Sunday, October 07, 2007

Roger Ebert on El Topo

This is sort of totally random, but Roger Ebert just put up an excellent essay on El Topo on the "Great Movies" section of his website to commemorate its long-awaited release on DVD.

Since we here at the Neurophile are avowed fans of the works of Mad Genius Alejandro Jodorowsky, I felt sort of obliged to link to it.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

I'm working with people who are sane!

Holy crap! The lab I'm rotating in doesn't require that our lab notebooks be the standard design with numbered pages, obvious if you ever take out any pages, etc. You know, the way everyone's always required to use them because 20 years ago everyone actually had to use notebooks because they didn't all have laptops and it was physically possible to keep your data in a non-electronic fashion.

It's so sensible!

...I have this horrible urge to go get an old-fashioned lab notebook, just so I'll be able to find everything when I need it.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tonight's Reading Made Me Laugh

from The Neuron: Cell and Molecular Biology 3E, by Irwin B. Levitan & Leonard K. Kaczmarek, chapter 3:

The plasma membrane of a nerve cell or, indeed, of any cell provides a resistance to the flow of ions between the intracellular and extracellular compartments. Accordingly, it can be thought of as an electrical resistor, with the membrane resistance, Rm, being measured in ohms (Ω). In addition, the lipid bilayer provides an extremely thin insulating layer between two conducting solutions. This allows the membrane to act as an electrical capacitor, a device that is capable of separating and storing electrical charge. The membrance capacitance, Cm, is measured in farads (F). These considerations allow us to describe the electrical properties of the lipid bilayer membrane simply in terms of an equivalent electrical circuit, as shown in Figure 3-4a. This description is introduced not to torment the student of cell and molecular biology, but rather because it is extremely useful in understanding the electrical behavior of biological membranes under a variety of physiological conditions.

(Bold emphasis mine)

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