Neuron Culture

Archives for July, 2009

A brief trip to the surface

Pardon the long silence. A couple of posts fell to tech issues. And I’d love to blame the hiatus on a vacation. But mostly I’ve been off-blog and, for social media purposes, offline, because I’ve been immersed in writing a long feature. It’s a fun, meaty, juicy, really substantial story, one of two great assignments…

Greg Laden, trying to toss a line between the “New Atheists” and ‘Accommodationists” who are currently squabbling about a dust-up featuring PZ Myers v Chris Mooney & Sheril Kirshenbaum (who apparently rough Myers up a bit in their book Unscientific America), writes: Now, I just want to make this point: I learned early on (when…

Both Mind Hacks and Jonah Lehrer took interesting note — Jonah’s the longer, and a pretty nice summary itself — of the fascinating NY Times piece on ultramarathoner Diane Van Deren, who began running long distances after brain surgery removed much of her right temporal lobe. This gave her a great advantage: the lack of…

Effect Measure alerted me to this very touching video, which shows the crowd at Fenway coming to the rescue of a kid who starts to lose it while singing the national anthem. Revere’s set-up first, then some thoughts of my own: I don’t know what’s going to happen with swine flu. I do know that…

Ed Yong, echoed by Mike the Mad biologist PhysioProf asks what the heck investigative science journalism would look like. I hope to write more extensively on this soon. In the meantime, a few observations: To ponder this question — and to do investigative reporting — I think it helps to have a sense of the…

I must keep my nose on the not-beta, hidden-till-last-minute, writing-Not-For-FREE grindstone, where it’s getting shredded to bits — but in the meantime, wanted to pass on these worthy web distractions, worthy of full engagement if you’ve the time: Vaughan Bell peeks at The long dark nightie of the soul and wonders “why mentally distressed women…

Scientific American has a good story by Edmund S. Higgins suggesting that might be the case. As the story notes, the evidence for such a toll is still preliminary. But the story’s opening, which tells of a parent seemingly overeager to medicate a child who didn’t need it, gives an idea of why the question…

As prominent neuroscientist Jane Costello resigns in protest from the DSM-V committee, Danny Carlat says the process near meltdown: The Fifth Coming of DSM threatens to rend the fabric of American psychiatry. Let’s hope some cool heads in the APA’s leadership can find a way out of this mess. Stay tuned. The DSM isn’t just…

In case you missed them (or miss them, and want to read again …) The (Illusory) Rise and Fall of the “Depression Gene” DIY circumcision with nail clippers Go figure. Oliver Sacks meets Jon Stewart Wheels come off psychiatric manual; APA blames road conditions Alarming climate change chart of the day Swine flu count in…

Spencer Ackerman explores and explains the importance of eating the local food when fighting an insurgency: One of the things that struck me when I embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is how little local food I ate. When I met some friends for drinks in April 2007 after coming a month in…