British Teenager Captures Strange Black Ring In The Sky

Via Huffington Post UK, introducing the Horrifying Black Ring of Leamington Spa:

Dubbed the Black Ring of Leamington Spa, the strange phenomenon was captured by Georgina Heap, 16, on her iPhone on Friday evening near Warwick Castle. Fire services have said no fires were reported at the time and the Met Office have said it does not appear to be weather-related.

Heap said it was “The weirdest thing I have ever seen. It was just floating there like a cloud and then it disappeared. It wasn’t birds either. There were about ten of us who stopped what we were doing and watched.”

UFO expert, Nick Pope, described the video as “truly bizarre” and added, “One other possibility is that the shape is made up of millions of bees or other insects, but I’ve never heard of insects behaving in this way before, so if this is the explanation, it’s a real-life X-File.”

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You Might Have Inherited Your Ancestors’ Fears

PIC: Hale Woodruff "Ancestral Memory" (CC)

PIC: Hale Woodruff “Ancestral Memory” (CC)

While not widely accepted in psychiatric circles, C.G. Jung’s theories about “racial memory” (more commonly known now as “genetic memory”) became a popular trope in the writings of writers like Robert E. Howard, Jean Auel, and Frank Herbert, all of whom used it to introduce things into their stories that their characters might not otherwise know. Now it seems that a couple of scientists may have proven that there is at least some truth to the idea that we can inherit memories of a sort from our ancestors.

Via Discover Magazine:

Geneticists were especially surprised to find that epigenetic change could be passed down from parent to child, one generation after the next. A study from Randy Jirtle of Duke University showed that when female mice are fed a diet rich in methyl groups, the fur pigment of subsequent offspring is permanently altered. Without any change to DNA at all, methyl groups could be added or subtracted, and the changes were inherited much like a mutation in a gene.

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To Blaze or Not to Blaze: Casual Pot Use & Brain Abnormalities

PIC: Black Zack (CC)

PIC: Black Zack (CC)

A research team at Northwestern has made some interesting discoveries involving casual marijuana use and brain change, which found that “young adults who used cannabis just once or twice a week showed significant abnormalities in two important brain structures.”

Breiter and his team analyzed a very small sample of patients between the ages of 18 and 25: 20 marijuana users and 20 well-matched control subjects. The marijuana users had a wide range of usage routines, with some using the drug just once or twice a week and others using it every single day.

Utilizing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the researchers analyzed the participants’ brains, focusing on the nucleus accumbens (NAC) and the amygdala – two key brain regions responsible for processing emotions, making decisions and motivation. They looked at these brain structures in three different ways, measuring their density, volume and shape. According to Breiter, all three were abnormal in the casual marijuana users.

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Protest with Witchcraft!

alienlightbuddhasigil1Ahhh, the manner by which synchronicity manifests itself into your life when you intentionally tread the path of a sorcerer. You toss around the idea of writing a think piece called “Protest with Witchcraft” for over a year, then finally decide to tackle it and just after you do an article appears on the site you’re writing it for about how street protests don’t work anymore. Then the day before you toss it up another appears about a new wave of witch hunters rising around the world. Of course, I write about this sychromystic high strangeness all the time on Facebook (friend me), and I haven’t even gotten to the oddest part yet. A week or so earlier I out of nowhere decided I needed to re-read A Separate Reality by Carlos Casteneda. I do have the cover tattooed on my right bicep, so I figured I might re-familiarize with what exactly that implies in a magickal context.… Read the rest

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Transcendence is Real

Transcendence2014PosterDo you believe in transcendence, about which Wikipedia says “In religious experience transcendence is a state of being that has overcome the limitations of physical existence and by some definitions has also become independent of it. This is typically manifested in prayer, séance, meditation, psychedelics and paranormal ‘visions’”?

Gearing up for tomorrow’s release of the Johnny Depp movie Transcendence, the Daily Dot claims that it ain’t just sci-fi, it’s “terrifyingly real”:

This Friday, a movie called Transcendence will arrive in theaters. Directed by Christopher Nolan’s go-to cinematographer, Wally Pfister, and penned by first-time screenwriter Jack Paglen (whose script appeared on the infamous Black List), Transcendence is being sold as Hollywood’s next sci-fi epic. So far, reviews haven’t been kind (although they’re still rolling in), and box office predictions have been tepid.

The movie follows Johnny Depp’s Dr. Caster’s journey from being fatally shot to uploading his mind into a supercomputer, where he achieves the all-knowing, all-powerful state he’s only dreamed about before.

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Oklahoma School District To Adopt Hobby Lobby President’s “Bible Curriculum”

Steve GreenA future in which the fanatical billionaire heads of our nation’s largest retail chains dictate what is taught in schools. Religion News Service reports:

The Mustang, Okla., school board voted Monday to adopt the first year of the Museum of the Bible Curriculum, an ambitious four-year public school elective on the narrative, history and impact of the Bible developed by Hobby Lobby president Steve Green.

In September 2016, Jerry Pattengale, head of the Green Scholars Initiative, which is overseeing its development, hopes to place it in at least 100 high schools; by the following year, “thousands.”

If successful, Green, whose family’s wealth is estimated at upward of $3 billion, would galvanize the movement to teach the Bible academically in public schools, a movement born after the Supreme Court banned school-sanctioned devotion in the 1960s but whose steady progress in the last decades has been somewhat hampered.

The Green curriculum ”is like nothing we’ve seen before,” said Charles Haynes, senior scholar at the First Amendment Center and editor of a booklet sent out to all schools by the U.S.

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The Birth of a Conspiracy Theory

Deep Ellum - Conspiracy Bar sign 01Watch LIVE as a conspiracy theory is born (courtesy of Andrew Rosenthal in the op-ed section of the New York Times):

If you spend enough time on the Internet you’ll eventually encounter a conspiracy theory. If you watch closely enough, sometimes you can actually see one being born.

For years now some on the right have speculated that the Obama administration is trying to politicize the national census. Yesterday, Noah Rothman argued on Mediaite that the theory was proven correct by a New York Times article about changes in the way the Census Bureau plans to ask about health insurance coverage.

The idea is that the new questions will show a reduction in the number of uninsured people starting in 2014, which may make it seem as though the Affordable Care Act is working better than it really is. The change in questions will also produce a “break in trend” within the census surveys and thus make it impossible to statistically compare 2013 and 2014 with earlier years.

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Stefan Molyneux On How Cryptocurrencies Can Curb Unsustainable Government Growth

BitcoinThe Next Web catches up with Stefan Molyneux to discuss Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and their impact on government and society:

Via The Next Web:

TNW: To what extent will Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies even things out, taking power back from governmental bodies?

SM: One of the most important aspects of cryptocurrencies is the degree to which they deny inter-generational debt, deficit-financing, and the easy money required for imperialism and war.

As a species, we generally consider ourselves to be very considerate and thoughtful towards the young. Unfortunately, that does not find reflection in our governmental policies, which burden the unborn with staggering debt, none of which would be possible with cryptocurrencies.

The power of the state to create money out of thin air, control interest rates, and pretend that it is providing value to the population, when it is merely debasing their currencies and lowering them into a chasm of debt, will face a serious challenge from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

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Google X Looked Into Building a Space Elevator

PIC: Superborusk (CC)

PIC: Superborusk (CC)

Richard DeVaul, the head of Google X’s Rapid Evaluation Team told Fast Company that the secretive lab had made some serious inquiries into the feasibility of building a space elevator:

Via Fast Company:

“It would be a massive capital investment,” he said in this month’s issue of Fast Company. But once this hypothetical machine was built, “it could take you from ground to orbit with a net of basically zero energy. It drives down the space-access costs, operationally, to being incredibly low.”

Unfortunately, our current technological landscape has its limitations:

The team knew the cable would have to be exceptionally strong– “at least a hundred times stronger than the strongest steel that we have,” by ­[Google X researcher Dan Piponi]‘s calculations. He found one material that could do this: carbon nanotubes. But no one has manufactured a perfectly formed carbon nanotube strand longer than a meter. And so elevators “were put in a deep freeze,” as [Google X researcher Mitch Heinrich] says, and the team decided to keep tabs on any advances in the carbon nanotube field.

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Scientific Study Says the US is an Oligarchy (In Other Breaking News: Water is Wet!)

Pic: PD

Pic: PD

The Daily Kos has reported on a new study (courtesy of researchers from Princeton and Northwestern) which claims to demonstrate, via science, that the US is an oligarchy:

“The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence. Our results provide substantial support for theories of Economic Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.”

This news shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who has been paying the least bit of attention, though it is encouraging to see that more people are beginning to wake up and acknowledge these facts.

Another disturbing aspect which the author points out:  ”the data used for this study was drawn from study of public policy 1,779 instances between 1981 and 2002.… Read the rest

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