Wednesday, April 25, 2012


This week is the AAN (American Academy of Neurology) annual meeting in New Orleans.

For neurologists, this is THE event. To outsiders, it is the largest collection of neurogeeks in the world.

This is where the majority of the participants registered with NCC-1701 as their password. Where you'll find people who don't know their kids' names, but can lovingly identify every structure on an axial slice of the pons. And where you'll find the last 5 people on Earth who wear bow ties to work.

I wasn't invited (they're angry at me for revealing our darkest secret), but I do have a spy there, sending me pictures with a camera cleverly disguised as a phone.

Agent SMOD took this picture in the exhibit hall:

It's a company that makes gadgets to measure nerve thickness at the back of the eye. So they have giant round screens surrounding the booth showing huge eyes. Big Brother is watching you spill coffee on the sales reps.

These things only reaffirm that neurology was the right specialty choice for me. Because my first thought was how much it reminded me of this image:

What would Frodo, do?

Or perhaps this one:

I'm sorry, Dave. We're out of Diet Coke.

(If you don't recognize the movies, ask a neurologist. If you can't find one, they'll be back from New Orleans next week).


Anonymous said...

I love HAL! I refuse to get an iphone with Siri because it doesn't sound like HAL and ALL computers should sound like HAL, lol.

Officer Cynical said...

The bottom image is easy ("Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?"). I think I saw the top image in a porno once, but I can't place it right now.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Yeah, I realized it looked like a porn shot, too.

Unfortunately, it was the only LOTR Eye of Sauron shot I could find that was for public domain use, and I try to avoid lawyers (except for my Dad).

Neuroscience PhD said...

Don't forget the Society for Neuroscience, which attracts 30000+ geeks from all over the world. You can tell they're scientists because they wear their nametags on the way to and from the convention, as well as to dinner and the zoo. Some of them even wear shorts with black dress socks and shoes.

Shame on anyone who doesn't recognize HAL (take a stress pill, Dave) or the eye of Sauron. Please turn in your geek badge, you're being evicted from our secret club.

Anonymous said...





Packer said...

Wow, a camera disguised as a cell phone. I would love to get one of those.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised nobody pointed out that the font used on Heidelberg's sign is a Star Trek font (or at least "inspired by" it).

Anonymous said...

I'm here at the meeting as a first year med student, and I have to - you are so right. I was convinced within the first hour that I am completely surrounded by the nerdiest people in the world. Who have the social skills to match! I am incredibly adorified. I can't wait until I get to join these ranks someday :)

Andy Syms said...

When the opthamologist told me I needed a HRT test I nearly responded that I wasn't a menopausal female!!!

Ignatius J. Reilly said...

Any mongoloid who fails to recognize the penetrating gaze of Hroswitha should be flogged.

Hungarican Chick said...

"I'm sorry Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."

Long live geeks! Even doctory ones. Even mere green-collar non-reflex hammer toting peons such as myself would think that gigantic eyeball thingamabob is beyond cool. YAY!

Anonymous said...

geek bonus point:
in what classic book/ or alternatively name author / is kitten named "pixel" >>?

(in memory of my pixel)

Anonymous said...

And of course the Jared's commercial. I have always wondered how many people caught the HAL tie in.

RehabNurse said...


Aw, darn. You never go to those neuro meetings! How are you EVER going to meet the crazy one I work with?!

BTW he's not holding the hammer thing against you...he thinks his BlackBerry is a GREAT hammer. ('cause he's so cheap and because I couldn't find a Mexican Coke bottle before the last appointment).


thethingspatientssay said...

Our dermatologists are the bow-tie wearing ones here. Guess they didn't get the memo.

Anonymous said...

Bowties? I thought those belonged to the pathologists, so the ends wouldn't mess with their slide preps.

Anonymous said...

I wear a bowtie to work.
That way my cusomers who don't know my name can refer to me as "that asshole wearing the bowtie".

LadybugAu said...

My inner geek just went *squee*

I had no idea neurodocs were geeks. I would never have guessed from the couple I work with. Its their self righteous belief they are better than the rest of us mere mortals that threw me. I might give one the Vulcan greeting and see what happens.

History Doc said...

Obviously, my four boys should have chosen neurology over engineering, because engineering isn't geeky enough.

Maya Resnikoff said...

Anonymous- Robert Heinlein's "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls", although Pixel also appears in several of his other books (e.g. "To Sail Beyond the Sunset", "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress").

Also- I see a decent number of clergy members, particularly ones who sing, who wear bow ties... You are not alone.

Anonymous said...

ANONNY, Debka is right, it's RAH, and Pixel appears in several books.

Yes, the reporter has her inner geek on. A whole convention of geeks. Gotta be better than an anime convention, TrekCon or SCA gathering.

Reds Kevin said...

Camera disguised as a phone, surely a neurologist knows what is a camera phone right?

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