Trivia Teaser

What caused the 1908 Olympic Games to be moved from Rome to London?

Eruption of Mt Vesuvius
A revolution
Collapse of the lira
Mafia threats

Brain Gain


By Christine Lovatt

Diet and exercise may help us to think better, but there are other ways of keeping our grey matter sharp.

One important aspect is sleep – plenty of it, especially straight after studying. It helps to retain that information. Why didn’t I know this all those years ago when I stayed up until 2am trying to cram a thousand facts into my head before a school exam?

Experts advise stimulating the brain by various methods. Reading, playing a musical instrument, painting, woodworking, playing cards or board games – even performing home repairs makes you think.

Listening to classical music is recommended for opening certain pathways in the brain. Apparently, the neurons in the brain that are used for mathematical or spatial reasoning are the same neurons that we use to listen to Mozart, incredible as that sounds.

You can teach the brain to remember a whole pack of cards by using image association, or train the brain with maths puzzles.

One potential source of help may be flavanols, an antioxidant found in cocoa beans that can increase blood flow to the brain.

So there you are – if you want to operate at maximum mental efficiency, start playing the violin, speaking French, decorating the house, solving crosswords and Sudokus, while listening to Mozart and drinking a nice cup of the right kind of cocoa – and when you have time, get some sleep!

Happy puzzling!


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Brain Gain

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