Wednesday Puzzle

Here we go again….

What letter, apart from ‘E’, can be added to the following to complete this word?

puzzle3As ever, feel free to say if you think you have solved it, and how long it took, but please don’t give the answer.

Also, let’s get the ‘one sentence at a time’ stories finished (female thread here, male thread here), so feel free to add a line even if you have contributed already.

Update: I was originally shown this at a conference and so assumed that it was public domain.  However, it was created by Lloyd King (his site contains lots of other great puzzles and is here).

Plait & Wiseman: You Decide!

Phil Plait is a writer, astronomer, and all round lovely man. The two of us have often spoken on the same bill at  The Amazing Meeting, and lots and lots and lots of people make jokes about us looking like one another. But is that really the case? It is time  to subject this burning issue to a scientific test, and so get it settled once and for all (plus it gives me an excuse to try out a poll in the blog). So, take a look at the photographs, and feel free to vote and comment.

Twitter, stories, Uni talk and random Japanese videos

algorithmwithninjasFirst, thanks to everyone who has sent me welcome messages on Twitter.
Second, all is going very well with the ‘one sentence at a time’ stories (female thread here, male thread here). We are about halfway through, so please join in and encourage others to take part. In fact, let’s get them finished, so feel free to add a line even if you have contributed already.
Third, I will be giving my ‘Investigating The Paranormal’ talk at Edinburgh University this Thursday – it is open to the public, so if you are in the area come along and say hello (details here).
Fourth, in the hope of making your day go somewhat quicker, I have put my two favourite YouTube videos from Japan after the break.

Mystery Statue Unveiled

statue2Yesterday I posted a photo of a statue that was close to my hotel, and asked you to guess who it was. The answer is ……Dr. Norman Vincent ‘When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade’ Peale (author of ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’). The day I saw the statue a bird had defecated on his head, and so I was reminded of Peale’s famous phrase ‘The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism’.
Anyway, apparently, Albert Ellis (founder of cognitive therapy) wasn’t a fan, and once wrote ‘In the long run [Peale’s teachings] lead to failure and disillusionment, and not only boomerang back against people, but often prejudice them against effective therapy.’ (Loads more criticism of Peale here).
Modern research seems split on the issue. Some work clearly shows that optimism is good for you, but other work suggests that wishful thinking is bad. What do you think? Can too much positive thinking ruin your life?

Mystery Statue

statueI came across this statue by chance, just a few blocks from my hotel in New York City. In his day, the guy was famous for his writings on psychology, and his name is still well-known. He was a controversial figure, with some declaring him a genius that inspired millions, and others arguing that he damaged countless lives. Any ideas who he is? Answer tomorrow.