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Rasika Chandima:

Creating memories that stand the test of time



MEMORABLE CREATION: Rasika Chandima operating her memory development machine

AMBITIOUS INVENTOR: Cardboard, matchsticks and buttons. It all began there. Her younger sister assisted her to experiment with those raw materials. After many days of hard work the turning pages of her physics knowledge, her dream finally came alive.

It is not another Frankenstein but an invention she can be proud of. It has the potential to benefit the entire nation.

That was the genesis of the memory development machine invented by an ambitious dance teacher at Dellawa Maha Vidyalaya, Neluwa. Rasika Chandima Pathiranawasam has proved that science and art can, and do, mix.

"My dream was to create something to improve the memory of schoolchildren. As a teacher I have a clear understanding that most of children fail exams due to poor memory power.

After several experiments, I created a manually operated machine to develop memory," Rasika said.

Rasika was born in Baddegama and studied at Christ Church Girls College, Sacred Heart Convent in Galle and Sangamitta College, Galle. Her father worked for the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation and her mother is a Montessori teacher. She has two sisters and one brother.

"First I did science subjects for the Advanced Level. But I failed.

I conducted physics experiments in my mind. So finally I decided to do art subjects for my second attempt. Having passed the exams with flying colours I was chosen for a degree at the Sri Jayawardhanapura University.

But my passion for physics never died, physics theories never stopped twirling in my mind," Rasika mused.

After graduation she applied for teaching. Rasika was appointed as the dance teacher of the Dellawa Maha Vidyalaya at Neluwa, a difficult area at the far end of the Galle district.

Despite all the difficulties Rasika decided to stay on and impart her knowledge to poor children.

"When teaching those children I realised that most of them cannot memorise lessons. So I thought of working on something to improve their memory. I did some experiments at home, with my younger sister. First I used cardboards, buttons and matchsticks as raw material," she reminiscences.

Day by day she developed the machine. It was very easy for her to carry on experiments as her father had reserved a room at home as a laboratory with basic equipment.

"Memory is complex. Still no scientist can explain it precisely. The University of California, USA conducted several experiments on memory but they couldn't complete it successfully. Most of the aspects related to memory cannot be physically decided," she remarked.

"With this creation I am trying to learn to see something with the eyes and to keep those in mind.

Then it is easy to recollect those and finally to work it out correctly.

I understood that after practising. We can insert something to the subconscious mind. Breathing and heart beats function without our knowledge. It is like a command given to a computer or a standing order to a bank. Then it is not necessary to look after every time.

While dancing or playing music the subconscious mind works automatically. I am trying to prove it in 2008 under State patronage," she added.

"My memory developer will help school children to improve their marks at exams. It will help to develop the memory of intelligence officers of the Armed Forces and police. You can measure the memory of the mind. I will introduce this as a multi-purpose memory developer".

I asked whether she is going to launch it to the market.

"This is not a commodity for the common market. When you practise this daily, things will enter your subconscious mind. You need tolerance, practice and knowledge of the mind. If we market it parents will cause damage to their children by using this to pass exams. I have all the legal rights to this machine. Therefore I took a decision not to issue it to the common market," Rasika replied.

She has introduced this machine to the National Institute of Education (NIE) in Maharagama. She received a good response from the Institute.

Therefore she has decided to hand over all legal powers to the Institute to distribute all the machines via them.

She will never seek help from the private sector. She wants to help the present generation.

"I pay my gratitude to my parents, sisters, brother, all my teachers, my staff members, students and all others including the media who encouraged me to invent this," she concluded.

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Eating - The Healthy Yoga Way

"Man is what he eateth" said George Bernard Shaw once. It is not what we eat that is of paramount importance, but how we eat, when and how much. Eating not only includes the intake of food but its digestion and assimilation.

We all know how a large meal, gobbled fast, especially when one is tired or in a state of nervous tension, may and often does produce indigestion or painful gas. So does anger.

The ulcers from which high-pressure executives so often suffer are the direct result of emotional strain, for when the system is not at rest the digestive juices fail to flow freely and an acid condition is set up which literally corrodes the sensitive mucous lining of the stomach and intestines.

The habit of gulping food is lethal, for the gulper starves himself even as he overeats. Then how should we eat food?

Chewing food slowly and thoroughly serves a double function. First of all it's good for your teeth. Unless you give them a daily work-out by chewing solid foods, they will weaken and decay for want of exercise.

Secondly, unless you chew your food properly, you do not give saliva a chance to penetrate it. Saliva, as you know, is an important digestive juice. It contains 'ptyalin' an enzyme which transforms starches into maltose or body sugar. Such foods as potatoes, bread, noodles, cereals and starchy vegetables, in other words carbohydrates must all be saturated with ptyalin, if they are to do the body any good.

This process must be accomplished before the carbohydrates leave the mouth, for once they have been swallowed the hydrochloric acid in the stomach prevents any further digestion.

That is why fast eaters seldom grow fat regardless of the quantities of food they consume.

To put it another way, the more you chew the less you will want or need to eat, for small amounts of food will keep you well nourished provided, of course, that your diet is a balance one. Taking time to taste and savour will also enhance your enjoyment of food. It helps a free flow of gastric juices which helps digestion.

There are many vitamins, minerals and other elements necessary to human diet.

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