6 Scents 6 Selves

These are all male-leaning or unisex, but I have no problem wearing Fils de Dieu or Le 3’ Homme myself and I am a tiny, rather unimposing female. The Jungian personalities that I decided would be best suited to each fragrance is also just my opinion. I would never discourage anyone from wearing what they like unless they ask for it explicitly! Mr. Chokkattu and I decided that these were the most versatile that we collectively own, so the list is obviously biased in our direction.

Nearly all of the fragrances in mentioned in this list come from Twisted Lily’s The Sands sample collection which I purchased for him a few months ago. I would like to take this moment and congratulate myself on being able to choose gifts really well, and also bask in the smugness of getting Mr. Chokkattu’s older brother in on the fragrance game without actually having to interact with him. (He basically stole the sample of Tom of Finland Mr. Chokkattu had received from Scent Trunk.) Anyway.

Enjoy the list!

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Poverty and Food Stamps

I found this interesting little chain of videos about the affects of poverty on the mind and food stamps. As someone whose family whose circumstances once warranted the use of food stamps, the amount of prejudice I’ve encountered over the years is staggering. My mother was pretty obviously not a welfare queen and there was no one waiting in those offices that even came close to the image that’s stuck in someone’s mind for a reason.

How Poverty Changes Your Brain:

How Food Stamps Work: 

What Living on Food Stamps is Really Like: 

A question of scent: lavender aroma promotes interpersonal trust

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-01-olfactory-fragrance-lavender.html

This is an interesting study, but the authors of this study write quite a bit about how the experiment could be improved upon. I wonder as well how much of the Affect Grid especially was influenced by the fairly common knowledge of the effects of lavender and peppermint.

The “trust game” used in the experiment is also known as the game made up to help demonstrate Game Theory created by John von Neumann. Business students like myself are taught this game generally within the realm of economics to the end that rational people will try to optimize their benefit, and to teach the Nash equilibrium, which is when everyone involved in a situation is making a decision that takes into account everyone else’s choices, and an individual cannot stand to benefit from changing their strategy.

Sometimes, when the game is set up so that being unified in every decision results in the highest reward, a sort of positive Nash equilibrium that wasn’t really demonstrated in Game Theory’s conception which indicated unity as a neutral state, it’s used to teach business students not to step on each other on the path to success. That working together instead of indulging our innate competitiveness, we stand to have win-win situations instead of win-lose.

Perhaps the next time I need to negotiate for something, I should put some of Caldey’s Island Lavender on and the game will swing in my favor, or maybe it will just make me the sucker, and I’ll end up risking too much as a result of my own inclusive state of mind.

Toxic relationships

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/5-signs-youre-in-a-toxic-relationship/

This post is not about friends, families, or significant others.

This post is about work dynamics, and in a roundabout, rather passive aggressive way I guess, about how I’ve been feeling for a few months now, and the situations I’ve needed to change. Situations that I personally need to handle better. Situations that I really just have to avoid. Some of the points certainly apply to me, and how I react to certain situations. I am fighting a lot of unhealthy behavior in my life, and I don’t always win and this damages my relationships with others across the board. I try to acknowledge this as much as possible, but I’m kind of at the point where it’s not a 100% hit rate. Anyway.

I’m going to take the Tiny Buddha points and rewrite them to describe how they may apply to a work setting.

1. It seems like you can’t do anything right.

Your efforts are constantly brushed off, mocked, or otherwise not taken seriously. Suggestions you make don’t count in the context of the group, and you are regularly being criticized without given adequate constructive material to improve.

2. Everything is about them and never about you. 

The goals are the only things that matter, and your needs and desires are not taken into consideration at any point for any reason. Any expression of discomfort or misgivings is met with accusations of bad attitude or undesirable qualities. At times, you may be talked over.

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Do me a favor

Do me a favor

That’s so interesting! Definitely a tactic I’ll try to use from now on. It sounds counter-intuitive but it makes sense when you break it down. A person is more likely to do a favor for someone they like after all; this is just application in reverse. Ben Franklin, once again, proven awesome.

However, I’m wondering if it has the same effect if there’s a power disparity. I like my boss, but if I didn’t and she asked me to do her a favor, I would do it anyway, and probably come out of it feeling the same way towards her. I used to do quite a few favors for people in fast food/restaurant/take-out situations because much of the time, the situation seemed to really call for me to say “yes”, and not all of them increased my affinity towards them. In fact, if they caught me in a poor mood, it would likely degrade my relationship with the asker if we started off neutral, or if I felt I was being handed an unjust responsibility.

Anyway, Ben Franklin Effect!

How we all miss the point on school shootings

How we all miss the point on school shootings

How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings

But this “witch hunt” we go through every time a school shooting happens is a total ruse. Elliot Rodger didn’t become a killer because he was a misogynist; he became a misogynist because he was a killer. Just like Eric Harris didn’t become a killer because he loved violent video games; he loved violent video games because he was a killer. Just like Adam Lanza didn’t become a killer because he loved guns; he loved guns because he was a killer.

Not going to lie, while I enjoyed this editorial and I resonate with many of its ideas, the solution he proposes is so, so much easier said than done. Most of us have grown up shutting out those in pain because there were just so many of those in pain that it would put us in suffering to even acknowledge all of them. Or at the very least, that’s what we were told by those guiding us through life. That you can’t help everybody. That you can’t touch everyone. If someone shoots up a school, goes on a stabbing, commits suicide, then ultimately, that was on them.

I’m reminded of “Riley Rewind”, which was a webseries written and directed by Ray William Johnson and Anna Akana.

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Greek mythology helps veterans fight PTSD

Greek mythology helps veterans fight PTSD

Ajax Defending Greek Ships Against Trojans (Bettmann/CORBIS)

PTSD and all of the polarizing emotions of going into and coming out of war is a struggle not recognized enough.

I am heartened by this sharing of stories and communication between those who understand. I think it’s a great step towards openly talking about mental illness and the effects of trauma. In all aspects of mental illness, I think the emphasis on being open, aware, and understanding is one of the best ways to help someone towards recovery.

Our veterans are routinely silenced, either by their own fear of disappointment, or by the well-meaning who believe it isn’t good to dwell on bad things. And just to reiterate:

  • “57,849 veterans are homeless on any given night.”
  • 12% of the homeless adult population are veterans
  • 20% of the male homeless population are veterans
  • 68% reside in principal cities
  • 32% reside in suburban/rural areas
  • 51% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities
  • 50% have serious mental illness
  • 70% have substance abuse problems
  • 51% are white males, compared to 38% of non-veterans
  • 50% are age 51 or older, compared to 19% non-veterans
  • “In addition to the complex set of factors influencing all homelessness – extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income and access to health care – a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, which are compounded by a lack of family and social support networks. Additionally, military occupations and training are not always transferable to the civilian workforce, placing some veterans at a disadvantage when competing for employment.”
  • “The most effective programs for homeless and at-risk veterans are community-based, nonprofit, “veterans helping veterans” groups. Programs that seem to work best feature transitional housing with the camaraderie of living in structured, substance-free environments with fellow veterans who are succeeding at bettering themselves.”

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans