Author Archive | majestic

The Shadow Over Lovecraft And His Alien Creations

Howard Phillips LovecraftWill there ever be a darker cult author than HP Lovecraft? The favorite sci-fi horror writer is profiled by Weird Things:

You probably know that H.P. Lovecraft was not known for his health, wealth, progressive views, or success in life. In fact, anything positive that happened to the man took place long after he’d been buried in obscurity. Today we know him as the creator of the sci-fi horror genre, a classic inspiration for ancient alien theories as we know them today, and yes, a virulent racist who had immense distaste for anyone who was not a white, male, wealthy Protestant with English roots, and drew on it to create alien monsters who ignored his protagonists at best, or would pray on them with a bizarre indifference. Society’s views have evolved since his lack of a heyday, and a lot of his creations found new lives in an entirely new genre.

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White supremacist convicted in plot to kill Obama with ‘death ray’ device

ObamaKKK death ray devices?!? Read on via the Guardian:

A New York white supremacist was convicted by a federal jury on Friday of plotting to use a remote-controlled radiation device he called “Hiroshima on a light switch” to harm Muslims and President Barack Obama.

After less than three hours of deliberation in US district court in Albany, New York, the jury unanimously found Glendon Scott Crawford guilty of all three charges against him.

Crawford, 51, wearing a gray suit and eyeglasses, showed no emotion as judge Gary Sharpe read the verdict.

He was convicted of use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to build and use a radiological dispersal device. He was also convicted of distributing information with respect to a weapon of mass destruction.

“Glendon Scott Crawford was a terrorist who attempted to acquire a weapon of mass destruction and to use it to kill innocent members of the Muslim community,” said Richard Hartunian, US attorney for the northern district of New York.

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Modafinil Is The First Smart Drug That Really Works

Scientists say it is time to have an ethical debate about whether Modafinil should be “condoned or condemned,” reports the Telegraph:

A ‘smart drug’ taken by one in four students at Oxford University really does boost brain power and colleges need to consider whether it should be banned, scientists have said.

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Modafinil is currently available on NHS as a treatment for narcolepsy but surveys have suggested that a fifth of university students use it to enhance performance for revising and exams after it was linked to improved cognition.

Oxford University and Harvard Medical School looked at 24 studies into modafainil and have concluded that it really does improve thinking skills, particularly in long complex tasks. It was also found to help with planning, decision making, flexibility, learning and memory, and creativity.

It is the first ‘smart drug’ found to actually work and it appears to have few side effects, say researchers.

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Taking (Recreational) Drugs Is A Human Right

It seems an impossibly progressive stance for a group of politicians to take, but in the UK some very high profile people are pushing for the use of drugs to be recognized as a human right. From the Independent:

Taking drugs is a human right, according to a cross-party group of MPs and peers who want to legalise the possession, purchase and growing of drugs.

Addiction, Gluttony - Day 149 of Project 365

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform want to use human rights legislation to decriminalise drug use, claiming the “blanket prohibition” drug policy approach has failed.

In a new report it suggests that Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which outlines rights to “private and family life”, could be used by defendants caught with illegal drugs.

It says drug laws needed to “reflect the supremacy of human rights conventions” and suggests that as long as drug taking does not harm others, it should not be a criminal offence.

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Nazi Gold Train Attracts Hordes Of Fortune Hunters To Poland

Ah, the mythical Nazi gold train – the stuff of legend. A couple of likely lads are claiming they’ve found just such a train in Poland – and want 10% of the proceeds for revealing its exact whereabouts. The news media and fortune hunters alike are all over Wroclaw, Poland, reports BBC News:

Two people in Poland say they may have found a Nazi train rumoured to be full of gold, gems and guns that disappeared in World War Two, Polish media say.

A Polish armoured train, the Danuta, in 1939. From the left: artillery wagon, infantry assault wagon, armored locomotive, artillery wagon.

A Polish armoured train, the Danuta, in 1939. From the left: artillery wagon, infantry assault wagon, armored locomotive, artillery wagon.

The train is believed to have gone missing near what is now the Polish city of Wroclaw as Soviet forces approached in 1945.

A law firm in south-west Poland says it has been contacted by two men who have discovered the armoured train.

Polish media say the men want 10% of the value of the train’s contents.

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NASA: There is No Asteroid Threatening Earth

There’s a panic in certain quarters of the Internet that an asteroid is going to hit Earth next month. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has issued this statement rubbishing the rumors:

Numerous recent blogs and web postings are erroneously claiming that an asteroid will impact Earth, sometime between Sept. 15 and 28, 2015. On one of those dates, as rumors go, there will be an impact — “evidently” near Puerto Rico — causing wanton destruction to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States and Mexico, as well as Central and South America.

This view of Earth comes from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite. Image credit: NASA

This view of Earth comes from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite. Image credit: NASA

 

That’s the rumor that has gone viral — now here are the facts.

“There is no scientific basis — not one shred of evidence — that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates,” said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

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For Pluto ‘Truthers,’ the New Horizons Mission Is Only the Latest Lie

The latest in the ever-expanding cast of “truthers” are Pluto truthers, who apparently think that NASA is hiding something. From Newsweek:

Southwest Research Institute waited for their piano-sized New Horizons space probe to pass by Pluto. It finally reached the dwarf planet last month and beamed photos back to Earth from billions of miles away. The stunning images captivated the scientific community, revealing ice mountains, frozen tundras and other never-before-seen details on Pluto’s surface. Stunning, that is, if the scientists are telling the truth.

There’s a small but vocal group of conspiracists—bloggers have taken to calling them “Pluto Truthers”—who claim the recent images are fake. In fact, they argue, New Horizons is simply the latest bogus galactic mission to deceive the public, perhaps to divert tax money to more secretive or nefarious government projects. That trickery is nothing new, they charge; it goes all the way back to the first moon landing.

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China’s Bilderberg

Why should it be any surprise that the Chinese have their own elites plotting for world domination? The Daily Beast reveals their “secret” beach retreat, where no doubt, a New World Order is being formed:

Have you ever wondered how China’s stone-faced, dead-eyed leaders set their policies? How much debate takes place, who is involved, and whether it ever gets heated? Do the nation’s economic, scientific, and creative experts get to bend their ears, at least to some degree?

These are questions that have plagued Sinophiles and China-watchers for decades. The decision-making and operational mechanics of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are a black box, but it is known that the CCP has its summer retreats at Beidaihe, a seaside locale in Hebei Province that is 180 miles from the nation’s capital. There, at the beach, they set policy goals each year.

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Shrouded in the strictest secrecy, there’s no way of knowing what exactly is on the agenda at the Beidaihe meetings.

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What Is Killing America’s Bees and What Does It Mean for Us?

Most of you will be familiar with Colony Collapse Disorder, well documented in films like Vanishing of the Bees, but there’s still uncertainty as to why bees are disappearing and abandoning hives in droves. Rolling Stone dives deep in a #LongRead:

There was a moment last year when beekeeper Jim Doan was ready to concede defeat. He stood in the kitchen of his rural New York home, holding the phone to his ear. Through the window, he could see the frigid January evening settling on the 112-acre farm he’d just been forced to sell two weeks earlier. On the other end of the line, his wife’s voice was matter-of-fact: “Jimmy, I just want to say I’m sorry, but the bees are dead.”

Bees_Collecting_Pollen

By then, Doan was used to taking in bad news. After all, this was long after the summer of 2006, when he had first started noticing that his bees were acting oddly: not laying eggs or going queenless or inexplicably trying to make multiple queens.

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GMOs Are Becoming A Proxy For Bigger Concerns About The Food System

NPR goes to the Chipotle Cultivate Festival and learns that the anti-GMO movement is about a whole lot more than genetic modification: it’s a rejection of the agri-industrial complex:

The Chipotle Cultivate Festival in Kansas City on July 18 had it all: an indie pop band on stage, long lines at the beer booths. It was like a Grateful Dead concert, only with free burritos.

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But this and the three other Chipotle Cultivate events held across the country this summer were more than just a classic summertime music festival. Billed as offering “food, ideas and music,” the festival offers a chance to “learn a free burrito,” by going through four exhibits.

Chipotle, the chain whose slogan is “food with integrity,” was the first national restaurant chain to eliminate genetically modified ingredients from most of its menu. Now, the company is going a step further: using its anti-GMO stance as a marketing opportunity.

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