Using the left side of your brain

March 16, 2009

by Herald Journal & Enteprise Dispatch Editor Lynda Jensen

I bump into what seems like 1,000 people each week, and in the process, almost always meet someone whose face is very familiar, but whose name escapes me.

I’m much better with faces than with names, and of course, being 40 doesn’t help this much.

I bemoaned this to a Cokato friend (a certain ambulance director) and he suggested that I exercise the left side of my brain.

Apparently the ol’ left side is what retains such information (being the analytical side), and if I make myself do mathematical equations, this would actually help me remember the names of people.

“You’re asking me to do math?!” I moaned. Yes, he said. All you need to do is a few mathematical tables and it helps.

Apparently, the left side of the brain controls rational and logical tasks. It’s the dominant half for most people. We use the left side to draw conclusions based on facts and logic, as well as interpret words and symbols.

The right side of our brain, however, is responsible for creativity, and interprets nonverbal cues. We use the right side to see the “big picture,” and make leaps of insight (such as making moments of discovery). Musicians and artists are right-brain dominant.

I seem to use a blend of both, but the left side appears to be lazy with names.

So, if you happen to run into me and it looks like I’m trying to figure out a math problem, then you probably have an idea why.

Who shot the sheriff in McLeod Co.?

McLeod County Sheriff Scott Rehmann is working on a history book about the sheriff’s office, and asked me to look up some back issues of the newspaper for McLeod County.

Apparently, in 1896, the sheriff was shot by two tramps south of Glencoe, according to a series of front page news stories during that time in the Lester Prairie Journal.

A posse was organized and the duo was rounded up, almost lynched, incarcerated, and then tried and found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

The prison sentence didn’t satisfy the local population, who wanted the twosome hanged.

A mob broke into jail, took the two men and lynched them on a bridge. You’ll have to read Scott’s book as to where the bridge was exactly located (close proximity to Glencoe, I can imagine). I didn’t have time to read every clipping, either.

Nevertheless, I can’t help but point out that this news was still accessible to someone now, 113 years later, exactly as it was printed so many years ago, to a guy who wants to write a book in 2009.

Where will we be 113 years from now, with the Internet as a source of information about our modern-day events? It’s the lack of permanence that bothers me.

We have no way of making it a permanent record, do we? That’s a bigger problem than you can imagine and more important for historical purposes and public record than any short-term problem imaginable (even a financial one). Just something to think about.

Quote of the week

“I do believe in Almighty God! And I believe also in the Bible . . . Let us look forward to the time when we can take the flag of our country and nail it below the Cross, and there let it wave, as it waved in the olden times, and let us gather around it and inscribed for our motto: ‘Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever,’ and exclaim, Christ first, our country next!”

– 17th US President Andrew Johnson