Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I'm feeling very brainless. Obviously I am befuddled by gin and Cremeau d'Alsace... I have just tried (unwisely) the Times' Brain Power questions which was really stupid because a) I'm totally crappy at maths, and b) I am well-fed, well-watered and feeling groggy. So, I got 6 points and am placed at number 165 out of I don't know how many. My little white spot on the chart of top and average results hung in a desultory manner at the bottom of the table.

I got the wordy one right though, and one other number one which I guessed. hee hee.

Now that I'm panicking that my brain has not only reached the top of the slippery slope, but is careering down it at neck-breaking speed towards the abyss, I have been reading some of the advice given to keep the old grey cells clinging on for dear life to their synaptic pathways instead of sinking into a comfortable state of watching Big Brother with their feet up.

The Sunday Times provides a PDF file of 'Weekend' devoted to brain power; how to conserve it, understand it and use it by training it for fulfilment and happiness. Sounds a tall order, doesn't it?

One of the ways for oldies not to lose their minds is to take different routes on familiar journeys. You can also try painting a picture (or painting one with your feet if you're an artist! NG will love that one!), and using a different hand to brush your teeth. So, full of the joys of spring, today I took a different route and am keenly looking forward to brushing my teeth with my left hand tonight. I'm hoping that tomorrow's Brain Power test will be that much easier to tackle and that I'll be luckier with my wild guesses.

I'll do it BEFORE my G&T.


  1. Here's something to tax your brain, Sarah. Were you aware that for the last few days at least, possibly longer, our two blogs have had exactly the same Technorati ranking ? The figure this morning is 317204.

    Last night it was 316792 for both of us.

  2. How exciting! We should form a club...

  3. Yeah, but the club might fold if we one day discovered the other had suddenly acquired a better ranking.

    No, what I don't understand is how two different blogs can have the same ranking. How precise, or accurate, is the Technorati scoring system ( about which I know nothing) ?

  4. I'm not sure, but Technoranki base their ranks on Technorati so you may get some answers there.

  5. I don't know if Technorati would be willing to divulge how they arrive at those rankings. It's probably based on one of those algorithms, and one might find oneself in real brain-hurt territory there.

    But the fact that two blogs can have the same ranking, which goes up and down together in unison, suggests there is some wool being pulled over our eyes about the meaning of those numbers. 316792 conveys a high degree of precision, but is it real ?

    I suspect not. As you know, one can enter one's blogname and get a simple alpahabetical grading. Angela mentioned it recently, and as I recall all three of our blogs score C. But I suspect that within C, there's a new series of bands, A, B, C etc.

    But bands don't give a ranking, so they convert them to numbers, which would explain why two blogs can have the same "number". In reality we may both be CE, say, as distinct from CB or CG.

    Why am I inflictig all this on you ? Different people stretch their brains in different ways. Some do Sodoku or crossword puzzles. But I end up asking myself what have I achieved at the end of that, except a mental workout. Personally I prefer to solve problems and puzzles from real-life, so there's the added satisfaction of feeling one has been among the first to spot, say, a new trend or pattern. I guess that's what attracted me to science as a career.

    I expect you are following Colin R's blog . Any ideas on who the Anonymous might be who first started pushing for alpahabetical listing of links ? And for what reason ?

    I gave one suggestion (my mental puzzle for the day). But I've had an afterthought. Could it have been a certain hippophile, one now back under their real name, who wanted "Another Colin" at the top of ColinR's list ? Maybe Colin should have chosen a cute animal to symbolise his blog, like a panda say, to keep that individual happy. Hippos can be occasionally aggressive or bad-tempered, as you know.

  6. Colin, you may like to browse this Technorati link which gives some really interesting information about blogging around the world - peaks and lows, numbers and so on. I don't have time to go through it (being at work...) but I think you'd find it fascinating.

    As for the alphabetical listings on ColinR's blog, as it's a mere button press, I don't know what the russ is about. It's not like he has to do it manually.

  7. Yeah, but this alphabetical thing is all a red herring if you ask me. Anonymous /anonymice could be Anne Gilbert wanting her hippo at the top of the list, or R of O's eccentric way of signalling to Colin R that he's miffed at not being in the list ( though he denies it), or possibly both. Either way it opened up a hornet's nest, because Bill Taylor decided, yet again, to make capital of it at my expense.

    Well, this time, Billy boy is not getting away with it. Time to put a stop to his mud-slinging tactics.

    The man is a menace. He doesn't appear to understand that behind a real name, there is a real person, one who is operating in the public domain, with tad of self-esteem, and a reputation to maintain.

    How can someone who's a journalist not understand that ? Or does he feel that blogging from Canada puts him a safe distance ? He can cause us no end of problems at minimum risk to himself.

    Maybe it's time we started entering "Toronto Star" into all our posts. That might clip his wings a bit. Yeah, whenever we want to defend ourselves, or hit back even , we refer to this affliction of the human spirit as "Bill Taylor (Toronto Star)".

  8. As my grey cells are definitely on the slippery slope and have been for ages...I'm going to love trying to paint with my feet....perhaps I will then also sell for 100 000 euros to Guggenheim!


  9. Anne, I posted about the Einstein Enigma a year ago!! You must have been reading my archives.

    Colin, Technorati do explain the rankings here which I have had explained to me...

  10. I solved it by drawing pictures and making lists.

  11. Ah, okay.

    BTW, thanks to your observation about time/date etc for comments, I have adjusted the settings. Thanks!

  12. um...I feel like I'm interrupting here but I just wanted to say that my brain has got a bit shiny with wear so any thoughts tend to slide off the top without a hope of sticking.

    And also, I wouldn't dare take an unfamiliar route to work because I would most definitely get lost:-)

    Right - I'm off to check my Technorati ranking. Carry on...

  13. Sorry, it means 'by the way'. :)

  14. Yes, she does, I'm happy to say, Anne.


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