Mandatory Fun of (Watching) Football … and Other (Even Electronic) Games

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The massive media coverage in recent years of poor health due to over-eating and under-exercising is no match for the even more massive advertising budget of professional sports. If you thought that the NFL were a sports league you would be wrong; it is actually a major TV channel. And the editorial side of the Wall Street Journal has been suckered in.

Hopefully games of touch football or flag football among youths are still getting them off the couch and away from their electronic devices. But it appears that they would rather play the Madden NFL electronic game on a gadget than the real thing on a green field. But this only exercises their fingers. And it’s not just the teen-aged boys who are exercising their fingers rather than their legs. Grown men are playing so much fantasy football on their laptops that it has been estimated there is an annual $13 billion productivity loss in America.

California High Schools Flunk on Teaching Computer Science

With giant companies in Silicon Valley needing software engineers, it would be logical that California high schools would be encouraged to teach computer science courses and the University of California system would count them toward the math requirements for admission. Aren’t both computer science and math what geeks are good at? As pointed out by Santa Clara University associate professor of computer science Dan Lewis there is a severe national shortage of computing-savvy college graduates. Latinos and African-Americans are way under-represented in taking AP (advanced placement) courses in computer science … and way under-represented in headcounts of Silicon Valley high-tech giants. Fortunately, San Jose Mercury News columnist Michelle Quinn is dedicatedly pushing to get headcount breakdowns, which could help motivate these minorities and stimulate their hiring by these giants.

Social Media Doesn’t Care Who It Hurts

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The late Jacques Littlefield was reputedly the largest collector of military vehicles in the world. During a recent tour of the collection the docent started off with a safety warning, saying “A tank doesn’t care who it hurts.” Those words came back a bit later in the tour when he showed a video clip of an insurgent on a building top using a rocket-propelled grenade to blow up a tank on parade in the street below. Where did the video come from? YouTube! The insurgents had uploaded it to show what they could do, even during (more-or-less) peaceful moments.

The insurgents are becoming increasingly sophisticated in using social media for a variety of purposes. And they are adept at using all the hacker tricks, e.g., hijacking unrelated topics to spread their message.