Word of the day

January 8, 2011

Zaftig – alluringly plump; curvaceous; well proportioned; having a full, shapely figure; Rubenesque.


Good habits harder to keep than bad ones

January 8, 2011

That bad habits are hard to break  won’t surprise anyone who’s tried it:

“Why are bad habits stronger? You’re fighting against the power of an immediate reward,” says Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and an authority on the brain’s pleasure pathway. . .

“We all as creatures are hard-wired that way, to give greater value to an immediate reward as opposed to something that’s delayed,” Volkow says.

Just how that bit of happiness turns into a habit involves a pleasure-sensing chemical named dopamine. It conditions the brain to want that reward again and again – reinforcing the connection each time – especially when it gets the right cue from your environment.

The advice to turn New Year resolutions into good habits so they get hard wired is sensible.

Repeat, repeat, repeat the new behaviour – the same routine at the same time of day. Resolved to exercise? Doing it at the same time of the morning, rather than fitting it in haphazardly, makes the striatum recognise the habit so eventually, “if you don’t do it, you feel awful”, says Volkow the neuroscientist, who’s also a passionate runner.

-Exercise itself raises dopamine levels, so eventually your brain will get a feel-good hit even if your muscles protest.

But this doesn’t change the fact that keeping good habits where the reward is usually delayed is harder than keeping bad ones which bring instant gratification.

Even with the benefit of a Presbyterian upbringing which emphasised the virtue of enduring pain now for later gain, a box of chocolates are more appealing to me than walking shoes.


Wasp Story II

January 8, 2011

Further to yesterday’s post on the wasp plague: my farmer found the nest, or at least its entrance.

He noticed several wasps flying behind a shrub, behind which is a grate under the house.

He applied liberal amounts of carbaryl powder to the grate after dark last night. He then sealed most of it with masking tape which forces the wasps to crawl through the powder as they come and go.

They’re still coming and going and we’re waiting and hoping the poison they carry will take effect before the sting count rises from one.


Quote of the week

January 8, 2011

“Just because someone’s completely sober … doesn’t mean they’re going to make the right decisions.”  –  Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull.


January 8 in history

January 8, 2011

1297  Monaco gained its independence.

  

1734  Premiere of George Frideric Handel’s Ariodante at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

1746 Second Jacobite Rising: Bonnie Prince Charlie occupied Stirling.

1790 George Washington delivered the first State of the Union Address in New York City.

 George Washington’s handwritten notes for the first State of the Union Address.

1835  The United States national debt was 0 for the only time.

The US Federal Debt from 1800 to 1999

1838 – Alfred Vail demonstrated a telegraph system using dots and dashes ( the forerunner of Morse code).

1862 Frank Nelson Doubleday, American publisher, was born  (d. 1934).

 

1863 Geologist Julius von Haast led an exploratory expedition in search of a route from the east to the west coasts of the South Island.

Haast begins West Coast expedition

1867 African American men were granted the right to vote in Washington, D.C.

1867  Emily Greene Balch, American writer and pacifist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was born  (d. 1961).

 

1877 – Crazy Horse  and his warriors fought their last battle with the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain (Montana Territory).

Crazy Horse and his band of Oglala on their way from Camp Sheridan to surrender to General Crook at Red Cloud Agency, Sunday, May 6, 1877 / Berghavy ; from sketches by Mr. Hottes.
 
1900  Dame Merlyn Myer, Australian philanthropist, was born  (d. 1982).
 
 
1908 William Hartnell, British actor, was born(d. 1975).
 
 
 
 
1911 Gypsy Rose Lee, American actress and entertainer, was born (d. 1970).
 
 
 
 
1912 The African National Congress was founded.
 
ANC logo
 
 
 
1926  Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud became the King of Hejaz and renamed it Saudi Arabia.
 
 
IbnSaud.jpg
 
1926 Soupy Sales, American comedian, was born(d. 2009).
 
 
6.8.08SoupySalesByLuigiNovi.jpg
 
 
1935 Elvis Presley, American singer, was born (d. 1977).
 
 
 
 
1937  Dame Shirley Bassey, Welsh singer, was born.
 
 
 
 
1941  Graham Chapman, British comedian, was born  (d. 1989).
 
 
 Flyingcircus 2.jpg     The Python team in 1969
Back row: Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam.
Front row: Terry Jones, John Cleese, Michael Palin

1946  Robby Krieger, American musician (The Doors), was born.

1947  David Bowie, English musician, was born.

1959 – Fidel Castro‘s Cuban Revolution was completed with the take over of Santiago de Cuba.

1959 Paul Hester, Australian drummer (Crowded House), was born (d. 2005).

1962 – The Harmelen train disaster killed 93 people in The Netherlands.

1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “War on Poverty” in the United States.

1973 – Soviet space mission Luna 21 was launched.

File:Lunakod landing bus-Luna17.jpg

1973 – Watergate scandal: The trial of seven men accused of illegal entry into Democratic Party headquarters at Watergate begins.

1975  Ella Grasso became Governor of Connecticut, becoming the first woman to serve as a Governor in the United States other than by succeeding her husband .

1994  Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov on Soyuz TM-18 left for the space station  Mir. He stayed on the space station until March 22, 1995, for a record 437 days in space.

Valeri Polyakov.jpg

2004 The RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, was christened by her namesake’s granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Mary II Einlaufen Hamburg Hafengeburtstag 2006 -2.jpg

2005 – The nuclear sub USS San Francisco collided at full speed with an undersea mountain south of Guam. One man was killed, but the sub surfaces and was repaired.

USS San Francisco (SSN-711)

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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