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Virtual Reality

NEWS
April 18, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Would you want your surgeon to party hearty the night before you went under his scalpel? Probably not. Yet there are no rules on the amount of alcohol a surgeon may (or may  not) consume on the eve of a day in the operating room. This despite the fact that 42% of healthcare workers acknowledged having a hangover at work, according to a 1993 study. And among doctors, surgeons are known to have a particular fondness for drinking, according to some other studies and the casual observations of many physicians.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 6, 2011 | By Kevin Thomas
Mamoru Hosoda's "Summer Wars," an official entry for the animated feature Oscar, imagines an online community known as Oz, a virtual world so vast that it has become a marketplace, a social media site and a gaming enterprise ? in short, the engine that drives the electronic universe. The film certainly functions as a cautionary tale about humanity's increasing reliance on technology, but it's also a superb example of Japanese anime, balancing science fiction fantasy with a paean to the timeless value of family life.
HEALTH
July 5, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
Beyond drugs, beyond exercise, beyond simply getting better are other ways to control pain. Typically referred to as complementary alternative medicine, many people consider their use to be common sense. • At the top of the list is the ancient practice of meditation. A number of studies suggest it can help people feel less pain. In one study, published in May in the journal Pain, people who had some experience with mindful meditation were subjected to bouts of pain. Those who had more experience with meditating showed less activity in certain parts of their brain as they anticipated pain.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 2010 | By Ben Ehrenreich
Despite the binary nature of his own neural wiring, each synapse an on/off switch, passing electrochemical messages from axon to dendrite, Jaron Lanier will be the first to tell you that the mind is not a digital device. We are analog creatures, staticky and mysterious, resistant to the normalizing containment of code. Lanier's mind has few apparent boundaries. It grapples with zombies and "gray goo," "inner trolls" and the "lords of the computing clouds," with "cephalopod envy" and "songles" -- "A songle is a dongle for a song," Lanier explains, in case you didn't know -- with "the mystery of Bengalese finch musicality" and the bucket containing all red things.
BUSINESS
August 31, 2009 | Alex Pham
For most of his career in the NBA, there have been two Kobe Bryants, each evolving in mirror universes. One is a 6-foot-6 Los Angeles Lakers guard who grew up playing Double Dribble, a video game released in the 1980s, with his cousins during summer visits to his grandmother's house. The other is also a basketball player, albeit a digital one created 10 years ago by Visual Concepts, a video game developer in Novato, Calif. If the real Kobe built up his shoulders, so would the virtual Kobe.
BUSINESS
August 6, 2009 | Chris Lee
Moving quickly to capitalize on fans' appetite for anything related to Michael Jackson, administrators for the singer's estate have mapped out elaborate plans for merchandising deals, a tribute concert, a television special and even a traveling exhibition of Jackson memorabilia. In a court filing last week, Jeryll S. Cohen, a lawyer for the administrators, said she expected the deals to generate an amount in the "high eight figures" -- tens of millions of dollars -- for the singer's estate.
NATIONAL
April 2, 2008 | James Hohmann, Times Staff Writer
A man with an oversized top hat sat in the front row of a House subcommittee hearing Tuesday, munching on popcorn. Next to him was a woman wearing wings that let her fly out of her seat. And she was sitting by a large bumblebee. It wasn't an April Fool's Day stunt but the first time a congressional hearing was simulcast into the popular online virtual world called Second Life.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 24, 2007 | Paloma Esquivel, Times Staff Writer
In a computer lab at UCLA, the worlds of cyberspace and Medieval Europe merge. A large group of computer engineers, scholars, students and other experts at UCLA have built a virtual cathedral -- a computer re-creation of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral as the building probably appeared when it was dedicated in northwest Spain in 1211. Projected onto a screen curving nearly a half-circle, the image looks as if it belongs in the virtual world of a video game.
SCIENCE
August 24, 2007 | Denise Gellene, Times Staff Writer
Exploring the connection between our mental and physical perceptions of ourselves, scientists on Thursday said they used virtual-reality goggles to induce out-of-body sensations in healthy volunteers. In simple experiments carried out by teams in Switzerland and England, test subjects looking at video images of themselves projected through the goggles reacted as if their own bodies had been touched when their virtual selves were stroked or poked.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 4, 2007 | Lisa Cornwell, Associated Press
Kathy Choi touches a kiosk screen, then looks up at a larger wall screen to see digitally created yellowish-brown mounds snaking through bright green grassland dotted with brilliant blue rivers and lakes. The ancient earthworks in the Ohio River Valley now are grass- and tree-covered mounds and walls diminished by development, floods and agriculture. But she's seeing them as they might have looked 2,000 years ago by way of a computerized fly-over.
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