Friday, April 14, 2006

How People See Your House

Ok, the last posting was was too serious.

This however, while serious, is also mildly amusing.

Fetal Pain

A squirmy, unpleastent question: Can a fetus feel pain?

To my surprise, the answer is, no at least not for until the third trimester.

The thalamus, now, is a relatively low-level structure, the posterior part of the forebrain. To put it simply, it's a kind of relay station that integrates information from multiple sensory modalities and forwards that on to the higher brain centers of the cortex, that stuff that we think of as more significant in generating conscious thought. It's just not where the action is at. Also, at this early stage, the thalamus has not yet sorted out its structure and doesn't have the capacity for much processing. Neither does the cortex; the next important step is for these tissues to organize themselves into layered structures, and for the thalamus to send projections to the cortex. This doesn't happen until the embryo is 23-25 weeks old. That date represents a minimal, rock bottom bare essential level for the presence of any connections that would confer even a remote possibility of sensory function.

After that the answer is less clear. Do you feel pain under anesthetic? Possibly, but you aren't conscience. Does that hold for a third trimester fetus? Possibily, possibly not.

Good question and a good analysis.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Frozen Underwear and Other Parodies

This was over at Something Awful, but picked up by Wonkette.

Odd and just short of amusing (unless you're like totally a 14 year-old. If so, subsitutue out Cheney and put in your Math teacher's name. Bush? Biology. Rumsfled? Oh he's the gym teacher.)

Donald Rumsfeld needs to wear iced underwear because of some medical condition, and he has his secret service detail hold his spares. He was recently getting uncontrollable long-term erections and had to change up his medical treatments. The underwear and the erections is why he uses a standing desk, not because he is some super-man. He also wears nylon stockings, not because he's gay, but to control some vascular problem with his legs which causes him intense pain.

President Bush, when dining at the white-house, does not eat any item of food which has not been first sniffed by a trained dog before being prepared. Think about that.

Word among the staff is that Cheney was drunk when he shot that lawyer, and secluded himself for a day to sober up and avoid felony firearms charges. I don’t have any direct information on this because the guys with him at the time are not talking. This is totally unconfirmed, but I think it is plausible.

There's not really a doubt in my mind that at least some of the factinos are true, but (shrugs) who really gives a rat's ass if Cheney's breath is bad.

Dick Cheney has chronic gum problems and his breath smells like shit as a result. He is also a CLOSE TALKER. He keeps a small bottle of diluted hydrogen peroxide which he rinses with every hour on the hour, and he swallows it instead of spitting. He also picks his nose vigorously (violently) and hums loudly and tunelessly to himself while taking shits.

And, most creepy...

The white house lawn is mowed every other day by the same man humming the same tune.

ahhhh!! And if you say Condi Rice three times in front of the mirror and step backward, she will appear and bite your head off with her horrible alien matnis head!

Kos also repeats this, along with comments from SA, but has the taste to refrain from piling on.


Finally, I have been properly churched.

Yeah, I know I've blogged about the FSM before, but reading the hate mail it's generated really got my spirits up. Why? It sort of points out that he's on to something. If real, mainstream Christians can have their beliefs so rattled by a plate of pasta, it tells me they strongly suspect their gods are not as real as they say. Anyone with an ounce of sense would see through this and recognize it as a joke, but these folks are clearly threatened and hostile about it.


The more they argue the FSM is a threat to their religion, the higher the chance they will be recognized as extremist fools.

Count me amoung the FSM faithful! The Flying Spaghetti Monster, a god we can all agree isn't real.

Papists and Muslims and Quakers, oh my!

I love maps! When I was in 4th grade I got sent home with a note which read,
"Buy Mark a globe so we can have the class' back". I was spending hours with it, looking at foriegn contries, learning cities and countries, etc. It was completely compelling.

Even today I have MS MapPoint on all my computers and have been know to spend an hour or two going over the geography of a country I haven't been to before (or in many cases some I have). I just love them.

Here's a great site mapping demographic data on religion across the country. I was a little surprised that a) the country isn't as religious as I thought and b) Massachusetts is still very religious.