February 9, 2014
"

"OK, let me get this straight, you think that they sent unmanned Apollo Saturn V rockets up into space, to perform an orbit, orbital transfre, trans lunar injection, moon orbit insertion, landing and return to earth? You would of course be aware of the limitations of the onboard computer, the AGC was not capable of carrying out all the tasks of getting to the moon and back by itself, each stage was loaded by the astronauts.

So your moon hoax theory now rests on the premise that they had the technology to get to the moon and back, that it was good enough to fool the USSR, a country that was already capable of space flight, and tracking operations, and that it was unguided and unmanned.

Do you realise that the Apollo flights were only just possible to perform if there was a crew onboard, the margins of error were incredibly tight, and you are proposing that the technology was actually not only capable of lunar flight and return, but actually exceeded the available technology available at the time?

There were 17 Apollo missions, 9 of which reached lunar orbit, 6 landed, and only 2 major incidents with Apollo 1 and 13.

And not once did anyone on the project before, during or after ever suggest that these flights never happened, not one astronaut, not one technician, not one member of the tracking and guidance teams scattered around the world, not one Russian tracking and guidance operator, not one, nobody, everyone involved believes it happened, because they were there.

'They sent hardware', yes, they did, they sent manned hardware.”

"

Steve Taylor via Google Plus

6:33pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z5k7-x16yeOYG
Filed under: moon hoax 
February 2, 2014
The Most Dangerous Drugs Known To Man

In the United States we have 5 classifications for the regulation of drugs, called Schedules by (The Controlled Substances Act)[CSA] signed into law by Richard Nixon in 1970.

Schedule 1 is defined thusly (emphasis mine):

  1. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
  2. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
  3. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

Critically, this is considered the worst category of drugs under the law. They may not be prescribed and their production is restricted by both quotas and stringent requirements for obtaining a license to do so.

Before I provide any examples of Schedule 1 drugs, lets take a look at Schedule 2 first:

  1. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
  2. The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.
  3. Abuse of the drug or other substances may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

I’ve emphasized the important parts of the guidelines. In the case of Schedule 1 there’s no medical benefits to the substance and that they’re too dangerous to be used even under medical scrutiny regardless of their other effects. While Schedule 2 is for substances that do have a known medical benefit to the substance, but may be addictive.

This list of drugs is maintained by the DEA and FDA, and occasionally legislation will be passed to put a drug on one schedule or another.

The List

Here’s a list of some Schedule 2 substances:

  • Cocaine
  • Morphine
  • Pentobarbital (lethal injection)
  • Amphetamine & its salts (Adderall)
  • Methamphetamine (Meth)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta)
  • Opium & Laudanum
  • Phencyclidine (PCP, Angel Dust)
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone & Hydrocodone
  • Pethidine (Demerol)

Wow. That’s a hell of a list there. Yet, we’ve found uses for many of these drugs and work hard to avoid their addictive nature.

What could be worse? Whats so bad that they had to include a category that would qualify a substance so dangerous that even the medical community can’t be trusted with them?

Here’s a the list of some Schedule 1 controlled substances:

  • Diacetylmorphine (Heroin, Smack, Tar)
  • Etorphine (M99)
  • Methaqualone (Quaalude)
  • GHB (Liquid X, Lollipop)
  • MDMA (Ecstasy, E, X, Molly)
  • Mescaline (Peyote)
  • LSD (Acid)
  • DMT (Ayahuasca)
  • Psilocybin & Psilocin (Psychedelic Mushrooms, Shrooms, Mushies)
  • Cannabis (Marijuana, Weed)

There’s Heroin for one. Well, thats pretty bad. It’s twice as potent as the already dangerous Morphine and even more addictive.

But do any of these others seem odd to you? I mean, there’s M99, a chemical thousands of times more powerful than Morphine, and GHB has been used as a date rape drug. So I can sorta see what they were going for.

People sometimes overdose on Molly and Quaaludes (or at least used to). Though many of those are due to impurities. There’s been a lot of horror stories about Acid, but little of it holds much water, but its already starting to strain my suspension of disbelief.

I mean, are Peyote and Ayahuasca really that dangerous? It’s still allowed on Native American reservations in the US. I haven’t heard of a lot of bad coming from that. Besides, I’m not aware of any religious exemption for Heroin.

But then we get to weed and its just confusing. The number of accepted uses for THC and associated cannabinoids is well documented. It’s being legalized in individual states against the wishes of the federal government. How did it ever end up on the same list as Heroin? Yet Cocaine was considered more medically useful than THC? Seriously?

If I were going to rate the most dangerous drugs known to man, useful or not, I’d have to start with Heroin, Meth, Cocaine, and their friends. I really don’t think Weed is going to even come up as a possibility except maybe as a joke.

MDMA was originally being used to treat PTSD and help others with traumatic experiences. Psilocybin and psilocin have been used to successfully treat cluster headaches and OCD.

A disproportionate number of these substances are easily obtained from local flora and some are even chemicals found naturally in human neurochemistry. Of the psychoatice compounds in the list, very few of them are habit-forming at all. It’s interesting how they avoided mentioning dependency-forming as a requirement for Schedule 1.

It becomes clear pretty fast that this list has little to do with its stated goals and is more about appealing to political interests.

An interesting economic repercussion of substances like this occurring naturally is that there is significantly less incentive to crime, additionally for substances that aren’t likely to form a dependence, this is also could not be a prime motivator. While the substances are legal, there is no constriction of supply, so demand will be met easily. It seems strange that these drugs, which are considered some of the least harmful by medical researchers should be classed above others that are measured to be the most dangerous.

What could the priorities of a society be that would villainize weed and shrooms over coke and meth?

The Cost

In 2004 it was estimated that there are nearly 45 thousand state and federal prisoners serving sentences for marijuana possession and manufacture/sale alone. In 2005 there were 786,545 people charged with marijuana-related offenses.

According to the US Department of Justice we’re spending about a billion dollars year just keeping them in prison, and an additional $8 billion in court costs to prosecute them.

Some of these prisoners are serving 20 years to de facto life. Many will die there.

Let that sink in.

January 7, 2014

(Source: summertimesadness22, via eloise-xxx)

April 7, 2013
An American’s Lament

I am focusing on the U.S. because this is my country. I’m an American, I was born in the midwest and I’ve lived in rural areas as well as the suburban and inner city. I’ve been to both coasts, I’ve seen both oceans, I’ve swam in Lake Michigan. I live in a city on the Pacific. The concepts, however, apply worldwide even if you have different names for them.

When I began formulating my own political opinions I found the one that matched most closely to my beliefs. I called myself “Libertarian”. But this is not an attack on any single political party.

I sang the hymns of the free market with reverence and decried the evils of government constraints upon it. It seemed quite clear to me that the government was poorly equipped to provide for the country without creating significant waste in the process.

However, I’ve also always considered myself a scientist. A scientist in the sense of one that adheres as closely as possible to scientific methods. I observe and collect information, I create models of behaviour, and I test my predictions based on that model, based either on direct experimentation where possible and often by analysis of data as it becomes available to me. Most importantly I cannot discard evidence that disagrees with my current beliefs, no matter how damning.

This process often requires that I change my model, or even my base assumptions, or even my beliefs.

As I researched, and as I observed the world through the lens of my world view, an image began to emerge that was not wholly pleasant.

Individual rights remain of central importance, and my motto now as before is “Malo Periculosam Libertatem Quam Quietum Servitium”. However there is something that attacks and betrays the Individual, something that starts out as the triumph of individuality, something that we hold near and dear to our hearts.

In the Declaration of Independence our forefathers stated thus:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

In 1931 James Truslow Adams, who coined the phrase “The American Dream”, said in his book The Epic of America:

The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. […] It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.

This also is admirable, enviable even, there are many places in the world where this upward mobility is not possible. How could something of such a powerfully positive force become something that attacks and betrays us?

It is a concept embodied in but a single word: Corporation

It is clearly and singly the most powerful extension of an individual to represent their success - a team of hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of people working together in concert under the tutelage of an individual to bring their ideas and ambitions to fruition. It is an incredible and awe-inspiring concept. A child from humble origins, perhaps even one such as myself - a child raised by a single mother below poverty level - to rise from the ashes of their past and forge forward up through the social strata to attain great things, to lead an organization of men and women to unprecedented heights of human achievement, to leave a legacy of charities and universities bearing their name, to touch the lives of every man, woman, and child if not in the world at least in their country.

But this same great construction we have wrought has a dark side. It has became all the more achingly clear that corporations have an innate draw towards avarice.

They habitually integrate themselves with the power structures they find, both government and church, thereafter attacking their own workers and fellow Americans at the first hint of obstruction to their greed and lust for power. Their treatment of non-american workers both at home and abroad is beyond even that, they are little more than slaves - or indeed precisely slaves - to them. These third world citizens are bullied by the police and the military of their own government at the behest of our American corporations.

Now again they attempt to bring that oppression back to the homeland - to you and I, our families and our friends - to serve their whims and feed their ever-more-voracious appetite.

When the only goal is the bottom line, and the only metric of success is wealth and power, atrocities becomes inevitable. Our values are skewed, our humanity lost, and we’re left with what? Was it worth it? We leave such damage in our wake, magnificent forests and great landscapes in shambles, our beautiful planet poisoned, and bodies, so many bodies. We leave our fellow man strewn about, human lives flickering out behind us like used firewood.

Perhaps it is our nature. 200,000 years of modern man, and there is copious evidence that we trend towards warfare and exploitation of both our world and each other. I cannot discard this data, there is too much.

Yet, however naive it may be, I believe we can do better.

While I still support many of their causes I can no longer call myself Libertarian, and indeed I cannot find a party to represent me that can bear even the most cursory scrutiny. My party is Nameless, for in the eyes of the men - and yes they are overwhelmingly men - on top, we are no one at all. Numbers merely, or demographics perhaps.

Are you represented? Do you vote Republican? Do you vote Democrat?

Do you really believe these people so far removed from you hold dear the same values you do? Would they turn over their police and military to the banks and oil companies? Would they allow multi-billion dollar corporations to forgo paying taxes while you and I lose a third of our paycheck? Would they pay the bonuses of the executives who gambled away our economy while forcing our students and homeowners to make payments on predatory and inflated loans? Would they take away your right to free speech and peaceful assembly while granting new rights to those who are willing to pay for them?

I exhort you to reconsider your place in politics, whatever it may be.

-x

7:18pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z5k7-xiAj78w
  
Filed under: Politics 
March 16, 2013
Pronunciation of Ancient Hebrew Words

So, I’ve been reading a lot about biblical Hebrew and its orthographic conventions. Most languages in the semitic family only write consonants (including Hebrew and Arabic) so they have to come up with some creative ways of representing vowels (when those vowels matter).

Hebrew Roots

Hebrew roots are generally 3 consonants, and then the vowels are interspersed between them to indicate more specific meaning. In English for example “share” and “shear” have the same root “sker”. And then, like English, Hebrew also adds prefixes and suffixes.

Orthographic Conventions

A final letter Heh often indicates an [ah] or just [a] sound. The letter Yod is pronounced [yah].

Tetragrammaton

So it seems like “Yod Heh Waw Heh” would be pronounced [yahawah] or [yahuwah], but [yahweh] makes like no sense.

Since Yod is already pronounced [yah] it doesn’t need a Heh to indicate the [h] sound. Instead, it usually indicates an additional vowel should follow the [h]. Here I suggest another [a] (since [ha] makes sense here) or maybe [u] (as in the name /yahudah/ - Judah).

of the [u] possibility

If it was a [u] then its likely that it and following [w] would merge - though this would destroy the syllabic structure - thus [huwa] becomes [hwa]. However, remember the previous sound is [yah] which would also merge with the Heh’s [h].

So in this scenario both the [h] and [u] from the Heh would be completely eaten by the previous and following letters, making the placement of Heh completely superfluous, it could even be removed entirely without affecting the pronunciation. That seems rather unlikely, so I’m not inclined to believe the vowel should be [u] unless it was pronounced in its own syllable separate from the following [w].

Counterargument

There’s a counter argument that the Tetragrammaton is actually the third person verb for “Aleph Heh Yod Heh” which means”I am” or in modern Hebrew “I will be”.

The Aleph Problem

Aleph isn’t pronounced /a/, instead its a glottal stop. We don’t have a letter for it in English, but we use it all the time when we say “uh-oh!” that dash represents the glottal stop. I’ll use “-” to represent the glottal stop for the following examples.

You might notice that “-hyh” is pretty different from “yhwh”. The former is pronounced /-ehyeh/.

Until I can find the convention for how third person verbs are conjugated in ancient Hebrew, I can’t say for certain if that conversion makes sense, but currently I’m quite dubious.

Finally..

If you have any ideas about this, feel free to ping me on twitter or send me a story submission.

-x

March 2, 2013

Thanks to LovingDamnation for posting Paul’s work, its dead on.

lovingdamnation:

Some artwork by my good friend Paul.

December 30, 2012
The Second Amendment

President, Representatives, Senators,

There’s a lot of loud clambering by a vocal minority to put forth blanket bans on firearms.

This cannot stand.

We as Americans have the right to defend ourselves and our loved ones and indeed our country.

We do not need people who are uneducated about firearms making decisions about them. Yes, things that are unfamiliar are scary, I understand, but I also understand that firearms are more than weapons of destruction. They put food on the table for families of our hunters, and they protect our vulnerable from the strong, they defend our nation against physical threats both foreign and domestic.

Our nation was founded by men who defended themselves and fought for what they believed in against external aggressors who attacked them. Surely the British entertained the thought of forbidding the ownership of weapons. That is the reason it was written into the second amendment. What nation would dare sending ground troops into this country, knowing our citizens are able bodied and well armed?

Criminals account for a tiny fraction of firearms owners. The firearms some are attempting to ban account for an even smaller percentage of offensive crime and personal injury.

An American is more like to die in of illnesses like heart disease or cancer. Homicides are responsible for the death of almost exactly the same number of Americans as automobiles, and there’s no outcry to ban all motor vehicles, nor should there be. Through the process of education, social support, improvement of awareness, and technology, both of these types of needless deaths are on the decline.

To conclude, please defend our second amend rights. I have no problems denying convicts the mentally unstable from obtaining firearms, but we as a nation should not be punished for the terrible actions of a handful of bad men out of 311,591,917 Americans.

Thank you.


Most data and statistics obtained from the Center for Disease Control.

October 15, 2012
Movie Review: Chronicle

I just saw Chronicle, I can’t yet say whether it was good or bad, but what disturbs me is that I’ve run through my head almost the exact scenarios presented in the film a million times throughout my life - as recently as this week, and as far back as 1998.

I consider the film to be an accurate representation of how those types of people would react in those situations.

The fudge factor was low overall, but it was very apparent that huge chunks were truncated for convenience and the film felt short as a result. Either there’s another 20+ minutes on the cutting room floor, or the writer just skipped over shit he didn’t feel like dealing with.

The first half of the film threw in oddball philosophical quotes, which seemed to imply a depth to one of the main characters, but was never elaborated on, and in fact seemed completely antithetic to his personality. I actually wished it had been elaborated on, seeing that the last half of the film seemed to me to be the perfect time to focus more on those philosophies.

As a result of this, I felt the movie was good, but not good enough for anyone to bother with a full re-cut, which is a shame, because I’m pretty sure the movie could have been completely amazing with a little more work, since its glaringly obvious that this movie is an american spin on Akira. Not nearly as good, but not bad either.

July 22, 2012

May 8, 2012

jabru:

RIP Maurice Sendak

blowncovers:

We’ll miss you.

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