@Home Briefs

July 3, 2014 

Adhesive caulk can seal crack

My wooden front door has developed a long crack wide enough to see light through it. Can it be sealed with plastic wood or wood filler, or should some other method be taken to save the door?

The crack must be in one of the panels, which are thinner than the frame pieces. This was caused by expansion and contraction of the wood.

Try this: Buy adhesive caulk that will firm up as hard as plastic wood or wood filler. Fill the crack with this caulk, pressing it in with your fingers. Hold a board on the other side to keep the caulk from oozing through.

Let it set. You can scrape it smooth.

Do the other side if necessary, and finally paint the panel to match the door.

-- Peter Hotton/ Boston Globe


The beat goes on, on a positive note

Whether you're a flamboyant Buddy Rich-type (self-proclaimed "The World's Greatest Drummer") or a reliable gatekeeper of rhythm like Ringo Starr (James Brown said you could set your watch by him), if you're a drummer, you're not like everyone else. But you already know that.

Research shows that being a talented drummer indicates a natural intelligence and exceptional knack for problem-solving. Drummers even seem to have a larger volume of white matter in their brains, facilitating communication between the left and right sides. But (being generous of nature) it turns out that when drummers lay down a rhythmic beat, it actually can boost the natural intelligence of listeners, too. That's because they create rhythms that are in tune with the innate tempos of your heartbeat and brain waves.

So it's no surprise that research has found that both playing and listening to rhythms in sync with your body can improve brain wave frequency and cerebral blood flow, help heal damaged brains, boost students' grades and improve cognitive function in the elderly.

So are there drums in your future? And should you encourage your kids to play drums? Well, there doesn't seem to be a downside to learning how the beat goes on, but there is an old proverb: "If you have an enemy, give his children drums." So you might consider -- for yourself or your kids -- learning the rhythm guitar or piano. They lay down a groove a little more quietly, and impart many of the same benefits to player and listener.

-- Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz

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