Much Ado About…The Brain?

“I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.”
Much Ado, IV.i.284-285

A student at Pharyngula asks “why do we still talk about the heart?”

The sound of your voice thrills my temporal lobe,
My occipital swoons at your sight;
When we walk hand in hand, my parietal and
My prefrontal are filled with delight.

My thalamus and hypothalamus know,
Without anyone having to tell ‘em,
That I’m head over heels, and it certainly feels
Like I am to my poor cerebellum.

Hippocampally organized memories tell
Of the way people look and admire us;
It’s like walking with god, but that’s really the odd
Way I feel my right angular gyrus.

My amygdala swells with desire for you,
But with rage and fear? Nope, nada.
My pulse will race, and my breath keep pace,
Thanks, medulla oblongata.

Master Shakespeare, speaking through Beatrice, might
Have nearly said it best:
“I love you with so much of my brain
That none is left to protest.”


It seems that Illinois has legislated a moment of silence. What could be bad about that?

A moment of silence
Does nobody vi’lence,
And offers nobody offense
To cease from the riot—
Have everyone quiet—
They tell me it only makes sense

It’s “time for reflection”;
What sort of objection
Could anyone possibly make?
You just hit the jackpot;
This Cuttlefish crackpot
Will gladly point out your mistake.

So steady, there—steady,
Illinois, see, already
Has silence-by-choice legislated;
This new legislation
To my great frustration
Has school-wide inaction mandated.

Each morn, for one minute,
Each school and all in it
Must sit and do nothing at all
Of course, no distraction,
But also, no action!
And that’s got my back to the wall.

See, I know of the Great
(Well, it was) Prairie State
And I know that the people are strong
And to make them all sit
And refuse to commit
To an action—I see it as wrong.

I beg you, recall
That a minute is all
That it takes for a lot of good deeds
No need to belabor
But helping an neighbor
One minute might meet all his needs.

Or maybe, combine
All the minutes you find
In a classroom, a school, or a county;
The effort, now summed,
Has never been plumbed,
But would yield an incredible bounty.

Imagine the time
Spent in work (not in rhyme)
If one classroom could pool its resources
And one county—one state—
One could hardly debate
The pro-social effect of such forces

But the wise Prairie State,
With the usual debate,
Has decided they somehow know better;
Overcoming a veto
They think it is neato
To redo the law to the letter.

So now, it is clear,
That each student and peer,
In every last one of their classes,
Will take sixty seconds
As anyone reckons
And legally sit on their asses.

And thus, by the powers
Of congressmen, hours
Are wasted in silence each day;
It seems it is lawful,
If perfectly awful,
So long as the students don’t pray.

The scene that’s resulting
Is really insulting
To Atheist and Christian as well;
And now, every morning,
With copious warning,
The state is just going to hell.

God’s Logic

Inspired by Stranger Fruit’s post here:

God’s Logic

The orbits of the planets
In their paths around the Earth
Are circular–it must be true
If logic has its worth.

The circle, you must understand
Is God’s Most Perfect Shape;
If orbits are elliptical,
Why, Man is but an ape.

If circles are God’s favorites,
Why not in logic, too?
Assuming your conclusions
Is the Holy thing to do!

When I assume that God exists
And Logic is his tool,
An atheist who tries to use
God’s methods is a fool.

When I assume that Logic is
The tool of the devout,
My argument is clear:
IF garbage in, THEN garbage out.

How do I love Thee?

Pharyngula linked to this site–

It is horrid. Utterly horrid. In the way that traffic accidents are horrid, and fascinating, and you cannot look away. The following poem is inspired by one on that site, entitled (no, seriously) “Jesus and I will be very awesome and beautiful”. Really.

Mine is just a little bit … different.

How do I love Thee?

Jesus, Lord, with all my heart
I love Thee more than life
More deeply, from the very start
Than husband’s love for wife.

More deeply than a child’s love
For parent or for pet;
How deep my love, for You above,
Has not been fathomed yet.

There is no sacrifice, I know,
For which I am not willing
There is no place I would not go,
Your love is just so thrilling

It breaks my heart to see you there
Nailed up upon the cross
Those soulful eyes, that tousled hair,
Oh, what an awful loss

If I could hold Thee in my arms,
Annoint Thy wounds with balm;
I’d gladly suffer any harms
To make Your life more calm.

I’d softly stroke Your aching head
Massage Your weary back
I’d lay You gently in my bed
If energy You lack.

I’d kiss Your forehead, then Your lips,
And then Your holy chest—
With lips, and tongue, and fingertips,
I’d do what I do best.

Because I love Thee, O my Lord
I show Thee this affection
And thus, I pray, Your strength restored,
You show Your resurrection

Then fill me with Your love—for I
Am just your humble vessel
And, if you want, then we could try,
For fun, a gentle wrestle.

You know, of course, I’d let you win
You’ll always be on top;
If loving You, Lord, is a sin
I still don’t want to stop.

So Halleluiah! Praise Your Name!
I’m singing (sometimes humming)
The world was blessed when first you came,
And with your second coming.

And I, myself, am doubly blessed
That heaven’s my reward
With all my heart, deep in my breast,
You know I love You, Lord.

Kent Hovind–Liar, Lunatic, or…ok, Liar or Lunatic?

Posted on Pharyngula, 10/10

Confined against his will, the liar Kent
Will plead his case online, to one and all;
His mind is, if not broken, clearly bent
(I know; there really wasn’t far to fall)

He always claimed to talk to God, but now
He talks with Satan too, about his fate.
If God allowed it, Kent will find out how–
Does prison show God’s love, or Satan’s hate?

I read his post, and find I wonder why
A man like Hovind, patently unwell,
Is stuck in prison. I think, rather, I
Would have him in a soothing, padded cell.

With anybody else, such rants as his
Would indicate psychosis–no denying–
With Hovind, though, it seems the story is
(Old habits sure die hard) he’s simply lying.

Eulogy for Gary Aldridge

Posted on Pharyngula, 10/10/2007

We gather here to eulogize
The Pastor and the Man
Old Gary Aldridge, often wise,
Though not his latest plan.

A member of the Christian nation,
Friend of Jerry Falwell,
His last attempt at masturbation
Didn’t go at all well.

For fifteen years, he’d preached the word
A Southern Baptist minister
His death–now, is it just absurd
Or something rather sinister?

How does a person come to wear
Not one wetsuit, but two?
(Although, I know, I should not care
I’m curious–aren’t you?)

I tend to think that, years ago,
He spied a rubber glove,
And wondered “Should I–well, you know–
When God and I make love?”

He tried it on, and found a tube,
Half hidden on his shelf,
Of KY–smiled, and murmered “Lube
Thy neighbor as thy self.”

And minutes later, hard at work,
He felt a little odd
Was this a sin, or just a quirk?
He talked it out with God.

“Is what I’m doing here a sin?
Or is my pleasure Thine?
Is this as bad as skin on skin?
Lord, please, give me a sign!”

So God produced a pamphlet: “Your
Vacation in Aruba!”
And pointed out–right there, page four–
The wetsuits used for SCUBA

See, God’s not really how you think
A deity might be
He’s got a wicked bondage kink
(Just ask His son, J. C.)

So Gary died, not steeped in sin
But following God’s plan;
So straight to Heaven–come on in!
And bring the wetsuits, man!

A story, sure, but it may yet
Explain what happened then.
The moral is, please don’t forget:
Your safeword is “Amen”.

Cephalopoetry #2

Also posted Oct 8 on Pharyngula

Architeuthis Double-Dactyl

Haughtily, naughtily
Deep-sea biologists
Claimed “We will never find
Fifty-foot squid!”

Nobody told, though, the
Blissfully ignorant,
That’s what he did.

Nautilus Limerick

The nautilus swims back-to front
Which is quite an unusual stunt
But his shell–which is odd
For a cephalopod–
When he bumps into things, bears the brunt!

Cuttlefish Physiology Limerick

Look again, and you might doubt your eyes:
It’s the cuttlefish, cloaked in disguise!
As it changes, within
Its remarkable skin
Are chromatophores, changing in size.

Cephalopoetry #1

Posted on Pharyngula, Oct 8

A Cuttlefish Limerick or Three

The cuttlefish: Squid-like, you think?
Just a cephalopod in the drink?
Then you also should know it
Refers to a poet,
Or any who hide in their ink.

For writers who think that they’re odd
And ignored, by indifferent God,
Don’t allow yourself–perish
The thought, and just cherish
Your label of “Cephalopod”

For today, there will be no rebuttal–
We will celebrate, loud and unsubtle!
Just the same as each squid
And each octopus did,
We’ll shake all of our legs, and our cuttle!

A Cuttlefish Double-Dactyl

Inkily, thinkily,
Deepwater cuttlefish
Hide in their ink (to a
Poet, that’s odd)

Writing, you see, is not
Part of the life of a