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In the digital drug trade as in the physical one, taking out one kingpin only makes room for another ready to satisfy the market’s endless demand. In the case of the FBI’s takedown of the Silk Road, the latest of the up-and-coming drug kingpins is far more evolved than its predecessor—and far less principled.
Since it launched early this year, the anonymous black market bazaar Evolution has grown dramatically, nearly tripling its sales listings in just the last five months. It now offers more than 15,000 mostly illegal products ranging from weapons to weed, cocaine, and heroin. That’s thousands more than the Silk Road ever hosted. And Evolution’s popularity has been driven not only by a more secure and professional operation than its competitors, but also by a more amoral approach to the cryptomarket than the strict libertarian ethos the Silk Road preached. Case in point: About 10 percent of Evolution’s products are stolen credit card numbers and credentials for hacked online accounts.
‘Welcome to – how do you say – “a hole in history itself.’
This book is about magic, and about Generation Hex, teenagers and young adults who practice it.’
- Jason Louv (from Generation Hex, Introduction)
From Binding the Occult:
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For those of you that weren’t around during it’s heyday it would be hard to understand. There was no proper term for it. I could say Hyper Culture, I could say Ultra Culture, there were a million different terms for what was going on. It was a movement. The internet was still fresh and new. It had been born from some chaotic cesspool and out from it came a storm of ideas and people who were steeped in all sorts of eclectic occult knowledge. One, especially a sixteen year old boy, could just bathe in. Here was a world where the only books I could easily find were by a witch named Silver Ravenwolf, and suddenly I am diving into ideas that until recently were completely obscure.
Daniel Genis’s essay for Deadspin about his ten years in prison may surprise some people. If any of you have contrary experiences, let us know in the comments:
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When I tell people that I recently finished serving a 10-year prison sentence for armed robbery, mostly in maximum-security facilities, I often feel a question lingering in the air. The moment I sense it, I try to respond to the awkward silence in some offhanded way, though it is hard to be blithe and whimsical when you’re telling people you were never raped in prison.
I can speak only for myself, but in my own time in the New York State system, I rarely saw or even heard about non-consensual sex between men. Perhaps I was just very lucky. Maybe I’d been incarcerated only in the “softer” corners of the penal system. Rape does happen, and all over any prison there are signs with a number to call to anonymously report it, which I always thought was less a matter of sodomy than of legal liability.
The benefits versus harm of vaccines is a hot topic at the moment, especially in Los Angeles where whooping cough is making a resurgence, allegedly due to wealthy parents withholding their children from vaccinations. That’s not to say that all vaccines are good or bad; consider the events in Colombia where a town has been plagued by a mystery illness that’s been squarely blamed on the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, reported via AFP/Yahoo News:
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El Carmen de Bolivar (Colombia) – A mystery illness is plaguing girls in this town in northern Colombia, and locals say a vaccine against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, or HPV, is to blame.
First their hands and feet feel cold. Then they go pale and cannot move. Some convulse and fall to the floor.
In El Carmen de Bolivar, near the port of Cartagena, dozens of teenagers have experienced similar symptoms.
[Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on Medium.com. It was republished with permission.]
Dear reader: This article ended up being longer than I set out to make it, and you, the average Medium reader, are notorious for not finishing articles. So I’ll make a deal with you, based on a tactic I stole from John Oliver. Finish this article, and at the end I’ll give you that which you most crave in your online existence: a GIF of a cute little hamster eating a miniature burrito! Mmmkay? As Oliver says, the GIF is “as magical and as uncomplicated as you think.”
They’re telling us that we’re living in a “golden age” of television. Game of Thrones! House of Cards! Army of Darkness! OK, so that last one wasn’t a TV show, but you get the idea. TV is now a place for serious people to talk about serious things and be taken seriously.… Read the rest
This comic originally appeared on The Guardian, it was republished with permission.
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This ASAPScience video explains the science behind lucid dreaming.
As a journalist, I became something of a body count expert. It started with the Vietnam War, where I soon learned to distrust the exaggerated counts of enemy dead made by our self-styled “intelligence” agencies.
That didn’t mean that people, alas, weren’t dying in droves, but not quite the people they were claiming to have killed, even if the sheer number was desensitizing and hard to relate to.
It’s still like that, what with the daily drone victims, collateral damage estimates and killings on battlefields and villages from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq.
Now we can add Nigeria to the countries in pain with massacres by the Boko Haram, and their own military goons, and, with the collapse of a mega church in Lagos that looked like the ‘planned demolition’ fall of Building 7, claiming the lives of 67 visiting South Africans and we still don’t know how many Nigerians. That House of God, known as a Synagogue Church, could not protect praying parishioners from the slaughter.… Read the rest
This was brought to my attention by a science loving Disinfonaut.
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Located 38 million light years away in the constellation Dorado, visible in the Southern Hemisphere, the intermediate galaxy NGC 1566 appears to have had a recent supernova. The event was discovered within the last week by researchers in Chile collecting data for the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASASSN).
The supernova candidate, dubbed ASASSN-14ha, cannot readily be seen with the average amateur telescope. To make up for that unfortunate fact, the folks at Slooh Community Observatory will be doing a live broadcast of observations from Pontificia Universidad Católica De Chile (PUC).
“Supernovae are the most violent events in the universe. And among the most useful, since their brightness can help pin down the distance to their parent galaxy,” Slooh astronomer Bob Berman stated in a press release.