Tag Archives: University of Texas

Brain Drain: Charley Whitman’s brain is missing!

Most of you won’t remember Charley Whitman’s shooting spree off the Texas Tower.  And most of you also won’t remember Kinky Friedman’s song about it.

Hells bells, most of you aren’t going to be impressed the ex-Marine, ex-Eagle Scout’s brain is wandering around somewhere unaccounted for.    We’re not talking about Dr. Wossname, Frankenscense here.  These are the times that clone men’s souls if we don’t keep close track of where they get off to.

Leave it to the University of Texas to lose the only brain with any historical significance ever to set foot on the damned campus:

About 100 brains missing from University of Texas

Associated Press
6 hrs ago
The University of Texas at Austin is missing about 100 brains — about half of the specimens the university had in a collection of brains preserved in jars of formaldehyde. © Nick Koudis/Getty The University of Texas at Austin is missing about 100 brains — about half of the specimens the university had in a collection of brains preserved in jars of formaldehyde. The University of Texas at Austin is missing about 100 brains — about half of the specimens the university had in a collection of brains preserved in jars of formaldehyde.

One of the missing brains is believed to have belonged to clock tower sniper Charles Whitman.

“We think somebody may have taken the brains, but we don’t know at all for sure,” psychology Professor Tim Schallert, co-curator of the collection, told the Austin American-Statesman (http://bit.ly/11R7vym ).

His co-curator, psychology Professor Lawrence Cormack, said, “It’s entirely possible word got around among undergraduates and people started swiping them for living rooms or Halloween pranks.”

The Austin State Hospital had transferred the brains to the university about 28 years ago under a “temporary possession” agreement. Schallert said his psychology lab had room for only 100 brains, so the rest were moved to the basement of the university’s Animal Resources Center.

“They are no longer in the basement,” Cormack said.

The university said in a statement that it will investigate “the circumstances surrounding this collection since it came here nearly 30 years ago” and that it’s “committed to treating the brain specimens with respect.” It says the remaining brain specimens on campus are used “as a teaching tool and carefully curated by faculty.”

The university’s agreement with the hospital required the school to remove any data that might identify the person from whom the brain came. However, Schallert said Whitman’s brain likely was part of the collection.

“It would make sense it would be in this group. We can’t find that brain,” he said.

Whitman’s 1966 rampage at the University of Texas killed 16 people, including his mother and wife.

The 100 remaining brains at the school have been moved to the Norman Hackerman Building, where they are being scanned with high-resolution resonance imaging equipment, Cormack said.

“These MRI images will be both useful teaching and research tools. It keeps the brains intact,” he told the newspaper.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/about-100-brains-missing-from-university-of-texas/ar-BBggiWW?ocid=ansnewsap11

A brain, though, is a terrible thing to waste.  Hopefully someone out there will make better use of this one than the last two owners.

Old Jules

 

 

The Yin Yang Conspiracy

In 1970, the University of Texas was squared off against itself.  The frats, the student government, the sororities, the administration, the ROTC department, and the cops on the one side, and us on the other.

The Vets against the Vietnam War, the Wobblies (IWW), the Panthers, the Young Socialistist Alliance (Trotskyite), the RYM2 (Revolutionary Youth Movement faction of the Students for a Democratic Society), Weathermen (the other, more interesting side of the SDS), and hundreds of other splinter groups were taking a fair beating, though we had the numbers.

I was in the middle of all that, writing for the alternative newspaper, the RAG, and trying to get an education dovetailed with sex, drugs and Rock and Roll with helping organize an occasional riot, march or rally thrown in for good measure.

That’s when we invented the Yin Yang Conspiracy.  An ad hoc political party.  We ran a longhair named Jeff Jones for student body president, and we threw the bastards out, lock stock and fraternity pin.  Lordee we thought we’d done something fierce, beating the system that way.  Hot diggedy-damn.

Anyway, this blog entry is in memory of that microscopic triumph among people who had in common only that they opposed the War. 

The Yin Yang Conspiracy.  A tiny piece of winning the Vietnam War by bringing the troops home.  Winning the easy way.  Coming out in the open, looking those cops, those stay-at-home flag-waving patriots in the eye through their riot masks, and saying, “Enough is enough!”

We learned a lot.  Surveillance, provocateurs, intimidations probably weren’t so pervasive in those days.  No yes-man Congress had passed a Patriot Act, so we still had some rights and protections under the US Constitution.   It would be a tougher gig today.

But, if that was now we’d be doing it again.  We’d be working in both, subtle and overt ways to bring those boys home.

Trying to get them out of there before too many more get all shot up and crippled up and be completely forgotten by the patriots who are waving flags back home.

Old Jules

Country Joe McDonald – I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag http://youtu.be/3W7-ngmO_p8

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