Daily Archives: September 7, 2010

Those were the days … when a physicist could murder a counterfeiter in the name of the King

William Chaloner reminds me of a handful of people I’ve known. He possessed a sense of entitlement balanced by a remarkable capacity for greed and tempered with an acute sociopathy. He clearly had a keen intellect and extraordinary manual skill. When Isaac Newton murdered Chaloner (to put it the way Chaloner would put it) he did the world a favor. I’m not saying that certain people I’ve known should be hanged, gutted, and sliced like a chicken into five or six parts, but one can see why the idea would have been attractive back in the late 17th century when that was the usual practice for dealing with treasonous individuals in London.
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A Portrait of The Brain by Adam Zeman

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Published by Yale University Press
A Portrait of the Brain by Adam Zeman is a new book describing how the brain works (and does not work) in something of an Oliver Sack’s experiential manner, but with a twist.

Zeman is a Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology at the Peninsula Medical School. A Portrait of The Brain describes the brain with reference to a sort of hierarchical scale (mainly of size) ranging from the atom to the soul, and running through such constructs as the organelle, the cell, the brain region, and the individual.

Each of these levels is a stopping point for a discussion of the biological meaning of structures at this scale generally, brain function in particular, and one or more disorders of the brain best understood at this level. These discussions are further elaborated with informative historical references.
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