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Category:
Brain

Brains and Bust Size — one medical opinion

Back in 1964, Dr. Erwin O. Strassmann of Houston kicked up a controversy by suggesting there was a correlation in women between bust size and I.Q. And he managed to get his opinion published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Kingsport Times-News - Aug 30, 1964



Curious to see exactly what he said, I tracked down his article. Turns out he was an enthusiastic follower of the now-discredited theory of "constitutional psychology." This was an effort to establish a link between body type and personality traits. Critics have dismissed it as an extended exercise in dressing up cultural stereotypes (such as, if you're overweight, you're lazy) in scientific language. For devotees of weird science, the entire field is a goldmine of strangeness.

Here's the relevant section of Strassmann's 1964 article:




Strassmann, E.O. (1964). "Physique, Temperament, and Intelligence in Infertile Women." International Journal of Fertility. 9:297-314.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Aug 27, 2015 | Comments (11)
Category: Body, Brain, Science, Psychology, 1960's

Yet Another Reason To Legalize

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Marijuana has long been known to be an effective glaucoma treatment. It also helps cancer and AIDS patients by increasing appetite and decreasing nausea. Now a recent study indicates pot may be useful in treating some brain tumors. Unfortunately, some people wouldn't be in favor of legalization even if it cured cancer, and now it just might.
Posted By: patty | Date: Fri Apr 10, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Drugs, Brain, Diseases

Early Brain Surgery

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[Click to enlarge]

Given the state of medical science in 1911, this purported good result seems like sheer luck!

Original article here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Jul 20, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: Delusions, Fantasies and Other Tricks of the Imagination, Surgery, 1910's, Brain

The God Helmet



Wikipedia info here.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Apr 04, 2014 | Comments (8)
Category: Inventions, Religion, Technology, Brain

Religious Brain

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The cortexes in the brains of religious people are thicker than those in non believers. The Columbia University study claims that this effect protects against depression as well. God's will or placebo effect? I guess your answer would depend on the thickness of your cortex.
Posted By: patty | Date: Tue Dec 31, 2013 | Comments (6)
Category: Brain

Left or Right

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Take a test to determine which side of your brain is dominant, here. Also some insights on how this supposedly effects personality. Do you agree or disagree with your results? Share in extended.
Posted By: patty | Date: Sun Dec 15, 2013 | Comments (5)
Category: Brain

Brains and Bacon

I like bacon, but I think I'll take a pass on this. (via yuckylicious)

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Sep 07, 2013 | Comments (13)
Category: Bacon, Brain

WUvian Memory Test

This is a test to determine the percentage of WUviness you have coursing through your veins.
So, in the comment section please use one word responses, YES if you get it or NO if you don't.

ATTEMPTED MURDER

Posted By: Expat47 | Date: Thu Jul 18, 2013 | Comments (92)
Category: Brain

Your Brain on Mescaline

In the early 1950s, German photographer Leif Geiges created a series of abstract images in order to try to portray "exactly what the mescaline subject sees and hears during the course of his artificial psychosis" — as Newsweek put it, which ran his images in its Feb 23, 1953 issue. This was before mescaline was made illegal, back when psychiatrists still believed that the experience of taking mescaline approximated the mental state of a schizophrenic and therefore could be of great experimental value.

As for the mescaline imagery itself, Newsweek explained:

On taking mescaline, first there is nausea, but this is soon followed by a derangement of the brain centers of sight and sound, which causes a constant stream of scenes of incredible beauty, color, grandeur, and variety. The contents of the hallucinations always jibe with past experiences; they are wish-fulfilling fantasies (an air pilot sees mechanical dream cities; an ex-archeologist, mythological people and monsters). The form most frequently perceived is a tapestry, such as a wall-paper pattern that breaks into grotesque shapes. Other familiar forms are (1) lattice work of checkerboards, (2) spirals, (3) tunnels, funnels, alleys, and cones. The mescaline action begins 30 minutes after taking and lasts from ten to twelve hours.



"Wallpaper patterns come to life, change to demoniac caricatures, threaten immediate destruction"
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The Method of the Nail



I came across an unusual article titled "The Good Old Method of the Nail" in an old medical journal. (Unfortunately I can't find an online version of it.) The article details the history of killing people by driving nails into their brain.

Apparently the 'method of the nail' used to be quite a popular homicide technique, because in the days before x-rays it was hard to tell that someone had a nail in their head. The victim's hair might hide the wound, so people, not seeing any obvious sign of injury or foul play, would often assume death occurred from natural causes.

The method of the nail is such an ancient technique that it's mentioned in the Bible, Book of Judges 4:21:

Then Jael, Heber's wife, took a nail of the tent, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

It also pops up in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, in "The Wife of Bath's Prologue," which includes a list of various ways wives kill their husbands:

And somme han drive nayles in hir brayn
Whyl that they slepte, and thus they han
hem slayn.

Nor is the nail-in-the-head just a western phenomenon. It also has deep roots in Chinese culture. From the article:

The nail murder is one of the most famous motifs in Chinese crime literature. The oldest source is quoted in the casebook T'ang-yin pi-shih, where the solution is ascribed to Yen Tsun, a clever judge.
The point of these stories is always the same: the judge is baffled by the fact that although there are strong reasons for suspecting the wife, the body of the husband shows no signs of violence. The final discovery of the nail is elaborated in various ways.
The oldest version said that Yen Tsun found it because he noted that a swarm of flies congregated on one place on top of the dead man's skull...
In 1881, Stent recorded another version under the title 'The Double Nail Murders' in volume 10 of the China Review: When the coroner fails to discover any trace of violence on the victim's corpse, his own wife suggests to him that he look for a nail. When the judge has convicted the murdered man's widow on this evidence, he also has the coroner's wife brought to him, since her knowledge of such a subtle way of committing a murder seems suspicious to him. It transpires that the coroner is her second husband. The corpse of her first husband is exhumed, and a nail discovered inside the skull. Both women are executed.

The image at the top is an x-ray from a 1973 case, in which a man used a hammer to drive an awl into his wife's head, explaining that he did it to "exorcise the evil soul that had taken its place in her head."
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Sep 08, 2012 | Comments (6)
Category: Crime, Brain, Brain Damage
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.