China TV news confuses Fleshlight sex toy for rare edible mushroom

A classic mixup from 2012.

via the YouTube vid description:

I translated the video myself and added it in using FCP. It is as accurate as I can understand from it. Besides the obscure name of the villages, it is mostly accurate. Downloaded the video from Tudou.

Xi’an Up Close 《西安零距离》, an investigative journalism programme which airs on Xi’an TV, has become a national laughing stock after airing a report on June 17 on a “mystery mushroom” which was discovered by villagers in a rural part of the city.

via BoingBoing.

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HAARP Is Back

Last year HAARP (the US military’s controversial High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program in Alaska) shut down, but the Valdez Star reports that it’s back, just under new management:

Instead of falling to the dozer blade, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program has new life.

640px-HAARP20l

In mid-August, U.S. Air Force General Tom Masiello shook hands with UAF’s Brian Rogers and Bob McCoy, transferring the powerful upper-atmosphere research facility from the military to the university.

You may have heard of HAARP.

Nick Begich wrote a book about it. Jesse Ventura tried to bully his way past the Gakona gate during a TV episode of Conspiracy Theory. Muse recorded a live album, HAARP, at Wembley Stadium from a stage filled with antennas meant to resemble those standing on a gravel pad off the Tok Cutoff Road.

The science-fiction assertions of caribou walking backwards, human mind control and HAARP’s ability to change the weather have made researchers wince.

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Alchemy, Soma, and the Eschaton with Ananda Bosman – FRM Podcast

Also available via Itunes.

In this installment, cosmologist Ananda Bosman joins the Free Radical Media crew for a highly informative talk on Entheogens and the history of their use, alchemy, and the current state of humanity and the relationship between the human realm and our interdimensional brethren. Bosman is a prolific writer and public speaker on many topics, including shamanism, science, and cosmology. You can visit his website here.

You can follow and stay updated with Free Radical Media via:
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One of the United States’ Greatest Mysteries

It took them a while, but the BBC has finally discovered the Georgia Guidestones:

The drone of the man’s oak didgeridoo reverberated off the granite. “Not that I know when Doomsday is,” he said, parting his lips from the mouthpiece and pointing toward the 19ft tall thick, grey stones a few yards from us. “But whenever it hits, this is right where I’d want to be.”

guidestones

I met Anthony, a hitchhiker from North Carolina, at the site of the Georgia Guidestones, a mysterious six-piece granite monument atop a desolate hill in the small town of Elberton, Georgia. He had stopped at the site on his way to see the Coral Castle – another mysterious stone structure – in Homestead, Florida. I had stopped because I’m a sucker for roadside oddities.

“It’s no wonder this was chosen as the site for the guidestones. Elberton isn’t called the “Granite Capital of the World” for nothing,” Anthony said.

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How US gun control compares to the rest of the world

211/365: beware of 9mm.
The Charleston murders have renewed the sporadic debates over whether gun control might have prevented this latest of tragedies.

To quote President Obama the day after the shooting in the AME Church,

“At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. It is in our power to do something about it.”

So far, however, the US has not done “something about it.”

The National Rifle Association (NRA), it seems, has so much power over politicians that even when 90% of Americans (including a majority of NRA members) wanted universal background checks to be adopted following the Newtown killings of 2012, no federal action ensued. Certainly, it’s unlikely that any useful legislation will emerge in South Carolina.

The NRA stranglehold on appropriate anti-crime measures is only part of the problem, though.… Read the rest

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Where Feminism Left Me

Nelly
From 2011, David Ker Thomson writing at CounterPunch:

I’ve been with feminism for two decades.  Where does it leave me?

Friends, employers, family, and so on, seem to have gathered enough information about me to have decided, to their satisfaction, that I am of a certain race, class, age, and gender.  Am I not, after all, white, middle, middle, and male?

Of course at the literal level I put no stock in any of this.  I’m pale this time of year, but every August my pelt is the same color as that of the “leader” my friends have chosen to conduct the latest wars in the wrack of the dune planet Arakkis.  I suppose for comparison purposes we would both need to unveil our torsos at the same time (mine rich in vitamin D, his in history).

“Middle,” for its part, does not seem to describe my most significant relationship to bankers and the world of men, since at eighty-two years of age I will be past any sort of middle when I will have finished paying off the mortgage that I and my wifeif she is my wifehave contracted in whatever fit of nesting exuberance governed our actions at the point of contract. 

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California Prisoners’ Strike a Win Against Solitary Confinement

Inmate Javier Zubiate, formerly a lieutenant of the gang Nuestra Familia, is a convicted killer who served time in the Secure Housing Unit at California's Pelican Bay State Prison. (Image: via Inmate Aid)

Inmate Javier Zubiate, formerly a lieutenant of the gang Nuestra Familia, is a convicted killer who served time in the Secure Housing Unit at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison. (Image: via Inmate Aid)

Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan write at Common Dreams:

Thousands of prisoners will be moved out of solitary confinement in California, thanks to a landmark legal settlement announced this week. Grass-roots organizing can be tough, but when done by prisoners locked up in solitary confinement, some of them for decades, it is astounding. The settlement grew out of a federal class-action lawsuit alleging violations of the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

They call themselves the Pelican Bay SHU Short Corridor Collective. This group of men has been subjected to long-term solitary confinement, some for more than 20 years, in California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, located in the far northern corner of the state. From within their small, windowless cells, they began talking, organizing.

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A New Approach for Medical Cannabis

From the Indie Bohemians:

Randy Alexander has a very severe form of Cerebral palsy. Most people with Cerebral palsy as severe as his are usually unable to talk. Randy, however, can talk, and has done remarkable things with his life. He is now involved with Safe Access Tennessee, an organization dedicated to bringing Medical Cannabis to the state. Randy and Ron Placone discuss his life story, the benefits of Medical Cannabis, and the best ways of communicating those ideas especially to those that are more resistant.

Ron talks about how he is jealous of people that enjoy bright lights, Krish Mohan checks in with a FFON and Angie Dorin rocks a Monkey Minute.

If the player doesn’t work, go here.

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Mobile Phones May Increase Skin Cancer Risk

Anyone who’s seen the alarming documentary Mobilize knows that cell phones are associated with cancer risks – but skin cancer is a new one, per Reuters via Yahoo News, and it applies to all kinds of mobile devices including iPads and laptops:

Devices like tablets, smartphones and laptops can reflect ultraviolet light from the sun and may indirectly increase users’ exposure to the cancer-causing wavelengths, according to a new study.

Using mobile phones in Haiti after the earthquake

“These devices are generally used for communication or entertainment, so it can be easy to overlook their reflective properties unless you happen to catch the glare off a screen,” said Mary E. Logue of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, who coauthored the research with Dr. Barrett J. Zlotoff.

They wondered whether, like those old-fashioned tanning reflectors, personal electronics could also pose skin health risks, Logue told Reuters Health by email.

In a small observational study conducted on a grassy field in Albuquerque, the researchers set up a mannequin head wearing a UVA/B light meter and faced it toward a standard musician’s sheet stand.

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Goofy Internet Rumor Alert: Halloween Falls on Friday the 13th This Year

The repository of all that is brain-numbing — Facebook — is rife with one of the weirdest and dumbest rumors I have heard in many a moon. Halloween will fall on Friday the 13th for the first time in, yes, you guessed it, 666 years because Spookiness. And it’s not the first time that this brainfart of a prank has made the social media rounds.

Trigger Warning: Migraine Inducing Stupidity

Trigger Warning: Migraine Inducing Stupidity

Snopes unspools this nonsense:

Although we’re ordinarily loath to trample the life out of simple jokes by dissecting the basis of their humor, the number of “Is this true?” inquiries we’ve received about this particular item compels us to address it.

For those who are pondering whether it’s really been 666 years since Halloween last fell on a Friday the 13th, we would point out that themid-autumnal celebration we know as Halloween does not date back nearly that far (i.e., to the year 1348 or earlier).

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