Ruby Wax on psychology

fmsdownloadcfmJust been confirmed that I will be speaking alongside comedian Ruby Wax at the ‘Psychology For All‘ event in London on 14 March. There is an interesting article here about how Ruby became interested in psychotherapy after suffering from depression. She is not the first comedian to suffer from it (for example, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Spike Milligan, and Roseanne Barr all admitted publicly that they struggled with the illness). Research into the link between performing comedy and mental illness yields a mixed picture. Making strangers laugh night after night must be a stressful way of making a living, but perhaps any apparent link is simply due to us taking more notice when funny people get depressed.

Who are the familiar strangers in your life?

milgramI am a big fan of Stanley Milgram’s work, and in Quirkology described his wonderful studies into social networking and letter dropping. One of his lesser-known projects examined the ‘familiar stranger phenomenon’. Familiar strangers are people that you see most days of your life, but never interact with: people that you might have seen for years at the train station, whilst out walking your dog, or at the gym, but have never even said hello to. Do you have familiar strangers in your life?

The Sunday Puzzle

ixThought that you might enjoy a puzzle to help pass the time today. The image on the left shows the number 9 in Roman numerals.

Your task is to draw one single continuous line and turn this into a 6. Feel free to say if you have solved it and how long it took you, but no giving the answer. I will reveal the solution, and source, on Monday. Enjoy.

Quick Update: Someone has just emailed me another solution, so there are TWO ways of solving the puzzle.

The answer to this puzzle, and 100 others,  can be found in a new kindle ebook called PUZZLED, and is available in the UK here and USA here.