30 August 2013

Dangerous Minds | The Father Of Modern Wicca

Gerald Gardner, a contemporary of Aleister Crowley, is credited with being the father of modern Wicca. Although his influence on modern paganism can’t be overstated, he hasn’t received the same level of attention over the years as the darker and more charismatic Crowley.

Gerald Gardner was supposedly initiated into the already established New Forest, England coven of witches in 1939 at age 55 after retiring to Highcliffe in Dorset. Anthropology and folklore professor Sabina Magliocco wrote in her book, Witching Culture: Folklore and Neo-Paganism in America, that the “New Forest coven” Gardner described in his autobiography and other books may have actually been members of George Alexander Sullivan’s Rosicrucian Order Crotona Fellowship/Order of Twelve.

Gardner created the rituals and beliefs that we now associate with Gardnerian Wicca, although he is said to have borrowed some language and ideas from Crowley and Freemasonry. Of course, it was illegal to publicly identify as a witch in the U.K. until 1951, when the Witchcraft Act was finally repealed. After that, Gardner was quite public about his religion, publishing Witchcraft Today and The Meaning of Witchcraft under his own name (his novel High Magic’s Aid had been published in 1949 under a pseudonym) and granting print and television interviews ...


Read more at Dangerous Minds

25 August 2013

Ask google | What Is A ...

Trying to find out what a "non-standard" battery is, I discovered a new word: thot. For good or ill, I know what all the other words mean.

Urban Dictionary

17 August 2013

14 August 2013

'Chicks On The Right' Discuss 'Real' Feminism

"Daisy" and "Mockarena"
From their debut blog post in the Indianapolis Star:

... Real feminism is defined by women who can, and do, take care of themselves. Real feminists don’t look for a Prince Charming to rescue them, and they don’t look for a handout. That sort of entitlement mentality hurls women back several decades, when it was expected that someone else (a man) would pay their way. Liberal feminism has morphed into a laughable movement filled with harpies who hold up signs saying, “Hoes before embryos” while defining themselves entirely by their “lady parts.” We, on the other hand, define ourselves by our character, our passions, our loves, our strengths, our abilities and our successes.

Today’s Democratic platform has centered its messaging on a manufactured “War on Women,” which is simply a flimsy facade for the entitlement machine that feeds women a false sense of security. Well, NOTHING is free. And relying on taxpayers to pay for your “reproductive choices” isn’t strength. If you think that government should and will take care of you from cradle to grave, you’re no different than the chick who hopes to land an old, rich dude with a weak heart and flexible will. 

In other words, you’re not a feminist — you’re just pathetic. Rather than fall for the manufactured war-on-women nonsense that helped hand President Obama a second term, women need to know the truth — that they’ll fare far better in life by taking responsibility for themselves. 

Does this mean women can’t choose to be stay-at-home moms as their husbands serve as the primary breadwinners? Of course not. That’s a family’s personal choice to make. We’re simply saying that before a woman relies on a man to “win the bread” she should have a way of providing for herself should that man cease to be in her life for whatever reason. Life can be unpredictable, and women would do well to be prepared for any possibility. 

Ironically, conservative “feminists” like us are accused of being the ones trying to set women back. But we know any government (or man) powerful enough to give us something is powerful enough to take it away. Just remember that as you make your demands on taxpayers, liberal feminists. You’re the ones handing over women’s power. Not conservative women like us. 

Now if someone would please pass us our stilettos. We’ve got to get back to work.

Lost Ms. Lanny-yap at "Chicks."

Link via Jezebel

13 August 2013

Thirteen-Year-Old Dances Into Manhood

YouTube | Gawker | Kveller

Sam Horowitz of Dallas celebrated his bar mitzvah with an unforgettable, professionally choreographed routine at the Omni Hotel. And he looks pretty happy about it. Dance on, little dude.

11 August 2013

Probiotics As An Adjuvant Therapy For Major Depressive Disorder

Lactobacillus | Source

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is an extremely complex and heterogeneous condition. Emerging research suggests that nutritional influences on MDD are currently underestimated. MDD patients have been shown to have elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, increased oxidative stress, altered gastrointestinal (GI) function, and lowered micronutrient and omega-3 fatty acid status. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is likely contributing to the limited nutrient absorption in MDD. Stress, a significant factor in MDD, is known to alter GI microflora, lowering levels of lactobacilli and bifidobacterium. Research suggests that bacteria in the GI tract can communicate with the central nervous system, even in the absence of an immune response. Probiotics have the potential to lower systemic inflammatory cytokines, decrease oxidative stress, improve nutritional status, and correct SIBO. The effect of probiotics on systemic inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress may ultimately lead to increased brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). It is our contention that probiotics may be an adjuvant to standard care in MDD.
NCBI | PubMed | Link to full article

Best Of Criggo

Fort Worth Zoo | Belle The Baby Elephant

YouTube | Zooborns

Belle, a three-week-old Asian elephant, enjoys some pool time with her mother Rasha at the Fort Worth Zoo. The zoo has a 3,200-gallon pool for the adult elephants to splash around in, but this [remarkably resilient] inflatable pool is safer for Belle until she's bigger.

Fort Worth Zoo Channel

Funeral Tech | Elysium Space

Click image to enlarge
A start-up called Elysium Space will send your cremated remains into orbit for the cheap price of $1,990. Your remains will launch into low orbit, and circle the Earth for a few months before you re-enter the atmosphere and burn up in an awesome fireball. Not only will you get to experience the ride of your afterlife, but your family and loved one's will be able to follow along on your final journey through an iPhone App. The whole thing couldn't be more fun (besides the being dead part).

10 August 2013

Andres Lozano | Using Deep Brain Stimulation To Treat Dysfunctional Circuitry

... Because of new imaging techniques and advances in our understanding of neurophysiology, neurological and psychiatric disorders are increasingly being recognized as disorders of circuit functions in the brain. Using techniques such as DBS [deep brain stimulation], neurosurgeons are able to pinpoint malfunctioning circuits and to recalibrate them. DBS is very precise—the electrode is inserted through the skull and into any area of the brain to deliver electricity.

Dr Andres Lozano is chief of neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, where he and his team are studying the use of DBS to turn brain circuits on and off, depending on the circuits’ role in certain disorders (e.g., movement, mood, memory). In his presentation on Ted Talks, Lozano describes the case of a little boy with dystonia who is no longer able to stand or walk and whose prognosis is dismal—he will be progressively more disabled and his chances of survival are nil. Dr Lozano and his team used DBS to suppress the circuits in his brain responsible for movement. Three months later the boy is walking. As a young adult he is living a normal life and going to university.

Both pharmacological and psychotherapeutic modalities are used to treat MDD, yet 10% to 20% of patients with depression do not respond to treatment. PET scans have shown that areas of the brain responsible for motivation, drive, and decision making are impaired in patients with severe depression, and the sadness center is overactive. After six months of continuous DBS, the sadness center is turned off, and the circuits responsible for motivation, drive, and decision making have made a comeback.

Similar positive results were seen when DBS was used in patients with early Alzheimer disease. Healthy brains use 20% of the body’s supply of glucose—as Alzheimer disease progresses, glucose utilization shuts down. Dr Lozano and his team wanted to know if this “power failure” could be reversed. They placed DBS electrodes in the Fornix area of the brain and looked at what happened to glucose consumption. After one month, areas of the brain that had stopped using glucose had resumed consumption. The implications seem to be that not only can DBS modify symptoms but that the technique can help repair damaged areas of the brain as well.
Psychiatric Times

Cats, Dogs, Ducks, And Roombas

Curious Alice | Trippy 70s Warning About Drug Use

In Curious Alice (1971), a film intended for eight to ten year olds, our young Alice falls asleep while reading a book. She encounters cigarettes, liquor, and medicines, and realizes that they are all types of drugs. When she sees the “Drink Me” bottle, she understands that it contains something like a drug, yet after a half-second’s consideration, she drinks the entire bottle and enters a fantasy world. In Drug Wonderland, Alice learns about the hard stuff from her new friends the Mad Hatter (LSD), the March Hare (amphetamines), the Dormouse (barbiturates), and the King of Hearts (heroin). The events of Curious Alice play out as an expression of Alice’s drug trip. Unfortunately, the trip is kind of fun and effectively cancels out the film’s anti-drug message.
Read more at Media Matters, U.S. National Archives

Via Dangerous Minds

Chinese Watermelon Children

Click image to enlarge

Yes, this is a thing in China. Little watermelon shoes.

Link via Kotaku

07 August 2013

Stephen Colbert And Friends | Get Lucky

'I Really Was A Young Dapper Man' | Mo's Bows

Moziah Bridges began designing and making his own bow ties when he was just 9 because, as he says, "I really was a young, dapper man and I couldn’t find any other bow ties that I really liked." So he started his own business that really took off ... "It's me, I'm starting young and that's all that matters. Plus I'm handsome." 

Bridges recently told Fox News about becoming an entrepreneur at such a young age after he was taught how to sew by his "lovely grandma" when he was just 9. Since creating his line of Mo's Bows, he's raked in $30,000 in sales through his Etsy store and various boutiques in the South. He's been profiled by Forbes and in Oprah's magazine and was featured on the Steve Harvey show ...
And he's already giving back. "I made this bow tie called the Go Mo! Scholarship Bow Tie and 100 percent of the proceeds go to help kids go to summer camp because I feel like it’s good to help the community and that’s what I’m doing."

Happy Hump Day