Monday, October 20, 2008

Brain Surgery Breakdown

Often in brain surgery the patient is kept conscious through the process. With anesthetic and mild sedation, his responses to the surgeon's probes can help to focus in on just the right spot in his brain for intervention.

Banjo player Eddie Adcock had been having trouble with a neurological problem causing a tremor in his right hand which interfered with his playing. So when brain surgery was performed to try and control this, it was only natural to have him playing his axe on the table to measure the success of the procedure.

Now, when I first heard of this, all I could think of was the possibility for comic dialogue:

"Mr. Adcock, sir, this is Dr. Bannerjee, can you hear me? Sir? Yes? Good good, very good. Now sir, we are ready to proceed and I want you to try something for me at this point. My assistant Dr. Kim has the probe in place, and what we want you to do ... [consults clipboard] ... is Foggy - Mountain - Breakdown. Did your hear me, sir? Good. Now ... begin.

Oh my goodness me, that is Turkey In The Straw. Remove the probe, Dr. Kim, we must try again ...."

Actually, as a lapsed member of the banjo community, I would not joke about this if Adcock wasn't doing very well. Here is the report from Adcock and his family, and here is some actual video from the surgery:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blog You Must

Andrew Sullivan has a good article, Why I Blog, in both the online and print versions of The Atlantic. It's a very good description of the blogging experience, a good introduction to the form for those who have never yet dared to jump into these hazardous waters, filled as they are with so many sea monsters.

When he compares the improvisational nature of blog writing with the more deliberate one of writing for print -- exemplified by that very same article -- I discern an interesting point. Writing for print really is different, and you take more time to weigh and balance various factors, reorder them just so. Bloggers just go. You just do it. No time to think and go back and redo it. Besides, what's the point? That sentence was so 1:49 pm, and now it's 1:50!

The implication is that if you want to have the experience of blogging, you just have to keep at it. Don't wait for inspiration, or you'll never blog at all! Get cracking!!