Friday, January 30, 2015

Learning Backwards: Braintenance Mind Jolt - Douglas E. Castle

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Learning Backwards: Braintenance Mind-Jolt
How often have you heard of someone knowing something "backwards and forward(s)"?  There is a reason for this in the etymology of the expression itself: it is generally perceived as being difficult for people who have learned and memorized something in a particular order to be able to learn and memorize it in a different order. Learning something "backwards" requires a (with apologies to Liam Neeson) special skill set. The skills involved are used both consciously and subconsciously every day by most people. In learning backwards, you'll have to use these skills consciously -- at least at first.

These skills include visualization (visualizing the list of items with eyes closed), creating acronyms (using the first letter of each image to create a word) and sensory association (i.e., linking a group of things to a simple song, or making them part of a simple story).

The benefits to backwards learning are tremendous. The process stimulates memory and recall, improves cognition and improves creativity.

Following are some lists of items for you to learn "forwards" and backwards. Since I'm not proctoring this exercise, I'll trust that you will be able to recite each of the following lists without cheating. One hint: The most bizarre or humorous associations are generally the most memorable.
---------------

1) A B C D E F G H I

2)  5 1 6 7 8 5 1 0 4

3) Apple, Snake, Pickle, Bicycle, Ruler

4) Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet

5) Sulfur, Phosphorous, Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen

---------------

The video below provides an incredibly simple [oxymoron intentional] means of learning the entire alphabet backwards. This is a great way to be entertaining at social gatherings with friends who are either mathematicians or MENSA members...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wCxRn35jwA


Douglas E. Castle for the Braintenance Blog

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Braintenance contains articles, resources, exercises, games and specially-designed protocols to improve the power of your brain and your mind in every significant aspect, including memory, cognition, IQ, plasticity, creativity and problem-solving ability.

Key Terms: brain, mind, cognitive enhancement, memory, brain gym exercises, IQ, plasticity, mind expansion, creativity, meditation, altered states, perception, self-hypnosis, self-growth, neuron, artificial intelligence, learning, somatic intellect, mathematics, language, dissonance, individualism, herd mentality, puns and word games, linguistics, genius, emotion, subconscious, unconscious, intuition, instinct, psychedelic, reality, learning curve, probability, collective consciousness

Friday, January 16, 2015

Getting Things Done - Braintenance Technique

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If you have had dreams, ambitions and objectives, you know that most of them are never achieved -- not because they were impossible, but because they were never even started. If you would like to get anything done, the key is to visualize what you desire (in terms of the outcome), and to then -- within 5 critical minutes of your visualization process -- take a first action toward that dream, ambition or objective, even if this action is simply reducing the idea to its essence and writing it on your "to do" list. Then within that same day, take a first physical action step (such as making a phone call, registering for an event, visiting a website, etc.) and pledge to yourself to take one additional action toward the furtherance of that which you are seeking to achieve per week at minimum.

The greatest acts and deeds are not achieved in giant steps -- they are achieved by incremental consistency; by working conscientiously, one action step at a time until your book is written, your song is recorded, your business is operating at a self-sustaining cash flow... whatever it is.

While the greatest ideas just emerge, seemingly magically, through bursts of energy in the mind, to live a life of self-actualization and accomplishment, you must 1) fully visualize them, 2) write them down on your "to do" list, 3) take a first physical action toward transforming that idea into a reality within that same day, and 4) follow a path made of increments toward your ultimate vision.

In summary:

THINK.
VISUALIZE.
WRITE IT DOWN.
TAKE A FIRST ACTION.
PROGRESS INCREMENTALLY.
GET IT DONE!

Douglas E. Castle For The Braintenance Blog

--------------------------------------------------------------

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Braintenance contains articles, resources, exercises, games and specially-designed protocols to improve the power of your brain and your mind in every significant aspect, including memory, cognition, IQ, plasticity, creativity and problem-solving ability.

Key Terms: brain, mind, cognitive enhancement, memory, brain gym exercises, IQ, plasticity, mind expansion, creativity, meditation, altered states, perception, self-hypnosis, self-growth, neuron, artificial intelligence, learning, somatic intellect, mathematics, language, dissonance, individualism, herd mentality, puns and word games, linguistics, genius, emotion, subconscious, unconscious, intuition, instinct, psychedelic, reality, learning curve, probability, collective consciousness

Friday, January 2, 2015

Your Mind CRAVES Orderliness! - Optical Illusions

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The conscious and subconscious mind crave orderliness and organization, with each item of data clearly recorded in multisensory detail, and filed in its most appropriate and accessible place. This is why we have routines, rituals and recurring cycles of thought (which sometimes haunt us and which sometimes help us). Look at the picture above. At first, it appears as a meaningless bunch of letters -- but as we study it consciously, it becomes a plainly-worded statement of fact. In fact, when we look at incomplete pictures or have "blind spots" in our foveal or peripheral vision, our minds tend to fill in those blanks for us. This effect is responsible for many optical illusions. And what we see (or think that we are seeing) is a significant input into what we will be thinking. Peripheral vision plays more tricks on us than foveal vision, but our foveal vision can be made to play tricks on us as well.

Let's get ourselves some definitions of these two types of vision from Wikipedia, the source for just about anything...

Foveal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Schematic diagram of the human eye, with the fovea at the bottom.

The foveal system of the human eye is the only part of the retina that permits 100% visual acuity.

The line-of-sight is a virtual line connecting the fovea with a fixation point in the outside world.

The discovery of the line-of-sight is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.1
His main experimental finding was that there is only a distinct and clear vision at the line-of-sight, the optical line that ends at the fovea. Although he did not use these words literally he actually is the father of the modern distinction between foveal vision (a more precise term for central vision) and peripheral vision.

Leonardo da Vinci: The eye has a central line and everything that reaches the eye through this central line can be seen distinctly.

Leonardo da Vinci, (1452-1519) was the first person known in Europe to recognize the special optical qualities of the eye. He derived his insights partly through introspection but mainly through a process that could be described as optical modelling. Based on dissection of the human eye he made experiments with water-filled crystal balls. He wrote "The function of the human eye, ... was described by a large number of authors in a certain way. But I found it to be completely different."

---------------
Peripheral vision is a part of vision that occurs outside the very center of gaze. There is a broad set of non-central points in the field of view that is included in the notion of peripheral vision. "Far peripheral" vision exists at the edges of the field of view, "mid-peripheral" vision exists in the middle of the field of view, and "near-peripheral", sometimes referred to as "para-central" vision, exists adjacent to the center of gaze.

Boundaries

Inner boundaries

The inner boundaries of peripheral vision can be defined in any of several ways depending on the context. In common usage or everyday language the term "peripheral vision" is commonly used to refer to what in technical usage would be called "far peripheral vision." This is vision outside of the range of stereoscopic vision. It can be conceived as bounded at the center by a circle 60° in radius or 120° in diameter, centered around the fixation point, i.e., the point at which one's gaze is directed.1 In common usage, peripheral vision may also refer to the area technically known as "mid peripheral vision," defined by a circle 30° in radius or 60° in diameter.

In vision-related fields such as physiology, ophthalmology, or optometry, the inner boundaries of peripheral vision are defined more narrowly in terms of one of several anatomical regions of the central retina, generally the fovea.

The fovea is a cone-shaped depression in the central retina measuring 1.5 mm in diameter, corresponding to 5° of the field of vision.The outer boundaries of the fovea are visible under a microscope, or with microscopic imaging technology such as OCT or microscopic MRI. When viewed through the pupil, as in an eye exam (using ophthalmoscope or retinal photography) only the central portion of the fovea is visible. Anatomists refer to this as the clinical fovea, and say that it corresponds to the anatomical foveola, a structure with a diameter of 0.35 mm corresponding to 1 degree of the field of vision. In clinical usage the central part of the fovea is typically referred to simply as the fovea.

In terms of visual acuity, "foveal vision" may be defined as the part of the retina in which visual acuity is at least 20/20 (6/3 metric). This corresponds to the foveal avascular zone (FAZ) with a diameter of 0.5 mm representing 1.5° of the visual field. Although often idealized as perfect circles, the central structures of the retina tend to be irregular ovals. Thus, foveal vision may also be defined as the central 1.5-2° of the field of vision. Vision within the fovea is generally called central vision, while vision outside of the fovea is called peripheral vision.

A ring-shaped region surrounding the fovea, known as the parafovea, is sometimes taken to represent an intermediate form of vision called paracentral vision. The parafovea has an outer diameter of 2.5 mm representing 8° of the field of vision. The macula, a region of the retina defined as having at least two layers of (bundles of nerves and neurons) is sometimes taken as defining the boundaries of central vs. peripheral vision. The macula has a diameter of 5.5 mm and corresponds to 18° of the field of vision. When viewed from the pupil, as in an eye example, only the central portion of the macula is visible. Known to anatomists as the clinical macula (and in clinical setting as simply the macula) this inner region is thought to correspond to the anatomical fovea.

The dividing line between near and mid peripheral vision at 30° radius is based on several features of visual performance. Visual acuity declines by about 50% every 2.5° from the center up to 30°, at which point the decline in visual acuity declines more steeply. Color perception is strong at 20° but weak at 40° . 30° is thus taken as the dividing line between adequate and poor color perception. In dark-adapted vision, light sensitivity corresponds to rod density, which peaks just at 18° . From 18° towards the center rod density declines rapidly. From 18° away from the center, rod density declines more gradually, in a curve with distinct inflection points resulting in two humps. The outer edge of the second hump is at about 30° , and corresponds to the outer edge of good night vision.

Outer boundaries

The outer boundaries of peripheral vision correspond to the boundaries of the visual field as a whole. For a single eye, the extent of the visual field can be defined in terms of four angles, each measured from the fixation point, i.e., the point at which one's gaze is directed. These angles, representing four cardinal directions, are 60° superior (up), 60° nasal (towards the nose), 70-75° inferior (down), and 100-110° temporal (away from the nose and towards the temple). For both eyes the combined visual field is 130-135° vertical and 200-220° horizontal.

Characteristics

The loss of peripheral vision while retaining central vision is known as tunnel vision, and the loss of central vision while retaining peripheral vision is known as central scotoma.

Peripheral vision is weak in humans, especially at distinguishing color and shape. This is because receptor cells on the retina are greater at the center and lowest at the edges (see visual system for an explanation of these concepts). In addition, there are two types of receptor cells, rod cells and cone cells; rod cells are unable to distinguish color and are predominant at the periphery, while cone cells are concentrated mostly in the center of the retina, the fovea.

Flicker fusion threshold is higher for peripheral than foveal vision. Peripheral vision is good at detecting motion (a feature of rod cells).

Central vision is relatively weak at night or in the dark, when the lack of color cues and lighting makes cone cells far less useful. Rod cells, which are concentrated further away from the retina, operate better than cone cells in low light. This makes peripheral vision useful for seeing movement at night. In fact, pilots are taught to use peripheral vision to scan for aircraft at night.

The distinctions between foveal (sometimes also called central) and peripheral vision are reflected in subtle physiological and anatomical differences in the visual cortex. Different visual areas contribute to the processing of visual information coming from different parts of the visual field, and a complex of visual areas located along the banks of the interhemispheric fissure (a deep groove that separates the two brain hemispheres) has been linked to peripheral vision. It has been suggested that these areas are important for fast reactions to visual stimuli in the periphery, and monitoring body position relative to gravity.

Peripheral vision can be practiced; for example, jugglers that regularly locate and catch objects in their peripheral vision have improved abilities. Jugglers focus on a defined point in mid-air, so almost all of the information necessary for successful catches is perceived in the near-peripheral region.

Functions

The main functions of peripheral vision are:
  • recognition of well-known structures and forms with no need to focus by the foveal line of sight,
  • identification of similar forms and movements (Gestalt psychology laws),
  • delivery of sensations which form the background of detailed visual perception.
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Both foveal and peripheral vision can be strengthened just through frequent use and exercise. These exercises are worthwhile because they assist us in seeing a true picture of the world around us with minimal "filling-in" by the ever-orderly imagination. If our minds are provided with greater amounts of higher resolution "real" visual input, this can only serve us better. Practice those eye exercises!

Each of the links below my signature leads to an interesting optical illusion. Take a look at each, and note how your mind completes incomplete patterns and creates the illusion of motion when objects being observed are actually still.

Enjoy the experience.

Douglas E. Castle for Braintenance


http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/

http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/games/illusions/

http://www.brainbashers.com/opticalillusions.asp


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Braintenance contains articles, resources, exercises, games and specially-designed protocols to improve the power of your brain and your mind in every significant aspect, including memory, cognition, IQ, plasticity, creativity and problem-solving ability.

Key Terms: brain, mind, cognitive enhancement, memory, brain gym exercises, IQ, plasticity, mind expansion, creativity, meditation, altered states, perception, self-hypnosis, self-growth, neuron, artificial intelligence, learning, somatic intellect, mathematics, language, dissonance, individualism, herd mentality, puns and word games, linguistics, genius, emotion, subconscious, unconscious, intuition, instinct, psychedelic, reality, learning curve, probability, collective consciousness

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Weird Tricks To Improve Memory

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Most people struggle with either short-term memory or long-term memory... or sometimes both. It seems that as we age, we both lose the ability to spontaneously memorize (maybe our minds "feel" overcrowded), and to recall that which we have memorized but "archived" somewhere which may appear to be inaccessible. Some simple , albeit weird braintenance tricks can absolutely enhance both your immediate and longer-term memory as well as your ability to access data filed away in your mind.

The key methods to memory enhancement are simple:

1) repetition and usage of new data;
2) focusing on pictures of pages instead of on their content (to build eidetic recall);
3) creating silly, offbeat stories involving the data in their order of appearance.

A wonderful TED session follows to provide you with some interesting insight into how some of these simple tricks can make you a memory master. Enjoy this presentation, and then see how many of these sequences you can remember after a one-minute review of each; as you improve, the time it takes to embed sequences of items in memory will decrease, and you become a faster and faster memorizer, with an ever-improving degree of accuracy!

Douglas E. Castle for The Braintenance Blog

http://youtu.be/9ebJlcZMx3c?list=UUsT0YIqwnpJCM-mx7-gSA4Q




1) Apple, Elephant, Snake, Building, Ball, Bicycle, Cards, Run, Alarm, Pickle.

2) 11, 48, 36, 99, 87, 15, 0, 8, 32, 90.

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Braintenance contains articles, resources, exercises, games and specially-designed protocols to improve the power of your brain and your mind in every significant aspect, including memory, cognition, IQ, plasticity, creativity and problem-solving ability.

Key Terms: brain, mind, cognitive enhancement, memory, brain gym exercises, IQ, plasticity, mind expansion, creativity, meditation, altered states, perception, self-hypnosis, self-growth, neuron, artificial intelligence, learning, somatic intellect, mathematics, language, dissonance, individualism, herd mentality, puns and word games, linguistics, genius, emotion, subconscious, unconscious, intuition, instinct, psychedelic, reality, learning curve, probability, collective consciousness

Thursday, December 4, 2014

TWO TYPES OF LEARNING AND ANALYSIS

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There are two different types of analysis and learning relating to our ability to see and recognize patterns and relationships. One method is extrapolative, which means finding the next item in a sequence of items. The second method is interpolative, which means finding the missing item somewhere in the middle of a sequence of items.

We are expressing ourselves interpolatively when we average items -- for example when you are told that an item will cost between $10.00 and $20.00, your mind averages the two together and you think of a "middle" or simple mean average price of $15.00. This is how most people think without realizing that they are doing it. In fact, if you were told that the price would be on the higher side, you would probably interpolate the anticipated price as $17.50 -- we do this by first finding the mean, and then by finding a second mean (or 'derivative mean') between the first mean and the maximum. Our mind dices and slices when we are asked to estimate "between" two things.

When we must find the last item in a sequence of items, we must recognize a pattern and then apply extrapolative thinking. An Example of each type follows, for a quick brain exercise:

1) We are on a 100 mile trip, and have gone three quarters of the way. How many miles do we have left? How many miles have we already traveled? In we are going to make a rest stop halfway between where we are and our final destination, how many more miles must we go before we can rest?

2) What is the next item in the series? ABD, BCE, CDF.... ___ .

Enjoy the TED Video (Goals Versus Behaviors) which follows!



Douglas E Castle for Braintenance



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Braintenance contains articles, resources, exercises, games and specially-designed protocols to improve the power of your brain and your mind in every significant aspect, including memory, cognition, IQ, plasticity, creativity and problem-solving ability.

Key Terms: brain, mind, cognitive enhancement, memory, brain gym exercises, IQ, plasticity, mind expansion, creativity, meditation, altered states, perception, self-hypnosis, self-growth, neuron, artificial intelligence, learning, somatic intellect, mathematics, language, dissonance, individualism, herd mentality, puns and word games, linguistics, genius, emotion, subconscious, unconscious, intuition, instinct, psychedelic, reality, learning curve, probability, collective consciousness

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Exercising The Body Improves Mental Ability

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In exercising the body, we stimulate the brain's abilities and capacities. People who are sedentary by their habits or nature are less likely to be as receptive to mental challenges than their vigorously exercising counterparts. Put simply, if you exercise your body, expansion and improvement of your cognition, creativity, neural plasticity, memory and other brain/mind functions becomes easier, and can be achieved significantly more efficiently.

While physical exercise is no substitute for brain training, the latter becomes much easier if the former is made part of the whole mind-body fitness regimen. This has to do with a combination of several factors:

1) Increased brain oxygenation;
2) Improved neurotransmitter activity and chemical balance in the brain;
3) Easier ability to focus on intellectual tasks when body is in a relaxing or relaxed state after physical labor;
4) Heightened consciousness following exercise;
5) Brainwave (entrainment status) activity post-exercise is significantly improved and better-geared toward learning.

There may be numerous other factors involved, but it still makes a great deal of sense to workout regularly if you want to maintain, strain and strengthen your brain. Exercise is positively correlated with reduction in the likelihood of occurrence of senile dementia, and with slowing down the progression of Alzheimer's.

The best time to work on building your mind is after you have engaged your body in vigorous physical exercise for a period of 30 to 60 minutes. You'll retain more of what you study and develop more associative and metaphorical/creative ability. Your mission? Exercise and experiment! ... and enjoy the informative poignant video which is embedded below.

Douglas E. Castle



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxkBqFbbAP0







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BRAINTENANCE: Train, Strain And Improve Your Brain. Expand Your Mind.

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Braintenance contains articles, resources, exercises, games and specially-designed protocols to improve the power of your brain and your mind in every significant aspect, including memory, cognition, IQ, plasticity, creativity and problem-solving ability.

Key Terms: brain, mind, cognitive enhancement, memory, brain gym exercises, IQ, plasticity, mind expansion, creativity, meditation, altered states, perception, self-hypnosis, self-growth, neuron, artificial intelligence, learning, somatic intellect, mathematics, language, dissonance, individualism, herd mentality, puns and word games, linguistics, genius, emotion, subconscious, unconscious, intuition, instinct, psychedelic, reality, learning curve, probability, collective consciousness

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pattern Recognition Versus Memorization: Braintenance

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Two essential components of intelligence are the ability to recognize (and extrapolate) patterns, and the ability to simply memorize strings of randomized data. Each requires the use of different parts of the brain. Alternating between one and the other creates an increase in both abilities plus increases neuronal plasticity and problem-solving ability.

For each of the following strings of data, do the following:

1) Recite all of the data points from memory after looking at the data for no longer than two minutes;
2) Recite all of the data points backwards from memory after looking at the data for another minute;
3) If you recognize a pattern, find the next data point.

NOTE: Do not look back to previous strings in working on this exercise!
---------------

STRING A: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 ...

STRING B: 1, 3, 2, 4, 3, 5, 4, 6, 5, 7 ...

STRING C: 3, 7, 5, 8, 3, 9, 6, 11, 2 ...

STRING D: Apple, Bicycle, Carnival, Donut, Energy, Footprint ...

STRING E: Carbon, Log, Melon, River, Wheel, Toe ...

STRING F: Apple, Log, Carnival, River, Donut, Wheel, Energy ...

STRING G: Apple, 2, Bicycle, 4, Carnival, 6, Donut ... 

Now that you've done this exercise, relax for a minute or so, and enjoy the embedded video below:

http://youtu.be/esPRsT-lmw8

 


Douglas E. Castle

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Braintenance contains articles, resources, exercises, games and specially-designed protocols to improve the power of your brain and your mind in every significant aspect, including memory, cognition, IQ, plasticity, creativity and problem-solving ability.

Key Terms: brain, mind, cognitive enhancement, memory, brain gym exercises, IQ, plasticity, mind expansion, creativity, meditation, altered states, perception, self-hypnosis, self-growth, neuron, artificial intelligence, learning, somatic intellect, mathematics, language, dissonance, individualism, herd mentality, puns and word games, linguistics, genius, emotion, subconscious, unconscious, intuition, instinct, psychedelic, reality, learning curve, probability, collective consciousness

Friday, November 21, 2014

Better Vocabulary = More Powerful Intellect

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We tend to think in pictures, but we describe those images in words. The better our vocabularies, the better our ability to express what we are picturing, and the more persuasive that we can be. But were you aware that by increasing your vocabulary, you also increase you mind's ability to visualize, conceptualize and think coherently?

That is correct. The better and more extensive your vocabulary, the more creative your imagination and the sharper your intellect!

My suggestion for taking command of a newly-learned vocabulary word is entailed in the following simple steps:

1) Learn the word (at least one new one per day), and use it in several sentences uttered to yourself
, even if this feels a bit unnatural, or forced at first;

2) Close your eyes, and write the word ten times on the blackboard of your mind;

3) Use the word at least three times the next day in conversations with others.

For today, you might just look up the true meanings of the often confused and abused terms "notoriety," "noteworthy," "stealth," "lucrative" and "opulent."

Remember, more vocabulary, better mental pictures, better neural plasticity, less propensity toward dementia and, of course, higher Scrabble scores.

Douglas E. Castle for BRAINTENANCE



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Braintenance contains articles, resources, exercises, games and specially-designed protocols to improve the power of your brain and your mind in every significant aspect, including memory, cognition, IQ, plasticity, creativity and problem-solving ability.

Key Terms: brain, mind, cognitive enhancement, memory, brain gym exercises, IQ, plasticity, mind expansion, creativity, meditation, altered states, perception, self-hypnosis, self-growth, neuron, artificial intelligence, learning, somatic intellect, mathematics, language, dissonance, individualism, herd mentality, puns and word games, linguistics, genius, emotion, subconscious, unconscious, intuition, instinct, psychedelic, reality, learning curve, probability, collective consciousness

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Knowledge Can Make You Rich

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Knowledge Can Make You Rich
But Only If You Are Intelligent Enough To Apply It;
And Even Then, Only If You Are Motivated To Use Your Intelligence.


But you must first understand and acknowledge what knowledge actually is. According to Wikipedia:

Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning. Knowledge can refer to a theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); it can be more or less formal or systematic.[1] In philosophy, the study of knowledge is called epistemology; the philosopher Plato famously defined knowledge as "justified true belief", though "well-justified true belief" is more complete as it accounts for the Gettier problems. However, several definitions of knowledge and theories to explain it exist.
Knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, communication, and reasoning; while knowledge is also said to be related to the capacity of acknowledgment in human beings.[2]
Intelligence (as this term is used in describing intellectual processes and processing, and as it is distinctly differentiated from “knowledge”), while its precise definition is the subject of much spirited debate, has to do with the ability to utilize knowledge to solve a problem or achieve an objective. If your intelligence is not utilized, it may well be the most costly mistake of your life. If it [intelligence] is applied to an increasing body of acquired knowledge, you can truly become as rich or as successful as you please.

Motivation is the drive to use this ability called “intelligence” in order to solve a problem, or in order to achieve an objective.

To put the whole picture together in the form of a rudimentary equation:

KNOWLEDGE + INTELLIGENCE + MOTIVATION = SUCCESS


Take a quick break from following the U.S. Mid-Term Elections (this post is dated November 2nd 2014) and please have a look at these free to subscribe e-newspapers, edited by Douglas E. Castle. We've scraped the web for the best news and commentary from the most reliable and authoritative sources available (wire services, newspapers, magazines, scholarly works, blogs and social media), and compiled it for you to either skim rapidly or to read in detail at your leisure. Be the smartest, best-informed person in any room or in attendance at any meeting [then again, don't act overly cocky or you're liable to incur the wrath of your colleagues, business associates and friends – Remember: nobody likes a smart***]. Average is typical. Intelligent and informed are exceptional. Which would you prefer to be? Do you resent rhetorical questions? Anyway, the underlined words and titles are hyperlinked for your clicking pleasure:

=> A new issue of Braintenance Express is out!
Strengthen your memory and increase your intelligence [cognition], creativity, imagination, vocabulary and computational skills. Train, strain, maintain and strengthen your brain with Braintenance news, games, puzzles and fascinating facts.

=> A new issue of Crowdfunding 360 is out!
Read the most current news, commentary, analysis, trend reports and other interesting and useful information about crowdfunding trends, deals, platforms and people. You'll also pick up useful tools, tips and tricks to make your crowdfunding campaign more successful.

=> A new issue of Douglas E. Castle Business Advisory is out!
Need I say more? While this looks like brazen, shameless self-promotion [and I'm not saying that it isn't], the information in this e-newspaper relates to various crucial aspects of entrepreneurial projects as well as small- to medium-sized businesses. The information varies from day to day, but it covers the fields of finance, management, marketing, accounting, regulation, best practices, technology and trends, in both the B2B and B2C environments. But then I've already said too much...

=> A new issue of The Undercurrent =>|<= is out!
Great news, commentary and trend reports about industrial intelligence, executive protection, data security, workplace safety and a host of other intriguing things happening behind the scenes in business.

=> A new issue of World Disruption And Commentary is out!
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dreams And Dreaming: Fascinating Facts - Braintenance

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We tend to dream in metaphors about things in our lives which are unsettled and frustrating. This is quite the opposite of what we tend to say about dreams, which tends to be positive in the sense of "you're in my dreams," "I can dream about it if I can't have it," or "I was just daydreaming."

In fact, the dreams we tend to remember as adults are very often the ones which are closest to nightmares. The more plagued we are with the stressful components of our lives and either our point of view or our actual environment (the two are never quite the same), the more we dream, and the greater the percentage of our dreams which are perceived as nightmares.

In curious contrast, when our conscious minds are at rest after struggling at a perplexing problem for some time, our subconscious, operating through metaphor and unbridled free association, continues to work on these problems in our dreaming states and occasionally solves them. Much of our "Breakthrough Thinking" occurs while we are asleep. At times, these breakthroughs are so powerful that we are awakened as if by some mystical revelation. In this way dreaming is similar to some forms of meditation.

Many of our species' greatest thinkers, artists, scientists, inventors and other creative individuals have done their most creative work inspired by revelations born of either dreaming or meditation. Various drugs, some legal and some of them illegal, can enhance the parameters within which we dream; they seem to enliven our imagination with synesthesia and other 'special effects'. But it is important to note that any of these effects or changes is still, in the end, a product of our own mind's initiation.

It is worthwhile to note that our brains (or our minds) are never fully at rest -- they are always vigorously at work. 

- Douglas E. Castle

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