Quick Hits

Published: October 30th, 2003

A medical institution in the U.K. is now treating patients addicted to text-messaging. The British newspaper The Telegraph recently reported that officials from Priory Hospital in South-West London – known for the rich and famous patients checking in for alcohol and drug addiction treatment – are finding more and more people are becoming obsessed with texting as a way to escape problems with face-to-face relationships. “We’ve really noticed it in the past 18 months,” Dr. Mark Collins, head of the addictions unit at the Priory in Roehampton, told The Telegraph. “There has been a big rise in the number of behavioural addictions, and many involve texting.” Collins said some of his patients were sending messages for up to seven hours a day. One patient developed repetitive strain injury, he said, adding that compulsive texting is part of a wider trend of “addiction to technology.”

How much is that dragon in the window?

Teknik Digital Arts has created a 3D virtual world screen saver that features dragons as pets. The world in which the dragon lives, called a “Dracosystem” by the company, varies its weather patterns from clear to overcast skies with day and night lighting based on the computer’s system clock. An accelerated time option creates an entertaining view running through a full day-and-night cycle in about 20 minutes. “Events such as two moons rising against a gaseous nebula unfold like time-lapse photography,” the firm said in a statement. Various forms of digital wildlife inhabit this domain, including fish, birds, insects and strange bipeds called Squeebles – the company said they resemble a chicken crossed with a bulldog. According to Teknik, Squeebles are a favourite food of the dragons. Take the dragon for a test drive at www.anidragon.com.