Archive for June, 2013

Are Mind and Brain the Same Thing?

June 24, 2013

According to what I have recently read, most scientists believe they are the same thing. Like the Frank Sinatra hit “Love and Marriage” says, “You can’t have one without the other.”

However, it seems the debate lingers.  Some say the brain is our mental hardware and the mind our mental software.  Some get into the  metaphysical, saying the brain is physical, but the mind metaphysical, connecting the brain to the soul.

This thought came to me. The brain is physically how we think; the mind is what we think.

The trick is to get control of the process, to control what we think instead of letting the rapid random thoughts that bombard our mind control  us.  Anyone for meditation?

 

Advertisements

An Advertiser’s Solution to Commercial Fast-forwarding

June 21, 2013

As I watched a rare commercial break this morning – I record just about everything I watch and fast-forward through the commercials – I was truly impressed with some photographic magic.  A fresh-faced, well-scrubbed young teen-age boy came  on the screen to tell me about the problems drugs can cause a guy. As he explained what they do to the brain, his face morphed seamlessly into a scraggly bearded,  unkempt, troubled youth. As I said, it was seamless. And, the video trick did not distract from  the message; it  enhanced it.

This type of video art made me reflect on how advertisers could cut way down on people fast-forwarding  through commercials by doing more of it. In other words, give the viewer something artistic and/or entertaining to watch. Some do.

The very effective Aflac duck commercial is a prime example. That one is quite expensive to make so not every advertiser can afford something like it. However, much lower-budgeted commercials can also be artistic and entertaining. Some of you may remember from many years ago the two local seniors advertising Southern Maid No-burn Bacon. At the end of their verbal sparring, one would always end with, “He’ll never learn.” A lot of folks laughed at those commercials and bought that bacon.

Adjusting for High Water

June 19, 2013
Running Heaven's Gate at High Water

Running Heaven’s Gate at High Water

When the river reaches flood stage, which it did today, Whitewater Express continues to operate, but only at Heaven’s Gate, and I do mean right there.   The put the rafts in at the Eagle and Phenix Power Plant, run the rapid, paddle back and do it again. They don’t do the long river run, and they don’t do the more challenging Cut Bait on the Alabama side of the Chattahoochee.

There are a couple of advantages to doing the short run over and over. For one thing, as a guide told me, “You do improve with practice.” I noticed that was the case. The first time the raft I was watching did a couple of about-faces during the run. The second time it went straight through with no wabbling around. But, the next time, the raft flipped. When I commented that getting the swimmers back on the raft took up time, Blake Quinney, Assistant Director of Operations for Whitewater Express said “They are having fun.” Indeed, it did appear they were.

Another advantage is the rafters get to run Heaven’s Gate as many times as they can get in an hour and a half. The long river runs do it twice. A drawback could be that there are more different rapids to run on the long run.

Blake was pleased with the amount of business they have done so far. Four- thousand people have rafted down the Chattahoochee since the end of May, and he expects to have served as many as twenty-thousand rafters by the end of August.

 

 

14th Street Bridge to Open by September

June 17, 2013

imageAs I peered through the chain link fence that kept me off the 14th Street Bridge,  I was really impressed with the transformation of what was never – at least to me – a handsome structure into something that could actually be called beautiful.  It served its purpose for a long time as a bridge for vehicular and pedestrian traffic, since 1921, but, to me,  its appearance was strictly functional.  And… well… ugly. Now, as a pedestrian bridge designed to be in harmony with the rest of the River Walk, it’s easy on the eyes.

Columbus City Planner Rick Jones says it will open in its new incarnation at either the end of August or in early September.  It was supposed to be open by now, but structural problems with the approach, which include building the tunnel underneath to connect the River Walk on the Georgia side, caused the delay.

Jones said the city also plans to put in a couple of restrooms in the tunnel area.

The Plaza leading into the approach is scheduled to be completed in 2014.  He says that construction won’t prevent the opening of the bridge this year.

We Need Legislators Who Support Public Education

June 4, 2013

HERE’S MORE EVIDENCE THAT TOO MANY DON’T

It is very disheartening to see what those who control the Georgia Legislature are doing to our state’s public school system.  The evidence became even more abundant when I learned about the tentative Muscogee County School District’s 2014 budget.

The state is cutting MCSD $21 million in funding for the year. That brings to #141 million cut by the state over the past 12 years. How can we believe lawmakers who say they support public education when they do this?

In order to live with the reduced budget, the MCSD proposes, among other things, closing schools  laying off perhaps up to 40 teachers,  increasing class size, ending adult education,  delaying buying new textbooks, reduced funding for computers, supplies, and building maintenance.

The legislator’s claim that the state doesn’t have the money is nonsense. It’s just spending it on other things.  We need to be sending to Atlanta lawmakers who truly support public education.

For another take on the problem, go to this link.