Monday, March 21, 2005

Computers in Schools

Coming to college after spring break is somewhat easier than it was in high school, but what sucked was the torrential rain on the way to my 11AM class. However, it got sunny soon after class and I swear I could smell flowers on my way up East Mall in the afternoon. I hope I get to go home this weekend for Easter! I'm still looking for a ride though. Anyway, back to the task at hand. A new study has found that high school students do better without computers than with them in schools. It sounds bogus, but they actual took into account confounding variables when they came up with that conclusion. I suppose it shouldn't surprise me because of the vast availability of free online games, but I guess I remember the days when the computer didn't distract me because I didn't chat online much and it was really useful to have Encarta and stuff. I think that the more kids are getting spoiled today the less they're seeing the power of the computer beyond silly things. Buckling down and doing work is a hard thing to learn and when unmonitored on computer I suppose the results could be disastrous. Maybe parents should take a more active role in a child's earlier years in watching over their activity? And maybe we should start a snowfight with the devil as well?

There's a decent amount of other articles in technology today. It's been everywhere that Yahoo has bought Flickr, which reinforces the obvious: Yahoo is trying to augment its planned blogging service, Yahoo 360. Flickr is a service very similar to Hello (from Google) and the software it involves is frighteningly similar to Picasa; what a coincidence. Some dude put up a great blog post with a list of different programs you can load onto your tiny USB drive so that you can take stuff like your bookmarks with you wherever you go. Speaking of being on the go, there's an awesome article here that explains all the pros and cons between getting Napster-to-go or sticking with iTunes to get your music since the $15 a month with the former must be paid every month to keep the music you have. If you have an mp3 player it's a must read. It seems like the new wave in computer security may be hardware-based and someday the trusted platform module may become a standard. This sounds great, but I wonder how long it will be until holes are exploited? Or is it truly flawless? Back to less philosophical topics, learning a language is changing along with the changing face of technology and now you can do much more with relatively inexpensive devices. Lastly, the future of music may be dual layered discs with music on one side and videos on the other. It sounds sweet and it should entice file sharers to purchase the albums.

I'll start off today's movie news segment with the box office report. The winner was The Ring Two with $35 million, which is surprising given the bad reviews it got. I guess moviegoers didn't have many choices though. What's bad is that they think they're doing a good job and so they're considering a third movie. Stop encouraging them, people! I have some good media to share with you all though. If you like kung fu flicks then you'll love Kung Fu Hustle, which I hear good things about and is coming stateside and there are some new clips for. Another great action film that I've mentioned a few times before is Unleashed and FilmForce has a new clip from that movie which is worth a look. There's an anthology film project (a movie directed by multiple directors in distinct pieces) called Eros that is unashamedly about eroticism and desire and it has a new trailer up. I mention it because it's so rare to see a trailer that's actually rated R. The last piece of media is a trailer for the latest offering from master of horror Wes Craven called Red Eye that sounds like a cool thriller. I have some interesting comic book movie news today as well. There's an engaging interview here with director Joss Whendon about Wonder Woman among other things, and what's strange is that the actor he has in mind for the leading role is Morgan Freeman. If you're a fan of Jessica Alba (and who isn't frankly) you'll want to read some of her thoughts on her recent projects. I'll even supplement your reading experience with a picture from her latest photo shoot:

I couldn't resist

A few other things are that there may be a Silver Surfer and/or a Flash movie in the near future. This is becoming like a craze now. Meanwhile, a script for The Punisher 2 is still being banged out. And since I'm on superheros I might as well mention that Hugh Jackman is doing some strange independent work but will be in at least one more kind of X-men movie. And finally, a couple of Sin City items. Rodriguez may do a sequel if the current one does well so everyone go out and see it please! There's another review of the flick over here, but it does contain some spoilers.

Before I close I really wanted to plug this article (no pun intended, really) about teens trying to find loopholes around abstinence. Since when was oral and anal sex not sex? I don't understand the logic. I support abstinence until marraige myself for many reasons I won't go into but they include the intimacy of it and safety.

I know you've all been waiting for some Monday Madness:

How Many........
1. gadgets do you own?
If you include peripherals, at least 20 I'd say. It's hard to count though.

2. on your living room walls?
At my Houston house: I think four or five pieces (we have some Vietnamese things that are like 4 segments of one piece). In Austin: just a calendar and a Fight Club poster.

3. ...magnets on your refrigerator?
At my Houston house: at least 50. In Austin: just four or five to put papers on there.

4. ...reference books in your bookshelves?
I myself probably have 10-20 books just for reference, but my parents have tons in the house.

5. ...boxes of cereal in your cupboards?
In Houston: I think my mom kept like 10 boxes up there. In Austin: about four.

6. ...lamps in your house?
In Houston: probably 6 or 7. In Austin: 3. What can I say, I like light!

7. ...times a week do you shop for groceries?
Just once, and mainly for milk and fruit. Sometimes vegetables and other random things though (like bread).

8. ...magazines do you subscribe to?
I think four right now, but that'll change soon.

9. programs do you watch on a regular basis?
24, Daily Show, Smallville, Jack and Bobby, Joey, and Southpark are the main ones.

10. ...items on your bathroom counter that don't really need to be there?
A bunch, but they're my room mate's.

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