Ice Cold Viral Water

So how's the ice bucket challenge going for everyone?

They're strange phenomenons, these "viral" – read: infectious – internet campaigns which drive people into a frenzy of conformity, each man to the last eager to prove themselves one of the tribe and perform some weirdly ritualistic task in front of a camera before projecting it onto the social media landscape.

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If It’s Possible, It Happened

Another fascinating perspective on the possibility of alternate universes from The New York Times:

Zooming through a Stockholm intersection on his bicycle one morning, 18-year-old Max Tegmark never saw the truck that hit him. The blast of a horn, the screech of tires and a sickening thud followed in quick succession, extinguishing a young life filled with promise.

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Psychiatrists now say non-conformity is a mental illness

Are you a conformist?

Via Red Ice Creations:

Modern psychiatry has become a hotbed of corruption, particularly the kind that seeks to demonize and declare mentally ill anyone who deviates from what is regarded as the norm. This is abundantly evident in the latest installment of the industry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, which dubs people who do not conform to what those in charge declare to be normal as mentally insane.
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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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