Author Archive | Marcie Gainer

Office puts chips under staff’s skin

Screenshot from BBC's news coverage.

Screenshot from BBC’s news coverage.

And it begins.

Rory Cellan-Jones at BBC:

Want to gain entry to your office, get on a bus, or perhaps buy a sandwich? We’re all getting used to swiping a card to do all these things. But at Epicenter, a new hi-tech office block in Sweden, they are trying a different approach – a chip under the skin.

Felicio de Costa, whose company is one of the tenants, arrives at the front door and holds his hand against it to gain entry. Inside he does the same thing to get into the office space he rents, and he can also wave his hand to operate the photocopier.

That’s all because he has a tiny RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip, about the size of a grain of rice, implanted in his hand. Soon, others among the 700 people expected to occupy the complex will also be offered the chance to be chipped.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Zodiac Signs as Monsters

Damon Hellandbrand is a concept artist who has depicted the zodiac signs as monsters. To be honest, they remind me of Magic: The Gathering card art.

According to his bio:

For as long as I can remember I have always had a love for art.

As a child I would spend countless hours trying to replicate the art of Walt Disney.

As a teen I gravitated towards the works of Ralph McQuarrie, Boris Vallejo and Frank Frazetta.

Today I’m fascinated and inspired by all forms of art, from the great masters of the past to the current masters of the present, as well as the amazing works of mother nature!

All of Hellandbrand’s work is available as 8.5×11 prints for $15. You can check out his DeviantArt gallery here.

Virgo

Virgo

I always feel like Virgos get a bad wrap (I am one), but this Virgo depiction is truly badass.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments [Free]

irrelevant_authority

I know how much everyone loves to call out fallacious arguments — especially on the Internet. So here’s a book illustrating and detailing some of the better known logical fallacies. You can read it in its entirety for free at the website or buy the hardcover book.

According to the author, Ali Almossawi:

I go on two solitary walks every day. There is a small park off the Embarcadero that is tucked away in a quiet spot. It has a pleasant stream flowing through it and an unassuming bench beside that stream. I have made walking to that frail bench a ritual, and the half an hour or so spent daydreaming on it amid the cool San Francisco breeze, an article of faith.

It was on a day in October of last year when, during one of those quiet moments on that bench, I recalled my college years and how outspoken I happened to be during them, an observation only made interesting by the fact that I have since turned into the quietest of beings.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Gympie-Gympie Tree Has an Insanely Painful Sting

Have you ever known anyone stung by the Gympie-Gympie tree? It sounds horrifying — the pain can last for up to several months with reocurrences for years afterwards.

Sumitra writes at Oddity Central:

‘Gympie-Gympie’ is hardly the name you’d expect for a stinging-tree. It looks quite harmless too, but in reality, the Gympie-Gympie is one of the most venomous plants in the world. Commonly found in the rainforest areas of north-eastern Australia, the Moluccas and Indonesia, it is known to grow up to one to two meters in height.

In fact, the Gympie-Gympie sting is so dangerous that it has been known to kill dogs, horses and humans alike. If you’re lucky enough to survive, you  only feel excruciating pain that can last several months and reoccur for years. Even a dry specimen can inflict pain, almost a hundred years after being picked!

With the exception of its roots, every single part of the deadly tree – its heart shaped leaves, its stem and its pink/purple fruit – is covered with tiny stinging hairs shaped like hypodermic needles.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Texas woman claims Bigfoot just had a baby

JD Hancock (CC BY 2.0)

JD Hancock (CC BY 2.0)

The woman from Texas, Brenda, claims (via Cryptozoology News):

“We didn’t know what was going on until just a few years ago. At first, we found the house that they were living in. My husband and I didn’t know what it was, and he kind of joked at me about it… at that time we didn’t realize it was a Bigfoot. Since then, our property had a fire, it burned down, so we moved a mile and a half from where we knew they were into another house. Little did we know that we were just coming into a family of them,” she told Coast to Coast guest host Dave Schrader late Friday in an open-line phone call made to the nightly radio show.

“They throw rocks on the house, I hear them talking. People thought I was crazy, but I know what I heard.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Depression may result from “hyperactivity” in “the disappointment circuit” of the brain

Gerald Gabernig (CC By 2.0)

Gerald Gabernig (CC By 2.0)

Dr Jeremy Dean writes at PsyBlog:

People who are depressed may have hyperactivity in a part of the brain known as ‘the disappointment circuit’, a new study finds.

Scientists led by Professor Roberto Malinow of the University of California, San Diego, found what could amount to an antidote to feeling let-down.

The study focused on a part of the brain called the lateral habenula, which has been linked to the feeling of disappointment which follows from the absence of an expected reward.

Professor Roberto Malinow, who led the study, said:

“The idea that some people see the world as a glass half empty has a chemical basis in the brain.

What we have found is a process that may dampen the brain’s sensitivity to negative life events.”

The neuroscientists found that this area, unlike almost any other in the brain, produces neurotransmitters which both ramp up and damp down brain activity.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Linguist Claims that 90% of Languages Will Be Extinct in 100 years

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Sarah Griffiths writes at The Daily Mail:

Sci-fi visions of the future may focus on soaring skylines and flying cars, but the world in 100 years may not only look different, but sound different too.

While there are more than 6,000 languages spoken globally at present, less than 600 are likely to endure in 2115, and they could be simplified versions of what we recognise today, one linguist has claimed.

He told MailOnline that the advent of technologically-advanced translating tools will not be enough to save the diversity of Earth’s languages either.

Writing in a piece for The Wall Street Journal, Dr John McWhorter said that in a century from now there will be ‘vastly fewer languages,’ which will be less complicated than they are today – especially in the way they are spoken.

The American studies, philosophy and music expert at Columbia University, predicts that 90 per cent of languages will die out to leave around 600.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Man Roasts to Death in Sauna

Who wants bacon? Kjetil Ree (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Who wants bacon? Kjetil Ree (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This sounds like the beginning of a horror movie.

via The New York Daily News:

A Florida family is now scarred with the image of a loved one’s body charred and without chunks of skin after he died while sitting for hours in a malfunctioning sauna Sunday.

The family of 68-year-old Dennis Antiporek said the North Miami Beach resident left a note at his home that said he was headed to the sauna at his Eden Isles Condominiums. After a few hours his daughter Lara Antiporek went to the spa to look for him.

She opened the door and said she saw a man whose skin was a dark color. She didn’t realize it was actually her light-skinned father of Polish and Russian descent until she noticed his clothing hanging up nearby, according to CBS Miami.

A Florida family is now scarred with the image of a loved one’s body charred and without chunks of skin after he died while sitting for hours in a malfunctioning sauna Sunday.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Charles Bukowski’s Letter to the Librarian Who Banned His Book

51Gk+OrWOqLYet another intriguing Charles Bukowski letter. I think I still prefer the letter he wrote to his publisher, John Martin. But this one is also a gem.

A library in Holland banned Bukowski’s book, Tales of Ordinary MadnessWell Bukowski apparently felt the need to not exactly defend his writing, but to explain how honored he was to have written something so prolific. Though, he rightfully condemns the librarian’s censorship.

Dear Hans van den Broek:

Thank you for your letter telling me of the removal of one of my books from the Nijmegen library. And that it is accused of discrimination against black people, homosexuals and women. And that it is sadism because of the sadism.

The thing that I fear discriminating against is humor and truth.

If I write badly about blacks, homosexuals and women it is because of these who I met were that. There are many “bads”–bad dogs, bad censorship; there are even “bad” white males.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Aleister Crowley’s Books Keep Disappearing From a New Zealand Library — And Other Frequently Stolen Books

hotbooks

Librarians at Hamilton City Libraries have noticed an interesting trend. Books by occultist Aleister Crowley keep disappearing from their shelves.

Nancy El-Gamel writes at the Waikato Times,

Whether it’s due to theft or something more sinister, Hamilton libraries cannot keep Sex Magick or Dramatic Ritual on their shelves.

Works by a long-dead British occultist keep vanishing, not quite in smoke. Aleister Crowley, clearly, refuses to die. Or, at least, his fans do.

And people just keep asking for the books, despite their publication in the far reaches of the previous century, Hamilton City Libraries Director Su Scott said.

Among other popular disappearing titles at Hamilton Libaries are cookbooks, Children DVDs, and books about tattoos and crafts.

After I did some digging, I found out that books about the occult are often hot items at libraries. Library book thieves also like titles about UFOs and astrology.

However, bookstores appear to attract a different type of book thief.… Read the rest

Continue Reading