After that lengthy bout of Pig Lung, I’m back to writing stuff that’s longer then 140 characters. Feels good.

A few things to catch up on…

One of my perennial points of incomprehension is why people with ‘deeply-held’ religious beliefs find it so very difficult to step away from them, to consider that other possibilities are worth considering. A recent study may explain this – evidence is appearing that the brain processes fact and belief in the same place. Of course there are other studies which seems to show the complete opposite

Perhaps the most fun I had while in downtime (that didn’t involve watching all of Lost – which I thoroughly enjoyed) was Twittering my little heart out on the inaugural International Blasphemy Day. Those who’ve been reading me for a while know that I consider taking the piss out of belief not only to be funny but also a necessary tool, even a human right. I think I managed to take the piss out of every major creed and belief system in there at one point or another… my favourite post being:

My god fucked your god. Your god loved it, the little slut.

Amusingly, the only direct responses I got complaining about my doubting their deeply-held beliefs came from atheists…

Also, downtime allowed me to get to grips with what was perhaps an inevitable tech upgrade… an iPhone. This solved 99% of my portable comms needs for the foreseeable future – excellent Twitter and RSS apps especially. Now if they’d come up with GPG encryption for mail, I’d be sorted.

Next up – a Guttershaman piece for the Halloween season, various rants and raves… ¬†and maybe, just maybe, a little fun.

Knowledge makes the brain grow better

I’m lucky to live with people who not only have good brains and use them well, but are also tolerant enough to both provide me with thoughts I wouldn’t otherwise have and to listen to the mad ideas that pop in my transom.

Case in point:

Seeing the recent study on the change in brain wiring of London cab drivers gave me an idea. The study showed that cabbies brains showed strong development changes in the hippocampus region – it got bigger.

Long ago, I learned from Malabar that one of the most noteable neurological changes in adults who are survivors of childhood physical and sexual abuse is atrophy of the hippocampus, which is hard to correct in adults.

So… abuse survivors could train in The Knowledge. The process of learning the thousands of possible routes through London (usually done on bicycle/moped) seems to provide a specific stimulus to hippocampal growth. (Maybe this is due to the vast amount of visio-spacial processing required to gain The Knowledge, possible helped by the other senses – the smell of the brewery round the corner and the chippy near the roundabout, the sound of Speaker’s Corner…)

Hippocampus is stimulated, grows. Helps heal the damage. Once qualified, they could volunteer to drive for women-safe cab services.

Just an idea…