Thursday, October 27, 2011
Brain teasers can help to keep minds sharp

By Dr. Anthony Policastro We know that practice makes perfect. This is true for most physical things that we do and it is also true for using our brains. We know that people who spend time doing things like crossword puzzles keep their minds sharp. There are a lot of examples of brain teasers that can help keep the mind sharp. One of the classic examples is about the airplane crash. It goes something like this. If there is an Air France plane flying from Germany to Mexico with all Italian passengers and it crashes on the border between Canada and the United States, where do they bury the survivors? The natural tendency is for the individual to start looking at the six different countries in the list. Their focus is on that part of the question. What they need to do is analyze the entire picture. When they do, they will realize that you do not bury survivors. A related item is also in the form of a question. It asks whether it is legal in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for a man to marry his widows sister. Again the focus of the question is on the legal issue. The individual wonders whether the laws are different in Winston-Salem in this particular regard. However, once the entire picture is analyzed, you realize that if a man has a widow, he had to be dead. He cannot marry anyone. A third item that takes people along the same wrong pathway is about a bus ride. There are two variations to this one. You tell the individual that he/she is driving a bus. You then tell them at the first stop, they take on four passengers. At the next stop they discharge 1 passenger and take on two more passengers. At the next stop, they discharge 3 passengers and take on two others. At the next stop they discharge 1 passenger and take on no more. The next stop is the last stop and all the passengers get off. What happens in this case is the individual is counting passengers and the fact that they all get off at the last stop is a surprise. You then ask the question, how many stops did the bus make? That was usually not counted so the answer is not known. The alternate variation is to ask how old the bus driver is. Most people will stop and wonder why you even asked such a question. However, that is because they do not remember that at the beginning you told the individual that they were driving the bus. Therefore, they should know how old they are. Another question talks about being in a house with a candle, a torch and kerosene lamp. The problem is that there is only one match. The question is what do you light first. The individual will usually spend time trying to figure out which of the three items makes the most sense to light first. What they do not realize is the first thing that you light is the match. Then there are other things that are logical but we do not always think that way. For example, there is a question that goes how far can a dog run into the woods? This sounds like nonsense because we think in terms of miles. We want to know how big the woods are before we give an answer. However, we do not need to know that. A dog can run halfway into the woods. After that the dog is running out of the woods. Similarly there is a question about a boat with a ladder that has rungs 1 foot apart. At low tide the water is at the second rung from the bottom. The tide then comes in. It is four feet higher than low tide. What rung is the water now at? Most people will figure four feet means four more rungs. However, when a boat is in the water, it always sits at the same level of water no matter what the tide does. So the answer is still the second rung from the bottom. There are many more such brain teasers to keep you sharp. They all have an aha moment. Sometimes, you get it and sometimes you dont. However, when you are told the answer, it is usually so obvious that you cant understand how you missed it in the first place.

NHS welcomes Dr. Hannaway Nanticoke Health Services welcomes Christine Hannaway, MD, to the Nanticoke Physician Network. Dr. Hannaway specializes in general surgery and is accepting new patients at her office located at 1305 Bridgeville Hwy., Seaford. Dr. Hannaway will perform procedures for breast diseases, abdominal and gastrointestinal disorders, thyroid and parathyroid diseases, liver, gall bladder, and pancreas disorders, colon and rectal disorders, anorectal disorders, and hernias.She will also be performing minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures including appendectomy, cholecystectomy, gastrostomy, fundoplication, ventral hernia repair, inguinal hernia repair and colectomy. Dr. Hannaway completed her general surgery residency at INOVA Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va. and her fellowship in colorectal surgery research at the Cleveland Clinic, Digestive Disease Institute in Cleveland, Ohio. She is board certified in general surgery. Dr. Hannaway is also an associate fellow of the American College of Surgeons. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hannaway, call 628-4270.

Diabetes educational offerings Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Seaford, will hold a four-session diabetes educational program on Nov. 9, 16, 30 and Dec. 7, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the hospital. Registration is required. The cost of the four-session program may be reimbursable by insurance. This four-session program includes weekly education sessions and individualized meal planning for diabetes self-management. The goal is to give you the self-management skills to control your diabetes. Family members/significant others are welcome to attend the weekly sessions. For more information and to register, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospitals Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.

Nanticoke welcomes Armiger Nanticoke Health Services welcomes Nurse Practitioner, Lynne Armiger, CRNP, MSN, to the Nanticoke Physician Network. She joins the Nanticoke Family Practice Center at 3304 Hayman Drive, Federalsburg, Md. Armiger received her master of science in nursing and nursing administration from the University of Delaware and her adult nurse practitioner post-masters certificate from Wilmington University. She comes to Nanticoke from Peninsula Cardiology Associates and Eastern Shore Drive Primary Care in Salisbury, Md.She previously worked at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in various areas including medical/surgical/oncology, intensive care and quality improvement. She is a member of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and Delaware Nurses Association (DNA).

CASA to receive Governors Award The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program of the Family Court of the State of Delaware has been selected to receive the 2011 Governors Award for Outstanding Volunteer Organization.

This is an esteemed award given annually to both individual volunteers as well as volunteer organizations. Nominees are selected based on highly selective criteria about the type of service provided to the community, the number of people serving the organization, the level of impact that the organization has on the community, and the volunteers commitment to service within the organization. CASA volunteers are appointed by Family Court judges and represent the childs best interest in court. The CASA volunteers establish the childs best interest by gathering information, making recommendations to the Court and monitoring the circumstances surrounding the child(ren) in question. The CASA program has 270 active volunteers serving over 700 children statewide. Over 50% of the volunteers have remained assigned to a case beyond the 18 month commitment. The CASA volunteers efforts will be recognized by the Governor, the State Office of Volunteerism and the State of Delaware on Nov. 3, at Dover Downs Hotel.

DPH promotes immunizations On Saturday, Oct. 29, Delawares Division of Public Health (DPH) and the Immunization Coalition of Delaware are sponsoring Strides for Community Immunity, a run/walk event in historic downtown Dover to promote the importance of all medically recommended immunizations. Immunizations are safe and important because they protect individuals and entire communities from disease, even slowing or stopping outbreaks. By not being immunized, people expose themselves and others to debilitating or even deadly diseases. Vaccines work by stimulating the bodys immune system to produce enough antibodies to ward off a specific disease. We see less of the diseases that have been a threat to us in the past because of immunizations, but in a recent trend of complacency, vaccination numbers are down. This invites those diseases back into our lives, which is exactly what we need to avoid, said Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public Health. The walk is open to the casual walker or those who walk or run competitively, with a course that winds through historic Dover. Because it is flu season, free flu vaccinations will be given to walk/run participants. Refreshments will be available, and all entrants receive a free event T-shirt. Trophies will be awarded to the top adult finishers. The event starts at the beach side of Silver Lake Park in Dover on Saturday, Oct. 29. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the 5K Run/Walk starts at 9 a.m. with a Healthy Kids Run (for 10 and under) at 8:55 a.m. Registration fees: $10 individuals, $15 for a team or family of 3, $18 for a team or family of 4-6 and the Healthy Kids Run is free to kids 10 & under, with medals to all who finish. To register, visit

New depression support groups If you have been diagnosed with depression, are currently receiving treatment and need extra support, join the Mental Health Association in Delawares newest depression support groups. The support groups provide a safe and comfortable environment for adults who may be struggling with depressionto find others who may be going through similar experiences, learn coping skills and take back control of their life by being proactive. A support group meets in Seaford every Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The location of the meeting is provided only to registered members. To register, contact the Mental Health Association in Delaware at 302-654-6833 or 800-287-6423. These new groups are made possible due to a grant received from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delawares BluePrints for the Community program.

Relay for Life fundraiser Dr. Marie Wolfgang is again sponsoring a 12 night Winter Getaway Cruise to the Southern Caribbean as a fundraiser for Relay for Life, sailing from Cape Liberty, N.J. on Feb. 10. The itinerary includes St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Johns (Antigua), St. Lucia and St. Maarten (Philipsburg). Transportation to and from the dock is available. For a brochure, call or visit Dr. Wolfgangs office at One Cedar Ave. in Seaford, 629-4471. Space is limited.

Grief Support Group A six-week support group for adults on Grieving the Loss of a Loved One will be offered by Delaware Hospice at the Cancer Care Center of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. Any adult who would like to give and receive support from others who have experienced a loss is invited to participate in these sessions facilitated by Paul A. Ganster, LCSW, Delaware Hospice bereavement counselor. Many people find that sharing in a support group reduces the loneliness and heartaches of grief. Topics include what to expect when grieving, mistaken ideas about grieving, managing and coping with grief, the impact of grief and loss upon family relationships, spiritual issues, how to handle special days and holidays, and ways to find a renewed sense of purpose. There is no fee for this service which is provided as a community outreach by Delaware Hospice. Registration is requested by calling Paul A. Ganster, LCSW, at 302-357-7147, or by emailing no later than Nov. 1.

Bereavement luncheons Delaware Hospices New Beginnings bereavement luncheons are an informal way to meet and talk with others, who have had similar loss experiences. Lunch begins at noon and is followed by a brief program.The location rotates each week of the month throughout Sussex County. New Beginnings luncheons are open to the public. Registration is not required. There is no fee except the cost of your lunch. For more information, call Midge Dinatale or Paul Ganster at 856-7717.

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. To learn more, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.