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Brain Aerobics Weekly

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just a Bite 4/20/10

Quote to ponder under the apple tree

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.
~ Marshall McLuhan

Resources to bite into

1. Earth Day turns 40 and the Earth still turns

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly opens with a “Talking Trash” trivia quiz because, unfortunately, 40 years after U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed the first Earth Day, environmental issues are still with us.

One easy thing you can do: use canvas bags for shopping. Canvas is slowly catching on, but here are two big reasons to switch – or at the very least recycle your plastic bags, because about 97% are not:
• An estimated million sea creatures are killed each year when they ingest plastic bags – sometimes whole, because turtles, for example, mistake them for jelly fish.
• As plastic bags decompose, tiny toxic bits seep into soils, lakes, rivers, and the oceans and the plastic debris itself acts like a sponge for toxic chemicals. They are therefore deadly in small bits, too.
Learn more at http://www.recycling-revolution.com/recycling-facts.html

2. Rhyming with Earth

What word that rhymes with earth:

1. is an Australian city?
2. means a beginning?
3. has to do with value?
4. means a lack of?
5. is related to joy and laughter?
6. is a measurement?

Bonus: How many letters of the alphabet rhyme with tree? Answers on next page.

3. Life is improving

Although we have much left to do to honor our planet, the current Brain Aerobics Weekly takes note of one way life has improved. Shakespeare’s birth is also celebrated this week (April 23, 1564) and according to Bill Bryson in his book, Shakespeare, The World as Stage, we are lucky that he even survived to write his plays. In 1564, two-thirds of infants died of the plague or other causes. The populace also faced constant danger from tuberculosis, measles, rickets, scurvy, smallpox and dozens of other diseases and fevers. Thank goodness for his good health!

Answers to rhyming with earth:
1. mirth; 2. Perth; 3. worth; 4. dearth; 5. birth; 6. girth

Bonus: 9 (b c d e g p t v z)

Tips/ideas/insights to savor

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly features a word quiz taken from Shakespeare’s plays. As you may know, he was the inventor of more than a thousand new words and phrases. In the sampling of groups of four below, can you pick out the modern expression from among the others which are his creation?

1. a. ___Heavens to Betsy b. ___For goodness’ sake
c. ___ It was Greek to me d. ___ What the dickens

2. a. ___ In a pickle b. ___ Milk of human kindness
c. ___ Dangle a carrot d. ___ Salad days

3. a. ___ A dish fit for the gods b. ___ The world’s my oyster
c. ___ Eaten me out of house and home d. ___ Easy as pie

4. a. ___ Bleeding heart b. ___ Heart of gold
c. ___ In my heart of hearts d. ___ Sick at heart

Answers: 1. a; 2. c; 3. d; 4. a

To receive the advantage of seeing more than 4 times as many ideas and exercises each week, subscribe to Brain Aerobics Weekly today.

Each week brings amazing and amusing mind stimulation!

Let us become the apple of your eye.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Just a Bite 4/13/10

Quote to ponder under the apple tree

I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.
~ Duke Ellington (born April 29, 1899)

Resources to bite into

1. It’s Jazz Appreciation Month

As noted in the current Brain Aerobics Weekly, five of the most famous jazz and blues performers of all time have April birthdays. Besides Duke Ellington, the others are:
• Billie Holiday, April 7, 1915
• Bessie Smith, April 15, 1894
• Lionel Hampton, April 20, 1908
• Ella Fitzgerald, April 25, 1917
Each had amazing talent, and you can hear samples of their performances by going to http://www.rhapsody.com and typing in their names. Here’s another of my favorite quotes from Ella Fitzgerald: “I stole everything I ever heard, but mostly I stole from the horns.”

2. The Earth is always moving

This week marks the anniversary of the April 18, 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which left about 75% of the city’s population (over 250,000 people) homeless. In a year that has already seen numerous devastating earthquakes, it’s interesting to note that the year 1906 was also fraught with them. In addition to the 7.8 magnitude San Francisco one were these:
• Ecuador/Colombia at 8.8 magnitude, January 31
• Taiwan at 7.1 magnitude, March 16
• Chile at 8.2 magnitude, August 16
• Aleutian Islands and the West Pacific at 8.2 magnitude, August 17
According to a recent article in the New York Times by Roger Musson, that’s not really so unusual: “On average, we record an earthquake with a magnitude over 6 every three days or so, and over 7 at least once a month.” Does that surprise you? It does me!
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/11/opinion/11musson.html?th&emc=th

3. April showers and creating bigger raindrops

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly notes advice from award-winning speaker Darren LaCroix. He wrote recently of taking a backstage movie studio tour and learning that when it rains in Hollywood movies, filmmakers actually make raindrops four times bigger. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t be able to see them, and why the actors were getting wet would make less sense. Mr. LaCroix uses that technique to exaggerate the stories in his speeches so they are more likely to make people laugh, and suggests we look for ways to enhance the raindrops in other aspects of our lives. April 16th is Stress Awareness Day and April 14th is Moment of Laughter Day. Why not decrease your vision of the stress raindrops in your life and increase the size of your guffaws this week?

Tips/ideas/insights to savor

The current Brain Aerobics Weekly also takes note of the publication of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring in 1962. Ms. Carson was a well-known natural history writer at the time, and when her book documented the detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment, particularly on birds, she was taken seriously. (“Silent spring” refers to the disappearance of birdsongs.) The book is credited with launching the environmental movement and the banning of DDT. As we approach Earth Day, it’s a good book to check out. (To order, click here.)

On the other hand, silence can be a good and too rare commodity in our lives. Think about the people you are with and/or the places you go to enjoy silence.

• What silences soothe you?
• With whom can you sit in companionable silence?
• How do you use silence – pauses – to enhance music, poetry or the telling of jokes?
• Who or what have you commemorated with “a moment of silence”?

To receive the advantage of seeing more than 4 times as many ideas and exercises each week, subscribe to Brain Aerobics Weekly today.

Each week brings amazing and amusing mind stimulation!

Let us become the apple of your eye.