Curiouser and curiouser: the key to health and happiness?
Research suggests that maintaining an inquiring mind can make us happier and even prolong our lives. Just as well the Festival of Curiosity starts in Dublin on July 25th, then
2 Be playful, says Niamh Shaw. “Find some activity, whether it’s taking a class in improvisation or climbing trees or jumping or making sandcastles – something that awakens your sense of play. That sense of play will open up your wonder and curiosity.”
3 Don’t watch too much television. “There’s a problem with being passively stimulated in the way that television does,” says Ian Robertson. “It doesn’t engage those parts of the brain that are to do with internally driven attention. Watching television over long periods has a tendency to ramp down our capacity for curiosity.”
4 Remember: curiosity is a privilege. “There are some areas of the world where it’s still dangerous to be curious,” says Philip Ball.
5 Know that there are no stupid questions. “If you live on this world or live on this planet then you have the right to ask a question and be curious,” says Ellen Byrne. “If something does pique your curiosity, have the confidence to find out more. There are no stupid questions. It’s okay to say ‘I don’t know’ and it’s okay to ask any question you want.”
Keeping curious kids busy: Summer events for the inquisitive
On the Hunt Wear out some shoe leather in Dublin this weekend and go on a free treasure hunt. The trail starts at Dublin City Hall and encourages treasure hunters to solve puzzles and riddles along the way. The hunt runs on Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm. Pre-book online at festivalofcuriosity.ie for a family pack.
Hands-on science Ever wanted to inflate a balloon with vinegar and baking soda? Or build an artificial hand? Or grow crystals? Anyone4Science is running camps at various locations in Ireland this summer for children, grouped into suitable activities for pico-scientists (age 4-6), nano-scientists (age 7-9) and micro-scientists (age 10-12). anyone4science.com
Rock On Check out two 90-minute guided walking tours starting from Smock Alley this weekend. Dublin Rocks, which starts at 3pm on Saturday, will have you looking from cobblestones to chimney pots for curiosities, including a coral reef. For ages 10 and above.
Look and make Illusion, the brain-scrambling new exhibition at the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin, includes curiosities such as a screen of “bugs” that crawl onto your hand and a revolving wheel that tricks your eyes into making faces swirl. sciencegallery.com
The Final Frontier CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork is a magnet for curious minds, and one of the newest additions is a Junior Space Camp for kids aged 5-7 on August 2nd and 16th from 2pm to 3.30pm. bco.ie