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Monday, April 19, 2004

Monday Morning 

The BBC has launched its End of Story competition. I'm not going to talk about it in great detail because Ray has done a thorough job and is even threatening to enter - brave soul that he is. The idea is for the public to finish short stories that have been started by well-known writers, including Ed McBain and Ian Rankin. There was a lot of talk on the launch program about the need for originality and finding your voice, but it's hard to see how this is possible when you're finishing someone else's story in under 1200 words. The ultimate competition for fanfic writers, perhaps? Even so, I'll be interested to see how Ray gets along.
Meanwhile, The Guardian has handed over its G2 supplement this week to guest editors, Glasgow band of the moment, Franz Ferdinand. Of course, they've only gone to The Guardian because I'd already got this gig from Sarah! Anyway, among the offerings is a short story, The Good Cop, from Magnus Mills. They also have yet another piece about how blogs have revolutionized the media, about which, Franz Ferdinand themselves say -

For many artists, there is the desire to chart the everyday, giving a voyeuristic thrill to the reader and the confessional buzz to the artist. We had become aware of the growing presence of this within the blogging community.

Ahem. Moving on...

Finally for now, a couple of interesting pieces in the Sydney Morning Herald. First, symmetry may help you attract a mate, but when it comes to intelligence and mental stability, a little asymmetry goes a long way. The research, which appeared in the journal, Cerebral Cortex, suggests the key to intelligence lies in the way your brain is folded. I'd tell you more but my April edition of Cerebral Cortex hasn't arrived yet (I only subscribe for the cartoons). Elsewhere, research has shown that net relationships can be as damaging as real-life affairs. I'm a little concerned about the method of research though.

Psychologist Monica Whitty, from Queen's University, Belfast, asked 245 students to complete stories in which one partner from a couple develops a relationship over the net.

You know, the BBC are running a competition along just those lines!

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