Fridays Odds and Ends

In a recent column in The Dallas Morning News, freelance writer Tracy Begland wrote about how the two sides of our brains work together to help us in our creative endeavors. Our left brain, which is the analytical side of our brain, and the creative right side are not at odds with each other, as some folks have suggested. Rather while we are doing things that engage our left brain, the right side is busy working on some creative question and we may get an answer to something that has been perplexing us.

As an example, she mentions how Arthur Fry, a 3M engineer, came to develop Post-it-Notes. He had heard about a weak glue from another researcher at a conference, then much later when he is annoyed at slips of paper that keep falling out of his hymnal at church, his right brain connects with his left brain and he makes the first sticky-note.

This works for writers, too. We have long known that we get some of the best ideas for stories in the shower, on a walk, or when we are doing something that has fully engaged our left brain. Then suddenly, eureka, something pops out from our right brain and we run dripping to our computer or tablet, or even a pen and paper.

Another interesting column I read in the newspaper was by Peter Orszag who posed the question, What if we had to vote? He was lamenting the poor voter turnout in the United States, and wondered if making voting mandatory would help. He included statistics from countries, such as Australia, that have mandatory voting, and voter turnout increased significantly. It jumped from 59 percent of eligible voters in 1922 to 91 percent in 1925, after mandatory voting was established. In countries that have mandatory voting, people are fined if they do not show up on election day.

While it would be nice to have more participation in the process, I’m not sure this is the way to go. We’d have to establish yet another government agency to oversee this, and do we really need one more?

On the other hand, it would be good to have a president elected by a majority of the adult population of the United States.

What do you think?

The District of Columbia is going through a process to qualify potential operators of medicinal marijuana dispensaries. Rodger Jones, editorial board member of The Dallas Morning News, is taking bets on whether “Obama comes out more forcefully for medical marijuana just before the election. If you think his immigration fiat will get him some votes, imagine the landslide if he declares an end to federal pot prohibition.”

To end on a light note, here’s a joke for you. Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?

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