Saturday, October 12, 2013

Accidental Genius

According to Howard Gardner there are nine types of intelligence. I am normally reluctant to challenge an expert, especially in a field of study I know nothing about, but I do believe there is one type of genius Mr. Gardner has overlooked. I know this because it is the only kind of genius I possess.

     10. Accidental Genius differs from the previous nine types of intelligence. The first nine types are always present in the individual, and can be counted on at all times. This tenth type of intelligence, that of the accidental type, is very unpredictable. It pops up unexpectedly from time to time, surprising both the individual and those around them.

Here is an example from my own life of accidental genius at work. When my mom was here for a visit she had a hard time getting in and out of the bath. (I will point out this did not take any kind of intelligence to discern. All I had to do was look at the towel rack that had been pulled out of the wall to know this was true.) This week IKEA was having a sale, and one of the items was the RAGRUND chair. It looked like the perfect solution for when my mom visits, and it had the added bonus of acting as extra space to hang towels - always helpful when we have guests. I made the trek to IKEA, and in a scene familiar to anyone who has ever opened a flat pack, this is what things looked like for a tense hour or so after I returned.



Here's where the accidental genius part comes into play. As the chair started to take shape, which wasn't as quickly as I had hoped due to screwing in four brackets the wrong way, an image started to form in my mind. It was a picture of a spinning chair. This odd looking, high-backed chair very closely resembled ones I had seen online. (Here is an example.) I had accidentally purchased something I had been wanting for ages!


I am now the proud new owner of a spinning chair, which, due to its extreme ugliness, I have promised Jay will only be in the living room when I am actually spinning.


I haven't done much spinning since I got Fergus, but he has settled down quite a bit, and hasn't attacked my wheel in months. I think I can safely take it out and start using it again. I ordered this fibre from Webs shortly after we moved here and can't wait to start working with it.

AbstractFiber 2-tone BFL colourway Deep Lake
I also have some beautiful fibre to spin from my blogging friend Peony. She has just done another shop update, and has some lovely fibre which can be found here.

Okay, here's the best part of my accidental genius illustration. It turns out this was a double genius event. When I put the rather homely chair into the upstairs bedroom, where it can remain safely out of sight until it is needed, I realized it had yet another use. Introducing my new sock dryer.


Do you have any examples of accidental genius to share?

31 comments:

  1. I like the way you think! The fiber is gorgeous. I have never tried spinning but my mother-in-law does it and I find it fascinating to watch. That is a multi-purpose pice of furniture if I ever saw one. :)

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    1. Spinning is lots of fun. I'm really quite bad at it, but enjoy the process. :-)

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  2. Well done getting the chair together, that is genius enough for me! But I love the added genius of a spinning chair and a drying rack, great buying!

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    1. Not quite genius - remember I put the four brackets on the wrong way. :-)

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  3. Genius indeed! A much less expensive, more versatile, more attractive chair...hard to believe that was an accident. But I understand about accidents. I do what I think are actually dumb things, they turn out well, and my wife tells people I'm smart. It's the weirdest thing.

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    1. See, what you describe is exactly what accidental genius is. :-)

      And yes, the chair was $50 rather than the $199 the official spinning chair costs. Of course, I doubt the cheap IKEA bamboo chair will last as long as the beautiful hardwood spinning chair, but my spinning efforts are too pathetic to justify spending very much on them. Ha!

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  4. I've never seen a chair like that, but then, I don't spin...yet. :-) That fiber you'll be spinning is gorgeous!

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    1. You should give spinning a try! It's fun, and gives you more excuses to work with nice fibre. Of course, it also means you will need more room for stash. Ha!

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  5. I'm sure I have some accidental genius in me somewhere....I just can't think of it right now - ha ha :). I am impressed you tackled the madness of IKEA assembly Kristie - it can break up happy homes, you know! Well done, and soon you won't know how you ever managed without that spinning, sock drying, not really so ugly, chair. xxx

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    1. I actually kind of like IKEA. Of course, until recently that has meant me buying the flat packs and bringing them home for my husband to assemble. But I tackled putting our bar stools together this summer, and discovered I kind of like assembling the stuff. I know I'm the odd one out though. You are right - assembling flat pack stuff has caused many a happy home to not be quite so happy. :-)

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  6. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaOctober 13, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    Ooooh, pretty fibre! I actually have a real spinning chair which I never use because the darn thing is just so hard to sit on (think numb posterior...). I use an "antique" pine Ikea chair with a nice memory foam cushion instead. Before we moved last year and bought grown-up furniture, our house looked sort of like an Ikea catalogue and I still have a studio full of their well-used bookcases, desk, knitting chair, side table...you get the idea. It has all stood up remarkably well to many years of military moves.

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    1. Now I am doubly jealous. You have an Aga and a proper spinning chair? :-)

      We have lots of IKEA stuff in our house too. IKEA is like cilantro. People either love it or hate it. I happen to love their stuff.

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    2. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaOctober 14, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      Believe me, you wouldn't envy me the chair if you had the chance to sit on it! But the Aga turkey yesterday was delicious...just saying.

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    3. I am so jealous I don't know what to do with myself. :-)

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  7. I don't even think the chair is ugly. I think it's cool. Chair/drying rack: win-win!
    -- stashdragon

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    1. I'm not sure I would go as far as saying the chair looks cool, but at least is is multi-functional. I can live with that. :-)

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  8. Good assembling! I rather enjoy three dimensional jigsaws myself.
    I had an attack of accidental genius myself recently. I couldn't think why I had bought a pizza cutting wheel. Neither of us like pizza, and it never enters our house. Then I realised - apples are coming into season, and I have a good recipe for apple slices that involves cutting strips of a fragile dough, to make the lattice top. I never made much of a fist of it with a knife, but the wheel works a treat. I reckon it was my subconscious working on the problem, and supplied the answer without informing the management. It just made me pick the thing up and take it to the checkout.

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    1. The pizza cutting wheel purchase is a perfect example of accidental genius! Using it to make a lattice pie crust is a great idea.

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  9. Not liking the chair at all.. but what about that grandfather clock in the corner of your room? what's its story? I've always wanted a long-case clock myself.

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    1. Yes, the chair is very useful but not so great to look at. :-)

      My husband inherited the grandfather clock from a friend of the family. It is a couple hundred years old, and originally came from Scotland. Maybe some day I will do a post on it.

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  10. I like the ugly chair (which I imagined swiveling/spinning, not used to sit on while spinning fibre). I'm jealous that you have an IKEA near enough to frequent.

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    1. It's funny you should say that about the chair. When I Googled "spinning chair" to get a picture to link to, I got pages of swivel chairs instead. :-)

      I understand your jealousy. I used to be jealous too until we moved here. I am a big IKEA fan. I have always been surprised that one hasn't been built in Spokane.

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  11. I quite like the chair, and a chair that doubles as a knitted sock drying rack surely has to be 'a good thing' ;)

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    1. I like the usefulness of the chair, but honestly, if you saw it in person you might want to take back your comment about liking it. :-)

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  12. You are a genius finding so many uses for your chair!
    Sarah x

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    1. Ad I said, I am only a genius by accident, not because of any good planning or gifting on my part. :-)

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  13. Some excellent ideas there for your chair Kristie
    Patricia x

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    1. I'm sure they are ideas IKEA never thought of for that chair!

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  14. Ahhh, I actually love Ikea...some of their stuff anyway. I have the Hennes bed, which we put toogether with my dad a few years ago, and it was fun (needed his help rather because of the size, much less for making sense of the manual).
    now, you have no more excuse for avoiding spinning :-) Can't wait to see what you will make out of those braids. (and thanks for the shout).

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    1. I love IKEA too. I love filling out the little forms in the store, then going to find the right box on the shelves. I think eveything about their stuff is pure genius, and not the accidental kind either.

      You are right, now I need to actually start spinning again. I was glad to get a chance to give you the shout out. :-)

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  15. I have never had a stick of IKEA furniture, but I don't have a problem with that chair. It's not pretty, admittedly, but so functional, both intentionally and accidentally. :-)

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