May 07

Ever had trouble recognising a face? You might be suffering from prosopagnosia. This is an interesting story, even more so when you think about the sheer number of alternative methods this guy must have developed to help him identify people. “If he has brown hair, is tall, speaks with a slight lisp and tends to wave his arms about, it must be Dave.” – the only thing is, what if Dave has changed his hair colour?

It might be unlucky to type about this, but Friday 13th has a fascinating history. Not too sure if I buy the bit about people being more unlucky or stressed on the day though: is the day making them stressed and more likely to have an accident, or are they just stressed because it happens to be Friday 13th? Mind you whenever I don’t want to tempt fate I tend to say “touch wood” (settle down at the back there, this isn’t that kind of story!) so I don’t suppose I can be too quick with the comments on this one.

Good acting skills can help when you’re playing poker. This I can buy, because so much of the game is either hiding your reaction to what’s in front of you, or building up an impression of your hand in other people’s minds so as to make it easier to nudge them in the direction you want to go. Since I’ve started to get into poker I’m enjoying reading about it more and more, and I find Wil Wheaton’s style of writing about the game both accessible and enjoyable. I wouldn’t want to be sitting across a table from him though – I like to keep my shirt when I play.

Fantastic weather in central Scotland the other night, it really was…thunder, lightning and the heaviest rain I’ve seen for a long time. I was out walking with my better half when it started, and ended up walking up Buchanan street soaked to the skin, laughing like a loon. When it’s raining that heavily there’s no point running to the car or the nearest cover – if you do that you’ll just end up soaked to the skin and out of breath. Might as well walk normally and just enjoy the feeling of the rain hammering into you. Turns out some people also got excellent pictures of the weather.

The worrying thing is, I think I would buy some of these products. Sideways books for reading in bed? KISS fragrance? Doggie thongs? iPod vibrators? Edible garden spray? Penis stretchers? Well okay maybe all of them, but it’s great to see that there are such inventive minds out there. I’m still intrigued as to the thought process for the doggie thong though – I don’t know about you but I would loved to have seen the eureka moment for that one. “People like thongs, people like dogs…hang on, I think I might have something here!”

Earn virtual money in an online game, and then turn it into money you can use in the real world. Does this mean that the line is becoming blurred between one’s virtual life and real life? It’s becoming more and more common now for people to have online identities quite distinct from their “real life” selves, but what happens when that online identity becomes a source of income? Might it be possible to become more online persona and less real life person? Is there a difference, if both allow for communication, interaction, earning and work?

Democracy sometimes works in odd ways, but seldom odder than what happened here (and in case you don’t believe me, here’s another take on the matter). I eagerly await the day when the U.S. Presidential debates are replaced with rock-paper-scissors tournaments, or a winner takes all game of Tetris. Of course that would just be for you uncultured Americans, over here we would try to be a little more restrained and just have our Prime Ministerial candidates wrestle in jelly.

We had a ring? Really? Blimey those cold war scientists were a clever bunch. If only we could take all that ingenuity and channel it to more useful ends than screwing the other guy.

There is a scene in an episode of Family Guy where Chris, the son, is exposed to some mathematics and ends up lying on the floor sucking his thumb in terror. While I’m not quite so math-phobic as the Griffin boy, I did find some of this one hard going. Interesting stuff, and another example of where you can end up when you click a few links and get distracted on the web.

Every time I see a story like this one I feel just like that dorky kid in “Galaxy Quest”. Rounds off with a final space story and a cool picture of a spaceship – what more can you ask for really?

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