Category: Just For Fun

Virtual Worlds Help Scientists Understand Paranoia

Par­a­noia af­flicts as many as one in three peo­ple, re­search­ers have con­clud­ed based on a study us­ing vir­tu­al real­ity. Sci­en­tists have had trou­ble stu­dying par­a­noia, or ex­ag­ger­at­ed fear of threats from oth­er peo­ple, in con­trolled lab­o­r­a­to­ry set­tings. Re­search­ers have of­ten set­tled in­stead for giv­ing out ques­tion­naires, which can be in­ac­cu­rate. According to Science News, the new in­ves­ti­ga­t­ion sought to solve the prob­lem by put­ting vol­un­teers through a vir­tu­al sub­way or un­der­ground ride to gauge par­a­noid...

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Do You Need a Digital Sabbath To Overcome Information Overload?

In I Need a Virtual Break. No, Really., Mark Bittman of The New York Times writes about his need for an escape from digital overload: “My name is Mark, and I’m a techno-addict…I decided to do something about it. Thus began my “secular Sabbath” — a term I found floating around on blogs — a day a week where I would be free of screens, bells and beeps. An old-fashioned day not only of rest but of...

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Beyond The Issues: Understanding US Presidential Candidates By Viewing Their Campaign Websites

By Zev Winicur, special to Note: In this article, very real-sounding numeric data is presented in an authoritative manner. Be forewarned that the IDQ percentage is completely made up without the benefit of scientific polls. Of course, New Hampshire showed us the utility of scientific polls… Despite the fact that most American’s claim to vote on the issues, I would wager that only about 25% of the voting public chooses a presidential candidate based on the issues alone. I personally include myself in this Issue-Driven Quarter (hereafter known as the IDQ). The members of the IDQ are not swayed by trivialities, such as whether or not the candidate has experience, the candidate exudes leadership, the candidate speaks in simple platitudes, or the candidate would be a fun beer-swilling companion. We want to know what the candidate believes in. We want to know what the candidate is likely to do or not to do if elected. We want to know if the candidate will take money from the rich and give it to the poor – or vice versa. By the time a voter gets to the general election, selecting a candidate should be pretty straightforward. Although the candidates’ political stances may be muddied by election debates, sound bites, or dirty political tricks, most candidates follow their party’s ideologies so closely that any voter still claiming to be undecided...

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Cheap Labor: Your Replacement Just Might Be A Primate

If you’ve been worried you’ll be replaced by overseas competition, think again. You’re biggest competitor may just be a baboon. Humans and higher primates are a lot alike. Not only do we share approximately 97% of the same DNA, we also share the ability to program in Visual Basic. Recent research in primate programming suggests software development is a task that most higher primates can easily perform. Skilled primate labor can allegedly perform code maintenance and report writing for as little as 45 cents (US) per hour. Find out what the folks at Primate Programming Inc. are up to....

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