Online Insights on fiveAA, Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 30, 2008

Firstly tonight, hello to bloggers in Adelaide. The Adelaide blogging community is having its end of year get together tonight.

China defines internet addiction
China is set to register “internet addiction” as an official condition with the World Health Organisation in 2009. It follows research by Chinese psychologists, and will put the “disorder” on the same standing as compulsive gambling or alcoholism.
China even has hundreds of internet addiction clinics to treat the “disease”.
Here are some of the pertinent facts:

  • China has the world’s largest online population at 253 million people
  • An addict spends 6.13 hours online each day
  • Research shows 42 per cent of Chinese youngsters feel addicted to the internet (18 per cent in the USA)
  • About 10 per cent of young Chinese users suffer from addiction and of those about 70 per cent are male
  • Symptoms include yearning to get back online, mental or physical distress, irritation and difficulty concentrating or sleeping

This Times Online article covers most of the details. It doesn’t say whether patients can book appointments online!
The article does point out other dubious conditions, such as:

  • Tanorexia – an unhealthy dependence on tanning
  • Shopaholism – compulsive shopping with an uncontrollable urge to buy items that are never used, sometimes never even removed from the bag
  • Nomophobia – the fear of being without a mobile phone (about 53 per cent of us apparently)
  • Cosmetic surgery addiction – 40 per cent of patients using Botox have a compulsive urge for further treatment.

You can read this great article at Times Online.

Top ten most annoying phrases
Oxford University boffins have defined the most annoying phrases cluttering the English language. Here they are:
1 – At the end of the day
2 – Fairly unique
3 – I personally
4 – At this moment in time
5 – With all due respect
6 – Absolutely
7 – It’s a nightmare
8 – Shouldn’t of
9 – 24/7
10 – It’s not rocket science
The list appears in a new book, Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare, by Jeremy Butterfield. And the link I have provided is to Wired magazine’s coverage of the story and the expansive list of comments readers submitted to the post. Ironically, one reader dropped a clanger while venting with some of their own hated phrases by saying, “For all intensive purposes this sort of list …” The saying should be, “for all intents and purposes.”
The comments also collect other jewels, such as:

  • “pun intended”
  • “the fact of the matter is”
  • “think outside the box”
  • “literally”

Frugalous is a site designed to combine “frugal” and “fabulous”. It has been around since June 2008 but I expect it to see a boost in traffic during these times of gloom (caused by some financial woes and exacerbated by panic-peddling mass media).
The author of the blog is Merlene Paynter who explains the origins of the blog thus:
“After 19 years of marriage, and being a stay-home mother to two kids, I’m ready to make some changes in my life. I’m tired of carrying debt. I’m tired of worrying about bills. I’m tired of living a big life. So I’ve ended my marriage and am selling the house – a hard choice. I really love my house, my neighbours, etc. – paying off all of the debts and moving into a 2 bedroom apartment which will neatly cut my living expenses in half.”
When I read that piece in her biography I almost didn’t promote this site because if she really did just toss away her marriage like a dirty towel, it says to me she is careless, thoughtless and selfish, and not somebody you want to model. However, I expect that the decision was not just an act of flippancy but rather she has framed it that way in an attempt to sound hip and happening. But I digress, this is not a relationship counselling blog …
Thankfully, there are some wonderful recipes on this site and some helpful tips to guide us in being frugal not only with money but also with our time. Some of my favourites include:

  • Wrapping gifts when you buy them. This way, you only need to add a card when it is time to give the gift and not frantically dash around looking for paper while under time pressure – my wife and I have been known to wrap presents in our car while parked outside a birthday party or wedding reception!
  • Chocolate Carrot Cake – this sounds delicious with carrots, cocoa, walnuts, coconut, orange juice, and cinnamon. Merlene says even people who don’t like carrot cake like this one. She also suggests substituting 1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce for the cup of oil to keep the cake moist while cutting the fat content considerably.
  • Egg salad sandwich recipes – a childhood favourite of mine was always egg salad sandwiches, nowadays I don’t trust them from delis because I just don’t know how well the egg mixture has been refrigerated. There are a dozen variations on this site but I like the sound of Merlene’s basic mixture – eggs, mayo, a dash of dijon mustard, finely diced celery and finely sliced green onion with a dash of pepper. Variations include using pesto, hummus, sundried tomatoes, and carrot and sunflower seeds. All sound great!
  • Pulling the plug on cable tv – in a major coup, Merlene was able to convince her teenage son they could do without cable tv at $150 a month by upping their broadband internet connection to an ultra fast connection so that he could watch video online. This cost an extra $20 per month, but left a net saving of $130 per month. Nice move.

You can read this blog at

James Bond Baddie
Bond baddieYou can be a Bond baddie at, which gives you the chance to upload a picture of yourself, merge it with a sinister looking character (male or female) and then email it to friends, add it to your Facebook profile or save the link.
Your character also gets to choose from a number of sayings – I chose “allow me to introduce you to my little friend”. Quite a happy, innocent sentence, except when spoken in a deep, gravely, pseudo-European accent.
You can see and hear me as the notorious Bond baddie, Sir Stavros davos Blofeldenberger, here.