Friday, May 7, 2010


I stumbled upon a couple of interesting facts regarding the brain today and couldn’t resist sharing them with my readers, along with my appropriate marks and remarks.

First, the human brain supposedly has around 70,000 thoughts on an average day. As I was thinking about that, a number of thoughts occurred to me.

One was to determine how many thoughts per second that would work out to be. Sixty seconds per minute. Sixty minutes per hour. Twenty-four hours per day. That breaks down to approximately 1-1/4 thoughts per second. Awake or asleep, that brain of yours is cranking out more than a thought per second. I’m making no judgment as to the worth of those thoughts, but I think I can safely say that the overwhelming majority of them are not worth remembering. Especially since, well, we don’t remember them.

And the ones we do remember? Yeah, those are not particularly that good either.

Another thought I had about so much thinking, was how they managed to arrive at that number. And I imagined a scenario like this.

Bob walks into The Brain Research on American’s with Independent Noesis Place (or The BRAIN Place).

“Hi Doc,” he says.

The Doctor, with two extra digits on each hand and a rather large forehead with a wickedly receding hairline replies, “Hi Bob. Ready to get started?”

“You betcha Doc. Let’s do it.”

“Alrighty Bob. In three. Two. One. Go!”

“There’s one. There’s another one. No, wait, there were two at once then. And I just had four or five while I was talking. Four. No, Five. Definitely Five. And there’s one. Another one. Another one. Whoops. Two back then. Now six. Another one. Anoth…”

“Oh crap, Bob. I lost count. We’ll have to start over. Ready? And, go!”

“That’s one. Ditto. Another one. Ooh, three at once. Two more. Oops. Missed a couple. Now another one.”

“Sorry, Bob. Lost count again. Let’s do it again. And ready? Go!”

And so it went. Hour after hour. Day after day. Until after the research money was about to dry up and they still hadn’t come to an accurate count. So between the two of them, they just guessed about 70,000, never really bothering to do any corresponding math.

I’m not saying it did happen that way, but my brain likes that story much better than one with a bunch of techno-babble and science stuff. I mean really. First you have to define what a thought is, then come up with the means to measure it. It’s so much easier to imagine Bob and the Doc just going at it.

The second interesting fact I stumbled upon regarding the brain, was that the average brain produces enough energy to light up a 25-watt bulb.

Of course, the first thing I thought of after reading that was, “Heck, I know people who can’t light a candle, much less a 25-watt light bulb.”

So let’s revisit The BRAIN Place to imagine how that discovery was made.

Again, Bob walks into the Doc’s office. Suddenly the lights go out and they’re trapped in pitch black darkness. (Of course, it was darkness, because one does not get thrown into pitch black lightness, silly.)

The Doc stumbles around disoriented in the darkness. A thought occurs to him. “Maybe if I change the light bulb, it won’t be so dark in here.” (I said it was a thought. Not necessarily a good one.)

He picks up a 25-watt bulb, and still disoriented, begins to screw it into what he thinks is the socket.

It flickers a bit then shines brightly.

It was only then that the Doc realized he had screwed it into Bob’s ear, making a connection to his brain.

Or they could have measured the energy that zips and zaps inside our heads and compared it to a light bulb and found it was similar.

But I like my story better.

So remember these tidbits the next time someone says to you, “A penny for your thoughts.”

Ask them if that’s for a minute’s worth of thoughts or the day’s? A minute will cost them 75-cents. The day’s worth will run them $700.

At least, I think my math is right.


  1. RunningRampant898May 13, 2010 at 2:14 PM