Aging Well September 7th

The brain – sometimes described as your thinking muscle – is an incredible organ. But as Emo Phillips stated, “I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this”. But no matter what your brain is saying, it is clear that you need to “use it or lose it”. So this week I am again sharing several brain tantalizing riddles to challenge your preconceptions and test your creative problem solving. The answers will be in next week’s column or if you can’t wait, will be posted on the Center’s website at .

1) Why was the man able to pass three cars going 70 miles-per-hour, while he was going only 60 miles-per-hour? 2) Mom and Dad have four daughters, and each daughter has one brother. How many people are in the family? 3) If it has a quart capacity, how many pennies can you put into a empty piggy bank? 4) While some months have just 30 days, others have 31 days. How many months have 28 days? 5) How many times can you subtract 5 from 25? 6) Is it legal for a man to marry his widow’s sister in the state of California? 7) A man and his son are in a car crash. The father is killed and the child is taken to hospital gravely injured. When he gets there, the surgeon says, ‘I can’t operate on this boy – for he is my son!!!’ How can this possibly be? 8) There are six eggs in the basket. Six people each take one of the eggs. How can it be that one egg is left in the basket?

Those may have been too easy – or maybe not. But how about your attention and working memory: the ability to keep information cur¬rent for a short period while using the information. These may be a little harder – so put on your mental gym clothes, get down on all fours and practice these drills provided by Harriet Vines Ph.D. from the SharpBrains web site.

1) Say the days of the week back¬wards, then in alpha¬bet¬i¬cal order. 2) Say the months of the year in alpha¬bet¬i¬cal order. And if you think that was easy (which it wasn’t for me), try doing so in reverse alpha¬bet¬i¬cal order. 3) Find the sum of your date of birth, mm/dd/yyyy. Now be obnoxious while impressing your friends and relatives by doing the same with their birth dates. 4) Name two objects for every letter in your complete name. Work up to five objects, trying to use different items each time. 5) And finally the two minute drill. Wherever you are, look around and within two minutes; try to find 5 red things that will fit in your pocket, and 5 blue objects that are too big to fit.

If you would like a weekly workout, while learning more about the brain, join the Center’s Brain Fitness class which returns on Monday September 20th from 1:00 – 2:00 PM. It will get your brain “cogitating”.

The Center’s Tuesday Lecture Series is back. On September 14th at 11:00 Cory Aldridge will discuss “LINK” the city’s public transportation system. This is a great opportunity to learn more about this vital service and to offer any suggestions.

Also on September 14th, The Notecrackers will be playing their sweet sounds for your dancing and listening pleasure. And tonight the Andre and the Strawberry Mountain Band will rock the house. The music starts at 7:00 and it is free – although donations are appreciated.

The answer was the Boswell Sisters – the 1930’s sister act, famous for their intricate harmonies and the inspiration for the “Stolen Sweets”. And the winner of a free breakfast was Marcia Lacock. But I know the Center’s monthly Saturday breakfast is not everyone’s cup of coffee. So to spice things up a bit, Joann Scott – who regularly enters the “Remember When” weekly challenge – has donated a bottle of 2003 Merlot as the prize for this week’s quiz. And if she supplies the wine, she should also provide the question – right? So Joann’s “Remember When” question for this week is “What 1962 film, directed by Blake Edwards, had a song by the same name written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer? E- mail, call 541-296-4788 or write it on the back of a bottle of “1998 Petrus Pomerol” and leave it in my office.

Well, it is time to enjoy the transition of seasons – when summer gradually fades into fall and the pigskin becomes a national obsession. Until we meet again, keep challenging yourself, but if at first you don’t succeed, skydiving may not be for you.

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