A Mind is a Terrible Thing – Or What My Brain Just Farted Out

For reasons that I cannot even begin to understand, my brain sent a hypothetical Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup back to the 1950s. When my brain brought it back to the present time, it was singing:

Who put the ram in the bop shoo bop shoo bop?
Who put the bop in the ram a lam a ding dong?

What is wrong with brains? Why can’t we control them? Why do they think of such shit?

Hopefully, by putting this here, I can get that lousy song and the spoonerism my brain created of the lyrics out of my brain. I doubt it. But, it’s worth a try. More likely, I have just infected your brain. Sorry about that Chief. (I can’t find a normal Get Smart clip of this, only songs based on it.)

To keep the record straight, I should say that my brain first did the spoonerism (if it is valid to call this a spoonerism) then created the back story behind it based on the old Reese’s commercials.

Oh, and please don’t mention that the song in question is actually from 1961 (I googled). My brain might explode. Or, perhaps that would be a good thing.

In case anyone has been fortunate enough not to have heard the song in question before, listen at your own risk.


10 Responses to A Mind is a Terrible Thing – Or What My Brain Just Farted Out

  1. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    I’ve had Katy Perry’s “Roar” stuck in my mind the last few weeks… which is ok since I like it. 50% for the her song, and 50% because for some reason I immediately envision Shania Twain singing “I’m Glad I’m a Woman”…… and so am I (regardless of her sexual orientation).

    Here is a GREAT song to have stuck in your mind:

    ((and it is just a good tie with about 3 other of theirs)).

    But to your question: I don’t know.

  2. Accremonious says:

    What you are describing are intrusive thoughts coming out of memory storage into your current consciousness. Remembering is a non linear function, but an associative function where one memory triggers other memories, often unrelated, but occurring adjacently in the past! Why, I have no idea, but that is how the brain is wired.
    What bugs me is intrusive thought memories popping into my consciousness with out any apparent or noticeable associative stimulus!
    How do animals like the lesser Apes, and other Simians brains function regards memory function? Probably this is the subject of numerous PhD theses!

  3. Intelligent conversation!! Thanks to both of you. I have no idea what I was expecting from this post. Intelligent conversation would not have been my guess. So, it’s a pleasant surprise. Now I’m glad I posted this otherwise very silly post.

    I don’t really know Katy Perry or Shania Twain. For me, the music started in about 1963 and ended somewhere around 1988. I’ll listen later. I have to go out for a bit now.

    Accremonious, I’ve read a lot about the brain and been to a number of general audience science lectures on the subject. I’ve not heard this worded as you have just worded it. But, that sounds consistent with most of what I have heard.

    I’d also add that there is no one clear “control center” to the brain. So, to think of the self gets difficult in our compartmentalized brains. We like to imagine that there is sort of one constant thread of consciousness. But, the many modules of the brain are all working both together and independently. That they work independently allows for such things as optical illusions, especially the kind where you know the illusion and it still looks off, such as the two lines with arrows facing in opposite directions. Even when you know the lines are the same length, they still look different. So, you have two different modules feeding you conflicting information. That’s why the illusion works. As Neil deGrasse Tyson says, they’re not illusions. They’re brain failures.

    Regarding other apes, I assume they’d be far more similar to us than different. When you say lesser, do you mean gibbons and siamangs specifically? Or, are you talking about all other apes, including the other great apes (chimps, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans)? I don’t think this would change my answer. I’m just curious because lesser ape has meaning as the apes not in the taxa hominoidia (I think that’s the right taxa for the great apes including humans). But, in context, I think you probably mean all other apes. I just want to be clear. Either way, it’s good to know that you do recognize humans as apes. Some people, and many dictionaries, still define the word ape to mean non-human ape, which is silly and ignores our descent.

    I’m sure there are many more PhD theses to be written about all animal brains, human and non-human. I just saw a blurb that lizards and frogs are much more intelligent than previously thought. I haven’t read the article yet.

    • Accremonious says:

      -music started in the 19 teens, and ended in the late 1940’s for me
      -this wording is how I view it, and it was spontaneous
      -lessor apes meaning all but Homo stupidous [The Naked Ape by ? C.R. Lewis!]
      -birds have recently been recognized as having far more intelligence than previously thought….especially Crows. The work at Seattle and Vancouver universities have astounding videos including tool making!
      -what is actually happening in dreams especially interests me…the obvious lack of reality that occurs, and the sometimes association with what happened in recent previous hours/days, while other dreams are of no apparent connection. Plus still even other dreams relate back to events / experiences decades ago! What is the difference between dreams, day dreams, and rational hypothetical thoughts?
      -why do tunes, jingles, frequently repeated noises, imprint in our memories? Band members can after numerous practices and performances play certain pieces of music eyes closed completely by heart [maybe that should read brain!] It has been shown that young children who are taught music and develop to a certain level are much better at their school studies in math and science. What is this telling us?
      -visual scenes that are frequently repeated in daily life are assumed will be repetitive until the mind suddenly notices that an accident is about to happen…the visual pattern is suddenly disrupted by the unexpected, and the mind kicks into a higher level of consciousness or focus!
      -what constitutes intelligence [in all meanings of this word!] I would have to venture that there are many levels and degrees there of!

      • Good stuff in there. I’ll only comment on a small subset because I have little to add on the rest.

        -birds have recently been recognized as having far more intelligence than previously thought….especially Crows. The work at Seattle and Vancouver universities have astounding videos including tool making!

        Yes. Crows have not only been observed making tools in the wild, but when the results are a particularly good tool, they will cache it for later reuse.

        The whole corvid family (crows and jays) are all quite bright. But, only crows (to my knowledge) have gone as far as tool making, use, and even reuse.

        African grey parrots are also amazing. Check out Alex.


        And, for anecdotal evidence of a more human type of intelligence, i.e. a sick sense of humor, check out this less-than-scientific story of Bongo Marie.


        Other birds I know of that are reputed to be of high intelligence are all members of the parrot family, especially the African greys mentioned above and the Kea in New Zealand. The latter is more mischievous, liking to steal shiny objects, as well as being incredibly playful. I’ve personally seen adult keas rolling around on a lawn playing like kittens.

        The striated cara cara, in the hawk family, is also quite smart and also has a reputation for being mischievous, like tearing a campsite to shreds.

        / experiences decades ago! What is the difference between dreams, day dreams, and rational hypothetical thoughts?

        I can’t really say. Off the top of my head, so to speak, I’d say that dreams are less controlled and an order of magnitude or more farther from reality. Daydreams and rational hypothetical thoughts are both forms of mental masturbation. The former is, for me, more of a form of being distracted. The latter can be anything from deliberate entertainment, not far from what we’re doing now, except done alone, to an actual problem solving approach of imagining solutions to some given problem.

        The game of solving problems is one of the reasons I didn’t hate my job. When it came to such puzzles of solving business problems using technology as the tool, I was often entertained. Unfortunately, that aspect of the job actually declined over the years, rather than increasing as one would expect with seniority. But, in my later career, it seemed that the business people were trying to distance themselves to ever greater extents from the technical staff. I believe this resulted in far worse code and product.

        I worked once with a woman who found debugging to be the best part of the game of programming. She loved treating each bug as a mystery to be solved.

        Still other geeks just love the whole process of writing code and find that to be a game in and of itself, working with new technology, getting the computer to stand up and beg, metaphorically.

        The simplest definition would be the sort of circular logic inherent in the definition of MAMBIT (Mental Abilities Measured By Intelligence Tests). There is good reason to simply use this as the definition and then use some other word for real smarts. The “real smarts” word would also imply logical thinking, critical thinking, veridical thinking and a host of other teachable skills not included on IQ and other IQ proxy tests.

        Unfortunately, as we have done here, using intelligence to include all sorts of other thinking skills is way too common to change all of a sudden. In MAMBIT terms, George W. Bush was very intelligent. However, what he lacked was logical, critical, and veridical thinking skills, at the very least. So, even though some article I read quoted his IQ score at an estimated 125, he was clearly an idiot.

        Memory is a whole separate topic. Not only is the initial storing of the event quite interesting in terms of what we remember and how involved the hippocampus and amygdala are in determining what gets stored, but so is the act of taking out a memory, replaying it and storing it back.

        Yes. Storing it back.

        Apparently, the research of which I’m aware seems to point quite strongly to the idea that replaying memories is not non-invasive. Each time we recall something, we store it back when we’re done, overwriting the initial memory. When it is rewritten, it is sometimes modified, either subtly or sometimes significantly. This is one of the many reasons that eyewitness testimony ranks as one of the worst forms of evidence despite its prominent use in court cases.

        Hmm… I lied. I commented on a significant subset and had rather a lot to add. Seems my -v switch is always on. (-v in most unix commands means turn on verbose output … like this.)

  4. That lizard article wasn’t. It was actually a video on the New York Times site. Here it is.


  5. ECA says:

    I am in chat with friends all day long, and 2 of us are over 50..and we go random on the youngsters…
    Old shows, songs, and Strange happenings..
    really get those youngsters upset with us..

  6. The Expulsion Of Gods says:

    Hi there!

    According to (Wikipedia) “the cerebral cortex, especially the frontal lobes, which are associated with (executive functions) such as self-control, planning, reasoning, and abstract thought.” I would say is the (central processing unit) of the brain, right? Maybe?
    Just my opinion, of course.

  7. Yeah. Close enough. The real problem is that it leaves the human brain’s CPU as most of the human brain.

    Also, in the case of the human brain, the cerebral cortex is not a single unit. We have lots of bits that make up “executive function”.

    Even the four major areas listed here can be broken down into many modules for specialized tasks such as language, speech, facial recognition, etc.


    Here’s a bit more of a breakdown, but still doesn’t show the function of each of these parts. Sorry, I’m having trouble finding a functional breakdown.


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