samedi 31 octobre 2015

Europeans buying guns in record numbers due to the influx if muslims

There is talk in some european countries that they need a constitutional amendment similar to Americas second amendment.

via International Skeptics Forum

ISIS may be responsible for the latest Russian passenger air crash

Apparently ISIS isn't happy with the Russian presence in Syria. Russias reaction is going to be very interesting.

via International Skeptics Forum

Employers and the Affordabe Care Act

Yesterday one of my bosses explained to me that my hours had to be under 30 because otherwise she'd have to pay me benefits. Then she said, "I can't be paying benefits to a part-timer when I have full timers with no benefits."

The obvious contradiction did not occur to me until later. Now I'm curious - under what scenario would she have to pay me benefits, but not someone working 40 hours? If they are on Medicare? If they are double dipping from a state retirement fund?

I don't want to antagonize her, but I'm supposed to be helping young people develop critical-thinking skills and I feel kind of dumb for letting this question slide. If any of you are employers or supervisors - does an employee "just asking a question" come across as antagonistic?

I had actually just won a round - the week before I had been told not to go over 25 hours - in contradiction to what I'd been told before - so I was feeling conciliatory, even though this was at least the third different answer I had gotten regarding my hours. I'm fine with the 29.75-hour ceiling and never expected benefits to begin with.

via International Skeptics Forum

Cameron, Osborne united that tampons and STs are "luxury items"

The amendment to the finance bill, tabled by Labour MP Paula Sherriff, which would have forced George Osborne into a negotiation with the EU for a reduction in the 5% VAT rate, was ultimately rejected by 305 to 287.

Corbyn understands why sanitary towels and tampons, designed to absorb a woman’s menstrual flow – and save her from making a right old mess of her underpants, seats on public transport, seesaws and Peter Stringfellow’s pole-dancing poles – do not qualify as a luxury and therefore should not be liable for VAT.


I'd quite like to see a "let it flow" protest until such time as these dinosaurs get into the 21st century.

via International Skeptics Forum

What the candidates really said:

Bad Lip Reading experts have obtained unedited tapes of the Democratic and Republican debates.



via International Skeptics Forum


I fondly remember the days when you'd get to meet and chat with skeptic or secular luminaries in the hallways, by chance, for free.

That was a golden moment just waiting to be monetized.

via International Skeptics Forum

Wife Made an Appointment with a Holistic Doctor

My wife had been out of work since mid July. Tons of symptoms including: muscle aches, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and cognitive issues (brain fog). Initial Lyme test came back positive - then after a few more: negative.

She has been to several doctors at her PMP Practice. From there to a rheumatologist, two neurologists and an infectious disease specialist.

She has had over 100 vials of blood taken from her in the last month alone. Everything points to autoimmune. The problem is, not a single doctor can pin point what it is or how to treat it. The wife is convinced that she has post lyme syndrome since her symptoms fit that ...and only that. She did take the CDC recommended antibiotics and was feeling better on them after a couple weeks.

So yesterday, she asked me to drive her to a holistic doctor in another town (she can't drive long distances anymore) This doctor is actually a real MD who was a gastroenterologist. She also said that he is "Lyme Literate." I am well aware of the abundance of controversy surrounding Lyme disease yet clueless on what to believe.

I do not believe in holistic medicine nor can I have any respect for a doctor that does his "healing" through supplements.

Does anyone have any good advice as to what I can ask Doctor Snake Oil?

via International Skeptics Forum

When will Obama actually destroy America?

One thing is certain: Obama wants to destroy America. Barbwire says so and that means it must be true. I came across this editorial the other day and just had to share it and break it all down for you.


The term legacy carries positive connotations of something bequeath that is to the receiver’s benefit. Everything that Barack Obama does is calculated to destroy America, which he despises.
He is clearly quite bad at those calculations. And also confused with his emotions since many of the things he says and does seem to indicate an emotion I wouldn't describe as "despise".


This man no more cares about legacy than he fears being properly prosecuted by the white political leaders whose responsibility it is to remove him from office.
Seems to me destroying an entire nation is one hell of a legacy. We still remember Ghengis Khan don't we?


I focus on white leaders, because whites are still in the majority and they fill the majority of political offices. If the majority of political operatives were of some other ethnicity, I would lodge my complaint against that group. Ethnicity is an issue only because Barack Obama is half-black and he uses that fact to intimidate guilt-conflicted white people. Otherwise, he would have been impeached and likely in prison for treason by now.
Well, yes. All the white leaders regularly meet and talk about how they ignore the many prosecutable crimes of Obama liking The Wire? Is that a crime?


Barack Obama’s sole aim has been, since he first entered politics and continues as he winds down this presidency, the complete destruction of America as it was founded.
Well of course. Stabilizing the economy and expanding health care to the masses are clearly the actions of someone who is trying to destroy a nation.


Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran has nothing to do with legacy but rather to enable a Muslim nation to wage nuclear war with America and Israel—the two nations that he most despises.
Yeah that speech where he talked about how he hates both nations was a real treat.


Does anyone wonder why Russians praise Vladimir Putin despite what the rest of the world might think of him? Putin cares about his country, that’s why.
I thought it had something to do with being afraid of prison and assassination. But maybe those are the acts of a man who really cares?


Obama despises the American military because traditionally it has been a mainstay of America’s strength, and our strength infuriates him.
That executive order telling all the grunts to run off a cliff was certainly a hint.


Imposition of a polluting homosexual, anti-Christian agenda upon the military ranks destroys unit cohesion and literally terrorizes male members with the prospect of sodomy rape.
Yes, so many Marines have broken down in tears over how they are in daily fear of male on male rape.


Such rapes have increased since the forcing of open homosexuality in the ranks, against the will of a majority of members I might add.
And the source of this claim is....?


Couple that with an infiltration of women, for whom all standards of strength must be reduced, and Obama attains his goal of emasculating and demoralizing the forces.
How dare he follow the lead of Israel, the other nation he supposedly hates!


Obama lawlessly declares open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens, because he wants to overrun America with third-world people who bring little more than dependency with them.
Interesting. I was under the impression our border still had ports of entry and something called The Border Patrol. But I guess I was mistaken.


This tactic not only does not ensure a legacy, but rather it guarantees the eventual conversion of America itself into third-world status, if it is allowed to continue.
Just like how those Irish plunged America into irrelevancy!


Bill Clinton started the travesty of increasing the numbers of third-world immigrants at the expense of culturally more suited immigrants from European and European-influenced nations, but Obama has taken the trend to lawless, destructive extremes. He is fully aware that many of these invaders have no intention of assimilating.
"Invaders"? No assimilation? What is the basis for this claim? That non Europeans just want to be all chaotic evil?


It is only the outcry of a majority of Americans that holds back this hateful invasion scheme, and Donald Trump’s entry onto the political scene to oppose that scheme is a saving grace for our nation.
All hail I mean Trump!


Many, many Americans are thoroughly fed up with Barack Obama and the spineless crop of political leaders who ignore his criminality.
Many Americans are also fed up with that HAARP thing controlling hurricanes.


It is yet unknown whether Republicans will ever garner the backbone to become a true opposition party and hold him accountable. Promising signs are the House conservatives’ getting rid of establishment types John Boehner and Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker and Speaker hopeful, respectively, and Donald Trump’s entry into the 2016 presidential race with enough money and testicular fortitude to tell the Establishment and the Left where to shove it.
Yeah! Only Real Americans™ should have a say!


Should these positive trends not continue and the 2016 election cycle yield no movement to counter all the harm that Barack Obama has done to this nation, I think there will be massive disruption. Those folks in the National Rifle Association ads currently running on television seem very serious to me, and that is a good thing.
If we don't get our way we will take away that democracy thing! It's what people that don't hate America just do!

So, when is Obama going to get around to finishing up this destruction of America?

via International Skeptics Forum

Thw OTHER CO2 problem Ocean Acidification

One of the best "real world" examination of the issue affecting the oceans


How Washington Transformed Its Dying Oyster Industry Into A Climate Success Story

Damaged industry...some might think fossil fuel companies should be held to account

Hillary is one


Hillary joins calls for federal probe of Exxon climate change research
The Hill‎ - 2 days ago
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she wants a federal investigation into how Exxon Mobil Corp. has communicated about its research into climate change.

Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, is joining multiple Democrats, including opponents Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley in calling for the Justice Department to probe Exxon.

She was asked whether Exxon should be subject to an investigation at a New Hampshire campaign stop by Jordan Cichon, a volunteer for 350 Action, a climate activist group that published a video of her comments.
“Yes, yes they should,” she said of a potential Justice Department investigation. “There's a lot of evidence [Exxon] misled people.”

via International Skeptics Forum

Exorcism: LIVE! from St. Louis

Surprised there's no thread already. The house in St. Louis where the events that the book and movie, "The Exorcist", were based on was turned into a media frenzy event last night, because we wouldn't want to mess up Halloween night with such nonsense.

via International Skeptics Forum

The convenient atheist

If you are an atheist do you find it difficult sometimes to maintain that belief? For instance telling a dying person that will go to heaven. Or keeping your atheism to yourself when around religious people?

via International Skeptics Forum

Apocalypse imminent? Huge crevass erupts in Wyoming.

OK the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming seem an unlikely place for the Powers-That-Be to showcase the end of the world but why not?

The crevasse was discovered last week, having erupted on a sloped, grass covered area at the south end of the mountain range. It's about 700m long and 50m wide in places.

Expect the demonic influx later today. Or the souls of the dead tomorrow.


via International Skeptics Forum

40% of Brits do not believe Jesus was a real person


Forty percent of people in England do not believe Jesus was a real person, a survey suggests.

However, 43% of the people asked said they did believe in the resurrection - although many did not think it happened as described in the Bible.

The figures also found while 57% classified themselves as Christian, fewer than 10% actually go to church.

The survey of over 4,000 people for the Church of England will be discussed at its next General Synod in November.

Many scholars agree that Jesus was a real man, who lived in Galilee over two thousand years ago, although many details surrounding his life are still debated.

But, the Church of England survey found that four in 10 people did not realise Jesus was a real person, with a quarter of 18 to 34 year olds believing he was a mythical or fictional character.
The Radio 3 news reader who alerted me to this story also used the "did not realise" he was a real person phraseology, which seems wrong to me. Whilst my own personal opinion is that it's more likely than not that there was a real person at the origin of the stories I also think there is a credible case to be made that the stories are entirely mythical, so the BBC wording seems questionable.

The rest of the survey is also of interest. 57% identifying as Christian is the lowest figure I've yet seen, and suggests they may become the minority rather sooner than I was expecting.

ETA: I've just noticed the article says "England", not "Britain", so apologies for the misleading thread title.

via International Skeptics Forum

Russian airliner crashes in Sinai


A Russian airliner has crashed in central Sinai with more than 200 people on board, the office of Egypt's prime minister has confirmed.
The Airbus A-321 had just taken off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, on its way to the Russian city of St Petersburg.
Egyptian media reports said wreckage of the plane had already been found and at least 20 ambulances sent to the scene.
Most of the passengers are said to be Russian tourists.

via International Skeptics Forum

Happy Halloween 2015

Happy Halloween 2015 to everyone on this forum:

via International Skeptics Forum

vendredi 30 octobre 2015

Colectiv - Bucharest night club fire kills 27 - sparked by pyrotechnics

27 Dead in Bucharest Disco Fire: Interior Ministry


At least 27 people were killed and more than 150 injured after a fire ripped through a nightclub in Bucharest late on Friday, government officials said.

The blaze broke out at the Colectiv night club in the Romanian capital at around 11:00 pm (2100 GMT), as some 200 people had gathered to hear a gig by rock group Goodbye to Gravity promoting their new album.

Witnesses quoted by local media said an explosion occurred when fireworks were let off as part of the show, sparking a violent fire and causing panic in the crowd.

via International Skeptics Forum

The Collectiv Club Fire

What looks like a pyrotechnic explosion and fire at the Collectiv Club in Bucharest has killed 27 and injured 155.

I'm reminded of Cocoanut Grove and The Station fires based on the apparent ignition source and the lack of escape exits (there were two, one of which was apparently inaccessible).

From the BBC link:


Reports suggest the cause of the blaze may have been fireworks that were let off inside the club.

Witnesses said a spark on a stage where a band was performing ignited some of the polystyrene decor. A pillar and the club's ceiling caught fire and there was an explosion and heavy smoke, they added.

"People were fainting, they were fainting from the smoke. It was total chaos, people were trampling on each other," Victor Ionescu, who was at the club, told local TV station Antena 3.

Up to 400 people may have been inside the club, which was hosting a free rock concert.

Local journalist Sorin Bogdan told the BBC the club was in a converted former factory with two small exit doors, only one of which was possible to open initially.
I noticed news of the fire as trending on Facebook, one of the links somehow mentioning that it was Friday prayers for I know that Roumania is one of the countries that has resisted letting in many refugees (less than 1500 from what I can tell).

I worry that this will fuel xenophobia in Europe with that mindset, even when it's clear as day at least at face value that this had nothing to do with anything but a disregard for fire safety.

via International Skeptics Forum

Big Win for gun control in San Francisco

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved regulations Tuesday that will require all gun dealers to videotape firearm sales and report sales of ammunition to police. The legislation would also require that dealers send weekly reports to the police on ammo sales.

Because High Bridge Arms has been the city’s only gun store since 1999, employees said the legislation targeted them and forced them to close — a fact that was not lost on the bill’s sponsor.

“If as an ancillary effect and benefit we lose the last remaining gun store in San Francisco, I believe all of us will be better off,” said Supervisor Mark Ferrell at the board meeting Tuesday. He said he hoped the new legislation would prevent loss, theft, and trafficking of firearms and ammo from dealers and give the police better tools to “prevent crime and keep our neighborhoods safe.”

The art of forcing federal firearms licensees to close through additional taxes:

And zoning restrictions outside of what applies to other lawful commercial enterprise:

Has become Priority One with many counties and municipalities.

I knew the original owner of High Bridge (Bob Chow) quite well, and this is a sad day for me outside of any question of government overreach.

via International Skeptics Forum

Sub-prime mortgages back, in the UK

Guardian article, with all sorts of people with bad credit records able to apply.

Now, as long as nobody bundles these up to create instruments that are gambled with monstrous levels of leverage we'll all be just fine :)

via International Skeptics Forum

The Fanatic vs. The Hypocrite

In terms of ideologues, what is scarier,: the Fanatic who actually adheres to their doctrine, or the Hypocrite who uses ideology as a cover for their own goals?

via International Skeptics Forum

Parallel Selves?

This is taken from skeptics forum:



Many years ago when I first moved to Wyoming, I became good friends with Jim, my next-door neighbor. After a couple years I moved out of the neighborhood and we lost track of each other.

I ran into Jim again at a party about four years ago. We were having a friendly chat when I mentioned the time we were next-door neighbors. A blank look came over his face. He said he’d never lived in that house. In fact, he said, he didn’t even know me back then. I was stunned and speechless.

Seth, as channelled by Jane Roberts, talks about our multidimensional selves. That is, we live in parallel realities, not just the one we’re currently aware of. Seth even encourages us to play with switching our awareness, focusing among our various selves and realities.

That doesn’t fully explain to me what happened at that party four years ago. Obviously I’d experienced two parallel realities—two realities that were virtually identical except for one difference. In one reality Jim and I lived next door to each other, and in the other we did not.
I’m not sure how or why that happened. But it doesn’t really matter to me now. As my spirit guides often say, just be in the present moment. Just experience all the joy, peace, and power of this now-moment. It’s all we have.
What do you guys think?Person is convinced he experienced parallel realities

via International Skeptics Forum

Why do animals gesture at your face with their paw?

I have pets in my house. When the dog was a puppy I;d hold him in my lap and pet him, light hugs and soft talking to him. here would be a lull and the dog would gesture at my face. I have a cat and when it was a kitten the kitten did the same thing.

Years ago I had to honor to have a lion cub in my lap during the off hours at the local zoo. I was hugging and petting the cub while talking to the oo keeper and when I looked down at the cub it gestured at my face with its paw.

Why do these small animals do that? It it their way of asking you to pet them some more. They appear contented when they do this very cute sweet act.

via International Skeptics Forum

Shaker Aamer finally released

A British national has finally been released after spending 13 years in Guantanamo bay.

No charges have ever been brought against him. The U.S. has claimed that he was leading a group of Taliban fighters, he has claimed he was doing charity work.

I'm uncomfortable with detention without trial. There is always a risk that intelligence is flawed to some degree and a lack of a trial means that we have no idea whether Shaker Aamer is a threat or not or whether there has been some horrible miscarriage of justice.

If he was never a Taliban leader then I can only imagine the damage this has done to his life and I fear that this treatment may have turned him into what it was claimed he is - a real danger.

via International Skeptics Forum

And So It Begins: Emperor Palpatine elected to Odessa city council.

"People, what's wrong with you?" (asked the candidate).


A candidate who dresses as Star Wars villain Emperor Palpatine has been voted on to a Ukrainian city council despite standing as a joke.

According to fellow candidate Aleksandr Borovik, the man posing as Sheev Palpatine, the Emperor of the Galactic Empire, won a place on Odessa City Council, in the south west of the country.

It comes after the local electoral commission revealed that 48 candidates from the Darth Vader Block political party were registered to stand in the local election.

It has been reported that Emperor Palatine won 54.4 per cent of the poll, causing Mr Borovik to speak of his disbelief, despite respecting the choice of voters.
Chewbacca was however arrested while campaigning for the Dead Emperor.


via International Skeptics Forum

jeudi 29 octobre 2015

Another immortality theorist

This is not topic about MWI:) but as you know I am obsessed with immortality

I found another immortality theorist.Welcome: John William Dune

He wrote three books about immortality,where claims to prove that immortality is inescapable,since consciousness life exists in higher dimentions and observer cannot die.


In The Serial Universe (1934), The New Immortality (1938), Nothing Dies (1940) and Intrusions? (1955), he further elaborated on the concept of "serialism," examining its relation to current physics in relativity and quantum mechanics, and to psychology, parapsychology and theology.
Good read for the authors of "Myth of an Afterlife":)


He also wrote that an infinite regress, or series of dimensions exist within time and that life is immortal as it exists in each of these dimensions infinitely

Just one thing: his ideas of immortality back to 1930s,and I am not sure how many contemporary scientists endorse them.Forget soul,folks.Your consciousness is multidimensional.

via International Skeptics Forum

Western Coalition 2 - MSF 0

Evidence has become reasonably clear that the MSF hospital in Kunduz was attacked deliberately, and now it seems an MSF hospital in Yemen has been attacked, fortunately with no deaths, but two injuries.

Ironic that the evil Taliban/ISIS/Al Qaeda had respected these MSF hospitals but the members of the Grand Coalition did not.

In both cases, the location of the hospital was well-known and promulgated to the superpowers of the western alliance.

Birthing new terrorists, one hospital at a time.

Could be a nice jingle for the jingoistic.

via International Skeptics Forum

Another psychic on Long Island - Laura Lynne Jackson

Argghhhhh, like we don't have enough of these, I now have see articles about another one and she has a book The Light Between Us: Stories From Heaven, Lessons for the Living and a book signing tomorrow at Book Revue. I don't think I can make it to the signing, any other locals, can you get there?

Anyone want to do an amazon review?

Also, she lists herself as psychic medium who has been certified by the Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential and the Forever Family Foundation. Has anyone heard of either of these?

via International Skeptics Forum

LWB - Learning While Black

NPR today posited that LWB is the driving while black. This was in reference to the officer removing the female student from a classroom.

Is this a thing?

via International Skeptics Forum

The Missiles of October

I'm afraid I'm a day late for this.

Just after midnight on 28 October 1962 the world was afraid, the Cuban Missile Crisis was ongoing and people were worried about an apparently imminent nuclear exchange between the United States and Soviet Union.

But thousands of kilometres from the Caribbean another group of nuclear armed missiles were being prepared for launch...

That night all US strategic forces were at Defense Readiness Condition 2 (DEFCON2 or "FAST PACE") ready to launch missiles within fifteen minutes following a move to DEFCON1. These included 32 MGM-13 'Mace-B' long range cruise missiles on the island of Okinawa.
  • The grandchildren of the Nazi V1, these were basically eight tonne pilotless jet aircraft. Each missile had a range of over 2,000km. Instead of the V1's tonne of explosive they carried a weapon a million times more powerful; a 1.1 megatonne W28 thermonuclear warhead.
The missiles were organised into eight batteries of four, with two batteries each on four sites on the Japanese (but US occupied) island of Okinawa.

That night the commanding officer at the Missile Operations Center began a customary mid-shift radio transmission to the four sites. This consisted of a time-check and weather update, followed by a string of alphanumeric codes all read out by a (generally bored) USAF officer.
Usually the first part (the prefix) of the code string didn't match the codes the missile crew had and so the remainder was ignored.
But that night it did match, indicating actual orders were following.

Now this wasn't that uncommon, training messages were occasionally transmitted. But at DEFCON2 no training messages should have been sent, and the crew had been reminded of this.
The second string also matched that held by the missile crew, authorising the launch officer (a USAF captain named William Bassett) to open the sealed pouch he'd been issued.
This contained the third string, if this matched then an sealed envelope in the pouch was to be opened. This contained the mechanical keys necessary to begin the missile launch along with targeting data for the missiles.

The third string matched that within the pouch. The crews were authorised to launch the missiles.

At this point captain Bassett, as senior officer among the eight crews, began preparations for the launch of all the 32 missiles, on the presumption that the other seven crews on Okinawa had received the order as well. However the captain was worried about the orders and conferred with the other launch officers.
The crews were still at DEFCON2, no upgrade in readiness to DEFCON1 having been received and Bassett and others were worried that a mistake had been made.
  • He's alleged to have said: "We have not received the upgrade to DEFCON1, which is highly irregular, and we need to proceed with caution. This may be the real thing, or it is the biggest screw up we will ever experience in our lifetime".
Some crew suggested that a nuclear attack was already in progress, and the change to DEFCON1 had been skipped or possibly the radio message had been jammed. However Okinawa would have been a priority target for an attack but no signs were felt.

Captain Bassett had his crew to run the final checks on their missiles and prepare for launch. However when the targets for the missiles were revealed three of the missiles were aimed at targets outside the Soviet Union, a pattern that was followed by target lists of other batteries.
  • Exactly what the targets were hasn't been revealed; presumably China or North Korea
The captain ordered that the bay doors (the missiles were mounted on launch rails inside concrete bunkers) for the missiles with non-Soviet targets remain closed but opened the door for the fourth missile. As senior officer he ordered the other crews to do the same.

Captain Bassett then called the Missile Operations Center and requested, stating that the original transmission had been garbled, that the mid-shift report be repeated. The launch order was repeated as before.

At this stage one of the officers commanding a launch crew (whose four missiles all had Soviet targets) ordered his crew to proceed with missile launch. Captain Bassett ordered the other launch officer of that crew there to stop the launch, by force if necessary. He contained the senior officer MOC and asked for either a change to DEFCON1 (and authority to launch the missiles) or a stand-down order.

The suddenly very stressed voice of a USAF major ordered a stand-down. World War Three didn't start and the launch crews were told never to discuss the incident.

Exactly what went wrong that night and why the MOC ordered a launch is unknown. It was probably a mistake by an officer under stress during the international crisis, but USAF records (and details of any investigation) haven't been released. Such incidents did happen during the Cold War.

Details of the Mace installations.

via International Skeptics Forum

In 'classical' music, must a piece be difficult to have merit?

I was reading wiki page on Bartok's 'For Children'. For those unfamiliar, it's a collection of intermediate level pieces intended for students to play, and children to enjoy. The page had a comment that some concert pianists like Zoltan Kocsis are including some of the pieces in their performance 'for their musical value - in spite of their pedalogical origins'.

Damn straight. Good music is good music. It saddens me to think music might (and probably is) be excluded from public concert performance merely because its too 'easy' to play.

via International Skeptics Forum

Cop battles with teen girl

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Red State Update is back

Campaign and debate analysis you can use.

via International Skeptics Forum

mercredi 28 octobre 2015

Bronze age Griffin Warrior grave found in Greece

The Greek government says this is the most significant find in Grece for 60 years

via International Skeptics Forum

Facebook Facilitating Middle east violence

Welcome to the new social media age. I think we have to work this out....what organisations like facebook should be obliged to do and who would enforce it.

I take the guys point that Facebook is apparently able to locate and remove Porn but not blatant incitement to criminal violence.

via International Skeptics Forum

Obvious: Men try to hit on drunk woman

A Spanish (drug & alcohol) rehab clinic decided to replicate a social experiment to find out what men would do when faced with a young, drunk, good-looking and well-dressed woman.

The results aren't very surprising. Guys will opt for the "take advantage" rather than "help" options.

Someone should try this with a drunk guy.

via International Skeptics Forum

Senate dems Try To Introduce Backdoor Gun Control


Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced new legislation they are leading that would to close a current loophole that allows gun sales to proceed if a background check is not completed after 72 hours, even if the gun buyer is not legally allowed to purchase a gun. When a criminal background check indicates that a firearm purchaser may have a criminal record, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) tries to determine whether the purchaser can legally buy a gun. If this process takes longer than 72 hours, gun dealers can complete the sale even though there is a heightened risk that the purchaser is legally disqualified from purchasing a gun.

The Background Check Completion Act would require a completed background check for every gun buyer who purchases a gun from a federally-licensed gun dealer, closing the loophole that has allowed thousands of gun sales to prohibited buyers, including the sale of the firearm used by Dylann Roof in his deadly attack at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., in June.

Yet more draconian gun laws they will bill as "common sense legislation" with all the dishonesty they're known for.

Why is this a bad law you ask? Because with such a law in place any current or future President could dramatically slow down, or even stop altogether, gun sales with an executive order ordering the FBI to slow down or even stop approvals in the background check system. This is why the 72 hour limit is there in the first place, it forces the agency to conduct the BGCs in a timely manner. Otherwise they could just do what is already done in many jurisdictions that require a permit that is issued by the sheriff, just sit on the applications for months on end as a brake on gun sales.

And people wonder why gun owners don't trust the government!

via International Skeptics Forum

Proof of quantum immortality

So,for all of you folks that say that MWI doesn't apply immortality I suggest You to read the following:


Speculation in this direction always leads me back to the same question: under what circumstances would you start to regard this hypothesis as being true? Under what circumstances do you think that it would be reasonable to start believing that you could never die?

From my own personal experience, I can honestly say that I would need to be at least three hundred years older than anyone else I knew of, and I would need to have survived at least ten major events which, by rights should have killed me.

“My own personal experience,” did I say? Why yes, I did. You see, circumstances have recently conspired to convince me, by the standard of proof that I have just named, that I cannot die. I am already more than four hundred years old, and just yesterday I withstood my tenth all-but-fatal event–an unfortunate run in with a locomotive, which, “miraculously,” left me with only a few scratches. Add to that my nine of previous bouts with death (which need hardly be described at this juncture, but which include such notable episodes as contracting typhus, being shipwrecked, and charging with the light brigade) and I don’t think that I am being unreasonable in supposing that I am living proof of immortality.
It’s hard to nail down a firm date for when I was born–changes in the calendar and such– but my mother always told me that it was the summer before the Spanish Armada set sail for England, which would put the year at 1587. It’s hard not to slip into a sort of vulgar solipsism when life seems so subjective, but after a few centuries, you start to get the hang of it.

Try not to be surprised; when you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. How else, after all, would I manage to know so many obscure facts about history but from having lived through it?

I just think if it is elaborated joke tough...How on earth he can be four hundred years old?Doesn't make sense to me

via International Skeptics Forum

is it ever ok to lie?

When is it okay to lie?

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Third Republican debate thread

What, no thread yet? Where am I going to live-blog it tonight? (Only if I can't help myself, of course.)

CNN was making a big deal this morning about the "green rooms" provided to the candidate. Apparently Fiorina has a hot tub in hers.

I still think the format is stupid. Why not put everyone with less than 5% in whatever poll they choose in the undercard? That would put Carson, Trump, Bush, Rubio, and Fiorina in the main event.

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Question to those who want a complete gun ban

What then? This is a question I've asked in several different forms in the past, and now I'll just ask it flatly.
If you passed a gun law that either banned or severely restricted (as in police or military only) the right of a lawful citizen to own, possess or carry a firearm, what will replace it as a primary means of self defense against an armed individual?
To hand wave this away is not realistic. With all the firearms currently in our country, and two open borders (one of which is already an expanding avenue for trafficking illegal items), there is little doubt that criminals will still possess them in large numbers.

Before you give away your home, it's a good idea to find another place to live.

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GOP - More Treason Nonsense


The Republican base doesn’t like the budget deal, or the lack of effort in repealing the Affordable Care Act, or really much of anything that’s come from the GOP-led Congress. Party leaders need something to placate their activist base, and perhaps a baseless impeachment crusade looks appealing.
From here.

The above paragraph partially hits at my complaint, one I've had for years. Republicans can't govern anymore. All they hope for is to tar the opposition so bad only Republicans are left standing.

Ass hats.

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4 year old allowed to make life or death decision

the four year old chose heaven over going to the hospital. :cool:

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Ghost sightings explanation

Theres a woman where I go to have a few beers who claims she never believed in ghosts until one night when she ran into a ghost of a man in a bar at the resturant where she was working.

The restaurant job was her second job and she had already worked an eight hour shift. I contend she was tired and hallucinating. I've explored every square inch of this now vacant old house and I saw not one thing out of the ordinary.

She could also have inhaled some carbon monoxide gas from the kitchen cooking area.

After the restaurant closed it reopened as an antique shop. One of the clerks claimed to have seen a woman standing in the door connecting to the area where the bar had been.

I contend she was either lying or had seen an "apparition" via the power of suggestion.

A child saw a man walk into a wall there and disappear. I contend children see things that aren't there.

A dog stood stock still growling at some invisible thing there. I contend he heard the water heater.

I also contend that this houses notoriety and history have caused some people to think its haunted and the power of suggestion makes people think they saw something.

Going further since the house is a huge rambling old 19th century building I think people subconscientiously think it should be inhabited. Ancient man knew that when they found a cave that it was either inhabited by an animal or another tribe. Stone age man probably never found a large uninhabited enclosed space and humans are genetically wired to suspect or know that someone or something is in the cave.

I contend that a stoneage human would be very reluctant to merely walk in a building like this with its large rooms, basement, attic and nooks a crannies that could hide an enemy or vicious animal.

This house is on Railroad street and Elm in Conyers Ga and it was build in the 1840's. Anyone who has ever read the book "The Haunting of Hill House" will be amazed at how similar this house is to the house in the book.

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So we are building new stealth bombers

Interestingly, at the same time we are talking about cutting back on public transportation funding, a giant new $80 billion contract with Northop has been struck to build lots of brand new stealth bombers.

Surprised? Apparently everyone is. The entire program was black and is only now coming to light. Also coming to light is the question: do we really need $80 billion worth of snazzy new stealth bombers?

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Stepping into parallel dimension

Hello All,
As You know,I am obsessed with Many Worlds.
Here I suggest 2 articles to read for Your attention as people claim to travel to another universe(s):

Whitley Strieber has often mentioned experiences of walking into alternate realities. Here's one of them from his journal:


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New book "Myth of af Afterlife" is released

Hello All,
Just yesterday I've read excellent new book "Myth of an afterlife".Great number of philosophers,psychologists etc issued convincing arguments against souls,for physicalism etc.

They also deteated out-of-body,near-death,mediums etc.

But I think they failed in the major thing.They argued for extinction and completely missed out the mention of Many Worlds of quantum mechanics.All their arguments for mind dependant on brain do nothing about immortality prescribed by MWI.So,bad news for Keith Augustine and other extinctionists.Should they realized that they wil have nostalgia on those days when near-death was considered as evidence for an afterlife :).Ironically ,one contributor to the book is David Papinneau,prominent proponent of MWI

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The latest red meat scare

Oversimplification and general media hype, hurray

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mardi 27 octobre 2015

Fed supposedly loses $9 trillion (from 2013.)

So, a friend of mine on facebook was wondering about the veracity of this video:

I tried googling it, and it seems to be a video from nearly 3 years ago. January 2013 was the earlier date it seems to have appeared on the web that I could find.

I tried googling it, and it just links to be a bunch of god-aweful conspiracy websites.

The only thing I can make out, is that the woman is confused, and probably for the same reason I am:

"What in sam hill are you talking about, and where in sam hill did you pull all those god-awefully huge figures from?"

He starts talking about $1 trillion. Then $1 trillion + other assets. Suddenly he;s talking about $9 trillion.

Yeah, the woman being question looks and seems to be a complete dumbass. But I am scratching that up to her just being awfully confused. Almost like that one Congress person who was questioning the president of Planned Parenthood, using completely bogus data in the attempt to make her look like a moron. I see about the same tactic here, but am not sure.

Any way, anyone with any further information? Was there another thread about it in these forum? I couldn;t find one when searching. Thanks.

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Ted Koppel: Doomsday Coming - Cyber attack on US Power Grid "INEVITABLE"

Well, this is disturbing...maybe it should be in the technology thread, but it concerns the US


In this tour de force of investigative reporting, Ted Koppel reveals that a major cyberattack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared.

Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months. Tens of millions of people over several states are affected. For those without access to a generator, there is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration or light. Food and medical supplies are dwindling. Devices we rely on have gone dark. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before.

It isn’t just a scenario. A well-designed attack on just one of the nation’s three electric power grids could cripple much of our infrastructure—and in the age of cyberwarfare, a laptop has become the only necessary weapon. Several nations hostile to the United States could launch such an assault at any time. In fact, as a former chief scientist of the NSA reveals, China and Russia have already penetrated the grid. And a cybersecurity advisor to President Obama believes that independent actors—from “hacktivists” to terrorists—have the capability as well. “It’s not a question of if,” says Centcom Commander General Lloyd Austin, “it’s a question of when.”

And yet, as Koppel makes clear, the federal government, while well prepared for natural disasters, has no plan for the aftermath of an attack on the power grid. The current Secretary of Homeland Security suggests keeping a battery-powered radio.

In the absence of a government plan, some individuals and communities have taken matters into their own hands. Among the nation’s estimated three million “preppers,” we meet one whose doomsday retreat includes a newly excavated three-acre lake, stocked with fish, and a Wyoming homesteader so self-sufficient that he crafted the thousands of adobe bricks in his house by hand. We also see the unrivaled disaster preparedness of the Mormon church, with its enormous storehouses, high-tech dairies, orchards, and proprietary trucking company – the fruits of a long tradition of anticipating the worst. But how, Koppel asks, will ordinary civilians survive?

With urgency and authority, one of our most renowned journalists examines a threat unique to our time and evaluates potential ways to prepare for a catastrophe that is all but inevitable.
****, I guess the survival nuts were right

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Resolved: Scott Adams is an utter moron who believes he's intelligent

I still like Dilbert, but that is filtered through a narrow funnel of 'office environment', which limits Adams' stupidity. I used to like him, and I've purchased several of his books, but over time, particularly after reading his blog, I've come to the conclusion that Scott Adams is a complete moron. Worse - he doesn't realize it, and he actually thinks he's intelligent.

The tipping point was two blog posts he made. One was about the recent video of the woman walking down the street, and all the catcalls, etc. This is what he had to say about it:

Originally Posted by Scott Adams
I assume the makers of the video intend me to watch it and conclude “Sexism is out of control! Women can’t even walk the streets unmolested! Something must be done!”

Here’s my actual reaction: “MOVE SOMEWHERE BETTER, YOU IDIOT!”

Do you want to know why my life is good today? It’s because I once lived in a place with no opportunity and many disadvantages but I cleverly fixed that problem by moving somewhere else. And so I reiterate.

MOVE!!! JUST [F-word] MOVE!!!

Okay, I know, your family lives in New York City and your job is there and….JUST [F-word] MOVE!!! MOVE!!! STOP MAKING IT MY PROBLEM!!!

The second one was about Trump and the NRA (mostly). In this he said

Originally Posted by Scott Adams
Bias alert: I am pro-gun because I weigh 147 pounds and I want to preserve the option of shooting people who are bigger than me. Sometimes they need it.

Read more:

I think you can see why I now believe Scott Adams wears Douchecanoe for Men. If men harass women, the women should move. If anyone harasses Scott Adams, he carries a gun and he will shoot them.

I'll say that another way. Scott Adams is threatened because of his small size, and is afraid of attack - but that's the attackers' problem, and Scott has the right to protect himself up to and including shooting them.

WOMEN, however, who are on the average Scott Adams' size or smaller - if they feel threatened, it's THEIR problem, and they should UPEND THEIR ENTIRE LIVES AND MOVE TO A SUPPOSEDLY SAFE TOWN, which apparently doesn't exist or else Scott Adams would friggin move there.

I'm sure there are many, many other reasons to think Scott Adams is a moron disguised as a nerd, and feel free to add them below, but this hypocrisy was the tipping point for me.

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Sleepy Ben Carson wants Roe v. Wade overturned - despite his abortion referrals

Quick version, because there are many ridiculous things about Ben Carson:
This time, it's abortion.
One hand:
“The biggest outstanding issue on his record remains his referrals of patients to other doctors for abortions, a practice that his campaign as recently as August defended.

He believes in quality medical care, number one, and secondly, he believes in people making their own decisions based on facts and information,” Carson spokesman Doug Watts told Politico.

Other hand:
On Meet The Press, he said Roe v. Wade should be overturned.

How does overturning Roe allow patients to "make their own decisions"?
And how does Carson reconcile referring patients to doctors for abortions with his claim that - well, his ever changing claim that life begins at 'heartbeat' or at 'conception', depending on how recent he was asked?

Ad hom:
Ben Carson sounds like Herbert the Pervert from Family Guy.

Clearly, Ben Carson has learned how to absolutely lie in the fact of video and written evidence to the contrary. Why are stupid people believing whatever he says?

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Looking for an article

A few months back I read an article concerning if gravity and maybe time also could be responsible for the self consistent reality. If anyone knows what I'm remembering would post a link. Thanks.

P.S. I've done various keyword web searches before asking.

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Dog shoots owner (and the dog's name is Trigger)

Is there anything else that needs to be said about this?

(Other than another series of jokes, of course, preferably involving swimming pools.)

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Germaine Greer Is "a Misogynist!"

Germaine Greer has caused outrage and been called a misogynist for her views on trans-gendered people. Cardiff University have said she should be "no-platformed".

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Outrage After Officer Throws Student

Well, that's what the headline says, anyway.

So here's the situation. Something happened in a classroom. The teacher tells a girl to leave the room. (Go to principal's office? Article doesn't say.) She refuses. Teacher calls Student Resource Officer. (local cop permanently stationed in school.) Cop tells her to come with him. She refuses. He says he will force her. She still refuses. He tries to physically remove her from the desk. She resists. Before it's over she is yanked violently from the desk, and ends up going across the floor a few feet.

I don't get it. Why the outrage?

Was the cop perfect? Could he have managed the situation with slightly less violence? Maybe. I suppose. I can see telling him, "C'mon, dude. That was a little rough wasn't it?" But outrage? I don't get it. It seems to me that there were no nonviolent alternatives, and that no one was injured.

But CNN seems pretty certain that it was outrageous. It's right there in the headline, and there is no dissenting voice mentioned. No, "but some are defending the officer" quotes.

Am I that far out of touch that this doesn't seem outrageous to me?

The worst part seems to me that there will almost certainly be some sort of legal escalation. They'll end up charging the girl with resisting arrest or something, and she'll end up with a criminal record. Back in an earlier day, there would have been no need to call a cop. A male teacher would have done the deed himself, and when someone said that the teacher told her to leave and she refused, everyone would say that, of course the teacher should have dumped her from the desk.

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One more gun thread

Do we have a thread yet for armed and dangerous animals?

Dog named Trigger shoots owner in the foot

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Health benefits of vegetarianism

In another thread, a number of posters referred to claims of health benefits of being vegetarian as 'woo'.
By coincidence, this appeared on the BBC website today:
There appears to be a proven link between processed meat consumption and colorectal cancer. Meat in general was given a verdict of "probably carcinogenic".
So more WHO than woo, then.
This article links to a number of studies showing multiple health benefits of a vegetarian diet:
Looks pretty solid to me. Reactions?

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lundi 26 octobre 2015

Nevada woman found dead inside cryochamber capable of reaching -240 degrees

I'm trying to make sense of this tragic story. It's obviously some sort of health woo.

According to the state Occupation Safety and Heath Administration, Chelsea Ake-Salvacion was in the machine for more than 10 hours when her body was discovered inside the chamber at Rejuvenice.

“It’s similar to microdermabrasion, but instead of crystals that exfoliate the skin, it’s more of a suction machine,” she said of using the chamber in a story published late last week. “After that, we apply a serum that protects the outer layer of the skin and moisturizes it. We like to do the cryofacial afterward because it helps seal everything in.”

Ake-Salvacion said the treatment protects the skin by removing dead skin cells. The procedure gained attention nationally after pro basketball star LeBron James said he was employing it to deal with nagging injuries.

KLNV-TV reported that the chambers at Rejuvenice could reach temperatures of -240 degrees Farenheit.
So people have themselves chilled in order to have smooth skin? And it also claims to help with injuries? WTF?

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A question about Massachusetts civil law.

Just trying to find out how long a citizen (or a group) has to file a complaint/lawsuit against a town in a civil matter. I've searched and seen mention of 6 years, but I want to confirm that. A group in my town opposed a decision by a town employee, a decision upheld by the board they appealed the decision to. I'm wondering how long my town has to worry that this will be dragged into court?

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Alex Jones takes on Google....

No fan of Google, but Jones shows once again what a clown he is.
And, for course, his fanboys are cheering him on.

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Skepticism as Consumer Reports

I've always liked Barry Beyerstein's thought that skepticism was kind of like a "Consumer Reports of the Mind" and I wish more people would have followed up on that connection. I think it's a good way to reach those who might ordinarily dismiss skepticism.

Are there skeptics out there that have pursued that line thinking since Beyerstein's death? Has anyone made a more explicit link to actual Consumer Reports when warning about homeopathic treatments and other such hustles?

Thanks for any info you fine folks can provide!

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Do genes evolve?

I had always been under the impression that populations evolve. Individuals and genes do not. Then I was pointed to this paper, which is entitled "Molecular evolution of the rhodopsin gene of marine lamprey, Petromyzon marinus", which appears to be quite specifically talking about the evolution of a single gene.

Is this because it's a different branch of evolution and there's an equivocation inherent in calling this "evolution" in the same sense as you would talk about horizontal gene transfer, is it a sloppy use of language, am I just wrong about evolution being something that happens on the population level, rather than to individuals or genes, or something else?

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dimanche 25 octobre 2015

Trump's solution to the our bad deal with China.

They hack our corporations and steal trade secrets, they pirate everything, their protectionist policies keep our companies from operating in their market (eg they prop up the chinese facebook, the chinese ebay, the chinese google, etc.), they suppress their currency, we currently have a 450+ billion trade deficit, and to top it off they are still an international nuisance with things like the south china sea.

Trump's solution is to "put Carl Icahn on it (he'll also handle Japan BTW)." Trump has been saying this for months so it is his official policy plan. Good plan, bad plan? It's seems childishly simplistic, but is there any politician out there with a better plan? Does anyone actually think our deal with china does not suck?

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Desalination by filtering

A simple desalination process has been invented in Egypt, apparently, which uses a fraction of the power of the standard technique, and relies on a fairly simple filter.

Paper here.

Could anyone comment on the quality of the paper, and any possible pitfalls with such a system.

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WWII Morality Hypo: Time Travel

I asked this once before, a while ago. I was prompted to try it again by the "killing baby Hitler" thread.

- You wake up to find yourself effortlessly inserted into history as a healthy, fit American man in the US, aged 20, in 1943. You cannot change history. Nothing you do will change even the slightest detail of anything. There is no butterfly effect. What happened, happened.

The US is currently at war with the Axis, an objectively evil group of governments attempting to take over the world in the most objectively evil way possible.

Question: Do you join the military and fight?

You know we'll win without your help in exactly the same way. Do you fight evil because evil must be fought? Do you sit out because you know the cause will be won? Do you do something different?

Please don't try to fight the hypo. You cannot use your knowledge of the future to game the system in any way.

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Democracy taking second place in Portugal again?

Portugal's President Won't Allow Leftists to Form a Government


Originally Posted by teleSur
Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva said he will not allow a coalition of leftist parties to form a government despite the fact that they won an outright majority in parliamentary elections held earlier this month.

The president said Thursday that he gave conservative Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho the mandate to form a minority government that will fall in line with the policy of austerity imposed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“In 40 years of democracy, no government in Portugal has ever depended on the support of anti-European forces, that is to say forces that campaigned to abrogate the Lisbon Treaty, the Fiscal Compact, the Growth and Stability Pact, as well as to dismantle monetary union and take Portugal out of the euro, in addition to wanting the dissolution of NATO,” said President Cavaco Silva. [...]

“I give this government a week or a week and a half,” said Left Bloc lawmaker Filipe Soares. "The president will have to take the responsibility for the instability that will be created by this decision."

Critics portrayed the president’s move as an assault on democracy.

“Democracy must take second place to the higher imperative of euro rules and membership,” wrote Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor of The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper.

Portugal returned to democracy in 1974 after nearly 50 years of authoritarianism.

Another fine example of "western values" in the EU of 2015. I hope the Portuguese will kick that guy out asap.

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Yes, yet another more balanced gun thread

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The Time Machine of Consciousness

Hello All,

Here is the article from by Rhawn Joseph,who make case for Many Worlds from dearms,precognition dreams,deja vu,bakward dreams etc. I don't know how to regard it so I put it here for your evaluation.Please,read the article and tell what you think of it:

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Why hasn't the US gone to one dollar coins?

Is it an economy thing?

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Turning off Mac's USB ports

Mac question: does anyone know a way of turning off broken USB ports, to avoid this after every restart? At the moment, I just turn the notifications off until the messages stop, but I'd prefer a more permanent solution.

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Congress wants to cut transit funding

If you live in a city and want a new busway, light rail or subway line to relieve congestion things will tougher in the future if a new bill in congress advances.


Currently, transit capital projects are eligible to receive 80 percent of their funding from federal sources, with local sources providing the remaining 20 percent. This is the same as the federal match available for highway projects. But the new House bill would cut the maximum federal match for transit projects to 50 percent while leaving the highway formula untouched.

Why cut transit but not highways? I'll leave that up to you though I have some pretty good ideas.

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The PLO Covenant: did they, or didn't they ?

Hello everyone. I hope you'll forgive the impertinance of a new member creating this thread. I couldn't help but notice that most threads discussing Israel/Palestine tend to get diverted onto the issue of the Palestinian/PLO Covenant.

This originally called for the destruction of Israel of a State by violent revolution. The controversy is that the PLO where required to ammend this covenant as a precondition to inclusion in the Oslo peace negotiations. They where required to strip out the various conditions about the illegality of the State of Israel, and its destruction. The question is... was it ever actually ammended ?

This is not a dry historical issue; if the Covenant was never ammended, then the PLO is at war with Israel, and the Palestinian Authority is invalid.

So I thought I'd create this thread as a 'lightening conductor' to prevent the discussion clogging up all the OTHER "Israel" threads.

OK... here's the situation as I see it. Feel free to tear me to shreds.

Firstly, the original Palestinian National Charter.
(actually, this is the SECOND edition, formally approved by the Palestinian National Council in 1968. The FIRST edition was created in 1964. A copy can be found here

Neither look particularly condusive to peace.

Then, in the early 1990's, we had the so-called "Oslo" peace negotiations. As a pre-condition, both parties (the PLO and Israel) had to recognise each other. This led to the famous " letters of recognition"
This was truly groundbreaking stuff. Could peace TRULY be on the horizon ?

For the Israeli side, the Knesset ratified Yitzhak Rabin's commitment to recognising the PLO, albeit by a slim majority.

Yasser Arafat took the proposal to the Palestinian National Council - the only body authorised to change the Covenant. In 1996, they voted to ammend the charter, and stated that a legal team would draft a new version, with the hostile paragraphs removed, as per Arafat's letter.

And now it gets interesting.
The legal committee was never appointed. It never sat. It produced no draft, and - obviously - the PNC never voted to ratify the (non-existent) ammended version.

The old Charter is still in force.

In 1988 the Israeli Delegation to the second round of the Oslo accords complained about this. Arafat assured them that the delay was purely an administrative/beurocratic issue, and that the Covenant WOULD be ammended.

It never was.
The issue was somewhat overclouded when Arafat stormed out of the 2000 Camp David summit, and initiated the second Intifada. A few years later, HAMAS won the PA elections, triggering a chrisis for the international community, and ultimately resulting in the takeover of Gaza. Then there was the war with Hezbollah in Lebannon. Then TWO incursions into Gaza against HAMAS. With no substantive peace talks on the horizon, the issue has been somewhat sidelined. But it still exists, and would cloud any future peace talks.

And thats where we are today !

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samedi 24 octobre 2015

Why no Benghazi hearing thread?

I am shocked that there hasn't much said about Hillary's Benghazi testimony. Why is that? There was a much bigger brouhaha around Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code and Lost symbol. This would seem to me a much more serious matter. After all, this is a critical tipping point in our country's history. What's up?

Disclaimer: I will respond to polite, civil exchanges. I will not tolerate any inappropriate behavior, character assassination or killing the messenger type behavior.

Thank you in advance

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Ican is apparently able to buy congress.

I guess Ican just bought congress with his 150 million Super Pac. His is pushing for repatriation of offshored accounts by giving corporations a tax holiday of just a 5% tax. Apparently they shot that idea down the last time. I started to get outraged then realized that either way its not going to effect me all that much. I don't have money in the stock market and this is only going to effect a few people. Ican stands to make 250 million on the deal. The only thing that worries me is the precedent this is going to set when the next billionaire wants something, I would really like to see someone in support of this and want to hear their point of view.

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Why does the United States owe money to itself?

This article is dated by two years, but I found it from doing some searching after hearing on the news the upcoming vote to raise the "debt ceiling"...again. It would be different if the FED was the IMF, an international organization. But supposedly, the "FED" is owned/run by the United States. Why do we owe money to ourselves?

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Mandatory consent classes in U

Last year they started something at my school called mandatory consent class. I never took did it because it wasn't part of my required curriculum, and besides, I am 52 and quite frankly don't think much about sex anymore. I do have a personal story about a consent class in the military I took with about 1000 servicemen and women.

Ok, I don't remember much about it but I do remember they guy asked those of us who continued to pursue a woman after being turned down. I and about 2 other guys raised our hands thus identifying ourselves as potential rapists and was pretty much told as much. Now I am getting to this is a joke right? Part.

Rape in the large base I was stationed in was at epidemic levels. It was so bad they has special forces troops stationed in unlit areas looking for rapists there were so many. I know this because I ran into one while wandering around drunk in one of those areas. I had left my wallet in the cab and the guy helpfully drove me around looking for it. I learned all about his mission.
It is unlikely that the 3 people who raised their hands at this consent class raped anyone. It is also extremely unlikely that the consent class prevented a single rape either.

My position is consent classes are useless and probably do more harm than good.

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It is unethical to kill baby Hitler

Would you kill baby Hitler if you could go back in time?

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How reliable are personal stories/accounts?

Hi All,
As a person who is not(unfortunately) science oriented I ask you:
regarding paranormall/mystical experiences what should we think about their reliability.Consider for example such claim, when 2.5 years ago I discussed personal experieces of other worlds for here:


In my experience, when you live in returns time and live parallel worlds, there are those who order them- good top up, and others do not get along, so thay deleted from them .Some living proof , some part have not
How rational/scientific minded person should regard such claim?Wow he claims "some living proof"

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Woman detects Parksinson's Disease by smell

Apparently been scientifically tested too.Sounds unlikely

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help with hotmail ?

Hiya everyone,

I have a problem, and wonder if anyone can help, or has had a similar problem ?

Here it is....

I used to use a Hotmail account... <username>

I only EVER used the web interface to receive my emails etc. Over the years, I built up a large body of contacts, as well as a large number of emails organised into folders.

Again.. I must stress...this was ALL done through the web interface, NOT a mail client like Outlook or Thunderbird or whatever.

One day - around 3 or 4 weeks ago, I browsed to the Hotmail webmail address, only to be diverted to the new Microsoft Account login screen.

I tried entering my Hotmail credentials (username - which is my email address - and password).

I got the message "That password is incorrect. Make sure you're using the password for your Microsoft account".

This doesn't surprise me; Microsoft accounts are restricted to "" and "," addresses. There is no option to create a Microsoft account as <username>

I finally created a SEPERATE UNRELATED Microsoft Account, purely to access the "Microsoft Community" for help. They where entirely and totally unable to help. The only responses I got where from people who had completely and utterly missed the point, and where making suggestions about checking for aliases (how, when I can't log in to access the configuration screens ? ), or about mobile devices.

So, do we have any UK-based Hotmail users here, and if so, how did YOU survive the migration to ?

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Paradoxes of Time Travel: The Uncertainty Principle, Wave Function, Many Worlds

Hi all,
Again a bit from Joseph:


DeWitt’s many-worlds interpretation of Everett’s work, posits that there may be a split in the combined observer–object system, the observation causing the splitting, and each split corresponding to the different or multiple possible outcomes of an observation. Each split is a separate branch or highway. A “world” refers to a single branch and includes the complete measurement history of an observer regarding that single branch, which is a world unto itself. However, every observation and interaction can cause a splitting or branching such that the combined observer–object’s wave function changes into two or more non-interacting branches which may split into many “worlds” depending on which is more probable. The splitting of worlds can continue infinitely.

Since there are innumerable observation-like events which are constantly happening, there are an enormous number of simultaneously existing states, or worlds, all of which exist in parallel but which may become entangled; and this means, they can not be independent of each other and are relative to each other. This notion is fundamental to the concept of quantum computing.
What do you guys think?What bothers me is the last statement.Is MWI really required for quantum computing?

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vendredi 23 octobre 2015

"That'll be $9-95, thanks!" "The Noroviruses is free."

Enjoy your next meal - especially during norovirus outbreaks - as 51% of food workers admit to turning up to work sick.

It's Fox but links to a study that looks legit, and while it mightn't be 100% accurate, it's obvious there's a problem. I am 100% confident it's not limited to USA/Canada.

A quick estimate of norovirus stats shows that 22,000,000 cases hit USA annually, of which say 1/4 are in paid employment. That is a cost of $2.2 Bn in sick days each year.

Seems to me that as it's known that a significant number of norovirus infections come from people handling food and serving it to others, if decent rules to stay away from work are put in place - with paid compensation - we could all save a lot of money.

One company I deal with has it as a sackable offence on the grounds that turning up to work sick is serious misconduct. This is a frozen food company, so it's a sensible option for them and not all companies can afford to be that strict, but allowing staff to work while infectious is potentially business-threatening.

The survey is certainly a good reason to frequent food joints with very high standards, because paying $100 for dinner only to watch it be regurgitated violently twelve hours later is a bit galling.

via International Skeptics Forum

Seymour Hersh questions Bin Laden's death narrative

Saw almost nothing on this in the media, other than the 60 Minutes segment last week.

Hersh is maintaining that there are numerous problems with the Bin Laden raid narrative, and proposes that, among other things:
1. The Pakistanis knew all about it and were complicit.

2. There was supposed to be a cover story to the effect that Bin Laden had been killed by a drone strike, to spare the Pakistanis embarrassment, but after the blackhawk crashed that had to be abandoned.

3. That the "compound" was actually a safe house run by the Pakistani intelligence service, and that the Saudis were paying the bills.

4. That Bin Laden was not "buried at sea" with due ceremony but rather uncermoniously dumped out of the helicopter.

Now, in what has become his usual manner, Hersh is not naming his sources as they are "in place". Also, his big stories in recent years have somewhat fallen flat; such as the one about our special forces sneaking around inside Iran and targeting nuclear facilities. (possible, even likely, but unproven so far as I know.)

I certainly wouldn't be amazed if the Pakistanis knew about Bin Laden's presence, and decided it would be more convenient to have him go away....

via International Skeptics Forum

Hurricane Patricia

Hurricane Patricia to reach Mexican shores in about 5 hours as the first -or second- "category 6" hurricane. With sustained winds of 335 km/h and gusts of 405 km/h it is also expected to cause torrential rains.

Those wind speeds are associated with basic pressures up to 800 kg/m2. Just for the sake of comparison those pulsing pressures would crack and even break 3-inch thick reinforced concrete slabs designed to support light loads.

Stay tuned.

via International Skeptics Forum

Psychological cough

I've had this on and off cough for years now, and I wonder if it is just psychological? It's usually in the morning and if I cough once I will then feel compelled to keep coughing for hours. Each additional cough will continue the process.

If I resist the cough, I will not begin this process. Is it psychological?

via International Skeptics Forum

Welcome to Multiverse

Hi guys,
On Wikipedia I found this article:

The map showed anomalies that cosmologists believe could only have been caused by the gravitational pull of other universes outside our own.

"These anomalies were caused by other universes pulling on our universe as it formed during the Big Bang," said Laura Mersini-Houghton, of the University of North Carolina.

But on the same page I found this:

What do You guys think?

via International Skeptics Forum

Talktalk cyberattack

Once again, my ISP is covering itself in glory.


The phone and broadband provider, which has over four million UK customers, said banking details and personal information could have been accessed.
The advice, among other things, is to change your account password. I cannot on the grounds that the account management site is down :mad:

via International Skeptics Forum

jeudi 22 octobre 2015

SETI is investigating those" alien mega-structures."

As social media this month got wind of this story, of the alien megastructures I first thought it was nothing but one of those IFLS clickbait crap that goes around. However, upon closer examination, it can be reasonable determined that this is the closest thing to alien life we have discovered thus far. That or to me it could also be a marble game of planetary proportions.

Unless I am mistaken, scientists are not too thrilled with the comet explanation and even less thrilled about the planetary explosion scenario. Citing the fact that these events would take too quick for us to notice them. Some scientists especially those working at SETI are very curious to measure the lights coming from the star because they think it's more of an on-going development.

What do you guys think? Is it possible? BTW, I cannot post urls.

via International Skeptics Forum

Marco Rubio is done

Bill Kristol is predicting a Rubio-Fiorina/Fiorina-Rubio ticket. And thus we know this won't happen because Bill Kristol is always wrong about everything.

via International Skeptics Forum

Is Human Evolution at an End?

I've been wondering about this for awhile. Beginning in the late 1800s we began actively and effectively fighting disease via induced immunity (vaccination). Now, we're talking about wiping out cancer, and even engineering DNA to eradicate tendencies towards various illnesses. In short, I'm wondering whether modern science is robbing humanity of the opportunity to adapt. Natural Selection needs time and opportunity. Are we heading for a future where a First World society is defined as one populated by the products of "Artificial Selection?"

Oh crap!

via International Skeptics Forum

Responsible Gun Owner Sells Guns For Drug Money

I consider myself Responsible and toward that end have always taken steps to prevent accidents, loss, and misuse of the few guns I have owned over the years. I use trigger locks, I keep the .357 in a locked pistol box and store ammo (other than the 2 speed loaders in the pistol box) out in the garage in a padlocked metal locker, and I've taught all three kids basic safety rules.

But things have changed for me, and as an RGO I feel that changes are required in my tactical posture.

I'm riding the learning curve of a food intolerance issue, and when I get it wrong one of the symptoms is cranky irrational irritability; another is depression. I don't always know when an episode is happening until something triggers an emotional response. I recently had an interaction with someone that I think scared them a bit. All I wanted was for Sam to put down my power cord and let me over-under wind it myself so it would fit in the backstage safety lights kit. I later apologized to Sam and found out he felt I was threatening him. It scared me, as I didn't feel I was threatening, but I don't know what I look like from the outside.

So I've made a rational, reasoned and calculated decision to mitigate risk, based on military risk assessment training: analyze the risk factors, find the most significant risk and mitigate it in appropriate, cost effective and efficacious way to maximize safe results.

The kids are too big for the Henry Mini-bolt, so I sold it back to the pawn shop I found it in for about half what they think they can sell it for. What does one do with a tiny pile of cash? Buy a dime bag (legally, which costs around 20 bucks) and put the remainder in the sock drawer. It helps me tolerate some of the non-chemical depression and frustration triggers I can't change.

I no longer anticipate wanting a Concealed Carry permit, ever, so I next sold the Taurus TCP .380, again for half their anticipated sale price. Enough for an eighth, with a bit of change.

Next up when the pawn shops open in an hour is a totally ordinary Savage 30-06 wearing the okay-not-great scope it sells with at Cabelas. Again, a pawn shop special, so I'll take what I get. I don't anticipate going hunting anytime soon, and if I do get there later in life a random rifle and scope is the cheapest part of the project.

"But what about the .357 in the bedroom, jrrarglblarg?"

Good question. If I wanted to blow my brains out (I don't, but I can't predict the future) it would be my go-to solution. I'd like to keep it for when I'm feeling better (and Obama is out of office so ammo hoarding stops) and technically I bought it for Mrs J, so it stays. For now. But the speed loaders have been moved to the ammo locker, and the combo lock replaced with a keyed Masterlock. The one and only key to the lock has been given to my mother across town for safe keeping, with full explanation of why.

I have two other guns I'm not sure about: the Ruger MK2 .22 rim fire pistol that was the first firearm I bought, and a .22 rifle from the 1930s that's worth way more than pawnshops will give me. But they're locked up, and so is the pitiful pile of post-Obama rim fire ammo I've managed to accumulate.

This is what being a Responsible Gun Owner looks like:
-Never point a firearm at anything you don't intend to destroy
-assume every firearm is loaded every time you pick it up until you check it.
-keep firearms secure and prevent access by those who are underage, untrained, or unreliable.

I've found myself in the Unreliable category and have acted accordingly. I encourage others to self monitor mental health and be willing to make changes for safety of self and others.

via International Skeptics Forum