Monday, October 27, 2008

Get Booted Up - Not Booted Out

I blog regularly on random topics.

Usually, I do not have much difficulties coughing out a short article. However, there are times when my brain seems to have frozen and I would be staring at anything and hoping that my mind would boot up. The feeling is not nice.

I wish I could push a button on my head just to get my brain stimulated. Something like a 'restart' key.

For a long time, scientists have been studying various stimuli on living things. They believe that the right stimuli can enhance the functionality of human, animals as well as plants.

Some mothers believe in pre-natal stimulation. It involves lots of talking to the fetus through the Mother's tummy, playing classical music (preferably Mozart) and generally establishing communication with the baby before it is born.

A farmer in UK claimed that playing soothing music to his cows was the secret to winning the World Cheese Awards. He reckoned that the tunes calmed the cows during milking in the parlour.

Researchers agreed as they found out that each cow produced 3% more milk a day when slow music (rather than fast music) was played. They have evidence that calming music reduces stress in animals, as well as people.

It is believed that the Kobe cows, which produce the world's most expensive beef, have music as part of their routine ritual.

Even plants need to be stimulated. People with green fingers believe that talking to plants can help them grow better. That sounds rather lunatic to me but I shall resist my temptation to doubt.

Stranger still, it was reported last week that plants can talk! Err ... actually, they meant that plants can blog!

A 40-cm 'sweetheart plant' named Midori-san, which means 'Green' in Japanese, blogs everyday. It does so with the help of a sophisticated botanical interface system which read the weak bioelectric current flowing across the surface of the leaves. The signal is fed into a computer which then translates it into a human language, in this case, Japanese.

On Oct 16, Midori-san's blog read "Today was a sunny day and I was able to sunbathe a lot… I had quite a bit of fun today."

If you can read Japanese, find out other blog entries by 'Green' on its
blog. I assume that 'Green' will not start blogging on office gossips.

Well, even plants can blog everyday, what about me?

I experience writer's block sometimes. The silence from the head can be so deafening that I stop listening to new ideas. The problem is compounding.

I need to feed my brain to stimulate it. I realized that I have to learn to see things differently. This means occasional change of habits, doing something new such as taking a new route or listen to a new radio station.

UCLA scientists have found that "Internet searching engages complicated brain activity, which may help exercise and improve brain function" and searching the Web can stimulate the brain more than other activities such as reading a book.

Traditionally, brain stimulating activities include games such as crossword puzzles, but with the advent of technology, scientists are beginning to assess the influence of computer use, including the Internet.

I cannot agree more.

I have heard comments that Web searching is a waste of time. It is like strolling in the Amazon jungle or swimming in the Pacific Ocean aimlessly. Well, in the first place, you should not even embark on your Web journey if you do not have an aim.

Surely you must have so many unanswered questions everyday. Just pick one and start cruising the Web. After 20-30 minutes, your question may not be fully answered but no one walks out of the Web feeling less informed.

I have an obese cat at home. I am familiar with the sight of 'having nothing better to do'. The thought of being reduced to 'a lump of breathing fur' is frightening. I do not want to be looking like that. I assume it is the same for you too?

It's time to feed my brain! 

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