Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Archives for October, 2007

Bush says “Congress worst in 20 years.” All irony meters simultaneously explode. I just imagine Bush and Congress embroiled in a “No, you are!” “Noooo, you are!” “Nooooo you are times 10!” “You are times infinity!” – type battle of (COUGH) wits. That lasts about 10 minutes and they settle the fight with an emotional…

Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran, the director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego, recently gave this excellent speech at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) Conference. In addition to being an engaging speaker, he may also be one of the only scientists I’ve even seen pull off a leather…

To the West, the idea of a modern, gender-equal, progressive sort of academic environment seems incongruous with Saudi Arabia’s religious establishment. However, the current ruler, King Abdullah, is investing $12.5 billion in creating just such an environment–a graduate research institution where religious police will be barred and women and men will conduct research in collaboration.…

Mechanical Jewels, Clockwork Insects

I’m a huge fan of artistic expressions which gets inspiration from the natural world, which is why I was absolutely floored by these beautiful clockwork insects created at Insect Lab by Mike Libby. These clocks are made from actual dead bugs; tiny clockwork gears and spings are worked around the shiny carapaces of beetles, the…

The Society for Neuroscience meeting is coming up, taking place in San Diego in the midst of all the furor and flames. While I’m not going to the meeting, I was reminded of a funny fake science poster I saw at SFN back in 2004: “Joint Encoding of Motion and Music in a Neuron in…

I got back into Detroit last night after a long flight from Charles de Gaulle, after spending a week and a half traveling from Amsterdam to Antwerp to Paris. Hopefully you all enjoyed the chemistry-related blogging of Wired blogger Aaron Rowe in my absence, looks like he’s kept things busy here (thanks Aaron!). There were…

The Dramatic Effects of PCP

I have heard a lot of stories about the aggressive behavior of people on angel dust, but this video is the first time that I have seen just how dramatic it can be. The guy is completely naked and smashes straight through a fence then tries to climb through the hole in order to evade…

The Dark History of Truth Serum

As our civil liberties are eroded under the guise a war on terror and men without rights are kept in secret prisons and sent to foreign jails for abuse, I worry that truth serums will once again become a staple of law enforcement and intelligence. They do not allow interrogators to extract reliable information, but…

According to the Indianapolis News a man and his son were awakened by their pet bird as their home caught fire. Their Amazon parrot, Peanut, began making a smoke detector noise while a real smoke detector was going off. The father credits his avian friend with making enough noise to alert him. I tend to…

Video of British Soldiers on LSD

This video shows British Soldiers under the effects of LSD during a military exercise. I absolutely love the wry narration. Thank you to Boosterz for mentioning the video in a comment thread on the post How Much LSD Does it Take to Kill an Elephant? While looking for this footage on YouTube, I was surprised…