Thursday, March 18, 2010

French TV contestants made to inflict 'torture'

A French TV documentary features people in a spoof game show administering what they are told are near lethal electric shocks to rival contestants.

Those taking part are told to pull levers to inflict shocks - increasing in voltage - upon their opponents.

Although unaware that the contestants were actors and there was no electrical current, 82% of participants in the Game of Death agreed to pull the lever.

Programme makers say they wanted to expose the dangers of reality TV shows.

They say the documentary shows how many participants in the setting of a TV show will agree to act against their own principles or moral codes when ordered to do something extreme.

The Game of Death has all the trappings of a traditional TV quiz show, with a roaring crowd chanting "punishment" and a glamorous hostess urging the players on.

Christophe Nick, the maker of the documentary, said they were "amazed" that so many participants obeyed the sadistic orders of the game show presenter.

"They are not equipped to disobey," he told AFP.

"They don't want to do it, they try to convince the authority figure that they should stop, but they don't manage to."

Yale experiment

The results reflect those of a similar experiment carried out almost 50 years ago at Yale University by social psychologist Stanley Milgram.

Participants took the role of a teacher, delivering what they believed were shocks to an actor every time they answered a question incorrectly.

Mr Nick says that his experiment shows that the TV element further increases people's willingness to obey.

"With Milgram, 62% of people obeyed an abject authority. In the setting of television, it's 80%," he told Reuters.

The documentary was broadcast on the state-owned France 2 channel on Wednesday evening.


The song of scratchy bottom

That is what Bea said

"Maybe we should leave it alone and let it heal."


NASA Finds Shrimp Living 600 Feet Under Antarctic Ice

At a depth of 600 feet beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet, a small shrimp-like creature managed to brighten up an otherwise gray polar day in late November 2009. This critter is a three-inch long Lyssianasid amphipod found beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, about 12.5 miles away from open water. NASA scientists were using a borehole camera to look back up towards the ice surface when they spotted this pinkish-orange creature swimming beneath the ice. Credit: NASA

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Well, someone over here invented eco cheques. So I had to take half a day off today to drive to Bruges to pick up 1 eco cheque (value: € 10). Very environment friendly I must say. Of course, I am happy with the cheque. But why on earth could not they send it by post.
Fortunately, Bruges is a nice place with lots of shops. So I had some fun... The cheque was not very helpful though. You can imagine why.


Apparently, the Academy members agreed with the rest of the world. Jeff won an Oscar! Congrats to the man who says we are all in it together.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Academy Awards 2010: Public wants best actor Oscar to go to 'Crazy Heart' star Jeff Bridges

As every film fan - or, more accurately, anyone living in our universe - knows, the Oscars are Sunday. And according to the letters we've received, there's one category in which readers are most invested. Care to guess?

Nope, not Best Picture. Not even Best Director. When we asked who you most wanted to see win an award this weekend, you made it clear you're really rooting for Jeff Bridges, who earned his fifth nomination playing a broken-down country star in "Crazy Heart." As John Hetrick put it, "We've all watched 'The Dude' evolve through his many movies, always making it look like a cakewalk. When he wins this time, it will be for a sterling performance, not because the Academy owes him one."


The Illusion of Peace

Love, lust & marriage

Love: When you take a bubble bath together
Lust: When you take a bath in Jell-o together
Marriage: When you give the kids a bath

Love: A romantic candle-lit dinner for two
Lust: Do I have to buy you dinner first?
Marriage: 4 McDonald's Happy Meals -- to go

Love: Giving your love some candy
Lust: Thinking you are the candy
Marriage: Scraping the kids' candy off of the carpet

Love: Sex every night
Lust: Sex 5 times a night
Marriage: Remember sex? Me either.

Love: A night out at the symphony
Lust: A night out at the Holiday Inn
Marriage: A night out at Sesame Street On Ice

Love: You smell French perfume
Lust: You smell Brut aftershave
Marriage: You smell evidence that the baby needs changing...

Love: Lending your jacket to your love when she is cold
Lust: I can think of a way to stay warm...
Marriage: Your teenage daughter has borrowed all of your jackets

Love: Long drives through the countryside
Lust: Long parking sessions at Lover's Lookout

The things you do not say to your wife