Archive for February, 2010

Neurobics!

Lifting weights! Running! Left-handed teeth brushing?

My friend Harris introduced me to this idea of shaking up my daily routine to make habitual tasks interesting, challenging, potentially frustrating, but usually fun. The concept is to use your senses in new ways to give your brain and body an interesting workout. Let’s take teeth brushing as an example. If you’re right-handed, brushing your teeth is normally handled by the left side of your brain. When you switch to brushing left-handed, the rarely-used network of connections and circuits involved in brushing with your left hand is now activated on the right side of the brain. It’s hard! The first time I tried, it felt like I was learning to brush for the first time, and my left arm was actually tired after a couple minutes. Something as monotonous as brushing my teeth all of a sudden became a challenging workout!

How else can you shake up your daily routine? How about showering with your eyes closed, or rearranging your desk or office, or focusing all five senses on eating an apple, or complimenting a stranger? The possibilities are endless!

Today I tried eating my school lunch left-handed with chopsticks. My fingers were cramping halfway through my rice bowl. Challenge accepted!

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Time Flies, or What’s Been on my Camera the Past Year

New pictures, check them out here!

Not quite a haiku

Yesterday, I helped my principal get his car unstuck from the snow.

Today, he gave me a pound of cake.

Helping people is delicious.

Update on the Deer-Wolves

Turns out they’re not magical creatures that cross paths with only the bravest, most gallant and dashing of humans as I once thought. Two sources – Taylor, who has trekked through much of Shichinohe’s forests, and Bob, who spent his workday researching different types of deer – claim that what I saw was the Japanese serow, Capricornis crispus. A shy herbivore, the serow inhabits the mountainous areas of Japan. For decades they were on the verge of extinction, but through conservation efforts their numbers are back and actually over-populated in areas. They have even been declared a Japanese “natural monument”…I guess it isn’t so rare to see one after all.

I still think they have a bit of wolf in them.