Author Archive | majestic

The Dopest Blunts Ever

In interesting find over at Digg, where they profile the maker of some extraordinarily complicated blunts:

Here is a man with too much time and marijuana on his hands. Instagram user Valleyrec420, a self-described California Prop 215 patient, is spending his days rolling the most incredible blunts we’ve ever seen. Err… not that we’ve seen a ton of blunts. We’re not experts. Who’s asking? Are you a cop? You have to tell us if you’re a cop.

Instagram / valleyrec420

Instagram / valleyrec420

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‘Inception’ Is Possible—At Least In Sleeping Mice

A man in a suit with a gun in his right hand is flanked by five other individuals in the middle of a street which, behind them, is folded upwards. Leonardo DiCaprio's name and those of other cast members are shown above the words "Your Mind Is the Scene of the Crime". The title of the film "INCEPTION", film credits, and theatrical and IMAX release dates are shown at the bottom.If you liked the movie Inception and are interested in the science of dreaming, you’ll be interested to learn that scientists are now able to influence the dreams of mice (humans coming soon no doubt). From Quartz:

Scientists have been poking around in mice brains a lot recently. They’ve found that they have dreams, and that those dreams can be manipulated.

Research (paywall) by scientists at the Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution in Paris has shown that scientists can influence mouse dreams, in a way reminiscent of the 2010 science fiction movie Inception. Researchers placed electrodes into a part of the mouse brain called the hippocampus, which contains cells that send electrical signals in specific places (hence their name, place cells). After monitoring mice in a specific arena, scientists were able to locate specific cells that fired in specific locations.

As the mice were sleeping, the electrodes illustrated that place cells in mice were still firing, as they dreamed about particular places.

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Amazon Debuts Philip K. Dick’s ‘The Man in the High Castle’ Series by Ridley Scott

Hey Dick-Heads, are you excited for the The Man in the High Castle? Amazon Studios has released a new teaser in advance of the debut of the first two series episodes at San Diego Comic Con on July 10th (if you can’t get to San Diego, EW is going to stream the event live):

Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel, and executive produced by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), The Man in the High Castle explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States. Starring Rufus Sewell (John Adams), Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars) and Alexa Davalos (Mob City), the series results from the Amazon Studios one hour pilot, which you can access here if you subscribe to Amazon Prime.

Dick set The Man in the High Castle in 1962, fifteen years after the end of a fictional longer Second World War (1939–47).… Read the rest

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Shocking Documents Reveal Fracking Health Complaints Swept Under the Rug in Pennsylvania

Anti-frackers may be celebrating in New York State, where the ban on hydraulic fracturing was made permanent this week, but in Pennsylvania it’s a very different story. EcoWatch reports that a ream of official state documents show a pattern of sweeping health complaints under the rug:

Heavily-fracked Pennsylvania is a battle ground in the fight to protect affected families from the harms of the toxic drilling method. Last week after months of resisting our efforts, the state finally delivered more than 100 pages of documents to Food & Water Watch that were requested through a public Right-to-Know request. And what we received was shocking. The documents clearly demonstrate an ongoing pattern of alarming negligence and incompetence by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) in responding to scores of fracking-related health complaints from state residents.

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Food & Water Watch requested, through a public Right-to-Know request, documents that clearly demonstrate an ongoing pattern of alarming negligence and incompetence by the Pennsylvania Dept.
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The Rewriting of David Foster Wallace

For fans of David Foster Wallace’s writing (Infinite Jest being the main event), the current focus on the man himself rather than his (admittedly challenging) literary legacy is more than a little disturbing, as recounted by Christian Lorentzen at Vulture:

Nobody owns David Foster Wallace anymore. In the seven years since his suicide, he’s slipped out of the hands of those who knew him, and those who read him in his lifetime, and into the cultural maelstrom, which has flattened him. He has become a character, an icon, and in some circles a saint. A writer who courted contradiction and paradox, who could come on as a curmudgeon and a scold, who emerged from an avant-garde tradition and never retreated into conventional realism, he has been reduced to a wisdom-dispensing sage on the one hand and shorthand for the Writer As Tortured Soul on the other.

David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace.

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“The poor, the young, the black and the stupid”: Inside Big Tobacco’s plans to kill a billion people

Read this quickly because it’ll go behind Pando‘s paywall before you can say “big tobacco”:

“The world’s most widespread, serious infection is purposely spread by its vector: the tobacco industry. Rather than a tiny insect, this vector has economic resources rivaling those of many of the world’s largest governments. Its spread is mapped out in mahogany-lined boardrooms; it breeds its resistance to countermeasures in political backrooms; and it seizes its victims in adolescent bedrooms.” —Eric LeGresley, World Health Organization

The Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (LTDL) at the University of California, San Francisco is a digital House of Corporate Horrors; an open black box offering the public access to nearly 15 million searchable documents — over 88 million pages in total — direct from the private vaults of the Big Tobacco companies.

These documents offer an unvarnished view into the deadliest and most outrageous business conspiracy in history. Tens of millions of people dead, for tens of billions in Big Tobacco profits.

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It’s Asteroid Day!

Did you know there’s an official Asteroid Day? Well there is and it’s today, June 30th. Another thing you may not have known: one of the people behind it is Brian May from the band Queen, more accurately entitled Dr. Brian May as he has a PhD in Astrophysics. The official video – a version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” – and blurb appear below:

Asteroid Day is a global awareness movement where people from around the world come together to learn about asteroids and what we can do to protect our planet, our families, communities, and future generations. Asteroid Day will be held on the anniversary of the 1908 Siberian Tunguska event, the largest asteroid impact on Earth in recent history. You can now sign the 100x Declaration yourself, right here.

The Asteroid Day 100x Declaration was signed by astronauts, scientists, nobel laureates, technologists and artists  – click here to view it – will you join them?… Read the rest

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Jewish global population approaches pre-Holocaust levels

It’s now estimated that there are 16.5 million wholly or partially Jewish people in the world, the same number as before the second world war and, of course, the Holocaust. From the Guardian:

The world’s Jewish population has grown to be nearly as large as it was before the Holocaust, an Israeli thinktank said in its annual report.

Credit: Akalati (CC)

Credit: Akalati (CC)

The Jewish People Policy Institute said there are currently 14.2 million Jews in the world. When factoring in individuals with one Jewish parent and others who identify as partially Jewish, the figure approaches 16.5 million — the Jewish population on the eve of the second world war. The Nazis and their collaborators killed about 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.

The report said the rise has been due in part to natural growth, mainly in Israel, which has about 6.1 million Jews and one of the western world’s highest fertility rates.

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This Is How Fast America Changes Its Mind

The new, improved Bloomberg Business has some cool motion graphics illustrating the incredible speed at which America changes its mind on things like gay marriage and interracial marriage:

Eleven years after Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry, the Supreme Court has now extended that right nationwide. The decision came after a wave of gay marriage legalization: 28 states from 2013 to 2015, with 36 overall prior to the Court’s ruling. Such widespread acceptance in a short amount of time isn’t a phenomenon unique to gay marriage. Social change in the U.S. appears to follow a pattern: A few pioneer states get out front before the others, and then a key event—often a court decision or a grassroots campaign reaching maturity—triggers a rush of state activity that ultimately leads to a change in federal law.

We looked at six big issues—interracial marriage, prohibition, women’s suffrage, abortion, same-sex marriage, and recreational marijuana — to show how this has happened in the past, and may again in the very near future.

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Ultimate Outsider Art: Prisoner Paintings

The eerily compelling tale of the escaped convict manhunt in Upstate New York may be over, but the revelation that Richard Matt used his paintings as currency to help facilitate his escape prompts the New York Times to focus on what may be the ultimate outsider art: prisoner paintings:

The news that Richard W. Matt, the convicted murderer who was killed by the police on Friday after a weekslong manhunt, spent most of his time behind bars painting technically skilled portraits of Julia Roberts, President Obama and fellow inmates’ relatives, and bartering them for preferential treatment, has come as a surprise to many.

Marilyn Monroe by Richard W. Matt. Photo: Heavymetal.com

Marilyn Monroe by Richard W. Matt. Photo: Heavymetal.com

But to those who have spent years teaching art in prisons or making it themselves as inmates, such a trade is a deeply ingrained ritual of incarcerated life. It is practiced informally or as part of established programs by a wide range of prisoners, many of them, like Mr.

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