Thursday, October 20, 2011

Analogies - The Smallest Thought Units

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Analogies are the tiniest components of thoughts and communications. Constructing good analogies is a skill. Seeing the logic in partial analogies presented to you (i.e., where a term is missing) builds your associative intelligence, pattern recognition skills, cause and effect reasoning and your verbal acuity. Analogies are mental muscle builders.

Here are several simple ones to give you a small jolt of electromagnetic and biochemical stimulation today. Enjoy them!

Fill in each blank with the best possible answer.

1. Century is to __________ as dollar is to dime.

2. __________ is to bottom as up is to down.

3.Hawk is to _____________ as war is to peace.

4. Cat is to kitten as lion is to ______________.

5. Tree is to forest as star is to _____________.

6. _____________ is to stage as chemist is to laboratory.

7. Inventor is to Edison as _________________ is to Columbus.

8. China is to __________ as Canada is to North America.

9. __________ is to moon as day is to night.

10. Hand is to palm as foot is to ___________.

11. Pyramid is to square as cone is to ___________.

12. Bazaar is to bizarre as __________ is to kernel.

13. Star is to constellation as _________ is to sentence.

14. Complete is to __________ as rest is to relax.

15. Chapter is to novel as stanza is to ____________.

16. Water is to _________ as food is to eat.

17. Body is to skin as _________ is to bark.

18. Hero is to ______________ as sculptor is to sculptress.

19. Fast is to slow as fat is to __________.

20. Hat is head as _________ is to foot.

I'm not going to provide answers for you in a subsequent post. You might want to engage some of your friends and colleagues to review or to actually do some of these with you. If may just give you an excuse to socialize and get into discussions about deeper and more important issues.

Douglas E Castle []

Monday, October 17, 2011

Analogies: Every Thought...Every Communication.

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We Humans (and all sentient creatures, In-Laws included) depend upon the recognition and creation of analogies for virtually every aspect of our thinking, understanding [learning], and communications. They are the smallest common denominator of 'cause and effect' logic and sending meaningful messages to others. The only smaller Messaging Unit or Thought Particle (both quasi-Lingovations) is the singular emotionally-charged word which triggers powerful multisensorial memories with seemingly instant associations.

An carefully-chosen analogy (i.e., one which clearly makes the point and which is appropriate to the probable prior experience - or context - of your audience) is one of the most efficient teaching tools.

Most "Aha!" moments and "NOW I get it!" exclamations follow analogies which hit the spot.

In building your brain power, you will undoubtedly want to include analogy quizzes in your Braintenance exercise regimen.

In fact, I might just offer you several analogy puzzlers with my next post.

Douglas E Castle []

Monday, October 10, 2011

Texticles: Mythological God Of Texting

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It's wonderful to be creative with language. While I have never actually heard of a resident (in good standing) named Texticles (pronounced: text'-e- kleez) living atop the famed Mt. Olympus (in the same neighborhood as Zeus and the rest of those characters of legend), it would seem to make sense. This is not actually a Lingovation -- it is a comedic mockery of the structure and sound of language. It brings to mind Hercules, Damocles, Demosthenes, but it sounds a tad racy. I don't have to say it - it is funnier when left to the imagination

Speaking of these sound-alikes, I almost fell out of my seat in school when our Philosophy professor mentioned 'Balzac'. It sounded rather similar to something else. This word mimicry ("sound-alikes" seems so juvenile) is a sort of patterning behavior, usually involving the number of syllables and a certain cadence.

If I could do it with a straight face, and if I delivered the message rapidly enough, I could introduce my daughters by ridiculously inappropriate names (remember Tony Orlando's song, "Candida"?). I would say something like, "This is my sixth-grader, a future Olympic gymnast, Chlamydia, and my beautiful twins - Alopecia and Disthymia. Alopecia has to leave to practice her viola now, and I think (eying the other young lady, mischievously) her sister has some homework to do. C'mom, Dee-Dee. Let's get to it." For some reason, the best of these contemporary-sounding phony names tend to be comprised of four syllables, and are usually the names of medical conditions.  

A true Lingovation would be texticle, which would mean a very terse text message sent in great haste. But I've misdirected you; I've gotten into something interesting and verbal when this post (which has a deliberately tantalizing title) is a continuation of something dull and mathematical.

Notwithstanding the aforementioned, regarding the previous Braintenance post, I'll provide you with a briefing (a de-briefing would require that you dispense with your underwear) of how I arrived at our answers. More accurately, I'll show you the patterns that I recognized in order to arrive at my answers. Welcome back to Pattern Recognition, Cranial Comrades!

A) 1, 3, 6, 10, 15, ?  21 -- the difference between 3 and 1 is 2; the difference between 6 and 3 is 3; the difference between 10 and 6 is 4, and so forth. The pattern is an increase in the amount of the difference between the consecutive  by the addition of 1.

B) 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, ?  21 -- Fibonacci Sequence, anyone? Add any two consecutive numbers and you'll find the next one.

C) 1000, 0100, 0010, 0001, 1000 ? 0100 -- This is actually a repetitive "cycling" in the position of the "1" from the left to the right.

D) 1, 4, 9, 16, 25 ? 36 -- Each number is the square of a number in a simple arithmetic series; for example 1x1=1; 2x2=4; 3x3=9, and so on.

E) 200, 3000, 40000, 500000, ? 6000000 -- This one is quite basic. Each integer is following by a number of zeros equal to itself; for example 200 is 2 followed by two zeros; 3000 is 3 followed by three zeros, and so forth.

F) 1, 100, 2, 99, 3, 98, 4, ? 97 -- This one is a curiosity, indeed. It is actually a converging pattern, with the lowest number being 1 and the highest 100. Starting with 1, every other number is just increased by 1. Starting with 100, every other number is just decreased by 1. It is really two intertwined alternating sequences. Sort of reminds me of the double helix structure of DNA  (the famed Watson-Crick model).

G) 1.21, 2.32, 3.43, 4.54, ? 5.65 -- This one is best determined by superficial observation, and not by the relationship of each number to the one preceding it. The pattern is visual more than mathematical. Each number is [n]decimal point[n+1][n]. Just increase n by 1 to find the next number at any position in the sequence.
Douglas E Castle []

p.s. Stay tuned for some mind-twisting analogies. Braintenance - "Unchain Your Brain!" Braintenance - "Because Grey Matters!"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pattern Recognition - The Answers.

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In my last post, I made some observations about the nature of intelligence, plasticity, cognition, learning and cognitive enhancement. Toward the end of that post, I left you with a group of simple (what a subjective term that is!) sequences to complete. Here they are again, with the next number (found through pattern recognition) placed there for you in red.

A) 1, 3, 6, 10, 15, ?  21

B) 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, ?  21

C) 1000, 0100, 0010, 0001, 1000 ? 0100

D) 1, 4, 9, 16, 25 ? 36

E) 200, 3000, 40000, 500000, ? 6000000

F) 1, 100, 2, 99, 3, 98, 4, ? 97

G) 1.21, 2.32, 3.43, 4.54, ? 5.65

I'll let you ponder on those answers for a day or so. If you can't figure out how we arrived at them, don't fret. Some were tough. And I will show you the pattern underlying each of these sequences of numbers.

Observation: In verbal communications, we read between the lines. In numeric or alphanumeric pattern recognition, we must read between the items that comprise the series.

Douglas E Castle []

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