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The Dean family got a Wii for Christmas, and Brian reports that they've already managed to knock over the Christmas tree. So much for video games leaving kids motionless and flabby. While the Wii is obviously no real substitute for ordinary physical activity, it's probably better than more-passive options for those kids who have already made up their minds to play video games.
I taught an introductory class on Facebook recently, mainly in response to questions from members of my church who wanted to know how to use the site to stay in touch with their kids. While those connections are probably being made at the request of the offspring themselves, I've also seen a pretty amusing flowchart for deciding whether to "friend" your parents on Facebook. It should be noted that there is a lot of talk about Facebook these days, and I've occasionally been dismissive -- particularly in my prediction that Facebook will be overtaken in popularity by another social-networking site by 2015. But the concept of social networking (and thus the concepts, principles, and rules one should follow when using social-networking sites) will remain. It's like television: Almost nobody still watches TV on the same set they used in 1971, but they do still watch TV. Social-networking technology will change, but the concept will endure. One should always commit to consistent rules and behaviors when using online services, particularly since it's possible now to make instant decisions using a mobile phone that could have global consequences. It's so easy now to snap a photo and post it instantly on Facebook (or elsewhere), that one has to think about one's own rules for what should and should not be posted well before encountering the moment.
What about technology, which should enable us to create more complex and elaborate images, is encouraging today's graphic designers to make lazier, less interesting logos? The new Comedy Central and Democratic Party logos are great examples. Whatever happened to putting in as much effort as people used to put into things like the GE logo? Many of the hand-drawn logos of the past were far more elaborate than today's, even though they had to be replicated by hand to go on billboards, signs, and walls. Now, when it's easier than ever before to forward around perfect-resolution vector graphics and use them anywhere, anything so complicated as the Shell logo looks like more work than most contemporary designers seem willing to do.
There's an asteroid named in honor of Fred Rogers; did you know?
While I really can't stand red-light cameras and speed cameras, if we're going to have this kind of pointless surveillance, I'd at least like to be able to win some cash for following the rules.