The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art?!

6 November, 2007

F’reals!!

The knitted brain–holy shit. The quilt is groovy, but I’m a knitter, and I love the 3D aspect. No experience has been as important to my understanding of neuroscience and neuroanatomy as dissecting a brain in my first year of graduate school. Which is kind of “duh”, I know…but to handle a human brain every week, cut away pieces and really see how it was put together…

OMG! A zipper as the corpus callosum (the structure that links the left and right lobes of the brain). Bril.

There is a disclaimer:

While our artists make every effort to insure [sic] accuracy, we cannot accept responsibility for the consequences of using fabric brain art as a guide for functional magnetic resonance imaging, trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, neurosurgery, or single-neuron recording.

Good thing they covered their asses there!

I found this page through MindHacks, a fun blog based on the O’Reilly book of the same name; both aim to provide “neuroscience and psychology tricks to find out what’s going on inside your brain.” And they do it well–I haven’t bought the book yet, but I paged through it a few years ago for a friend who asked me to vet the neuroscience, and IIRC I was impressed. Hardly a shock considering the publishing house, which is known in the tech world for its high quality.

Today the MindHacks folk featured Blue Jean Brain II by artist Lee Pirozzi.

Which reminded me of LAST week, when they had me humming “if I only had a brain handbag”:

Designer Jun Takashi has created a high fashion handbag, shaped like a brain. Why? You ask. Why not? I answer.

At this point I would like to make it clear that the idea that we only use 10% of our handbag is a myth.

Scientific studies have found that all of the handbag is in constant use, although some parts may be more active than others.

(I like how they debunk the ridiculous 10% myth. It might be true in the Angel from Montgomery sense*, but not in the neurological.)

The Wizard of Oz joke up there is that I have a lot of bags. By which I mean purses. I blame the DSW Shoe Warehouse in Chicago on Clark and Wellington, which was not only within easy reach of public transportation but had free parking. (I got a lot of shoes there too, but those are more socially acceptable, and I tend to purge shoes more as they age, but bags don’t wear out as fast.) I remember one day when I came home to Chicago Ex and said, “Look at this bag I bought!” “Oh good,” he said, “You needed more bags.” I was flattered that he’d noticed, a second later I figured out I was being teased. These days, with every new bag I acquire, Reaganite slightly-sardonically asks “So….is THIS one the Perfect Bag?” I have to explain that the perfect bag is a platonic ideal**, and that different needs require different bags, so no one bag can ever be perfect, so it is not an answerable question. He laughs at me anyway. Perhaps he has never taken philosophy.

Here is the ironic part: I have a dearth of luggage, the most useful type of bag. I also have no professional-looking bags for interviews and other sorts of days when I need to look like a grownup. Purses, purses everywhere, and not a one to take to San Diego for a conference.

I tried to take a picture of the closet that has most of my purses in it, but it didn’t really get the point across. I have them all hanging on racks and hooks on the back of my front/coat closet door, and well, let’s just say that the door basically has to be forced closed.

Maybe I should shoot each one and make a grid of them, or something. That WOULD help me purge, as some of them are probably embarrassing, stylewise. I could try to do them chronologically, then I would have an excuse.

You know, because I don’t have enough to do.

———————————————————————————————-

*”How the hell can a person/Go to work in the morning/Come home in the evening/And have nothing to say?

**Have you ever noticed that every time the Platonic ideal idea is explained pedagogically, the teacher uses the example of a chair? 4 out of 4 times in my academic experience. Bizarre.

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6 Responses to “The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art?!”

  1. Eric B Says:

    really extremely too cool.

  2. Momb Says:

    Oh, WOW, how outrageously cool are those?!! I need one…….what, you think she doesn’t get it honestly?

  3. Chaf Says:

    You shouldn’t let straight men make fun of your bags. The poor dears just don’t understand.

  4. techne Says:

    Well, it’s not like they have an effect on how many I buy!

    Also, both of them DO understand about shoes. So they have that going for ’em. Which is nice.

  5. kirsten Says:

    i too have to have the One True Purse discussion periodically. i keep trying to compare it to computers or power tools, in that your setup must reflect your usage patterns. uninvolved people may see them as all the same, because they don’t understand the nuances of how each similar item is used differently and specifically.

    also, if it ceases to fill your needs or a new need arises that cannot be effectively met by current stock, not only do you have to go get a new one, but you have to keep the old one just in case.

    CLEARLY i am a complete genius with this analogy, but it doesn’t stop the eye-rolling.

    and FOR SERIOUS, the obsolescence schedule-to-price comparison on bags is far less damning than that of anything electronic. that argument actually seems to work.

  6. Dr. Birdcage Says:

    I want the quilt! I want the quilt!

    Sadly, I own a bazillion bags, and yet, I almost always use a Timbuktu bag. Shoes, though. Shoes I am weak for.


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