’t say what the sky looked like, cloudy or clear, or whether birds sang or if I’d felt a breeze on my cheeks. I had been locked inside my head, thinking. After that, a phrase I’d heard all of my life, “Come to your senses,” began to take on new meaning.
Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, once said “creativity is just connecting things”. There’s truth in that but there is another source of creativity, too – the ideas that simply pop into our minds.
Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) uses the body, movement and dance as a way of expressing oneself and findings ways of exploring and addressing psychological problems or difficulties.
When the legends of opera were composing their works, it is unlikely they ever envisaged a time when intricate sets made by man’s hand would be replaced with virtual reality.
When you think about somewhere that is tranquil, what do you imagine? Whether it’s a wide open meadow, a deserted beach, or a river as it lazily flows along on a warm summer’s afternoon, research shows tranquillity is mainly found in natural outdoor environments.
The two episodes of Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds set out to explore the increasing isolation of older people within our communities.
Let’s say you’re planning your next party and agonizing over the guest list. To whom should you send invitations? What combination of friends and strangers is the right mix?
This summer marks 40 years since the death of Elvis Presley. In the decades since the singer finally left the building, the hits have continued, his home at Graceland is now a top tourist attraction, and he is regularly listed as one of the top earning dead celebrities by Forbes.
He was an artist renowned for bravely plumbing his own life for material, spinning much of his own pain into theatrical gold.
Mermaids are everywhere. In July 2017 alone they have surfaced in New Brighton, caused controversy in Asda, reinvigorated toast, partied with the Kardashians, transformed maternity and wedding photography
Game of Thrones has become something of a TV event over the past six years – the last season attracted more than 5m viewers per episode.
Two centuries on from the death of Jane Austen, the enthusiasm for her work and the Regency world she represents is more alive than ever. Austen herself might marvel at this. She had to buy her first manuscript back from a publisher because it came to nothing, and published anonymously during her lifetime.
Lowering the legal age for marijuana use will help to improve prevention, safety and education for young people.
Temporary relief from structured classroom teaching opens up exciting opportunities for kids at summer camps that not only feed their craving for fun, but also satiate their emotional, physical and cognitive development.
For me, red is passion, energy, fun, excitement. My red blazer immediately infuses me with inner warmth and joy. “That’s a good color on you.” This accurate remark emphasizes the vitality behind the color energizing my very being.
When he arrived alone in London in 1958, the label attached to Paddington Bear’s coat politely requested that he be looked after.
“He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragic plays and tragic reality”, said the prophetic protagonist in the German philosopher Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
“We see many films on male bonding, but hardly any on female bonding,” award-winning Indian filmmaker Aparna Sen told Indian television news channel NDTV at Cannes, just after the screening of her latest film, Sonata.
A magician in the highest and truest sense, your Spirit has the power to arrange events and situations so that they serve your ultimate well-being, as well as the ultimate well-being of everyone else.
The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band turns 50 on June 1 and the anniversary of this legendary album will be celebrated in style. But has this classic work - named the greatest album of all time by Rolling Stone - stood the test of time?
There is a strange and troubled kind of intimacy between our own moment of climate change and 19th century Britain. It was there that a global, fossil fuel economy first took shape, through its coal-powered factories, railways, and steamships, which drove the emergence of modern consumer capitalism.
It is hard to stop hurrying mentally toward the next task, fretting about something in the future, or ruminating over something that happened the day before. Even if we vow not to squander the next hour through inattention, it happens. We slip back into our thoughts and forget to be awake.
The manner in which we approach our work is highly revealing and immediately evident to the sensitive viewer; our energies directly transfer into the work itself. Most of us yearn for a high order of integrity and caring from others in our lives. Do we not wish to embody this care, this quality, in ourselves and in our own way of working?
It started when an American academic noticed how frequently the acknowledgements sections of weighty academic tomes featured a male author thanking his nameless wife for typing.
"I know how it works. I can change whatever seems to be whenever I want to change it. What shall I change, what suggestions shall I give myself, shall I accept, take them for truth in my trance and watch the world shift around me?"