Japan Trip: Post-Conference

June 15th, 2007 by Potato

Well, the conference has ended, I’ve taken a nap, won 3rd place in the poster competition, and now I have to figure out what to do with myself for two days. About half our group is heading to Kyoto, perhaps to climb mount Fuji, and the other half is already in Tokyo. Presently, I’m leaning towards going to Tokyo, if only to make my trip home an 18-hour one instead of a 24-hour one.

Tonight, we went looking for dinner down one of the many long, winding alleyways. We found yet another, smaller, dodgier alleyway off of that one, which was barely wide enough for 3 people to stand abreast, and where the roofs were below Dave’s head. So far we’ve done okay ordering off menus with pictures, even where English was completely lacking. At the end of that alley though, we weren’t feeling quite as adventurous, so we went to another place on the main street that was kind of interesting. Before going in we thought it would be sushi and the like, but instead they had a variety of other things. I ended up getting fries with a strange spice/flavouring on them, while my travelling companions Dave and Carlos got large shrimp, chicken, seaweed (plus lettuce and some other stuff) salads.

The last day of the conference was quite interesting. I got to participate in a live demonstration of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and watched as my motor cortex was involuntarily stimulated and my hands jerked. It was especially interesting because I had read somewhere that the scalp nerves were painfully stimulated at the same time. I mean, it just makes sense that that would be the case, since the induced fields that are activating the brain are even stronger in the scalp… but surprisingly, it didn’t hurt at all. When my arms were being stimulated, it felt like being electrocuted (I’ve never been seriously electrocuted, but we did have a short in the lab that sent a bit of a tingle up my arm, and I have touched the electric cow fences in PEI).

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