Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Brain cells



The average adult brain as about 100 billion brain cells. We kill off about 10 billion of them over the course of a lifetime. That leaves about 90 billion to mess around with.

I like those odds.

I also read where it only takes one brain cell to recognize someone's face. In my case it takes another 5 billion to remember their name (this includes my own name at times). I have one of those brains that remembers tons of trivial facts, but blocks out crucial information like remembering to wear pants.

It was just that once and there were mitigating circumstances.

Odds are that one line about me forgetting to wear pants will be one of the few things any of you will remember about this post. Many of you are nothing if not predictable.

I've always been fascinated by the brain. I mean, here's this mass of wrinkly stuff that looks a blob of something you'd cough up yet it controls your entire body and thinks about all kinds of crap at the same time. That's pretty amazing.

And memory is pretty amazing, too. All of those neuron paths that the brain uses to store things like a squirrel hoarding nuts. And then it goes back to find them and sometimes discovers other things more interesting like the time your First Grade teacher took your class into another teacher's room to watch a movie and the kid next you was talking. And when the teacher of the other class asks who is talking your teacher points out the kid next to you, the other teacher thinks your teacher is pointing at you and you get whacked on the back of the head by the other teacher. And then your teacher laughs because she knows you never do anything wrong and now you've been wrongly punished.

Yes memory is pretty amazing. But I (and my brain) digress.

Sometimes I think my brain finds memories much in the same way Hansel and Gretel tried to find their way back home by leaving a trail of bread crumbs. The older I get, the more bread crumbs are eaten by birds and the harder it is to find my way home.

But all told, I have a pretty decent memory. I just hope that my brain is one of the last things to go (well second to last things) as I check off the parts of me that don't work as well as I age.

What was I talking about?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well I don't know about you not wearing pants... but I know I will NEVER forget your face.

Anonymous said...

You were talking about the time you faced your fear of being famous and how you almost lost your life saving the woman that you love.
Then there was the time you indicated that you may have been a tad over zealous in your quest for the Holy Grail.
Of course you kissed that girl in 5th grade that caused intense pain, profuse sweating, difficulty in breathing, fainting and finally pregnancy.
The thing I like most about you is your in born need to dominate and possess. You did digress just a wee bit concerning the prenuptial agreement you had with a newt.

Oh Bugga........what was I going to say?

The Michael said...

I suffer from selective memory. Like that promise you made to send me your copy of photoshop last week. I hope it's not true that selective memory is highly maleable by desire, because I truly desire that you send me that copy of photoshop. I just hope you didn't forget. But I'm sure the point is mute because last week you also were raving about how trustworthy I am. Just ask Lights. Lights will back me up if you don't remember.












Right, Lights? hehehe, checks in the mail........

Hayden said...

forgetabout the pants! well, I mean, no, forget about forgetting about the pants. (please remember going forward). (humm. especially remember your pants if you are going forward.)

stop, I give up.

what I want to know about is how many brain cells it takes to subtract 10 billion from 100 billion and get 190 billion.

that should be quantifiable.

Anonymous said...

Now I want a copy too.

kristy said...

If your brain, like mine, is your imaginary castle, yours is decorated with pink (or blue) flamingos and garden gnomes. I find it rather hypocritcal that you don't freely accept sock monkeys into this company. Oh, and many, MANY self-portraits.

Tim ID said...

Shandi, It is unforgetable, isn't it? I seem to see it evertime I look into a mirror :)

Whitesnake, Just remember what they say about long term effects on your short term memory.

THE Michael, I may be forgetful, but I'm not stupid.

Hayden, I don't know what you are talking about. Perhaps one of your synapses has misfired.

Kristy, Don't hate, appreciate. And I'll be darned if I'll let any sock monkeys, incontinent or not, into my brain. The Monkey Playing Cymbals is bad enough. And some people like my self portraits. If you had Photoshop you could decorate your brain with self portraits, too.

Whitesnake, you can borrow THE Michael's copy.

Anonymous said...

it is interesting that you wrote about the brain today.... (well yesterday now) Because i am such a masochist i am taking classes this winter (on difficult children - now i wonder why?)

Last night's lecture was about how the brain develops... apparently differently than they originally thought when i was originally in school - wayyyyy back when Jesus walked on earth..

the frontal lob does not fully develop (they tell me) until the age of 26 or 27 or 28 (they still haven't decided) (i don't think mine has finished maturing yet)

and explains why children /adults need to cry... because they are frustrated not angry!! and why they become aggressive...

and there was a point to this AND i was (really i was!!) trying to stay on topic here .. but i don't remember.. maybe my frontal lob is having a growth spurt?

as for your not wearing pants.. i never noticed.........

morningstar

Tim ID said...

Morningstar...hmmm...I'm trying to remember. Didn't you used to visit here? But I like the facts about the frontal lobes. And trust me, if I wasn't wearing pants, you'd notice. I have these really bright chili pepper boxers. :)

Miss Bliss said...

Ah...crap. I forgot what I was going to write.

Tim ID said...

Miss Bliss, Dizgraceland has the unique effect of killing one brain cell at a time. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Tim ID.. i am sorry i haven't been around much... (hanging head) but this fall i have been up to my ears in .. well .. just about everything.. between spending 8 hours (give or take) in school during the day... i decided in my infinite wisdom to spend a couple of hours or more in school in the evenings challenging my frontal lobs... (cheeky grin)...

i do try and stop by as much as possible.. IF i can keep the grey cells working i will try to comment occasionally.. on topic of course !!

morningstar

Tim ID said...

Morningstar,
No need to explain. You are always welcome here, on topic or not, when you have time.

Footpad said...

Mindblowing, as always.

-- f

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

If I Only Had a Brain
I could while away the hours
Conferrin' with the flowers
Consultin' with the rain
And my head, I'd be scratchin'
While my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain.
I'd unravel ev'ry riddle …

Like why can’t I get Tim’s face out of my brain. It seems he’s everywhere! Kind of like a weird gnome I know.

Tim ID said...

FP, A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

JP, Would it be funny if that turned out not to be my face? :)