Author Archive | Matt Staggs

Published Paper Blames Schizophrenia on Demons

DemonDemonic possession? Sure. That won’t play into the delusions of schizophrenics…

IS SCHIZOPHRENIA CAUSED by demons? A Turkish researcher seems to think so, and his article on the topic was just published in the Journal of Religion and Health, a scientific journal owned by Springer, a German-based publishing company.

The first two-thirds of M. Kemal Irmak’s paper, “Schizophrenia or Possession?”, read normally enough. You learn about the devastating symptoms of schizophrenia, current treatment approaches, and the nature of the delusions and hallucinations that schizophrenics experience. And then you arrive at this little doozy:

“One approach to this hallucination problem is to consider the possibility of a demonic world.”

The abrupt transition from established science to outlandish woo is positively comical. And once the quackery starts, it doesn’t stop. You’re first treated to a background on all things demonic:

In our region, demons are believed to be intelligent and unseen creatures that occupy a parallel world to that of mankind.

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Twenty-Eight Acts of Fellatio Observed Between Bears Dwelling In Sanctuary

412px-Black_bear_largeTwenty-eight? That’s a very specific number. Wonder whose job it was to count bear blow jobs?

[This space intentionally left blank for your own “bear” joke.]

The club of fellatio-loving animals just gained a new member: bears.

Scientists have observed a pair of male brown bears in captivity in Croatia that regularly engaged in oral sex over several years. While the creatures in this case study likely do it for pleasure, their fellatio habits might have started because they were forced to wean too early, the researchers suspect.

The two, unrelated male bears in the study were orphaned soon after they were born in 2003 and put in captivity at a sanctuary in Kuterevo, Croatia. Over the course of six years and 116 hours of observation time, scientists led by Agnieszka Sergiel, of the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Department of Wildlife Conservation, witnessed 28 acts of fellatio between the two male bears.

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Serious Injuries After Drunk Mom Tries To Gives Six Kids Ride Home From Pool On Top Of Car

Picture: FMVH (CC)

Picture: FMVH (CC)

I’m sure there will be plenty of time for the interior to dry out while she’s in jail.

Worried that her car’s interior would get soaked, a Texas woman directed six children fresh from a community pool to sit atop her vehicle’s trunk for the one-mile drive home Tuesday evening.

That decision resulted in Kisha Young’s arrest when the children fell from the Chevrolet Malibu around 8:30 PM when the 38-year-old–who was allegedly intoxicated–made a sharp turn on a residential street in Crowley, a city 15 miles south of Fort Worth.

Four of the six children flung from the car were injured, with a 12-year-old girl requiring hospitalization for a severe head injury. According to the Crowley Police Department, the six children range in age from 8 to 14.

via Texas Mom Jailed After Kids Tumble From Atop Car | The Smoking Gun.

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Salon Writer Stunned To Learn What She Sees On ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ Isn’t Really Real

PIC: Sydney Long (C)

PIC: Sydney Long (C)

“The quick wit we’ve come to expect from Honey Boo Boo…”

“The quick wit we’ve come to expect from Honey Boo Boo…”

“The quick wit we’ve come to expect from Honey Boo Boo…”

It should be noted that a good portion of the interview was cut down for the broadcast, mostly, I’m sure, for the sake of time. Still, the interview I watched on television that evening felt nothing like it had in the studio. Many of the major beats were there — Alana telling Fallon that he wasn’t so big and bad, the point where she refused to give him a friendship bracelet — but the broadcast left out all of the eerie tension.

For example, the friendship bracelet moment seems cute and quick on TV, but in person, it was actually kind of agonizing. It didn’t just happen once, but several times, and the more it was discussed, the more openly hostile Boo Boo became.

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Chelsea Manning On How the Military Hides The Truth From America

PIC: How Chelsea Manning sees herself. Portrait by Alicia Neal, commissioned by the Chelsea Manning Support (C)

PIC: How Chelsea Manning sees herself. Portrait by Alicia Neal, commissioned by the Chelsea Manning Support (C)

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — WHEN I chose to disclose classified information in 2010, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others. I’m now serving a sentence of 35 years in prison for these unauthorized disclosures. I understand that my actions violated the law.

However, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved. As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan. I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance.

If you were following the news during the March 2010 elections in Iraq, you might remember that the American press was flooded with stories declaring the elections a success, complete with upbeat anecdotes and photographs of Iraqi women proudly displaying their ink-stained fingers.

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Hebrew University Medical Center Study: THC Good Treatment For PTSD

Cannabis female flowers. Photo: Acdx (CC)

Cannabis female flowers. Photo: Acdx (CC)

The administration of oral THC mitigates symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), according to clinical trial data published online ahead of print in the journal Clinical Drug Investigation.

Investigators at the Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem assessed the safety and efficacy of oral THC as an adjunct treatment in ten subjects with chronic PTSD.

Researchers reported, “The intervention caused a statistically significant improvement in global symptom severity, sleep quality, frequency of nightmares, and PTSD hyperarousal symptoms.”

They concluded, “Orally absorbable delta-9-THC was safe and well tolerated by patients with chronic PTSD.”

Separate clinical trial data has previously reported that the administration of nabilone, a synthetic endocannabinoid agonist, can reduce the severity and frequency of nightmares in patients with PTSD.

via Study: Oral THC Safely and Effectively Addresses Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform.

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Woman Accused Of Poisoning Son To Death With Salt – Munchausen Suspected

AP999044968381-239x300It’s Munchausen by Proxy, actually. Terrible nonetheless.

Investigators suspect the single mother may have poisoned her child at least twice, once before his seizures and again when his sodium spiked. Both incidents occurred in January. But they also suspect his medical abuse went back much further — fueled by the social media attention she gained on Facebook, Twitter and blogs, according to local news reports.

When Garnett was 5 days old, he reportedly went to an Alabama hospital with a high fever and ear infection. He had fluid in his ears, according to Spears’s statement to police.

At 10 weeks, she said he stopped breathing at the same time his sodium level climbed. At the time, doctors could not explain why.

Garnett purportedly had trouble gaining weight and, at 9 months, doctors put in a feeding tube.

By age 2, he was in and out of emergency rooms in Florida — once with a staph infection and blood leaking from his ears and his nose.

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Endangered Razorback Sucker Fish is Spawning Again In Grand Canyon National Park

PIC: USFWS (PD)

PIC: USFWS (PD)

We’re back, suckers.

After returning to the lower Colorado River in 2012 after a 22-year absence, the endangered razorback sucker fish is now spawning in Grand Canyon National Park, scientists announced today (June 18).

Biologists discovered larval razorback suckers in April and May at nine spots along the iconic Colorado River, which is home to several critically endangered fish species found nowhere else in the world.

“Razorback suckers continue to surprise us in Grand Canyon [National Park]— first with the discovery of adults after 20 years of absence, and now with spawning within the park,” Brian Healy, fisheries program manager for the national park, said in a statement. “We’re all hoping to see evidence that these larval fish survive to adulthood in the coming years.” [Grand Canyon: Take a Hike Through Geological Time (Photos)]

The razorback sucker was one of the biggest suckers swimming in the Colorado River before the Glen Canyon Dam was built in the 1960s.

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‘Mixed’ Neanderthal-Like Lineage Revealed in Ancient Skulls

Picture: Rawansari (CC)

Picture: Rawansari (CC)

Nobody wants third-hand teeth…

A key first step in Neanderthal evolution may have been the development of front teeth that could act like a “third hand,” researchers now say.

These new findings are based on 17 hominin skulls showing a mix of traits from Neanderthals and more primitive human lineages, dating back some 430,000 years. The specimens likely belonged to a hominin group within the Neanderthal lineage but perhaps not direct Neanderthal ancestors. (Hominins include modern humans and extinct ancestors and close relatives of the human lineage.)

The mix of traits suggests the defining features of the Neanderthal body may have evolved separately in stages instead of evolving together gradually, scientists added.

via Ancient Skulls Reveal ‘Mixed’ Neanderthal-Like Lineage.

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