We’re about to witness a monstrous event here on Scienceblogs.
Omnibrain: weird neuroscience from an inveterate smart-ass.
Retrospectacle: Parrots and hair cells with Shelley passing out the cookies.
Both are young graduate students in neuroscience, and both have decided to shut down their blogs…and
There is one obstacle. They don’t know what to call this brand new twisted experiment in blogging, so they’re running a contest to name the new blog (they don’t mention it, but they’re also going to need a redesigned banner), and they’re giving away prizes for the best name: a free subscription to Seed, books, and a hodge-podge of other random science stuff.
I’m no good at the blog-naming biz — look at what I came up with for this one! — but all this talk of Shelley and Frankenstein brought to mind some obvious epithets: “abhorred monster”, “hideous progeny”, etc. I think they like their proposed merger, so those won’t do. So I searched on a full text version of Frankenstein and found the only place where the brain is mentioned in the whole book:*
To examine the causes of life, we must first have recourse to death. I became acquainted with the science of anatomy, but this was not sufficient; I must also observe the natural decay and corruption of the human body. In my education my father had taken the greatest precautions that my mind should he impressed with no supernatural horrors. I do not ever remember to have trembled at a tale of superstition or to have feared the apparition of a spirit. Darkness had no effect upon my fancy, and a churchyard was to me merely the receptacle of bodies deprived of life, which, from being the seat of beauty and strength, had become food for the worm. Now I was led to examine the cause and progress of this decay and forced to spend days and nights in vaults and charnel-houses. My attention was fixed upon every object the most insupportable to the delicacy of the human feelings. I saw how the fine form of man was degraded and wasted; I beheld the corruption of death succeed to the blooming cheek of life; I saw how the worm inherited the wonders of the eye and brain.
Maybe I’m just morbid, but I think “Food for the worm” is an excellent name for a blog.
Somehow, I don’t think I’ll win any prizes. You people better take over.
*By the way, the next chapter contains the account of the revivification of the monster. It’s not very dramatic — no lightning bolts, no creaking chains in an old castle, no grisly stitchery of corpses. Frankenstein just does it, leaving the method unexplained.