Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Info on Area 51 seems Fishy

Would you expect any military base, let alone the infamous Area 51, to be the “most boring” place you could ever work? Don’t they get to play with ET and fly spaceships? Or at least know what really happened in Roswell in 1947?

Area 51 sign

Not so much according to Thorton “T.D.” Barnes, former special-projects engineer at Area 51 in Nevada.

Actually, he says what people thought were alien-piloted UFOs in the 1960's were really spy planes being tested at over 2,000 miles per hour at altitudes of 90,000 feet, which would produce flashes of light high in the sky.

"We considered it to be a bonus. They [the UFO sightings] made it easier to conceal what we were doing," says Barnes.

While it's true that most reported UFO sightings really can be identified, I still have some questions about this random admittance of “truth:”

  1. Why come out with it half a century later?

  2. If the military at Area 51 was using the idea of UFOs and aliens as a cover-up for something else, how odd/questionable/bad must that something else be?

  3. Is this just another cover-up?

(Image: Strangely hilarious, although I'm not sure if it's real. From

Sunday, April 5, 2009

5 Worst Proven Conspiracies

Conspiracy TheoryWhen you hear the word "conspiracy" what do you think of? Traitors? Crazy nuts? Mel Gibson?

In most cases, the first assumption is correct.

A conspiracy is defined as:

An agreement between two or more persons to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act, as if by sinister design.

But conspiracies aren't always bad; an example of a "good" conspiracy would be the the Underground Railroad. On the other hand, because conspiracies are based on lies and deceit, they're usually so disgusting, terrible, and just plain wrong that they need to be kept secret to prevent public outrage - and to keep the lie going.

Here are 5 of the worst.

(Not to sound like a stereotypical conspiracy nut with tin foil on my head, but isn't it strange that most of these involve a government of some sort?)

Smallpox-Infected Blankets given to Aboriginals

smallpox conspiracyJeffrey Amherst was the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army mid-18th century, and is also believed to be responsible for purposely giving smallpox-infected blankets to American Indians, an early form of germ warfare.

Some people are skeptical about these stories, while others assert that the infected blankets were not intentionally distributed to the Indians, or that Lord Jeff himself is not to blame.

Two hard-to-read letters , however, suggest not only that it happened, but that it was intentional, and that Amherst was responsible – assuming, of course, the letters are authentic:

Colonel Henry Bouquet to General Amherst (13 July 1763) suggests in a postscript the distribution of blankets to "inocculate the Indians"

Amherst to Bouquet (16 July 1763) approves this plan in a postscript and suggests "to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race."


“The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”

The Protocols of the Elders of ZionThe Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an anti-Semitic forgery claiming an elaborate plot of Jewish world domination. It was first privately printed in 1897 and was first made public in Russia in 1905, when Nicholas II and his secret police distributed the work and presented it as true.

It was later published in 1920 in a Michigan newspaper started by Henry Ford mainly to attack Jews and Communists. Ford even wrote a book that was heavily influenced by the text —The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem.

Adolf Hitler later used the Protocols to help justify his attempt to exterminate Jews during World War II.

The Protocols have been deemed a hoax for decades, and yet many parts of the world are still taking it as fact and using it to foster anti-Semitism. (Similar to claims that Jews made up the Holcaust.)


Tuskegee Experiments

Tuskegee ExperimentsBeginning in 1932, the U.S. Public Health Service conducted an experiment on 399 black men who were unknowingly suffering from syphilis. The men were never treated for the disease, but their symptoms and the progression of the disease was studied.

(Experimenters wanted to see how blacks and whites reacted differently to syphilis, but whites were not part of the study.)

By the end of the experiment, 28 of the men had died directly of syphilis, 100 died of related complications, 40 of their wives had been infected, and 19 of their children had been born with congenital syphilis.

Even when penicillin was discovered in the 1940s—the first real cure for syphilis— the study participants were deliberately denied the medication

The experiments ended 40 years later when the story finally broke in the Washington Star on July 25, 1972.



mind controlMKULTRA was the code name for a covert CIA mind-control and chemical interrogation research program, run by the Office of Scientific Intelligence. The program began in the early 1950s, continuing at least through the late 1960s - although some argue it’s still being done - and used United States citizens as its test subjects.

These are just some of the other disturbing aims of the CIA’s mind-altering substance studies, aside from creating manchurian candidates:

  • Substances which will promote illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public.
  • Substances which will enhance the ability of individuals to withstand privation, torture and coercion during interrogation and so-called "brain-washing".
  • A material which…in very small amounts will make it impossible for a man to perform any physical activity whatsoever.

Another study of MKULTRA was Operation Midnight Climax - and yes, it was just as perverted as it sounds. Women (prostitutes on the CIA payroll) lured men to apartment hideaways in New York City and San Francisco. They then fed them LSD or marijuana while experimenters watched through two-way mirrors and recorded the sounds.


Abu Ghraib Torture and Media Manipulation

Abu Ghraib tortureIn 2004 images began to surface of the abuse, torture, sodomy, and murder of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq in a news report on CBS’s Sixty Minutes II, acts that were committed by personnel of the United States Army.

Then in 2007, long-time CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit against CBS and Viacom for wrongfully terminating his employment.

With nothing to lose, Rather accused CBS management of sitting on the Abu Ghraib story, the evidence for which was discovered in early 2004 by Mary Mapes, a producer for 60 Minutes II with over 20 years experience.

To top it all off, Rather claimed CBS refrained from publicizing the story to appease the Bush administration, which was, according to Rather, a regular occurrence at CBS.


Friday, April 3, 2009

A Piece of Advice (rant) to Experimental Bloggers

Okay, so I’m trying to create a new blog and I’ve been attempting all the Blogger URLs that I might like to use. But, of course, they’re all taken.

Even worse, these people either a) haven’t posted anything since five + years ago, b) only have one post that was made five + years ago, or c) simply made a “test” page.

blogging cartoon

I’m not really “enraged” that people set up these accounts with the hope of keeping up with them, but come on. One post? A test page?

Please, if you’re experimenting with blogging, or just making a pointless test page, choose a pointless URL. Pick something no one else would ever want, like “,” or just “” (I don’t know if those are taken, but I don’t think anyone would want to pick them anyway – unless someone actually did make a test page and called it “testpage,” in which case that’s okay.) Besides, you can always change it later.

Or, if after some test posts you decide blogging isn’t for you, change the URL to something ridiculous.

It’s not a huge deal that every URL I want to use is already in “use,” but it’s annoying enough that, ironically enough, I had to blog about it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Conficker Update (Still not sure if it's a Hoax)

ConfickerApril 1st has come and gone and the crafty Conficker virus has yet to have the catastrophic Y2K effect experts anticipated. Will something happen today? Tomorrow? The day after tomorrow?

Still, no one knows. I’m starting to think this whole Conficker thing really is a hoax, a scam created by all those anti-virus companies to scare people into buying their products.

Or, maybe the fake security software getting picked up by search engines IS the next phase of Conficker:

Scammers game Google’s search engine by creating Web sites full of search terms. Another tactic is spamming high-traffic Web sites that lead back to their malicious site in order to drive their Web site up the search ranks.

The fake security software Web sites will ask a user to download a file that scans a machine for malware. The software usually tells the user the PC has malicious software even if it isn’t infected. The software will then badger the user to buy the questionable security program
(from Information Security Resources).

(Is it just me, or does this kind of sound like all the news reports badgering people to install Norton and the like?)

My half-assed conspiracy theory aside, as long as you're fearful of other viruses and already have your computer protected, you should be safe from this one too.

(Image:ABC News)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The New Thing: Ghost-Twittering

Twitter birdYou’ve probably heard about ghostwriting, especially when it comes to super-long novels, which, let’s face it, takes a lot of precious time.

But Twittering? That’s like, what? A sentence?

Even so, celebrities aren’t doing it. So if you’re following the tweets of 50 Cent, John Mayer, Kanye West, or Britney Spears, you’re really getting tweeted by “hired ghosts”.

In fact, some of these celebs don’t even like Twitter. (“Like” is a nice way of putting it.)

This is what John Mayer said to Marc Malkin of E!:

Twitter is "inherently silly and it's inherently dumb...If you really think that Twitter is the pathway to spiritual enlightenment,'s one step away from sending pictures of your poop."

I can’t help but laugh, but I bet his 400,000 followers are pissed.

You Fool! 3 Funny Pranks on the Public

April FoolMy whole plan was to make up some completely absurd story about the origin of April Fools’ Day, but since I’m not very good at pranks, and not really a big fan of pranks being played on me, I decided not to pull your leg.

Instead, I picked some of the funniest practical jokes that actually did play out according to the Museum of Hoaxes. Geez, people sure are gullible:

Virgin Cola’s Blue Cans

Pepsi can1996: Virgin Cola announced that in the interest of consumer safety it had integrated a new technology into its cans. When the cola passed its sell-by date, the liquid would react with the metal in the can, turning the can itself bright blue. Virgin warned that consumers should therefore avoid purchasing all blue cans. The joke was that Pepsi had recently unveiled its newly designed bright blue cans.

The Left-Handed Whopper

Whopper1998: Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a "Left-Handed Whopper.” According to the advertisement, the new Whopper included the same ingredients as the original, but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees. Thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich, as well as the 'right handed' version." (Kind of reminds me of the new Diamond Shreddies.)

The Case of the Interfering Bras

electric bra1982: The Daily Mail reported that a local manufacturer had sold 10,000 "rogue bras.” According to the article, the support wire in these bras had been made out of a kind of copper that produced static electricity, which was interfering with local television and radio broadcasts. The chief engineer of British Telecom immediately ordered that all his female laboratory employees disclose what type of bra they were wearing.

You can also click here for this year's hoaxes, or here if you like cruel jokes. Don’t worry; you won't be judged.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Forgot about Earth Hour / Earth in General

Earth HourAfter reading The Post Script and That's What She Said today, I realized I completely forgot about Earth Hour on Saturday, and as a result, didn't participte.

While I try to be earth-friendly everyday, what I've been hearing from some people (even one if my professors), is that the Earth is doomed anyway.

Over the last 50 years especially, with billions of people, millions of cars, mass production, and everyday waste, I'm well aware that we've vandalized our planet.

But it's hard for me to beleive that it can't be saved. Maybe that's not even it; maybe Earth just won't be saved. That I can believe.

No matter how much we recycle, I'm not sure the other two R's are part of the current equation.

pollutionWe don't want to give up the luxuries, the conveniences, the habits that we've grown up with, even though we know what they're doing. And I'm not talking about idiotic things like leaving the water running full blast after washing your hands, like this one girl I caught in a restaurant bathroom. (I had to turn it off because she just walked out. Who does that?!)

No, no. I'm talking about things you're used to and might not even realize.

Have you ever had to take a cold shower because someone else used up the hot water? What about when you go camping and have to skip showers?

Have you ever experienced a black-out and couldn't figure out what to do to pass the time because everything you do and use is electronic?

Have you ever had to catch your own dinner or face going without it?

Do you remember the days before you could drive and had to walk everywhere?

Would you want to do stuff like that all the time? I wouldn't; I'm not going to lie - and those are only a few minor changes. And you can also be damn sure big companies like Coca-Cola and Nike wouldn't want to limit production or their use of third-world labour.

money treeI don't want this to be all doom and gloom, but if we really want to make a difference, we have to do things differently - and that doesn't just mean buying green and turning everything off for one hour a year.

But I guess, as they say, you have to start somewhere...