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My mind is often a chaotic place, full of things I have picked up along the way and never quite discarded. My general knowledge is excellent because I have picked up snippets here and there and never quite got rid of them. My health issues have ensured that I forget occasionally and Wikipedia is now my external storage but this is not a major issue. I just have to remind myself occasionally. However it is visual and emotional stimuli that I intend to bend your ear with today.

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The three pictures on this page have nothing in common, except that they have the ability to stir in me an emotional response. They are all in different ways things of beauty. That beauty stirs the emotions differently. As a driver the Aston Martin is powerful and sleek in the same way that a big cat is. It’s lines talk of speed and power and the excitement of the open road leading to who knows where.

The snow scene reminds me of the excitement of childhood Christmas’s and the children’s laughter on those rare occasions when we actually get snow here in England. Whilst that particular scene was never part of my life I do remember those days when you go out in the crisp air and the hot soup that burns your lips. You watch children sledging in the local park and then return to a nice warm house to relax.

The Venus de Milo is simply a classic vision of a beautiful woman and I am sure most of you have an emotional response to a beautiful man or woman (Delete as appropriate.).

Of course music can evoke all kinds of responses, I enjoy Pop, Rock and classical music. For me ‘Smoke on the water’ and ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ stir up similar emotions and feelings.

And this is my point, that if you, as so many do, restrict yourself to one newspaper, one genre of novel, one type of music or one TV channel you are doing yourself a disservice. The same is true of knowledge.

A small example. There is a TV programme on UK television called Q.I. or Q.I. xl. QI stands for quite interesting. It is a very loose quiz format with questions which lead to rambling discussions and contains many amazing facts. It also debunks many fallacies. The idea is that the most interesting panel member gets the points. However, if a question is asked and someone gives an obvious wrong answer points are deducted. It is very humorous but I can honestly say I have learned more from this comedy quiz than many hours in the classroom have taught me. There are so many subjects, media items and general information covered that you cannot fail to learn something. And yet I may never have watched it because it is very quirky and I didn’t think I’d enjoy it.

So if you want to open yourself to all kinds of new stuff put less restrictions on your input media. Watch that TV program you didn’t think you would enjoy. Look at that web page that you don’t think is really you. Read a different type of novel. Then you begin to link various facts taken from various sources. You never know when something you learn today will come to your aid in the future.

So my mind is chaotic but it is full of information that may be useful. One day it may come in really useful to know that a blue whale’s tongue is the size of a small family car. Or I may see an image which will take my breath away with its sheer beauty. I’d hate to think I denied myself that chance because I wasn’t sure it was my type of thing.

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