How games can help you die less

70204185 3294a79282 450x337 How games can help you die less

Orienteering in the age of Google. (img by Paul Miller)

If you think playing games is a waste of time or just for kids, you’re wrong. People and animals learn important life skills through play. We play the most when we’re kids, but there’s more and more evidence out there that says that adults still play, or at least really really want to.

So next time you’re about to beg off a game of capture the flag near your local college, remember this: Games can teach you to fight, run, hide, and improvise. Games can test your skills and ideas and are a safe way to learn that some of your ideas, instincts, and information are absolute bullshit and might get you hurt. Games can teach you how to communicate, how to know where you are, and make you look at your environment differently. (more…)

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Crazy Sikh strongmen eat light bulbs and sledgehammers

From India’s got Talent or somesuch. Sikhs are quickly rising to the top of the list of people I shall not fuck with. Not surprisingly, there’s a bit of Bollywood involved.

Via Boing Boing.

The Warriors of Goja, a Sikh performance troupe, performed an astonishing strongman/bed of nails routine on India’s Got Talent, a spectacle of extreme stunts involving a lot of glass eating, being run over by cars, hit by sledgehammers, bending iron bars with their Adam’s apples, and so forth. The judges’ performance–dramatic expressions of shock and horror–matched the Warriors’.

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FBI arrests 7 in Amish haircut attacks in Ohio

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Sam Mullet stands in the front yard of his home in Bergholz, Ohio. The FBI and local sheriff's deputies arrested seven men, including Mullet, reputed leader of a breakaway Amish sect, on federal hate crime charges early Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

By John Seewer, Associated Press

The leader of a breakaway Amish group allowed the beatings of those who disobeyed him, made some members sleep in a chicken coop and had sexual relations with married women to “cleanse them,” federal authorities said Wednesday as they charged him and six others with hate crimes in hair-cutting attacks against other Amish.

Authorities raided the group’s compound in eastern Ohio earlier in the day and arrested seven men, including group leader Sam Mullet and three of his sons.

Several members of the group carried out the attacks in September, October and November by forcibly cutting the beards and hair of Amish men and women and then taking photos of them, authorities said. (more…)

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Europe Bans X-Ray Body Scanners Used at U.S. Airports

whole body scanner Europe Bans X Ray Body Scanners Used at U.S. Airports

By Michael Grabell, ProPublica

The European Union on Monday prohibited the use of X-ray body scanners in European airports, parting ways with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which has deployed hundreds of the scanners as a way to screen millions of airline passengers for explosives hidden under clothing.

The European Commission, which enforces common policies of the EU’s 27 member countries, adopted the rule “in order not to risk jeopardizing citizens’ health and safety.”

As a ProPublica/PBS NewsHour investigation detailed earlier this month, X-ray body scanners use ionizing radiation, a form of energy that has been shown to damage DNA and cause cancer. Although the amount of radiation is extremely low, equivalent to the radiation a person would receive in a few minutes of flying, several research studies have concluded that a small number of cancer cases would result from scanning hundreds of millions of passengers a year. (more…)

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New meme: casual pepper spray cop

Picture 20 450x296 New meme: casual pepper spray cop

Photoshop. It’s the Internet’s way to express grief and outrage.

Photoshop out the students from that picture with your mind. Forget about Pike’s uniform, let’s say he’s just wearing street clothes. Now, instead of a policeman spraying a less-lethal chemical weapon down the throats of peacefully seated 20-year-olds, you might be able to interpret this tableau as a figure sauntering through a garden, spraying weeds. Or maybe he’s your paunchy, moustached uncle, nonchalantly dousing bugs in the basement with insecticide.

One way the internet deals with that kind of upsetting dissonance is to mock it. And that’s what the internet has done with Pike. The “casually pepper-spraying cop” is now a meme, a kind of folk art or shared visual joke that is open to sharing and reinterpretation by anyone. This particular meme has spread with unusual velocity–in part, I imagine, because the subject matter is just as weird as it is upsetting.

(more…)

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Halifax County man dies after being shot with stun gun

By , Richard Adkins, and Kathy Hanrahan, WRAL

A 61-year-old Halifax County man died Tuesday, a day after police shocked him with a stun gun while he was riding his bike, family members said.

Scotland Neck Police Chief Joe Williams said they received a call Monday night about a man who fell off of his bicycle and injured himself in the parking lot of the BB&T bank, 1001 Main St. The caller was concerned that the man was drunk.

When Officer John Turner arrived, he saw Roger Anthony pedaling away along 10th Street. He followed Anthony in his patrol car, briefly put on his sirens and lights and yelled out of the window for him to stop, but Anthony continued to ride away, police said. (more…)

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