AWP Attendees: Millions editor and founder C. Max Magee will be on a panel at AWP on Friday. “Ask Not What the Internet Can Do for You: Shifting Our Perspective on Internet Publishing as an Alternative to Major Market Publishing” will discuss electronic publications as central to the needs of 21st-century writers and readers, and not as entities serving as secondary iterations of preexisting publications. The panel is at 3pm in Virginia A Room, Marriott Wardman Park, Lobby Level. See you there!
Researchers at Google have analyzed "audiovisual patterns," "title, description and tags," "words associated with amusement" in user comments, "emoticons," and even the number of o's in the average "LOL" in various YouTube videos in order to identify the funniest content on the web. Then they set up an algorithm to rank their findings, and subjected those findings to an audience vote (which you can join over here). Based on their calculations so far, this was the funniest video of all time. What do you think?
The Book Was Better is a podcast that “debates, discusses, and rips into the (often) hastily written and terrible book-of-the-film” adaptations for movies like Wild, Wild West, Hackers, The Net, and (try not to be upset by this one…) Jumanji. (Those episodes can be found here, here, here, and here, respectively.)
Scientists confirmed recently that writers are more likely to struggle with mental illness (sometimes, as recently noted, due to syphilis). Since we're so used to our alcoholic literary greats, and a smattering of suicidal ones (Plath, Woolf, Thompson, Wallace--and many more), this comes as no great surprise. On a happier note, a new study using fMRIs and MFA students has found that writers show different brain patterns than "normal people" just writing: in fact they resemble "expert" thinking patterns of all professionals doing what they're best at--musicians, athletes, competitive Scrabble players. I don't know if I'm happier to learn the fMRIs found no gaping black holes, or that MFAs do in fact teach you something.