## Tuesday, April 24, 2012

### Solve ANY Math Problem! - Braintenance

You can solve any math problem if you know the formula (i.e., the proven shortcut to arriving at the answer without the need for giant chain calculations).

These formulas are like keys to unlocking the secrets of arithmetic and mathematical puzzles and riddles.

The tougher issues are those of knowing how to conduct a search (knowing the right search engine parameters to enter (hint: a Google search might be a good idea for your first pass at "asking a question" without asking a question) and finding the right formula to apply.

This process sharpens your mind in that it requires that you 1) identify the problem; 2) formulate a question; 3) construct an efficient search engine query; and 4) glance through at least a small number of sites or articles about the issue which you want to address.

Every one of these steps ratchets up a whole menu of cognitive skills to a higher level.

Solving the problem is merely the proverbial icing atop the cake [an inexcusably cheap metaphor, but it was better than "the last nugget squeezed atop the mountain," which I was told not to use as it might prove unsavory to my readers of delicate constitution and discerning taste.

Here are several quick problems which you can solve by merely asking using the problem/ question/ search query/ cursory reading approach described above:

A) What is the sum of the whole numbers from 1 to 5,000, inclusive?

B) What is the product of all of the whole numbers from 1 to 25, inclusive? {This number is often expressed as 25! or '25 factorial'}

C) What is the number (a constant) to ten decimal places obtained by dividing any circle by its diameter?

D)  How many Angstrom Units are there in twelve inches (one foot)?

E)  How many possible combinations of 3 partner groups can be created out of a total classroom of 30 students?

Make me proud! Wrinkle those brains! Expand those minds! Sharpen those skills!

Douglas E Castle for The Braintenance Blog

## Wednesday, April 11, 2012

### Physical Excercise Can Boost Memory

When I was merely a young lad (with very little promise), my elementary teachers would frequently inquire of me, "Douglas -- are you sitting on your brains?" {for some reason, the the 1960s, each of us had "brains" - plural - but none of us actually had a brain - singular - or half a brain. While we are speaking etymologically, one of my favorites when when a teacher would observe, hands on hips, with bitter sarcasm, "If you had half a brain, you'd be dangerous!"

They saw this as a clever way of saying that we (the underachievers, daydreamers and juvenile delinquents) each had less than half of a brain. I saw it as something different -- to me, I knew that I had a whole brain (albeit impaired in functionality) -- I just thought it axiomatic that if  reduced to half-brain status, anyone might be dangerous. With this logic, I managed to avoid being personally insulted. My teachers likely thought that I was just too stupid to be rightly insulted. But I digress.

Seriously, there is a great deal of correlative and causal evidence to support the argument that if we exercise sufficiently, it helps to keep our brains functioning better. This is absolutely true. Please take a look at the article which follows, and then hit the "BACK" button and come back here so that we can supplement this article with some extra information and considerations.

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Middle-Aged Adults Who Cycle or Stretch Improve Memory
By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

April 6, 2012 -- Your brain isn't a muscle, but as you age exercise can improve your memory and other thinking skills, a new study shows.

And the exercise doesn't have to be as rigorous as a marathon, the research suggests.

In the new study, middle-aged men and women who cycled or did a stretching and coordination routine for two hours weekly for six months had improvements in memory and other thinking skills. [more]

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Some other food (and exercise) for thought from The Braintenance Blog :

1) Exercise improves blood circulation, which is crucial for information processing at Brain Central;

2) Exercise generates the production of our bodies' natural analogs of euphoriants, analgesics amphetamines, as well as a host of neurotransmitter which enable thinking, memory, visualization, possibility thinking (creativity), association, projection (trending, and futurescape creation), and all types of problem-solving;

3) Anecdotally, the rhythm of exercise gives our minds an opportunity to quietly, subconsciously, sift, sort out and "digest" information. This break from conscious thought very often frees the mind to do its own work (creatively, ingeniously and miraculously) without our trying to force conclusions, or stifle the creative processes by being to narrowly-sighted and tunneled-in. Sleep and physical exercise, give our brains a period to process information and ideate without our exerting either force or strict parameters upon them.

4) Empirically, exercise makes it easier for us to attain certain creative and suggestive mental states such as alpha, hypnogogic, and others -- some of which are not fully understood.

5) The linkage between the mind and the body (of psyche and soma) cannot be denied, and neither can function fully and to its maximum potential without the other being in a suitable state.

Have you ever heard someone say that he or she needed to exercise or take a walk to "clear his or her head." In light of the foregoing bits of information, that would now seem to make sense, wouldn't it?

Douglas E Castle

## Wednesday, April 4, 2012

### You Cannot Truly Win A Race Against Time - Thoughts And Quotes About Time.

Several observations -- and do not look at your watch because you will be wasting valuable, irreplaceable time by the act of tracking it!

Since you've been kind enough to stay with me for this length of time, I will attempt to add some "party conversation starting quotation" value to this post, with a quote from my closest associate, Mr. Douglas E. Castle:

"Prepare for the future, because the present moment becomes history all too quickly."

More Quotes follow, invoking paradoxes or infinitely self-recursive statements which provoke deeper and more expansive thought. The Human Mind, when challenged by a concept that warrants analysis (actually "validation" or acceptable analogy).

"You cannot make up for lost time. No matter how expediently and ambitiously you accelerate the pace of your work, the unproductive present moment is permanently gone, except for its persistence in memory."

"You cannot change the speed of the passage of time -- but you can augment your perceptions, experiences and growth while it takes you on its course."

"Re-living the past, as it occurred, is merely an exercise in either self-flagellation or daydreaming. However, re-constructing various alternate versions of what you might have done alternatively is an exercise in preparing for the future, and a part of internal review essential to the learning process."

That is all for now. Except for this seeming clunker, which is actually a concentrated nugget of wisdom...

"By the time you have recited 'The Future Is Now' you will have witnessed its true essence."