Category Archives: Margo Ruter

From the Sunshine State to the Windy City: An Interview with Cory Vogt

By Margo Ruter

A Florida native, Cory Vogt is spending is first winter in Chicago, and recently felt the first snow of the season. But for Cory, it was his first snow. Florida, the Sunshine State, has been home to him for twenty years. Although most of us are used to the decline of available Vitamin D from November to March, we took a minute to sit down with the rookie himself and see how things are going.

Occam’s Taser: What was your first reaction when you saw snow?
Cory Vogt: It was slightly surreal. I really didn’t know what to expect. Ever since I got here in March, people have been telling me horror stories about the winters here. It’s funny because it’s always “not last year, but the year before” that was the worst winter ever.

OT: What do most people say is the worst part?
CV: The short and gray days. I’m so used to long and sunny days in Florida, it didn’t make total sense to me. It was such a new thing to imagine. But now it gets dark at 4:30 in the afternoon, it’s so limiting. In Florida it stays sunny out until 7:00 all year round, so adjusting to the darkness has been a challenge.

OT: How have the gray days been on your psyche so far?
CV: Well it’s definitely been strange. Going from constant sun, to constant gray for a week or so is incredibly weird. I anticipate a few rough days in February, but I don’t think it will disrupt my life.

OT: Sunlight is one of the crucial providers of Vitamin D. Have you noticed any physiological effects with this climate change?
CV: I’m just very mellow. It almost feels like a slower pace, but that doesn’t make sense, it’s Chicago. I have noticed that my allergies are no longer a problem. I’m allergic to just about everything under the sun, so I moved somewhere with less sunlight, and bam – problem solved.

OT: A common effect of less Vitamin D in your diet is a weakened immune system. Have you been sick at all?
CV: I got sick when I first moved. I haven’t been sick since then, but I do feel fatigued more often. I have been sleeping a lot more. I’ll wake up and still be tired for a longer period of time. The sun has a natural way of waking you up to begin with, so without it, it’s pretty hard to shake it off in the morning.

OT: Do you take vitamins at all?
CV: I take a multi-vitamin. I like to make sure it has Vitamin D in it because I know that my source has been greatly diminished. I also take a lot of B Vitamins. They help pick up the slack the sun left behind.

OT: What are some of your concerns as the winter continues and the days get shorter?
CV: I think just staying active and productive. I’ve noticed that it’s really easy to get sucked into the grayness, especially if you don’t utilize what little day there is. I worry about the cold and snow in terms of transportation because it’s something I’ve never had to battle.

OT: You definitely need a legitimate set of winter gear. Are you prepared?
CV: I’m getting there. As the days get colder, I’m realizing the kind of things I need to buy. Thicker gloves are next.

OT: Have you considered fake baking to get that extra Vitamin D that you miss from Florida?
CV: No. But I’ll keep it in mind.

As you can see, Florida consistently has more hours of sunlight per day than Illinois. While Florida residents may not have to worry about a Vitamin D deficiency, Illinois residents should take special care from November to April while sunlight is grim.

Perhaps Cory will have a colder winter than most, but we can rest assured that Occam’s Taser reminded him of the dangers of Vitamin D deficiency. Being aware of the challenging differences from Florida to Chicago is the first step in overcoming the winter blues and staying healthy. Keep on your vitamins and stay warm kids.

The Composed Composer: An Interview with Nikolas Lund

by Margo Ruter & Peter Muller

Music has a special effect on our emotional landscape. The Swedes uncorked that mystery for us earlier this week. When we hear music, we adjust our feelings to the mood of the song, but not all of us remain on the receiving end of the treble clef. Nikolas Lund for example, performs, composes, arranges, produces, and promotes music while also running a recording studio and dabbling in acting. Occam’s Taser stole a meter of his time and asked him how he felt on the matter of mood, emotion and music.

Occam’s Taser: I guess we’ll start with the obvious. How did you initially get into music?
Nikolas Lund: I come from a family with a lot of music in it. My Dad played the guitar professionally, performing with a number of bands in Champaign, Illinois while I was growing up. He was able to jump between a lot of different styles of music, so I was able to see the same musician function in many different capacities. Now that I’m older, I understand the level of talent needed to be able to do that, but at the time it seemed like a very natural progression between different styles. It exposed me to a lot of difference within the field at a very early age.

OT: Did he pass down any specific knowledge?
NL: Besides exposing me to a lot of different musicians and records, he taught me to play the guitar. I remember him helping me strum through the Pink Floyd song “Wish You Were Here.” I still remember it exactly as I learned it too.

OT: Have you had formal musical training?
NL: Not really. When I was 16, I moved from the guitar to playing the piano. It was a primarily self-guided study. I had a few odd tutors here and there: a man who taught purely via what I’d call “poetics”; and another that wouldn’t even have me pick up an instrument during lessons. Again, being older now I understand what they were trying to teach me: that playing music is a much deeper experience than just knowing how to read music and learning the notes.

OT: So you do know how to read music?
NL: Yes. And more importantly even: How to notate it with precision. I’ve made it a point to hone the skill. It’s proven an extremely helpful ability to have while interacting with all these different types of players. My mother also had a musical background, and she was actually the first one to write out the notes of the treble and bass clefs for me, onto an index card which I still occasionally reference.

OT: Your parents seem to have been a major inspiration for your musical career. How about the rest of your family?
NL: I’d say both sides of my family are very musically oriented. They all really like music. When we get together, the discussions often involve music, new artists, recent concerts, etc. Certainly not all my family members are musicians, but they all seem to have an affinity for music on a broad scale.

OT: Did you always know you wanted to be a musician?
NL: Definitely not. I went to Trinity College (in Hartford, Connecticut) so that I could, as I stated it at the time, “learn how to write.” I played the piano frequently in my time there, sometimes just messing around, sometimes writing songs, but a career in music never really occurred to me. In my senior year, I had a substantial epiphany that put it all into perspective. In short, I finally realized that no matter what I pursued, I was dependent on music for my very understanding of the world, and that I would always return to it. I finished my degree in Philosophy and Modern Languages (French and German) and then moved directly to NYC to be a “starving artist.” Nevertheless, I wound up “eating” a little too much of the buffet, lasted 2 years, and then moved to Chicago in 2007.

OT: What have you been up to since returning to Chicago?
NL: Well, a little or a lot of everything: performing, composing, arranging other people’s music, running a recording studio, producing, promoting, and some acting. Much of my time now is devoted to my work in an artist’s collective called APTPA. It stands for: Artist Public Trust / Thinking Power America. We’re working to establish a broad network of artists, musicians, and performers, through the staging of elaborate events. Our last show was in an old house in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, and it was quite lively. I had a photographer at my feet while I was playing and others huddled around the piano. Sort of wild. I’ve got a show coming up now that’ll have me playing at a cabaret.

OT: Would you classify your musical work as belonging to a certain genre?
NL: It’s definitely not concerned with or indicative of any genres that I know about. I’m just trying to take everything that seems important into a new world.

OT: We recently featured a study that discussed the alteration of a listener’s emotional landscape based on the music they listened to. Do you consider emotions and music to go hand in hand?
NL: When you’re dealing with emotions and music, it’s everything vs. nothing. Once you allow a few emotions to come through, you’re dealing with them in relation to the rest of your feelings or you’re not dealing with them at all. On a good day, I can have a one-on-one correspondence between the, let’s say, “soul” and the piano. Some days, I feel like I barely know anything. One thing to remember is that mood is different from emotion. Mood is primeval. Mood determines the frame for the experience of emotion, which leads somewhere else in the same stream. If that makes sense?

OT: Does your music tend to express a current mood?
NL: To a certain extent, yes. In order to learn and progress, I usually record myself practicing. When I go back and listen, I can often pinpoint events in my personal history that influenced how I was feeling at the time. There are sometimes unexpected correspondences between the mood and the state. I’ve written some fairly bright and affirmative music in periods of extreme personal upset or misery. Of course, I’ve also written some stuff in that sort of state that comes out sounding upset and miserable.

OT: You have that degree in English. Do you ever put lyrics to your music?
NL: Oh yeah, all the time. But it’s so hard to write lyrics in English! For example, in French, the word “love” rhymes with over 50 other words, but in English, it only rhymes with four. How am I supposed to work with that?

OT: It’s commonly thought that musicians express a lot of emotion in their music. Are you able to understand emotions and moods in the music you listen to?
NL: Well, I’ve come to the realization that I’m on a long journey and that I’m going to continue to find myself in a lot of new and different places. I think that “getting better” at making music, for me, actually has a lot to do with the ability to control my emotions; or better yet, with the ability to be more comfortable with them as they are being experienced. In a “for good or for bad” kind of situation, I simply prefer the “for.” Otherwise I feel paralyzed. I think I’ll write much better music as I become less and less ego-heavy. With that in mind, I should be getting “good” any day now!

OT: Any favorites?
NL: I think The Beatles had more fun in the 20th Century than anyone. They were the quintessential “band”. John Lennon suffered from extreme emotions, but was capable of writing very emotionless music. And then there’s Paul McCartney. A cooler character seemingly, but the one who wrote “Let It Be” and “Hey Jude.” Aside from that, it would be a vast understatement to say that there’s a lot of different stuff I’m into. The new Sufjan Stevens album is absolutely extraordinary.

Nikolas’ artist collective, APTPA (www.aptpa.com) is doing some pretty amazing stuff. We suggest going to see them perform if you’re in the Chicago area. The Arts rely on the support of fans. Between his unique training and professional expertise, Lund helped us compose a perfect coda to this week’s research.

For Those of You Who Bought Your School Supplies in July…

by Margo Ruter

Ever feel that Staples just doesn’t give you enough, or that Office Depot just lets you down?

Good thing we tend to feel the same way. Being emotionally aware may keep your job, but we rely on kick-ass office supplies to keep us organized. Hot mess, meet some of your new best friends…

This mini cabinet holds up to 500 business cards. So instead of them flying around your desk, you can have them all compact in one adorable space. Available at thinkgeek.com

Because not everything can be wireless, and not everything can be plugged in at once, this coil is a great way to keep everything within hands’ reach. It also prevents having to awkwardly crawl under your desk to plug something into the back of your CPU tower. This is also available at thinkgeek.com.

All those hard working individuals confined to a cubicle can finally catch some slack with this lazy-boy recliner desk chair. Nap time isn’t just for 3 year-olds anymore…
Featured on cracked.com
Again, reaching out to the cubicle workers, this doorbell is to prevent those bitches from accounting from storming in and messing up your stride. Available at thisnext.com

Now this one really is too cute and  it helps keep all of your cords together so you don’t have to ever get pissed that things are tangled again! Available at thinkgeek.com

Don’t like chugging your coffee when it’s at prime temperature? We don’t blame you. That’s why this little device is so logical. It’s a USB mug warmer. Why didn’t we think of this? Available at ozgadgets.com

Now this one is just too great. It’s so annoying when people steal your favorite mug at the office, use it, and leave it sitting in the sink. Luckily, the team at ozgadgets.com are irked by it too. You keep the little black plug on your keychain or hidden in the bottom drawer of your desk. Without it, you can’t enjoy your cup of joe, and neither can anyone else. Muahahaha.

So outsmart your coworkers with your emotional awareness, and your sick new office supplies. They won’t even know what hit ‘em.

Txt Talk Vs. Text Talk: What’s The Deal?

by Margo Ruter

Bad!
Most of us still remember playing Snake on a Nokia, but there is a growing population of adolescents who have always known how to text. This “net generation” is the first to have completely grown up with the Internet and cell phones. While 47% of them can draft a text message blindfolded, members of other generations are skeptical about this hindering their future writing skills. These teens help send the 75 billion text messages that are sent per month in the United States. This could have various effects on the future of young texters. Either 4th graders around the country are going to start taking AP English, or the name Ke$ha will start to look grammatically correct. What’s all this texting doing to American English? Not a thing to auto-spell check, it still puts that red line under the word, “texting.”


Researchers at California State University had a similar question in mind when they sought out to discover just how so much texting affects both formal and informal facets of writing. Taking two separate study groups, researchers reviewed both formal and informal writing samples from individuals in Los Angeles. The demographics of the sample group were similar to the ethnic backgrounds and education levels of the L.A. area.

Both formal and informal writing samples were taken from each group and graded on a scale from 1 to 6. Ratings from 1 to 1.5 were considered short, non-responsive answers were removed from the sample. Only responses that rated between 2 and 6 were used in the study.

The main hypothesis of the study was that “there would be a significant positive relationship between reported textism use in daily electronic communication and informal writing, and a negative correlation with the quality of formal writing.” A related research question dealt with whether these relationships were based on education level or writing medium.

The writing samples were thoroughly studied and analyzed. Researchers looked at every detail of the writing including things like:
-lowercase “i”
-use of acronyms
-lack of apostrophes
-shortened words
-smilies 🙂 and emoticons
-ALL CAPS
After highlighting these elements, they totaled the number of linguistic and contextual textisms and also looked at the individuals’ monthly cell phone and text message use.


One major finding of the research states that women use nearly twice as many shorthand textisms in electronic communication as men. Explaining why this happened is beyond the scope of the research, but we could bet that the researchers are losing a little bit of sleep over it. Does it have to do with classic cognitive differences between genders? Is it purely a communicative trait specific to respective gender? I’m sure we’ll find out in a few years.

The bottom line is that more texting and shorthand writing in electronic communication related to worse formal writing and better informal writing. So instead of this leading to the ultimate death of prose, Rosen et al., suggest this could mean the growth of a new type of writing in the English language. This is good news for Creative Writing teachers, but bad news for English teachers.

What the article didn’t address was the issue of spelling. This was a huge oversight if you ask us, but no one did. How are words such as “2nite” and “thnx” going to be spelled in five years?

You might also be thinking, “Yeah, well I text like that because I’m in a hurry.” Right, but some people actually communicate with one another this way:

Taken from my personal news feed on Facebook, this is case-in-point displaying the dangerous road our language might be taking in the wake of electronic communication.

You might have cringed at that terrible display of communication, but you might think next time you write “lol” when you have nothing else to say. Formal language skills are crucial in professional careers and we sure as hell don’t want people like this writing project plans, press releases, resumes, budget proposals or any formal document for that matter.

Cartoon

Writing “lyk dis” gives the impression that you’re a raging idiot and completely discredits your writing. So take the extra millisecond and start writing “like this” – we know you’re not that busy.

The Relationship Between “Textisms” and Formal and Informal Writing Among Young Adults
by: Larry D. Rosen, Jennifer Chang, Lynne Erwin, L. Mark Carrier and Nancy A. Cheever
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Communication Research 2010 37: 420

Non-Shopping Shopping: Everything Old Can Be New

by Margo Ruter

Want that feeling of new stuff in your closet, but don’t want to spend the big bucks to get it? Don’t we all… Fortunately, those hipster kids have come in handy yet again! Their new trends are so irresistible, and their beards are so soft. The newest contribution from the hipster community is something called upcycling. It’s the same as recycling, but with your old clothes, toys, gadgets, and anything else hidden underneath your bed. Now we just need to figure out what to do with all the keffiyeh we bought last year…

Upcycling by definition refers to converting any sort of material to something of greater value. This can range from home improvement projects, interior decorating, and converting your old clothes into something you might actually wear. With a little creativity, you might be able to convert that sweater your aunt gave you into something a little less hideous.

Of course, many of these projects may require minimal sewing skills. Hopefully you can handle a needle and thread, so don’t go out and buy a sewing machine because “Occam told you to”. It’s not that serious. When recycling household products and other random stuff, you may only need a glue gun, or some basic school supplies.

So instead of wasting your money on new shit, waste your time on fixing up your old shit! It may help those feelings of post-shopping depression from creeping in with the holidays.

Requiring only an obsolete cassette tape, a zipper and some hot glue, this little purse fits credit cards and cash almost too perfectly.

The great thing about vinyl records (besides having a couple beers and feeling good about not watching TV) is that they respond incredibly well to any heat force. Records can be melted and molded to fit just about anything.

Besides the not-so-minor detail that this is a HUGE safety hazard, this converted dumpster pool isn’t so terrible of an idea when it’s 90 degrees out.

Of course this is a tad bit unrealistic as an upcycling suggestion, but it would probably be the coolest addition to anyone’s living room. Don’t say you could walk into an apartment, see this, and not be totally impressed.

Depending on how much you want to advertise your drinking problem, these earrings are kind of adorable. Needing only some sharp scissors and an earring wire (totally cheap and available at Jo-Anne Fabrics), you can make use of your Friday evening binge.

Betcha can’t make just one!

So go ahead, clean out your closets, find your old wacky shit you forgot about, and get crafty. You can even get your Christmas “shopping” done. I know I’d rather get a cassette tape wallet than another set of bath salts.

Workouts In The Midst Of Winter-Blues

by Margo Ruter

For those of us not blessed with the southern California sun year-round, staying in shape in the winter time is harder than being the cool kid in 7th grade. With the short days of dim sunlight, it can be pretty rough to get yourself out of bed at 6 A.M for a morning jog. The good news is that you have a lot of options, the bad news is that motivation doesn’t come in a package deal.

1. Get a gym-membership
It might seem like a no brainer, but getting a gym-membership early in the season can jump start a winter workout routine. Most gyms have many alternative workouts that don’t include watching CNN on a treadmill. Try taking spin classes, step-aerobics, zumba,  pilates, yoga and even water aerobics (of course, mainly for those over 75 and have arthritis). The main perk for a gym-membership is the part where you get in the hot tub post workout. This calms down your muscles and gets you toasty enough to bear the winter breeze.

2. Snowboarding/Skiing
Most people don’t live next to a ski lodge, but snowboarding and skiing are great activities for you and a handful of friends. Just walking around with long paddles of anything stuck on your feet is a workout in itself. Add snow, a big hill, and you’re set for some cardio activity. Just please… be careful, and remember that trees are not your friends in this case.

3. Snowshoeing
Although snowshoeing may be a lost art, it can be fun if you live close to any sort of forest preserve. Snowshoes look like tennis rackets attached to your feet and help distribute your weight evenly across the area of snow so you don’t sink down. Because of the shape of the shoes though, you end up having to adjust how you walk. It would be a good idea to do this with a friend you can laugh at because people tend to look like ducks in this footwear.

4. Sledding
Sledding is perhaps a nostalgic word for most, but going sledding is a great cardio activity. You need a lot of heavy winter gear, a big hill, and a sled. While going down the hill is certainly the best aspect of this activity. You have to truck your ass up a hill covered in snow numerous times throughout the afternoon only to go down again. As counter productive as it may seem, sledding gets your heart pumping.

5. Curling
For all of you shuffleboard fans out there who are bummed out that the season is over, rest assured that curling season is only beginning. Curling is essentially shuffleboard on ice with a tad bit more strategy involved. The game consists of two teams, each with four players who slide heavy granite slabs to targets at the other end of the ice. Scored similarly to bags (or corn-hole), this game is good for your upper body. It has been nicknamed “chess on ice” because it involves intensive teamwork to ensure that the slabs are slid to the ideal location.

6. Take a ballet class
Laugh it off, but ballet is an incredibly active art form. Most medium sized cities in the U.S. have a ballet school that offers open classes. This means that you don’t need any sort of prior dance training to be able to take the class. These classes are geared towards adults. The first half of the class consists of something called barre work. Your body gets a good stretch, and you do a lot of leg exercises. The second half of the class is where the real workout is. You jump, you run, you hold your leg up for what may seem like an eternity, but it gets your blood flowing with the rest of ‘em. The best part is that open classes don’t have a dress code. So if you’re a little weary about wearing a leotard around a bunch of strangers, don’t worry, you can usually wear sweats.

7. Buy stuff for your living room
You don’t always need to spend a boatload of money on a home gym. Places like Target have simple weights and work out videos if you have a little extra room in your living room and happen to be snowed in. Buying workout equipment is always a smart investment (if you use it) because if it doesn’t get you working out asap, then it will sit around in your basement or closet and make you increasingly guilty until you do.

8. Shoveling snow
If you have a back problem, then hire the 13 year old boy down the street to shovel your front sidewalk, but if not, then get out there and work it out. Shoveling snow is the equivalent of lifting weights and can get you working up quite the sweat. If you find yourself on a role, go ahead and do the neighbor’s sidewalk and feel great about it all for the rest of the day, until it snows again of course.

Don’t let the wind, cold, ice, snow, slush, and sad faces put a cramp in your workout style. Often working out in the winter is more fun with more people. So get your friends to go out there with you and remember to bring the whiskey-cider. Cheers.

The Benefits of Self-Deprivation

by Margo Ruter

Flotation tanks have been making their way into the world of stressed out individuals for decades, but it wasn’t until 2005 that they started to get a bit of street cred in the Midwest when a Chicago Tribune reporter did some field research on the matter.  Kevin Pang found that his post-session state was the “epitome of tranquility and relaxation.”  Since then, these tanks have been re-defining relaxation.  A one hour session in this type of sensory deprivation tank has been considered the equivalent of eight hours of sleep.  Leave it to America to launch fast-food and now condensed relaxation sessions.

Sensory Deprivation is a technique initially used by neuro-psychiatrists designed to deliberately reduce or completely remove stimuli from one or all of the senses.  Traditionally called “perceptual isolation”, this technique can be as simple as wearing earmuffs or blindfolds to reduce outside distractions.

Just as stimulating your sense of smell can potentially aide your aching head, depriving your body of its senses may also have a beneficial effect.  Of course, there’s a placebo effect in many of these alternative practices, so let your practical self take a nap for a few minutes.

John C. Lilly decided to take it a step further than nose-plugs in 1954 when he began his academic research on the effect of sensory deprivation on his patients at the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.  A neuro-psychiatrist himself, he sought to answer the question of what keeps the brain going and what the origin of it’s energy is.  He wanted to know how the brain responded to the elimination of various senses, so he designed what today is known as an isolation tank.

Early versions of this isolation tank were before their technological time. The tank was filled with warm water the same temperature as the subject’s skin, in which the subject was required to wear a large head mask to enable underwater breathing.  Great idea, right?  Not exactly.  These large masks ended up negating the purpose of the tank by distracting the subject from the experience of isolation.  Silence was impossible due to the constant movement of oxygen bubbles in and out of the mask.  The lens of the mask was painted black to eliminate the subject’s vision, but this required assistance entering or exiting the tank.  Basically, these early tanks were a hassle.

Early isolation tank, circa 1950s.

Newer tanks have conquered many of these setbacks by adding Epsom salt to the water in the tank, raising the water density and causing the subject to float without the aid of a head mask. The subject wears earplugs to cancel sound and if he or she knocks an arm or leg on the side of the tank, the sense of touch is semi-eliminated due to the water temperature matching the body temperature.  The air and water in the tank become the same temperature, thus causing the subject to lose recognition of which is which.  If the water contains chlorine, the sense of smell is not fully eliminated, but close enough.

In the 1970s, Peter Svedfeld and Roderick Borrie at the University of British Columbia began to fully discover the therapeutic benefits of using the tanks. They were called flotation tanks at the time, but are considered the same technology as isolation tanks. This theory was called the Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy, or R.E.S.T. (I like how that worked out, we all need a little soul-on-soul TLC.)

“Most importantly, the float tank is not a hypothetical laboratory phenomenon, but a viable, proven technology.” – Dr. Henry Adams, Nation Institute of Mental Health

Modern day sensory deprivation tank.

Fast forward from 1954, today these tanks are available for the public to use during scheduled sessions.  It’s kind of like a tanning bed, but it lasts longer and won’t slowly kill you.

As the result of a person subjecting themselves to these seemingly strange conditions, he or she often feels refreshed, relaxed and stress-free. It has been considered a way to enhance meditation and offer an out-of-body experience.  The sessions are usually one hour long and are for anyone looking to unwind, not just mental patients. The first forty minutes of the session are similar to the first half hour of a meditation session.  Random itching can occur, but is similar to the feeling of your foot falling asleep, annoying, but harmless.  The last twenty minutes is the most crucial part of the session; this is the time when the brain waves switch from alpha and beta waves to theta waves, the state it’s in just before sleep and immediately upon waking up.  This is a different state of thinking for your brain, unlike how it functions at 2:30PM after a few cups of coffee.  This theta wave state lasts for several minutes without the subject falling asleep.

Many people use this treatment regularly to enhance creativity, solve difficult problems, or to superlearn.  It can help facilitate the same results as meditation, but with a little help. Clearing the mind is a great stress reducer.

Piere Schulz and Charles Henry Kaspar have done considerable work dealing sensory deprivation and have concluded that “it has relaxing effects and is therapeutically useful”.

For those of you who are still a bit skeptical about these tanks, Australian Senator Richard Jones claims that Sensory Deprivation tanks are “[the] second best thing to being in Heaven.”  Now, I’m not sure if he has access to direct flights to Heaven, but for now I guess we’ll have to give him the benefit of the doubt.

The senses are such a touchy thing with humans.  Increased sensitivity to various senses can have it’s benefits, but it seems that eliminating them can too.  Who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself in such a tank and come out feeling like the new Einstein.  ZAP!

Passed Out

BEFORE

Smiling

AFTER