Posts Tagged Marilyn Monroe

Problem Solving 101

Excuse my logic but if you are confounded by a seemingly insurmountable problem there is hope. 

One of my best friends at college who is today a very successful businessman (his sophisticated marketing ideas were even once mentioned in Time Magazine) had a method of solving problems that is downright ingenious.

He said that if he had trouble figuring out what to do about something, he closed his eyes and imagined that he was seated at the head of a long conference table.  Seated at each side of this table were experts in whatever field of endeavor his quandary fell under.  He would then ask the members of his imaginary think tank to suggest a course of action.

So let’s say for example that President Obama wanted to apply this methodology to solving our country’s economic woes.  He could sit himself down in the oval office and order all staff to leave.  Then he could close his eyes and picture seated around him economic luminaries past and present.  He would be surrounded by the likes of Milton Friedman, John Kenneth Galbraith, John Maynard Keynes, Paul Krugman, Paul Volcker, John D. Rockefeller, Warren Buffett, J. Paul Getty, J.P. Morgan and Mickey Mouse.

Did I just add Mickey Mouse to that illustrious list? Just making sure you are paying attention.

Hmmm. What would Honest Abe had done?


This simple technique of problem solving has infinite possibilities.  Take a single guy having trouble scoring a hot girlfriend.  He could sit down, close his eyes and imagine seated around him a bevy of famous beautiful women.  He could ask each of them their favorite turn-on. Then he could apply the intelligence he gathered toward the attempt at securing a significant other.  Notice I didn’t name any of these beauties by name as I would hate to ruin my marriage. 

A comedian searching for good material could picture himself surrounded by Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, David Letterman, Eddie Murphy, George Carlin and so on.

So by now you get the picture.  This approach to solving dilemmas can be utilized to obtain the answers to almost any riddle known to mankind. 

I think the hipsters in today’s society have a nickname for a similar process. When someone is summoning the spirits of others, past or present, it is referred to as  “channeling.”  I remember hearing when Lady Gaga serenaded Bill Clinton last October at the “Decade of Difference,” concert celebrating Clinton’s Foundation, some observers commented that she was channeling Marilyn Monroe.

So happy channeling.  However, remember, don’t get too comfortable in the fantasy land that you create for yourself. 

You may oversleep dinner. 



Copyright 2012; Greg S.








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A Bird Brain May Be Smarter Than Your Honor Student

Excuse my logic but to all you people of my dad’s generation and mine (I am 53 years old) when you call someone a “bird brain” in reality you are not insulting them at all.  True, the brain of a bird is small compared to that of a human and thus we erroneously think we’re one up on someone when we compare their brain to that of a bird.  In small hummingbirds the brain may be no larger than the size of a pea.   However, relative to its size, the bird’s brain occupies a much larger percentage of the bird’s total body mass than a human brain does to a human.

The brain to body mass ratio of a human is 1/40.  In other words, the human brain is 1/40 of our total body content.  Amazingly, the brain to body mass ratio of a bird is an impressive 1/12. Far down the scale, the irony of which we will touch on later is the brain to body mass ratio of a shark which comes in at 1/2496.

What this all boils down to is that we humans aren’t the only smart species of animal life on this planet.  Animals are quite intelligent.

Who hasn’t heard stories of animals running to higher ground an hour before a tsunami hits?  Dogs are used to locate narcotics and dead bodies. They also navigate the darkness for the blind. The below photo even shows that animals not only have smarts but also compassion as this monkey saves a dog from a burning building.

As early as 3,000 years ago, homing pigeons, also referred to as carrier pigeons were used by the Egyptians and Persians to carry and deliver urgent messages to peoples far away.

In modern times, we have seen Lassie, Flipper and more recently “Beethoven” the loveable Saint Bernard, deliver performances worthy of Academy Awards.

Then there is the survival quotient.  Tortoises have roamed this Earth for more than 200 million years.  And that Shark that we mentioned above, the one with a 1/2496 brain to body mass, has existed in its current anatomy for 100 million years and in various other anatomies for a whopping 450 million years. By comparison, depending upon whose figures you want to believe, humans have existed on this planet anywhere from 500,000, to 2.5 million to 5 million years. We are so to speak, “the new kids on the block.”

Suffice it so say, that the extreme longevity of some animal species speaks volumes about their intelligence.

Several years ago, we housed a pregnant cat and it gave birth to three kittens in our living room.  One of those kittens, a black Burmese cat which we named Michael has become a permanent and revered member of our family.

Michael is nothing short of remarkable.  As a hunter he is prolific.  I have seen him kill three mice in one night.  However, what is more eyebrow-raising is what he does with his prey after he kills it. Between the side of our house and the backyard is a four-sided raised cement platform that covers what used to be an underground well.  When Michael kills mice, birds or the occasional chipmunk (which makes me mad because I love chipmunks), he arranges them neatly on this cement slab as if it were some sort of sacrificial altar. About three years ago, he continued with this practice for a full Spring, Summer and Fall until we brought an end to it by confining him to our house.

Michael adopted other hobbies once his hunting days came to a close. We have seen him sit upright on our piano bench and tickle the ivories with his two front paws.  At night, when I am asleep on my back, he will step up on my chest and pump his front legs up and down in a rhythmic motion. I jokingly refer to this as Michael giving me CPR but I think in actuality he is just trying to please me for all the care I give him.  He knows who’s his daddy!

Furthermore, if you laugh at Michael, he will shift his gaze downward and his sulking expression is a dead giveaway that he is unhappy.  He is also quite the model.  One day he will strike his George Clooney pose in which he sits in a debonair fashion, front paws outstretched.  Other times he will lie on his side with all his front paws and rear paws fully extended in what I call his Marilyn Monroe pose.  Or, he will sit atop all of his four legs looking like one of those hand-warming muffs women used to carry around.

What up Michael? Can't you take a joke?

Getting back to animals in general, despite their inability to recognize their own reflection in a mirror, through senses of smell, visual cues such as body movement and in many cases the phenomenon known as behavioral imprinting, animals have an uncanny knack of knowing whom to mate with.  Somehow ostriches don’t go around mating with giraffes yet both have long necks.

Many animals also have an innate ability to judge peoples’ character.  To this day, I still LOL (as the texters say) when I recall an incident that happened around our backyard pool some 35 years ago.  My mother’s friend, who was sort of a know-it-all remarked that dogs can tell good people from bad.  I didn’t give much thought to her comment at the time it was made.  Incredibly, about an hour later, this woman went inside to use the rest room.  Suddenly she emerged from our house screaming.  When she had leaned down to pet our Scotch terrier named Scotty, the dog had bitten her enough to cause bleeding.  Scotty was the most well-fed dog I’ve ever seen so it was not as if he was perhaps just biting her out of hunger.  I guess Scotty had her number.

Copyright 2009; Greg S.

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