June 21st, 2006

Sick Hippo

Epilepsy article

(Yes, all you've been getting from me these days is science and perfume. I know.)

Septum keeps neurons in synch, can reduce epileptic seizures by 90 percent
Septum sets the tempo of brain's electrical activity

BETHESDA, MD (June 20, 2006) - The brain's septum helps prevent epileptic seizures by inducing rhythmical electrical activity in the circuits of another area of the brain known as the hippocampus, according to a new study in the Journal of Neurophysiology. The researchers found that, by imposing a normal "theta" rhythm on chronically epileptic rats, they could reduce epileptic seizures by 86-97 percent.

The study "Septo-hippocampal networks in chronically epileptic rats: Potential antiepileptic effects of theta rhythm generation," by Luis V. Colom, Antonio García-Hernández, Maria T. Castañeda, Miriam G. Perez-Cordova and Emilio R. Garrido-Sanabria, The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College, appears in the June issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology, published by The American Physiological Society.

The septum acts as the conductor, orchestrating brain impulses as they pass from the brain stem through the septum and on to the hippocampus, said the study's lead researcher, Luis V. Colom, of the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College. The hippocampus is a part of the brain that plays a role in memory, spatial navigation and sensory motor integration, among other functions.

Normally, the hippocampus oscillates at a frequency of 3-12 Hz, a frequency that is called the theta rhythm, Colom explained. Oscillations at theta frequency are important in processing and storing relevant sensory information and appears important to certain memory processes.

"My hypothesis is that the septum keeps the electrical activity of neurons within certain areas of the brain working within normal ranges," Colom said. "By keeping the neurons firing normally, the septum inhibits neuronal hyperexcitability, such as epilepsy, and hypoexcitablity, such as Alzheimer's disease." In addition, septal impulses may help to maintain the anatomical integrity of other brain structures.

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Writing - XanaDuMalion

Neither science nor perfume!

Trans kindergartener. Hell, I admire her for knowing who she is so early, so confidently... and I'm thrilled that her parents support her.

scarletazalea's comment, from her original posting of this article: "Sometimes I think there is hope for this crazy world of ours."

See Tom Be Jane

June 6, 2006 -- The country's youngest transgender child is ready for kindergarten. But is Florida's Broward County school district ready for her?
by Julia Reischel | reprinted from Broward-Palm Beach New Times

It's a spring break morning, and by 11 a.m. at the Anderson home, chaos is erupting. School is out for the week, and the twin boys are throwing a ball inside the spacious, two-story house. Upstairs, the preteen daughter pretends not to hear her mother calling. Lauren Anderson, a tanned and well-dressed stay-at-home mom who seems incapable of sitting still, cajoles her offspring to behave as she waits for a babysitter to arrive.

Her youngest, Nicole, 5, is frowning. Nicole's face is framed with delicate brown braids, and her fingernails are painted a rainbow of colors. She plans to go swimming with a friend at the community pool, but at the moment, she doesn't like the way her dress feels. She yanks the hot-pink halter-top over her head, telling her mother, "This is poking me. I want to change my dress."

Minutes later, she scampers back, now as naked as a jaybird except for her underwear. Without the dress, you can clearly see her penis, tucked carefully into her pink patterned panties.

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River - Touched

I love the mail.

More imps from solcita, an autographed copy of the newest Liaden book from caulay and ahf, and... a package from The Scholar.

I always have a momentary twinge when I see a package from the Scholar, our corrguineacht... because I know that it will be something wonderful and awesome in the oldest usage of both words, and I am not a maker, I cannot adequately reciprocate! I feel guilty in receiving these boons with nothing equivalent to offer.

This time, it is not a spear or a bone goddess - thank goodness, because it would be Too Much if it were, too much without reciprocation! But it is all perfectly corrguineacht. A drawing and Celtic hymn to the sun, and a letter, both on his customary parchment and in his customary formal, stylized writing. A bumper sticker that says "Kali is my co-pilot". Photocopied stories and articles - a retelling of Celtic legend which implies that some Jews traveled with the Tuatha de Danaan (it bothered him, via phone, that I might not be with him in the afterlife, since in his afterlife, they have a feast involving pig as art of the welcome). An article about javelins used by ancient Hebrews (the spear is actually a javelin), with illustration of the use of a throwing-thong like the one he sent me.

And two shells. I quote him: "The shells are both from venomous species of Cone Shells; among the most deadly sea toxins."

They are lovely, patterned in browns and creams. And I am reminded of something Spooky said he told her: That he had held venomous snakes, et cetera... but he had never touched anything that he felt could actually kill him till he hugged me.

It's a compliment, when you're like us.

So. I have BPAL and new sci-fi and old legends and two small beautiful deadly things. It is a good day to be me.
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Zoe & Wash - by kylakae

Fancy dinner!

We are going out to a Nice Restaurant tonight. The Nice Restaurant, actually.

Bacchanalia, big sister of Floataway Cafe, is widely acknowledged to be the best restaurant in Atlanta. We've never been. Why are we going tonight?

* We want to.
* As a reward for soldiering on with the job search.
* This one is me being silly... we've been saying for years that the one thing we must do before leaving Atlanta is dinner at Bacchanalia. Maybe Adam doesn't have a job in Boston yet because we haven't gone! So I say to the universe, here is closure; we are done with this place. Move us along.

And even if that last one is preposterous, we still get good food. So.

I am wearing the dress volta bought me two birthdays ago - this is the one I wore to the Sin City premiere, for those who saw me there. Slinky - or it's supposed to be, and will be if I keep re-gaining weight. Right now, it is slightly too big. Hangs wrong on my nearly-exposed bones. But I do not have a dress that would currently fit me properly. So. I soldier on. This dress, retro-forties small scattered polka-dots. Strappy black... heels. Yes, I own them. I just only wear them once a year or so. Lips a matte true-red. Hair in "long, looping ringlets", as Spooky describes it.

The fragrance of the evening would be Miskatonic University, if I had it; Adam loves Lovecraft. In the absence of Misk U, I will wear Montresor. Because Adam likes crying out "For the love of God, Montresor!"

Lab description: The black fruit and vanilla oaken notes of fine Medoc and De Grâve, but not a hint of the elusive Amontillado.

In the bottle: Sweet, with only a slight hint of the wine.

On me: Still sweet; now oaky and fruity. Deep, dark fruit. Only a hint of the vanilla. Mmmm. This is like very nice red wine. Not boozey at all.
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SillyMe - Photognome

Oh my hell. Food like whoa.

*ahem*

When we were seated, we were presented with a cheesy poof. Well. A lovely little bite-size (r two-bite-size, in my case) melty cheese pastry thing. That set the tone for the evening: frequent food bombardment!

To drink:
'song: a California pinot noir
Adam: a Belgian beer

Bread, served by individual slice by hovering attentive waiters

Cold soup! In little demitasse cups! Summer squash soup with truffle oil, pepper, and coriander. Yum. I wanted more.

First Course
'song: House-cured charcuterie: tasso, mortadella, pepperoni, capicola, genoa salami, duck (served with a duck mousse thingie and spicy mustard and balsamic vinegar)
Adam: Veal sweetbread and artichoke meuniere

Side conversation:
'song: You're eating brains.
Adam: They're not brains. That's an urban legend. They're the thalamus glands.
'song: Thalamus is in the brain.
Adam: Is not.
'song: Is too. Hypothalamus and thalamus. Brain.
Adam: Hippothalamus.
'song: HYPOthalamus. Hippocampus. HYPOthalamus. Both in the brain.
Adam: Hippothalamus.
'song: Are you seriously trying to tell me that you seriously think it's pronounced HIPPOthalamus? I've been drinking. I can't tell if you seriously think that.
Adam: No. It's just that you're so cute when you get all neuroanatomy on me.
'song: Pfft. Eat your glands.

(Incidentally: They're not the thalamus glands, they're the *thymus* glands. In the neck.


Second (Main) Course
'song: Summer squash ravioli with shaved black truffle
Adam: Duck with lima beans, black beans, and bacon

This is the most truffle I have ever eaten. I've had crumbled truffles. This was sizable truffle slices. Perfect with the ravioli and the butter-plus-whatever-it-was sauce. Ummm. Adam's duck was yummy, too - very rich. (We always share a bite of our food.)

Third Course
'song: Selection of four cheeses (one cow, one goat, two sheep), served with honey, olives, and fig preserves (I want to buy the fig preserves and eat them every day.)
Adam: tomatoes and mozzarella

Compliments of the pastry chef: mint panna cotta with orange sorbet

Fourth Course
Coffee!
'song: cappucino semifreddo with beignets
Adam: strawberry souffle with strawberry ice cream and black pepper ice cream

Waitress, with small candle-adorned cake: Happy birthday!
Us: Oh! It's not... um...
Waitress: Happy anniversary?
Us: Not really...
Waitress: Ah. Well. Happy whatever!
Us: Um! Thank you! Happy whatever to you, too!


One small, perfectly-formed Dulce de leche cake

Compliments of the chef: warm citrus madeleines

With the check: the best mint chocolate truffles that have ever existed, and peach marshmallows

*falls over*

OMG so much food. Such good food. Just... wow. Wow.

More on it tomorrow. Exhausted. Food coma. Wow.
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