THE BAADER-MEINHOF PHENOMENOM ~ I DIDN’T SEE THIS ONE COMING

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.

                                              ..~……………..~~~~~~.Einstein

If you read my last post ~   https://wordswewomenwrite.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/11-ways-to-cross-the-english-channel-when-the-wind-is-right-canvas-can-do-miracles/ ~ you know that I crossed the English Channel.  You probably also know that’s there’s more than one way to cut and run, mostly terrifying to a landlubber like me.  But not to plucky ocean punks who thrive on thrills, are tough as nails, and say things like hell’s bells and buckets of blood!

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This is Dean O’Malley and his JetLev.  And no, it’s not something out of a sci-fi movie.

Just this weekend, Dean O’Malley set a world’s record for the longest jet pack flight, “jet-packing” 26.2 miles from Newport Beach,California to Catalina Island in four hours.  O’Malley says it feels like you are literally hovering above the earth.

And it’s as close to being a Super Hero as you can get.  I bet this flying gig is gonna spread like wildfire ~ among the extreme sport crowd, that is. And wedding planners.

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Since I wrote about the wild and crazy Channel crossers, it seems like waves and wheels are all over the news.

That very day, I read about Gibbs Techologies, the company that developed the Aquada.  It’s a sports car that goes 100 mph on the road, and, with the press of a button, turns into a boat.  Handy for those traffic jams by bridges.

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The next day I read about the Quadski, a driveable jet ski whose wheels fold out horizontally when it is afloat, able to do 45 mph on both water and land.

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On a Stitcher radio podcast yesterday, the chatter was about the Humdinga, a high-speed amphibious vehicle that can carry five people and do 40 mph on water and 80 mph on land.

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This morning, the news did a feature on the Sea Lion, a two-person car that can travel 180 mph on land and 60 mph on water. This might be my favorite ~ I like anything made of brushed stainless steel.

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It’s been a few days since I wrote about those historic quirky journeys across the Channel. Now my brain seems to looking for more of the same. And finding it. It’s like my brain is saying, I do believe I want to learn more about this.

I can think of other times when I learn something completely out of the blue and then hear or read about the very same thing the next day. I bet this happens to you, too. But did you know there’s actually a psychological term for it? It’s called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.

The Baader-Meinhof is the phenomenon where you happen upon some obscure information ~ often an unfamiliar word,name or activity ~ and soon encounter the same subject again, often repeatedly. I’m chin-deep in Baader-Meinhof.  It’s kind of déjà vu-esque with a soupçon of selective attention. Or, maybe, it’s just ordinary coincidence ~ like when someone phones you while you are thinking about them.

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In high school biology, we learn that our brains have an inclination towards patterns. And patterns are habit-forming.  So when we hear a word or fact that we just learned the day before, it feels like more than a mere coincidence. The brain overplays the importance of what we learned and, by doing so, increases the chances of our being more aware of that word or fact when we meet it again.

Maybe you’ve heard about amphibious automobiles or the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon before. Or maybe you learned about them for the first time right here on WWWW. Either way, see what happens. You just might run smack into them again. Very soon.

Toni 9/30/12