Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Proven: Drinking Vodka is Good for Your Creativity. Martinis All Around!

MartiniIt’s no secret I like a vodka martini. It’s my drink of choice when the Husband of Awesome™ offers to mix up a cocktail or two.

But now the word is out that drinking is actually good for your creativity.

In a study (called “Uncorking the Muse”) published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition it’s revealed that drinking a moderate amount of vodka can make you more creative.

“Moderate” in this case is just below the legal limit in the U.S. Participants were “cut off” once their blood alcohol level reached 0.075 percent.

How was creativity tested in the study?

Via a word association test.

The drinkers were given a vodka cranberry. The sober men were not. Both groups sat through a cartoon movie, waiting for the alcohol to work its way into the bloodstream of the potential creatives. After the movie, both groups were administered the test.

According to the article, “the men were presented with three words (“peach, arm, and tar,” for example) and then asked to come up with a fourth word that formed a phrase with each example (“pit”).”

The results?
On average, sober men took 15.4 seconds to come up with the correct response. The men who drank vodka, on the other hand, only needed 11.5 seconds.

You’re all invited for martinis at my house tonight! Bring your laptop.

Read the full story on line at The Week.

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Harpist Extraordinaire

Harp Check out my latest acquisition!

A very good friend, with whom I work, is retiring and moving away. As a consequence, she’s bequeathed this beauty to me.

She gave me a lesson on Saturday, and now I’m a harpist extraordinaire. Well, not quite…but soon, soon! It helped that I already play several instruments.

The reading music bit wasn’t hard at all. The getting two hands to coordinate on multiple strings: a bit tricky.

By the end of the weekend, however, I was able to pluck out a recognizable version of “Stille Nacht” (chosen both for its simplicity and for the season).

I’ve never played a string instrument before. I can’t believe the way this thing resonates. The floor beneath my feet vibrates when I play. It’s delightful.

And playing brought on a whole spurt of creativity. I may have to consider a character who plays a harp…