1000-year-old Remedy Kills MRSA Superbug

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This article was sent to us by a reader. He asks, “How did ancient people have this knowledge?”

A medieval remedy of leeks, garlic, wine, and the bile of a cow’s stomach was used as an “eyesalve” circa the 10th Century. Scientists have recently discovered, much to everyone’s surprise, that this salve is also effective against antibiotic-resistant MRSA.

via New Scientist:

Sourcing authentic ingredients was a major challenge, says Harrison. They had to hope for the best with the leeks and garlic because modern crop varieties are likely to be quite different to ancient ones – even those branded as heritage. For the wine they used an organic vintage from a historic English vineyard.

As “brass vessels” would be hard to sterilise – and expensive – they used glass bottles with squares of brass sheet immersed in the mixture. Bullocks gall was easy, though, as cow’s bile salts are sold as a supplement for people who have had their gall bladders removed.

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Minecraft Swatting Arrest: 13-Year-Old Teen Busted

Somehow you know that the current swatting craze is going to end with a tabloid tragedy. New Media Rockstars reports on the Minecraft swatter who’s making headlines (and on his way to juvenile court):

A 13-year-old Camarillo, Calif. teen has been arrested for swatting at least three different people, including a Minecraft rival.

SWAT Team Members Will Roll

According to Kotaku, “The boy made two of the calls to nearby addresses, one for his teacher, another targeted at a ‘female classmate.’ The third call, however, was to New Jersey, aimed at what Ars Technica reports was a ‘rival Minecraft gamer’.”

Police were allegedly already investigating the boy for one of the instances in which he used his computer to anonymously call in a “domestic terrorism” complaint to the police department at the home of one of his enemies. Because of the threat for real violence, the SWAT team (hence the term “Swatting”) must respond to these sorts of calls, even though, by now this “prank” is known, cliché, and tired…

[continues at New Media Rockstars]

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David and Goliath: What do we do about surveillance?

Jonathan McIntosh (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Jonathan McIntosh (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Douglas Heaven via New Scientist:

“DEAR subscriber, you have been registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.” This text was sent by the Ukrainian government last year to everyone with a cellphone known to have been near a protest in the capital, Kiev.

Just what you’d expect from an ex-Soviet country? Not so fast. In the US and Europe, police are also seeking information on phones linked to specific places and times – and always without a warrant. We’re all spied on. Our phones are bugged, our laptops inveterate informants. Reports on activities that define you – where you go, who you meet, what you buy – are sold to the highest bidder. But do we notice? And do we care?

Bruce Schneier does his best to make us do both. But it’s tough: as it fades into the background, surveillance gets easier to ignore.

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Mastering the Mind and Body Through Meditation, Jiu-Jitsu and Ayahuasca with Nicolas Gregoriades| the midwest real podcast

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Nic Gregoriades is a world-traveling, ayahuasca-drinking, elite Jiu-Jitsu black belt. He’s founder of the Jiu-Jitsu Brotherhood and co-host of The Journey Podcast.

Via Midwest Real

“Life is not a problem to be solved, it is a mystery to be lived” – Osho 

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What a mind-blasting reminder that is, “life is not a problem.” So many of our personal shortcomings, issues and anxieties stem from just such a mindset- living life as if it’s a series of problems to be solved. Over the centuries, we’ve questioned and tinkered with what life is and what it “means” so much that we’ve condemned ourselves to a poisonous abyss of paradigms, expectations and momentum.

Overcoming that conditioning isn’t about running off into the woods and becoming a Luddite. We can’t just climb out of the proverbial pandora’s box of knowledge, stimulation, passion and competition we’re immersed in. But, there’s a beautifully simple escape sitting right behind the eyeballs you’re using to stare at this screen.… Read the rest

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Magical Beginnings at FaerieCon East 2014

Down at the Crossroads – Podcast Episode #055

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Ivo Dominguez Jr., Byron Ballard, Chris Orapello, and Michael Smith

Ivo Dominguez Jr., Byron Ballard, Chris Orapello, and Michael Smith

Hello 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 with the most Chris Orapello and tonight we return to the land of the fae for a panel I moderated that pertained to magical beginnings. This was my first time moderating a panel and I look forward to moderating future panels at FaerieCon. This particular panel featured past guest Byron Ballard as well as Ivo Dominguez Jr. and Michael Smith both being of The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel who is the same organization that put on the recent Sacred Spaces / Between the Worlds Convention that we’ve been talking about on this show recently.Read the rest

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How Scientology Controls John Travolta and Tom Cruise

According to ‘Going Clear’, that is. From the Washington Post (which annoyingly refers to Scientology as a church as opposed to a nutty Sci-Fi cult):

HBO hired 160 lawyers when the network decided to air “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” the two-hour documentary based on Lawrence Wright’s book. This makes sense when you watch the film, directed by Alex Gibney, which aired Sunday night. Ex-Church of Scientology members and officials reveal secrets of the organization, and tell horror stories of psychological and physical abuse during their time in the controversial religion — and after they escaped. (For the record, the church unleashed a series of attack ads against the film and says that it’s “bigoted propaganda” and ” built on falsehoods invented by admitted liars.”)

One particularly fascinating subject that the documentary tackles is the relationship between celebrities and the church, which has been well-documented particularly with two of its most famous members: John Travolta and Tom Cruise.
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Study debunks common misconception that urine is sterile

epSos .de (CC BY 2.0)

epSos .de (CC BY 2.0)

via EurekAlert:

Bacteria have been discovered in the bladders of healthy women, discrediting the common belief that normal urine is sterile. This finding and its implications were addressed in an editorial published by researchers from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) in the latest issue of European Urology.

“Clinicians previously equated the presence of bacteria in urine to infections. The discovery of bacteria in the urine of healthy females provides an opportunity to advance our understanding of bladder health and disease,” said Alan Wolfe, PhD, lead author and professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, SSOM. “Physicians and researchers must reassess their assumptions surrounding the cause of lower urinary tract disorders and consider new approaches to prevent and treat these debilitating health issues.”

Stritch researchers evaluated urine specimens collected directly from the bladder through an aspiration or a catheter to avoid contamination.

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TPP vs. Democracy: Leaked Draft of Secretive Trade Deal Spells Out Plan for Corporate Power Grab

"With the veil of secrecy ripped back, finally everyone can see for themselves that the TPP would give multinational corporations extraordinary new powers that undermine our sovereignty," said Lori Wallach of Public Citizen. (Photo courtesy of Wikileaks)

“With the veil of secrecy ripped back, finally everyone can see for themselves that the TPP would give multinational corporations extraordinary new powers that undermine our sovereignty,” said Lori Wallach of Public Citizen. (Photo courtesy of Wikileaks)

This post was originally published on Common Dreams.

Newly leaked classified documents show that the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, if it goes through as written, will dramatically expand the power of corporations to use closed-door tribunals to challenge—and supersede—domestic laws, including environmental, labor, and public health, and other protections.

The tribunals, made infamous under NAFTA, were exposed in the “Investment Chapter” from the TPP negotiations, which was released to the public by WikiLeaks on Wednesday.

“The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states,” said Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor. “This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies.”

Responding to the leak, Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, declared: “With the veil of secrecy ripped back, finally everyone can see for themselves that the TPP would give multinational corporations extraordinary new powers that undermine our sovereignty, expose U.S.

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‘Exploding Head Syndrome’ More Common in Young People

Geert König (CC BY 2.0)

Geert König (CC BY 2.0)

via EurekAlert:

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University researchers have found that an unexpectedly high percentage of young people experience “exploding head syndrome,” a psychological phenomenon in which they are awakened by abrupt loud noises, even the sensation of an explosion in their head. Brian Sharpless, a Washington State University assistant professor and director of the university psychology clinic, found that nearly one in five — 18 percent — of college students interviewed said they had experienced it at least once. It was so bad for some that it significantly impacted their lives, he said. “Unfortunately for this minority of individuals, no well-articulated or empirically supported treatments are available, and very few clinicians or researchers assess for it,” he said.

The study also found that more than one-third of those who had exploding head syndrome also experienced isolated sleep paralysis, a frightening experience in which one cannot move or speak when waking up.… Read the rest

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