Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On Further Thought

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”
~ Kofi Annan

The Internet, that never-ending source of information overload, has coughed up three stories that add new details to subjects covered in recent Divinipotent Daily posts.

Good News About Old Brains, from March 31st, discussed research showing that — hooray! — we really do grow wiser as we age. National Public Radio, one of the sources for my post, returned to the subject on April 14th with an interview with Barbara Strauch, author of the just-published book, The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain. Click here to listen to the interview and read an excerpt from the book.

Also on the subject of aging and the brain, Evolutionary Biologist Olivia Judson delivered what may be the best motivation yet for dieting. As she put it in her "Opinionator" blog for the New York Times, "Brains usually atrophy with age, but being obese appears to accelerate the process. This is bad news: pronounced brain atrophy is a feature of dementia." Yes, you read that right: being obese can lead to brain damage. Click here to read her column.

Finally, in my April 14th post, Bombastic Blowards and the Brain, I wrote about neuroscientist Jonah Lehrer's book How We Decide. The April 25, 2010 edition of CBS Sunday Morning featured a fun and educational segment called "Decisions, Decisions" that included interviews with Lehrer and other scientists who study how we make up our minds. So far, no video of the segment is available, but CBS has posted this article on the topic; it's worth a read.

“The two words 'information' and 'communication' are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”
~Sydney J. Harris

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