Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Say What You Mean

When John Gray's book "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus" was first published, the title was greeted with amusement. However, the contents are now generally considered conventional wisdom.

One of his premises was the difference in communications between women and men. A pair of our friends demonstrate the interpretations perfectly. Mister (the names have been changed to protect the innocent) has a habit of collecting things. One of things he acquired was a dump truck that he parked in the driveway for months. Missus hated the sight of that eyesore in her driveway. One morning, on her way out the door, she growled to Mister, "When I get home tonight, I don't want to see that truck!"

When she got home that night, she didn't see the truck. Instead, she saw the huge tarp covering the truck.............

Friday, April 24, 2009

Identifying a Liar

While surfing the WebMD site, I happened upon a topic that I didn't expect to find there. Heather Hatfield wrote an article entitled "10 Ways to Catch a Liar". She assembled information from experts to come up with a list of ten telltale signs that a person is lying.

  1. Inconsistencies

  2. Ask the unexpected

  3. Gauge against a baseline

  4. Look for insincere emotions

  5. Pay attention to gut reactions

  6. Watch for microexpressions

  7. Look for contradictions

  8. A sense of unease

  9. Too much detail

  10. Don't ignore the truth

She adds an extra tip: Be trusting

In general we have a choice about which stance we take in life," says Ekman (Paul Ekman, an expert in lie detection). "It we take a suspicious stance life is not going to be too pleasant, but we won't get misled very often. If we take a trusting stance, life is going to be a lot more pleasant but sometimes we are going to be taken in. As a parent or a friend, you're much better off being trusting rather than looking for lies all the time.

Back on 8/31/05 I had a post entitled "How to Recognize a Liar". I also quoted Dr. Ekman.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Curious Court Case

Here's an interesting story off the AP wires:

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court has turned away a challenge from a death row inmate in Texas who claimed his constitutional rights were violated by jurors who consulted a Bible during deliberations.

Jurors reviewed a biblical passage relating that a murderer who used an iron object to kill "shall surely be put to death." They were deciding whether to impose a death sentence on Khristian Oliver for fatally shooting and bludgeoning his victim with the barrel of a gun.
The court previously has said that jurors should base their verdicts only on evidence presented in the courtroom.
But state and federal courts upheld Oliver's sentence, despite testimony that some jurors consulted the passage that described a killing similar to the one Oliver committed.
The case is Oliver v. Quarterman, 08-833.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Robin Returns

When I glanced out the back door a few days ago, I saw a nice fat robin pulling out worms. I told my husband "My robin is back!" For the last few years, there is often a robin in the same area of the yard. I assume it is the same robin. But then I wondered "Could that really be? How long do robins live?"

A quick internet seach told me two things: 1) I wasn't the only one who had wondered that and 2) it (robin lifespan) varies. Basically, if a robin makes it past the first year, which is hard to do, it will probably live for five or six years. So "my robin" may be the same robin who has lived near us the last few years.

For a quick and fascinating look at information about robins, go to http://www.learner.org/jnorth/search/RobinNotes2.html

Thoughts About Penicillin

To help me fight my second bout with bronchitis this year, the doctor prescribed a form of penicillin. My husband remarked about how inexpensive it now was (56 cents for 20 capsules) and that set off some memories I have of childhood encounters with penicillin.

Back in those days, as the scribes would say, penicillin was administered directly by our physician, in the form of injections. It was a really big deal if you had to have "a shot of penicillin." If you had to return to the doctor in a few days for a second "shot", that meant you were practically at death's door. Thankfully, perceptions have changed. It looks like recovery is possible now for only 56 cents.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Grim Ironies

Life has a way of flinging grim ironies at us. I've seen two in the news recently. One headline read "Two Die in Fiery Crash." The location? Endwell, NY. Or how about the story of the woman just arrested for killing a child? She lived with her grandfather who is a pastor. His name? Lawless.