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The history of hockey is more or less the history of hockey violence, and almost from the beginning, violence — and occasionally even death — was treated as a necessary component of the sport. In 1862, just as hockey crawled out of its own primordial soup, a letter was published in Toronto’s Globe newspaper complaining of stick-wielding players harassing skaters on the frozen Don River. Later, with the advent of elite leagues and trophies and salaried players in the early 20th century, violence became commonplace. It degenerated to such a level that in 1904 the Ontario Hockey Association president, John Ross Robertson, cautioned, “We must call a halt to slashing and slugging and insist upon clean hockey … before we have to call in a coroner to visit our rinks.” –School of Fight: Learning to Brawl with the Hockey Goons of Tomorrow,” Jake Bogoch, Deadspin
The Internet is an interruption system. It seizes our attention only to scramble it. There’s the problem of hypertext and the many different kinds of media coming at us simultaneously. There’s also the fact that numerous studies—including one that tracked eye movement, one that surveyed people, and even one that examined the habits displayed by users of two academic databases—show that we start to read faster and less thoroughly as soon as we go online. Plus, the Internet has a hundred ways of distracting us from our onscreen reading. Most email applications check automatically for new messages every five or 10 minutes, and people routinely click the Check for New Mail button even more frequently. Office workers often glance at their inbox 30 to 40 times an hour. Since each glance breaks our concentration and burdens our working memory, the cognitive penalty can be severe. –“The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains,” Nicholas Carr, Wired
He adds that Foxconn workers never have to clean toilets — after all, factory cleaners do that. Of course, there may be tragic incidents affecting the company’s 420,000 workers in Shenzhen, he says. People suffer personal problems, heartache, home sickness, unfamiliar food flavors. “Or illnesses of the spirit,” Liu says, raising his finger. One worker who recently threw himself off the balcony suffered from a persecution complex, he says, adding that the current workforce, which are mostly just over 20, are more vulnerable than that of previous generations. –“iPad Factor in the Firing Line: Worker Suicides have Electronics Maker Uneasy in China,” Wieland Wagner, Der Spiegel
More from Rafe Bartholomew:
Average number of sitcom laughs an American hears during a prime-time season:
Nielsen Media Research (N.Y.C.)/Jim Drake, Night Court (Tarzana, Calif.)/Harper's research
Czech and German deer still do not cross the Iron Curtain.
British economists correlated the happiness of a country’s population with its genetic resemblance to Danes.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”