Monday, October 18, 2004

While watching a TV program about overweight children on Swedish television last night, an American researcher on nutrition recommended watching less TV to help keep kids thinner (adults too, although he didn't specify). Which didn't make us get off our fat asses.

Then, we watched a show about self-recognition. Apparently, the ability to recognize ourselves - via a test with secret dots and mirrors - begins somewhere when we're 18 months to two years old.

But far more interesting was another test done with mirrors. Children aged 9-11 were rewarded after a test by being told they could take one piece of candy from a dish, which happened to be in an empty room. About 30 percent of the kids took more than one piece. But, if the bowl of candy was placed in front of a great big mirror, the number of children taking extra candy dropped to only 10 percent.

It seems that seeing ourselves about to do something we're not supposed to do is enough to stop us. It's as if we're our own mothers, frowning and giving ourselves the eye.

But wait, it gets worse. The program went on to say that having a big mirror in a room in the office where people are supposed to take a coffee break prevents lingering.

What it all comes down to is that our own reflections seem to be as effective as Judaism and Catholicism at inducing guilt.

This could explain why in this apartment with 45 doors, there are only two little mirrors. I guess I'm not very good at dealing with guilt.

The Swedish word for the day is nolltolerans. It means zero tolerance.

- by Francis S.

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