All day I look forward to this time: crawling into bed and either my husband or I reading my favorite book, The Lord of the Rings, to the baby growing in my belly.
"When Shelley’s corpse washed ashore, a friend identified it by a copy of Keats’s 1820 volume in the coat pocket, which he knew Shelley had taken with him. Then, after cremation in which Shelley’s heart, hardened by calcium, did not burn, this same friend snatched it from the embers and presented it to Mary Shelley, who kept it thereafter in her desk, wrapped in a copy of ‘Adonais."
Here’s your morbid literary fact of the day.
Grad school is a hot topic in my classes these days. I get why, the majority of my cohort is applying to/panicking about this right now. It’s a little awkward for me, since I’m on the outside and taking (at least) a gap year.
But the really big thing I have to figure out is what the hell do I want to do? So today I looked into getting a Research Doctorate in Speech & Hearing. Because yes. It sounds super interesting. I need more info, really, which means I should email my professor about it and ask. But I just left her class so I’m gonna give it a minute.
Anyway, there’s only one school in my state with a program and they accepted 3 people last year.
1. The word “umlaut” comes from one of the Brothers Grimm.
To Americans the umlaut had a harsh, Teutonic look to it and Mötley Crüe, Motörhead, Queensrÿche, and dozens of other bands (listed on the Metal Umlaut Wikipedia page) tried to impart a little gothic scariness through randomly scattered pairs of dots. The dots didn’t have quite the same effect in umlaut-using countries, where the umlaut signifies vowel qualities of softness, highness, lightness and roundedness.
Vowel Mutation is my new band name.
20 September 2014
Turn it Down
Whether it’s a distant bird call, a whispered conversation or a suspicious sound in the house, we all behave in the same way when straining to hear something: stand stock still and be as quiet as possible. Unbeknownst to us, an equivalent correction is constantly taking place within the brain, keeping us responsive to sound throughout our many noisy activities. This is achieved by neurons [nerve cells], shown in green (in a section of mouse brain) which project from the motor cortex, an area responsible for controlling movement, to the auditory cortex, which processes signals from our ears. When mice are grooming, running or feeding, these neurons send signals to inhibit other cells in the auditory cortex, dampening their response to sound. By reducing sensitivity to the sounds of our own body, this mechanism is thought to maintain our ability to detect other, more important noises in the environment.
Written by Emmanuelle Briolat
I’m at work for another 90 minutes or so and would like to go to the neighborhood festival but I’m so tired. Gestating is exhausting and its about a mile walk to either the fest or my house. My house has a couch and a beagle but the festival has my friends and their bands. Sadly, there is nowhere to sit nor can I drink street beer — which is a big part of my love of neighborhood festivals. I will most likely go home to nap and make Speech Science flashcards.
I would also quite like some IKEA meatballs delivered to my house but I’m guessing that’s not really an option, alas. There are lots of flavors one can have brought to your door in this city but I don’t think there are any nordic ones (million dollar idea?) This craving may just be because of this episode of Judge John Hodgman that I am listening to, though..