Sarcasm Is Good for Creativity

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iStock

Being a little sarcastic can be good for you. Sarcasm can promote creative thinking processes, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University, Harvard University, and INSEAD business school. 

The study, published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, finds that because sarcasm forces people to think harder about a statement to decode its actual meaning, it requires more abstract thinking (in turn helping people make more creative connections). In a series of tests, participants conducted simulated conversations where they were instructed to be either sarcastic or sincere. Afterward, those who had to express and receive sarcastic statements performed better on creativity tasks than people who were sincere or in the control group. 

The downside is that sarcasm, while it might help people think outside the box, can come across as mean. So you might be firing up your creativity juices, but you might also start a fight. However, sarcasm doesn’t always have to be biting. “[U]nlike sarcasm between parties who distrust each other, sarcasm between individuals who share a trusting relationship does not generate more contempt than sincerity,” study co-author Adam Galinsky of Columbia University explains in a press release. Still, the researchers found that the person expressing sarcasm typically found it funnier than the recipient. 

Oscar Wilde may have been onto something when he called sarcasm “the highest form of intelligence.” 

Yeah, totally

What’s the Difference Between Crocheting and Knitting?

djedzura/iStock via Getty Images
djedzura/iStock via Getty Images

With blustery days officially upon us, the most pressing question about your sweaters, scarves, hats, and mittens is probably: “Are these keeping me warm?” If you’re a DIY enthusiast, or just a detail-oriented person in general, your next question might be: “Were these knitted or crocheted?”

Knitting and crocheting are both calming crafts that involve yarn, produce cozy garments and other items, and can even boost your mental well-being. Having said that, they do have a few specific differences.

To knit, you need needles. The size, material, and number of those needles depends on the project; though most traditional garments are made using two needles, it’s also possible to knit with just one needle, or as many as five. But regardless of the other variables, one or both ends of your knitting needles will always be pointed.

While crocheting calls for a similar long, thin tool that varies in size and material, it has a hooked end—and you only ever need one. According to The Spruce Crafts, even if you hear people refer to the tool as a crochet needle, they’re really talking about a crochet hook.

crotchet hook and garment
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Part of the reason you only use one hook brings us to the next difference between crocheting and knitting: When crocheting, there’s only one “active loop” on your hook at any given time, whereas knitting entails lining up loops down the length of your needles and passing them between needles. The blog Darn Good Yarn explains that since each loop is attached to a long row of stitches, accidentally “dropping” one off the end of your needle might unravel the entire row.

Of course, you have a better chance of avoiding that type of manual error if you’re using a knitting machine or loom, which both exist. Crocheting, on the other hand, has to be done by hand. Since machines can create garments with extremely small stitches, some knit clothes can be much more lightweight or close-fitting than anything you’d be able to crochet—and knitted clothes can also be mass-produced.

When it comes to what the items actually look like, crochet stitches characteristically look more like knots, while knit stitches seem flatter and less bulky. However, materials and techniques have come a long way over the years, and now there’s more crossover between what you’re able to knit and crochet. According to The Spruce Crafts, socks and T-shirts—traditionally both garments that would be knitted—can now technically be crocheted.

knitting needles and garment
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And, believe it or not, knitting and crocheting can even be used to depict complicated mathematical concepts: see what a crocheted hyperbolic plane, Lorenz manifold, and more look like here.

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Idioms: One or Two?

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