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The Being John Malkovich Effect

Sure, blogging can serve as a corrective to the ideological blind spots and commercial orientation of the corporate media monopoly, Fact Checking Their Asses and Working the Ref and restoring some semblance of balance in the absence of the Fairness Doctrine. But bloggers who want to remedy what ails the corporate McMedia monopoly should grab a clue from Chris Allbritton and haul their larval, jack-studded flesh up out of their…

Study: Watching Fewer Than Four Hours of TV A Day Impairs Ability To Ridicule Pop Culture

A Columbia University study released Tuesday suggests that viewing fewer than four hours of television a day severely inhibits a person’s ability to ridicule popular culture. “An hour or two of television per day simply does not provide enough information to effectively mock mediocre sitcoms, vapid celebrities, music videos, and talk-show hosts?an essential skill in modern society,” said Dr. Madeleine Ben-Ami, a professor of cognitive science and chief author of…

Academics give lessons on blogs

Until a few months ago, the attention paid to web logs, or blogs, focused mainly on politics and the media business. However, many in academia followed the web-diary of Salam Pax, the famous Baghdad blogger during the build-up to the war in Iraq. Now, the technology that has been an alternative source of news to many academics is being incorporated more fully into university life. Blogs are giving departments, staff…

E for Everyone — A Call for Interdisciplinary Studies

In many cases, children’s literature and game studies are growing in non-traditional ways by including an emphasis on the culture of their readers and players. As two emerging fields, children’s literature and game studies have more in common than the two fields realize. –Taylor and Martin –E for Everyone – A Call for Interdisciplinary Studies (IGDA) See also the brisk discussion launched by Nick Montfort on Grand Text Auto.

Gladiators fought for thrills, not kills

To amuse the crowds around the arena the gladiators would display broad fighting skills rather than fight for their lives, argues archaeologist Steve Tuck of the University of Miami. “Gladiatorial combat is seen as being related to killing and shedding blood,” he says. “But I think that what we are seeing is an entertaining martial art that was spectator-oriented.” –Gladiators fought for thrills, not kills (New Scientiest)

Online Activities & Pursuits

Only 38% of users are aware of the distinction between paid or “sponsored” results and unpaid results. And only one in six say they can always tell which results are paid or sponsored and which are not. This finding is ironic, since nearly half of all users say they would stop using search engines if they thought engines were not being clear about how they presented paid results. –Online Activities…