Thalamus: Netter’s Concise Neuroanatomy

Elsevier have a sample chapter of Netter’s Concise Neuroanatomy available for the thalamus, which I talked about today. It’s very nice, with the excellent illustrations that we’re used to and much of the relevant information about the thalamic nuclei and their motor, sensory and limbic system links summarised in tables.
Have a look at the sample chapter here.

Golf has too many rules

Day 373: Golf has too many rules, originally uploaded by samwebster.

I was complaining about the number of rules in golf in a 365 Flickr photo last week and then this happens in the USPGA:

Higher Education Academy mag & Turning Point clickers

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I’ve been a proponent of using interactive feedback technology in lectures (which means I can ask questions in my lecture, students can answer using a remote control with 10 or so buttons on it and we can all see how well we’re doing) for some time. As such I’ve been occasionally pulled out to demonstrate the tech and to get other people using it.
I’ve written a couple of brief things about how we’ve been using this in embryology lectures in the School of Medicine and the Higher Education Academy’s magazine “01” has included an article in this quarter’s copy.
The students like it and the lecturers like it. Everybody likes to use the clickers (instant gameshow) and teachers get to see immediately how much the audience is getting from the lecture. It’s simple to use and as more people have used it more Schools have bought their own sets. I imagine that in modules with very large student numbers if you can afford enough clickers you’ll learn a lot about your audience. Is it possible to interact with every individual in a lecture with 300 students in an hour in any other way?
CnsFor more information:
– see the HEA 01 article here (HTML) or here (pdf)
– visit Turning Technologies to find out more about the tech

How much energy can you produce on your bike?

For 12 hours?
The BBC’s Bang Goes the Theory programme investigated (and demonstrated) what it would be like to try to power a single household by pedal power. Sure, it’s not a practical idea but it gives the viewer some real energy awareness. Well, if the viewer has ever ridden a bike anyway.
I won’t be powering the microwave when I’m on the turbo then.
See the whole thing on iPlayer if you’re in the UK (probably until the 10th December) here.

Google Wave, aha, I get it

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There’s been a lot of chatter about Google’s new product, “Wave“, for the last couple of months. Looking from the outside it’s difficult to see what it does, what it does different, and what we can really use it for. It’s in beta at the moment so only a limited number of people are able to actually use it.
I was kindly given an invitation to try it and as soon as I got into the preview it was clear how hugely beneficial this could be to people like me with organisational nightmares. To teach anatomy we have 2 main lecturers, 3 technicians and dozens of clinical teachers. We need to co-ordinate the teaching of 450 learning outcomes, a shed-load of exam questions, and the use of a varying number of prosections, models, bones, projectors, laptops, and rooms among a different group of people every week. Try doing that through email. Luckily Jo’s brain can cope with much of this but we still make mistakes.
So imagine something that’s easy to access that looks like email. Except that we can all edit, add to and delete our plans live (we can all edit the same stuff at once, and see those edits in real-time) and talk about it while we do it. This is all well organised in itself and we share these waves among those that need the information and keep the others to ourselves.
I can see who will be teaching which learning outcomes, have a discussion about how to link my bits in with other people’s bits, lob up images for the other teachers to use, and Greg (our technician) can suggest the materials we have available and we can all argue about who gets to use the plastic model of the arm with the nerves on it and who gets to use the prosections. Good stuff, eh? I can argue with a surgeon that he’s better suited to teaching part of the abdomen, and I can amend his assigned learning outcomes and he can suggest additions and take away stuff that’s not important. The history of this development is all recorded – nothing is lost and we can all see who did what.
The discussions we need are far more likely to take place in this environment than face-to-face. We’re all too busy and most of the people involved need 6 weeks notice to get help with clinics if they’re going to spend a morning with us. Try getting 4 or 5 of those people in a room together. It’s not easy.
The key here is that it’s very easy to use. People are scared of wiki’s but they won’t be scared of this. The whole School of Medicine could take advantage of this.
Take a look at this long preview video and see if it makes sense for you. You can use Wave with me using