September 21, 2009

Scanning Dead Salmon in fMRI Machine Highlights Risk of Red Herrings.
  • This must be a zombie fish. Kill the brain, and you kill the zombie!
  • Isn't it possible that there was still some brain activity in the dead fish? If I were a scientist instead of writing about false readings from the fMRI I would want to repeat the experiment but with the fish's vision obstructed, as a control. This would either lead to an interesting paper called "Brain death versus heart death in salmonidae" or could start a meme like Schrödinger's Cat... "as insightful as a blindfolded dead salmon".
  • "Isn't it possible that there was still some brain activity in the dead fish?" No.
  • more brain activity than in some Republicans
  • "No". If you connect a 9 volt battery to a volt meter (to see if it's dead yet) and the meter reads 18 volts what would you do? - An engineer would throw the battery away because it is out of range and therefore defective. - A journalist could publish a "Cold fusion re-discovered?" story ("and the risks for your family!") . - A religious person might worship the new super battery. - But a scientist (if they are a real scientist) will      (1) Get very excited!      (2) Try the reading again to make sure it is repeatable      (3) Get another meter to see if the meter is broken/different      (4) Get another battery and hook it to the first meter      (5) Find out what is different about that battery (which was stored below a jug of bleach and right beside the charger for a cell phone) by doing some more experiments. (with apologies to any offended journalists, religious people and fake scientists) Now if an experiment (or control or calibration) shows a dead fish appearing to see and think then the wrong thing to do is to say "well that must be a wrong result because we all know that dead fish don't think". The scientific thing to do is to put a blindfold on that dead fish and run it again. The more unexpected the result the greater the need to investigate. No, I don't really think the zombie fish was thinking either. But my point here is about the discipline needed to do science. Or it's no penicillin for you!
  • The salmon was just pining for the fjords?
  • A dead salmon has rigor. Science demands rigor. What two things go together? Dead salmon and science! TA DA!!
  • Not sure if he was thinking of a dead fish, but... "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is." - Dan Quail
  • Nice quote... though Dan Quayle might be distressed to hear it was repeated by a game bird.
  • Thanks :>
  • Eel slap.