Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Typhoon Rammasun/Glenda causes havoc with 185km/h winds in central Philippines

Entrance to the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines
IRRI, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines
Raymondo Gate area, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines

photos copyright Anindya Bandyopadhyay

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Reproduced from Yahoo!
Introvert like silence & dislike unnecessary noise because they tend to be inwardly focused. 
  Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

Monday, September 09, 2013

The Internet: Then & now [infographic]

The history of the Internet seems so short since many of us either grew up with it or it seems that one day we didn’t have it, and the next, we were inundated with cat videos and spam e-mail. created a handy little infographic to get you up to speed on what little history there is so you can one day entertain the grandkids with your in-depth knowledge of tech history.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How green is your love life? After Green growth it is time for 'Eco-sex'


How green is your love life? 'Eco-sex' gets on it

You drive a hybrid, eat organic, and are passionate about recycling. But how green is your love life?

Think about those lovely Valentine's Day roses and the environmental costs of growing them and the carbon miles involved in flying them in from faraway lands.

And what about used condoms, tossed into the toilet and making their way into sewers that perhaps pollute the ocean?

If an ecologically sustainable life between the sheets hasn't crossed your mind, you're still a "total environmental neophyte", according to author Stefanie Iris Weiss.

But help is on the way with Weiss's new handbook "Eco-Sex", which leaves no stone unturned in its mission to bring the bedroom front and centre into the battle to save the planet.

"I have always wanted to write a sex book. I am a very committed greenie, and I have been a vegetarian for 20 years. I saw a gap in the market and I couldn't believe no one had written about this topic," Weiss, 38, told Reuters.

"I think green sex is having its moment right now. I think it is the next big thing in green. People are realizing that their every day, most intimate habits, are deeply connected to this horrible crisis we are in," she said.

"Eco-Sex" will land on retail bookshelves on March 31 by Ten Speed Press.

From hand-cranked sex toys (and Web sites where old battery-driven devices can be recycled) to healthy, eco-friendly underwear (bamboo) and dating sites for ecological warriors, "Eco-Sex" aims to show readers how to reduce the carbon footprint of their love life -- and have fun doing it.


Weiss, who says she either tried out or reviewed every item in the book, interviewed raw food chefs to get recipes for aphrodisiac meals for two, suggests the ideal first eco-date (biking), and recommends natural latex mattresses (but warns they are less bouncy than those made of springs, coils and synthetic foam).

She finds a vast range of natural or organic cosmetics, condoms made of latex that are also biodegradable, and resources for eco-sexy bling -- because neither diamonds nor gold are a self-respecting green girl's best friend.

"It was the most fun I have ever had researching a book in my life," she said.

As for flowers for your sweetheart -- the true eco-sexual would grow them in the backyard, or at least buy them locally from a farmers' market.

Weiss admits that "some people are going to make fun of the notion of eco-sex. I expect that."

She says eco-sex doesn't have to be tame, adding you can be passionate in bed and about Mother Earth "without coming off like you're (a 1960s hippie) trapped on the set of 'Hair the Musical.'"

Despite all the fun replacements for essential accessories in the dating game -- like plain old baking soda instead of chemical-heavy commercial teeth whiteners -- there is a serious side to "Eco-Sex".

With the planet headed towards a population of around nine billion oxygen-swilling, carbon-emitting people by 2040, according to the United Nations, the ultimate carbon offset is to choose sex that does not result in having babies.

"The No. 1 thing people can do to be an eco-sexual is to have fewer kids, or have none at all," said Weiss, who is childless.

If that sounds outrageous, just give a thought to the 90 percent of the estimated diapers sold each year that end up in landfills. Or how the carbon footprint of one extra person far outweighs all the energy-saving light bulbs you've installed.

"I think over-population is an important conversation for people to have. It is something people think about in terms of third world countries. But it is also a conversation that would benefit us in America to have," she said.

Source: Reuters

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

20 principles of persuasion

Reproduced from
Perfection is hard to achieve in any walk of life and persuasion is no different. It relies on many things going just right at the crucial moment; the perfect synchronisation of source, message and audience. But even if perfection is unlikely, we all need to know what to aim for.
To bring you the current series on the psychology of persuasion I've been reading lots of research, much more than is covered in recent posts. As I read, I noticed the same themes cropping up over and over again.
Here are the most important points for crafting the perfect persuasive message, all of which have scientific evidence to back them up.
    1. Multiple, strong arguments: the more arguments, the more persuasive, but overall persuasive messages should be balanced, as two-sided arguments fare better than their one-sided equivalents (as long as counter-arguments are shot down).
    2. Relevance: persuasive messages should be personally relevant to the audience. If not, they will switch off and fail to process it.
    3. Universal goals: In creating your message, understand the three universal goals for which everyone is aiming: affiliation, accuracy and positive self-concept.
    4. Likeability: ingratiating yourself with the audience is no bad thing—most successful performers, actors, lawyers and politicians do it. Likeability can be boosted by praising the audience and by perceived similarity. Even the most fleeting similarities can be persuasive.
    5. Authority: people tend to defer to experts because it saves us trying to work out the pros and cons ourselves (read the classic experiment on obedience to authority).
    6. Attractiveness: the physical attractiveness of the source is only important if it is relevant (e.g. when selling beauty products).
    7. Match message and medium: One useful rule of thumb is: if the message is difficult to understand, write it; if it's easy, put it in a video.
    8. Avoid forewarning: don't open up saying "I will try and persuade you that..." If you do, people start generating counter-arguments and are less likely to be persuaded.
    9. Go slow: If the audience is already sympathetic, then present the arguments slowly and carefully (as long as they are relevant and strong). If the audience is against you then fast talkers can be more persuasive.
    10. Repetition: whether or not a statement is true, repeating it a few times gives the all-important illusion of truth. The illusion of truth leads to the reality of persuasion.
    11. Social proof: you've heard it before and you'll hear it again—despite all their protestations of individuality, people love conformity. So tell them which way the flock is going because people want to be in the majority.
    12. Attention: if the audience isn't paying attention, they can't think about your arguments, so attitudes can't change. That's why anything that sharpens attention, like caffeine, makes people easier to persuade. And speaking of attention...
    13. Minimise distraction: if you've got a strong message then audiences are more swayed if they pay attention. If the arguments are weak then it's better if they're distracted.
    14. Positively framed: messages with a positive frame can be more persuasive.
    15. Disguise: messages are more persuasive if they don't appear to be intended to persuade or influence as they can sidestep psychological reactance (hence the power of overheard arguments to change minds).
    16. Psychologically tailored: messages should match the psychological preferences of the audience. E.g. some people prefer thinking-framed arguments and others prefer feel-framed arguments (see: battle between thought and emotion in persuasion). Also, some people prefer to think harder than others.
    17. Go with the flow: persuasion is strongest when the message and audience are heading in the same direction. Thoughts which come into the audience's mind more readily are likely to be more persuasive.
    18. Confidence: not only your confidence, but theirs. The audience should feel confident about attitude change. Audience confidence in their own thoughts is boosted by a credible source and when they feel happy (clue: happy audiences are laughing).
    19. Be powerful: a powerful orator influences the audience, but making the audience themselves feel powerful increases their confidence in attitude change. An audience has to feel powerful enough to change.
    20. Avoid targeting strong beliefs: strong attitudes and beliefs are very difficult to change. Do not directly approach long-standing ideas to which people are committed, they will resist and reject. Strong beliefs must be approached indirectly.

    Change minds

    You should be aware that many of these factors interact with each other. For example when the message is strong but the source is dodgy, the sleeper effect can arise.
    Argument strength is also critical. The basic principle is that when arguments are strong, you need to do everything to make people concentrate on them. When they're weak, it's all about distracting the audience from the content and using peripheral routes to persuade, such as how confidently or quickly you talk.
    Weaving all these together is no mean feat, but look at most professionally produced persuasive messages and you'll see many of these principles on show. Incorporate as many as you can for maximum effect.
    → This post is part of a series on the psychology of persuasion:

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