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Researchers use real data rather than theory to measure the cosmos

Incase (CC BY 2.0)

Incase (CC BY 2.0)

via Phys.org:

For the first time researchers have measured large distances in the Universe using data, rather than calculations related to general relativity.

A research team from Imperial College London and the University of Barcelona has used data from astronomical surveys to measure a standard distance that is central to our understanding of the expansion of the .

Previously the size of this ‘standard ruler’ has only been predicted from theoretical models that rely on general relativity to explain gravity at large scales. The new study is the first to measure it using observed data. A standard ruler is an object which consistently has the same physical size so that a comparison of its actual size to its size in the sky will provide a measurement of its distance to earth.

“Our research suggests that current methods for measuring distance in the Universe are more complicated than they need to be,” said Professor Alan Heavens from the Department of Physics, Imperial College London who led the study.

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I Told a Grand Jury I Saw a Cop Shoot and Kill an Unarmed Man. It Didn’t Indict.

Elvert Barnes (CC BY 2.0)

Elvert Barnes (CC BY 2.0)

via Mother Jones:

Many years ago, during the 1980s, I witnessed a killing: a New York City cop shooting an unarmed homeless man near the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was later called as a grand jury witness in the case. The grand jury did not indict the officer.

It was a summer evening. I was heading to play softball in Central Park. At the corner of Fifth Avenue and 79th Street, I got off my bicycle to walk toward the Great Lawn. The west side of Fifth was crowded with New Yorkers enjoying the beautiful night. People were streaming in and out of the park. Sidewalk vendors were doing brisk business. The vibe was good. And in the midst of the hubbub, I spotted a fellow wearing dirty and tattered clothing. His hair was filthy, his face worn. It was hard to determine his age.

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New Grimm Bros’ Tales Translation, ESA’s Comet Landing, Dr. Oz Backlash

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Podcast from the Indie Bohemians Morning Show: One of the few truly independent Morning Shows left on the airwaves, Nashville-based Indie Bohemians is a morning show for people who hate morning shows!

Jam packed show today folks! Rob Haynes checks in with a Sports Report, will Vegas be getting an NHL Team? Angie Dorin gives us a Monkey Minute and Eddie Clark updates us on NASCAR. In Pop Culture, a Professor of German Literature has compiled a new translation of the Grimm Brothers’ Fairytales, and we take a look at Dr. Oz’s Twitter backlash, is his programming irresponsible? Finally, gotta address the Philae, landing on a comet 310 million miles from Earth!

 

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Pursuing Justice Through Filmmaking, Why we Create Beauty, Hot Dog Related Altercations

Via Midwest Real

Filmmakers Spencer Chumbley and Erik Ljung have shot for organizations like VICE and Al Jazeera. I caught up with the guys just before they debuted their film, The Death of Cory Stingley a the Milwaukee Film Festival. 

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Humans make things, we always have. But, we don’t just make, we create beauty. We pay attention to symmetry, form and detail. Why is that? Darwinian theory says it’s simply a form of “peacocking.” More specifically, our creative predispositions are merely “fitness signals.” For example, if you write a novel, create a moving peace of art, or compose a great song, it’s just a uniquely human way of showing off your intellect in hopes of attracting a mate, like a peacock with it’s innately douchey bouquet of feathers.

I fucking hate this idea.  

But, let’s be fair. It’s totally undeniable that ego and social elevation are often intertwined with creative accomplishments.Read the rest

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Entheodelic Storytelling: A Conversation with Gabriel D. Roberts

Quest For GnosisPAPERI recently had the distinct pleasure of catching up with my good friend Gabriel D. Roberts, author of The Quest for Gnosis. He is making his first foray into fiction very soon with a new book called The Hermit.

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BR: Gabe, one of the things I like so much about the way you deliver ideas is that it is both honest and raw while also “getting to the heart of things” in a very rapid manner. What were some of the initial things that inspired The Quest for Gnosis?

I wanted to make a fast track for the serious seeker who was tired of the dogmatic mire of big religion and I knew that I alone would fall short of delivering such a tome. It made sense to employ the minds of those very people who shaped and influenced my perspectives. This is a refinement of my own journey that I hope will make it easier for the neophyte to grow.… Read the rest

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A Brief History of disinformation® and Its Sister Labels

History – disinformation® and Formation of TDC Entertainment

TDCFormed in 1997, The Disinformation Company is an independent media company that produces and distributes quality documentary films. The company’s lead brand disinformation® also includes the blog we’ve all come to know and love (or hate) and the Disinformation Books imprint, now operated by Red Wheel/Weiser.

In 2011, we formed True Mind Films. While disinformation® focuses primarily on politics and social activism, True Mind “is dedicated to healthy living, environmental wellness and personal development.” Some of its films include Bee People, How it All Began: The Origins of the Universal Healing Tao and Planeat.

In 2012, a third label was born: Shelter Island, our home for quality documentaries and special interest video that don’t quite fit the mould of disinformation® or True Mind. Releases include Doctors of the Dark Side, Journey of the Universe, and American Jesus.

To unite all of these labels, in 2013 we changed the company’s trading name to TDC Entertainment.… Read the rest

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Whoaverse, Reddit, And The Perils of Default Subscriptions

via chycho

whoaverse-mascot

If you, like me, share and acquire news and information and entertain and are entertained by browsing forums and user-generated news and information aggregate sites, then you should be aware, there is a new player in town and it shows a lot of promise.

whoaverse.com is in its early alpha stage right now but the buzz its creating is intoxicating. I haven’t felt this much excitement about sharing information online for quite some time.

The admins of the site appear to be dedicated to transparency and at present are very receptive to suggestions on how the site should be managed. Have your say, I have already had mine. Here is my take regarding default subs:

1) “Personally, I don’t think there should be any defaults if at all possible. I think once people join they should see the top subs and be able to click on the ones that they want to join, like a list.”

2) “I think there should be no defaults, but a list from which people can choose what they want as their defaults.

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Do Psychedelics Have a Place in the Future of Medicine? With Brad Burge of MAPS and Army Ranger Tim Amoroso.

Via Midwest Real

“There really has been an exponential increase of media interest in what’s happening. I think that’s the result of new research, (and) the result of some major international conferences that are really establishing the field of psychedelic science and medicine.” Brad Burge of MAPS.

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It seems we’re finally at a turning point in The War on Drugs.  All it took was a few decades of indoctrination, mass-incarceration, astronomical price tags and straight-up horrific body counts. Yet, society’s transition into a deeper understanding of these substances has been far from smooth. Yes, the people have clearly spoken on the subject of marijuana, and nearly half of all U.S. states have taken notice, putting some sort of marijuana-friendly law on the books. However, when it comes to Mary Jane’s more potent psychedelic cousins, the conversation is quite a bit more nuanced and controversial. Thankfully, for the first time in decades, the dialogue surrounding psychedelics is evolving.… Read the rest

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My Brain has Melted- Author and High-Ranking Freemason Robert W. Sullivan Blasts a Torrent of Hidden Knowledge Into Your Ears.

OMG, THEY'RE TOTES WATCHING US RIGHT NOW

OMG, THEY’RE TOTES WATCHING US RIGHT NOW!

Author and 32nd degree Freemason, Robert W. Sullivan discusses the influence of ancient mysteries, ceremonies, sages and astral bodies on the very foundation of America.

I remember it well- the first time I heard the phrase “Freemason”.  Sure, in hindsight, it came from an uneducated idiot at a college party, but it was enough to make me rush to Google for enlightenment.  My 20-year-old brain couldn’t believe what it had read.  Masons seemed to be the stuff of fiction.  A shadowy cabal of powerful men linked to basically every major event that lead to the establishment of the United States.  It was well known- George Washington, Ben Franklin and and a slew of other founding fathers we worship were members of this secretive fraternal order shrouded in creepy symbols, weird phrases and secret handshakes.  How could I not have known this?  Then I came across the claims that masons were devil worshipers, prayed to idols and practiced black magic.
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The Bitcoin “Crisis” Explained and 5 Reasons it Can’t be Killed

BitcoinNear the end of last year, Bitcoin was being gobbled up at an unbelievable $1100 per coin. With a cursory glance, at today’s price ($500), you’d think that the Coca-Cola of cryptos is careening toward disaster. In order to understand why that’s not the case, you might need a quick recap on how we got to this juncture.

Via- Midwest Real

For Bitcoin, early 2014 was a PR nightmare. The crypto was constantly being linked to drugs and money laundering, most infamously in the case of The Silk Road. But, the most damning sequence of events was due to a known security vulnerability and good-old-fashioned ineptness. Enter Hurricane Gox. By February, major (but known to be sketchy) Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox had been having problems for quite awhile. Because of that aforementioned security issue, Mt. Gox halted some of their user’s ability to withdraw Bitcoin while they fixed the hiccup.… Read the rest

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