Gastric juices, glass slides, and familiar voices

Trivia from three experiments…

pavlovs_dogPavlov did all his dog experiments initially with the goal of collecting their gastric juices to study digestion. He only changed his research to conditioning after he realized the dogs tended to salivate before they even had the food. There is a picture of Pavlov’s taxidermied dog (left) on the Wikipedia page, and here is a little browser someone at Cold Spring Harbor is inspired enough to maintain, on all of Pavlov’s dogs.

Hubel and Wiesel accidentally stumbled onto the start of their Nobel-prize winning discovery on the visual cortex in cats, by getting a slide stuck at an angle while loading it to view in the projector. The edge of the glass slide created a sharply contrasting line at an angle that triggered activity in the cat brains.

After unjamming the slide, they slowly pushed it into its slot. Suddenly the electrode monitor started firing like “a machine gun.”

penfield cortexWilder Penfield electrically stimulated epileptic patients’ brains in an attempt to map the human cortex. He found that stimulation in the superior temporal lobe could give the patient a sensation of familiar voices, music, and memories. I find the accompanying picture ((from Penfield and Perot, 1963)) very amusing. (“sound of feet walking”??)

April 26, 2007. academics, pets. No Comments.

Marimo responds well to bathing

One of my marimo is a little sick, and is in its own container. It has brown patches of algae growing on it, and was not pearling like the other two. On Friday, I decided to give it a bath, rinsing it under running water, rubbing the brown algae gently (to try to remove it), replaced with fresh water, and put the container under more direct light than it was getting before. And this morning, I walked in to some intense pearling action (it’s so bubbly it’s floating!):

marimo_brown_pearling marimo_brown_pearling
So he’s recovering, I think!

Here are the healthy ones (not pearling at the time of picture):

marimo_healthy marimo_healthy

March 6, 2007. pets. 9 Comments.

How to do simple stuff in iMovie

I created/edited my first movie today, in iMovie. Not too exciting, but a first nevertheless, the fruits of which I will share a link to in the next week. I watched/read this tutorial to get me started:

I also learned that my marimo is pearling! Go, marimo, go!

pearling marimo

February 24, 2007. computers/programming, pets. No Comments.