Monday, March 23, 2015

There’s Only One Way to Win Trivia!

from here.


We all get those emails.
  • “Please your trivia host with correct answers ALL NIGHT!”
  • “Grow your MIND into a TRIVIA TORPEDO!”
  • “Answer questions that are HARDER! FASTER! LONGER!”
  • “Create a BRAIN BULGE that that will arouse JEALOUSY on the league score page!”
  • “The most defiant fillies will strive for riding your new big CRANIAL STALLION!”
  • “I am Nanga Eboko, assistant to the Finance Minister of Cameroon.  I have US$839 million dollars that I need your assistance in liberating from my corrupt government.”
(That last one is probably legit – I sent him my social security number and bank account information just in case.  He seemed so nice.)

But what about the rest of those?

Do “herbal supplements” have any real measurable effect, beyond the placebo effect?  Can you really do better at Trivia by swallowing a handful of pills? 

Will you grow intellectual girth by guzzling chemicals?

Let’s take a look at one herb things that are typically bandied about as a mental “performance enhancer.”


This herb comes from a large tree, most often found in China.  The tree is often referred to as aliving fossil” – there are examples have been dig up that are 270 million years old.

People have claimed it’s effective in treating Alzheimer’s and dementia for years, and also take the next step to assert it will boost memory, recall and cognitive function. Supplement mills, brain hackers, and snake-oil salesmen promote it as a personal trainer for the brain.

Two a day, and you’ll remember the name of that guy who was on the original Star Trek who had a part in that movie where Tom Hanks was an astronaut .
Ginkgo Biloba has been shown to produce some interesting effects.  It’s been found to cause tumors in rats, seizures, nausea, diarrhea and gas.  But will it help your trivia game?

In a word (and several links): no.

If you don’t want to click through, the summary is that in 2009, Dr. Steven DeKosky, dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia published a study on the “miracle herb”.  His researchers followed 3000 people for 6 years and tracked a plethora of mental functions.

There was no difference in the Ginkgo group vs. the control group.

If you are looking for a way to improve your game, you should just stick with the old reliable:

Practice, practice, practice.
Although, there has been a promising development in recent news.
This column has not been evaluated by the FDA.
This column is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This column is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice.
Discuss this information with your own physician or healthcare provider to determine what is right for you.
All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions.
We can not and do not give you medical advice. If you are taking medical advice from a humorous column on a trivia website please consult a mental health professional.
Do not taunt happy fun ball.
Trivia: What kind of brain does Igor bring back to the doctor in Young Frankenstein?

Send all guesses to: First 3 correct guesses will be recognized in a future edition!

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