February 27, 2016

An Imposter Has Infiltrated The Ranks


This Day In History: February 29, 1907

On February 27, 1907, the two leading theorists in the field of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, met in person for the first time after corresponding for almost a year. Their first conversation reportedly lasted for over 13 hours, so it’s safe to say the two men hit it off. At first.

Their association began when Jung, the upstart, sent Freud a copy of his published works (not realizing Freud already had a copy since he’d heard he was mentioned in glowing terms in Jung’s writings.) Freud, in turn, sent Jung a set of his latest essays six months later, establishing a relationship between the two that would proliferate for the next six years.

Although they became good friends, the relationship was definitely that of a young acolyte and an older sage. Freud himself referred to Jung as “the Joshua to my Moses, fated to enter the Promised Land which I myself will not live to see.” Although they did not always see eye-to-eye, Freud still considered Jung his protégé, dubbing him “my successor and crown prince” and even “spirit of my spirit.” …

Barack Obama’s Heir

By winning over the black voters who rejected her in 2008, Hillary Clinton may clinch the Democratic nomination—and inherit the coalition built by the president who defeated her.

It has been a difficult season for Hillary Clinton.

The putative Democratic frontrunner, backed by all her party’s institutional might, has been set on her heels. She’s been told she is unlikable, untrustworthy, awkward, and corrupt; even her supporters often seem cool or skeptical to her. She’s been endangered by an avowed socialist who’s not even a Democrat; in the first three primary contests, she’s won two by narrow margins while being blown out in another, and she is tied in the race for regular delegates. The once-inevitable candidate appears hobbled and weakened, someone who, even assuming she still gets the nomination, will limp bruised and bloody to the general election, burdened by her inability to inspire.

But on Wednesday night, in a modest gymnasium on the campus of Morris College, a hundred-year-old black Baptist school, none of that mattered. Here, for once, she was beloved. …

Rubio takes off the gloves to thump Trump – but is it already too late?

The Florida senator, the Republican establishment pick who has yet to win a state, went on the attack in the last debate but Super Tuesday may be decisive

Mounting a stage at a public park in downtown Dallas, Marco Rubio pulled out his phone before a crowd of more than 3,000 and began reading from Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

In an extended opening to his stump speech on Friday, Rubio relentlessly mocked the Republican frontrunner for misspelling a series of tweets.

“Just like Trump Tower, he must have found a foreign worker to do his own tweets,” Rubio quipped.

It was the sort of theatricality usually associated with Trump, the bombastic showman. But bravado is clearly catching in the Republican primary race, where with only four states decided, there is mounting hysteria that Donald J Trump’s hostile takeover of the Republican party is a done deal. …

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: Can Rubio be the Trump slayer?

10 Hollywood Films Altered To Appease China

In 2012, China officially surpassed Japan to become the second-largest market for Hollywood movies. The world’s most populous nation has displayed an ever growing appetite for American films, leading some trend analysts to conclude that the People’s Republic will surpass the North American market in 2018 to become the largest box office in the world.

Film studios have been eager to capitalize on the staggering profit potential of the Chinese market, going as far as to retool their products to appease the notoriously picky Chinese censors. Censorship of Hollywood films in foreign markets isn’t new, but never before have filmmakers been so willing to dilute their own movies to better fit with the vaguely defined government restrictions imposed on films released in China.

10. Iron Man 3

In a 2014 speech, China’s President Xi Jinping reaffirmed the Mao Zedong decree that Chinese art should “serve politics.” This led The New York Times to speculate that the four minutes of added footage in the Chinese release of Iron Man 3 had more to do with pacifying the public than making the film more palatable for a Chinese audience.

A year before the Marvel release, a major dairy firm in China recalled a shipment of baby formula after it was contaminated with mercury. A similar incident in 2008 led to the deaths of six infants and left over 300,000 ill.

After the recall, Chinese parent began flocking to Hong Kong to buy formula, due to fears of the quality of domestic dairy. Under pressure from the sudden influx of Chinese parents, Hong Kong was forced to issue a two-tin baby formula export limit.

So what does this have to do with Tony Stark? …

Mike Holmes: Self-levelling concrete is a great option to fix a floor — but here’s why it’s not a DIY option

Last week a homeowner asked me about self-levelling cement. They were thinking about pulling up the old tile in their home and installing new tile, but their floor has some dips and slopes, so they wanted to use self-levelling cement to even those out.

Self-levelling cement can be a good alternative for levelling these issues without having to fix the entire structure of the floor. I love it because you can pour it one day and walk over it the next. But make no mistake: it’s not a one-solution-fits-all.

Self-levelling cement might seem like an easy job but it’s very easy to screw up if you don’t know what you’re doing — and believe me, this is one job you do not want to screw up. Not only is the product expensive, fixing it if you run into problems can also be very labour intensive, which means more money.

Is it DIY? If it’s a small patch, maybe — but I would always recommend hiring a pro. It will cost you but, as always, you get what you pay for. …

Internet conspiracy theorists speculate that Katy Perry is actually JonBenét Ramsey, the child beauty queen murdered in 1996

The Internet is buzzing with a new conspiracy theory: is Katy Perry actually JonBenét Ramsey?

Ramsey — a 6-year-old girl from Boulder, Colo. — was found strangled in the basement of her family home in 1996, but to this day, the case remains unsolved. For some reason, this has fueled speculation that the pre-teen beauty queen’s death was actually faked, and she instead grew up to be famed pop star Katy Perry.

A YouTube video of the conspiracy was posted back in December 2014 by Dave Johnson, but recently started getting attention.

“JonBenét Ramsey did not die, nobody died, nobody got hurt,” Johnson says in the video. “But she was sacrificed: That sacrifice was in name only, and that sacrifice was to get something, and that something was to become a star.”

10 Infamous US Housing Projects

Government-funded housing projects in the United States nearly all began with a common dream—to end urban slums and provide an affordable, safe housing option for low- to middle-income families. This dream has fallen so far that even many residents of some of the nation’s most infamous housing projects have called for their demolition. From gang violence to the robust drug trade to the incompetence of many local housing authority offices, large-scale government housing has seen some very dark days.

Sadly, it’s the projects’ most vulnerable residents, the young and the very old, who suffer the most. They are the ones who get caught in the crossfire of racially segregated, poverty stricken, structurally flawed buildings—the ones who the system truly fails.

10. Pruitt-Igoe ~ St. Louis

The infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing project was erected in 1954, when racial tensions were rife across the US. The megalithic complex consisted of 33 11-story buildings that shadowed the city below. The apartments were originally intended for middle-class families but quickly degenerated into crumbling residences that housed only the poor African-American population of St. Louis.

In the late 1940s, St. Louis was facing a rapidly declining population. Many middle-class people were moving out, and poor residents inhabited their homes, causing slums to crop up all over the city. To combat this, the government decided to erect high-rise homes that would house 15,000 residents and do away with low-lying slums for good. The planning commission in St. Louis nicknamed the towers the “Poor Man’s Penthouse.” Rather than eradicate ghettos, these apartments simply became the city’s newest slums and a hotbed for crime.

Only a decade after they were built, the Pruitt-Igoe towers began to resemble an eerie and nearly empty hull. The occupancy rate dropped dramatically due to accidents caused by flaws in architectural planning as well as the ongoing crime and vandalism. …

Bill Maher on the GOP Debate: ‘I Really Wanted to Shoot the TV’

Bill Maher immediately kicked off his panel discussion tonight by saying, of the GOP debate, “I am speechless for the first time.”

He felt the need to ask “When exactly did America end?” and even said it was so childish and dumb, “I really wanted to shoot the TV like Elvis.”

Maher compared Donald Trump to climate change, because Republicans “knew it was coming, didn’t do anything about it, and now it’s too late.” …

Bill Maher on 9/11: ‘We’ve Gotten Away Pretty Easy’

The host of ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ criticized Apple for its battle with the FBI over iPhone encryption and said that the American people are ‘spoiled’ and ‘uninformed.’

Bill Maher has a complicated history with 9/11.

On September 17, 2001, six days after two hijacked planes struck the Twin Towers, killing 2,606 people, Maher went on his ABC talk show Politically Incorrect and challenged then-President George W. Bush, who claimed that the terrorist hijackers were “cowards.”

“We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away,” said Maher. “That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building. Say what you want about it. Not cowardly.”

Several big-name advertisers pulled out of the show over the comments, and it was canceled shortly thereafter. Then, in 2003, Maher started his HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher, which has proved to be wildly successful to this day. He’s since apologized for his comments, and has been a staunch defender of both the U.S. military as well as first responders. Once, in one of the show’s more famous moments, he booted several rowdy 9/11 truthers from his crowd. …


Today in History: February 27, 1827

“No party is any fun unless seasoned with folly.” – Desiderius Erasmus

Mimicking what they had seen done in Paris, a group of boisterous masked students decked out in colorful costumes took to the streets of New Orleans on February 27, 1827, in what would be the first of the city’s many world famous Mardi Gras celebrations.

Mardi Gras, or Carnival as it is also known, existed long before 19th century New Orleans. Like most Christian holidays, Mardi Gras sprang from an ancient Pagan tradition. In this case, it was Lupercalia, a raucous festival associated with the first stirrings of spring. As the early Church fathers had found so many times before, they conceded it would be easier to incorporate the customs of the old holiday into the new one, rather than try to abolish them.

So, the Spring Break-like excess of the good ol’ Pagan days became a prelude to the fasting and penance of Lent that began on Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French, and it was the last chance to party until Easter was over – so this was the time to got nuts. As Christianity spread from Rome across Europe, Mardi Gras went along with it. …

GOP Reactions to Christie’s Endorsement of Trump Shows Divisions

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shocks the political world again. Four years ago he hugged President Barack Obama during a bitter campaign against Republican Mitt Romney. Friday he embraced Donald Trump in an embrace that rocked the political establishment to its core.

The reactions to Christie’s endorsement, a former presidential candidate who attempted to appeal to moderates in New Hampshire, provide another intriguing look into how Trump’s candidacy — and his success — is fracturing the GOP.

On the one hand, some are acknowledging what they think is the inevitable. Former House Speaker and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich tweeted that Christie’s move is “a real sign to the GOP establishment that they had better begin thinking about Trump as the future.”

Trump Reveals the End of the Religious Right’s Preeminence

Conservative Christian leaders have proven unable to steer the race, exposing the splintered state of their movement.

Many headlines trumpeting Donald Trump’s victory in the Nevada Republican caucuses credit voters’ anger with the federal government. But the real lesson of Trump’s rise is not about fury, but faith. Trump’s momentum reveals that the conservative Christian voting bloc is a splintered remnant of the kingmaking machine it once was. And perhaps this is good news both for Trump for and the conservative Christian movement itself.

Leading up to the Iowa caucus, Tony Perkins of Family Research Council helped corral old-guard religious-right leaders for a secret meeting to determine which nominee they would support for president. Texas Senator Ted Cruz narrowly beat out Florida’s Marco Rubio.

Thirty years ago, such a blessing would have sealed the nomination. But not today. …

The fruit salad of our lives: Why Ben Carson thinks you should vote for his hands

Fruit salad: It’s a recipe for success.

Ben Carson didn’t speak much during the CNN/Telemundo Republican presidential debate Thursday night – but when he did, people took notice.

The retired neurosurgeon, whose campaign has been flailing since his surge in the polls last fall, raised eyebrows when he shared his process for selecting a Supreme Court judge and dwelled on the magnificence of his hands.

During closing statements, the last-place GOP candidate encouraged voters to think about what kind of leader they want and what kind of person they would want their children to emulate. Then he shifted his focus to his hands. …

5 Reasons Why It’s Impossible For Dads To Look Cool

Over the last couple of years, the idea of dad interests have become ironically popular. “Dad music,” “dad movies,” and “dad jokes” are mentioned so often on Twitter and Facebook that you eventually grow numb to it and lose your gut reaction to punch-fuck the world. But I can at least understand the need to make fun of us for it. We dads each made a personal choice to be entertained by those things, and that totally makes us fair game.

What’s not so funny to us is “dad clothes.” See, dads across the globe already know this, but it’s hard for a teenager to understand: No matter how much you fight it, we are your unfortunate future. There’s nothing you can do to avoid it, because the “dad look” isn’t a personal choice. It is thrust upon you, like the whipped-cream-covered balls of a male stripper. You either just have to sit back and take it, or hand it a dollar and hope it goes away. And it all happens because …

#5. We Are Trapped In An Inescapable “Dad Paradox”

Let’s say that Singy Songman (sorry, I don’t know any popular modern singers) starts wearing authentic Revolutionary War uniforms in all of his public appearances. Right down to the musket and stupid hat that looks like a taco that had a stroke. At first, the world laughs at him and says that Singy has lost his mind. But little by little, that same outfit starts showing up on kids at school, and within a few weeks, it’s so popular that the principal has to instate a new “Leave your cannons at home” rule.

Now let’s say that dads as a collective whole take notice and think, “That is something I could totally pull off. I even have my old Revolutionary War outfits from back when I was a fan of Prince.” We don’t immediately jump into the fad because we’ve been around long enough to know that sometimes those things are here and gone in a matter of weeks. Hell, at one point in the early ’90s, Right Said Fred tricked hundreds of thousands of douchebags into wearing this shirt for about a month:

Personally, I liked it better as pants.

John Oliver: ‘David Cameron can’t attack a hotdog’

As the British anchor of America’s funniest current-affairs series, the TV satirist is uniquely placed to educate each nation about the other. Here he tackles the basics, from Brexit to, er, turducken…

Two years after going it alone from The Daily Show, satirist John Oliver may not be Britain’s biggest export to America (that’s James Corden, for now), but he’s certainly its sharpest and funniest. This apparently entitles him to no special privileges from HBO, which broadcasts his current-affairs show Last Week Tonight. “I’m sitting in a windowless room with two gigantic pictures of [The Jinx’s villain] Robert Durst on the wall,” he explains on the phone from New York. “As I’m talking to you, his beady eyes are burrowing into my face. Perhaps Robert Durst will soon be in a windowless room with two pictures of me on the wall. But I can’t stress this enough: I did not murder three people.”

The Guide has set Oliver a task: to explain aspects of modern America to Britain, and vice versa. It’s one he sets about with relish, but also with a caveat. “I’ve been here a decade so I’m institutionalised. My bafflement index is much lower than it used to be. This all kind of makes sense to me now.” …

Larry Wilmore Hilariously Calls Out Audience Member Who Stole Cardboard Cutout of Host

It’s not strange for audience members who file into a live late night show taping to be excited about the experience. After being ushered through security, the lights and aesthetic of the set are pretty cool, and of course, who doesn’t love getting to see their favorite host in person?

One fan of The Nightly Show this week however seems to have gotten more than his money’s worth (although tickets are free) to take home a souvenir of the show’s host, Larry Wilmore. Security footage from the show’s lobby reveals a young audience member who swiped a cardboard cutout of Wilmore before promptly prancing out the front door with it.

Wilmore of course could not let the incident stand un-skewered, telling the audience the next night, “I’ve never had my identity stolen!”. …

10 Marks Supposedly Left On Earth By The Devil

Humans are renowned for being able to spot patterns where there are none and see images in random shapes and patterns. It’s kept us occupied for countless lazy Sunday afternoons, picking out the shapes of animals and dragons in the clouds.

It’s also helped us enrich our legends and folklore around the world, making us see footprints where we know there shouldn’t be any and helping us build stories around phenomena that are often spectacular in their own right.

10. Der Teufelstritt ~ Germany

The silhouette of the Church of Our Lady is unmistakable against the Munich skyline. While most might sing the praises of its 14th-century windows or its 18th-century gilded reliefs, a more interesting feature is the so-called “devil’s footprint.”

Church architect Jorg von Halsbach first showed up in Munich’s city records in 1441. He was appointed the architect to the entire city in 1468. In that role, he oversaw many other architects, but the Church of Our Lady is still considered one of his masterpieces.

According to legend, he got a little otherworldly help when he made an agreement with the Devil. Funding was difficult to come by, and if von Halsbach agreed to make the church a dark, windowless monument to the night, the Devil would pay for it. …

Pot is power hungry: why the marijuana industry’s energy footprint is growing

The $3.5bn industry is one of the nation’s most energy intensive, often demanding 24-hour indoor lighting rigs, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems at multiplying grow sites

Marijuana might look and smell natural, but its ecological footprint is anything but green. Pot is power hungry.

The $3.5bn cannabis industry is one of the nation’s most energy intensive, often demanding 24-hour indoor lighting rigs, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems at multiplying grow sites.

As many as 10 states could legalize recreational marijuana this year, which means the resultant electricity consumption could cause problems for public utilities and city officials.

A study by scientist Evan Mills, with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, revealed that legalized indoor marijuana-growing operations account for 1% of total electricity use in the US, at a cost of $6bn per year. Annually, such consumption produces 15m tons of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2), equal to that of three million average cars. …

Goodnight, and good luck

The core principle driving the journalism that distinguished Al Jazeera America online as a unique voice in a cluttered news landscape was the simple — yet radical — proposition that no single human life is worth less than any other.

Whether it was Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown, teenage African-Americans killed in their prime; Syrian refugee child Alan Kurdi, whose lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach; Palestinian baby Ali Dawabshe, who died in the flames of his firebombed home in a village under Israeli occupation; Nicaraguan peasant farmer Carlos Wilson Bilis contemplating the destruction of his livelihood by an epic canal project; or LeeAnne Walters raising the alarm over the poisoned water pouring from the taps in Flint, Michigan, their stories deserved to be told. Their names needed to be known and their voices heard. Their plight, like those of so many hundreds featured in our coverage, revealed the human impact of decisions made — or evaded — in the corridors of power.

And when ordinary people stood up and took action to transform their fates, we paid attention. Whether it was Priestess Bearstop and her struggle to steer clear of Minneapolis gang life or Pamela Dominguez and her Dreamer compañeros fighting for the dignity of citizenship or St. Louis fast-food worker Olivia Roffle organizing for a living wage or Mexican student Salvador Castro Fernandez and his friends searching for justice for their 43 Ayotzinapa classmates who went missing during a protest, we believed our readers needed to hear their voices. …


Despite what you learned in grammar school, there are way more than four states of matter. One possible new one, disordered hyperuniformity, was recently found in the weirdest place – the eyes of chickens.

Classical States of Matter

To better understand an exotic state of matter like disordered hyperuniformity, it may be helpful to review the characteristics of the classical states of matter: solids, liquids, gases and plasmas.

Typically, each is defined according to the density and structure of its component particles: …

Video Goodnesses
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CAUTION: Some language may not be appropriate for work or children.