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Noticing Newbies: May 14, 2014 Issue [#6320]

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Noticing Newbies

 This week: Your Brain is Lying to You
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Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

The Noticing Newbies Newsletter's goal is to make the newer members feel welcome and encourage them with useful information and/or links to make navigating Writing.com easier. Writing.com members of all ages and even veteran members can find useful information here. If you have specific questions, try visiting "Writing.Com 101 and/or "Noticing Newbies.

Meet The Noticing Newbies Full-Time Newsletter Editors

Word from our sponsor

Letter from the editor

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Your Brain is Lying to You

Q: The brain weighs only a mere 3% of your body weight but takes more than three times that percentage of your energy to run consistently. True or False? That's true. Your brain takes 17% of your energy to run efficiently.

I think we can all agree, the brain is an amazing organ. It controls our central nervous system, and without it, we couldn't walk, talk, or compose a coherent thought. Though, it's only as good with information as what we feed it. Yes, when your mom says "garbage in, garbage out", she was actually right with this organ. I could take this opportunity to dwell on how reading is incredibly important to a writer but instead I'd like to take this opportunity to pick your brain. Sometimes it amazes me what people will believe. I'm not talking about specific people here, just in general. Take for instance that polls   show that 18% of people think the sun revolves around the earth. Don't you dare say, doesn't it? General knowledge is one thing that many take for granted. Repeated stories and 'facts' tossed around in media stick in your head the more times you hear them. The more they are repeated, the better the chances you will remember it and unfortunately in time, may even think it's true regardless of where you first heard it. Don't believe me?

How many times have you heard someone start a conversation by saying, "I read it somewhere, I can't remember where but ..."

There is actually an explanation for that. The brain doesn't work like the supercomputer some people think it is. When you take in information, it's stored first in whats called the hippocampus. That is a small portion of the brain about the size of a link sausage but curled up. The information doesn't stay there however. Eventually, you need to recall some of the information you take in and out it comes again and again. You would think it goes back to the same place when you're done, right? You'd be wrong. In time, as the information comes back out over and over, it moves from the hippocampus to the cerebral cortex where unfortunately, it's separated from all the additional details which includes where you learned the information in the first place. Think about it, you can remember lots of important details, but do you remember when and where you learned all of them? This is known as "source amnesia" and it can cause you to remember details but unfortunately not connect them to the 'source' where you learned them, which can get you into trouble, because all the details you hear and remember aren't true. So, some of the 'facts' you have rattling around in your head, could actually be untrue but you're attributing them to the wrong sources and sometimes getting them completely wrong. *Shock* This is one reason politicians unscrupulously repeat untrue information about their opponents. What's kinda sad that in defending themselves, the opponents repeat the information and then explain why it isn't true - when repeating it is just unconsciously reinforcing it in the public's mind. As an example, instead of the press secretary for President Obama repeatedly saying he is not a follower of the Muslim religion, they should instead express that he has been a follower of the Christian religion since his late twenties. They are the same in facts but one statement leaves a completely different view in your mind and how you connect the information.

Just for fun, let's take five common myths and see which ones you 'believed' were actually true. In between, I'll toss in some multiple choice questions and we can test your knowledge.

Myth 1: You only use 10 percent of your brain
This is simply not true at all. We all use 100% of our brains, at different times when processing different activities. Most times those different parts work together within a span of a second. This myth has been attributed to several people from neurologist Barry Gordon, to Dale Carnegie, and even Albert Einstein. Some people argue that people can have brain surgery that removes part of their brain and they can still function. This is also true. The brain is an amazing organ and the other parts of the brain will work together and take over for the missing part, recovering and helping with whatever activity that part represented.

*Thought* Your friend is tickling your belly. You can reduce the tickling sensation by: 1
         A) Biting your knuckles
         B) Putting your hand on his to follow the movement
         C) Tickling him back
         D) Drinking a glass of water

Myth 2: Playing classical music to an infant can make the child smarter
This myth has created a multi-million dollar enterprise for the "Baby Einstein" company that sells DVD's, CD's and a host of other items that cater to the 'play this for your baby and they will be brilliant" mindset. It became so widely popular that it was dubbed "The Mozart Effect" by media. Sadly, there is no research that shows listening to classical music will make you any smarter. However, learning an instrument has been proven to increase coordination, concentration, and self-esteem.

*Thought* Which is the hardest thing your brain does? 2
         A) Sleeping
         B) Looking at a photograph
         C) Playing chess
         D) Doing long division

Myth 3: Drinking alcoholic beverages kills brain cells.
While anyone who has ever spoken to a drunk person can agree that alcohol in large quantities does affect motor skills, it doesn't actually "kill" brain cells. In complete disclosure, it can affect and damage the ends of neurons that could lead to impaired brain function. However, that applies to long term alcohol abuse and is still repairable or reveresable.

*Thought* In a noisy place, you can hear better on your cell phone by covering your other ear, right? 3
To hear better on the telephone would you:
         A) cup your hand over the ear piece
         B) use your hand to cover the mouthpiece
         C) cup your hand over your own mouth
         D) talk louder

Myth 4: You shouldn't let someone who has a concussion fall asleep
This is not only untrue, it could actually make the injury worse. After seeking medical treatment to ensure it is nothing more severe, rest   is the best thing you do for a concussion. After being bounced around inside your skull, the brain needs rest to heal properly.

*Thought* Men and women have inborn differences in: 4
         A) Spatial reasoning
         B) Strategies for navigation
         C) Ability to leave the toilet seat down
         D) Both A and B

Myth 5: Vaccines cause autism.
Contrary to many that refuse to give up on this, there is no research that supports this is true. Thimerosal is a preservative in vaccines that has been questioned for several years as to its effects on children. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), they support the findings   of the IOM (Institute of Medicine) that concluded that there is no relationship between vaccines containing thimerosal and autism rates in children.

Getting to know your most important tool as a writer can be more fun than you expected, isn't it?

*Note* The answers to the multiple choice questions appear as footnotes at the very bottom of this newsletter.

Write and Review on! ~ Brooke

Princeton research regarding your brain attributing material to the wrong sources.  

*Down*"Welcome To Your Brain is a lucid and fascinating journey into the inner life of the mind, an essential manual for one of nature's most amazing technologies. You'll never think about yourself -- or think about thinking -- quite the same way again." - Steven Johnson, author of Mind Wide Open and The Ghost Map

[Related Links] *Thumbsup*
This month's links are items connected to the topic discussed above.

*StarR* "Traumtic Brain Injury~Who am I now"   by garfieldkae
My story of healing, its time to tell it.

*StarP* "Invalid Item"   by A Guest Visitor
An article I recently published on Trinity College's blog "The Brain."

*StarV* "Invalid Item"   by A Guest Visitor
A weird prose about an offer for you, my readers to digest my brain.

*StarO* "The Writer's Brain"   by DBMacks
How is a writer's brain different than a normal person's.

*Starg* "The Brainstormers Group"   by Itchy Water~fictionandverse
A group for those with depression or mental illness. Friends and family welcome too.

Editor's Picks

Highlighted Newbies:

This month I decided to highlight authors that have taken the plunge and are making an effort in the community by introducing themselves in "Noticing Newbies.

 Welcome to my world  [E]
A brief summary of my writing and the background behind my words. Knowing I can reach out
by Giggles the Poet

I am blessed to have been given such a beautiful gift, one that tells stories, has a ending and leaves one thinking about that particular poem/situation. Each poem that I write is different from the last. I rarely get the chance to read my own work, but when I do go back and find something that was spoken to me to write, I am inspired, awed and feel so grateful to know that I saw through that situation and found closure. There are some things that I will never find closure with, but between you, me and God, I can live with that, as I continue to write.


 A Secret of the Women  [13+]
Finally revealing an inherent behavior trait of all women...
by Cheshire Logic

This is a call for Unity.

A clarion call.

A tremendous trumpet.

A call that must reach out to all of our kind, the keepers of Vulnerable Respectability!

Rise, O young girls, mature ladies and wise women; rise out of your sweaty seats of discomfort. Rise against the lewd eyes that defile you and mock your modesty.


 A Fall Afternoon  [E]
A brief description of an afternoon spent in nature
by River

Fall is my favorite season. Saturday was a stunning day, the skies so blue and the brightly colored leaves called out to me to come nurture my spirit on this glorious day. It was much too pleasant to sit indoors or squander the time away at a shopping mall.

I decided to take my buggy out for a ride. Zipping down Adam Street I could feel the sun warm on my face and the balmy breeze playing softly in my hair. Fallen leaves crunched under my wheels and birds sang in the treetops.


 In Defence of Satan  [ASR]
A short essay on the perception of God and Lucifer from the christian bible.
by Corvo Starke

Adult Supervision is advised

Often, Jehovah is thought of as pure good, and Satan as pure evil. But what if I told you that Satan was the good guy and Jehovah was the bad guy? I know that this will be a hard pill to swallow, but I ask you to bear with me. Jehovah created a utopia, yes. He created humanity, yes. But he created us ignorant and blind. He created humanity as slaves, blind to truth and obedient to a master. Were it not for Lucifer, humanity would've remained dogs, trained to bark and roll over on command. Lucifer sacrificed all that he had in order to break the shackles that bound us. We were freed, but Lucifer was stripped of title and cast out of heaven. And so it was, that Satan created hell; a place of torment for the souls of the damned; but is it?


 Something Wrong With Me  [13+]
just general feelings on relationships and self evaluation
by lostinoregon

There must be something wrong with me
a man that can't be loved.
I give them all my loyalty.
still that is not enough.
I work my fingers to the bone so they can have all they want.
yet in the end it's always the same my lonely heart haunts.


 Originality, is it worth it?  [E]
A dialogue on creativity, originality, and our obsession with them.
by LeatherPalm

Original work, why is everyone so obsessed with it? It's as if it's become a religion or something-- no, it's a god. People worship creative genius.

What's wrong with that? I don't see how originality could possibly be a bad thing.

Oh I didn't say that originality was to blame. I just don't know why people idolize it, and with zeal, at that.

Explain yourself then, I don't see what it is that you're griping about.


 The Avatar of Water  [ASR]
The great avatar of water regrets the war she was forced into.
by Jewell

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. They were the avatars, champions of the gods, children of legend. This kind of violence was not supposed to happen once their powers graced the lands. The earth wasn’t supposed to be painted this shade of red and the rivers should never have filled with the life-giving substance. No, it wasn’t supposed to be this way and yet it was. Men waged war over powers that weren’t theirs to possess. Generals and kings challenged this ragged band of misfits for what they thought were theirs by divine right, but if it had truly been their god-given right then wouldn’t the powers had come to them in the first place?


 Invalid Item  []

by A Guest Visitor

For the several years now I have been having problems at Christmas, specifically with Santa Claus. This year it got a little... Let's just say 'out of control'. It all started when I sent a letter to him going over some issues from past holiday seasons and it went from there. Who knew he was such a sensitive guy? I sure didn't. Here are copies of our main correspondence.


Twilight made me write intense poetry from the main characters. I hope you like them
by Alison

Edward’s Song

The thickness of fluid passage
Through veins, pulsing,
Food of life.

Thick metallic human fuel
Freshly oozing;
My passion.


 Vertigo  [E]
A story about a man and his choices as well as consequences.
by Noah


"What is in an idea?"

There was a pause, and no one in the room answered. An AC fan kicked on, blowing cold air into the room. A ceiling light flickered. A guard by the door fidgeted with his gun.

"Is it a belief? A principle? An ideology? A freedom that enhances one's truest potential? Or a law by which one uses to trap themselves in and uses as an escape?"


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Word from Writing.Com

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Ask & Answer

I received some wonderful feedback to my last newsletter [#6268] "Why Should I Review? and I'm proud to share it with you.

From aegreenfield
Thanks for the advice. I do point out grammatical errors and typos since they can distract the reader from a story. I point out both good things and mistakes.

That's wonderful. I'm sure those you review appreciate it your time. *Smile*

From John Nation regarding "Invalid Item Just kidding, it's regarding "My First Beer
Glad to see that you featured one of my stories, "My First Beer", but I do not remember the excerpt used.

I'm so sorry. I must have changed items and messed up the excerpts. *Blush* I am so sorry about that. I hope being featured did bring you some quality views/reviews.

From BIG BAD WOLF with "Surviving Zombie Apocalypse
You can always find something.

Well, I suppose you're right but most people have to be looking for something to actually find something. So, I guess those that aren't looking for something ... wouldn't find it. Would they? *Confused*

From Elfin Dragon - contest hunting
This is a great newsletter for our newbies and I'm glad to see the subject of reviewing this month in it. I'd also like to add that we should not be afraid to ask questions from anyone, even those whom we review. If we're not sure why it was written in a particular manner, ask. Or if you want a second opinion, ask one of the more experienced members. Just remember there are no stupid questions. *Smile*

I couldn't agree more! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and adding that to the conversation. *Smile*

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