Daily Snapshots

A daily sampling of unique images from The Sydney Morning Herald‘s award-winning photographers. These are not “what’s in the news” kinds of photos, but more artistic ones that do involve current happenings, but more in the lifestyle line than hard news. Consider using hypothetical questions with students: if you were from another world and saw only these sample images of earthlings, what would you think about them?

Video games & brain’s response

The New Scientist reported recently on a new study of links between playing viloent video games and subsequent agression. Quoting from the article, “A brain mechanism that may link violent computer games with aggression has been discovered by researchers in the US.The New Scientist The work goes some way towards demonstrating a causal link between the two – rather than a simple association.” Of particular interest are the findings related to EEG measurements after compensation for participants’ pre-existing tendency to violence. According to lead researcher, psychologist Bruce Bartholow from the University of Missouri-Columbia,

“As far as I’m aware, this is the first study to show that exposure to violent games has effects on the brain that predict aggressive behaviour.”

The point is not to “just say no” to video games but to empower children to do the hard work of making choices. Another, comprehensive analysis of related research is in the aNew3Rs.com database (or go to it directly: Violent Video Games: Myths, Facts, and Unanswered Questions).

Wikipedia vs. Britannica

WikipediaIn its article Internet encyclopaedias go head to head, Nature magazine’s online version compared 50 entries from the websites of Wikipedia and the Encyclopaedia Britannica. They chose subjects that represented a broad range of scientific disciplines. All entries were chosen to be approximately the same length in both encyclopaedias. Each pair of entries was sent to an expert for peer review. The reviewers, who were not told which article was which, were asked to look for three types of inaccuracy: factual errors, critical omissions and misleading statements.

Of eight “serious errors�? the reviewers found – including misinterpretations of important concepts – four came from each source, the journal reported.

A list of the peer-reviewed encyclopedia entries reveals 162 and 123 flaws in Wikipedia and Britannica, respectively.

Who goes to Wikipedia for “the right answer�? anyway? Aren’t we interested in seeing what the current thinking is on a subject, not the “Truth?�?

The New Age of the Music Video

MTV as iTunes VideoThe New York Times ran an article today (I Screen, You Screen…) stating how music videos have evolved from the exclusive domain of MTV to a more suitable delivery method on the Internet. This is essentially recapping how things like YAHOO – Launch, myspace.com and iTunes Music store now allow music lovers to watch “Whateverâ€? videos they want “Whenever, Wherever.â€? A few choice quotes:

“Online, you can superserve the audience,â€? he says.

I couldn’t resist the “SuperSize Meâ€? analogy to this new phrase: “superserve.â€? See if it becomes a buzzword.

Another little quote tossed in :

Dave Goldberg, general manager of Yahoo! Music, adds, “Not counting porn, music video is clearly the most popular video content online.â€?

Like, “Oh, by the way…â€? And then there are the staggering number of music video viewers: “Visitors to the Yahoo site watch more than 350 million videos per month.â€? And so porn would be MORE popular than this? And we will all get it Whenever, Wherever we want? On phones? On mp3 players? PSPs? Does anyone feel that our red-blooded, appropriately hormone-charged teens are at risk? And of course, music videos never use sexual imagery or inuendo to entice youth into the Candy Shop…

The best alternative to “Amusing ourselves to deathâ€? is the “Joy of Learning.â€? And this is where we come in.

%d bloggers like this: