brain

You (and you) are you

I had this dream recently in which, unbeknownst to me*, someone was playing a deeply unfunny prank on me that involved men pretending to hijack the bus I was on.

I say unbeknownst (asterisk) because, of course, it was my dream. Everything in it should be completely beknownst, because I was making it all up. But the subjective me in the dream had no idea what was going on, or thought it did. [The complete dream, in which I dared armed men to stab me to death, is here.]

This video examines the duality of the brain's hemispheres. It doesn't fully explain what I experienced but it offers a suggestion, as well as a rather unsettling vision of how the mind works.

Keeps the hot stuff hot and the perils of old age at bay

It was a Sunday, L was still in bed, and I was puttering around, getting a fire started on one of the first genuinely cold days of fall. I started a pot of coffee and opened up a kitchen cabinet to get a coffee mug. 

When I go to work, I carry coffee in a thermos, because the coffee at my firehouse is the worst I've ever tasted, anywhere. I actually feel a little pride in the awfulness of our coffee, but not enough to drink it. So most of the time, I drink my coffee out of a vacuum insulated metal container, which keeps it hot for supernatural lengths of time. 

On this morning at home, though, I picked out a mug. And then my brain, because it looooooves to be busy on a peaceful fall morning when it could just chill out and not bother me, was like, "Why are you drinking out of a mug when your thermos will keep the coffee hot longer?" And then my brain replied, "This is weird, but I actually like drinking the coffee as it starts to cool. I enjoy it more when I happen to drink in that brief interval between scalding and tepid." And then my brain said, "It's almost like using your thermos is a means of denying the passage of time." And it replied, "And by association, your own mortality!" And it agreed, "Letting the coffee get cold is a form of acceptance that you will grow old and die." And added, "How appropriate that you use the thermos at work, where your job is to resist the wages of mortality." And then asked, "Does the coffee go cold, or does it grow more beautiful?" And my brains laughed. 

"Pipe down, brain," I said. "Or no more coffee for you," 

It's Alive

Researchers at Ohio University claim to have successfully grown a nearly fully-formed human brain

Though not conscious the miniature brain, which resembles that of a five-week-old foetus, could potentially be useful for scientists who want to study the progression of developmental diseases.

This will probably attract a measure of controversy, which could precipitate a meaningful conversation about the dilemmas of medical ethics, but won't. 

My actual reaction to reading this article was that science fiction writers (including me) had better get on their game, because in some fields, reality is really starting to chase the event horizon of imagination.