News roundup: Should psychics influence policy?

Most rational people do not take psychics seriously. Even people who take them seriously don’t want them directing political policy. But, in the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan they are apparently a demographic that politicians want to please, much to the chagrin of scientists. The country’s only mummy, a 1,500 year old female child, was reburied after a psychic claimed reburying her would save the country … Continue reading News roundup: Should psychics influence policy?

Midnight Art: Killer ants attack in ‘Phase IV’

We’ll conclude seven days of eco-horror with the killer ant move Phase IV. According to IMDB: Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the desert inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from the ants to destroy them. But the ants have other ideas. I have yet to see it myself, but I’m … Continue reading Midnight Art: Killer ants attack in ‘Phase IV’

News roundup: Can mass slaughter be humane?

Can mass slaughter ever be humane? McDonald’s seems to think so. On Friday, the company announced new guidelines that will mandate standards such as monitoring the brightness of light in the perches, clean coops, and making sure birds are raised more humanely. When do these new standards go into effect? 2024. That’s seven years. Longer than the natural lifespan of many animals we eat. Anyway, … Continue reading News roundup: Can mass slaughter be humane?

Brainfood: Halal slaughter only tiny slice of animal welfare issues

As a Muslim who eats only Halal meat, Guardian contributor Masuma Rashim said she agrees with the decision of Lancashire officials to ban meat non-stunned animals from being served at schools. But, she says, the stunning of an animal before slaughter is only one issue in a big picture when it comes to animal mistreatment in the meat-providing business: But this is just the tip … Continue reading Brainfood: Halal slaughter only tiny slice of animal welfare issues

Midnight Art: Kingdom of the Spiders (1977)

Spiders … of course you’re scared of them. It doesn’t matter if they provide an important niche in nature by cutting down the number of pesky disease-spreading insects. They’re scary and you hate them. Kingdom of the Spiders is a film that plays to that fear. Released in 1977, it stars William Shatner and hundreds, if not thousands, of real spiders. A short description from … Continue reading Midnight Art: Kingdom of the Spiders (1977)

How about we kick off the weekend with ‘Skinflowers’

Has there ever been an album that you wanted to buy but never got the chance? T.V. Sky by the Young Gods is one of those albums for me. Back in 1992, we didn’t have access to all these albums for free like many of younger folk do now. We had MTV and we had magazines, and MTV more often than not, didn’t offer a … Continue reading How about we kick off the weekend with ‘Skinflowers’

News roundup: Is Halal meat ban anti-Islamic?

Is banning Halal meat from schools anti-Islamic? In England, the Lancashire Council has banned Halal meat from being used in school luncheons. The reason? The animals killed for the meat are usually not stunned (unconscious) before being killed. Many Muslims will not eat meat from animals which have been pre-stunned, as they are concerned the stunning process could kill the animals, and eating meat from livestock … Continue reading News roundup: Is Halal meat ban anti-Islamic?

Brainfood: Should newspapers keep focus on print?

What if newspapers had continued to focus on their print product instead of chasing online clicks? That’s the question that contributor Jack Shafer asks in Politico. According to Shafer, pursuing the online Golden Calf of reader clicks may have done more to damage newspapers than doubling down on their print products. In his article, he references a couple of researchers in the media field. “Newspaper had … Continue reading Brainfood: Should newspapers keep focus on print?

Social media: Saying ‘I quit’ is an option, but unlikely

Like many people, I feel the overload when it comes to our modern information age. It’s a nonstop 24-7 ordeal with the news changing every minute and everyone from the leader of the free world to the goat farmer in Zimbabwe is able to weigh in on the day’s events. If you try to stay informed, it kind of feels like you’re going down a … Continue reading Social media: Saying ‘I quit’ is an option, but unlikely