Did it ever occur to you that maybe Sleeping Beauty wasn’t actually sleeping but was in a coma? It never did to me until I read this article about the misrepresentation of coma in movies. These scientists apparently watched a number of movies (You mean I can watch movies all day and finish my thesis? Where do I sign up?) to assess how coma is portrayed in movies and found that portrayals were not very accurate at all. The most common flaw: coma patients being perfectly groomed and looking the picture of health except that they’re in a coma. Another big flaw: someone waking up from a coma after a long period of time having retained all memory and cognitive function. And here I’ve always wondered how women wake up all perfectly made up in movies (and on tv). I never thought about comas. I guess it’s because I just take for granted that any portrayal is inaccurate and don’t really bother thinking about it. I certainly wouldn’t be using While You Were Sleeping as a reference for decision-making. Oops. Apparently not everyone thinks that: 39% of non-medically-trained viewers thought these portrayals were accurate and would be influenced by what they had seen if faced with a real-life coma. Seriously? Good thing these guys conducted this study.

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» The 10 dirtiest jobs in science.  Hey, they forgot to include being your major professor’s bitch.  Okay, I guess that isn’t quite as literally dirty as those on the list, but it sure feels like it is. # 0

» Yum!  Now that’s something I can live with: eating curry to stave off cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.  Researchers in Singapore found that people (aged 60-93) who ate curry even only occasionally scored higher on the Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) than those who never ate curry.  The curry spice, turmeric, contains curcumin, which has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  And the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly in India is fourfold less than that in the United States. # 0

» There’s a great article today about how the MIT Dean of Admissions wants to reduce admissions anxiety in teenagers.  How about parents getting off of their kids’ backs?  That would help.  But I do admire her for trying to create a friendlier system that might just ease the pressure enough to not give parents such reason to push their kids so hard.  Too bad it probably won’t happen any time soon.  And go ahead and try to tell Asian parents to stop pushing their kids to the point of insanity.  I dare you. # 0


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