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Thursday, 6 July 2006
blog, day 2
Mood:  lazy
Topic: brains

OK, so, blog day 2.  I just spent an hour trying to upload the turtle egg-laying video to the website and encountered numerous technical difficulties.  I think it is working now, it just takes a long time to load.  Somebody else try it, I am sick of waiting around.  I love the turtles - I do- but please note that this is just one more thing I have to contend with in my quest for the ultimate lawn.  Not only do the turtles dig up the yard to lay the eggs, then the muskrats dig up the lawn again to eat the eggs.  aaaah, nature is a cruel teacher.


But enough about that.  Lets talk about brains.  So I am taking this class at Holy Cross called "The Physiological Basis of Behavior" and basically we are studying the brain and dissecting sheep brains to see what they look like inside. Lately we've been talking about brain function at the cellular level, like individual neurons, and all I have to say is it is a freaking miracle that we can even summon up one single rational thought, considering all the science that has to go on at the cellular level just to make it happen.  Even the professor says, it is unfathomable that out of this molecular, atomic level of electricity and chemicals, somehow I am able to sit here, type, see, breathe, think and still maintain control of all my bodily functions.  I mean who the hell could ever devise such a system?  If we were computers we would be crashing every 5 minutes.  But somehow the whole thing just works, most of the time anyway.  My nana lately is a good study in the deterioration of the brain (that alzheimer's a bitch) but when I think about it all it just makes my head hurt.  The good news is that I do understand the nervous system better than ever before, at many levels.  This is handy because I am using the "working" computer time in class to take my EMT refresher course online, as well as building this lovely website.  I took the nervous system exam today and aced it.  But if anyone from the Worcester Public schools is reading this, I was also thinking really hard about my lesson plans I made for you.  Really.

Sorry if I made your brain hurt and if I did you might want to stop reading now because I have one other profound thought for today.  My sister likes to think about things like what would be at the end of the universe and stuff like that,  while usually my brain just shuts down when those "there is no way to possibly understand or know the answer to that" questions come up, but this one has been bothering me for a while.  Its about colors, and how we see our world.  I look at grass and say it is green (except for the patches the turtles got to.)  You would look at it and also say, yes, that grass is green.  But how do we know if what we are actually seeing in terms of color is the same thing?  When I was young and saw I grass I was told it was green.  So now when I see that same color (what is that, reflection of light off an object?) I call it green.  You also call it green.  But maybe what I actually "see,"  process in my brain, is not the same as what you see.  Maybe the actual thing you see is what I call orange, but you call it green because that is what you were taught to call it.  Does anyone get this?  It keeps me up nights.  And there is no way to know what anyone is actually seeing because it is trapped inside their own brain.  It is a part of us nobody can see.


oh crap.  I hate thinking about stuff like this. I need to think about something else fast.

OK, lets make a top ten list.

Top Ten things that make my brain hurt but my sister Valerie probably likes to think about.

10: The brain itself

9:  Where does the universe end and what the heck is there after it?????

8:  What killed the dinosaurs?

7:  If a train left New York travelling at 50 miles an hour and a train left Boston at the same timmm....ah, well, you get the idea...

6:  Is time travel possible?

5:  What really happened on Easter Island?

4:  The age old:  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

3:  What really happens to us when we die?

2:  How is it possible that George Bush is really our president?

1:  What is the meaning of life?


Well I hope you will all take some time to ponder these things, then sit yourself down with a beer and watch "So You think you can dance" or something.  Because that, people, is where you will find the true answers to these questions and more.





Posted by mweagle at 3:43 PM EDT

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