I’ve been meaning to get around to commenting on Cecil’s “new evidence” on decapitated heads being aware of their fate:

I’d like to respectfully suggest that people in the midst of a horror do not make the best eyewitnesses. For example, after earthquakes, people in 7-11’s will say that there were waves 3 ft high in the concrete floor, whereas the 7-11 surveillence camera shows no such thing. I would think that watching a friend being decapitated would be very traumatic, even for Army veterans.

Karen Lingel, Physicist and Penguinist

Karen, as a learned physicist I’m rather surprised you weren’t aware of the documentation surrounding the phenomenon you cited (exaggeration of observations inside convenience stores during traumatic events).

It’s known in the literature as the Slurpee Effect.

I’ve also had my doubts about this column. I get dizzy if I stand up too fast, which I assume is due to lowered blood pressure. When your head is chopped off, your blood pressure instantly goes to zero, and I would assume you would also instantly become unconscious.