The Next Generation

The next generation of viral marketers is educated. What is facinating to me is that I remember hearing about a similar meme (“hi, we’re a 6th grade class from a flyover state, send this email as far as you can!”) happening a couple of years ago, and generating so much traffic to the school’s email server that their service provider pulled the plug (archived at snopes)

What is it about 6th graders that makes them just oh-so-irresistable? This is definitely unexplored memetic territory. Who’s more virulent, 3rd graders, or 6th graders? An orphanage from a third world country?

They’re all garbage

My social networks professor Keith Hampton was qutoed today dissing the current lot of Internet studies. He thinks that studies showing that Internet use causes people to be lonely and disconnected (e.g. the Pew Internet Study, Nie et al. and Kraut et al.) are “all garbage.”

I couldn’t agree more. Just look at their methodologies, and you’ll find holes bigger than the grand canyon. No make that the Marianas Trench. Anyway, let’s just say they won’t stand the test of time.

Conditioning Cameron

One time when I was drunk, and therefore vulnerable, a group of my friends made me eat a spoonful of vegemite for only $3. Okay, to tell the truth, I proposed the bet, and $3 was the most I could drum up (including a measly $1 from the only Australian contingent, who deserves to have paid more, knowing full well what happens when a person is drunk and involved in a vegemite eating contest). Maybe there’s some reason to the slogan “made in Australia, by Australians, for Australians,” because my digestive track sure isn’t optimized for processing a spoonful of the tasty yeast excrement. I vowed never to be so stupid while drunk again.

This weekend I found myself on familiar territory, asking a similarly inebriated audience how much it was worth for me to take one (1) bite out of the largest onion I’d ever seen. Onions, unlike vegemite, are something that I quite enjoy, but despite the fact that I worked the crowd for more than $15, I stepped down, proving that humans, like dogs, can learn from their experiences. Of course, I’m aware that there are some negative examples as well.

Science goes overtime into penalty kicks

Scientists are helping coaches, keepers and penalty takers minimize the randomness of penalty kicks, which are the key to success in tournaments.

A penalty-taker will try to disguise where he is going to kick the ball. But it’s hard to hide one’s intentions completely. In the fraction of a second before they kick the ball, penalty-takers can betray themselves with the angle of their kicking foot, or by how they plant their standing leg. A good goalkeeper, perhaps instinctively, seems to know this.
Once a penalty-taker’s standing foot hits the ground, a goalkeeper has about half a second to decode the clues from leg positioning, come to a decision about which way the ball will go, and get there. Simple.

Nearly there…

I feel like I’m the federation pilot on the verge of shooting my torpedo down the exhaust vent of the almost-completed Death Star…

“Almost there . . . Almost there . . . 10 more pages to go . . .”

Of course I’ll dud on this one, have to come back around as Luke Skywalker and finish another 20 page paper for my Community and Social Networks class by Friday. Then I’ll crack open a High Life and watch the fireworks with the rest of my buddies back at Star Command Central, or whatever they call it. Me and my buds, drinkin’ the High Life. Ahhh.. blowin’ up Death Stars. Drinkin’ the High Life… &;… not drinkin’ High Life… back to the grind.

Cradle to Cradle

A story on OnPoint tonight, a story about William McDonough’s preaching environmentalism beyond recycling. In his new book Cradle to Cradle with co-author Michael Braungart, McDonough predicts another industrial revolution where materials move beyond the “cradle-to-grave” paradigm, where resources are created with their demise in mind. Recycling can perpetuate the life of a milk bottle, but it has an inevitable resting place somewhere in a landfill.

Their company, McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry is trying to create products that have a natural place of reuse in nature, i.e. biological recycling. Edible grocery bags, shoe soles and tires that fertilize as they wear away. Oh, and flying pigs too.