vendredi 30 septembre 2016

Juice Plus MLM scam

I am hoping this is the proper Topic to post under (mods feel free to move). Okay, so my mom is relatively desperate for work. Without giving away too much information, she has serious health problems that don't allow her to work physically anymore (tough for a former professional athlete and trainer/massage therapist/teacher). She isn't old enough o qualify for S.S. , and won't make enough through disability to live. She just informed me that she is planning on working for obvious MLM pyramid scam Juice Plus. I have forwarded multiple sources and Reddit threads about the veracity of their claims and their pyramid/ponzi business practices, but she is desperate to find work that, in her words "I can do physically". I fear she is falling into this despite my warnings. Does anyone have any experience with this company or knowledge of a serious, like BOOM-in-your-face debunking that I can track down?

Sorry for the long post, but seriously worried for a very nice (too nice), smart but financially vulnerable woman. Any help is greatly appreciated.


via International Skeptics Forum

Hillary v Trump - The Double Standard

I think the problem isn't that there's a double standard for Trump. I think the problem is that Hillary's supporters keep trying to apply the same standard to both candidates. Because they think Hillary will look better by comparison than she looks on her own terms.

But the two candidates are on completely different terms. Trump is pro wrestling. Hillary is a fixed prizefight.

When Bruce Seldon was accused of taking a dive in his 1996 championship fight against Mike Tyson, he could hardly have defended his reputation by pointing out that Yokozuna was paid to lose to Shawn Michaels in the WWE Royal Rumble earlier that year. It's an absurd tu quoque!

WWE has all the trappings of legitimate competition. But that's all they are: trappings. Everybody knows it's scripted entertainment. The whole thing is fake, but it isn't a lie.

I say it's a similar situation with the candidates. Trump isn't really running on the idea of being more competent than Hillary, or more transparent than Hillary, or more honest than Hillary. Sure, he's paying lip service to those things, but what he's really running on is Being Donald Trump. And everybody knows what that is. Just like everybody knows that pro wrestling is fake. And just like a lot of people like pro wrestling anyway, for other reasons.

Hillary, on the other hand, is absolutely running on the idea that she's competent, and transparent, and honest, and so forth. So questions about her competence, etc., are relevant to her in a way they're not relevant to Trump. Because she's actually serious when she claims to be honest. Because she actually wants us to accept that claim at face value. And because she wants us to accept that claim, evidence against her honesty matters. Trump doesn't care. So the evidence isn't that important.

Hillary is running for the position of Serious Statesman. Trump isn't. Maybe he should be, but he isn't. Pointing out that he isn't won't help Hillary much, because the people who support Trump don't really want or need a Serious Statesman. And pointing out that he's not serious won't really deflect the criticisms that Hillary isn't qualified for the position of Serious Statesman.

And of course, going up to the fans who like to experience pro wrestling as if it were real, and trying to browbeat them into admitting it's fake, just makes you look like a douchebag. Especially when you keep pretending that your supposedly honest prizefight wasn't fixed.

via International Skeptics Forum

Question on the term 'British Empire'.

I'm trying to determine when the British themselves might have started to use this term in describing themselves?

via International Skeptics Forum

EGS gears. Experiences, opinions?

While normally a stick driver, I just bought a car with EGS automatic transmission (it was a special offer).

EGS is a conventional manual gearbox with a sort of robot device that operates it. So, you drive it like an automatic.

Advantage: No energy loss; in fact it has better fuel economy than a manual because it uses the gears more optimally.

Drawback: Somewhat more bumpy action than an old-fashioned automatic.

Has anybody experiences with this?

Efficiency? Reliability? Maintenance costs?

The car in question is a Peugeot 2008 with a 1200cc 3 cylinder engine.


via International Skeptics Forum

Here's where our Iphone batteries begin...


The world’s soaring demand for cobalt is at times met by workers, including children, who labor in harsh and dangerous conditions. An estimated 100,000 cobalt miners in Congo use hand tools to dig hundreds of feet underground with little oversight and few safety measures, according to workers, government officials and evidence found by The Washington Post during visits to remote mines. Deaths and injuries are common. And the mining activity exposes local communities to levels of toxic metals that appear to be linked to ailments that include breathing problems and birth defects, health officials say.

via International Skeptics Forum

The Taser Cake


Ex-deputy Apologizes With 'Sorry I Tased You' Cake byKevin Robinson

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Florida woman has filed a civil lawsuit against a former
Escambia County deputy who allegedly discharged a stun gun into her chest
and neck without provocation, tried to cover up the incident, then apologized
with an off-color cake.

I would really like to think that I live in a world in which
people can recognize their mistakes and makes amends.

P. S. If you accidentally tase a cop, do you apologize with ice cream cake?
Or is that a bit too much.

via International Skeptics Forum

Typo on Russian charity leaflet says 'Exterminate Beavers!'


Originally Posted by The Moscow Times
A Russian charity group is learning how costly a typo can be, after it paid 375,000 rubles ($6,000) for pamphlets that were meant to read “Do good!” but instead say “Exterminate beavers!” thanks to a printing error, according to the website...

Thanks to subtleties of the Russian language, a typographical error left the “Mercy Capital” charitable foundation with 1 million leaflets encouraging genocide against beavers.

...the printing house hired to produce the pamphlets is refusing to take responsibility for the printing error, citing regulations dating back to the Soviet era that small typos don’t qualify as contract violations. The printing house also claims “no one will notice” the typo, and told Mercy Capital to go ahead with distributing the leaflets...

Sometimes it seems like Russia is a factory of ironic comedy. "Exterminate Beavers!" is funny enough on its own, but then "no one will notice". There is even an internet term for this called Meanwhile in Russia.

via International Skeptics Forum

Supply & Demand (Split from: Hillary Clinton is Done: part 3)

Clinton today

She says it is outrageous that car and home loans have rates less than 4% but student loans go up to 12%.

Really? It is outrageous that loans with no asset to repossess have a higher rate?

Mod InfoSplit from here.
Posted By:kmortis

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Bank of England to buy £10bn of Corporate Bonds


On 4 August 2016 the MPC voted to increase the stock of purchases of UK government bonds by the APF to £435bn. In addition, the MPC voted to make up to £10bn of purchases of corporate bonds over 18 months.

In its website, the BoE sets forth its schedule as follows.

Corporate Bond Purchase operations will commence on 27 September 2016. Operations will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 11:00 and 11:45, or as set out in the Market Notice here.

Although it will only purchase bonds issued by corporates that supposedly make a material contribution to economic activity in the UK, many of the companies on their list include global foreign corporations such as AT&T, Apple, McDonalds and Nestle.

via International Skeptics Forum

jeudi 29 septembre 2016

Garrett Phillips Murder. Nick Hillary found not Guilty

I just heard of this case about a week ago.

Here is a decent story about the case from a few years back.

It's a murder case that involves race so it's a bit hot button. Basically, interracial couple breaks up. White female's son is then murdered. Black boy friend is then suspected, charged and as of this week found not guilty.

I personally think he did it, but the evidence to convict is just not there. The clincher for me is the school video where it shows the boy just leaving school and immediately Hillary follows behind him... which could totally be coincidental as it is the exit for the school, but it looks awful suspicious. I'd like to see more from that surveillance. If he happened to just get in his car and leave, then it might look much less suspicious. But if he is shown to be in his car for more then a minute (maybe two) then sees the kid go by, then leaves, then that looks really suspicious. But still not rising to evidence to convict, IMO.

via International Skeptics Forum

Obama vetoes bill, Mitch McConnell blames him for the override


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that a new law allowing U.S. victims of terrorism to sue foreign governments may have “unintended ramifications,” despite Congress’s overwhelming vote this week to defy President Barack Obama’s veto of the legislation.
Though Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act was easily overridden, many senators are seeking changes to the law later this year, particularly after gauging any international reaction. McConnell laid some fault at the hands of the White House, calling the battle over JASTA a “good example” of “failure to communicate early about the potential consequences” of a popular bill.

Read more:

What a piece of ****.

via International Skeptics Forum

Taliban weights in.



Taliban leaders followed the U.S. presidential debate closely but heard nothing on Afghanistan, a spokesman said on Wednesday, adding that they were not impressed by Republican candidate Donald Trump, whom they considered "non-serious".
For some reason I find it hilarious.

via International Skeptics Forum

Is the Dunning Kruger effect present in children?

I was listening to Chris Hardwick's Nerdist Podcast and Neil Degrasse Tyson was the guest. They were discussing how some people can be too obstinate to teach. Neil suggested that this was something that people learned. That in schools children are prepared to learn and acceptant that other people know more than them but at some point some people become resistant to new ideas. Chris raised the Dunning Kruger effect and Neil seemed to not recognise the name but certainly agreed with the observation that people who know a little about a subject have an inflated idea of their own skills. He went on to say that this doesn't happen with children.

Obviously this is his anecdotal experience speaking rather than reference to actual attempts to replicate the Dunning Kruger experiment in differing age groups. Nonetheless my appetite was whet - it's plausible that the Dunning Kruger effect is learned but have any studies actually been done?

Google scholar throws up very limited results there's this sitting behind a paywall

The abstract of which suggests little support for Neil's hypothesis at least among children with ADHD. However maybe that's only important because most children don't display this bias. It cites Dunning Kruger and it would be mildly interesting to find out but not £36 interesting.


via International Skeptics Forum

Police body cameras 'cut complaints against officers'

Really interesting research into effects of police wearing body cameras:

Top line:


The Cambridge University study showed complaints by members of the public against officers fell by 93% over 12 months compared with the year before.


Dr Ariel, who is based at the Cambridge Institute of Criminology, said: "I cannot think of any [other] single intervention in the history of policing that dramatically changed the way that officers behave, the way that suspects behave, and the way they interact with each other."


He said the results indicated both police and the public were adjusting their behaviour.


Report can be found here:

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Trump's Cabinet -- Serious Speculation

Since Trump has managed to make the election much closer, who do you seriously believe he might appoint to his cabinet? Not the joke suggestions, who might he actually appoint?

To me, Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani look solid for AG and Homeland Security, probably in that order although the reverse could also work.

Gen Michael Flynn for SecDef seems an obvious choice.

Beyond there, I'm out of ideas and hoping to hear some serious suggestions.

Perhaps another thread is in order for less serious suggestions, such as Sarah Palin for anything that would require her to actually show up and do work.

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Cancer of the cervix

My 93 year old mother was watching a ad on TV which suggests that very young teenagers get a vaccine against the HPV virus. Being infected with this virus can apparently lead to cancer.

ok in 1954 my mother was having problems with her period and upon examination, it was discovered she had cervical cancer. This had to be surgically removed and this is why I'm an only child.

After watching the ad she believes her first husband was to blame. She suspected him of having sex outside of marriage and he had ample opportunity to do so. He was a police officer working on the Alemeda police force and often worked the night shift.

Is it possible she could be right? the incident would have been in the late 40's or early 50's if she is correct.

via International Skeptics Forum

Mr Ed asking for a blanket? Really?

Something new form Norway.

Horses found able to use symbols to convey their desire for a blanket

The researchers also report that the horses appeared excited at being able to communicate with their trainers in such a novel way, engaging eagerly in the training and responding sometimes before being asked. They note that their study showed that the horses were not only able to read the symbols but were able to understand the connection between them and real world consequences—a form of higher learning.

via International Skeptics Forum

Rule of Law (split from Hillary Clinton is done)


Originally Posted by The Don (Post 11513173)
The rules for individuals and private groups are very different than they are for governments.

Like I said, for the fourth time now or something, criminality and prison is something for the working class and not for the ruling class. I know that your rules are very different depending on which class they are applied to, that's kind of my point.

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The Scarecrow in the "Wizard of OZ" movie carry a revolver in some scenes

Did you know The Scarecrow in the "Wizard of OZ" movie carries a revolver in some scenes?

I have watched the movie a dozen times and never noticed it ... just came across it on the web by accident this morning.

Just some trivia ... hope it has not been discussed already I ran a search and didn't see the fact mentioned here.

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Obama Gives the internet to the UN (or something like that)

While visiting 8chan, I saw the following message:


We only have two days before we potentially lose internet freedom, please contact your local representatives and tell them that you support the "Protecting Internet Freedom Act" to help prevent this from happening.
"Lose internet freedom" lead me to this video:


After browsing Black Pigeon Speaks YT, I found some strange video's that you can also find when viewing a twoofers channel. After encountering some vids called "George SOROS: The One-Man Illuminati Machine" & "Creeping Sharia: The ISLAMIZATION of the WEST" (that one is about Eurabia), he clearly gave away that he was a CTer.

So, my question is, what is going to happen to the US "internet freedom" in about 2 days?

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Sid The Shiv Blumenthal

Who is Sid Blumenthal? He has been described as Sidney as a "confidante," "henchman," "advisor," hatchet-man," former aide," "intel-provider," "prolific email correspondent," and most colorfully: "Clinton’s enabler: a rumor-mongering Wormtongue."

We know he was so despised by Obama and his team, that Obama sent Rahm Emmanuel to tell Hillary that he could not be hired by State. As such, as we know, Hillary ran him off the books, filling his coffers with hundreds of thousands of dollars from her "Charity" the Clinton Foundation, and have her pet Propaganda Minister pay him $200k a year, which he earned by sending her dubious intelligence which Hillary then lied to you about claiming it was unsolicited.

Why then did Obama et al despise Sid the Shiv?

May it have something to do with the fact that the then Clinton Campaign Senior Adviser was spreading Birther Rumors about him?

McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief James Asher tweeted Friday that Blumenthal had “told me in person” that Obama was born in Kenya.

“During the 2008 Democratic primary, Sid Blumenthal visited the Washington Bureau of McClatchy Co.,” Asher said in an email Friday to McClatchy, noting that he was at the time the investigative editor and in charge of Africa coverage.

“During that meeting, Mr. Blumenthal and I met together in my office and he strongly urged me to investigate the exact place of President Obama’s birth, which he suggested was in Kenya. We assigned a reporter to go to Kenya, and that reporter determined that the allegation was false.

This thread is for all things about Hillary's "old friend" Sid Blumenthal.

via International Skeptics Forum

Crooked Donald J. Trump Foundation

There is a lengthy piece written by Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold which explains some of chicaneries that Donald J. Trump the presidential candidate has been doing in regards to Donald J. Trump the charity foundation.

The most significant thing that I gleaned from the story is how Donald J. Trump the presidential candidate is now being investigated by the New York Attorney General.

Journalist Says Trump Foundation May Have Engaged In 'Self-Dealing'

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Donald Trump has refused to release his income tax returns. This has left unanswered questions about his business practices and possible conflicts of interest between what's best for his international businesses and what's best for our country. My guest, Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold, has found an alternate window into some of Trump's finances. Since January, Fahrenthold has been looking into Trump's charitable giving. His reporting has raised questions about ways in which the Trump Foundation may have violated the law.

He's found that Trump hasn't always followed through on donations he's committed to, and some charitable donations that Trump claims to have made from his own pocket actually came from money others donated to his foundation. Fahrenthold also discovered that Trump has sometimes requested that money owed to him be paid to the foundation, which may have enabled him to avoid paying taxes on that money. Fahrenthold has used crowdsourcing on Twitter to help him find information on whether Trump has fulfilled his financial promises to charities and how he's used his foundation's money. Fahrenthold's Twitter account was described as one of the most surprise sensations of the election year by CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter.

FAHRENTHOLD: Well, we learned a really interesting thing a couple of days ago, and that was - there was this mystery about the Donald J. Trump Foundation, Trump's nonprofit, which is that Trump hasn't actually given it any of his own money since 2008. Other people have supplied all the money in that time, which you don't normally see with a rich person's private charity. Those things are usually just filled up with a rich person's money. So we wondered, well, why does anybody give money to prop up Donald Trump's personal charity? And we learned an answer to that, which is that in - as you mentioned, in some cases, Trump has people who owe him money either for business dealings or they buy tickets that he has rights to. They pay the Trump Foundation and not Trump himself.

So if you have Trump avoiding income tax and money coming in and then he's still able to control it and use it as if it was his income to help his interests, then you're starting to see a bigger legal problem. We haven't proved all those pieces, but there are some indications that that might be a question that the IRS or the New York State attorney general might want to ask.

GROSS: Are either of those places investigating?

FAHRENTHOLD: The New York attorney general is. Eric Schneiderman is a Democrat, launched an investigation of the Trump Foundation a couple of weeks ago. The IRS has not commented about whether it's investigating or not.

GROSS: So to sum up, there are at least two tax laws that you think the Trump Foundation might be violating. Sum up again what they are.

FAHRENTHOLD: Well, there's actually more than two. But I'll give you the ones that I think he may have violated. There's the one that prohibits self-dealing. It's - people who run charities from taking the charity's money and spending it to buy things for themselves or to help their own businesses. There's a question about whether he violated the rule about paying income tax on money - and when you assign your own income to a charity. But there's other things like filing a false return. He's filed a number of incorrect tax filings for the Trump Foundation and also paying a prohibited political gift. That's the one that he's admitted so far.

Now, you can't do that. Nonprofits like the Trump Foundation are prohibited from giving political gifts, but he did. And even more interesting, he filed - the next year, when the Trump Foundation filed its tax paperwork with the IRS, it did something very odd, which is that it omitted any mention that it had given this prohibited political gift to Pam Bondi's group. The group in Florida that she supported - was supporting her was called And Justice for All, OK? That's important to remember that name.

via International Skeptics Forum

How Donald Trump's Company Violated the United States Embargo Against Cuba


A company controlled by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, secretly conducted business in communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings.

Documents show that the Trump company spent a minimum of $68,000 for its 1998 foray into Cuba at a time when the corporate expenditure of even a penny in the Caribbean country was prohibited without U.S. government approval. But the company did not spend the money directly. Instead, with Trump’s knowledge, executives funneled the cash for the Cuba trip through an American consulting firm called Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corporation. Once the business consultants traveled to the island and incurred the expenses for the venture, Seven Arrows instructed senior officers with Trump’s company—then called Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts—how to make it appear legal by linking it after-the-fact to a charitable effort.

Yet more proof that Donald Trump is a crooked scumbag. Will Republicans care? Almost certainly not. It is OK to be a crooked scumbag as long as you are a Republican.

via International Skeptics Forum

mercredi 28 septembre 2016

Indian pitch-shifting drums

In a documentary about India and a fiction show set in India, I've heard the same instrument in the soundtracks: a drum which only sounds for about a second when struck, but can change its pitch a lot during that second. What's it called and how does it work?

via International Skeptics Forum

Video of Police shooting Jeremy Mardis released

Remember this case from last year? Well now the video has been released.

I don't think the DA can prove that Few and Mardis were shot when Few had his hands up (the audio is missing), but the car was clearly not putting the officers in danger. The shooting is inexplicable, like the Laquan case in Chicago. Actually, it's more like the Samuel DuBose video, where a moving car is perceived as a deadly weapon even though it's very difficult to see how anyone could perceive such movement as a deadly threat.

Back when this case first hit the news, there was speculation that this was a "hit" by a jealous cop who was romantically interested in the man's girlfriend. However, the DA doesn't appear to be entertaining such a theory.

via International Skeptics Forum

Gary Johnson can't think of any foreign leader

that he respects. Had another "Allepo moment" he says. Says the former president of Mexico though he can't say which one.

Does he still smoke a lot of weed or what? Donald Trump could probably answer the question, though it would likely be Vladimir Putin.

And this joker thinks he should be President of the United States. Not that there is any chance at all of that happening.

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Deutschebank on brink of collapse...Merkel says "no bailout"

Facing upwards of 10 billion in fines for their selling of fraudulent CDOs, the bank stock is tanking rapidly and German sources claim Merket won't help it. If Deutschebank goes, it sets off the domino chain all over agin as CDSes trigger and the damage spreads with no way to confine it to the Eurozone

Get ready for the Greater Meltdown, and nothing left in the arsenal of the world Central Banks to fight it.

Take your pick on sources:

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Are online polls legitimate?

There have been several online polls about the election

Many of them say that Trump is beating Hillary by HUGE numbers.

One poll gave Hillary only 10%.

Are these polls legit at all?

How do we know which online polls are legit?

In my view the only online polls that are legit are ones that block proxy servers and hide cookies in a hidden place on one's computer so they cannot be easily erased.

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Today's shooting thread 9-28-16: Elementary school in South Carolina.

It is "still breaking"

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mardi 27 septembre 2016

Can someobody tell me how this magic trick is done?

Here is a video where a guy claims telekinesis. I am however skeptical that this is the case but I cannot figure out how he does that because I am not a magician and I have no skills in that. Here is the video:

Also which made this suspicious to me is one of the commentary of the author from the same link I posted here that there is no telekinesis involved rather just normal tricks when the author from that video named Telekinesis Mind Possible confessed that he cannot move things on a table:


I'm not able to move anything that's placed directly on a table surface at this point - and that's because of the friction. It's too much for me right now anyway, maybe that'll change. The point of balancing things on a needle is to reduce the friction. Trebor Seven is far more skilled at TK and has much more experience, and he's able to do things on a table surface, so you should do a search for his channel. His work is legitimate and it's what got me started. As far as the video you link you shared, I have my doubts about its authenticity (but I remain open minded until I can see it in person). But a BETTER answer is this - if a person wants to find out if something is possible or not, then that person should get to work and try to do it him/herself. Simply passing judgement on something your or I can't do and then concluding that it just can't be done is the easy way out. I wasn't sure about TK when I started, so I put a lot of time and effort in to finding out for myself, and learned a lot in the process, it's very worthwhile. In response to your other post, all the windows were closed and there was no wind movement inside that room. If air movement was an issue, it would have most likely moved the object when I was sitting down and getting settled right before the experiment started.
If someone can help me here I would be grateful. Thanks for reading this and I wish you a nice day.

via International Skeptics Forum

Help me read this poem, nitpickers wanted

Detail-obsessed nitpickers are perfect for this question. :D

Here's the manuscript of Emily Dickinson's poem "I started early - Took my Dog"

You can blow it up quite far.

On the first page, in the left margin by the first verse, there's a penciled word or two, looks like it begins with B. What is it?

But my main question is...

On the second page at the end it says "+ Bosom + Buckle + Man". I took that to mean, where there's a plus sign in the poem, substitute this word. For example, just four lines above, it says No+One and the word Man is penciled in. Clearly No One should be No Man.

On the first page, there is a + beside Boddice, third line up from the bottom. She apparently meant that to be Bosom or Buckle. But where is the third plus mark? That's my question. I can't find it.

The only notice taken of this that I've seen is here, 520 line 12, where the editor can't find the third plus either and is unsure what Boddice should be. Everbody else seems to just ignore it.

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No Dream too big for Elon Musk...

Good 'ole Elon Musk - the man for whom no dream is too big.

First, Elon was going to revolutionize the car Industry. Nope. Elon's Tesla Car Company is a cash Incinerator.

Next, Elon was going to revolutionize the Energy Industry. Nope. Company will die unless it is bought out by Tesla - another Elon Company.

Next, Elon is going to revolutionize the Space Launch Industry. And with enough government dollars, maybe Elon can stick around for awhile. Elon swears his SopaceX Launch Company is making money, but won't show anybody the books.

Next, Elon is going to revolutionize mass Transit with his Hyperloop. An old idea that's been around for 100 years and has never been shown to be technically and financially feasible.

Now, Elon is going to build Civilization on Mars! read it right. Elon envisions 1,000,000 people living on Mars by 2060. Elon envisions a lot of things, but so do people who drop Acid (i.e., LSD).

Lord...won't anybody tell this Elon to shut the hell up?

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Bomb attacks in Dresden

Fortunately, it looks like no one was hurt.

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Do Atheists secretly know there is a God?

I've heard this suggested by certain members here, and of course it is one of Sye Ten Bruggengate's favorite sayings.


I say it is impossible for these folks to know what atheists 'secretly' believe or don't believe.

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Reality Check podcast

"Reality Check" is the podcast for LGBT skeptics and their allies worldwide!

There's a new episode now available on the highly dubious therapy known as "cupping."

Just Google "Reality Check Tony Pitman" to find it. And enjoy!

via International Skeptics Forum

It's 2016 and slavery still exists

Saudi women file petition to end male guardianship system

"Guardianship". It's a euphemism for ownership and male supremacy.


A petition signed by more than 14,000 Saudi women calling for an end to the country's male guardianship system is being handed to the government.

Women must have the consent of a male guardian to travel abroad, and often need permission to work or study.

Support for the first large-scale campaign on the issue grew online in response to a trending Twitter hashtag.

Activist Aziza Al-Yousef told the BBC she felt "very proud" of the campaign, but now needed a response.

In the deeply conservative Islamic kingdom, a woman must have permission from her father, brother or other male relative - in the case of a widow, sometimes her son - to obtain a passport, marry or leave the country.

Many workplaces and universities also demand a guardian's consent for female employees and students, although it is not legally required.

Renting a flat, undergoing hospital treatment or filing a legal claim often also require a male guardian's permission, and there is very little recourse for women whose guardians abuse them or severely limit their freedom.
Of course, I knew about this before, but it still flabbergasts me every time I am reminded.

It's slavery really. Pure chattel slavery and legally enforced too. Supposedly every country in the world has officially banned slavery but it still persists in a de facto manner in some countries. However the rights of Saudi women are little better than slaves owned by their men. Bizarre.

And of course, they cannot drive a car, no matter what their "guardian" says.

Why isn't Saudi Arabia a pariah like Apartheid South Africa was? I'm glad these women are taking action and I hope the government responds appropriately. If they just ignore it, clearly something more needs to be done. Is it just a domestic matter that shouldn't concern non Saudis?

via International Skeptics Forum

Do you Republicans believe we should steal Iraqi oil?

Because that is something your "leader" has said a bunch of times including on tonight's debate.

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lundi 26 septembre 2016

Plasmas, Chi and tuning forks oh my

This lady who uses tuning forks to heal has linked it plasma or electric universe theory. warning the video is about an hour long. I found this because I am doing some articles about the electric universe on my own site.I don't know where to start with this one. Plus since actually teaches this in Vermont I thought people really should know about this." style="display:none;">
Google 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.')">')"> I AGREE">" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350">

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Pres. Debate

Who do you think won tonights debate between Trump and Clinton?

15 days to vote in this poll.

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Imagine if Hillary "donated" to a state AG that was considering investigating her

And used Clinton Foundation money to do so, and then the AG decided not to pursue an investigation.

Is there any doubt that the Republicans would be up in arms saying it was proof of her corruption?

Donald Trump really did that. He used his "charity" to make a $25k "donation" to Florida AG Pam Bondi who was considering investigating him. She "coincidentally" decided not to pursue the case. It isn't even in dispute that this happened. His campaign admits it! The IRS fined him for it!

Of course Republicans couldn't possibly care less. The hypocrisy is extreme and undeniable.

via International Skeptics Forum

Who Won the Debate?

Who do you think won?

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Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich: Let the Games begin

Soon come to a hypnotube near you. Let's "enjoy" it together! :thumbsup::confused:

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CLoudmagic is gone, what other Android email works best?

So, CloudMagic, the email program everyone suggested when I needed a seperate app for my droid for work email, has clunkily turned into 'Newton' and wants to charge me $49.99 a year for using it. Nope. No thank you.

So what email program should I switch to? I just want it for 1 work email account, I cannot use Yahoo and Gmail apps for this. Anyone got any suggestions?

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Presidental War Crimes

It was suggested on another thread that there hasn't been a President who didn't commit war crimes. That was part of a derail that has since been shuttled off to hangar #AAH. I thought it an interesting topic, so I shall give it it's own thread.

According to wikipedia the definition of a war crime is this:


A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the law of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility.[1] Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, torture, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, perfidy, rape, using child soldiers, pillaging, declaring that no quarter will be given, and using weapons that cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.[2]
I would think that it goes without saying that the above is probably not the agreed upon UN definition, but it offers a good starting point. So instead of the imminent nit-picking of the quoted passage, lets just talk about the content.

I would invite avid readers to explain what war crimes (specifically) all Presidents since say, 1950 are guilty of.

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Uh oh, bad news for Republicans in Ohio.

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dimanche 25 septembre 2016

Asian skeleton from 2-4 century AD found in Britain

Two skeletons have been discovered in a London graveyard which could change our view of the history of Europe and Asia.

Analysis of the bones, found in a Roman burial place in Southwark, discovered that they dated to between the 2nd and 4th Century AD and were probably ethnically Chinese.

Dr Rebecca Redfern, curator of human osteology at the Museum of London, told BBC Radio 4's The World at One the find was "the first time in Roman Britain we've identified people with Asian ancestry" and it was "absolutely phenomenal".


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High Hitler

Not my title see here

Interesting perspective on a subject where one thought there was little that was new to say about the Third Reich. The theory that it was shaped by substance abuse is a new one to me.

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Scandalous!!! Final Draft cheats!

Besides (attempting) novels, I write screenplays. Some of them have done quite well in screenplay competitions, winning a few and consistently making it to the finals. Just thought I'd throw that out there so you could assess my bono fides.

Anyhow, I own a genuine licensed copy of Final Draft, probably the industry standard for screenwriting software. Expensive, too, at a MSRP of $250 USD, though you can install it on up to two machines per license. I use FD to produce the, well, final draft of my screenplays for submission, either in PDF or on paper.

I WRITE, however, using a mixed bag of software. Sometimes Scrivener, which can output a FD-format file, though mostly in LibreOffice Writer. I have a template I wrote, complete with formatting hotkeys running macros, that duplicates the functionality of Final Draft. The problem comes when I move from LO Writer to FD, or vice-versa.

A little background here: screenplays are written in a fixed-pitch font like Courier, 10 characters per inch, so as to maintain the general rule-of-thumb that one page of text translates to roughly one minute of screen time. Feature-length movie screenplays therefore run somewhere from 90 to 120 pages, give or take. Anything outside this range is pretty much dropped in the trash can by studio readers. It's not fair, but that's the way it is.

Anyhow, with the margins and spacings in my LO Writer template set EXACTLY to the standard FD settings, the text of a 120-page screenplay in Final Draft will expand to 130 pages when brought over to LO Writer.

I've known about this discrepancy for years. One of those minor irritations. Granted, it works in the "good" way -- I'd much rather have the screenplay shrink a few pages when I export it to FD, rather than get LARGER. However, I'm trying to migrate over to LO Writer full-time, as the version of FD I own has issues with Win 10 (hell, even I have issues with Win 10), and FD is for Mac and Windows only. No Linux version (yeah, it might run with WINE, but I'm not that great of a Linux geek), and I'm trying to move over to Ubuntu for the majority of my work.

So today, after a little investigating, I've discovered that FD actually "cheats" like a student trying to fudge on the length of a term paper. Rather than making short material look longer, they go the opposite way. They have their own Courier font, where the spacing between the lines (I think the term is called "leading") is about half of what the normal Courier fonts use. The result is that they can get two to four more lines of text per page.

So now my options are to:

A: copy the FD font over to my Linux machines (I paid for the license, plus it has to be available for embedding in PDF files, so it's NOT stealing);

B: hunt down a "tighter" Courier font on the net somewhere;


C: Download a font editor from somewhere and customize the open-source Courier 10 font for tighter leading.

I don't want to lose that 10-page advantage when I'm getting near the end of a screenplay.


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Dinosaur denial?

What do you folks think? Sincere or parody? And don't read the comments, if they're sincere, a little piece of you will die inside.

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Thank God for Donald Trump!

Yeah...I know it sounds crazy, but Trump is not the worst of all worlds. Trump is a phoney. Trump is basically dishonest. Even his followers know it. As a result, the American people are safe from a real demagogue. (for a little while longer, at least)

As Noam Chomsky once said:

"The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen. Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response."

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Trump adviser investigated for Russia connections

Looks like ANOTHER Trump insider is being investigated for their ties to Russia.

This time its Carter Page

He's accused of possibly having communications with senior Russian officials about ending the sanctions against Russia.

.....but in exchange for what?

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Keys To The White House

Assuming there are locks on the doors, who holds the keys to the White House? Does the President have a set of keys? If he comes home drunk late at night, can he let himself in? If the First Lady tries to hit him with a rolling pin, will the Secret Service intervene? I won't sleep until I get satisfying answers to these important questions.

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I'm not middle class - (By UK standards)

Common as muck, I am


These Household Items Reveal If You’re Middle Class, According To An Etiquette Study

...........................That’s according to etiquette expert William Hanson who recently conducted some research into the household items middle class households usually have.

The study found that 42% of middle class households own a Smart TV while 38% own a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

Meanwhile having a Smeg fridge, a Mulberry handbag or a spiralizer also signify you’ve joined “Middle England”.......................

How many do you own?

Brompton bike - No idea what this is
Aga range cooker - No
Mac computer - No
Boiling water taps - WTF?
Vinyl records - I'm assuming they mean brought recently. Have mine from about 25 years ago
Wood burning stove - No
Smart TV - Probably yes, but a bit vague
Antler or Samsonite luggage - I have a backpack
Dyson vacuum - No
Mulberry bag - A what?
Spiralizer - A what?
Nutribullet - A what?
Smeg fridge - Geezes those things are ugly
Hot tub - No
Coasters - Why?
Barbeque - Kiwi. Take a wild stab in the dark

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You Know Religion is Doomed when....

You Know Religion is Doomed when Satan has his own TV show (on Fox for Christ Sakes!) and Atheist ministers insist on keeping their Preaching jobs.

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Keys To The White House


Trump Is Headed For A Win, Says Professor by Peter W. Stevenson

Based on the 13 keys, it would predict a Donald Trump victory.
Remember, six keys and you're out, and right now the Democrats are out — for sure — five keys.

Key 1 is the party mandate — how well they did in the midterms. They got crushed.
Key number 3 is, the sitting president is not running. Key number 7, no major policy change in Obama's second term like the Affordable Care Act.
Key number 11, no major smashing foreign policy success.
And Key number 12, Hillary Clinton is not a Franklin Roosevelt.

I've got a bad feeling about this. :(

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Different reactions to similar situations

I don't know if I'm posting this in the right forum or not but since this post is in part about alcoholism I put this post here. I apologise if this is in the wrong place.

Ok I'm getting on in years myself and I am old enough to have had a Grandfather who fought in WW1.

My Grandfather immigrated from Cardiff Wales in 1900 as an infant with his family. He grew up in the Bay area of Oakland Ca and when he reached 18 he was either drafted or joined the
American army or was drafted.

Here is whom I am comparing him to.

I had a Jewish friend whose father was at the battle of Tannenburg with the Russian army and his army was routed by the Germans. After he returned to Russia he fled to Poland and from there fled to Ney York City where he was almost immediately drafted.

As luck would have it both men were in the same battle "The battle of Chateau Theirrie"

The germans attacked the American emplacement and could not break the American line. Many American soldiers died and the Germans used poison gas. Both men were wounded by this gas and were taken out of the war no longer able to fight.

The Jewish gentleman was able to live a long life and died at not quite one hundred years old despite having problems with hacking coughs caused by the lung damage because of the mustard gas he had inhaled. He worked honorably as a tailor and eventually retired from Sears department store with a pension. He had raised five children with his wife and adored his grandchildren. As far as I could tell the only thing peculiar about this cool old guy was his belief that TV wrestling was legit and he was a fanatic fan to the point to where he would make a scene when the bad guy was cheating and won these absurd matches.

My Grandfather returned to Oakland Ca where he met my Grandmother and father one child with her. My own father. As time went by the marriage collapsed because of his drinking. He drank a lot and often. They divorced and he was a very irresponsible father in that he never gave my grandmother a dime of child support much less alimony. He was actually gainfully employed as a boilermaker. He went on to marry another woman with whom he had three children two sons and a daughter.

He eventually lost his job as a boiler maker and continued drinking and getting intoxicated every single day of his life until he died at age 62.

His alcoholism was so acute that when he died the hospital staff wanted to dissect his body to show the medical students the end result of a lifetime of heavy drinking. His organs were ruined especially his liver and his brain which resembled chalk.

Ok why did these men who had suffered similar injuries reacted so differently? Could it be that the Jewish guy had steeled himself against the horrors of war and had a better coping mechanism? Was my Grandfather a drunk already?

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samedi 24 septembre 2016

Time Tree - evolutionary distance between organisms

This is a pretty cool site. You plug in two different taxa (from species on up) and if they're both in the database, it gives you how long it's been since they're shared a common ancestor.


Dungeness crab
Metacarcinus magister

669.7 Million Years Ago
organ-pipe cactus
Stenocereus thurberi

maidenhair fern
Adiantum capillus-veneris

404.6 Million Years Ago

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Evolution in cities


With urban environments expanding all over the world, wildlife and biologists alike are starting to treat the city as a true ecosystem. Many species’ original habitats are being squeezed into annihilation. For them, it’s adapt or die. And field biologists like me are following suit. As we have to travel ever farther to find untouched wilderness, we are beginning to realize that the expanding urban sprawl is perhaps not something to be depressed about, but rather something very exciting, as entirely novel forms of life are evolving right under our noses.
Very informative article about animals (and some plants) rapidly evolving to adapt to urban environment.

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Mandela effect: what do they expect from us?

In reading several people’s experiences with the Mandela effect, I started to wonder; what is the desired response from people who didn’t experience it?

Suppose I remember that Mandela was president of South Africa, but most everyone around me remembers that he died in prison. Not only that, but everything around me (TV shows, newspaper articles, history lessons, you name it) supports that.

Obviously, I wouldn’t expect people to change their minds. I may remember that he was president, but if everything around me contradicts that, down to archival news broadcasts, then it would be folly to expect people to believe me instead.

If I didn’t think that my memory was wrong (for whatever reason), and I was unable to get back to the reality I came from (side-note; do people try that?), what would I do?

Well, I’d accept reality as I find it, and I don’t think I’d insist reality had changed. After all, what is more likely; that all of reality has changed, including everyone’s memories (excepting a small group), or that I am from a different reality altogether? (For the moment, let's exclude the actual answer; my memories were incorrect)

All this is to say that “But it used to be different” doesn’t carry any weight. It’s an interesting story, but you’ll need more to convince me that MY memories (and most everyone else’s, plus all video and print) are wrong instead of yours.

So, with that out of the way, my question is:

Ideally, how do they want people to respond to their experience?

I have considered asking them directly, but I have so little knowledge of that community that anything I'd say could be seen as condescending, thus depriving me of answers on principle (and rightly so, I think).

By the way, my memories regarding Mandela line up with reality, and the above was purely an example.

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How to fix black America?

The African-American community has the following problems at much higher rates than whites and the USA and general:



-low high school & college graduation rates

-single parent homes

-drug use


The government tried to deal with some of these issues with welfare programs such as Section 8, SNAP, WIC, TANF, but these only helped the very immediate financial issues without helping anyone become self-reliant.

So what do we need to do? Is there anything larger society can do or does the black community have to literally fix itself?

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Paying for support

For most of my life I've been a hands-on tech enthusiast and have spent a lot of time surrounded by various PC components. I built my first PC back in 1994 - a superpowerful 486 box - and kept on building away until I found a good recent second-hand kit supplier in Zurich around 2003, and in spite of not following the developments in technology very closely over the last decade I've still been happy to replace disks and graphics cards and fans and all that kind of stuff.

But today, for the first time ever, I've turned to paid, professional support.

My daughter uses an old iMac of mine, a 21.5" model from late 2009 that is still a lovely piece of kit. In going to upgrade to macOS Sierra, though, it was clear that the hard disk was on its way out and needed replacing. So I looked for information online and found out what would be involved.

No way I'm going to get involved with that. It's a combination of Apple complexity, my declining appetite for tech stress, and my perception of the value of my leisure time. I don't trust myself to dismantle the thing without shattering any key components and I have no idea what kind of disk to get. So the friendly guy in the local shop can spend an hour or so doing the necessary, with my gratitude.

Tonight I don't know if I'm feeling cowardly, mature, or old.

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You can be crazy and still be sick...

I had never heard of this, but apparently it's well-established that when someone has a history of treatment for mental illness, he is likely to be discounted and demeaned when he seeks help for physical medical conditions. It's called "diagnostic overshadowing," where docs attribute all symptoms to the psychiatric issue. People actually die unnecessarily because of it. Anybody have any experience with this, as a patient or a medical professional?

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VoteCastr journalist plan to release real-time projections on Election Day

VoteCastr plans to use computer models to predict statewide results based on select precincts in important states. The models have been used by each party to project winners on Election Day and are now considered quite accurate. Since the 1980's news agencies have sat on this information until polls close, but VoteCastr plans to release it in real time. They are also expected to release the results of the early-voting ballots of states before the polls open.

Some analysts have asserted that releasing East-Coast results (and calling those states) while West-Coast polls are open will not hurt voter turnout and will not have a large impact on down-ballot races.

....Everything about election-night journalism has gotten flashier over the generation since—except the scoops. The networks’ early calls prompted a congressional inquiry into whether they had depressed West Coast turnout. The three broadcast networks rejected demands that they wait until everyone in the country had voted to report or forecast any results. (There was scant evidence that NBC’s early call had exerted any influence on voter behavior or outcomes.) As a concession, however, the networks promised not to use their exit polls to project the race in a given state until polls had closed there. In the years that followed, other news organizations that had not been subject to the same political pressure—radio stations, newspapers, wire services, cable networks, and websites—nonetheless accepted it as a controlling precedent.

Now a de-facto self-imposed gag order hangs over the daylight hours of the year’s biggest news event, sequestering the civic exercise of Election Day from the media spectacle of election night. This distinction is enforced only by the pieties of good-government advocates who, in the wake of the 1980 episode, paternalistically argued that voters cannot be trusted with live information. ....Once the polls close, there is intense competition for their decision desks to call states, but up until that point news organizations enforce what amounts to a cartel of silence.

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Proof of Immortality, the IV league


Originally Posted by Jabba (Post 11505060)
- Cause, if my estimates for the other variables in the formula are roughly correct, P(H|E) is virtually zero.

...and around we go again.

Mod InfoContinued from this thread.
Posted By:zooterkin

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vendredi 23 septembre 2016

Has the Democratic Party done more to help or hurt the black community?

It seems cities that have large populations of African Americans living in poverty have been under a monopoly of Democratic party leadership for years. Detroit, Ferguson ans Chicago come to mind. Yet many community leaders from those cities often blame Republicans for the state of the black community- but doesn't much of the blame fall on the Democratic party- Starting with Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs? Things for African Americans seem to have gotten even worse with Barack Obama as president- and yet the Republicans are getting the blame

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Are 9/11 Truthers dangerous?

Most conspiracy theorists are harmless, all are ill informed, and indeed others are mentally ill. But by and large, I see them as the kind of people you see and ignore on street corners, the ones holding high cardboard signs and warning of impending doom. With some 9/11 Truthers being no-planers, they insist those who boarded the planes and were never seen alive again never even existed. By extension they must feel the mourning families are actors or 'government agents'. have any Truthers taken their delusion to the level of harassing family members of victims or eye witnesses? Moon landing denier Bart Sibrel was a full fledged stalker, and Buzz Aldren gave him a much deserved smack in the jaw- But have similar deluded people stalked and harassed those who bore witness to the 9/11 attacks, or lost family and friends on 9/11? I see the Truthers as deluded and often crazy- but by and large harmless- but are there any that have crossed the line and threatened people? I'm not sure if its true, but wasn't there a witness to the crash in PA who was harassed by truthers?

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The sinking of the Estonia- and conspiracy theorist claims she was sunk on purpose

The 1994 sinking of the ferry the Estonia resulted in over 800 fatalities- the visor door for the bow (that could life open to allow vehicles to be driven and stored onboard) was wrecnced loose during high seas, allowing her to flood, capsize and sink- yet conspracy theorists insist it was all some kind of inside job- check this theory out:

There seems to be a whole cottage industry of conspiracy theories as to the cause of her sinking- my questions is has any evidence ever appeared to support the CTs claims that she was purposefully sunk, as opposed to her having been the victim of a terrible accident?

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Another mall shooting

This one even qualifies by FBI standards. Four people confirmed dead, gunman on the loose, in Skagit County north of Seattle.

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Is my CPU about to explode?

So I was watching a video on a site, when the graphics became glitched and corrupted. Being someone who enjoys glitches I thought it looked cool, until my computer Blue Screen of Deathed me, with the glitches remaining on-screen to the degree where I could barely tell that there was writing on the screen, let alone read what the writing was.

Restarting the computer demonstrated that the start-up sequence before the OS even kicks in had massively intrusive glitchy graphics over it, as did Safe Mode. I tried to use System Restore, but actually doing a system restore seemed to do nothing. As in the computer didn't bring up any kind of box saying "Restoring your system". It did the boxes asking me if I wanted to, but didn't appear to actually do it once I'd said I did.

A reboot took it straight from the boot stuff to another BSOD.

Another reboot had the computer ask me if I wanted to use Windows' own facility to repair the boot. I figured it was worth a go and said yes. It hummed and hawwed for about 15 minutes before giving me a box saying that it couldn't do anything. I hit the "Finish" button and it rebooted, only miraculously everything was clean, with no glitches in sight. It may actually have done the system restore at last, as my wallpaper is what it was a week or so ago, rather than what it last was (although when it first booted up successfully it was the latest wallpaper, which then changed to the week-ago one), and the open tabs in Firefox aren't what they were a couple of hours ago.

Everything seems to be working fine now, although I'm a little wary about just wiping my brow and acting as if nothing happened. I can't see it as a problem with either the OS or my graphics card, because the glitching continued during boot-up when neither of those things are in play. It was doing it, in fact, before it had even detected any of the hard drives, let alone accessed them.

So that leaves me thinking that the CPU seems like the most likely culprit. Anybody have any ideas?

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Atheist minister in Christian church still fighting for her job

She's not only an atheist minister in a Christian church:

"...According to the report, Vosper said in an interview that she stopped using the word “God” in her ministry because it was a barrier to participation in the church. Even if she were given incontrovertible proof that a god does exist, the disparity, tragedy, illness and anguish in the world would prevent her from worshipping it...." [emphasis added]

She may be a wonderful person with congregants who are happy to hear her weekly talks (not prayers) despite her refusing to mention God, perform church sacraments, etc. But ethically and morally, how can she reconcile continuing to be a UCC minister (United Church of Canada, a Christian church formed from amalgamation of various churches)? Shouldn't she leave and form her own humanitarian church or whatever? How can someone publicly and directly opposed to their organization's fundamental teachings possibly serve a leadership role as minister? Whether it be a religious group or LGBT group or political group or whatever, if you publicly oppose the core, central tenets of that organization, you should either leave, or expect to be fired.

I searched the board and only found one mention of her from 7 years ago, I thought I'd seen it discussed more recently but maybe it didn't mention her name.

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Using Gene Drive to Eradicate Malaria and other Dieases. Why Not?

What is the issue: there is a fairly new technology that could potentially be used to change the genomes of mosquitoes so that they no longer carry plasmodium, the parasite that causes malaria. It's called a "gene drive" and how it would work is you release some genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild to mate with other mosquitoes and they have a special gene that ensures that 99% of their offspring carry the new gene, thus "driving" the gene through the population until essentially all mosquitoes have this mutation.

The downside is what we don't really know. The unknown unknowns.

Here is a video to explain it:


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How can Republicans believe that Trump should be entrusted with nukes?

I literally cannot understand how they could actually think that Donald is someone the country should entrust with nukes.

Donald is stupid. Mentally disordered. And a complete and total scumbag.

And he doesn't understand why American doesn't use its nukes.

Yet we should give him near unilateral control over the nukes? Seriously?

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Avengers Assemble to get the vote out.

Joss Whedon has mobilized a bunch of the cast of the Avengers movies, as well as other actors and people in an effort to get people to register to vote. It's kind of obviously anti-Trump, and on top of that, fairly funny.


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Is birtherism racist?


Of course it is. Nobody would care about Obama's birth certificate if his dad was white. And any Republican that claims otherwise is a liar.

ETA: I was going to make a poll but it looks like I screwed that up.

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The Difficulty Posed by Lack of "Organic Artifacts"

I figured this was a better sub-forum for this than "Science". And there's no punch line - I'm not going to Bubba-ify it with a conclusion, .... "So, Aliens!!"

I was reading something, I think in the Smithsonian magazine, about a researcher who's devoted several years of his life to studying the nearly-legendary settlements in The Great Dismal Swamp. Fascinating stuff, but maybe for another thread? What caught my eye was that in several seasons, they say that the actual artifacts to come out of the "digs" would probably fit in a cigar box. Most of the materials used there were "of the swamp" and thus organic and have long since decomposed back into the swamp. In that kind of climate it certainly wouldn't take long.

My thoughts meandered to other such environments. We had similar traditional tales about the creoles inhabiting the bayous in Louisiana. A mixture of escaped slaves or indentured servants, various other lawbreakers and down-home crazies who just wanted to be in the worst imaginable environment they could find.

But those are areas that were inhabited within the last three or four centuries and thus some form of verbal history and even written records apply. In southeast Asia the Khmer were kind enough to build from stone. Although some major temple complexes, canal networks and small cities were swallowed by the landscape, they're at least still there and are being uncovered.

The "speculative" question from this - and that could tend to go all woo-ish - is whether there are any histories that could be attributed to this phenomenon (which is a process, but let's call it a phenom). Legendary civilizations from "history" and myth, like Atlantis. Do we just assume, because the legends were written by folks with access to stone, that the civilizations(sic) in those antediluvian legends have been swallowed by the sea and will or may still be found, or might they have been advanced island societies, like some in Indonesia, but with no stone and all traces have simply been "recycled".

Will science ever have an answer to this? Sort of a combined carbon-dating and DNA profile of the muck? (Stuff of sci-fi, I'm sure.) I just reckon that with the fairly proved diaspora of h. sapiens sapiens, the odds would seem to be that such cultures/societies existed. Never built with stone because they didn't have enough of it or because they couldn't be arsed to do so because they had so many organic materials available.

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jeudi 22 septembre 2016

OMG! Trump got 1.6 million charging secret service agents to fly on his plane


So, normally the secret service agents pay their own way to accompany the candidates. But in this case, they are paying Trump to fly on Trump's plane. The more he travels the more he makes.

Trump received $1.6 million from Secret Service

Donald Trump's campaign isn't alone in patronizing his own businesses: taxpayers are indirectly doing so, too.

Federal Election Commission records show that the U.S. Secret Service has paid the Trump campaign about $1.6 million to cover the cost of flying its agents with the candidate on a plane owned and operated by one of his companies.

It’s standard practice for the agency — which is tasked with protecting presidential candidates as well as presidents and other federal officials — to reimburse presidential campaigns for the cost of traveling with the candidates.

In fact, the Secret Service has reimbursed the Clinton campaign, too: $2.6 million so far this cycle.

The difference with Trump is that one of his companies, TAG Air, Inc., owns the plane, so the government is effectively paying him.

The Clinton campaign, by contrast, mostly has been chartering planes from a private company called Executive Fliteways in which the Clintons do not have any ownership interest.

"It's just another example of how the Trump campaign has taken an unprecedentedly large amount of its money and spent it at Trump-owned facilities."
I do wonder why Clinton's costs are $1 million more. It does weaken the story. But still, that is not money going directly into a Clinton business income account.

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Disney stops selling costume because racism outrage


Disney has halted sales of a costume inspired by its upcoming "Moana" movie after being accused of racism...

"It's disgusting," Chelsie Haunani Fairchild said in a video posted to YouTube. "This is inappropriate, and it's not okay."...

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The PG Film - Bob Heironimus and Patty - Part III

Mod InfoContinued from here.
Posted By:kmortis

Titmus said that he walked along Bluff Creek and it's tributaries looking for the site, so the bank should not have been a factor for him.
He also should have seen several other people's tracks.


My first full day up near the end of Bluff Creek, I missed the tracks completely. I walked some 14 to 16 miles on Bluff Creek and the many feeder creeks coming into it and found nothing of any particular interest other than the fact that Roger and Bob's horse tracks were everywhere I went. I found the place where the pictures had been taken and the tracks of Bigfoot the following morning. The tracks traversed a little more than 300 feet of a rather high sand, silt and gravel bar which had a light scattering of trees growing on it, no underbrush whatever but a considerable amount of drift debris here and there. The tracks then crossed Bluff Creek and an old logging road and continued up a steep mountainside.

This is heavily timbered with some underbrush and a deep carpet of ferns. About 80 or 90 feet above the creek and logging road there was very plain evidence where Bigfoot had sat down for some time among the ferns. He was apparently watching the two men below and across the creek from him. The distance would have been approximately 125-150 yards. His position was shadowed and well screened from observation from below. His tracks continued on up the mountain but I did not follow them far. I also spent little time in trying to backtrack Bigfoot from where his tracks appeared on the sandbar since it was soon obvious that he did not come up the creek but most probably came down the mountain, up the hard road a ways and then crossed the creek onto the sandbar. It was not difficult to find the exact spot where Roger was standing when he was taking his pictures and he was in an excellent position.

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mercredi 21 septembre 2016

UK Home Secretary 'up to her eyeballs' in it

Companies using Bahamas tax havens, share-ramping, Dad's company's "unorthodox structure resulted in the fund paying no tax in Britain for three decades."

And so on ...

Words fail. No wonder people are leaning towards the likes of Corbyn, however crap he might be in PMQs.

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Celebrity Ghost Hunter Arrested for Fraud

Ryan Buell, from the short lived "Paranormal State" might be going away for a while:

To save you time, Buell has been promoting paranormal events and conferences, and then canceling them without refunds.

I watched the show during its brief run on A&E, and as soon as Loraine Warren showed up and became a regular I smelled a rat.

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Feynman's Invisible Angels

This is a scientific/philosophical question. I'm curious about the reactions/criticisms from the physics community.
I called it Feynman's Invisible Angels, with Angels sorta having the same meaning as Maxwell's Daemon. It originally came from this quote :


Originally Posted by Richard Feynman, Character Of Physical Law
The next question was - what makes planets go around the sun? At the time of Kepler some people answered this problem by saying that there were angels behind
them beating their wings and pushing the planets around an orbit. As you will see, the answer is not very far from the truth.
The only difference is that the angels sit in a different direction and their wings push inward.

When Richard Feynman explains newtonian orbital mechanics, he explains it from the context of how the concept of 'force' changed from Aristotle to Newton.
Aristotle believed that in order to keep a body moving, a force needs to be applied.
This seems to be in concordance with the world around us : After all, we really do need to keep pushing things in order to keep them moving.
What Aristotle missed here was that it's the influence of friction that causes a body to slow down over time; Where there no friction, a body would just keep
coasting forever. And that's Newton's first law : A body in motion will continue to move with a uniform velocity forever, unless there is a force active.
So, in newtonian orbital mechanics, the planets are moving through a (near) vacuum and therefore do not need a force to keep them moving; They would move in a
straight line anyway. Instead, the force of gravity is applied at right angles to the motion causing the planet to 'fall and miss the ground' continually.
(In newtonian mechanics you can say that due to the fact that the force applied is always at right angles to the motion, no physical work is done, no
energy is converted, so the motion of the planets is perpetual.)
Of course, more sophisticated theories of mechanics have been developed but all they really do is provide a better approximation and since no complete
physics theory has emerged the very definition of the concept of force cannot be claimed to be understood, which is why Feynman uses the example of an
Angel pushing the planets as a base image for clarification, as well as raising awareness for the essential irony : Isn't a force just a sophisticated
version of an Angel (pushing or pulling) in the absence of any real explanation?
What is a force? We don't have a complete theory of physics and the concept of force, or curved spacetime, which is a more sophisticated version of the same
idea, only exists as a purely mathematical notion. And since we also have no idea why mathematics is unreasonably effective the final philosophical result
is that we still don't know what physics concepts like force actually are.
But where did they originate? Originally, physics is simply observing the world around us, pragmatically, and for this reason the concept of force equates to
a push or a pull. The push or the pull that is required to keep a body in motion, practically. So we've returned to Aristotle.
The observation here is that due to the final unknowability of the concepts there's no way around having to explain it starting from a mere pragmatic
push or pull notion.
This is already true from an educational perspective; Just try to explain newtonian mechanics without bringing in practical notions like that.
So by using the Angels Feynman is able to explain orbital mechanics effectively all the while communicating this essential philosophical dilemma and even
putting it in a historical context. (What a Master Educator! Unfortunately much of his Wisdom is lost because many students nowadays hate Angels, a priori,
so all the subtleties are lost on them.)
The hope of many physicists is of course that one day we might be able to get rid of those vague notions of having to start with a push or a pull; That
some complete theory will give them a complete definition.
I conjecture that this is impossible; That a complete physics theory doesn't exist.
This means we'll never get rid of having to start from a pragmatic perspective.
Observing this I concluded that it might be better to reverse the emphasis. To start from explaining it in terms of the most pragmatically effective theory of
newtonian Angels where the concept of using Angels isn't just used for ease of explanation, but because the incompleteness of physical theory forces us to
reformulate it in that way.
The ultimate incompleteness of physics law justifies the usage of pragmatic concepts like 'people pushing and pulling' which naturally evolves into
Angels when considering cosmic things. That is, in the absence of a complete physics theory, pragmatism should be our guide, as well as elegance and beauty.
Now, The motion of the galaxies, is where all physics theories fail. It has not been possible to account for the fact that a lot more gravity is required
to explain the motion of galaxies; The extra mass isn't observed and any attempt to rectify any physics theory, not just newtonian mechanics, without postulating
invisible mass has turned out to violate fundamental principles like Symmetry/General Invariance.
This is important since absence of Symmetry in physical law usually boils down to it claiming that the conserved quantities aren't conserved, which means
practically that you can create energy from nothing.
Observing that the theories all become absurd and that the extra mass just isn't there leads to the conjecture that continuing in that direction
implies absurdity. You'd have to abandon either observation or measurement as a basis for science, or you'll end up arguing for violations in Symmetry
in such a way that absurdities like energy-from-nothing arise.
In that case, basing the further development of physics on a pragmatic, fuzzy, aesthetic concept becomes a necessity. The further development of physics law
then becomes the search for the most elegant, beautiful and pragmatic formulation of the theories; It will no longer be about trying to find the TOE in
the purely mathematical sense of the word.
For these reasons, I have proposed Feynman's Invisible Angels as a basis for this new aesthetically driven formulation of physics since it's ultimately
the concept of 'force' that is the easiest to anthropomorphize, and it's ultimately the concept of 'gravity' whereon the mathematical theories fail.
And since it's about a return to the concept of 'force' in the pragmatic sense it's best to emphasize the most pragmatic of all formulations of physics :
That of Newton. And finally the anthropomorphization of cosmic things naturally leads to Angels.
It's important to observe here that other forms of fairy dust, like Dark Matter, will not do since we've already ascertained that a return to the pragmatic
is required in case of a fall into absurdity, theories that predict that you can create energy out of nothing or theories that claim things contrary
to observation, so we need to start from as basis of anthropomorphization to make the incompleteness and therefore final undefinability of the ideas of physics,
all those concepts like force, momentum, energy etc. unproblematic.
And since the choice here really does seem to between absurdity (Dark Matter) vs. absurdity, but a nice pragmatically usable image that doesn't lose any of the
old formulations of physical theory (Feynman's Invisible Angels), I posit that the latter is a superior theory.
Dark Matter? No. There are Feynman's Invisible Angels. And they are flapping their wings faster. Capiche?

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The People's Sheriff has man die of dehydration in his Jail

Not too surpsizing he wouldn't have a well run jail.

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Protests shut down I-85 after fatal officer-involved shooting in Charlotte

Apologies if a thread about this has already been started. I looked and didn't see one.

Yesterday, in Charlotte, NC, Keith Lamont Scott was fatally shot by Charlotte police under circumstances which have raised some questions.

Protests against the shooting started quickly and have even more quickly escalated to the point of blocking, I-85, a major thoroughfare through that large city, and including tear gas and multiple injuries reported from both sides.

This death, coming as it does only a couple of days after the Tulsa shooting, seems even more shocking, somehow.

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Is high cholesterol a defense mechanism?

Hello everyone.

According to this study:
And if I understand correctly, cholesterol may be our bodies´defense mechanism against cardiovascular afflictions, which would explain correlation between high levels of cholesterol and cardiovascular risk, but would mean that we are not to try to lower cholesterol, after all, wouldn´t it? I´d love to hear some more knowledgable posters´ opinion on this.

(I couldn´t find any detailed discussion about this topic, so I´ve just started a thread, if there is already one in existence feel free to point me to it)

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Did someone say way cool - SanDisk announces terabyte SD memory card

This is what I call awesome

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