01 July 2011


VIRAL STUPIDITY. The ever-perspicacious Hank Thompson warns that Stupidity is Contagious !! He cites a study in which "college students who read a short story about someone stupid then did worse on a test than a control group -- they became more stupid." Think of the implications. If you saturate your life with inane TV shows, insipid books, mindless texting or social networking, or if you surround yourself with friends who aren't the brightest bulbs in the pack, you may risk lowering your own intelligence. It appears that we are not only what we eat, we are also what we read and watch and participate in. Perhaps this explains why I've never seen the point in stock car racing? Grown men and women driving fast cars around in circles .... hmm.

VISUAL WORDS. Here is a very nifty online tool to add to your electronic dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaurus, calculator, and language translator. It is called Visuwords, and presents in graphic format the meanings and associations of any word you select. The resulting color-coded diagrams resemble a neural net, intuitively illustrating connections to related clusters of words or concepts. [See sample below, click to enlarge.] It's just plain fun to fool around with. Input a simple word ("be") or a more complex word ("gravity"), and watch the web blossom. Place your cursor over any word on the screen, and a fuller description automatically appears. Click on the 'fullscreen' tab for the best effect. Have fun !!

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