The Null Device


A school in Los Angeles is allowing its students to play videogames during PE class. Mind you, the game in question involves dancing and, according to the story, has helped otherwise sedentary students lose weight. (Which, in a place like LA, where there's nowhere to walk beyond your own driveway, is a good thing.)

I remember when I went to school (Melbourne High), they briefly had laser-tag (called "Phasor Strike") as a sports elective. Students would go down to a video arcade down the road from the school and shoot at each other with infrared guns. I say briefly, as it got binned after parents complained.

(I'm not sure whether this was before or after a MHS old boy went postal and massacred some 7 people on Hoddle St.; mind you, I don't believe there was any connection. For one, he didn't go to school at the time, and was more a product of the extraordinarily militaristic culture that existed around the school's cadet corps. (Ah yes; the cadet corps. For some reason, it seemed to bring out the worst in adolescent boys, turning them into psychopaths who wished they could have been in 'Nam "napalming gooks" and such.) Anyway, Phasor Strike got canned, but the cadet corps continued on as before.)

As for me? I took golf as a school sport. It was a decent excuse to have a leisurely stroll, rather than wrestling in mud with 10 other blokes and getting bruised and scraped and rained on or some equally unpleasant way to spend a Wednesday afternoon. Even at the cost of lugging a set of cheap, decrepit-looking golf clubs back and forth on the peak-hour train every week.


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