Boundary Waters Canoe Area (Minnesota, USA)

“The BWCA is a pristine wilderness and a canoeist’s paradise in north-eastern Minnesota. It has over 1,500 miles of canoe routes and more than 1,000 lakes and streams. It has been largely unaltered by human hands since the 1930′s, and is today an official wilderness. You can plan a canoe route to “get away from it all” and never see another group for most of your trip, or you can…

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What is to Blame for Youth Violence?: The Media, Guns, Parenting, Poverty, Bad Programs, Or?

“There are dozens of well-designed studies that show that TV, movies and other media affect what viewers believe and how they behave. This is true of many different kinds of attitudes and behaviors – positive and negative – but many studies conclusively show a statistical link between watching violent programs and behaving aggressively. And, of course, billions of dollars have been spent on media advertising because it is well established…

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'Sims Online' Gives Creators a Painful Reality Check

“But after being heralded on the cover of Newsweek and on ’60 Minutes,’ the $25-million ‘Sims Online’ has turned into an expensive letdown for Redwood City, Calif.-based EA. Sales are sluggish, reviews have been merciless, and many in the video game industry wonder whether online games will ever find a large following.” Alex Pham –‘Sims Online’ Gives Creators a Painful Reality CheckLA Times) A Slashdot poster sums it up well:…

Fantasy Economics

“The kicker for economists is that these virtual economic relationships have broken into the real U.S. economy. When players found EverQuest’s bartering rules inadequate, they started exchanging the armor, spells, and other Norrathian objects of value at real-world auction sites. These transactions are conducted not in Norrathian PP but in U.S. dollars and then completed between avatars inside the game. (You pay in dollars at a real-world site, then the…

Genetics: Why Prince Charles is So Wrong

“The genetic code is truly digital, in exactly the same sense as computer codes. This is not some vague analogy, it is the literal truth. Moreover, unlike computer codes, the genetic code is universal. Modern computers are built around a number of mutually incompatible machine languages, determined by their processor chips. The genetic code, on the other hand, with a few very minor exceptions, is identical in every living creature…

Utah Bowled Over by Meteor Plan

“In a milestone of scientific eccentricity, local astronomers have announced that they want to simulate the behaviour of falling meteorites by dropping bowling balls from aircraft – though the plan has gone down like a lead spaceship with government officials.” –Utah Bowled Over by Meteor Plan Observer)