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Staying sharp academically without sudoku.

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DoItTooJulia Mon 02-Feb-15 21:27:54

I'm 35. Im busy, with demanding career, kids yada yada, and I just feel a bit, well, I don't know, is it bored? sluggish of brain? Out of the loop?

Basically, I miss having interesting stuff to learn about/get into.

Part of my problem is a reading drought, I'm just not reading for fun like I used to and I miss it, but I do read some journals like New Scientist and the New Humanist. I do get the odd London Review of Books, but tbh, I've found it a bit impenetrable at times. I'm not hugely cultured (theatre is a huge turnoff for me). I read the news, I'm interested in politics, but still this feeling of brain lethargy persists.

What do you do to stave this off? What can I try?

ButterflyOfFreedom Sun 08-Feb-15 13:42:48

Love this thread & have been inspired!! smile

I've signed up for a course via FutureLearn and have read several articles on !

I'm going to start reading more too including nonfiction.

DH has said he'd dig his chess set out & teach me how to play though I'm not sure if that's one step too far at the moment for me!?! (never seemed to like the idea of chess!)


Redoubtable Sun 08-Feb-15 14:39:08

MNHQ thanks for moving this to a permanent home.

I also got lost in the Waitbutwhy blog after looking for the Fermi pareadox info.
This is for kids supposedly but I find it interesting. Not really a brain stretcher as such but lovely to scroll through. Hope it's of use to someone.

funnyperson Mon 09-Feb-15 04:09:02

Sorry- only just caught up with this again: someone upthread asked about poetry: I think the key thing is to get an anthology from the library or Barnados and read poems from it aloud, (perhaps to dp or dc even) then you will get a feel for what you like, and the rythmn and the sound. Try the metaphysical poets such as John Donne, the romantics such as Tennyson and Shelley, more modern poets such as ts elliott 'the wasteland' ee Cummings and Ted Hughes, as well as the war poets of course. Burns is nice. Anyway, learn one you like by heart and see how you get on. There are all sorts: lewis carroll, william blake, ae houseman, wordsworth, john masefield, and the japanese haiku, funny ones and sad ones, romantic ones and tragic ones. This one seems appropriate for this thread

By C. P. Cavafy

Translated By Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard
As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you’re old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

funnyperson Mon 09-Feb-15 04:12:49

Yeats of course, and Dylan Thomas.

ButterflyOfFreedom Wed 11-Feb-15 16:06:15

Try getting your head around The Monty Hall problem...!

OFrabjousDay Wed 11-Feb-15 16:24:34

Has anyone mentioned Numberphile? I haven't looked at many of the videos, but someone linked to a video which showed the proof that the sum of all integers up to infinity (i.e. 1+2+3+4...) equals -1/12, which was fascinating.


Also, Periodic Videos is a series of chemistry videos made by a professor of chemistry with excellent hair. (I was taught by him at university and he loved playing up to his 'mad scientist' image smile)

Smooshface Wed 04-Mar-15 08:27:16

just compiling my list of all this cool stuff!

Only Connect is almost finished for this series, but me and my partner love it!
Used to read blogs like [[] "Damn Interesting"]
i got book [[] How to Solve Cryptic Crosswords] which takes it slowly and has lots of examples and stuff.
People rave about Khan Acadamy which has lots of courses, massive amount of videos to learn new stuff (aimed at schools but don't see why that couldn't be good for people here too! has astronomy section which i keep meaning to watch)

Smooshface Wed 04-Mar-15 12:51:42

Apologies for my terrible looking links? not sure what i've done wrong there, ho hum

newmum266 Tue 01-Oct-19 05:27:06


bsc Sat 28-Dec-19 18:20:25

Does anyone know how one could study more GCSE/A Level level of content, to learn things one didn't learn in school? I would really like to learn some chemistry, as I only did physics, also maybe geology with it. I assume future learn/open university will all be higher level courses, but I'm looking for Level 2 and then Level 3.

Imreallynotpostingthistime Thu 02-Jan-20 01:27:39

bsc bbc bitesize!

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