mardi 27 juin 2017

How do you cope with a truly stupid manager?

I worked for six years for a company that's now defunct. The owners sold the business and the new owners destroyed the company and it closed its doors forever.

I got off track. My manager or as she called herself "your boss" was not intelligent. She said and did things so asinine that I often wondered how she got the job in the first place and why was she able to keep it.

Here's an example. She told me to close our post office box account and when I did she asked me a week later to check and see if the old box had any of the companys mail in it. I told her I had turned in the key and she asked me in a loud angry voice "why did you turn the key in?"

The answer- of course, was you close the account you have to turn the key into the post office so that someone else can use the box.

On another occassion one of her smoking buddys accused me of not properly making a UPS label even though I was doing it right. The smoke buddy told my manger and my manager said she would do it. She screwed it up so bad the driver left in disgust. Two idiots not knowing what they were talking about.

Most people would quit but I was not in a financial shape so that I could leave.

What would you guys have done?

via International Skeptics Forum

Conservatives lifting austerity for state funded benefits?

Hopefully this is a sign of things to come:

An 8% raise won't bring benefits to where they would have been if they been raised in line with inflation over the "austerity" years but it will be a start.

via International Skeptics Forum

lundi 26 juin 2017

Cakes are going to the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced today that they will take up the case of a Colorado baker next term. The baker, who makes custom cakes for weddings, refused to make a cake for a same sex marriage. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission determined that the baker was in violation of the Colorado civil rights laws, which bar discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The baker's case is that the cake is an artwork, and therefore an act of expression. You cannot be compelled against your will to participate in an expressive act that violates your religious beliefs. In similar cases it has also been argued that creating something for use in a ceremony is equivalent to participating in the ceremony, so compelling someone to do something for the ceremony would be to compel someone to participate in a ceremony that violates their religious beliefs. I don't know if the baker's lawyer's used that line of reasoning, or whether they stuck with the freedom of expression angle. (I haven't read the appeal's court briefs or opinions.)

The question before the court will be at what point commercial activity becomes protected speech. The baker has to convince the court that his interest to avoid being compelled to participate in expression that is against his will is not overridden by state law which is written to protect people from discrimination.

I don't know where the court will stand on this issue. There are a lot of factors at work here. The specific case at work here is less significant than a general principle. If they rule in favor of the baker, people might claim that cooking a meal or even setting a table setting is an act of expression, and they can't be compelled to take part. This would effectively eliminate the protections that the civil rights laws are meant to protect. On the other hand, if they rule against the baker, the great fear among the religious right is that preachers or clergy might be compelled to participate in same sex marriages, the theory being that since they accept a fee for their services, they are effectively a business, and cannot turn away people because of their sexual orientation. Similar cases have actually already occurred in some cases, so the fear is not groundless.

Regardless of which way the court rules, the implications will be far greater than just this baker.

For those on the left side of this case, there was a great sigh of relief when, after announcing that they would take this case, Justice Kennedy did not announce his resignation. Kennedy could once again provide the swing vote, but a Trump appointed replacement could be assumed to vote in favor of the baker.

via International Skeptics Forum

2016 Australian Census Results

The results of the 2016 Census have been released and there are some interesting results.

In the Religion section, for example, 30% of people reported having "No religion", up from 13% in 1991.

Summary here, with links to detailed statistics.

via International Skeptics Forum

[Continuation] Trump "[health] insurance for everybody," Replacing the ACA Part II

Mod Info The previous thread was getting slow and generating duplicates, so here is a continuation. As is usual the split point was arbitrary and participants can copy and paste from the previous thread to address points raised therein.
Posted By:Agatha


Originally Posted by Stacko (Post 11895486)
The Times has outlined the winners of the wealthcare bill.

I don't understand the GOP's intense desire to pass this bill since the voters they added to win in November are going to be harmed the most by it.

You're kidding, right? Their goal is to reduce taxes. They are against the basic idea of providing government services, and they will cut as much as they can wherever they can. Ryan wants to cut Medicare and Social Security, which have long been considered practically sacrosanct.

And if poor whites get hurt, they will blame blacks, immigrants, "welfare," "foreign aid," etc., never Trump or the Repubs.

via International Skeptics Forum

The science of electric shocks.

I was talking to an electrician today, who told me a hair-raising tale about a badly wired building and receiving an electric shock. He said he was blown off his ladder half way across the room by the shock. He estimated he ended up 10 feet away.

So, how did that happen? What was the actual force that propelled him?

Am I right to think of those frog legs attached to a wire, twitching when a current was applied? In other words, rather than be "blown" across the room, was he actually induced to involuntarily jump across the room?

As for details, we're talking domestic 240 volts AC. I assume from the description that the breakers/ trips were either primitive, or non-existent (fuses, maybe?). He was a little unlucky, in that he had turned off the house mains, but the circuit that was left live was a spur from the back of a neighbour's socket on the party wall.......highly illegal.

Oh, and he's fine.

via International Skeptics Forum

Is Genesis History?

Just learned that this movie, IS GENESIS HISTORY? has been released on DVD. I did a google search for the movie and was surprised to find such a small number of negative reviews and posts. I have not seen it, but it appears to be totally young earth creationist propaganda.

The few negative reviews and comments that I have seen are mostly of the name-calling variety with little or no actual rebuttal.

The movie can be downloaded here.

via International Skeptics Forum

Atheist Experience, believers and why they believe.

I don't know how many of you have ever seen the Atheist Experience but I highly recommend catching an episode or two. Past episodes are available on YouTube.

It's an Atheist hosted call in show where the viewers call in with their reasons for believing in God or the supernatural. Theists of every kind call, including Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons, and most every version of Christians as well. Other supernatural phenomenons such as aliens is also discussed but mostly, it is about theism.

What I love about the show is regardless of the individual's personal religion their arguments for their beliefs are indistinguishable from one another. Every single one is built on the cornerstone of faith which is assuming that all that follows is true despite the evidence.

Never mind the obvious contradiction that they all can't be true.

via International Skeptics Forum

Turkey bans teaching of evolution in Schools

Turkey has banned teaching of evolution as 'controversial' in high schools, the minister of education says it should be reserved for university courses.

This is odd since most schools of Islam believe that evolution is compatible with Islam and many argue the Quran even references it. Creationism ideas are usually taken from christian fundamentalists no from an Islamic tradition.

The only other country to ban teaching of evolution is Saudi Arabia (nuff said).

This is disappoint, if the government of Turkey feel free to ban evolution almost certainly other issues will be censored. They have recently sacked many teachers so the remaining teachers are likely to be cowed. Many journalists have been sacked and papers closed, so there may not be much internal opposition.

via International Skeptics Forum

dimanche 25 juin 2017

Any Green Party supporters here?

Cynthia McKinney was the person nominated for president by the Green Party in 2008. This person:

:jaw-dropp :covereyes

via International Skeptics Forum

samedi 24 juin 2017

Is the "Left to Right" political spectrum an accurate way to look at politics?

Short version; see title.

To expand somewhat. In common parlance it is common to place people's political opinions on a spectrum from the Left (here in the States usually representing Liberalism and the Democratic Party) and the Right (here in the States usually representing Conservatism and the Republican Party).

Are we as a society making political discussions more difficult because of that?

*Notes. I'm going to be using current United States terms as they are used "person on the street" level. I'm aware that in other countries these terms vary and that I'm not necessarily following the "technical" definition of some of these terms.

Some issues I see.

1. The tendency to lump Left/Liberal/Democratic Party and Right/Conservtive/Republican Party into singular entities which isn't at all accurate.

2. A base tendency to force us into Us V Them thinking and all the inane B.S. political argumentatives that comes with that.

3. The tendency to see political victories as winner take all, first past the post things.

via International Skeptics Forum

Coal executive sues John Oliver for making him sad

In case you missed it last week on Last Week Tonight (trying saying that five times fast) John Oliver dove into the coal industry. And he noted, right at the start, that one evil coal baron named Bob Murray had actually sent them a Cease & Desist letter.

Naturally this wasn't going to deter Oliver who then dedicated most of the last part of the episode into exposing how Murray is hated by his own employees and probably has gotten many of them killed. Also there is a talking squirrel.

Oliver made a point to only cite official government reports through the entire thing but did that stop Murray from going through on his threat of suing? Nope.

In the complaint it actually says this: "Nothing has ever stressed him more than this vicious and untruthful attack.”

Keep in mind that Murray had a mine collapse. Six miners were trapped and three rescuers died trying to get to them. This all stretched out over days. But not even that stressed him out as much as Oliver talking about him on TV.

via International Skeptics Forum

Matt Rouge on Why Skeptics will never accept the existence of psi

On Michael Prescott's blog one of his friends Matt Rouge wrote a piece "Why Skeptics will never accept the existence of psi".


What I find interesting is that Skeptics will say that they have never experienced psi or anything paranormal in their entire lives, nor do they know anyone who has had such an experience. This is the furthest thing from my own world.

My guess is that, when most Skeptics imagine a psychic reading, they see a flaky if not creepy psychic sitting in a dimly lit den of fraud, receiving money with greedy fingers, then proceeding to cold- and hot-read the victim and pump him or her full of generalities, superfluities, and, of course, lies and false hope.

In contrast, I am a psychic with many psychic friends. I’ve given readings and gotten more than a few big hits. I’ve received readings and have witnessed more than a few big hits. To us, it’s nothing unusual, odd, or spooky. We trade psychic advice on virtually a daily basis, in fact. No special setting or mood is required; in fact, I give and receive most readings over Facebook these days. Further, I make no money off of psi at all (I give readings for free on a frequent basis, actually). About half of my psychic friends do charge for readings or other psi abilities, but they do a lot of pro bono as well, and absolutely no one is getting rich from these services. I can also observe that my psychic friends are extremely normal and down-to-earth, and none of them fits the stereotype of the New Age flake (OK, we mostly don’t fit that stereotype!). I can assert without equivocation that I have never heard a friend refer to doing anything psychic in a fraudulent or less than sincere way.

In short, psi works for us consistently and on certain occasions amazingly. What incentive would we have to make it a part of our lives if it didn’t? I’m not naïve: Skeptics could certainly cite a range of potential psychological and sociological causes for such experiences. Those outside of our world are free to observe and judge for themselves. But my point is that psi isn’t just about the extreme and the strange. It can be an ordinary and consistently present part of one’s life.

Further, as the comments on Michael’s recent and excellent posts on Leslie Flint demonstrate, we who believe don’t believe everything (pace the Skeptics who enjoy portraying as credulous idiots. Crazy, too.). Yet, on the whole, I find reports of exceptional individual cases of psi to jibe with my own experience, and I think they are strong evidence for psi.

In conclusion

Based on my reading of psi laboratory research and exceptional cases of psi, as well as my own experience, I am 100% certain that psi is real and materialism is completely disproved and an obsolete worldview. Skeptics, however, will never be convinced.

If I am correct, that puts the unstoppable force of the truth of psi against the immovable object of the Skeptics’ belief system. What will be the end result of such an interaction?

I am going to go with a prediction that I have heard elsewhere and found convincing: Individual people and society as a whole will be convinced of the existence of the paranormal once someone is using it to make money. I don’t mean for readings but in the form of a process, product, or service that consistently works and that people want. At that point, the Skeptics will be forced to move, since money talks, and you-know-what walks. My guess is that 100 years will not pass without this happening, and it will probably happen much sooner than that.
Michael Prescott apparently bans most skeptics from commenting on his blog. Anyone want to take a stab at refuting Matt Rouge's claims about skeptics?

For those who do not know who Michael Prescott is, he is an author of crime fiction but also known for his credulous acceptance of paranormal and pseudoscience topics.

Prescott believes in ectoplasm, demonic possession, "earthbound spirits" and reincarnation and has a history of defending fraudulent spiritualist mediums such as Eusapia Palladino.

via International Skeptics Forum

Happy 70th UFO Anniversary!

Happy UFO Anniversary Day! This is the 70th anniversary of Kenneth Arnold's sighting of nine Unidentified Flying Objects flying in a line near Mt. Rainier in Washington State, US.

He described them as looking something like shiny saucers, and some journalists called them "flying saucers". The US Air Force got into investigating them because some of them might have been secret Russian airplanes. The USAF's initial secrecy about it ended up provoking coverup conspiracy theories, but it was the USAF that invented the term Unidentified Flying Object or UFO as an alternative for "flying saucer".

via International Skeptics Forum

vendredi 23 juin 2017

What happens to your family when you become a priest?

I am thinking of becoming a Catholic Priest. Problem is the wife, I assume you can have a kid and be a Priest? Anybody can help me out with this dilemma?

via International Skeptics Forum

Seven year old charged for peeing on steaks.

I hope this kid learns a lesson from this.

He destroyed someone property, pure and simple.........

via International Skeptics Forum

Off-duty St. Louis officer injured by friendly fire after police chase of stolen car

It's time to play America's favorite game show! "Is there any situation in which it's not OK for a police offer to shoot a black man?"


But police now say the off-duty officer was shot by a fellow cop who did not recognize him as an officer, in a separate encounter away from the initial crash.

According to a department summary of the incident released later Thursday, two officers who encountered the armed off-duty officer ordered him to the ground. He complied. When they recognized the off-duty officer, they told him he could stand up and walk toward them.

Another officer just arriving at the scene saw the off-duty officer get up and, not knowing he was an officer, fired his weapon once at the man. He hit the off-duty officer in the arm, the department said.

via International Skeptics Forum

American Revolution - Justified? (Poll)

So, inspired by Capeldodger’s musings on the American Revolution in the US Politics forum… I thought we’d have a little poll:
(To see how common is the view of colonials being (i) treated equally to Englishmen and (ii) that the colonists freeloaded their way until they had a chance to secede safely)

- Was the revolution justified, or was it driven by self interested parties who were already being treated equitably?
- Are you American, British, Other (to see how that skews perspectives)?

via International Skeptics Forum

Road Rage in the Southland

Rider kicks at passenger vehicle:


They were in a dedicated commute lane. Why the rider was on the drivers side of the passenger vehicle isn't clear. CHP is looking for the rider.

via International Skeptics Forum

DNA discovery reveals genetic history of ancient Egyptians

DNA discovery reveals genetic history of ancient Egyptians


Publishing its findings in Nature Communications, the study concluded that preserved remains found in Abusir-el Meleq, Middle Egypt, were closest genetic relatives of Neolithic and Bronze Age populations from the Near East, Anatolia and Eastern Mediterranean Europeans.

Modern Egyptians, by comparison, share much more DNA with sub-Saharan populations.

The team's findings do come with one obvious caveat: "All our genetic data (was) obtained from a single site in Middle Egypt and may not be representative for all of ancient Egypt," the paper concedes.
I am a bit surprised, I thought that Ancient Egypt would have had more inter-mixing with sub-Saharan populations from Nubia. I thought that modern Egyptians would have less sub-Saharan ancestry than ancient Egyptians, due to modern Egyptians being descendants of the Arab conquest of the region.

via International Skeptics Forum

Leave Nancy Alone!

Republicans love her. When it comes to maintaining and increasing the Republican ranks in the House, she does their work for them. Please, Dems, please don't remove her from her leadership role. If you do, you might disappoint the President.

via International Skeptics Forum

Revised Poll: View of Rural vs Urban people

Based on complaint, I am revising this poll. Simplifying, giving significantly less variety in the ways that people can answer. So here's round two. Let's see how it goes.

via International Skeptics Forum

Trump says he won't hire poor people for top cabinet posts!

Interviewer: Would you hire a poor person to work in your cabinet?
Trump: Their poor, and don't want any loosers working top positions in my cabinet.

The article, loaded with irony, is political dynamite. I am copying it to my hard drive. It is short and worth a reread some day.

via International Skeptics Forum

State of Washington VS. John Douglas Grange

Here is a case with all the transcripts from the website. His support crew have asked IA to help, here is the website they provide.

Ampulla de Vater for example might help unravel this with her appetite for full trial transcripts.

Provisionally of course I think he is innocent, just to surprise.

via International Skeptics Forum

London Terrorist Charged

The man who carried out the latest terrorist attack in London has been charged:

Man charged over Finsbury Park attack -

There was some confusion about the death but seems it is now being treated as murder.

via International Skeptics Forum

jeudi 22 juin 2017

N.H. fetal homicide bill unintentionally gives*pregnant women impunity to murder*

It's a bold proposal to be sure, but let's not dismiss it out of hand.


State lawmakers are scrambling to fix a fetal homicide bill that critics say has serious unintended consequences, including letting pregnant women kill people with impunity.

“The bill as drafted allows for physician-assisted suicide and allows a pregnant woman to commit homicide without consequences,” said Republican Rep. JR Hoell, who is urging Gov. Chris Sununu to veto the bill. “Although that was never the intent, that is the clear reading of the language.”

State House leaders are now planning to clarify the bill, put it back up for a vote and send a revision to Sununu.

“We’re going to fix it,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, a Wolfeboro Republican. “Everybody agrees the intent was never to allow this kind of circumstance.”

via International Skeptics Forum

Now he is tilting at windmills

And he never lets facts stand in the way of his opinions.

Trump Criticizes Wind Power in Iowa


Trump has a longstanding grudge against wind power, stretching back to before his days in politics. As a developer, he fought plans to install a wind farm off the coast of one of his golf courses in Aberdeen, Scotland, which he argued would destroy the aesthetic value of his property. In 2012, he sent a letter to the then-head of the Scottish government where he called wind turbines “monsters” and described the wind farm project as “insanity.”

via International Skeptics Forum

Trump's Solar Wall

I thought this would already be a topic, but I'm curious if there are any thoughts on Trump's Solar Wall.

Personally I think it's idiotic for technical and practical reasons.

via International Skeptics Forum

New evidence for a planetary mass.

via International Skeptics Forum

Burger killed by cream


A well-known lifestyle blogger in France has been killed by an exploding whipped cream dispenser.

Rebecca Burger's death was announced on Facebook in what her family called a "domestic accident".

A warning against the faulty dispensers was posted to her Instagram account, saying it had "exploded and struck Rebecca's chest, causing her death".

via International Skeptics Forum

Home Depot and Menards lawsuit

How some people sleep at night, I'll never know. What a great way to raise everyone's prices. Nobody who's ever done anything with lumber can actually believe they are somehow being wronged here.

It's not like they measure any different from every other lumber supplier in the country, and so it's creating a hardship in completing projects due to incompatibility.

I should add that the lawsuit is due to the fact that a "4 x 4" actually measure 3.5" x 3.5"; which is within industry standards. a 2 x 4 is actually 1.5" x 3.5". Suing for $5 million I think.

via International Skeptics Forum

mercredi 21 juin 2017

Clean coal flops

"Clean coal" plant turns out to be just syngas. It makes H2 that you burn but makes equal amounts of CO2 to store.??.

Plan appears scrapped. It will burn natural gas instead:

Syngas explained

via International Skeptics Forum

Wife narcs out cheating cop drug dealers

"A Broward County elementary school teacher who tried to get revenge against her husband by tipping off drug dealers that they were under investigation should spend the next eight years in federal prison because the consequences of her actions were so serious, prosecutors say."

Hubby gets to cheat and get rid of his wife!:jaw-dropp

via International Skeptics Forum

My work Google account disabled and I am worrying

I work in education - for a group that runs charter schools in different cities. I am a substitute teacher/instructional aide. I have not worked much this past semester because my mom had a fall in December and much of my time has been spent selling my house, moving and establishing a care-giving routine for my mother, who I now live with.

Now I'm in a position to work at least part-time in my new city. When I tried to email the corporate recruiter on my workplace gmail account, I found out that my account has been disabled. I can still long in as an employee of the chain, so I don't think I've been fired. Last time I checked the principal where I used to work was giving me a good recommendation.

I can't reach anyone at work about this until at least next week. I'm feeling very paranoid, trying to think what terms or policies I might have violated. I even worry that my employer can use the account to spy on me when I'm using other applications on my personal laptop - i.e., my Earthlink email account. Is this even possible? Any of you work in IT or human resources?

via International Skeptics Forum

stroke question

Without all of the boring details, a few nights ago I had a stroke. When I was in the hospital, I forgot to ask the ER doctor about something. Now, when trying to look it up on the web, I can't find the answer. However, I admit that I am having difficulty with even simple tasks.

My question. Once someone has had a stroke, what are the odds of having another one soon after?

Yes, I am a bit anxious. It was such an unexpected and horrible event, I hope it is never repeated. They put me on a different medication for blood pressure and I am optimistic. Even when I was feeling alright, it took several hours to get my BP under 214 over 112.

Thank you.

via International Skeptics Forum

Trump's jealousy of Obama

I've seen it written in several articles arguing the case that Trump is obsessed with Obama and intensely jealous of him. That this is the reason he ran for President.

Do you think there is any truth in this?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

via International Skeptics Forum

Who was fooled by a faked video: Putin, Stone, both?

In a segment of a teaser for Oliver Stone's documentary film on-with Putin, Vladimir shows to Oliver, with his smartphone, and comments, a video purportedly showing the glorious VKS (Russian Aerospace Forces) doing a great job against "militants" in Syria:

at 0:08 in this Youtube version: [yt]qE4V6exYh2M[/yt]
and at 0:34 in this Russian TV1 version (with an interesting subtitled comment from Putin, translating to Stone, "Pilot says that he's going to make another attempt", indicating that language in the video is Russian).

That short segment sparked internet sleuths to investigate, and the results of their work are quite entertaining:

Nick on Twitter was apparently the first to find that the video Putin showed to Stone was identical to one posted on Youtube in 2016, where the soundtrack of the original video, which was a footage from American AH-64 Apache helicopters in Afghanistan in 2009, had been replaced by Russian language military pilot talk, and falsely presented as being from Russian Mi-28N in Syria!
Side by side comparison of both videos doesn't leave any room to doubt.
The original 2009 footage, as posted in 2012 under the title "2 Apaches Engage Taliban Platoon" on
The Youtube faked video, where soundtrack of the original 'AH-64 in Afghanistan' footage was replaced by one in Russian, and entitled as been from Mi-28N in Syria:

Then others found the original Russian language soundtrack inserted in the faked one, which proved to be from Ukrainian pilots attacking Kremlin-backed separatists in Donetsk airport (Donbas) in 2014 :D :

Some comments posted since yesterday on the Youtube page of the faked video are worth reading, even if -like I did- through Google Translate.

via International Skeptics Forum

mardi 20 juin 2017

Georgia 6th Congressional District Election

The polls have closed and not all of the precincts have yet reported, but contrary to most pre-polling data, the Republican will beat the Democrat by a mile. She will win well beyond the 0.2% RCP final average. It is not even going to be close. This has gone down in history as the single most expensive Congressional district election in history. It was often seen as a referendum on the Trump presidency.
Trump is winning some more.

via International Skeptics Forum

Christie Does Not Care About 15% Approval Rating...

But Why Should He Care? His political career is Dead, Over, Has Thrown Off This Mortal Coil etc. The guy is so toxic that even the Trump administration is keeping him at arms length and not letting him near an appointment .

via International Skeptics Forum

Is the inability to not forget bad things a psychiatric disorder?

My 94 year old mother just told me that I was repeating a story that she had heard from me several times before. I was complaining about being fired from a job and I considered the termination unjustified. An unpleasant out of the clear blue sky event. I also was in the process of describing a girl who had been shabbily treated in a similar fashion.

The events happened in 1997 and after this much time has passed she siad I should have been able to get over it.

Shes right of course but is this normal? I already go to a psychiatrist for anxity.

via International Skeptics Forum

Power makes you crazy...


Sukhvinder Obhi, a neuroscientist at McMaster University, .... studies brains. And when he put the heads of the powerful and the not-so-powerful under a transcranial-magnetic-stimulation machine, he found that power, in fact, impairs a specific neural process, “mirroring,” that may be a cornerstone of empathy. Which gives a neurological basis to what Keltner has termed the “power paradox”: Once we have power, we lose some of the capacities we needed to gain it in the first place.


While people usually gain power through traits and actions that advance the interests of others, such as empathy, collaboration, openness, fairness, and sharing; when they start to feel powerful or enjoy a position of privilege, those qualities begin to fade. The powerful are more likely than other people to engage in rude, selfish, and unethical behavior. The 19th-century historian and politician Lord Acton got it right: Power does tend to corrupt.

via International Skeptics Forum

What beliefs do you hold of people who live in rural areas?

Question: What beliefs do you hold of people who live in rural areas?

Choose any that apply.

via International Skeptics Forum

Is Air Conditioning causing the modern obesity epidemic?

I apologize ahead of time, as I cannot provide a link (haven't found it so far) but I had heard a study on the radio where rats were fed a little too much food, and some were kept cool and others in warmer temperatures.

The thought was obviously the cooler ones would gain weight more slowly, having to burn off more calories to stay warm. Yet the opposite happened. The cold rats gained weight significantly faster than the warm ones.

Autopsying the rats, the cold rats had grown larger intestines (I don't recall if it was longer or wider or what, if they even said) and thus presumably absorbed significantly more energy from the food.

The point was there are studies showing animals will eat more in colder weather, but this showed the weight was packed on with the exact same amount of food eaten due to more intense digestion.

Now there are lots of countries surpassing the US as we speak in obesity, these are all hotter weather climates like Mexico and the Middle East, where more and more people are having the cash to buy air conditioning these past decades.

It couldn't be the only thing, with more sedentary lifestyles, cheaper high-calorie, ready-to-eat food, and so on. It just seemed quite interesting because if it is accurate and applies to humans, too, it could be the lion's share of that weight gain.

via International Skeptics Forum

House Republicans gut Dodd-Frank; nobody notices.

At least not here.

via International Skeptics Forum

[Continuation] Proof of Immortality, VI


Originally Posted by Jabba (Post 11891545)
- Sackett wasn't being serious, so I have to take on someone else.
- I just can't deal with all you guys at once -- I need one spokesperson for your side.
- Also, I need to deal with one sub-issue at a time, so unless you tell me which sub-issue in your post you want me to deal with first, I'll pick the one I'd most like to deal with myself.
- If no one volunteers (Godless Dave, Hans, Agatha, SOdhner, Argumemnon, LL, js, jond, whomever?), or is nominated, I'll answer to Jay.

JayUtah's posts are always well thought out, and very much deserving of a response. As are many other people's posts. You are on a discussion forum, the nature of which is not 1 on 1 but rather discussion from a wide range of people with a wide range of opinions. You know this, of course, but insist that you are somehow special and deserving of special consideration. 1: you're not. 2: you were granted that wish with Loss Leader, and we all know how well that went for you. So, no: I refuse to participate in your games, and will continue to respond as I see fit, and as long as I adhere to the forum rules, you're just going to have to live with that.

Mod InfoContinued from here. By now, ya'll know the drill.
Posted By:kmortis

via International Skeptics Forum

A little app that does "rank" quantizing?

I could really use a little app (or something) for Mac that does a kind of "quantizing" (or averaging, smoothing) that I can't do with Little Miss Scale Oven.

I want the user to be able to input two lists of pitches in cents (701.95, for ex.). The lists have the same number of items. They can be large lists (say, up to 256 pitches) as long as the pair is matched.

The first list (any in-order set of pitches in cents) would called something like "list of pitches to be changed".

The second list would be any in-order set of pitches in cents of the same number of items as the first. It would be called "target list" or something.

The program would rank (simply by quantity) the items in each list. (I suppose that since the lists are already ordered, the program can simply go by the order.) The items ranked 1, or 7, in "list of pitches to be changed" would always and only be altered by moving it some ways toward the respective items ranked 1 or 7 in "target list". This is different from how quantizing usually works in several ways.

There would be a box to fill in a % of how much of the way to the target the first list moves.

Because "proximity" quantize is already available in LMSO, there's no reason to do that. This little app would do what LMSO doesn't currently do.

So, input, two matching lists of numbers. Next the user chooses "how much" shift of the first list according to the second, and hits "go", or something.

I have no idea if this is easily do-able with some other calculator, and I'm not good with spread-sheets, etc.

Anybody interested in coding this? Should I ask my usual coder (who I pay) former active member 69dodge?


"list of pitches to be changed"

0., 36., 72., 96., 120., 156., 180., 204., 228., 276., 288., 312., 348., 372., 396., 432., 444., 480., 504., 528., 576., 600., 624., 660., 684., 696., 744., 768., 780., 828., 852., 864., 912., 936., 948., 996., 1020., 1032., 1068., 1104., 1116., 1152., 1188.

"target list"

0., 27.264, 65.337, 84.467, 111.731, 138.573, 165.004, 203.91, 231.174, 247.741, 289.21, 297.513, 347.408, 359.472, 386.314, 417.508, 435.084, 464.428, 498.045, 536.951, 551.318, 582.512, 617.488, 648.682, 663.049, 701.955, 735.572, 764.916, 782.492, 813.686, 840.528, 852.592, 902.487, 933.129, 952.259, 968.826, 996.09, 1034.996, 1061.427, 1088.269, 1115.533, 1134.663, 1172.736

"% move first list to target":

75. Underlining purely to make it seem like an active box.

via International Skeptics Forum

Trump-Russia "collusion" - The most successful disinfo operation of the decade

The competent organs of Russia, the FSB, is probably pulling the strings on on this whole Trump-Russia story.

While Russian interference in the 2016 elections had been known by the CIA, FBI (according to Comey's testimony) and other agencies for a while before it was revealed to the general public,
the "Trump dossier", which jump-started an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, added a whole new dimension to the story.

As Russia commentators have said, the story reeks of typical KGB-style disinfo:

The Orbis report makes as if it knows all the ins-and-outs and comings-and-goings within Putin’s impenetrable Kremlin. It reports information from anonymous “trusted compatriots,” “knowledgeable sources,” “former intelligence officers,” and “ministry of foreign affairs officials.” The report gives a fly-on-the-wall account of just about every conceivable event associated with Donald Trump’s Russian connections. It claims to know more than is knowable as it recounts sordid tales of prostitutes, “golden showers,” bribes, squabbles in Putin’s inner circle, and who controls the dossiers of kompromat (compromising information).

As someone who has worked for more than a decade with the microfilm collection of Soviet documents in the Hoover Institution Archives, I can say that the dossier itself was compiled by a Russian, whose command of English is far from perfect and who follows the KGB (now FSB) practice of writing intelligence reports, in particular the practice of capitalizing all names for easy reference. The report includes Putin’s inner circle – Peskov, Ivanov, Sechin, Lavrov. The anonymous author claims to have “trusted compatriots” who knew the roles that each Kremlin insider, including Putin himself, played in the Trump election saga and were prepared to tell him.

From David Satter, a former journalist who worked in Russia and C-Span regular:

The investigation was carried out by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer and a director of the London-based Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, and draws on a wealth of high-level anonymous Russian sources who, for some reason, are eager to share secret information. There is a cottage industry of former intelligence operatives who make their livings selling information from supposedly well-placed sources to politicians and businessmen. The question in such relationships is who is being used. In this case, the indications are that Steele was being used by the Russians.

Reading the Steele report, I was struck by the way his sources employed the standard techniques of Russian propaganda and manipulation.

The fact that disapproval of Trump was so high from the beginning I think made it easy to spread this incredibly baseless conspiracy theory around.

Just imagine how powerful it would be for conservatives to rub it in the faces of the overzealous opposition and House Democrats after we find no such collusion.
Pushing too hard may be dangerous. The media is really trying to pursue this angle and it may fail tremendously.

via International Skeptics Forum

Guns kill 1300 US children every year

I am a bit surprised that no one has posted this.

I am not sure if this is US politics or current affairs. Mods can move if appropriate.

As a non-US citizen I will not comment on the politics, but this is a significant child health issue. These are 1,300 preventable deaths a year. Roughly the equivalent of 9/11 deaths every 2 years but all children.

via International Skeptics Forum

lundi 19 juin 2017

US Citizen Otto Warmbier, returned from North Korea, has died

The sad news on the US student, Otto Warmbier, returned home to his family, is that he has died. He was jailed in North Korea for a prank and sent back to the USA in a coma, after 15 months of his sentence, with brain trauma.


Otto Warmbier, 22, returned to the US last Tuesday, but it emerged he had been in a coma for a year.
North Korea said botulism led to the coma, but a team of US doctors who assessed him dispute this account.
Mr Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour for attempting to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel.
He had suffered severe brain damage, and was medically evacuated from North Korea on 13 June to a hospital in his home city of Cincinnati. Ohio. It is unclear how he fell ill.

What sanctions can be taken, if any?

via International Skeptics Forum

$2,500 a year?

In another thread, Skeptic Ginger said this:

"First, if you think Obama said people's insurance premiums would go down $2500/yr, you weren't listening."

I was listening, and hoping he knew something I didn't - saving money on premiums sounded nice.

I'll just put this out there...

via International Skeptics Forum

General Holocaust denial discussion Part III

The power of mind control, when practiced by the govt., the media, and academia, is an amazing thing to behold. So, while the US military is dropping 26000 bombs per year on defenseless Muslims half way around the world, this slightly amazing English youtuber, with 300,000 subscribers, a well-spoken and intelligent fellow, argues that we should correctly refer to Muslims as savages ...

via International Skeptics Forum

Age limit for cell phones? Parents against underage Smartphones

via International Skeptics Forum

dimanche 18 juin 2017

Replace ipod with Android

I've continued to carry around an ipod with manual syncs to an itunes system for all sorts of reasons. But with some computer changes, I'm trying to move off it to an android phone.

podcasts aren't too bad. I like most of what AntennaPod does, so that's satisfactory.

On the music side, I'd like to find something that can do a function similar to smartplaylists on the ipod. Specifically, I'd like to be able to ask it to shuffle songs not played in the month.

I have MediaMonkey, and I love the features it seems to have for syncing (I can set up lists on Windows and push to android), but it doesn't seem to have smart playlists on the android side. BubbleUPNP I use for other purposes, but doesn't have smart playlists and searching songs is poor.

Any recommendations for a more featureful audio player? I don't see any way I can get my hard buttons I had on the ipod without some hardware hacking. But if I can get a better player, that might be enough.

via International Skeptics Forum

New Watergate revelations

I'm surprised there isn't a thread on this already (if there is, I can't find it)

Just goes to show what a bunch of criminals the Republicans really were under Tricky Dicky, and how much they attacked democracy

via International Skeptics Forum

Macron wins Absolute Majority.....

And now the fun begins.
What Macron has to avoid is becoming panicked, when, as seems inevitable, the left opposition takes to the streets. Trying to cower the government with that tactic goes back to the French Revolution...and worked until Napoleon's "Whiff of Grapeshot",

via International Skeptics Forum

Another van attack in London

Not far from where I live.

Just what we don't need.

via International Skeptics Forum

Iran launches missiles into eastern Syria

Iran launches missiles into eastern Syria

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Poll Shows Cultural Divide Between Rural And Urban

America’s cultural divide runs deep. While rural and urban Americans share some economic challenges, they frequently diverge on questions of culture and values. On few issues are they more at odds than immigration.


Originally Posted by The Washington Post
The political divide between rural and urban America is more cultural than it is economic, rooted in rural residents’ deep misgivings about the nation’s rapidly changing demographics, their sense that Christianity is under siege and their perception that the federal government caters most to the needs of people in big cities, according to a wide-ranging poll that examines cultural attitudes across the United States.

The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey of nearly 1,700 Americans — including more than 1,000 adults living in rural areas and small towns — finds deep-seated kinship in rural America, coupled with a stark sense of estrangement from people who live in urban areas. Nearly 7 in 10 rural residents say their values differ from people who live in big cities, including about 4 in 10 who say their values are “very different.”...

via International Skeptics Forum

Traditional Hawaiian canoe completes voyage around the world.

In a constant stream of doom and gloom, it's just great to see some good and interesting news. A Traditional Hawaiian Hokule'a vessel, crewed by indigenous Hawaiians, has just returned to Hawaii after a 3 year trip around the world, navigating using only the traditional stars, wind, and ocean swells.

Well done them. That cheers me somewhat this morning.


via International Skeptics Forum

samedi 17 juin 2017

Elderly Man Shouts at TV

Donald Trump has reportedly been yelling at TV sets in the White House as he becomes "increasingly angry" about an investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the US presidential election.
The US leader thinks he is the victim of a conspiracy aimed at discrediting his leadership and ending his time in the White House, according to the Associated Press.
Confidants and advisers close to Mr Trump said his fury was mounting at the probe and he had been yelling at TV sets about its press coverage.

via International Skeptics Forum

Have you drawn a weapon?

I recently had to do so. It was a taser. My boyos were unharmed and the dickweed walking his unrestrained ******** got away.

And yes we're talking dogs here.

via International Skeptics Forum

Best way to lose faith is to read the Bible

I was raised in the church. I went to Sunday School and services every Sunday. I went to Vacation Bible School in the summer and Bible camp as a teenager. I was involved in church activities all the way through college. But in all that time I doubt I had read more than a few chapters/books from start to finish. What i had read was almost all from the New Testament and even more specifically the Gospels.

I felt that I had been cheating my faith. After all, I had read War and Peace and many other big books. Shouldn't I commit myself to reading all of God's holy word? So I did. And the more I read, the more I hated it and the more I started to disbelieve. By the time I finished it I was an atheist.

I have heard other atheists tell similar stories. The Old Testament is so horrible and disgusting that I wouldn't want to have anything to do with God even if he did exist. I'm convinced that the best way to get people to turn away from this religion is for them to just read about Jephthah and Saul and Exodus.

Does this sound familiar? Am I wrong?

via International Skeptics Forum

Help with creating a German language book title

Hi I was wondering if a native speaker of German could help me on this matter. In a book I'm writing I need to create a German language title for a book that doesn't exist.

The title is: Reconstructed views of the main structures located within the ruins of Saphkary.

Context of the imaginary title, published in East Germany in 1961 showing reconstructed view of building in ruins found in the Empty Quarter on the borders of Saudi Arabia and Oman. Written by Joachim Herrmann Biehl and Gyula Laszlo Rakosi.

An automated translation provides:

Rekonstruierte Ansichten der Hauptstrukturen, die innerhalb der Ruinen von Saphkary gelegen sind

Is this remotely correct?

Thanks for you help

via International Skeptics Forum

vendredi 16 juin 2017

Woman convicted of inciting suicide....

Surprisingly, there doesn't seem to be a thread about this. A young woman who was a high school girl at the time has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter for tweeting to another student that she knew was suicidal and was actually committing suicide at that moment that he should go ahead and do it, even when he expressed second thoughts. Sounds to me like a just verdict, but apparently it's a legal first.

via International Skeptics Forum

US Navy Destroyer Crashes Into Merchant Ship Off the Japanese Coast


Originally Posted by Sputnik
US Navy ship [USS Fitzgerald] collided with a trade vessel [Phillipine ACX Crystal] in the early morning hours on June 17. The number of injured sailors has yet to be determined, according to the US Pacific Fleet Commander. [...] Following the incident, US sailors had to call for help from the Japanese coast guard. Japanese tug boats are en route to assist and are currently pulling the ship to safety, as she could not carry on under her own power, a US Defense Department official said. In the video, however, it appears the Fitzgerald is moving along, perhaps more slowly than usual. [...] The collision occurred about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.

Can you please pay attention to the fact that there's an outside world, Yankistanis? ;)

via International Skeptics Forum

The state of Oregon adds "Non-Binary" option to Driver's License

I must say that I strongly despise anybody who questions non-binary people's right to exist. You'd have to be a damn stupid idiot to be anti-gender minority, especially if you are pro-gay in the first place. Use inductive reasoning. What are these morons thinking? "Obviously blacks are equal to whites, obviously females are just as intelligent as males, obviously being gay is ok, but I think there just might be something to this hatred of trans and non-binary people!". So gullible. These yahoos are no better than the people who used to (and still do) say "PENIS GOES INTO THE VAGINA, PEOPLE! COME ON, THIS IS SCIENCE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE! HOMOSEXUALITY IS UNNATURAL!". Oregon totally has the right idea.

via International Skeptics Forum

Dennis Rodman Embraces Dear Leader....

Memo to North Korea:

Could you keep Rodman over there, please?

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James Randi and JREF

So..Working for myself at home, slow day so internet browsing. Ended up on the JREF site for the first time in years and it appears to have come to a complete standstill around 2015.

I looked on this site and there doesn't appear to be anything concerning JREF after the same time.

I think it would be a shame if it had died off and so am asking - does anyone have up to date knowledge.

via International Skeptics Forum

J'accuse faussement

BBC News: Elizabeth Banks apologises for Steven Spielberg diversity comments

"Actress Elizabeth Banks has apologised to Steven Spielberg after she wrongly "called him out" in public for never directing a film with a female lead.

The star made the comments at a Women in Film awards ceremony on Wednesday.

Actress Shari Belafonte called out from the audience Spielberg had directed the 1985 film The Color Purple, starring Whoopi Goldberg. But after another audience member yelled it was wrong, Banks believed she was still correct."


via International Skeptics Forum

Help me find an app :)

Hello all

I'm looking for an app where people could check whether they've done a task or not. The point is that everyone could tick a box next to the day for each given day when they do the task or leave it empty if they didn't. Participation would be voluntary and work on an honor system, there is no need for fancy security or privacy or anything like that. Tick the box next to your name if you did the task, leave it empty if you didn't, simple as that.

It would be easy to do with Excel, but I need a system that can be simultaneously used and edited by over 100 people if necessary, so putting an Excel file into Dropbox and using that is too cumbersome. I would also like it to be free or at at least inexpensive (<50€/$).

Google had something like that called Google attendance or something like that, but I can't find it any more.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Did I describe what I need adequately? :o

Thanks! :)


via International Skeptics Forum

Noreen Renier: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas from a Grieving Family

I received my July/August 2017 issue of Skeptical Inquirer magazine today. It offers a lengthy article written by Gary Posner , M.D. He is both the founder of the Tampa Bay Skeptics, and also a CSI Scientific and Technical Consultant. Titled Psychic Detective Noreen Renier: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas from a Grieving Family, it evaluates newly obtained recording sessions made of Noreen Renier with the Halifax Regional Police.

I’ve known Gary for more than 30 years. In reading the magazine today I believe it carefully reviews the obfuscation and protracted wild goose chases often encountered with psychic detectives. It’s well worth reading by both skeptics and paranormal believers. It may shock many with its concise ability to evaluate the credibility of Noreen Renier using her own words and premonitions.

On this site I invite any response Noreen Renier might wish to provide to the public. She has previously responded on this site and should be given a fair and polite opportunity to do so again. As a current Orlando resident, her website has long opened to a page headlined A New Technique for Obtaining Clues from Unsolved Crimes.

Perhaps she can clarify why her results for accurate clues are showcased as quite opposite based on her own voice recordings in this truly stunning article. Her sign-in on this site has previously been "NJR" for Noreen Jean Renier.

via International Skeptics Forum

jeudi 15 juin 2017

Corbyn wants to seize rich people's homes

Jeremy Corbyn has called for the empty homes of rich people in Kensington to be seized for Grenfell Tower residents who have been made homeless by the fire.

via International Skeptics Forum

Why I hate America

I'm a liberal. I admit it. Heck I'm proud of it. In fact those online poll things often say I'm actually a socialist...and Dean from Supernatural. Which is so bogus since I'm clearly Sam!

So of course when I see that far right wing blog Charismanews has posted a list of all the things I hate about America...well I can't but help read it. Surely it will be refreshing to see all the things I hate spelled out in list form.

Well I was sure in for a surprise. Turns out I hate things like "success" and "cheeseburgers" which I could have sworn I liked. In fact it turns out I hate "The American People" as a whole which surely also I was unaware of.

Actually here it is and I color coded it. Bold for things I actually like, highlights for things I think are largely good but with some need for fixing and a strike through for the things I actually hate. I hope the mods will allow this since I'm commenting on the whole of the thing.

  1. The U.S. Constitution
  2. Liberty
  3. Freedom
  4. Success
  5. Big Trucks
  6. Capitalism
  7. Free Markets
  8. Wealthy People
  9. Economic Prosperity
  10. The Rule of Law
  11. Traditional Values
  12. The American Flag
  13. The Founding Fathers
  14. Guns
  15. Limited Government
  16. Religious Freedom
  17. Homeschooling
  18. Private Schools
  19. Christian Schools
  20. Entrepreneurs
  21. Ronald Reagan
  22. Donald Trump
  23. Mike Pence
  24. Country Music
  25. Rush Limbaugh
  26. The Tea Party
  27. Lower Taxes
  28. Old-Fashioned Light Bulbs
  29. Jesus
  30. The Bible
  31. The Christian Faith
  32. The Drudge Report
  33. John Wayne
  34. Alex Jones
  35. NASCAR
  36. Tupperware
  37. Big Cheeseburgers
  38. Football
  39. Clint Eastwood
  40. The Army
  41. The Navy
  42. The Marines
  43. The Air Force
  44. Ron Paul
  45. Rand Paul
  46. Marriage
  47. Family
  48. Babies
  49. Wal-Mart
  50. Flag Pins
  51. Steakhouses
  52. Chuck Norris
  53. Bottled Water
  54. George Washington
  55. The 1st Amendment
  56. The 2nd Amendment
  57. The 10th Amendment
  58. The Pledge of Allegiance
  59. McDonald’s
  60. Coca-Cola
  61. Fried Food
  62. Muscle Cars
  63. Charlie Daniels
  64. Dolly Parton
  65. Duck Dynasty
  66. Johnny Cash
  67. Sarah Palin
  68. Cheesesteaks
  69. Sean Hannity
  70. Rodeos
  71. Cadillacs
  72. Barbie Dolls
  73. Ted Cruz
  74. Fiscal Sanity
  75. Charlton Heston
  76. Israel
  77. Benjamin Netanyahu
  78. Miners
  79. Loggers
  80. The Coal Industry
  81. National Sovereignty
  82. National Borders
  83. Uncle Sam
  84. The Washington Redskins
  85. Small Businesses
  86. Self-Employment
  87. Harley-Davidson Motorcycles
  88. Military Veterans
  89. The Phrase “Islamic Terror”
  90. Big Families
  91. The Bible Belt
  92. The Creation Museum
  93. The 10 Commandments
  94. Anyone That Is Pro-Life
  95. Anyone Who Disagrees With Them
  96. Hard Work
  97. Patriotism
  98. Winning
  99. The Truth
  100. The American People

By the way I'm a bit confused about the inclusion of Israel and Netanyhu.

Fellow liberals, how did the list reflect your hatreds?

via International Skeptics Forum

tips on spotting charlatan "psychics"

does anyone know how one can detect fakery when looking at a "psychic" surgeon or the like? Are there ways to be able to learn how to spot slight of hand tricks?

For example here is a photo of a "psychic" surgeon that I once mentioned on this forum

It claims to be a photo of a pancreatic "surgery" but I as many of you guys have my doubts.

For example it looks like the "surgeon" is simply pressuring down on a point of the belly rather than cutting into a person. I don't think that's what a person's stomach looks like when its being cut can any surgeons confirm?

Also I don't think that's were a pancreas is located in a human body or what a pancreas even looks like.

Would those be signs of fakery that I just pointed out?

via International Skeptics Forum

Is using profanity a disease?

I cuss and I'm trying to quit but its anything but easy. I hit my elbow on something and out comes the Lords name in vain. I use four letter words like normal speech and at age 70 I need to quit.


via International Skeptics Forum

Turnbull - a better Trump than Trump

Malcolm Turnbull gave a tongue-in-cheek impersonation of his US counterpart Donald Trump at Parliament House’s annual Mid Winter Ball. It was supposed to be an off-the-record event but video of Turnbull's mocking has been leaked.

You can see it here:

And here is a report:

This is even more damaging than the time that Kevin Rudd claimed that George W Bush asked him, "What is the G8?". It's not hard to guess which country Donald Trump will launch his first nuclear missile at.

via International Skeptics Forum

Retro Shaming - Don't walk on the wild side

"The criticism of Lou Reed’s classic hit “Walk on the Wild Side” as “transphobic” at an Ontario university has reignited the long-simmering debate around the impact of cultural sensitivity on campuses and whether there’s a chill on freedom of speech and topics that could offend."


via International Skeptics Forum

Metabolism and weight loss

From "Time" magazine:


What Hall discovered, however--and what frankly startled him--was that even when the Biggest Loser contestants gained back some of their weight, their resting metabolism didn't speed up along with it. Instead, in a cruel twist, it remained low, burning about 700 fewer calories per day than it did before they started losing weight in the first place. "When people see the slowing metabolism numbers," says Hall, "their eyes bulge like, How is that even possible?"
I don't see how it's even possible either. Burning 700 calories less a day means adding a pound a week. This wasn't particularly healthy weight loss as it encourages crash dieting and muscle mass may be loss. The person also doesn't have to lug that weight around but this was resting metabolism. Maybe they are resting far more than they did while dieting? I'm not sure how resting metabolism is measured. But I don't understand the physical mechanism that would allow the body to be maintained on 700 fewer calories a day.

Does this sound strange to anyone else?

via International Skeptics Forum

mercredi 14 juin 2017

Sovereign Citizens Hijinks

A tip of my hat to my buddy Al for tipping me on this.

A post complaining about Wells Fargo not providing funding on a "Promissory Note" Check out the complaint from Jamal of Athens, TN on March 31, 2017

Then representatives of OTI came in on Friday, March 31st, 2017. He attempted to open a business and savings account, which we did not request and, avoiding the very reason we came into the branch, which was to exchange legal tender (promissory note). We explained our intent and he then referred us to another Banking institution of Wells Fargo to speak with someone who dealt with our particular financial needs. We then, met with the Personal Banker's, referral and then he explained that they do honor promissory notes as legal tender, negotiable instruments. He said we can't use our promissory note but Wells Fargo creates their own promissory note. We were then directed to corporate at Wells fargo.

Several other calls were made to the corporate offices in California, one in Southeastern and the other in San Francisco, in attempts to exercise our rights regarding the promissory note according to the UCC law which is under the Federal Reserves and Maritime Law. [Admiralty law or maritime law is a distinct body of law that governs maritime questions and offenses. It is a body of both domestic law governing maritime activities, and private international law governing the relationships between private entities that operate vessels on the oceans].

The Origin of Truth Institute:

via International Skeptics Forum

Pres. Trump (himself) under investigation for obstruction of justice

via International Skeptics Forum

Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron Steps Down Citing Anti-Christian Suspicions

Shame to see Tim Farron step down as party leader, despite winning a further four seats for the Lib Dems.

He came across well in the TV debates, making quips about Theresa May's absence, for example.

He cited as a reason he had to handle suspicions about his Christian faith, but said he would never have imposed them on anyone else.

Pretty similar criticisms have been advanced against Arlene Foster and her Democratic Union Party.

Of course, religion and politics is far more apparent in Norn than it is in mainland UK.

It's a shame that Tim's faith is deemed as being something to be ashamed of.

via International Skeptics Forum

Gunman targets Republicans

Another LEFTIST targets Republicans. Why? Because this is what leftists do, you cannot go against the god of liberalism without consequences. Now some here will be upset with politicizing this tragedy from the start, good! It needs to be shouted from the rooftops what violent scum leftists are!

via International Skeptics Forum

Shooting at GOP Baseball Practice.


House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and aides were shot at a baseball practice in Virginia Wednesday, Fox News confirmed.
Fox is also reporting the gunman has been shot and killed. Hopefully he's the only fatality.

via International Skeptics Forum

How to beat a poker machine

Now why didn't I think of that. :(


So how did they do it? With a hidden smartphone and some serious maths back in Russia.

The cheating Russians weren't playing just any old machine — they played only on the Aristocrat Mark VI, an oldish pokie manufactured in Australia.

And they did more than just press play.

After each one cent play, the gamblers would enter the pokie screen display into an app on an iPhone hidden in their pocket. (Spoiler alert: you cannot get this app from your app store.)

They would do this a few dozen times — and all that information would go back in real time to the criminal mothership in St Petersburg.

There, the mathematical criminals would work out exactly where in its pseudo-random number sequence the poker machine was.

The gambler would keep putting in cent after cent, until they got word from St Petersburg to play big. The phone would vibrate, and one quarter of a second later the gambler would put in a big play — and get back $1,000. They were careful to avoid the really large and major pay outs, hoping not to attract too much attention to themselves.

A team of four gamblers would typically win a quarter of a million dollars in a single week. Not a bad return!
All perfectly legal. :)

via International Skeptics Forum

Allegations of nonconsensual sex on set of reality TV show

I don't watch this sort of stuff myself, but the report of what transpired interested me so I thought I would pass it along and see what others think about this:

Bachelor in Paradise Crew Member Provides Horrifying Account of Alleged Sexual Assault

I know there's a limit to how much you can quote here, but you should probably just read the whole thing. It isn't very long.

Portions that stick out to me:

Several media outlets have reported that BIP contestant DeMario Jackson allegedly had a nonconsensual sexual encounter with contestant Corinne Olympios in a hot tub during filming. Sources connected to Jackson told TMZ that Jackson had oral sex with Olympios, that he was too drunk to have penetrative sex, and that “the next day everything was fine.” Sources close to Olympios told TMZ that Olympios said she does not remember and did not consent to the sexual encounter. Warner Bros. is investigating the incident and won’t comment on specifics for now.

The BIP crew member told the Daily Mail that the incident occurred after producers suggested Jackson and Olympios hook up. “Corinne and Demario found out when they arrived in Mexico that the story line would involve the two of them hooking up so they decided to hang out and get better acquainted over drinks,” the source said. “Soon they decided to go swimming and when they climbed into the Jacuzzi, they were both loaded. Corinne proceeded to remove her bathing suit and things got increasingly sexual.”
Somewhere in the midst of this encounter she went limp and unresponsive, but he kept going and they kept filming, but at some point crew members stopped it and carried her away.
Another story from the NY Post:


Olympios has reportedly hired an attorney and is said to be blaming producers for allowing the sexual encounter with Jackson to progress despite her apparent inebration. Both parties were said to have been drinking throughout the day of shooting, though Olympios claims she was in a blackout state and was unable to consent.
So, yeah. They were both very drunk, but she was so drunk that she can't even remember what happened. This happened after the shows producers supplied them with alcohol throughout the day and "suggested that they hook up". It seems like someone should have intervened much earlier if she was so drunk.

via International Skeptics Forum

mardi 13 juin 2017

Huge fire in London

24-story block Grenfell Tower in West Kensington is fully ablaze. Locals are reporting people and children trapped inside with little hope of escape.

Absolutely horrible.

via International Skeptics Forum

What is a "globalist"

I've never really pinned down what a globalist is supposed to be, and how Putin, Duterte, Ahmadinejad, Trump, or other such "rebel" people are good for the world because they're ostensibly against globalism.

Using context clues it makes me think of the NWO conspiracies and one-world government. Teh UN, NATO, EU, Muslim haters, Muslim backers, Jew haters, Jew backers...

It's really incoherent.

via International Skeptics Forum

Inmates escape Oklahoma prison through vents. Twice!

Same guys, same way.


Originally Posted by CNN
"We're still reviewing the jail footage, but it looks like sometime after midnight they done the same thing they done last," Sheriff Charles Dougherty told CNN affiliate KFOR. "They scaled a wall, got on the air conditioner vent and dug a hole in it."...

Three months ago, two inmates climbed through the jail's ventilation system and bolted. They were captured.

On Monday, the same two inmates climbed through the jail's ventilation system again and escaped again. This time, they took two more inmates with them...

via International Skeptics Forum

Is killing law enforcement during wartime legitimate?

Just curious.

I think qualitatively it looks better than beseiging a building full of civilians or bombing apartment buildings.

But legally how is it?

via International Skeptics Forum

"You can't hear this story and not see God in it"

..."and I know, that it’s going to change people's lives because you can't hear this story and not see God in it."

I don't get it.
Shark bites off arm, God is responsible, more people come to see God as a good thing?
Sure, God saved her from the shark, but he also put her arm in its mouth and closed the jaws, right?
God saved her from the shark but he also set her up for a serious infection and slow painful lingering death by sepsis. (thank Science for antibiotics!)
Whichever God this is a bad choice to pick as your one and only.

via International Skeptics Forum

lundi 12 juin 2017

Senators come to bipartisan deal on Russian sanctions

Senators have an agreement on new sanctions against Russia; deal bans Trump from lifting/easing the sanctions without congressional approval

Senate GOP, Dems agree on new sanctions on Russia

Trump and his boss Putin are sure be upset at this development

via International Skeptics Forum

Libya's Great Man-Made River ... $25 Billion Dollars

I was watching a documentary on this project and it seemed insanely expensive.

I compared it to Israel's reverse-osmosis desalination plants and the Libyan project costs four thousand times more per water volume according to my calculations.

Here's a portion of the info I gathered

The Libyan project is using over $25 billion Dollars initial cost to build pipelines (and dig 3000 wells) to pump 6.5 million cubic metres of water (per day) to the sea side*.
That equals a rate of $4000 for each cubic meter of water per day.

Meanwhile existing technology (reverse-osmosis desalination) in use in Israel can de-salinate water at under a rate of $1 per cubic meter (per day).^ As they produce 625,000 cubic metres of water a day, with only an initial cost of $500,000

^Israel's reverse-osmosis desalination ...

*Libya's Great Man-Made River ...;

via International Skeptics Forum

Megyn Kelly interview with Alex Jones

So the former darling of the right will be interviewing this moron on Sunday night.

Splendid. Why waste air time?

via International Skeptics Forum

Pakistani Alwan brothers' spy ring in Congress

Google your own source material please, I so abhor the discussion-wrecking left-right false dichotomy. I do not belong to a political party and am interested in the meta-discussion or questions about information security in our government. As opposed to whether any particular source is out to get democrats or out to get republicans.

The Pakistani Awan brothers have fled the country back to Pakistan. Some sources say they are being treated like political royalty or top military brass. They are wanted in the US for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in congressmen's computer equipment but the security breach is far larger.

They were working as IT staffers with Top Secret clearance to material and communications of at least 80 congressmen. A number of these were specifically targeted for their key committee positions like House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs. By wikileaks sourcing, they had passwords for top people like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, then Chair of the DNC.

If you've been following the various researchers chasing the subject, the most alarming thing from a security standpoint is the syncing of congressional blackberries and laptops. With syncing, you can vacuum up all the texts, emails, attachments, etc. from all these Congressmen. If you're Anthony Weiner, you're sending nude pics to 15 year olds so that's outstanding blackmail espionage. With others, it's going to be little boys instead of little girls, corruption and graft, along with forward intelligence on our covert military and CIA operations.

Speaking of whom, there's indications Weiner was the Awan's handler, his "trusted staff" supplying "secure" blackberries as per wikileaks. The fact they've been implicated in a number of other criminal enterprises ought to really bring some heat on this security breach. Same with the questions surrounding how they got entry visas in the first place. How they escaped. Why you would hire them in the first place.

There's been near silence from the mainstream media, at least insofar as a meta-discussion on "Foreign criminals in charge of Congressional Intelligence Committee Members' IT" Paid $160K each, but still plenty of time to run a lot of other businesses that like to declare bankruptcy to avoid million-dollar debt obligations.

Nobody's asked, media-wise, what kind of background check or citizenship requirements we have for top secret access to Congressional Intelligence Committee files, whether they were followed, and what we should do as we move forward with multiple wars across the planet. I mean why not roll in some Saudi nationals or perhaps North Koreans to run our IT? Put some ISIS people on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, perhaps? Celebrate diversity?

via International Skeptics Forum

What a wonderful problem to have: 1/3 of world overweight

All of human history worldwide, and in the west until about 40 years ago, the primary problem, as measured by economists, was lack of calories per person, or expensive calories per person. The idea of more than a vanishing fraction of the population with too-much-fat problems was an aspiration way, way up there, look up in the sky, where death rates are significantly lower.

Just noting this for the bigger picture.

Also, I note this 1/3 is "overweight and obese". IIRC, some years back, the "overweight" category (as opposed to obese) was found to be the longest-lived, which opened eyes because apparently nobody correlated body fat to longevity, and just assumed what doctors considered normal was also optimal for longevity.

Has this been corrected, the label shifted to what body fat percent it covers, so that "overweight" is bad again, being the point where longevity starts to drop off? Perhaps it should be given a new name, like Alittlegrossbutlongestlived.

via International Skeptics Forum

dimanche 11 juin 2017

The most harmful conspiracy theory...

Earlier, after reading the thread about the Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist convict of making death threats, I got to thinking about just how much harm can be done by this type of quack thinking.

I got curious, so I thought I would ask: what do you think is the most harmful conspiracy theory out there and why? I don't mean things like religions, but conspiracy theories where people believe that powerful individuals or groups are manipulating things behind the scenes for their own nefarious ends.

For me, I would argue that one of the worst is the anti-vaxxers, who argue that vaccines are bad and the government and big pharm are secretly conspiring to hide the truth in order to maximize profits. They cause countless people to avoid vaccines that could be life saving, and they also cast doubt on the entire medical community, which I would argue causes many people to avoid medical treatment in general until it may be too late.

via International Skeptics Forum

[Split Thread] Mainstream vs. fringe science

Mod InfoSplit from this thread.
Posted By:jsfisher


Originally Posted by Aepervius (Post 11876899)
Hydrogen spectra and hydrogen plasma, as well as the hydrogen potential well, was something i studied, measured and was published at the lab i was. It is not where i ended but thus is where i started.

The fact you call it mainstream science rather than science, is very very revalatory btw.

Do you think cutting edge revolutionary science is done in the mainstream?

Look at Einstein.. was he mainstream? Who predicted Einstein would revolutionize theoretical physics? He was considered a failure from my understanding. This is a perfect example of how mainstream science is not cutting edge science.

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