Walking through Mirkwood

A few of those Chimp Refuge readers who inexplicably followed the troop to this new already beshatted domain are not doubt familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, soon to be released as cinematic fan fiction under the guidance of Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy 1 and 2 — although I think Quentin Tarantino would have been the better choice for director) as The Hobbit Movie. Anyway, I live in Mirkwood or something that approximates it. Let’s compare:

More yammering and photos below the fold including flower porn

Sarcasm useful in diagnosing dementia

Scientists at the University of New South Wales, which is right up there with Harvard and Oxford in terms of its renown as a research locus, have proposed that sarcasm may be useful in diagnosing certain types of dementia.

The researchers … say patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) or Pick’s disease, have trouble reading emotions and are often unable to sense when someone is being sarcastic.
Being unable to pick up when caregivers are angry, sad or depressed, can be upsetting for those involved and sometimes makes managing such patients a difficult task.
Even though FTD is the second most common form of dementia in younger people (i.e. under 65) it is often misdiagnosed as a personality disorder or sufferers are dismissed as strange, and often ostracised because FTD can lead to sexual disinhibition, rudeness and a lack of empathy.

Because we all know that only clinically demented people are overly horny or act like jerks.

The researchers devised a simple and non-invasive test where patients are merely asked: do you get the joke?

Yeah, that sounds conclusive, all right.

Dropsy, Digitalis and Darwin (Erasmus, that is)

So. It’s National Poetry Month. Type that key phrase into the “search” query field on the main page of SB, and you’ll find that April brings forth a veritable poetry slam among Science Bloggers. In this fine tradition, I will don my black trousers, turtleneck, jaunty (but dirty) beret, take a drag from my half-smoked Gauloise ciggie and go Boho here with a selection from the original Botanical Pornographer, Erasmus Darwin, Charles’ grandfather. Today, I have chosen his ode to digitalis. Cue bongo drums.

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Friday Flower Porn: The Movie

Cue boom-chukka-chukka soundtrack.
First, hat tip to loyal reader Suesquatch for calling my attention to the photos that have been making the rounds. In a vain attempt to find credits for the work, I stumbled across a video by LukaIsntLuka (that link is rated SI for extreme self-indulgence but with a certain appealing eccentric banality) on the ubiquitous YouTube.
The film is below the cut. I would say “not safe for work” but these are plants fer Chrissakes. Well, some are rocks, but there you go. The images are also subject to interpretation. For example, I’m not sure whether that’s a recumbent and erect eggplant with Peyronie’s disease or a vegetative caricature of Richard Nixon at rest.

Continue reading “Friday Flower Porn: The Movie”