Thursday, September 19, 2002

Two quickies before I have to go off to class today:

  • On Monday I opened my e-mail to a slew of messages from the weekend, regarding an ongoing discussion of the meaning of "wanker." My late input offered "tosser" and "anorak" into the mix, which raised more questions, and somehow lead me to Mancunian English, a list of colloquialisms common to Merseyside villages. I especially like "anorak" because I have had the good fortune of seeing trainspotters on the Arsenal viaduct - a rare occurance in the automotive United States - and wondered whether they were immigrant trainspotters or natives who had taken up the hobby in a misguided attempt to be more European.
  • In this week's Nature there is a report from a group in Switzerland that was doing a pre-surgical assessment on an epileptic patient, and happened to stimulate a specific region in the right, angular gyrus, resulting in the patient having an "out-of body experience" They stimulated the region a few more times, and each stimulation resulted in the same experience. The angular gyrus is responsible for combining visual and muscle-sensory (proprioceptive) cues to create an "image" of the body in space. This means that all of "near-death experiences" and "astral projections" and such can be summed up as hyperactivity of the angular gyrus.

No comments: