Brain Age

January 3, 2007

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Despite lusting after all of the items enumerated below, what do we get? Our dear friends Damon and Jane gifted us “Brain Age”– game software for the Nintendo DS. Not just another video game, software to help us aging baby boomers keep our brain muscle. There is no lengthy exegesis about the concept of the difference between brain and mind, but Mr Kawashima, the author and the software’s smiling guardian angel, does give us a summary of what the various parts of the brain do.

It turns out that reading aloud does wonders for our brains. So parents, feel good about nightly reading. Not only is it great for your kids, it’s healthy for your brain. I was happy to see that Sudoku is prominently featured and know that I will be crowned Sudoku Master by this little machine in no time, but I am terrified about its demand that I know how to do math and stuff with numbers. Alright. No mechanical table, just this damned little piece of software. It will be “good” for me. We’ll see.
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This image doesn’t show it but written above the pilot is ‘The Flight of Intellect’. The rear label reads: ‘Warranted not to Burst’. The satirical illustration relates to a Charles Golightly, who secured a place in history by taking out a British patent in 1841 for a flying machine that employs a steam rocket. The vehicle was never built. Steam engines were notorious for exploding and being generally unreliable in the first half of the 19th century, explaining the skeptical nature of the cartoon. My guess, from 1/2 sentences seen in search results from pay sites, is that the original Golightly patent has now been lost. Neither the artist’s name nor the date published is known for the above print and so I’m not particularly sure if this picture pre- or post-dates an/other publication(s) in which the Golightly enterprise is lampooned.

[Image and quote courtesy BibliOdyssey]

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