Author Archive | Matt Staggs

A Changing Of The Guard: Meet Your New Site Editor

PIC: Me, on a recent assignment. Imperial entanglements were encountered.

PIC: Me, on a recent assignment. Imperial entanglements were encountered. (c) MS

The time has come to say goodbye, Disinfonauts. Some of you may have heard already, but for those who have not, I’ve stepped down from my position at the company. I’ve enjoyed serving as your web content editor (and one-time podcaster) over the past couple of years, but it’s time I move on and let someone else take their turn at the wheel.

Allow me to introduce you to Marcie Gainer, your new web content editor as of Monday morning. I suspect tomorrow is going to be an extremely busy day for Marcie, as that will also be her first day as TDC Entertainment’s new sales and marketing manager. (TDC, if you’re wondering, is the parent company that owns disinfo.com.) Marcie is a huge movie buff, and is particularly fond of documentaries. In addition to her work here at Disinfo/TDC, Marcie runs her own film review site,  thecinematika.com.… Read the rest

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Thirty Patients Contract TB After Visits To Acupuncture Clinic

Sputum sample containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Sputum sample containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Cough. Cough. Cough. STICK. Cough. Cough.

Add another drawback to acupuncture: possible infection with primary inoculation tuberculosis. That does not sound good. A new paper is published showing a correlation of acupuncture and electrotherapy with onset of a form of tuberculosis.

PLOS ONE: Analysis of 30 Patients with Acupuncture-Induced Primary Inoculation Tuberculosis.

Abstract:

Primary inoculation tuberculosis is a skin condition that develops at the site of inoculation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in tuberculosis-free individuals. This report describes the diagnosis, treatment and 1 year follow-up of 30 patients presenting with acupuncture-induced primary inoculation tuberculosis. Our data provide a deeper insight into this rare route of infection of tuberculosis. We also review effective treatment options.

The study looked at 30 patients who had primary inoculation tuberculosis. They had all received acupuncture and electrotherapy treatment from the same clinic in Wenzhou City, China. Even the same clinician is mentioned. Luckily none tested positive for HIV.

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Drunk Midwesterners Make Up the Majority Of UFO Witnesses

soviet ufo

Soviet UFO chart (PD)

Takeaway message: ET likes to party.

Click through to check out a nifty chart that lays out all of the extra-drunk, extra-terrestrial info you need.

Tuesday is the 67th anniversary of the rumored alien crash-landing in Roswell, New Mexico. But extraterrestrial aviators have been rather busy in the last few decades.

The National UFO Reporting Center has received about 90,000 reported sightings of UFOs in the last 40 years, according to the Economist. That’s about six per day—with the majority happening on Fridays, in the West, and during, um, drinking hours.

via The Hard Data on UFO Sightings: It’s Mostly Drunk People in the West – Derek Thompson – The Atlantic.

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Micah Hanks On ‘The Bizarre Mechanical Messiah of John Murray Spear’

Steampunk MaskMysterious Universe’s Micah Hanks has written a rather excellent piece on nineteenth century freethinker and all-around oddball John Murray Spear. It’s definitely worth a read.

Clergyman, abolitionist, secret-society founder, 1850′s women’s rights and free-love advocate… and eventually a steam-punk “godsmith” seeking to create a kind of holier-than-holy, copper-bound mecha-messiah.

Needless to say, John Murray Spear must have been a sight to be held in his day.

Touting the virtues of extra-marital sex and birth control by the middle 1850s, he was indeed a renegade for his time, having been essentially excommunicated by his brothers and sisters in the Universalist Church of America, under which he had served as a minister for more than two decades. Now, rather than seeking to serve the will of God, he had changed gears in the most literal sense.

It was time to institute a new age, Spear believed, and with the wisdom of long-dead scientific geniuses he claimed to be channeling, his aim was to create a new kind of God for the coming utopian age of enlightened thinkers.

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Mexican Military Helicopter Crosses Border And Fires On Border Patrol Agents

Mexico Pot CultivationScary stuff. Probably happens (on both sides) more often than we know. It was a “drug interdiction” mission.

TUCSON – News 4 Tucson has learned a Mexican military helicopter travelled across the border and fired on U.S. Border Patrol agents.

It happened in the early morning hours Thursday, west of the San Miguel Gate on the Tohono O’Odham Nation. The chopper fired on the agents but missed them. The chopper then flew back into Mexico. We’re told Mexican authorities contacted the U.S. and apologized for the incident.

We’ve received two statements regarding the incident:

Art del Cueto, Border Patrol Tucson Sector union president:

The incident occurred after midnight and before 6 a.m. Helicopter flew into the U.S. and fired on two U.S. Border Patrol agents. The incident occurred west of the San Miguel Gate on the Tohono O’odham Indian Nation. The agents were unharmed. The helicopter went back into Mexico. Mexico then contacted U.S.

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Why The Tea Party Is About to Become Even Angrier

Picture: CometStarMoon (CC)

Picture: CometStarMoon (CC)

Here in Mississippi, voters usually have a choice between a conservative candidate and an even more conservative candidate. They usually get into mudslinging matches about who’s the “real conservative”. Even the democratic candidates. This last run-off election got pretty damned nasty, even for this neck of the woods. According to some people, it’s a sign of things to come.

In Mississippi on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran defeated state Sen. Chris McDaniel in a runoff election to determine who would be the state Republican Party’s nominee for Senate in the extremely conservative state. Despite the fact that the two men were more or less indistinguishable on issue positions, the race was remarkably contentious and largely defined by dueling allegations of impropriety and fraud. Indeed, while non-conservatives may consider the differences between the so-called establishment and Tea Party wings of the GOP to be slight, the primary battle that reached its culmination last night is clear evidence that Republicans themselves strongly disagree.

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Vegan Mom Arrested For Infant Neglect After Refusing Medical Assistance For Dehydrated Child

SuicideGirls (CC)

SuicideGirls (CC)

Where do the rights of the parents to raise their children in the manner they see fit end?

In a case likely to kick up — yet again – the debate over parental responsibility regarding how children are fed, a Florida mother was arrested Tuesday for child neglect and her newborn was admitted to the hospital in a crisis that started over vegan beliefs.

Local news station WESH reports that Sarah Anne Markham’s pediatrician alerted authorities after the woman’s 12-day-old baby appeared dehydrated during a doctor visit. The doctor said that Markham refused the medical advice to admit the child to the hospital or take the medicine offered, on the grounds that “it contained ingredients that came from animals.” After police were summoned to her home, Markham reportedly told them that she’d purchased organic soy formula for the baby, and that “she wanted to pursue a religion-based treatment and she had contacted a ‘natural’ or vegan doctor, but police said she did not share any proof of this to them.” Police added that “They asked Markham if the product was confirmed with a doctor that it was safe to give the newborn, and she replied saying that since it was organic, it must be OK.” The baby remains in protective custody.

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DEA Asks FDA To Consider Rescheduling Marijuana From Schedule I Drug List

PIC: Black Zack (CC)

PIC: Black Zack (CC)

I can’t believe we’re still having a “debate” on the topic of marijuana legalization. It’s ridiculous that I can wander into a drug store and grab sackfuls of addictive, dangerous mind-altering substances with impunity, but procuring a piece of a plant comes with the risk of prosecution. Anyway, now that congress is moving to defund the DEA, it looks like they’re going to be forced to back off on harassing medical clinics and pot-legal states.

After a historic House vote to defund the DEA’s operating budget for marijuana enforcement in the states earlier in the month passed (with a similar one now in the Senate), the government agency has now asked the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to consider removing marijuana from the list of Schedule I drugs as defined by the Controlled Substances Act .

This classification is, most reform advocates say, a major step forward to reform required at this juncture.

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New York Public Library To Allow Patrons To ‘Check Out’ Free Internet Access

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on opte.org. Source: Matt Britt (CC)

Partial map of the Internet based on the January 15, 2005 data found on opte.org. Source: Matt Britt (CC)

I’m personally of the opinion that the best possible thing that we could do would be to regulate the internet like a public utility and wire towns with free public hotspots here and there, especially now that you pretty much can’t get along in society without it. In the meantime, programs like these help to fill the gaps.

The New York Public Library is poised to allow its patrons to “check out” free, high-speed internet access, helping to bridge the digital divide between the rich and poor in the city.

With the help of a $500,000 grant awarded Monday from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the library will loan thousands of patrons portable “hot spot” devices that will connect their home computers and phones to high-speed internet. The program is scheduled to begin sometime this fall.

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This ‘Bubble Porn’ Video Is Probably Safe For Work (But Not Your Filthy Mind)

Ever heard the saying “less is more”? The “Bubble Porn” video is only as lurid as your preconceptions. It’s like that scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Luke is about to enter that spooky tree and asks what’s inside. Yoda replies, “Only what you take with you.”

Well, I suspect that most of us will be taking a good bit of redtube into this particular tree.

An aside – remember when you were a kid and actually had to hunt for pornography? Kids these days will never know the thrill of uncovering “wood porn“, unless it’s in a discarded thumb drive. (Hint: Leave it the hell alone.)

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