Monday, January 25, 2010


One quick aside before I begin: the job hunt has been going OK. I'm still asking for opportunity and guidance. Hopefully, the seeds sown will find fruit soon.

Now to the blog post...

The third aspect of my New Years resolution is to sharpen the grey matter between my ears. It occurred to me that if the human body could become physically better at a task by doing it (e.g. weight lifting makes you stronger, running regularly makes you run faster), then it follows that you should be able to improve your brain by exercising it. While I've always valued my faculties, I've often wished I was "smarter". So now it's time to add in the "mental" weight training to try to make myself brainier.

I'm doing this a few ways. First of all, I grabbed a number of iPhone apps that tout themselves as "brain trainers", such as, Brain Challenge, Brain Toot, and Brain Exercise. Every day, I run through the exercises they recommend followed by a few turns with ArithmeTick and Sudoku.

The next step is practicing "lateral thinking" and logic problem puzzles. These are a dime a dozen at your nearest half-price books. Currently, I'm working on The Mensa Genius Quiz-A-Day Book. When I've finished this, it's on to The Riddle of Scheherazade.

Third is to step up my learning. I downloaded a few Linux distributions this past weekend so that using VirtualBox, I could practice my Unix scripting and bring a few other programming skills up to snuff using the exercises from my old programming books and applying them to new languages.

When I get re-employed, I'll probably pick up Rosetta Stone and start learning Spanish.

So here's to sticking it out and becoming smarter and a better person in 2010.


brain training pro said...

Hello, SS.

You might consider this, too, in your quest for improved gray matter -- last year, in a study on Improving Fluid Intelligence by Training Working Memory (PNAS April 2008) scientists recorded increases in mental agility (fluid intelligence) of more than 40% after 19 days of focused working memory training. This intensive working memory workout - known as dual n-back - is the only training shown to transfer to general cognition.

Exciting times!


Rachael Storm said...

Cool! Thanks man!

I'll take a look and see.

Rachael Storm said...

Here is linkage to Martin's PNAS reference

Chris said...

I thought you had gone zombie on us. I guess your option is better.

Rachael Storm said...

Heya Tom, it's Bob,
From the office down the hall.
It's good to see you buddy,
How've ya been?
Things have been okay for me,
Except that I'm a zombie now.
I really wish you'd let us in.
I think I speak for all of us when I say I understand
Why you folks might hesitate to submit to our demands,
But here's an FYI - you're all gonna die, screaming.

All we wanna do is eat your brains
Were not unreasonable,
I mean no-one's gonna eat your eyes
All we wanna do is eat your brains
Were at an impasse here,
Maybe we should compromise.
If you open up the door,
We'll all come inside and eat your brains.