Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Juggling Act

I have some bad news.

I can't juggle.

Some years ago I was given a set of soft juggling balls and instructions. I did try (in vain) to master the art of tossing three objects into the air and preventing gravity from exerting its power over them, but inevitably I failed to save even one of the brightly colored orbs from its groundward fate.

Why worry about it? I am sure there are millions of people who can't juggle. But according to a new study, when older people learned to juggle, they grew new grey matter in their brains at a rate equal to younger students of the art. The skills mastered in learning to juggle made new connections and caused a growth of grey matter in the older participants so that even those that conducted the study were astonished.

Of course, I don't believe they were that astonished since it was their idea to teach all these people to juggle in the first place. They must have hoped to prove something. The thought occurs to me to wonder who stepped forward to fund this study when presented with the idea of holding clown school, but I have seen sillier studies than this one.

I can't juggle. I can't learn to juggle. My brain is doomed to become an ever-shrinking remnant of what it was - mostly due to having children - but apparently also due to my lack of hand-eye coordination.

I can't whistle, either. I can't wait to find out what that means.

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