23andMe: Whitest White Man in All the World!

Three weeks ago, ago I paid $200 to send off my spit to 23andMe for DNA analysis. I had no idea what to expect, but the results are pretty much as expected! No surprises. No dangers. I now have third-party confirmation that I am officially the Whitest White Man in All the World!

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On Creating a Möbius Strip of Internet Event Boundaries

The University of Notre Dame published an interesting study on “Event Boundaries” that cause the everyday each of us to lose track of who we are and what we were planning to do:

We’ve all experienced it: The frustration of entering a room and forgetting what we were going to do. Or get. Or find.

New research from University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor Gabriel Radvansky suggests that passing through doorways is the cause of these memory lapses.

“Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away,” Radvansky explains.

“Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized.”

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Accessing the Digital Public Library of America

Today, May 4, 2013 marks the sixth anniversary of what used to be the “Boles University Blog.”  That fine scholarship and research blog is now folded into this even finer, and richer, and deeper Boles Blogs Blog, and in celebration of promoting online pedagogy and in-person teaching, let’s take a look at the fascinating, and new, “Digital Public Library” of America! Continue reading → Accessing the Digital Public Library of America

The Biology of Alzheimer’s and Couch Potato Rat DNA

I am concerned with an ongoing effort in the scientific community to prove, once-and-for all, that some of us are genetically predestined to be lazy.  It seems there are those among us who are natural-born couch potatoes.  If laziness become a medical condition, then I’m sure we’ll soon see a category of disability that will then offer the lazier among us a Federally paid way of life for sitting around all day watching television.

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Do Modern Research Methods Make Students Stupider?

I grew up a child of the library.  I borrowed books.  I read books.  I researched college research papers.  I did it all in my local public library and my campus libraries.  The library was the safe haven — the Smart Place — it was a niche where I fit in because I created my own intellectual indentations that nobody else could question unless I decided to share what I was thinking.

Children today don’t have buildings called libraries that mean the same thing to them that it means to people of my generation.  Kids today have virtual hangout places like the internets, and if they want to find something to read to reflect upon or research, they just fire up The Google and all their boring inquiries are returned unimagined.

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Long Live Your Bloodstream

Our blood knows our secrets and foretells our health.  Sometimes we’re told the now of the being of our bloodstream — high cholesterol, bad thyroid, liver complications — but what if our blood could tell us today, how we’ll end up in the future?  Would you want your blood to tell your longevity status?  Or would you prefer to live only in the now?

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Can Social Networking Replace Academic Peer Review?

Peer review is one of the essential cornerstones of scholarly publication.  Smart people with a vested interest in propagating correct knowledge get together and read and critique and fix what has been written for shared academic reasoning and publication.  The danger in peer review is that people tend to bring their own agendas and prejudices to the process and they can change and mold and even censor what has been researched and written to fit their own niche or to even destroy a new way of thinking that damages their self-believed right that what they know is only what other people should know.

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