Ok Cynics. I’m off to Miami for the week. I’m giving Colonel Bob a rest also so there won’t be any updates until Sunday.
From USA Today:
The one-name magician â€” he legally changed it ages ago â€” has been known for three decades as the non-speaking half of Penn & Teller, whose inventive magi-comedy act is rolling into its sixth year at the Rio Hotel and Casino here.
But the mute shtick is just that, a brilliant Harpo Marx-like foil to Penn Jillette’s booming Groucho. Catch Teller at his homestead, however, and behold a chatty, erudite prankster who lives in his own personal romper room.
“Like much of my life, this house is a reflection of everything I wanted back when I was 12,” says Teller, 59. “I love this house because it’s honest. If you see a floor that looks like concrete, that’s because it is concrete. But, ah, on the other hand, nothing is what it seems.”
Did we mention the house has multiple mirrors, hidden doors, screaming tables and one talking bear sculpture who plays card tricks on visitors? Like the man said, it’s a 12-year-old’s dream. Zoom back. A decade ago, Teller spotted a 10-acre rocky outcropping with great views of the Vegas Strip and the mountains and decided this was his Xanadu. What rose on the spot is a squared-off fortress with an exterior of corrugated steel that’s interrupted by expanses of windows.
A tour of Penn’s house also from USA Today.
Coulrophobia is an abnormal or exaggerated fear of clowns. It is not uncommon among children, but is also sometimes found in teenagers and adults as well. Sufferers sometimes acquire a fear of clowns after having a bad experience with one personally, or seeing a sinister portrayal of one in the media.
(via Atheist Media Blog)
The most dangerous drug in the world?
Scopolamine: Scopolamine is a colorless, tasteless, odorless drug. It is also known as hyoscine and is classified as a tropane alkaloid. The drug can be obtained from plants in the Solanacea (nightshade) family. Most scopolamine comes from jimsome weed, or as in Columbia, borrachero trees. The plants it can be derived from are many, and abundantly available. This makes its use widespread, and exceedingly dangerous. It is, surprisingly, one of the most feared substances in what is arguably the drug capital of the world, Columbia.
In Columbia alone, there are over 50,000 reported cases of Scopolamine drugging, although rarely does this receive media attention, in Columbia or elsewhere. The drug is used almost primarily by criminals as a way of making victims so docile that they have been known to help thieves rob their own homes and empty their own bank accounts. Additionally, women have been drugged repeatedly and held as sex slaves, or have been convinced to willingly give up their own children. The most horrifying side effect of the drug is not is ability to make zombies of its victims, but the complete amnesia it causes.
Wikipedia’s entry on Scopolamine.
The church has burned honesty and rewarded hypocrisy. And all this, because it was commanded by a book — a book that men had been taught implicitly to believe, long before they knew one word that was in it. They had been taught that to doubt the truth of this book — to examine it, even — was a crime of such enormity that it could not be forgiven, either in this world or in the next.
Robert Green Ingersoll – “Heretics and Hericies”(1874)