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Thursday, March 10, 2011

3 Pounds of A-mazingness

I am constantly amazed by my brain. I don't mean like "oh, I'm so smart" or anything. I am just in awe over how much my brain can retain without me even realizing what's in there until I need it. Like the other day, a song came on the radio that I hadn't heard in years and all the words came flooding out of my mouth as if I hear it every day. Here is the song. Go ahead, take a listen. I'll bet you know the words too...

Besides the fact that I'm a total dork who used to LOVE that song and actually owns the Lou Bega CD, this just shows how amazing the brain is. We can recall an enormous amount of information with a simple cue. Like when I smell a precise scent of Nivea aftershave lotion and I think of my hubby, or I see an old family photo and can remember so much detail about when it was taken, and so on. Of course, this isn't always the case. The brain can be a fickle thing. Sometimes I'm surprised by the completely random things I can remember with perfect clarity and yet have trouble remembering what I did yesterday.

I went to the Body Worlds exhibit a couple of years ago and learned a lot about the brain. Yes, that's the one with real dead bodies preserved in a process called "Plastination" (basically, the body tissue is turned into plastic and preserved; it's gross, but fascinating - learn more here). There was this whole section about the brain and how our minds process information. Such as, how long we can retain information based on how long we're exposed to it (like witnessing a crime and how two people might remember two very different things). Or, how sleep is very important for turning short-term memory into long-term memory (a la 50 First Dates). And if you practiced you could even train yourself to work out complex problems in your sleep that you might not be able to while awake. Oh, of course -  sleep-writing! We finally have an answer to "writer's block". What else does our brain do that science hasn't even uncovered yet?

This brings me to an intriguing new movie coming out called Limitless starring Bradley Cooper. Wait, let's just stare at him for a second...

...*sigh, drool* ... sorry, you still with me? Anyway, the premise of this movie is very intriguing. Thinking about how much our brain can already do (besides the times my brain takes a vacation; and always mid-thought; how inconsiderate), what if we could just take a little pill and use 100%? Would we really make millions of dollars in one day, or would our brains fry from working so hard? Probably the latter, but wouldn't it be cool to be like Bradley Cooper in the movie, always 50 moves ahead? It sure would make writing a novel a heck of a lot easier. I'm sure there is a science-y explanation for why this movie's premise it total baloney, but it's fun to think we could just take a little pill and be instantly brilliant.

What would you do if you could take that pill (without the side effects; I haven't seen the movie yet)? What old songs have you heard recently that you could sing word-for-word without even thinking about it? And just for fun, what would you do if you met Bradley Cooper? (*Sorry dudes, that last one is more for the ladies I guess.)


  1. Well, now I have Mambo #5 stuck in my head. So thank you for that.

    *trombones blare*

    Man, I'm not sure I want to be super-brilliant. And if there was a pill for it, everyone would take it and there'd be all these super-brilliant people around and it would be just like before except worse.

    There's a lot of responsibility that comes with intelligence. I happen to think we're both very smart ladies already and I'm not sure I'd want more smart-responsibility than I've got-- because it's not only responsibility to others/ the world at large, it's also responsibility to yourself. Responsibility to "live up your potential." And let me tell you, I'm trying to live up to my potential. It's not easy, haha.

    Nice post! Oh, and is "kidnap him" and good enough answer to the Bradley Cooper question?

  2. Ha ha, no problemo! It's a good song :). And good point - the whole Spiderman lesson "With great power comes great responsibility." I'll bet you and I could work together on the Bradley Cooper thing. On sort of related note, remember when we had that idea for making real replica's of celebrity - um - rear ends? *snicker*

  3. Ha! I agree, I LOVE brains. And I'm constantly amazed at what we can do with them, even though we don't KNOW what we're doing. (urf, did that make sense? Obviously I'm not using my brain right today.) With unlimited brain power, I'd work on lifting things with my mind because I'm JUST that lazy. Telekinesis for everyone!

    And, as a side note, I can sing the "Knights of the Round Table" song from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And by golly, I worked hard as a kid to get every syllable right!

  4. I recently impressed my kids by singing Smashmouth's "All Star" word for word. Kinda impressed myself, too, I gotta say.

  5. @Marie Totally makes sense! I'm right there with ya :). Yes, I would say having telekinesis is a must with ultimate brain power. Good call. Ha ha, Monty Python & the Holy Grail is AWESOME.

    @Jeigh I can do that one too! I often impress my friends and family by knowing the lyrics to lots of random songs. It's my stupid human trick. Thanks for reading my blog :).