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TIME Magazine Promotes Consumption of Hallucinogenic Drugs

from TIME

LSD Might Make You More Creative

A small study of the illegal drug has found eye- and mind-opening results

Lysergic acid dyethylamide, which you probably know as LSD, has been put to various uses since its discovery in the 1930s: scientists have tried to treat mental illness; the CIA attempted to control minds; and recreational users, well, trip out. But the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 officially prohibited LSD, and scientific inquiries into its capabilities all but disappeared. Until recently.

While studies into LSD still face stigmas, in the past several years, scientists have found potential small-scale, fascinating effects on perplexing regions of health, including addiction, depression and terminal cancer. Studies have also taken on the drug’s cognitive repercussions; “You don’t recognize yourself as a separate being from the universe,” as one study’s co-author told TIME in 2015.\

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on October 31, 2016 by Editor

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LSD TV

from The Independent

Future of TV could be pills that make people hallucinate television shows, Netflix boss says

It might be a blue pill that makes you hallucinate in an entertaining way – and then another white pill that brings you back to normality, Reed Hastings said

by Andrew Griffin

The future of TV might everyone taking hallucinogenic drugs, according to the head of Netflix.

The threats to the streaming TV company might not be Amazon or other streaming services, but instead “pharmacological” ways of entertaining people, Reed Hastings has said.

And just as films and TV shows are a supposedly improved version of other entertainments, those same things might eventually become defunct, he said. In the same way that the cinema and TV screen made “the opera and the novel” much smaller, something else might be on the way to do the same thing, the Netflix boss said at a Wall Street Journal event.

Those challenges could come from anywhere, he said. They might not be another form of screen: “Is it VR, is it gaming, is it pharmacological?” Mr Hastings asked the event.

He went on to say that it might be possible that in the coming years someone will develop a drug that will make people get the same experiences that at the moment come from streaming services like Netflix. Apparently making reference to The Matrix, he said that we might be able to take one pill to escape into a hallucination and then another to come back.

[ click to continue reading at The Independent ]

Posted on October 30, 2016 by Editor

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Laurel Canyon Legacy

from Vanity Fair

An Oral History of Laurel Canyon, the 60s and 70s Music Mecca

They made music together, took drugs together, formed bands together, slept together. But none of the legends of the Laurel Canyon scene that flowered in L.A. in the late 60s and early 70s—Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Linda Ronstadt, and others—remember it quite the same way.

by 

Stephen Stills and Peter Tork in Stills’s Rolls-Royce, 1968. Digital Colorization by Lorna Clark; © Nurit Wilde.

Some say the Laurel Canyon music scene began when Frank Zappa moved to the corner of Lookout Mountain and Laurel Canyon Boulevard in the late 1960s. Former Byrds bassist Chris Hillman recalls writing “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” in Laurel Canyon in 1966 in his house, on a steep winding street with a name he doesn’t remember. The Doors’ lead singer Jim Morrison reportedly wrote “Love Street” while living behind the Laurel Canyon Country Store. Michelle Phillips lived with John Phillips on Lookout Mountain in 1965 during the Mamas and the Papas’ heyday. Books and documentaries have mythologized and romanticized this woodsy canyon nestled behind Sunset Boulevard in the Hollywood Hills. Still, misconceptions continue.

For a start, the scene was more metaphorical than geographical. Nearly everyone who was there was, at one time or another, stoned; nobody remembers everything the same way. What is undeniably true is that from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s some of the most melodic, atmospheric, and subtly political American popular music was written by residents of, or those associated with, Laurel Canyon—including Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn, J. D. Souther, Judee Sill, the Mamas and the Papas, Carole King, the Eagles, Richie Furay (in Buffalo Springfield and Poco), and many more. They made music together, played songs for one another with acoustic guitars in all-night jam sessions in each other’s houses. Many of those houses were cottages with stained-glass windows, and fireplaces that warmed the living rooms in the chilly L.A. nights. They took drugs together, formed bands together, broke up those bands, and formed other bands. Many of them slept with each other. The music was mislabeled “soft rock” or “folk rock,” especially in the Northeast, where critics panned it as granola-infused hippie music—too “mellow” and too white. But in truth, it was an amalgam of influences that included blues, rock and roll, jazz, Latin, country and western, psychedelia, bluegrass, and folk. It certainly was a forerunner of today’s “Americana.”

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on October 29, 2016 by Editor

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Greatest Goat Gag Ever

from VICE

How a Three-Year-Long Prank Landed Me a Job at ‘South Park’

By Sanjay Shah

Not Mickey the Goat. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

I had just gotten a job writing for a sitcom, so when my agent Mickey got married I felt a lot of pressure to give him a “funny” gift. I got him a goat—specifically, I paid Oxfam International about $40 to donate a goat to a village in the developing world, on Mickey’s behalf. If you’re wondering how a goat is funny, it’s not.

Mickey did his best to politely thank me for this gesture. But I knew the truth: Nobody likes a donation as a gift. They just want the pizza wheel that they put on their wedding registry. I asked Mickey if his wife liked the gift. After a long pause, he said, “Yeah, I haven’t told her about it yet, but I’m sure she will.”

He fucking hated it, which was perfect—because the goat wasn’t the real gift.

About a month later, Mickey received a letter in the mail, post-marked from South Africa, from the recipient of the goat. The guy explained that he asked Oxfam for Mickey’s address in order to personally thank him for the goat: “Thank you so much! We haven’t had a goat in a long time. We even named the goat after you. The kids are drinking Mickey’s milk right now!”

I got a call from my agent after he got the letter. He was over the moon: “I’m really making a difference in these people’s lives!” He thanked me, and I was so happy—mostly because he didn’t realize I wrote that letter. I’d emailed the text of the letter to a college friend who was working in South Africa, who hand-wrote it onto South African air mail. It was totally convincing.

I sent letters to Mickey this way for the next three years.

The second letter arrived about six months later. The recipient of the goat told Mickey he was writing to “check in” and update him on the goat’s welfare. “Everything is fine,” he wrote. “The goat kind of ran away. But don’t worry! I found it and gave it the beating of its life. It will never run away again. Your investment is safe!”

[ click to continue reading at VICE ]

Posted on October 28, 2016 by Editor

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New Life, New Civilizations

from The Economist

Brave new worlds – New discoveries, intelligent devices and irrepressible dreamers are once again making space exciting

IT MAY turn out to be a bare and barren rock. The fact that liquid water could be flowing across the surface of the planet just discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the sun, does not mean that any actually is—nor for that matter that it has an atmosphere. The fact that water and air, if present, could make this new world habitable does not mean that it is, in fact, a home to alien life.

But it might be.

What is exciting about this new world is not what is known—which, so far, is almost nothing (see article). It is what is unknown and the possibilities it may contain. It is the chance that there is life beneath that turbulent red sun, and that humans might be able to recognise it from 40 trillion kilometres away. In the immense distances of space that is close enough to mean that, some day, perhaps, someone might send probes to visit it and in so doing glimpse a totally different form of life. In the thrill of such possibilities sits all that is most promising about the exploration of space.

All our yesterdays

Next year will mark the 60th anniversary of the first satellite, Sputnik. The intervening decades have brought wonders. Men have looked back on the beauty of the Earth from the bright-lit Moon—and returned safely home. The satellites of America’s Global Positioning System (GPS) have created a world in which no one need ever be lost again—changing the human experience of place rather as the wristwatch changed the experience of time. Robots have trundled across the plains of Mars and swooped through the rings of Saturn. The Hubble space telescope has revealed that wherever you look, if you look hard enough you will find galaxies scattered like grains of sand across the deep.

Even so, space has of late become a bit dull. No man has ventured beyond low Earth orbit in more than four decades (no woman has done so ever). Astronauts and cosmonauts commute to an International Space Station that has little purpose beyond providing a destination for their capsules, whose design would have been familiar in the 1960s. All the solar system’s planets have been visited by probes. The hard graft of teasing out their secrets now offers less immediate spectacle.

[ click to continue reading at The Economist ]

Posted on October 27, 2016 by Editor

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Fantasy Experts

from RealClearLife

How the Experts Win at Fantasy Football

by Will Levith

Fantasy FootballAntonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes a touchdown catch in front of Greg Toler #28 of the Indianapolis Colts during at 2014 game at Heinz Field. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Every year, it’s the same old thing. You buy the fantasy preview magazine. You do the research. You get the ESPN alerts on your phone. You don the Manning jersey and fly to Vegas. When the time comes for you to make your first pick of the year at the big draft, you freeze. Anxiety sets in, as do the cold sweats. You second-guess yourself. Did I do enough? Do I really know what I’m doing?

Hopefully, this isn’t you, but the fantasy yips are something every football team owner has faced at one point or another throughout his or her career. Whether you take part in a snake draft or auction league or another derivation, nobody’s immune to draft day failure. That is, unless you listen to your friends at RealClearLife.

With the biggest weekend for fantasy drafts fast-approaching—Aug. 26-28—we’ve got you covered going into the big night and beyond. We’ve gone ahead and done the heavy lifting, tracking down some of the top experts in the fantasy football world and getting the inside scoop from them.

Our panel includes Rick Wolf, president of FantasyAlarm (he also hosts a popular fantasy sports–related show on Sirius XM radio); Will Carroll, managing editor of FanDuel; and Stacie Stern, general manager of Head2Head Sports. (RealClearLife staff writer Will Levith also threw in his decades worth of fantasy sports knowledge, which has led to at least one title, a runner-up, and a whole lot of losing.)

[ click to continue reading at RealClearLife.com ]

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Editor

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Eyeball Planets

from Nautilus

Forget “Earth-Like”—We’ll First Find Aliens on Eyeball Planets

BY SEAN RAYMOND

eyeball planet schematic revisedA planet that is tidally “locked” to its star. As the planet orbits the star along the dotted line, the same side of the planet always faces toward the star. The stick figure is standing at the substellar point, where the star is always directly overhead.

Imagine a habitable planet orbiting a distant star. You’re probably picturing a variation of Earth. Maybe it’s a little cloudier, or covered in oceans. Maybe the mountains are a little higher. Maybe the trees are red instead of green. Maybe there are scantily clad natives … OK, let’s stop there.

That image may very well be completely off-base. There is good reason to think that the first potentially life-bearing worlds that are now being detected around other stars (see here for example) probably look very different than Earth. Rather, these planets are more likely to look like giant eyeballs whose gaze is forever fixed on their host stars (which is not something I recommend doing with your own eyeballs).

Let’s take a step back. The easiest planets to find are those that orbit close to their stars. The sweet spot for finding a habitable planet—with the same temperature as Earth—is on a much smaller orbit than Earth’s around a star much fainter than the Sun. But there are consequences of having a smaller orbit. A planet close to its star feels strong tides from its star, like the tides Earth feels from the Moon, but much stronger. Strong tides change how a planet spins. Tides drive the planet’s obliquityto zero, meaning that the planet’s equator is perfectly aligned with its orbit. The planet will also be “tidally locked”: It always shows the same side to the star.

If you were standing on the surface of a planet like this, the Sun would remain fixed in one spot on the sky. The hemisphere facing the star is in constant daylight and the far hemisphere in constant darkness. In between lies a ring of eternal sunset, quite possibly the most romantic place in the Universe. The hottest part of the planet is the location where the star is directly overhead (the “substellar point” in astro-speak). The hottest part of Earth is spread out across the tropics, depending on the time and the season. But on a tidally locked planet the Sun stays in the same place in the sky and the hot spot never moves. This creates visible differences across the planet’s surface; the relatively small hot spot is the “pupil” of an eyeball planet.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Editor

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Rh Negative Aliens

from Ancient Code

Humans with blood type Rh Negative belong to an Extraterrestrial lineage according to new theory

by Ivan

Humans have possible four general blood types: A, B, AB and O; this classification is derived, according to scientists from proteins which are found on the surface of cells which are designed to fight off bacteria and viruses in the human body. The vast majority of humans beings on this planet have these proteins which means they are Rh positive. But a minor group, the Rh Negative lacks these proteins. So how is this crucial difference explained scientifically? And why does it even exist? Throughout the years, several scientific studies have searched for this answer.

Now, scientists believe they have found out a fascinating thing in regards of Rh Positive and negative. According to this “scientific” theory, in the distant past, extraterrestrial beings visited the Earth and created, through “genetic manipulation,” the Rh Negative with an intention of creating a race of “slaves”.

The Basque people of Spain and France have the highest percentage of Rh negative blood. About 30% have (rr) Rh negative and about 60% carry one (r) negative gene.

But Aliens… really? According to investigators, this would explain why Rh negative mothers do not tolerate fetuses with RH Positive blood; thus, this radical, hard-to-explain, by most natural laws intolerance could derive from an ancient genetic modification why Rh positive and Rh negative groups tend to “repel” each other instead of merging.

This theory goes back to ancient Sumerian times when a highly advanced “alien” race came from elsewhere in the cosmos; The Anunnaki, building and creating the first human societies.

It is believed that these ancient beings planned and genetically altered primitive human species, creating stronger and more “adequate” beings that were used as slaves in the distant past.

[ click to continue reading at ancient-code.com ]

Posted on October 24, 2016 by Editor

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Damon Baehrel

from The New Yorker

THE MOST EXCLUSIVE RESTAURANT IN AMERICA

Damon Baehrel’s methods are a marvel, and his tables are all booked until 2025. Or are they?

By 

“He is an unheralded genius,” a food critic said of Damon Baehrel. “He really should be in the upper echelons of the greatest chefs who have ever lived.” ILLUSTRATION BY ELEANOR DAVIS

The first time Jeffrey Merrihue came across the name Damon Baehrel, he was amazed that he hadn’t heard of him. “I didn’t understand how the secret had been kept,” Merrihue said recently. “The people I go around with, it’s hard for us to find something that is genuinely unique and new.” The people Merrihue goes around with are gastronomes, the trophy hunters of haute cuisine, the kind who travel the world to dine at famous, or famously obscure, restaurants. After a trip to Cape Town this spring, to a restaurant called the Test Kitchen, Merrihue, who lives in London and produces promotional videos for restaurants, became, he says, the second person to have eaten at every restaurant on the so-called World’s 50 Best list. He’s also been to eighty of the restaurants to which Michelin has granted three stars.

Around Christmas in 2013, a friend of Merrihue’s alerted him to a Bloomberg News piece about an unranked contender, which Bloomberg called the “most exclusive restaurant in the U.S.” It described a gourmet operation—in Earlton, New York, a half hour south of Albany—in the basement of a woodland home. Once called Damon Baehrel at the Basement Bistro, the place was now simply called Damon Baehrel, after its presiding wizard and host, who served as forager, farmer, butcher, chef, sous-chef, sommelier, waiter, busboy, dishwasher, and mopper. Baehrel derived his ingredients, except meat, fish, and dairy, from his twelve acres of yard, garden, forest, and swamp. He made his oils and flours from acorns, dandelions, and pine; incorporated barks, saps, stems, and lichen, while eschewing sugar, butter, and cream; cured his meats in pine needles; made dozens of cheeses (without rennet); and cooked on wooden planks, soil, and stone. He had christened his approach Native Harvest. The diners who got into the restaurant raved about it online. But at the time it was booked through 2020. “We spend our lives looking for places like this,” Merrihue said.

Undaunted, Merrihue sent an e-mail to the address provided on Baehrel’s Web site. A man who identified himself as Terrance, a friend of the chef’s, wrote that Baehrel had stopped taking reservations. “That wound me up even more,” Merrihue said. “I pride myself on getting into restaurants.” Still, it didn’t look good. “I thought, I might die before I get a chance to eat there.”

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on October 23, 2016 by Editor

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We Know When You Diddle

from vocativ

‘Smart’ Dildo Company Sued For Tracking Users’ Habits

We-Vibe’s makers sued after customer finds out they know all about her orgasms (and also her email address).

By Sara Morrison

SEX

A woman is suing her dildo manufacturer for knowing too much about when and how she uses it.

A few weeks ago, two researchers told the Defcon hacking convention audience that We-Vibe “smart” sex toys send a lot of data about their users back to the company that makes them. According to Courthouse News, one We-Viber took this news hard. A woman known only as “N.P.” filed a class action civil suit in a federal court in Illinois against Standard Innovation, which makes the We Vibe line of sex toys and corresponding app.

The smartphone app lets users “customize” their We-Vibe experience, unlock app-only “bonus” vibration modes such as the “cha-cha-cha” and the “crest,” and “create unlimited custom playlists,” according to the product’s website. In the suit, N.P. says she bought a We-Vibe in May and used it “several times” until she realized that it was sending data about her usage practices back to Standard Innovation’s servers, including when she used it, which vibration settings she used, and her email address.

[ click to continue reading at vocativ ]

Posted on October 22, 2016 by Editor

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BJI Endorses Hillary Clinton for President & Madonna for Secretary of Throatf†cking

from The Hill

Madonna pledges oral sex for Clinton voters

By Judy Kurtz

Madonna is pledging to perform oral sex on voters who cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton.

The pop queen, known for her shocking antics, made the remark Tuesday while opening for comedian Amy Schumer in New York.

“If you vote for Hillary Clinton,” Madonna told the crowd at Madison Square Garden, “I will give you a blow job.”

“And I’m good,” the 58-year-old “Like a Virgin” singer, an outspoken supporter of the Democratic presidential nominee, said to cheers from the audience.

“I’m not a tool. I take my time,” Madonna boasted.

[ click to continue reading at The Hill ]

Posted on October 21, 2016 by Editor

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Creepy Field Recordings by Cabaret’s Chris

from Dangerous Minds

‘SOULS OF DEAD CHILDREN’ AND OTHER CREEPY FIELD RECORDINGS BY CABARET VOLTAIRE FOUNDER CHRIS WATSON

Photo by Kate Humble, via chriswatson.net

Chris Watson is the coolest. He’s most famous as one of the three founding members of Cabaret Voltaire. Since leaving the Cabs in ‘81, he’s continued to make experimental music (see, for instance, his wonderful 2005 collaboration with KK Null and Z’EV), but he’s best known for his field recordings. BBC Radio 4 has a whole page dedicated to programs that feature Watson and his work; if you’re not careful, you can lose yourself for hours there listening to stories like “Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson presents the crested tit.”

Richard H. Kirk is, of course, the longest-lasting (and sole remaining) member of Cabaret Voltaire, but I wonder if it’s significant that Watson’s name got top billing on the back cover of the Cabs’ first two albums. Watson’s attic was the band’s practice space from ‘74 to ‘78, and Kirk credits his distinctive guitar sound on the first records to a fuzzbox Watson, then a phone engineer, built for him. (Check out the Burroughsian news cut-up Watson contributed to a 1981 tape compilation released by Jhonn Balance.)

[ click to continue reading at Dangerous Minds ]

Posted on October 20, 2016 by Editor

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Dr. Orgasm

from The Guardian

Dr Orgasm will see you now: is the O-Shot what women need for better sex?

Dr Charles Runels has been called a miracle-worker by the women whose clitorises he has injected with their own blood. But many medical professionals believe the effects are simply placebo – and question Runels’ methods

by 

Dr Charles Runels does an O-Shot procedure on a patient inside his clinic in Fairhope, Alabama, with help from staff member Danielle Gautier.

Seven years ago, Dr Charles Runels’ lover surprised him at his office, demanding that he inject blood into her clitoris as a Valentine’s Day present. She hiked up her dress, hopped on to the exam table and motioned for Runels to put on his headlamp. She explained that she’d been watching him inject his own penis with blood for about a year, and that while his bigger and stronger erections had been fun, she’d grown tired of the one-sided sexual enhancement. It was her turn. So Runels bowed between her legs, numbed her clitoris with an ice cube and shot her up.

“I don’t know how graphic you can be with this thing,” he said over the phone, pausing mid-story to ask me about the Guardian’s policy on discussing orgasms. “But the next afternoon, she came to see me, and her orgasms came more quickly – very strong, ejaculatory orgasms. The passion, the thunder, the sounds that she was making …”

He sighed at the memory.

“That’s when I thought: I should try this on my patients.”

And just like that, the O-Shot was born.

The non-surgical treatment that aims to facilitate and improve orgasms in women, which Runels trademarked in 2011, can only be performed by him or one of the more than 500 certified practitioners he’s trained over the years. It has two steps: first, he extracts PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, from a woman’s blood (usually taken from her arm). He then re-inserts it into the clitoris and the ceiling of her vagina with a syringe. The infusion of white blood cells, according to Runels, increases lubrication and sensitivity, allowing the patient to reach climax easily.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on October 19, 2016 by Editor

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SPY Is Finally Back!! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

from Inside Hook

SPY MAGAZINE IS BACK. TRUMP’S NOT GONNA LIKE THE FIRST COVER.

Election 2016 is finally getting the coverage it deserves

BY KIRK MILLER

Esquire has revived SPY, the biting NYC-based satirical mag that ruled the pre-Internet zeitgeist before shutting up shop in 1998.

Now a digital pop-up that’ll run until the end of election season, the new SPY lives on as a channel on the men’s magazine’s website. In a profile, the Wall Street Journal suggests the revived mag will publish five new articles per day.

“Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, SPY magazine pretty much had the American satirical-journalism field all to itself,” wrote co-founder Kurt Andersen this morning on SPY‘s new site (Vanity Fair’s E. Graydon Carter was the other founder). “Then came the full-blown Internet, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, mainstream journalists getting snarky, and everybody cracking wise on social media 24/7 — some of which SPY prefigured and spawned and influenced.”

[ click to continue reading at InsideHook.com ]

Posted on October 18, 2016 by Editor

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Venetian First, Angeleno Second

from The LA Times

As Venice booms, some residents wonder whether L.A. is holding them back

by Sarah Parvini

Venice exploring cityhood effort

There are few places so ingrained in the identity of Los Angeles as Venice — the quirky artistic vibe, the bustling boardwalk and the designer real estate.

For decades, the beach district has served as a cultural touchstone for the larger city, from the days of beatniks, Jim Morrison and the Z-Boys to the upscale Venice of today, with its Silicon Beach money, trendy restaurants and avant-garde homes profiled in architecture magazines.

Now, some Venice residents believe the connection to Los Angeles is holding the neighborhood back and are exploring a cityhood effort that would break free from L.A. government.

Though even backers say secession is a long shot, it has heightened a long-running debate in Venice about the future direction of the community, a reckoning for the once counter-culture stronghold that has grown into an affluent hot spot with some rough edges.

Venice residents speak less of specific issues than a general feeling that City Hall — about 20 miles to the east — isn’t serving their needs and that local government would serve residents better.

Some cityhood supporters look to Santa Monica as a model for an independent government, with its booming shopping district and innovative focus on environmentalism and sustainability. Cityhood skeptics, on the other hand, see their upscale neighbor to the north as exactly what Venice doesn’t want to become.

“If Venice was its own city, it wouldn’t be encumbered by all of Los Angeles’ issues,” said Nick Antonicello, chairman of the ad-hoc neighborhood council committee on cityhood. “There’s a great pride of living here, and I think people believe the services are lacking — whether it’s repaving or public safety.”

“People perceive themselves as Venetian first and Angeleno second,” he added.

[ click to continue reading at The LA Times ]

Posted on October 17, 2016 by Editor

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They’re Still Coming

from SPACE.com

Earth Vulnerable to Major Asteroid Strike, White House Science Chief Says

By Mike Wall

Earth Vulnerable to Major Asteroid Strike, White House Science Chief Says
Artist’s concept of an asteroid striking Earth.
Credit: NASA/Don Davis

The world is still vulnerable to a potentially catastrophic asteroid strike, according to President Barack Obama’s chief science adviser.

NASA has made substantial progress in finding the asteroids that pose the biggest threat to Earth, but there’s still a lot of work to do, said John Holdren, director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.

“We are not fully prepared, but we are on a trajectory to get much more so,” Holdren said today (Sept. 14) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, during a discussion of the agency’s planned Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). [Images: Potentially Dangerous Asteroids]

Holdren cited the February 2013 meteor explosion over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk and the 1908 Tunguska airburst as reasons to take the asteroid threat seriously.

The Chelyabinsk strike, which injured about 1,200 people, was caused by an object that is thought to be about 65 feet (20 meters) wide. The Tunguska event was much more powerful; a space rock perhaps 130 feet wide (40 m) exploded over a mostly unpopulated region of Siberia, flattening 800 square miles (2,070 square kilometers) of forest. Both strikes caught the world completely by surprise.

[ click to continue reading at SPACE.com ]

Posted on October 16, 2016 by Editor

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199-mile Long Lightning Bolt

from USAToday

[ click to view at USAToday ]

Posted on October 15, 2016 by Editor

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X’s In The Desert

from NPR

Decades-Old Mystery Put To Rest: Why Are There X’s In The Desert?

by 

Pez Owen was joyriding in her Cessna airplane when she first spotted a giant X etched in the desert. “It’s not on the [flight] chart. There just wasn’t any indication of this huge cross,” she says. Chuck Penson/Pez Owen

Pez Owen was flying over the desert in her single-engine Cessna airplane when she spotted a huge “X” etched in the desert below. She says it was the strangest thing.

“It’s not on the [flight] chart,” Owen says. “There just wasn’t any indication of this huge cross.”

Then she spotted another one.

“There had to be some reason,” she says. “So, of course, I immediately thought I had to get Chuck in on this.”

Chuck Penson is her former colleague from the University of Arizona. Penson worked in facilities, and Owen worked in the planetarium. Now, they’re adventure-seeking friends. That’s how Scott Craven from The Arizona Republic described them in a recent article.

Their version of hanging out is exploring abandoned mineral mines and military radar bases. Mysterious X’s plotted in the desert was too good to pass up.

“I was not going to rest until I knew what was going on with these,” Penson says.

“It’s conspiracy theory stuff, you know?” Owen says. “It’s right out of the movies.”

[ click to continue reading at NPR ]

Posted on October 14, 2016 by Editor

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James Lackington, Bookseller

from Literary Hub

THE MAN WHO INVENTED BOOKSELLING AS WE KNOW IT

ON JAMES LACKINGTON’S TEMPLE OF THE MUSES, “THE CHEAPEST BOOKSTORE IN THE WORLD”

By John Pipkin

Today, few people are likely to remember James Lackington (1746-1815) and his once-famous London bookshop, The Temple of the Muses, but if, as a customer, you’ve ever bought a remaindered book at deep discount, or wandered thoughtfully through the over-stocked shelves of a cavernous bookstore, or spent an afternoon lounging in the reading area of a bookshop (without buying anything!) then you’ve already experienced some of the ways that Lackington revolutionized bookselling in the late 18th century. And if you’re a bookseller, then the chances are that you’ve encountered marketing strategies and competitive pressures that trace their origins to Lackington’s shop. In the 21st-century marketplace, there is sometimes a longing for an earlier, simpler age, but the uneasy tension between giant and small retailers seems to have been a constant since the beginning. The Temple of the Muses, which was one of the first modern bookstores, was a mammoth enterprise, by far the largest bookstore in England, boasting an inventory of over 500,000 volumes, annual sales of 100,000 books, and yearly revenues of £5,000 (roughly $700,000 today). All of this made Lackington a very wealthy man—admired by some and despised by others—but London’s greatest bookseller began his career inauspiciously as an illiterate shoemaker.

[ click to continue reading at LitHub.com ]

Posted on October 13, 2016 by Editor

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American Fear

from USAToday

Survey reveals what Americans fear the most

As the presidential election campaign drags on, it may come as no surprise that corrupt government officials are one of the greatest fears many Americans have, according to a new study. 

People are scared of a lot of things, ranging from terror attacks to identity theft and deaths within the family, according to the third annual Chapman University Survey of American Fears.

The 2016 survey data showed a shift from 2015, where many of the top fears were economic and “big brother type issues,” Christopher Bader, a professor of sociology at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., said in a statement. Bader, who led the team effort, said this year the responses showed more of a focus on health and finance.

But while the overall focus of fear may have shifted, corruption of government officials remained the top fear for the second year in a row.

“People often fear what they cannot control, and we find continued evidence of that in our top fears,” Bader said.

The survey asked 1,511 people nationwide about fears and concerns across different categories, including crime, the government, natural disasters and personal fears and technology.

[ click to continue reading at USAToday ]

Posted on October 12, 2016 by Editor

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The United States of Books

from Electric Lit

INFOGRAPHIC: 50 States of Literature

A tour of the United States through books!

[ click to read at ElectricLIterature.com ]

Posted on October 11, 2016 by Editor

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Hawking Hunts Aliens

from c|net

Stephen Hawking wants to find aliens before they find us

The famed cosmologist is all in on searching for signals from E.T., but warns that we should be careful about inviting aliens over.

by 

Stephen Hawking is again warning about announcing our presence to any alien civilizations that might be out there, especially those that could be more technologically advanced.

In his new half-hour program “Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places” on science-themed subscription service CuriosityStream, the world’s most famous theoretical physicist flies by the potentially habitable exoplanet Gliese 832c in a CGI spaceship as part of his hypothetical dream itinerary for a tour of the universe.

The super-Earth is only 16 light-years away and just the sort of world the Hawking-supported Breakthrough: Listen initiative hopes to scan for signs of alien signals using our most sensitive radio telescopes.

“If intelligent life has evolved (on Gliese 832c), we should be able to hear it,” he says while hovering over the exoplanet in the animated “U.S.S. Hawking.” “One day we might receive a signal from a planet like this, but we should be wary of answering back. Meeting an advanced civilization could be like Native Americans encountering Columbus. That didn’t turn out so well.”

[ click to continue reading at c|net ]

Posted on October 10, 2016 by Editor

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BJI Endorses Gary Johnson For President

from Facebook

Posted on October 9, 2016 by Editor

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USA ‘Elements’ James Frey & Amblin TV

from DEADLINE

USA Sets ‘Elements,’ Canadian Series Adaptation With James Frey & Amblin TV

by 

tempsmortBabel Films

USA Network has put in development Elements, a high-concept drama from writer James Frey and his Full Fathom Five, Amblin TV, Intrigue and Universal Cable Prods.

Written by Frey, Elements is based on Babel Films’ French-language Canadian film/web series Time Out (Temps Mort). It follows the aftermath of an extreme environmental shift across the world. On a beautiful day in Miami, it starts to snow, and doesn’t stop — leaving the world frozen as one man searches for his fiancée before the world falls into complete stasis.

This would mark the TV writing debut of Frey, who started off as a feature scribe with 1998’s Kissing a Fool before embarking on book writing, including his controversial debut novel A Million Little Pieces. He then launched the YA publishing company Full Fathom Five, which has been leveraging its IP into producing TV series and movies.

Elements reunites Full Fathom Five and Amblin TV, who recently collaborated on the TNT pilot Lumen.

[ click to contiue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on October 8, 2016 by Editor

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These People Really Exist

from LiveLeak

[ click to view at LiveLeak ]

Posted on October 7, 2016 by Editor

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The Matrix Is Real

from The Independent

Tech billionaires convinced we live in the Matrix are secretly funding scientists to help break us out of it

Many of the world’s richest and most powerful people, including Elon Musk and Bank of America, think that we live in a simulation of the real world

by Andrew Griffin

Some of the world’s richest and most powerful people are convinced that we are living in a computer simulation. And now they’re trying to do something about it.

At least two of Silicon Valley’s tech billionaires are pouring money into efforts to break humans out of the simulation that they believe that it is living in, according to a new report.

Philosophers have long been concerned about how we can know that our world isn’t just a very believable simulation of a real one. But concern about that has become ever more active in recent years, as computers and artificial intelligence have advanced.

That has led some tech billionaires to speculate that the chances we are not living in such a simulation is “billions to one”. Even Bank of America analysts wrote last month that the chances we are living in a Matrix-style fictional world is as high as 50 per cent.

[ click to continue reading at The Independent ]

Posted on October 6, 2016 by Editor

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Alien MegaStructure Update

from SPACE.com

‘Alien Megastructure’ Star Keeps Getting Stranger

By Mike Wall

'Alien Megastructure' Star Keeps Getting StrangerArtist’s illustration showing a cloud of comet fragments blocking light from a star — one of the possible explanations for the strange, occasional dimming of KIC 8462852, also known as “Tabby’s Star.”
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The more scientists learn about “Tabby’s Star,” the more mysterious the bizarre object gets.

Newly analyzed observations by NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope show that the star KIC 8462852 — whose occasional, dramatic dips in brightness still have astronomers scratching their heads — has also dimmed overall during the last few years.

“The steady brightness change in KIC 8462852 is pretty astounding,” study lead author Ben Montet, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in a statement. [13 Ways to Hunt Intelligent Alien Life]

“Our highly accurate measurements over four years demonstrate that the star really is getting fainter with time,” Montet added. “It is unprecedented for this type of star to slowly fade for years, and we don’t see anything else like it in the Kepler data.”

KIC 8462852 hit the headlines last September, when a team of astronomers led by Tabetha Boyajian of Yale University announced that the star had dimmed dramatically several times over the past few years — in one case, by a whopping 22 percent.

[ click to continue reading at SPACE.com ]

Posted on October 5, 2016 by Editor

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Sabbath’s BORN AGAIN Demos (sans the cheesy keyboards and sound effects)

Posted on October 4, 2016 by Editor

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World’s Most Mysterious Book

from Yahoo! News

Tiny Spanish publisher clones world’s most mysterious book

Voynich, is one of the world's most mysterious books, a centuries-old manuscript written in an unknown or coded language that no one -- not even the best cryptographers -- has crackedVoynich, is one of the world’s most mysterious books, a centuries-old manuscript written in an unknown or coded language that no one — not even the best cryptographers — has cracked (AFP Photo/Cesar Manso)

Burgos (Spain) (AFP) – It’s one of the world’s most mysterious books, a centuries-old manuscript written in an unknown or coded language that no one — not even the best cryptographers — has cracked.

Scholars have spent their lives puzzling over the Voynich Manuscript, whose intriguing mix of elegant writing and drawings of strange plants and naked women has some believing it holds magical powers.

The weathered book is locked away in a vault at Yale University’s Beinecke Library, emerging only occasionally.

But after a ten-year quest for access, Siloe, a small publishing house nestled deep in northern Spain, has secured the right to clone the document — to the delight of its director.

“Touching the Voynich is an experience,” says Juan Jose Garcia, sitting on the top floor of a book museum in the quaint centre of Burgos where Siloe’s office is, a few paved streets away from the city’s famed Gothic cathedral.

“It’s a book that has such an aura of mystery that when you see it for the first time… it fills you with an emotion that is very hard to describe.”

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on October 3, 2016 by Editor

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Morphic Resonance TEDx

Posted on October 2, 2016 by Editor

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Society’s Fears In Words

from TIME

What the List of Most Banned Books Says About Our Society’s Fears

by Sarah Begley

Censors are increasingly focusing on books that represent diverse points of view

For as long as humans have printed books, censors have argued over their content and tried to limit some books’ distribution. But the reasons for challenging literature change over time, and as Banned Book Week begins on Sept. 25, it’s clear that public discomfort with particular ideas has evolved rapidly even in the last 20 years.

When the American Library Association started keeping a database of challenged books in the early ’90s, the reasons cited were fairly straightforward, according to James LaRue, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. “‘Don’t like the language,’ or ‘There’s too much sex’—they’d tend to fall into those two categories,” he says. Some books are still challenged for those reasons—Fifty Shades of Grey is a common example. But there’s been a shift toward seeking to ban books “focused on issues of diversity—things that are by or about people of color, or LGBT, or disabilities, or religious and cultural minorities,” LaRue says. “It seems like that shift is very clear.”

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on October 1, 2016 by Editor

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