Saturday, September 29, 2007

An Addition to the New Book of Proverbs

(note: this goes in the chapter following "Watcheth where thy maketh thy rest in the Psychology Lab, and beware that thou dost not poketh thy nose into business that is not thine, lest ye discover ye sitteth next to the brain of a sheep.")

"My son, taketh thee not a high-maintenance girl into thine heart. She is the viper that shall bite thy tongue and surely she will sicken thy veins with her venom."

Sometimes, when something like that news article crosses my path, I begin to suspect that one of the direct results of the Fall was the irreversable loss of common sense.

edit: in retrospect, this post seems incredibly cynical and insensitive to the consequences of this poor drunken idiot's decision of how to impress his ex-girlfriend. But hey, he's okay now; have a guilt-free laugh, folks.
And watch out for snakes.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Perchance to Dream?

Just to help put this post in perspective, your reading material for today is a Wikipedia link about dreams and the process of dreaming. The first paragraph is a good summary, but it would behoove you to look at the rest of the article as well.

So. Backstory: Recently I was required to observe a newborn for a Developmental Psychology class, and most of this observation was spent watching the child sleep (yes, I know; imagine the odds of catching a newborn in the middle of naptime...). She slept for about an hour and a half, during which she would occasionally make anxious/distressed grunts and moans in her sleep; these noises were accompanied by the slight shifting of positions (not much, since she can't even hold up her own head...), some gentle kicking, reaching, and grasping.

Sounds like dreaming, doesn't it?

See, the thing is, it's a standing theory that newborns aren't supposed to be able to have dreams. Admittantly, the theory follows a logical train of thought: if dreams are fabrications of the mind and are made from the combination of memories and one's own imagination, then babies, lacking experience in both of these areas, should not have "dreams".
There is also the physiological aspect to consider. In particular, except for some stages of REM sleep, certain neurotransmitters react with associated specific areas of the brain to trigger the emotion- and motor-related responses we see when we watch someone dream.
But which is the cause and which is the effect? Do the neurotransmitters cause a dream, or does a dream cause the brain to fire off the neurotransmitters?
What was making the child distressed? What made her kick or reach to grasp at nothing?

I do not pose this because I have an answer. I merely thought it would make an interesting discussion; if you have any thoughts on the subject or any responses to my musings, feel free to post. I'll try to push the right buttons to make "anonymous" posting possible in my blog settings (still, sign your name so I know who you are), but if not, feel free to drop me an e-mail.

Edit: Anonymous comments have been enabled for a while -- if I start getting spam (which happened a lot last time I left the comments open to Anyone), I'll have to change it back, but it's all good for now.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

You Never Know What You'll Find Around Here

I have no earthly idea what class requires such a thing as this, but it was found late at night in the Psychology lab.

Yes, you read that right. "Sheep brain". And while you're at it, check out the name on the label. Mike Rulon is my professor and academic advisor; he's shown us a human brain in class before, so I suppose a sheep brain shouldn't be that shocking...

The story behind this isn't terribly extraordinary. I was sitting in the Psych lab with some friends (and with my camera) last night, and at some point I accidentally bumped a container that sloshed, so naturally I investigated. I put some distance between myself and the brain before I came back and took the picture.

The moral of this story is, don't go poking your nose into business that isn't yours. You might find out you're sitting next to a sheep brain.

Friday, September 07, 2007

What's This?

Two blog entries in two days? Try not to look too surprised, folks. It probably won't happen again.

See, a funny thing happened on the way to chapel today...

...well, alright, it happened while everyone else was in chapel. Everyone except the girls from Caledon, that is.

They came in right in the middle of worship and moved in a semi-solemn procession in front of the stage looking something like this.

Those robes belong to Brethren, a guys' hall in Founders; Caledon is another hall in Founders. Be ye not fooled by the limitations of my picture: there are twenty-something girls on Caledon. It was a long line of monk-robed girls waking in front of everyone in the Chapel. I don't know how the girls got their hands on the robes, but I've got to admit: I am deeply impressed.

The spirit of pranking is back at Covenant, my dear readers. And I must say... I think I like it.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Your college tuition dollars at work!
Yes, my friends, this is what we do in class here at Covenant College.

(Please ignore the fact that this shot makes my right thumb disappear.)
. . .
Let me explain., there is too much. Let me sum up.
We did an experiment in Drawing I this afternoon involving contour lines and markers.
Fear not, it is washable.
And yes, even though class got out at four, I kept the stripes 'til after dinner (which is now). ^-^
Edit: My summing up was not complete. For those who don't know, in high school I had a history of getting in trouble with my parents for drawing on myself. Thus, I found today's exercise particularly ironic. ("But Mom, Professor Carpender made me do it!")