Social media had all the appearance of a democratic revolution, hailed after the Arab Spring as the power of the people. But there’s now a growing army of government and corporate propagandists seeking to control and influence opinion. Has social media become a threat to democracy? Or is it still the voice of freedom? Lyse Doucet, Carl Miller, Steve Richards and Caspar Melville discuss.
What’s up with Iowa and their chickens?! Not too surprised about California.
To read a breakdown of each state with sources, go to estately.com.
Neil Gaiman pays tribute to Douglas Adams, immortal to many through his creation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, at the annual Douglas Adams Memorial lecture:
“I haven’t known many geniuses in my life. Some brilliantly smart people, but only a tiny handful would I class as geniuses. I would class Douglas, because he saw things differently, and he was capable of communicating the way he saw things, and once he explained things the way he saw them, it was almost impossible to see them the way you used to see them.”
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
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.”
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
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:
… Read the rest
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.
“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.
Via Graeme Wood at Pacific Standard:
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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 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.
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.”
If 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):
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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.