“All About Radiation” is book by L. Ron Hubbard, and as the title might imply it’s all about radiation. Or at least Hubbard’s thoughts on radiation. It is also one of the canonical texts of Scientology. It was first published in 1957 and later editions were printed by the Church of Scientology’s in house publisher, Bridge Publications.
The book is controversial because it makes a lot of questionable claims. One such claim is that radiation poisoning can be cured by a course of vitamins. In fact, radiation poisoning cannot be cured.
Considering the book’s content, you would expect Hubbard to be some sort of radiation expert or at the very least a scientist of some kind. Hubbard does call himself a nuclear physicist but this was false. His only degree came from Sequoia University, an unaccredited school. The only nuclear physics course Hubbard ever took was at George Washington University and he got an ‘F’ in the course.
The world is tumultuous. Every day there are reports of bombings or homicides or abuse. However, despite what feels like a great deal of violence, this time is much more peaceful than others in human history. Think back to the World Wars, the Dark Ages, the Crusades.
Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker claims that we are indeed living in the most peaceable time in human history. He compiled copious amounts of data on many different sources of human cruelty—rape, international warfare, abuse of animals, and genocide to name a few. For each type of violence, he found that it was in fact declining.
For example, modern homicide rates in Europe are 10-50 times lower than in the Middle Ages. State sanctioned violence, such as corporal punishment and the death penalty, has also declined. Despite what the media tells us, perhaps we should be thankful to live in a time when human violence is at a low.
For most people Friday the 13th is cause for jokes and minor superstition, but for some people it is a literal phobia. They fear what will happen to the point that they refuse to leave their houses, sometimes refusing to leave bed. They can experience anxiety and even panic attacks.
Their fear is seriously debilitating; some miss work because of their fear! This depth of fear has resulted in an unexpected consequence: It is estimated that every Friday the 13th, businesses lose between $800 and $900 billion. People avoid scheduling on Friday the 13th because they think things are more likely to be unlucky and go wrong.
People dodge flying on planes, purchasing houses, and buying stocks, all out of fear of a date. The reason for the superstition behind Friday the 13th has to do with the historical superstitions of both Friday and the number 13 separately. The unluckiness of 13 may come from a Norse myth about a thirteenth guest who becomes a murderer.
Nowadays, we love Fridays, but fear of the number 13 remains in our culture. So what do you think, is Friday the 13th really unlucky?
Saint Augustine was a Father of the Church whose writings were very influential to the development of Western Christianity. He is the patron saint of Augustinians. He was born in 354 but was not baptized until 387. In his youth, Augustine was hedonistic.
He ran with a crowd of experienced boys who would often boast of their sexual exploits. The younger boys, like Augustine, were pressured to have their own sexual exploits in order to fit in. This was when St. Augustine uttered his now famous prayer: “Lord grant me chastity and continence but not yet.”
He did have a thirteen-year affair with a woman from Carthage who eventually bore his son. He abandoned her upon his conversion when his son was seventeen years old.
The Wilmot Pass is located on the main divide of New Zealand’s South Island. It is 2,201 feet high and connects Doubtful Sound, a deep indentation on the coast, to the valley of the West Arm of Lake Manapouri.
Uniquely, the pass is crossed by a road that connects to no other road. It was constructed to facilitate the development of the Lake Manapouri Hydroelectricity Project. It is the only road on the New Zealand mainland that is not connected to the main road network.
Until the 1960s, the Wilmot Pass was only accessible from the sea. The 21 km long, unconnected road was then built between 1963 and 1965 to offer access to the pass.
Many a drunken brawler has been arrested for fighting. If only he had known to discuss the fight with his opponent beforehand, he could have escaped jail time. Mutual combat is a legal term and is defined as “a fight into which both parties enter willingly, or in which two persons, upon a sudden quarrel, and in hot blood, mutually fight upon equal terms.”
Back in the day, this type of fight was much more common. There were formal duels between men. School boys were made to fight as a rite of passage. Today, the boxing ring and other formalized (often for entertainment value) forms of fighting are the only places where mutual combat exists.
According to most, mutual combat has not survived the common law and would no longer hold up as a defense. However, it is still part of the criminal law of the United States.
This is because the number of atoms is estimated to be about 10^79, while the number of unique chess games is 10^120. Here are some interesting facts for our chess fans:
The Postal Service is an American electronic music band. They got their name because of the way they first started creating songs. Producer Jimmy Tamborello would write and perform instrumental tracks and then send them to vocalist Ben Gibbard. Ben would add his vocals and edit the tracks and then send them back to Tamborello via the US Postal Service.
Apparently, the USPS was not flattered by this nod to their service. In August 2003, they sent the band a cease and desist letter, citing their trademark on the phrase “postal service.” The USPS entered into negotiations with the band and decided they could use the trademark in exchange for promotional efforts and a performance at the USPS’s National Executive Conference. At one point, the USPS even sold the band’s CDs on their website.
After all the friendly and sometimes not-so-friendly competition during the Olympic Games, they end with a communal closing ceremony. While the opening ceremony is tense with competition between countries, the closing ceremony is much more laid back. Athletes from across the world, finally done with their events, mingle with one another.
This was not always the case though. This tradition began with the 1956 Olympic Games. These Games were held in Melbourne, Australia during the height of the Cold War. Obviously, political tensions were running high. A number of countries protested the Games or forbid their athletes from mingling with athletes from other countries. Fights broke out and it appeared that the Games were a failed effort.
The International Olympic Committee and the Organizing Committee then discovered an anonymous letter written by a 17-year-old Chinese boy. He was surprised that the athletes were not allowed to mingle with each other during the closing ceremony and explained that the best part of any sporting event was the celebration afterwards. When the committees instituted this change, the Melbourne Games became known as the Friendly Games.
Norman Reedus is an American actor best known for his portrayal of Daryl Dixon on the hit TV show “The Walking Dead.” He also played Murphy McManus in the 1999 film “The Boondock Saints” and it’s sequel.
Reedus was born in Florida but grew up in L.A. He worked at a Harley Davidson shop in Venice and created art as a photographer, painter, sculptor and video artist. In an odd turn of events, he was discovered as an actor at a party. Reedus was yelling while wearing a pair of giant sunglasses. He kept screaming until someone asked him if he wanted to be in a play. His first film was the 1997 horror movie “Mimic.”