Recreational drug kratom hits the same brain receptors as strong opioids


Six US states have banned the sale and use of the Kratom, a psychoactive plant-derived drug from Southeast Asia that is available online and in head shops. Researchers studying kratom have found that it affects brain receptors for strong opioids.

From C&EN:

A new study provides some data to support those states’ concerns (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b00360). A team of researchers shows for the first time that kratom’s primary constituent, mitragynine, and four related alkaloids bind to and partially activate human µ-opioid receptors (MORs), the primary targets of strong opioids in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract.

Countdown to kratom landing on the list of federally controlled substances in 3... 2... 1... Read the rest

12-year-old ukulele player wows judges on America's Got Talent

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Grace VanderWaal, age 12, got a standing ovation for her ukulele performance of her original song on America's Got Talent. Read the rest

Compilation video of poorly performing criminals

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Some of the clips in this video show people getting hurt, so please don't watch it if you are of a delicate constitution. Read the rest

Enjoy this video of a dog enjoying a video

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Chiko is a shiba inu who seems to enjoy sitting in a chair like a domesticated primate to watch videos. Read the rest

Cabybaras break out of Toronto zoo, on the lam for 3 weeks

Image: Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism / Flickr

Capybaras are not only the world's greatest rodents, they are also the world's greatest animals bar none. And now two of them, appropriately named Bonnie and Clyde, are on the lam after busting out of Toronto’s High Park Zoo on May 24. The search for the brobdingnagian guinea pigs has been going on for 3 weeks. From NatGeo:

Canadian city’s residents have taken to the streets (and social media) in an attempt to help officials find the giant rodents and lure them back into captivity.

Easier said than done. It’s been more than three weeks since the pair, now nicknamed Bonnie and Clyde, made a break for it while being transferred to a new enclosure. And so far, attempts to recapture the rodents of interest have come up empty handed.

By the way, capybaras aren't guinea pigs, but they are related. Here's a video of a baby capybara getting to know a guinea pig: Read the rest

Motion activated mailbox light


Last week I found a black widow in my mailbox. Luckily, it was during the day so I spotted it right away. But we often pick up the mail at night. I told Carla about the spider and now she is nervous about getting the mail. I just ordered this motion-activated mailbox light on Amazon for $12. I hope it does the trick. Read the rest

Singer terrorized on prank TV show by fake terrorists


Singer and actress Heba Magdi doesn't seem to be enjoying herself on this good-natured prank TV show, in which she was "kidnapped" by fake ISIS terrorists and forced to put on a suicide vest. C'mon Heba, lighten up!

From YouTube:

Is this the world’s cruellest TV prank ever? Actress is tricked into thinking she has been kidnapped by ISIS in Egypt and is made to beg for her life on video.

The video shows Heba Magdi surrounded by men dressed as ISIS fanatics.

She is then ordered 'at gun point' to pose for pictures infront of an ISIS flag.

Repeatedly begs for her life as TV crew set off fake gunfire and explosions.

Read the rest

Restaurant that killed customer with nut allergy sends apology email advertising new desserts

Mast cell activation and anaphylaxis Blausen gallery 2014

Mohammed Zaman, founder of Easingwold Jaipur Spice restaurant in the UK, was sentenced to six years in prison for serving a nut-powder curry to a man with a nut allergy. The victim, who asked Zaman not to give him food with nuts, died from anaphylactic shock immediately after eating it.

After the sentencing, the restaurant issued a fauxpology that concluded with an advertisement for new desserts:

[We] sincerely apologise to all our loyal customers for the recent heavy press surrounding the Easingwold branch and the somewhat disappointing decision for our founding father Mr Zaman. Mistakes have been made and this is no excuse but now is a time to move on as Mr Zaman so wishes.

We are now in the process of launching a new dessert menu and have hired an exclusive pastry chef from London to design this. Our philosophy, started by our founder, [Mohammed] Khalique Zaman, was and still is to create real quality Indian cuisine of the highest standard.

With exhilarating flavours and subtle aromas...Jaipur Spice will transform your perception of Indian food...You'll spot the difference the moment the food arrives!!"

Read the rest

Stainless steel cookset


My daughter wants to do some backyard camping this summer. BioLite sent me a cool little woodburning stove, which uses sticks as fuel. I bought the Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set for $11 to go with it. It's got a 24 oz stainless steel pot with a folding handle and two 10 oz cups. Read the rest

Christian bookstore puts anti-Christian quote in window

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The Disciple Shoppe Bible Bookstore in Emporia, KS put this quote, attributed to Mark Twain, in their window: "The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible."

I wonder if the proprietors get along with their neighbors, Juicy's Vapor Lounge. Read the rest

Families sue U.S. sperm bank after " healthy genius" donor turns out to be a psychotic criminal


Two Canadian families are suing Atlanta sperm bank Xytex for selling them sperm advertised as coming from a healthy PhD candidate in neuroscience engineering with an IQ of 160. In actuality, Donor #9623 was diagnosed in 2000 with "schizophrenia, narcissistic personality disorder, a drug-induced psychotic disorder, and significant grandiose delusions." MSN:

While he was a donor, Donor #9623 was hospitalized for mental health reasons and arrested several times, according to court documents.

In addition, he had no degrees, was a convicted felon and had been arrested for burglary, trespassing, driving under the influence and disorderly conduct.

The donor is believed to have fathered 36 children. Read the rest

Coder fired after 6 years for automating his job


On the Career Questions forum on Reddit, user FiletOfFish1066 said he was hired seven years ago by an "incredibly well known" tech company in the Bay Area as a software developer. He wrote, "After around 8 months I had basically automated my own job by writing some programs to do it all for me. After that I would mostly just browse forums and do absolutely jack shit at work. My boss never really checked in on me and as long as the needed tests were taken care of he didn't give a fuck."

From around 6 years ago up until now, I have done nothing at work. I am not joking. For 40 hours each week I go to work, play League of Legends in my office, browse reddit, and do whatever I feel like. In the past 6 years I have maybe done 50 hours of real work. So basically nothing. And nobody really cared. The tests were all running successfully. I shit you not, I had no friends or anything at work either, so nobody ever talked to me except my boss and occasionally the devs for the software I was testing.

Yesterday my boss fired me. I guess IT found out after 6 years or so what I was doing and reported it to my boss. I explained I had automated my own job, but was still updating the automation tool, which was a lie. Anyway, I was fired.

He says that during those six years of goofing off, he forgot how to code, and now he doesn't know what to do next. Read the rest

Ultimate Marked Deck for magic tricks

These are ordinary Bicycle cards (not marked)

Bicycle playing cards are probably the most common playing cards, at least here in the United States. I prefer to do magic tricks using Bicycle cards, because they don't make people suspicious like a deck with an unfamiliar back might.

In my book, Trick Decks, I show how to mark your own Bicycle deck with a Sharpie, but to use it, you have to memorize the code.

If you are lazy and want an easy-to-read deck, get the Ultimate Marked Deck, available with red or blue Bicycle backs. The cards look and feel exactly like a regular bicycle deck, but you can instantly read the suit and value of any card with a quick glance at its back.

Historically, the company that makes Bicycle cards has not made marked Bicycle decks, so this is kind of a big deal in the magic world. At $30, it's pricey, but you can do some amazing tricks with a marked deck. Read the rest

Jamie Lee Curtis in Orc makeup, discusses Clinton's candidacy


From Reuters: "Actress Jamie Lee Curtis staggered people attending the global premiere of 'Warcraft' by turning up dressed as an 'Orc shaman' and talking about Hillary Clinton." Read the rest

Man faces 7 years for disabling red light cameras

Image: Wikipedia/Derek Jensen (Tysto)

Stephen Ruth, a self-styled "Red Light Robin Hood," pleaded not guilty to 17 charges of disabling red light cameras in Suffolk County, New York. If convicted, he could serve up to seven years in prison. Ruth uses a painter's extension rod to tilt cameras to face the sky, and also snips the cameras' power wires. He said he does it because the county recently reduced yellow-light times from 5 to 3 seconds to increase revenue generated by fines, and that the time change has increased the number of accidents.

"They call it a crime. I call it saving lives,” [Ruth] told the affiliate. “I never hid from my actions. I believe in what I’m doing, and I’m only trying to save lives.”

A Suffolk County study concluded in April that about half the intersections with red-light cameras have seen an uptick in accidents following the installation of cameras in 2010, while other intersections saw a drop.

Read the rest

U.S. Navy sailors banned from drinking in Japan

Image: Wikipedia/ Hhaithait

A 21-year-old Naval petty officer in Okinawa allegedly hit two cars while she was drunk, injuring two other people. It was the latest in a series of incidents involving US military personnel who have hurt or killed Japanese citizens. On Monday, the US Navy banned all 19,000 Navy personnel from drinking. The ban applies both on-base and off-base. In addition, sailors have been grounded. The can only leave their base to run "necessary errands." McClatchy DC:

The U.S. military presence in Japan is under scrutiny after a series of incidents involving American soldiers on the islands, with Navy personnel already under curfew in connection with the arrest of a former Marine. He was working as a civilian contractor on a base and was arrested in connection with the death of a Japanese women.

Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga said such measures taken by the Navy to keep an eye on soldiers’ behavior were not strict enough.

"There needs to be a fundamental resolution," Onaga said.

Read the rest

VIDEO: 1000s of Colombians pose nude in public square for photographer Spencer Tunick


American photographer Spencer Tunick invited thousands of Colombians to take off their clothes and pose nude in Bogota's Bolivar Plaza. Every participant will receive free print. Tunick has taken over 75 similar photos in cities around the world since 1994. Read the rest

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