Friday, August 15, 2008

Knowledge: useful, interesting, and fun.

From Nicola Griffith's blog, a quote about a story published in the New Scientist:

"For the first time in history there is now scientific evidence that reading fiction has psychological benefits," writes Keith Oatley in New Scientist. Oatley is a professor of psychology and the leader of the Toronto team. He is also an award-winning novelist (The Case of Emily V.). On the phone from the University of Toronto, he explains that reading fiction appears to stimulate parts of the brain that govern empathy. "What you're doing when you're reading fiction is you're allowing yourself to become another person for a short period of time ... It loosens up your personality, your rigidities."

Knowing fandom as I do, I shudder at what some people might be like without the empathy stimulation and loosening of rigidities that has come from reading fiction. Actually, I wonder if they've read *any* fiction.

At GirlHacker's Random Log, a link to a story about the 2008 Olympic medals. They have jade rings on the back!

From Funfurde, unfolding chairs. No, really. They unfold into a flat panel that can be hung on the wall as art. Of course, if you can afford these, why do you need chairs that store easily? Just buy more space.


Stef said...

I wonder what fiction they were reading in the study. Some fiction affords a lot more empathy opportunities than other fiction. :)

Kai Jones said...

Yes, I imagine the empathy that might be gained from reading Gor novels isn't the kind that would improve my opinion of a person.