Monthly Archives: December 2015

Experiencing Emotions from the Outside In

Cultural norms, and different languages, change how we feel emotions, and even what emotions are identified.  A recent article in The Atlantic discussed this. Once the vocab is known, one may be able to experience the known quantity more fully.

Some examples of emotions we do not identify directly in English (that you will likely now experience more fully) are: Homefulness: “the feeling you get when you turn the corner of your road or your airplane lands and you know you’re near home. It’s a lovely combination of relief and belonging.”  Awumbuk: “what you feel when your visitors leave and you get a feeling of heaviness in the household.”

True health and wellbeing is experiencing the range of emotions, not simply focusing on happiness and joy.  Acknowledging alternative aspirational states is key to the human event.


ModCon Advice: Taste

Our latest advice postings comes from readers.

Dear ModCon,

Given that we are the sum of our inputs, what movies and books have had a significant, positive influence on your life?  Better yet, how can I develop my own taste, aesthetic, and outlook?–how does one go about getting drawn into their own destiny?
Tabula Rasa
Dear M(r?)s Rasa,

I am deeply selfish of my experiences with movies and books, and therefore will be unable to divulge too many of my secret favorites. I once told a friend about Donnie Darko finally allowing me to understand what sacrifice meant, only to have him parrot that phrase aloud in a group discussion nearly a week later. For some reason I was deeply offended by this, to the point that I wanted to expose this traitor for the world to see. Everything from “J’accuse!” to a slow pour of my coffee on his feet raced through my mind. I’d rather not get to that place again, so please excuse my secrecy.

In return, let me answer your second question. It is the most important of the two queries, and makes the first unnecessary.

There is an underlying Truth to all things. Every subject, whether in art or science, has a hidden universality to it. The same can be said for movies. That Truth is different for every person, but the way we experience it is the same. When you see beautiful art in the movies or read a perfect sentence in literature, it feels the same. If you haven’t had that experience, you haven’t experienced enough.

It feels like a higher power ripped your flaming heart out with bare hands, tore it up into little pieces, and blew the confetti into a westerly wind.

It remakes you in its own image.

When I first read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, I knew that the world was different after reading it. You might not get that experience from the same book, but you will get that experience.

Your development and destiny comes from the search for that experience. Good luck on the journey, it’s a long one. If you really get out there and you still don’t have a clue, everything from the 60s was cool.

Quiet Victims of the the Liberian Ebola Crisis

Fore the last year, the 30 men responsible for burning the bodies of Ebola victims have been shut out of their community, in a country where cremation is considered a severe disrespect.  Despite following the protocols of public health experts, these young men have been punished for performing the dangerous, draining, and traumatic task of burning sometimes over 100 bodies per day in a crematorium, all to halt the virus’s primary method of contamination.

“Through the ordeal, the young men said they thought they would get government scholarships when it was all over. They thought they would be hailed as heroes, that people would apologize for shunning them. They are still waiting.” writes Helene Cooper in today’s New York Times.

With even their mothers shunning them, the men stick together and weather the ongoing storm with booze and drugs.



PSA for the Men of America

Men of America, your clothing options are not limited to black, gray, navy.  If a sport coat is your idea of “mixing it up,” then you need to get out more: possibly to a One Direction concert.

Pop star Harry Styles, 21, is living up to his name and reminding us of what menswear can be, by routinely stepping out in patterns, glitter, florals, and textures.

 According to Timothy Mitchell in the New York Post:

     Styles, like the ’70s rockstars he seemingly idolizes, exists outside the confines of…decidedly stale masculine modes. No, he’s not exactly reinventing the androgyny wheel. Mick Jagger, to whom Styles is often compared, was rocking graphic suits with blouses eons ago — and let’s not even broach the topic of David Bowie.  Still, given his absurdly high profile, it’s hard not to appreciate Styles for riding a wave of individuality in a sea of Ken-doll haircuts and cookie-cutter suits.

This too could be you.  Never again do you need to quietly resent your date for getting all of the stares and compliments.

Harry glitter

Come Float Into the Future


The hottest new way to unplug is in a sensory deprivation tank.  These are personal, indoor floating pools of saltwater meant to boost mood and alleviate physical pain.

While they have been around since the 1970s, the industry is finally rebounding since the AIDS crisis has passed, and since scientific knowledge and increased cleanliness have soothed people’s fears of catching disease.

The increase in connectedness and and digital demands has made the pools popular with a whole new generation.  They can be found in spas, gyms, and independent floating clubs in big cities throughout Europe and America.  Or, you can build your own for less than $3k!