Reluctant Domestication

Today I went on a cleaning binge when all my roommates left the house. I hate dirt and I cringe whenever I see it. And perhaps it is me and not my roommates who is the biggest cleaning nazi under the roof.

The dirtiest thing I cleaned was not the bathroom or the kitchen, but the stairs. They’re wood and uncarpeted so it’s easy to see everything that has accumulated on the surface. But what struck me as puzzling was why the stairs were so dirty. If there is one rule that everyone follows, it is that there are to be no outdoor shoes going up to the second floor. So if everyone is wearing slippers going upstairs, why is there so much unseemly dirt and dust?

Oh, and never underestimate how much girls shed hair.

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Is the Brain Really Necessary? (via Metafilter) I suppose I’m not really astonished. There have already been experiments debunking the “grandmother cell” theory, i.e. particular cells assigned to particular tasks and particular memories. So far, it looks as if memory and consciousness/awareness is based upon networks. And if something were damaged (let’s say, sight) there have been evidence that the brain is able to rewire itself (visual parts of the brain are devoted to other senses in the blind). So if there is less cortex in an individual available to perform cognitive tasks, who’s to say that what’s left of the brain has been reorganized to accomplish difficult skills like mathematics?