Finally! Puppypalooza!!! This week, we reviewed the Puppy Episode and in the podcast, we promised show notes.
The Mole Tank
In part of the episode Dan mentions that the Mole Tank looks like Garuda from the 90’s Godzilla films. That was the wrong name. Garuda is a flying vehicle that can merge with MechaGodzilla in the form of a weaponized jetpack.
What he was thinking of, is Moguera, first introduced in a non-Godzilla film in 1957, The Mysterions. Then again later as a mecha in Godzilla Vs. Space Godzilla.
Click the image to see if there’s a fair comparison. It looks like the Mole Tank is inspired by the original Moguera.
Your Commander of the Week- Strong Mole… or…Mole Bad?
Strong Bad is a character from Homestarrunner.com, who is famous for creating Trogdor. We think the Mole Commander sounds like Strong Bad and the Taco Bell Chihuaua.
“The Most Sensitive Part of Joe’s Brain”
As promised, here is a diagram to put into context the long winded examination of basic neuroscience and Joe’s injury. I promised more depth, and that’s what your going to get!!!!
As mentioned in the episode, the focus is on the shaded areas on this diagram.
- Parietal Lobe (shaded in green): This part of the brain is responsible for sensory information and some movement. This image does not show the post-central gyrus, but it’s located about midway up the top of the parietal lobe (by my eyeballing this diagram.).
- Occipital Lobe (shaded in blue): This is generally where the primary visual cortex is located. The PVC obviously controls sight.
- Wound Entrance (indicated in red): This is the general approximation of where the shrapnel entered Joe’s brain. Since Dr. Nambu is vague on how deep this wound went, we don’t know exactly how the force from the blast drove the metal in. Nambu’s crappy x-ray image doesn’t help, either.
So what’s the difference between this image and Nambu’s crappy x-ray?
This image is a cross-section of the brain. The brain is generally symmetrical, so what is on the right side is also on the left side.
Nambu’s crap x-ray is a picture of Joe’s skull. Since the shrapnel went into the back of his head on the right side, the x-ray should have been taken from the right for it to show up that detailed.
And yes, I realize that there is irony in my telling Dan not to overthink things, while I had a lengthy segment that appears to show me overthinking things. 🙂 In my defense, it is difficult to explain things like this concisely without visual aids.
I still stand by my assertion that Joe would not be able to basically function due to that head injury. Here is why:
Parietal Lobe and damage. This article goes much more in-depth than my rantings, but in general, the parietal lobe is responsible for sensation and perception and integrating sensory input. The type of impairment that one could experience depends on where the damage occurs.
Damage to the right side of the parietal lobe (where it appears the wound actually is) could result in Joe having these issues:
- contralateral neglect (or hemispatial neglect): which can result in an impairment of self-care skills such as washing and dressing. This impairment includes an inability to perceive the opposite side of the body from where the injury occurred. This can happen as a result of an injury like Joe’s or even a stroke. Here’s a Psychology Today article that explains this phenomena in clearer detail. If Joe did suffer from this, this is what could result:
- Shaving only the right side of his face and not the left.
- Running into walls, doors, or other objects that are to his left.
- The inability to see or hear someone who is speaking to them from his left.
- constructional apraxia: difficulty in making things. Apraxia refers to the difficulty that someone has initiating something. In other words, Joe would have difficulty initiating and performing the actions necessary to make things.
- anosagnosia: This is defined as a lack of awareness of one’s illness or condition. This is a term that comes up often when dealing with people who have a mental disorder or a cognitive disorder such as dementia. This is not willful denial of there being something wrong. The brain is unable to, because of brain damage, comprehend that something is wrong.
Damage to the left side of the parietal lobe (if the shrapnel hit these parts of the brain) would result in Joe having these issues:
- Gerstmann’s Syndrome: This is a cognitive impairment that results in someone losing the ability to:
- Tell the difference between right and left
- Agraphia: the inability to write/dysgraphia: the inability to write coherently
- Acalcula: the inability to perform mathematical calculations/dyscalcula: the inability to comprehend mathematical calculations.
- Finger agnosia: the inability to identify one’s own fingers.
Bilateral damage to the parietal lobe can result in:
- Bálint’s Syndrome: This is a visual attention and motor syndrome. Characteristics of this include:
- simultanagosia: the inability to perceive the visual field as a whole.
- oculomotor apraxia: the absence or difficulty in controlled and purposeful eye movement. In other words, your brain would not be able to tell your eyes where to look.
- optic ataxia: the inability to coordinate visual inputs with hand movements. A person with optic ataxia can see an object, but when he or she tries to grab it, they end up grasping at nothing.
These are pretty important skills, especially for a marksman and a race car driver.
All the possibilities of brain damage from one piece of metal from just one area of the brain. And I haven’t even gotten to the occipital lobe yet…
The Occipital Lobe is responsible for controlling our vision. Damage to this area would result in difficulties with our vision to even blindness. This area of the brain contains the primary visual cortex or V1.
Thankfully, (for you reading this–if you’re still here), there are fewer impairments from occipital lobe damage because this lobe has only one function-regulating vision. However, there are so many facets to our vision besides just seeing things, that damage to this area could result in visual hallucinations, visual illusions (or distorted perceptions-objects may appear larger or smaller than they actually are, for example), discrimination of movement, or discrimination of colors.
As you can see from the length of this little article, our brains are complicated and the effects of injuries to our brains are complex. Some people experience brain injury and come out of it with little or minimal lasting effects. Others do not.
And while I can understand that the subject of traumatic brain injury is a complicated one that may be difficult to simplify for children, as I said in the podcast, we knew enough about the brain when this show was created to know that nobody could suffer from an injury like Joe did and come out of it without lasting effects. Nor would the effects of a traumatic injury be delayed until episodes 90 through 105.
Center for Neuroskills (n.d.) Parietal lobe. Retrieved 9 July 2017 from https://www.neuroskills.com/brain-injury/parietal-lobes.php
National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (n.d.) Gertsman’s syndrome. Retrieved 9 July 2017 from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Gerstmanns-Syndrome-Information-Page
Bálint’s Syndrome (2017) Retrieved 9 July 2017 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%A1lint%27s_syndrome
Occipital Lobe (2017) Retrieved 9 July 2017 from http://www.neuroskills.com/brain-injury/occipital-lobes.php
And who better to talk about the brain, than Pinky and the Brain!
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