jeudi 30 avril 2015

THC destroys cancer cells?

There have been a lot of claims about the curative effect of cannabis or cannabinoids on cancer, some of them reasonable and some not so. Most of the time, I've been able to track down the source of the claims, and discover whether or not they are supported by research or evidence.
However, this video has got me puzzled. It claims to show THC cells destroying cancer cells. The supposed THC cells, to my admittedly unqualified eye, don't seem to be behaving like plant cells: rather, they look more like white blood cells, so I'm really not sure what to think if it.
I've tried to find out more about the wheres and whens of this video, but have drawn a blank. Does anyone here know anything more about it? Is it genuine, or a case of misrepresentation?

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Oil from plastic

Apparently a chap named Ito from the Blest Corporation is going to save the world by turning plastic back into oil.
I wonder what it costs to do so and what the waste products are.

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Okay, click the link, watch this "Challenge to the Engineers" - then explain, please!

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Special Forces are invading Texas!

Yes you read that right. Conspriacy nuts believe SF units are going to invade Texas under the guise of an upcoming exercise. It seems as though the govenor is a bit worried too. Never mind the fact the army already has the largest base in the US in Texas already along with two other bases and an air force base.

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Forty Years Ago Today: The Fall of Saigon

Forty years ago today the last American military personnel left Saigon and the way was cleared for the North Vietnamese to takeover South Vietnam. April 30th has become a national holiday in Vietnam known as Reunification Day.

Forty years ago today, on April 30, 1975, helicopters carried away the last Americans in Saigon as North Vietnamese troops entered the city. What followed showed that the war had changed the United States as much as it had changed South Vietnam. News story

The communist takeover was followed by a series of economic failures and in 1986 Vietnam adopted a free market brand of socialism. It has worked well. Today Saigon is booming, and Vietnam has gone from having one of the worst performing Asian economies to one of the fastest growing.

The new socialist market economy has enabled Vietnam to make progress in overcoming its most urgent problem – hunger and poverty. Using international criteria for the general definition of poverty (covering food and other basic needs), 70 percent of the population in 1990 lived in poverty; of this number, 90 percent were in rural areas. By the year 2000, the number of people below the general poverty line was reduced to 32 percent. Link

Today there is both a McDonald's and a KFC in Hanoi. Wonder what Ho Chi Minh and LBJ would make of that?

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First flight of New Shepard

Blue Origin is a very secretive space launch company founded by Jeff Bezos (yes, of

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Defendants that don't "look or act not guilty."

This has been something of an ancillary topic in many discussions of court cases and criminal investigation, claims that a person accused of a crime has to be guilty because they don't act like a not guilty person "should."

The Ur example of this in modern criminology is probably the case of Lindy Chamberlain who was treated with suspension for not acting like a "properly grieving mother" after her 9 week old daughter Azaria was killed by a wild dog.

But subtler versions of this pop up often when lay people discuss court cases, that a person that hadn't committed a crime shouldn't act guilty or shouldn't be that calm or should be more cooperative with authorities or less cooperative with authorities or shouldn't do action X or should do action Y or whatever.

So I ask:

- Is there a specific way that people guilty of crimes specifically act that can be used as meaningful evidence in determining guilt?

- If so is that something a layperson can determine via seeing only short out of context scenes of the person on television?

Now I'm firmly on the "Absolutely not" side of this argument. It's armchair pop psychiatry at best, trumped up mob trial by ordeal at worst. No one should ever have to take a long drop on a short rope because they dared show up to their trial for murdering a loved one dressed in something other than Victorian Mourning Wear and communicated in something other than sobs and wails.

And this seems to be a mostly female thing. I'm sure cases exists but I can't think of a high profile case where a big deal was made out of man not acting properly "not guilty" in the sense we're talking.

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Hillary wants to abolish religion!

Just got an earful from someone who puts the "jerk" in knee-jerk conservative:

Short version, acknowledging that religious and cultural bias and beliefs stand in the way of LGBT and women's rights means that religion must be abolished.

I have just been informed that this will sink Hillary's bid for the presidency.

When I countered that what she said isn't what these yahoos think she said, the counter from the peanut gallery was that since I'm an atheist how the hell would I know.

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US Military prepares to invade Texas!

OMG!!1! Get the tin foil hats out!

At least that's what we're told.

TX Gov Orders State Guard to Monitor Possible Military Takeover of Texas


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday asked the State Guard to monitor a U.S. military training exercise dubbed "Jade Helm 15" amid Internet-fueled suspicions that the war simulation is really a hostile military takeover.
It's OK though, the gunnutters have got this handled.

Oh, and:

White House On A Possible Military Takeover Of Texas: Um, No

Check out the usual (R)winger 'nutter sites; Breitbart, PrisonPlanet, etc. Heck, even some gun forums are getting silly.

Gunnutters, folks.

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Why mention both "rape" and "sodomy"?

I was reading this article regarding a UN report into the alleged sexual abuse that happened during a French peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic in 2014 when i was struck by something in this sentence:


Entitled Sexual Abuse on Children by International Armed Forces and stamped “confidential” on every page, the report details the rape and sodomy of starving and homeless young boys by French peacekeeping troops who were supposed to be protecting them at a centre for internally displaced people in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.

In the highlighted part they there's apparently some need to mention both rape and sodomy. By contrast in Swedish articles there's no mention of sodomy at all, they only mention sexual abuse and rape against boys. Thus i wonder: why do British media feel that it's important to mention that male rape victims who were raped by men were sodomized, as if it wasn't obvious?

Is it because anal-sex is much worse and more taboo that "normal" penile-vaginal intercourse, whether or not it involves rape, and they are just abusing said fact for its emotional impact? Or is it because of some incredibly old and antiquated definition of rape which treats "rape" and "sodomy" as something separate?

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Challenging James Randi

Hello JREF members,
I have taken a year out to put together a test suitable for the JREF challenge. It took months retrieving the requirements for such a challenge. Finding a journalist willing to write up a few lines regarding certain paranormal activity he'd witnessed, was difficult. Obtaining a letter from my GP was a lot easier. Both documents were sent off with a completed application form to the JREF address supplied (Dec 2014)

February 14th 2015 I received an email informing me that my application was complete, that I was responsible for all costs, and did I have a protocol in mind. I forwarded a suggested test protocol on the 17th February and await a reply.

I've sent a polite reminder but haven't received any reply. I don't mind the waiting, I'm sure the JREF are an extremely busy organisation.

Just wondering if any members have an idea of how long completed applications take before a preliminary test usually takes place?

I've long purchased the equipment required, gathering dust but ready to be delivered to a JREF rep here in the UK for inspection.

Thank you kindly for any information/response you have to offer on the matter.

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Countdown to when this is all over.

For a few years. :(

Anyway, 559 to the day after Election Day 2016 .

Stay tuned.

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Question about using survey data after a change in research instrument

I'm doing a small-scale research project into perceptions residents of an area have about their surrounding natural environment.

When we designed the questionnaire we set up a grid on Google Forms asking people to rank particular aspects according to their importance.

However, upon going into the field for our first pilot run (we printed the questions onto paper forms and approached residents in the street) we realised that a). some people didn't consider certain criteria we had selected as important, so couldn't really rank it relative to other criteria they did consider important, and b). as everyone was in a rush respondents tended to just treat it as though it were a Likert Scale anyway because the format was confusing.

My question is, how should we manage the data? Is it valid to keep the other responses and drop responses from the two questions that were resulting in confusion, or should all the data be scrapped? And, would it be valid on the responses we can tell were obviously entered as if on a Likert Scale, or would that be too presumptuous and hence invalidate the results?

The only reason I even ask is that we are quite pressed for time. We didn't get a huge amount of data but it was a few hours work and it would be a shame to start from scratch and lose all of the other good responses we got.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter?

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What are Democrats like when they are alone

I have observed Democrats for a number of years, and though I don't have any close friends who are Democrats, I did notice some traits that the majority of Democrats share.

1. They might be slightly less self sufficient as a group. By slightly I mean very slightly though because I have seen lots people on disability vote straight Republican, people getting government money voting republican etc.

2. Overall they are less informed on the issues, The average Democrat doesn't watch much news and cares less about most current issues than say most Republicans.

3. Race is a still a big factor with Democrats with racial tolerance being one of the litmus tests as to whether you are an reasonable human being or not.

4. Democrats used to have a philosophy based on various types of political correctness starting from the 60's but it didn't bear fruit and is largely forgotten about by the rank and file.

5. They have quasi-legal civil rights groups that work in the shadows and act as enforcers to whatever the pet cause that they are trying to promote.

6. There are people who always vote Democrat who are Republican in every other way simply because their family has always voted democrat.

7. Race politics play a much larger role in the Democrat party. One woman I know believed that African Americans could not be defined as racist because they are not the privileged class/ Only Caucasians could be racist. Over the years reality has set in and she became less involved politically due the fact that the answers she was taught were actually a lot more difficult than that.

8. The civil rights movement is really the core of the Democrat party. From what I remember from the 60's in preschool, Racism and sexism was at least partly, an acceptable form of expression, toward the 70's if you were outed as a racist you could be fired from your job and/or face social harassment. In reality sexism wasn't really dealt with at all in the workplace til maybe the early 90's. A boss could freely harass or intimidate a worker for sexual favors before then without fear of rapprochement.

9. These practices lead to some anger and resentment among some Democrats that occasionally is justified but oftentimes is not,

10. Democrats could identified as a cohesive herd manipulated by liberal sound bites for the most part during an election cycle.

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StopSylvia: Amanda Berry SAW the MY ep with her mom!

Last night, Susan was watching an episode of ABC's "20/20".

I was in another part of the house (on the computer, of course) but would catch snippets of the dialogue and narration.

Eventually, I realized that the segment was all about the Cleveland kidnapping of Amanda Berry, Gina De Jesus and the third girl, whose name escapes me at the moment.

I went to watch the rest of it with Susan, catching the last several minutes of the segment.

It was a recent interview of Berry and De Jesus, intercut with photos of the rooms in which they were held captive and videos of their rescue.


She (Amanda) said that back then she watched the show every time that Browne was on, and that she often wished that her mother would go on the show so that Browne could tell her that Amanda was still alive.

Imagine her disappointment and despair when Browne told Amanda's mother that Amanda was dead!

It was mentioned that Amanda and Gina have a book out about their ordeal, and I intend to read it when I can.

ETA: The "MY" in the thread title was supposed to be "MW" (Montel Williams) - sorry.

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mercredi 29 avril 2015

If Heaven/Hell (or likeness thereof) were real, what would your entrance music be?

As an old fan of wrestling (when WCW and WWF were around) and a slight appreciation of MMA I often think about what my music would be if I were in such a scenario. Since I am now too old and way too out of shape the dream has died. It was a minor fantasy anyway since I knew I would never get into such things seriously.

In the spirit of this thinking I propose this question:

If Heaven/Hell (or likeness thereof) were real, what would your entrance music be?

I will start

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Senator Bernie Sanders announces.

I will be supporting him.

Your thoughts?

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I support ABH for the Democratic Nomination!

That would be "Anybody But Hillary".

I'm a liberal/progressive. So is she.
I'm in my late 60's. So is she.
I'm a guy. She's not. That's cool.

She has baggage. So dang much baggage. Most of it is wildly exaggerated, and the rest entirely made up, but still: baggage.
* Her husband. And his zipper.
* Her failed health-care initiative.
* Benghazi
* The "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy"
* "Foundation-gate"
* Etc., etc., etc.

We can haz another candidate, pleeze? It would throw the Repubs completely off their game, since they've been working on running against her for about 10 years now.

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Partitioning a 4T external disk.

I want to divide this drive into two drives. I haven't done this in a looooong time, so any warnings, tips, etc. is solicited.

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Blue City Model

Another interesting article from the WSJ about Baltimore and other cities failing due to their liberal policies


In Baltimore the men and women in charge have been Democrats, and their governing ideas are “progressive.” This model, with its reliance on government and public unions, has dominated urban America as once-vibrant cities such as Baltimore became shells of their former selves. In 1960 Baltimore was America’s sixth largest city with 940,000 people. It has since shed nearly a third of its population and today isn’t in the top 25.

The dysfunctions of the blue-city model are many, but the main failures are three: high crime, low economic growth and failing public schools that serve primarily as jobs programs for teachers and administrators rather than places of learning.

...It’s not that we don’t know what to do. Rudy Giuliani proved that in New York City, which he helped to revive in the 1990s starting with a revolution in policing that brought crime rates to record lows. A good part of this was policing in areas that had previously been left to the hoodlums.

His reward (and that of his successor, Mike Bloomberg, who built on Mr. Giuliani’s policies) was to become a villain of the liberal grievance industry and a constant target of attack. Few blue-city mayors elsewhere have been willing to take that heat.

Or take the economy. In the heyday of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the idea was that the federal government could revitalize city centers with money and central planning. You can tell how that turned out by the office buildings and housing projects that failed to attract middle-class taxpayers. Baltimore’s waterfront is a gleaming example of this kind of top-down development, with new sports stadiums that failed to attract other businesses.

The latest figures from Maryland’s Department of Labor show state unemployment at 5.4%, against 8.4% for Baltimore. A 2011 city report on the neighborhood of Freddie Gray—the African-American whose death in police custody sparked the riots—reported an area that is 96.9% black with unemployment at 21%. When it comes to providing hope and jobs, we should have learned by now that no government program can substitute for a healthy private economy.

But of late the progressives have been making a comeback, led by Bill de Blasio in New York and the challenge to sometime reform Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. This week’s nightmare in Baltimore shows where this leads. It’s time for a new urban renewal, this time built on the ideas of private economic development, personal responsibility, “broken windows” policing, and education choice.
These types of situations make me sad

Centralized government planning failed and the city is being destroyed

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Feminist Award Finally Goes to Deserving Recipient

Admittedly, it only took Brooklyn Museum’s Sackler Center First Awards three years to come up with a worthy winner.

Miss Piggy!

My dearest Crackles (my pet name for her) is the perfect recipient: non nonsense, willing to biff her man [frog] over the head and drag him off for whatever purposes, headstrong, outspoken and tough - Miss Piggy has all the attributes of a winner.

Now in her early 40s, Miss Piggy is a true feminist icon. She is as gorgeous as ever, still showing far too much cleavage and leg, but unlike the tired old slapper, Madonna, Crackles retains her class and poise at all times.

Let this happy occasion usher in a new era of understanding between all genders with a catch-cry for all:


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If there were founding fathers of a new world order

If there were founding fathers of a new world order, they might look like this.

Hidden History, The Secret Origins of the First World War by Gerry Docherty and Jim Macgregor.


2013 article by authors here:

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Kraft Dinner Recipe

I'm a good cook and make insanely good pasta dishes from scratch all the time ... BUT I still love a box of Kraft dinner in the morning, perhaps after drinking a bit too much the night before :)

The 'fake' powdery cheese does not seem to upset my stomach as much as the 'real' full dairy product :)

I just made a delicious version, cooked chicken breast sliced, spiced, salt and pepper ... Kraft dinner original cooked as per instructions ... add a couple table spoons of sour cream ... a Valveeta cheese slice, half a lemon squeezed, and some Soya Sauce.

Then simmer is slow after it's all made ... until it gets very think stirring almost constantly ... it's so good! ... makes me happy! :)

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"Community" Forums

Sorry for the basic question but before the change over I used to post in the Community Forums the odd time ... and now I cannot access them? ... any tips ... hoops I have to jump or something??

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Baltimore mom confronts rioting son: we need more parents like this

Wow really getting on your kid's case for wrong behavior, what a radical concept!

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Can you have athiesm without the presence of theism?

Say God or gods had no believers, or never existed, no one even believed in elemental forces, or forces of nature, everyone consider unreconciled unknowns invariably to be areas that science will eventually figure out through research. Could Atheism possibly survive in the face of this.

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Gotta ask this, in Baltimore what if races were reversed

Listening to 98 Rock in Baltimore - the morning show...

Caller said, "I just happened across your show and you're talking about the basbeall game? What about the man who lose his life?"

"We were doing sports. We've been talking about this all day long. You caught 10 minutes of a 5 hour show."

"Why is it that the ball game is more important. If this was a white boy who was killed..."


But, the question is:

If the races were reversed, would all this civil unrest, protests riots be happening? Would all the whites be taking to the streets and burning down a CVS...etc...?

Yes, I have my own hypothesis, but I'd prefer input first.

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Who knew Almost Human would turn out to be a blueprint for technology?

DARPA has apparently succeeded in making a self-guided bullet.


The U.S. military said this week it has made great progress in its effort to develop a self-steering bullet.

In February, the "smart bullets" -- .50-caliber projectiles equipped with optical sensors -- passed their most successful round of live-fire tests to date, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.

In the tests, an experienced marksman "repeatedly hit moving and evading targets," a DARPA statement said.

"Additionally," the statement said, "a novice shooter using the system for the first time hit a moving target." In other words, now you don't even have to be a good shot to hit the mark.
Okay, so it's not quite at the level of the bullet shown in one episode I saw of Almost Human, which was fired from a sniper rifle as I recall, but it's getting pretty darn close. Should be interesting to see if they can produce similar items for smaller caliber weaponry. Something like this would, from my limited understanding of the technology involved, probably completely change the face of modern warfare in a way similar to the advent of drone technology. Fire on an enemy, and even if he dodges, it doesn't matter; the bullet can change course in midair to hit him anyway. Goodbye days of needing to be a sharpshooter to hit your targets.

Seriously though, this is rather scary to contemplate. Could you imagine if this sort of ammunition became widely available? Modern forensic science in relation to weaponry would become practically obsolete; if you can't determine a trajectory for a round, how can you possibly hope to determine where it came from? And if you can't determine that, you have virtually no hope of determining who might have fired the round. It's just scary to think about.

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Russian Progress M-27M spacecraft out of control

Russia's M-27M spacecraft, on a mission to resupply the ISS, is out of control and apparently heading for a fiery death as it tumbles towards Earth. :(

Track it here:

Live updates from The Guardian here:

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mardi 28 avril 2015

Latest Jack Chick tract It seems like a girl age eight to ten has no idea or concept of who Jesus was or si nor any idea what christianity is until she spends the night at a friends house.

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Why are the elderly considered gullible?

"Everybody knows" that the elderly are more trusting and therefore more gullible and more likely to fall for scams or buy overpriced stuff they don't need over the phone. Is this true? If so, why?

There's the onset of dementia, of course, but surely not all of the elderly are suffering from that condition.

One might say, with some justification, a few decades ago that grandma and grandpa grew up when everybody knew all their neighbors, left their doors unlocked, and when telephones were newfangled gadgets not used by foreign call centers for swindling.

Even if that nirvana where there were no swindlers existed, it's been a while since "the elderly" grew up in horse and buggy days. Phones would have been familiar all their lives, and in the last quarter century surely someone would have mentioned criminals use computers.

So are the elderly really more vulnerable to scammers? Why? Is it really only the subset who happen to have genuine dementia, or is there something about aging that makes all (most?) people more trusting or more compliant or whatever causes them to get scammed?

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Why does the media focus on looting?

This is something that always bugs me. Once again our nation's police murder someone and a city rises up against them. But all the media wants to talk about are looted stores. That's like covering the Warsaw uprising and only talking about how much it will cost to clean up all the bricks laying scattered about.

Is the media just lazy here or is this part of an agenda?

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Indonesia shoots a couple of Australians

Took them 10 years to organize it.


ok, lets tell them we are "disappointed"

what a circus, state killings are not consistent with civilized behavior.

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The Last JFK murder theory

HAHA how many shows start this way "The last JFK ..." and it is a lie. I suppose every time there is a big jump in tech solutions more theories are on the way. The real accomplice was Marina, a Russki who sure acted innocent.:D

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Parallels between Iraq and Vietnam

Interesting article about American intervention and the risks associated with entering and exiting different conflicts.

Bush - in a 2007 speech

Well, America did leave. And President Bush went on to say that whatever you might think about how America got into that war, “one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America’s withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like ‘boat people,’ ‘re-education camps,’ and ‘killing fields.’ ”
and in Iraq today


In April 2006, Mr. Kerry marked the anniversary of his Senate appearance with a speech at Boston’s Faneuil Hall in which he declared that the “war in Vietnam and the war in Iraq are now converging in too many tragic aspects”—and that the U.S. needed to withdraw all combat troops.

Today Mr. Kerry is secretary of state. The president he serves did as Mr. Kerry wished and withdrew U.S. combat troops from Iraq.

What have been the results? The rise of Islamic State, or ISIS, beheading and burning alive all those in its path. A raging civil war in Syria that is becoming a proxy for the larger Sunni-Shiite sectarian conflict. And a sense by our closest allies across the Middle East that America has left them on their own.
I see parallels between Iraq and Vietnam call me crazy if you will

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Martial law hoax on tv commercial by AARP

Martial law announcement is heard on AARP tv commercial ?

Supposedly this statement is heard on radio or tv news in the background:


Riots nationwide have prompted local governments to declare martial law.

The President is asking that citizens find safety and remain calm.

Authorities are working to contain the outbreak.
Why would AARP do that or is it a hoax? Kinda odd, if not a hoax.

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Kill the Messenger!

Mercury Mission Set to End with Dramatic Crash


April 28, 2015 |By Alexandra Witze and Nature magazine

On April 30, after more than four years in orbit around Mercury, NASA's MESSENGER probe will plunge to its doom. Out of fuel and long past its intended one-year mission, the spacecraft will crash into the planet's surface at a speed of 3.9 kilometres a secon

Mission head Sean Solomon, a planetary scientist and director of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, sat down with Nature to talk about what MESSENGER has accomplished since it launched in 2004. The following interview has been edited and condensed.

Why did you want to send a mission to Mercury?

Mercury was the last frontier of our knowledge about the inner Solar System. We had multiple missions to Mars and the Moon, and only Mariner 10 had gone to Mercury. It flew by three times [twice in 1974 and once in 1975], and its images gave us our first ideas about Mercury’s geological history. But there was so much unanswered. It was a planet that was really missing a lot of key information.

What does it look like close up?

Probably the most disappointing aspect of Mercury turned out to be how nearly uniform its colour was. The effects of space-weathering must be so strong, and so rapidly acquired, that there were no convincing mineralogical signatures.

The hollows were a landform we didn't expect. They are bright depressions created by the loss of near-surface material. They are some of the youngest features on the planet, and speak to some sort of unstable material whose identity we are still working

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Apple Watch - Post your Questions


I have been using Apple Watch since Friday and feel I can field questions for anybody who's curious about its functionality, whether it's practical for their intended use, &c.


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via International Skeptics Forum

JREF TAM Mailing list discussion


Originally Posted by Rrose Selavy (Post 10620034)
The FAQ privacy policy here still refers to the JREF and not the IS forum and presumably is out of date?

Also I just got an email from about TAM. Looks like they kept the member database for marketing when they transferred the forum.
I've unsubscribed.

I'd be curious on the second item. I have changed email addresses (Lisa was catching onto my previous forty sockpuppets), but it was still under the JREF when I did so. But I haven't gotten any such email. All I can think is that it's not the membership list but from other stuff you may have signed onto? (I know a statistical sampling of 2 is not a great survey.)

via International Skeptics Forum

Alex Jones LOVES the Baltimore riots....

Is it just me or is Jones making a definent bid for the bigot audience?

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My terrifying experiences - skeptical perspective much appreciated

Hi all,

I would first of all like to express my sincere gratitude at the work skeptics do to debunk fraudsters, dubious beliefs and general misinformation in our world. I want to let you all know, before you read the following, that I consider myself a sane, intelligent person. I am also a natural-born empiricist, rationalist, and materialist. I love the 'real' material world, and the notion that the world we're born into is it, and all that we have is material. Nonetheless, I have had experiences I find it hard to rationalise in a solely materialistic world. I want nothing more than a skeptic to debunk all my experiences as total products of the mind (i.e. the physical brain), nonetheless I also want truthful insight, not biased by any held worldview.

I have had what I perceive to be experiences of pure evil, experiences which I can only interpret to be demonic or satanic. These have manifested in my 'dream states' as well as in real life.

It all started when I was around 19, approx. 4 years ago now. I took this 16 year old guy to bed (I am gay), we fooled around, and after finishing up and being very satisfied with the handsome young man I had landed myself, lay there peacefully in the post-sex bliss. I was facing him as I laid there. I was in no way under any stress nor did I feel any guilt, but pure satisfaction and relaxation. As I faced him, his eyes rolled up into his head, he started shaking, he then came over to my side of the bed, sat on my chest and started choking me, with those eye-rolled demonic eyes. I felt as though I was going to die, become possessed, or otherwise something purely horrible was about to occur. I kept saying 'No, no, no', but I felt like I couldn't speak loudly. Next thing, he was no longer on top of me, but back right next to me in the bed, still shaking, eyes rolled, and I continued to in my terrified voice say 'No, no, no!'. I "woke up", and every single thing about the room stayed the same, except his face, which now was a 'normal' face, but looked very concerned at me like I was crazy, I could do nothing but apologise and say 'sorry, I had a really bad nightmare'. The whole time I felt I was totally awake and aware, but paralysed. During and after this experience, I felt as though this guy was demonically influenced or otherwise cursed, and probably had something very evil happen to him. Furthermore I felt complicit in seducing this young fellow into a gay encounter, as though this made me complicit in this evil and hence why the evil was interested in me joining the 'force'. I later learnt that this guy did indeed have a very dark childhood, I won't go into detail.

About 2 years later, I began having extremely disturbing, extremely vivid 'nightmares', night after night. Often, my whole room would stay exactly the same as in real life, and I didn't feel like I was sleeping at all. I would often feel an extremely evil presence lurking behind the storage area door at the other side of my bedroom. These dreams would mock me, and in one I was paraded with figures in my life who by the very tone of the discordant music playing were clearly cursed and seemed to me were being shown as being complicit with the devil. Notably I got up, walked into the hall outside my room (again, it didn't feel like a dream, everything was as it should be), with my step mother curled up in a ball on the floor, wickedly laughing . In these dreams, I would often 'wake up' repeatedly in my room, only to find I was still in the nightmare. One night I finally "woke up" for real looking at my alarm clock ominously reading '3:33'. I remember one time being so horrendously terrified I got up out of bed, switched on every single light in the house, went downstairs to the lounge room, turned on the television loudly. For a number of nights in a row I didn't dare sleep in my room, only on the couch with the lights and tv on.

Around a year later, when I had moved out of home, I started having demonic nightmares again. I often knew when I was going to have a horrible nightmare night, as I would feel a sense of intense evil lurking in my apartment and the place would creak incessantly far beyond what one would normally expect with the natural expansion and contraction of things in a home. There would also often be a very distinct buzzing vibration noise, like when you have tinnitus of the ear, but it would come out of nowhere and be quite a distinct and loud vibration. I remember one night waking up from a nightmare, and I kid you not there were red pentagrams burned into my retina floating around the room for a good 4 or 5 seconds. They were so discernable, and there were there, in my eyes, in my waking hours..

I couldn't help but research these phenomena and their spiritual implications. After all, these experiences seemed to me almost deniably real. I can't explain to you how terrifyingly real they were. One notion that I liked the thought of was that Satan was some pagan God that Yahweh (the Abraham God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam) had dethroned, scape-goated and that he now was really pissed off, and for whatever reason felt the need to come to communicate with me. At the time, a deity that represented strength, self-reliance, and male fecundity and sexual prowess (which my research indicated he was) seemed really appealing, so I gave worshipping him in my mind and verbally a go. It felt really good, as though I was being filled with power, ego and strength.

One occasion that completely astonished me was when I was particularly enamoured with his worship whilst grocery shopping, and when I went to the automated check-out to pay for my goods, I kid you not, the receipt printed out a total of $'66.06'.

I have since for the last year or so ceased to have such dreams, and thus I've defaulted back to the world-view I've long been most comfortable with - agnostic, secular materialism. Nonetheless it has been playing on my mind again as of late, these unresolved, experiences, and I want to know what to make of them. I feel as though something doesn't want me to post this post either.

What is everyone's opinion on all of this? Surely you can all see how improbable all this is by materialistic chance alone, and the real kicker for me was that receipt. What are the chances the one time I go grocery shopping with this mindset that I get the number of the beast on a physical receipt in the middle of the day??

Your thoughts and input would be much appreciated.

Thanks all,

via International Skeptics Forum

Iran now a pirate state?

Iranian revolutionary guard navy has siezed M/V Maersk Tigris from international waters, for violating it's terrirotial waters.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that qualifies as piracy on the high seas, no?


via International Skeptics Forum

Parapsychology 'will eventually disappear'


The science of ghost hunting: Parapsychology 'will eventually disappear'

By Hannah Osborne
April 28, 2015 11:49 BST

The science of studying the paranormal will eventually disappear, with spooky experiences being explained through neuroscience and psychology, an expert has said.

Parapsychologist Caroline Watt has been studying ghosts, precognition and extrasensory perception (ESP) for the last 30 years.

In an interview with New Scientist, she said she initially entered the field because she wanted to understand what lies behind paranormal experiences people report.

Most often, she said people report experiences of ESP – like knowing someone is going to call before answering – or dreaming about an event from the future, which she has recently finished a study on: "Our research found no evidence that people's dreams predict the future," she said.

Explaining why people believe their dreams have predicted the future, she said: "Over time, and particularly if you believe in the paranormal, you would attend to those dreams, and that leads to the feeling you're having lots of precognitive dreams.

"A normal psychological explanation is that you are selectively remembering dreams that seem to correspond to subsequent events and forgetting the dreams that don't. But little research has been conducted on precognitive dreaming, so it is too early to say we fully understand what causes these experiences."

Watt has also studied the psychology behind ghost experiences, visiting 'haunted' places like Hampton Court Palace and the underground vaults in Edinburgh.
Taken from:

Whole Article at:

via International Skeptics Forum

different dimensional life

( this is a scientific and mathematical discussion, not woo )

I was trying to wrap my head around what it would mean to be a being that can perceive a 5th dimension, and that got me to thinking if such beings could simultaneously exist with the rest of us 4 dimensional ones.

What do you think?

For me the required behavior of a "lifeform" whatever that means, is something like "a configuration of particles that can act to maintain itself through each dimension in the space." For example a cell maintains itself through all 3 spatial dimension as well as the temporal one, and a human does an even better job of the same. Without such behavior, the particles are not "life" or "alive" in any sense.

My feeling is this: for a collection of particles to maintain a configuration requires a certain amount of determinism over the fate of those particles by the collection itself. For example a cell acts to maintain homeostasis, likewise our body acts to maintain its structure, etc. Doing so requires that a behavior exhibited by the system can change the fate of the system I.E. it has some amount of "control" over what happens to it -- in *every* dimension it inhabits.

So in other words a 2 dimensional life form would only be possible in a world that genuinely has only 2 dimensions. Any more dimensions and the ability of 2 dimensional systems to exhibit any control over their future is removed ( unless the extra dimensions were held constant somehow ).

The implication is that since we are 4 dimensional life forms, and we exist, our universe is home to exclusively 4 dimensional life forms. Or at the very least, a lifeform of dimensions < n is at the whim of the processes that operate in n dimensions, and so would face a transient existence at best.

via International Skeptics Forum

EdX: Course: Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

Free to audit (unless you want some silly certificate).
Starts today:

Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial.

via International Skeptics Forum

On trolls

BBC News: Viewpoint: Who are the people in the dark corners?

"There are many types of people who have been demonised in the age of social media - computer users who take refuge in anonymity to post extreme or offensive views. Jamie Bartlett wanted to talk to the people behind the masks.

My heart was pounding as I waited for Paul to arrive at the train station where we'd agreed to meet. I'd been communicating with him for some time, all via the internet. Paul was a vitriolic, aggressive neo-Nazi who spent his life online producing and sharing White Pride propaganda.

He was one of several people that I spent much of the last year meeting while researching my book. I'd gone in search of shocking and hidden internet subcultures, immersing myself in digital worlds of self-harming, of drugs markets, of internet trolls, of convicted online sex offenders, of digital neo-Nazis."

via International Skeptics Forum

Has NASA Really Created a Warp Drive?

This would by far be the most exciting discovery in all of human history (IMO, of course). Scientists (think) they have observed some beams of light traveling FTL, after firing laser beams into the resonance chamber of an EM Drive. Of course, the beams of light are not traveling FTL. They probably created a warp bubble around some of the beams.

Imagine, for a moment, being the scientist that observed this phenomenon. It would be like seeing the numbers of your lottery ticket line up perfectly with the numbers on the television screen. Personally, I would probably just sit there frozen for several minutes, just with the words "WTF" going round and round.

REALLY, REALLY hoping they can repeat it, and it doesn't turn out to be some malfunctioning piece of equipment or something. I never would have thought it possible for such a technology to ever be invented in my lifetime, if ever. And I am only 31 years old. I always thought of actual space travel being virtually impossible. Hope this proves me dead wrong.

via International Skeptics Forum

Is Chipotle promoting food woo?

Chipotle will stop serving GMO foods — despite zero evidence they're harmful to eat

Chipotle Wants to Sell “Food With Integrity.” Dropping GMOs Is the Wrong Way to Do It.

Last time I visited my my parents in California we stayed at the same hotel where we had always stayed before. In the past there was a Taco Bell near by we liked to go to because there is no Taco Bell and few other choices for Mexican food in Japan. I realize they don't have a very good image these days, but my family likes it because it is cheap and yummy. Anyway, the Taco Bell was gone and in its place was a Chipotle. So we tried it. It's pricier but I liked their food. The wife and kids not so much. That was about 2 years ago. Now they are going all GMO-free, and I can't imagine the price of their food won't go up as a result. I honestly liked them myself at the time, but if GMO-free means paying 7 or 8 bucks for a burrito I think I'll pass if a cheaper option is available. I don't care about GMO-free or organic and I'm not going to pay a premium for it. Basically I think they are pandering to the Food Babes of the world.

via International Skeptics Forum

lundi 27 avril 2015

Virtual Reality App Reenacts Travon Martin Shooting

Now you can live it!

Fox News Video:

With a VR helmet, you can immerse yourself in the neighborhood and even watch various witnesses, some on the phone with 911, as the crime occurs. Supposedly witness testimony is taken into account and you can view this from inside the different homes and watch the reactions of whoever you want.

The video raises a few interesting questions and concerns and shows some of this in action. I don't believe you can shoot Trayvon or punch Zimmerman, you are just an observer.

via International Skeptics Forum

How will allowing gay marriage lead to outlawing Christianity?

I've become increasingly fascinated with the conservative meme that allowing gay marriage will lead to Christianity becoming illegal. Dobson, Mat Staver, Tony Perkins and Bryan Fischer have all been ramping up their rhetoric lately as it becomes ever more likely that the Supreme Court will make that evil, evil nasty gay marriage thing legal. And a huge part of their message is that gay marriage is the first step towards outlawing Christianity and that attempting this might lead to civil war and lots of bad war killing thingies (aka massacres).
"The devastation from this could come so severely that, years from now, if the nation is not completely destroyed, that we could see a recycling and a re-visiting of God's purpose for marriage."

I just don't get the logic here. How does one lead to the other? How twisted is your thinking when you think the point of allowing gay marriage isn't to let people in love get married but to destroy your religion?
"Christianity in this country is going to enter a new phase where we are a hated minority group and I think we had better be psychologically and spiritually prepared for that and be prepared to rebuild from the ruins of the collapse of civilization that we're witnessing. At least one civilization is over with and what the next phase of American civilization will be is yet to be determined"
Maggie Gallagher on James Dobson's radio program

It is like these people never have stopped to consider that maybe, just maybe Christianity and gay marriage can coexist. Sort of like how it does in numerous other nations. I've yet to hear of any Christians being herded onto boxcars in any of them.
"shocking how far we've gone towards Nazi Germany and other kinds of dictatorships of this magnitude"
Jim Garlow again.

Yes, because we all know how being friendly to gays and mean to Christians was at the core of Nazi beliefs.

via International Skeptics Forum

Are the pitchforks coming?

Are the pitchforks coming and is this the beginning?

via International Skeptics Forum

Are the pitchforks coming?

Are the pitchforks coming and is this the beginning?

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Is Baltimore burning?

Well, there's a police car on fire right now...

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, “While we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well,”

Sounds more like something Henry Blake would say.

Looks like this will get far worse before it gets better.

Report from earlier today...

via International Skeptics Forum

Push Notifications in Chrome 42

Push Notifications on the Open Web

Sweet Jebus, this is kicking my posterior region!

I get down to registering the service worker and I get the following error:

DOMException: Only secure origins are allowed.
I have tried multiple permutations to try to get this SOB to go away, including loading the whole damn thing up to an https server and running a test from there. What unbelievably simple thing am I missing that will clear this whole mystery up?

via International Skeptics Forum

How long for Mars-Earth to switch from opposition to conjunction please?

Hi there!

I'm currently keeping my brain working with putting together a Sci-Fi story based on Mars in 1913 - that's not Mars as it really is, but with more gravity, atmosphere and heat - and population! :) A bit more like the Mars of John Carter, in fact.

What I'm looking for is some help in calculating the distance between Earth and Mars at various times, so I have a couple of questions (to start with...).

I've been impressed with the Space knowledge here, so feel sure that there are no end of people who will know this stuff!

So - please?
1) How long does it take for Earth-Mars to go from opposition to conjunction?
2) Can someone point me at an online resource where I could calculate the distance between them at certain dates?


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Emerging new sciences?

I am amazed at the number of new, emerging mathless sciences on Utube.
Here, Quantum physics is demolished by one Robert Otey!

New secrets of magnetism revealed here, Faraday obviously got it wrong?

Here, there is a simple mechanical explanation which seems to have been missed by
Theoria Apophasis. He does though have many followers!

There may be thousands of such sites, what does this mean for the future of real science?

In a way it reminds me of the book, A Canticle for Leibowitz, but without the post apocalyptic bit.

Wikipedia has this to say about the book.

“The text reveals that as a result of the war there was a violent backlash against the culture of advanced knowledge and technology that had led to the development of nuclear weapons. During this backlash, called the "Simplification," anyone of learning, and eventually anyone who could even read, was likely to be killed by rampaging mobs, who proudly took on the name of "Simpletons". Illiteracy became almost universal, and books were destroyed en masse”.
Do others see similar parallels?

via International Skeptics Forum

Welcome Europe's Newest State - Liberland


Accessible only by car via miles of winding, dusty Croatian roads, Gornja Siga – current population zero – is an unlikely testing ground for a plan to shape the world’s political future. It is a secluded area where verdant forest meets white sand on a western bank of the river Danube. The only signs of life are a single dilapidated building with a curious flag flying outside, pheasants, deer, the occasional wild boar, and eagles and falcons overhead.

Yet last Monday the Eurosceptic Czech politician Vit Jedlicka and two other libertarians declared this 7 sq km (2.7 sq miles) of Serbo-Croat no-man’s-land the world’s newest sovereign state, naming it Liberland. Despite abstaining in Liberland’s first presidential election, Jedlicka emerged victorious, thanks to votes from his fellow founding father and Liberland’s founding mother (also his girlfriend, and now the nation’s first lady). Then things began to get weird.

In the week since Liberland announced its creation and invited prospective residents to join the project, they have received about 200,000 citizenship applications – one every three seconds – from almost every country in the world.

A friend of mine just picked up all his stuff and moved there, and has been posting pictures on Facebook.

Friends of his are already dreaming about setting up casinos and whore houses. Ahh, the beutiful ambitions of libertarians.

How long will this experiment last, I wonder?

via International Skeptics Forum

What about finding a not so super civilization?

Ok so searching 100,000 galaxys has so far not revealed a so called super civilization. I'd be excited if they found a not so super civilization or even a society of alien igloo dwellers.

via International Skeptics Forum

Build a pipe from the Mississippi River to California

One of my dad's ideas that he mentions every now and then is that California should build a pipeline from the Mississippi River to California to solve our water shortage problems. His argument is that we can build massively long pipelines for oil so why not water.

I kind of roll my eyes a bit and mention that the price of a gallon of crude is hundreds of times more than the price of a gallon of water* so solutions that work for oil pipelines might not be cost effective for water pipelines. And going over the Rockies is not going to be easy.

But ignoring the political and ecological issues, how would you build a giant pipe/aqueduct from some place on the Mississippi (or even some other River like the Missouri) to California and how much would it cost? An estimate within an order of magnitude or so is all I'm looking for.

There are several questions here
1. How big does the pipe/aqueduct have to be? Assume the pipeline needs to carry enough water to double the California's current supply
2. What is the best route? Maybe it should follow the coast so that you don't need to build it over the Rockies? Maybe you could even build some of it in the ocean. The gulf of Mexico isn't very deep and putting it offshore might solve some problems.
3. How much will it cost?

Please feel free to let your whole eco ethos be horrified by even the mention of this idea. All rants about the absurdity of this idea will be appreciated but what I'm really looking for is how much will it cost to do assuming that all the ecological and political ideas can be ignored.

*Apparently farmers pay about $1000 for an acrefoot (325,851 gallons) or about .3 cents a gallon and a gallon of crude costs about $1.50.

via International Skeptics Forum

dimanche 26 avril 2015

Stephen Hawking died in 1985 and was replaced by an imposter

"Physics has become a giant cash cow, milked straight from the various national treasuries by the usual suspects. Hundreds of billions of dollars are siphoned from the people of Europe, China, Russia, and the Americas via these fake programs. And Hawking was an important PR personality in the early 1980's, one they didn't want to lose. He was a top salesman of their various boondoggles, and he became an even better salesman once he was replaced by an impostor. Once he was replaced, his puppeteers had complete control over the product they were creating, with no fear that the real Hawking might develop scruples."

via International Skeptics Forum

Corinthian Abruptly Shuts All Campuses, in Mid-Semester

Way to go! Many students were just weeks away from graduation.

Corinthian Abruptly Shuts All Campuses, Ending College for 16,000


Corinthian Colleges Inc. shut down its remaining 28 for-profit career schools, ending classes for about 16,000 students, in the biggest collapse in U.S. higher education.

All campuses will be closed effective Monday, Corinthian said in a statement Sunday. The company, which owns the Everest, Heald and WyoTech schools, said it will work with other colleges to try to place the students.

Corinthian collapsed last summer after the U.S. Education Department curtailed its access to federal student aid. The Santa Ana, California-based company agreed to sell half of its 107 campuses to Education Credit Management Corp. in November amid allegations that it falsified grades, attendance and job-placement rates.
Sunday’s abrupt closure of Corinthian Colleges – including Heald in Rancho Cordova and Roseville – shocks students


Some were only weeks away from graduation. Others were just beginning their quest for a higher degree.

But on Sunday, scores of Heald College students in Roseville, Modesto and statewide were left feeling bitter and bewildered at finding their campuses would immediately close. That news came following an announcement by parent company Corinthian Colleges that it would shutter all 28 of its remaining campuses, rounding out months of trouble for the for-profit college giant.

“I went to school all week, just like normal, and I thought (Monday) would be just another regular day,” said Maria Mejia, 45, who was 10 weeks away from completing her medical office administration degree at Heald College’s campus in Modesto. “I still have homework due for tomorrow. I keep thinking what am I going to do? ... If I show up to class tomorrow, are the doors going to be locked?”
And is it just Corinthian or should all for-profit colleges be viewed with suspicion?

Recently John Oliver did a good segment on them that made me think that students who go to these places are being overcharged and getting an inferior value for their money. After watching it, it seemed to me like the situation with these for-profit colleges is even worse than I had imagined it to be. Many of the students end up with crushing debt burdens, but not very good employment prospects. Well worth watching IMO:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.

via International Skeptics Forum

What, no Nepal earthquake conspiracy theories yet?

C'mon, everybody knows da Joos used HAARP to create this false flag diversion so they can bomb Iran!

via International Skeptics Forum

Are spacecraft looking more futuristic?

I was looking at the Dragon V2 mockup and thinking that it looked good enough to use as a movie set. Certainly I don't recall another craft with an exposed geodetic frame or flat screen monitor. The carbon fiber seats aren't too bad either. I assume the look is functional rather than artistic.

This vehicle is getting ready for a static test. Hopefully the first actual test with crash dummies will be before year's end.

via International Skeptics Forum

Skepticism, Truth or Membership

- It seems to me that whatever the mission of our forum is -- whether, to promote skepticism, to promote truth or just to promote membership -- we need to develop a better way to track down, and add up, our current results. To do that, we need a cross between a table of contents and a Google street map (where we can go from 30 miles up to street level in a matter of seconds) for each thread. We need the ability to quickly find the current "last word" for each sub-issue.
- I have some ideas about how to do that, and how it would be useful. Can someone discuss this possibility with me?
- Thanks.
--- Jabba

via International Skeptics Forum

"Little Boy" is a deeply disturbing "Christian" film

So, "Little Boy" is one of the new "faith" movies out there. I normally don't care much about the "faith" movie industry. While I may find them amusing as a glimpse into the thought processes used by very religious people, I am not curious enough to sit through one of the movies.

Then I learned what it was about. A little boy wants his father to return home from world war 2, so god in his infinite wisdom and power nukes Japan. I couldn't believe it when i read this at first, but yes, the movie portrays the nuking of Japan as a heartwarming event that reunites a father with his son.

Who in their right minds thought that they should make a feel-good movie about a boy's prayers facilitating the nuking of Japan? That this movie was made and released across the country is a damning indictment of US culture and values. That it is a "christian" film is a damning indictment of the brand of Christianity that would fund and promote such a hideous idea for a movie.

Trying to whitewash one of the most notable and terrible acts of mass murder in history as god rewarding a little boys faith approaches "Birth of a Nation" levels of derangement in my opinion.

via International Skeptics Forum

Cell phones and the rotting of social interaction/communication

I realize this is mostly a gadget-loving crowd and expect this to go over like a lead balloon, but throwing it out anyway:

He says it better than I could but IMO doesn't go nearly far enough, even stepping on eggshells about it. It's going (gone?) from incredibly bad manners and excessive use to full-blown mass obsession, and it's long-range effects are IMO morbidly profound and not only grossly underrated but essentially ignored.

/rant. We return you to your regularly scheduled browsing. :)

via International Skeptics Forum

A proposal to speed things up.

Since we see these statement so often why not just use acronyms.

You Should Be Using A Mac: YSBUAM

You Should Be Using A PC: YSBUAPC

You Should Be Using Linux: YSBUL

We could save huge amounts of time and speed up the forum.

via International Skeptics Forum

Finally Fast trojan

I was on facebook and I opened a newser and this trojan that calls itself Finally Fast got on my computer. It cost me $110.00 to get it off and it took the technicial all day to remove it.

I really don't know how you can prevent this from happening except to just not open anything on FB.

via International Skeptics Forum

the Obama family, post-Presidency

Bright people. Barack and Michelle are very smart and seem pretty savvy to me. Don't know anything about the kids really, but I'll bet they're also headed for great things.
After the White House, he's going to be a great elder statesman.
What say y'all?

via International Skeptics Forum

samedi 25 avril 2015

How do 3D printers print in color?

I know I could probably do a Google search, but I also know you guys are a wealth of knowledge. I picture 3D printers laying down one layer of plastic after another. That's easy. But how the printer adds color, and does it print with different materials? These things curious minds want to know.

via International Skeptics Forum

To Cure a Blind Man

It is said that hindsight is something that we are born with. It is said that said sight is 20/20. Is this how your cure a blind man?

Is this the circle of eyes that is foretold in scripture? the angel that has eyes of a wheel within seven wheels?

If I can grab the eyes that are "in the back of your head" and move them to the front, would this cause you to have the foresight necessary to cure your blindness?

via International Skeptics Forum

Military, because I do not know where else to post this

Let me start by saying I like the TV show Cops. There is something I hear frequently on said show and it is the following: "My taxes pay your salary!". I find this extremely rude.

I served once, many years ago. To my brothers and sisters out there who continue to serve I say Thank You. Thank You deeply for the sacrifice that you continue to make. And to your families, those that sacrifice, dare I say, more than you. Thank you deeply.

I am offended by this mentality of America "My taxes pay your salary!". You, person that says such things, are ignorant to the sacrifice that these people make, and their families. I do not condone the abuse some put forth in such positions of power, but I defend those that, like me, have walked their mile. When I served I thought on this statement and realized that I, too, pay such taxes. Do I pay my own salary following this logic? Service people of all shapes and sizes pay taxes, greater than you can imagine.

To the Unknown Soldiers, please, if you can hear me, Thank You from the bottom of my soul, Thank You for your Tax. Thank You for shielding us in all of our countries and walks of life. Thank You Known Soldiers the same for the Tax you have paid. Thank You for paying MY salary to live in this country and this world, those that have sacrificed your all to make us what we are today.

Much Appreciated

via International Skeptics Forum

White House Correspondents Dinner- Obama is killing!

Hilarious jokes. He's making fun of Bachman and Cheney, getting back at them for recent insults. He suggested the Senate could thank him for not losing their health care when they lost their jobs, clearly implying they should have been more proud of the ACA accomplishment.

I don't recall if he was this politically cutting at past dinners. I know he made fun of people before, but this stuff seems particularly frank.

via International Skeptics Forum

Bruce Jenner comes out............... as a Republican.

Hmm, ok. Think he will run for office next?

via International Skeptics Forum

What are republicans like really when they are alone?

I observed them for quite some time while I was going to my church group and while I thought they were a pretty decent bunch, as a liberal we did set each other off at times. Guess I will list the various traits I noticed while at bible study.

1. They are generally self sufficient but typically don't tend to be ostentatious until they reach a certain level of money.

2. They divide the world as between the takers and the givers describing themselves as being the givers.

3. When they are alone together they frequently like to quote people like Rush Limbaugh and the rest. I would use the phrase "borrowed word for word," to describe these people.

4. Fundamentalist Christian groups sometimes say things that sound outlandish to average people outside their group but what these people don't understand is that these organization actually are a front for people who share the same conservative beliefs to share their grievances and repeat talking points they last heard uttered by Rush.

5. Just before being banned, I let them know that I was liberal and getting government money and one of them looked at me like I was from Pluto and asked me if I was getting food stamps to which I replied no.

6. Republicans believe that liberals are automatically the enemy and every belief they have is diametrically opposed to theirs, they do not feel the need to check this out.

7. One amusing thing I saw just before I was banned was a member who got a dent in his Cadillac while it was parked in front of service. The next week he riveted a plate over the area to cover then dent of his nice Cadillac. That there really is the essence of the Republican mindset.

8. To be fair, I have seen Orthodoxies in various other groups that can get you shunned, for instanced having anti-abortion stance can get you in trouble in both the Democratic and Progressive parties with the hardcore members.

9. One thing I heard that I thought was funny was a guy who was high up in the progressive party (like the third guy in Minnesota). He said he was tired listening to the talk from the little people in town meetings that expressed their concerns like they they thought they were important and should be addressed;the idea was that if you weren't a hardcore member who donated lots of time and money to the party you really don't have the right to be heard.

10. A lot of Republicans actually are rather smart people but most filter their view by a combination of religious/political orthodoxy. If you are not one of them you can't really hang out with them. It's not a particularly open organization.

via International Skeptics Forum

Democracy in Kinloch, Missouri

Here's an interesting story I came across:

New Kinloch mayor blocked by police from entering city hall


KINLOCH, MO (KTVI) – Our Fox 2 cameras were the only ones there as the newly-elected Kinloch mayor was greeted by police for her first day on the job.

Betty McCray was not only prevented from entering city hall, she was also told she’d been impeached before she got a chance to start.

McCray ran for mayor in the April 7 election and won.

“I won. The people spoke,” McCray said. “I was sworn in by the St. Louis County. Today I take office. I want them out, I want the keys.”

After the election results were certified earlier this week by the St. Louis County Board of Elections, Kinloch’s outgoing administration refused to allow the city clerk to give McCray the oath of office, claiming voter fraud.

On Thursday, McCray was ready to start on the job, but was met with strong resistance. Fox 2 was there with McCray when she showed up at city hall, where she was greeted by more than 20 Kinloch police officers.

One officer attempted to prevent himself from being filmed by pushing a camera away. No one was being allowed inside city hall, including the elected mayor.

Kinloch city attorney James Robinson informed McCray she had been impeached. However, the city refused to tell the new mayor the articles of impeachment.

“You have been served with articles of impeachment that were put in the mail,” said attorney James Robinson.
Here's another article:
Alleging voter fraud, Kinloch refuses to swear in new mayor and alderman


Kinloch, the first city in Missouri to be incorporated by African-Americans, is situated between Ferguson and Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. It once thrived with more than 10,000 residents. Then in the 1980s, the airport began buying homes for a noise-abatement program, purchasing roughly 1,360 properties. The city’s population plummeted, and poverty and blight took hold.

Today, Kinloch, which has fewer than 300 residents, is marked by pilfered coffers, shady land deals and increasingly bitter fights over the last remnants of political power.

During the past five years, the city has seen the imprisonment of a former mayor on federal fraud and theft charges, the hiring of a convicted felon as city manager, the selling of a previous city hall building to an alleged drug dealer and the unseating of at least two aldermen.

Now there are fresh allegations of voter fraud.

On April 7, McCray defeated Mayor Darren Small with 38 votes to his 18. Another candidate, Theda Wilson, received two votes. Petty ran unopposed. After the Board of Aldermen declined to swear them in, the two were sworn in by a St. Louis County circuit court clerk on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Robinson declined to provide copies of impeachment charges. Nor would he reveal who on the Board of Alderman voted to suspend McCray, except to say they voted in a meeting on Monday.
Interesting that a city with fewer than 300 residents has "over 20 police officers". Also, the mayor couldn't get more than 18 people to vote for him? Even some of the police officers?

via International Skeptics Forum