Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A few things I learned today

The etymology of "electrophoresis" is related to the etymology of "metaphor". Both contain the Greek root "pherein," meaning "to carry or bear." In science, electrophoresis is a technique where molecules are moved (where -phor = carried, borne) through a fluid by applying electric ("electro-")current. In literature, a metaphor is a short hand way of invoking the meaning of a simple thing to better understand a complex thing. For example if someone says, "life is a river" they don't mean that literally, but they are using a metaphor to "carry over" the meaning of what a river means to what life means. I never would have guessed! I really enjoy learning about words.

Insects have immune systems. http://www.sci.muni.cz/ksfz/imuno_hmyz_e.html
Insects also can heal some of their wounds and burns.

It's best to notarize your Advance Medical Directive even if your home state does not require it. This is because you could become incapacitated while traveling in another state with different laws, and you want your wishes to be enforceable no matter where you are.

My public radio station offers a nifty gizmo called a Radio Bookmark, which is a small, portable device that makes it simple to follow-up on the stories you don't want to forget. It "bookmarks" radio stories with the touch of a button. Later you plug it into your computer’s USB port and all your bookmarked stories appear. I have never heard of such a thing until today!

I am not the only one who wants to switch to Google Chrome, but can't do so until the Roboform application is made compatible.

Despite the debacles in recent years, election laws all over the country are still full of holes. I can't wait till next week when this moot court decision is announced: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95924817

Several studies have proven that memories can be biased by the questions asked at the time of the memory's retrieval. Those studies are fascinating to read. The effect is so powerful that it occurs even when the subject knows that the interrogator is trying to trick them!

Those are just the things I remembered learning today. Surely there's lots of other information that got into my mind without me being aware of its entry. How awe-inspiring to have a thing so wonderful as a brain!