Delicious (Almost) Every Other Day 11.24.09

Finding more in 'most': Scientific study of an everyday word
"...the exact meaning of plain language isn't always easy to find. Even simple words like 'most' and 'least' can vary greatly in definition and interpretation, and are difficult to put into precise numbers."

Local Bookstores, Social Hubs and Mutualization
"Like record stores and video rental places, physical bookstores simply can’t compete for breadth of offering and, also like the social changes around music and moving images, the internet is strengthening rather than weakening the ability of niches and sub-cultures to see themselves reflected in long-form writing."

The Videogame Debate: Bad for Behaviour, Good for Learning?
"...research suggests that appropriate use of recreational and educational video games can facilitate learning and the development of important skills. "

Half man, half machine: The cyborgs are coming
"Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed ultra slim and flexible electronic circuits on silk that dissolve once implanted inside the body leaving the electronics behind to do their thing."

The I's Don't Have it
"The Internet makes everybody a linguist, the same way it turns us all into medical diagnosticians and tracers of lost persons. Counting words has become a favorite way to track a trend, uncover a hidden meaning or cut a long text down to size."

Conference Humiliation: They're Tweeting Behind Your Back
"The microblogging service Twitter is changing a staple of academic life from a one-way presentation into a real-time conversation. Flub a talk badly enough and you now risk mobilizing a scrum of digital-spitball-slinging snark-masters."

Can Science Fight Media Disinformation?
"In the 24/7 Internet world, people make lots of claims. Science provides a guide for testing them."

Your Brain On Books
"...the human brain is a much more constrained organ than we think, and that it places strong limits on the range of possible cultural forms. Essentially, the brain did not evolve for culture, but culture evolved to be learnable by the brain."

Games 'permit' virtual war crimes
"Video games depicting war have come under fire for flouting laws governing armed conflicts."

(Skilled) Self-Presentation
"Presenting knowledge or arguments effectively involves putting together a lot of different sub-skills on the fly."

Teaching With Twitter: Not For The Faint Of Heart
"...asking 250 students to post questions on Twitter during a class doesn't risk life or limb. But it can cause ego damage if the mob of students...gets disorderly online."