Thursday, July 19, 2012

Annotated Links #9: Changing Our Minds

1. Kesterton, Michael. "Keeping an open mind about vacationing aliens." Globe and Mail 12 July 2012. Web. 19 July 2012.

This is a collection of small news briefs about quirky events and findings. The most interesting of these is one entitled "Seat of self-awareness disputed," which summarizes an article from London's Sunday Times about Dr. Donald Pfaff, a neuroscientist who believes that the center of the brain responsible for creativity and self-awareness evolved in primitive fish to help them escape from predators. These news briefs are written around quotes from the original articles.

2. Feit, Daniel. "Hands-On: Nintendo’s Demon Training Purports to Build Your Brain’s RAM." Wired 18 July 2012. Web. 18 July 2012.

As a 3DS follow-up to the popular Brain Age memory training game, Nintendo is releasing Five-Minute Demon Training on July 28 in Japan. According to Ryuta Kawashima, the neuroscientist who works on Nintendo's brain training games, Five-Minute Demon Training helps to build your memory's speed and capacity. The article is written using the first person, and includes a video of the Nintendo Direct video featuring a demo of the game.

3. Crowell, Todd. "Could Fukushima Cause A Change In Japan's Groupthink?" Asia Sentinel 17 July 2012. Web. 18 July 2012.

Two commissions, a parliamentary commission headed by Kiyoshi Kurokawa (the Kurokawa commission for short) and "The Verification Committee for the Accident at Tepco’s Fukushima Nuclear Power Station" headed by Yotaro Hatamura (the "Hatamura Committee" for short) are on the verge of publishing investigative reports on the Fukushima disaster. These reports will help to answer whether the disaster was an act of God or the result of Japanese risk-aversion and group-think, though the article takes no sides. This article is written in a clear, concise style and includes some quotes.

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Don't miss part three of Nicolas Cage month, going up tomorrow, as we get into 2011's Trespass.

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