The Cracker Daddy

Being cool requires a very delicate balance of doing something that shows that you go your own way, but you do it in a way that is socially acceptable.

Eric Jaffe, "The Science of Cool"

I feel like there is mainstream cool and then there is weird cool, which takes much more effort to understand and appreciate. Mainstream cool seems almost effortless. Weird cool feels confrontational. People will often react with, “What are you trying to prove?” when in fact one’s actions are instead born out of a desire to just feel comfortable in one’s skin, regardless of how that manifests.

Six years ago, people thought I was strange for wearing sequins so frequently. Was I trying to be fancy? Was I trying to make them feel underdressed? In my head though, sequins and sparkles were a manner of masking my growing depression. If I could wear something lovely, perhaps I could feel lovely too.

But soon, the depression morphed into contentment and acceptance and the clothing morphed into an identity, one that felt right for who I was and am. And other people saw it in that way too. A friend once said, “I didn’t understand it when I first met you, but now I can’t think of you in any other way.”

Does it make me cool? Probably not. But it makes me me and knowing and loving yourself is the ultimate form of cool. 

(via britticisms)

'Pea-sized brain hub could shed light on depression'-BBC News -


Scientists say a part of the brain, smaller than a pea, triggers the instinctive feeling that something bad is about to happen. Writing in the journal PNAS, they suggest the habenula plays a key role in how humans predict, learn from and respond to nasty experiences. And they question whether hyperactivity in this area is responsible for the pessimism seen in depression. They are now investigating whether the structure is involved in the condition.
Money or shock
Animal studies have shown that the habenula fires up when subjects expect or experience adverse events, But in humans this tiny structure (less than 3mm in diameter) has proved difficult to see on scans.

Inventing a technique to pinpoint the area, scientists at University College London put 23 people though MRI scanners to monitor their brain activity.

Participants were shown a range of abstract pictures. A few seconds later, the images were linked to either punishment (painful electric shocks), reward (money) or neutral responses.

For some images, a punishment or reward followed each time but for others this varied - leaving people uncertain whether they were going to feel pain or not.

And when people saw pictures associated with shocks the habenula lit up.

And the more certain they were a picture was going to result in a punishment, the stronger and faster the activity in this area.

Scientists suggests the habenula is involved in helping people learn when it is best to stay away from something and may also signal just how bad a nasty event is likely to be.

Most of the propositions and questions of philosophers arise from our failure to understand the logic of our language.

—Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus 4.03 (via wildcat2030)