Sunday, 27 September 2009

Memory boom or doom

Over the years, research has shown that the memory of an average human gets shorter by the years. While many people seem smart and quick to remember in details during their senescent years, a few are not so lucky; they can even forget the way to the bathroom!
Forgetfulness, by the way, is not a condition restricted to the elderly; it affects all ages. We all forget things–– details, stories, dates, appointments, objects and so on; students are continual victims especially during exams. But forgetfulness might not pose a problem until it costs something.
All information seen, heard, felt or read are transferred to a place called hippocampus in the brain. This hippocampus acts as a gatekeeper; it files the most important data for long-term storage in the cerebral cortex, while the less important data gets bounced over time.
Neuroscientists claim that our memory fails us for two reasons; either the information was not properly stored hence difficulty in retrieving the information or the person in question has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, a condition common in the elderly which affects the brain and leads to memory disorder and partial amnesia.
Whatever the reason for forgetfulness, the crux of the matter is that the brain is flexible and can be trained to achieve a superb memory. To test how nimble your brain is, can you list 20 European countries and their capitals without looking at a map? If that proves too difficult, how about recalling the names and surnames of 25 of your classmates in secondary school.
Many factors contribute to forgetfulness; it could be as a result of a disorganized life or diseases but as mentioned earlier, you can boost your memory. As we dedicate time to keep the body fit, we must not leave the mind behind. You can take the brain exercising too! Learning a new language; a new skill; solving hard quizzes, riddles, crossword puzzles; playing technical games like chess are good ways of exercising the brain.
Despite the fact that the brain is powerful, it is still subject to skipping certain details. If you have a battle with forgetfulness, try opening a diary to store details.
Concerning Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, speculations are being made in the medical community whether one should take predictive genetic testing to find out if he or she would develop it in future but one does not need to go that far. Following the above steps is a sure way to avoid memory loss in the future and minimize the effects of forgetfulness to the barest minimum.

One lazy Saturday morning

(Strictly for the young)
I spent the better part of Saturday feeling completely guilty and unable to enjoy the simple pleasure of staying at home, in front of a laptop, chilling with a friend, enjoying uninterrupted power!
Apart from realising how important uninterrupted power is to staying at home (honestly! Most of those you see randomly visiting others or hanging out aimlessly, are people trying to escape the boredom and drudgery of sitting at home in the heat!), I also realised that as a choleric, and possibly as a Nigerian, I have been conditioned to believe that every hour of every day has to be used well — through work!
The choleric works while socialising such that, we can’t even enjoy our own birthday parties! And the Nigerian works every day, then wonders how come they are so stressed! I mean, if we are not taking calls, sitting in a meeting, thinking about work or talking about work, we tend to re-examine our lives and put plans in motion to stop being so unproductive and useless. And yet, we are the same country where the average person gets up at 4am, is out of the house by 4.30am, sits in traffic during the day for at least three hours, and then drives home in traffic, getting into our non-PHCN powered houses at 10pm.
After spending part of that Saturday not enjoying the moment, I had to have a long talk with myself and then things picked up! No food for lazy man... but no life for dead man... so touché!

One benefit of staying in is that you get to watch a lot of television. Now I know they claim watching too much television is apparently bad for you... but what if it is feel good or educating programming? Personally, I love reality shows. Forget all the questions about how real they are, and how they promote ‘Get Famous Quick’ syndrome... The reason they thrive is because they are so entertaining! This season on television is not easy at all oh! If someone is not finally winning the grand prize on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire , then someone is switching with his twin brother on Big Brother! Dance All has families competing for a cash prize and that is just one of the funniest shows! It is amazing to see the fathers and mothers getting into the dance just as much as the children are!
Another show I am growing into is Naija Sings. My favourites are Riola -- because she has a rock(ing) attitude and I think she will give good live shows; and Tarila who has this lovely voice! Some favourites like Ovie have sadly left the competition but like i always tell anyone interested in participating in a reality show competition- winning is NOT everythin! Ebuka? Omawumi? Darey? Jennifer Hudson? Chris Daughtry? Lemar?
No, they didn’t win the shows they participated in! And yet...
Hopefully, the contestants on Project Fame Academy will understand this too! By the time you read this, one of the last five standing (Madonna, Tomiwa, Nicholas, Krimi, Mike) would be the new Project Fame winner, taking some of the pressure of bearing that tag away from Iyanya who won last season!

Of course, the escape that television and reality shows give you last only for a short while. Before you know it, it is back to the real reality- where students are home, journalists are being murdered at home, and generators are working over time!

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