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Jan 21 2014

Chuck Norris and His ‘Brain Training’

From the You Can’t Make This Shit Up Department: Chuck Norris, a world class dullard if ever there was one, has devoted an entire column to the concept of “brain training.” He offers this list of suggestions, which actually aren’t bad ideas at all, especially for older people:

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Based upon the five main cognitive functions – memory, attention, language, visual-spatial skills and executive function – Croisile recommends stimulating and challenging each area to stay mentally sharp as we and our brains age:

  • By choosing a song you don’t know and memorizing its lyrics, you boost the level of the brain-building chemical acetylcholine (You can also memorize Scripture or poetry).
  • Change your routine or combine activities – such as listening to an audiobook while jogging or doing math in your head while driving – to increase your attention span.
  • Increase your vocabulary by reading something of a greater intellectual caliber than what you typically read or know. Understanding the new words in context will build your language skills.
  • Enhance your visual-spatial abilities by picking out five things in any setting in our great, colorful three-dimensional world, and then recall those things and their locations a few times later in the day.
  • Engage in some strategy and problem-solving situations (real or imaginary – yes, even through video games); your intellectual performance will expand your executive function.

With 76 million baby boomers in the U.S. going into retirement and advancing into old age, this is a timely reminder about the muscle in mental health. It’s what the writer of Proverbs wrote more than two millenniums ago: “As a person thinks, so he or she is.”

Now if the person saying this had any ability to think beyond the most basic functions, that might sound a lot more credible. Chuck Norris giving advice on brain training is as absurd as me teaching a class on martial arts.

15 comments

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  1. 1
    Chiroptera

    Change your routine or combine activities – such as listening to an audiobook while jogging or doing math in your head while driving – to increase your attention span.

    lol

    As someone who routinely does math problems while doing other stuff, I have doubts that it has increased my attention span. Scary thought if my attentions span would have been shorter! But I can tell you this: it certainly seems to lessen your attentiveness to your surroudings! Please, friends don’t let friends do math problems and drive!

  2. 2
    richardelguru

    Friends don’t let friends drive and derive. (with apologies to an old maths joke)

  3. 3
    John Pieret

    Increase your vocabulary by reading something of a greater intellectual caliber than what you typically read or know.

    Here you go, Chuck:

    See Dick run.
    See Jane run.
    Run, Dick, run!
    Run Jane, run!

  4. 4
    Reginald Selkirk

    or doing math in your head while driving

    Chuck Norris driving while he tried to do math – you’re scaring me.

  5. 5
    busterggi

    So considering his age, Chuck must have a shelf full of Nobels, Pulitzers, etc.

  6. 6
    Alverant

    @richardelguru Speaking of #2, did you hear about the math professor who was constipated? He worked it out with a pencil.

    An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders a drink. The second one orders 1/2 a drink. The third one orders 1/4 a drink. The bartender gets angry and slams two drinks down and says, “You math types just don’t know your limits!”

  7. 7
    Moggie

    To be fair, Chuck Norris has been kicked in the head a lot.

  8. 8
    John Hinkle

    Huh. Chuck actually attributed those mental exercises. He has been known to be a tad lazy in the citation department.

  9. 9
    Marcus Ranum

    Rule #1 of brain training is not to get kicked in the head too many times by Bruce Lee. Which disqualifies Chuck.

  10. 10
    cycleninja

    “Good evening, my name is Louie Anderson, and I’ll be your Slim-Fast representative for the evening.”

  11. 11
    matty1

    It’s what the writer of Proverbs wrote more than two millenniums ago: “As a person thinks, so he or she is.”

    I know its a minor point but first I cannot find any version of the Bible that actually uses ‘he or she’ in this verse. Should Chuck get points for prioritising gender inclusive language over respect for the holy text?

    Second the quote in context (it’s Proverbs 23:7) has nothing to do with intelligence or mental ability it is warning to judge people by their character rather than whether they are offering you nice stuff at the moment.

  12. 12
    jackbentley

    Ed’s Martial Arts class? Where do I sign up?

  13. 13
    zenlike

    Increase your vocabulary by reading something of a greater intellectual caliber than what you typically read or know. Understanding the new words in context will build your language skills.

    For WND readers, that’s pretty much anything else than WND. Only problem I can see is that it would be difficult finding something to read which has a small enough gap with the WND-level of writing so most readers’ heads wouldn’t explode.

  14. 14
    sugarfrosted

    I once almost got into an accident doing math while driving. I’m not at all joking.

  15. 15
    paulburnett

    richardelguru (#2) wrote: “Friends don’t let friends drive and derive.”

    Uh, no. It’s “Friends don’t let friends drink and derive.”

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