The best medicine

Nervous Systems Plasticity-induced boredom and screaming heebie-jeebies is much alleviated by conversations like this:

[1:58:07 p.m.] Anna : Think I’ll suggest morphine, not heroin, since there’s a lot more research about it
[1:58:27 p.m.] Anna : or heron. No-one’s done research into the effect of herons on the mouse nervous system
[1:58:39 p.m.] Anna : i mis-typed it to begin with, you see
[1:58:51 p.m.] Sam : Excellent! It must be done!
[1:58:56 p.m.] Anna : i don’t think herons would be very good for them
[1:59:02 p.m. | Edited 1:59:07 p.m.] Sam : The hidden dangers of snort[h]ing heron!
[1:59:06 p.m.] Anna : they eat fish, mice aren’t very different
[1:59:16 p.m.] Anna : SNORTHING!!!!
[1:59:22 p.m.] Anna : HAHAHAHAHAAAAA
[1:59:35 p.m.] Anna : that’s when you try to snort something but you have a blocked nose and it just goes all down your shirt
[1:59:57 p.m.] Anna : <giggling aloud in the silent lab trying not to disturb other student>
[2:00:18 p.m.] Anna : Imagine having heron all down your shirt
[2:00:25 p.m.] Anna : <crying with silent laughter>
[2:00:36 p.m.] Anna : my tummy hurts now
[2:01:05 p.m.] Sam : 😀 My job here is done
[2:01:09 p.m.] Anna : Awesome
[2:01:15 p.m.] Sam : <flies off to rescue some other poor soul>

Peace and sunshine

I’ve “finished” my “essay”. I have 2808 words, which I think meets the definition of “about 4000”. Right? I’ve tweaked the margins a bit, to 3.1 and 3.15 cm rather than 3 cm each, and added an extra empty line to the header, so it now comes to 9 pages with 2 pages for references. (Not 2 pages OF references. One page plus one extra reference on the next page.) The process of getting it this far was something like herding cats, and something like pulling teeth, and something like sculpting jelly. Or all three at once. I have asked Sam if he would please:

read through my essay, which I’m just finishing off now, and write lots of notes on it in red pen saying “I don’t understand this connection, can you add more here please” etc?
[3:22:27 p.m.] Sam Barham: ok
[3:22:34 p.m.] Anna Barham: thank you
[3:23:03 p.m.] Sam Barham: But not “This part needs to be taken out” 🙂
[3:24:11 p.m.] Anna Barham: EXACTLY

It’s a glorious warm sunny day here in mid-winter Dunedin (huh, exactly midwinter, how about that?) so, figuring that since I now have till Friday afternoon and I only had the conclusion and revisions to go, I could spare some time to take Miss 5 to the Gardens. Mr 10 is playing at a friend’s place and Mr 8 didn’t want to come, so it was just me and the girl. It was nice. Time to potter along the paths smelling all the leaves and the few flowers still out on the “scented border walk”, and push her on the flying fox, and show her how to put seed for the duck on her flat palm and hold it out very still, so the ducks would eat from her hand. Even though they must have been completely stuffed, on a sunny day in the middle of the winter school holidays! We got icecreams on the way home.

I can’t afford to just switch off, now that the essay is more or less out of the way (though I’m sure Sam will give me some more to add to it, since I’d be surprised if it makes any sense at all to a lay reader), because I now have homework for my mentor, whom I meet with tomorrow, and a test on Monday. (Have you heard about “Bath Salts” that turn you into a crazed, super strong flesh-eating naked zombie who doesn’t feel pain? FREAKY.) My time is parcelled up by these deadlines for chunks of stuff I need to cram into my head or onto a page. I have that feeling once again that I’m waiting for “real life” to begin. I have felt like this for most of my life, which is halfway over, according to the Biblical span.

Do you feel like that?

Also, for homework:

Form a mental image of the combination of herding cats, pulling teeth and sculpting jelly. (Jello, for you Americans out there.)

Don’t do drugs. Or bath salts. Or bubble bath either, for that matter.

Go sit in the sun. You’ll feel better.

Linguistic musing

Quite often I wish English had the equivalent of the Russian word “a”. It is a kind of “and” that means “kind of and and kind of but”… “and, in contrast”… “and, on the other hand”… It’s a bit like “while”, but not quite. Wouldn’t that be useful?

What words do you think English is missing?

A conversation

[11:22:59 a.m.] Anna : this paper is relatively easy to read
[11:23:01 a.m.] Anna : which is nice
[11:23:06 a.m.] Anna : it’s still not lots of fun
[11:23:16 a.m.] Anna : though it does involve living animals, which makes it more interesting
[11:23:30 a.m.] Anna : cos you can imagine the critters running round and exploring things
[11:23:38 a.m.] Anna : which you can’t when it’s slices in a petri dish
[11:23:48 a.m.] Anna : well, you could, but that would be disturbing rather than cute
[11:23:51 a.m.] Anna : 🙂
[11:24:34 a.m.] Sam : 🙂
[11:24:44 a.m.] Sam : you’re strange
[11:24:49 a.m.] Sam : I like you
[11:24:52 a.m.] Sam : can we be friends?

Sam’s at work. I’m at home trying to read Li, S., Cullen, W. K., Anwyl, R., & Rowan, M. J. (2003). Dopamine-dependent facilitation of LTP induction in hippocampal CA1 by exposure to spatial novelty.

We’re both working really hard.

I write a sentence or two and then take a break. I can’t speak for Sam. He’s probably actually working really hard because that’s what he does. He scores highly for conscientiousness. That’s one of the Big 5, in case you didn’t know. Also he’s a J.

Actually, I only assume he scores highly on conscientiousness. Surprisingly enough, I haven’t done any real psychological testing on him.