During the Holocaust, the Nazis and their allies killed about 25 percent of Europe’s entire Roma (a.k.a. Gypsy) population. This genocide, known as the Porajmos, remains one of the worst atrocities committed by the Nazis — and it took until 1979 for the German government to commence reparations and until 2011 for the killings to receive an official day of remembrance.
Ghosts aren’t real, right?
That’s what most of us believe—that we live in a rational world, not one where specters of demons and the dead haunt the living. But if ghosts aren’t real, why are so many people so sure they’ve seen them?
It turns out that the answer has a lot to do with the human mind. There’s a scientific explanation for almost every weird thing anyone’s ever seen. But when it comes to the paranormal, scientific explanations are sometimes more mind-blowing than the myths.
When you go around calling the United States the “Great Satan” and trying to destroy it in a holy jihad, you’re setting yourself up to some pretty high standards. There’s a whole persona involved in being an evil, psychotic terrorist, and you really have to keep up those appearances.
Osama bin Laden did his best to seem like a devout, fundamentalist Muslim whose only vice was killing thousands of innocent people, but behind closed doors, he wasn’t as above Western culture as he liked to pretend. When the Navy SEALS broke into his compound and took him out, they got the chance to look at what was on his computer. And as it turns out, the stuff bin Laden spent his last few years watching on his laptop wasn’t exactly sharia.
Every science experiment is valuable. Every time a scientist gets the chance to test an idea in a controlled setting, we learn something more about the world.
Sure, it might be hard to see the value of getting animals high and watching what happens, but these experiments have taught us some deeply valuable things. Thanks to science, we finally know the answers to the questions that have plagued mankind for years.
Like, how much cocaine does it take to get a rat into bebop jazz?
And how drunk do fruit flies have to be to experiment with gay sex?
Science has the answers.
At this very moment, everything you are doing is being recorded. You are being watched by computer programs and cameras that are monitoring you everywhere you go, in ways the wildest conspiracy theorists wouldn’t have believed ten years ago.
It’s worse than you think. You’re probably already aware that everything you do online is tracked, recorded, and sold to make better-targeted ads, but it goes way further than that. Companies in the business of selling your secrets are doing things that go way beyond 1984. You’re being monitored in ways Orwell never even imagined.
“You know, it’s the saddest thing but it seems like everybody my mother ever gets close to dies,” Velma Barfield’s son Ronnie Burke once said. “How could the good Lord allow this to happen to a faithful Christian like Velma Barfield?”
It was a question a lot of people wanted to ask. Even after the truth had come out and Velma Barfield was waiting to become the first woman to be executed in America in 22 years, many couldn’t understand how she’d gotten there.
She was a grandmother, a church-goer, and was so devoutly religious that even the Reverend Billy Graham sang her praises. She had the world so charmed that they were protesting for her freedom.
On the outside, she seemed like a perfect angel. And maybe that’s how she got away with murdering six people.
“Fiction has served to propagate the notion … that [geisha] spend the night with their customers,” former geisha Iwasaki Mineko once complained. “Once an idea like this is planted in the general culture it takes on a life of its own.”
Despite how most people now see the term, geisha doesn’t mean “prostitute,” it means “artist.” When the first modern geisha appeared in the large cities of Japan in the 17th century, they didn’t sell their bodies for sex. They were entertainers — and they were men.