Psychologists have only begun to unravel the concept of “personality,” that all-important but nebulous feature of individual identity. Recent studies suggest that personality traits don’t simply affect your outlook on life, but the way you perceive reality.
As psychiatry, which uses medical and biological methods to treat mental disorders, has largely overtakenpsychotherapy, which relies on non-biological approaches such as conversation and counselling, psychotherapists have sought alternative challenges. One common approach is to focus on enhancing the happiness of mentally healthy people, rather than relieving the mental pain and trauma of those who are suffering.
It’s therefore no surprise that people have come up with a range of ingenious, harebrained, and sometimes grim but often remarkable ways to stay cool during a summer scorcher. Below are eight highlights.
Humankind long ago acquired the technological ability to thrive in all climes, but citizens of the most advanced nations must now check the weather forecast to know if their fridges and household lights will work or be shut down in an electricity blackout.
I have been doing well in getting my ten miles a day of bike riding – so far in July I’m seven miles ahead of my pace. One cheat I do is that I joined the Huffhines Recreational Center (I am old enough for the senior discount – it’s a lot cheaper than a health club) down at the end of my block and they have really nice recumbent bicycles. An hour of stationary riding counts as ten miles in my mind – and I’m sticking to it. If I ride too many days in a row outside my shoulders begin to hurt – so a day on a recumbent is a big help.
Most of the bikes have flat screens and a good selection of channels – but one bike is more old-school without a screen. It’s not very popular – I’ve never seen anyone else using it – but I can prop my Tablet on the bike and watch a movie. So over the last two workout sessions I watched Licorice Pizza.
It wasn’t a great movie – but it was a lot of fun and a perfect way to let the hours go by while I pedaled away. It’s a pastiche, an homage to a certain time, the seventies, which I remember really well.
Waterbeds form an important plot point – and that’s one thing from back in the day that I still miss even now. I had a waterbed for about a decade (or a little more) and never slept better.
Another plot point is the oil embargo and subsequent shortage (lines at gas stations) and that, unfortunately, feels all too familiar right now. I remember 1980 well and the disaster that happened feels like it is happening again. The only difference is that in 1980 I was single and young and all I needed was to buy a couple Ramen Noodle packs and I could get through the day.