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Topics - Harry Black

#1
Public Announcements / Quetzalcoatl has been suspended
December 31, 2023, 11:17:37 AM
User Quetzalcoatl has been suspended for 30 days due to accruing multiple warnings in a short period of time.
#2
Skepticism / Science Talk / Blackmail scams
August 02, 2023, 07:17:03 PM
This was in the news a while ago and is relevant to modern skepticism but doesnt get much coverage for obvious reasons- Dating app scams.
These have driven some teen boys to suicide so I think its important to cover.

The other day while swiping on an app, I saw a very hot lady. Figured she was probably fake but it was a lesser known app and the location was local so...swiped right.
Immediately she comes into the chat to say hi. First red flag.

The english was poor so as part of the conversation I asked where she was from. She said my town so I filed away the second red flag but didnt push it.

Then she starts asking to move to other chat apps. Third red flag but I was bored so....

Now she is asking for selfies. Ok...Im not exactly shy.

Of course she sends selfies back. As snaps (snaps are supposedly taken right now) but its clearly day outside and the outlets in the picture are not local.

So I played along and 'she' was desperate to get a picture of my genitals. Sending me very sexy pics and videos (supposedly just taken) of this girl.

So I talked to the guy and made clear that I knew what was up and was just interested in talking. Took a while but I got him to admit he was a catfish and got him to agree to answer some questions.
I got voice notes from a dude with a russian accent, but screenshots looking like they were taken in a french speaking country.

So why does he do it? (i actually get targeted semi regularly by presumably the same Irish guy for similar requests)- Blackmail. He gets dudes to follow his insta and then gets their dicks, and then threatens to share the pics with their friends and family if they dont pay up.

Where does he get the pics? This one surprised me. He bought them. Makes sense but I always assumed they were elicited from a girl the same way he was trying to elicit from me. The pics didnt show up on reverse image search and included vids etc all in the same room so not just clipped from google image 'hot girl'.

Where was he? He wouldnt say but kept saying he was trying to get money for his family and asking me to send crypto. Tried to threaten me with the pics I already sent, which got a laugh. I kind of suspect he might be a refugee. But who knows?

This scam is big business and if you have younger relatives, they should know about it and like with sex, abstinence only advice will not work. You need to advise them on how to evaluate when someone is fake and how to spot the red flags because they WILL NOT stop using these apps.
#3
General Discussion / How many patreons do you support?
February 17, 2023, 03:46:56 PM
I listen to a wide range of podcasts and a huge range of YouTubers, I follow some blogs, some journalists, some folks who investigate the far right, loads of comedians and some people with sexy bods that post tiktoks or pics of their jiggly bits and muscles.

I think I only sub to one creator right now? I feel like I follow so many different people that I cant support them all and its hard to parse who I should support vs who needs the support vs my income (which has gone up recently so I now finish each month with slightly more than I had last month. Its been 10 years since that happened.)

How many do you support? How do you decide? What sort of a percentage of your overall income is your subscription total? Mine is about 1% of my monthly income.

Edit-Fuuuuck!!! I spent so much time rewording the title, I forgot to do a final check before posting. Yes. I am an idiot.
#4
Jeremy's Sea's account has been deleted as per user request.
#5
Originator of the thread "Conservative Politics" requested that the thread be removed.
This is not normally a request that can be accommodated but as no discussion had yet taken place (one response had been posted and deleted by the user) we were able to assist.
#6
Ive asked some catholic friends about this but they didnt have an answer so I figured I might try you nerds.
The church assumes some relics are real and that they are the possessions or body parts of saints or holy people.

How does the church view the people who took those relics as souvenirs initially? It seems quite disrespectful to break off a chunk of the cross that killed the messiah and put it on your mantle? Let alone taking someones burial shroud.
And what about the people taking bones of actual saints? Isnt that desecration of the dead?
Why havent they laid them to rest?

Also, if flesh is considered to not be relevant to the divine, why does it matter if we have someones thumb? Surely their soul is gone from it? Ashes to ashes etc.

Now the most obvious and correct answer is "Yeah. Its religion. None of it makes sense".
Sure. But thats a very boring answer. The answer I am really interested in is any sort of theological or canonical reconciling of these things if anyone has ever come across them?
#7
KimYeovil has been suspended for accruing multiple warnings in a short period of time.
#8
Skepticism / Science Talk / Bro Jogan anti vax BS
May 01, 2021, 04:14:36 PM
So Joe Rogan has opinions about who should get vaccinated and why.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9olq0opyIEw
The video is a fairly good break down of what was said. And yes, Joe did sort of walk it back by saying people shouldnt listen to him cos he is a roided up stoner but also still did not seem to get what the criticisms actually were or that he talks without thinking is a problem.

Since the pandemic began, lots of weaknesses in our systems have been highlighted but also Joe Rogan has really highlighted himself as a source of bullshit, bad takes and dangerous misinformation.
It doesnt matter what scientists he brings on or even that he brings on skeptical thinkers like Pakman. The Joe bros I know have no idea who any of them are when I mention their interviews. They only remember the comedians and conspiracy theorists and Brendan Shaub.
And this is the biggest podcast in the world.
#10
Public Announcements / Amadio Shaunt profile deleted
March 28, 2021, 10:35:30 AM
User Amadio Shaunts profile has been deleted as per users request.
#11
Tech Talk / Bluesky
January 17, 2021, 06:33:33 PM
https://techcrunch.com/2021/01/15/twitters-vision-of-decentralization-could-also-be-the-far-rights-internet-endgame/
It...doesnt seem like twitter has solved any problems with this? It just seems like a way for them to outsource blame and get paid for it?
#12
Public Announcements / Tech mod needed!!!
October 23, 2020, 08:44:12 PM
We need a new technical moderator to help with the day to day running of the forum.
The role would involve keeping the forum up and running and dealing with any issues that crop up and interfere with user experience.
Ideally a tech mod would have experience with Linux, PHP, HTML and CSS.

Let us know if you are interested!
#13
Skepticism / Science Talk / Plants as dehumidifiers
September 24, 2020, 10:49:44 AM
Im hoping to move into a new flat this week. Its my dream place to be honest but I have been told that its prone to damp if not ventilated and heated properly.
I want to be certain to avoid any such issues and the landlady is providing a dehumidifier (which cost 120-200 euros).
I would like to take extra steps and have researched some plant types that are reckoned to be good for dehumidification.
Im not sold on the idea though because Im not finding info on how many plants it takes to have a significant impact and then wondering if that number would be high enough to make the cost of an extra dehumidifier moot.

Anyone have any thoughts or experience here?
My budget is VERY limited and I am realistically not going to commit to a large DIY project.
#14
Im told the evidence suggests that work from home generally improves productivity and morale. I have no reason to really doubt that on its face. But I have had some insight that I thought was interesting in the last few months and could easily lead someone to the idea that work from home is a bad idea.
My office allowed 30 customer care agents to go home to do webchats. The first obstacle was internet speeds
, its amazing how many people are just hotspotting off their phones for internet access at home due to the prohibitive cost of broadband.
Next was space/privacy/security. No one can afford a place of their own here and spare rooms arent a thing (you could rent that out to someone!) so ensuring proper data protection while having people out of the office was a bit of a challenge.
For those eligible, we saw a huge drop in productivity from all but a few. Without someone actually verbally checking up on them, about 10 percent just sat and did nothing, dealing with maybe 4 customers in an 8.5 hr shift.
We have had to start recalling our bottom performers due to their lack of productivity at home.
I think theres a few factors at play here. Working in a complaints department can genuinely be traumatising (unless a person is rude to you on the phone, just fucking behave yourself and be nice. Unless the agent was rude to you, rate the company 10/10 because they dont give a shit about your feedback, they just punish the agent for not hypnotising you into being happy for being ripped off) and they are underpaid. The motive to work in that case is just to not be homeless so I can understand people in their early 20s who dropped out of college not being super invested.


What are your experiences with it? Are you working from home? Will it continue after covid? What are the benefits and trade offs for you? Do we need to restrict the ability of companies to hire specifically for work at home? Afterall it kind of makes it even harder for unhoused people to break that cycle.
But its better for the environment.
Its a genuinely complex issue I could go round and round on!
#15
paul92029 has been banned for spamming
#16
Public Announcements / On Shadowbans
June 26, 2020, 01:59:59 PM
First, let me make clear that, although shadowbanning is a valid tool for dealing with trolls that is used on many message boards very effectively, it is not a policy of this forum or moderation team to shadowban people.

Second, and somewhat counterintuitively, it is important that we explain how the user Pdb in fact came to be shadowbanned and to see the message that is in the image shared by Snarl.  No one who saw that message could reasonably think it was anything but a specifically targeted form of harassment, and at first I did not believe the image was real. But it was, it was unacceptable, and we apologize. We make no excuses, but I wanted to find out as much as possible about what happened and share it with you.  This is what I've discovered:

Several years ago, there was a banned user who engaged in a particularly prolific and persistent sock puppetry campaign over a number of years. Finally, the technical administrators installed an extension to the forum software intended to discourage this behavior by implementing a suite of deliberate technical glitches that would make the site virtually unusable for that poster only without informing him that he had been banned. In other words, a shadow-banning extension. The extension worked, and the moderators were relieved of the ongoing burden of identifying and banning his dozens of sock puppets. Eventually, the frustrated user stopped attempting to create new sockpuppet accounts. This functionality was intended only to be used with that specific poster, one who had already been publicly banned on occasions too numerous to count. Because the effectiveness of the action relied in part on its being unknown to the banned poster in question and because it was intended only ever to affect him, we did not make any public announcement.

Now the really weird part. The author of the extension added the ability occasionally to display a pop message, and set its default message template to the bizarre and threatening text we see in that image, with the user's name auto-populated. It is a bizarre choice which seems to run counter the the entire point of a shadowbanning function, and we were unaware that the extension was doing it until it was pointed out to us by SnarlPatrick. We also would never have written a threatening message like that even to a banned user. However, we offer no excuse: it was unacceptable, and we should have caught it.

More importantly to this discussion, however, Pdb should never have been subjected to the effects of the extension at all. We are not sure exactly how this happened. Only a Technical Administrator can see or activate this function, and our current Tech Admins assure me that they did not do so intentionally. They have earned enough goodwill and good standing that I believe them. Our best guess (and it is, sadly, only a guess) is that one of the Tech Admins accidentally activated it in a fat fingered slip like we see when threads get accidentally locked. This could easily have happened when one of them was viewing his profile, as the link to activate the feature is located right above the "Send PM" and "Show Posts" links.

When Belgarath became aware that Pdb was seeing this message, he investigated, discovered the source of the message, and, after verifying that no decision had been made to ban him, removed the "shadow ban" on Pdb. But it should never have happened in the first place, and we want to express our sincere apologies that it did. We have disabled the extension to prevent this happening again.

Finally, I want to stress that this bizarre incident has no bearing on our eventual decision to ban Pdb for his violations of the policy against hate speech, which we made as a team and stand behind completely.

I'm sorry that it has taken so long to respond to this issue, and I want to apologize if it seemed to anyone that we were dodging critique. I try always to be as open as possible, but I want to get my facts straight and sometimes that takes time.
#17
Public Announcements / Pdb has been banned
June 24, 2020, 06:34:02 PM
User Pdb (formerly Pdb88) has been banned for repeated racist trolling, using racist dogwhistles, posting material designed to be offensive and upsetting to people of colour and sustained behaviour of engaging in disruptive activity.

#18
Public Announcements / New Mod!!!
June 06, 2020, 04:51:09 AM
As you all know we have been trying to increase the ranks of moderators to make the user experience a bit better.
We put out a request for people who may have been interested in helping us and I just want to say a genuine thank you to all the people who stepped up and offered to help the community.
We are happy to announce that we have found our new mod in the form of Morvis13.
You all know Morvis from being in an around with his cheeky comments but now those will be accompanied by the powers, responsibilities and frustration of being a global moderator!

Welcome Morvis!
#19
Skepticism / Science Talk / Planet of The Humans
May 08, 2020, 11:49:28 AM
I figured we should have a thread on one of the biggest skeptical stories of the last few months?
Michael Moore has produced a movie called Planet of The Humans and made it freely available on the internet (I wont link to it here as Im not sure it deserves the traffic).
The film apparently makes numerous unscientific and outdated claims attacking renewable energy as unsustainable and character assassinating certain prominent climate activists.
I have not seen the film as it doesnt look to be worth my time (more than happy to revise that though if people here rate it highly) but the controversy around the film is very interesting to me.
I have never been comfortable with Michael Moore as I feel he is quite insincere and manipulative, preferring an emotional message over actual facts. He is a story teller rather than a journalist or a serious commentator and I think people should not have given him the platform that they have over the past couple of years (including some podcasts Im very fond of).
Do you have an opinion on the film or controversy? Or Moore in general? If the film is as misinformed as its made out to be I think the skeptical community should be all over it and if its not then likewise we should be letting people know.
#20
Forum Administration and Rules / Threads Removed
March 29, 2020, 10:35:42 AM
The 'Translobby' thread and 'Rightwing Propaganda' threads have been removed.
These threads were both created in what seems overwhelmingly likely to be bad faith and were serving no productive function.  Attempts to repurpose the propaganda thread have not been very effective.
Furthermore they were understandably upsetting for some members who took the time to share their frustrations about the threads and we feel they created an unwelcoming atmosphere to potential new users who may be more affected by the issues in those threads.
As you are all aware, this is a very unusual action for the mod team to take and it is not likely to become a regular occurrence.
#21
Public Announcements / Godhead has been banned
March 24, 2020, 04:46:26 PM
For repeated breaches of forum hate speech rules.
#22
General Discussion / What time do you get up at?
March 20, 2020, 07:54:53 AM
I find peoples sleeping and waking patterns to be fascinating.
I have never been able to fully wake up before 10am, no matter how long I am on a routine of early mornings and even after 5 years of military service, regardless of how early I go to bed.
If I wake up at 7 or 8 am I will just go back to sleep if I have nowhere to be. Likewise, if I have a super late night and only have 4 or 5hrs sleep, I find it very difficult to stay in bed past 10am, no matter how hard I try.

I notice Americans seem to start their days really early. Is that necessity? Choice?
What about other nationalities? Canadians? Aussies? Swedewegians?

I feel like a nice chat about inconsequential shite.
#23
Public Announcements / Goodbye Rev!
March 09, 2020, 07:45:57 PM
TheIrreverend has decided after many years of service to move on from our forum.
This is sad for anyone who has engaged with them over the years and also leaves a rev shaped hole in the mod team.

We feel strongly that we need more than one person to fill this hole and to that end have decided to put the call out to get some fresh blood into the modcave!
Tatyana has already agreed to join us and is now a full Global Moderator with the responsibilities that come with it so when she posts moddy things she should be listened to.
We want to create another mod position that we hope someone else would like to fill.
What we require from a potential mod is pretty simple:
- Have and have demonstrated a thick skin.
-
- Log in every few days if you can.
- Keep an eye to rule breaking or behaviour that makes the forum less welcoming while you are here.
- Be willing to engage in discussions and reviews of our rules and be willing to compromise in such discussions. ie- Know when to stop arguing a point.
- Be available for the very rare mod votes that are required.
- Be willing and able to respond to email notifications about reported rule breaches and make decisions on them.

Theres lots of support from existing mods and a good breaking in period, we would love if those interested would PM myself, Rai or AQB247 to make us aware of your interest so we can make a decision.
To our friend TheIrreverend I can only say that I personally will miss knowing you are around, thanks for all the help and support you have given me both as a forumite and a new mod as well as an experienced mod who should know better.
The door is always open for your return!
#24
Public Announcements / Johnrichard23 has been banned
January 22, 2020, 11:01:08 AM
Johnrichard23 has been banned for spam.
#25
Showmeonthedollwhereto has been suspended from posting for 7 days for recieving multiple warnings in a short period of time.
#26
Public Announcements / SnarlPatrick has been suspended
December 09, 2019, 04:24:17 PM
SnarlPatrick has been suspended for 7 days due to recieving multiple warnings in a short period of time.
The user will be unable to post during this time.
#27
General Discussion / What is the tastiest bird?
December 02, 2019, 12:33:17 PM
Im not a massive fan of turkey. My preferred xmas bird is goose.
Overall, if I am eating out and see duck on the menu, I just cannot resist and HAVE to get it.

What bird do you find to be the tastiest? I have never tried ostrich. Chicken is pretty decent. Pheasant is delicious and wood pigeon is pretty good but too small.

My vote goes to duck.
#28
I was thinking the other day, most people seem to carry waterbottles and coffee mugs around with them these days.
So what if we took that a step further and redesigned vending machines to just top up whatever container you bring to it? If you forget your container or whatever there would be an option to buy a new one of course.
If we brought this even further, we could have a few bottles that we bring to the store with us. Fill up for beer, wine, milk, cooking oil etc (ok beer and wine would not be as straightforward but are far from unsolvable problems).
Seeing as how plastic disposable containers are so hard to recycle and cant be recycled indefinitely, I think something like this will have to happen once oil gets scarce enough so why not pre-empt?
If I have my own bottle, does the bar need to use electricity and chemicals to wash so many glasses anymore? In the military, we used to carry our own mess kit around with us anyway for meals etc. Its not a big inconvenience at all and makes administration etc far more cost effective and streamlined.
Im obviously extrapolating to the most extreme version of the basic idea but I think anything that helps is would be worth it at this stage right?

I dont think its realistically implementable with all the conflicting stakeholders unfortunately, but its been shouting for attention in my brain.
#29
https://www.rte.ie/sport/athletics/2019/1012/1082931-history-maker-kichoge-runs-first-sub-two-hour-marathon/

I honestly did not think it was possible! If you look at the picture in the article, some folks were hot on his heels too!
That pace is inconceivable to me.
#30
Public Announcements / singaporejob778 has been banned
October 10, 2019, 12:44:38 PM
singaporejob778 has been banned for posting spam.
#31
User Clitonalex has been banned for posting spam for services that breach forum rules.
#32
Tech Talk / Huawei and Google
May 22, 2019, 05:48:47 AM
This situation is quite messy and as someone who just bought a Huawei device days before the announcement, I am quite interested.
For those who dont know:
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48334739

Google is being required by the US to stop supporting Huawei devices. Huawei are assuring customers they will support them themselves but nothing really binds them to do so and they have a strong motive to make this claim.

Do you think they would honour this offer over a course of two or more years?

Do you think community support from the likes of XDA would be enough to keep the phones running?

Very interested in what people think. And yes, this is definitely one advantage of ios but an equivalent spec apple phone was more than double the price on the deal I was offered so...
#33
For accruing three warnings in a short period of time, bachfiend has been suspended from posting for 1 week.
#34
Public Announcements / Jacobok02 has been banned
February 21, 2019, 06:50:53 PM
Jacobok02 has been banned for spam.
#35
https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/02/09/tennessee-doctors-marines-pain-cream-scam-tricare-choice-md/2822642002/
This is a really interesting story of how Tricare was scammed out of $65 million dollars for a scar removal cream that doesnt even work.
Some marines were actually in on it it seems.
#36
I don't know much about space so I dont know if this is legit or not. Should make an interesting conversation either way!

https://youtu.be/bttJHneFd1o

This seems to be a pretty comprehensive system. I imagine it or some other way of trying to retain muscle mass and strong cardiovascular function away from Earths gravity must be very important.

Is this a system that is in use?

Any videos of other systems?

Why does the bracing surface need to move with each rep? Surely this steals some of the workload from the astronaut?

Why was a bar and some springs with a solid bracing surface not used?

I am 99.99% sure 99.99% of you know the answers so please share!
#37
User diessoli's account has been deleted at user's request.
#38
Public Announcements / Bedientu30 has been banned
December 15, 2018, 10:12:48 AM
 Bedientu30 has been banned for spam.
#39
Tech Talk / Privacy vs Security
December 11, 2018, 05:16:49 PM
I'm a single person who dates a lot online. One of the most frustrating things about this is the sheer volume of fake accounts or trolls/catfish.
Twitter is also recognising issues with having so many fake accounts and bots on their platforms and of course its a bit of an issue for our own community.
To try and summarize the problem- Bad or disruptive actors can infiltrate an online space to such a degree that it significantly affects the function the space was intended to perform. Be it hooking people up for casual sex or facilitating honest intellectual discussion.

It would be theoretically possible to require a high enough bar to creating accounts that it would require far more investment to circumvent and that may not be worth it for eliciting some sexy pics from a stranger online or posting racist shite.
Lets say for example, you had to provide a valid credit card number. That would be a bad idea because now the platform has a duty of care for that data and new users are far less likely to join while existing users will be unduly affected by any sort of breach.
Privacy vs security.

If there was an easy answer to this problem, Im pretty sure tinder would be using it (though maybe not, fake accounts with fitness model pics do make it seem more enticing to some people who dont yet realise they are fake).

So off the top of your heads, what kind of compromises theoretical or realistic COULD help here?
Assume you have the budget and resources available to Twitter.
#40
Tech Talk / Phones listening?
December 09, 2018, 04:04:30 PM
 I think this is an interesting one for skeptics due to the similarity to older tropes like "I was thinking about x and they phoned me!"
I was walking past a certain pharmacy yesterday and said to my buddy- Oh, pharmacy x do STI screens by post and you can order online.

That afternoon I had in browser ads for that very service.
It feels very compelling but Im predisposed to question that. Even though I have had loads of similar experiences about things I didnt google and would be quite random to talk about.
This is aside from the issue of keywords getting plucked from private emails i may send and resulting in immediate ads.
So I found this article:
https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/wjbzzy/your-phone-is-listening-and-its-not-paranoia
It doesnt seem to be as slam dunk as the author makes out but I am leaning toward this being quite plausible. And if it is, then what are the legalities of it?
How could it be co-opted or abused?
I dont think theres any way we as consumers can be empowered to fix it, so what would be a hardware solution?
Is a case that is soundproof but not signal inhibiting realistic?
#41
Public Announcements / Skeptic1001 has been banned
November 24, 2018, 09:45:40 PM
User Skeptic1001 has been banned for spam.
#42
Redamare's account has been delete at the users request.
#43
TV & Movies / Messaging in fiction
September 16, 2018, 06:37:23 PM
This has been on my mind for ages and I wanted to put it out there for other perspectives and for holes to be picked.
I've been watching the Shooter tv show recently and there are analogies for many current affairs issues in the show, such as the Proud Boys, the deep state and issues with the supreme court.
The message from the show is that racists are bad and democracy is good etc etc.
We see it a lot in low brow fiction, when there is a situation where a main character has to deal with racism or drugs or whatever very special episode you want to deal with.
The thing is, I dont think this is effective, even if its well meaning.
I've been thinking of late, that the messages that really seem to sink in from fiction are the ones that are never challenged, they are taken for granted by the writer and by the audience as what  :steve: calls a 'gimme' at the start. Some common gimmes from more popular shows are

Big Bang Theory- Nerds are all smart.

House MD- Its ok to be an asshole if you are right.

CSI- There is always definitive and clear evidence (this one has caused real life problems that are measurable).

Every cop show ever- Cops are overwhelmingly good and competent people. Also, liars are easy to spot and victims are always weak or stupid.

Every spy show ever- Hyper competent people keep us safe and we should get out of their way and let them do what needs to be done.

Every vigilante show/movie- Torture works. You just have to do it right.

Almost every show or movie- America is a force for good with the best system of government. Good guys are handsome and dress like spec ops. Capitalism is the best system.


Please do not take any of the above to be implied that those statements are true or false. My point is that it is the things we are not led to question that form part of our default worldview until we actually question it outside of the fiction.

So for example, a more effective spy show might take something else for granted, like the unreliability of torture or the arbitrary 'goodness' of an action that disadvantages another nation etc.
House might lose his job, not due to some mistake, but due to just being an asshole.

I hope this makes sense?
I think unasked questions are our most powerful primers for how we see reality and I'm wondering if anyone else has any thoughts at all about it?

Again, PLEASE do not focus in on the examples I have provided if you want to discuss them. Replace them with assumptions you have noticed. I want to talk about the phenomena or lack thereof rather than the efficacy of torture or get another police misconduct thread in the wrong sub forum.
#44
So Michael Shermer seems to have just stopped pretending to give a shit about rationality?
https://mobile.twitter.com/michaelshermer/status/1029729011016945665

Featuring Peterson in a skeptical forum as anything other than a thing to debunk is ridiculous.

They really need to drop the first part of the title of Skeptic Magazine.
This would be a good thing for the SGU to cover.
#45
User Prophetofjustice has been banned for sockpuppetry.
#46
Skepticism / Science Talk / Werefoot!!!
May 25, 2018, 04:08:52 PM
Some people think its a werewolf. Others that its related to bigfoot.
I dub it werefoot.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44243644

This is pretty interesting at face value. Im sure the answer will be somewhat dull, but I would have loved to see the creature while it was alive.
#47
I've been thinking and talking alot about steroids of late and something occured to me-
Its a massive industry, and clearly pharma companies are making money from researching and producing them. Theres an arms race in sports as well as recreational users looking for newer ways to get jacked.
But how do drug companies actually justify the production of drugs that it is illegal to sell for the purposes they are mostly being used?
If theres a nominal medical reason, then how do they justify testing ways to avoid detection etc?
Surely these companies have to lodge some sort of documents about what they are working on and why?
And surely if they are lying on these documents, there must be massive amounts of illegal conversations happening with marketing departments and scientists in order to discuss real goals vs nominal goals and what they want?
On top of that, how does a new product get marketed for the purposes that they actually want it to be sold?

Or are all PEDs genuine medical drugs that get repurposed by creative team doctors and gym pharmacists?
I know we have a couple of folks in the pharma industry so I would love some sort of answer, even if its to explain why my question is stupid...
#48
https://theintercept.com/2018/03/22/at-trial-of-omar-mateens-wife-judges-questioning-reveals-a-huge-hole-in-prosecutions-case-and-deceit-by-prosecutors/

https://theintercept.com/2018/03/05/as-the-trial-of-omar-mateens-wife-begins-new-evidence-undermines-beliefs-about-the-pulse-massacre-including-motive/

I meant to post about these two articles when they were published respectively but my terrible brain kept finding other things to do.
What I find interesting:
The media was alive with sources saying he was a closeted gay man. That he was active on Grindr and that his attack was motivated by homophobia.
None of this actually seems well supported by the evidence.

The media have become so poor at covering these things and we have all become such armchair psychologists that very few people thought to question any of those things.
Even in the last shooting we discussed, people were authoritatively expressing theories and betting metaphorical money as is the case EVERYWHERE these things are discussed.

Secondly, the wife seems to be a victim of absolutely horrendous work on the part of the FBI.
I had no idea the rate of conviction for muslims accused of such crimes were actually THAT high.  I find my faith in that organisation even further diminished.
#49
https://youtu.be/6P1HNhk-QYo

Ok so its a clickbaity title and a silly hook but the nuts and bolts-
This is an appeal for a kickstarter to fund a womens secular conference (to which I am sure men are welcome!).
The kickstarter is currently underfunded and having listened to the organiser speak about their goals and values in a previous video with Steve Shives, I really want this to go ahead.
I have donated and plan to get the rewards sent to an activist friend whose birthday it happens to be (so many birds with one stone!) and if this sort of project seems at all interesting to you, I hope you might pledge a few dollars. If they hit their target, you will have helped and if they dont, you dont lose any money but get to say you were totally willing to.

In the past couple of months, two female led atheist podcasts have distanced themselves from the atheist movement citing the general atmosphere and culture they perceive. We just cannot be losing good people at this point,so I would urge everyone to support events like this that can hopefully make our passion seem more worthy and accessible to more varied segments of the population.
#50
https://jezebel.com/woman-dies-after-receiving-goop-endorsed-bee-sting-ther-1824016819

Welp. We all knew Paltrows advice was going to have a bodycount eventually.