Life After Pi

Having worked in the entertainment industry I appreciate how hard VFX guys work for very little in return.

CIA Torture and the Threat of Dictatorship

Torture and dictatorships – it's the CIA way.

Via Global Research:

Only one conclusion can be drawn from the report published in the Washington Post Tuesday giving grisly details of CIA torture of prisoners and systematic lying by government officials to cover it up: the US ruling elite as a whole is guilty of war crimes for which it must be held accountable.

The Post report, based on leaks from unnamed “US officials,” describes the findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the operation of CIA “black sites”—the secret prisons in Afghanistan, Poland, Romania, Thailand and other countries where prisoners were held for “interrogation,” i.e., waterboarding, sleep deprivation, beatings, stress positions, induced hypothermia and other forms of torture.

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The Psychedelic Secrets of Santa Claus

I couldn't find an article about Easter drugs so this one will have to do instead.

Via Cannabis Culture:

Although most people see Christmas as a Christian holiday, many of the symbols and icons we associate with Christmas celebrations are actually derived from the shamanistic traditions of the tribal peoples of pre-Christian Northern Europe.

The sacred mushroom of these people was the red and white amanita muscaria mushroom, also known as "fly agaric." These mushrooms are now commonly seen in books of fairy tales, and are usually associated with magic and fairies. This is because they contain potent hallucinogenic compounds, and were used by ancient peoples for insight and transcendental experiences.

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Australian government may ban environmental boycotts

Damn those pesky environmentalist groups, always obstructing profits.

Via The Guardian:

Coalition MPs and industry groups are using a review of competition laws to push for a ban on campaigns against companies on the grounds that they are selling products that damage the environment, for example by using old-growth timber or overfished seafood.

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Can MDMA Make You Racist?

Can the love drug make you facist? VICE investigates…

You don’t have a lot of time for rational thought after dropping a pill. Three Mitsis in and you’re almost entirely preoccupied with finding out what people’s scarves feel like, or busy trying to focus on literally anything through your rapid-fire flicker-eyes. So you’d have thought that, amid all the euphoria and heart palpitations, there surely wouldn't be space to get hung up on the ethnicity of everyone around you.

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American Justice: A Rich Child Rapist Goes Free, But a Poor Woman Trying to Feed Her Kids is Jailed

So if you're rich and white you get away with child abuse, and if you're poor and black… nothing's changed, America!

Via AlterNet:

 

In 2009, when Robert H Richard IV, an unemployed heir to the DuPont family fortune, pled guilty to fourth-degree rape of his three-year-old daughter, a judge spared him a justifiable sentence – indeed, only put Richard on probation – because she figured this 1-percenter would "not fare well" in a prison setting.

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Manufacturing Madness: The Pseudoscience of Modern Psychiatry

Is psychotropic medication bad for you? Waking Times breaks it down:

Twenty-six years have passed since Prozac, the antidepressant drug, was introduced to the US market and quickly achieved the label of a “wonder drug.” In the decade that followed, other antidepressant drugs including paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), fluvoxamine (Luvox), and citalopram (Celexa) would be released, creating an entire class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Since hitting the shelves, the popularity of SSRIs has skyrocketed. Today, 1 in every 10 Americans reaches for antidepressants daily.[1] This ratio jumps to an incredible 25% among women between the ages of 40 and 59.[2] Approximately 5% of children ages 12 to 19 are also taking antidepressants.[3]  Worldwide, mental illness is now the leading cause of disability among children.[4]

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Creativity and Non-Conformity Now Listed as a Mental Illness by Psychiatrists

I've often wondered what R. D. Laing would have made of the diagnostic process for identifying mental illnesses these days.

Via The Mind Unleashed:

Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. Defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.

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Water cannon: a shocking device that could transform British policing

If the political classes in the UK could get away with it they'd be quite happy to turn the country into an overt dictatorship – they're doing a pretty good job of leading us in that direction as it is.

Via The Guardian:

The cold jet from the water cannon slammed into the back of my head, tipping me off balance and sending adrenaline pumping around my body. This was the Ziegler WaWe 9000 in action: a German-built 30-tonne riot-tamer that can blast its targets with up to 18 litres of water a second and toss demonstrators like rag dolls. It is the kind of weapon that the home secretary, Theresa May, is now deciding whether to introduce to English and Welsh streets.

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Intelligent People Are More Likely to Use Drugs. Why?

Are you smart enough to try drugs?

Via AlterNet:

Two major papers have found a positive correlation between high childhood IQ and adult drug use.

The first was published in 2011 (Intelligence across childhood in relation to illegal drug use in adulthood: 1970 British Cohort Study). The second was published in 2012 (Intelligence quotient in childhood and the risk of illegal drug use in middle-age: the 1958 National Child Development Survey). Both were co-authored by James W. White PhD and all of the data for both research papers comes from The Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), a research council operating from the Department for Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, at the University of London.

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