making us believe


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What is the truth? Something you can prove with fact! But what if there is no book knowledge or facts to support what you believe to be true? And how easily are we swayed to trust in something untruthful?

Studies have shown that advertisers, politicians and even journalist use repetition to make people believe them, and interestingly enough it works. The reason behind this is something called cognitive fluency, basically how easy is it for the brain to think about something. When something is familiar we need less effort to process the information, which means we are more likely to believe it to be true.

This obviously makes it harder for us to believe complex thoughts or ideas. If our brain has to go into overdrive to compute elaborate and manifold thoughts we become distrustful, our minds confusing new with wrong. The only way to bypass this default setting in our brains is to repeat the information, even just once helps, but three to five times is optimal.

However we don’t just blindly believe something we hear again and again if we concentrate, when we actively process the information presented we are less likely to fall into the “I’ve heard it before so it must be true”-trap. This means that advertisement benefits from the fact that we are normally too distracted to really compute what we hear, making it easier for us to just except it to be true, instead of using precious mind power to think about it.

Another trick advertisers use to make us believe that what they have to say is true is imagery.  When we hear words and see a picture of the topic at hand at the same time we are more likely to trust the statement. Somehow our brains associate pictures with proof, turning it into a fact and we believe it.

So maybe if we want that pay-rise or an extra day leave we should just keep telling or boss about it, hold up a picture of a pile of money or a beach while we do so and wait for moments in which  he/she is distracted. Maybe then he will believe it and give in to what you know to be true!

After all as the wonderful Oscar Wilde once said:

The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine


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When the autumn sun hangs low in the sky, just before it sinks into night, everything is dipped in a golden hue. For a few brief moments the whole world becomes beautiful, discarding its urban dullness in the setting sun. Even the bollards around the corner take on a golden glow and shine in the reflecting sun.


sunny days in Dublin


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Dublin has been beautiful this Autumn as we have had our fair share of beautifully sunny days. And since the roads are full of roadworks I’ve often opted to leave my bike at home and walk around town. And while it may take  a little longer I have been enjoying experiencing the city I live in on foot and thought I’d share a few photos I took with my phone this week.

roadworks are everywhere in Dublin

roadworks are everywhere in Dublin

enjoying the sun while walking down the braodwalk

enjoying the sun while walking down the boardwalk

being eyed up by a bird

being eyed up by a bird

wisps of clouds

wisps of clouds

the Customs house is looking its best

the Custom House is looking its best

the sun painting houses orange

the sun painting houses orange

fresh veggie delivery


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Recently I decided to try out something new and ordered vegetables online. The whole thing started when Green Earth Organics popped up in a conversation I was part of on a facebook networking page and because I liked what they said I decided to check out their website.

I loved the idea of a box of seasonal, organically grown vegetables delivered straight to my door and their prices were reasonable too. The boxes on offer come in different sizes and different contents: large ones for families, ones picked for juicers, one with purely Irish produce,  and one filled with favourites. They even have bags of fruit and an array of other healthy products.

Since I live on my own I opted for a small box for the test run and this morning a white van pulled up outside my door delivering a box filled with freshly picked vegetables:leeks, beets, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, onions and parsnips. Green Earth Organics even added a handwritten note and recipe to help inspire their customers what to cook.

Now I can’t wait to cook the vegetables and find out if they taste as good as they look. So tonight I’ll be enjoying some fresh beetroot and I see some yummy vegetable soup over the weekend.

I can’t believe how excited I am about this but I have to say I am impressed how easy and efficient my online vegetable shopping experience has been. So I’ll possibly be seeing more of the friendly carrot Green Earth Organics has on their logo as I think I may become a regular customer: fresh vegetables delivered directly to my door is just to good to pass up on.

a box filled with healthy vegtables

a box filled with healthy vegetables

no timer on timing


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As I have an early class today this morning everything is down to the perfect timing. After all I didn’t want to sacrifice those precious extra minutes of snoozing in my warm cozy bed.

So yesterday as I set the alarm I worked out how many minutes I needed for the different morning activities: getting dressed, brushing my teeth, breakfast, packing my school-bag (I’ve owned a lovely leather satchel since my first year in secondary school), make tea and walk to the bus-stop.

But when I woke up this morning I realized that perfect timing is something you really just can’t work out. Life is not an egg, that you can let boil till it is exactly the way you like it, in my case the white hard the yoke soft and creamy, but life is a little bit trickier than that. After all we can’t calculate the trips and bumps that we encounter on a day-to-day basis.

But while I was contemplating the matter of timing while sipping my tea I realized that it is exactly those minutes we can’t plan that make life exciting and interesting. Bumping into that cute guy on the bus could mean meeting your future partner, or sitting in traffic may end up with you having a life-changing idea,  meeting an old friend could give you that little bit of “friendly  gossip” that makes you smile or send a much needed compliment our way, and reading “just one more blog” may just make you happy, think or even give you exactly the information you were looking for.

So with all that said time is running out for me this morning and I need to get going and hope that timing is with me today. But as you can’t set the timer on timing, and you never know what the day will bring I will follow some unknown thinkers advice:

Don’t wait for the perfect timing, take the time and make it perfect

The World Time Clock in Berlin- different places different times.

The World Time Clock in Berlin- different places different times.

spinning a web


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Over the last few weeks I have been looking at starting up my own business – a one woman endeavour to make sure I can keep paying my rent.

I have been working my way through the paperwork involved: taxation, registration, bank account, start up costs etc. A business plan is written, a logo designed and now I am working on a webpage and strategy. At the same, when I am not sitting at my desk trying to figure out what I need to do, I have been trying to network.

Networking, that awful verb that fills so many of us with dread, is something that seems to be at the core of any new business. Who do you know, who do you need to meet, who do you connect with – all thoughts that twist your mind up into knots when you enter a room full of strangers.

However I have decided to not see it as a time consuming, soul destroying exercise but as fun activities that allow me to meet lots of interesting people, learn new things and form a few new social and professional contacts.

And so far this attitude has worked well for me. I have met a few wonderful people, lernt more about starting up then I thought I would and, completely unexpectedly, I have found that most people are really helpful when they hear you’re are at the very beginning of your adventure.

So I will keep spinning my web of new contacts over the next while and hopefully it will help me create my new business and the pattern will turn out more beautiful than I can imagine.


friendly Sundays


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Sundays are the days I often spend on my own, reading, cleaning, watching good/bad TV and more often than not I begin organising the week that lies ahead. But yesterday afternoon I broke from habit and met up with a friend in our local pub.

Since I’m not a big fan of beer a drop of blackcurrant into my Guinness sweetened the deal and I enjoyed the malty taste. We sat and chatted over an early pint and met a few colourful locals.

Some football was on the big screen but most sat and talked, a family with three kids sat in the corner sharing packets of crisps while the parents each nursed a pint. Three hipsters chatted in muted tones, there hair perfectly coiffed their trousers pulled low. Tucked away in a corner a couple of old men in their Sunday best talked about racing their faces wrinkly from past smiles, their hands hugging their pint. At the bar some scaffolders, razor blade bald and full of banter making fun of everyone who dared enter but making more fun of each other.

So while you won’t be finding me down in the pub every Sunday it was great to get out and jump into something new and enjoy a Sunday afternoon with friends. So maybe every now and then I’ll wander down for a pint and a bit of banter and turn my local into a place to discover more about Dublin life.

a pint with a friend

a pint with a friend


indecisive decisions – maybe


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From deciding what to wear and have for breakfast until when to go to bed at night, all day long we are bombarded with decisions that we need to make.  Should I stick with healthy porridge or go for yummy chocolate spread on toast and should I pick my sensible flats or the funky boots that aren’t weather proof. So while I felt crippled with the indecision which tea to drink – should I go fruity or detox or maybe licorice is what I wanted, or maybe mint – I couldn’t help but wonder about the decisions we make and why we make them.

It seems that our intuition and our logic are locked in a constant battle between what we should be doing  and what we want to be doing. So while one part of our brains is trying to analyses and sort through potential consequences the other part is jumping up and down shouting ‘we want it now’.

So while it may seem that we should be giving into logic most of the time we make our decisions based on what our intuition says. The reason for this is the simple fact that our intuitive mind is much faster, easier to accessed and often just overrides our sluggish logical mind.

But even when we think we are being logical and analytical our thinking is actually riddled with unconscious bias. Unconscious biases are all those judgements we are unaware of making when confronted with situations and people. These judgements are generally based on individual backgrounds, educations, cultural environment and experiences but are triggered by the brain without us realizing it.

So where does that leave us – do we just give in to our ‘gut feeling’ or do we hope our unconscious bias isn’t sabotaging us?

Maybe the trick lies in the balance. If the choice of breakfast in the morning won’t change the rest of your life, maybe just stick with what you think is best but if the decision you are about to make may have long lasting effects maybe think about it. And sometimes, maybe, indecision forces you to look at why you want to decided one way and force you to take a closer look at your own unconscious bias.

which to pick - maybe not important but a choice I have to amke

which to pick – maybe not important but a choice I have to make

payment in kind


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For a while now I have been thinking about building a storage space for the logs for the fire and with space being such a big issue I just knew I needed help, and someone who had a few saws and other useful tools. So yesterday morning a lovely friend of mine came over to take a closer look at my tiny back yard and see if my idea would work.

It was a wet and miserable morning, rain bucketing down in big heavy drops but we both braved the weather and took a closer look, measuring tape in hand. Now my friend with all the carpentry tools will help me build a small log storage hutch and my log will be safely stacked and dry come the winter.

To show my thanks for him taking the time out of his busy day I had baked blueberry and peanut butter muffins which we enjoyed over a cup of coffee (him) and tea (me) and lots of chat: payment in kind – for a kind deed.

home baked blueberry and peanut butter muffin - a yummy thank you

an issue when you home baked blueberry and peanut butter muffin – a yummy thank you