Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter and the L-1 Dermatome

No spoilers here. I will not discuss the book yet.

I read it in a little under 36 hours, taking frequent brief breaks to eat, sleep, pee, and do homework. (Weird, how the work is done so much more efficiently when it's done as a break from something fun I get to return to. I might re-read the whole damn series now.)

I just want to point out that for the last eight weeks, I've been learning about stuff that has amusingly Potteresque nomenclature. Take a pen or pencil in your dominant hand, and flourish it with a sweeping motion, ending in a point directly out and away from your body, and yell out an Anatomy term. Then you'll see what I mean. Here are some to get you started:

Vastus Medialus!

Being hit with the gubernaculum charm would likely be no damn fun, if it did what I suspect. "Toxic Megacolon" sounds like a large, noxious creature that might live in the Forbidden Forest. You could store your spare tubercles in a vesicouterine pouch, assuming they had them in stock at Flourish & Blotts. Rectus Capitus might be the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. It just goes on and on.

And I've figured out why. Rowling uses such decent fake-Latin in the books that it captures the sometimes just plain goofy-assed nature of actual Latin names. One example: There's a bit of the tibia, the shin-bone, where certain thigh muscles attach. Three muscles attach there, you see, so you get this triangular, webbed effect. I think it looks kind of like a duck's foot. If it didn't have a name already, I'd call it "the duck foot."

The actual, official, proper scholarly name for this little structure? Pes Anserinus. Sounds impressive, right?

Until you realize it's Latin for "Goose's Foot." Oh yeah, so much more professional than the thing I said, with the duck. Definitely.

And that's why I don't feel the least bit disrespectful, waving my pen in the air and repeating funny-sounding terms to the guy sitting next to me in lectures.

Plus, by now I can do a pretty decent levatores costarum spell.


Brina Bat said...

I flourished all right...
Palmaris Brevis!

And succeeded in giving myself a hand cramp.

Glad to see another Harry Potter fan.

Found you through Wms Wms through Afterglide...Hi from AL!

Anonymous said... classmates had the exact same thought and there were several Harry Potter-esque exclamations during dissection and sometimes following an embryology lecture. One of the favorites:
"ligamentum arteriosum"