Herman Cain, a pizza-making businessman who has never held any political office, is running for President. He peppers his speech with inscrutable metaphors and has terrible ideas, and yet, he’s still among the GOP frontrunners. This guy can’t be serious. Can he? We try to get to the bottom of what’s really behind Cain’s rapid ascent on the Good Ship WTF.
As the Thirty Years’ War between Europe’s ruling dynasties dragged on during the 17th century, soldiers suffered through the coldest few decades Europe had experienced for some time. Far to the east, armies from Manchuria (present day northern China) swept down from the snowy north and breached the Great Wall of China. Not long after, a plague swept Europe. Why so much tumult? A controversial new study suggests that most of humankind’s maladies — from wars to epidemics to economic downturns — can be traced to climate fluctuations.
What Does a 400% Increase in Antidepressant Use Really Mean?
Antidepressant prescribing has risen nearly 400% since 1988, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 1 in 10 Americans over age 12 now takes an antidepressant, the study finds, and yet two-thirds of those with severe symptoms of depression do not take antidepressants at all.
The new research, led by CDC epidemiologist Laura Pratt, was based on responses from about 12,000 people who took part in a national annual health survey in 2005-08. The findings were released on Wednesday as a National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief.
The findings reflect the paradoxical reality of depression treatment in the U.S. While some observers complain that antidepressants are being handed out like candy, the data show that patterns of prescription generally adhere to what is known about depression prevalence in the U.S. In fact, the research suggests that depression is consistently undertreated.
Flying the flag for North Africa's 'Berber spring'
While there has been much talk of the Arab spring, ethnic Berbers have played a key role in the changes sweeping through North Africa, which is leading to greater recognition for their culture and language.
In Libya, the group which has been repressed for decades by the Arab majority, has led fierce resistance against Col Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in their heartland - the western Nafusa Mountains.
Their flag - bearing the symbol of the Amazigh, as the Berbers call themselves - flew high as territory was captured and or shrouded soldiers as they were buried.
It was also raised aloft in celebration at the annual Amazigh festival in the southern Moroccan town of Agadir as Tamazight was adopted as an official language as part of the country’s consitutional changes.
Fathi Khalifa - who serves on the Libyan rebels’ governing body, the National Transitional Council (NTC) - says the uprising has given Berbers hope.
How Unpaid Internships Perpetuate Rampant Inequality in the US
Internship culture has become a source of class division, favoring the privileged, excluding others from opportunities granted to their better-off peers.
There is a job opening! It seems perfect—full time, in the non-profit sector, based in New York City. It’s obviously a prestigious position—they’re looking to hire someone with at least a masters’ degree, though in certain cases this can be interchangeable with five years of related work experience. There’s only one small problem: it’s unpaid.
According to statistics from the National Association for Colleges and Employers, the number of students at four-year colleges who took internships increased from nine percent to more than 80 percent between 1992 and 2008. Once the economy crashed, and a paying job became a luxury rather than a fact of life, many jobs were re-packaged as internships, promising experience and career connections in exchange for free labor.
…There is a sense that investment, both intellectually and financially, in the development of new drug treatments has faded and shifted; in part because of the negative public perception drugs for mental illness have, and an increase in demand for talking treatments as an alternative to pills.
Sensational media stories of antidepressants making patients suicidal are ill informed but attention grabbing and have contributed to our negative image. Even among mental health professionals there is widespread “anti medication” sentiment. A senior and influential clinical psychologist suggested to me recently that pharmaceutical industry research was “little more than propaganda”…
The Ottoman empire's secular history undermines sharia claims
Hardline Muslim groups often portray the Ottoman empire as a magic template for a global caliphate. This is then used as a springboard for grandiose arguments that paint a caliphate as viable, and deem it as the only credible model of governance for the future. These arguments are based on a belief that the empire adhered to a single interpretation of sharia (Islamic law) for over 600 years, and – crucially – that its success was contingent on this.
But a paper by Ishtiaq Hussain, published by Faith Matters on Saturday displays a very different picture. Ottoman sultans, or caliphs, in the 18th and 19th centuries launched secular schools and promoted the education of women. The period of reformation known as the Tanzimat saw customary and religious laws being replaced in favour of secular European ones. More surprisingly, homosexuality was decriminalised in 1858 (long before many western states took their cue, and over a century before the American Psychiatric Association declassified it as a mental illness in 1973). Contrary to the claims of hardline groups, religious authorities approved many of these measures.
Post-It notes are one of the greatest accidents in history. You can use them to remember everything from conference call notes to birthdays to what page you left off on in your book without damaging personal, or business property. Clever Parisians are taking the unassuming note to whole new levels with the Post-It Wars.
Reportedly started by an office manager at Ubisoft, workplace warzones are popping up all over Paris as they strive to out Post-It their competition with collages of everything from Spongebob to Mario to Ghostbusters. Outside of an all-out Nerf war, it’s probably the most fun you can have at the office.
Pay what you want. Frozen Synapse normally costs $25, but we’re letting you set the price! The Frozen Synapse soundtrack is also included with your purchase ($6) and we recently added two more games: TRAUMA ($7) and SpaceChem ($15). Plus, if you pay more than the average price, we’ll throw in the entire Humble Frozenbyte Bundle — a $45 value!
All of the games work great on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
We don’t use DRM. When you buy these games, they are yours. Feel free to play them without an internet connection, back them up, and install them on all of your Macs and PCs freely. There is no time-limit on your downloads.
You can support charity. Choose exactly how your purchase is divided: between the developers, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Child’s Play Charity. Also, if you like this deal, a tip to the Humble Bundle itself would be much appreciated!
(CNN) — Like the spokesmen for Arab dictators feigning bewilderment over protesters’ demands, mainstream television news reporters finally training their attention on the growing Occupy Wall Street protest movement seem determined to cast it as the random, silly blather of an ungrateful and lazy generation of weirdos. They couldn’t be more wrong and, as time will tell, may eventually be forced to accept the inevitability of their own obsolescence.
The news broke on Friday morning that Anwar Al-Awlaki – the “American-born Qaeda leader” – had been killed in Yemen by a CIA drone operator. His assassination was sanctioned by no less than President Obama himself, contrary to the serious doubts that experts have raised over Awlaki’s role in the organisation, and that no evidence – as opposed to unsubstantiated accusations from the White House – has ever been presented of his guilt.