Unseen Struggles

“Wearing face masks is one of the essential means to prevent the transmission of certain respiratory diseases such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although acceptance of such masks is increasing in the Western hemisphere, many people feel that social interaction is affected by wearing a mask. In the present experiment, we tested the impact of face masks on the readability of emotions. The participants (N = 41, calculated by an a priori power test; random sample; healthy persons of different ages, 18–87 years) assessed the emotional expressions displayed by 12 different faces. Each face was randomly presented with six different expressions (angry, disgusted, fearful, happy, neutral, and sad) while being fully visible or partly covered by a face mask. Lower accuracy and lower confidence in one’s own assessment of the displayed emotions indicate that emotional reading was strongly irritated by the presence of a mask. We further detected specific confusion patterns, mostly pronounced in the case of misinterpreting disgusted faces as being angry plus assessing many other emotions (e.g., happy, sad, and angry) as neutral. We discuss compensatory actions that can keep social interaction effective (e.g., body language, gesture, and verbal communication), even when relevant visual information is crucially reduced.”

Wearing Face Masks Strongly Confuses Counterparts in Reading Emotions via Frontiers in Psychology.

Emotions

“We review the burgeoning literature on the social effects of emotions, documenting the impact of emotional expressions on observers’ affect, cognition, and behavior. We find convergent evidence that emotional expressions influence observers’ affective reactions, inferential processes, and behaviors across various domains, including close relationships, group decision making, customer service, negotiation, and leadership. Affective reactions and inferential processes mediate the effects of emotional expressions on observers’ behaviors, and the relative potency of these mediators depends on the observers’ information processing and the perceived appropriateness of the emotional expressions. The social effects of emotions are similar across expressive modalities (face, voice, body, text, symbols). We discuss the findings in relation to emotional contagion, emotional intelligence, emotion regulation, emotions as social information (EASI) theory, and the functionality of emotions in engendering social influence. Finally, we identify gaps in our current understanding of the topic and call for interdisciplinary collaboration and methodological diversification.”

The Social Effects of Emotions via Annual Review of Psychology.

Procrastination & A Polar Bear

“We’ve all seen the pictures of starving polar bears, struggling to survive climate change. But as global temperatures continue to rise, experts say bears today are spending up to a month longer than their parents waiting for the ice to return after summer.

Every year, starting in late June when the bay ice disappears, polar bears in the northern Canadian province of Manitoba move onto shore to begin a period of forced fasting.

Without the sea ice they are unable to hunt for seals, their main source of food.”

Read more on Polar bears lose up to 2kg per day as climate crisis bites via Euronews.

How ‘climate procrastination’ has put the planet in peril via PBS News.

What am I worth?

“What a living whale is worth — and why the economy should protect nature. How much is one living blue whale worth in the fight against climate change? A lot more than you may think, says financial economist Ralph Chami. He explains the value of bringing the language of dollars and cents to conservation — and offers his vision of a new economy that would profit off regenerating nature, not extracting from it.”

Learn more:
‘They teach us’: how whales can help dispel the myth of green capitalism via The Guardian.
Several humpback whales found dead on B.C.’s coast in a matter of weeks via CBC.

Say My Name

I know you say that I am assuming things

Something’s going down that’s the way it seems

Shouldn’t be the reason why you’re acting strange

If nobody’s holding you back from me

‘Cause I know how you usually do

When you say everything to me times two

Why can’t you just tell the truth

If somebody’s there then tell me who..
~ Destiny’s Child

The Joy of Anonymity: In a World that Craves Attention via Medium.

Where My Eyes Kiss

There are habitats beyond
the one you live in
beneath you in the magma
beside you in the wind
with you in the water
inside you in dreams

layers exist within the archaeology
of your body’s knowing
it only takes a drop
of insight to remember
there is another way

where the answer to issues
is not another meeting
change of direction, drive or data
but a realignment to the inward pool
listening through the body
an intuitive’s call

the researcher may look for data
but there is a data of the body
spiritsongs of the cells
beckoning you to come alive

turn towards the threshold
of muscles and tissues
let light in the shadows
break into humility
and embrace beyond
what is known.

~ Celeste Snowber via bodypsalms

Pollution & The Fishing Industry

“Ghost gear can consist of all lost, abandoned or deteriorating fishing nets and commercial fishing gear, as well as plastic waste from aquaculture. Recent studies indicate that ghost fishing gear may make up 46-70% of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight, and pose threats to marine animals like whales and turtles.

Now, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is investing $8.3 million into what will be known as the Ghost Gear Fund. It will support 22 projects in Canada and four internationally over the next two years, targeting categories such as gear retrieval, eco-disposal, acquisition and the piloting of new gear technology.”

Canada invests $8.3M in fishing gear removal to fight marine plastic pollution via Environmental Science & Engineering

A Detailed Review Study on Potential Effects of Microplastics and Additives of Concern on Human Health via PubMed.

More on defining a “majority” via Wikipedia.

Negative Thinking

Artist Freehand X

“Positive thinking, we’re told endlessly, is absolutely essential at every minute if we hope to lead happy, successful lives: only through positive thinking will we achieve our ambitions and be winners instead of losers. Cartloads of self-help books, well-paid motivational speakers and lifestyle gurus all emphatically promote this drive to focus always on positive thinking. ‘It’s necessary to get losers out of your life if you ever want to live your dream,’ says self-help guru Les Brown, presumably eschewing all losers and living his.’ Positive thinking, we’re told endlessly, is absolutely essential at every minute if we hope to lead happy, successful lives: only through positive thinking will we achieve our ambitions and be winners instead of losers. Cartloads of self-help books, well-paid motivational speakers and lifestyle gurus all emphatically promote this drive to focus always on positive thinking. ‘It’s necessary to get losers out of your life if you ever want to live your dream,’ says self-help guru Les Brown, presumably eschewing all losers and living his.

We’re likewise endlessly told that negative thinking, is a definite no-no, only for wet blanket losers. But is this true? Is it true that positive thinking is always the best approach, or could it be, in fact, that some good old negative thinking might actually enable us to live our lives more effectively, efficiently and happily than optimism will? Well, apparently, it does! It turns out this full-tilt drive for constant positivity is being somewhat mis-sold us. So cheer up, wet blanket negative thinkers, if you dare! You may actually have got it right!

Negativity, this radio series explains, is a better spur to suitable action than unwarranted, blind hope, and can prove enormously constructive. Instinctive emotions like fear, anxiety and self-doubt serve an important, positive purpose, just as long as self-doubt is tempered by self-compassion. Self-doubt brings greater flexibility and consideration to plans and actions with a willingness to change tack instead of a moving in a headlong, inflexible rush, while pessimism can actually spell success. The very best, most successful lawyers and surgeons are, the presenter tells us, pessimists – those who examine a job from every possible angle, suspicious that any little thing could go wrong at any moment and get ready for it.”

Read more here via Mature Times.

Listen to the podcast here: THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING A Radio 4 Broadcast and Podcast

THE TRUELOVE

There is a faith in loving fiercely
the one who is rightfully yours,
especially if you have
waited years and especially
if part of you never believed
you could deserve this
loved and beckoning hand
held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now
and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are
worthy of in this world.

Years ago in the Hebrides,
I remember an old man
who walked every morning
on the grey stones
to the shore of baying seals,
who would press his hat
to his chest in the blustering
salt wind and say his prayer
to the turbulent Jesus
hidden in the water,

and I think of the story
of the storm and everyone
waking and seeing
the distant
yet familiar figure
far across the water
calling to them

and how we are all
preparing for that
abrupt waking,
and that calling,
and that moment
we have to say yes,
except it will
not come so grandly
so Biblically
but more subtly
and intimately in the face
of the one you know
you have to love

so that when
we finally step out of the boat
toward them, we find
everything holds
us, and everything confirms
our courage, and if you wanted
to drown you could,
but you don’t
because finally
after all this struggle
and all these years
you simply don’t want to
any more
you’ve simply had enough
of drowning
and you want to live and you
want to love and you will
walk across any territory
and any darkness
however fluid and however
dangerous to take the
one hand you know
belongs in yours.


by David Whyte.

Artist Norman Laliberté.