Author Archive | majestic

The Weird Occult Origins of Downtown LA’s Famous Bradbury Building

Hey Angeleno disinfonauts, have you ever noticed the Bradbury Building downtown?


According to Curbed Los Angeles it has some rather curious occult origins:

The timeless, fantastic Bradbury Building at Broadway and Third Street is a much-beloved Downtown Los Angeles landmark, most widely known for its significant appearances in movies including Blade Runner(500) Days of Summer, and Marlowe, starring the late James Garner. But before it was a popular film set, it was the idea of a gold-mining magnate who really wanted to put his name on a building. His vision led him to turn down a prominent architect and mysteriously commission a totally untrained one instead, and that not-quite-architect, George H. Wyman, turned to ghosts and literature to pull it off. Avery Trufelman, producer of the design and architecture podcast 99 Percent Invisible, talked to Esotouric operators Kim Cooper and Richard Schave about the eerie history of what 99 PI calls “arguably the biggest architectural movie star of Los Angeles.”

As the story goes, Lewis Bradbury, a gold-mining millionaire, decided he wanted to build and put his name on a building, so in 1892 he commissioned prominent architect Sumner P.

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Does Mindfulness Mean Anything?

“Mindfulness” is a current buzz word, but what does it really mean, if anything? NPR‘s Adam Frank attempts an answer:

We are in the middle of a mindfulness revolution.


According to TimeThe Huffington Post and a host of other media outlets, mindfulness and meditation are having their moment in the spotlight. From hospitals to corporate wellness programs, mindfulness is — supposedly — a new path to relieving stress, lifting depression and increasing happiness.

But, depending on your perspective, the advent of mindfulness and meditation in America is either a milestone in the evolution of the culture — or a mighty avalanche of hype.

Given our ongoing discussion of science and religion here at 13.7, there are two particularly relevant questions the mindfulness explosion asks us to tackle. First, what exactly does mindfulness mean in relation to the spiritual practices it emerged from (mostly Buddhism). Secondly, how much do health claims made for mindfulness bear up under scientific scrutiny?

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California Farmers Turn to Water Witches and Dowsing

Did you try water divining when you were a kid, holding a forked stick and hoping it would wobble when you found a water source? Known as dowsing, it’s not the most reliable way to find water, but in California’s Central Valley farmers are so desperate for water to irrigate their crops that they’ll try anything, reports Yahoo News:

LINDSAY, Calif. — Vern Tassey doesn’t advertise. He’s never even had a business card. But here in California’s Central Valley, word has gotten around that he’s a man with “the gift,” and Tassey, a plainspoken, 76-year-old grandfather, has never been busier.


Farmers call him day and night — some from as far away as the outskirts of San Francisco and even across the state line in Nevada. They ask, sometimes even beg, him to come to their land. “Name your price,” one told him. But Tassey has so far declined. What he does has never been about money, he says, and he prefers to work closer to home.

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The Prozac in America’s Wastewater is Making Birds Fat

Are the birds near you are looking more than a little plump? It’s probably all the Prozac in the water they drink reports Quartz:

A 2014 US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report (pdf) found that, between 2009 and 2012, 9% of Americans were using a prescription antidepressant at least once a month. Now, a sizable bunch of birds are too.


(Hold onto your lunch.) New research has found that Prozac, one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, can “significantly alter the behavior and physiology” of some bird species, The Guardian reports. The study in question concluded that wild starlings, when fed wax worms injected with levels of fluoxetine (the generic name for Prozac) equivalent to what the birds might be exposed to by “feeding on invertebrates at a wastewater treatment plant,” showed “conspicuous changes in foraging behavior.”

That’s right—birds are getting dosed with Prozac by eating worms in your poo.

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Cellphone Ordinance Puts Berkeley at Forefront of Radiation Debate

If you’ve seen the disinformation documentary Mobilize you’ll know that Berkeley, California, is at the forefront of the cellphone radiation debate. The New York Times reports on the new city ordinance requiring retailers to warn purchasers of cellphones about the health hazards of radiation from the phones:

BERKELEY, Calif. — Leave it to Berkeley: This city, which has led the nation in passing all manner of laws favored by the left, has done it again. This time, the city passed a measure — not actually backed by science — requiring cellphone stores to warn customers that the products could be hazardous to their health, presumably by emitting dangerous levels of cancer-causing radiation.

Brain Cell Phone Radiation Warning

Under the so-called Right to Know ordinance, passed unanimously in May by the Berkeley City Council, retailers are supposed to notify customers, starting in August, that “you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure” to radio frequency radiation by carrying a cellphone in a pants or shirt pocket, or tucked into a bra.

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Why Boring Books Are Worth Reading

Boredom is a serious subject (just ask Albert Nerenberg, director of the decidedly not boring documentary Boredom). The New York Times Sunday Book Review looks at the literary uses of boredom, starting with Rivka Galchen’s views:

Boredom is a kind of meditation. To be bored is, for a spell, to not let the noise out there get in.


Harry is a dirty dog.

Or is he?

He’s a white dog with black spots who doesn’t like to take a bath. He runs away from home! What fun he has going around town, getting covered in dirt and soot and coal, so that he becomes a black dog with white spots. Eventually Harry gets a bit hungry and tired. When he returns to his house, his family doesn’t recognize him. They watch him do his tricks, then turn their backs and walk away. Harry is so sad. Until he thinks to run upstairs, and take a bath, and is again recognized, and welcomed home with love.

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Marijuana Can Heal Broken Bones

Here’s another reason to request a medical marijuana prescription: broken bones. The Times of Israel reports on a new study by Tel Aviv University scientists finding that cannabis speeds healing of fractures and may be used to treat bone-related diseases:

Break a bone? Your doctor may soon provide you with an unexpected prescription – marijuana.

California medial marijuana

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered that a component of marijuana “significantly helps heal bone fractures,” university officials announced Thursday.

The study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, found that the non-psychotropic cannabidiol, or CBD, considerably sped up the healing process of rats’ broken leg bones. Those benefits were also present, even when the molecule was separated from THC, the major psychoactive component of cannabis.

Dr. Yankel Gabet of Tel Aviv’s Bone Research Laboratory and the late Prof. Itai Bab of Hebrew University’s Bone Laboratory discovered the connection between our bodies’ cannabinoid receptors and the stimulation of bone growth, which may be used for future research into the use of marijuana to treat not only broken bones but also osteoporosis and other skeletal diseases.

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Russian Entrepreneur Promises $100 Million to Search for Aliens

Yuri Milner.jpg

Yuri Milner. Photo: Ajza1 (CC)

Russian Internet entrepreneur Yuri Milner and British scientist Stephen Hawking held a press conference in London today in which they announced that Milner is pledging $100 million to search for aliens. We can help Yuri… The New York Times covered the announcement:

Extending his idea of philanthropy beyond the earth and even the human species, Yuri Milner, the Russian Internet entrepreneur and founder of science giveaways like the annual $3 million Fundamental Physics Prizes, announced in London on Monday that he would spend at least $100 million in the next decade to search for signals from alien civilizations.

The money for Breakthrough Listen, as Mr. Milner calls the effort, is one of the biggest chunks of cash ever proffered for the so far fruitless quest for cosmic companionship known as the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI. It will allow astronomers to see the kinds of radar used for air traffic control from any of the closest 1,000 stars, and to detect a laser with the power output of a common 100-watt light bulb from the distance of the nearest stars, some four light-years away, according to Mr.

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New Mexican Slender Alien Video

There’s a video doing the rounds in which a citizen in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, purportedly captures smartphone video footage of a slender alien scampering around on his roof. According to Brazil Weird News,

The video about the occurrence, in Spanish – was posted in Youtube by a local television news, El Mañana. Preliminary analysis of the material showed that the images have no cuts, animations or transition effects, indicative of the footage authenticity.

Here’s the video – what do you think?

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NASA’s ‘Planet X’ Files Leaked: NASA Knows Nibiru Is Coming

Hot off NASA’s great success in photographing Pluto comes “speculation” that Nibiru is next, per the Inquisitr:

There is evidence of an ongoing resurgence of the Planet X (also known as Nibiru) cataclysm conspiracy theory following the publication of new scientific studies in 2014 claiming evidence of a mysterious unnamed planet lurking beyond Pluto. The scientific claims were based on observations of gravitational influences on a group of space bodies termed the “extreme trans-Neptunian objects” (ETNOs) orbiting our Sun beyond the planet Neptune.

A slew of messages and YouTube videos currently being circulated in the conspiracy theory blogosphere claims that a NASA study published in 1988 revealed details about the mysterious Planet X/Nibiru with an estimated orbital period of more than 1,000 years.

The study, according to conspiracy theorists, demonstrates that NASA and the U.S. government have been aware for decades that the rogue Planet X is coming with catastrophic consequences for humanity.

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