But it looks so good! Look, there’s an angry General Zod. And Superman is like epicly flying and stuff. And Amy Adams. And I dig Zack Snyder. Plus there are explosions. Explosions of awesomeness…
Researchers at the University of Sydney have published a study that shows that people often feel like others are staring at them, even when it isn’t true.
To tell if they’re under someone’s gaze, people look at the position of the other person’s eyes and the direction of their heads, Professor Clifford explains. These visual cues are then sent to the brain where there are specific areas that compute this information.
However, the brain doesn’t just passively receive information from the eyes. The study shows that when people have limited visual cues, such as in dark conditions or when the other person is wearing sunglasses, the brain takes over with what it ‘knows’.
In other words, we tend to assume that other people are looking at us even when they aren’t. It makes sense, of course. Being stared at was something our ancestors would need to have been keenly aware of. It’s similar to noticing predators in the wild. It would almost always have been better for them to assume that the weirdly formed rock in the distance was a lion and be wrong than to get it the other way around.
There, you learned something today…
My laptop, which died last week, is still dead. And while I’ve managed to find ways to do most of the things my laptop did using other computers, I am still sad about this.
So, a stupid haiku…
Purchased long ago
It sleeps now always
Yes, let the tears flow. For April is, after all, poetry month.
Today is opening day for the Yankees. And we have to watch last night’s season finale of The Walking Dead. And also the season premiere of Game of Thrones. So, yeah, no time for blogging. Enjoy not believing anything you read on the Internet today… except this.
Last year I posted an amusing video for Easter. Apparently there’s a much longer version “full version” with a bit more backstory. And now, finally, we can truly understand why the Easter Bunny hates you.
My initial reaction when I heard the news yesterday that Amazon was in the process of buying Goodreads was, to be honest, disappointment. The fact is that I don’t trust Amazon, and not just because I currently work for the competition. Being a writer who wants to make money (soon) from writing, I tend to believe that the absence of a competitive marketplace will make that more difficult for me. And if it wasn’t obvious before that a non-competitive marketplace is Amazon’s ultimate goal, it should be now.
Goodreads has evolved into a place where millions of readers could come together to talk about, review, and perhaps most importantly discover books. It’s that discovery piece that Amazon wanted to get it’s hands on because until now, any book you discovered on Goodreads you would then have to go and buy at your own discretion – with no prodding in one direction by the site itself. Amazon was a choice, but so was Barnes & Noble, or Kobo, or Apple, or Google, or your local independant. And all that choice was great for readers and writers, but not so great for Amazon.
Scott Turow, president of the Authors Guild, sums it up better than I could:
With its 16 million subscribers, Goodreads could easily have become a competing on-line bookseller, or played a role in directing buyers to a site other than Amazon. Instead, Amazon has scuttled that potential and also squelched what was fast becoming the go-to venue for on-line reviews, attracting far more attention than Amazon for those seeking independent assessment and discussion of books. As those in advertising have long known, the key to driving sales is controlling information.
It will, of course, remain to be seen what direction Amazon will take with Goodreads. It’s likely that it will be similar to what they’ve done with IMDB. And if that is the case, I suspect that I’ll remain a Goodreads member. IMDB is still a useful website, even if the stamp of Amazon can be seen on it. With luck, Goodreads will remain so also – albeit less useful to non Kindle users like myself. And it will then have to remain up to readers to remember that the choice is still theirs when it comes time to open their wallets for that new book by the unknown author that they just found.