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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Just a Bite 1-26-10

Quote to ponder under the apple tree

. . . in spite of everything, I still believe
that people are really good at heart.”
~ Anne Frank (from her diary)

Resources to bite into

1.The Example of Miep

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly features a tribute to Miep Gies who died earlier this month at the age of 100. She was one of six people who helped the Frank family and several other Jews hide in a warehouse annex for two years during World War II, and she was the specific person who saved Anne Frank’s diary and returned it to her father, Otto Frank. He was the only member of his family to survive the concentration camps after their hiding place was discovered. Because of Miep, millions of people have read Anne’s story and learned of the bravery shown by those who helped her. Miep always resisted the title of hero, because she was afraid it would keep people from offering help to those in need. She was just a housewife and a secretary, she said, not someone who was super human. It’s a wise message, but she was my hero, nonetheless.

2. India is 60
Today is the 60th anniversary of India Republic Day, marking the adoption of the Constitution of India and its official transition of India from a British Dominion to the Republic of India. The current Brain Aerobics Weekly uses the occasion for a trivia quiz on the vast and beautiful country. Here’s just a brief tidbit on why most of us associate it with fabulous hues: The national fruit of India is the colorful mango, and the national bird is the peacock. Marigold flowers, symbolizing good fortune and happiness, are used as decoration for Hindu marriages. Red is the traditional color for brides and is often combined with yellow for rebirth.

3. January 29 Is Freethinker’s Day: Let Your Imagination Wander

• Where do forest rangers go to get away from it all?
• Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
• If a turtle doesn’t have a shell, is he homeless or naked?
• What was the best thing before sliced bread?

Tips/ideas/insights to savor

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly features a word quiz on cooking metaphors. Most of us use metaphors – comparing one thing to another that on the surface seems unrelated – virtually without thinking. Here’s a variation of the BAW quiz.

Can you use all of the following words in sentences?

Can you cook up a story that uses each phrase as an ingredient?

Appetite
Back burner
Bad taste
Boil
Burned
Dish
Digest
Food for thought
Half-baked ideas
Hungry for
Meaty
Pickle
Raw
Recipe
Roast
Serve
Simmer
Sink your teeth into
Smells fishy
Stew
Stir the pot
Swallow
Warmed-over


The current Brain Aerobics Weekly used at least 10 more. Can you think of others?

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just a Bite 1-19-10

Quote to ponder under the apple tree

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
~ Benjamin Franklin (born January 17, 1706)

Resources to bite into

1. Beer Facts

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly features a trivia quiz on beer in honor of the 75th anniversary (January 24, 1935) of the first canned beer. There are an amazing number of websites devoted to “beer trivia.” Did you know, for example, that the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock because of a beer shortage? They had planned to sail further south to a warm climate, but according to the Mayflower log, ". . . we could not now take time for further search (to land our ship), our victuals being much spent, especially our beer."


2. Cooking with Five Tastes and Textures

January is Creativity Month and one creative art is cooking. Therefore, I was intrigued by Roger Cohen’s recent editorial in the New York Times (Jan. 5, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/05/opinion/05iht-edcohen.html?th&emc=thytimes.com/2010/01/05/opinion/05iht-edcohen.html?th&emc=th) called “Pancakes, Prosperity, Peace” on the restaurant cooking done by Trinh Diem Vy, in Hoi An, Vietnam. Ms. Vy’s family pancake is “a savory rice-flour creation turned a warm yellow by turmeric and stuffed with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, star fruit, mixed herbs, [and] green banana.” As Mr. Cohen wrote: “For Ms. Vy, there are five essential elements of taste — sweet, sour, hot, bitter and salty. But they demand the five elements of texture: crispy, crunchy, chewy, soft and silky.

Do you know any dishes that combine these 10 elements? Do you agree with her philosophy that food is a great way to bring people together?

3. A 2010 Blessing

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly also notes this (condensed) universal blessing sent by Deb Hart (www.debrajoyhart.com and debrajoyhart@gmail.com): May your day begin with an "ah" to remind you of your first breath, your last breath and every laugh in


between. . . May your afternoons be blessed with “ee” sounds: Glee, Whee, See & Be. . . In your meditations and contemplations may you discover the "aha" moments in your
"haha" moments. . . And when you lay your head down at night, may you go to sleep with grace and gratitude.

Tips/ideas/insights to savor

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly features a word quiz which asks readers to identify the definitions of slang from the 1950s and 60s. Here’s an example of words that express emotions:

Can you match the word to its definition?


1. Bugged ___
2. Bummed ___
3. Copacetic ___
4. Dig ___
5. Fracture ___
6. Frosted or hacked ___
7. Hanging loose ___
8. In fat city ___
9. Real gone or stoked ___
10. Wiped out ___
a. amuse
b. angry, ticked off
c. bothered, irritated
d. depressed, disappointed
e. everything’s all right
f. happy
g. in love
h. relaxed
i. understand
j. very tired


Answers:
1. c; 2. d; 3. e; 4. i; 5. a; 6. b; 7. h; 8. f; 9. g; 10. j


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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Just a Bite 1-12-10

Quote to ponder under the apple tree

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire
for the mind as well as the body.
~ Benjamin Franklin (born January 17, 1706)

Resources to bite into

1. Celebrating New Heights

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly takes note of last week’s opening of Burj Dubai, the new tallest building in the world, by focusing on the range of tall buildings throughout human history beginning with the pyramids and moving on to the cathedrals of Europe. Those early edifices maxed out at about 500 feet and it wasn’t until several millennia later – in 1889, with the completion of the Eiffel Tower at almost 1000 feet (300m) – that humans mastered the technology to reach ever higher. For the next 120 years, the title of tallest building changed hands many times, but it seems likely that the 2717 foot (828 m) Burj is likely to hold the record for many years. – Interesting that the title has returned to a Middle Eastern desert.

2. Decorating with Art Deco

The coming weekend will bring a delightful Art Deco Festival to Miami, a city famous for its examples of the style, but many people may not realize that it gained its name and fame from the “Exposition Internationale des Arts D√©coratifs et Industriels Modernes” held in Paris in 1925 and that it encompasses furnishings and many decorative arts, such as jewelry, as well as architecture.

3. The Egyptian Influence

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly also takes note of the fact that Paris has had a long love affair with things Egyptian as evidenced by the 75-foot obelisk transported from the Temple of Karnak in Luxor, Egypt to the Place de la Concorde in the 1830s and I.M Pei’s pyramid addition to the Louvre in the late 20th century. In 1922, the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered by the archaeologist Howard Carter. It generated enormous excitement, and ancient Egyptian designs became a major influence on the Art Deco style. All art is connected!

Tips/ideas/insights to savor

Continuing the architectural theme, the current Brain Aerobics Weekly asks readers to think about a place they have lived that was most comforting both physically and emotionally and to describe what made it so. By itself, this can make for an interesting sharing exercise on how we have been shaped by our environment. For example:
• Does your most comfortable place reflect the values of your family or is your “style” entirely different?
• Is what is comfortable also stimulating to your senses and to your mind?

But a variation on this is to contemplate unusual homes in unusual places.
• If you could live anywhere for a year with work, money and family not being factors, where would you choose and why?
• If you had a chance to live for a time in an unusual house, would you take it? Why or why not?



To receive the advantage of seeing all these ideas in an expanded version, subscribe to Brain Aerobics Weekly today.

To order Brain Aerobics Weekly,
go to http://www.wisernow.com/ now.
It’s a great anytime gift for everyone who needs a legal form of positive mind stimulation!

Let the ever-ripening Wiser Now website
become the apple of your eye.