Attempted Robbery and Mirror Neurons

Here is an interesting video recorded by a Go Pro camera that documents an attempted robbery of a guy riding his bicycle in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Go ahead and watch it if you haven’t.

Chances are your mirror neurons (cells in your brain) will light up as this guy experiences fear and hence so will you! Mirror neurons make us feel what others are feeling when we see them go through an experience. You know when you see a friend cut their finger with a sharp object and you wince?  That’s your mirror neurons!

I find mirror neurons fascinating.

When I teach my class to students, I frequently feel the power of mirror neurons in a really strange way.

I play a lot of emotional videos in my training class and my students mirror neurons work very well. They always mirror the emotions of the victims or suspects in the video beautifully. But I wasn’t prepared for how it would bounce and further affect me.

As the instructor, I have seen these videos hundreds of times so I don’t typically watch them. I am usually not listening to the content of the video or thinking about it either. I am often thinking about other things that I need to do and inevitably, through natural pauses in thinking and looking up at my students, I find my face starting to react to my students’ emotions.

I will start to feel a flush of an emotion overcome me.  It’s surreal because I might be thinking I need to check-in for my flight tomorrow when I start feeling this rush of sadness.  And I will catch the feelings of sadness and be perplexed. Why do I suddenly feel sad?  And then I have to re-orient myself and ask what video are we playing right now?  And 100% of the time the  emotions I am starting to feel correlate to the video playing, but  I am not watching it or listening to it.  But I am glancing at my students and obviously my mirror neurons are firing from seeing them!

It’s the strangest thing.

It’s what I would call a mirror neuron bounce effect. A person in the video feels an emotion. They express it. My students watch it, and they feel what the person in the video feels. Then I see the faces of people watching the video, and I, too, react to them watching the video. It all happens involuntarily, too.

I never expected that mirror neurons would bounce like that, but I have experienced it enough to know they do, and when I see a really intense emotion expressed on a face, I will start to experience the strong flood of emotion myself regardless of the source!

So I wonder, does the movement of the facial muscles activate the mirror neurons?  Or do the mirror neurons activate the facial muscles?

Are you a good liar?

I found the above video interesting.  It’s Richard Wiseman, a professor of Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire (UK).  You can read more about him here.

“Some people will just see [my work] as fun and say, that’s interesting. I would hope a few people then go slightly beyond that and look at the implications. I want people to find that for themselves.”
—Richard Wiseman

So do you draw a Q for you to see or others?

Do you believe it equates with you being a good liar or not?

Thanks to Brent for sharing this!

Expression of the Day

Reading the news this morning, I came across the story of  little Etan Kalil Patz who disappeared from lower Manhattan in 1979.

Apparently this man, Pedro Hernandez, was interviewed by police in 2012 and confessed to killing Etan.

The courts will determine this week  if Pedro Hernandez‘s statements are admissible in this case.

Statistically speaking, 25% of confessions made by people are false, so just because someone confesses, it does not  automatically mean they are one responsible for committing the crime.

When I saw this news story and I looked at this suspect shown in the article, his facial expression stopped me dead in my tracks.  Hernandez’s expression here is extremely threatening. If I saw him on the street, I would immediately look away and take actions to get as far away from him as I could. I would try to become invisible in the shortest amount of time.

What expression is Hernandez making here?  I will share my answer in my comments below (on the blog for those of you reading this elsewhere).

Oscar Pistorius Trial: Not Premeditated?

The judge’s opinion in this case is somewhat straddling two worlds if you ask me. Matt Gutman says the judge doesn’t believe that Oscar was trying to defend himself and Reeva, but that the prosecution’s claim that he intended to shoot her behind the bathroom door also don’t hold water.

What does she believe? I’m curious to hear!

Is she looking to set him free? I’m nervous.

I believe Oscar Pistorius by his own words and the evidence known got into an argument that night with Reeva, and he had a violent temper outburst and killed her in a heat of rage. Did he premeditate the killing as in plan it ahead? No. I don’t believe so.

I believe Oscar Pistorius snapped.

He also didn’t have immediate regrets either as he clearly had no urgency to get her to a hospital quickly. He doesn’t call the ambulance first. No, he calls his friend wasting precious time. That says everything. Did he even try CPR?

I believe Oscar willingly and knowingly murdered Reeva in a fit of rage, and I am very saddened that he will not be convicted of such.

To read more of my analysis of Oscar, click on the tags below.

* This video is programmed by ESPN to auto play on load. I am unable to turn this off. If anyone knows how, please inform me. Thanks!

Do I believe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

The answer is no. I do not.

I see many hot spots in his speech.

Goodell says, “I don’t know how TMZ or any other website gets their information. We are particularly reliant on law enforcement. That’s the most reliable. It’s the most credible. And we don’t seek to get that information from sources that are not credible.”

I think the words “don’t seek” are so key here.  It says it all.

It’s absurd they would say they don’t know where TMZ gets their information. If they did an ounce of investigation for themselves, they would have immediately gone to the casino — the most direct and credible source of information possible.  They didn’t even have to wait for any investigation.

Video surveillance doesn’t lie.  Ever.

Especially when you see a woman being knocked out cold!

A minute or two later, Goodell says, “That’s why we asked for it on several occasions. Because when we make a decision we want to have all the information that’s available. And obviously that was…when we met with… Ray Rice and his representatives, ah… it was ambiguous about what actually happened.”

It was ambiguous?  It’s nonsense.

Goodell and the NFL could get the public records own their own without relying on the police to do an investigation. These records would have delineated Rice’s arrest, and they could see he was charged with aggravated assault, which is a felony.  They could also see where it happened.   If they had any doubt, the NFL could have easily asked for a copy of the video from the casino where this happened to find out the truth, but according to TMZ they never asked the casino for a copy of the video because I suspect they wanted it to “go away”.


Joan Rivers: Unplanned Biopsy Leads to Death?


Last week I wrote about Joan River’s death and that I was concerned things didn’t seem as they appeared. For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you’ve seen the discussions in a more detailed light. I found it very odd for Joan  at her age to go to care facility outside of a hospital for any procedure that would involve knocking her out. And the fact that she did it raised my eyebrows high as Joan is known as the queen of cosmetic surgery.

To hear the latest news that in the middle of a “supposed” routine endoscopy that her doctor took a biopsy which was considered a no-no by qualified experts in the field because it was outside of a hospital setting strongly hints to me that there was more going on then we’ve been told and may ever be told.

I find it interesting in the earliest reports by people who knew Joan that no one said she went in for a routine endoscopy. No one.

No one would use the word endoscopy which was striking to me!

Even Deborah Norville talked AROUND the word “endoscopy” on 20/20 last week. She couldn’t say it!  She said, “a diagnostic procedure … [to] see why her voice had gotten raspy.”  It sure would have been a lot easier to say “endoscopy,” wouldn’t it?

I scoured the news reports last week when Joan was in the hospital and all of the people who knew her said she was going in for “throat surgery” or “vocal cord surgery”–which cannot be confused with endoscopy. If they thought she went in for a routine endoscopy, they would have said so.

I suspect they knew beforehand what Joan was doing and I suspect Joan knew what she was going to happen as well.

And now to read news reports that say the doctor “discovered”, took a “surprise”, “unplanned” biopsy…well, I’m not buying it.

A doctor doing an endoscopy would tell Joan that it makes no sense to do an endoscopy outside of the hospital setting because with medical protocol  he or she would be unable to take a biopsy should it be needed.  That’s only logical, right?

While Joan may not have signed on the dotted line (which could have happened for many reasons), I don’t think this procedure that was “unplanned” was “unknown” to Joan.  I suspect she had nodules on her vocal cords as many have suspected, wanted them removed at all costs, and was willing to find whoever could do it for her, and she did.  It just sadly cost her her life.

Any other way things simply don’t add up — at least with what we’ve been told so far in the media.

(Sorry about the video and text alignment above. I am unable to fix it. There is a technical glitch that I have been unable to resolve that is causing this).

Intense Emotional Displays

When I watch this video where people are recorded being tased with a stun gun, I get very nauseated. I have a strong reaction every time I see it and I cannot explain it. I suspect it is because the amount of emotional expression in this video is intense. There are many intense reactions and there are many, many powerful and subtle expressions too.

I believe that we all register emotional reactions at different speeds. Some of us will feel an emotion in very subtle forms. Other people require full expressions to register reactions. I think the sooner one registers an emotion the easier time they have at understanding people.

I also found it very interesting how some people were excited by the idea of being tased, and/or had a strong constitution to fight the pain and over-power it mentally. Some seemed to even enjoy the anticipation, and experience (which is hard for me to understand). Do they have a high pain threshold? Are they good at mind over matter? Do they enjoy pain?  I’d love to ask them!

I have no doubt each of us have different pain thresholds so how we react will vary due to that as well.

I have taken some screenshots where I think the emotional expression is very interesting and revealing, and I’ve labeled them with how they come across to me.

What do you see?

Worrisome dread


Positive Anticipation

positive apprehension
Intense Dread — Can you feel his heartbeat?

wincing dread
Positive  emotion  — subtle surprise

positive surprise

Subtle Fear — gritting of the teeth

subtle fear
Subtle Disgust


Slight wincing with true positive joy

mental control...anticipatory joy

My Thoughts on Joan Rivers

Love You Joan

When I heard the news that Joan Rivers was rushed from a clinic to Mount Sinai Hospital after surgery complications, I knew it wasn’t a good situation. With Joan being 81, complications and recovery are much more difficult.

I was really surprised on many levels that someone of Joan’s financial status would end up in a clinic for any procedure at her age, let alone a “surgery”.  At her advanced age, she was considered a high risk patient for complications on many fronts and to do an out-patient procedure away from full hospital support staff raised my eyebrows immediately.  I remember watching many experts over the years on TV caution people to get knocked out in a doctor’s office because the level of care could put you at risk.

Ironically, the American Society of Anesthesiologists wrote a paper on Safe Anesthesia in the Office-Based Surgical Setting on September 1, 2014…just days after Joan entered the hospital.  They write, “Despite the numerous advantages of performing procedures outside the hospital, the office environment can introduce significant concerns over patient safety and well-being.”

So why would Joan go there?   All of this made me wonder what was going on…

According to ABC news, Joan performed a comedy routine for an hour the night before she went into cardiac/respiratory arrest, and according to one attendee, there were “no signs that Rivers had any health issues whatsoever.”   She even joked about her demise that night.

Furthermore, we never got clear news as to exactly what Joan Rivers was going in to have done. Was it an endoscopy?  After all she was at an endoscopy clinic according to reports.  Some news agencies reported “throat surgery”–others reported “vocal cord surgery”.  What was Joan going in for when these complications arose?  It seems hard to find out, and if the family chose to keep it private, its certainly their right to do so.

So I am left to look at what has been reported.  Joan seemed in great health the night before her “surgery”.  She ended up at an endoscopy clinic, and endoscopic procedures are not typically considered “surgery”–so she had something else done.    There are endoscopic surgeries where they insert a small camera and its considered surgery.  Maybe she had that done?

Most people are not aware that outpatient clinics are not required to meet the same standard of care of a hospital or ambulatory surgical center. According to the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF):

[As of 2009]…only 23 U.S. states have some regulation for office-based surgery. In addition, a vast majority of offices lack accreditation by one of the major accrediting agencies (AAAHC, AAAASF, JCAHO). Whether such procedures are performed with or without an anesthesia care team provider, current issues include patient and procedure selection, perioperative management, complications, and recovery. Non-patient related issues include proceduralists performing outside their scope of practice, substandard facilities, and lack of qualified office personnel.

So I went to Yorkville Endoscopy to see what they say. They don’t mention the word “surgery” anywhere on their website services page.


Furthermore, on the front page of their website, there is something interesting. It says, “Yorkville Endoscopy is an Ambulatory Surgical Center, approved by the Department of Health and accredited by……to perform ambulatory procedures to diagnose and evaluate conditions of the upper and lower digestive system.”

Who are they accredited by?  It seems to be missing.


See for yourself…


That has me wondering:  Did Joan want something done that wasn’t recommended by quality care doctors and so she sought out a clinic that might be willing to do it?  We all know Joan had a love of cosmetic surgery…

If so, it could have cost her her life.  She could possibly still be with us today had she been at a high quality care facility that was able to properly act when things went south.  My heart aches for her surviving family.

So I share this with you in hopes of promoting information that could save you or a loved one’s life.  While you may want to go to a clinic down the street for a procedure and it might be cheaper, if you don’t do your homework, it could cost you precious time if things go wrong, and quite possibly it could cost you your life.  That’s not to say that you can’t go to a clinic for a procedure, but understand the risks, if you do.  Make an educated decision if they are worth it for you.

Maybe Joan did do that and still decided the risk was worth the benefit, though I am not sure she would still say that today, if she was with us.

I hope that is not the case with Joan Rivers…but things aren’t looking good from what we’ve seen so far.

I feel deep sympathy for Joan River’s family and I hope they find peace in all her lovely memories.

Looking for a trustworthy contractor?

Central & South's September Property of the Month from Savills

If you are looking for a reliable contractor, you don’t want to simply trust online reviews.  There are now companies out there who you can pay to write positive reviews for businesses (scary!) and we all know that family and friends can spike reviews, so be cautious trusting these.

Furthermore, when I looked into Yelp, I found that negative reviews can be hidden by Yelp, and if you don’t look closely someone who has had complaints can look completely clean. Yelp also has had lawsuits by customers who complain Yelp puts pressure on them to donate to keep good ratings.  I have lost faith in Yelp, too.

I also don’t have much faith in the BBB and have written about that over the years as well.

And I tried Angie’s list and was highly disappointed.  When I hired  a major window company to install new windows and they committed fraud against me, I naturally gave them a negative review.  But guess what?  It never showed up.  Another expert I hired through Angie’s list came at a high price and tried to double the bill after the work was completed because I suspect he got away with it often. He didn’t realize I knew our state laws and knew such practices were illegal.  He quickly retreated and that ended my experiences with Angie’s List.

I’ve even tried the recommendations of good friends only to find they were not aware that they had been taken.

So what can you do to aid yourself in finding a good contractor?

I highly suggest typing in the contractor’s name that you are interested in, and adding the words “complaints”.

I did that this morning weeding through a list of roofing contractors and one of the best rated showed up as being under federal investigation for fraud by the FBI.  That’s no small investigation and immediately removed that candidate from my list.  Had I not done that, this contractor looked really good!

Contractors can also pay companies to remove negative information that comes up in search engines as well, so remember that.  The more homework you do on an contractor, the better your odds will be.  I try to turn over every stone possible when seeking someone to hire because there are no guarantees.

Finding trustworthy people today to do service is truly challenging–even for me!  It’s very easy to promise to do a good job, but have things change quickly without the homeowner ever being the wiser.

My Thoughts on Baby Wilson’s Parents

When I watch Taniasha Perkins plead for her baby, I see a lot of things that raise my eyebrows. While there is no doubt that Taniasha is feeling stress, the question is does she know more than she is saying?

I believe so.

While she acts like she is sobbing, there are very few tears streaming down her face considering her displayed intensity, which is highly notable to me.  She doesn’t have puffy eyes indicating that she’s been crying heavily either.  She also gasps for air, but without a flood of tears, this makes no sense. And she does it repeatedly.

She says, “My family loves my child.”  If you notice she doesn’t say “I love my boy…Delano”.  She doesn’t call him by name, which shows distancing.

I’m troubled how she whines that she and the baby’s father worked really hard to provide for their child. The baby was only one month old! And she’s complaining about what she sacrificed for the child?? She tells us she went and got a job for the baby two days ago. This seems to be a big problem, if you ask me, caring for this child. It’s something that needs to be looked at closely.

It’s interesting to me she wants the public to “tell the truth where her son is”.  How can the public do that?  Why would she think of “telling the truth” if her baby was abducted?  It makes absolutely no sense, but I suspect she knows someone needs to tell the truth here. That is the truth!

When I listened to baby Delano’s dad’s 911 call, his story is absolutely absurd to me.  He calls in the most calm voice ever which makes absolutely no sense given what he says happened. He has zero urgency in his voice, and first says that he has been robbed and pistol whipped, but not “hurt like that”.  Only second does he say someone took his daughter, and then corrects himself to say son.  Oops. In order of importance, I think we all know what comes first and it isn’t being robbed.

Second, if someone is going to abduct a child, I find it very odd that they would take any time to rob someone.  If they want a baby, they want to get away fast.  It’s very unlikely they will take the time to rob someone.  And according to Willie, he wants us to believe they changed motives….they “intended to rob him” but oops, took the kid instead!  None of it makes sense…

I find it flabbergasting that he tells us, “I’m laying in the middle of the street.”  He isn’t crying out in pain or anything, but he can’t get up out of the street? And remember he said that he isn’t “hurt like that”. 

Do you see the inconsistencies? They are numerous and abundant.

I love how he calls the abductors and violent offenders a “male” and the other a “lady”  — such dignity for someone who just abducted his child!!


Then he says, “I just woke up from being unconscious.”  Wow! But he’s not hurt “like that” — remember!

But he seems totally clear about everything considering he just got knocked out.

He told Fox 59 that the pair intended to rob him of his cell phone and wallet but took the baby instead, “That’s when he hit me knocked me down. I got the baby in my arms. That’s when I knew they were gonna do more because she didn’t do nothing because the man is constantly yelling at me telling me to empty my pockets, grabbing at my pants. All I could do is give him what I had. I didn’t wanna harm the baby.”

So now when did they pistol whip him and knock him unconscious?

It’s nonsense, through and through.

In one video on Fox 59, Taniasha is on camera but not speaking the press and her stress completely dissipates. She acts completely relaxed. It’s like she isn’t “on for the camera” anymore.  If you truly believed your baby was abducted, your stress would not dissipate that quickly.

I believe both of these parents aren’t telling us what they know is the truth.