The Real Cyborgs

This article by Arthur House in The Telegraph reads like a William Gibson cyberpunk novel, but it’s reality, here and now. He says “Forget wearable tech. The pioneers of our “post-human” future are implanting technology in to their bodies and brains. Should we stop them or join them?”:

Ian Burkhart concentrated hard. A thick cable protruded from the crown of his shaven head. A sleeve sprouting wires enveloped his right arm. The 23 – year-old had been paralysed from the neck down since a diving accident four years ago. But, in June this year, in a crowded room in the Wexner Medical Centre at Ohio State University, Burkhart’s hand spasmed into life.

At first it opened slowly and shakily, as though uncertain who its owner was. But when Burkhart engaged his wrist muscles, its upward movement was sudden and decisive. You could hear the joints – unused for years – cracking.

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A skeptical website of skeptics

inner life of a skeptic by Joana Coccarelli via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

inner life of a skeptic by Joana Coccarelli via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

http://www.skepticalaboutskeptics.org

Skeptical About Skeptics is dedicated to countering dogmatic, ill-informed attacks leveled by self-styled skeptics on pioneering scientific research, researchers, and their subjects.

Healthy skepticism is an important part of science, and indeed of common sense. But dogmatic skepticism uses skepticism as a weapon to defend an ideology or belief system, and inhibits the spirit of inquiry.

Most self-proclaimed skeptics are believers in a materialist worldview, and dismiss any evidence for phenomena that do not agree with their presumption that minds are nothing but brain activities confined to the insides of heads.

Members of militant skeptical organizations often think of themselves as defending science and reason against superstition and credulity.”

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The disturbing expansion of the military-industrial complex

By Jason ford via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By Jason ford via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

via PressTV:

How can we explain that in the 21st century we are still training millions of men and women in our armed forces and sending them to war?

There are more choices than war or peace, there are multi-optional choices and a civilian-based non-military diplomatic-political policy has more chance of succeeding in solving a violent conflict.

In war, the cost in civilian lives is incalculable, not to mention the many military personnel whose lives are destroyed. Then there is the cost to the environment and the cost to human potential as our scientists waste their lives planning and researching even more horrific weapons which increasingly, in modern war, kill more civilians than combatants.

For example, the United States and the United Kingdom committed genocide against the Iraqi people when, between 1990 and 2012, they killed 3.3 million people – including 750,000 children – through sanctions and wars.

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5am Film Series: Invocate, SKG, and Ectoplasm

These were submitted to the 5am film series by Lary Love Dolley, who stars in all three films.

SKG from JonGunnar on Vimeo.

Invocate from The Evil I on Vimeo.

An amateur gothic necromancer raises more than she bargains for in a desolate New Orleans cemetery.

Ectoplasm from The Evil I on Vimeo.

A medium reaches out to the spirit world and the spirit world reaches within her in this experimental short horror.
*Note that Ectoplasm is unique in that every word and song is in reverse, the actual spoken word part and songs may be found in the proper order at the website below.*

ectoplasmthemovie.webs.com/

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Vampire’s Kiss, Uncaged!

Vampires Kiss

This scary October post recalls a subject many of you likely find terrifying: the career of Nicolas Cage. Cage has done a lot of cash cow trash since he won the Oscar for Leaving Lost Vegas. That said, he’s also brought the wild edge to films like Bad Lieutenant, reminding me of the strange brilliance that illuminated his earliest roles.

One of my early Cage faves is the fang-toothed film Vampire’s Kiss, which is celebrating a 25th anniversary this year. Here’s an outrageous collection of crazy Cage scenes from the movie…

Stay Awake!

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel where I archive all of the videos I curate at Insomnia. Click here to check out more Cinema posts.

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Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger, and the Psychedelic Interstellar Future We Need

Maybe Logicvia Boing Boing:

In 1977, Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger predicted a utopian, space-faring, enlightened future. 37 years later, writes Jason Louv, it’s finally starting to show up.

In my second year of college, I bought a copy of Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger at a New Age bookstore in downtown Santa Cruz.

It had a naked space goddess on the cover, and threatened to reveal the “Final Secret of the Illuminati.” I read it in one sitting, and when I closed the book, I’d not only learned said group’s final secret, I felt like I was one of the inner circle.

I immediately loaned it out, and watched it circulate among about a dozen people before vanishing into the Santa Cruz synchronicity vortex. Everyone I talked to had about the same experience.

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Get a copy of Robert Anton Wilson: Maybe Logic today.

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50 Years of the Jetsons: Why The Show Still Matters

jetsons-title-slate-sm

via The Smithsonian:

Although it was on the air for only one season, The Jetsons remains our most popular point of reference when discussing the future.

It was over 50 years ago that the Jetson family first jetpacked their way into American homes. The show lasted just one season (24 episodes) after its debut on Sunday September 23, 1962, but today “The Jetsons” stands as the single most important piece of 20th century futurism. More episodes were later produced in the mid-1980s, but it’s that 24-episode first season that helped define the future for so many Americans today.

It’s easy for some people to dismiss “The Jetsons” as just a TV show, and a lowly cartoon at that. But this little show—for better and for worse—has had a profound impact on the way that Americans think and talk about the future. And it’s for this reason that, starting this Friday, I’ll begin to explore the world of “The Jetsons” one episode at a time.

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Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

"US Capitol, Washington, DC" by Jacqueline Poggi via Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

“US Capitol, Washington, DC” by Jacqueline Poggi via Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

via The Boston Globe:

THE VOTERS WHO put Barack Obama in office expected some big changes. From the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping to Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act, candidate Obama was a defender of civil liberties and privacy, promising a dramatically different approach from his predecessor.

But six years into his administration, the Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Guantanamo Bay remains open. The NSA has, if anything, become more aggressive in monitoring Americans. Drone strikes have escalated. Most recently it was reported that the same president who won a Nobel Prize in part for promoting nuclear disarmament is spending up to $1 trillion modernizing and revitalizing America’s nuclear weapons.

Why did the face in the Oval Office change but the policies remain the same? Critics tend to focus on Obama himself, a leader who perhaps has shifted with politics to take a harder line.

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Students Cower When Faced With ‘Wheel of Misfortune’

This science class seems kind of fun, unless you lose in the Wheel of Misfortune game! Reuters reports on a Washington state high school teacher’s controversial disciplinary method:

A Washington state high school teacher has been warned not to have students spin a disciplinary “Wheel of Misfortune” to assign punishments for misbehavior that included being pelted with rubber balls by fellow students, school officials said.

The Stevenson High School science teacher used the wheel to punish “low-level misconduct” instead of sending the students to lunch-time detention, Superintendent Dan Read wrote in a letter to parents on Thursday.

Results from a third-party investigation on Wednesday showed the teacher’s spinning punishment prop to be “inappropriate, but well-intentioned” and that the teacher did not “desire to embarrass, intimidate or harm any student,” Read said.

“Poor judgment by any teacher is concerning and we plan to work with the teacher on more positive and productive classroom management skills going forward,” he added…

[continues at Reuters]

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