I just love my church.
I met Camille two months ago at an Interweave meeting where she was talking about being transgendered and undergoing sex change.
I love Interweave. I've never felt so welcome any where else.
Anyway, she hasn't seen Brokeback Mountain yet, and we're going to go together on Thursday evening. That should be a somewhat different experience from going with my bored family. And we sat and talked for an hour after the meeting. She also loves LotR, though not in a fannish way (at least not yet) so she's thrilled that I'm going to loan her my extended editions. She hasn't seen them.
She's also looking interested in reading my fanfiction (which she had never heard of before). Cool.
In talking about MLK today, and emphasizing MLK's policy of being maladjusted (not accepting the status quo when it is wrong for you), the minister mentioned mirror neurons. (One of his sermons is always an education.)
"If you stick out your tongue to an observant infant shortly after birth, the probability is high that she will reciprocate the behavior.
... How can an infant possibly master such a complex motor act immediately after observing it? "
This theory explains how we can understand and predict emotions and reactions in others, based on their actions, and projecting the actions we need to produce to promote that. In other words, how we can feel emotionally attached to, and sympathetic to, a crying child, for instance. Or someone slaming a fist into a wall out of anger.
I find this terrifically interesting, in my always-quest to understand people. I can't begin to explain it, but the following from an article about it online gives a good overall view:
"A smoothly coordinated motor sequence involves the typically unconscious preparation for a movement followed by the actual movement. For example, while my left index finger is typing the c in cat, my left little finger is getting ready to type a and my left index finger will shortly move up to the top row to type the t. The result is a single seamless typing action - cat.
The motor cortex plays a key role in activating such muscles. It’s a narrow ear-to-ear band of neural tissue, with specific segments dedicated to regulating specific groups of body muscles. The premotor area directly in front of the motor cortex primes the next movements in a motor sequence.
Scientists have recently discovered that neurons in the premotor area that fire in preparation for upcoming movements also fire when we observe someone else carry out that action (Meltzoff and Prinz, 2002). Common brain regions thus process both the perception and production of a movement. The infant's observation of her parent's projecting tongue fires the premotor neurons that represent her tongue and this priming activates the related motor cortex neurons that project her tongue out in mimicry."
Go read the whole article. It's short and understandable. http://www.brainconnection.com/content/181_1