The Strange remains the same for 06 February 2015

Neil Young’s PonoPlayer: The Emperor Has No Clothes.

An Underwater Volcano Just Created A New Island.

More Cities Should Make Mythbusting Maps Like This – CityLab. (I’ve been on this D.C. tour!)

Police arrest pet store owner in boys’ snake deaths. (Still no clear answers, though.)

Is there an award for “Stupid parents?” He’s scarred for life, but not from “stranger danger”. Police: 6-year-old boy ‘kidnapped’ for being too nice to strangers

Creationists are upset about Carnival Cruises’ “Come Back To The Sea” ad

Among New York Subway’s Millions of Riders, a Study Finds Many Mystery Microbes –

‘Gettysburg skull’ turns out to be that of a Southwest Native American 700 years old

An Unlikely Alliance Fights HIV In The Bronx’s Afro-Honduran Diaspora

Your moment of sheer insanity – extreme body modification:





Editor and owner of Doubtful News. Writer, specializing in science and society, science policy and education.


  9 comments for “The Strange remains the same for 06 February 2015

  1. Perry
    February 7, 2015 at 2:02 AM

    “sheer insanity – extreme body modification”

    For some people it may very well be a mental illness of some kind, though insanity might be rare. I met a guy with a full body tattoo, including head and face. He told me it was an addiction for him. He got a ‘rush’ from the needles, and once he started he couldn’t stop until his entire body was covered. I didn’t ask him what he did to replace that rush once there were no spots left to ink. That’s just one anecdote of course, but there might be something to that notion of addiction.

    Johann Hari, author of ‘Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs’ has a very interesting perspective on addiction that might help explain, in part, behaviours such as body modification that may be analogous to drug addictions in some cases.

    This is how I summarized his main point when I tweeted the following link: “The opposite of #addiction is human connection, not sobriety. It’s about isolation & alienation.” Or to use the metaphor he uses, its about the ‘cages’ we live in, not about drugs.

  2. Angela
    February 7, 2015 at 5:53 AM

    On the “parents” that staged their son’s kidnapping–I cannot even fathom why they thought that was a good idea. Someone made the comment on another page that the child will likely continue being nice to strangers because obviously, strangers are kinder to him than his own family. I tend to agree.

  3. Eric
    February 7, 2015 at 7:33 AM

    Body mod – I know this has been said before but what is he/she (couldn’t tell) going to do once middle age and old age sets in. I would also assume it really precludes the person from getting any sort of mainstream job (not that this is a problem).

    I agree that something to this extreme might be part of a larger disorder or just the “recklessness of youth”.

  4. busterggi
    February 7, 2015 at 7:54 AM

    I’m just grateful that you only posted a head shot.

  5. MisterNeutron
    February 7, 2015 at 4:55 PM

    Re: the volcano. “Hunga Tonga?” Isn’t that one of the partners in a Marx Brothers movie law firm?

  6. One Eyed Jack
    February 8, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    RE: Pono.

    This one made me chuckle. The big “breakthrough” is NOT compressing the file. Today’s media devices have many fold the storage of original MP3 players. High speed data streaming is ubiquitous. What do these “inventors” do with this power? Go back to what we had before MP3.

    I think I’ll invent a restaurant where you go inside and sit down for a couple of hours while your food is made fresh instead of going through the drive-thru, Kickstarter, here I come!

  7. MisterNeutron
    February 8, 2015 at 6:15 PM

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. With most “pop” music, the MP3 compression is often not noticeable. Do that to orchestral music or opera, however, and the differences start hitting you in the face (listening to classical music on my car satellite radio, with its highly compressed signal, is very revealing).

    On the subject of restaurants, I thought it was hilarious when Outback Steakhouse announced their fabulous invention: call-ahead seating. This was apparently successful marketing for customers who had never eaten in a place that takes reservations.

  8. Bill T.
    February 13, 2015 at 5:28 AM

    Highly compressed signal from a satellite streaming source and high-quality digitized versions not comparable. I easily hear the compression artifacts from satellite on the pop stations as well as the orchestral. High sample rate digital recordings are very acceptable.

    I would like to see a double-blind study on how well naïve, average and sophisticated listeners would rate music play-back from well-produced digital files compared to analog. Note that even the best analog recordings and play-back are compressed in dynamic and frequency ranges.

  9. MisterNeutron
    February 14, 2015 at 3:02 PM

    I’m not talking about old analog recordings. I’m just saying that if you take a recording from a CD that occupies something like 600MB, and compress it down to an MP3 with one-tenth that, you’re giving away something. MP3 compression is not lossless, and those who rip their CD’s, save the MP3’s, and toss the originals, may be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Listening in the car or with little earbuds, you might not hear the difference. But it might be a different story with a good home sound system.

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