True story from 5 years ago.
NewMexiKen went to the lab early this morning for routine blood work. I’m not crazy about needles and so never watch. As I’m sitting there, having felt nothing at all, I realize that the technician is already drawing blood. This is too good to believe — a part of me actually doesn’t believe it — and then she’s done. Wow, I think, that was easy.
“Oh,” she says, “I’m sorry. I’ve got another one [tube] to get. I’ll have to do it again. I’m so sorry.”
It goes without saying I suppose that the second poke was the one that hurt like hell.
From A Sharper Mind, Middle Age and Beyond:
Many researchers believe that human intelligence or brainpower consists of dozens of assorted cognitive skills, which they commonly divide into two categories. One bunch falls under the heading “fluid intelligence,” the abilities that produce solutions not based on experience, like pattern recognition, working memory and abstract thinking, the kind of intelligence tested on I.Q. examinations. These abilities tend to peak in one’s 20s.
“Crystallized intelligence,” by contrast, generally refers to skills that are acquired through experience and education, like verbal ability, inductive reasoning and judgment. While fluid intelligence is often considered largely a product of genetics, crystallized intelligence is much more dependent on a bouquet of influences, including personality, motivation, opportunity and culture.
“In Novemeber of 1958, John Steinbeck — the renowned author of, most notably, The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and Of Mice and Men — received a letter from his eldest son, Thom, who was attending boarding school. In it, the teenager spoke of Susan, a young girl with whom he believed he had fallen in love.
“Steinbeck replied the same day. His beautiful letter of advice can be enjoyed below.”
Letters of Note
“That early declaration marked, as much as any one moment could, the beginning of a journey that few have taken, one the Maineses themselves couldn’t have imagined until it was theirs. The process of remaking a family of identical twin boys into a family with one boy and one girl has been heartbreaking and harrowing and, in the end, inspiring – a lesson in the courage of a child, a child who led them, and in the transformational power of love.”
The Boston Globe has the story.
The Albuquerque Journal has a good bear story today.
If you’d like to be sad all day, but somehow also uplifted, read Notes From a Dragon Mom.
The ever-wise and usually right Paul Krugman assesses human behavior. He begins with this, but click the link and read it all. It’s brief.
My sense, after 11 years of punditizing, is that people are complicated, but gangs of people less so. Individuals are often mixed in their behavior: incorruptible politicians may cheat on their spouses, political scoundrels may have impeccable personal lives. But groups, like a politician’s inner circle or the management team of a media empire, tend to behave similarly on multiple fronts. If they lie and cheat routinely in one domain, they tend to do it in others as well.