Grab Bag2018-10-19T12:48:08+00:00

Grab Bag

This page is devoted to everything that has nothing to do directly with the field of psychology.  Like blindly reaching into a bag and grabbing something surprising, I hope this page entertains and intrigues you. Since I believe that “play” is an important part of an individuals “psychology”, I hope this page inspires you to find your own places of creativity.

There is nothing more funny to me than most anything from The Far Side comics.  Gary Larson has one of the most off the wall takes on life.  Here are a few I enjoy.

Amazing facts about Formula One racing

  • An F1 car’s wings generates so much downforce that at speed above 100 mph it would be possible to drive it on an upside down road.
  • Because of the extreme aerodynamics on these cars, man hole covers on street circuit races must be welded down or they would be lifted off by the vacuum effect under the cars.
  • An F1 motor can rev to 15,000 rpm, more than twice the average street sports car, and would spin faster if the rules allowed. To do this, the motors are made to such precision that they travel between races connected to compressed air to keep the internal components stable.
  • An F1 engine is only 1.6 liters, but uses turbo and energy recovery systems (yes, they are hybrids) to deliver a total of about 1,000 horse power. That’s roughly five times as much power output of any comparable sized street engine in a car that weighs a third of any street car. This means an F1 car can accelerate from 0 to 100mph and back to a stop in 4 seconds and hit speeds of 225mph or more.
  • NASA’s space shuttle experiences forces of up to 3g (three times the force of earth’s gravity) at launch, meaning a 143lb astronaut would feel as if they weighed 429lbs. Formula 1 cars can manage nearly twice that, pulling 5.5g on some corners and up to 5g from braking.
  • A driver will loose almost 9 pounds in sweat over the course of an average 1 and a half hour race from the extreme physical demands placed on their bodies.
  • The top teams spend around $270 million for one racing season for two cars and drivers. Even with less spent by smaller teams, the total cost for all teams to run a season of racing runs around $2.2 billion dollars and would be more if not for the agreed upon spending limits of teams (yes, they would consider themselves on a budget!).

M.C. Escher is one of my favorite graphic artists.  Many of his works play with the brain and trick it into believing mathematical impossibilities, like waterfalls that ascend and descend all at the same time.  I am particularly fond of the two hands drawing each other as this is a beautiful illustration of how we create and clarify ourselves in relationship with others.

Facts About California

California is one amazing state.  There is a little something for everyone here.  Test your knowledge of our great state and see if you would make a good “Trivial Pursuit” partner with me.

  • In the late 1850s, Kennedy Mine, located in Jackson, served as one of the richest gold mines in the world and the deepest mine in North America.
  • An animal called the riparian brush rabbit calls Caswell Memorial State Park (near Manteca) its home. Endemic only to the state’s park system, the critter lives in approximately 255 acres stretching along the area’s once-vast hardwood forest.
  • In Pacific Grove there is a law on the books establishing a $500 fine for molesting butterflies.
  • 10.The largest three-day rodeo in the United States is held on the Tehama County Fairgrounds in Red Bluff.
  • Demonstrations on making toothpaste from orange by-products were popular attractions at the Los Angeles County fair in 1922. The fair is held in Pomona.
  • Located in Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum is the largest museum of its kind in North America.
  • Several celebrities are buried at Hillside Cemetery in Culver City. Included gravesites are those of Al Jolson, George Jessel, Eddie Canter, Jack Benny, and Percy Faith.
  • California Caverns claims the distinction of being the most extensive system of caverns and passageways in the Mother Lode region of the state.
  • Totaling nearly three million acres, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the country.
  • On Catalina Island in 1926, American author Zane Grey built a pueblo-style home on the hillside overlooking Avalon Bay. He spent much of his later life in Avalon. The home is now a hotel.
  • Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge contains the largest winter population of bald eagles in the continental United States.
  • Author Richard Dana (1851-1882) wrote the novel “Two Years Before the Mast.” He inspired the name for the beach community of Dana Point.
  • In Atwater the Castle Air Museum has the largest display of military aircraft in the state.
  • The Country Store in Baker has sold more winning California State Lottery tickets than any outlet in the state.
  • Reputed to be the most corrupt politician in Fresno County history, Vice-leader Joseph Spinney was mayor for only ten minutes.
  • The Iron Door Saloon in Groveland claims to be the oldest drinking establishment in the state. It was constructed in 1852.
  • In the late 1850s, Kennedy Mine, located in Jackson, served as one of the richest gold mines in the world and the deepest mine in North America.
  • An animal called the riparian brush rabbit calls Caswell Memorial State Park (near Manteca) its home. Endemic only to the state’s park system, the critter lives in approximately 255 acres stretching along the area’s once-vast hardwood forest.
  • In Pacific Grove there is a law on the books establishing a $500 fine for molesting butterflies.
  • 10.The largest three-day rodeo in the United States is held on the Tehama County Fairgrounds in Red Bluff.
  • Demonstrations on making toothpaste from orange by-products were popular attractions at the Los Angeles County fair in 1922. The fair is held in Pomona.
  • Located in Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum is the largest museum of its kind in North America.
  • Several celebrities are buried at Hillside Cemetery in Culver City. Included gravesites are those of Al Jolson, George Jessel, Eddie Canter, Jack Benny, and Percy Faith.
  • California Caverns claims the distinction of being the most extensive system of caverns and passageways in the Mother Lode region of the state.
  • Totaling nearly three million acres, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the country.
  • On Catalina Island in 1926, American author Zane Grey built a pueblo-style home on the hillside overlooking Avalon Bay. He spent much of his later life in Avalon. The home is now a hotel.
  • Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge contains the largest winter population of bald eagles in the continental United States.
  • Author Richard Dana (1851-1882) wrote the novel “Two Years Before the Mast.” He inspired the name for the beach community of Dana Point.
  • In Atwater the Castle Air Museum has the largest display of military aircraft in the state.
  • The Country Store in Baker has sold more winning California State Lottery tickets than any outlet in the state.
  • Reputed to be the most corrupt politician in Fresno County history, Vice-leader Joseph Spinney was mayor for only ten minutes.
  • The Iron Door Saloon in Groveland claims to be the oldest drinking establishment in the state. It was constructed in 1852.
  • California’s Mount Whitney measures as the highest peak in the lower 48 states. Its most famous climb is Mount Whitney Trail to the 14,495 feet summit. Wilderness permits are required.
  • In 1925 a giant sequoia located in California’s Kings Canyon National Park was named the nation’s national Christmas tree. The tree is over 300 feet in height.
  • More turkeys are raised in California than in any other state in the United States.
  • Pacific Park, on the venerable Santa Monica Pier, re-creates the amusement parks once dotting the ocean areas along the Pacific Coast. Featured are 11 amusement rides including the 1910-vintage hand-carved merry-go-round appearing in the movie “The Sting.”
  • Alpine County is the eighth smallest of California’s 58 counties. It has no high school, ATMs, dentists, banks, or traffic lights.
  • Fallbrook is known as the Avocado Capital of the World and hosts an annual Avocado Festival. More avocados are grown in the region than any other county in the nation.
  • The first person to personally receive a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood was actress Joanne Woodward. She received it in 1960.
  • Death Valley is recognized as the hottest, driest place in the United States. It isn’t uncommon for the summer temperatures to reach more than 115 degrees.
  • The first motion picture theater opened in Los Angeles on April 2, 1902.
  • Inyo National Forest is home to the bristle cone pine, the oldest living species. Some of the gnarled trees are thought to be over 4,600 years old.
  • San Francisco Bay is considered the world’s largest landlocked harbor.
  • Sequoia National Park contains the largest living tree. Its trunk is 102 feet in circumference.
  • Yorba Linda is home to the Richard Nixon Library.
  • The Coachella Valley is nicknamed The Date Capital of the world and The Playground of Presidents.
  • One out of every eight United States residents lives in California.
  • California is the first state to ever reach a trillion dollar economy in gross state product.
  • California has the largest economy in the states of the union.
  • The Hollywood Bowl is the world’s largest outdoor amphitheater.

TED is a “nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.” This organization is it’s own “grab bag” of ideas through lecture, humor and multi-media that all intend to “change the world” through inspirational ideas and communication. A little something for everyone here when you want to think a little beyond your average day to day life. I’m going to break my rule here about staying away from items related to the field of psychology because this video is just so good. The clip that was forwarded to me by a client because it is such a powerful example of what TED is all about and a beautiful picture of what I believe the human condition and struggle is centered around. http://www.ted.com

People constantly amaze me, both in their creativity and willingness to risk.  Nothing quite like living fully with no reservation.  Some would say what these people do is silly or useless and yet there is something beautiful about seeing someone reach for excellence and pushing beyond what most would believe is possible.

We would all do better with a little collar time.  Just a humorous reminder of how much more meaningful “reality” is in contrast to “virtual reality”.

Next time you are stuck in traffic, take a cue from the band OK GO.  This goes way beyond banging out a rhythm on the steering wheel.  Fun music and absolutely brilliant video.  They filmed this nearby in Riverside CA and used more than 1,100 homemade instruments and real instruments including 55 upright pianos and 288 electric guitars connected to 66 amps.  Phenomenal imagination.  Check out more of their videos on You Tube if you want to see more chaotic, inspired genius.

Now you can’t tell me this doesn’t look like fun.  Who wouldn’t want to soap themselves up and launch themselves down a huge plastic ramp into a lake?!  Even if it’s not your idea of fun, Mythbusters makes me laugh out loud.  Education mixed together with play.  Probably would have done better in physics and science if these guys taught it.

Take the most exhilarating tour of San Francisco ever.  Ken Block is the founder of DC shoes and has converted his vast income into full time playing with cars.  He may not be changing the world, but it sure is amazing to watch!

I really like playing guitar and stumbled upon this the other day.  Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White get together and trade guitar playing lessons while flashing back to how they came about playing the guitar and their journey in finding a voice in music.  Build a one string guitar with Jack White, see the home where Jimmy Page first found a guitar to play, and go back to the school classroom where The Edge started playing with the band that would become U2: “we were really terrible,” he says.  Here’s the intro to the movie.