Cold facts on IQ study

Here's an interesting factoid.... this one from professor Richard Lynn of the University of Ulster, who has been doing a study on IQ. Among other things, he claims that people who live in countries with cold climates have higher IQs, likely stemming from the fact that they have to look for food in harsh conditions and that takes brain power. I know what a struggle it is to find the grocery store in the snow, especially if you want to park your skidoo near the entrance so you don't freeze on the walk back to your vehicle. Keeps the groceries fresh, though.

He also claims that people who live in cities have higher IQs, because, he says, people who live in towns were smart enough to leave rural life behind, perhaps because country grocery stores are more elusive & tend to hibernate, making mealtimes skinny.

Still, I would like to introduce the professor to a few of our Canadian citizens, who live and work in the cold climate of the big city of Ottawa, Canada's capital, supposedly running this country. Based on their current activities (or lack thereof), I don't think the prof can use them as an example to prove his theory. I'm sure he missed them when he was doing his survey. Perhaps they were out hunting moose.

When I lived 'up north' I was fascinated by the things we intelligent cold city folk would get up to, like getting your tongue stuck on an icy metal pole or driving a skidoo on thin ice, or wearing slacks underneath your dress so your legs wouldn't freeze on the way to school. I see big city girls in warm places like LA copying this fashion nowadays.

They take it a step further though - perhaps because it's warmer - and only wear their silk slips, which are finished with lace, over their slacks -- attractively ripped, of course. Another fine fashion, adopted by big city boys, is the wearing of pants so loose your fly is down at your knees. I hate to tell them, but really what they are wearing is a mutant version of the skirt-over-slacks.

In the boy's case, they are wearing a skirt that turns into slacks at the knees, and then bags down over their ankles so they have those attractive trailing bits of cloth decoratively drooping around their expensive, scuffed running shoes with loose laces flapping musically as they lounge by, hands in their pockets & ball cap jauntily hiding their intelligent eyes as they hunt for nourishment.

Anyway, it's nice to know that living in a cold, damp city makes you smarter. I hope I can find the grocery store tomorrow. I'm out of country crock.

Klingon vessel de-cloaking off the port bow

*Warning: what follows is a Blog Entry. Blogs are personal logs. This may contain dishelved and unorganized thoughts. Readers should note that the Train of Responsibility is chugging away far ahead of me while I run after it, falling ever behind. Some adults may be offended by my candid ongoing listing of projects and things to do, which I continue to enumerate in the hopes I may motivate myself to grow up and complete a few things. (If I didn't have to pay rent, I would play in the yard all day.)

Back to the Klingon vessel... did you know that researchers now claim that we will have a cloak of invisiability within 5 years? Yes, through some magic with the use of metamaterials, they will be able to make an object disappear by doing something to the light that travels around it. Just imagine how cool that would be. You could, almost literally, be the fly on the wall, the Harvey at the dinner table, stand in a corner of the office as your ex plots with his/her lawyer, maybe even be sitting in the music publisher's office when she/he listens to the first 30 seconds of your song and then files your CD in that handy basket... which you hope says 'contact for licencing' and not 'trash'.

The researchers are a little behind actually. If they'd spent some time here in my little abode, they would have, through extensive study and the use of various scopes and sensers, found that things disappear here at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, they often are not the sort of things you would like to disappear. Like the tax bill, for instance. They could beam that up and cloak it to their heart's content. All this administrative stuff I have to do... wouldn't be nice to just have that disappear... well, no really, what you want is to be able to twitch your nose and have it be done.

Let me check... no, there are still some dirty dishes in the sink. And the laundry hamper is occupied. No cloaking there.

I spent an hour on Monday going through all my craft totes to find my crimping pliers. Cloaked.

The things I'm really looking for.... like my membership card for the Songwriters Association of Canada, or my passport application and the pictures I paid $30 for... can't find them. They are definitely cloaked. They would have told me if they were going out, methinks.

Still, when I look at how I live now compared to how I used to live... I can tell you I'd much rather have it this way.

I used to be called "Ms Organization" when I worked as a dental claims examiner for an insurance firm. I was as anal as hell, stiff as a board, fairly judgemental and awfully insecure. I was also terribly unhappy. I was making lots of money, but there was no joy in my life. My guitar was 3,000 miles away in my Dad's closet. I only sang when I was in the tub. I made my life about being what other people wanted of me... the efficient clerk at work, the good wife at home. I tried very very hard to be the "good girl" that I felt other people wanted. I wanted them to like me, and not judge me, and not be angry with me. I expended all my life energy on pleasing other people.

One night, thank god, after I'd worked an entire day on my own packing up the house to move the next day, and my husband came home from being out with his friends and ripped my head off for 'packing things up wrong' ... I lay awake all night thinking about what my life had become. I had an epiphany.

I decided that being good for my husband was not so good for me. I packed what I could take into 2 suitcases and got on a plane and came home.

Totally demoralized, I looked deep into my soul and asked myself some serious questions. If I wasn't going to live my life by the "rules" of others, then I needed to find what was important to me and set out to do it. Two things became very clear. One was that my creativity had been totally stifled by the life I had been leading, and that I desperately wanted to do someting that was more creative as a living. Two, I'd wanted to be a singer for as long as I could remember... since I was about 5 or 6 and joined my first choir.

So I managed to get myself into a 7-month graphic design course and, when I was hired by the firm with whom I had done both my practicums... I began to take voice lessons. The process of taking voice lessons, over the next few years, was a form of healing therapy for me. The self-awareness, the focus of attention on the 'now' and the work to release my voice from its fetters helped me see how much I had limited myself in the past. After several years of voice training, I began to teach voice myself, cutting my time in the office to 20 hrs/week, and then to 14 hrs/week (just enough to cover the rent). After a few years of that, I gave up the job entirely and became a full-time musician.

How much I have changed. Yes, I still have to organize my time, and schedule students and cope with adult responsbilities like bills, groceries, laundry, spending time with my 83 year-old mom, and worrying about my 81 year-old-dad who has been in hospital 3 times since late November (they're divorced). But I try, whenever possible to play.

Play to me means that I have at my disposal, any number of projects I'm working on or could begin, if I feel one of them 'calling' to me. At the moment, I have beading supplies on my kitchen table and I'm making some jewelry for the summer market. This afternoon I bought some 'art trading cards' from the art supply store... you're supposed to paint them and trade them with other people (neat idea). My guitar is sitting right here, waiting for me to practice. This morning I listened to a tape of my last coaching with my voice teacher & sang the exercises and made a list of what we did for future reference. On my desk right here is a time sheet for the ebook I am helping a client write... I need to complete the drafts of chapters 5 and 6. Underneath the phone are some Taxi listings, I need to organize getting some songs ready to submit to them. Also on my desk is my studio teaching schedule, on which I've noted some changes... so I will have to update the schedule I post on line for my students. On the coffee table in the corner are some cover letters, I need to address envelopes & pop a CD in and send them off to radio stations. I have 3 or 4 unfinished songs waiting my attention. There are also some unfinished & blank canvases in my bedroom.

So I ask myself, 'what do I feel like playing with right now', and I follow the inspiration of the moment... unless there is a deadline to meet (ah, the dreaded deadline... it's amazing how hard it is to get out of bed when you have a deadline :lol:).

I trully believe it is the act of doing something creative that heals us, moves us forward, that changes us, fosters a growth spurt, opens the mind, frees the spirit, makes us happy, lifts us up, allows us to touch the divine in us & in the universe. When I write music or poetry or lyrics or paint... I look for that flow. I try to shut off my mind & my ego and just follow the muse where it leads me. Thus something is created, a something we define as a song, or an instrumental, or painting, or a story....

When we have the final product, we may spray it with fixative, or run it through the spell-check (or ask a friend to proof it), or take it to a studio engineer for a better more polished mix.

If at that point, when the inspiration for that one piece of work is done, and we've moved on... is it wrong to place a monetary value on our completed work? Is it wrong to say... 'you know, it cost me $$ to make this, plus my time, plus my inspiration. I hope you find it worthy'. Does the act of selling our act of creativity devalue it?

We post our work and our bios and our photos and our artwork and our links to CD Baby on our web pages, marketing ourselves and our work. Does that mean that we value commerce over the creative spirit?

two new projects? :)

Well, although I am not finished catching up on the collaborations on my list....

yesterday I came up with an idea for an ebook, and I actually have even written a page or two on it. It's going to be about what I've learned about living by being in the music, how music (art) was a process by which I became who I am today.

I just had a meeting with my 'Waiting for the Bus' co-writer, Mike Kavanagh - and we decided to work on another CD together. We already have several songs we've been working on. We'll put our noses to the grindstone over the next 4 months & see if we can come up with a winter album to balance our spring album

I also still want to put out my own ambient album & I have 3 pieces written for that and ideas for more.

I had a cold/sore throat last week so didn't get much singing done. But I did have a harmonica lesson (yes!).

We've had to order a second run of the CD (yes!) it should be ready in the next couple of days :)

I wrote the music for a lyric by Lloyd Kyrk & Michael Buller last weekend, and I wrote the music for a lyric by Michael Kavanagh this week as well.

I bought an external harddrive for my computer but I need to spend a half day setting it all up.

I have a headache for some reason so I'll sign off and hit the sack. Have a creative week, everybody!!