a visually driven post

I wanted the light to be the revelation. It has to do with what we value. I want people to treasure light. – James Turrell

Eye-balls, they’re weird and wonderful, these organs that house vision. I like the form and shape, the simplicity and complexity. And based on many a conversation, I know others enjoy them too.

I didn’t expect to revisit the eye. But I’m looking at the brain and they are one….

Cool fact: Your eyes are the part of your brain that sit outside your skull. Their primary job is to inform you (your brain) through signal, when to wake up and when to sleep.
#sunrisedetectors #sunsetdetectors

At the back of each eye-ball are a layer of various cells. The thin layer ↓ called the retina, is made up of neurons that sense patterns of light carried by photons. This patten travels via the optic nerve, to your brain.
#lightwaves #transduction #electricalsignals #nervousimpulses #neuralsignals

Neural Cells of the Retina

Vision is your ability to detect light patterns.
#electromagneticwaves #nanometers #electromagneticspectrum #wavelengths

Your eye(s) and brain communicate via your optic nerve(s). A conversation between them could go something like this…

Eyes to Brain: I admire the color blue! Do you?
Brain: Yes! Blue light wakes me right up! I also appreciate blue light as it goes darker. And, I enjoy yellow and orange light as it gets brighter too.
Eyes: All of this. Yes!

Basically they’d be talking sunrise and sunset, alertness and sleep. The brain might  continue and clarify how light affects cortisol, heart-rate and hormones.

Everything really starts in the eye. The eye sheds light on the brain which activates all the rest of the cells (every single cell!) in your body.
#circadianclock #circannualclock #entrainable #everysinglecellinyourbody

postscript:  all my posts are visually driven


the appendix

Looking up the word appendix in my copy of a “Medical Meanings” glossary (thank you Wright), I am directed to see vermis. (Vermis?) Vermis is the Latin word for worm. (Of course it is!) It continues….Veriform appendix, Latin for addition or supplement, which is stuck on the base of the cecum for no apparent purpose in man but to serve as a seat for appendicitis. (hmmm). Out of familiarity, we seldom use the full name of this little organ; we call it simply the appendix.
And a note… A vermifuge (Latin fugare, to chase away) is an agent that expels worms or similar vermin from the gut.

My previous post, on the ileum, receives a comment from pediatrician, Dr. Betsy Triggs. She writes, Oooh! Please do the nasty little innocent looking troublemaker appendix next. Ileum’s neighbor. 😊

I’m going to stop saying I especially love some particular part of the body (like the appendix), cause it’s getting old. Truth is, I love learning about the whole incredibly complex and connected organism.

And another note: I appreciate my glossary definition of the word autopsy
Autopsy is a misapplied term when used to refer to postmortem examination. The Greek autopsia (auto-, “self,” + opsis, “seeing”) meant, in fact, “seeing oneself.” According to Professor Alexander Code (JAMA. 1965;191:121), for the Greeks this had an even more mystical meaning in the sense of “a contemplative state preceding the vision of God.”

The appendix (study) world as seen under magnification.

I paint a cross section of the appendix and ask Dr. Triggs, for her thoughts on the organ.

She writes, The appendix is now thought to be the repository for the “good gut bacteria” that doesn’t get pooped out when you have diarrhea. Maybe because it’s a tiny little wormy thing with a small Lumen, offset on the cecum (which in itself is a blind pouch off the large intestine) gut bacteria can survive there even when we take antibiotics. It’s such a cool little finger/wormy thing that can flip and be in different positions so making the diagnosis of appendicitis tricky.


As I read Betsy’s (great visual) description, I note the appendix a dead-end of sorts, or maybe more like a cul-de-sac. Either way, I imagined it to be a hot-spot where bad bacteria collected. I recall reading different areas of the intestine holding different bacteria due to temperature…or something like that. What is the temperature of the appendix (temperature in the appendix)?

Anyway…I want to keep this post short and sweet…perhaps like the appendix.



I do like the word ileum (i-lee-uhm). When I first hear about it, I wonder exactly where this area that holds B12, sits in the body. Eventually, I learn it is the last section (of the 3 sections) of the small intestine (lower right side, pelvic region) before arriving to the large intestine (whew!).

When drawing the gut, I am in the habit of giving the ileum more attention and playful highlight.

Last year, while researching the GI tract, I find a cross section of it (wow!) and know I will eventually paint it. #Now #HereItIs↓

Ileum comes from the Greek eileos and means tightly twisted. Yes, it certainly appears this way.

Note: The GI tract (also called the alimentary canal) is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube that includes mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine and anus.

Here is my  interpretation of a cross section of the distal intestine AKA the ileum. Imagine that, like a hollow tube, you are looking into it. #AMostCoolPerspective

I may go back in and add a few more shapes (fat cells) around it.

A few things…
The ileum absorbs methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin (2 more fun words) AKA vitamin B12. It also absorbs bile salts.
And…I can’t help but think about the microbes that set up house in there too.

The more I draw out the more I draw in… #ACoolEmptyNotSoEmptySpace