Sunday, July 13, 2014

"Now I know why fairy tales are full of jewels."

via realitysandwich.com:

Many know Anais Nin for her breathtaking, erotically charged novels, and who Maria Popova described as “modern history’s most dedicated diarist.” Few know that in 1955, she took LSD and wrote a beautiful and detailed diary entry about it. Today of course, we call it a trip report.
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"At first nothing appeared unchanged. But after a while, perhaps twenty minutes, I noticed first of all that the rug was no longer flat and lifeless, but had become a field of stirring and undulating hairs, much like the movement of the sea anemone or a field of wheat in the wind. Then I noticed that doors, walls, and windows were liquefying."
.......

Saturday, July 12, 2014

MAGICK MIRROR



THIS NOT THAT

The summer of Supermoons is here

via cnn.com:
http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/51c1f811eab8ea944900000c/supermoon-2013-dates-and-when-to-watch.jpg
What's better than a "supermoon"? Three Supermoons!

The full moons of summer this year -- July 12, August 10 and September 9 -- will all be Supermoons, as NASA calls them.

The phenomenon happens when the moon becomes full on the same day as its perigee -- the point in the moon's orbit when it's closet to Earth.
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Brings this to mind...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Kickstarter Proves Humanity Is Doomed - Part 2

Awhile ago I posted about a particularly stomach-turning Kickstarter campaign that raised a ridiculously huge amount of money to create Nazi themed playing cards (yes, really, it's a thing).

4 Reasons This One Kickstarter Proves Humanity Is Doomed

I genuinely though it would be hard for someone to come up with a more callous, useless expenditure of resources than that.

I was wrong.

In the past three days this new one has raised almost $66,000.

To watch a guy make potato salad.

On the internet.

That's all it is. Paying money to watch a random dude make potato salad. As of this posting a total of 4,500 people have pledged a total of $65,997. On average that comes out to $14.67 for each contributor.

What would the impact on human suffering have been if each one of those people had gone out themselves and spent that $14.67 on real food and then handed it personally to a homeless person? How many thousands of people could be eating a nutritious meal tonight for the first time in weeks? No "someone else will do it", no "it's not my problem", no big fanfare or special recognition for being "good" - just simple human contact and compassion being put into real action.

"But, eewwww, I'd have to be in the presence of one of those dirty, nasty poors for a few seconds - someone might see me and then my social life would be over."

"But, eewwww, I'd miss out on 'participating' in an ephemeral, transitory micro-fad on the internet - then my social life would be over."

The lack of perspective exposed by the creation and funding of this campaign is especially revealing (and revolting) in regards to the deformation of the Western psyche.

Are people really that empty and dead inside now?


via forbes.com:
With the 4th of July around the corner, Zack Brown had potato salad on his mind. As any enterprising entrepreneur would do, he initiated a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $10.

His appeal is written in a hilarious, deadpan style. For instance, he notes in the Risks section of his campaign that, “It might not be that good. It’s my first potato salad.” At the time I am writing this, he has enticed over 4,300 backers to commit more than $55,000, and counting.
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ed.note: Yes, this whole thing is "hilarious". Maybe they can get Nero to be a special Guest MC for this year's Hunger Games - they say he's a hoot and he plays a mean fiddle...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Here's the Lawless Hellscape Colorado Has Become Six Months After Legalizing Weed

via mic.com:
It's now been six months since Colorado enacted its historic marijuana legalization policy, and two big things have already happened:

1. Colorado's cash crop is turning out to be even more profitable than the state could have hoped.

In March alone, taxed and legal recreational marijuana sales generated nearly $19 million, up from $14 million in February. The state has garnered more than $10 million in taxes from retail sales in the first four months — money that will go to public schools and infrastructure, as well as for youth educational campaigns about substance use.

According to his latest budget proposal, Gov. John Hickenlooper expects a healthy $1 billion in marijuana sales over the next fiscal year. That's nearly $134 million in tax revenue. Sales from recreational shops are expected to hit $600 million, which is a more than 50% increase over what was originally expected.

2. Denver crime rates have suddenly fallen.

Marijuana-related arrests, which make up 50% of all drug-related crimes, have plummeted in Colorado, freeing up law enforcement to focus on other criminal activity. By removing marijuana penalties, the state saved somewhere between $12 million and $40 million in 2012, according to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.
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PLASMA DRIVE


PLASMA DRIVE

Everything We Know About Facebook's Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment

The thing I keep wondering is "does this experiement have a body count?". The past few years have been pretty rough for a lot of people, so if someone was already feeling suicidal that week, who knows if this would have been enough to push them over the edge...

Nice going, Facebook. Stay classy.

via theatlantic.com:
We now know that’s exactly what happened two years ago. For one week in January 2012, data scientists skewed what almost 700,000 Facebook users saw when they logged into its service. Some people were shown content with a preponderance of happy and positive words; some were shown content analyzed as sadder than average. And when the week was over, these manipulated users were more likely to post either especially positive or negative words themselves.
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Reposting these here because they seem like appropriate commentary on the vileness that is Facebook:



Study: People prefer electric shocks to being alone with their thoughts

via boingboing.net:
Matthew writes, "A new paper in Science reports that when people are asked to entertain themselves with their own thoughts for 15 minutes, many resort to giving themselves painful electric shocks they'd previously said they'd pay to avoid."

The paper, Just think: The challenges of the disengaged mind, summarizes 11 studies conducted by Timothy Wilson (University of Virginia) and colleagues. The researchers say this has nothing to do with attention spans that have been foreshortened by the Internet.
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Friday, June 27, 2014

'Enigma Man' may be new human species that lived until 11,000 years ago

via smh.com.au:

 Enigma Man: A figure based on the remains found in a remote cave in South West China.
.......
The fossils just don’t fit with the dominant view in science at the moment about who was around 11,000 years ago or 14,000 years ago, how they relate to us, and how we think of ourselves as humans in relation to nature.

“We tend to think of ourselves as special. So it raises some pretty deep and challenging questions.

“There are views, which I subscribe to, and quite a lot of other people do too, that there are at least 30 different species that are in the fossil record that would be relatives of ours in some sense – some may be ancestors, some may be side-branches that went extinct.
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Game of Thrones : "Some Weird Ritual of Self Flagellation"

Here's a succinct little opinion piece by James Curcio about America's current favorite show in the "serialized torture porn" catagory. Seems there's a bit of a hullabaloo about how the show might have to end early because the final books aren't written yet. Gee, that would be a shame, guess folks will have to watch re-runs of 24, BSG, and Dark Knight until some other show picks up that shit-slathered ball and runs with it.

Fuck "gritty".

via modernmythology.net:
......
I'll still probably watch it at some point because I do like eschewing ideological cliche and seeing how they are playing with that. If only the process didn't feel like some weird cultural ritual of self flagellation. Like is this culture really hung up on punishing any thought of human kindness and genuine contact or what? How many torture scenes can you watch, how many hopes and lives pointless crushed, before you go from "we get it, life sucks and never works out" to admitting you're actually just punishing yourself and using the show as the straight razor.
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ROCKET STAR


ROCKET STAR

Morality at the Movies

via onfiction.ca:
Morality at the Movies
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Plantinga argues that film and television narratives are ethically significant because they play a role in the construction of our systems of morality at both personal and cultural levels. First, his argument goes, narrative films cue us to judge, believe, and feel emotions in various ways. Second, they offer us representations that are particularly vivid, as to why we should make judgements, exercise beliefs, and experience emotions. Third, one of the ways in which films have this effect is by offering us various pleasures and enjoyments. Fourth, they invite us to transfer judgements, beliefs, and emotions from the realm of fiction to the real world.
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