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Americans Turning Away From Organized Religion in Record Numbers

A recent article by Alternet reveals that Americans are turning away from organized religion in record numbers. As two Millennials who fall into this category, we examine why that may be and trends we noticed in our life that encouraged us to turn away from the religion(s) we were raised with.

This clip is from the Indie Bohemians Morning Show. A morning show, for people who hate morning shows.

If the above player doesn’t work, please go here.

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Silicon Valley Is Hooked On Nootropic Drugs

Noo-What? Nootropics are so-called “brain-enhancing” drugs. Kevin Noose tells Fusion his tales of sucking down some dubious supplements in Silicon Valley:

It’s 3 p.m., and I am crushing my e-mail inbox. At this time of day, I’m typically struggling to stave off the post-lunch slowdown by downing another cup of coffee or two. But today, message after message is flying off my fingertips effortlessly—work e-mail, personal e-mail, digital errands I’d been meaning to run for months. I’m in the zone, as they say, and for this burst of late afternoon productivity, I might have nootropics to thank.

rise

Nootropics—the name given to a broad class of so-called “cognitive-enhancing” drugs—are all the rage in Silicon Valley these days. Programmers like nootropics because they’re said to increase productivity and sharpen focus without the intensity or side effects of a prescription drug like Adderall or modafinil. Some users mix their own nootropics using big bins of powders, purchased off the Internet or in supplement stores.

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NASA Ames reproduces the building blocks of life in laboratory

Left to right: Ames scientists Michel Nuevo, Christopher Materese and Scott Sandford reproduce uracil, cytosine, and thymine, three key components of our hereditary material, in the laboratory. Credit: NASA/ Dominic Hart

Left to right: Ames scientists Michel Nuevo, Christopher Materese and Scott Sandford reproduce uracil, cytosine, and thymine, three key components of our hereditary material, in the laboratory.

Credit: NASA/ Dominic Hart

Via Science Daily:

NASA scientists studying the origin of life have reproduced uracil, cytosine, and thymine, three key components of our hereditary material, in the laboratory. They discovered that an ice sample containing pyrimidine exposed to ultraviolet radiation under space-like conditions produces these essential ingredients of life.

Pyrimidine is a ring-shaped molecule made up of carbon and nitrogen and is the central structure for uracil, cytosine, and thymine, which are all three part of a genetic code found in ribonucleic (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA). RNA and DNA are central to protein synthesis, but also have many other roles.

“We have demonstrated for the first time that we can make uracil, cytosine, and thymine, all three components of RNA and DNA, non-biologically in a laboratory under conditions found in space,” said Michel Nuevo, research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.

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Heroin Deaths in US ‘Quadrupled from 2000 through 2013′

The CDC reports that deaths from heroin have quadrupled since 2000 and it’s way worse for males: the rate for men increased from 1.6 to 4.2 per 100,000 while the rate for women increased from 0.4 to 1.2 per 100,000. From MNT:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported that drug-poisoning deaths involving heroin almost quadrupled between 2000 and 2013 in the US.

Heroin aufkochen.JPG

Photo: Hendrike (CC)

 

The findings from the National Center for Heath Statistics (NCHS) report state that the age-adjusted rate of deaths involving heroin increased from 0.7 deaths per 100,000 to 2.7 per 100,000 during this period, with the majority of this rise occurring after 2010.

“This report provides the latest national statistics on drug overdose deaths involving heroin, highlighting the substantial increase in death rates and the populations most at risk,” the authors state.

Drug poisoning (overdosing) is the number one cause of injury-related death in the US.

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Mr. President, It’s Our Moment of Truth

John Wellington Ennis

John Wellington Ennis

Dear Mr. President,

From the heartlands of America to our city centers, there are too many folks who don’t believe our system works. When citizens are under-served by their leaders, an apathy is fostered that enables corruption and prevents accountability. Despite the historic struggle to vote, the dream of democratic elections is at risk when the public does not take voting seriously. In cities, states and at the national level, campaigns have become a cynical game that shuns voters, and lets those with millions to spare dominate the debate and decide who runs. This has to change.

I have been inspired by the people I have met across the country who are working hard in their community to limit the influence of money in politics. They have told me in one way or another how they came to realize that until we reform how money is spent in elections, we can’t confront the biggest problems facing us.… Read the rest

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The NRA vs Pediatricians

There is a public health crisis in America that doctors are not talking about. And not for lack of words. They are being gagged to say nothing. There is legislation in Florida and several other states that actually bans pediatricians from talking about basic gun safety with parents!

1.7 Million children in America live with an unlocked and loaded gun in their home. Every year, 140 children die because of accidental shootings.

Enough is enough.

The National Rifle Association and the gun companies will stop at nothing to make a profit off of the lives of our loved ones.

Help us expose the real NRA and the gun companies who finance them.

Share this video with the parent of a child you love. Help us work toward a world where gun safety is celebrated, not silenced in the name of profit. 

Thanks for all you do,

Robert Greenwald, President
Brave New Films

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The Book of the Law & the Gnostic Concept of the Holy Trinity

darksideofthesun1If you’ll recall, about a month ago I read Gary Lachman’s new book about Aleister Crowley (totally worth checking out) and ranted off about how I personally can’t stand the self-proclaimed Great Beast. But I must confess that my motivations for being that snarkingly harsh were quite similar to why I was such a Christianity-hating, angry, metal dude in my late teens and early twenties (it was the 90’s after all). I grew up believing in the church. When I got older, I started contemplating it a bit more and realized that I literally couldn’t go all-in believing in dogmas. I was pissed. This happened to me quite some time ago with Crowley, but dealing with dicks on the internet, the sorry state of the modern Occult, and reading Lachman’s book rekindled the fire.

In the course of all this, something quite interesting did go down, though. While bored at work one day, I pulled up a PDF of The Book of the Law, which I hadn’t read in about 6 years.… Read the rest

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Freeway Rick Ross: Crack In The System

Remember Freeway Rick Ross? Well just in case your memory of that sordid tale of the CIA, crack cocaine, allegedly murdered investigative reporter Gary Webb and legendary Los Angeles drug dealer "Freeway" Rick Ross is hazy, there's a tremendous new film on Al-Jazeera America called Freeway: Crack In The System. It's well worth checking out even if you think you know all about Freeway Rick. Here's the synopsis:
The true story behind the crack scourge, featuring exclusive interviews with characters who lived it. Their stories reveal a crack in the system that  implicates the centers of power in our government, their mass incarceration policies and  militarization of police, the spread of gangs and guns, and the loss of entire generations to the war on drugs...
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Warren Buffett Says Elizabeth Warren is Too ‘Angry’ and ‘Violent’ With Rich People

"Warren Buffett KU Visit" by Mark Hirschey - Work of Mark Hirschey. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Warren_Buffett_KU_Visit.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Warren_Buffett_KU_Visit.jpg

“Warren Buffett KU Visit” by Mark Hirschey – Work of Mark Hirschey.
Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Bryce Covert via Nation of Change:

In an interview Monday morning with CNBC, Berkshire Hathaway CEO and billionaire Warren Buffett was asked what he thinks of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and her views of Wall Street.

“I think that she would do better if she was less angry and demonized less,” he responded. “I believe in hate the sin, love the sinner, and I also believe in praising by name and criticizing by category.”

He continued that while there are “plenty of other candidates” whose political style he doesn’t agree with, “I do think it’s — I think it’s a mistake to get angry with your, with people that disagree with you,” he said of her. “In the end we do have to work together… And it does not help when you demonize or get too violent with the people you’re talking to.”

Sen.

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Daily diary reveals how cannabis use affects people with bipolar

Experiences in real-time. Rafael-castillo, CC BY

Experiences in real-time. Rafael-castillo, CC BY

By Elizabeth Tyler, Lancaster University

Rates of substance use are higher in people with mental health problems compared to the general population and particularly in people with bipolar disorder, with cannabis the street drug most frequently used. Estimates suggest that up to 64% of this group have tried cannabis at least once in their lives, against about 30% of those without the disorder, despite only being about 2% of the overall population.

Specific reasons for the high levels of cannabis use in bipolar disorder are not yet fully understood. Retrospective studies (using case histories and qualitative interviews) suggest that individuals see cannabis as sometimes useful for managing symptoms of mania and depression. However, a number of large scale research studies have found that cannabis use is associated with significantly more manic and depressive episodes.

The daily experience

A study we published in PLOS ONE is the first to explore the use of cannabis in bipolar disorder in daily life.… Read the rest

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