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Points of Interest #30

Posted Sep 22 2008 11:04am

It’s baack, I have scoured cyberspace looking for the very best of the mind, soul, and body to be found on the internet and now present my findings.   This week we have male Chauvinists, (R)evolutionary video games, politics, cadavers, hadrons and the apocalypse, and brain food (like everything else I have ever shared I’m sure), among other assortments and wonderments. So without further delay, for you, the reader, I present the very best of the week’s internet (IMHO)-

Regarding the mind-

The New Scientist reports on some interesting study data that shows women are more comfortable dealing with chauvinists than Men whose attitudes towards women are uncertain, in much the same way all minorities prefer overt prejudice to the “unknown.”

At Cognitive Daily, Dave Munger shares a well done study that shows increasing violent content in video games leads directly to increased hostility in study subjects.

At Frontal Cortex, Jonah Lehrer takes a real life example and illustrates the phenomenon of herd behavior and how it can lead us to do some pretty irrational things.

Regarding the Soul-

At Mormon Matters, Hawkgrrl has an overview of one the the classic orations ever given by a Mormon Prophet in my lifetime, burned into my soul ever since I first heard it, as she reviews the universal sin of pride.

Michael Gerson has a pointed rebuke of the American Press and electorate in a wonderful Op-Ed article in the Washington Post about the religious bigotry that has been directed at Sarah Palin.  I have watched in horror this year as first Mitt Romney, then Barack Obama, and now the Palin have all been smeared from both the left and the right as somehow unfit for office, simply because of their religious affiliation.  I strongly agree with this piece, It needs to stop, like years ago, but I’d settle for now.

At Get Religion, reporter dpulliam takes a look at Spore, the new critically acclaimed evolution based video game.  It allows you to take primordial soup and tweak the environment and evolutionary forces to produce eventual civilization and advanced societies.  He notes that the very fact that the gameplayer manages evolution scores points for Intelligent Design in the God debate. (Actually, I think it’s not intelligent design per say but rather theistic evolution, different from what ID’s promoters have generally had in mind.)

Regarding the Body-

At Sharp Brains, Dr. Paschale Michelon shares the state of current research into the foods that are good for the brain.

(A note- The data on some of these are stronger than others.  Nutrition research is extremely prone to fads and not always anchored in good objective science.  Please pay attention to the caveats, test tubes and mice are one thing, people are quite another.)

The Neurocritic shares a fascinating study in which exposure to aesthetic beauty as defined by the subjects caused a real and measurable decrease in pain evoked potentials in the brain.

At Medical News Today, Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have discovered that antibodies made by survivors of the 1918 Flu pandemic have a lifetime of immunity to the Flu and make antibodies ninety years later that immunize mice to the Flu.

or All the Above-

Amanzimtoti has a tragic, yet heartwarming tale of family, love, and loss in the face of terminal illness in South Aftica.

Edge: the third Culture features a magnificent essay by Jonathan Haidt taking a look at the mind and morality of the voter, as he works to explain to one quasi-religious group (Democrats) why people choose to vote for the other quasi-religious group (Republicans).

The Urban Monk has a great guest post by Richard Johnson of Reaching a Better Place, in which he describes how Self Worth can be strengthened and made bulletproof by learning to break its link with self esteem.

The Anesthesioboist shares a wonderful poem she wrote contemplating life’s lessons taught by the cadaver she dissected in Medical School.

and just because I Liked it-

Suburban Emergency has a pointed rebuke for all those who think the Emergency room best provides their primary care, pointing out what should be obvious, Emergency rooms are for Emergencies.

Vitium Medicinus took me on a trip down memory lane as he reviewed the top ten things he has learned from his first week as a third year med student.  For the uninitiated, this is the first year you really become involved with patients, rather than books.

Here is the gripping and vitally important website for those people who need an update to know if the activation of the much ballyhooed Large Hadron Collider in Europe has destroyed the Earth by sucking it into a black hole.  Go ahead, click it, You know you want to.

That’s all I got for this week.  Tune in next time for even more for the mind, body, and soul, assuming the Earth remains in one piece, of course.  Until then, Happy Surfing.

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