Day 2 & 3 of Research: So I entered the lair of the meditation lab expecting another flurry of Linux. I was not disappointed. Sara and I sat side-by-side at my “new computer” (aka: lugged a desktop from one side of the building to another), and she showed me how to Indiana Jones through files and folders using code. Amazingly, I think I can admit I’m finally starting to get the hang of it (CS people, yes roll your eyes).
Because we were having issues with the data downloaded from our first 11 subjects, I ended up mainly talking to my researcher about how much I enjoyed watching Abraham Lincoln the Vampire Hunter (no seriously, it’s epic, ridiculous, and impressively logical at the same time) and what the benefits of waiting for the next Harry Potter book to come out were.
I did get a sneak peak into what I was going to be playing with over the next few weeks. The programming I’m learning (called FreeSurfer) adjusts multiple brain scans so that researchers can do reliable comparisons. Everyone has different sized brains and locations of our major gyri and sulci (gyri – protusions, sulci – the valleys between the protrusions. I like to think of “sulking sulci” and how they hide from view), so major readjusting is required before any analysis can be done.
To do this, the program covers motion correction, skull stripping, and also enlarges the brain so it looks like a funky rugby ball. Check it out:
This past weekend I got the chance to go kayaking on the Charles River and bouldering/rock climbing (miserably failed at the second one). Both were awesome, but I developed some seriously immobile forearms, upper back, biceps, and chest. I think at one point I texted my friend asking for some help to be lifted off the floor of my room. So I did a little brainstorm on the best ways to stretch those muscles:
– Thread the needle
– L-shaped chest stretch/extended arm chest stretch on ground
– Wrist stretches
– Eagle (garudasana) arms
– Cow face arms (gomukasana)
– Starting seated with legs extended in front (dandasana) then reaching for a foot with opposite arm
– Generally interlace fingers behind body and open up chest
– Reverse prayer position
[check for updated images and descriptions/links of these in the yoga section]
Also made a batch of super simple, sweet peanut butter cookies for my lovely yoga teachers from my YTT. Gluten-free, vegan, and all natural. Basked in Basics:
½ cup honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup flaxseeds
¼ cup sucanat (or any type of natural sugar)
Mix all the ingredients together, then scoop onto wax sheets. Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25. They harden a lot once out of the oven. Crunchy texture, nutty invitations, and awesomely healthy.