Make Me Smarter #23

Make Me Smarter #23: Crows can recognize individual human faces and hold grudges.

It’s probably best not to get on a crow’s bad side. According to one 2008 study by wildlife researchers at the University of Washington – plus tons of anecdotal evidence from wildlife biologists – the highly intelligent birds are capable of remembering individual human faces, even if those who have wronged them wear a disguise. So how do crows show their distaste? They scream. “The birds were really raucous, screaming persistently,” one volunteer in the crow study told The New York Times. “And it was clear they weren’t upset about something in general. They were upset with me.” Sounds intense!

https://www.washington.edu/news/2012/09/10/crows-react-to-threats-in-human-like-way/

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You Thought 2020 Was Strange?

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Parkinson’s Law

Parkinson’s Law is the old adage that work expands to fill the time allotted. Put simply, the amount of work required adjusts to the time available for its completion. The term was first coined by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in a humorous essay he wrote for the Economist in 1955.

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Just Because It Fits Doesn’t Make it Right

Not every place you “fit it” is where you “belong”.

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Avoid the Symbolic Club

The palm closed finger pointing gesture can act like a symbolic club, ‘beating’ listeners into submission.

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Unmet Expectations – the Silent Killer

Unmet Expectations – the Silent Killer.

The major reason marriages end in divorce is because of one thing… unmet expectations. With this in mind, what do you think this can do to your business, your reputation – your customers?

EXPECTATION – OBSERVATION = FRUSTRATION

Put simply; if someone has an expectation of you (whether it’s realistic or not) and they observe this NOT being met, creates frustration, disappointment, and often resentment.

The biggest challenge is know what other people expect. How to get around this? Communicate. In a relationship, as soon as frustration rears it’s head, get curious – not angry. With customers, tell them exactly how things will work and manage their expectations immediately.

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The Art of War #2

The Art of War #2 – Sun Szu

Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made on the basis of a comparison, in this wise:-

(1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral Law?
(2) Which of the two generals has most ability?
(3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?
(4) On which side is Discipline most rigorously enforced?
(5) Which army is stronger?
(6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained?
(7) In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?

By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.

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The Art of War #1

Chapter One: Laying Plans

Sun Tsu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.

It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

These are:
(1) The Moral Law;
(2) Heaven;
(3) Earth;
(4) The Commander;
(5) Method and Discipline.

The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.

Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.

Earth compromises distances, great and small, open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.

The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness.

By Method and Discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.

The five heads should be familiar to every general: he who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail.

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Dragon Pole

As far back as 3000 B.C., the staff and the long pole were used in hunting as well as in battle. The staff is a stick between five and six feet in length, both ends of the same diameter. The long pole can be as long as 13 feet, with one end tapered. These weapons were easy to construct and were very popular in ancient days.

With the discovery of bronze and iron, the staff and long pole were modified into weapons such as spears, Kwan Dao (big choppers), and various versions of the long stick with metal casting at the end.

The use of the staff and long pole was also popular among the Shaolin monks during the early Sung Dynasty (A.D. 960-1279). During that time the monks were involved in helping the first emperor, Sung, establish his kingdom. The staff and long pole were used extensively by the monks, who, because of their religion, did not like sharp edged weapons that would inflict undue injury to their enemies. Even after the Sung Dynasty, the Shaolin monks continued to favour the use of the staff and long pole. In the Manchu Dynasty (1644-1911), the monks used these weapons to defend themselves from the Manchu Government’s siege on the Shaolin Temple.

There were many forms of staff and long pole in the Shaolin style, but the most effective was the “Look Dim Boon Grun” ie. Six-and-a-half-Strike Dragon Pole, originated by Grandmaster Gee Sin.

According to Chinese legend, Grandmaster Gee Sin was also one of the five Grandmasters who developed the Wing Chun style. But Yim Wing Chun, who became the only heir to the Wing Chun style, and after whom it was named, did not learn the dragon pole as part of her Wing Chun training. She completed her training with Grandmaster Ng Mui, having learned only the empty-hand techniques and the butterfly swords which she passed on to her husband Leung Bok Cho.

The Dragon Pole descended from Grandmaster Gee Sin through three generations of his disciples to Wong Wah Bo, and was reunited with the Wing Chun style by another twist of fate. Yim Wing Chun’s husband, Leung Bok Cho, in searching for someone to whom he could pass on the Wing Chun system chose on of his nephews. Coincidentally, this also turned out to be Wong Wah Bo, the third generation heir to the dragon pole techniques of Grandmaster Gee Sin.

Wong Wah Bo was a very popular opera star on a floating opera barge called The Red Boat. One day, Leung Bok Cho went to the Red Boat to see the opera. Leung and Wong got together after the show, and came to the agreement that they would have a friendly martial arts contest. If Leung could defeat Wong easily, then Wong would undertake to learn the Wing Chun system.

The two confronted each other on the stage of The Red Boat. Wong was armed with a 12 foot dragon pole and Leung had a pair of butterfly swords each measuring 14 inches. Since Wong considered himself as having the advantage, he asked Leung to attack first. Leung brandished the pair of butterfly swords to begin his attack. Wong was very cautious in defending because the swords were sharp and Leung’s technique was very tight and swift. Though he fought with all his might, Wong found it very difficult to fend off Leung’s attack. He was forced to retreat to the edge of the stage. Now, Wong could not use the most deadly technique of the Six-and-a-Half-Strike Dragon Pole to deal with the situation. When Leung aimed a double slash with both swords at Wong’s head, Wong raised his pole in a technique called Bong Kwan – (Wing block) to neutralize the assault, and followed up with a lower jab to Leung’s leg. This was one of the most efficient dragon pole techniques in the Six-and-a-Half-Strike Dragon Pole because block and counterattack were almost simultaneous. Wong used it quickly and thought this would surely bring a speedy victory. Nevertheless, quite unexpectedly, Wong felt something cold touch his hand. He looked down and found the sharp edge of a butterfly sword resting on his wrist. He had no alternative. He dropped the dragon pole and admitted defeat. Wong fell to his knees and begged to be Leung’s student so that he could learn the Wing Chun system.

From that brief encounter Leung realized that he had chosen well and that Wong had the potential of becoming the best. After Wong mastered Wing Chun, he improved the Six-and-a-Half-Strike Dragon Pole by combining it with Wing Chun and making its techniques much more effective.

https://www.wingchunkwoon.com/wing-chun/forms-techniques/dragon-pole/

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Make Me Smarter #22

Make Me Smarter #22: Grave robbers once stole Charlie Chaplin’s body.

Charlie Chaplin may have become famous for making people laugh, but what happened to his body after the performer’s death is downright creepy. Following Chaplin’s passing on Christmas Day in 1977, his remains were laid to rest in a cemetery in the Swiss village of Corsier-sur-Vevey, which lies in the hills above Lake Geneva. However, just a few months later, on March 2, 1978, two men stole the body and contacted Chaplin’s widow, Oona, to demand $600,000 for the return of the corpse while also threatening her children. A police investigation resulted in the arrest and conviction of the robbers and the recovery of the body, which was later reburied in a concrete grave.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/grave-robbers-steal-charlie-chaplins-body

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