Last week’s hullabaloo over Irish student Shane Fitzgerald’s Wikipedia experiment not only showed up lazy ‘cut and paste’ journalism, but also raised some other interesting issues: what if Wikipedia, the holy grail of the pub quiz and trivia addict, caused you to lose a round at the local?
Then again, you needn’t show your shameful face around the local pub if that happens – you can just head to The Globe’s Pub Quiz Blog, where there are plenty of tricky questions to stump even the most bloody-minded trivia fanatics.
The problem with seeking answers to the more difficult questions is that when you input them in Google the tendency is for Wikipedia to appear as the top result. Do you dare branch out for your online-knowledge sources?
When your kid asks you why the sky is blue or why chickens don’t have teeth, you can head over to the Science Facts Blog. If you’re wondering how long an eyelash lives for or where the most nerves in our body are concentrated (fingertips), then go here for a few more useful science-trivia facts that you can lord over your friends.
Then again perhaps they knew that dolphins and whales are the only mammals that don’t drink water.
Despite the very worthy science departments in our country’s universities and institutes of technology, it is surprising to see a lack of official blogs documenting this rich body of knowledge.
So, Diary of a University President by Dublin City University’s president, Ferdinand von Prondzynski, is very enlightening.
In the post ‘Dumbing Down’, he tackles assertions that better educational results in recent years are due to the dumbing down of the system.
The only way to have a say in our economy right now and how education and the technology sector relates, is to begin reading and listening to people like this and take part in the debate ourselves.
In science, we look for solid facts, proof, rules. Scientific debate and the philosophy of science, however, is often what keeps the general public’s interest alive, and with hot topics like genetically modified crops, stem cell research, global warming solutions and even creationism, debate on how science interacts with politics, economics, religion and society in general must be encouraged.
This New Zealand blog has some lively debates and is the perfect online forum to flex your grey matter and add your opinion.
By Marie Boran
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