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Tuesday, July 17, 2007Why Guys Should Not Drink And Invent?
We guys are an inventive and creative bunch. Always looking for ways to make our lives easier, keep us from killing ourselves and make us more attractive to women. (And possibly get ridiculously rich in the process.) But sometimes a few of us go a little too far when channeling our inner Thomas Edison.
Here are some real, honest-to-goodness patented guy inventions unearthed by Scott Seegert in his recently published book, "It's a Guy Thing: Awesome Real Innovations From the Underdeveloped Male Mind". The illustrations are the inventors' actual drawings, taken directly from the official paperwork filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office. The year the patent was awarded is included to give you some perspective on where the male mind was during that time. Sure they're ridiculous. Even insane. But the sad reality is there are more than a few we secretly wish we had. Here are ten that we should be glad we have no access to.
Albert's Helmet-Mounted Pistol (1953)
Why should we actually have to hold a weapon in our hand? We're guys. Our hands are too busy doing other guy things to be involved in a firefight. Our head isn't doing much. So, thought Albert, if I just strap a gigantic pistol to my melon I can keep my hands free for more important things. As Scott notes in the book, "Once this powerful weapon has been securely strapped to the noggin, a quick blow into the firing tube is all it takes to... send a large-caliber bullet rocketing in a generally forward direction." Not to mention cause severe whiplash and/or spinal injuries from the kickback of this monster.
Bill's Swimming Apparatus (1881)
You have to assume the only thing Bill was looking for here was a way to set himself apart from the other dorks at the beach: Hey ladies. Feast your eyes upon my Swimming Apparatus. Watch as I take my winged, rod-reinforced, full-body flotation suit and slide gracefully into the water. Where I sink like a winged, rod-reinforced, full-body flotation suited stone. Scott says, "Although we can't prove it, we have every reason to believe that Bill was especially proud of the way the hood turned out." And I'm betting the ladies were too.
Andre's Penis Exerciser (1995)
Only twelve short years ago Andre realized that LDS (Limp Dick Syndrome, look it up), was caused by a lack of circulation to the muscles of the penis. What he failed to realize was that his solution of having us drop trou and repeatedly lift a weighted lever with Little Bruno at full attention involved foresight and effort. Two things we guys don't have in huge supply. So when Viagra debuted three years later, enabling Little Bruno to happy dance for hours on end at the drop of a pill, woman lost the only piece of gym equipment that would have given them the same viewing pleasure the Leg Abductor gives us.
Larry's Bleacher Pants (2005)
It's the 21st century and still no one has invented comfortable bleacher seats. Oh sure, you could bring you own cushion, but how do you juggle that plus a 32 ounce beer, two hot dogs, chili cheese fries and a giant foam finger? You can't. So you go home with a bad case of Bleacher Ass. Unless of course you're comfortable enough in your masculinity to attend a game wearing a pair of Larry's Bleacher Pants, which come complete with "buttocks-shaped foam cushion incorporated therein". A very, very large buttocks-shaped foam cushion. From the drawings, I'm guessing either Larry had a severely tender butt, or he spent some time on Brokeback Mountain.
Squire's Anatomic Underwear (2000)
Women have the Wonder Bra, so Squire figured it's time we guys got to experience "a never-before-achieved level of attractiveness by allowing (our) natural carriage and authentic masculine style to be expressed in a way that reflects (our) own image." Meaning we no longer have to suffer with compacted, crowded, flattened genitalia. We are now free to let our manly bulges ride high and full and proud. The way God and Squire intended.
Jack's No-Slip Hairpiece (1995)
This is the Hair Club for Men meets the movie "Saw". Jack's "innovation" over traditional hair replacement surgery, weaving, toupees, or plain old shaving yourself bald, is his far, far more humiliating No-Slip Hairpiece. Don't let the illustration alarm you. The plastic horseshoe looking thing is not stapled to your head. (Unless you request it.) It's merely permanently secured to your scalp with glue or "braiding". That piece of meat floating above his head is your new, thick, luxurious head of hair ready to be secured to your dome by driving those spikes into the horseshoe. Not even a hurricane force wind, or the embarrassment of a dead otter anchored to your scalp, could separate you from your new flowing locks. Just your dignity.
Dick's Daddy Saddle (2003)
I'm certain Dick's intentions were noble when he designed this saddle for loving daddies everywhere to wear while playing horsey with their little ones, but I just can't help but think that the next thing they hear after some guys strap this on will be, "I'm Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC..."
John's Head-Butt Game (1976)
1976 was a magical time. The country was celebrating its 200th birthday. We elected a smiling peanut farmer from Georgia to guide us after scandal rocked the White House. And those pesky child endangerment laws weren't on the books yet. Making John's Head-Butt Game the perfect rainy-day activity for your hyperactive little tykes. The rules are simple enough: two children try to knock each other off their respective floor discs using only their heads. While wearing wrist restraints. So the little rascals can't use their hands to cheat. Or break their unconscious fall. As Scott points out, "Sure it will be a little noisy at first, but within five or six minutes, the home will be as quiet as a coma."
Dan's Motorcycle Safety Apparel (1987)
Scott notes, "Guys are innately drawn to motorcycles. They're fast, they're loud, and they're an integral part of a favorite guy activity -- crashing headfirst into things." Which is fine the first couple of times. Then the brain swelling starts to get a little tedious. Which is why Dan invented this ingenious safety apparel. Why bother with a helmet when you're wearing an inflatable suit tethered to a canister of compressed air? Becoming airborne after a collision triggers the suit to cover your arms, legs and head in a way reminiscent of Maj. Don "Joey" West's body armor in 1998's Lost in Space. Only much less effective.
Harold's Pogo-Copter (1969)
Scott says that nothing "captures the very essence of guyness any better than Harold's Pogo-Copter." It's hard to disagree. How can you when everything we guys love - riding on things, showing off, putting ourselves in mortal danger - is combined into one incredible invention? The idea is to jump up and down on a wheeled pogo stick. Which would be dangerous enough all by itself. But Harold decides to up the peril ante by adding large whirling helicopter blades that spin dangerously close to your cranium. So you can attempt to make the thing FLY. A wheeled, flying pogo stick with blades whipping near your head. Lawyers everywhere just wet themselves.
They may be the "butt" of more than a few jokes, but for years nudists have been touting the benefits of shedding restrictive threads and spending more time in your birthday suit.
And now seems to be the perfect time for the curious and confident to give it a try. It is, after all, Nude Recreation Week.
Gerry Johnston is an avid naturalist, and he has a few suggestions for those who haven't quite worked up the courage to drop their drawers in front of others. "It feels goods," Johnston stresses. "You have to try it. You won't believe how easy it is until you try it."
"(You can do it at) the kitchen table, have your breakfast that way."
"If you have a secluded back yard or balcony and take in some sun."
And while most of us dread the thought of putting our imperfections on full display, there's always those who are ready to try something new. If a day in the nude sounds like a good time to you, you can legally join the fun at one of these locations.
A researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia has found that girls who talk very extensively about their problems with friends are likely to become more anxious and depressed.
The research was conducted by Amanda Rose, associate professor of psychological sciences in the College of Arts and Science. The six-month study, which included boys and girls, examined the effects of co-rumination – excessively talking with friends about problems and concerns. Rose discovered that girls co-ruminate more than boys, especially in adolescence, and that girls who co-ruminated the most in the fall of the school year were most likely to be more depressed and anxious by the spring.
“When girls co-ruminate, they’re spending such a high percentage of their time dwelling on problems and concerns that it probably makes them feel sad and more hopeless about the problems because those problems are in the forefront of their minds. Those are symptoms of depression,” Rose said. “In terms of anxiety, co-ruminating likely makes them feel more worried about the problems, including about their consequences. Co-rumination also may lead to depression and anxiety because it takes so much time – time that could be used to engage in other, more positive activities that could help distract youth from their problems. This is especially true for problems that girls can’t control, such as whether a particular boy likes them, or whether they get invited to a party that all of the popular kids are attending.”
The study involved 813 third, fifth, seventh and ninth grade students. The participants answered questionnaires that assessed co-rumination, depression, anxiety and the quality of their best friendship in the fall and spring of the school year.
Ironically, although co-rumination was related to increased depression and anxiety, Rose also found that co-rumination was associated with positive friendship quality, including feelings of closeness between friends. Boys who co-ruminated also developed closer friendships across the school year but did not develop greater depressive and anxiety symptoms over time.
“For years, we have encouraged kids to find friends who they can talk to about their problems, and with whom they can give and receive social support,” Rose said. “In general, talking about problems and getting social support is linked with being healthy. What’s intriguing about theses findings is that co-rumination likely represents too much of a good thing. Some kids, especially girls, are taking talking about problems to an extreme. When that happens, the balance tips, and talking about problems with friends can become emotionally unhealthy.”
Rose said adolescents should be encouraged to talk about their problems, but only in moderation and without co-ruminating.
“They also should engage in other activities, like sports, which can help them take their minds off their problems, especially problems that they can’t control,” she said.
The study, “Prospective Associations of Co-Rumination With Friendship and Emotional Adjustment: Considering the Socioemotional Trade-Offs of Co-rumination,” will be published in the July issue of Development Psychology.
Sleep is just a bad habit. So said Socrates and Samuel Johnson, and so for years has thought grey-haired Richard Buckminster Fuller, futurific inventor of the Dymaxion* house (TIME, Aug. 22, 1932), the Dymaxion car and the Dymaxion globe. Fuller made a deliberate attempt to break the sleep habit, with excellent results. Last week he announced his Dymaxion system of sleeping. Two hours of sleep a day, he said firmly, is plenty.
Fuller reasoned that man has a primary store of energy, quickly replenished, and a secondary reserve (second wind) that takes longer to restore. Therefore, he thought, a man should be able to cut his rest periods shorter by relaxing as soon as he has used up his primary energy. Fuller trained himself to take a nap at the first sign of fatigue (Le., when his attention to his work began to wander). These intervals came about every six hours; after a half-hour's nap he was completely refreshed.
For two years Fuller thus averaged two hours of sleep in 24. Result: "The most vigorous and alert condition I have ever enjoyed." Life-insurance doctors who examined him found him sound as a nut. Eventually he had to quit because his schedule conflicted with that of his business associates, who insisted on sleeping like other men. Now working for the Foreign Economic Administration, Buckminster Fuller finds Dymaxion working and sleeping out of the question. But he wishes the nation's "key thinkers" could adopt his schedule; he is convinced it would shorten the war.
Intermittent sleeping was not originated by Fuller, has respectable scientific backing. Last week the Industrial Bulletin of Arthur D. Little, Inc., famed Cambridge, Mass, research firm, which published Fuller's sleeping plan, noted a strong point in its favor: most sleep investigators agree that the first hours of sleep are the soundest. Some pro-Fuller evidence:
> Photographs and electric devices to record movements show that the average sleeper, who changes position at least 40 times during an eight-hour stretch, is quietest in the first two hours, then grows progressively more restless.
>At Colgate University sleep investigator Donald A. Laird found that people awakened after four hours' sleep were just as alert, well-coordinated physically and resistant to fatigue as those who slept eight hours (but they did lose in accuracy and concentration).
* A Fuller word representing "dynamic" and "maximum service."
Meditation is the art of silencing the mind. When the mind is silent, concentration is increased and we experience inner peace in the midst of worldly turmoil. This elusive inner peace is what attracts so many people to meditation and is a quality everyone can benefit from.
What are the Benefits of Meditation?
I’ve been meditating twice a day for the past 9 years because I enjoy it. It may seem strange, but I feel happiest when sitting in perfect silence. The experience is difficult to express in words. It is akin to the “peace that passeth understanding”. It is also true that every meditation is not the same. Sometimes meditation is a struggle to control the mind, while at other times it feels effortless.
These are some of the benefits of meditation:
1. Improved concentration - A clear mind makes you more productive, especially in creative disciplines like writing.
2. Less bothered by little things - Do you sometimes allow yourself to get upset by little things? It is the nature of the mind to magnify small things into serious problems. Meditation helps us detach. We learn to live in the here and now, rather than worrying about the past or future. We do not worry about meaningless things, but see the bigger picture.
3. Better Health - There have been numerous studies pointing to the health benefits of meditation. The reason is that meditation reduces stress levels and alleviates anxiety. If we can reduce stress, many health benefits follow.
4. Knowledge of Self - Meditation enables us to have a deeper understanding of our inner self. Through meditation we can gain a better understanding of our life’s purpose.
Is Meditation Religious?
The great thing about meditation is that our philosophy/religious belief is not importanct. Meditation is about consciousness. The beliefs of the mind become trivial. We dive deep into the heart of the matter to gain access to our soul - our inner reality. Therefore, mediation can (and is ) practiced by people of different religions or no religion.
But I don’t have time To Meditate
Many people like the idea of meditation, but feel they don’t have enough time. When you really want to do something you can find time. Get up earlier or watch 30 minutes less TV. Meditation requires an investment of time, but clearing the mind makes the the rest of the day more productive. Nothing is better than the feeling of inner peace. What is the point in being tremendously busy but unable to enjoy it? Meditation is not about retreating from the world; it gives us inspiration. Whatever you do, if you have peace of mind, your work will be more enjoyable and productive.
How To Meditate
Like anything worthwhile, meditation requires practice. To get the most from meditation you need to do it every day. This requires a place and time where you will not be disturbed.
1. Sit with a straight back. Don’t try to meditate lying down because you are likely to fall asleep. Meditation brings relaxation and peace but at the same time this is a dynamic peace. Meditation is quite different than the relaxation of sleep. When we really meditate, we are fully alert and conscious. Our sense of awareness is heightened. Afterwards you’ll have a positive feeling for the world and a renewed sense of dynamism.
2. Don’t eat before meditating. After a heavy meal your body will be lethargic with digestion.
3. It is not necessary to mediate in the lotus posture. It is fine to meditate in a chair, as long as the back is straight.
4. It is helpful to take a shower before meditating.
5. Burning incense and having a candle are not necessary, but they can add a little extra inspiration.
6. It is good to meditate early in the morning. It is said the best time is 3am, although, I feel it is more important to be awake and not sleepy, I meditate at 6.30am.
One Pointed Concentration
However you learn to meditate, you must learn to concentrate on one thing at a time. Usually, the mind tries to hold several different thoughts and ideas at once. When you sit down to meditate for the first time, you realize how cluttered the mind is. Mediation teachers have described the mind as a “mad monkey”. However, the mind can be tamed and forced to concentrate on a single thought.