In memory of Norman. Flown west... (Norm)

Discussion in 'Gone West' started by mscard88, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    I like the thought, Ted, but I'm not sure how much mental exercise is involved in just participating in an online forum. And goodness knows that it's possible to be very well-connected via social media and other internet-based activities and still be unable to handle simple mental tasks like basic arithmetic and real-world figuring - I have some students like that who are glued to their cellphones but need a calculator to multiply 5 times 6 and are daunted by "story" problems, and I teach at a college. I have a feeling Norm had good genes in that respect, and probably had other hobbies (maybe trains?) that kept his mind active. He reminds me a little of my dad, who lived to 93 and solved puzzles on the computer and was active in ham radio until the end.

    It does seem that way now, in 20-20 hindsight.
     
  2. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Most of what I've seen on dementia and maintaining mental capacity comes down to "use it or lose it." Continue to participate in activities that engage your brain. As you pointed out, your dad liked to solve puzzles and was active in ham radio - comes out to something similar. My dad is in his late 80s and his brain is still perfectly sharp. Uses it all the time. In her early 70s, my mom's brain ain't so good...

    Comparing that to students in college who are addicted to their phones and never work their brains on basic math skills I think is an apples and oranges comparison.
     
  3. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You assume that participants on POA engage their brain.
     
  4. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Some do.

    Some "opt out."
     
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  5. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I seriously doubt this Ted....my MIL was the world champ at cross word puzzles and is slowly drifting into dementia. She can no longer do the puzzles.... :(
     
  6. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have a couple of times but I can’t remember the last time.

    :crazy:
     
  7. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    My point was, it depends on what you do with that computer. Those students may not have dementia, but they also aren't engaging in the kinds of activities that would tend to delay its onset, when they get older.
     
  8. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    How did they get the grades or pass entrance exams in order to get into college with that issue? Have things really changed that much at the college level? I guess it makes some sense as I have seen a general decay in the intellectual capabilities of the population in general especially when it comes to math, but I would hope at the university level that certain standards are being maintained.
     
  9. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    One size does not fit all. Everyone's different. However I think part of it is also continuing to learn new things. If you're doing the same thing over and over...
     
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  10. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Don't ask... :( :(

    (Short answer: not all universities have the same standards. And "no child left behind" has done wonders for public school education. :()
     
  11. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    While there is something to this, there are a number of biological forms of dementia that will occur whether or not your brain is active. George Beadle was a Nobel winning scientist who's research I teach to this day. He stayed in research as long as he could, but once the Alzheimers got bad he was forced to stop, and instead focused on his garden, until he could no longer find it. My old man certainly didn't want to give up his job, he was forced to.
     
  12. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When I retired at 65 four years ago my Doc asked, besides my exercise program, what I was doing for my brain. Told her still flying and instructing, and learning guitar. She liked that so you're apparently correct Ted, keep the brain engaged. At the very least it can't hurt.
     
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  13. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Just to clarify: not knowing the multiplication tables is IMO trivial and probably just due to their not being taught in grade school, or at least not testing on them. Not being able to set up story problems is an inexcusable failure of the public school system. That, and inability to recognize when one gets an answer that is off by several orders of magnitude, is true innumeracy and it's at truly epidemic levels in our society. I do fear for the survival of this country and that, more than any other single reason, is why.
     
  14. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Absolutely. My grandmother wasn't at that point, though. I think if she'd had activities to keep her brain engaged she wouldn't have deteriorated as much as she did. I remember when she first ended up in nursing she begged us not to leave her there with those people whose brains had rotted into mush. She became one of them a few years later.

    That's not to say her faculties were perfect when she entered nursing. She had some issues and may have ended up in her position anyway, however when she entered you could still have a conversation with her. By the end you couldn't. I remember walking those halls and feeling that my brain would've ended up mush, too. If I ever end up there, put me in a Duke headed for Hawaii on autopilot with enough fuel to make it halfway.

    That's what I feel. My mother has never engaged her brain since college, and it's been deteriorating. At 73 she's probably where my grandmother was at 85 or 90 mentally. But my mom has always considered sloth to be a virtue, and has aspired to do nothing while also failing to learn anything. She's excelled at these attributes.

    Hopefully I got my dad's genes as far as mental longevity, and hopefully I do what I can to keep it working.
     
  15. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    YEP!

    Ever read anything by Henry Petroski? In his book To Engineer Is Human he has a chapter about this. He began to notice it with his students as they transitioned from slide rules to calculators and then to computers. Slide rules forced the user to make a mental approximation of the answer. Calculators at least force step-by-step calculations where an intermediate error is more likely to be noticed.

    Computer programs, performing many many intricate calculations, don't afford this insight and there's a tendency to blindly trust whatever the machine spits out without doing any sort of sanity check.

    I've noticed this sort of thing with the younger engineers I teach and coach. Most of them are pretty sharp, though, and once I point out a silly error or two they begin to catch on.

    In the early days of my career, my company used to teach a short course called "The Art of the SWAG" which looked at Fermi problems and methods. Knowing how to do a SWAG is a very useful skill and we seem to be losing it. I really should revive that class...
     
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  16. timwinters

    timwinters Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    there's thread drift and then there's thread drift...
     
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  17. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    More right rudder!
     
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  18. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    My grandfather learned to use a computer in his 80s and I think if it didn’t keep his mind sharper it at least gave him something to fill a lot of hours with besides nothing. He lived well into his 90s and didn’t get the unlucky genes or unlucky circumstances to see much of a cognitive decline.

    As far as talk of his situation by Norman, I always just took that as literal... I was around a lot of elderly folks as a kid and they were simply aware of death knocking as well as truthful about it.
     
  19. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    MORE MORE!! You’re uncoordinated, we’re going to spinnnnnnnnnnnnnn......
     
  20. Dav8or

    Dav8or Final Approach

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    Yes, please keep us on the centerline and out of the grumpy old man, bitching about the youth of today ditch. ;)
     
  21. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    My mother took computer and other classes in her 70s, but gave it up when she got to her 80s. I think lack of initiative and ambition is an early symptom of dementia.

    She would complain about people always being on their "computers". Then I realized she mean cell phones. She never was able to use a cell phone. In her later years she could barely use a old-fasihoned one.
     
  22. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't think staying active will hold of biological dementias like Alzheimer's or Lewy-Body. I do think it can keep you from getting dull just from old age alone. My grandma was in her 90s and pretty much confined to the house, but between two newspapers and TV she could tell you what was going on in local and state politics right until the end.
     
  23. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    No offense to grandma but I’d rather know what was going on in baseball than still be paying attention to lying politicians in my 90s. LOL. Ick.
     
  24. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Damn thing is like gyro precession!
     
  25. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I bet Norm would have been great in person. Both Norm and Ben would have been on my list of POA folks to buy a beer for. Who met Norm in person or Ben for that matter?
     
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  26. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    BREAKING NEWS: "Ted cures dementia, says you just need to think more"
     
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  27. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    So true, and I remember one time my dad was in a hospital for a few days for (I think it was) pacemaker implantation, when he was already in his 80s. On the day before he was released he related to me a conversation he thought he had had with a nurse about buying a suite attached to the hospital. I realized immediately that he'd had a vivid dream, but he was impaired at the time and for a few days afterward. He had temporarily lost the ability to tell dreams from reality due to his age and being helpless in a hospital bed. I'm glad he never ended up there permanently.

    Unfortunately, my mom did... semi-permanently, in and out, and also had the beginnings of dementia (at 90). But I was never sure how much of her "brain turning to mush" was due to biological disease and how much to being in a nursing home. :(
     
  28. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    That'll be $10,000 per brain.
     
  29. Craig

    Craig Line Up and Wait

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    Tim: Thank you for taking the time and asking Jeff, and please thank him for the story about Norman. Norman sounded like one of those people that it would be fascinating to simply sit down and have a long conversation with. We live in a fast world these days, and I fear that we are often too absorbed with our own little narrow spot in life, to simply sit down and take the time to explore and observe others.
     
  30. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    It isn't at all uncommon for seniors to become confused in hospital. That's one of the reasons a broken hip is often lethal, the victim becomes confused in the hospital, then incontinent, then doesn't want to eat, and it become s downward spiral.
     
  31. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    That’s incredibly cheap for brain work. :)
     
  32. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I'm hoping to make up for it in volume and charge people a second time after they've forgotten they've paid me the first time.
     
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  33. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    I see a pattern here with your airplane purchasing decisions. :)
     
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  34. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Note revised explanation. :)
     
  35. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    LOL!
     
  36. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    P.S. So you HAVE learned the IT software business model!!! LOL LOL LOL.

    Next step, rent it to them! World domination!!!! Hahahahaha
     
  37. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Don't want to use your brain? Call 1-800-RENT-A-BRAIN!
     
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  38. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Cheaper in Mexico. o_O;)
     
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  39. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Norman would have loved this banter. I’m still a bit bummed he’s not here to read along. :(
     
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  40. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Just pick up a used one cheap, like I did. Used to belong to Abby somebody....