You may not trust your senses when you first come upon Krzywy Domek (pictured). The name is Polish for “Crooked House,” and it’s an appropriate one. This building bends and twists to distort the idea of what a building should look like. Walls warp in and out, bulging in some areas and appearing to collapse in others. A roof of blue and green shingles tops the structure, looking suspiciously like the back of a dragon.
The end result? Something that looks like it came straight out of a fairytale. That makes sense, too, as the building designers wanted to pay homage to a famous Polish children’s illustrator Jan Marcin Szancer. Inside the building, you’ll find a shopping center complete with bars, stores, and restaurants. Our advice: Stick to the outside of the building for the best selfies.
A word about Crayola, a truly American product:
Officially, Prussian blue was the very first synthetic color ever created. It was first crafted in 1704 by a chemist from Berlin who mixed cochineal (a red dye) with iron sulfate and a cyanide mixture. The result was a dark blue pigment that quickly became a much sought-after shade. In fact, it was popular for so long that it outlasted the empire for which it was named.
The Kingdom of Prussia was dissolved in 1918 after World War I, so it was long gone by the time Crayola introduced the hue to their lineup in 1946 (pictured above). But by 1958, the company renamed their Prussian blue crayon to “midnight blue,” either because schoolchildren didn’t know what Prussia was anymore, or because of complaints that the name wasn’t “Cold War sensitive.”
What happens when you hear someone do any of the following: smacking their lips while eating, slurping drinks, breathing, yawning, sniffling, humming, tapping their fingers, typing or texting with the keyboard clicks switched on? If you have a strong emotional response and a desire to escape or stop the sound, you may have misophonia.
Literally meaning a “hatred of sound”, misophonia is a neurophysiological condition in which people have a disproportionately negative reaction to specific sounds. People with the condition are aware that they overreact to certain sounds, it’s just that their reaction is not within their control.
The trigger sounds that people with misophonia react to can vary from person to person. However, some categories are more common than others and they tend to be related to the mouth or eating, breathing or nasal sounds and finger or hand sounds. Evidence suggests that this aversion develops in childhood and tends to get worse over time.
People with misophonia find trigger sounds more distressing if they are produced by family members rather than by strangers. This may make family meals particularly problematic for misophonics.
Misophonic responses tend to be emotional, with anger being the most common response, ranging from mild annoyance to extreme rage. People can also feel other strong emotional responses such as anxiety or disgust. Physiological responses include an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, sweating and muscle contractions.
You might assume that everyone has, to some degree, a negative response to certain sounds, such as a sudden, loud bang or high-pitched squeal. Yet in misophonia, people can react to sounds that are not widely considered unpleasant, such as whispering or soft breathing. Quiet sounds can evoke as much of a reaction in misophonics as loud sounds.
Researchers have investigated whether misophonia is linked to, or caused by, other psychiatric or physical conditions, such as tinnitus, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder. The evidence suggests that, although some association exists with these conditions, none of these disorders can fully explain misophonic symptoms, suggesting misonphonia is a separate and independent condition in its own right. (High pitched sounds tend to do this to me).
Well, I have either bored you silly, or you now have a new hobby. Have a safe day, again!!!