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Videogames And Cartoons Used To Shock School Children About Violence April 12, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Arts, Film / TV, News, Tech / Science.
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18-rated videogame ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and gory cartoon ‘The Itchy And Scratchy Show’ are both being used to demonstrate the difference between real and virtual violence to primary school children in Merseyside.

Children are shown stills of scenes including a gun being fired through a car window and a man brandishing a sword, and then asked to categorise them as ‘good real life’, ‘bad real life’ and ‘not real.’

The idea behind it is to stop children becoming desensitized to violent behavior and teach them about its consequences in real life.

What do you think, BWT readers?  Is this scheme a brilliant idea, or a waste of time and money?

More here.

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Great Architecture, or Big Mess? April 1, 2010

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This spiralling structure has just been unveiled as the monument to mark the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Named the ArcelorMittal Orbit (certainly rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?), the design was created by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor, and will be 22m higher than New York’s Statue of Liberty.

The structure also has a second purpose – to keep people coming to east London (where the Olympics are being held) long after the Games have finished.

”Long after the Games are over, our aim is to have a stunning spectacle in east London that will be recognised around the world,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson.

It will cost £19.1m to build.

What do you think, BWT readers?  Do you like the design?  We’re a bit on the fence…

Brian Blessed The Voice of TomTom? April 1, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Arts, Film / TV.
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We’re not going to lie, BWT loves Brian Blessed.  He is a god among men.  Did you know his ribcage is apparently twice the size of a normal man’s?  He’s like a bear, only less hairy!  Plus there’s that unmistakable booming voice.

And now that voice is the centre of an online Facebook petition – to turn it into a satnav speaker option.

The social networking group, which has been running for only a few weeks, currently has over 8,000 members.  Richard Gardner, the founder, contacted TomTom about getting Brian on board.  The satnav manufacturer promises that if the group gains 25,000 members in total, they’ll enter into negotiations with the big jolly bearded one.

So what are you waiting for?  GO JOIN!

When Colouring Books Go Bad March 19, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Arts, Bizarre.
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If the eyes are the door to the soul, then the colouring book is the door to the psychiatrist’s office – especially based on these doodles.

It really takes a lot of dedication to turn sweet and cute Hello Kitty into a raging pyromaniac.  Definately a +1 for creativity.  But just to be safe, we’ll be sleeping with a kitchen knife under our pillow for a little while, okay?

Via BuzzFeed

That’s A Lot of Furballs March 18, 2010

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Love your pet?  Think it looks cute in a photo?  Want to upload it to be part of a Guiness World Record attempt?

Well, NOW YOU CAN!

Just head over to the Petrait Gallery (petrait? portrait?  Yeah, it’s a bit of a stretch), upload your fluffy or furry photo, and voilà!  Your photo will become one of many, and if Petplan (the pet insurance chaps who are running it) collect over 138,000 images, they will officially have the greatest number of pet pictures in an online gallery.

And as they currently have just over 50,000 uploaded, they need all the help they can get.  So start snapping those pics!

Japan Cracks Down on Child Pornography – One Pixel at a Time March 16, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Arts, Film / TV, Politics, Sex / Relationships.
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The Tokyo Metropolitan government have announced they are proposing to extend the reach of existing child pornography laws to include a ban on provocative “visual depictions” of underage “nonexistent youths” – meaning, comic, videogame and cartoon characters.

The law in question is the Metropolitan Tokyo youth welfare law.  The amendment would mean that a provocative and/or sexual depiction of a character that appears to be eighteen years or younger would be banned.

However, the proposals have met strong opposition from some groups – most notably from manga creators.

Manga is a form of comic, and very popular in Japan.  Unlike the perception of comics in the West, manga covers many genres and appeals to a wide range of audiences, including women, children and the elderly.

Some high profile manga creators have stated that the amended law restricts their artistic freedom.  The proposed legislation can be “freely” interpreted and would affect manga characters “despite no living beings being hurt.”

Either way, the law would only apply in Metropolitan Tokyo, and not elsewhere in Japan.

What do you think, BWT readers?  Does child pornography extend to drawn depictions of virtual characters?  Do you think the proposal – if passed – would be a good thing, or a bad thing?  And how would someone be able to indentify if an image is underage?

BWT will keep you posted on any developments.

More here and here.

Little Feet, Big Steps March 15, 2010

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Chico the chihuahua at Crufts

Oolong The Rabbit March 9, 2010

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Oolong the rabbit was cute.  Ridiculously cute.  He also happened to be rather good at balancing inanimate objects on his head.  That’s why he became an internet sensation, after his owner began publishing photos of his amazingy furryness back in 1999.

Sadly you may notice we speak in past tense, as Oolong passed away in 2003.  But if you remember Oolong (and if you’ve had anything to do with the internet that isn’t porn, you probably do), you can now cherish his life and waffle-balancing adventures in a new book called In Almost Every Picture #8.  It’s a beautiful, 144-page photography book, featuring Oolong in all of his flat headed glory.  From bananas to teapots – there was nothing that little guy couldn’t handle.

Oolong’s owner, Hironori Akutagawa, now has a new rabbit, and is teaching it the ways of Oolong’s many balancing talents.  But nothing can really replace Oolong.  He will always remain dear in our hearts.

Rest in peace, furry flat-headed dude.

P.S. If you can get through The Telegraph’s entire Oolong gallery without getting the sniffles, then you are COLD AND DEAD INSIDE.

Meet Peter Rabbit at Selfridges! March 8, 2010

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When we were young, we used to love reading Beatrix Potter books – well, we say read.  Really, we just loved the illustrations.

If you’re also a fan, we recommend heading along to Selfridges book department in London between March 8th – April 12th.  You’ll be able to check out a display of original Potter illustrations, early-edition books and archive toys.  Plus between April 2nd – 5th there will be storytelling performances and appearances by PETER RABBIT HIMSELF!

It’s supposed to appeal to the kiddies, but SCREW THEM!  We’re putting on our best Jemima Puddleduck impression and hitting the town!  Woo hoo!

Alice in Wonderland (1903) March 7, 2010

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With Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland all over the cinemas, it seems like a pretty fitting time for the British Film Institute National Archive to unveil the original Alice in Wonderland film in all its restored glory.

The film, made in 1903, was released just thirty seven years after Lewis Carroll wrote his book.  With a running time of 12 minutes, it was the longest film produced in England at the time.  However, over the years, the materials of the film became severely damaged.  But with a lot of love (and a lot of patience), you can now view 8 of the original 12 minutes.

We think it’s INSANELY cute and packed with charm.  Massive kudos to the BFI for taking the time to restore it.