June 7 2013

Once again on a Saturday  – thinking of changing the name – but nothing trivia-wise rhymes with Saturday.

This week I’m playing with THEMES. This week:



Did You Know:


(click image to enlarge)

The HOMUNCULUS is an area in your brain where your physical body, and the amount of sensory and motor/movemnt attention paid to each area by the brain, are mapped out.

In the image above, the left side represents the Somatosensory Strip (or the Sensory side) of the homunculus, and modulates signals within the post-central gyrus (specific region of the brain) coming from the thalamus (which relays sensory and motor signals to the cerebral cortex of your brain), and the size of the body parts drawn on the outside represents the amount of brain energy and physical amount of cerebral cortex tissue used to sense them. Therefore, the disproportioned body image corresponds to how much innervation that body part has in the brain, not to the area of brain used to control the body parts (density, not area – so hard to explain! sorry!).

The right side of the image above represents the Motor Strip (or the Movement side) of the homunculus, and refers to signals within the precentral gyrus (specific area of brain more towards the front of the body than the above area), coming from the premotor area of the frontal lobes, and, once again, the size of the body parts on the outside of the illustration corresponds to the amount of brain energy and physical amount of cerebral tissue (or density of nerve tissue) dedicated to that part of the body.

If you have ever taken a First Aid course done by a Kinesiologist or other Health-Sciences-background instructor, they will tell you to pinch toes, fingers, and cheeks of someone who is passed-out to try and rouse them, because, as you can see above, a lot of brain energy is used to send signals to the brain, maybe enough to wake an unconscious person.

In school, our AWESOME teacher, Michael Bard, did a demonstration of “2-point discrimination” tests to blindfolded students. A student was blindfolded, then Mr Bard used either one or two pencils (about 1/2″ apart), and touched the pencils to the students arm asking “one pencil or two”, then proceeded on hands, back, knee, cheek and fingertips. For example’s sake, let’s say Mr. Bard used two pencils the whole time, most students would only feel one point of touch on the back, knee, and outer arm (where there is less innervation), while feeling two on the hands, fingertips and cheek (because of the dense innervation). The test shows that your brain can determine fine points of touch more accurately in areas of the body with more homunculus attention! Try it yourself!


Mnemonic (sort of):

When I was in school, I really sucked at exams, I knew my stuff, but had so much anxiety I second guessed everything (with varying results). Dermatomes, and Myotomes were really hard for me. This diagram will help visualize some of what I say next:



“A dermatome is an area of the skin supplied by nerve fibers originating from a single dorsal nerve root.”   Dermatomes are named according to the spinal nerve which supplies them. The dermatomes form into bands around the trunk but in the limbs their organisation is more complex as a result of the dermatomes being “pulled out” as the limb buds form and develop into the limbs during embryological development.

Each muscle in the body is supplied by a particular level or segment of the spinal cord (Cranial 1-8, Thoracic 1-12, Lumbar 1-5, Sacral 1-5) and by its corresponding spinal nerve. The muscle, and its nerve make up a myotome. This is approximately the same for every person and are as follows:

  • C3,4 and 5 supply the diaphragm (the large muscle between the chest and the belly that we use to breathe).
  • C5 also supplies the shoulder muscles and the muscle that we use to bend our elbow .
  • C6 is for bending the wrist back.
  • C7 is for straightening the elbow.
  • C8 bends the fingers.
  • T1 spreads the fingers.
  • T1 –T12 supplies the chest wall & abdominal muscles.
  • L2 bends the hip.
  • L3 straightens the knee.
  • L4 pulls the foot up.
  • L5 wiggles the toes.
  • S1 pulls the foot down.
  • S3,4 and 5 supply the bladder. bowel and sex organs and the anal and other pelvic muscles.”

As you can imagine, remembering all of that was a bit hard for a frazzled mind, so it was suggested that I look up physical ways of remembering all of this and stumbled upon this project done by kids in high school – to this day it is how I remember Dermatomes and Myotomes.

This Day In History:

Sir James Young Simpson,  born June 7, 1811 (died 6 May 1870) was a Scottish obstetrician, who discovered the anaesthetic properties of chloroform and successfully introduced it for general medical use. He is also responsible for the medical forceps that we know and still use today.  Sir Simpson was also an early advocator of the use of midwives!

Also today, In 1967, the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic opened in San Francisco. According to Wikipedia, due to the many youth descending on the city, many were in need of substance abuse treat ment, mental health services and various medical attention. The clinic was t he model for the modern form of free-clinics that we still have today. Today, the clinic focuses on medical assistance, substance abuse treatment, psychiatric services for those in the prison system, and “Rock Medicine” on-site medical services for public events/concerts.


(not body related, but, an incredible body on this lady!)

 MANY of you will know who Aisha Tyler is, but, if you’ve been living under a rock, you may, at the very least, recognize her from her 90’s role on Friends as Charlie Wheeler, Ross’s Palaeontologist love interest, Joey’s girlfriend, then Ross’s girlfriend, or more recently her voice as Lana Kane on Archer.
Many others of us know her from her delivery of UbiSoft’s presentation at last year’s E3, or her Stand-Up comedy, recurring CSI roles, podcast, guest-starring roles, podcast guest spots, co-host of The Talk, and now she is set to host the return of Who’s Line Is It Anyway?!
Aisha and her husband also brew their own beer! Though she has said she doesn’t have as much time for it now as she did in her 20s and 30s.
She is a huge gamer, and especially HALO player, and provided the voice for a very minor role female trooper character in the video HALO REACH as well as also providing the voice of Commander Walker as part of downloadable content for Gears of War 3.
Here is her talking about why she doesn’t think kids are in the cards for her:


May 31 2013

YAY WEEKEND! I know that, once again, I’m posting this late 😡 and it pisses me off more than anyone else, I promise. I’ve never ever been good at deadlines.
*writes in imaginary notebook “Task 102: MUST WORK ON DEADLINES”*


Did You Know:

If any of you have taken certain levels of biology (or seen the awesome episode of The Simpsons “Weekend At Burnsies”) you know that groups of animals have official group names. For example, the image above stating a PARLIAMENT of owls, and in the aforementioned episode Homer Simpson gets his eyes pecked out by a MURDER of crows. There are some funny names for groups of animals:
(credit to podcast Good Job Brain for tipping me on to this!)

a DESCENT of woodpeckers
a BOUQUET of pheasants
a CAST of falcons
a WAKE of buzzards
a WISDOM of wombats
a CONVOCATION of eagles
an INTRUSION of cockroaches (yup)
a BASK of crocodiles (on land) or a FLOAT of crocodiles (on water)
a MISCHIEF of mice
a RHUMBA of rattlesnakes

Oh and there are so many more out there! Who knows what’s going to come up in pub trivia!


This is for you math students out there! I am slowly teaching myself math online, and freaking Trigonometry, man. Sucks. Hopefully this will be as useful to you as it has been for me (so far).
Two Old Angels Skipped Over Heaven Carrying Ancient Harps”

Used in math to remember the equations for Tangent, Sine, and Cosine.
O stands for opposite, A stands for adjacent, and H stands for hypotenuse.
Tangent = Opposite/Adjacent; (Two Old Angels)
Sine = Opposite/Hypotenuse; (Skipped Over Heaven)
Cosine = Adjacent/Hypotenuse. (carrying Ancient Harps)

This Day In History:

1859 – The clock tower at the Houses of Parliament (Big Ben and his bells), starts keeping time.
1911 – The RMS Titanic is launched in Belfast, IE.
1927 – The last Ford Model T rolls off the assembly line (number: 15,007,003).
1929 – The first Mickey Mouse “talkie” is released titled “The Karnival Kid” (below)
1998 – Geri Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice, leaves The Spice Girls band.


be47c511-e41f-42a5-8694-58948bdb24b3_300_JadenSmith1_052913Apparently Jaden Smith is not afraid to let his geek flag fly! This past week he was spotted shopping at Gelson’s Market in Los Angeles in FULL IRON MAN COSTUME! ❤ What’s even better (or, at least, kinda tongue-in-cheek-funny)? He was shopping with Kylie Jenner (of the Kardashian family) – I wonder if she was impressed or pissed off at his shopping attire – I know I’d be impressed!

Thanks for stopping by lovelies! ❤

May 24 2013

Happy Friday Everyone! (okay, this was written in my head on Friday, but I didn’t get a chance to sit at the compuper until now).


Did You Know?

During the restoration of the Statue of Liberty from 1984-1986, the inspectors found that there were several layers of very toxic paint on the inside of the statue. Traditional cleaning methods would have resulted in either damaging the copper of the statue, or being extremely dangerous and harmful for the cleaning crew, so, instead, they used 3500 gallons (over 13,000 litres) of LIQUID freaking NITROGEN! How amazing is that? Spray it on, paint flakes off, paint flakes vacuumed up, copper intact. So smart!


This week’s mnemonic is to remember the cranial nerves, numbers, and features. This helped me SO MUCH in school. Cranial nerves came up in one way or another, worded differently and trickily, in many courses, but this mnemonic saved me every time! There are 12 paired cranial nerves that exit the skull under the brain’s surface that extend to various parts of the head, neck, chest and abdomen. The cranial nerves comprises three nerve types: motor nerves that send an impulse signal to a muscle; sensory nerves that transmit sensations from the body back to the brain; and autonomic nerves with both motor and sensory components that monitor and control visceral functions such as salivation, heart rate and intestinal movement. The cranial nerves are numbered one through 12 and are referred to by either their name or number.

CAUTION! Vulgar Language!

OOOTTouch And Feel Virgin Girls Vagina And Hymen
(cranial nerves and numbers)

Olfactory, Optic, Oculomotor, Trochlear, Trigeminal, Abducens, Facial,Vestibulocochlear, Glossopharyngeal, Vagus, Accessory (spinal),Hypoglossal

Some Say Money Matters But MBrother Says Big Boobs Matter More
(whether cranial nerve is SENSORY, MOTOR, or BOTH)



On This Day In History
1977 – Star Wars (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 1981) is released in theaters, inspiring the Jediism religion as well as the Geek Pride Day holiday.

Apparently THE QUEEN is a huge Dr. Who fan and believes that Christopher Eccleston is one of the best incarnations of the character.

Thanks for stopping by!


May 17 2013



In an effort to keep my pub trivia mind sharp, I’m implementing Fun Fact Fridays!

Did you know?

* “Natural Flavouring” in foodstuffs with Raspberry, Strawberry, or Vanilla is usually castoreum, “from the North American and European Beaver… the yellowish secretion of the castor sac in combination with the beaver’s urine, used during scent marking of territory.”


* To remember the life cycle of cells: Idiot, Pass MAnother Tequila (Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase)


On This Day In History

* 1978 – Charlie Chaplin’s body, grave-robbed eleven days earlier, found!LINK


Nerd Alert!

* Gamer, David Race completed a PERFECT game of Pac-Man in 3 hours, 33 minutes and 1.40 seconds achieving the maximum possible score of 3,333,360 points using an original Pac-Man machine.


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