Author Archive | majestic

Silicon Valley Is Hooked On Nootropic Drugs

Noo-What? Nootropics are so-called “brain-enhancing” drugs. Kevin Noose tells Fusion his tales of sucking down some dubious supplements in Silicon Valley:

It’s 3 p.m., and I am crushing my e-mail inbox. At this time of day, I’m typically struggling to stave off the post-lunch slowdown by downing another cup of coffee or two. But today, message after message is flying off my fingertips effortlessly—work e-mail, personal e-mail, digital errands I’d been meaning to run for months. I’m in the zone, as they say, and for this burst of late afternoon productivity, I might have nootropics to thank.

rise

Nootropics—the name given to a broad class of so-called “cognitive-enhancing” drugs—are all the rage in Silicon Valley these days. Programmers like nootropics because they’re said to increase productivity and sharpen focus without the intensity or side effects of a prescription drug like Adderall or modafinil. Some users mix their own nootropics using big bins of powders, purchased off the Internet or in supplement stores.

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Heroin Deaths in US ‘Quadrupled from 2000 through 2013′

The CDC reports that deaths from heroin have quadrupled since 2000 and it’s way worse for males: the rate for men increased from 1.6 to 4.2 per 100,000 while the rate for women increased from 0.4 to 1.2 per 100,000. From MNT:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported that drug-poisoning deaths involving heroin almost quadrupled between 2000 and 2013 in the US.

Heroin aufkochen.JPG

Photo: Hendrike (CC)

 

The findings from the National Center for Heath Statistics (NCHS) report state that the age-adjusted rate of deaths involving heroin increased from 0.7 deaths per 100,000 to 2.7 per 100,000 during this period, with the majority of this rise occurring after 2010.

“This report provides the latest national statistics on drug overdose deaths involving heroin, highlighting the substantial increase in death rates and the populations most at risk,” the authors state.

Drug poisoning (overdosing) is the number one cause of injury-related death in the US.

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Freeway Rick Ross: Crack In The System

Remember Freeway Rick Ross? Well just in case your memory of that sordid tale of the CIA, crack cocaine, allegedly murdered investigative reporter Gary Webb and legendary Los Angeles drug dealer "Freeway" Rick Ross is hazy, there's a tremendous new film on Al-Jazeera America called Freeway: Crack In The System. It's well worth checking out even if you think you know all about Freeway Rick. Here's the synopsis:
The true story behind the crack scourge, featuring exclusive interviews with characters who lived it. Their stories reveal a crack in the system that  implicates the centers of power in our government, their mass incarceration policies and  militarization of police, the spread of gangs and guns, and the loss of entire generations to the war on drugs...
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Thor Steinar: Authoritarian Outfitters

Thor Steinar, German neo-Nazis’ favorite clothing brand, is expanding throughout Europe, reports Berlin-based Thomas Rogers for New Republic:

Around 2010, Pavel Klymenko started noticing a curious brand of clothing gaining popularity with Kiev’s upper-middle class. The hoodies and shirts weren’t especially fashionable. They were covered in garish Nordic imagery, like a wolf howling at the moon, and fit into the macho style favored by many Ukrainian men. But Klymenko, an activist who monitors the extreme right in European football, recognized the name often emblazoned on the clothes in Gothic letters: “Thor Steinar,” two words that, for the past decade, have been synonymous with Germany’s fascist fringe. “Previously it had been worn by Ukrainian neo-Nazis who want to show off,” he says. “Now it was becoming popular among wealthy people.”

(C) Thor Steinar

(C) Thor Steinar

Klymenko learned that Thor Steinar had just opened a Kiev store in Dream Town, an upscale mall co-owned by a flashy Jewish businessman.

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What Scares The New Atheists

“The vocal fervour of today’s missionary atheism conceals a panic that religion is not only refusing to decline – but in fact flourishing,” writes John Gray in a very #longread at the Guardian:

In 1929, the Thinker’s Library, a series established by the Rationalist Press Association to advance secular thinking and counter the influence of religion in Britain, published an English translation of the German biologist Ernst Haeckel’s 1899 book The Riddle of the Universe. Celebrated as “the German Darwin”, Haeckel was one of the most influential public intellectuals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century; The Riddle of the Universe sold half a million copies in Germany alone, and was translated into dozens of other languages. Hostile to Jewish and Christian traditions, Haeckel devised his own “religion of science” called Monism, which incorporated an anthropology that divided the human species into a hierarchy of racial groups. Though he died in 1919, before the Nazi Party had been founded, his ideas, and widespread influence in Germany, unquestionably helped to create an intellectual climate in which policies of racial slavery and genocide were able to claim a basis in science.

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Neil Gaiman Salutes Douglas Adams

Neil Gaiman pays tribute to Douglas Adams, immortal to many through his creation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, at the annual Douglas Adams Memorial lecture:

“I haven’t known many geniuses in my life. Some brilliantly smart people, but only a tiny handful would I class as geniuses. I would class Douglas, because he saw things differently, and he was capable of communicating the way he saw things, and once he explained things the way he saw them, it was almost impossible to see them the way you used to see them.”

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Matt Bowden: The Drug Lord With a Social Mission

Matt Bowden (sometimes known as Starboy, an “interdimensional traveler”) helped create one of the most viral outbreaks of new drugs in history. He might also have the antidote, according to Pacific Standard:

One fateful night in the year 2000—long before the world would begin paying serious attention to his ideas—Matt Bowden met Kristi Kennedy in an Auckland, New Zealand, strip club. He was a 29-year- old raver and sometime rock musician who wore big leather boots and stovepipe pants. She was a Penthouse Pet who was wearing nothing. For both of them, it was love at first sight.

Matt Bowden's Twitter icon (@MattBowdenNZ)

Matt Bowden’s Twitter icon (@MattBowdenNZ)

“It was one of those moments where time just stopped,” Kristi recalls. “I was dancing up on stage. This light shined down upon this man as he was walking into the room. He was looking at me with this big Cheshire grin and this bright green shirt and this blond ruffled hair.” Bowden was similarly smitten, and the two quickly became a couple.

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Scientists Reveal Average Penis Size

Sunday Surprise - Male Model GabeIf you think that the scientists who seriously studied average penis size were wasting their time on a frivolous pursuit, consider that our World Penis Size Map is one of the all time most popular posts on disinformation. Yahoo News/AFP reports on the size of the average man’s member (although global variations seem not to have been studied):

What is an “average” size for a penis?

The enduring question now has a scientific answer: 13.12 centimetres (5.16 inches) in length when erect, and 11.66 cm around, according to an analysis of more than 15,000 appendages around the world.

In a flaccid state, it found, the penis of the average Joe is all of 9.16 cm in length and has a girth of 9.31 cm.

The numbers should help “reassure the large majority of men that the size of their penis is in the normal range,” said British researchers who had assembled data from studies where participants had their member measured by a professional.

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#Spocking Living Long and Prospering

Relief for Canadians as the subversive act of “Spocking” $5 bank notes is declared legal by the Bank of Canada, per BBC News:

The Bank of Canada has said that it is not illegal to deface or mutilate banknotes.

The announcement was made after actor Leonard Nimoy’s death last week set off a craze of marking-up banknotes.

canada 5 dollar bill

The drawings make the country’s former Prime Minister, Wilfrid Laurier, look like Spock, Nimoy’s famous Star Trek character.

“#Spocking living long and prospering,” tweeted the Canadian Design Resource group.

“Boldly go ahead, doodlers: bank says ‘Spocking’ Laurier on Canadian $5 not illegal,” one tweet read.

Bank spokeswoman Josianne Menard did not encourage the practice, however.

“The Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes are inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride,” Menard told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in an email…

[continues at BBC News]

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Los Angeles Police Shoot Homeless Man On Skid Row (Video)

Yet again an American police department has needlessly killed one of its citizens, this time in Los Angeles. The following video is disturbing, but it’s important that it be seen and that the people whom the police serve demand a change in how policing is done:

Yahoo News/AFP describes the incident:

Los Angeles police fatally shot a man on Sunday in an incident that was caught on video and circulated widely online, with the department saying officers resorted to deadly force after the man had reached for one of their guns.

The graphic footage, which appeared on Facebook, shows a violent altercation between a man and several officers in LA’s “Skid Row,” an area near downtown where many homeless people live.

The video appears to show the man flailing at officers as they try to subdue him.

A voice yelling “Drop the gun!” can be heard before several shots ring out and several onlookers cry out in alarm.

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