Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Posts Tagged ‘War

War and medical research

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Very interesting post at Mind Hacks. It begins:

I’ve just found this fascinating article on how legendary neurologist Gordon Holmes discovered how the visual cortex represents visual space after studying World War One soldiers who had experienced bullet or shrapnel wounds to the brain.

World War One taught us a great deal about neuropsychology largely due to developments in weapons technology. The German Mauser was an accurate rifle that used small bore ammunition where previous conflicts had largely used single shot rifles mostly designed so a group of soldiers could create a ‘wall of lead’, rather than a carefully aimed shot.

Developments in shell technology also meant that high explosives could be launched with reasonable accuracy into groups of soldiers causing significant shrapnel injuries.

However, both the rifles and shells were at a stage where the velocity of either a bullet or a piece of shrapnel was relatively slow by today’s standards, meaning that the brain was not additionally damaged by shock waves, like with modern munitions.

In other words, they could create small discrete areas of brain damage that left the rest of the brain largely unaffected.

The British Brodie helmet, which sat like a tin bowl on the top of the head, left the lower parts of the head, and hence the brain, exposed. This meant a significant number of injuries were to the visual cortex, at the rear of the brain.

Neurologist Gordon Holmes studied the link between small lesions to this area and which areas of vision had been lost in soldiers coming back from the front.

The diagram on the right …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

7 December 2008 at 8:57 am

Posted in Daily life, Medical, Science

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Ugly episode from the Korean War

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From Russ Kick at the Memory Hole:

The Associated Press has a major investigative story about the Korean War.:

In the early days of the Korean War, other American officers observed, photographed and confidentially reported on such wholesale executions [of political prisoners] by their South Korean ally, a secretive slaughter believed to have killed 100,000 or more leftists and supposed sympathizers, usually without charge or trial, in a few weeks in mid-1950.

Extensive archival research by The Associated Press has found no indication Far East commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur took action to stem the summary mass killing, knowledge of which reached top levels of the Pentagon and State Department in Washington, where it was classified “secret” and filed away.

This reminded me of an early Memory Hole article, which I’ve now updated with archival links and document images:

Civilian Massacres During the Korean War: US Military Documents Show Brass Ordered Slaughters

Written by Leisureguy

11 July 2008 at 10:48 am

Posted in Government, Military

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Jonah Goldberg: pro-war and pro-torture

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Glenn Greenwald has a particularly powerful column today. One great benefit of the Web is that it’s a wonderful memory machine, so that you can readily retrieve the words written a while back—much to the dismay of those who like to present their positions deceitfully.

I really think that those, like Jonah Goldberg, who do not believe that waterboarding is torture, would be much more credible if they would first undergo an 8-hour session of it.

Written by Leisureguy

12 November 2007 at 10:40 am

Posted in GOP

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