Your Fingerprint Is All Someone Needs to Know You Used Cocaine

“We can distinguish between cocaine having been touched,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Melanie Bailey, told Motherboard, “and cocaine having been ingested.”

Graham Templeton via Motherboard:

Call it a line detector—law enforcement agencies may soon have a way to test for cocaine use through a quick, non-invasive fingerprinting technology.

Rather than looking for trace amounts of cocaine itself, a new test developed by a team of researchers led by the University of Surrey looks for the products of cocaine metabolism. When the body breaks down cocaine, it produces benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine which are detectable in blood, urine—and even the sweat.

“We can distinguish between cocaine having been touched,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Melanie Bailey, told Motherboard, “and cocaine having been ingested.” This prevents false positives, which are very possible in a society where a majority of bank notes and some other common objects hold detectable amounts of cocaine and other illicit substances.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

“The White People,” by Arthur Machen

“Sorcery and sanctity,” said Ambrose, “these are the only realities. Each is an ecstasy, a withdrawal from common life…” [Etext]


If you’re a fan of H.P. Lovecraft but have never heard of Arthur Machen, then you’re in for a treat. A Welsh author, actor, and practicing member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Machen’s weird fiction was a major influence upon Lovecraft, who pays homage to him by name in The Call of Cthulhu. Lovecraft, in fact, regarded him as “a Titan—perhaps the greatest living author.” “There is in Machen,” he wrote, “an ecstasy of fear that all other living men are too obtuse or timid to capture, and that even Poe failed to envisage in all its starkest abnormality.” 

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Stealth Corporate Takeover of the Supreme Court

Let’s face it, 21st century America is run for the benefit of corporations, so a corporate takeover of the Supreme Court shouldn’t be surprising. The New Republic argues it has already happened:

In August 1971, a prominent corporate lawyer from Richmond, Virginia, named Lewis F. Powell Jr. authored a “Confidential Memorandum” to the United States Chamber of Commerce. Powell observed that “with an activist-minded Supreme Court, the judiciary may be the most important instrument for social, economic, and political change.” He urged the Chamber to replicate game-changing litigation victories by “[l]abor unions, civil rights groups,” and “public interest law firms,” which often came “at business’s expense.” Six years later, with Powell himself having been appointed to the Supreme Court by President Richard Nixon, the Chamber created a “voice of business in the courts,” the National Chamber Litigation Center.


Over the past month, the Supreme Court heard three cases that show how radically Powell’s strategy has tilted the law business’s way—more so than he could have imagined, or even favored.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Skunk Weed Can Cause ‘Significant Brain Damage’

If you’re partial to smoking skunk, just be aware that it’s strength could be your weakness (if you believe this study by Kings College London:

Cannabis is the most widely used drug in the world, but its effect on mental health has only recently been uncovered.


Research led by Professors Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi demonstrated that the earlier people start using cannabis, the more likely they are to have symptoms of psychosis as a young adult. A study of 1,000 men and women in New Zealand showed that people who had been regular cannabis users at 15 were about four times more likely to have psychotic symptoms by the time they were 26 than their abstaining peers. The research also identified genetic variations that made people more vulnerable to the harmful effects of cannabis.

Further work led by Dr Marta Di Forti showed that people who smoke a potent form of cannabis (skunk) regularly are much more likely to develop psychosis than those who use traditional cannabis resin (hash) or old-fashioned grass.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Girl Factory: Marianne Faithfull, Brazier’s Park, the Bodily Education of Young Girls


A brief alternate history of rock ‘n’ roll star Marianne Faithfull illustrates the implicate order of popular culture, intelligence operations, and politics. An important member of the English Braziers Park community (whose close relationship to the Fabian Society and Tavistock I recently mapped) was Glynn Faithfull, who met Glaister through the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry. Faithfull worked for MI6 during World War II and interrogated Heinrich Himmler after Himmler surrendered to the US government. Faithfull’s daughter, born the following year, was the singer and actress Marianne Faithfull. Faithfull moved to Braziers Park the year it began, in 1950, when she was four, and lived there until she was seven. In her first memoir (Marianne: An Autobiography), she describes recurring nightmares of “frightening entities” who were “just like my father,” strange men with moustaches who would tickle her and pour hot tea over her. “Every year” she writes, “we took deprived children on an annual camping holiday to the New Forest”—there to participate in “quasi-mystical” rituals.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Who Will Be the Gods of Mars?

Source: Hideyoshi

Source: Hideyoshi

Via Gods & Radicals:

As of yet, in that weird and glittering quantum realm of possibility, there is an entire society waiting to be born. Somewhere in the not-too-distant future the settlers of Mars will have their own slang, their own accent, their own manner of dress. It’s simply a manner differentiation: Put a group of people on an island, give them 40 years, and they will spawn a unique culture. We see the same instinct in groups of children in high school; just imagine what we’ll do with a planet. We will refer to ideas as “being so Martian” or certain words or phrases as “sounding Martian.” Who will these people be? What will a Martian accent sound like? Will they wear their hair a certain way? Will certain jokes, phrases or symbols be uniquely their own? What will be the hallmarks of “Martian cuisine?” All these questions will be answered, all these things will manifest.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Assault on New and Alternative Media


“Typing computer screen reflection” by Almonroth

-Eric Scott Pickard is a poet, artist, activist, and journalist. He is a co-founder of Free Radical Media, a host of the Free Radical Media Podcast, and a journalist with The Fifth Column News.

The Internet has been often likened to the printing press; a new technology that revolutionized communication and the freedom of information. But like the printing press, the Internet has also been the target of restrictions by those in the halls of power, who see freedom of information as a threat to their positions of privilege.

Why is this, exactly? What could possibly be the harm in having an informed populace? The danger, of course, is that people can find out what the agendas of their leaders are – and they, throughout history, have very seldom been aligned with the interests of those who are ostensibly lead.

In recent years there have been many attempts to restrict a free and open internet.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Quantified Stoner

For the stoners out there, are you also compulsive personal quantifiers? Motherboard reports on the convergence of potheads and personal tracking technologies:

For certain types of aging technology workers, especially in the Pacific Northwest, two favorite hobbies have reached a strange convergence: self-tracking and getting stoned.

Downtown Portland, OR> Photo: Cacophony (CC)

Downtown Portland, OR> Photo: Cacophony (CC)


Quantified stoners wear FitBit and Jawbone wristbands to track their daily activity, log their runs and bike rides on apps like Strava and RunKeeper, graph their moods, keep spreadsheets documenting their sex lives, and now optimize their buzzes with high grade weed and a range of data-enriched gadgets to go with it.

“She’s mad because her husband said he likes to go out to walk the dog with his one hitter and boost his step count,” Jenn, another mother I know from around our Northeast Portland neighborhood, told me recently during a quick gossip session. (Names and identifying details have been changed at the request of the seemingly respectable adults quoted.) The husband in question is not atypical

On July, 1, it was officially legal to get high in Oregon, and on October 1, recreational retail marijuana sales became legal.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Why the Darknet Matters

Adam Evans (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Adam Evans (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Submitted to us via the Contact Page.

By Luther Blissett of Desultory Heroics and Fernando Villalovs of Arkesoul

In February 2015 Ross Ulbricht was convicted of money laundering, computer hacking and conspiracy to traffic narcotics for his role (either with or as Dread Pirate Roberts) in creating and administrating the darknet market Silk Road. For this, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest sentenced Ulbricht to life in prison without possibility for parole. Why was Ulbricht treated more severely than most murderers and child molesters (not to mention wall street and state criminals who do far more societal harm than all others combined)? The only logical explanation is that they needed to make an example out of him not just for his actions but for what he represented. The draconian sentence sends a message that the government is doubling down on its destructive and wasteful war on drugs and is clearly threatened by agorists (ie.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Scientists spot jets from supermassive black hole snacking on a star

This artists impression shows a black hole consuming a star that has been torn apart by the black hole’s strong gravity. As a result of this massive “meal” the black hole begins to launch a powerful jet that we can detect with radio telescopes. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Swift

This artists impression shows a black hole consuming a star that has been torn apart by the black hole’s strong gravity. As a result of this massive “meal” the black hole begins to launch a powerful jet that we can detect with radio telescopes.
Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Swift

International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) via ScienceDaily:

Scientists have discovered a hungry black hole swallowing a star at the centre of a nearby galaxy.

The supermassive black hole was found to have faint jets of material shooting out from it and helps to confirm scientists’ theories about the nature of black holes.

The discovery was published in the journal Science.

Astrophysicist Dr Gemma Anderson, from the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), said a supermassive black hole swallowing a star is an extreme event in which the star gets ripped apart.

“It’s very unusual when a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy actually eats a star, we’ve probably only seen about 20 of them,” she said.

Read the rest
Continue Reading