We’re already in the middle of a class war perpetrated by the top .01% against the bottom 99.9%. And the riots in Baltimore are only a symptom of that. It’s even worse in the Black community because they’re impacted not only by crippling wealth inequality — but also decades of systemic racism in a society that claims to be free and democratic. Redacted Tonight’s Lee Camp explains how a class war is already underway — but we need to fight back against the powerful rich minority, not with violence, but with class warfare of the mind. (And somehow he makes it funny too.)
Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and public-health researcher, states what most of us already know: there is a tremendous amount of unnecessary, costly and unpleasant medical care taking place throughout the healthcare system in the United States. From the New Yorker:
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It was lunchtime before my afternoon surgery clinic, which meant that I was at my desk, eating a ham-and-cheese sandwich and clicking through medical articles. Among those which caught my eye: a British case report on the first 3-D-printed hip implanted in a human being, a Canadian analysis of the rising volume of emergency-room visits by children who have ingested magnets, and a Colorado study finding that the percentage of fatal motor-vehicle accidents involving marijuana had doubled since its commercial distribution became legal. The one that got me thinking, however, was a study of more than a million Medicare patients. It suggested that a huge proportion had received care that was simply a waste.
Aside from the fact that it smacks of hipsterism, the trend for bushy beards has a dark side: the beards’ owners are unwittingly carrying around all kinds of crap on their faces. Real crap, as in fecal matter. The Atlantic undertakes a “cost-benefit analysis of manliness and microbiology”:
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Journalism is, at its core, a public service. This is why several days ago the reporters at Action 7 News in Albuquerque, New Mexico, decided to investigate just what, exactly, teems within the beards of the polity. They swabbed the whiskers of a handful of local men and took the results to Quest Diagnostics.
The results were the kind that medical labs don’t leave on your answering machine:
Several of the beards that were tested contained a lot of normal bacteria, but some were comparable to toilets.
“Those are the types of things you’d find in (fecal matter),” Golobic said, referring to the tests.
The latest from Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films:
Racism is real.
Since the election of President Barrack Obama many white Americans have been operating under the false assumption that racism is “over” and does not impose a significant barrier to People of Color.
Similarly, the seminal victories of the 1960s to combat the most obvious aspects of institutionalized bigotry created a perception that widespread racism had been largely eradicated.
The misplaced perception that racism is over was on full display last year when the deaths of African Americans like Eric Gardner and the Michael Brown exposed how tone deaf our society can be to the everyday plights of People of Color.
This video is the first installment in a series of short films Brave New films is producing to promote an invigorated fight for racial justice in this country. In it, we present a “split-screen” comparison of two individuals, a Black man and a White man, as they attempt to achieve progress by modern means.… Read the rest
These rugby players lost their teeth on the field and one beer company, Salta Beer, is paying to have them replaced with little bottler openers.
Dana Ferguson via AP:
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While conservatives in Indiana and Arkansas were explaining last month why their new religious objections laws weren’t invitations to discriminate against gays, the leaders of Wisconsin’s capital city were busy protecting the rights of another group: atheists.
In what is believed to be the first statute of its kind in the United States, Madison banned discrimination against the non-religious on April 1, giving them the same protections afforded to people based on their race, sexual orientation and religion, among other reasons.
It’s hardly surprising that such a statute would originate in Madison, an island of liberalism in a conservative-leaning state and the home of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. But the ordinance’s author, Anita Weier, said it didn’t arise from an actual complaint about alleged discrimination based on a lack of religious faith.
“It just seems to me that religion has spread into government more than I feel comfortable with,” said Weier, who left the council after the statute passed.
Are artists, consumers and critics guilty of a stubborn addiction to the past? Or have we become too obsessed with the new?
Music critic Giuseppe Zevolli ties American artist Holly Herndon’s forthcoming album Platform – to be released on May 18th – to the wider phenomenon of nostalgia for the past and the future of music, while confronting her experimental compositions in the here and now.
San Francisco based electronic musician Holly Herndon does not have much time for nostalgia. In her view it is better spent on reviving the ‘world-making’ potential of music and do away with pre-existing tropes. On her track Unequal, off of her upcoming album Platform [RVNG Intl. & 4AD], a male voice recites:
To change the shape of our future/To be unafraid to break away
A climactic rush of shuddering electronica accompanied by meditative, pitch-errant vocals, the song tackles social inequality, while those two verses – echoing the manifesto-like messages appearing in her video for Interference – could equally be seen to encapsulate her aesthetics as a whole.… Read the rest
As Western governments play a futile game of whack-a-mole with legal drugs, chemists in China are consistently synthesizing new, legal compounds to sell.
Nicola Davison via The Guardian:
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The mass production of legal highs began only in 2008, when UN drugs officials destroyed 33 tonnes of safrole oil, a precursor of MDMA, in Cambodia.
As MDMA stocks in Europe dwindled, suppliers shopped around for an alternative – and found mephedrone, a substance that was chemically similar to MDMA but not controlled in the UK. For the two years before it was banned, users could not get enough of this cheap, cocaine-meets-ecstasy high.
Pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer originally developed synthetic cannabinoids – drugs designed to mimic the effect of cannabis – as research tools to investigate the mechanisms of the brain’s endocannabinoid system for clinical therapy.
Vendors began trawling obscure scientific journals for compounds, consumers described their highs on online drug forums, and the nascent market took shape.
It’s the stuff of nightmares: a predatory cockroach (which hunted at night, of course) was recently found preserved in amber. The cockroach and its kin coexisted with dinosaurs and was found near a mine in Noije Bum, Myanmar.
This predator bears a striking resemblance to a praying-mantis. Scientists, Peter Vršanský from the Geological Institute in Bratislava, Slovakia, and Günter Bechly from the State Museum of Natural History in Stuttgart, Germany, say that its long legs and and long neck indicate that these critters were adept hunters.
Standardized testing is the bane of American education. No wonder more and more children and parents are choosing to opt out. John Oliver highlights the madness of multiple choice test taking like no one else can: