The Corpus Callosum

Archives for December, 2007

Evolution of Paper Ungulates

The term evolution, presented without any modifiers, generally is held to refer to genetic change within a population. Of course, behaviors can change over time, too.  This includes behaviors that are quite specific and complex.   Ungulates are mammals with hooves.  The classification comprises several orders.  Thus, the term refers to a superorder.  However, the…

Movie Generator

The Movie Generator just takes a database of various actors and ideas, and combines them at random: Hollywood’s out of ideas. I’m just here to help out. Vin Diesel stars in the heart-warming role of President, Abraham Lincoln. With Kate Winslet playing his object of affection, the story follows his eccentric, but often humorous path…

Friday Cat Blogging

If you have cats, and you put laundry on the bed, and leave the room for 15 seconds, this is what happens.  They own the place.

Bioethics at Starbucks

My colleagues, et alia, have been writing (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10) about the ethical issues involved in the use of drugs to enhance cognition.  This is all based upon an article in Nature, by Barbara Sahakian and Sharon Morein-Zamir: Professor’s Little Helper.  Inevitably, the comparison to caffeine comes up.…

Brain MRI Animation

This is a brain MRI animation, showing sequential slices of the brain, from top to bottom.  It was a featured image at Wikipedia.   This was created by a Wikipedia user, Fastfission.  The explanation follows: Made from an fMRI scan I had done. Goes from the top of my brain straight through to the bottom.…

Eulogy for a Mainframe

The University of Manitoba finally decomissioned its mainframe, Betelgeuse, after 47 years of faithful service.  The IT folks were so touched, they held a New Orleans-style jazz funeral for the thing.   Here’s the eulogy: For forty-seven years you’ve served us well, you cast us in your green spell. You processed transactions without complaint, we’ve…

Now, if only they would offer these online for free… 10. Collegiate Sexualities at Occidental College. 9. Body Politics: Power, Pain, and Pleasure at Williams College. 8. Issues Dividing America at Columbia University. 7. Whiteness and Multiculturalism at Ithaca College. 6. Truth, Lies, Politics, and Policy at Portland State University. 5. Introduction to Labor Studies…

Amuse Yourself

Amuse yourself for a few minutes: The Neural Correlate Society has compiled its list of ten finalists for the year’s best optical illusions. My favorite is the Bouncing Brains.

Science Debate Questions

There is a movement afoot to develop a framework for a Presidential candidate debate on science.  Bora has been proposing questions that would have the candidates explain.. In what way, if any, would you change the current federal framework of implementing science-related policy? One issue here is this: would it be best to ask broad…

The Smartest People in the Room

In February 2005, a bunch of smart people met to eat Chinese food and talk about a new way to make money.  This included Greg Lippman, a trader at Deutsche Bank; Rajiv Kamilla, a trader at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. with a background in nuclear physics; and Todd Kushman, who led a contingent from Bear…