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How the legacy of slavery affects the mental health of black Americans today

The trauma of slavery.  National Archives and Records

The trauma of slavery. National Archives and Records

On July 22, in announcing the federal indictment of Charleston killer Dylann Roof, Attorney General Loretta Lynch commented that the expression of forgiveness offered by the victims’ families is “an incredible lesson and message for us all.”

Forgiveness and grace are, indeed, hallmarks of the Black Church.

Since slavery, the church has been a formidable force for the survival of blacks in an America still grappling with the residual effects of white supremacy.

This was eloquently illustrated in the aftermath of the Charleston church massacre. Americans rightly stood in awe of the bereaved families’ laudable demonstration of God’s grace in action.

But what about the psychic toll that these acts of forgiveness exact?

Events like Charleston put a spotlight on the growing body of literature that looks not only at the United States’ failure to have authentic conversations about slavery and its legacy but also at the mental health impact of forgiving acts of white racism and repressing justifiable feelings of anger and outrage – whether these are horrific acts of terrorism or nuanced microaggressions.Read the rest

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How to shake someone who’s tailing you

Screen shot 2015-07-30 at 3.49.02 PMKristen Felicetti via Hopes&Fears:

We live in an age where it pays to be paranoid. Security cameras are unavoidable. The NSA is tracking your email. Hackers could steal your identity or expose your most intimate secrets. If that doesn’t make you anxious enough, well, the threat of domestic and international terrorism looms, a massive earthquake will probably devastate the entire Pacific Northwest, and sharks have been attacking swimmers all summer.

All these recent threats might make you forget one old-fashioned reason for being paranoid: another person following you. You may never be able to shake 21st century digital surveillance, but we can help if you ever find yourself being tailed by an actual human being. Here’s how you lose someone who’s following you.

Behind the wheel

First, you need to determine whether you’re actually being followed or whether you’re just being paranoid. Do you have a reason for being investigated?

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Hold The Phone, Central! Cellphone Radiation Can Cause Cancer

Don’t say we didn’t warn you (via the documentary Mobilize), but cellphone radiation can (and probably does) cause cancer reports the New York Daily News:

The scientists were right — your cell phone can give you cancer.

There have long been whispers of a cancer connection from your cell — and a new study backs up the claims.

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“These data are a clear sign of the real risks this kind of radiation poses for human health,” study author Igor Yakymenko said.

Yakymenko’s meta-study — basically a study of hundreds of other studies — reveals many findings of previous researchers into how radiofrequency from your phone can damage DNA.

That damage can add up over time and cause a variety of health problems, like cancer, headaches, fatigue and even skin problems.

For example, using your phone for just 20 minutes a day for five years increased the risk of one type of brain tumor threefold, and using the phone an hour a day for four years upped the risk of some tumors three to five times, Yakymenko said…

[continues at the Daily News]

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Ad for The Hypnotic Bar Experiment Causes People To Hallucinate Instantly

A new ad causes people to hallucinate simply by staring at it.

Playing the video full screen will usually cause visual hallucinations that last around 10 seconds then go away. (Do not watch if you have epilepsy or are prone to seizures.)

The ad promotes  a new kind of live event that is perhaps even more bizarre – The Hypnotic Bar, a lounge where people reach altered states of consciousness without drugs or alcohol.

“The Hypnotic Bar is an experiment attempting to prove that altered states are ultimately all in the mind. Your brain is making you high, not the drugs,” said Albert Nerenberg, hypnotist and director of several documentaries distributed by Disinformation including Laughology, Boredom and Stupidity. “And because they’re all in the mind, you can reach wild, healthy and potentially limitless altered states without cost or compromising your health.”

The ad is intended to demonstrate that altered states are quickly achievable said Nerenberg.… Read the rest

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Obama signs executive order authorizing new supercomputing research initiative

President Barack Obama has signed an executive order to help create the world’s fastest computer. The new initiative, known as National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), will begin working on “the first exaflop supercomputer—something that’s about 30 times faster than today’s fastest machines.”

Klint Finley at Wired has the scoop:

Supercomputers are at the heart of a huge number of important scientific and defense research projects. They’re used by aerospace engineers to model planes and weapons, and by climatologists to predict the the near-term impact of hurricanes and the long-term effects of climate change. Researchers involved in the White House’s Precision Medicine initiative believe exaflop speed supercomputers could aid the creation of personalized drugs, while the European Commission’s Human Brain Project hopes they will help unlock the secrets of the human brain.

Several government agencies, most notably the Department of Energy, have been deeply involved in the development of supercomputers over the last few decades, but they’ve typically worked separately.

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Pravda.ru: Kim Jong-Un declares preparations for war with US and South Korea

"Kim Jong-un sketch" by En-cas-de-soleil - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Kim Jong-un sketch” by En-cas-de-soleilOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

According to Pravda.ru, Kim Jong-Un has claimed that he is preparing for war with the US and the “puppet South Korean regime.”

Pravda.Ru:

He made the statement during the Air Force drills, which as he said, were part of the preparation.

The drills were carried out on the occasion of the 62nd anniversary of the armistice agreement that ended the Korean war of 1950-1953, Pravda.Ru reports.

Kim said the contest was intended to “bring about a radical turn in the drills to round off preparations for a war full of the will to settle with arms accounts with the U.S. imperialists, the chieftain of aggression, and the South Korean puppet group keen to escalate the confrontation with the fellow countrymen and that of social systems, seized with sycophancy toward the U.S.”

Read more.Read the rest

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How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life

“This doesn’t happen in the United States — okay. This might happen in Afghanistan or somewhere. This just does not happen in the United States.”

— Cincinnati Prosecutor Joe Deters

The last several months have seen a debate, at times heated, between the #BlackLivesMatter movement and those who respond with #AllLivesMatter.

All Action Silent Protest

I think a lot of people — perhaps not all — who are using both tags are missing a larger point and opening themselves up to ultimately devaluing a lot of lives.

People use #BlackLivesMatter to denote that given our criminal “justice” system, African Americans are frequently targeted, endangered and at times killed largely because they are black. And that’s totally true and needed saying a long time ago.

People saying #AllLivesMatter presume to appeal to universal values, perhaps also noting that poor whites and others have particular vulnerabilities to police abuse as well. And the last part is certainly true.… Read the rest

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Jon Stewart & Obama Meetings Ethics Debate

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President Obama’s administration used Jon Stewart as a “useful prod.” Stewart was often summoned to the White House before big announcements. A debate about the ethics of the TV host rages on.

Jackie Salo via International Business Times:

President Barack Obama summoned television host Jon Stewart to the White House on several occasions before he made major announcements, according to a Politico article that revealed the secret connection between “The Daily Show” host and the president. News of the private meetings surfaced Tuesday as Stewart prepares to end his tenure as host on Aug. 6.

Some have questioned Stewart’s ethics because he did not disclose his connection to Obama. “The summoning of Stewart to the White House validates the belief that the comedian is more influential on the public discourse than any journalist,” said a Minnesota Public Radio article Tuesday. “But do the rules of journalism apply to a comedian who doesn’t consider himself a journalist even as the people watching consider him one?”

While still at the White House, former Obama advisor David Axelrod kept in touch with the host by phone and email.

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