Benjamin L. Russell

Collection

  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Apparently, aristocratic families have a very different sense of values from most other types of families.

    Long ago, while working as an English instructor at Berlitz, I once read an article about how a certain hypothetical aristocrat, a certain Harry Stow-Crat (try pronouncing this name quickly), never cleaned up after eating, because he knew that his maids would always clean up for himself, instead. Similarly, he didn't care about spilling wine on the tablecloth, either, because he knew that...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Just now, I had a sudden revelation of one key distinguishing factor between a merely half-decent role-playing game, and a great one: humor.

    This is also the reason that I remember the comedy _A Midsummer Night's Dream_, by William Shakespeare, better than most other pre-modern works of literature as well.

    Most of the titles that I have enjoyed most, and remember most clearly, have made me laugh, either at the story, or at some eccentric behavior of some character, at some point.

    A comedy is...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    According to the article,

    "Astronomers have found the biggest black hole ever measured — it's 40 billion times the sun’s mass, or roughly two-thirds the mass of all stars in the Milky Way. The gargantuan black hole lurks in a galaxy that’s supermassive itself and probably formed from the collisions of at least eight smaller galaxies.

    "Holm 15A is a huge elliptical galaxy at the center of a cluster of galaxies called Abell 85. A team of astronomers captured a snapshot of Holm 15A’s stars in o...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Currently, there are three major corporations that I have placed on my personal list of corporate entities for which a special degree of suspicion is warranted.

    3. Microsoft
    2. Google
    1. Oracle

    Oracle, you've managed to beat both Microsoft and Google for especially egregious behavior. Microsoft is a big bully always trying to corner the market, Google is a traitor that only cares about profits, but Oracle, you're the big, bad boss on the top of the hill who'll literally do anything for bot...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    According to the article,

    "According to the court filing, Daramola, a resident of Montreal, Canada, worked for Oracle's NetSuite division from November 30, 2016 through October 13, 2017. He served as a project manager for an Oracle cloud service known as the Cloud Campus BookStore initiative and dealt with US customers. Campus bookstores, along with ad agencies, and apparel companies are among the market segments targeted by Oracle and NetSuite.

    "Daramola's clients are said to have included t...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    There is something suspicious about the motivation of a corporation preventing the archiving of records of past history.

    Remember Ingsoc, from the novel _Nineteen Eighty-Four_, by George Orwell? One of the primary means used by Ingsoc to maintain control was to render history mutable.

    Perhaps George Orwell's prediction is coming true after all....
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Apparently, Libella Gene Therapeutics, a Kansas-based company that says it is developing a gene therapy that can reverse aging by up to 20 years, is charging $1 million for participation in an experiment on anti-aging therapy at a clinic north of Bogota, Colombia.

    According to the article,

    "The aim of Libella’s therapy is to lengthen a person’s telomeres, which sit at the tips of chromosomes like caps on the end of shoelaces. First discovered in the 1970s, telomeres have been linked to aging ...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    For some bizarre reason, at least to my knowledge, there does not seem to be an online role-playing game-related social media service that is tailored specifically to lengthy, detailed posts submitted by college graduates, and which is aimed at forming a community of like-minded, like-educated fellow users.

    Discord, for example, is essentially a chat-based service that seems to be tailored to elementary school graduates.

    Reddit, by contrast, has a collection of sub-reddits by topic, not by use...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Apparently, a study of more than 500 second graders at Yale University showed that a computer-based brain training program, Activate, helped improve student performance in reading and mathematics. Furthermore, "The effect on math achievement scores was greater than what has been reported for one-on-one tutoring and the effect on reading scores was greater than what has been reported for summer reading programs."

    According to the article,

    "In a study of more than 500 second graders, math and ...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Apparently, my seemingly nonsensical idea of my alma mater, Yale University, eventually discussing games in an academic setting might not be so far-fetched after all: Last year, _The Yale Tribune_ ("a student-run newspaper on tech, politics, and everything in-between" ) published an article, "Gamers changing the landscape of professional sports" (see https://campuspress.yale.edu/tribune/gamers-changing-the-landscape-of-professional-sports/), by "JL2977," dated "December 3, 2018," which discusse...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    This is just one more reason that I deleted my account on Facebook last year (after previously having deactivated it back in _circa_ 2012), and refuse to use that service ever again.