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Self Improvement

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The Appeal Of The Quiz Show

The humble quiz game appeals to millions, with many of them obsessed with appearing on such shows and winning a truckload of money.

The concept of public quizzes started back in the 1930s with the Spelling Bees. Broadcast radio picked the quiz format of the game and reached a wider audience. These radio quizzes were popular because they had normal people coming on air and hearing themselves live for the first time.

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Self Improvement

Quizzes got immensely more entertaining with the onset of Television. People finally found a way to make use of the useless general knowledge they had retained in their heads since school time.

The prospect of winning money made the shows even more popular and thrilling in the 1950s. Though some initial shows were rigged to favour certain contestants, the British found the golden goose of high-stakes quizzing with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire which ran for multiple decades and was watched by more than a third of the British population.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire had all the winning ingredients:

  • A high-stakes game that got more dramatic the longer the contestant in the hotseat stayed;
  • A host that was charismatic and unreadable at the same time (Chris Tarrant);
  • Multiple choice questions with no time limit;
  • An ominous, gripping soundtrack.

The format of the show made it a highly entertaining interactive sport among family members huddled together. The show’s appeal was so good that many started exploiting its weaknesses and planned elaborate heists in order to win money.

"Being right is still a very popular British pursuit."

Small-scale quiz events were often staged in the 1940s by women at various pubs, as a deterrent for their husbands. Many pubs drew on this pastime and organized quizzes to draw consumers in the '80s.

The appeal for a public question and answer session is so widespread that in 2019, more than half of the 40,000 odd pubs in the UK ran quiz leagues on local and national levels.

  • Quiz shows have a long-lasting, timeless draw among people looking for a way to prove themselves while being entertained.
  • The motivation to get stuff right and the thrill of beating others is irresistible, especially in the current state of lockdown boredom.
  • The many twists and turns add an element of surprise and uncertainty, amplifying the appeal.
Comfort Decorating

The spaces we spend most of our time in have a significant impact on our mindset. That's why many people are redoing their homes to become cosier, calming and efficient.

It is named "comfort decorating" and restores a sense of normalcy since the pandemic started.

When rearranging your living space:

  • Consider the colour. Blues create calm while greens encourage creativity.
  • Bring in nostalgia with old objects that can remind you about what's important to you. Rotate the objects regularly if your space feels cluttered.
Carl Sagan
"For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love."
carl sagan
"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere."
  • Carl Sagan was a renowned American scientist who brought science to the masses with his talent as an orator.
  • His words had an impact on the way the American public viewed and supported the field of space exploration from the 1970s until his death in 1996.
  • He was an outspoken and curious astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist and astrobiologist. He earned more than three degrees, was a Harvard lecturer and Cornell University professor, to name a few.

Carl Sagan is most notably remembered for his gift of translating scientific undertakings into the language of human emotion.

He is less often credited as one of the driving factors behind Voyager's Golden Record. In 1977, Sagan gathered a group of scientific and cultural advisors that built a collection of 115 images, natural sounds from Earth, a selection of music, and greetings recorded in 59 languages that travel through space to greet any life-forms that might come across the record's path.

Feelings of awe

Awe is the emotion we experience in the presence of something great or vast, and rich in information. When we experience awe, we're stunned by something and feel captivated by it. It is typically a positive experience.

Research shows that experiences of awe in nature can raise our feeling of connectedness to others. It can also give us a sense of spiritual fulfilment.

People who tend to experience awe are rated as more humble by their friends, display more generous behaviour, and are more supportive toward others.

Awe leads people to present a more balanced account of their own strengths and weaknesses. When we experience awe, we view ourselves as smaller and the world as larger. The self and its concerns are less prominent, and the world beyond more significant. We also see our smaller self as connected to the larger world.

When someone is asked to think or write about a spiritual experience, this act leads them to experience awe. Similarly, when experiences of awe are induced, people report more belief in the supernatural.

People who are more spiritually inclined tend to experience more awe and other self-transcendent emotions - accounting for why spirituality boosts wellbeing.

Some psychologists and philosophers suggest that studying the roles of awe and the small self can help us better understand spirituality. Psychologist William James suggests that we can experience union with something larger than ourselves and, in that union, find our greatest peace.

The suggestion is that those who are good at spirituality will be good at having experiences of awe, which will help them become better people.

  • Absorption. People who become more absorbed in their experiences are more likely to experience awe.
  • Following a set of instructions to focus one's attention on the details of a natural environment can promote absorption.
  • Mindfulness meditation involves focusing your attention on your current experience while resisting distractions.
  • Actively using imagination helps with absorption. Those high in absorption are more prone to use mental imagery.
The word "blockbuster" has wartime origins

The word first appeared in the pages of TIME. It was an article on the Allied bombing of key industrial targets in Italy. The bombs used were called blockbusters because of their ability to destroy an entire city block.

With time, the word entered the American lexicon as a metaphor for something shocking and explosive.

In the pages of TIME, blockbuster was used to describe surprising news. In 1943, TIME used the word to describe a movie. The critics called the film adaptation of Mission to Moscow "as explosive as a blockbuster."

Not long after, the word started to refer specifically to movies that were commercially successful. The word became associated primarily with popular entertainment in general and with the big-budget, high-impact Hollywood hits.

Eventually, the idea of a blockbuster movie became associated with summer action movies, especially after Steven Spielberg's thriller, Jaws, released in the summer of 1975.

When Star Wars came out two years later, blockbuster became a synonym for the summer blockbuster genre.

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