How Do I Remember Stuff and Why Do I Forget?

Memory is a tricky subject to discuss as there are still many things that we truly do not know about the subject. Much of how our brain works remains a mystery to scientists, but there is a little light that we can shed on the matter.

To get to the murky bottom of how we keep stuff in our heads and why some of that stuff leaks out from time to time, we’re going to have to indulge in a little bit of Neuroscience, as well as a touch of Psychology.
Our minds are truly wonderful creations, let’s hope that yours is good enough to remember the sheer mass of facts that you’re about to read!

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Can you remember when you were born? No? Well then I guess your memory could stand to be improved a jot…

We’re just joking around with you! Your memory is (probably) absolutely fine and you (definitely) shouldn’t start worrying about all those childhood memories that are slowly, but surely, slipping through your fingers with each passing day. Just forget about it.

See what we did there?

Of course, for many people, it can be just as difficult forgetting something as it can be to remember something.


Before we dive into the things that we should forget and the things we should keep in our noggins, let’s dive into some memory basics.

Memories are stored in our brain. Duh. Imagine a thin, reedy gentleman, dressed in a three-piece suit, with a toothbrush moustache – if you’ve successfully conjured this image:

…then not only does your memory work, but you’re also fortunate enough to have seen Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method. Well done you.

Anyway, imagine that lovely Michael Fassbender is talking in a well researched German accent and saying this:

“Historically, teachers and practitioners have been apt to describing the memory in terms of files. The notion that we pack our neat little memories away into perfect little mental filing cabinets is easy to grasp but woefully undersells the power of the brain.


Imagine being a child once more and consider being unaware of some basic concepts.

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Let’s say, for example, that you see your first dog. Your well-endowed Mother leans down and points at the creature. She explains that this thing is called a dog. Later on, whilst trekking back home with the shopping, through the frozen Bavarian tundra, you are both accosted by a wolf. As your Mother buries her trusty hatchet into it’s skull she points and explains that this is a wolf.

Here’s the question related to memory:

Will you remember the difference between the dog and the wolf? Or will you simply be horribly scarred for the rest of your childhood?”


Thanks, Carl Jung.

Oh…are you a little confused, that’s alright, we’ll help you out of this one.

Here’s what the you’d remember, as a young Bavarian lad who’s had quite the day out with his Mutter. We remember things differently over time. We have short term memory and long term memory. So, in the short-term, as a child you would remember that particularly cute dog you saw at the Christkindlmarkt, but only for a day at most. The incident with der Wolf would be much more likely to stay in your mind for a long time (perhaps even the rest of your life), thanks to the intense moment that the memory was formed in.

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However, thanks to the ingenious way our brains are formed, you will never forget what the general concept of a ‘dog’ or ‘wolf’ is and you will certainly be able to tell the difference and know which one likes a bone and which one likes a rusted blade splitting it’s furry dome.


Memory is a strange concept that we’re still yet to fully get to the bottom of. It’s mercurial nature has eluded the work of scientists for decades and is bound to confuse more for years to come.

Are There Germs On My BBQ and Can I Kill Them By Cleaning It?

Germs come in many forms and get everywhere – including your BBQ. They have the capability to kill you – so you must kill them first.

To answer these questions today, we are going to have to take a little look into what germs are, and how they have the potential to hurt us. We’ll explore the four main types of germs, how they travel and what they eat.
Once we know what these nasty little beggars are, we can start exploring how they get onto your BBQ when you least expect and how you can kill them, before they get a chance to take your body for a ride down Sicksville Avenue.

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The shady world of germs is one fraught with hazards and risks: it also happens to be a world that we traverse on a daily basis.

That’s right, germs are absolutely everywhere. They’re on your face, on your food and inside your belly. Perhaps the most worrying thing about them is that most of them are completely invisible to the naked eye – so how can we possibly stop them?

Germs can be found everywhere, as we’ve discussed, but they can work in wildly different ways, depending what type they are. Each type lives, eats and breeds a little differently, having a different effect on the body, plant or animal that they happen to be inhabiting at any one time.

There are four main types:

Bacteria

The most commonly known of all the germs – these little creatures are made up of a single cell and get their food from the environments that they reside in – whether that’s plants, animals or even people!

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 They have the ability of being able to reproduce at a rapid rate and can cause problems such as tooth cavities, pneumonia and sore throats. You can get some good bacteria in your belly, and health food drinks, but you won’t find those guys on your BBQ!

Viruses

Viruses can only reproduce when they are inside another living cell – yuck!

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 Because they can’t live for very long outside a living being (called a host) they have developed many ingenious ways of being able to travel. Moving around in your saliva, they can escape whilst you breathe or even travel at high-speed when you sneeze. They’re the culprits behind the nasty colds and flus that people get during the winter months.

Fungi

These guys are a little more fun and, at the very least, a little easier to spot.

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 Made of many cells, they are the only form of germ that is visible to the naked eye. They’re often mistaken for plants, however they’re very different in makeup. Unlike plants, fungi can’t make their own food from sunshine and water. Just like viruses, they need to take their food from other living organisms. Most of the time, they’re not dangerous to us, but they can cause icky problems like athlete’s foot. Blech!

Protozoa

Diseases caused by protozoa are often the most damaging to people, what’s more they’re incredibly infectious, due to the fact that they can live quite happily in water.

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 That’s why in many poor countries, that can’t afford clean water, thousands of people can die of illnesses like diarrhoea and dysentery. These germs can cause nasty belly ache and other intestinal issues, all things which you’d like to avoid getting on to your BBQ, I’m sure.

“How can I clean these germs off my BBQ then?”

During the heat of the summer it’s really important that you keep your BBQ clean and sanitary.

Even though, when you’ve got the coals burning as hot as can be, you’ll be killing most of them – you can’t guarantee that some of them haven’t jumped on board your food, ready for a little trip into your belly.

After you use your BBQ (and it’s cooled down sufficiently) make sure that you tip out the coals, rinse it down and give it a really good scrub. You’ll also need to take the sticky grill off, soak it and scrub every last bit of grease off it – this will be trapping all the germs.

All this is easy enough to do if you’ve got a little BBQ, but if you’ve got a big American-style job, then it might be better to hire a cleaning business franchise to do the hard work for you. A trained professional can come out and clean your grill for you, whilst you wait.


It’s good to get a deep clean done at least once a year, so that you can guarantee that you’re not feeding your guests germ infested meat.

Don’t poison your friends, clean your BBQ!

Ever Wondered Why Grass Is Green?

It’s a valid question, if you’re under the age of 10, otherwise you should read on to get some education – quick smart.

It’s all connected to a well known (to most normal adults) chemical process that not only gives plants the ability to grow, but also gives us humans oxygen, so that we can breathe.

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Before your question about why leaves are green are answered, it’s important to remember that – in the world of Science – everything exists for a reason.

The leaves of plants are not simply green because that’s the prettiest colour, the appear green because of the little bits and pieces that they are made from. You see, normal green plants can’t grow without the sunlight. They need the rays of the sun, like us humans need food and water, to galvanise the cells in their bodies into actions, so that they can grow taller and taller.

Sunlight comprises of loads of different light rays. You know rainbows, right? Well, when you see a rainbow, what you’re seeing is the light from the sun refracted into it’s constituent rays. Without the water (or something like a glass prism) there’s no way for us to see these rays. Plants, like this little green chap in the picture above, have found a way (over years of evolution) of channelling the energy from the sun through the photosynthetic pigments in the membranes of the sub-cellular organelles.

growing-plats

“What are all those long crazy words?” – I hear you say!

Well, if you were listening – you’d have heard he answer to the question that you were looking for in the first place!

The reason why grass is green is because of the ‘photosynthetic pigments in the membranes of the sub-cellular organelles’, these are otherwise known as ‘chloroplasts‘ and they’re what makes grass green.

Still confused? OK, then I’ll explain some more…

So the power of the sunlight smashes down into the chloroplasts (the thing that makes the leaves green, remember?), this rejigs the molecular anatomy of the plant, forcing atoms to shift around and a chemical process to take place. Here comes the real part!

photo-equation

Now if you don’t know Science that good yet (and maybe you struggle with words, just like I do from time to time) – I’ll try and explain this to you.

So the carbon dioxide exists in the air all around us. It’s the stuff that we breathe out, so it’s handy that the plant can use this as food for it’s chemical equation. The water is just plain old water that the plant gets from rain (or from a water can that we water it with). The arrow is the part where the sun comes in. It acts as the ‘catalyst’ – forcing the carbon dioxide and water to buddy up and get jiggy with it.

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Once the reaction has taken place, we’re left with lovely glucose (which the plant uses to grow with) and oxygen (which the plant emits into the atmosphere so that we can breathe!).