Posted on January 18, 2013
Posted by John Scalzi
Why? Because it’s Friday. See y’all later.
It’s because of the waffles right? :)
Long day for me, wearing my Neuroscientist hat, the one with brain anatomy labeled on gray matter. It’s an all day TEDx on The Brain at Caltech. It will make me miss my weekly Red Door POetry Workshop, after having missed last weeks for the Joint AMS/MAA Math Conference in San Diego, where I was in the Math Poetry Reading. I’ve suggested that they get Dr. Geoffrey Landis to co-run the Math Poetry event at next year’s (2014) joint conference in Baltimore.
So I got up at 5:30 a.m., fed the dog chicken hearts and gizzards on a bed of krunchies, brought in the L.A. Times from the driveway, ground the Trader Joe’s coffee beans, and brewed a pot of coffee for when my wife would come downstairs.
Now dawn is broken. I’ve only managed to write one novella chapter, “doG is Dead”, draft 31.0 of 6:59-7:23 a.m., 18 January 2013, 78 pages; 26,000 words, adds 800 word chapter 31: “Son of Chaos” — which cuts back and forth between Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness” in Antarctica, and my protagonist aboard a black galley with Men of Leng (horns beneath their turbans) heading up-canal towards the North Pole of an alternate universe Mars. This is the 3rd novella in that Lovecraft homage (after “Mage of Hornets” and “Hero of Magnets” [both anagrams of “Game of Thrones”]), because I wrote 2 chapters yesterday in “New Earth 2070” — the 5th novella in a Hard SF series.
LET’S TAKE THE WHOLE DAY OFF
I read Jonathan’s post, now I need a nap.
I’m on my nine day weekend. I work five nights in a row at our homeless hotel in Utrecht, then I have nine days off – ad infinitum. I’ve been doing that for almost twelve years now. Not the best paid job in the world – and once I had to intervene to end a (pocket) knife versus broken plate fight, so it has its lively moments – but it makes for long weekends and very long holidays. (We have 15 official, fully paid, free days, which makes for three holidays of 9 + 5 + 9 days a year, which ain’t too shabby!)
So, I am not complaining much. Especially not today, when it’s cold outside, all my food shopping is done and I can close the curtains on the world for six more days.
You sure you want to do that? After all, Corporate television has stolen intellectual property from a beloved musician. You may need to weigh in, what with you caring alot about people being paid for their creations. http://www.youtubedoubler.com/?video1=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DYww4BLjReEk&start1=&video2=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DMCWaN_Tc5wo&start2=&authorName=FAV
@ Jonathan Vos Post.
Sir, as a Neuroscientist what do you think of Ray Kurzweil’s latest book, “How to Create a Mind…”? I get the impression we are not that far from realizing the equivalent of a silicon BrainPal here but I could be mistaken…
Rob — my thought, exactly. It’s the waffles.
At least you didn’t spend a good part of the day shovelling snow..(Yes, parts of the UK had snow today. I’m near Heathrow and I think we got around 4 inches. That’s a lot for this area.)
That’s okay. I’m going to be busy figuring out how to get all the new medicines–I think we’re up to 6 or 7 now–into the cat before she tears me to shreds.
Enjoy your evening, everybody, I’m settling in to watch the Fringe finale. Just finished “The B Team” and LOVED IT TO PIECES. And wasn’t watching the page count and was shocked when it ended! Looking forward to the next episode. Thank you for a few days of great lunchtime reading.
I missed the Fringe finale, but got to speak at the dinner reception after the TEDx at Caltech on the Brain with Thomas R. Insell, M.D., Director of NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) and with David Torn.
The most interesting number I heard was that there are 500 distinct protein species, roughly 50 copies of each molecule, at each of the 100 Trillion synapses in your brain… and that each has a half-life of only 24 hours, making 25,000 molecules per day per synapse being made via RNA. That is consistent with the figures I used in my 1973-1977 PhD Dissertation, as to how much information processing goes on in each living cell, my estimate at the time was 1 gigabit per second, roughly 90% of which was in the proteome.
But the -ome at the conference was the connectome, and Jeff Lichtman showed a slide of a definition of Connectomics, which one eventually noticed claimed to be from the 2019 edition of Merriam-Webster.
Video ranged from Joel Burdick’s sequences of totally paralyzed people operating multifingered robotic hands as prosthesis under direct brain-computer interface, to Pinky & the Brain.
Only my 2nd TEDx at Caltech, the first being on Nanotechnology (for the nominal 50th anniversay of Feynman’s invented to field now so named). It was a blast. Just before my wife dropped me on campus for the day, I did manage to also write a 3-page 750 words, chapter 30 “False Cognates”, getting the novella “New Earth 2070” to 78 pp., 24,600 words. And now my dog woke me up at 5:30 again. What is this “nap” of which jimbot speaks?
Taunting the tauntable since 1998
John Scalzi, proprietor – JS
Athena Scalzi, contributor – AMS
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