20 April 2009

Gasping For Breath

Today is a bit of a lazy day. My brain is fried and it's only mid April.

I'm in the middle of a 3500 words psychophysiology proposal due in 10 days.
I'm looking at measuring EMG corrugator supercilii and zygomatic major responses to happy/sad facial expressions from Black and White dynamic avatars after priming participants to develop a greater negative bias towards Black people. It's a cruel setting but it's a test of how empathy towards outgroups can be negatively manipulated by the media, especially in times of war. I'm three quarters through the Introduction of this proposal. I still have to write my method and my predictions. Method will be a little difficult as I have to describe the electrodes...oops, the "sensors"... and the EMG process in details, something a little different from the other reports I've written. Effectively I'm looking at a 2 x 2 x 2 mixed quasi-experimental factorial design so I'm still overwhelmed with the predictions and how to formulate my hypotheses.
That's why I'm happily taking a break today. Woohoo!!
It's not easy to avoid feeling like a mad scientist. Blogging helps.

Actually on that topic, I'm still smiling at what my psychophysiology lecturer said in the first lecture:

Today we don't refer to electrodes as "electrodes". In front of the participants we tend to call them "sensors" instead. It's because we are trying to get away from the whole Milgram thing...

Anyway I thought it was funny.

So now onto a mental reckoning of the other uni subjects... I'm due for a Neuroscience Quiz in two weeks, the second in a set of three. This is where I'll have to remember all the charming names of neurotransmitters among other things. After that, I still have another Behaviour Analysis and Modification lab report assignment to complete, two workbooks to hand in, at least 4 psychophysiological lab practicals to complete (although that part is quite fun) and an oral presentation on the Prefrontal Cortex to prepare for. All this to be completed by the end of May while I continue to attend classes and try to have a life. And then it's exam period...

This is the hardest semester I've had for a while and so when it's completed, I'll feel great.

Burgen For Men

Times are definitely changing and the grocery shelves are one setting for this quiet revolution.
The Burgen Revolution.

Burgen, for those of you familiar with the brand, is more than bread. Think: wholesome designer slices, sordid combinations of grainy goodness, customised dough.

We women had it good when Burgen introduced its Soy & Linseed slices. Phytoestrogens in a slice...We women felt special. Phytoestrogens are marketed towards women as cancer fighting and PMS vanquishing agents. Visions of demure menopausal Japanese women come to mind. Youth in a slice. (Or so we thought until phytoestrogen was recently linked to potential tumor growth for women with a history of cancer. Research continues...)

I personally feel flattered whenever a company caters especially for women's needs. Oh, really, wow, for ME! Always a pleasure to differentiate oneself from the male crowd. Vive la différence! When I wheel into the bread aisle with my trolley, I usually check around me to see if other male shoppers are in the vicinity and once I'm assured of an audience, I proudly reach out for a packet of Burgen Soy & Linseed slices. Makes me feel like part of an elite group.
Well it's not quite like sanitary pads and tampons but it still feels special...

I think men must have secretly envied us for quite a while. What with all these products marketed especially for women.

And now, because all you metrosexual men threw a sissy fit, Burgen relented and unveiled its latest product: "Burgen For Men".

You heard me.

I'm looking at one now, it's on my lap as I type. I'll read the label to you.

"Grains with Barley" - For Men's Wellbeing.
Ooooh, that's nice!

Apparently, it includes "Protein for Muscle Strength". OH YEAH!!!!
See, all you guys could soon be ditching steaks and having bread instead to ensure you get your protein fix! Think about it.

I was in the stores today when I first saw the glorious "Burgen For Men" product. There it was, king of the shelves, already bullying the other Burgen breads. At first I had a bit of a knowing chuckle. Typical males, I thought. Hard Yakka crap.

But then, I had a change of heart. I parked my trolley in front of the "Burgen For Men" packets and contemplated for a while. A nauseating feeling of relative deprivation had now begun to torment me. There were some urgent questions I needed answered.
What do they have in THEIR bread that we're not getting???
What secret ingredient are MEN getting in THEIR bread that the producers think WE WOMEN are too wussy to digest????

Feeling a tad indignant, I reached out for one of the packets.

Then it gets ugly. I took a calculating glance at the Nutritional Information. Conspiracy! There was some solid dough richness there! I took an offended look at the mineral count for 2 slices of bread. Hell, they even have an entry for Zinc! How come the Soy & Linseed Nutritional information doesn't even include Zinc? No wonder my acne and skin condition is so bad. I notice that for 2 slices of "Burgen For Men", the Zinc intake constitutes 29% of the recommended dietery intake. That sold me.

So I snobbed the marketers and I ended up buying my very own Hard Yakka packet of "Burgen For Men". That's why it's on my lap right now. I've already eaten 2 slices and I feel stronger and more powerful already. So there.

I can take it.