Look at the following letters:
b, c, d, e, g, p, t, v
You can tell them apart if I said them out to you, right?
Even if you’re in a dark room?
Well, I can’t.
Because they all sound the same to me – a very indistinct “eee” sound, even if you’re saying “pee” (for “p”), or “tee” (for “t”).
They all sound like “..eee”…
On the other hand, if you said the same letters to me with the lights on, I could tell exactly which letter you’re saying, and the indistinct “eee” sound becomes “pee”, “tee”, “vee” or whatever alphabet it may be.
What’s going on?
This remained a mystery to me for quite a number of years until I realized that the light has something to do with it.
Because when there is light, I can see you.
And when I can see you…
…I can read your lips.
And when I can read your lips, I can see the way they’re put together to create the sound of the above alphabets.
And in a flash, my brain compensates for what I can’t hear (the “pee”) into what I can hear (the “pee”) – and I think I actually heard the letter.
And you wouldn’t know the difference either because for all intents and purposes, I heard you.
Even though I really didn’t.
I was born with high-frequency “deafness”, and it turned out that I’ve been lip reading for years without realizing it.
Now high-frequency deafness isn’t that uncommon among the general population.
Bill Clinton has it as well (a result of playing in a band in his younger days and ageing).
And so do you.
For example, do you know that dogs can hear sounds that you can’t?
Yes, high-frequency sounds can be heard by some species, but not another.
For example, if you blew on a dog whistle, you wouldn’t be able to hear anything, but your dog could, and would run to you (or away from you).
Well, even within a species (like humans), the degree of hearing ability varies quite a bit from individual to individual.
At one end of the scale are those who are totally deaf.
At the other end are those whose hearing is normal.
And there are plenty of us who fall somewhere in between.
And guess what?
My low-frequency hearing is perfectly normal.
(I can hear you snore a mile away, really.)
But sounds that are of a high-frequency – that’s a different animal altogether.
I can’t hear alarms that use bells to alert me.
Because bells make high-frequency sounds – and I need to be nearer to them when they’re ringing to actually hear them. If I’m a bit further away, I can’t hear them, even though you can, standing next to me.
I can’t hear certain ringtones on my cellphones because of this reason too. (And so I set my cellphone ringtone to a song of a lower frequency. Easy.)
And when I’m not facing you and you say to me, “I’m going _____ today” – the blank is something I can’t get because it starts with an “s” sound which I can’t hear – my brain fills in the gap for me and selects “shopping”.
And I would be right 99% of the time.
My brain processes the surroundings, the other words you said, your character, your habits, the day of the week, the time of the day and more to arrive at “shopping” instead of “sailing” or “swimming” (even though you are good in all 3 activities), all within a split second…
Amazing. (The human brain in general, not necessarily my brain.)
What has this got to do with marketing?
Nothing, really. (Actually, there is, but it’s kinda technical, so I’ll talk about it another day.)
Just thought I’ll share something I have with you – apart from I think 2 (or maybe 3) slipped discs in my spine. Funny, they didn’t slip when I was running and playing intense Futsal (indoor soccer), only when sitting down, on 3 different occasions.
My back specialist said it’s better for me to be more active now that they’ve slipped – and he’s totally right. Otherwise I’ll constantly feel the pain in my back from the slipped discs pressing against the nerves that run throught my spine, due to a weak back.
The trick is in strengthening the muscles surrounding my back which in turn will help in better supporting my upper body and in turn, my spine.
So heavy stretching of my entire body, stomach crunches and lifting of my back off the floor when I’m lying on my belly are great exercises, which I’ve just started – and it’s great to feel some muscles ripping underneath the “fat” once again!
I wish I had done them earlier, especially since I’ve bought a stomach-crunching exercise machine about 2 years back…but better late than never, I guess.
Now that I’ve also just got back from a holiday last week where I added 2 inches (!) to my waist from all the food – the exercise is top priority.
I’m done with the food binging too…
I’m now feeling fitter and healthier than I’ve ever been since my son was born about 20 months ago which is when I stopped all sports and exercise activities – and I’ve only been doing the exercises for a few days.
I’m working towards better fitness to resume my Futsal activities where I used to run and kick practically non-stop for close to 2 hours at a time (I told you it was intense). If you’re played this game before you’ll know that this is quite a feat…
I would require the entire day after the game to fully recover physically from the exertion since my entire body would be aching like crazy. But it’s a good feeling somehow, even though I’ll be lying flat on my back on my bed the entire day as all my muscle tears start to heal and I can sometimes barely walk without flinching from the pain…
Will be back with more awesome Pajamas business concepts soon!
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