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Discover Links That Make You Think

December 29, 2009

With games like “Brainage” out there, it is obvious people are getting the idea of keeping their brains sharp. While games like  Brainage nd Sudoku seem good at working on your mental stamina, speed, computational and logic skills; they still lack something I feel is important: Content. If you’re going to keep your brain fit, you might as well use it for something! I’ve decided to start sharing some links to site I have found that provide that stimulus I need; links to content and ideas that get me thinking. Hopefully others will contribute as well.

The power of our minds can sometimes seem limitless. Recently, I’ve begun considering time when I am not learning or applying knowledge as a waste of my brain’s potential. This is far from a comforting though and hopefully one that I won’t let control my life. However, I do like the idea of life-long learning where I extend my quest for knowledge well beyond my years in university. (By the way, I’ve heard a rumor that university is free in Canada for those over 65 .I haven’t confirmed this yet).

Beyond just learning for myself, I find that I get really excited to share new discoveries with others. Yes, sharing is great and I find no shortage of good conversation when I’ve learned something interesting.  Now for the links:

This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel Levitin

To start, I just feel like mentioning this book. It delves into the psychology and neurology of how, why and what happens when people listen to music. For those of you with limited interest in neuropsychology; I warn that this book does deal to some degree with the anatomy and functioning of the brain, but it seems targeted to a broad audience and generally the neurological descriptions are used to explain and support  psychological findings. I particularly enjoyed the little tidbits of information I picked up throughout the book, usually through mention of different studies that had been done. For example, apparently, if a person doesn’t learn a language by the time they are about six years old, they will likely never be able to speak that language as effortlessly as a native speaker. I wouldn’t let that discourage you from taking up a new language, I’ve known people to be fluent in languages they have learned them after the age of six, however it may require a bit more conscious thought for them to converse than a native speaker.

CBC Radio One ( http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ )

The CBC is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. I love them and sing their praises daily. Not Canadian? Doesn’t matter: you can listen on the web and most shows are available as podcasts as well!

Shows I enjoy the most include:

Definitely Not The Opera: Don’t let the name lead you away from this one. Indeed the show has nothing to do with the opera and isn’t really music-centric.  Every quirky episode is themed and explores some facet of life. The episodes usually bring a smile to my face as I listen to stories from listeners and various interviews that tie into the theme in some way.

Tapestry: I’m not religious, but this show explores  spirituality in a way I view as distinct from institutions. Often, I’ll listen in and discover an inciteful viewpoint I had not previously considered.

Q: arts, culture and entertainment.

Some other shows I’ve listened to include White Coat, Black Art (a look into the medical industry), Spark (technology), and Quirks and Quarks (science)

TED Talks (www.ted.com)

tagline: “Ideas worth spreading”. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to just that. Their website is filled with videos of wonderful talks from smart people from all walks of life. I love them so much it hurts. Talks cover areas including technology, psychology, humanities and the list goes on! The topics are diverse too, you won’t have trouble finding something on this site that interests you. There are talks by everybody from the previously homeless to nobel prize winners and the list includes some very big names and some names that deserve to be very big. I would give some example links but instead I’d rather encourage you to go and explore the site for yourselves!

Hopefully, next blog I’ll post some links to documentaries! If you have any great links, please share them!

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