Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mental Health & the Creative Process

As a baby boomer, we're inundated with articles and warnings about keeping our minds active and stimulated to forestall dementia and memory loss.  Games, logic problems, crossword puzzles are usually suggested as daily mental activities.

My own views on that include the creative process and the required connections between left and right brains to imagine then fashion the particular piece.  My hands know how to work the materials, but my head and constant use of an artistic eye need to work with them as well.

As a mathematician, I also have my own list of favorite math games that just may make me smarter - or hopefully at least maintain what brains I might still have up there.  These include Sudoku, Kenken, and Kakuro.  Right now, I'm hooked on Kenken*, because it uses both math and logic.

So much for my rationalization of zentangling, weaving, and playing with math/logic problems - they are all GOOD for me!!

*KenKen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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KenKen and KenDoku are trademarked names for a style of arithmetic and logic puzzle invented in 2004 by Japanese math teacher Tetsuya Miyamoto,[1] who intended the puzzles to be an instruction-free method of training the brain.[2] The names Calcudoku and Mathdoku are sometimes used by those who don't have the rights to use the KenKen or KenDoku trademarks.[3]
The name derives from the Japanese word for cleverness ( ken, kashiko(i)?).[1]
As in sudoku, the goal of each puzzle is to fill a grid with digits –– 1 through 4 for a 4×4 grid, 1 through 5 for a 5×5, etc. –– so that no digit appears more than once in any row or any column (a Latin square). Grids range in size from 3×3 to 9×9. Additionally, KenKen grids are divided into heavily outlined groups of cells –– often called “cages” –– and the numbers in the cells of each cage must produce a certain “target” number when combined using a specified mathematical operation (either addition, subtraction, multiplication or division). For example, a linear three-cell cage specifying addition and a target number of 6 in a 4×4 puzzle must be satisfied with the digits 1, 2, and 3. Digits may be repeated within a cage, as long as they are not in the same row or column. No operation is relevant for a single-cell cage: placing the "target" in the cell is the only possibility (thus being a "free space"). The target number and operation appear in the upper left-hand corner of the cage.

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