Posts tagged “booze”

Boost your creativity: Booze, barf and boredom

I am always on the lookout for ideas to boost creativity. Below are a few recent insightful readings…

Alcohol Benefits the Creative Process [Psychology Today] – Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago set out to determine if being intoxicated actually helped people think more creatively. They recruited people ages 21-30 and gave half of them vodka cranberry cocktails until their blood alcohol level reached .075. Then both groups completed a Remote Associations Test wherein they were given a series of three words (i.e. tar, arm, peach) for which they had to find a single word that would create two-word phrases with all three (i.e. pit). This kind of task was chosen to assess creativity because it is believed that the most obvious response is often not correct and therefore people must search for other more remote words in order to solve the problem. The findings indicate that the intoxicated participants not only performed better than their sober counterparts, they did so in less time and were more inclined to attribute their performance to a flash of insight; an “Aha!” moment.

Why might being intoxicated lead to improved creativity? The answer has to do with alcohol’s effect on working memory: the brainpower that helps us keep what we want in mind and what we don’t want out. Research has shown that alcohol tends to reduce people’s ability to focus in on some things and ignore others, which also happens to benefit creative problem solving.

I had a great excuse to practice this approach this weekend (admittedly, this was not the first time). I found that a yuzu-infused cocktail from Morimoto in Napa actually did catalyze divergent thinking. In fact, I generated a significant number of ideas for ideation and training sessions that involve yummy bites and liquid concoctions.

Produce First, Sharpen Second: What Dylan’s Vomit Teaches Us About The Creative Process [The Creativity Post] – This article references Bob Dylan’s creative process behind Like A Rolling Stone which involved a massive vomit of verses followed by a period of crafting and sculpting that rambling mass into an exquisitely refined piece of work. Dylan’s experience and other examples from the article illustrate a topic that I believe is profoundly important to understanding what creative thinking is and how to facilitate it. Creativity involves two polarized modes of thinking that can be described as opposites: divergent/convergent, imagination/logic, improvisation/composition, writing/editing, and so on. The key is to keep these two modes, vomit/cleanup, separate. Do not mix! In fact, a recent study at a Dutch university that is cited in this article concluded that taking a break between creating ideas and assessing them actually improves one’s ability to recognize the more promising concepts. Quick tip: The next time you are looking for great ideas, set yourself (or your team) a wildly large goal (i.e. 30-100 ideas) and don’t stop until you reach that number. Then take a break (10 minutes, 24 hours, whatever). Finally, go back and dive in to your ideas to cluster, organize, eliminate and ensure that the best ones rise to the top. Then give them refinement and strengthening that they deserve!

The reason we should “never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down” is because we initially don’t know which of our ideas are worthwhile. It’s only after we get everything down that we are able to recognize what works from what doesn’t. This is the lesson from Ritter’s research: we need to give the unconscious mind time to mull it over so it can convince the conscious mind to make adjustments.

Want To Be More Creative? Get Bored [Fast Company] – If you are looking for something to do between ideaphoria and analysis, a break that Edward deBono calls the “creative pause”, give some thought to not thinking at all. The author reflects on the importance of clearing the mind and the calendar and not doing a thing. Why? Because this space of quiet be-ing (not doing) is a lacuna from the litany of productivity and entertainment. It gives the mind room to breathe. Think of it as mental yoga, a place to pause between the inhale of ideas and the exhale of action.

I know it sounds strange, but I welcome boredom. It forces me to ponder. But to make sure we’re on the same page, when I speak of boredom, I’m not referring to killing time on your smartphone, your iPad, or your laptop. I’m not even talking about paging through a book. I mean bored as in doing absolutely nothing.


ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Gorilla Snot Cocktail Recipe – Measure the port into a brandy glass, the pour the Bailey's in. As the Bailey's enters the port it will solidify, forming a glob.
  • Gorilla Snot Musicians Gripping Resin – (thanks @trx0x) Gorilla Snot is a gripping aid. It has been developed by and for professionals who demand flexibility, functionality, and efficiency in the tools of their trade. A non-gooey, naturally refined tree rosin, Gorilla Snot reacts with your body's natural chemistry and heat output to retain a steady grip on picks drumsticks, bows, and any other hard to grip instruments.

    While playing, Gorilla Snot maintains an even consistency, but when you've finished, just separate your fingers for 20 or 30 seconds, and it dissolves completely! The gripping reaction is only effective when you activate it. It cannot stain instruments or clothing because it is entirely permeable to open air and dissipates completely.

  • Gorilla-Snot® Soil Stabilization & Dust Control from Soilworks® – Soilworks®, LLC is the innovator and manufacturer of Gorilla-Snot® soil stabilizer and dust control agent. It is the economy grade version of our Soiltac® soil stabilizer. Gorilla-Snot® is an eco-safe, biodegradable, liquid copolymer used to stabilize and solidify any soil or aggregate as well as erosion control and dust suppression.
  • Moco de Gorila – Snott Gorila Hair Styling Gel – Moco de Gorila® is a very strong hair gel made in mexico. It delivers strong lasting hold and it leaves absolutely no residues or flakes on your hair.
    Does Moco de Gorila Hair Gel have anything to do with real gorillas?
    No. Amusingly, this is a very frequently asked question. The only thing that comes from a Gorilla is its name.
    Can Moco de Gorila® be used by women?
    Yes. There is many women that use Moco de Gorila to keep their hair style all day long without leaving any residues.

    [I like the name, the brand, the rawness, the story, the cultural ping-ponging between white and Hispanic, the package design]

The Hangover Around The World

From Annals Of Drinking in The New Yorker, which explores the cultural and medical aspects of hangover causes and cures, comes this fun bit

[T]he Egyptians say they are “still drunk,” the Japanese “two days drunk,” the Chinese “drunk overnight.” The Swedes get “smacked from behind.” But it is in languages that describe the effects rather than the cause that we begin to see real poetic power. Salvadorans wake up “made of rubber,” the French with a “wooden mouth” or a “hair ache.” The Germans and the Dutch say they have a “tomcat,” presumably wailing. The Poles, reportedly, experience a “howling of kittens.” My favorites are the Danes, who get “carpenters in the forehead.” In keeping with the saying about the Eskimos’ nine words for snow, the Ukrainians have several words for hangover. And, in keeping with the Jews-don’t-drink rule, Hebrew didn’t even have one word until recently. Then the experts at the Academy of the Hebrew Language, in Tel Aviv, decided that such a term was needed, so they made one up: hamarmoret, derived from the word for fermentation.


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