"Here, have a good kick in the feels, courtesy of Saundra Young at CNN: In Colorado, parents Matt and Paige Figi struggled with trying to help their daughter Charlotte, suffering from long, untreatable seizures. Eventually, she was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. Its seizures cannot be controlled through conventional medication. They tried everything. Matt, having given up a military career, searched for anything else that could help as Charlotte was slipping away from them...
He found a video online of a California boy whose Dravet was being successfully treated with cannabis. The strain was low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the compound in marijuana that's psychoactive. It was also high in cannabidiol, or CBD, which has medicinal properties but no psychoactivity. Scientists think the CBD quiets the excessive electrical and chemical activity in the brain that causes seizures. It had worked in this boy; his parents saw a major reduction in the boy's seizures.
They decided to give medical marijuana a try, even though Paige said she had voted against legalizing it. They struggled to find doctors who would sign off. Even though Colorado’s medical marijuana program recognized it as a valid treatment for seizures, Charlotte was so young. Studies have shown that marijuana use while the brain is still developing can have negative impacts on IQ and other potential mental problems. Given the severity of Charlotte’s situation, though, would it be worse than what she was already suffering through?
...the results were stunning. "When she didn't have those three, four seizures that first hour, that was the first sign," Paige recalled. "And I thought well, 'Let's go another hour, this has got to be a fluke.' " The seizures stopped for another hour. And for the following seven days. Charlotte is now 6 years old: Today, Charlotte, 6, is thriving. Her seizures only happen two to three times per month, almost solely in her sleep. Not only is she walking, she can ride her bicycle. She feeds herself and is talking more and more each day."
In other marijuana news, Sanjay Gupta decides to no longer believe blindly in authority and do some due diligence. You know, it's nice the tide is turning and all, but all this info was out there already for anyone who didn't have blinders on.
"...after a new study has revealed a clear correlation between intelligence and childlessness - with cleverer women more likely to choose not to have a family.
The study, which was conducted by Satoshi Kanazawa, a researcher at the London School of Economics, found that a woman's urge to have children decreases by a quarter for every 15 extra IQ points."
"Back in July, it was reported that Snowden was using an email account provider by the small privacy-focused Texas-based company Lavabit. But in an abrupt move, the company shut down its service Thursday, saying in a statement that it had taken the decision on the grounds that it refused to become “complicit in crimes against the American people.” The statement, written by Lavabit’s owner Ladar Levison, hints that he was served with some sort of surveillance gag order. He says that he cannot share his experiences over “the past six weeks” and is taking up a legal case to “fight for the Constitution” in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The statement concludes: This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would _strongly_ recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States The intriguing development strongly suggests that Lavabit has been served with a secret order for the government demanding that it turn over user data."
"Girls are the perpetrators of some form of dating violence nearly as often as boys, surprising new studies show. More girls – 43 percent – than boys – 28 percent – reported committing an act of physical dating violence, said researchers who are presenting their findings beginning Wednesday at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting."
"Here's that Walking Dead/Scooby-Doo crossover you've always wanted. Ever since the amazing Travis Pitts "Thelma and Scooby kill all the zombies" art dropped back in 2009, there have been a plethora of good Scooby Gang Vs. Zombies tributes. But this photoshoot by photographer Jeff Zoet could be one of the best. "
Crooks rip off nonprofit rape crisis center, then return the stuff with an apology note - Boing Boing: "The day after burglars ripped off the San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services office, they broke back in again and returned everything they'd stolen, with a note reading "We had no idea what we were takeing. Here your stuff back we hope that you guys can continue to make a difference in peoples live. God bless." As ABC 7 News reported, the office has no sign outside, in order to protect those who desperately need its help. The nonprofit's executive director, Candy Stallings, told NBC News: "We were all pretty shocked. You've got to be kidding me. I was in disbelief. I got chills. I got very emotional." The police admitted they'd never heard of thieves returning property. It seems counter to their intentions."
"By an amazing coincidence, the worst terrorist attack that never happened since 9/11 is not happening right now, proving that everyone who was worried about out-of-control NSA spying had lost the plot. Which is ZOMGTERRISM. So 28 US diplomatic posts have been evacuated (that is to say, "experienced an ordered departure"), including ones in places like Mauritius or Madagascar, where al Qaeda has nefariously never operated as part of its devious plan to lure everyone there into a false sense of security.
Well, some people are cynical and just don't believe it, despite all the overwhelming secret evidence that we're not allowed to see or know about or hear about or even have described to us. People like State Department counterterrorism advisor Will McCants, who called the evacuation of the diplomatic posts "Crazy Pants" ("you can quote me"). Loose cannons like Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, who called the terrifying and nonspecific warnings "absurd hyperbole that is coming almost entirely from reckless commentators or ill-informed or ill-spoken [Capitol] Hill folks...no one who really knows al Qaeda or its history thinks that this is as huge a deal as portrayed—and certainly nothing remotely close to the worst thing we have seen since 9/11." But what the hell does he know?"
"TSA has not shown itself to be exceptionally useful for thwarting terrorism. It has never caught a terrorist in its airport checkpoints or anywhere else, as far as anyone knows. But the bureaucratic urge to expand cannot be easily suppressed. Lacking evidence of its value in airline terminals, TSA is branching out to other places where it can be equally ineffective. The agency "has vastly expanded its reach to sporting events, music festivals, rodeos, highway weigh stations and train terminals," reports The New York Times. Its Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) program, created in 2005, now gets $100 million a year "and is growing rapidly, increasing to several hundred people and 37 teams last year, up from 10 teams in 2008," the Times says. In 2012, it conducted some 8,800 unannounced operations outside of airports, or 24 per day. No, it's not requiring concertgoers and train passengers to take off their shoes and empty their pockets, but give it time."
"At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book—that string of confused, alien ciphers—shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader." - Alberto Manguel, A History of Reading
"Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently." - Unknown
"Thought I would give you guys a little bit of a different perspective in to my transformation this morning! In the picture on the left... I had already lost about 35lbs, was eating 1300 calories/day of mostly pre-packaged & processed foods, and only did cardio. In the picture on the right... I lost another 20lbs, was eating 2000 calories/day of mostly clean foods, and only lifting weights. Left = 150lbs, 1300 calories, cardio, processed "diet foods", and skinny flab. Right = 130lbs, 2000 calories, lifting heavy, clean diet, and sexy muscle. What's the lesson here? Eat more, stick with whole, unprocessed foods, and lift heavy! Your body will thank you."
"Everyone starts somewhere, and this was my beginning. What a difference a few years can make. Never give up on a goal you have for yourself, because as crazy as you think it may be, you can achieve ANYTHING. As I always say... slow and steady wins the race."
"Always remember that anything is possible. There will be setbacks, you will fall down, the road will be long and hard. What matters is that you pick yourself up, you keep pushing forward, and you never lose sight of what you want most."
"I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker." - Stanley Kubrick
“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.” – Mark Twain
"The hookup got hot and wild, and one of the two men whipped out his cellphone to shoot a video of the room-to-room romp with the woman they'd just met that night. The sex video may have been the only thing that saved the two from prison. The woman accused them of rape. The video showed otherwise, police and prosecutors said. What happened that night led to the vicious beating of one of the men two days later. Last Friday, a Sacramento Superior Court jury convicted Jasmine Levanna Kurre of felony assault likely to produce great bodily injury and of another count of felony battery. Jurors acquitted Kurre of the misdemeanor filing of a false police report and of another felony count of robbing the beating victim of his cellphone. Unfortunately for Kurre, 27, the man's friend shot the video, showing her laughing and carrying on with the two alleged rapists – hence, the lack of charges against them and the lodging of the misdemeanor false-report accusation."
"Until he was cast as the new Doctor this past weekend, Peter Capaldi was best known as the insanely profane Malcolm Tucker on the BBC's dark political comedy The Thick of It. It only took a day from someone to add the character's inspired obscenities to a Doctor Who trailer — and the results are gloriously NSFW."
""We may claim we’re simply holding them to a plain reading of the Bible, but that may be the biggest lie of all. The mere fact that there are 40,000 denominations on planet earth demonstrates that there’s no such thing as a plain reading of the Bible. Which means if we are going to continue to hold that our own theology is simply a plain reading of the Bible, then we have to admit that we think we’re the only ones that have anything figured out and those other 39,999 traditions are all wrong or just plain stupid."
— What Happens When “False Teachers” Love Jesus Too? (via azspot)"
"The State Department treated Pfc. Bradley Manning's leaks to WikiLeaks as a "very, very serious crisis," an ambassador testified at Ft. Meade Monday, denying reports that he told Congress otherwise two years ago. The words attributed to him then: the cables were "embarrassing but not damaging.""
"...when she finally bought me a pair of cargo shorts from there, it was khaki-colored ballin’. Until this year. Until I got fucking sick of everyone staring at me and saying “Cargo shorts??” like I was dousing a homosexual with gasoline before their very eyes. OOOOOHHHH BECAUSE FASHION SAYS IT’S OUT. Fashion. You mean the fuckers who skin bears and haphazardly wrap it around anorexic women before drenching them in cyan paint. Yes. Let’s listen to those people. I like my cargo shorts. I LOVE MY CARGO SHORTS. Alright team six-inch inseam J. Crew shorts team. What happens when you need to smuggle a bowl and an eighth into a concert? Ever try to stash a piece in pockets which were designed not to use? It looks like your dick is growing out of your left thigh. Even if you do get it in, your cell phone, keys and wallet reek of resin. Team cargo shorts over here put his weed and his lighter and his bubbler into his cargo shorts cargo pocket and walked into the concert just fine. So fuck you. Logistically speaking."
"To me, it's laughable that we tell our professional athletes to do whatever it takes to win and are shocked SHOCKED they take PEDs. Give me a fucking break. Yeah, it's totally natural to drink protein processed from milk into powder form and take 5-hour-energy caffeine boosts 3 times a day, but god forbid someone takes some testosterone so they can hit the ball a little further. FUCKING CRIMINALS.
The real issue with steroids is the massive amount of misinformation that gets passed around because of them. Guys hop on the juice and then tell other people that "you just need to eat more protein!" Skin and bones Bro then buys himself a 10lb. bag of protein and hits the gym. One month later, he sees no real difference and gives up...
So, how do you tell if someone is on the juice? Well, acne, small balls, and a series of veins popping out of their forehead are good signs. However, steroids have gotten more advanced, so the signs are less obvious. There are some things that should make you initially suspicious: Veins fucking everywhere, including the "S" veins that double lap over themselves. Having massive amounts of muscle with little to no body fat. Guys who can achieve a massive body with under 6% body fat are in the 1% or less of the population. Squatting a Prius at the gym. Honestly, there's no real way to tell, but use your instincts. There's a big difference from, "wow, that guy is big" to "wow, that guy looks like he could literally bend a barbell like a paper clip."
"A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans. Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin - not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges."
"More information on the malicious software that infected Tor Browser through Freedom Hosting's servers, which were then seized by law-enforcement: it turns out that infected browsers called home to the NSA. Or, at least, to an IP block permanently assigned to the NSA."
Tor Browser Anonymity Compromised, Maybe by the Feds - Hit & Run : Reason.com: " over the weekend, discovery of some malware suggests user anonymity may be at risk, and the prime suspect is the federal government. Via Wired: Security researchers tonight are poring over a piece of malicious software that takes advantage of a Firefox security vulnerability to identify some users of the privacy-protecting Tor anonymity network. The malware showed up Sunday morning on multiple websites hosted by the anonymous hosting company Freedom Hosting. That would normally be considered a blatantly criminal “drive-by” hack attack, but nobody’s calling in the FBI this time. The FBI is the prime suspect."
"And the sonic screwdriver goes to Peter Capaldi.
The Scottish actor was named the new star of the British sci-fi franchise Doctor Who on Sunday during a live broadcast on BBC America. He will replace the departing Matt Smith, whose time in the time-traveling police box the TARDIS ends later this year.
"It's so wonderful not to keep this secret any longer," said Capaldi, a lifelong fan of the show. "I haven't played Doctor Who since I was 9 on the playground.""
"...our culture is born and breed from start to finish toward accepting the disposable male complex. I had an argument with my co-workers the other day stemming from a comment i left over on A Voice for Men’s facebook page regarding circumcision. NONE of my MALE coworkers could grasp their heads around the idea that mutilating a boys genitals at an age where he his no choice, agency or ability to speak about his own genital integrity.. was just a-oh-fucking-kay.. .
happens all the time
-it keeps the dick clean
-they don’t remember it
They were shocked to hear about how many nerve ending you lose, and less sex sensation you get. Or that over 100 kids die a year from it.. that was news too. And even then you could tell i wasn’t winning them over. But talk of putting a scalpel near a girl… you’re Hitler.
This continent.. it runs on misandry. Literally. The blood of men.”"
A concept I've actually come across several times in the last few weeks, this idea that what it is you actually do reveals what your true priorities. Say you want to be in shape but haven't worked out this week and haven't tried to eat better? Then you really don't. Say you want to be out of debt but keep buying useless crap? You really don't. Say your family is the most important thing in the world to you, but spend all your time at work? Guess what? Sentiment is all well and good, but it's what you do that defines you.
"Members of Congress have been repeatedly thwarted when attempting to learn basic information about the National Security Agency (NSA) and the secret FISA court which authorizes its activities, documents provided by two House members demonstrate. From the beginning of the NSA controversy, the agency's defenders have insisted that Congress is aware of the disclosed programs and exercises robust supervision over them. "These programs are subject to congressional oversight and congressional reauthorization and congressional debate," President Obama said the day after the first story on NSA bulk collection of phone records was published in this space. "And if there are members of Congress who feel differently, then they should speak up." But members of Congress, including those in Obama's party, have flatly denied knowing about them."
"An intercepted message among senior al Qaeda operatives in the last several days raised alarm bells that led to the closing of embassies and consulates Sunday across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN has learned. CNN has agreed to a request from an Obama administration official not to publish or broadcast additional details because of the sensitivity of the information.
"Emphasis mine. This is an example of CNN doing PR and stenography for the White House. They did it when Bush was president, and they’re doing it now. The Obama administration is, rightly, under tremendous pressure and scrutiny because of the NSA spying program. So wouldn’t it be really great if suddenly there was some great evidence that the program works and stopped the bad guys? Well, what do you know, right after it’s been shown that the White House and NSA lied — again — about the spying program, a HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS TERRORISM story breaks, and thank god for the NSA spying, because it’s the only thing between Us and Them. I don’t believe it for a second, and it reeks of the same cynical manipulation of the stupid terror alert system during the Bush years. CNN played along with the script then, dutifully doing its part in the propagandizing of Americans, and it’s doing its part again, now. "
Snowden famously said, “I, sitting at my desk, could wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email” address. XKeyscore explains how this can be done. Obviously, the government cannot collect billions of electronic messages and transactions with no smart way to sift through them, including examining them at the most detailed level...
2. The security state has trumped the Constitution.
Snowden’s latest revelation begins by saying that any government contractor working for spy agencies can access and use this system. They don’t need a search warrant. There is no judicial process to push back. And Congress has enabled that shadow government to grow without checks and balances, which directly conflicts with the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment banning illegal searches and seizures. The Bill of Rights enshrined the quartet of police search warrants, protection against self-incrimination, trial by jury and the credo of innocent until proven guilty in response to Great Britain’s 18th-century abuses of this nature. XKeyscore completely upends those constitutional protections...
3. The security state’s defenders won’t stop lying.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers told the Guardian that Snowden is “lying. It’s impossible for him to do what he’s saying he could do.” But the Guardian’s latest article is filled with screenshots from the program that show how to search “within bodies of emails, webpages and documents...”"