Tuesday, June 27, 2017

We're so sorry, Albert Einstein

After the first few times someone in elementary school hollers out "Smooth move, Einstein!" when we fail to conjugate the verb "machacar" (to crush or grind) correctly, or identify the man who shot Alexander Hamilton to death in a duel as "Raymond" Burr instead of "Aaron" Burr, or know the answer to 7 x 6, we learn that they aren't calling us that as a compliment.

But the BBC website recently had a list of the things that made the real Albert Einstein so doggone smart, and even though it's far too late for me to to wise up, this is a good time of year for those with kids still in school to share brain tips from the biggest noggin of them all.

I'll shorten the list and leave out things Einstein recommended, such as smoking a pipe, (I mean, really), and share the brain food that might not lead to diseases, stanky clothing, and tiny burn holes in your pants.

Image result for einstein
At staff lunches, they always made
Einstein figure out who owed what
and what to tip.
 - He recommended getting ten hours of sleep every night and taking little naps (known to the sleep community as "naplets.") Most Americans now get 6.8 hours of sleep a day, and even if you are smart enough to calc out how long .8 hr is, that's still not enough for the big E, who sacked out for ten and still dozed off for a bit during the day. Apparently he went to a lot of meetings.

See if this sounds Einsteinian to you. He would lean back in his armchair with a spoon in his hand and a metal pan directly below it. The minute he nodded off, the spoon would drop, the pan would clank, and he'd get back to work. 

The article also said that Einstein came up with his theory of relativity ("LS/MFT") while dreaming about cows getting electrocuted. 

 - Like me, Einstein went for a walk every day, often walking a mile and a half to his desk at Princeton University. He was known for driving to work, and forgetting that he done so, as he walked home.  Unlike me, Einstein got stuff done on his walk, noodling out the great secrets of the physical world. In my defense, though, if Albert had an iPod, as I do, he would have enjoyed hearing "Little" Jimmy Dickens and Hank Williams on his walks, as I do. When LJD starts in on "Take An Old Cold Tater (And Wait)", who can think of calculus?

It turns out that the very act of walking forces your melon to concentrate a little on the very act of putting one foot of the other and perambulating, and this allows the frontal lobes to relax and figure stuff out while we think left-right-left-right.

 - He carbed up! Some say he was a spaghetti fiend. And his brain needed a lot of fueling. I mean, what's on my mind right this second? What time the ballgame comes on tonight! And if Einstein were alive, he would have much more important stuff going on up in his loaf. The brain gets tired when blood glucose drops, and a tired brain won't help you figure out the quantum description of light, so bring on the San Giorgio! And pass the grated cheese.

-The last item on the list was something I did all the time back in the day and would not dream of doing nowadays. Going sockless. The Big "E" loved not wearing socks. He complained that his big toe always put a hole in his socks, so he gave up socks for sandals. That's the kind of brainpower that is killing the sock business, but it worked for him.

The BBC article closes with a quote from the man himself: 

The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.

Which brings to mind the old gag about the two psychiatrists passing each other in the hall and the one says, "Good morning," and the other one goes, "I wonder what he meant by that." 

Curiosity is a curious thing. 

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