Virtual world tidbits

A few choice items related to virtual worlds...


  • Dr. Edward Castronova, author of the fabulous book, Synthetic Worlds, is finding that gender bias may also occur in virtual worlds. For example, female EverQuest avatars fetch 10 percent less in the market, even when they have the same powers and skills as male avatars. Check out some of his other work too.
  • Virtual Congress, anyone? (I wonder if it will include scandals...)
  • Finally, check out this funny real-world simulation of Second Life (brought to you by Blackboard).
  • Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

    It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

    (Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
    Culture & Religion
    • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
    • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
    • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
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    How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

    Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

    Image: Dicken Schrader
    Strange Maps
    • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
    • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
    • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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    A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

    A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

    Scott Barbour/Getty Images
    Mind & Brain
    • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
    • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
    • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
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