From time to time I watch TV because my wife is married to Pointless. It is a rather interesting program as you need to find answers to questions that the panel of 100 people interviewed to answer such questions, had not mentioned. So, the four couples who stand need to find the lowest score, not the highest. If there was a question answered that gave a zero result £250 was added to the prize total. The end prize, if not won because the last couple standing does not find a zero point answer at that stage, will be increased by £1,000. If they find a zero point answer they will win the pot. Sometimes that can run to well in the thousands. Anyway, this is not what struck me as interesting. What is, is the knowledge displayed about subjects. It is funny but most younger people like to say ‘This was before my time’ and are reasonably well versed in music questions. But take History or Geographical questions, they invariably display complete ignorance. It does not show up well for secondary education in this country. From quite a number of quarters you hear about education standards being watered down. This might be true or not, I suspect it is but as a governor in a local school I also noticed that more time is spent on non-science subjects. Maths is not forgotten but I must ask, why in all honesty are they teaching Napier? Drawing a grid, placing numbers, and so by adding arrive at the answer after two hours? Well, maybe not two hours but you I hope, will see the point?The other thing that bothers me is the bad quality of writing. I mean when looking at the calligraphy type as so wonderfully shown on documents of the past you won’t really see that in schools today. Today you are lucky if you can decipher what is written. Spelling is another failure post, probably the fault of Google’s spell checker or software like OpenOffice or Microsoft’s Word. On their own these programs do exactly what they say they do but our brains are not taxed and do not have to remember how to spell because the spellchecker will automatically correct you. In all of that, you must remember that our brains stay sharp through EXERCISING it. For myself I spend some time doing Crosswords and am a lover of Sudoku. Lovely Japanese girl that. No, not really, Sudoku is or can be a hard puzzle pending on how the numbers are set up and how many are set in the grid to start. Another very good brain tester is a simple card program like Patience. When you must recognise values and put them in order of their differing colours or suits. Another great activity is jigsaw puzzles. My tablet loads these in a jiffy and I can choose with how many pieces I will start. Obviously I must assume that we will have the time to do these games but surely we can? In the end it is all for one reason, keeping our brains active and healthy! And lastly, don’t forget we also need physical exercise. Buy a watch that keeps informing you how many steps you have taken. Funny I should say it but I have not got to the two-thousand steps a day yet!
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