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shake a stick and sneeze at. [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2009-7-19 21:56:27 |Display all floors
Modern humans are masters of multitasking. We eat while driving, watch TV while studying, and of course talk on our cell phones while doing, well, everything. How do we do it? A study in the July 16th issue of Neuron suggests that though we can train our brains to work faster as we juggle, we never actually manage to do more than one thing at a time.

Our brains aren’t really built to handle the sort of parallel processing we think we’re capable of. The good news is: studies have shown that extensive training can make us better at doing two things at once. But how?

One theory is that with lots of practice some routines become “automatic.” And if we don’t need to run every little thing past the part of the brain that’s spends time thinking about stuff, we can multitask just fine.

But this new study finds that that’s not the way it works. Turns out that multitaskers still consult the prefrontal cortex, but training gets the “Thinking Brain” to think a little faster. So we’re switching tasks quickly enough to appear to be doing them simultaneously. Which is still nothing to shake a stick and sneeze at.


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Post time 2009-7-20 11:36:01 |Display all floors

KidsHealth>Kids>Kids' Talk>Where'd That Come From?>Nothing to Sneeze At
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This saying, which has been around since the early 1800s, may come from the idea that someone might turn up his or her nose at something unimportant or unworthy. When you say something is "nothing to sneeze at," you're saying it's actually important. For example, coming in second place in the science fair is nothing to sneeze at. Even though you didn't come in first, second place is still an important accomplishment.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: February 2007



                        sneeze  sneezes  sneezing  sneezed                   
        1            When you sneeze, you suddenly take in your breath and then blow it down your nose noisily without being able to stop yourself, for example because you have a cold.
                What exactly happens when we sneeze?...
            VERB: V  
                    Sneeze is also a noun.
                Coughs and sneezes spread infections.
        2            If you say that something is not to be sneezed at, you mean that it is worth having. (INFORMAL)
                The money's not to be sneezed at.
(c) HarperCollins Publishers.

source collins


Shaking a stick at somebody, of course, is a threatening gesture, or at least one of defiance. So to say that you have shaken a stick at somebody is to suggest that person is an opponent, perhaps a worthy one. The sense in the second and third quotations above seem to fit this idea: “nothing worth shaking a stick at” means nothing of value; “equal to any man you could shake a stick at” means that the speaker is equal to any man of consequence.


My Hostas aren't poppin up yet here in Chicago. I'm jealous!
"nothing to shake a stick at" so funny, my Grandfather used to say that. You shake a stick at something you want to go away (ex: dog) so I agree, these plants coming up are Nothing To Shake a Stick At !


my try

Happy 牛 Year~!

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