Friday, July 28, 2017

3 Urban Legends

Urban Legends on Film

Urban legends are usually true stories that have evolved over time. While these rich tales have been passed down, they reflect contemporary themes, such as outer space contact and unexpected medical results. They are also shared via modern day technology, such as video.

Here are three examples of videos that have fostered urban legends:

Garden City Ghost Car

This police chase in Georgia involves a white car that drove off the highway then came to a dead end. Then, supposedly, it disappeared behind a chain link fence.  The driver was never found and there was no evidence of the car anywhere beyond the fence.  

1928 Time Traveler

The Circus, a Charlie Chaplin silent film was a box office success in 1928. In 2004, a copy of the movie was released to DVD with bonus footage. The footage shows pictures of the public attending the film, including a premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. In the clip, a woman in a heavy coat and hat holds what looks like a black object – like a cell phone- to her head. She is even seen chatting just as a cell phone user today would do.
Some say this woman with very big feet and hands was a time traveler. Others think that maybe she was holding a 1924 hearing aid. 

The McPherson Tape

This movie, created in 1989 is a classic example of “found footage” -Made to look like a home movie recording) that chronicles a Connecticut family abducted by aliens.  It documents a child’s birthday party and an unusual power outage that follows a flash of red lights that the family thinks is the result of a plane crash. Inspection of the site reveals aliens who capture them.

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Abduction Film 

American Highway Men

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Help Science, Have Fun

Help Science + Have Fun = Win/Win

Got time on your hands? Feeling like it’s time to get involved in the world in new and productive ways? Looking for ways to become involved in something that can, in the long run, help others? If so, then check out the possibilities these hands-on approaches to scientific research. They cover a range of topics, and allow you to help organizations as little or as much as you would like.

The Online Wisdom Lab - A new suite of apps that will help University of Birmingham researchers learn about changes in thinking skills, decision making and health behavior during adulthood. By completing surveys and games within the app, members of the public will be able to learn more about their own thinking and behavior, and help researchers to understand how these skills change throughout the lifespan. 

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The Small World of Words project is a large study, based upon a questionnaire that volunteers take, designed to help universities in Australia and Belgium build a map of the human lexicon in the major languages of the world. Unlike a thesaurus or dictionary, this language map provides insight into what words and what part of their meaning are represented in the human mind. The results enable psychologists, linguists, neuroscientists and others to test new theories about how the human brain represents and processes language.

Today’s globalized world lets us connect in ways that have never been possible before. So, go on, step into the future and give science a hand; at a pace that works for you. Along the way, you might also learn some new skills and have fun. 

Nothing wrong with that, right?

To learn more about these and other volunteer opportunities, click here.

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