| | Joe Brown making Dr. Kawashima proud|

Generally, if a company claims that its product does something cool, I don’t believe it. That’s my job, see? But I gotta hand it to Nintendo. Its newish Nintendo DS title, Brain Age (PopSci loves Brain Age), has actually made me smarter. Today is my one-month anniversary of playing the game, which claims to stimulate your prefrontal cortex with fun little mini games involving math, memory and split-second decisions. How do I know I’ve gotten smarter? Here are some examples:

1. I paid my rent not on time, but early. I usually forget until I’m crouching under the kitchen table on the sixth of the month while my landlady (Hi, Marie) pounds on the door.

2. I have already started Christmas shopping—no joke.

3. I destroyed a bunch of Irish folks in Charades at 5 a.m. Saturday night, solving most of the pantomimes within 10 seconds. It got to the point where they asked me to retire from competition and just come up with subjects.

And here’s a prediction: New York City will have a blackout today or tomorrow. Our power grid is already waaay overtasked, and, with the damaged power lines in Queens, we can’t handle two 100-degree days in a row. If I’m right about this, I’m running for office. —Joe Brown