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Brain Aerobics Weekly

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just a Bite 8-18-2009

Quote to ponder under the apple tree

The score never interested me, only the game.
~ Mae West (born August 17, 1893)

Resources to bite into

1.An early liberated woman

Mae West was considered outrageous for her independence, outspokenness, and frank sensuality for most of her 87 years. She was also a well-loved comedian, playwright and actress so famous for her double entendres that she once said she could order a cup of coffee and people would look for a hidden meaning. On the other hand, she gave her fans plenty of reason to expect her dialogue to be risqué. Consider these quotes:
•To err is human, but it feels divine.
•I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
•When women go wrong, men go right after them.
•I've been in more laps than a napkin.
You can find many more quotes at http://www.brainyquote.com/

2. Defining pairs

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly features a word quiz adapted from Schott’s Original Miscellany. Do you know the meaning of common phases like a) kith and kin, b) dregs and dross, and c) jetsam and flotsam? (Answers: a) friends and family, b) solid particles at the bottom of some liquids and refuse, and c) items thrown off ships and floating wreckage.) Learn much, much more by ordering Ben Schott’s book. Just click here.

3. The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly also features a quote from my newly favorite novel, The Elegance of a Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery. In poetic language, she describes the beauty of the ancient Asian tea ceremony and compares it to the still lovely current ritual of pausing in one’s day for the jewel-like moment of sipping and pondering. She writes, “With each swallow, time is sublimed.” How is time sublimed for you? To order this “thought-full” book, click here.

Tips/ideas/insights to savor

Another highly quotable celebrity is Ogden Nash, born August 21, 1902 and famous throughout the 20th century for his light and often pithy verses. (e.g., “Parsley is gharsley,” and “If called by a panther, don’t anther.”)

Since August 21 is Poet’s Day, this week is an ideal time to try matching his wit. Mr. Nash said that he thought in rhyme from the age of six, but he was never hampered by the fact that words were spelled differently or that they didn’t exist at all. (Shakespeare made up hundreds of words; what’s stopping the rest of us?) Here are three words which Ogden Nash found ways to rhyme. What can YOU do with them?




Ogden Nash’s rhymes:
•You can have my jellyfish/ I’m not sellyfish.
•I will tame me a caribou/ And bedeck it in marabou.
•Yes, today I may even go forth without my galoshes/ Today I am a swashbuckler; would anybody like me to buckle any swashes?

To order The Best of Ogden Nash, click here.

Let the ever-ripening Wiser Now website become the apple of your eye.
-- Host a workshop, purchase materials or click on the blue print to sign up for Brain Aerobics Weekly. and Wiser Now Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Tips.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Just a Bite 8-11-09

Quote to ponder under the apple tree

Life itself is the proper binge.
~ Julia Child (born August 15, 1912)

Resources to bite into

1. Julia’s Joy

Julia Child was born 97 years ago this week. Just released is a new movie based on her life, as described in her memoir, My Life in France, and on the experiences of Julie Powell who wrote a blog and then a book about preparing all 524 recipes in Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year.

At a time when Americans are eating more and cooking less, and when Time Magazine has just published an article noting losing/maintaining weight has more to do with what you eat than how much you exercise (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1914857,00.html?xid=newsletter-daily), why not order the book and start having fun with Julia?
• To order Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, click here.
• To order her memoir, My Life in France, click here.

2. Create en plein air

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly celebrates a Date to Create (any date will do) by encouraging people to get outdoors and truly notice their surroundings. Take a sketch book and without judging yourself, draw what catches your eye – a tree, a lawn chair, a sleeping cat, anything. Then pretend you are Claude Monet and return a few hours later to see if your object has changed with the light.

3. Do you speak English or American?

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly also features a quiz comparing American and British words for various items. For example, British pants are American underwear (men) and American pants are trousers to the British. An American vest is a waistcoat to Britons and a British vest is an American undershirt. An American boob tube is television; the British version is a tank top. Confused yet?

Tips/ideas/insights to savor

The television premiere of “Candid Camera” was August 10, 1948, so this is a good week to think up candid camera stunts as a group exercise. According to creator Allen Funt’s son Peter, who took over the show after his father’s death in 1999, his father taught him three primary responsibilities:
• Don’t make others look bad. If you wouldn’t want to be caught in a situation depicted, chances are others would be humiliated, too.
• Don’t abuse authority. In power mismatch situations (teacher/student or boss/ employee, for example), people will do almost anything, but it’s a cheap trick to put them in that position.
• Care about people. Be interested in what makes humans tick, in what makes us smile.

Keeping those principles in mind, divide into teams of about four people each and try to come up with two or three candid camera stunts that would be fun to pull off. Some may actually be possible. Others might require a big budget and elaborate props but can still be fun to imagine. (You can also do this as an individual exercise, but two or more heads are likely to come up with more ideas as you play off each other’s thoughts.) Here are some samples of old ideas to start your creative juices flowing:
• A talking mailbox
• A car which split in two as it passed a traffic policeman
• Speed bumps in a super market aisle
• Couples “getting married” by vending machine in Las Vegas
• A waitress tasting customers’ food
• A saleswoman visiting the homes of people on the “Do not call” list

Let the ever-ripening Wiser Now website become the apple of your eye.
-- Host a workshop, purchase materials or click on the blue print to sign up for Brain Aerobics Weekly. and Wiser Now Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Tips.