You Say It’s Your Birthday

The Day You Were Born:
Good to Party, Good to Go

It didn’t take too long for this one to get spoiled too. As much as one looks forward to it, according to a recent study, your own birthday may be a health hazard to you. But as you simply can’t stay clear from it, as you’ve wished pretty much since your 30th came and went like a night thief, there’s not much point in such a research, now is there?
And here’s another finding making people wonder, wasn’t anything else worthier finding? When it comes to births, not all days are equal and some produce more Americans than others. Now just imagine that, in old times, anyone armed with these two sets of data could become a king, an oracle, or at least, save themselves from a nice bonfire put up to send them off, birthdays be damned.
Both researches, as rigorously scientific and statistically sound they may be, may cater only to the kind of data-consuming lonely heart, who spends days uncovering hidden clues in newspaper articles and revels in writing passionate letters to the editor. We know it well, because we could be as well just like them. But this being another zany post, we’re running with it.
A word to the weary, though. Our brain is trained to see coincidences, even when statistically, what’s coinciding may be just an inevitability. Also, with help from computers to crunch and cross reference astronomical amounts of data, even the science of statistics can be misleading, by predisposing the researcher to see trends where there aren’t any. For more on that, read again the second sentence of this graph.
It’s never too much to add too that this kind of study may have a built-in self-fulfilling predicament in it. Impressionable minds are prone to seek clues for the ‘right time‘ to act upon deep-seated resolutions. Then again, their breaking point may come at much less Continue reading


Hitchcock, the Man Who
Knew Too Much (to Tell)

When the British film director Alfred Hitchcock died in Bel Air, 32 years ago today, he was in effect ending the second, and most rewarding, phase of his career. He’d already achieved a level of proficiency and acknowledgment while still in England, as some recently restored silent features show. But it was in America that he mastered his superb skills at building and sustaining suspense.
The box office success of some of his arguably most arresting masterpieces, Psycho, The Birds and North by Northwest, to name only three, tend to obscure their rigorous inner structure, plot development, timing and incomparable sense of style. But not everyone recognized such qualities. The Academy Awards, for one, never gave him an Oscar for Best Director.
In fact, actors and collaborators, such as the also successful author Raymond Chandler, are said to have hated his methods while they were working on the screenplay of Strangers on a Train, and wound up Continue reading