Urgent Reply Needed!

Just some light-hearted fun at the expense of fraudsters. I found an email in my spam folder that was titled “Urgent Reply Needed!” Occasionally I find it amusing to look at the spam so I opened it. It was a nice man from the Central Bank of Burkina Faso who wanted to split “$10.5 Million Dollars” (His unnecessary repetition, not mine) with me. He’d get 60% and I’d get 40% and all I had to do was send my details and claim to be next of kin of an Indonesian man who died in the 2004 tsunami disaster.

There were a couple of red flags. For example, I would be committing fraud. Also, every word in his letter was capitalised. I Guess It Is Meant To Make It Seem More Urgent But It’s Quite Odd Once You Notice It. I’m not even going to bother asking who thought an Indonesian man would do his banking in Burkina Faso and have his next of kin in South Africa. Then there was the strange question of the banker’s religion. Normally I don’t judge a person just on their religion but it’s nice to know that they know what they believe. This guy wasn’t so sure. Continue reading


Playing violent video games doesn’t make you a bad person

It’s strange that people are still looking at this sort of thing because I thought it was fairly clear that playing violent video games doesn’t make you a violent person. I’m not aware of there being any sustained rise in violent behaviour that can be linked to video games, in fact I think there’s been a decrease in violence over the period video games have become popular. When I think of high-crime areas and the people who live there, they don’t seem to be the ones that play video games. It seems like it’s just a knee-jerk response to seeing violence in video games to blame them for societies ills. In any case a study has been published that shows that violent video games don’t diminish prosocial behaviour or, more simply, you aren’t less likely to help someone after playing a violent game. Continue reading

Walking through a doorway makes you forget

It appears that you might create certain memories that are only kept for a short duration when they will be valuable. Once you leave a situation that memory gets wiped clean. Doorways may be a convenient signal that current memories (of whatever you are doing) will no longer be needed (in the new context, in another room). So, strange as it seems, walking through a doorway makes you forget.