1. Red or green light does not prevent your body from generating melatonine. If you want light to read yourself to sleep, it’s best to use red light.

      And if you feel sleepy at day in the winter, buy a daylight lamp.

    2. I left the landing light on last night.
      When I woke up this morning the house was full of aeroplanes.

  1. I like to play computer games until it’s time to turn in and never have any trouble getting to sleep. It’s probably all the blood and fire.

  2. I use an app on my computer called “flux” that changes the color of the screen away from the blue and toward the yellow end of the scale as the hours go by. You can set the degree of color change, as well as the time and the speed of the change. Was a free download, and I like the subtle change in color. Did it help me sleep better? Uhhh, that I don’t know. It’s the content on the screen that seems to keep me engaged, and up late.

  3. I use flux on my laptops, and the twilight app on my tablet. I never noticed any problem before I installed them, but after, I really found I got to sleep much better, and more deeply. It was one of those cases of not noticing what was wrong until it went away.

    All you have to do is tell flux or twilight where you are, and it will shift into redder tones when the sun goes down.

    Not a seller (both programs are free) but definitely a satisfied user.

    1. Thank you for asking Edie.

      There is something disquietingly ironic in positing a video on the internet about how watching videos on the internet can create disturbed sleep. And for it to be posted by someone whose professional career depends on psychological disturbance is equally as well not an easy issue to understand.

      For those of us who are naturally late nighters the deep of the night is an excellent time to commune with nature and to look out and drink in the depths of the night sky and all the stars. Then and only then is a refreshing night’s sleep a fitting end to close the day.

      Mr W as usual misses one primary reason for some people to sleep badly. Without going into any deep complexity we all know intuitively that our star sign affects our well being and physical health. If only alone because our birth date determines if we spend our formative months in darkness or plagued by midges (I present those examples as sop to those who would baulk at coming forward to speak of the subtler influences we all feel).

      Thus without a discussion of birth charts we are addressing only half a topic. It is like when doctors wished to speak of illnesses yet would not entertain the possibility of micro-organisms. We live now in more Enlightened times and even doctors now know here are invisible influences all around us. In the earth and water as bacteria and in the stars as cosmic traits. We are lucky to live in such times! Let us not waste them on sleeping remedies.

  4. Phil, I’ve already commented on the light thingy above, but OK if I post another puzzle? A cyclist pedals one kilometer with the wind in his back in three minutes and cycles the same way back against the wind in four minutes. If we assume that the cyclist always puts constant force on the pedals, how much time would it take him to pedal one kilometer without wind?

    1. It takes me 8 minutes to cycle to the station in the morning but 12 minutes at night, without any wind. But that’s because one way is more downhill and the other is more uphill.
      I do change gear to put constant force on the pedals though.
      Also I’m tired in the evening after a day’s work (although keen to get home to my wife and tea). And I suppose I might have internal wind depending on what I had for breakfast.

      But ignoring all this I reckon the answer to the question is around 3 min 25 seconds.

      What happens if you have a bicycle standing upright with the pedals aligned vertically and press backwards (i.e. exert a force towards the rear of the bicycle) on the pedal at the bottom (such that if the bicycle was in the air unattached the pedal would rotate clockwise)?

    2. i can see where you got 3 and 3/7 minutes from but if the dude has digestive problems, as ChrisR says, who knows how long it will take. He might have to stop for a quite a while until he sorts out his gastric difficulties.

    3. Very drole, Masked Twit, but that doesn’t matter for the question asked, because it starts “If we assume that … constant force”, so we are not concerned with all the things that might happen in the real world but an idealised world where he cycles at a consistent rate.

    4. Eddie. Again, I question the relevance of this post in relation to the subject matter. Think of it from Richard’s perspective. Does he really want to see his website clogged with your Spam?

    5. Phil – I don’t think Richard Wiseman ever looks at the comments; he certainly never seems to respond to them. So I think your concern is mis-placed. This odd sub-culture of perpetuating the “Friday Puzzle” in the comments section has emerged. I think it’s fun and harmless.

  5. @Phil McCavity

    I believe you speak accurate words of wisdom. There are several persistent posters on this very website who do not respect the norms and conventions. To be speaking of puzzles when the topic on hand is the barriers to our deeply entering into our essential dreamlife is to both disrespect the website and to mislead its visitors away from entering into the very depths of their own intrinsic nature.

    The “Puzzlers” have a very egocentric agenda which is to display their abilities at solving maths puzzles. This is seldom a suitable occupation for a grown adult and I have ofttimes shown them up with embarrasment by solving the said puzzles using simple intuitive techniques that do not need “learned” symbolic mathematical skills.

    Yet still they persist. It is almost obsessional for some of them. It is hard to see what they hope to gain.

    1. Barry
      OK, I think I get it now… anything offered for discussion needs to be 100% on topic. And, whatever the topic, Astrology applies to everything, so that’s OK too. Got it now. Thanks for clearing that up. For the record I’m going to continue posting my puzzles as a bit of light relief for everyone suffering your turgid new age drivel.

    2. Thank you for your support @Edie.

      Yes it is true as you say that astrology is a universal science of human understanding and thus it does apply to all arenas of human study and exploration.

      Yet it perhaps should only be sparingly referred to (and then only by experts who can adequately apply and explain its insights) when the main theme of as discussion is initially focused elsewhere.

      This is why I do not even discuss astrology unless it has already been mentioned (as in this case where you have raised the topic) or if it is so self-evidently part of the conversation that to ignore it would be disingenuous.

      However that same approach surely does not apply to puzzles. A puzzle about who has more apples on a circular track of sloping ladders when only one of them is lying is a very specialised question that seldom sheds light on the deep psychological matters at hand.

      Yes true as you say: a puzzle is a distraction from the deeper issues of life – and it allows some to show off pointless equationeering skills. As such it is as useful as a synchronised swimming team.

      They have their place. Yet that place is in a swimming pool under heavy make-up. Not on a blog about sleeping sicknesses.

      Of that I am sure we can be truly in agreement once more.

    3. ‘People are emotionally drawn to the supernatural. They actively want weird, spooky things to be true . . . Wiseman shows us a higher joy as he deftly skewers the paranormal charlatans, blows away the psychic fog and lets in the clear light of reason.’ Richard Dawkins

    4. Hi Eddie.

      I say you continue to use this comments section to offer puzzles to those that want them. You are not the only person to deviate from the blogs’ subject matters, whether it be to assert the relevance of astrology to everything, to arrogantly diagnose what is going on in strangers’ minds, or to manipulate the goal posts of where rationality does and doesn’t apply on anything they hold dear. Until your puzzles are removed or denied by the owner of this blog, I say ignore the yawners and the blog fascists, and do what the hell you like.


  6. It’s Friday, so here’s a nice simple ‘puzzle’ you can try on your friends this weekend. It’s not really mathematical, although numbers are involved.
    Did you know that 2015 £1 coins are worth more than 2014 £1 coins. Why might that be? If you know the answer just reply with a knowing grin – at least until Monday perhaps.

  7. So stunning! I like the earthy & classic tones of your wedding! I am so stealing the succulent idea. Stunning bride, handsome hubby & bridal party. Amazing footage as usually Tammy!

  8. Hi Courtney. What a surprise to hear from you! I thought that you were still in prison. When did you get out? Is Tammy still on the game?

    BTW, I’m running low on the skunk. Can you get me some more?


  9. @Courtney

    I believe you may be confused by the dual nature of this blog,

    By day it discusses interesting areas of human psychology and perception. This includes of course the science and art of astrology and other related human-centered psychological scientific phenomena.

    Yet by night it is handed over to raiding parties of riddlers who insist that if A has more apples than B while cycling against the current in a locked room with only a match and a starving tiger then less than 23 of them share a birthday if none are twins. Basically this is some sort of stream of consciousness mathematics (hence the use of the term “similtaneous”) that pretends to relevance.

    It is thus not surprising that you have been confused by the nature of what is expressible here.

    I would ask you not to lose heart – I never do – and remain in good spirits as you try to nudge the conversation towards that which a normal human being would consider productive.

    I have tried many times to do that. And though I know the silent majority are in full accord with me I find the vocal posters often act as though I were an unwelcome interruption to their riddling.

    The best we can do is move foreward with good intentions and hope that they tire of their futile efforts.

    1. @ Barry
      From your last paragraph it sounds to me like you are intent on ‘Astrological World Domination’. We’re just a few online pals sharing a common interest, originally in Richard’s illusions, tricks and pscololgical stuff, but now just puzzles and other trivialities. Just chillax and live and let live.
      Love from

    2. I’ll just leave this here without comment for you to read @edie


      No less than a much revered source – the Guardian itself – discussing how astrology can be of help in all areas of health care.

      Thus he Guardian can take this issue seriously while yet you cannot. This is evidence of where we should do for serious discussion.

      I am always happy to answer questions and help educate people in the topics of which I have studied deeply. Yet when one of those topics is picked out for sustained ridicule by an uneducated minority it is not hard to see myself as an oppressed minority crying out for justice against bullies.

      Yet I remain buoyed up by those who see beyond the attempts to put me down. They truly are worth conversing with.

    3. Hi Barry Goddard.

      As far as I can make out, this is an article about one person in a position of authority saying “I really really believe in something, and people who outwardly disagree with me are just stupid and nasty”. Hardly a revered source seriously discussing the evidence for how that something can help in all areas of healthcare.


  10. It would appear that Courtney’s post is some form of online junk/spam posting.
    Copy and past the text into Google and you will see what I mean.

    It’s a messy world out there

    1. I think Courtney and Barry are made for each other – they could swap their entertaining nonsense on this thread, while the rest of us ignore them!

  11. @Edie

    Thank you for your comments and praise. Both are much appreciated.

    Yet I think you fail to distinguish between Communication and mere Chat.

    Mr W and I in our posts endevour to Communicate. We have meaningful insights and knowledge. And we have the communication skills to express ourselves in ways that speak to the hearts of those with ears to hear. That is true “value added” interaction that enriches both this blog and those who merely passively read it.

    If my insights have tangentially mentioned astrology and if those tangential mentions have helped direct others’ interest toward that science then that is a collateral benefit that is pleasing yet not core to the venture.

    Others though wish merely to chat. Chat in itself is not always wrong and it may have its place as “small talk” at parties and hospitals. Yet too much chatter drowns and discourages those of us who truly Communicate.

    This is the challenge that many online media such as websites face.

    Please join us on the “good side” and begin communicating rather than chattering. You will find it enriches your life.

    1. At the moment, if I see a photo of the dress as white and gold then I think it’s white and gold. And if I see a picture of the dress as blue and black then I think it’s blue and black. ?WTF?

    2. It is an example of how the human mind is so malleable that it can shape reality itself?

      What colour is the dress? It depends on who is asking.

      As an example some people look up into the night sky and see nothing but an endless vista of spheres of gas boiling away under nuclear fusion.

      Others such as myself look up to the night sky and see the whole of human potentiality write large upon that inky canvas.

      Both visions have their supporters. Yet only one is of true use to us here on earth. I choose to strive to understand that truly useful reality rather than waste my time in the mathematics of cosmology.

      This is not hard to understand. Yet some work very hard to develop the cognitive dissonance to treat it as a joke.

  12. @edie
    I believe your drug reference demonstrates the very point I was making about ridicule being used to belittle that which you cannot understand.

    You did not need drugs to be confused about the colour of the dress. Gold, blue? Blue, gold? As Tommy Cooper may have once put it.

    Drugs do not enhance our clarity – the doors to our perceptions are not necessarily wiped clean by the use of drugs. Yet our perception is not always unverifiably trustworthy even when we do not take drugs.

    This leads even the doziest of philosophers to begin to question how we can be sure of any conclusion we draw about the world around us (or is in the world within us? These are deep questions).

    Yet the only sane answer to such questions is that we must proceed carefully and humbly as we cannot be sure that our perceptions and the conclusions we drawn out of from them are accurate. This is indeed the way I proceed.

    This is why astrology is such a powerful tool to help us grope towards the truth that we stare in the face every day yet seldom recognise for what it is.

    You yourself Edie I am sure can see the truth and value in what I say. You need not resort to Kubler-ross denial to pretend otherwise. The truth lies within. As do you. Embrace it and break out!

  13. We all assume that we see what’s before our eyes, and if we have normal colour vision we should be able to tell what colour the dress is. And yet we’ve just discovered that the world of observers divides into two groups – those who see the dress as white and gold, and those who see it as blue and black, or blue and olive green. They know they are looking at the same image and that it isn’t changing, so why is there such marked disagreement about how the dress looks?

    Could it be that we all see the world very differently? Have we just discovered that there is no such thing as the true colour of things? Is colour just in the eye of the beholder? That may be a tempting conclusion, but the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein would have resisted it. He was famous for pointing out errors in our everyday thinking. So when told by his pupil, Elizabeth Anscombe, that it was easy to understand why people thought the sun went round the earth, Wittgenstein asked, “Why would they think that?” “Well,” said Anscombe, “it looks that way.” To which Wittgenstein replied, “And how would it look if the earth went round the sun?” The answer, of course, would be: “Just the same.”

    So how might Wittgenstein have reacted to our query about the true colour of the dress – or to the fact that people who up until now have agreed about the colours of all sorts of things suddenly see the dress so differently? After all, the same wavelengths of light are entering the retinas of each observer. How can it look white and gold to some and blue and black or olive green to others?

    Wittgenstein might have pointed us to Joseph Jastrow’s duck-rabbit figure. When you look at the drawing, without it changing, it is possible to see it either as a duck or a rabbit. You can’t see both animals at once but you switch from one to the other. Wittgenstein called this “aspect-switching” since you see one aspect when you notice the long shapes as rabbit’s ears, and another when you see them as a duck’s bill. The same object can look completely different when we attend to parts of the drawing and think of them as a duck’s bill or as a rabbit’s ears.

    So is it the same with the dress? There are good reasons to doubt it. Not many people report being able to switch between the blue-black/olive and the white-gold colours. Instead, it is looking at the image on different monitors, or in different lighting conditions that induces a change.

    And there’s the clue. Just as in the case of the duck-rabbit figure, it’s not just what we see but how we think about what we see that influences how something looks; and most people who see the dress as white and gold say the white colour of the dress is being tinted by a blue-ish light. In fact, what they claim to see is how a white dress looks in slightly blue lighting.

    For the rest of us – whose visual systems don’t wash out the blue when it is illuminated by blue lighting – we don’t think of it as parts of a white dress reflecting blue light but as a parts of a blue dress in white light. Between what we all see and how we judge what we see comes the thought, and thoughts make us look at the same things differently.

    In the case of the dress, both ways of viewing the colour in the image are illusory but unlike Wittgenstein’s cases of aspect-switching, it’s not a shift of attention or a difference in background ideology that separates the two ways of viewing the dress. It’s a categorical difference in the ways our visual systems interpret colours in the world – a difference we have only just discovered.

    Wittgenstein had thought of using a sentence from Shakespeare’s King Lear, “I’ll teach you differences” as a motto for his Philosophical Investigations. This would be a perfect example.

  14. Thanks Sheldon. I think paragraph five answers the riddle for me. I couldn’t understand how two people standing side by side looking at the same actual dress (i.e. not an image of it) could see different colours. But it was an image (posted by the Scotch folk singer) people were looking at on their monitors across the world and I can easily believe that monitor quality and lighting conditions could have lead to different interpretations.

  15. @Sheldon Cooper

    Your attempts to explain using a purely western academic philosophical approach is welcome as it helps raise the tone of the debate. Yet I fear you miss the very simple underlying principles that too-clever book people often mistake for learning.

    To understand someone else’s experience is quite simple. We need to know only three things. First our experience. Second the universe. Third the other person. After that all is clear.

    To first understand ourself requires deep introspection. The great masters and gurus of the past have left us the tools and the practices for this. Thus it is simple to accomplish and some of us have applied ourselves to this task.

    Second the universe is available in all its expansive glory for us to look at. Thus simply looking into the skies and studying the records of the astrologers who have gone before us allows us to comprehend what is before us.

    Third to understand the other person needs deep human skills of empathy and intuition. We are all human so these skills are accessible to us if we take the time to develop them.

    These skills help shape us as fully formed all-rounded humans. And they mean we can look at images of dresses on the internet without being thrown into paroxysms of self doubt and debate.

    There is much to learn about the simple things and I indeed feel humbly that I have learned much. I am willing able and happy to teach this to others too. Please simply ask,

  16. It’s the Friday Puxxle*:

    What’s the next number in the following series: 1, 4, 9, 7, 7, 9, 13, 10, 9…

  17. This is a trivial problem, @Edie, whose answer is available at a glance to anyone who has eyes to see and a mind to feel:


    The deeper puzzles of life however – why we are here? how best to spend our time? how to use the heavens to guide us? – are not as easily accessible to most people. That is a pity as they are the truly meaningful questions answers to which are accessible to all.

    Let us focus on what is truly the deeper mysteries of being human. Rather than messing with squares or similtaneous equations as our lives slowly ebb to their ends.

    1. Now now, Barry. No answers til Monday, please. In the mean time if you have anything to entertain us with other than your relentless preaching, that would be nice. Why not provide us with enlightening answers to some of the rhetorical questions raise?

    2. Eddie

      Barry is right

      Your postings are ‘off topic’ and serve no purpose. Find some other forum to pollute

  18. @Edie

    I have given you my answer – the correct answer – as this was not a “friday puzzle” that required the participants to sit in silence over the weekend until the blogmasters deigned to listen to their answers as if we were at some strict edwardian school that treats us all like naughty children.

    Those days are gone on this blog forever. That is perhaps a sign of its growing maturity as we move deeper into the chinese year of the Sheep which symbolises and embodies individual effort in team collaboration rather than “top down” domineering “teacher knows best” approaches.

    Please do not use your presence here to lobby for a return to those days of poor communication and being treated as children.

    As for your other question: I am delighted that you have – finally – asked for some guidance rather than pushing my insights and advice away as you have done in the past. This may be a sign too of your willingness to accept training and guidance from those you recognise have something to offer.

    I would not wish to bore those who have carefully read my previous postings – and who thus have enlightening answers to the questions that life poses us. (I have not posed these questions. It is life itself that does that. I simply and humbly act as a conduit for those who are tone-deaf to life and cannot even being to hear the questions – let alone the methods that lead to the answers.

    Yet indeed I will be happy to repeat myself for your benefit Edie. Still it would benefit first if you were to reread my earlier posts with your now more humble attitude of a seeker after truth and then return to ask me some specifics.

    May your change of heart herald a new spiritual dawn in the depths of your being, And I will be happy just to have been present to witness that.

    1. You didn’t answer your questions, Barry (why we are here? how best to spend our time? how to use the heavens to guide us?). Just more droning on… I get the impression you like the sound of your own voice just a little too much.

  19. @Edie. Why are we here? Life is like a School. Thus we can be here to learn. And we can be here to teach. Perhaps some of each for some of us.

    Yet in any school – in any class room – there are those who would be disruptive and who would wish their main aim to be to stop others learning and teaching. These disrupters may not consciously know that which they are doing. They may be all-affronted when clearly shown their actions and deny it.

    Yet Edie it is undeniable that such people exist. And if you feel even in the slightest hint of being affronted then perhaps the cap fits better than your ego-sense would wish.

    Yet Edie even you in time can arise to be a star pupil in the class room of live. Yea perhaps even a humble teacher like myself with a good report from the “cosmic Ofsted”.

    If you aspire to listen and to diligently apply the lessons taught here then surely indeed even you yourself are capable of spiritual uplift and – yes – even breakthroughs into beyond your ego and beyond even to enlightenment itself.

    Thus do no loose heart. Instead open yourself to the healing uplifting cosmic positivity that can be found throughout the universe and (i hope in a humble way) also within my posts too.

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