|TGI Newsletter Issue #47||Learning CAN be fun. Training SHOULD be fun.
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How We Evolved
|"Once upon a time"... isn't this the way all great stories begin? Our own story of evolution is of course a great one, and once told, leaves you wondering how our gradual transition over the past 5 million years deals with the fact that innovation and technology change the way we live from day to day!
Our species begins in Africa, 4 to 5 million years ago. Our ancestor Ardipithicus ramidus decides to descend from the forest trees to scavenge for food on the African plains. The warm and wet African climate is changing, compelling him to stand on two feet and forage in order to survive. As a bi-pedal creature, ramidus is more ape than man. He is a herbivore standing about 4 feet tall. Leaving the forest's protection will have it's challenges however. Ramidus must contend with large cats that find him tasty and he is quite exposed as he tramps through the African savannah. In a million years or so things will be a bit better. Australopithecus afarenis (3.9 to 3 million years ago, remember Lucy) has developed a slightly larger brain (450 cubic centimeters), and due to his increased height (4 to 5 feet tall) can now see a bit further over the grassy fields. He is fully bi-pedal and each day travels fast and far in search of food. Note: Standing upright allowed us to travel long distances at a relatively fast pace without expending too much energy. Unfortunately he is not as fast as those feline feasters and has to rely on the two "Cs" to survive. (1) A club, used to fend off hungry leopards, and (2) co-operation. He's learned that standing shoulder to shoulder will vastly increase his chances when saber-toothed tigers come to call.
Around 2 million years ago, during the reign of Australopithecus africanus, someone discovers that the sharp stick he had been using to dig up tasty roots, will also work well as a jabbing spear. "Hey, fellas', take a look at this" and with these few words a tribe of "sick of being hunted" men became the hunters. Our most transitional homonid happens along between 2.2 to 1.6 million years ago. He is Homo habilis. His brain size is now 800 cubic centimeters, he is the proud inventor of fire and, a tool you would not want to be without, the stone axe. In addition, it is rumored that he likes to cook, and can barbeque a mighty tasty woolly mammoth (actually mammoth fossils are found in Asia, Europe and North America and not Africa, but it sounded like such a funny line). Broca's Area, the part of the brain that allows us to talk, was first believed to appear with this skilled hunter. Perhaps 1.8 million years ago we're standing tall as our ancestor, Homo erectus, evolves into being. He's powerful, skilled and cunning. No wonder, because this guy's brain size (1250 ccs) nearly rivals our own (1350 ccs). He's also quite nomadic, and indeed decides to travel out of his old stomping grounds. Homo erectus is the first to migrate out of Africa, and travels north to China and South to Java.
Homo sapiens (wise man) appears on the scene in Africa about 200,000 years ago. But just when things were looking up, 140,000 years ago, they are hit with a major drought in Africa and the population begins to dwindle. Some estimate that the human population was at one time to be reduced to less than 600 individuals. Where are those environmentalists when you need them! Well instead of heading for the hills, they're driven to the coastal areas. Here, we learn from adversity, we adapt and become the most resilient, intelligent and ferocious creature ever seen on the planet. The coastal life has improved our diet. We now eat fish and forage for nuts and berries. We develop projectile spears which can kill prey at a safe distance. Tools become progressively more specialized. We have a highly developed brain, capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, and problem solving. We are soon ready to take on the world, and that is exactly what we decide to do. 65,000 years ago Homo sapiens travel out of Africa and in the next 35,000 years settle throughout the globe, eliminating all the remaining hominids as they go.
Neanderthal man is a massively strong man. He has a big brain as well at 1450 cubic centimeters, larger than our own brains today. He is the ancestor of the long ago migrating Homo erectus, and resides throughout Europe about 200,000 years ago. He is a meat eater, requiring 5000 calories per day. That's a lot of hunting, and when you're using a long sharp pole to jab a gigantic beast, you often get more than you bargained for. For this reason the Neanderthal hunter rarely lives to a ripe old age. When found, their remains are always broken and riddled with the ravages of hunting at close range. It is uncertain why Neanderthal man vanishes 30,000 years ago. It's is believed that we are most likely at fault.
We have gradually evolved over many millions of years. Human physiology and emotional temperament change but at a comparative snail's pace considering the technological advances our species has witnessed in past few centuries, such as the printing press, the light bulb, the telephone, the cell phone, the automobile, the airplane, the computer, the internet, atomic energy and the atom bomb. I am amazed, and wonder how we have managed to retrofit ourselves to accommodate such unprecedented change.
Famous Quotes - Evolution
|Steven Wright — "My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted."
Larry Wright — "If Darwin's theory of evolution was correct, cats would be able to operate a can opener by now."
Robert A. Millikan — "Three ideas stand out above all others in the influence they have exerted and are destined to exert upon the development of the human race: The idea of the Golden Rule; the idea of natural law; the idea of age-long growth or evolution."
Dr. Michael W. Fox — "The weakness of humanity is our blindness, a cultural blind spot which some call ignorance, in which a selfish and immature ego claims the world as ours and prevents us from seeing ourselves as a part of the world. Kinship with all life is a biological (evolutionary) fact, but our cultural ways of doing, perceiving and relating, blind us to this reality."
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New Products From TGI:
Presentation Game 5 (New Release)
TGI PPT 6-Pack Quiz Show Games – Vol 1 (New Release)
TGI PPT 6-Pack Quiz Show Games – Vol 3
|We've been busy updating some of our most popular TGI products and working on new releases.
Presentation Game 5 is our newest version of our game that easily converts your presentation into an interactive game. Play with individuals or from 2 to 36 teams. Enter your own questions and material for a custom game! Single trainer just $99.99 Learn more about Presentation Game 5
TGI PowerPoint 6-Pack Quiz Show Volume 1, our best-selling 6-pack game, is now updated with improved graphics, sounds, features and games. Play a quiz show, a Jeopardy-type format or a Millionaire type game and more. Single trainer just $99.99. Play the demo game, learn more or buy now
TGI PowerPoint Quiz Show Volume 3 lets you create fun TV style quiz shows with your own training content. This new 6-pack has the 'Are You Smarter Than' format, Deal Quiz Show, Quizopoly and even a Survival Quiz Show. All have musical intros, animation and easy to edit and enter questions, priced from $99.99. Try the InJeopardy or Deal demos and learn more here.
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Brain Facts – Mighty Myelin?
|Myelin is, without a doubt, our proof that all fats are not bad! Myelin, the protective sheath that covers communicating neurons, is composed of 30% protein and 70% fat. Human and animal studies show that nutrition has a big influence on myelination, especially for nursing infants. One of the most common fatty acids in myelin is oleic acid, which is also the most abundant fatty acid in human milk and in our diet. Mother's milk is high in DHA, docosahexaenoic acid and children who receive adequate amounts of DHA were shown to have higher IQs, as well as better vision than children who didn't get enough DHA.
Studies show that the trans fatty acids we eat do get incorporated into brain cell membranes, including the myelin sheath that insulates neurons. They replace the natural DHA in the membrane, which affects the electrical activity of the neuron.
Myelin is a dielectric (electrically insulating) material that forms a layer, the myelin sheath, usually around only the axon of a neuron. It is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. In fact neurons that have been myelinated send their electrical signals 300 times faster than those that are not. That is why infants display those cute little herky jerky movements. The myelination process begins in utero at around 7 months and continues until our mid to late 20s. Neuron in the pre-frontal lobe are some of the last undergo myelination, you know, the part of the brain that help us do the harder thing (controls impulsive behavior).
Omega-3 DHA 'docosahexaenoic acid' is an essential fatty acid, which cannot be manufactured in our body and must be obtained daily through our diets. DHA is the most complex form of Omega-3 and is difficult to include in our diet as only few foods contain a significant amount. Many grocer items claiming to be rich in Omega 3s may offer little in the way of DHA. According to Kim Painter of USA Today, "many of the new products contain little or none of the omega-3 fats backed by the most scientific evidence: DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). According to Painters article "Eat fish. Those concerned about mercury, including pregnant women, can choose low-mercury varieties such as salmon and sardines, she says.
Research suggests these omega-3 fatty acids are better absorbed by the body when obtained from food rather than omega-3 supplements. Although fatty fish (Salmon, Sardines) is known as the best source of omega-3s, there are many other foods that contain these health boosting fatty acids.
Food Sources of EPA and DHA
EPA and DHA omega-3s are mainly found in fish, especially cold-water, high-fat varieties such as:
• Albacore tuna
• Atlantic herring
• Lake trout
Sources of Alpha-linolenic Acid
Since the body cannot make ALA, this fatty acid must be consumed in the diet. Approximately 35 percent of ALA found in food is converted to EPA and DHA. Good sources of ALA include:
• Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
• Soybeans and soybean oil
• Brazil nuts
• Soy nuts
• Olive oil
• Hemp seeds
• Pumpkin seeds
Omega-3 fatty acids are not only found in fish, nuts, seeds and oils. Fruits and vegetables that are good sources of omega-3s include: kidney beans, navy beans, tofu, winter and summer squash, certain berries such as raspberries and strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, romaine lettuce, and collard greens. Wheat germ and free-range beef and poultry are also good sources of omega-3s.
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Gary Trotta, CEO
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