Monthly Archives: May 2013

Last week, I had to study the homunculus for someone, and that involved looking at many images such as this:

Sensory and Motor Homunculi on display

From the Latin for “little man”, the cortical homunculus is a distorted human figure that serves as a visual representation of the cerebral cortex. The larger a body part, the more area of the cortex is devoted to that part.

There are two common types of homunculi: sensory and motor. The two are very similar. From the models, one can see that the sensory and motor cortices are mainly devoted to the face and hands. If you think about it, it makes sense: the most sensitive areas of your body have a large portion of the sensory cortex devoted to it, and the parts that need the most motor control have the largest portions of the motor cortex.

Here is another common representation, mapping out body parts to the area in the brain:

Sensory and motor cortex maps

It’s fine if you see it once in a while, and it can even be a little humourous the first few times seeing it, but it can get quite creepy after prolonged exposure.

Someone should make a comic strip or some sort of parody featuring these characters.

But seriously, if I see another homunculus again…

Homunculus at C6-H12-O6
Cortical Homunculus at Wikipedia

1001 all-time views. Thank you!

Woo hoo! Thank you to all for visiting 1000 times!

This reminds me of an xkcd comic:

xkcd comic #1000: 1000 comics. “Thank you for making me feel less alone.”

Apparently, this is also my 50th post. I don’t think I’ll get to 1000 posts anytime soon, so I’ll say it here: “only 23 more views until a round-number milestone!”

I don’t have much to say about Phil Collins except that the drums often have a prominent role in his songs. What else would you expect from a drummer?

Phil Collins might best be known for being the drummer and lead singer for the band Genesis. When he wanted to pursue a solo career, he and Genesis made a deal that let him perform with Genesis and do his solo stuff at the same time.

Phil Collins also has a strong relationship with Disney. He wrote, composed, and sang all the songs for both Tarzan (1999) and Brother Bear (2003). He also voiced Lucky, one of the vultures in The Jungle Book 2.

With the exception of one song, this playlist will be a collection of those songs.

As always, listen to the songs in order and until at least the end of the first chorus for each.

Track List

New Feature: The song title now links to the track in the playlist. The arrow (→) links directly to the external video.

1. Strangers Like Me (Radio Edit) (1999)
Soundtrack version
A song from Tarzan at the part where Tarzan learns about civilization.

If I remember correctly, Douglas Adams chose ’42’ because he needed a random, unimportant-sounding, funny number. And the question? The Earth was destroyed five minutes before it could finish calculating it.

In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the number 42 is the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything”. But he didn’t say what the question was!

Since today is Towel Day, let me reveal that now.

If you try to get several regular polygons to meet snugly at a point in the plane, what’s the most sides any of the polygons can have? The answer is 42.

The picture shows an equilateral triangle, a regular heptagon and a regular 42-gon meeting snugly at a point. If you do the math, you’ll see the reason this works is that

$latex \displaystyle{ \frac{1}{3} + \frac{1}{7} + \frac{1}{42} = \frac{1}{2} }$

There are actually 10 solutions of

$latex \displaystyle{ \frac{1}{p} + \frac{1}{q} + \frac{1}{r} = \frac{1}{2} }$

with $latex p \le q \le r,$ and each of them gives a way for…

View original post 1,095 more words

As it happens, I somehow ended up looking at Chinese characters on Wikipedia. In the Hanzi article, there’s a section on rare and complex characters. That’s almost as bad as titin!

Also, I’ve never realized how clever Hangul (Korean) really is. The Hangul characters are actually composed of an alphabet arranged in a specific way. Ingenious!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the 70 views today! They're much appreciated. By the way, I also hit the "lucky" 888 total views today.