Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween from Crazy Eddie the Motie!


For your amusement, I present the Halloween stories that I included in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Frankenstorm edition) and Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (2012 Nobel Prizes edition) on Daily Kos.

Scientific American: Trick or Theory: 6 Halloween Costumes for Science Nerds [Slide Show]
This year, when choosing your spooky guise, channel your empirical side
Arizona State University: The monsters among us
Posted: October 25, 2012
Hollywood is quick to cash in on what’s popular, but why do themes gain popularity in the first place? Does the prevalence of a certain monster reflect what’s going on in our society today?

“I would argue that monsters in literature, in general, are almost always indicative of things we fear in a sort of collective sense,” says Cajsa Baldini, a senior lecturer in the English Department of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Baldini is well-versed in classic monsters and their cultural significance. She teaches a course on 19th century fiction, which covers monstrous tales such as Mary Shelley’s "Frankenstein" and "The Island of Doctor Moreau" by H.G. Wells. Both novels are steeped in themes of technology out of control and the ethical implications of science.
Purdue University: Halloween films can be scarier than you think: What parents should know
October 11, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Scary movies with increasingly realistic visual effects can significantly frighten children of all ages, says a Purdue University mass media effects expert.

"This time of year there are a number of films vying for the Halloween season, and parents need to be careful because paranormal themes can be upsetting for children who are trying to sort out what is real and not real," says Glenn Sparks, professor of communication, who studies the effects of frightening images. "Reality can be just as frightening as fantasy for children ages 7-11, and they don't yet have the coping systems to handle such fear."

Sparks encourages parents to look beyond the age-based movie rating system for more information about a film's content, especially potentially frightening images. Parents can research the film in advance by using resources such as
Finally, this bit of trick or treating from Belle and the Beast as Princess Leia and Chewbacca.

Hat/tip to Brad DeLong, who posted Lucasfilm Acquired by Disney and linked to Disney Acquires Lucasfilm; Promises Star Wars VII in 2015; Lucas Passes “To a New Generation of Filmmakers” at The Mary Sue. Wow, that's both a nice trick and a great treat!

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