Speed dating (Photo credit: ☺ Lee J Haywood)
It’s New Year’s Eve and many people will be going out to bars tonight to see if they can meet someone to see the new year in with but how will they choose?
Well it’s been assumed that the initial snap judgement is based on physical attractiveness and research using a speed-dating group does confirm this but also found that a second part of the brain – the rostromedial prefrontal cortex – was active when choices were being made. This is a part of the brain that deals with choices where apparently equal options are available, it considers other people’s opinions and the similarities to others and it’s shown that when activated a person would choose a candidate that they considered to be more likeable than other people did.
The choices are still based on quick initial impressions but there is more going on than previously thought.
English: A woman cuddling a pile of digital devices: laptops, smartphones, tablets, ebook readers etc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With new rules saying that book publishers should basically price ebooks fairly in relation to the fact that there is no physical object to manufacture I’ve had an idea.
Maybe someone has already had it but anyway let’s say, like me, you have a large bookshelf, some of the books you want to keep because of their aesthetic appeal, or sentimental value, maybe they’re signed. Others you keep for reference and would be happy to have as searchable ebooks.
You’ve already paid for the paper version so you’re reluctant to pay the same price again for the ebook version. What if you could send your good condition paper version to either a charity or a company like Amazon and they’d exchange it for the digital version and then sell the paper book second-hand to cover the cost of your ebook. You could save space and the charity/company could still make money. Even if they charged you a pound to do it it would still be worth it surely?
Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)
I still make excuses for not writing posts on this blog. Too tired, can’t think of what to say. It’ll take too long to write, I’ll do it later.
I’ve found though that there is a problem deeper than that. It’s a common feeling that you don’t deserve to be doing whatever you’re trying to do whether it be writing blogs, books, photography, graphic design, music or making hats. It’s a kind of outsider thinking – that because you didn’t go to college or university to learn it, because you’re not a professional then you’re just playing, that you’re not part of the group, you’re not a writer or photographer. It doesn’t matter how many people say that what you do is good the feeling that you shouldn’t be doing it persists, particularly when there are people around who do confirm your beliefs with words like “it’s just a hobby” like your creations can only have value to yourself. You could even end up doing these things at work for free because you don’t feel your skills are worth any financial reward.
It leads you to read the work of published writers and journalists and so on and think I’m not as good as them. There are some professions that require professional training but many that don’t, there are many writers and photographers who are entirely self-taught.
You’ll know, or discover whether you are good at what you’re doing the important thing is to not let the outsider thinking prevent you from learning and trying, or valuing what you create.
English: Where’s the turkey…. Brussels sprouts coming along nicely for Christmas, mmm! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On the radio this morning, while I was half asleep still, I heard talk of a man who had sold two Brussels Sprouts on Ebay. People were bemused as to why someone had paid £100 for them, I was too but considered the possibilities, was he in some way famous, infamous, did the sprouts have the face of Jesus, Santa or Wayne Rooney on them?
Once I dragged myself out of bed and to the computer a quick Google found the answer. They were advertised with the information that the proceeds were going to the Make a Wish Foundation. Someone bought them for the novelty, to give money to charity in a fun way.
That’s the thing about Ebay, people do sell and buy things for the amusement or notoriety. The sprout was not the first – that ‘honour’ goes to a man from Darlington in 2005 and was followed by another in 2006 (both for charity) but presumably since then people have been holding on to their greens.
Wikipedia has a list of some of the more interesting sales including the wife of a radio dj who sold his Lotus car for 50 pence after hearing him flirting with Jodie Marsh on air. Some unusual items increase in value because the sale itself becomes famous – like four golf balls removed from a python (A$1400).
Back to Christmas though, this year a woman is selling three unwanted and unopened gifts from her ex-boyfriend who was trying to win her back, they “must have been wrapped by someone else as he’s not clever enough to have done them” she added. Just down the road from me a man from Worksop is selling a pack of unwanted doilies with a free Mother-in-Law who is “free to a good home” collection only.
According to Gumtree £2.1billion worth of unwanted gifts are given at Christmas. I though was very happy with everything I got, including my Christmas dinner and I ate all my sprouts.