Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Sheep, Finland, & Gay Nietzsche

It would appear that the future of understanding and perhaps thwarting mental decline lies with the help of Sheep. (Proper noun henceforth due their services to humans) This is contrary to the conventional wisdom that sheep are passive creatures of no exceptional use beyond mutton & knitting. Pas vrai!

This study in BRAIN A Journal of Neurology points out that:

With their large brains and long lives, sheep offer significant advantages for translational studies of human disease. Here we used normal and CLN5 Batten disease affected sheep to demonstrate the use of the species for studying neurological function in a model of human disease. We show that electroencephalography can be used in sheep, and that longitudinal recordings spanning many months are possible.”

Scroll down the section marked Surgery for truly great sheep-head surgical descriptions.

The sheep, New Zealand sheep, were shipped in by air. Electrodes were fitted into their brains and necks (?) and they were fitted with a jacket “that carried a paediatric ambulatory EEG amplifier” to record data.

Note: Unlike grouchy, post-op humans who require pain meds, tea and toast: “Sheep recovered well from surgery. Within a few minutes from the end of anaesthesia sheep were eating and within an hour they were standing up.”

They were studied for a number of things one of which was sleep deficit. They were discovered to have five states of vigilance.

This was my favourite sentence (bolded below) in this, obscure but none the less riveting study: “Sheep are ruminants and so spend a significant amount of time chewing previously ingested and regurgitated food. They ruminate when free from threat and almost exclusively while seated.”

You are very welcome. I know your day is made having read this news about SHEEP.

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FINLAND.

Want to get sober: go to Finland not AA perhaps (or both if unable to get there by tomorrow). This Atlantic piece raises engaging questions.

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And finally for varied reading from 2002 New York Times:

Is there a gay basis to Nietzsche’s ideas? by Edward Rothstein can be read here