Today’s browsing lead to a few interesting things I would like to talk about. This includes a new public service announcement from the Wales Gwent Police Department and the Alienware M17x gaming laptop.

This is a new PSA for the use of texting whilst driving. Be warned this is extremely graphic, akin to the graphic images placed on tobacco products, in an attempt to deter people from smoking. I often wondered just how effective such efforts were in deterring the use of such products/behaviors. Incidentally I managed to find a study from the journal, Bull World Health Organ (What the eff?), called The Impact of Pictures on the Effectiveness of Tobacco Warnings, with authors Geoffrey Fong, David Hammond and Sara Hitchman. Beginning in 2001, Canada and 28 other countries started placing regulations for such pictures, with the hopes of a cost effective tool for educating the health risks of tobacco. In particular, it has been effective in countries with low literacy rates (provided that the pictures indicate the correct “thousand words” to the observer). They are also effective in low/middle income countries due to the few sources of information that consumers can tap. Although it has been argued that these images will offend smokers, causing them to continue usage, in a retalitory/boomerang effect, there is no evidence to show this (it is interesting in that the proponents of this idea are from British American Tobacco). It is quite the opposite actually, in that smokers would actually like to see more information on these warnings. The result has been positive, showing increases in the number of smokers considering the health risks associated with smoking, as well as the numbers wanting to quit the habit.

By this same reasoning, such graphic advertisements, such as the Holland text while driving video, or the impaired driving posters up all over Edmonton’s bus shelters should provide the same effect, in reducing such adverse behaviors. I am excited to see such progress, and the effectiveness in reducing pointless casualties.

Completely unrelated to the above is the relatively new Alienware M17X laptop, my dream computer. Priced relatively close to the Macbook Pro (which I was infatuated with for years, until they aesthetically shit bombed it in the last generation), it has the power of a desktop, and the beauty only a nerd could love. Completely customizable in five areas for 12 different LED colors, I can not express how much I would love to have this laptop amidst the slew of Best Buy/Futureshop sheep on campus. There are so many things I love about this computer, including a WUXGA resolution (1920×1200) 17 inch screen and processing power only a true loser could love (partially me). However, its mostly the unrivaled beastial design that screams “I’m going to eat your Macbook, shit it out and eat it again.”

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