Community Gardens: Good For The Brain

by ToriDeaux on June 17, 2009

imageIn my home town, the powers that be had a brilliant idea: turn a historic  farmstead (which now sits in the middle of town) into a community garden.  Citizens can sign up for 10×10 raised plots for vegetable or flower gardens, and the whole thing is  decorated by scarecrows in pioneer outfits, and old farm equipment.  (The 1800’s farmhouse itself is being restored to it’s  original form, and turned into a hands on museum, but that’s a ‘different matter. Today, we’re focused on the garden aspect)

In the same town, my Grandmother (who determined long ago she should never be called “Granny” ) has opened up her empty next-door lot for a neighborhood garden.  My grandfather had always kept it planted with garlic, onions, corn, and so forth… so it’s been great to see it in use again, and the neighbors all cooperating on the project.

Even in the most urban areas, gardeners are learning to create and manipulate cracks in paved areas to create community “crack gardens”. And at the White House, Michelle Obama has planted the first vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt, an act that has seemingly rejuvenated gardening as a hobby among younger generations.

But what’s any of this got to do with tweaking your mind?

Well…   Lots!  Gardening has everything to do with with mood balancing and brain fitness and general good attitudeness.

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Branding Monsters:A Visual Experiment

by ToriDeaux on June 8, 2009

image Last week, I went on a twisting, turning link following journey,  and ended up on Hugs for Monsters, a showcase for the work and thoughts of visual artist Joe Lifrieri.  His site design is refreshing and charming, but it was a post on branding for the social web that sent my imagination scribbling.

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Friday Ketchup: Where’s the Relish?

by ToriDeaux on May 29, 2009

Remember a week or so ago when I told you about my new bloggy crush, Havi Brooks?   You all helped me take her teleclass webinar thingy on non-strategic marketing strategy, and it was really cool. Thanks!

Today, I’ve decided to shamelessly steal-borrow-adapt one of Havi’s other ideas – a weekly post that she calls  her Friday Chicken/Checkin.  It’s essentially a place and time where she rambles waxes eloquently Friday Ketchup: Brought to you by a ketchup image from loungefrog on Stock.Xchngeabout her week – the good, the bad, the painful, the beautiful.   But because I’m me, and I have to be different  even from the different, I’ve opted for a condiment cliche instead of a poultry pun.  There’s a reason for my changing it up, too… it’s a reminder to me to catch-up on all of the things I should have told you about this week, and didn’t.

So here goes, your very first edition of Friday Ketchup!

First up? Some linkage for you:

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Of Shamanism, Shams, Illusion and Reality

by ToriDeaux on May 26, 2009

The other day, in a post about Penn & Teller,  I wrote this:

When I was in my wacky lets-learn-all-about-spiritual-secrets-and shamanism phase, I became fascinated by the way shamans could use tricks of illusion and magic as part of ritual and surprisingly effective medical treatments.   Indigenous spiritual practices are full of manufactured  illusions that are treated as reality, even by the practitioners themselves – but that’s another post.

This Is That Post (and yes, it’s stoopid-long)


imageFor a few years during my spiritual insanity, I had an actual-real-live-official mentor amid all the wackiness.

And yes, he was more than a wee-bit-wacky himself, but he was also quite smart, knowledgable and insightful, and a good sort of mentor (at least so long as you remembered he was basically a bit wacky.  I did forget, every once in a while)

But anyway.

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Penn & Teller: Magic and Neuroscience

by ToriDeaux on May 20, 2009

When I was little, my grandfather would amaze me with a rudimentary magic trick – presto, change-o, and with a pass behind his back,  a green poker chip would turn into a red one.

Hey, I was only 3 years old, my powers of observation were limited. But I’ve always loved stage magic, and the mental jolt of “HEY! That’s not right, how’d that happen?” [click to continue...]