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Monday, June 16, 2008

To intrigue you...

Here are a few examples of ideas that have appeared in my recent Just a Bite Weekly Digests and/or in Brain Aerobics Weekly. I hope they intrigue you and that you will consider signing up!

June is Learn French Month

In the June 9th Brain Aerobics Weekly, I devised a quiz on French words common to English speech. One place you can learn more is http://french.about.com/library/bl-frenchinenglish-list.htm. We’ve corrupted a lot of meanings along the way. For example, “a la mode” means “in style” in French, not “with ice cream” as children might think, and “hors d'oeuvre” means “outside of work,” but in this case, even the French understand it to mean outside of the main course of food.

Discover art in your parks

June 19 is World Sauntering Day (a time to walk happily and aimlessly) so I also suggested in last week’s Brain Aerobics Weekly that you check out the art in your parks. Outdoor art is a great way to stimulate both mind and body as you enjoy being outdoors while analyzing the art. My inspiration was an article about British artist Anish Kapoor, which reminded me of his delightful “Cloud Gate” (more popularly known as “the Bean,”) in Chicago’s Millennium Park. What art can you admire in parks near you? And don’t forget nature’s art in the form of trees, flowers and wildlife.

Being creatively green

If you don’t have even a park near you, much less art, consider signing on to the “Park(ing) project, which creates mini-parks in parking spaces. I also wrote about this movement in a June Brain Aerobics Weekly. It was started by the folks at
REBAR, a San Francisco collective of artists, designers and activists, (See http://www.rebargroup.org/). Beginning in 2005 they decided to address the issue of a lack of downtown green space by creating these mini-parks in standard parking spaces. They feed the meter for two hours, lay down sod and add a potted tree and a park bench, thereby providing a calm oasis among the congestion and chaos. People enjoyed their creation, kept feeding the meter so others could enjoy the mini-park, too, and started spreading the word so that now urban PARK(ing) has been popping up all over the world — Santa Monica, Glasgow, Sicily . Could you try this in your community?

I learned about REBAR by perusing the website http://www.stickandmove.com/brainpickings/ which is loads of fun in a hundred ways, and highly recommended by me.

Humor happenings

I am an enthusiastic member of AATH – the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (www.AATH.org) and two of my colleagues monthly musings that I recommend subscribing to are Leigh-Anne Jashaway-Bryant’s “Don’t Get Mad, Get Funny”* (Sign up at http://www.accidentalcomic.com/) and Allen Klein’s brief “Mid-Month Mirth Memo” (Scroll down and sign up at http://www.allenklein.com/). A “rival” organization, The Humor Project, is about to put on a fabulous conference June 20 -22 in upstate New York (http://www.humorproject.com/). Check them out!

Quiz mania

Every issue of Brain Aerobics Weekly includes at least one quiz, and while I often make them up myself or glean bits of ideas from multiple sites, as I noted in another issue of my Just a Bite Digest, one of my favorite resources is http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/quiz/Default.aspx which provides about 75 ready-made quizzes in one place, along with interesting tidbits supplementing the answers. There are bound to be topics that intrigue virtually everyone.

1 comment:

AdBeast said...

Hey Kathy,

I'm the writer of Brain Pickings and just wanted to say thanks for the shout-out. Glad you're digging our blog – it's all about the spread of good ideas.

I discovered yours through the link trackback and I must say I'm loving it. Just added it to my Google Reader.

Rock on.