Transplanted Life
Friday, January 21, 2005
Slow day at work. The office is quiet because people are sick, nothing is really coming in or going out, and I'm happily awaiting results from people testing my Access-based inventory control system.

So I've spent a couple hours browsing the net for stuff that may perhaps be useful. Some of it is, some of it isn't, but most is pretty interesting. Enjoy the links.

Via Boing-Boing:

A man in Ukraine who hasn't slept for twenty years. Considering how cranky I get if I miss one night's sleep, I don't know how he stays sane. But, then again, people's brains are wired differently. I remember being in college and not really being phased by all-nighters at all; I could even do one without caffeine. But I'm expecting next month's sci-fi movie marathon to do a number on me, especially without Carter (Mikhail, actually) to distract me.

Differences in male and female brain structure. Maybe I should try learning languages, since the science seems to imply women are better at it than men. Or just try to use my pathetic high-school French more often, to see if this brain makes it seem any easier than my old one (I/Martin ditched the class halfway through junior year because it was taking too much time relative to actual interesting classes). I don't feel like math is any harder, though, and I always remember being good at it.

One thing it implies, though, is that my Martin memories and skills had to be seriously rearranged to take up residence in my brain - stuff that was in his frontal lobe is somewhere else in my brain because the nanos and the analysis program on Alexei's laptop judged those regions as similar and surrounded by similar areas. I wonder how bi-directional that mapping is - when Sam got placed back in her old body, how many of her memories and pesonality traits wound up going back to the same place. 100% seems unlikely, given how new memories have been shown to modify old ones. 0% is just as unlikely, since certain parts of the brain are specialized. Of course, it arguably doesn't matter - Sam still feels like the same person, and isn't that what really matters?

From looking at what's linked to me:

Invisible James, a guy in Atlanta who claims to be invisible, and has been that way since birth. It may seem hypocritical for me to scoff at someone else claiming they have a life out of a science-fiction story, but at least I sort of get the science behind what makes me me. An invisible man? C'mon, how does he see if his retinas are invisible? And even if they're invisible but react to light hitting them, how would you focus without light-blocking irises? Would you have a blurry 360-degree field of vision because your head isn't blocking off the rest of the light?

Questions like these are why Maureen gets nervous about watching a movie with me. She actually begged off a free pass once, because she knew that White Noise would drive me nuts even if it didn't suck.

So, happy reading. I'm sure at least Mags will enjoy seeing more cool science stuff than self-involved soapy stuff today.

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