Wednesday, December 3, 2008

More Politics and More on Brain Plasticity

There is an email circulating asking Canadians to email the Governor General Michaélle Jean about the current turmoil in our government. Be sure I have done so and forwarded the email to other Canadians. I am pleased I am not the only one to be disturbed by the proposed coalition. I gather the Governor General is rushing home early from a state visit to deal with the problem and I hope the influx of emails will help her to do what is right and keep the voice of democracy alive. Tuesday night I watched Public Television. I quote: “Brain Fitness 2: Sight and Sound,” airing at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 2, is the second program in a series about the power of brain plasticity to transform lives. The program takes viewers into the labs of the world’s most innovative neuroscientists, psychologists and neurobiologists who are discovering the amazing power of the brain to change, regardless of age." Another excellent programme on the plasticity of the brain and all the wonderful things they are discovering about the brain and what it can do to repair itself. To see a blind man stepping inside a circular tube on the floor and then out again as easily as a sighted person, was quite incredible. Much of the object of such research is to enable older people to maintain their independence a lot longer than before. They were asking for donations and as thank you gifts at quite a high level of donation, you could get four different gifts one of which included a computer programme called Insight which is an excellent tool for improving the working of the brain, see here. Unfortunately I personally can neither afford the donation to PBS nor the price of the programme on the open market. However, I recently did a Japanese test which was sent to me by a friend and on the one occasion I tried it found my brain rated at that of a 53 yr. old. If you'd like to try the game/test for yourself click here and see what rating you come up with. Matt tried it twice, once he ended up at 57 but wasn't sure what he was doing as he is not much good with computers, however, the second time he came in at 35 yrs old. This means I definitely have to try again, I can't have him beating me LOL. The site instructions are in Japanese, so read below! 1. Touch 'start' 2. Wait for 3, 2, 1. 3. Memorize the number's position on the screen, then click the circle from the smallest number to the biggest number. 4. At the end of game, computer will tell you the age of your brain. Having spent a fair amount of time (and money) at the dentist's yesterday, I ended up finding a recipe in Canadian Living magazine, which I really liked the look of. I since found the recipe on the internet but although the magazine had a great picture showing the juicy roasted pears with a pale golden mound of succulent filling in the hollow, the recipe on the internet did not. So I used a picture of a Bosc pear. I typed the recipe into my cookbook programme (Living Cookbook) before I looked on the internet. Pity, it would have saved me some effort. Honey-Roasted Pears 4 lge Bosc Pears 1/3 cup liquid honey 2 Tbs butter 2 Tbs orange juice FILLING 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened 2 Tbs liquid honey 1 egg yolk 1/4 tsp grated orange rind FILLING: 1 In a bowl, beat together cream cheese, honey, egg yolk and orange rind until smooth. set aside 2 Peel and halve pears, leaving stems intact. Trim thin slice off curved side to level. Using melon baller or teaspoon, remove core and enough of the centre to make 1½ in. wide and ¾ in. deep hollow, without going through the bottom. Place, cut side up, in well-greased 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish. 3 In microwaveable glass measure, heat together ¼ cup of the honey, butter and orange juice on high for 30-45 seconds or until melted. Stir; brush all over pears. 4 Turn pears cut side down. Bake in 375°F oven, basting every 10 minutes, for 30 minutes. Turn pears and baste; bake for 10 minutes. 5 Pour any liquid in centre of pears into baking dish. Spoon generous 1 Tbs filling into centre of each pear. 6 In a bowl, stir together remaining hone and 1/3 cup boiling water. Stir into pan syrup. Bake, basting once, until filling is puffed and pears are golden and tender, about 30 minutes. Transfer to platter; spoon sauce over top. Servings: 4 Have a great day


  1. What a fun test! I did it three times and it tells me my brain is somewhere between 33 and 54. A good one to wake me up when I feel dozy at the computer!

  2. I've still only done it the once, I must get round to doing it again.