Brains win prizes!

coverinstanteggheadmindWoo-hoo, I never win competitions but yesterday I managed to bag myself a copy of a new book, The Instant Egghead Guide To The Mind, courtesy of Scicurious over at Neurotopia. She had an advance copy of said book to review, basically a beginners guide to the grey goo inside our crania, and the publishers were kind enough to give her some extras to foist upon her readership. All we had to do was leave a comment listing three reasons why we love our brains. Ooh, so many potential answers because, despite appearances, brains can do all kinds of funky, cool shit – I know that and I ain’t even no scientist! I swithered for a while and eventually plumped for the following three:

1. If it wasn’t so fast and powerful it’d take me ages to figure out how to make my shin connect with the pad in just the right place and at just the right speed in Muay Thai classes.
2. If it gets fed the right input it floods my body with happy chemicals. Even if it gets bad input and starts throwing out nasty stuff I can put it back on track easily enough.
3. When I’m asleep it seems to stay awake and gets mighty bored, so it invents dreams to keep itself amused. Everyone knows dreams rock.

I think those are fair enough, what do you reckon? I’ve come up with others since then, my favourite being that my brain is full of trains and that these trains take the craziest routes round all sorts of stations so I may start off at “Mmm, this pudding is tasty” and eventually arrive at “That’s definitely the easiest way to fix my bike!” via “Why didn’t I buy that computer when I had the chance”. It goes on those crazy journeys without me telling it to, which is pretty good work for a lump of jelly.

(Just thought of another screamingly obvious one. My brain is me. All those connections, all those neurons talking to each other in just such a fashion, all those chemicals and hormones getting pumped around on demand. That’s what I call ‘me’, much more so than the rest of the meatsack I inhabit – it’s the car, the brain’s behind the wheel. How could I not love me?)

Anyway I got an email saying I’d won a copy so hoorah! Only thing is that the publishers might balk at sending one over to the UK – a lot of US competitions seem to work that way. If so never mind, the book sounds cool enough to pick up a copy anyway…


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