Holyrood’s Highest of Fives from the World Wide Web
Thursday, August 11th, 2011
RIOTERS STRIKE EDINBURGH! (Adrian)
With the ongoing riots and looting in England still raging on, Scotland has been left remarkably unscathed. First Minister Alex Salmond has even started a parochial war of words with Westminster and the media over their use of the phrase “UK riots” – arguing that it is an English problem that hasn’t had any effect north of the Border.
But it seems Big Eck could be gravely mistaken. This YouTube video is already going viral and clearly shows that civil unrest has hit the streets of Edinburgh. See for yourself – it truly is shocking behaviour…
THE SADDEST MOVIE IN THE WORLD (Raymond)
How do you make someone cry for the sake of science? The answer lies in a young Ricky Schroder. Researchers have found that Franco Zeffirelli’s 1979 movie The Champ – about a washed up boxer trying to mount a comeback to the ring – has become a text book tool in psychology labs around the world in trying to find out what makes people sad. The movie’s climax has long been one of the silver screen’s greatest tear-jerkers with Schroder sobbing ‘Wake up, Champ’ when his boxer dad – played by Jon Voight – dies after his last fight.
The research team found The Champ has been used in experiments to see if depressed people are more likely to cry than non-depressed people (they aren’t). It has helped determine whether people are more likely to spend money when they are sad (they are) and whether older people are more sensitive to grief than younger people (older people did report more sadness when they watched the scene). Dutch scientists used the scene when they studied the effect of sadness on people with binge eating disorders (sadness didn’t increase eating).
Interesting stuff – it may even encourage you to get out The Champ DVD for old times sake; or even, clearly, if you are fancying an excuse for spending on the family credit card.
WOULD YOU HIRE THE GUY WITH THE TASH? (Laura)
This hilarious video shows a rather unusual method of job hunting as Atlanta based Matthew Epstein dons a moustache and attempts to woo the honchos at Google with his charm and wit, asking for a job in their marketing department. The video is incredibly slick and while it may be funny, it does demonstrate some of the marketing and in particular digital marketing skills that Matthew has under his belt. It’s a great way of showing not only his creative ability, but his fun side and reveals a bit about who he is outside of the job. Let’s just hope that if he does get the job at Google he remembers to wear his pants to the office!
STIRRING UP A DATE RAPE SAFETY SOLUTION (Scott)
The spectre of date rape drugs slipped into the public consciousness a decade ago. Since then the stories of women falling victim to abusers have been a regular feature in newspapers, magazine and documentaries.
While women can take basic safety precautions on a night out, determined abusers can still strike, safe in the knowledge that even police forensic experts can have trouble detecting the presence of the fast-disappearing drugs.
So this news, from two Israeli researchers, is very welcome. It raises hope that a simple and cheap drink stirrer could be used to detect the presence of date rape drugs in a drink.
LADY LIBERTY SHUTS FOR BUSINESS (Adrian)
It’s one of the world’s most iconic landmarks and a popular visiting spot for the millions of tourists that flock to New York every year. But despite its enduring popularity, it’s been revealed that the Statue of Liberty is to take a year off from its tourism duties for much-needed TLC.
The US National Park Service is closing access to the 125-year old statue in October in order to carry out $27.5m (£16.8m) of renovations and repairs over the next 12 months. New elevators, stairs and safety features are expected to be installed to make the statue more accessible for the 3.5 million tourists who visit Liberty Island every year.
The National Park Service has also said that many tourists won’t notice the difference to their visit, as the island is expected remain open as usual and “most people don’t climb up the statue anyway”. Makes you wonder why they’re bothering to fix it up, then.