“The Cult of Nick podcast” has been going for a few years now. It launched on Disinfo, in 2012. Back then it contained work taken from my archive. For a few years in the UK, I was fortunate enough to be paid to present a national radio show on the sort of topics that fascinate me: occultism, UFOs, ghosts, bigfoot, conspiracy theories. The show was called “The Night Before” and ran on a UK station called “Kerrang Radio“. We made the international news after interviewing Edgar Mitchell, he announced UFOs were real and governments were covering it up. The interview itself is not my finest hour, his announcement came at the end of an hour long session where we mainly discussed him going to the moon. I keep shouting “wow, that’s amazing”. It’s my attempt to throttle the mainstream audience and remind them that this is a high caliber witness telling us all something incredible.… Read the rest
Might parenting be one of the reasons so many people grow up to be obedient worker/consumer/sheeple? Rebecca English writes at the Conversation.
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Many parents are moving towards “gentle parenting”, where they choose not to use rewards (sticker charts, lollies, chocolates, TV time as “bribes”) and punishments (taking away “privileges”, time-out, smacking) to encourage good behaviour, but encourage good behaviour for the sake of doing the right thing.
Gentle parents argue that to offer rewards and punishments overrides a child’s natural inclination towards appropriate behaviour by teaching them to behave in certain ways purely to receive a reward, or to avoid punishment.
What is discipline?
For most people it would seem impossible to discipline without rewards and punishments. However, it depends on your understanding of “discipline”.
Full story: http://bit.ly/1ECvZr7
When the tsunami of 2004 devastated the Nicobar islands, inappropriate aid poured in, and social ecologist Simron Jit Singh witnessed a cultural meltdown.
Sumitra via Oddity Central:
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In a bid to achieve a tiny waist, 25-year-old Aleira Avendano has been wearing a tight corset 23 hours a day, for the past six years. The result? She literally looks like an hourglass, with 34DD breasts, an enlarged derriere, and a shockingly slim 20-inch waist.
Aleira said that she began ‘waist’ training as a teenager. Her skinny core now attracts attention wherever she goes. “People stop what they’re doing and stare – everywhere I go I get attention,” she said. “People shout at me in the street – they can’t believe that figure is real.”
She does admit that wearing a corset was uncomfortable at first and it took her some time to get used to. But over time she got so used to it that her skin would start to itch when she took it off. And she says that she actually loves wearing it now.
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Bioprospecting – the search for new drugs and commercial products from the natural world – is big business, and has recently turned towards the search for new antibiotics. The collaboration at the University of Nottingham between a microbiologist and an Anglo-Saxon scholar may show the way for a new kind of bioprospecting, one that looks to the past, rather than the present, for future therapies and cures.
Antibiotics: hidden cures
I’ve already posted my historical hints for discovering a new antibiotic, but perhaps we’d have developed one sooner if twentieth century historians paid more attention to past publications. From the 1870s onwards a series of scientists noted that Penicillium fungus seemed to inhibit the growth of bacteria, and in 1875 John Tyndall presented evidence to the Royal Society that the Penicilliumfungus had an antibacterial action.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday granted clemency to 22 individuals serving “outdated” drug sentences.
“Had they been sentenced under current laws and policies, many of these individuals would have already served their time and paid their debt to society,” White House counsel Neil Eggleston said in a statement. “Because many were convicted under an outdated sentencing regime, they served years—in some cases more than a decade—longer than individuals convicted today of the same crime.”
The detainees were each imprisoned for intent to distribute an illegal drug. Eight of the individuals carried lifetime sentences.
AJ+ (a recently launched digital-only news network from Al Jazeera) has just released this short on Scientology. AJ+’s Francesca Fiorentini visited the Church of Scientology in San Francisco for her very first dip into the religion, or, as some would call it, cult. In Scientology, “going clear” means reaching a state of happiness and freedom. To get there, you’ve got to go through “audits.” Years of them.
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It easy to lampoon education reforms in Finland that aim to scrap the teaching of traditional subjects in favour of broader topics. The new initiative could see history, geography and languages replaced for periods by interdisciplinary “phenomenon-based” projects on topics such as the European Union. Instead of sitting in rows learning facts about the world, pupils can rush around corridors or the web and collect information in a spirit of “joyful learning”.
Ridicule was my immediate response but what is happening has serious and sad consequences. It will ultimately waste not only children’s time, but their education.
The reasons given in Finland for the reforms are a familiar: this set of initiatives is necessary to meet the challenges of working life in “modern society”. What it means is that education is no longer valued for its own sake but is seen as having instrumental value for the economy.… Read the rest
“I must reorganize the environment of man by which then greater numbers of men can prosper” – Buckminster Fuller as told to Studs Terkel during interviews recorded in 1965 and 1970
The Experimenters, from the creators of Blank on Blank: Icons of science, innovation and technology on what spurred their creativity.
If you’ve seen the powerful disinformation documentary Unacceptable Levels you know that the amount of toxic chemicals in everyday household products is literally out of control. A proposed new law would make things even worse: The Udall-Vitter TSCA bill (S.697) now in Congress aims to block state actions while delaying federal reviews up to 7 years with no deadline for restricting even the most dangerous chemicals. Here’s the statement from the coalition opposing the bill:
Today, advocates from more than 50 environmental justice, health, sustainable business and community organizations delivered a letter to the United States Senate in opposition to S. 697, which could block states from taking new actions to protect consumers and communities from exposure to toxic chemicals.
Advocates noted that the proposed bill would actually be worse than current law and would fail to create effective reform of the nation’s toxic chemical safety program. The law would only require the U.S.… Read the rest