brains, branes

feb 16

Brane is a mathematical term for surface. Which is interesting because the reason our brains fold and wrinkle the way they do is because all of the work a brain does happens on the surface. And the only way to increase surface area and still fit into a skull is to start folding. 

Alternatively, in a zombie apocalypse, they (the zombies) stagger about and moan "brrraaaaiiins". I am kind of a zombie at the moment, but I am still amused at the confluence of branes and brains. 

thinking hard

feb 15

Neurons do the thinking, in the spaces between themselves. Synapses are where neurons come close, but don't actually touch. All the things that we think of, and about, and all our reactions, happen in the spaces between. 

Valentine’s Day can be very pink


I don't know about your brain, but my brain can be really…. bossy.  It wanted me to make 14 felted hearts. So I did. 

I started by needlefelting a single large piece of mostly-red felt, with lots of other colors in it. I cut 14 hearts from the large piece. From the last week or so of scraps, I cut out smaller hearts to stick onto the larger hearts. Then I stitched things together. 

Now I have 14 hearts to give to people! 

So I wish you a heart-felt Happy Valentine's Day.

and now for something completely different

feb 13

The Sketchbook Challenge this month is Close Up. Look at something very closely, and show what you see.

I was thinking about secrets, and pink things and the brain seemed the most mysterious of all the private things the body holds. The brain carries who we are and most of our dreams and thoughts and learning. It keeps, or doesn't, the secrets we have, both ours and other people's. 

These are not the neurons that you think with, they are different brain cells. I saw an excellent poster of brain things, and these had a pleasing regularity to them. 

I would like to point out that the canard that we use only 10% of our brain is dead wrong. For a while, doctors only understood what 10% of it did. Which is a very different statement. As we learn more about brains, we understand what more different parts are doing. So – please, the next time someone suggests we use only 10% of our brains, set them straight!


feb 12

a moon over water, and a migraine

honestly, I should just post haiku for this month!


feb 9

Inspired by the Astornomy Picture of the Day today, I made a night sky and tossed an aurora across it. More aurora are forecast as the sun-spot cycle intensifies. Alice and I tried to look the other night, after a coronal ejection from the sun was expected to cause intense auroras that might have been visible, but there were clouds along the northern horizon and we couldn't see anything. We'll keep hoping. It is something I'd like to see again. 

Feb 8; downy

feb 8

My children will nod with weary agreement; I have an abiding affection for small, stupid jokes. For instance:

How do you get down off an elephant? You don't get down off an elephant, you get down off a duck! 

At which point one child asked "how do you get down off a duck?" and I could say "with a veeery small ladder." 

Which is a long way of saying that this feather looked like baby duck down, and it made me think of getting down off an elephant. 


And then, to make today a joke filled extravaganza, I offer you a picture of my soft palette. Which is also fuzzy. 

soft palette


feb 7

Felt is not eactly the right material to demonstrate the hardness and shine of a shell, but I approve of the background, and will try something different on it. 

Anybody know any pink fish?