People who spend money on brain trainers to keep their mind sharp may well get the same benefit from simply doing a crossword, experts conclude.
Consumer group Which? asked three experts to check claims made about several devices, including the Nintendo DS, on memory and staving off dementia. They found the evidence behind such claims was non-existent or “weak”.
But there is evidence that exercise, a healthy diet and an active social life help keep an agile mind, Which? said. Brain trainers, often promoted by celebrity endorsement, have been increasing in popularity.
A US fireman who lost his power of speech in a traffic accident has been taught to speak again by parrots.
Brian Wilson, from Damascus, Maryland, suffered life-threatening injuries in the accidnet 14 years ago. He also lost his ability to speak.
But he now claims that the chatter of pet parrots confounded the bleak outlook of doctors, who were convinced that he would spend the rest of his life in bed at a nursing home.
“Two birds taught me to talk again,” he said. “I had such a bad head injury I was never supposed to talk any more than a two-year-old.”
But two of the birds that he had had as pets since he was a child “just kept talking to me and talking to me”. “Then all of a sudden, a word popped out, then two, then more.”
To show his gratitude to the birds who helped him on the path to rehabilitation, Mr Wilson has devoted his life to feathered pets whose owners are no longer able or want to keep them.
Telegraph (Thanks Katherine)
There’s been a rising chorus of alarm from church leaders at what they regard as the “aggressive secularism” marginalising Christianity, the religion whose precepts – such as “do as you would be done by”, and upholding the sanctity of human life – once underpinned British laws.
A few years ago, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, warned that “Christianity had been all but vanquished in Britain” as the underpinning for the nation’s moral life.
The Church complains that recent legislation – such as the laws guaranteeing equal treatment for gay people that forced Catholic adoption agencies to place children with homosexual couples – seek to control people’s morals as well as their behaviour.
This is just incredible!
More photos at the Telegraph
MAGICIANS unveiled a plaque in honour of the “godfather of illusion” in Camden Town on Monday.
Robert Harbin, who lived at 1 Camden Square in 1928, is renowned among members of the Magic Circle for creating the world-famous Zig Zag Girl, where an assistant in a box is seemingly sawn into three parts.
Chris Woodward, a member of the Magic Circle, based in Euston, said: “He came to Camden from Johannesburg and his original name was Ned Williams. He developed a series of illusions, including the Zig Zag Girl and the Blades of Opah.” Mr Harbin, who died in 1978, worked for Holborn toy store Gamages while living in Camden Square.
May Geasley, who lives in his former flat, said: “My dad Eugene was a magician and he used to do the Zig Zag Girl. I’m really amazed to find out Harbin lived here.” The illusionist is credited with bringing origami – the Japanese art of paper-folding – to this country. Throughout the 1960s he had his own television show, Paper Magic, and gave Rolf Harris his first job in this country, illustrating a book on the subject. Mr Harris could not attend the event because of poor health. Steve Megumi, of the British Origami Association, said of Mr Harbin: “He was a real gentleman off stage as well.”