Letter from the Editor: Train Your Brain

I’ve always been a trivia buff. Jeopardy! and Cash Cab comprise a percentage of my time and tid-bits of inane and seemingly useless knowledge are sprinkled on my cerebellum from years of collective experience and retained information

It isn’t a need to know all, but a desire to learn.

Stemming from voracious reading habits in my youth that have continued into my adult life, if there is any benefit beyond just knowing “stuff” it’s an ability to think critically.

Too often we see and accept face value, failing to dig deeper and ask tough questions.

Lethargy is a thief, academically and in all other facets of life.

Now, enough of that pretentious ideology – on to the good stuff. The best way I’ve found to keep things sharp and my satisfaction level high is with the help of two Web sites. Mentalfloss.com features daily lists and short excerpts of information in less-than-a-minute chunks. Aptly named as a tool for cleaning the gunk out from in between your ears, the site is only the digital counterpart to a regular magazine. Though free content is often enough for me, since my mother is reading this she’ll be happy to know that they also offer gift subscriptions.

Second, and more interactive, is Sporcle.com. Boasting “mentally stimulating distractions,” Sporcle gives users a time limit to complete certain trivia games like naming the presidents or identifying state capitols. Friends can compete against each other, counting down to the start, then seeing how many correct answers each had when time expires.

I don’t need to know “Seven fruits that are technically vegetables” or race to name the largest U.S. cities by population since 1790; I need to challenge my brain.

I challenge you to challenge yours as well.