Video of the day

So, this is cool:

The Ethiopian Caterpillar is a bejeweled automaton from the year 1820. Attributed to Henri Maillardet, only six automaton caterpillars are known to exist and the other five are in prestigious collections in Europe, include one in the Patek Philippe museum and another two in the Sandoz collection (see Parmigiani for more on them).

The pre-sale estimate for this piece is $350,000-$450,000.

Change your posture; change your life?

As much as I like TED talks, I don’t watch a lot of them because rarely can I bring myself to just sit and watch a youtube video for 20 minutes.  Thus, I loved  the NPR TED Radio hour podcast, which I could listen to while doing other things.  And, as I was about to write, “alas, it disappeared” a quick check with the google tells us that it’s going to come back as a weekly show in March–hooray.  

Anyway, after that long preface, the point is I actually watched all of Amy Cuddy’s fascinating talk on how your body language affects not just how others perceive you, but more importantly, how you actually perform.

Put yourself in a power pose for two minutes and you’ll actually be more confident and competent in a subsequent situation even if you had no idea that was the purpose of the power pose.  Pretty cool.  And, the converse for a submissive pose.  Actually, though, in these experiments the subjects had no idea why they were assuming these positions.  I would love to see how the results would be different– and I strongly suspect they would be– if you told the subjects why they were assuming the pose.  Short version– Cuddy suggests that you assume a “power pose” for two minutes before going into an important situation where you need confidence and competence.  I suspect that she’s right and it does work, but I actually wonder if it is as effective if you know that’s the purpose of why you are posing.  Anyway, interesting research.  And, potentially life-changing.

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