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Expat wanderer

Husbands are Husbands

Husbands are husbands

A man was sitting reading his papers when his wife hit him on the Head with a frying pan.
‘What was that for?’ the man asked.

The wife replied ‘That was for the piece of paper with the name Jenny on it that I found in your pants pocket’.

The man then said ‘When I was at the races last week Jenny was the name of the horse I bet on.’

The wife apologized and went on with the housework.

3 days later the man is watching TV when his wife bashes him on the head with an even bigger frying pan, knocking him on the head and the man asked ‘What was that for? Why did u hit me again.?’

The wife replied. ‘Your horse phoned!!’

October 20, 2009 Posted by | Humor, Joke, Marriage, Mating Behavior | 5 Comments

Internet Use Changes Older Brains

I love this story – using the internet is good for aging brains!

Internet Use Changes Older Brains
LiveScience
posted: 14 HOURS 46 MINUTES AGOcomments: 10filed under: SCIENCE NEWS

(Oct. 19) — Adults with little internet experience show changes in their brain activity after just one week online, a new study finds.

The results suggest Internet training can stimulate neural activation patterns and could potentially enhance brain function and cognition in older adults.

As the brain ages, a number of structural and functional changes occur, including atrophy, or decay, reductions in cell activity and increases in complex things like deposits of amyloid plaques and tau tangles, which can impact cognitive function.

UCLA/LiveScience

Brainphoto

Research has shown that mental stimulation similar to the stimulation that occurs in individuals who frequently use the Internet may affect the efficiency of cognitive processing and alter the way the brain encodes new information.

“We found that for older people with minimal experience, performing Internet searches for even a relatively short period of time can change brain activity patterns and enhance function,” Dr. Gary Small, study author and professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, said in a statement.

The UCLA team worked with 24 neurologically normal volunteers between the ages of 55 and 78. Prior to the study, half the participants used the Internet daily, while the other half had very little experience. Age, educational level and gender were similar between the two groups.

The participants performed Web searches while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans, which recorded the subtle brain-circuitry changes experienced during this activity. This type of scan tracks brain activity by measuring the level of blood flow in the brain during cognitive tasks. While the study involves a small number of people and more research on this topic is needed, small study sizes are typical of fMRI-based research.

After the initial brain scan, subjects went home and conducted Internet searches for one hour a day for a total of seven days over a two-week period. These practice searches involved using the web to answer questions about various topics by exploring different websites and reading information. Participants then received a second brain scan using the same Internet simulation task, but with different topics.

The first scan of participants with little Internet experience showed brain activity in the regions controlling language, reading, memory and visual abilities. The second brain scan of these participants, conducted after the home practice searches, demonstrated activation of these same regions, but there was also activity in the middle frontal gyrus and inferior frontal gyrus – areas of the brain known to be important in working memory and decision-making.

Thus, after Internet training at home, participants with minimal online experience displayed brain activation patterns very similar to those seen in the group of savvy Internet users.

“The results suggest that searching online may be a simple form of brain exercise that might be employed to enhance cognition in older adults,” Teena D. Moody, the study’s first author and UCLA researcher, said in a statement.

You can read the rest of this article from Live Science on AOL News by clicking here.

October 20, 2009 Posted by | Aging, Health Issues, Living Conditions, News, Social Issues, Technical Issue | Leave a comment

Where Great Decisions are Made

Today, on my way home from a marathon-fun day, even though it was full of errands, I got to thinking great thoughts – in my car. Some of my best ideas come when I am sitting in traffic, something about the enforced nothing-to-do frees up my unconscious to tackle things I don’t otherwise think about.

One of the things I was thinking about was what, when I studied it, was called The Decision Making Process. It’s something you study in Political Science, and, although I can’t say this for sure because I haven’t specialized in these other areas, I am betting you would also study the process in Business, in Economics, in Engineering . . . when you know the process by which decisions are made, so the theory goes, you can get better at predicting how the decision making will go, what people will decide.

Or so the theory goes. . .

My personal observation is that human beings are highly unpredictable, and sometimes will make an opposite decision, even an irrational decision, in order not to be so predictable. I hate to be so cynical, but I think we are not so rational as we like to think we are.

In my Kuwait life, I remember being at a not-so-important meeting, more just a gathering, but at one point, I saw four people – influential people – meeting off in a corner, very casually, probably no one else even noticed, but they were deciding an outcome of an election, I realized later that day. OOps – not THE Kuwait election, my friends, no no no, a much lesser election. But that was where the decision was really made. These four quiet people were people who had the respect of others, and once they decided, they quietly shared their opinion with others, who shared their opinion with others and on it went, until the deed was done.

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I have seen decisions made in a swimming pool. I know decisions are made on golf courses. I was hired for one job once after attending a concert, and for another because I had a responsible position in my church (it had nothing to do with the job I was hired for, but the skills were transferable.) I was hired once because my hair and eyes matched another woman working in the front office, and the boss wanted a “matched pair.” (I didn’t know that until later.)

I know that at one time AdventureMan helped lay out a military base. He said they were in a truck, and as they drove along someone dropped big stones out the back to mark the boundaries. Don’t you love it?

Gulf women tell me that weddings are important; young women are often spotted by future mother-in-laws, so moms try to make sure that their daughters are well appointed for major weddings, major events where they may be on display . . . and then they ask around checking on character and personality and suitability. But I wonder on what basis those decisions are really made, deep down? Family alliances? Securing a future? Business connections? I know there are rare alliances based on true and lasting love; I wonder how often that happens?

I know there are matrixes, and even simple two-column + – lists by which people can rationally work out what to decide. What I am cynical about – after all the matrixes are filled out, after all the plusses and minuses are totaled – I think that the decision can go counter to rationality, because we are – if not irrational – then intuitive, we are people who make decisions with other than our conscious minds. I think our hearts get involved, and you KNOW that feelings/emotions get involved. Sometimes we have “a gut feeling”; sometimes we know something on an unconscious level that we don’t know on a conscious level. If we all acted in our own rational self interest, there would not be young drivers dying on our roads, people would not be irrationally exuberant about investments, young people would not fall in love with the wrong people and life would sure a lot more dull, wouldn’t it?

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I am cynical even about decisions made at the highest levels, because even decisions made by boards and after studies – even these decisions are ultimately based by human beings, and sometimes on “hunches.”

So I am wondering if YOU have had similar experiences? Have you seen major decisions made irrationally?

All this because I was stuck in traffic . . . .

October 20, 2009 Posted by | Character, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Financial Issues, Friends & Friendship, Kuwait, Leadership, Living Conditions, Marketing, Mating Behavior, Technical Issue, Work Related Issues | 4 Comments