1. According to White House records, Jimmy Carter watched 480 films during his four years in the White House — around 2.5 movies a week.

    The first one he watched: All the President’s Men, about the Watergate scandal that sank Nixon. He also became the first president to watch an X-rated movie in the mansion: Midnight Cowboy, which today doesn’t seem like much, but in 1969 shocked audiences with its sex scenes and drug use. (By the time Carter saw it, the rating had been changed to R.)

    The favorite films of every modern president


  2. nedhepburn:

    I did some actual journalism and wrote an article about internet addiction for The Week magazine, and interviewed the head of an Internet Addiction Rehab. Here’s an excerpt. 

    Researchers have noted a rise in something called Digital Attention Disorder — the addiction to social networks and computers in general. 

    How does it work? More than 50 years ago, psychologist B.F. Skinner was experimenting on rats and pigeons, and noticed that the unpredictability of reward was a major motivator for animals. If a reward arrives either predictably or too infrequently, the animal eventually loses interest. But when there was anticipation of a reward that comes with just enoughfrequency, the animals’ brains would consistently release dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that (basically) regulates pleasure.

    What does this have to do with the internet? Some researchers believe that intermittent reinforcement — in the form of texts, tweets, and various other social media — may be working on our brains the same way rewards did on Skinner’s rats. 

    “Internet addiction is the same as any other addiction — excessive release of dopamine,” says Hilarie Cash, executive director of the reStart program for internet addiction and recovery, a Seattle-area rehab program that helps wean people off the internet. “Addiction is addiction. Whether it’s gambling, cocaine, alcohol, or Facebook.”

    And thus begins my contributions to The Week! 



  3. "Media outlets should wake up and take note — because what Morgan Jones did last week just may be the future of journalism."Linda Sharps at The Stir.

    On the night of the massacre that killed 12 people in Aurora, Colo., 18-year-old Morgan Jones of Denver was up late playing a video game when he spied a Facebook update from his local news station reporting a possible shooting at a movie theater. Jones began a thread on the popular social-media news site Reddit that over the course of the night morphed into what many are describing as the most comprehensive timeline to emerge from the event, replete with minute-by-minute tweets from witnesses, reports from traditional media sources, and police scanner updates. Jones and his fellow Redditors also had some major scoops, unearthing the picture of alleged shooter James Holmes from the online dating site AdultFriendFinder.com, the first to show him with his distinctive red hair. Many commentators say Reddit’s coverage exemplifies a new breed of journalism, though some, like CNN’s Howard Kurtz, criticized the timeline as error-ridden.

    Is Reddit’s style of citizen journalism the wave of the future?