## Tuesday, December 27, 2011

### PACING YOURSELF - The Answer Key!

In our last titillating post, we briefly discussed the ways in which different runners pace themselves to arrive at the finish line of a 5 Kilometer race. We choose three mathematicians to compete, each one using his own approach to pacing the his way to the finish line. The award for the fastest and first to arrive at the finish (amid cheers, popping champagne corks, autograph requests and other of the accoutrements accompanying a heroic feat) was a free XXL Tee- Shirt (with the event sponsor's name, Tanks-A-Lot Cesspool Cleaning Service, "We Keep You Running". Here we go....
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Since we are Braintenance, we will choose a five kilometer race, in which three mathematicians are competing. Each has a distinct running pattern, strategy or (ulp!) formula for spanning the distance.

The question to answer regarding each runner is simply this: "How long will it take him (in minutes) to reach the finish line to receive his souvenir Tee-shirt?" Of course, these Ts are only available in one size...XXL.

Note: When we speak of percentage increases or decreases, each such increase or decrease is based upon the initial pace. This is not one of Douglas E. Castle's infamous "compound interest meets calculus" problems.

Here's the lineup of our contestants:

Racer 1:  This fellow runs (on average) one kilometer every 18 minutes.

He runs at a steady pace of one kilometer (British? Kilometre!)  every 18 minutes. The calculation is simple 18 minutes x 5K = 90 minutes.

Racer 2:  This fellow starts the race at a rate of one kilometer every 12 minutes, but his pace declines by 10% per kilometer.

This fellow starts out like a soldier with dysentery, but slows down at a constant rate:

1st Kilometer =12 minutes.
2nd Kilometer =13.2 minutes
3rd Kilometer =14.4 minutes
4th Kilometer =15.6 minutes
5th Kilometer =16.8 minutes

If we add the time it took him to conquer each kilometer, his total time was 72 minutes.

Racer 3:  This fellow starts the race at a rate of one kilometer every 30 minutes (remember the tortoise and the hare?), but his pace increases by 15% per kilometer.

Here's this fellow's pacing pattern:

1st Kilometer = 30 minutes
2nd Kilometer = 25.5 minutes
3rd Kilometer = 21 minutes
4th Kilometer = 16.5 minutes
5th Kilometer = 12 minutes

If we add up this fellow's time (he's apparently a 'late bloomer'), we arrive at a total time of 105 minutes. It is interesting to note that he ran his last kilometer at the same pace at which the second runner ran his first.

And the winner was runner #2 (ironic, considering the name of the sponsor).

Now that we've learned (unknowingly!) about rates of decay, rates of acceleration and how slow most mathematicians tend to be as runners, we can leave the realm of racism, and graduate to more exciting cerebral challenges.

Douglas E. Castle for BRAINTENANCE

## Saturday, December 24, 2011

### PACING YOURSELF: A Braintenance Cerebrethon* - Re-Posted

Image (somewhat distracting and annoying) via Wikipedia

Progress, from the starting line to the finish line, can occur in many different ways. Some start the race slowly but speed up toward the end, using reserves of strength; some jog along at a steady, even pace; still others virtually go into orbit at the start and burn out quickly to a vomitous, spleen-gripping, huff-and-puff walk.

Since we are Braintenance, we will choose a five kilometer race, in which three mathematicians are competing. Each has a distinct running pattern, strategy or (ulp!) formula for spanning the distance.

The question to answer regarding each runner is simply this: "How long will it take him (in minutes) to reach the finish line to receive his souvenir Tee-shirt?" Of course, these Ts are only available in one size...XXL.

Here's the lineup of our contestants:

Racer 1:  This fellow runs (on average) one kilometer every 18 minutes.

Racer 2:  This fellow starts the race at a rate of one kilometer every 12 minutes, but his pace declines by 10% per kilometer.

Racer 3:  This fellow starts the race at a rate of one kilometer every 30 minutes (remember the tortoise and the hare?), but his pace increases by 15% per kilometer.

Okay, friends. Let the cerebration begin.

*Cerebrethon is indeed a Lingovation, and should be respected as such. It means "a competition involving the thought processes." Just click on the picture of our dear departed Uncle Albert, below, in order to learn more.

## Friday, December 23, 2011

### PACING YOURSELF: A Braintenance Cerebrethon*

Image (somewhat distracting and annoying) via Wikipedia

Progress, from the starting line to the finish line, can occur in many different ways. Some start the race slowly but speed up toward the end, using reserves of strength; some jog along at a steady, even pace; still others virtually go into orbit at the start and burn out quickly to a vomitous, spleen-gripping, huff-and-puff walk.

Since we are Braintenance, we will choose a five kilometer race, in which five mathematicians are competing. Each has a distinct running pattern, strategy or (ulp!) formula for spanning the distance.

The question to answer regarding each runner is simply this: "How long will it take him (in minutes) to reach the finish line to receive his souvenir Tee-shirt?"

Here's the lineup of our contestants:

Racer 1:  This fellow runs (on average) one kilometer every 18 minutes.

Racer 2:  This fellow starts the race at a rate of one kilometer every 12 minutes, but his pace declines by 10% per kilometer .

Racer 3:  This fellow starts the race at a rate of one kilometer every 30 minutes (remember the tortoise and the hare?)

Let the cerebration begin! - Douglas E. Castle

*Cerebrethon is indeed a Lingovation, and should be respected as such. It means "a competition involving the thought processes." Just click on the picture of our dear departed Uncle Albert, below, in order to learn more.

## Monday, December 19, 2011

### De-Stress, Relax, Defragment: A Braintenance Experiment

 While you look at the above photo with doubt, aren't you just the slightest bit envious?

We defragment our computers. We take our automobiles in for servicing after we've driven them for a while. We have blood drawn and go to doctors for all sorts of tests. Why is it that we each tend to put our own state of psychological and emotional health last on our list of life-maintenance priorities? We need to rest, re-set, re-calibrate and refresh our perspective from time to time... and we actually damage our incredibly complex and delicate inner workings by this 'customary' neglect.

We burn out. We break down. We make bad decisions and say things that we regret. When we fail to maintain our brains, we do damage to ourselves, to those around us, and possibly (to those of you who are excited by theosophy, Rosicrucianism, collectivism, and the Celestine Prophesy sort of thing) even the Collective Consciousness. It would seem that we do a great deal of unintended harm by not tending to our minds. That is something that can, and should be changed. Why not begin today?  Give some thought to your thinking (ahem).

De-Stress, Relax, Defragment - A Braintenance Experiment.

A friend and colleague (they are not necessarily mutually exclusive) who shall remain nameless (as his parents thought so highly of him that they chose not to label him with a name which might limit his possibilities and prospects) sent me a collection of fascinating meditation videos, each of which is worth watching and listening to. We should, each of us, take more time to meditate -- to either clear our thoughts, or to re-focus our thinking on things other than those which tend to preoccupy us, and lead us to a state of frustrated exhaustion or a dreary dead end where fatigue sets in and replaces creativity.

Please click on each of the links below, enjoy the audio and visual experience, click the "BACK" button on your browser, and return to click on another.  Then repeat the process. Do this when you have a good half-hour to a two-hour interval of truly free time. That means no TV, no texting, no whittling, no eating. Just sit back in a comfortable chair and luxuriate in the feeling of having an external medium free you from your habitual effort of conscious or volitional thought.

At very worst, it may prove a seeming waste of a bit of time -- at best, it will change your pattern of thought formation and put you into a better place, with a better perspective. Here's hoping. By the way, I guarantee that mediation does not ever work when you don't actually attempt to do it. Suspend your natural skepticism and propensity toward disbelief (wrought through the experience of past disillusionment) and let it go. I am telling you, personally [Douglas E. Castle to each and every respected reader and esteemed visitor] that IT WILL WORK.

A word of apology -- since these are YouTube videos, they are sometimes subject to either mysterious disappearance or malfunction. If you should happen upon a clunker, simply proceed to the next.

Pick and click:

While your in this neighborhood, I would also recommend another form of self-indulgent escape therapy. Take a few minutes several times every day to listen to a bit of music. It is the ultimate rapid mental flossing for the multitasking manic overachievers that most of us have become. Music has power. I may be slightly biased, but I highly recommend listening to some of the selections on RadioDAZZ, at http://RadioDAZZ.blogspot.com. You might become a fan or make that site a favorite.

Here's to all of you, my friends!

## Thursday, December 8, 2011

### Controlling Objects With Your Mind?

Telekinesis has long been the subject of scientific exploration, experimentation and some fiction, as well. Not as abstract and as difficult to quantify or evidence as astral projection, ESP, clairvoyance and other fancy stuff, telekinesis is a phenomenon that could be  the subject of a controlled laboratory trial. The notion of moving objects with the power  of the mind (psycho bioenergetics) is physically measurable. A preferred term for this same phenomenon is psychokinesis. An interesting variation on this theme is mind-controlled or thought-manipulated robotics. There is a great deal of research into this area (like telekinesis, but perhaps with an intervening catalyst or machine) because of its unfathomably vast applicability. We might be getting closer than you'd imagined.

If we are absolutely certain that no other forces are at play (such as gravity, air currents, poltergeists, or an object that has the machinery or mechanism to move itself), we can measure the following Braintenance  physical variables:

1) How far the object was moved.

2) How much energy was utilized (a function of the weight or mass of the object and the distance it was made to travel).

3) How much energy was produced by the mover's mind on average per unit of time. Think about this - If you needed a group of telekinetic wunderkinds to move a pyramid or a paperweight - would you choose your team from the ones (on average) who could muster the force to move a two-pound brick six inches in 5 minutes, or from the ones who could muster the force to move a two pound brick twelve inches in five minutes?

You might find the following article excerpt to be of great interest, especially if it is possible that telekinetic ability can be cultivated through exercise:

The article link comes to us courtesy of SmartPlanet:

The BodyWave, an iPod-sized device, can read your mind through the body instead of monitoring directly from your head. The gadget measures brain activity to control 3D simulations on the computer screen, helping to minimize stress and anxiety.  Read the full story

The possibilities, assuming a solid validation of telekinetic ability, and the power to train and focus it to become stronger and more efficient are limitless for either Human advancement (repairing decaying infrastructure) or Human destruction (dropping objects on each other's feet).

Other articles which might be of interest, a few of which relate to the subject matter of this article, and some which are either humorous deliberately or by default.

## Saturday, December 3, 2011

### I Will Teach You Nothing - You Will Learn Much From Me

Image via Wikipedia - Rene Descartes: philosopher, mathematician, theoretical physicist, and a fellow with an unkempt but nonetheless fascinating hairstyle.

Most individuals don't actually understand the distinction between teaching (a third-person exercise) and learning (a first-person exercise).

When a wise philosopher [most philosophers are assumed to be wise -- this is principally out of respect, I believe, for any person with the wondrous ability to a) survive without actually having to either earn a living by some sort of work, or b) with the good fortune to be leisurely whittling away at a substantial familial inheritance while pontificating about whatever happens to be on his or her mind] said to one of his disciples (every successful philosopher worth his weight in either hemlock or horse manure must have disciples):

"I will teach you nothing. And you will learn much from me," he was not even stating a clever paradox. There actually is no puzzle or riddle embedded in this preliminarily conflictory-seeming statement. If you don't quite understand why, re-read the first sentence of this post.
If that doesn't satisfy, read on:

We learn by teaching ourselves. No one truly teaches us. We learn by voluntary applying our senses and ability to reason to teaching ourselves. This is what is meant when someone (usually a meddlesome, conceited, self-proclaimed "adult") says,"You can best teach by example," or "children don't learn by what we preach to them; they learn by observing what we actually do."

A teacher is a catalyst, or a source of information, or an inspiration. But we learn by teaching ourselves.