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It’s Kind of a Funny Story



Spoiler alert: There’s no gunfire, no emergencies, no big-time scary scenes in this movie, but you’ll like it.

I had a friend who I visited in a place like this. The guy worked in my bicycle shop. He had been evicted from three homes because he somehow figured that the furnaces in each place were putting out dangerous fumes. I asked him about that, and all he could tell me is that the fumes were bad and they weren’t carbon monoxide.

When he called the fire department in the middle of the last place, there was nowhere left that he could rent. He ended up homeless. This was winter on the east coast of the United States. He equipped his bicycle with full winter camping gear, and ended up living in the woods.

Then, one night, he got the notion that the local mental ward in the university hospital, where he had been a few times before, wasn’t feeding the patients right. He claimed, perhaps rightly, that the food did not have enough nutrition. As the night shift orderlies tried to calm him and assure him that they’d pass the message along to the doctors in the morning, he became upset because he knew they were just placating him. He became more and more upset, and of course they had to commit him again.

When he didn’t show up for work for a few days, I started asking around and discovered that he was committed. I did visit, and the place was quite like in the movie. However, during the time I was there, I did not see anyone who was catatonic, violent, or looking crazy in any way. There were just people playing chess, conversing, watching TV or reading books.

There’s more to this story. I recorded the whole thing in Five Years in the Bike Shop.

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10 Strange Facts About Psychology

The color red can increase a person’s appetite.

People who daydream more tend to have higher intelligence.

The average person has about 70,000 thoughts per day.

Music has been shown to reduce pain and anxiety, and improve mood.

People with higher levels of education are more likely to experience sleep paralysis.

The scent of lavender has been found to reduce stress and improve sleep quality.

Multitasking can reduce productivity by up to 40%.

The “bystander effect” refers to the tendency for individuals to be less likely to help someone in need when other people are present.

People who swear more tend to be more honest.

The brain’s hippocampus, responsible for memory, is larger in London taxi drivers due to their extensive knowledge of the city’s streets.

Smiling, even if forced, can actually improve your mood.

People are more likely to remember negative memories over positive ones, due to the brain’s negativity bias.

In order to help us successfully navigate life, the negativity bias keeps us aware of things that we may need to change or avoid. Positive events are unimportant in survival.

The “placebo effect” refers to the phenomenon where a person experiences a perceived improvement in symptoms after receiving a treatment with no therapeutic value.

Playing video games can improve hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills.

The fear of public speaking, known as glossophobia, affects about 75% of people.

Humans are hardwired to remember faces more easily than names.

People who sleep on their left side have more vivid dreams.

A study found that people are more likely to take risks in a casino if they have to walk past a person smoking, due to the association of smoking with risk-taking behavior.

The brain releases dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical, when we receive social media notifications.

The “butterfly effect” suggests that small, seemingly insignificant events can have far-reaching consequences.

Listening to sad music can actually improve your mood by allowing you to process and regulate emotions.

People tend to overestimate their abilities in unfamiliar areas, a phenomenon known as the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Nostalgia can counteract feelings of loneliness, boredom, and anxiety.

People are more likely to comply with a request if it is made in a quieter voice.

The smell of chocolate can increase theta brain waves, which are associated with relaxation.

People are more likely to remember information that is presented in a visually appealing format.

The “mere exposure effect” suggests that the more we are exposed to something, the more we tend to like it.

A study found that the anticipation of a vacation can bring more happiness than the vacation itself.

The brain can rewire itself through neuroplasticity, allowing for learning and adaptation throughout life.

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Mothers

Motherhood physically changes a woman’s brain. Studies have shown that certain areas of the brain undergo structural changes during pregnancy and after giving birth.

Mothers have a heightened sense of smell. Pregnancy hormones can increase a woman’s ability to detect and identify different scents.

The longest recorded duration for a woman to be pregnant is 375 days (over a year!). This occurred in 1945.

The record for the most children born to one mother is 69. A woman named Valentina Vassilyeva, who lived in 18th-century Russia, gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets, and 4 sets of quadruplets.

In some species, mothers are capable of reproducing asexually through a process called parthenogenesis, where offspring are produced without fertilization.

Mothers produce breast milk that is perfectly tailored to their baby’s nutritional needs. The composition of breast milk changes as the baby grows.

Some mothers have been known to breast-feed their children up to seven years old.

The world’s oldest known mother to give birth naturally was a woman named Omkari Panwar. She was 70 years old when she gave birth to twins in 2008.

The term “maternity leave” was first introduced in the United States in 1919.

Research suggests that children tend to inherit their intelligence from their mothers.

Motherhood can increase a woman’s lifespan. Several studies have shown that mothers tend to live longer than women without children.

The average age of first-time mothers is increasing in many countries. In the United States, for example, it reached a record high of 26.3 years in 2016.

In some cultures, a mother’s intuition is highly valued and considered a powerful tool for decision-making.

Mothers have been shown to have a significant impact on their children’s language development. They often play a crucial role in teaching children to speak and communicate effectively.

Motherhood can improve a woman’s multitasking skills. Juggling various tasks and responsibilities becomes a regular part of a mother’s life.

It has been noticed that women are generally better at multitasking, and men are better at focus. The reason is likely to date back to when women had to spread their attention over several children at once to keep them all safe. Meanwhile the man had to bag that antelope no matter what if his family was going to eat. He couldn’t pay attention anything else.

For the same reason, women are also more empathetic while men may be more impervious to pain. The mother had to understand and figure out what was wrong when her pre-verbal children were hurting. The man couldn’t stop hunting just because he scratched his way past a sticker bush.

A phenomenon known as “phantom kicking” can occur in some women after they have given birth. They may feel the sensation of their baby moving, even when they are no longer pregnant.

Motherhood can change a woman’s immune system. During pregnancy, a woman’s immune system is naturally suppressed to prevent it from attacking the developing fetus.

According to a study, a mother’s voice can have a soothing effect on her child. Hearing their mother’s voice activates areas of the brain associated with pleasure and emotional connection.

The world’s youngest documented mother was only 5 years old when she gave birth. Lina Medina from Peru delivered a healthy baby boy in 1939.

In many animal species, mothers exhibit strong protective instincts towards their young, often risking their own lives to ensure their offspring’s survival.

The average mother changes around 7,300 diapers by the time her child is two and a half years old.

In some cultures, mothers are believed to possess healing powers and are sought after for their ability to cure illnesses or provide comfort.

A mother’s love releases oxytocin, a hormone that promotes bonding and feelings of affection.

Motherhood can lead to changes in a woman’s metabolism. Some studies suggest that pregnancy can alter a woman’s metabolism and increase the risk of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease later in life.

The phrase “working mother” was first used in the late 19th century to describe women who engaged in paid employment while also raising their children.

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Fathers

The celebration of Father’s Day dates back to 1910 in the United States and is now celebrated in many countries worldwide.

The average age of first-time fathers is increasing. In the United States, it was around 27.4 years old in 2020.

According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives is associated with positive developmental outcomes, including improved cognitive development and higher academic achievement.

The world’s oldest known father was Nanu Ram Jogi, an Indian farmer who fathered his 21st child at the age of 90.

Fathers often experience hormonal changes after becoming dads. Testosterone levels decrease, while oxytocin and prolactin levels increase, promoting nurturing and bonding behaviors.

It has been noticed that men are generally better at focus and women are better at multitasking. The reason is likely to date back to when women had to spread their attention over several children at once to keep them all safe. Meanwhile the man had to bag that antelope no matter what if his family was going to eat. He couldn’t pay attention anything else.

For the same reason, women are also more empathetic while men may be more impervious to pain. The mother had to understand and figure out what was wrong when her pre-verbal children were hurting. The man couldn’t stop hunting just because he scratched his way past a sticker bush.

The average father spends about 7 hours per week on child care activities, compared to 10 hours per week for mothers, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.

Studies have shown that involved fathers can have a positive impact on their children’s emotional well-being and mental health.

The term “dad bod” was popularized in 2015, referring to a more relaxed and less muscular physique often associated with fathers.

“Mister Mom:” The United States has the highest number of stay-at-home dads in the world, with around 2 million fathers choosing to be the primary caregivers for their children.

Sperm banks have specific requirements for donors, including factors such as height, weight, education, and physical health.

In many species, including seahorses and some birds, fathers are responsible for incubating eggs and caring for the offspring.

A father’s age at the time of conception can impact a child’s health. Older fathers have a higher risk of passing on genetic mutations and may increase the chances of certain health conditions in their children.

In a study published in the journal “Developmental Psychology,” it was found that fathers who are actively involved in their children’s lives tend to have kids with higher IQs and better linguistic and cognitive abilities.

In some indigenous cultures, fathers may play a significant role in naming their children, often choosing names with special meanings or connections to their heritage.

A study published in the journal “Pediatrics” found that children who have a close relationship with their fathers are less likely to experience behavioral problems and are more likely to exhibit pro-social behavior.

The world record for the most children fathered by a single man is believed to be held by a Moroccan emperor, Moulay Ismail the Bloodthirsty, who is said to have had 888 children.

In the animal kingdom, male seahorses give birth to their offspring. They carry fertilized eggs in a special pouch until they hatch.

According to a study published in the “Journal of Marriage and Family,” fathers who actively participate in household chores tend to have daughters who aspire to higher-paying careers traditionally dominated by men.

A study published in the journal “Nature Neuroscience” found that fathers’ brains undergo changes, including increased activity in areas associated with empathy and caregiving, when they become parents.

The concept of paternity leave is becoming more prevalent globally. Countries like Sweden, Norway, and Iceland offer generous paid paternity leave to fathers.

According to a study published in the journal “Pediatrics,” children who have involved fathers are have greater self-esteem and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as drug use and delinquency.

The “World’s Greatest Dad” trophy was created by the American Trophy Company in 1954 and has since become a popular gift for Father’s Day.

A father’s voice has a unique impact on children. Studies show that babies can recognize and prefer their father’s voice within days of birth.

In 2016, a study published in the journal “Psychology of Men & Masculinity” found that fathers who play an active role in caregiving experience higher levels of happiness and satisfaction with their lives.

In some cultures, such as in parts of India and Africa, fatherhood is celebrated with specific rituals and ceremonies, such as baby-naming ceremonies or initiation rites.

According to a study published in the “Journal of Marriage and Family,” fathers who are actively involved in their children’s lives have healthier relationships with their partners.

Single fathers are a growing demographic. In the United States, the number of single fathers has increased from 300,000 in 1960 to over 2 million in 2020.

In the animal kingdom, male emperor penguins incubate the eggs and care for the chicks while the females go out to sea to hunt for food.

According to a study published in the journal “Evolution and Human Behavior,” expectant fathers experience hormonal changes, including increased levels of prolactin, a hormone associated with nurturing behavior.

The world’s shortest known father is Chandra Bahadur Dangi from Nepal, who stood at a height of 54.6 centimeters (21.5 inches). That’s shorter than an average 2-year-old.

The tradition of giving Father’s Day gifts, such as ties or tools, originated from the desire to promote gender equity and encourage men to embrace their nurturing side.

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Coincidences

Both Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were assassinated on a Friday while seated beside their wives. Both JFK and Abe Lincoln reported having dreams about being assassinated shortly before their deaths.

The Royal Synchronicity: Queen Elizabeth II was born on the same day that King George V, her grandfather, died.

The Unsinkable Woman: Violet Jessop, a stewardess, survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912, the sinking of the HMHS Britannic in 1916, and the collision of the RMS Olympic in 1911.

On December 5, 1664, a ship sank off the coast of Wales. The only survivor was a man named Hugh Williams. On December 5, 1785, another ship sank. One man survived, another Hugh Williams. On December 5, 1860, yet another ship went down with only one survivor – you guessed it – his name was Hugh Williams.

Mark Twain and Halley’s Comet: Mark Twain was born in 1835 when Halley’s Comet appeared, and he died in 1910 when the comet returned.

The Triple Lightning Strike: In 2006, Roy Sullivan, a park ranger, was struck by lightning for the seventh time, making him the person with the most recorded lightning strikes.

Jonathan Swift wrote a classic book called Gulliver’s Travels that borders on science fiction. It was written before ‘science fiction’ was what you called such books. In this book he wrote about two moons circling Mars. His descriptions of their size and orbital distance weren’t perfect but surprisingly accurate. He did this one hundred years before they were described by astronomers.

The Reunited Brothers: Two brothers, separated at birth, named Jim Lewis and Jim Springer, coincidentally named their sons James Alan and James Allan.

The Train Crash Prediction: In 1895, author Morgan Robertson wrote a novel titled “Futility” about an unsinkable ship named the Titan that hit an iceberg and sank. Fourteen years later, the RMS Titanic suffered a similar fate.

In 1979, a man named Frane Selak survived a train crash, a plane crash, a bus crash, and a car crash, and then won the lottery.

The Converging Paths: In 1975, two women with the same name, both traveling from England to the Canary Islands, wearing identical clothing, and carrying similar bags, ended up sitting next to each other on the plane.

The Identical Twins: In 2002, two unrelated identical twin brothers, separated at birth, named Jim Springer and Jim Lewis, coincidentally reunited and discovered they shared the same first name, occupation, and hobbies.

The Bridge Collapse: In 1940, a worker named Harold C. W. Keevil fell off the unfinished Tacoma Narrows Bridge but survived. A year later, he was on the same bridge when it collapsed, but he survived again.

The Struck by Lightning Brothers: In 2018, two brothers, aged 5 and 7, were both struck by lightning on separate occasions within the span of a year.

The Separated Sisters: In 2007, two sisters named Samantha Futerman and Anaïs Bordier, who were adopted from South Korea, discovered they were identical twins after one saw the other in a YouTube video.

The Winning Lottery Numbers: In 2003, the winning numbers of the Virginia Lottery’s Pick 4 game were 6-6-6-6, causing a record number of winners and resulting in the lottery having to pay out millions of dollars.

The Mysterious Subway Meeting: In 2008, two strangers named Laura and Laura, who had the same birthday, height, hair color, and were both wearing a black coat and a red scarf, accidentally bumped into each other on the London Underground.

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Teenagers

The teenage brain is more susceptible to addiction because of the underdeveloped prefrontal cortex.

Teens require more sleep than adults, but their natural sleep cycle causes them to stay up later and wake up later.

Teenagers are more likely to take risks due to their developing brain and desire for social approval.

Teenagers are more likely to engage in “drama” or conflict due to their heightened emotional sensitivity.

The teenage years are a time when individuals begin to question their identity and develop their sense of self.

The teenage years are when most mental health disorders first appear.

The frontal cortex, which controls decision-making and impulse control, is not fully developed until the mid-20s.

Teenagers are more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors when they are in groups rather than alone.

The teenage years are a time when individuals begin to develop romantic and sexual relationships.

The teenage brain is more sensitive to the effects of alcohol and drugs.

Teenagers often experience a sense of invincibility and believe that negative consequences will not happen to them.

The teenage years are a time when individuals begin to develop their own values and beliefs.

The teenage years are a time when individuals begin to explore their sexuality and sexual orientation.

The teenage years are a time when individuals begin to develop empathy and emotional intelligence.

The teenage years are a time when individuals begin to think about their future and career goals.

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10 Weird Facts About Love

The feeling of falling in love releases the same chemicals in the brain as cocaine addiction.

In ancient Rome, people believed that the first kiss should always be initiated by the woman to avoid bad luck.

People who are in love have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

The longest recorded marriage lasted for 91 years and 12 days.

Falling in love can cause physical symptoms, such as increased heart rate and sweating.

In Japan, there is a love hotel that is entirely staffed by robots.

Scientists have found that people who are in love have more activity in the part of the brain associated with reward and pleasure.

In some African countries, it is customary for men to give their wives a love hut as a wedding gift.

Love at first sight is a real phenomenon, according to research that shows it takes only 4 minutes to decide whether you are attracted to someone.

In ancient Egypt, men used to wear perfume made from the sweat of their beloved.

People who are in love have higher levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in their brains.

In the Middle Ages, people believed that if you sneezed three times in a row, it was a sign that you were in love.

A study found that when a person falls in love, their voice changes to become more similar to the person they are in love with.

In some cultures, it is customary for couples to exchange pieces of their own hair as a symbol of their love.

A group of flamingos is called a “flamboyance,” which is a fitting name for these birds who mate for life and perform elaborate courtship dances.

Studies show that people in happy relationships tend to live longer and have better overall health.

In medieval Europe, people believed that a woman could make a man fall in love with her by cooking his favorite meal and secretly adding her menstrual blood to the dish.

Couples who laugh together have stronger relationships, according to research.

In ancient China, women used to paint their teeth black to make themselves more attractive to men.

The song “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley is based on a French song called “Plaisir d’amour” that was written in the 18th century.

Studies have shown that when two people are in love, their heartbeats can synchronize.

In ancient Greece, people believed that love was caused by arrows shot by Cupid, the god of desire.

A study found that holding hands with someone you love can help alleviate physical pain.

In some cultures, it is considered good luck for a bride to wear something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue on her wedding day.

In the 19th century, the word “flirt” meant “to flick,” as in to make a sudden movement, and was used to describe a woman who was behaving coquettishly.

Scientists have found that people in love have lower levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with depression.

In ancient Persia, men would give their wives a love apple on their wedding night, which was a fruit with a sweet taste that was believed to enhance fertility.

Studies show that people who are in love have better memory recall than those who are not.

In some cultures, it is customary for the groom to carry the bride across the threshold of their new home to protect her from evil spirits.

A study found that people who are in love can experience withdrawal symptoms similar to those of drug addiction when they are separated from their partner.