I finally caved and got Twitter

Back when Twitter first came out several years ago, I swore it off and relegated it to the ranks of MySpace (which still scares me to this day) and Facebook (of which I admit that I was an early adopter, but which, in my opinion, has since become unnecessarily bloated with all manner of random games and useless apps). Despite having blogged on and off (though mostly off, admittedly) for the past 10 years or so, I never really caught on to the idea of keeping track of what my friends are doing every second of every day, much less the idea of announcing what I’m doing every second of every day. Call me old-fashioned.

So what possessed me finally to register for a Twitter account? Well… I realized that Feedburner could automatically post my blog entries there, so anyone who wants to follow me can do it without me ever actually having to touch the thing!

Pictures of my brain

I signed up as a healthy volunteer for an MRI research study a few days ago, and today, I went in to get my brain scanned. Pretty cool, right? Apparently, I have a lot of grey matter… and a lumpy, but surprisingly round head.

By the way, if you live near a research hospital and wouldn’t mind being stuck in a small enclosed tube that makes loud noises for a little while, I highly recommend signing up for one of these studies. Unlike CT and PET, MRIs don’t expose you to any harmful radiation, so there are no health risks. Plus, the researchers will probably pay you a decent chunk of cash just to chill inside the machine (the study I did pays $30.00 an hour), and you’ll be helping to advance science in an important way.

Vulgar medical mnemonics

Me: So if you’ll lie back, I’m going to listen to your heart.
Patient: Like this?
Me: Yes, that’s fine. It’ll just take a few seconds.
Me: (Remember: a pervert touched me… a pervert touched me…) Sir, I think there might be something wrong with your perv– err… pulmonary valve.
Patient: …what did you say?

Okay, so the above scenario has never actually happened to me. But with all the off-color mnemonics that the various professors, textbooks, and TAs have been feeding us in order to help us remember the material, I live in fear that it will happen sooner or later. The advantage of mnemonics like these is that they make a big impression and are easy to remember, the disadvantage… well… I think I’ve covered that already.

Below are some of the more amusing and more vulgar of the mnemonics I’ve come across so far in my first year of medical school:

A pervert touched me.
This is the one that I mentioned in my little introduction scenario. It’s a way to remember where to listen for the heart sounds associated with each heart valve. From right to left, top to bottom (the order in which you would read a page written in English if you’re facing the patient), it stands for: Aortic valve, Pulmonary valve, Tricuspid valve, Mitral vave.

Clean my butt Zach Thomas.
This is a lovely little mnemonic, used to remember the major branches of the facial nerve within the parotid gland. These, starting from the bottom up (or from inferior to superior, as the anatomists prefer), are: Cervical, Marginal Mandibular, Buccal, Zygomatic, Temporal.

OOO to touch and feel a virgin girl’s vagina and hymen.
This one’s for remembering the 12 cranial nerves in order: CN I is the Olfactory nerve, CN II is the Optic nerve, CN III is the Oculomotor nerve, CN IV is the Trochlear nerve, CN V is the Trigeminal, CN VI is the Abducens, CN VII is the Facial, CN VIII is the Vestibulocochlear, CN IX is the Glossopharyngeal, CN X is the Vagus, CN XI is the Spinal Accessory, CN XI is the Hypoglossal.

Some lovers try positions that they can’t handle.
This one is handy for remembering the bones of the wrist: Scaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrum, Pisiform, Trapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate, Hamate.

Those are all of the interesting ones that I can think of at the moment– I’m sure that there will be more once school starts up again.

New layout: “Flight of a Goldfish”

I’ve been working on this layout for the past week or so now, and it’s finally done! I’m sure that there are still kinks to be worked out, so please excuse any problems that I might have missed. Either way, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It’s somewhat different from my usual work, but I think it suits Absurdist.Org well.

The previous layout, Mechanicus, will probably be made available as a premade and/or free WordPress theme at Neogrotesque soon, so please check there if you’re interested.

The internet happens at night

I’m doing research at my school for the summer. It’s a clinical project, and most of my time is consumed in data analysis– generating graphs and muddling through Excel spreadsheets and the like. Anyway, there are 2 other students in my office who are there for the summer as well– one is an undergraduate at another school in the area, and the other is another medical student in my class. It’s an easy-going job, and we’re allowed to keep our own hours as long as we get in our requisite 40 hours each week.

What I find odd about these two other students is that, despite the flexible work schedule, they willingly get up at some unthinkably early hour in order to make it into work at 7:00am. Meanwhile, after having dragged myself out of bed at about 7:30am, I manage to haul my half-conscious self into the office at around 8:00am in an attempt not look like too much of a slacker in comparison. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being an early bird; I just find it incomprehensible.

I’ve always been a night owl and, left to my own devices, it’s not unusual for me to stay up until 4:00 or 5:00am and then to wake up at about 3:00pm the next afternoon. Most of my friends are the same way. We’re dorks, and the internet happens at night. Not that I’ve ever been a particularly social internet user, and I’ve never been able to answer satisfactorily the question: “What do you spend all that time doing?” …but that’s still the best answer I’ve ever been able to come up with.