John Murray Spear’s God Machine

From the Fortean Times:

October 1853, on a hilltop in Lynn, Massachusetts, a group assembled to create the New Messiah. They had not come to pray or to praise God: they were actually going to build Him out of metal and wood under the supervision of spirits. When the body was complete, they believed it would be infused with life to revolutionise the world and raise mankind to an exalted level of spiritual development.

The spirits gave their instructions through John Murray Spear, a former minister of the Universalist church and recent convert to spiritualism. Born in Boston in 1804 and baptised by his namesake John Murray (the founder of the American branch of the Universalist church), Spear has been described as a “gentle, kindly, ingenuous” man who possessed a beautiful simplicity and an idiosyncratic mind 1.

Tim McGraw’s Ring Gets Taken by a Fan

I have no idea who Tim McGraw is (apparently a country singer of some sort?) but this is a mildly entertaining video of him losing his ring while shaking hands with some of his fans in the middle of the song.

This was obviously a complete accident. If you watch it closely, a woman (in a light blue shirt) appears to accidentally pull off Tim’s ring while shaking his hand (perhaps a little to tightly) a few seconds before he notices it’s gone. She instantly starts to wave it around to try to get his attention and continues to do so the entire time he’s accusing the other girl (who has no clue what’s going on). Just a simple misunderstanding.

When Insults Had Class

Intellectual pwnage:

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” –
Winston Churchill

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” –
Clarence Darrow

“I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play. Bring a friend… if you have one.” –
George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

< “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second… if there is one.” – Winston Churchill, in response

Does Massage Work by Getting Rid of Toxins?

From The Straight Dope:

Of course, working out more doesn’t reduce pain and stiffness (often called delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS) – if anything the opposite is true. Since lactic acid dissipates within an hour of exercise, something else must be causing pain the next day. The current thinking is that the something is plain old water. Working out causes tiny tears in the muscle fibers into which water infiltrates. That causes stiffness, the way a balloon filled with water is stiffer than an empty one, and soreness, by pressing on nearby nerves. This process is commonly known as inflammation.

It seems logical that massage wrings water and salt out of the muscles and increases local circulation so that the excess is carried away in the blood and excreted. Drinking extra water is probably useful only if you’re dehydrated and isn’t directly involved in reducing pain and stiffness. According to a 2005 review in Sports Medicine by Pornratshanee Weerapong and colleagues, research support for this theory is inconclusive, but for the sake of argument we’ll assume it’s possible.