Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What's in a name?

Let's talk about your large intestine. The basic anatomy is pretty simple: a pouch called the cecum at the proximal end, followed by the ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid colons, and finally the rectum. The colon is separated into pouches known as haustra (or haustrations). The pouches form due to contraction of segments of muscle that run lengthwise along the large intestine in three bands (known as teniae coli - pronounced TEE-nee-ee KO-lee). The "churning" occurs when circular muscles (perpendicular to the teniae coli) contract. This smushes the feces around, mashing it against the walls of the intestine. Some of the fecal material will also get squirted a little farther down the intestine.

[The figure is from a nice general Anatomy and Physiology textbook by Tortora and Derrickson, 11th Ed. 2006]

I think that's cool. And, it serves as a nice metaphor for what's likely to go on here: No one should expect much in the way of quality from a blog that is named for a process that churns shit.

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