Not Much But Still a Lot…


Did you know that your brain is about two percent of your total body weight but it uses 20% of the body’s total energy and oxygen intake?

In the month of March, we observe “Brain Awareness Week”.

Naturally, my mind recalled “Pinky and The Brain”, the animated television series that can proudly say it had Steven Spielberg as its’ Executive Producer.

The series ran from 1995-1998 and featured two genetically-enhanced lab mice named Pinky (good-natured but feeble-minded) and The Brain (self-centered and scheming).

They came from Acme Labs.

Would that be the same company that sold Wile W. Coyote all his :road-runner catching stuff?

“Pinky and The Brain” was the first animated tv series to be presented in Dolby Surround.

They first appeared in 1993 as part of the “Animaniacs” series.

In my quest to become more “brain aware”, I discovered lots of neat facts.

The typical human brain weighs 3 pounds; a sperm whale has a brain that can weigh up to 17 pounds

The brilliant Albert Einstein had a brain that weighed about two and three-quarters of a pound.

But, the neutron density of his brain was greater than the average.

That explains “E=mc squared”.

Our brains are about 73% water and they produce about a half a cup of fluid daily and that acts like a shock absorber.

Drink your fluids.

Just 2% dehydration can negatively affect your attention, memory and cognitive skills.

Watch those workouts, too.

Ninety minutes of sweating can temporarily shrink your brain as much as a year of aging.

Cholesterol often gets a bad rap but it is an integral part of every one of those 86 billion brain cells in your noggin.

Brain cells will die without adequate amounts of cholesterol.

Higher amounts of cholesterol can help reduce the risk of dementia.

In cartoons, we often see a lightbulb go on over someone’s head when they have an idea.

Well, the brain generates 12-25 watts of electricity which is enough to power a low-watt bulb.

A two-year old’s brain is already 80% of the size of an adult brain and that might be why babies have big heads.

Your brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and blood is the main carrier.

Every minute, enough blood flows through 400 miles of blood vessels in your brain to fill a wine bottle.

Wine bottle?

Alcohol DOES NOT kill brain cells BUT it can damage connective tissue on neurons of which we have about 86 billion of.

By comparison, the Milky Way has something between 200 and 400 billion stars.

However, each one of those 86 billion neurons can transmit 1,000 nerve impulses EACH second.

Men’s brains are typically 10% larger than women’s BUT the hippocampus, which is linked to memory, is normally larger for the gals.

That’s why they never forget the stupid things men do!

But Neanderthal brains were 10% larger that our modern models are.

As a matter of fact, our brains have gotten significantly smaller in the past 10,000 to 20,000 years to the point we’ve lost enough brain matter to make a tennis ball.

We’ve also lost about 13 IQ points since the Victorian era.

Now, the typical human brain starts slowing down at age 24 but vocabulary skills may not peak until you’re in your 70’s.

As you age, however, you’ll get better at some things and worse at others.

Would it surprise you to know that 18-34 year old millenials are more forgetful that baby boomers?

But maybe that’s because 140+ brain proteins are negatively impacted by electro-magnetic frequencies like you find in cell phones.

I’m sure you’ve heard that we only use 10% of our brains.

Fact is we use most of the brain most of the time…even when we’re sleeping.

Let me bust another myth.

There’s no such thing as “left brain” or “right brain”.

Despite what you see or read regarding Artificial Intelligence (AI) or super computers that unit on top of your neck and between your ears is still vastly superior.

The famous Japanese K computer, one of the world’s most powerful, took 40 minutes to crunch the data equivalent to ONE SECOND of brain activity.

A single piece of brain tissue, the size of a grain of sand contains 100,000 neurons and 1 billion synapses and brain information travels at 268 miles an hour, faster than a Formula 1 race car.

Your brain can handle over 1,000 processes EVERY second but your brain cannot learn or concentrate on two things at onmce.

It can quickly jump back and forth between tasks but that can lead to decrease attention span, ability to learn, short-term memory and overall mental performance.

The brain’s storage capacity is virtually unlimited…a quadrillion or 10, to the 15th power, bytes.

Yet, memory is shockingly unreliable and actually changes over time.

And, when it comes to making decisions, 95% of those take place in the subconscious.

Your actual brain feels no pain because it contains no pain receptors.

This fragile, soft and squishy organ is not dense; it’s sort of like gelatin or soft tofu.

But now, the really important stuff.


It may feel like a pain in your brain but it’s your body telling you that some other part of your body is hurting and it most often impacts blood vessels and muscles covering your neck and head.

Remember, your brain has no pain receptors.

Brain freeze.

When you eat or drink something cold, your body floods the mouth with blood to return it to the normal temperature.

That causes your blood vessels to expand and that’s what causes the throbbing pain.

All this writing and reading has made me thirsty.

But maybe I’ll have a cup of hot cocoa instead of a slushy

Don’t need a “brain freeze”.

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