Blogophile is written by CBSNews.com's Melissa P. McNamara
Anything But A Secret
Do you know "The Secret?" Millions do. The New Age phenomenon is the result of a movie and book that claim to reveal "the law of attraction," previously known only to a few elites, "The Secret" producers say.
"The Secret" theory is that the universe will make your wishes come true if you truly believe in them. Its promise is undoubtedly alluring, offering "the secret to unlimited joy, health, money, relationships, love, youth: everything you have ever wanted."
Through a series of interviews with inspirational figures, the movie delivers the message that positive thinking will improve everything from your health to your love life. And that message is spreading like wildfire. According to the New York Times, the DVD has sold 1.5 million copies, and in the ultimate compliment, Oprah featured "The Secret" on her program.
Despite the success of "The Secret," not many bloggers are buying it. "It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," a blogger at Be Happy, Be Happy, Stay Happy writes, adding "I haven't seen it work in my life or anyone else's."
"From what I can gather, the idea is that if you think positively, good things will happen to you," a blogger at The Stupidity Tracker writes. "That's the crux of the whole thing, and for this earth-shattering advice, you have to pay $4.95 to watch the film online, or $29.95 for the DVD."
"How about a dose of reality for a change," Andrew writes at Web Publishing. "If you want something, you, and you alone must work for it. Blood, sweat, and tears."
Still, some bloggers are intrigued by "The Secret." "Anytime something resonates that strongly within me, I know it to be a truth for me," Natalie blogs at Petroglyph Paradox. "I'm not sure 'The Secret' is the way to go for me, but I'm definitely wanting to live within the laws of attraction and create a harmonic wealth throughout all areas in my life."
"As someone who has been a spiritual seeker for quite some time, it warms my heart that a movie has finally come out that offers solutions to the problems that plague most minds," Travis Wright blogs at Cultivate Greatness.
Watch out, Wikipedia, there's a new kid in town. Conservapedia is a new online dictionary, which describes itself as "a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia, which is increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American."
Like Wikipedia, Conservapedia is an online encyclopedia resource that allows users to submit entries, and to supplement entries already there. But unlike Wikipedia, the site describes itself as "a meeting place where we favor Christianity and America." One of its most viewed entries is "Examples of bias in Wikipedia," which includes "Renaissance in Wikipedia refuses to give enough credit to Christianity" and "Wikipedia often uses foreign spelling of words, even though most English speaking users are American."
Conservapedia has certainly got bloggers buzzing about it. "There is definitely going to be a segment on the Colbert Report about Conservapedia. I just know it," Mechacrash writes at LiveJournal.
"To be fair to thinking conservatives everywhere, Conservapedia should be renamed Lunaticfringeapedia," John Pieret blogs at Thoughts In A Haystack.
Some bloggers say Conservapedia unfairly takes a swipe at Wikipedia. "Conservapedia bemoans Wikipedia's biases (anti-Christian and anti-American), but manages to say clearly on the main page: Conservapedia is an online resource and meeting place where we favor Christianity and America," Norm Viss Schreef blogs. "That's not bias?"
Many note that the site is rapidly becoming a parody site, with people writing in with fake entries, or at least appears that way. "Sadly, portions of Conservapedia already appear to have been vandalized by the forces of irony and sarcasm," Patrick at Making Light blogs.
A blogger at Alicublog cites Conservapedia's entry on Bill Clinton as particularly imaginative. The entry is posted as: "Bill Clinton managed to serve two terms without botching the prosecution of two wars, manipulating intelligence, engaging in a systematic program of torture, or mishandling the federal response to flooding of a major American city. Obviously, he is the devil incarnate."
Some bloggers think enough is enough. "What I find most disturbing is the conservative/liberal dichotomy, when neither of these 'sides' seems to recognize that they are merely minor shifts from each other in liberalism," Michael blogs at A Collage Of Citations.
Still Want A Twinkie?
Have you ever wondered what is really in those Twinkies? You're not alone. Steve Ettinger, author of "Twinkie, Deconstructed" took it upon himself to decode the sometimes shocking 39 ingredients – yes, 39! — that make up that yellow and white product.
So, just what's in those Twinkies? For starters, cellulose gum is used, Ettinger uncovers. As he explains in his book, "This cooked goop from cotton lends slipperiness to the filling - as it also does to rocket fuel. It's also found in Starbucks low-fat latte, denture adhesives and ceramics glaze."
Perhaps ignorance is bliss when it comes to examining your Twinkie? Not necessarily, some bloggers say. Lynn, blogging at MySpace, calls the discovery of the mysterious Twinkie ingredients "quite fascinating."
"When I was in college my co-op had a special junk food brunch. Among other things we ordered sugary cereal, Pop Tarts and Twinkies. The normally staid, academic bunch went temporarily insane (thankfully no one was killed!), breakdancing on top of tables and jamming Twinkies into the ceiling with forks," a blogger at blogs. "Those Twinkies stayed there for a whole semester without changing color or shape."
But some are alarmed at what they've been eating. "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I'm apalled and astounded at how little I know about the food that's been going into my body for the last 25 years," a blogger at Brightest Kidz points out. "When nutritional and exercise experts talk about foods that are not good for you, they inevitably come to focus on a single food: the twinkie," the blogger notes.
Is Internet addiction a crime? In China, some addicts are being treated as if it is. After a survey that found that nearly 14 percent of Chinese teens are vulnerable to becoming addicted to the Internet, the Chinese government has launched a nationwide crackdown on this "grave social problem," the Washington Post reports.
The treatment for Internet addiction in China is anything, but ordinary. As the newspaper reports, as part of its Internet-addiction campaign, the Chinese government is funding rehab clinics where patients must adhere to the same tough-love approach used to treat those addicted to alcohol or drugs. Some Internet addicts are kept in isolated locked-down facilities at these military-run clinics, while others are even given shock treatments.
American bloggers are appalled by the harsh treatments. "Be glad you don't live there," Stephanie writes on MySpace. And Stephen Pollard calls it "horrific."
"We imagine many of them find the conditions so distasteful that they swear off technology altogether simply for fear of being sent back," a blogger at writes.
Even if the so-called Internet addicts exhibit anti-social tendencies, it's hard to imagine China's treatment is the answer, some bloggers say. "It's maladaptive social behavior, to be sure, but it seems it would be best addressed in, oh, every other imaginable way possible before using ECT," Liz Spikol writes at The Trouble With Spikol.
Michael Cohen agrees. His solution? "The more we nourish ourselves with good food, a healthy environment, fulfilling relationships, the less intriguing it becomes to cut and paste a bunch of text and pics," he writes at CamLaw.
Still, the issue of Internet addiction is close to home. "They aren't the only countries joining the fight, but if that were implemented in America, virtually the entire nation would be in rehab," a blogger at MayhemNetworks writes.
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By Melissa McNamara
Copyright 2007 CBS. All rights reserved.