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Nat Geo Brain Games Reveals The Mysteries Of How Your Brain Works – Forbes

Keegan-Michael Key is host of the new season of Brain Games on Nat Geo.

The brain is a mysterious thing. I am always fascinated by things like the viral blue or gold dress debate and how two people can look at the same picture and see completely different things, and I love trying to break down optical illusions or solve puzzles. Admittedly, however, I dont know much of the science or details behind why or how the brain works the way it doeswhich is one of the reasons I appreciate Brain Games.

Nat Geo rebooted the show. This is technically Season 8 of Brain Games, but the show hasnt aired for a while. The new version is a complete reimagination, with Keegan-Michael Key as host. The new season of Brain Games kicked off this week with a focus on how the male brain differs from the female brain, which pits husband and wife Dax Shepard against Kristen Bell, followed by an episode that explores fact vs. fiction featuring Ted Danson.

I am a huge fan of Keegan-Michael Keya combination of hometown pride and a stalker-ish I knew him when sort of thing. He was born in Southfield, Michiganwhich is where I grew upso I love the Detroit area connection. I also had the opportunity to see him perform at Second City Detroit back around 2000 before his career really took off. Key was by far the best and most memorable part of the show that I saw, though, so I am not the least bit surprised at his success.

I had an opportunity to speak with Cara Santa Mariathe resident brain expert for the show. Cara explained that the shows are filmed in a studio in front of a live audience, and that each show has a celebrity guest or guests and focuses on a different theme. She praised Key as host of the show for his genuine curiosity about the science and the tests they do on the show and his ability to think on his feet and guide the games so that they are both entertaining and educational.

The show would be pretty entertaining and interesting if they just did the tests and experiments and let us marvel at the results. Brain Games doesnt do that, thoughfor the most part. I will cover the exception in a little bit.

For example, Shepard beats Bell in an exercise to put 25 cubes in descending numerical order. The show then provides an animated short that explains that in timed math tests women may do worse because theyre afraid that they will do worse. Researchers dubbed this the stereotype threat, which is the fear of proving a clichin this case that women are not as good as men at math.

The couple also had to do a test that was sort of a giant jigsaw puzzle. They were presented with an oversized refrigerator and a number of pieces of different shapes with the items you might find in a refrigerator, and they had to get all of the pieces packed into the fridge. Shepard crushed Bell again. A pre-recorded scene with the Muppets Dr. Bunsen Honeydew then explains that a study has found a connection between this ability and the structure of the parietal lobethe region of the brain that controls spatial recognition. Men typically have a larger parietal lobe, which would give them an advantage for a test like this.

Cara Santa Maria oversaw a test that put three men against three women in a version of the age-old telephone game. One person had to look at what a model was wearing, describe it to a second person, and that person relayed the details to a third person to try and dress their model the exact same wayin 3 minutes or less. The men failed miserably. The women dominated this test. Cara then explains in an animated scene some of the research behind the difference in how men and women listen and communicate.

On Episode 2 with Ted Danson, the show begins by enlisting the help of the Blue Man Group and participants from the audience for an exercise to guess Michael J. Foxs middle name. They painted signssome with clear blue text and some with a crazy mix of psychedelic colors running down the canvas. When asked to guess the correct middle name, people tended to choose the one with the clear blue text. Key explained that this demonstrates the effects of cognitive easethat we are more likely to believe or agree with the one that is easier to read.

Key also covered color psychologythe use of specific colors in marketing to trigger a reaction. He described the way colors cause a reaction in the hypothalamus of the brainaffecting mood, heart rate, alertness, and impulsivity.

Now for that exception I mentioned. One thing about the show that is mind blowingbut doesnt really fit the concept in my opinionis Lior Suchard, the shows mentalist. Suchard performs amazing feats that seem impossible, but there is never any attempt to explain how he does that or how it works. Youre just left wondering how Suchard is able to do what he does, and consider whether or not he does, in fact, possess supernatural abilities. I mean, I understand that magicians dont give away their secrets, and it would ruin it for mentalists in general if they revealed how it worksIm just saying that without some attempt at explaining it, it doesnt really fit on the show.

There is much more on both episodes. I dont want to spoil the whole thing. I love the show, though. Keegan-Michael Key is a great host and Cara Santa Maria helps shed some light on the how and why. I enjoy watching the celebrity guests and audience struggle through the challenges, but what I really appreciate is getting the explanation after the fact and gaining some understanding about why it works that way. Perhaps knowing more about how the brain works and why we respond the way we do can help us avoid manipulation better. Brain Games airs on Monday nights on Nat Geo and is available to stream after it airs.

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Nat Geo Brain Games Reveals The Mysteries Of How Your Brain Works - Forbes

These three new brain games will improve your intellectual skills – Somerset Live

University professors have developed three new mini-games to improve memory and cognitive flexibility.

The three games, punnily entitled Gwakkamole, CrushStations and All You Can ET, are the result of a four-year research programme, funded by the US Department of Education and Educations Institute of Science.

The first tests have demonstrated compelling results in the subjects after only two hours of playing.

Dr Richard Mayer, from the University of California in Santa Barbara, said:

"We found replicated evidence across multiple experiments that playing our games for two hours causes improvements in executive function skills as compared to a control group that plays an unrelated game.

This is one of the few scientific experiments showing the benefits of game-based training on executive function skills such as being able to shift from one task to another or being able to keep track of a series of events.

This work shows the benefits of designing games based on the cognitive theory of game-based training."

Dr Jan Plass from New York University said: While some children have access to the best schools and resources, this is not the case for many families from less affluent communities across the nation.

We hope these games can help close the gap that this lack of opportunity has created.

This game is designed to help with a persons ability to control their attention, behaviour, thoughts and emotions.

The goal is to smash avocados on screens but spare the ones wearing hats, training your speed and focus.

If you wish to train your memory, this is the game for you.

This game work with your temporary holding and memory information, keys to the remembrance and use of daily information - vital skills in everyday life.

It involves crustaceans and users have to remember their colour and type to free them from a hungry octopus.

This space adventure trains your cognitive flexibility - the mental ability to switch between thinking about two different things and to think about multiple concepts at the same time.

In this game, players are providing aliens with food and drinks to help them survive but the challenge is that they frequently change their food preferences.

These games will be presented at the Superpowered Metropolis: Early Learning CIty exhibit at the Childrens Museum of Manhattan on February 14 to help children develop.

If you wish to give them a try, the three of them are available for free online as well as on the iOS and Google Play stores.

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These three new brain games will improve your intellectual skills - Somerset Live

10 Games To Play If You Like Brain Training | TheGamer – TheGamer

Puzzlers have always been a prominent genre in gaming in one form or another - just look at icons likeTetris.Yet, Nintendo has helped popularize the concept of "brain games," namely with the breakout hitBrain Agefor the Nintendo DS.

These were primarily logic and number puzzles in a digital setting, laced with some gaming properties to add to their excitement. This sort of software has enticed millions to help flex and exercise their brain power while having a good time.

The recently-released Dr. Kawashima'sBrain Trainingfor Switch took this appealing concept and fleshed it out even further. Still, there exist a number of other ways to get a mental workout when it comes to video games.

RELATED: Nintendo DS: The 10 Best-Selling Games Of All Time

With this list, we'll look at 10 of the best examples. These will be games that hinge mainly on logic puzzles which are both tricky and enjoyable, and will bear at leastsomeresemblance to the addictiveBrain Age/Trainingtitles.

While most on our list will fall under the category of more straightforward brain training romps, this creative puzzler also puts your cognitive skills to the test with its variety of scenarios.

Spellkeeperis a colorful fantasy take on logic-based puzzlers, and makes for an experience that's tough, yet accessible. The name of the game is to guide a stream of magic across scattered tiles in order to get butterflies to spout when touching them. It seems like a simple premise, yet there are a slew of different elements and obstacles to factor in when guiding the stream.Knocking out these puzzles after you've spent minutes pondering your next move offers a rewarding experience that'sgreat for both mind and morale.

Similar to the likes of Sudoku, Picross is a fairly well-known logic game made up of a grid of various sequences. Yet unlikeSudoku, which has you fill in numbers in the grids,the goal here is to figure a solution and formulate a picture on the grid. You achieve this by using the given numbers on the borders as a reference point. These digits tip you off as to how many squares are to be filled in each row, and at what position.

The DS is a terrific fit for such a game as you can easily utilize the touch screen to fill in areas and zoom in or out, given you a simpler, more intuitive means of control.

Much likeSpellkeeper,Neonwallserves as a colorful indie take on a puzzler; this time resorting to vibrant, psychedelic imagery to keep you enticed.

Despite the occasionally stressful multitasking required in these logic puzzles, this game proves deceptively fun and addictive.Neonwallruns with a rather basic premise of guiding a ball through a blocky obstacle course. Yet, the gameplay itself isanythingbut simple, as you'll have to juggle multiple, color-coded tasks. These include swapping out colors for your control paddles, triggering and clearing passageways, etc.

This indie cleverly blends fast reaction time, logic, and concentration, making for an exciting puzzler that'll test your wits in real-time.

While theBig Brain Academyseries offers an experience that's similar toBrain Age/Brain Training, the former actually received a rendition on the Wii. It's tough to get too excited over any game sporting words like "academy" or "degree," but this overlooked brain-buster actually offers some fun, exciting romps. Not only is there a range of delightful, creative challenges featured, but you can even face off against a friend in a thrilling race to first place.

RELATED: Wii: The 10 Best-Selling Games Of All Time

There's a surprising amount of depth here too, as you can adjust the difficulty and will be given categorical scores based on speed and accuracy. The game utilizes some sharp, responsive pointer controls, making the experience seamless and exciting.

Following the success of theBrain Ageseries on DS, developers have naturally migrated over to the more sophisticated mobile devices, which offer similar touch-screen functionality to make for quick, intuitive experiences. While there are quite a few examples of these brain busters, one of the strongest examples comes in the form ofMemorado.

This app focuses mainly on visually-oriented trials that train your memory, concentration, and reaction time, along with some logic-based scenarios. You may, for instance, be shown a series of colored balls which vanish, before being prompted to answer which colordisappeared first.

Like our previous entry,Lumosityhas established itself as a well-known, solid choice if you seek a brain-training romp for mobile devices. Inanothersimilarity, this comes with a more limited free version, along with a paid "premium" rendition which offers more in-depth tips, analysis, and content.

You'll be working through some colorful, bite-sized logic games and be granted scores in various categories upon finishing them. These range from matching numbers in a certain sequence to following visually-based instructions like arranging pictures of food in acertain order based on instructions.

Yes, as it turns out, the 3DS has had its share of brain games, too. While perhaps not quite as iconic asBrain Age, 3DS'Puzzler Mind Gym 3Dputs a neat twist on its collection of digital mind workouts.

RELATED: The 5 Best & Worst 3DS Games Of The Decade (According To Metacritic)

The game is more geared towards children with its emphasis on more colorful, 3-dimensional images, granting an appealing presentation. Many of its minigames are also on the simpler side, but are nonetheless fun to work through as you try and speed your way through a slew of random memory, logic, and concentration games. The experience is kept fresh with its cycling between images, words, and numbers for its puzzles.

WhileBrain AgeandBig Brain Academytended to hog the spotlight when it comes to digital mind exercises,Majesco's puzzlersomewhat flew under the radar.It's a bit rough around the edges and slim in content compared to Dr. Kawashima's software, to be sure. Yet, this DS game still provides its own certain charm with its focus on picture games and notching high scores.

Similar toBrain Agebeing endorsed and inspired by Japanese brain researcher Kawashima, Majesco based its games off the style ofMakoto Shichida's"Shichida Method." This focuses on right brain training in Japanese youth that stresses aesthetic sensibility and emotion.

In many ways, the lesser-knownBig Brain Academytook the fundamentals ofBrain Ageone step further, at least for the more creatively-minded crowd.

Rather than hone in on number crunching, wordplay, and basic images, this game took a more colorful, visually-oriented approach, helping it stand out when it launched in mid-2005.

You might, for instance, be shown a bunch of moving animal silhouettes and asked to match them up with the revealed pictures of each creature.

Rather than given a specific "brain age," you're also shown a more elaborate score based on multiple elements - think, identify, compute, analyze, and memorize. But you're also tossed a more convenient, unified final "weight" of your brain. Yes, this strangely-designed professor has no qualms about revealingyour supposed smarts.

As it happens, Dr.Kawashima makes an appearance on Nintendo's DS follow-up as well, in all his polygonal 3D glory. This sequel toBrain Ageruns with a similar style ofthe original brain-busters, yet it adds a new dimension to the experience, in more ways than one.

This game cleverly utilizes the context of modern times - and the distracting effect of technological stimulation - for its main themes. These essentially boil down to challenges that hone concentration and memory. Yet,Concentration Trainingplays this out in a fun, creative manner. You're also thrown a curveball with the new "Devilish Training,"which puts a trickier twist on existing challenges and adjusts the difficulty according to performance.

NEXT: The 10 Best Xbox Puzzle Games You Should Be Playing Right Now

NextThe 10 Nintendo Switch Games With The Biggest File Size (& How Many GB They Take)

Stephen is an avid Nintendo, Indie, and retro gamer who dabbles in Xbox on occasion, mainly in the form of binge sessions of Overwatch. He's a history buff, an aspiring writer of short fiction, and a devout metalhead who enjoys poorly drumming along to Black Sabbath on his cheap drum set. When his beloved Chicago Cubs or Bulls are not playing, he typically likes to watch random documentaries or campy horror films.

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10 Games To Play If You Like Brain Training | TheGamer - TheGamer

Magical Elves Names Joel Zimmer Head Of Development, Ups Samantha Hanks To Head Of Casting & Talent Relations – Deadline

Top Chef and Project Runway producer Magical Elves has hired veteran TV producer and development executive Joel Zimmer as EVP Development, and promoted longtime Magical Elves casting executive Samantha Hanks to EVP, Casting and Talent Relations.

With the addition of Joel, and the elevation of Samantha, Magical Elves has the right leadership in place to continue our growth, and further evolve our slate of quality, aspirational programming, said Co-CEOs Casey Kriley and Jo Sharon, in making the announcement.Samanthas contributions to casting and attracting high-caliber talent has been a key factor in our current success, and with Joels added expertise and enthusiasm, both executives will play a crucial role in dreaming up and creating the next generation of hit projects for Magical Elves.

As EVP of Development, Zimmer will lead the team responsible for all development and sales for Magical Elves. A veteran content creator and media executive, Zimmers first producing job was with Magical Elves on an early season of Last Comic Standing (NBC). More recently, Zimmer ran an independent banner, Snow Day Entertainment, which produced and developed projects with A&E Originals, Fox Studios, and Zee Americas. Prior to that, Zimmer was Head of Current for 495 Productions where he oversaw and executive produced over 500 hours of programming for a variety of cable and broadcast networks, and served as showrunner on multiple series that set network ratings records, including Design Star for HGTV and Dance Your Ass Off for Oxygen. His additional producing credits include Americas Got Talent for NBC and Blue Collar Millionaires for CNBC.

Theres not a Magical Elves series over the last decade that I havent secretly wished I had created or worked on, said Zimmer, Im thrilled to work with Casey, Jo and their amazing team as we start a new decade and develop even more series that bring the signature Magical Elves brand of elevated storytelling and characters.

In Hanks expanded role, she will continue to oversee all casting of talent and contestants for the companys entire slate of projects, while also exploring additional strategic partnerships for Magical Elves. In her tenure, Hanks has overseen key casting on projects including the Emmy-nominated Netflix hit Nailed It!, as well as the most recent seasons of Project Runway for Bravo. Other credits include the Brain Games reboot for Nat Geo, hosted by Keegan-Michael Key, as well as Bravos Emmy- nominated Top Chef, Netflixs Sugar Rush, Universal Kids Top Chef Junior and American Ninja Warrior Junior, and Oxygens true crime series Cold Justice produced by Dick Wolf. Prior to joining the Elves, Hanks produced Star Plates with culinary expert Gail Simmons for Food Network, and also worked for film producers Jane Rosenthal at Tribeca Productions, Lynda Obst at Paramount Pictures and director/producer Jon Favreau.

Over the past ten years, Magical Elves has become my home, said Hanks, Im extremely proud of the work our team has produced, and I look forward to building even more relationships with first-rate talent and network partners.

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Magical Elves Names Joel Zimmer Head Of Development, Ups Samantha Hanks To Head Of Casting & Talent Relations - Deadline

Brain Games free live stream: How to watch online without cable – nj.com

Brain Games is returning for its 8th season on Monday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. in a new format. This time, the series will involve host Keegan-Michael Key playing various games to explore the inner workings of the mind, with featured celebrity guests like Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, and Ted Danson.

Heres the information youll need to watch Brain Games online without cable.

Brain Games premieres its 8th season on Monday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. on National Geographic. It will be followed by a second new episode at 9 p.m., and will air on Mondays at 8 p.m. thereafter.

If youre a cord-cutter or dont have cable, you can live stream Brain Games on any one of the following streaming platforms:

Hulu Live TV (free trial; note: to get the free trial, click the Hulu logo in the top-left corner and choose the Hulu + Live TV package)

Sling TV

You can use the channel finder on your providers website to locate it: Verizon Fios, AT&T U-verse, Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum/Charter, Optimum/Altice, DIRECTV, Dish.

If you missed an episode of Brain Games or want to binge watch other, more upbeat scientific series, check out the following streaming platforms:

Hulu Live TV (free trial; note: to get the free trial, click the Hulu logo in the top-left corner and choose the Hulu + Live TV package)

Sling TV

According to the official National Geographic website: Host Keegan-Michael Key explores the inner workings of the brain with celebrity guests. Previously, the series was hosted by Jason Silva.

Heres a look a segment from a recent season of Brain Games, courtesy of National Geographics official YouTube channel:

Here are some additional stories and articles about Brain Games, including a look at the announcement that Keegan-Michael Key would be hosting the reboot of the series:

Keegan-Michael Key To Host Brain Games Reboot On Nat Geo

Nat Geo to Reboot Brain Games With Host Keegan-Michael Key, Orders Race to the Center of the Earth From Amazing Race Team

Nat Geo Renews Brain Games, Running Wild With Bear Grylls and Life Below Zero

Joseph Rejent may be reached at jrejent@njadvancemedia.com. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

Get the latest updates right in your inbox. Subscribe to NJ.coms newsletters.

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Brain Games free live stream: How to watch online without cable - nj.com

SPY GAMES’ AND ‘LONE STAR,’ OH MY – The Republic

It had to happen. The new reality series Spy Games (10 p.m., Bravo, TV-14) invites participants to be trained in espionage by three veteran intelligence officers and compete with each other in assignments right out of James Bond movies.

In their first cloak and dagger job, they are trained to infiltrate a black-tie party at a posh mansion and told to retrieve vital information. The series is said to be based on a crash program developed by the OSS (the CIAs precursor) during WWII to quickly train men and women from all walks of life to become secret agents.

All reality shows are essentially absurd, but Spy Games is more laugh-out-loud ridiculous than most. Nearly every element of the series is contradictory. The whole point of a secret agent is to remain unseen and blend in. But the essential nature of reality television is to hire good-looking exhibitionists too vain and stupid to ever shut up. All of their assignments are top secret, but followed at every moment by cameras, crew and producers. Help yourself.

The Ryan Murphy produced-spinoff 9-1-1: Lone Star (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) moves to its regular time slot after a Sunday night preview. Even by the standards of procedurals, this arrives freighted with loaded and manipulative emotional weight.

A 9/11 survivor who rebuilt his NYC station house, Owen (Rob Lowe) is called upon to do similar work for an Austin, Texas, unit wiped out in an industrial catastrophe. Battling a cancer diagnosis and the recent suicide attempt of his gay firefighting son, Owen builds an Avengers-type team of colorful outsiders while trying to bond with the locals, including an EMT captain (Liv Tyler) filled with rage.

As a New Yorker married to a Texan, I have my notions of how wrong Lone Star gets the Lone Star state. But Ill let real Texans sort that out.

HIGHLIGHTS COMMEMORATING MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY

A married couple (Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln) suffer a series of indignities in segregated Alabama in the 1964 drama Nothing But a Man (8 p.m., TCM). Lincoln was better known as a jazz singer. Dixon, who appeared on The Twilight Zone, may be familiar to viewers old enough to remember Hogans Heroes.

The 2016 drama Hidden Figures (7 p.m. and 10 p.m., FX, TV-PG) dramatizes the unsung story of three African American female mathematicians essential to NASAs Mercury program in the early 1960s.

The 2019 documentary Emanuel (9 p.m., Starz) recalls a 2015 mass murder by a white supremacist at a Baptist church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Two men embark on a road trip through segregated states in the 2018 drama The Green Book (9:30 p.m., Showcase).

TONIGHTS OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

Ten acts perform on Americas Got Talent (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

Lola offers her husband moral support on All Rise (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard appear on the eighth season premiere of Brain Games (8 p.m., Nat Geo, TV-PG).

The Junkyard Killer targets Malcolm on Prodigal Son (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

A busy urban professional returns to her small town to discover that her old beau has created a snow maze, the perfect setting for Amazing Winter Romance (9 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).

A series dedicated to exploring and celebrating immigrant cuisine and neighborhoods, No Passport Required (9 p.m., PBS, check local listings) samples Armenian food in Los Angeles.

Tragedy on the training field sparks a lawsuit on Bull (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

A key witness is incarcerated on Manifest (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

An elite runner loses more than a step on The Good Doctor (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).

The Independent Lens (10 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) documentary Accept the Call follows a Minnesota Somali immigrant horrified by his 19-year-old sons flirtation with a Syrian faction of the Islamic State.

CULT CHOICE

A game show host and producer (Sam Rockwell) leads a double life as a CIA assassin in the 2002 adaptation of Chuck Barris memoir Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (9:35 p.m., TMCX).

SERIES NOTES

Calvin harbors suspicions about the new preacher on The Neighborhood (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) The Bachelor (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14) Spencer compensates on All American (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) Unwelcome advice on Bob Hearts Abishola (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) The Red Wave reverberates on Black Lightning (9 p.m., CW, TV-14).

LATE NIGHT

Josh Gad appears on Conan (11 p.m., TBS) Jimmy Fallon welcomes Ken Jeong, Kate Upton and Old Dominion on The Tonight Show (11:35 p.m., NBC) Michael Moore, June Diane Raphael and Adam Marcello visit Late Night With Seth Meyers (12:35 a.m., NBC).

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SPY GAMES' AND 'LONE STAR,' OH MY - The Republic

New ‘Brain Games’ Host Keegan-Michael Key on the Star Power of the Reboot – TVInsider

Can your brain guide you past the poker faces of four champion card players to figure out who ingested spicy wasabi? That's just one of the mind-tastic challenges in the rebooted 2011-2016 science-based series Brain Games, now hosted by actor and comedian Keegan-Michael Key (above, with guest star Rebel Wilson).

"It's a show about doing experiments in a really high-octane manner," he says. Watch for:

Ted Danson, Tiffany Haddish, Drew Brees and other A-listers appear as active participants and competitive sides emerge. "I found out a lot about different celebrities' personalities," Key says with a laugh.

In "Male Brain vs. Female Brain," one of two back-to-back premiere episodes, spouses Kristen Bell (The Good Place) and Dax Shepard (Bless This Mess) must arrange puzzle boards of numbers. Men tend to perform math challenges slightly better under pressure, so each has just 40 seconds to finish before a propane-filled balloon explodes. And yes, one does go boom!

(Credit: National Geographic/Eric McCandless)

Frequent appearances by world-famous mentalist Lior Suchard wow the studio audience. In one segment, Anthony Anderson freaks when his teenage black-ish costar Marsai Martin displays similar mind-reading skills. "He didn't understand how this little girl knew how to do this!" Key recalls. (Suchard fed her questions via an earpiece.)

Key is just as astounded as viewers in the results: "Sometimes [the producers] ask, 'Do you want to know X, Y and Z?' And I go, 'Don't tell me any of that!'"

Brain Games, Season Premiere, Monday, January 20, 8/7c, National Geographic

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New 'Brain Games' Host Keegan-Michael Key on the Star Power of the Reboot - TVInsider

Brain Games Hints At Way Forward – themediatimes

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January 19, 2020 Tina Casey

A sense of humanitys ability to step up climate action and survive the next century without wiping out most of the other species on the planet? Consider the three-pound slimy blob that lives in our head as a highly adaptive critter who still adapts to todays high-tech world, and saving the planet looks much better. That is the message that CleanTechnica took away from a taste of Brain Games latest reboot, unrolling Monday night at 8:00 EST for an eight-episode on National Geographic TV.

The key to accelerating climate action is the same that unlocks more brain power (image via NIMH image library, public domain).

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CleanTechnica interviewed Brain Games field host Cara Santa Maria by telephone last fall, and she dropped some juicy hints about the wow factor behind the restart (if that name rings a bell, think of Skeptics Guide to the Universe and fixed that for you among many other media projects, along with a career in neurobiology and ongoing PhD research).

The Brain Games reboot sheds new light on a distant list of hot key questions about the science behind brains and gender, brains and food, brains and dating, and brains and power, among other topics.

Since clean technology is the core obsession behind CleanTechnica, we naturally read a little bit of climate action in her comments as in, why is it so hard to get some people to accept the obvious?

More than 250,000 years of evolution to survive on this planet, our brains develop shortcuts, explained Santa Maria. We have evolved to function in the world for thousands of years, but the fastest decisions may no longer be good for survival.

By cutting the wires holding those shortcuts, Brain Games exposes the enormous amount of unused power within the wrinkled mass that we call smarts (no spoilers see it for yourself!).

Thats it in a nutshell. Shortcuts instinctive responses to danger, hunger and other input are fine as far as they go, but in todays hyper-tech world they dont always help.

Faced with a barrage of new, often contradictory information, people skip new knowledge and cling to the old ones, devise new shortcuts to fill gaps along the way.

It is so fascinating to understand the neurological and behavioral factors that inform everything from flat earth to anti-vax thinking, said Santa Maria. Where does no nuclear weapons come from? Andy, why is it so hard for people to stop using plastic straws?

With all this in mind, it is no wonder that a simple phrase like Chinese hoax continues to inform public thinking about climate action, even now that the impact of climate change on the real world is reaching the crisis point.

However, the real value of Brain Games is to open the minds of people who consider themselves to be aware and informed about climate change and climate action.

After all, almost everyone can be just as stubborn and instinct-driven in some ways as everyone else.

CleanTechnica readers, try these yourself. What was your opinion about hydrogen and fuel cell technology five years ago, and what is your opinion today?

If you think about this, send us a message in the response thread.

Before you do that, remember that green hydrogen was a non-starter just five years ago. Now it is entering the market and the International Renewable Energy Agency is looking at a five-year window to integrate it.

The usual reservation also applies: vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells lag far behind their battery-operated cousins in the market for electric vehicles for passenger cars, but other markets for green hydrogen including bulk energy storage and industrial applications are opening up.

The green hydrogen movement took a huge step forward here in the US last fall, when it expanded from a predominantly coastal state phenomenon related to climate action, to an area where resistance to climate action is still strong, the red states of the American Midwest.

Follow me on twitter.

Image: Brain illustration via NIMH image library, public domain.

Follow CleanTechnica on Google News.It will make you happy and help you live the rest of your life in peace.

Tags: Brain Games, Cara Santa Maria, National Geographic TV

Tina Casey specializes in military and operational sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels and water and wastewater problems. Tinas articles are regularly reposted on Reuters, Scientific American and many other sites. The opinions are own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

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Brain Games Hints At Way Forward - themediatimes

Kevin McDonough’s ‘Tune in Tonight’: ‘Spy Games’ and ‘Lone Star’ oh my – The Union Leader

It had to happen. The new reality series Spy Games (10 p.m., Bravo, TV-14) invites participants to be trained in espionage by three veteran intelligence officers and compete with each other in assignments right out of James Bond movies.

In their first cloak-and-dagger job, they are trained to infiltrate a black-tie party at a posh mansion and told to retrieve vital information. The series is said to be based on a crash program developed by the OSS (the CIAs precursor) during WWII to quickly train men and women from all walks of life to become secret agents.

All reality shows are essentially absurd, but Spy Games is more laugh-out-loud ridiculous than most. Nearly every element of the series is contradictory. The whole point of a secret agent is to remain unseen and blend in. But the essential nature of reality television is to hire good-looking exhibitionists too vain and stupid to ever shut up. All of their assignments are top secret, but followed at every moment by cameras, crew and producers. Help yourself.

The Ryan Murphy produced-spinoff 9-1-1: Lone Star (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) moves to its regular time slot after a Sunday night preview. Even by the standards of procedurals, this arrives freighted with loaded and manipulative emotional weight.

A 9/11 survivor who rebuilt his NYC station house, Owen (Rob Lowe) is called upon to do similar work for an Austin, Texas, unit wiped out in an industrial catastrophe. Battling a cancer diagnosis and the recent suicide attempt of his gay firefighting son, Owen builds an Avengers-type team of colorful outsiders while trying to bond with the locals, including an EMT captain (Liv Tyler) filled with rage.

As a New Yorker married to a Texan, I have my notions of how wrong Lone Star gets the Lone Star state. But Ill let real Texans sort that out.

Highlights for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

A married couple (Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln) suffer a series of indignities in segregated Alabama in the 1964 drama Nothing But a Man (8 p.m., TCM). Lincoln was better known as a jazz singer. Dixon, who appeared on The Twilight Zone, may be familiar to viewers old enough to remember Hogans Heroes.

The 2016 drama Hidden Figures (7 p.m. and 10 p.m., FX, TV-PG) dramatizes the unsung story of three African American female mathematicians essential to NASAs Mercury program in the early 1960s.

The 2019 documentary Emanuel (9 p.m., Starz) recalls a 2015 mass murder by a white supremacist at a Baptist church in Charleston, S.C.

Two men embark on a road trip through segregated states in the 2018 drama The Green Book (9:30 p.m., Showcase).

Other highlights

Ten acts perform on Americas Got Talent (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

Lola offers her husband moral support on All Rise (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard appear on the eighth season premiere of Brain Games (8 p.m., Nat Geo, TV-PG).

The Junkyard Killer targets Malcolm on Prodigal Son (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

A busy urban professional returns to her small town to discover that her old beau has created a snow maze, the perfect setting for Amazing Winter Romance (9 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).

A series dedicated to exploring and celebrating immigrant cuisine and neighborhoods, No Passport Required (9 p.m., PBS, check local listings) samples Armenian food in Los Angeles.

Tragedy on the training field sparks a lawsuit on Bull (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

A key witness is incarcerated on Manifest (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

An elite runner loses more than a step on The Good Doctor (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).

The Independent Lens (10 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) documentary Accept the Call follows a Minnesota Somali immigrant horrified by his 19-year-old sons flirtation with a Syrian faction of the Islamic State.

Cult choice

A game show host and producer (Sam Rockwell) leads a double life as a CIA assassin in the 2002 adaptation of Chuck Barris memoir Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (9:35 p.m., TMCX).

Series notes

Calvin harbors suspicions about the new preacher on The Neighborhood (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... The Bachelor (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14) ... Spencer compensates on All American (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... Unwelcome advice on Bob Hearts Abishola (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... The Red Wave reverberates on Black Lightning (9 p.m., CW, TV-14).

Late night

Josh Gad appears on Conan (11 p.m., TBS) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Ken Jeong, Kate Upton and Old Dominion on The Tonight Show (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Michael Moore, June Diane Raphael and Adam Marcello visit Late Night With Seth Meyers (12:35 a.m., NBC).

Here is the original post:
Kevin McDonough's 'Tune in Tonight': 'Spy Games' and 'Lone Star' oh my - The Union Leader

Tune in Tonight: Spy Games and Lone Star, oh my – Daily Commercial

It had to happen. The new reality series "Spy Games" (10 p.m., Bravo, TV-14) invites participants to be trained in espionage by three veteran intelligence officers and compete with each other in assignments right out of James Bond movies.

In their first cloak and dagger job, they are trained to infiltrate a black-tie party at a posh mansion and told to retrieve vital information. The series is said to be based on a crash program developed by the OSS (the CIA's precursor) during WWII to quickly train men and women from all walks of life to become secret agents.

All reality shows are essentially absurd, but "Spy Games" is more laugh-out-loud ridiculous than most. Nearly every element of the series is contradictory. The whole point of a secret agent is to remain unseen and blend in. But the essential nature of reality television is to hire good-looking exhibitionists too vain and stupid to ever shut up. All of their assignments are "top secret," but followed at every moment by cameras, crew and producers. Help yourself.

The Ryan Murphy produced-spinoff "9-1-1: Lone Star" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) moves to its regular time slot after a Sunday night preview. Even by the standards of procedurals, this arrives freighted with loaded and manipulative emotional weight.

A 9/11 survivor who rebuilt his NYC station house, Owen (Rob Lowe) is called upon to do similar work for an Austin, Texas, unit wiped out in an industrial catastrophe. Battling a cancer diagnosis and the recent suicide attempt of his gay firefighting son, Owen builds an "Avengers"-type team of colorful outsiders while trying to bond with the locals, including an EMT captain (Liv Tyler) filled with rage.

As a New Yorker married to a Texan, I have my notions of how wrong "Lone Star" gets the Lone Star state. But I'll let real Texans sort that out.

HIGHLIGHTS COMMEMORATING MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY

A married couple (Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln) suffer a series of indignities in segregated Alabama in the 1964 drama "Nothing But a Man" (8 p.m., TCM). Lincoln was better known as a jazz singer. Dixon, who appeared on "The Twilight Zone," may be familiar to viewers old enough to remember "Hogan's Heroes."

The 2016 drama "Hidden Figures" (7 p.m. and 10 p.m., FX, TV-PG) dramatizes the unsung story of three African American female mathematicians essential to NASA's Mercury program in the early 1960s.

The 2019 documentary "Emanuel" (9 p.m., Starz) recalls a 2015 mass murder by a white supremacist at a Baptist church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Two men embark on a road trip through segregated states in the 2018 drama "The Green Book" (9:30 p.m., Showcase).

TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

Ten acts perform on "America's Got Talent" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

Lola offers her husband moral support on "All Rise" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard appear on the eighth season premiere of "Brain Games" (8 p.m., Nat Geo, TV-PG).

The Junkyard Killer targets Malcolm on "Prodigal Son" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

A busy urban professional returns to her small town to discover that her old beau has created a snow maze, the perfect setting for "Amazing Winter Romance" (9 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).

A series dedicated to exploring and celebrating immigrant cuisine and neighborhoods, "No Passport Required" (9 p.m., PBS, check local listings) samples Armenian food in Los Angeles.

Tragedy on the training field sparks a lawsuit on "Bull" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

A key witness is incarcerated on "Manifest" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

An elite runner loses more than a step on "The Good Doctor" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).

The "Independent Lens" (10 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) documentary "Accept the Call" follows a Minnesota Somali immigrant horrified by his 19-year-old son's flirtation with a Syrian faction of the Islamic State.

CULT CHOICE

A game show host and producer (Sam Rockwell) leads a double life as a CIA assassin in the 2002 adaptation of Chuck Barris' memoir "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (9:35 p.m., TMCX).

SERIES NOTES

Calvin harbors suspicions about the new preacher on "The Neighborhood" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... "The Bachelor" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14) ... Spencer compensates on "All American" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... Unwelcome advice on "Bob Hearts Abishola" (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... The Red Wave reverberates on "Black Lightning" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14).

LATE NIGHT

Josh Gad appears on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Ken Jeong, Kate Upton and Old Dominion on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Michael Moore, June Diane Raphael and Adam Marcello visit "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC).

The rest is here:
Tune in Tonight: Spy Games and Lone Star, oh my - Daily Commercial


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