the fifty percent sleeper

That’s the title of a short fiction piece I have up at today; it’s about brain scanning and beef jerky, among other things. It starts like this:

Day 1, 6 a.m.

Ok, I’m locked into this place now. I’ve got ten pounds of beef jerky, fifty dollars for the vending machine, and a flash drive full of experiments to run. If I can get eighteen usable subjects’ worth of data in five days, Yezerski mows my lawn, does my dishes for a week, and walks my dog three times a week for two months. If I don’t get eighteen subjects done, I mow his lawn, do his dishes, and drive his disabled grandmother to physiotherapy once a week for six months. Also: if I don’t get any subjects scanned, I have to tattoo Yezerski’s grandmother’s name on my back in 50-point font. We both know it’s not going to come to that, but Yezerski insisted we make it a part of the bet anyway.

And then goes on in a similar vein. You might enjoy it if you like MRI machines and cerebellums. If you don’t care for brains, you’ll probably just find it silly.

more pretty pictures of brains

Google Reader‘s new recommendation engine is pretty nifty, and I find it gets it right most of the time. It just suggested this blog, which looks to be a nice (and growing) collection of neuro-related images. It’s an interesting set of pictures that go beyond the usual combination of brain slices and tractography images to include paintings of brains (and their owners) in strange poses, psychedelic posters, and abandoned Russian brain labs. For example:

In a similar vein, there’s also this, which seems to be the CNS-related incarnation of another earlier favorite.