The Four Stages of Being a Dive Bar Regular

Alper Çuğun (CC BY 2.0)

Alper Çuğun (CC BY 2.0)

I am what is commonly known as a binge drinker. I don’t ever drink at home, but I like to go out. When I go out I like to drink a ton. When I hit the town, I, like all of the other true partiers in the world, want a place to go where I know the vibe and know I am going to get my mind crushing buzz on with the least possible hassle, combined with the most possible fun.

It should also be cheap. For a boozebag, checking your wallet the next day can be a terrifying experience.

Which is why I always have a regular bar that I frequent. The last thing you want to do if you really want to get hammered is wander around aimlessly looking for a good place to drink.

I have been a regular at different bars numerous times throughout my life.… Read the rest

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NSA Building Damaged by Gunfire

769px-National_Security_Agency_headquarters,_Fort_Meade,_Maryland

Headquarters of the NSA at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Yesterday, shots were fired at the NSA headquarters and into traffic on the Intercounty Connector (ICC) in Fort Meade, MD. No one was seriously injured, but the ICC was shut down pending investigation.

As of this morning, the FBI’s Baltimore office has issued a statement stating that a man potentially related to the shootings is in custody.

According to Amy Thoreson, the FBI’s spokeswoman, “We believe the subject responsible for shooting incidents on the ICC, near Fort Meade Army installation and other locations around the Baltimore-Washington metro area in the last two weeks is in custody.”

(Maryland Department of Transportation)

(Maryland Department of Transportation)

The two incidents happened hours apart. The first shooting happened the ICC around 2:40pm, “when the window of a truck traveling east on the ICC near Interstate 95 in Prince George’s County was struck by gunfire, authorities said.” About two hours later, shots were fired at a NSA building in Anne Arundel County.… Read the rest

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Matt Bowden: The Drug Lord With a Social Mission

Matt Bowden (sometimes known as Starboy, an “interdimensional traveler”) helped create one of the most viral outbreaks of new drugs in history. He might also have the antidote, according to Pacific Standard:

One fateful night in the year 2000—long before the world would begin paying serious attention to his ideas—Matt Bowden met Kristi Kennedy in an Auckland, New Zealand, strip club. He was a 29-year- old raver and sometime rock musician who wore big leather boots and stovepipe pants. She was a Penthouse Pet who was wearing nothing. For both of them, it was love at first sight.

Matt Bowden's Twitter icon (@MattBowdenNZ)

Matt Bowden’s Twitter icon (@MattBowdenNZ)

“It was one of those moments where time just stopped,” Kristi recalls. “I was dancing up on stage. This light shined down upon this man as he was walking into the room. He was looking at me with this big Cheshire grin and this bright green shirt and this blond ruffled hair.” Bowden was similarly smitten, and the two quickly became a couple.

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From Our Prison to Your Dinner Table

Via Graeme Wood at Pacific Standard:

One of my daughter’s favorite stuffed animals is a chocolate-colored, beady-eyed buffalo that was stitched—lovingly, I like to think—by the hands of a convicted felon. The buffalo was born in Cañon City, Colorado, on the grounds of a large rural complex of six state prisons with a total of 4,000 inmates. Some of those inmates manufacture cute toys. Others tend real buffalo on feedlots and dairies outside in the mountain air. The goal, said Steve Smith, the prison-labor program’s mustachioed director until his retirement in December, is to convert the prisoners through labor into productive citizens. “This is a therapeutic community,” he said. “We’re trying to make them into taxpayers instead of tax burdens.” He channeled the Book of Isaiah, or possibly Ozzy Osbourne: “No rest for the wicked.”

The most familiar prison work programs involve stamping license plates or breaking rocks as part of a chain gang.

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Noam Chomsky: Edward Snowden a True Patriot Who Should be Honored

Noam Chomsky speaking in February 2014.  (Photo: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation/flickr/cc)

Noam Chomsky speaking in February 2014. (Photo: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation/flickr/cc)

Andrea Germanos via Common Dreams:

Noam Chomsky said that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is a true patriot who revealed vast surveillance programs that have nothing to do with combating terrorism.

The noted intellectual made the comment in an extended interview with Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman which aired Tuesday.

Chomsky said Snowden should be welcomed back to the country from Russia, where he has received asylum, with honors because he “carried out the obligations of a citizen.”

Snowden “informed American citizens of what their government is doing to them. That’s exactly what a person who has real patriotism, not the flag-waving type, but real patriotism, would do. So he should be honored, not just allowed back,” Chomsky said.

“It’s the people in the government who should be on trial, not him,” he continued.

Chomsky added that neither the surveillance system Snowden exposed nor the drone program—despite claims by officials—have combating terrorism as their goals.

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Are processed foods finally on their way out?

kraft_sales_735_350_decline

Christina Sarich via Natural Society:

The public doesn’t trust manufacturers like Kellogg’s and Kraft anymore. Earnings are falling, and dozens of Big Food companies’ stocks are down. One of the biggest food companies in the world, ConAgra, is even slashing its 2015 earnings projections. Is Big Food really over?

ConAgra is changing management – is it because their 2015 earnings projections are way are down and stocks took a plunge recently? The food giant owns brands like Hunts, Swiss Miss, as well as Chef Boyardee, among others. Do people really want to eat cancer-causing chemicals in a can anymore?

Kraft, the maker of Oscar Mayer deli meats, Jell-O, Maxwell House coffee, and Velveeta cheese also recently shook up top management and reported sluggish sales.  Big Food company, Kellogg’s, has seen its sales plunge 5.4 percent over the past year.

Campbell’s Soup CEO has said:

“There’s a mounting distrust of so-called Big Food, the large food companies and legacy brands on which millions of consumers have relied on for so long.”

Do Americans finally realize what Yale medical researchers David Katz and Samuel Meller declared in a paper in 2013, that a “diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.”

Continue reading.… Read the rest

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Scientists Reveal Average Penis Size

Sunday Surprise - Male Model GabeIf you think that the scientists who seriously studied average penis size were wasting their time on a frivolous pursuit, consider that our World Penis Size Map is one of the all time most popular posts on disinformation. Yahoo News/AFP reports on the size of the average man’s member (although global variations seem not to have been studied):

What is an “average” size for a penis?

The enduring question now has a scientific answer: 13.12 centimetres (5.16 inches) in length when erect, and 11.66 cm around, according to an analysis of more than 15,000 appendages around the world.

In a flaccid state, it found, the penis of the average Joe is all of 9.16 cm in length and has a girth of 9.31 cm.

The numbers should help “reassure the large majority of men that the size of their penis is in the normal range,” said British researchers who had assembled data from studies where participants had their member measured by a professional.

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Willful Bane: The Joy of Hex with Byron Ballard

Down at the Crossroads – Podcast Episode #053

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053_byron_ballard_witch_marshmallowHello and thank you once again for joining me down at the crossroads for some music, magick, and Paganism. Where witches gather for the sabbath, offerings are made, pacts are signed for musical fame and we cross paths with today’s most influential Pagans, occultists, and deep thinkers. I am your bewitching bald headed host Chris Orapello and tonight, we meet with past guest Byron Ballard to elaborate on some of the things she brought up during our last discussion with her back in episode #50, specifically her workshop Willful Bane: The Joy of Hex. Byron and I are joined for the first time by my girlfriend Tara as we explore the issues surrounding the magickal and ethical practice of hexing as well as learn about the usefulness of marshmallows. This conversation is definitely a good time with some thought provoking content and a few laughs along the way.Read the rest

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Flash Wisdom on Authority

[From the new disinformation® book by Russ Kick, Flash Wisdom: A Curated Collection of Mind-Blowing, Perspective-Changing Quotes]

Government, the legal system, school, organized religions, the media, corporations, various economic concerns . . . there are a number of powerful, pervasive institutions that want to control you. It’s either their overt purpose or a by-product of their very existence. In order to not disintegrate, they must have at least a piece of you, if not all of you, for at least part of your life, if not all of it. They might not have been created for nefarious purposes, but this is nonetheless the effect they often have. They flatten and deaden. They exploit and punish. They’re never happy with the amount of power they have; they always seek to expand the breadth of their reach and the strength of their grip. This has not gone unnoticed by many of the finest and bravest minds throughout history.… Read the rest

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“Raping the Gods” Examines the Question: Is Sex Addiction Real?

71dlVRUUuSL._SL1315_Although author Brian Whitney is, without a doubt, a sex addict, he doesn’t like the term.

“I hate it when people call me an addict. Some people think sex addiction doesn’t exist, that it is just a made-up term to excuse bad behavior. Another group thinks that a sex addict is a crazy, out-of-control freak who thinks of nothing but getting laid every second of every day. Then there is a third group that thinks it sounds fun: ‘What are you complaining about, man? You get laid all the time and you think it’s a problem?’”

“I could tell a lot of stories about what I was doing, but I’d rather just say I was really fucked up. My major issue was infidelity. I was often involved in three or four different relationships at once. I got an enormous rush from having multiple sexual partners and lying to all of them.… Read the rest

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