Me imperturbe, standing at ease in Nature,
Master of all or mistress of all, aplomb in the midst of irrational things,
Imbued as they, passive, receptive, silent as they,
Finding my occupation, poverty, notoriety, foibles, crimes, less
important than I thought,
Me toward the Mexican sea, or in the Mannahatta or the Tennessee,
or far north or inland,
A river man, or a man of the woods or of any farm-life of these
States or of the coast, or the lakes or Kanada,
Me wherever my life is lived, O to be self-balanced for contingencies,
To confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as
the trees and animals do.
Galaxies as snowflakes. Got me thinking about the size of the universe in relation to the size of the fly brain. Then I thought: Why have I ever thought about anything else?
This is a neuron in the brain of a male fly that responds to the presence of female pheromones. If I worked for The Huffington Post, I’d call it The Love Neuron.
In case you were wondering, yes you can dissect a mouse’s eyeball out of its head and still get that pupillary light reflex you’ve always dreamed about.
This song come on my Spotify radio today, and it shook me out of a tedium-induced daze. I repaired immediately to Wikipedia, where I was sadly informed that Terry Callier died just two weeks ago. Eerie timing. His biography is full of childhood poverty, unappreciated talent, and bad luck. “Spin Spin Spin” comes from his first album, The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier, whose current obscurity seems to be a result of hippie sabotage:
The record would probably have been a hit but for the fact that its producer, Samuel Charters, took the tapes of The New Folk Sound on a voyage of self-discovery into the North American desert, where he lived with the Yaki Indians for the next three years.
If that’s not worthy of a blues song, I don’t know what is.
This is a single cell in the fly brain labeled with tdTomato, a fluorescent protein. Its soma is located within the brain region responsible for processing taste. (The white dots indicate that it receives direct input from sugar-sensing cells in the fly’s proboscis.) But it also likely receives olfactory information, as its dendrites (the dandelion-like structures at top) blanket most of the antennal lobes, the fly’s odor-processing centers.
In any case, ain’t she purdy?
Any song that features male-female harmonies and the word “redact” has my automatic seal of approval.
Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard, founder of the modern science of endocrinology. He was the first to posit the existence of blood-circulated hormones. To this end, he often injected himself subcutaneously with extracts of monkey, guinea pig and/or dog testis. His reports at the time indicated a significant increase in virility, or, in the modest parlance of 19th-century France, “forces that were not lost, but had been diminished, were notably ameliorated.” M. Brown-Séquard was more than likely experiencing what we’d call a placebo effect, since the concentration of testosterone that remains in the gonads is minimal compared to the amount secreted into the bloodstream.
Aren’t you thankful to live in an age when a four-hour erection is but a pill away? How far we’ve come.
From Craigslist’s Olfactory Epithelium page:
Single Red Wavelength seeks similarly energetic partner for meaningful co-expression and merging. I’m about 594 nanometers (but trying to slim down!). I enjoy binding to synthetic thymidine analogues and playing tennis. I’m easygoing, friendly, and have a great sense of humor. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Here’s what happened. I was reading about the history of talking drums today (long-distance communication predating telegraphy, the Yoruba beat Marconi by hundreds of years, no big deal), and then I thought how speech is often superfluous to musical sentiment, and then I remembered the not insignificant time in my life when all I listened to was instrumental African jazz, and then I listened to the Green Arrows absolutely killing it on repeat for no fewer than four (4) hours.
2011: The Year In Hair
- Hair is important! More specifically, it is critical for the detection of disgusting, blood-sucking insects.
- Hair is really important! It has now been conclusively shown (to the tune of seven supplemental figures in Cell) that different classes of mechanosensory neurons innervating the skin associate with different types of hair follicles in a stereotyped manner. This means that the relative amount of displacement among follicle types produces a population code that can be used by the brain to figure out the properties of a tactile stimulus. For hilarious CGI reconstruction of mouse fur, see above.
Perhaps 2012 will bring a cure for male pattern baldness (hopefully before Doomsday).
Maria Bethânia and Jorge Ben - “Mano Caetano”
My epitaph shall read, in part: “SUCKER FOR HAND-CLAPS AND PORTUGUESE”
Finally, an anterograde transsynaptic viral tracer! It’s a Christmas miracle!
What he has to show is indeed a long way off, and perhaps concerns us little, but all truth is valuable and all knowledge pleasing in its first effects, and may subsequently be useful.Samuel Johnson, on William Herschel, as quoted in The Age of Wonder, and the finest defense of basic science if I’ve ever heard one.
Gotye - “Smoke and Mirrors”
Someone said this was Phoenix plus Sting, which is accurate.