Author Archive | Matt Staggs

Stefan Molyneux On How Cryptocurrencies Can Curb Unsustainable Government Growth

BitcoinThe Next Web catches up with Stefan Molyneux to discuss Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and their impact on government and society:

Via The Next Web:

TNW: To what extent will Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies even things out, taking power back from governmental bodies?

SM: One of the most important aspects of cryptocurrencies is the degree to which they deny inter-generational debt, deficit-financing, and the easy money required for imperialism and war.

As a species, we generally consider ourselves to be very considerate and thoughtful towards the young. Unfortunately, that does not find reflection in our governmental policies, which burden the unborn with staggering debt, none of which would be possible with cryptocurrencies.

The power of the state to create money out of thin air, control interest rates, and pretend that it is providing value to the population, when it is merely debasing their currencies and lowering them into a chasm of debt, will face a serious challenge from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Google X Looked Into Building a Space Elevator

PIC: Superborusk (CC)

PIC: Superborusk (CC)

Richard DeVaul, the head of Google X’s Rapid Evaluation Team told Fast Company that the secretive lab had made some serious inquiries into the feasibility of building a space elevator:

Via Fast Company:

“It would be a massive capital investment,” he said in this month’s issue of Fast Company. But once this hypothetical machine was built, “it could take you from ground to orbit with a net of basically zero energy. It drives down the space-access costs, operationally, to being incredibly low.”

Unfortunately, our current technological landscape has its limitations:

The team knew the cable would have to be exceptionally strong– “at least a hundred times stronger than the strongest steel that we have,” by ­[Google X researcher Dan Piponi]‘s calculations. He found one material that could do this: carbon nanotubes. But no one has manufactured a perfectly formed carbon nanotube strand longer than a meter. And so elevators “were put in a deep freeze,” as [Google X researcher Mitch Heinrich] says, and the team decided to keep tabs on any advances in the carbon nanotube field.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

New York Measles Outbreak Traced to Fully Vaccinated Woman

Pic: CDC (PD)

Pic: CDC (PD)

“Measles Mary” had been fully vaccinated against the disease, yet still managed to contract it and spread it to others. (They should have know that was going to happen. I mean, her name is “Measles Mary”. Come on…)

Via Science:

Get the measles vaccine, and you won’t get the measles—or give it to anyone else. Right? Well, not always. A person fully vaccinated against measles has contracted the disease and passed it on to others. The startling case study contradicts received wisdom about the vaccine and suggests that a recent swell of measles outbreaks in developed nations could mean more illnesses even among the vaccinated.

When it comes to the measles vaccine, two shots are better than one. Most people in the United States are initially vaccinated against the virus shortly after their first birthday and return for a booster shot as a toddler. Less than 1% of people who get both shots will contract the potentially lethal skin and respiratory infection.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Montana Man Licks Cop’s Eyeball While Resisting Arrest At ‘Pisser’s Palace’

Pic: Booking photo (PD)

Pic: Booking photo (PD)

Mistake One: Hanging out at a place called “Pisser’s Palace“.

Mistake Two: Calling the cops to report a crime when there’s a warrant out for your arrest.

Mistake Three: Licking the eyeball of the cop who responds to your call. You don’t know where that cop’s been.

Via The Smoking Gun:

Police encountered Hiatt after he called 911 to report a theft. After discovering that Hiatt had an active arrest warrant from a neighboring county, officers sought to arrest him. According to investigators, Hiatt struggled when cops sought to handcuff him.

As officers subsequently tried to stuff Hiatt (seen above) in a patrol car, he allegedly licked one of the cop’s eyes. The licking occurred in front of Pisser’s Palace in Walkerville, a Butte suburb.

Wipe your cryin’ eyes and keep reading. Read the rest

Continue Reading

Grave-Robbing Cannibal Brothers Arrested – Again

Pic: PD

Pic: PD

Pakistani brothers Arif and Farman can’t seem to be able to control their ghoulish appetites. They were arrested in 2011 for disinterring and eating parts of 150 corpses, and after a stay in a psychiatric hospital, they’re back at it again. While it wasn’t reported in any of the press, I’ve heard that between feasts they’re doing some modeling for a promising Bostonian artist named Richard Upton Pickman

Via The Express Tribune:

BHAKKAR: Two brothers who were previously found guilty of cannibalism and detained by the police have now returned to eating human flesh and an FIR has been registered against them on the charges of terrorism, Express News reported on Monday.

Arif and Farman, who are from the small town of Darya Khan in Bhakkar district, were first arrested in April 2011 after they were found to have disinterred corpses in the local graveyard for the purpose of eating them.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Psychiatrist Richard H. Stone On Affluenza and ‘The Poverty Of The Rich’

Watch Affluenza on PBS. See more from The Open Mind.

This interview with psychiatrist Richard H. Stone on the topic of affluenza was recorded 30 years ago, but it seems more relevant than ever.

When affluent criminals like Ethan Couch who was convicted of killing four people while driving drunk. (Also, one of the passengers in his vehicle paralyzed; Now he can only communicate by blinking) and Richard H. Roberts who was convicted of raping his three year-old daughter (and was also suspected of molesting his infant son) get probation in lieu of the lengthy prison sentences people of lesser means receive, it sends a very clear message about the nature of “justice” in America.

 … Read the rest

Continue Reading

Feds Back Down In Stand-Off With Militia Over Cattle

Pic: Daniel Schwin (CC)

Pic: Daniel Schwin (CC)

Hundreds of protesters and what is being called militia members have succeeded in pushing back federal forces intent on rounding up cattle on government land.

Via Yahoo:

BUNKERVILLE, Nevada (Reuters) – The U.S. government called off its attempt to round up a herd of cattle that it said was grazing illegally in Nevada after hundreds of protesters created a showdown with federal officials.

“Based on information about conditions on the ground and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public,” Neil Kornze, director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, said in a statement.

The conflict between rancher Cliven Bundy and U.S. land managers had brought a team of armed federal rangers to Nevada to seize the 1,000 head of cattle.

The unusual roundup became a flashpoint for anti-government groups, right-wing politicians and gun-rights activists.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Physics Professor Says That Odds that Global Warming Is Due to Natural Factors Nil

There: That’ll settle that argument. Right?

Via E! Science News:

Author:  Robert A. Rohde (CC)

Author: Robert A. Rohde (CC)

An analysis of temperature data since 1500 all but rules out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the earth’s climate, according to a new study by McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy. The study, published online April 6 in the journal Climate Dynamics, represents a new approach to the question of whether global warming in the industrial era has been caused largely by man-made emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Rather than using complex computer models to estimate the effects of greenhouse-gas emissions, Lovejoy examines historical data to assess the competing hypothesis: that warming over the past century is due to natural long-term variations in temperature.

“This study will be a blow to any remaining climate-change deniers,” Lovejoy says. “Their two most convincing arguments – that the warming is natural in origin, and that the computer models are wrong – are either directly contradicted by this analysis, or simply do not apply to it.”

Lovejoy’s study applies statistical methodology to determine the probability that global warming since 1880 is due to natural variability.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Court Clears Baby On Murder Charges

Pic: zscout730 (CC)

Pic: zscout730 (CC)

A Pakistani court has cleared a nine month-old or charges that he planned a murder and threatened the police. Kids today!

Via NPR:

Weeks after he was fingerprinted and appeared in court on an attempted murder charge, baby Mohammad Musa Khan is no longer living under the shadow of a criminal conviction. His case has been termed absurd, ridiculous and a sign of a justice system in need of reform.

A Pakistani court ruled Saturday that charges against the boy, who was reportedly 9 months old when he was charged, will not be pursued. The case began when police faced resistance as officials tried to cut off gas service in the neighborhood. Police said .

Musa and his family were charged with “planning a murder, threatening police and interfering in state affairs,” says.

The case sparked widespread disbelief and ridicule, after a video showed Musa in court holding his milk bottle as he sat on his grandfather’s lap.

Read the rest

Continue Reading