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Diabolus Rex - 1 hour 8 min ago
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Politics of Social Media: Where You’re Likely to Find Conservatives and Liberals

Disinformation - 5 hours 54 min ago

via Mediaite:

Politically inactive conservatives generally populate Pinterest, while politically inactive liberals tend to use Instagram. Them’s the facts, according to new data revealed by audience measurement service Quantcast this month.

As the helpful chart below demonstrates, Facebook is the most politically balanced platform (likely because it has so many users), while the majority of social media “skew Democrat and [politically] inactive”:

A few other noticeable details:

1) Pinterest is the most conservative social media outlet, thus confirming existing stereotypes about the site being used by older, wealthy women from the midwest states.

2) Disqus is the most politically active social media outlet. Anyone surprised? It also skews conservative, which explains a lot. (But that’s also somewhat surprising, as we’ve noticed at Mediaite that articles about conservatives doing silly things tend to have lots of liberal comments, and vice versa.)

3) Twitter apparently leans the furthest left among all social media. That is also surprising, considering the hashtag #tcot (top conservatives on Twitter) is almost always a trending topic.

Continue reading.

The post Politics of Social Media: Where You’re Likely to Find Conservatives and Liberals appeared first on disinformation.

Circle of Abstract Ritual

Disinformation - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 17:30

Circle of Abstract Ritual from Jeff Frost on Vimeo.

“This film took 300,000 photos, riots, wildfires, paintings in abandoned houses, two years and zero graphics to make. It changed my entire life.” – Jeff Frost

Circle of Abstract Ritual

Circle of Abstract Ritual began as an exploration of the idea that creation and destruction might be the same thing. The destruction end of that thought began in earnest when riots broke out in my neighborhood in Anaheim, California, 2012. I immediately climbed onto my landlord’s roof without asking and began recording the unfolding events. The news agencies I contacted had no idea what to do with time lapse footage of riots, which was okay with me because I had been thinking about recontextualizing news as art for some time. After that I got the bug. I chased down wildfires, walked down storm drains on the L.A. River and found abandoned houses where I could set up elaborate optical illusion paintings. The illusion part of the paintings are not an end in themselves in my work. They’re an intimation of things we can’t physically detect; a way to get an ever so slight edge on the unknowable.

Early in the process I mapped out a very interconnected narrative structure. It took a long time to fill that narrative structure in, and when I finished editing the film after seven solid weeks of being holed up in a dark room I had no idea if it was something anyone would want to watch. I almost cut the film into pieces before realizing that outside influences were pressuring me to make that decision, and that I was happy with it as it was.

It took a long time to come to the creation side of the original premise. It finally took form in a collaboration with sculptor, Steve Shigley, as well as 15 amazing volunteers who moved full sized tree sculptures 450 times over two nights to create the stop motion climax of the film (see the behind the scenes film, Story of Abstract Ritual for the tale of their monumental effort: vimeo.com/frostjeff/soar).

The idea I wanted to explore was the creation of culture as a conscious creative act, but without the trappings of dogma from institutions or even from ways of thinking. The circle of inverted trees became a small piece of the world with personal meaning where I could mark significant events, contemplate and reflect. That circle still stands, and I still visit it regularly. Several people who have been there have told me that it’s come to mean something special for them as well. They each have their own fascinating way of interpreting the power inherent in those trees.

This film is art for the sake of art. It was made with much generosity, from the people who let me crash on their couches to the people who backed the Kickstarter to people who just wanted to pitch in: thank you. This would not have been possible without your help.

Every spare cent I make goes back into creating art. If you’d like to see me keep doing what I’m doing please consider purchasing a download or a print at jeff-frost.com, or PayPal me at jeff@jeff-frost.com


The post Circle of Abstract Ritual appeared first on disinformation.

Undulatus Asperatus

Disinformation - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 16:30

Crazy wave clouds rolled over Lincoln NE on July 7, 2014.

The post Undulatus Asperatus appeared first on disinformation.

First US Ebola Case Diagnosed in Dallas

Disinformation - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 15:41

Inevitably, Ebola has jumped across the Atlantic Ocean and a patient in Dallas, Texas has been diagnosed with the virus, reports CBS DFW:

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control have confirmed that a person in Dallas definitely has the Ebola virus. Tuesday’s official determination makes the Dallas patient the first diagnosed Ebola case in the United States.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are holding a press conference at 4:30 p.m.

It was late on the evening of September 29 that CBS 11 News learned a patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas was feared to have been exposed to the Ebola virus.

Health officials said given the information that the unnamed patient had been in the West Africa area where the Ebola virus exists and the type of symptoms they were exhibiting, testing was being performed.

After the information was related to the CDC the health institute sent a team to North Texas just in case the patient was infected with Ebola. CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H, is already in North Texas and will be a part of the 4:30 p.m. press conference. The press conference will be streamed live here on CBSDFW.COM…

[continues at CBS DFW]

The post First US Ebola Case Diagnosed in Dallas appeared first on disinformation.

Philip Seymour Hoffman on Happiness

Disinformation - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 13:30

In a conversation with Simon Critchley on December 17, 2012, Philip Seymour Hoffman expounds upon happiness. The interview has been animated by the folks at Blank on Blank.

The post Philip Seymour Hoffman on Happiness appeared first on disinformation.

State Imprisonment Rates 2012-2013

Disinformation - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 12:30

Via Brennan Center for Justice

Head over to The Brennan Center for Justice for an active map that gives exact statistics for each state.

via Vox:

Over the past few years, federal* and state* governments have been trying to shrink their prison populations. Recent data suggests there’s a lot more work to do.

On one hand, the number of inmates in federal prisons is finally starting to decline. On the other hand, the total number of inmates in state prisons is creeping back up after four years of decline — and those state increases more than offset the decrease at the federal level.

But even the aggregate numbers don’t tell the whole story. Some states reduced their prison populations in 2013, while others didn’t. And much of the upward trend this year was caused by rising prison populations in a few big states — states that had been working to shrink their prisons in the past, but fell off pace this year.

Read the entire analysis over at Vox.

The post State Imprisonment Rates 2012-2013 appeared first on disinformation.

Neal Stephenson: Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation

Disinformation - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 11:30

By Orin Zebest via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

via Slate:

For a big part of my life, I assumed that the scarce resource—the thing that was preventing me from getting to Mars, or having my own personal jetpack—was clever ideas. Since I see myself as an idea person, that was a pleasant thing to believe. It’s flattering to think that you are one of the special few who hold the keys to the future. In the last decade and a half, though, I’ve spent a lot of time working in idea factories of various types, and I’ve come to see how wrong I was. I had fallen for a 19th-century vision of how it all works: the lone inventor sitting in the lobby of the patent office with his better mousetrap on his lap, waiting for the world to beat a path to his door. My thinking along those lines led to a 2011 piece titled “Innovation Starvation.” This led in turn to a partnership with Arizona State University to create Project Hieroglyph, which asked science fiction writers to help imagine new futures.

So far, so good. But ideas alone are not enough. There is a glut of patents. In the field of space launch technology alone—that is, trying to invent a more efficient alternative to rockets—brilliant and dedicated enthusiasts have been coming up with new ideas for at least a hundred years. Of those, only a tiny minority have ever been seriously explored, and none has been put into service.

The inventor, patent portfolio in hand, must raise money. This is an exhausting and dispiriting process that requires a completely different skill set from inventing. It’s easy to spend years of one’s life on it. After a few years have gone by, you can get the idea that the scarce resource—the thing that’s preventing you from getting to Mars—is money. If only more capital were available, great new ideas could get financed and change the world.

The problem with that theory is that it simply doesn’t hold up when you zoom out and look at the bigger economic picture. The industrialized world is awash in capitalthat isn’t being put to work—see “The Capitalist’s Dilemma,” a recent Harvard Business Review article by Clayton M. Christensen and Derek van Bever.

Christensen and van Bever have their own theory of why, in their words, “managers are sitting on their hands, afraid to pursue what they see as risky innovations.” And I’m sure it’s a more well-informed theory than anything I could come up with. All I have to offer is anecdotes, gathered in recent years from my own experiences and those of friends.

What I’ve been hearing, pretty consistently, is that capitalists—and I’m using that term literally, in the sense of people who have the power to deploy capital—are reluctant to invest in clever ideas unless there is a person behind that idea who is going to make it their sole mission in life over a period of several years.

Continue reading.

The post Neal Stephenson: Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation appeared first on disinformation.

An Ancient Way to Heal The Mind Finds New Scientific Support

Disinformation - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 10:30

By daveynin via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Sometimes, scientists like to research things that most of us already assume. I suppose it doesn’t hurt to have some proof and evidence to get us off the couch and into the woods.

via Psyblog:

Taking group walks in nature is associated with better mental well-being and lower stress and depression, a new large-scale study finds.

The study is one of the first to show that simply walking in nature doesn’t just benefit the body, but also the mind.

Sara Warber, one of the study’s authors, said:

“We hear people say they feel better after a walk or going outside but there haven’t been many studies of this large size to support the conclusion that these behaviors actually improve your mental health and well-being.”

The study evaluated a British program called ‘Walking for Health’ and it involved nearly 2,000 participants (Marselle et al., 2014).

Two matched groups of people were compared: some who took part in the group nature walks, and others who did not.

Over a three-month period, taking part in the group nature walks was associated with less depression, lower perceived stress and higher mood and mental wellbeing.

Those who seemed to see the most benefit were those who had been through a recent stressful life event, such as divorce, bereavement or a serious illness.

Warber continued:

“Walking is an inexpensive, low risk and accessible form of exercise and it turns out that combined with nature and group settings, it may be a very powerful, under-utilized stress buster.

Our findings suggest that something as simple as joining an outdoor walking group may not only improve someone’s daily positive emotions but may also contribute a non-pharmacological approach to serious conditions like depression.”

Walking in nature seems to be one of the keys to getting the most mental benefit; urban environments do not provide the same boost.

Much modern research is starting to pick up on the importance of the natural environment for our mental health.

For example, the Japanese are big fans of walking in the forest to promote their mental health.

The practice is called shinrin-yoku, which literally means ‘forest bathing’.

One study conducted by Japanese researchers has found that the practice is particularly useful for those suffering acute stress (Morita et al., 2006).

Continue reading.

The post An Ancient Way to Heal The Mind Finds New Scientific Support appeared first on disinformation.

Brain Wave May Be Used to Detect What People Have Seen, Recognize

Disinformation - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 09:30

By Hubert Figuière via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

Thanks to Disinfonaut, Earth Star, this was brought to my attention. What do you think of this? Groundbreaking science aside, is this another step to having “thought police” in our society? This type of science could easily be abused and exploited, but it could also prove useful.

via Association for Psychological Science:

Brain activity can be used to tell whether someone recognizes details they encountered in normal, daily life, which may have implications for criminal investigations and use in courtrooms, new research shows.

The findings, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggest that a particular brain wave, known as P300, could serve as a marker that identifies places, objects, or other details that a person has seen and recognizes from everyday life.

Research using EEG recordings of brain activity has shown that the P300 brain wave tends to be large when a person recognizes a meaningful item among a list of nonmeaningful items. Using P300, researchers can give a subject a test called the Concealed Information Test (CIT) to try to determine whether they recognize information that is related to a crime or other event.

Most studies investigating P300 and recognition have been conducted in lab settings that are far removed from the kinds of information a real witness or suspect might be exposed to. This new study marks an important advance, says lead research John B. Meixner of Northwestern University, because it draws on details from activities in participants’ normal, daily lives.

“Much like a real crime, our participants made their own decisions and were exposed to all of the distracting information in the world,” he explains.

“Perhaps the most surprising finding was the extent to which we could detect very trivial details from a subject’s day, such as the color of umbrella that the participant had used,” says Meixner. “This precision is exciting for the future because it indicates that relatively peripheral crime details, such as physical features of the crime scene, might be usable in a real-world CIT — though we still need to do much more work to learn about this.”

To achieve a more realistic CIT, Meixner and co-author J. Peter Rosenfeld outfitted 24 college student participants with small cameras that recorded both video and sound — the students wore the cameras clipped to their clothes for 4 hours as they went about their day.

For half of the students, the researchers used the recordings to identify details specific to each person’s day, which became “probe” items for that person. The researchers also came up with corresponding, “irrelevant” items that the student had not encountered — if the probe item was a specific grocery store, for example, the irrelevant items might include other grocery stores.

For the other half of the students, the “probe” items related to details or items they had not encountered, but which were instead drawn from the recordings of other participants. The researchers wanted to simulate a real investigation, in which a suspect with knowledge of a crime would be shown the same crime-related details as a suspect who may have no crime-related knowledge.

The next day, all of the students returned to the lab and were shown a series of words that described different details or items (i.e., the probe and irrelevant items), while their brain activity was recorded via EEG.

The results showed that the P300 was larger for probe items than for irrelevant items, but only for the students who had actually seen or encountered the probe.

Further analyses revealed that P300 responses effectively distinguished probe items from irrelevant items on the level of each individual participant, suggesting that it is a robust and reliable marker of recognition.

These findings have implications for memory research, but they may also have real-world application in the domain of criminal law given that some countries, like Japan and Israel, use the CIT in criminal investigations.

“One reason that the CIT has not been used in the US is that the test may not meet the criteria to be admissible in a courtroom,” says Meixner. “Our work may help move the P300-based CIT one step closer to admissibility by demonstrating the test’s validity and reliability in a more realistic context.”

Read the entire article.

The post Brain Wave May Be Used to Detect What People Have Seen, Recognize appeared first on disinformation.

Liberalism and Gentrification

Disinformation - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 08:30

By MsSaraKelly via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

via Jacobin:

When I want to examine the limits of liberal ideology, I look for class struggle; when I want to find some class struggle, I simply step outside my door. You don’t have to live in Washington, DC, like I do, but it helps.

Like a lot of cities, Washington is really two cities in the same space. We’ve got “Washington,” the place of popular imagination, gleaming white marble monuments and Aaron Sorkin speechifiers, the mostly-from-out-of-town professional class keeping the rusty wheels of state administration turning.

We’ve also got “DC,” the city distinct from the operations of the federal government, made up of “residents,” who are mostly poor and mostly black. These two cities are locked in a one-sided war of attrition, with affluent “newcomers” and their local allies conducting clear-and-hold operations against their less well-heeled neighbors. I can watch from what Forbes magazine, that barometer of bohemianism, has labeled the sixth-hippest neighborhood in the US, where I live.

This is gentrification, which, if you’re reading this and live in a city, is a process you’re caught up in. There’s a violent side of gentrification — think Rudy Giuliani and his “broken windows” alibi for crackdowns on petty crime. But there’s a softer side to this war as well, the liberal project of city governance whose patron saint is the activist Jane Jacobs, author of Death and Life of American Cities.

In the face of rampant suburbanization and slash-and-burn urban renewal, Jacobs emphasized the attractions of urban life in all its diversity, revealing the support networks that lent resiliency and quality of life to neighborhoods otherwise deemed undesirable. She was also a fierce critic of the monumental architecture of public housing, in favor of the historic charms of low-density buildings. Jacobs’ once-revolutionary ideas are now liberal urbanist common sense: pedestrian traffic, mixed-use development, a heterogeneous mix of architectural styles, businesses, and people. My city councilman’s slogan, “A Livable, Walkable City,” comes straight out of the Jacobs playbook, and it is difficult to find it objectionable.

However, as urban sociologist Sharon Zukin has pointed out again and again, Jacobs’ aesthetic insights can’t make up for her avoiding of class realities. Lambasting “planners” while ignoring the far more powerful real estate developers, Jacobs’ polemic has been turned against even her prized East Village neighborhood, a site of rapacious gentrification stretching back to the 1980s.

As Zukin remarks, “What Jacobs valued — small blocks, cobblestone streets, mixed-uses, local character — have become the gentrifiers’ ideal. This is not the struggling city of working class and ethnic groups, but an idealised image that plays to middle-class tastes.” In the absence of true diversity in income and ownership, a simulacrum can be easily substituted. In my “up-and-coming” neighborhood in Washington, the superficially eclectic mix of bars and restaurants are owned by the same developer.

Zukin points out that Jacobs’ fondness for buildings ran roughshod over the actual people who made up the neighborhood. A line from the excellent gentrification documentary, Flag Wars, set in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, makes the point clearly: “I just feel bad for the houses,” intones a somber yuppie, as he gazes upon the dilapidated buildings in which his neighbors reside. Moved by this sympathy, he and his cohort of gentrifiers pressure their poorer neighbors by anonymously reporting housing code violations.

Liberal support for gentrification was a contradictory and even an embarrassed thing not too long ago. Carol Lloyd’s 1999 Salon article “I’m the Enemy!” sees the writer joining an anarchist-flavored group trying to mount opposition to the dot-com yuppies invading San Francisco’s Mission District, before it dawns on her that she herself is a gentrifier. But things are changing.

One advantage to living in DC is that these liberal niceties are being quickly thrust aside: here the word “gentrification” has lost its pejorative sense, ceasing to scandalize the yuppies who proudly reclaim the term as they “reclaim” homes and neighborhoods from the communities who have lived here for decades.

Continue reading.

The post Liberalism and Gentrification appeared first on disinformation.

World Has Lost More Than Half of Wildlife in 40 Years

Disinformation - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 07:30

Can you imagine the conspiracy theories that certain usual suspects would be broadcasting far and wide if the human population was halved in just 40 years? So why isn’t there more outcry over that happening to the Earth’s wildlife population? From BBC News:

The global loss of species is even worse than previously thought, the London Zoological Society (ZSL) says in its new Living Planet Index.

The report suggests populations have halved in 40 years, as new methodology gives more alarming results than in a report two years ago.

The report says populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by an average of 52%.

Populations of freshwater species have suffered an even worse fall of 76%.

Severe impact
Compiling a global average of species decline involves tricky statistics, often comparing disparate data sets – and some critics say the exercise is not statistically valid.

The team at the zoological society say they’ve improved their methodology since their last report two years ago – but the results are even more alarming.

Then they estimated that wildlife was down “only” around 30%. Whatever the numbers, it seems clear that wildlife is continuing to be driven out by human activity.

The society’s report, in conjunction with the pressure group WWF, says humans are cutting down trees more quickly than they can re-grow, harvesting more fish than the oceans can re-stock, pumping water from rivers and aquifers faster than rainfall can replenish them, and emitting more carbon than oceans and forests can absorb.

It catalogues areas of severe impact – in Ghana, the lion population in one reserve is down 90% in 40 years.

In West Africa, forest felling has restricted forest elephants to 6-7% of their historic range.

Globally, habitat loss and hunting have reduced tigers from 100,000 a century ago to just 3,000…

[continues at BBC News]

The post World Has Lost More Than Half of Wildlife in 40 Years appeared first on disinformation.

War Photographer Comes Back From Syria To Show You The Truth

Disinformation - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 06:02

In this video Luke Rudkowski talks to Benjamin Hiller who’s an German-American freelance journalist who recently came back from Ukraine and Syria. The two discuss what Benjamin saw in Syria and the stories that we are not being told.

Benjamin has opened a free art gallery in NYC that is currently open to the public and highlights his amazing work. To find out more go to http://material-evidence.com

The exhibit is open 10am to 8pm 9/21 to 10/11 at 540 West 21st Street NY NY.

Via We Are Change

The post War Photographer Comes Back From Syria To Show You The Truth appeared first on disinformation.

Okinawa: The Karate Challenge

Disinformation - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 21:30

Now that you’re all familiar with the Cult of CrossFit, check out German CrossFitter Felix as he visits Okinawa to learn the ancient art of Karate:


The post Okinawa: The Karate Challenge appeared first on disinformation.

Doomsday Deferred

Disinformation - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 19:30

By Dennis Skley via Flickr (CC by 2.0).

via Providentia:

The history of religious movements seems filled with examples of religious figures proudly proclaiming the imminent coming of God, along with redemption for the faithful and punishment for unbelievers. Many of these religious figures even go so far as to give a specific date when these things would come to pass and instruct their followers to wrap up their affairs and get ready for what was to come. And, sure enough, many followers would do just that, even to the point of quitting jobs or selling houses to await the promised day. That this day of judgment has yet to materialize and previous promises have failed in the past seems not to matter so much to the believers. Except for the inevitable disappointment afterward and the crisis of faith that always seems to follow.

And so it proved for Wibur Glenn Voliva.

Born in 1870 and raised in Illinois, Voliva was drawn, like so many others, to the charismatic John Alexander Dowie. It was Dowie who founded the city of Zion, Illinois in 1901 as a religious community and the hub of his Christian Catholic Apostolic Church. Having joined Dowie’s church in 1898, Voliva became one of his chief lieutenants and even traveled to Australia in 1901 to oversee the church’s Australian branch.

As an evangelist and faith healer, Dowie had already gained fame at the 1893 World’s Fair holding “big tent” meetings and relying on tricks that seem little different from faith healers today. With thousands of followers, he founded the city of Zion only a short distance from Chicago. But Dowie was also shrewd financially. Before announcing the move to Zion, he secretly bought up as much of the real estate in Zion as he could. Along with making a fortune in real estate, he also forced his followers to put all their money in the Zion bank (which he owned). As Dowie proudly proclaimed, his church would control every aspect of life in the new town. “Our motto,” he said, “is the unalterable and unassailable truth that where God rules, man prospers . . . our object, the establishment of the rule of God in every department of the government.” With the hold he had on the town, and the fortune he made from selling stock in various businesses in the town, Dowie quickly made himself one of the wealthiest men in America.

What ultimately doomed Dowie, and gave Wilbur Glenn Voliva the chance to overthrow his rule over the church, was a stroke that he had in 1905. With Dowie still recovering, Voliva arranged for an audit which determined that millions of dollars were missing from the accounts of the church. Though Dowie fought back through litigation, he was forced to step down and live on a pension until his death in 1907. From that point on, it was Wilbur Dowie who was in control of Zion and the town flourished like never before. Not only did Voliva diversify the town’s industries, such as selling chocolates, lace, and other products, but the church stayed under hissolid control. As a one-company town, the people of Zion had no choice but to accept the wages that Voliva allowed, which were well below the standard set in other towns. Instead of owning their homes outright, the people of Zion had to pay for 1100-year leases held by the Bank of Zion. And it worked, at least economically. Though Dowie’s mismanagement had left the town bankrupt by the time of his death, Voliva created an economic boom in Zion. Though he certainly had his share of critics of his autocratic rule, including attempts at charging him for perjury and conspiracy, Voliva proved himself untouchable.

But that would change in time…

Continue reading.

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Dracula’s dungeon discovered in Turkey

Disinformation - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 17:30

via Unexplained Mysteries:

The dungeon in which Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned by the Turks has been found at Tokat Castle.

Back at the beginning of the 15th century Wallachian Prince Vlad III, the real-life inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s character Dracula, was held captive by the Ottoman Turks for twelve years.

Now archaeologists believe that they have discovered the very prison in which he had been held captive deep beneath Tokat Castle in northern Turkey. The dungeons were found following the discovery of a secret tunnel that was unearthed while restoration works were being carried out on the building.

“The castle is completely surrounded by secret tunnels. It is very mysterious,” said archaeologist Ibrahim Çetin. “It is hard to estimate in which room Dracula was kept, but he was around here.”

Continue reading.

The post Dracula’s dungeon discovered in Turkey appeared first on disinformation.

Leaving Your Religion Can Damage Your Health

Disinformation - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 15:30

WARNING: Leaving your religion can damage your health (courtesy of The Atlantic):

…Americans are less religious than ever. A third of American adults under 30, and a fifth of all Americans don’t identify with any religion, according to a 2012 study by Pew Research (an increase from 15 percent in 2007). But though scientists have studied people who leave cults, research on the health effects of leaving religion is slim.

The most mainstream research on this is a 2010 study out of Pennsylvania State University, which examined data from 1972 to 2006. The study showed that 20 percent of people who have left religion report being in excellent health, versus 40 percent of people currently part of strict religious groups (such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Latter-Day Saints) and 25 percent of people who switched from a strict religion to a more lenient religion. “Strict” in this study was defined as “high-cost sectarian groups that are theologically and culturally exclusive.”

There are some studies comparing the health of religious and nonreligious people. A 2010 study by Gallup showed that nonreligious people are more likely to smoke and less likely to eat healthy and exercise than the faithful. A 2004 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry showed that religiously unaffiliated depressed inpatients are more likely to display suicidal behaviors than religiously affiliated patients. And a 2011 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that people in economically developed societies tend to have similar levels of subjective well-being regardless of religious affiliation. But studies rarely seem to single out people who have left religion. Even the Penn State study didn’t clarify how recently people had deconverted. Recent deconverts are, understandably, those most likely to see health effects, according to Dr. Darrel Ray.

Ray has been a psychologist for more than 30 years and founded Recovering From Religion, an organization that connects nonbelievers with therapists and each other. According to Ray, it generally takes depressed deconverts two to three years for their health to bounce back. A few years after leaving their religion, they tend to reestablish a social community and rid themselves of guilt they may have felt over premarital sex, depression over losing God, and anxiety about death and hell…

[continues at The Atlantic]

The post Leaving Your Religion Can Damage Your Health appeared first on disinformation.

Be Kind

Disinformation - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 14:30

Nothingness by Hartwig HKD via Flickr. CC by 2.0.

we are always asked
to understand the other person’s
no matter how
foolish or

one is asked
to view
their total error
their life-waste
especially if they are

but age is the total of
our doing.
they have aged
because they have
out of focus,
they have refused to

not their fault?

whose fault?

I am asked to hide
my viewpoint
from them
for fear of their

age is no crime

but the shame
of a deliberately

among so many


– Charles Bukowski

The post Be Kind appeared first on disinformation.

Open Sourcing 3D Printing Hydroponics!

Disinformation - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 13:30

In this video Luke Rudkowski talks to the inventor of the Free 3D-Printable Hydroponics System, which is open sourced and available to you now.

To find out more about the invention check out http://www.3dponics.com/

Via We Are Change

The post Open Sourcing 3D Printing Hydroponics! appeared first on disinformation.

Protests in Pakistan: Curiously Underreported by International News

Disinformation - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 12:30

Thanks to a Facebook commenter on this post, the underreporting of the protests in Pakistan has been brought to my attention. While some of the mainstream media has covered these protests, their narrative has been dwarfed by other, more popular stories. Here’s a short recap from different sources.

Imran Khan, Pakistani politician and former cricketer.

“Imran Khan vows to carry on protest till Pakistan PM resigns” via Arab News:
(September 28)

LAHORE: Opposition politician Imran Khan has vowed to continue his protest against Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif until the leader resigns over allegations of election rigging.

Khan, along with populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, has been staging a sit-in in capital Islamabad since August 15.

Last week he took his protest to Pakistan’s largest city Karachi and on Sunday he addressed thousands of people in his home town and Pakistan’s second largest city — Lahore, which is also the home town of Sharif.

“The Pakistan nation has woken up against injustice and tyranny and I will continue this protest in other cities till Nawaz Sharif resigns,” Khan said.

The supporters of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party carried red and green party flags and waved them while political songs played on the public address system.

“I have been struggling to get justice against election rigging, but our laws are such that they deny justice to people, that is why I have to bring this movement to streets,” Khan added.

Khan and Qadri claim the 2013 elections were mass

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Official Photograph of Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan taken by his personal photographer Z A Balti, released for public domain.

“Top court adjourns Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification hearing till October 2″ via The Times of India
(September 29)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s supreme court, adjourned till October 2, the hearing of a plea to disqualify Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for allegedly lying to the parliament over asking the army to mediate a truce with anti- government protesters.

The three-judge apex court bench, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, adjourned the hearing till Thursday due to shortage of time.

Ishaq Khan Khakwani of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, last week filed a petition seeking Sharif’s disqualification for his alleged false statement in the parliament.

Similar petitions have been filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chaudhry Shujat Hussain, and another by a lawyer Gohar Nawaz.

They alleged that Sharif misled the parliament when he said that he never asked army chief General Raheel Sharif to talk to Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri, a fiery cleric leading a sit-in to oust Nawaz Sharif, to end protests in Islamabad.

The army, after the prime minister’s denial, had issued a statement that Prime Minister Sharif had in fact sought help from them.

The petitioners have contended that the Prime Minister was also involved in matters related to the attack on the Supreme Court in 1997.

They also said Sharif misled the nation when he went abroad for 10 years in 2000 after signing a pardon agreement with former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, but denied making such a pact.

It should be noted that Article 69 of Pakistan’s Constitution says that parliament’s proceedings cannot be questioned in any court of law. But it would be interesting to see how the court interprets the article.

Under article 62 and 63, a person known as ‘not being righteous and honest’ cannot hold a public office.

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“Pakistani opposition keeps up pressure on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign” via DNA India:
(September 29)

Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan on Sunday took the campaign to unseat Nawaz Sharif to the prime minister’s home base of Lahore, where tens of thousands of people roared their support for change.

Pakistan has been in turmoil since August when protesters led by Khan, a former cricket star, and Tahir ul-Qadri, a firebrand cleric, stormed into the capital and occupied an area home to government buildings and foreign embassies.

In the latest twist, Khan organised a major rally in Lahore, Sharif’s political base, saying protests would continue around the country until the government quits.

“Nawaz Sharif should hurry up with his resignation while I wake up Pakistan by organising public protests,” Khan told a roaring crowd of up to 100,000 in Pakistan’s cultural capital.

“I am thankful for Lahoris for their massive support. Lahoris have not left me, I will always stand by the Lahoris. I will continue the (protest) until Nawaz Sharif resigns.”

The persistent protests have become an embarrassment for Sharif in a military coup-prone nation, with some in the prime minister’s administration accusing the powerful army of instigating the movement as a way of weakening Sharif.

The army has denied meddling in civilian affairs, saying it is neutral, but in a country ruled for half of its history by the military, most commentators agree it is ultimately up to the army to decide how the crisis ends.

The protest leaders accuse Sharif of rigging last year’s election which brought him back to power in a landslide, a charge he denies.

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NEW YORK: PTI supporters demonstrate against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who addressed the UN General Assembly on Friday.—Online

“PTI and PML-N workers hold protests in New York” via DAWN:
(September 27)

NEW YORK: Several hundred Pakistanis chanting “Go Nawaz Go” and “No Nawaz No” slogans demonstrated in front of the United Nations when Prime Minister Nawaz.

Sharif was addressing the General Assembly on Friday afternoon.

Men, women and children, mostly supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-i- Insaf sprinkled with those of Pakistan Awami Tehrik.

They were carrying Pakistani and PTI flags and placards and some with faces painted with “Go Nawaz Go” slogans.

A large number of women shouting Imran Khan Zindabad were in full spirits.

A small pro-government rally was held but it was eclipsed by PTI workers.

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“Imran Khan steals Punjab’s heart” via The Nation:
(September 29)

LAHORE – Staging a mega show symbolising return of PTI tsunami in the citadel of the ruling PML-N, Imran Khan has demanded declaring 2013 elections null and void in the light of ECP’s recent post-polls report.

A more-than-ever confidant Imran looked very happy to see hundreds of thousands of his charged supporters as he arrived at Minar-i-Pakistan, the national symbol of independence, where his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Sunday had organised a public moot titled ‘Go Nawaz Go’ as part of their Azadi March.

It was a sea of colours with fluttering party flags looking like ocean waves, of cheers and shouts for the hero Imran, and of jeers at the government and PML-N leaders. Women and children – with PTI flags painted on their faces – formed no smaller portion of this enthusiastic crowd that danced to the tunes of party and national songs. If it was about proving PTI’s power in the heart of Punjab, it was clearly a successful show.

In his 55-minute speech, the PTI chairman spoke on the key issue of alleged electoral fraud in 2013 polls, the ruling misconduct of ruling party and its core leadership, and PTI bashing by the opponents, besides making some promises that he would fulfill after coming into power.

The opposition leader, who has been demanding vote verification in certain constituencies for many months, is now on an aggressive anti-government campaign since August 14, the national Independence Day, demanding resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Repeating his accusation of massive rigging in the last general elections by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the PTI chief offered opening the entire election process in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and holding of re-election if irregularities found in it.

Imran demanded the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) upload the details of Form 14 on its website, as he believed it would unveil major irregularities in 2013 elections, warning that the commission would be considered involved in the crime of poll rigging if it did not do the job at the earliest.

He asked the ruling party to open the constituencies which the PTI has identified for rigging probe with stepping down of the PM for the period of the investigation, saying he would make a public apology if the rigging charges are not proved. But if the rigging is found, all the people involved in the crime would be put on trial under Article 6 and fresh elections would be held, he said. Giving rationale of his demand for PM’s quitting the seat, he said a transparent probe was impossible as long as the main accused calls the shots.

“The Election Commission 2013 post-election (review) report vindicated our stance by confirming that polling schemes were changed in the final hours of electoral process to benefit a certain political party, besides printing of ballot papers,” Imran Khan said. Calling former chief justice ‘Mir Jaffar’ of Pakistan, he alleged that Chaudhry Iftikhar was controlling the election process instead of the Election Commission.

Bashing the ruling family and party, he alleged: They are all liars and PTI leader and lawyer Ishaq Khakwani would be appearing before the Supreme Court in a petition concerning prime minister’s lies that he spoke on the floor of the parliament.

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