Kotaku, a video game new site, ran an article by Chris Person, discussing an episode by television journalist Katie Couric. The article examines how journalism can be used to steer your perceptions of an event through techniques and words. In this case it was used to create fear that video games will some how ruin children’s lives. Sadly not all journalism is going to be as blatant as this episode of Katie was.
The only real safeguard against this type of journalism is critical thinking. Is reading, watching, or listening, then thinking about if what you’ve taken in matches what you know, what you can reason out, and even if it does or doesn’t dig a little deeper into whatever its sources might be, before you internalize it as a “truth”. This requires effort. You’re not going to succeed every time. The other way is to try to find trusted sources of news and information, but make sure they earn your trust.
We life in the Information Age now and while that gives us all sorts of awesome things, it should require us to be a responsible consumer of all that information.
Ever wonder what happens when you wring out a wet wash cloth in space? Neither did I but the answer was still fun to watch!
The author of Dresden Codak, inspired of the Video Game Tropes vs Women series, decided to design a Legend of Zelda story idea with Zelda as the primary character, and it sounds awesome.
Aaron, the creator of Dresden Codak, does a little bit more than just make a cover but also goes as far as to describe and draw the main characters (Zelda, Prince Link, and Ganndorf) and explain the mythology of Hyrule, and layout the items and magic that Zelda has access to.
I mention that this would be a game I’d love to play. It isn’t just because it is Zelda in her own game. That’s actually beside the point. It is the gameplay described in the details of the game. Weapons, magic, enemies, and the plot all sound very compelling in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional third person video game. The plot could be re-written to be a completely original set of characters for all that it matters, if the gameplay is solid.
Stranded in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, a man sets in motion an unlikely plan to protect the precious cargo he carries: his infant daughter.
Directed by Ben Howling & Yolanda Ramke
Produced by Ben Howling, Yolanda Ramke, Marcus Newman, Daniel Foeldes
Guess what? Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search – Part 1 is headed to stores and available for purchase from comic shops right now!
For those of you who haven’t seen Avatar: The Last Airbender, today is your lucky day! Go watch all of it right now! For our non-US readers, the show is call Avatar: The Legend of Aang outside the US. After that you you’ll get to watch the sequel series Avatar: Legend of Korra and read the last graphic novel Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise (Parts 1,2, and 3)! So much to catch up on and it is so worth it, because one of everybody’s major questions from the first series is finally about to be answered, or at least starting to be answered, since The Search will have 3 parts just like The Promise.
The co-creator of the show, Mike DiMartino, has posted an article advertising the release of the comic. In it he shares his fears about releasing this story. It’s been four and a half years since the conclusion of Avatar: The Last Airbender with this major question hanging over our heads. People have been fantasizing what the answer might be. Will this comic answer it satisfactorily or will things go the way of Lost? It’s a creator’s dilemma and if you know what question I’m talking about, I recommend reading the article here.
Medicare is considering shutting down an experimental program they’ve been running for years that cuts cost to over eighty percent of medicare users while improving their lives and health. In the above article, Ezra Klein explains a company called Health Quality Partners has been receiving from medicare will have their funding cut, despite having scientific and statistical proof that their program, which aids people with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart problems, and much more, is both successful and more than cost-effective.
The program involves personal care by a nurse, once a month to once a week, depending on the person and the chronic illness. It isn’t a radical or new idea but it is a highly effective one. People have known this for years. The rich have private nurses and even private doctors. Home treatment and a personal relationship with a health care professional allows for far more effective medicine to be administered. People who are intimidated and rushed by our hospital system are more relaxed and open in their own homes, but what is the most surprising and interesting is that it is proven to be cost-effective in the long run.
Ezra says that Medicare management is taking away HQP’s funding due to concerns that it is not easily scaled to a national system and also by pretending that they doesn’t have the authority to continue or grow the program, which they might. Experts theorize that it might be do to a systemic issue with current healthcare practices, in particular a focus on hospitalizations. Hospitals, when run like a business, create a ton of money. The more people get sick, the more money hospitals make. A system which helps reduce the amount of hospitalizations people need, like HQP, is counter productive to a lot of the people who invest in healthcare, who expect a return on their money.
Speculation but it seems sound. If you’d like more information, the link is above and below. I’m not sure if there is anything we can do, other than talk to politicians of course. I’m not sure if there is anything they can do. Hopefully, if medicare does cut HQP’s funding, that they will find some other way, or some other source of money, to continue their programs.
Myke Cole is an author of books I have never read but heard amazing things about from friends and the internet. I’ve never read anything by him until I read the following blog post about his experience with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. The following are a few excerpts:
I had a hard time admitting it to myself. There was a culture in my line of work, that PTSD was the province of the hard operators, the doorkickers who got into 2–3 firefights every single day. Like most cultures, you bought into it silently, it was simply a thing that was, not worth questioning any more than the law of gravity.
I mean, sure I’d supported certain specialized units, sure I’d been to some funerals, sure there’d been some danger close indirect rounds. Sure I’d had some misgivings about what I was fighting for, what my actions were contributing to. But, I’d seen the ads on AFN, showing young men with gunpowder still on their hands, often fresh off the battlefield, having trembling flashbacks of a firefight where their best friend went down right next to them. THAT was PTSD.
Except, it wasn’t.
Because the truth is, I’ve never heard anyone, medical professional, spiritual leader or otherwise describe the PTSD I know. What I see are people embracing a definition that explains PTSD using the vocabulary of classical pathology. It implies that, like a disease, you can prescribe a course of treatment and fix it.
But, in my experience, PTSD doesn’t get fixed. That’s because it was never about getting shot at, or seeing people die. It was never the snap trauma, the quick moment of action that breaks a person. PTSD is the wages of a life spent in crisis, the slow, thematic build that gradually changes the way the sufferer sees the world. You get boiled by heating the water one degree each hour. By the time you finally succumb, you realize you had no idea it was getting hotter.
Because you kept adjusting.
Because PTSD isn’t a disease, it’s a world view.
Nobody talks about this. Nobody talks about the boredom, the impossibility of finding meaning in 8 hours work in an air-conditioned office after you just spent months working 18 hours a day on a battlefield where your touch altered history. Nobody talks about the surreal experience of trying to remember how you got excited about a book, or clothing, or even a car or house. On the battlefield, in the burning building, the ground trembled, we felt our impact in everything we did, until the world seemed to ripple at our touch. Back home, or off shift, we are suddenly the subject of sympathetic glances, of silly, repetitive questions. The anonymity of the uniform is nothing compared the anonymity of comfort. We drown in it, cut off from what makes it worthwhile for others, unable to carve out a piece of it for ourselves.
Time helps you to shift back, but you never shift back all the way. You develop the dreaded “cop’s eyes,” where you see the potential threat around every corner, where you ask the waiter for the chair with its back to the wall. Where the trust essential to build relationships is compromised, because in the world you live in, everybody is trying to harm someone.
And if you’re a vet, or an EMT, or a cop, or firefighter and you’re reading this, I want you to know that you can’t put the curtain back, but it’s possible to build ways to move forward, to find alternatives to the rush of crisis. There are ways you can matter. There is a way to rejoin the dust of the world, to find your own space on the dance floor.
I know this.
Because I did it, am still doing it, every day.
Don’t give up.
I found this video. It was posted months ago, during the election hype but I didn’t realize that when I watched it. I found it very interesting.
Like all things on the internet, I tried looking into how verifiable correct it is. After all anybody can make a video on the internet, and make up “facts” as they choose. However the video links to several references. The references are all secondary references, but several of those references are from primary references like the Congressional Budget Office, assuming the secondary references aren’t lying. Seems unlikely at this point though.
So I offer you this video on the wealth distribution of the United States of America, circa 2013
I stumbled upon these videos thanks to CGP Grey who hosts wonderful and interesting videos about society in general. I highly suggest watching them.
The following two videos tackle the question of how trees “drink” water. We all know from grade school that trees drink water through their roots. What you might not know is that, thanks to physics, there is a limit to how far water can be sucked upwards through a tube, thanks to gravity and pressure, which is about 10 meters, or around 32 feet. If you’re curious about the science of this limitation, there is a video here by the same guy. The math is explained at the end.
However that is all just background. Over the following two videos, Veritasium is going to take you through the scientific process of discovering how trees drink water, and how trees over thirty two feet manage to get water all the way to their top most leaves. It is well worth watching:
The best part is that both of these characters probably seem incredibly familiar right? I hope they do. One of them is General Grievous (of Star Wars Prequel Fame) as a Japanese school girl. The other is a more obscure but not less lovable character, the human form of the female squirrel from Disney’s The Sword in the Stone animated movie. The randomness of these two characters… I just adore the idea.
Psuedofolio might be most well-known for the online comic Question Duck.