29Jan

Article of Note

I’ve often been one to scoff at the media’s suggestion that violent video games lead to violence in culture. But it turns out there is quite a lot of academic evidence linking video games to aggressive behaviour:

C. A. Anderson et al.’s (2010) extensive meta-analysis of the effects of violent video games confirms what these theories predict and what prior research about other violent mass media has found: that violent video games stimulate aggression in the players in the short run and increase the risk for aggressive behaviors by the players later in life… Yet the results of meta-analyses are unlikely to change the critics’ views or the public’s perception that the issue is undecided because some studies have yielded null effects, because many people are concerned that the implications of the research threaten freedom of expression, and because many people have their identities or self-interests closely tied to violent video games.

That’s just one. It’s also worth hitting up Google Scholar to see the number of papers on this issue. Food for thought.

28Jan

Notes on Blindness

“After the writer and theologian John Hull became completely blind in 1983, he kept an audio diary of his experience. This film is a dramatization using those recordings.”

27Jan

The Moorish Chief (1878)

Eduard Charlemont
By Eduard Charlemont.

“Standing in front of an arch that closely resembles the architecture of the Alhambra in Spain, the Moorish chief exudes power and mystery. This painting was probably shown at the Paris Salon exhibition of 1878 with the title Le Gardien du serail (The Harem Guard).”

(Via Medieval POC.)

25Jan

A Closed Bookshop

Geoff Blore'sThere are less than a handful of good secondhand bookshops in Nottingham. But there was one – Geoff Blore’s Bookshop – that I used to frequent every couple of months. If you got there on a Saturday, you’d probably end up being served by a man who gave you plenty of discount for no apparent reason. Being a bibliophile, you’d then immediately head off to pile on more books. I think his name was John, and he greeted you with a “Hello, Friend” no matter who you were.

Geoff Blore’s was, I think, co-owned by another secondhand bookshop, further into the city centre, but this one was far superior. It had a much better range of books, and it was much more neatly organised than the other. In fact, it was one of the best secondhand bookshops I’ve been in (and that includes a trip to Hay-on-Wye), beaten only by Scarthin Books because that place serves cake and has a cat.

Anyway, Geoff Blore’s has now closed, and when I arrived today I was greeted by that depressing sign. I wasn’t really going anywhere with this; I understand market forces, signs of the times and whatnot. I merely wanted to vent my annoyance.

21Jan

The Way of the Dodo

“The film follows Ümit Mesut, a colourful East London shop keeper, as he fights to keep his passion for celluloid alive in an ever changing digital world….”

20Jan

Recent Whisky Reviews

taketsuru-21-620x350
I’ve been sampling some interesting whiskies as ever, over at the whisky site. The best discovery of the past month has been that of the GlenDronach distillery, as discussed in this review of their core range of whiskies.

Another whisky blogger sent me through five drams, without at first telling me what they were. I was up for the challenge, and I reviewed those here.

I sampled a decent but not great Japanese whisky, the Nikka Taketsuru 21 Year Old.

And finally, a pretty interesting Fettercairn 24 Year Old.

16Jan

Geological Maps

notti
I am a huge admirer of geological maps, and recently came across this resource, which features old maps of many UK counties (scroll down to the bottom). I love how the landscape is freed from most surface details and reduced to bold colours and unusual lines. Of course, these colours, these geological structures, then inform much of life on surface (e.g. coal fields and mining towns, various rock types used in building etc). Ultimately I just like this oblique way of looking at the local environment.