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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

[Iron Chef: Chinese Cabbage Battle with Chef Cui Yafen]

The brain is fucking hilarious. I mean, seriously. Everybody knows that the brain is really smart, and that we don’t use even a fraction of its power. But allow me to point something somewhat surprising out: The brain is actually really stupid.

I mean, think about it. I get my arm amputated for one reason or another, okay. I'm better, I'm going on with my life - hell, I might even have a really cool prosthetic. It's not ideal, of course, but life rumbles on. But my brain - my sometime stupid brain - still thinks I have an arm! Phantom limbs, dude! It doesn't even make any sense! It's constantly sending nerve pulses from the spine to the end of the arm, leaving the person without the arm in actual pain as the brain tries to reach the nonexistent limb. I think that is both hilarious and ridiculous.

The reason why I even thought of this was because Hunter is doing a story for the Chronicle about this organization - International Association of Near-Death Studies - who all believe they are having near-death experiences. One of the ladies that he talked to admitted, when prompted, that her near-death experience happened when she was sitting reading the paper on a Sunday morning. She claimed that the paper started to glow and she went into some kind of meditative state.

It's the funniest thing I have ever heard.

She didn't even get close to dying! She just basically zoned out and perhaps fell asleep with her head back while drooling and reading Sally and Family Circus comics. He asked this psychologist from Northwestern about it and the guy basically explained that the brain can be tricked (in real near-death experiences, generally) into seeing or feeling anything. Stupid brain.

It's sort of like those magic eye things. Those are a mindfuck, too, because it basically means that no one really knows what everyone else is seeing. Like colorblind people. My ex-boyfriend tried to explain colorblindness to me once, saying that green grass to me looks dead and gray to him. But how would he know what I see? What if what I think is dead grass is actually really green grass, and I see really green grass only twice a year, on the vernal equinox or something? That's some crazy shit, too, don't get me started on that.

[Goddamned chicken eggs standing on end, cats sleeping with dogs and all that]

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