Tag Archives: comedians

The Scourge of Internet Memes, and Believing Everything You See

Have we become a society of gullibility? Anyone who has a large enough network on social media has been able to see an increase in recent years of pictorial internet memes, such as in the image above. Typically, this is with the face of the individual who said it, along with a quote, often used to inspire, make a joke, or simply make a solid and concise argument. However, it seems that we are beginning to believe things a little too easily nowadays; and in a time of rampant “fake news,” this is becoming a problem.

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And This Concludes the 2012 US Presidential Election… Now Let’s Have a Laugh!

The election is finally over, and nothing has changed overnight except for the end of the egregious amount of resources spent on campaigning and advertising. The US will still have conspiracy theorists – Obama isn’t American, Hurricane Sandy was a government plot, etc. – and the White House won’t look any different than it has in the past. Republicans can now finally stop the nonsense about how this time, the “worst president in American history” will radically change the political landscape. Indeed, we’re all pretty tired of the election coverage now, so instead let’s enjoy some of the comedy that has come from this election.

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The Weapon of Comedy – Why Humour Gets the Point Across

ResearchBlogging.org
The skilled assassin appears before the onlooker’s eyes – everyone knows why he’s here, so they are ready for an onslaught. If one weapon doesn’t work, another might, and the assassin came equipped. In a flash, he’s out of sight – but he appears again with full force, defeating the enemies before they can do anything to stop him. But if you thought this assassin was thirsty for blood, think again. He’s not a master of swords, but a master of words; and the only thing he’s going to be killing is resistance. That’s because, while he’s famous for his skill, he’s known for the word on his business card: Comedian.

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Top 5 Quotes of Stupid America’s War on Smart People

The American war on smart people is incredible. For some reason, there has been a growing disdain for intellect and distrust for education in the “Greatest Country in the World,” and this year’s presidential election has never ceased to amaze me at every turn. The idea that people should not be educated, think critically, or be honest is ridiculous, foolish, and dangerous. Obviously not all education is equal (i.e,. unaccredited universities are garbage) and not all smart people are educated (nor are all educated people smart). But in general, no one should dismiss or denigrate education. So here is a list of the five most egregious quotes that demonstrate the growing animosity towards intelligence and education in America.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Biology & Evolution, Culture, Featured, Legal Issues, Media, Psychology, Science, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Religious or Non-Religious: Who is More Likely to Be a Good Samaritan?

Imagine that you’ve been asked to give a presentation for your school on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. You’ve researched it, prepared your talk, practiced it, and now you’re about to give it. When you arrive at the lecture hall, you’re informed that the location of your presentation has changed at the last minute, and it is now at the other end of the campus. You have to hurry to make it in time. On your way, you see someone slouched over in pain. What would you do? Would you help the man and miss or be late for your talk, or would you dismiss the very situation regarding which you have prepared a speech. This isn’t just a thought experiment – this classic study has been conducted, and the results will probably surprise the modern inquirer.

Posted in Culture, Featured, Psychology, Science, Social Psych | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Guns in America – Part 1: The Current State of Gun Violence

With thousands of Americans dying from gun violence each year, it seems that such stories are in the news so often that – paradoxically – it’s rarely ever news anymore. However, high-profile cases such as the recent shooting in Aurora, Colorado has brought gun crimes back into the media spotlight. The response to this event has in some ways been predictable, and in other ways mind-boggling. There’s no telling what it’s going to take for Americans to have a real debate about gun control, but it’s important for everyone, because American guns have a way of affecting people outside the country as well.

Posted in Activism, Culture, Legal Issues, Media, Medicine & Health, TED | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top 5 Commencement Speeches of 2012

I’ve done it again – watched all the commencement speeches on YouTube, just like last year. In fact, I watched all of them at least three times – I take these rankings seriously (despite the fact that no one else does). The ones that made the list usually dealt with a good message, kept attention through the use of humor, and was practical for the audience. I still think the #1 from last year’s ranking was better, but all of the ones on this list are still inspirational and enlightening. That’s true even for those of us who were not sitting in the audience at the time.

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Why Are Scientists Wasting Time When They Could Be Curing Cancer?

When a scientist does something like genetically modify a fruit to make it seedless, create a cement mixture to keep roads from being worn out by seasonal changes, or finds new information on insect pollination, the public reaction is predictable. A tiny fraction are interested, while most people don’t care. But then there are the many others who begin to ask the question that it seems everyone has asked at some point: Why are scientists wasting their time on trivial matters when they could be doing something important like curing cancer? It’s what I call the “worthless scientist question,” and I’ve heard it enough to warrant an answer.

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Advertising to the Brain – Is Neuromarketing Ethical?

Have you enjoyed any recent commercials you saw on TV? Was there one that you considered profound, hilarious, moving, or inspiring? Advertisements nowadays are sometimes designed to appeal to you by using an increasingly popular procedure called “neuromarketing.” Neuromarketing is the study and practice of measuring how people’s brains respond to an advertisement, in order to maximize its effectiveness. This is done by monitoring things such as brain activity, eye-tracking, and skin response. But along with the technological advances that allow people to scan brains in order to sell products comes the all-important question: Is neuromarketing ethical?

Posted in Culture, Media, Neuroscience, Psychology, Science, Technology | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Faces in the Crowd – Kony 2012 and the Occupy Movement

Sometimes what you see is what you get. Other times, there’s more than meets the eye. I don’t want to talk so much about how we are manipulated by what we see on mediums like the TV and the internet, but rather what we don’t see. With so much access to information, there’s not enough time in the day for us to get all the different perspectives on a story. We could sit around a TV all day and still be ignorant of what’s happening in many places in the world. However, it’s becoming increasingly clear that in order to understand the complex events happening around us, we need to be open to the possibility that we don’t know as much as we think – especially when we’re jumping on the bandwagon like every other face in the crowd.

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