Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forSeptember, 2007 | back to home

25 September 2007
Filed under:Interesting facts at2:53 pm

I love articles that question conventional wisdom – particularly if in doing so they refer to scientific evidence instead of just anecdotes. This New York magazine article suggests that the connection between increased exercise and weight loss is dubious (because exercise tends to lead to greater appetite as well) and posits a decrease in carbohydrate consumption as the best way to lose weight. Admittedly the author has written a popular book on this subject, but if he’s really onto something, why not?

18 September 2007
Filed under:Interesting facts at5:20 pm

According to a York University study.

Half of the volunteers came from Canada and spoke only English. The other half came from India and were fluent in both English and Tamil. The volunteers had similar backgrounds in the sense that they were all educated to degree level and were all middle class. The researchers found that the people who were fluent in English and Tamil responded faster than those who were fluent in just English. This applied to all age groups. The researchers also found that the bilingual volunteers were much less likely to suffer from the mental decline associated with old age.

I hope the same benefits apply to those like myself who are only semi-fluent in my second language /
J’espere que les memes benefices sont applicable aux personnes comme moi que ne sont que demi-courant dans le deuxieme langue!

11 September 2007

The EU has agreed to give up trying to force Brits to use the metric system. Without that pressure I fear my son will still have to learn about an archaic, illogical system of measures long past its sell-by date as well as metric. I remember being the first generation to learn metric in the UK and being told it was the future. And so it is – except here, it seems!

10 September 2007

Perhaps it is the novelty value, perhaps it is the sense that on Facebook I am addressing friends while on this blog I am mostly addressing people I don’t know but the impulse that would once have sent me off here to post little observations on everyday life and news items seems to be being increasingly fulfilled by status updates and the occasional wall posting over there.

When I started blogging I didn’t really think about who my readers might be. When I did start thinking it might be useful to be able to mix private matters with public ones there wasn’t much available except LiveJournal that would give me that kind of control and I quickly discovered that most of my friends are casual enough Internet users not to bother setting up an LJ identity in order to be able to keep up with me and my doings. But Facebook seems to be drawing in a wide enough net that what I write feels like it is going to a substantial number of the people I want to be reaching. Even my brother is on it (though naturally enough my father isn’t there… yet…) and my father, not wishing to be left out, has just joined!

4 September 2007

I just tidied up the links on the right and added one you might want to use yourselves – an RSS feed for the links I have publicly added to the shared bookmark service I use – Netvouz. They are probably the most frequently updated part of the site these days. There are also a few more podcasts listed (wish there was an easy way to output my iTunes podcast library as a list of links!) and I hope I managed to fix the RSS link for this weblog and for the (computer-read) podcast version.

PS Doesn’t anyone want to send me an audio message? I always thought that it would be nice to hear my readers rather than just reading your comments…