Author Archive | majestic

The Man Behind Snopes.com

Snopes logo.png

Most disinfonauts know Snopes.com, not least because Snopes often spoils all the fun of the weirder and wackier stories that our contributors offer for your delectation. But do you know the man behind the Snopes mask? io9 profiles David Mikkelson and asks him some questions, including this:

In your opinion, what was the most outrageous story that turned out to actually be true?

I hesitate to repeat any because I’m not sure you can print them! [Laughs.] There was one I just sort of dusted off and re-published, but it dates way back to when I first started. Back in the early days of the Internet, there was this text that used to circulate via email that was supposedly a medical journal article. It had to do with a doctor who treated a patient whose scrotum was all swollen, and discolored, and had metal bits in it.

They eventually coax the story out of the patient: he worked in a machine shop, and when everyone else went to lunch, he would use the belt sander or some piece of machinery to pleasure himself.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Lizard People

ReptilianIt’s reptilian silly time over at Vox, where they’ve just discovered that some people (well, David Icke at least) think we’re ruled by lizard people:

On Tuesday, the political fate of America was once again put to a vote. But for the millions of Americans who believe in lizard people, this vote had bigger implications — like thwarting an ongoing plot of world domination.

The idea of shape-shifting lizards taking human forms in a plot to rule America and the world has become one of the most majestic and marvelous conspiracy theories created by mankind (or lizardkind, if you will). In 2008, “lizard people” found its way onto the Minnesota’s midterm ballot with some controversy.

As pundits extrapolate on what the Republican win in the midterms means for the country, there are people around this country who hope their votes did something crucial — kept the country safe from lizard people for the next few years.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Uber for Pot App

eazeYou just know Eaze, the “Uber for Pot” app, is going to be massive (unless or until Apple quashes it). Story from Pando:

“Uber for pot” exists because of course it does.

Last July, former Yammer executive Keith McCarty took the leap from enterprise software solutions to marijuana tech by launching Eaze, an app that allows patients to order medicinal marijuana within minutes on their smartphone.

It may sound like one of Dave Chappelle’s schemes from the movie “Half Baked,” but McCarty and his team are serious about providing a fast, easy way for people to access medical marijuana. His staff includes a number of executives with a history in health-care, and today the company has announced $1.5 million in funding along with a partnership with SPARC, a San Francisco-based dispensary and nonprofit advocacy collective.

“Our core values are providing an easy, quick way for patients to receive medical marijuana, and SPARC’s been performing that since Day One,” McCarty says.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Vaping Alcohol

Vaping alcohol? Sheesh, doesn’t that take all the best parts of drinking away? Apparently not according to Playboy:

Vaping alcohol sounds like a fictional way to binge-drink dreamed up by paranoid parents. Remember vodka tampons? So we had our doubts with the Vaportini, a gadget that allows you to literally inhale booze. But after putting it through comprehensive tests, we are surprised to conclude that vaping alcohol is awesome.

First, the science: In theory, vaporized alcohol is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. It sidesteps the digestive tract, which means you don’t ingest calories, carbs or fillers. The alcohol content of one inhalation is about the same as one sip of a mixed drink or beer. (You can read actual data on how vaporized alcohol affects the body here.) According to the Vaportini company, users can immediately feel the effects of the vaporized alcohol, as opposed to waiting half an hour to feel the effects of swallowed spirits.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Price of American Eugenics

Ted Scheinman tells us that forty years later, only one state is making reparations for thousands of forced sterilizations made during the era of American eugenics, at Pacific Standard:

From the early decades of the 20th century until 1974, 32 states in the union mandated the sterilization of more than 65,000 citizens. At the behest of government eugenics boards, girls and women had their tubes tied or uteri removed, and boys and men their vasa deferentia snipped because they had been deemed unfit to reproduce. Still others came under the scalpel of private doctors, and this second group makes the calculations difficult—65,000 represents only the number of sterilizations where there was municipal paperwork.

NCLegislature

North Carolina State Legislative Office Building

In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the Eugenics Compensation statute, and last week the state’s department of commerce began the long-awaited disbursement of financial reparations to victims of sterilization.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Was Guy Fawkes A Fall Guy?

GuidoFawkesGunpowderPlot.jpg

I thought it was generally accepted that the late Mr. Fawkes was the fall guy in the Gunpowder Plot, but the BBC wants to visit the issue again anyway because, you know, it’s Guy Fawkes Day (the 5th of November ‘n all that):

He is the most notorious of traitors to the British Crown.

Who now can immediately name William Joyce as Lord Haw-Haw, English propagandist for Nazi Germany? Or Roger Casement, who canvassed for German support for the 1916 Easter Rising? Or the British Free Corps, a unit of the Waffen-SS formed of British men? Individual names haven’t made it out of the history books.

In contrast, each schoolchild in Britain learns the story of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, and every year we burn his effigy to the accompaniment of fireworks.

But have we been commemorating a triumphant victory of the law over a violent usurper, or slandering the memory of an unwitting dupe?

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Ridley Scott Will Produce Arthur C. Clarke’s ‘3001: The Final Odyssey’ TV Miniseries

Fans of Stanley Kubrick’s classic movie adaption of Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey may – or may not – be thrilled that a sequel is coming courtesy of Syfy and Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions. From Deadline.com:

Forty six years after the release of Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking 2001: A Space Odyssey, the final book in Arthur C. Clarke’s Odyssey series is getting a screen adaptation. Syfy has put in development 3001: The Final Odyssey, a miniseries based on the fourth and final Odyssey book. The deal comes on the heels of Syfy recently greenlighting a miniseries adaptation of another Clarke classic, Childhood’s End.

3001-syfy

3001, from Scott Free Prods. and Warner Horizon TV, is described as an epic story of a man lost in time and dark thematic meditations on the final fate of all Humankind, It begins with the discovery of Frank Poole’s frozen body, floating in space, and resolves the tale that started in 2001: A Space Odyssey

[continues at Deadline.com]

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Why Legalizing Medical Marijuana Will Make Investors Extremely Wealthy

So-called pot stocks have been a hot investment theme for a while in the OTC (Over The Counter) market, but with articles like this one in Forbes claiming that it’s the next get rich quick idea, perhaps the incentive to legalize will become unstoppable for lawmakers:

I never thought I’d see more people invest in marijuana than smoke it.

But those investments are exactly what’s about to happen given a recent survey from some of the most influential and social analysts in the BioPharma space.  In fact, according to Investing.com and our research, two-thirds (2/3) of the analysts love the potential of the marijuana industry since the $50 Billion market is already developed, albeit illegal.  The process of stepped legalization has started and continuing prospects look promising.

Armstrong Legalize Marijuana 2001

Yet there are dual dilemmas facing public medical marijuana companies in the United States. First, even if it’s legal for in-state cannabis companies, no businesses are federally legalized to sell the plant or the plant’s derivatives in any shape or form. Will the federal government’s tacit overlooking of the national cannabis laws continue?

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Why You Should Be Afraid Of Your Smart TV

Michael Price isn’t generally a tin-foil hat wearing crank. In fact he’s counsel in the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law (i.e., part of the establishment). But now he’s getting the tin foil ready as a result of his new privacy-smashing Smart TV, as he relates at Salon:

I just bought a new TV. The old one had a good run, but after the volume got stuck on 63, I decided it was time to replace it. I am now the owner of a new “smart” TV, which promises to deliver streaming multimedia content, games, apps, social media and Internet browsing. Oh, and TV too.

LG smart TV

The only problem is that I’m now afraid to use it. You would be too — if you read through the 46-page privacy policy.

The amount of data this thing collects is staggering. It logs where, when, how and for how long you use the TV.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Boredom and ADHD

Richard A. Friedman, professor of clinical psychiatry and director of the psychopharmacology clinic at the Weill Cornell Medical College, has written a lengthy essay for the New York Times in which he questions the explosion in diagnoses of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in American children. He comes up with an interesting hypothesis: it’s because of boredom, which as those of you who’ve watched Albert Nerenberg’s documentary Boredom know, is fixable:

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is now the most prevalent psychiatric illness of young people in America, affecting 11 percent of them at some point between the ages of 4 and 17. The rates of both diagnosis and treatment have increased so much in the past decade that you may wonder whether something that affects so many people can really be a disease.

bored

And for a good reason. Recent neuroscience research shows that people with A.D.H.D. are actually hard-wired for novelty-seeking — a trait that had, until relatively recently, a distinct evolutionary advantage.

Read the rest
Continue Reading