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Mongolian Jokes

Mongolian Jokes

When I was young, there was a large statue of Lenin in Ulaanbaatar. In 2012, the Mongolian government removed the statue, denouncing Lenin as a ‘murderer’.

In that same year, I heard this joke:

A Muscovite watches a communist demonstration next to a large statue of Lenin, upon which is inscribed, YOU DIED, BUT YOUR WORK WILL LIVE LONG!

A passerby reads the inscription, sighs, and says, “It would have been better had you lived a long time and your work died.” Continue Reading

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October Surprise from Autism Speaks: They No Longer Want a Cure? (2/2)

October Surprise from Autism Speaks: They No Longer Want a Cure? (2/2)

Last time:

After the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed piece by Steve Silberman that included the analogy between autism speaks and the NAACP that I wrote about above, Liz Feld, Autism Speaks CEO, responded urging the autism community to work together. This was years after not responding to repeated criticism by the neurodiversity movement, including that they were eugenicists whose only goal was to find a pre-natal test for autism and urge the abortion of autistic fetuses.

The essay continues:

Another significant event took place. Suzanne Wright contracted pancreatic cancer. This was so difficult for their family, that the Wright’s resigned from the autism speaks board and others took over. This made Steve Shore believe that autism speaks was now a safe haven and after some years of unsuccessfully trying to recruit him for their board of directors, he finally decided to get on board and become a team player. Valerie Paradiz who has stated that she has Asperger’s was the second autistic board member to be appointed by Autism Speaks. Valerie has not only been an opponent for a cure for autism, she stated at least according to one media source that autism is not a disability but a strength. Continue Reading

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October Surprise from Autism Speaks: They No Longer Want a Cure? (1/2)

October Surprise from Autism Speaks: They No Longer Want a Cure? (1/2)

WALLACE’S NOTE: Although the following story is about the ‘October Surprise’ from Autism Speaks, the decision in question may have some long term implications.

Autism speaks has published a new mission statement:

Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

Saliently absent is the word “cure” from their mission statement which they had in the past: Continue Reading

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History – As Told by Forgotten Newspaper Headlines

History – As Told by Forgotten Newspaper Headlines

The recent presidential election has resulted in some pretty shocking newspaper headlines – like when Scotland’s The Daily Record ran a cover story showing a photo of Donald Trump at his swank new Scottish golf course on a windy day, with his hair all messed up. The headline read:

THERE WILL BE HELL TOUPEE!

The fact is provocative front pages are nothing new. Headlines intended to shock you go back centuries. Recently I did extensive research on the history of newspaper front page headlines, by which I mean I Googled “history of newspaper front page headlines” while binge-watching the Netflix series Stranger Things. I uncovered some long-lost front pages that detail some of the most important, but perhaps forgotten, events in human history.

In my research, I even found what is believed to be the very first front page headline ever written – from The Neanderthal News. It read: Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Making Headlines, Top Stories0 Comments

Glossy News Classics (I): Benjamin Cain’s ‘Hardline Atheists Condemn Sleep and Sex as Irrational’

Glossy News Classics (I): Benjamin Cain’s ‘Hardline Atheists Condemn Sleep and Sex as Irrational’

NOTE FROM WALLACE: As one of the very longest running fake news satire outlets of all time, Glossy News has had a lot of classics over the years. Here’s one of the pieces that really stood out.

In my opinion: you’re already doing well if you can put good content in the mouths of your satire personas. But to mimic their style is really quite an advanced skill. Well done Benjamin!

***

Dateline: SPRINGFIELD, MI—Speaking jointly at a press conference after coming to a unanimous decision at this year’s Skepticon, held at Missouri State University, representatives of the New Atheist movement condemned sleep and sex for being irrational.

“Religious faith is clearly unreasonable,” said author Sam Harris, “but so are your unconscious dreams and so is your sex life. If we’re going to survive the coming technological advances, we’ve got to smarten up and cut all ties to our primitive ancestry. We’ve got to become posthuman.” Continue Reading

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The Pre-Christmas Online Promotion Season is Coming: 5 Things Good to Know

The Pre-Christmas Online Promotion Season is Coming: 5 Things Good to Know

As we all know too well, each year has four seasons: the “Post-Christmas Fasting” season, the “Pre-Vacation Saving Season”, the “Vacation-Spending” season, and the “Pre-Christmas Online Promotion” season – which is on our doorstep. Although we still have an incredible number of days left until Christmas, we can already feel it coming. The nights are getting longer (except Down Under, where they are getting shorter), and the nights are becoming colder (except Down Under, where… all of it is the exact opposite). It’s time to prepare for the fourth season of the year, to board up the windows, reinforce the grates on the chimney, everything in the attempt to prevent the cat burglar in a red suit commonly known as Santa Claus to empty your bank accounts before the end of the year. Continue Reading

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Breaking News: Woman Claims Trump Didn’t Grope Her

Breaking News: Woman Claims Trump Didn’t Grope Her

A woman from Broken Springs, Michigan has come forward to insist that Donald Trump has not groped her, despite many opportunities to do so. Allison McGregor, a 47-year-old housekeeper who used to work at Trump’s Mar-o Lago hotel/resort in Florida, told Fox News today that the real estate broker used to visit the hotel at least once a week and on exactly zero occasions did he sexually assault her. Continue Reading

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Posted in Celebrity Gossip, Politics, Strange People, Top Stories0 Comments

Republicans Praised for Reducing Stigma for Psychopaths

Republicans Praised for Reducing Stigma for Psychopaths

Dateline: WASHINGTON, D.C.–The National Institute of Mental Health congratulated the Republican Party for helping to accustom Americans to those with mental illness, by elevating obvious psychopaths to positions of high office.

Doctor Fernando Lamas, chairman of the Institute, said at a press conference that Republican voters have done the United States “a great service, showing more so-called progressive Americans that those with antisocial disorders–who are typically demonized in popular horror films–can be entrusted with political power as long as we shirk our civic duties and learn to keep lowering our standards for acceptable public behaviour.” Continue Reading

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Posted in Health, Politics1 Comment

Has Autism Given me the Gift of Prophecy?

Has Autism Given me the Gift of Prophecy?

Some persons on the autism spectrum have extraordinary talents and abilities.  These are known as savant skills.  Rainman’s ability to count through an eight deck shoe in blackjack became well-known after the movie of the same name came out.  One individual I went to special ed with could tell you what day of the week any date of the year was.  More amazingly, he could tell you exactly what he’d done that day.  Jerry Newport’s ability to multiply four digit sums in his head were also well known and helped land a movie based on his life’s story, Mozart and the Whale.  Stephen Wiltshire’s drawing ability is also well known.  Others have extraordinary musical abilities.

Bernard Rimland conducted a survey and estimated that ten percent of spectrumites have savant skills.  Researcher Patricia Howlin thought that his estimate was far too conservative and claimed that it was possible that as many as thirty percent of autistic people have some sort of savant skill.  Darold Treffert, an expert on savantism, stated that her figure was probably based on a liberal definition of what defines a savant.

Until recently, I felt left out that I was in the ninety percent of autistic individuals (or seventy percent if you take stock in Howlin’s more liberal estimate) who have no special talents or savant abilities.  In one week from today I will be sixty-one years old and amazingly enough it took me that long to realize that I actually have a savant skill-the gift of prophecy.

Let me elaborate.  The small number of you who have actually followed my blog know that autism has handicapped me in two ways.  It has seriously compromised my ability to make a living.  I’m likely in the Guinness Book of World Records for most jobs fired from.  I have not worked in nearly ten years.  I have also never had a girlfriend and my intensity and relentless negativity has been a turnoff to them.  Some of you may also recall my quote of Freud’s stating that to work and to love are cornerstones of our humanity.  Ergo, I have felt autism stripped me of my humanity.  I’ve discovered that when this issue comes up I can predict what people will advise me to do about these problems and their general comments on these issues.  I can also predict what a neurodiversity proponent will say is the reason I hate my autism so much. This must mean I have the gift of prophecy.

Multiple people have advised me to disclose my disability to perspective employers.  This will solve my problems of being fired.  They will say to themselves “that explains it” if I make a funny movement with my hand instead of being prejudiced against me.  If I make too many careless errors, they will say “that’s all right his autism explains it” or they will make a better effort to work with me.  Or that the Americans with Disabilities Act gives me the right to ask for accommodations and the employer will grant me these accommodations, they’ll work and problem solved.  Ari Ne’eman has even gone so far to state that all social unpleasantries that autistic people commit in the workplace should be completely overlooked.  I get fed up with explaining to them that if there is something the employer does not like about me, they are going to fire me and they won’t overlook errors and knowing I have an autism diagnosis won’t matter.  Also that the Americans with Disabilities Act only gives me the right to ask for reasonable accommodations and being able to go more slowly or asking to put up with loudness and behavior they don’t like aren’t reasonable accommodations under the law.

As far as not having a girlfriend is concerned I should find someone “like myself”, a polite way of saying I’m not suited for a non-handicapped woman and “mixed marriages” are taboo.  Or some unabashedly state “find an autistic girlfriend”.  It does not matter that the ratio of autistic men to autistic women on the milder spectrum is 10 to 1 and at least nine out of ten guys are going to be unlucky.  Actually the number is probably greater than that since “mixed marriages” between a handicapped woman and non-handicapped man aren’t as taboo.  Not to mention the fact that the most desirable autistic women will have no trouble finding a non-autistic man and most of them will prefer them to the autistic man (barring extraordinary exceptions like Mike Carley and John Robison of course).

According to many neurodiversity proponents the reason I don’t believe my autism is a beautiful thing and I’m not celebrating is that I had a horrible domineering mother who taught me to hate myself.  Because she wanted a “normal” child, I somehow sensed this and when I could not make her happy I ended up hating my autism. She’s been called overbearing, domineering, a witch and a shrew by at least some of these people.  It has nothing to do with the fact that it prevents me from living a normal life, being able to make a living or having friends and girlfriends and I have the uncontrollable compulsion to twiddle during the day.  Interestingly enough I actually lived through the Bettelheim era in the sixties where I and my parents had to hear this and castration anxiety was at least in part thought to be the etiology of my disability so it is nothing new for me.

I only wished that I’d known about this savant skill I have earlier.  I would have been able to predict the weather and earthquakes and save lives.  I would have been able to make a fortune playing the ponies.  I would have been an expert poker player able to predict exactly what cards would fall and know what hands to play.

Perhaps it’s not too late, even at my advanced age.  I could work on it and practice and develop this skill or maybe I could get TMS like John Robison did and it would stimulate the right brain areas and then I could actually bring out this latent ability.

Well, in spite of all the hardships that autism has caused me I guess I can take solace in the fact that I have the gift of prophecy.

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What is Done and What Isn’t Done: All’s Painful in Love & Politics

What is Done and What Isn’t Done: All’s Painful in Love & Politics

In life, I don’t regret what I have actually done, half as much as I’ve regretted what I didn’t do when I had the chance, or what I did do, but did in a way that was omitting to do something very important.

This is a truth that functions on many levels.

One wise person told me many years ago:

The worst thing you can ever say is:
‘If only I had…’

If you have concrete, substantial regrets, at least you know where you stand.

If but if all you have to regret is a large, dizzying abyss; or T.S. Eliot’s

The passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.

The grief of what you have failed to realize or accomplish, and what it has cost you and others, will never go away.

Time does not heal all things, but it numbs the pain of your debts and your trangressions.

But there is no healing and no panacea and no forgiveness, now nor forevermore, for the beauty and the treasure you squandered on the highway, trampled in the ditch and cast to the four heavens.

Better far to ache in Mordor
Than wistful, sore to sigh
In Rivendell.

***

Originally published on Jonathan Arts and Critique.

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Pokemon-Go Craze Puts U.S. Elections in Doubt

Pokemon-Go Craze Puts U.S. Elections in Doubt

NEW YORK – The incredibly addictive Pokemon-Go app, which has sent countless millions of people out into the world to stare at their cell phones more than ever, has now put the U.S. Presidential elections in doubt.

Current CNN polls show that voter turnout will be at an all-time low (17%) as millions of registered voters see little point in voting for U.S. President while there are still so many fabulous Pokemon characters out there to catch.

“There’s an election like every four years, right? But Pokemon-Go is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said Wayne Potman, 25, of Salt Lake City. “I’m not against voting, so if I’m out that day, and there happens to be a Poke-Stop or a really cool Gym right by the voting location, then I might go in to vote. Seriously. If the line is not too long.”

Pokemon-Go creator, Niantic, has promised to seed U.S. voting locations with PokeStops and rare Pokemons in a desperate effort to boost voter turnout. “We see this as a win-win and a no-brainer,” said Niantic spokesman Jesus Angleton Dulles. “We will do our part to try to resuscitate the dying American Republic through Pokemon and Pokemon-Go.”

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Posted in Gadgets & Gizmos, Kidz Zone, Politics0 Comments

Remembering the Magna Carta

Remembering the Magna Carta

It took a long time for human societies to come up with the idea of universal human rights and the equality of persons under the law. Before 1215, monarchs could capriciously decree “Off with their heads!” and dispatch anyone with impunity. In the short term, leaders were the equivalent of terrestrial gods, acting with the divine right of kings, according to the received wisdom of the times. If mistakes were made, they would be dealt with in the afterlife. Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Serious Commentary, War Zone1 Comment

Hawaii woman wins $10.7 million on slot machine: how does this compare to the biggest slot wins in history?

Hawaii woman wins $10.7 million on slot machine: how does this compare to the biggest slot wins in history?

Everyone has read stories about people becoming multi-millionaires as a result of winning the lottery – but winnings on this sort of scale from playing the slot machines are a much rarer occurrence. That is what makes the story of a mystery woman from Hawaii who won an astonishing $10.7 million jackpot through playing the slot machines at the famed Wynn Hotel Casino Complex in Las Vegas all the more remarkable.

The precise identity of this lucky woman remains unknown, as she has specifically asked the casino not to reveal it, but what is known is that she hails from Oahu and was playing an IGT Megabucks Wynn Wheel slot when she won this gigantic sum. What makes all this that little bit more extraordinary is that she was betting just $3 a go at the time she scored this jackpot win. News of her astounding good fortune was released to the world via the official Wynn Las Vegas twitter account. The tweet didn’t make it appear as if the company was that upset at taking such a huge financial hit – as it playfully asked followers what they would do to celebrate a win of that magnitude – although there is little question that the news will get more people visiting the casino and playing the slots, so it’s probably a win all round. One downside for the lucky woman though is that she will have to pay tax of around $1 million, under the terms of Hawaiian law, although $9 million-plus is still none too shabby. Of course, although people don’t always associate them with big payouts, the slots do deliver the cash sometimes.

Two-time winner

Securing one mega-win on the slots is unlikely, but two is just ridiculous. That is what happened in the case of Second World War veteran Elmer Sherwin however, as he claimed a jackpot of $4.6 million playing the Megabucks slot at the age of 76. He used this windfall to see the world, but kept his slot action going and went on to win an eye-watering $21 million on the same slot game two decades later – donating much of it to various good causes.

Excalibur score

That still isn’t the biggest casino slot win ever though, as a software engineer on holiday from Los Angeles won $40 million at the Excalibur Hotel Casino in Vegas in 2003. Like the latest big winner, he valued his anonymity and his identity remains a secret, although he may be the person living in a solid gold castle.

Speculate to accumulate

When a former flight attendant opted to go over her allotted $100 budget at the Palace Station slots, by a further $200, she ended up walking away with a cool $27 million-plus jackpot. Again, she chose not to have her identity revealed to the general public, but what this demonstrates conclusively is that sometimes you absolutely do have to speculate to accumulate.

Of course, slot machine wins on this scale do not come along very often, but it is these life-changing stories that keep us returning to popular games like Cleopatra slots and trying our luck.

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Why Inky is on a Mission to Save Endangered Languages

Why Inky is on a Mission to Save Endangered Languages

When Inky Gibbens learned that Buryat, the northern-Siberian language of my grandparents, was in danger of dying out, she knew then and there that she had to do something. But from a remote part of the Mongolian steppes, she felt powerless to act. However, she was lucky enough to come to the UK in later years, to study modern languages and subsequently focus on language policy and revitalisation during my master’s degrees.

5 years on, she is now founder and CEO of a newly-formed Cambridge-based EdTech startup, Tribalingual, which is pledged to rescue endangered languages from the brink of extinction. Continue Reading

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Posted in Education, Human Interest0 Comments

Man Discovers Awful Truth, Shames Mass Media

Man Discovers Awful Truth, Shames Mass Media

WASHINGTON, D.C. 2017—Gerald Humphrey’s profound discovery began when he realized the American mainstream media’s treatment of Donald Trump’s Republican campaign for the presidency contrasted sharply with reality.

“CNN, the Associated Press, the New York Times, and all the other major news outlets in the United States kept taking Donald Trump much more seriously than I would have thought any curious and sane investigator would have a right to do,” said Gerald. “They kept listening to what Trump said at rallies or on Twitter and then they talked or wrote about it a lot, without ever mentioning the obvious truth. It dawned on me that a vast cover-up was unfolding.” Continue Reading

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Posted in Politics, Society0 Comments

They’re Coming for Your Car Keys. Welcome to the World of Self-Driving Cars

They’re Coming for Your Car Keys. Welcome to the World of Self-Driving Cars

One of my favorite jokes goes like this: “I got really drunk last night, so I decided to take the bus home. Now that may not sound impressive to you, but I’ve never driven a bus before.” Stop the Presses! Drunk drivers may soon not need to drive the bus – or their car – anymore. Welcome to the world of self-driving cars. They’re just around the corner.

Several tech companies like Tesla, Google and Apple are driving ahead with plans to mass-produce “autonomous” cars. Continue Reading

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Posted in Science & Technologizzy, Society, Travel0 Comments

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