5 Important Things That We All Somehow Slack Off On

How much effort would you put into being, would you say? Like, say a 10 is working three jobs and still waking up to go running for a few miles in the morning, and a 1 is keeping a bottle near your bed so you don’t have to get up to pee. While some of us are real go-getters, I hear secondhand that many of the rest of us are just half-assing everything we do to a greater or lesser degree, because effort takes effort, and who the hell needs that? And it’s not just relationships, or building a boat; it’s everything. We half-ass everything.

5

No One Is Doing Hygiene Right

I was at Walmart recently, because I keep my shit real, and I had to urinate, which is what mature people call whizzing. So while washing my hands, this dude who also had to whiz came up to the next sink, put one hand under the faucet, and literally missed the water, then walked away. I was saddened by his lack of respect for the “best hand-washing practices” sticker that was very visible on the mirror. But it did emphasize for me that probably no one is out there washing their hands properly. The same people who are shaking your hand or making your flapjacks or sneaking a thumb into your mouth when you’re sleeping.

Michigan State University researchers staked out several bathrooms to check out thousands of people’s techniques, and a staggeringly gross 95 percent of people weren’t washing their hands correctly. 33 percent don’t use soap, and 10 percent don’t wash at all. The average wash time was only six seconds. Every time you touch anything someone else has touched, you’re basically touching someone else’s crotch resin.

It’s not just your hands that are being left encrusted with globules of funk; it’s your face hole too. You’re supposed to brush your teeth for a solid two minutes at least twice a day, for an epic 240 seconds per day. The average is somewhere between 45 and 70 seconds. And it’d maybe make sense if people were asking us to spend an hour on oral hygiene — that seems daunting — but two minutes? Think of how much time you spend on social media or shoving corn in your neighbor’s tailpipe. There’s room for two minutes.

We even sleep in filth, because apparently laundry is modern humanity’s equivalent of toiling for 40 years in the desert, and fuck that right in its ear. Experts — not just in sweating in bed, but in science stuff like microbiology — suggest washing your sheets once a week. And your pillowcase should be getting cleaned every other day. Why? Because you’re a gross, leaky goo bag. You produce 26 gallons of sweat a year, much of which is currently steeped in your bed, making your mattress into a sloughed flesh and microfiber teabag. Your pillow very likely contains anywhere from four to 16 different species of fungus. You’re sleeping in a goddamn mushroom jungle.

A solid third of respondents in one survey changed their sheets once every two weeks. 37 percent of 18-24-year-olds only did it once a month. Only one third of people said they did it once a week, meaning the vast majority of beds in the world are just sweaty ass wafers waiting to glurge all up on you.

4

We’re Not Exactly Productive At Our Jobs

I’m not taking the side of the corporations and bosses of the world here — our lack of motivation happens for a reason. I once had a job whose demands were so laughably unreasonable that at some point I switched to actively trying to become the world’s greatest Minesweeper player. The numbers back this up. If you let someone be their own boss, suddenly they’re a dynamo. We work an average of 54 hours per week if allowed to call the shots, versus 37 hours per week when having to grind through a list of meaningless tasks handed off by some cranky shift manager. But holy shit do we take every opportunity to waste those 37 hours.

One study found that for the average worker, 56 minutes per day goes down the toilet thanks to non-work cellphone time, playing on social media, looking at porn, reading this article, etc. Another 42 minutes gets devoted to personal tasks like running errands. Maybe you get a little shopping done, maybe you rub one out in the comfy handicapped stall. Whatever it is, it ain’t work, but you’re on the clock — a thing about which I know nothing, because I never tape a pencil to my dog’s leg and make him run across the keyboard to write my articleshsyyuoooooonajbjbsnd.

So that’s about a full day for each week of work time that’s spent not doing anything in particular. That’s about $15 billion or so in lost productivity, but who’s counting? That’s a drop in the bucket. What kind of bucket? How about a bucket of booze until you get shitfaced and have to call in sick to work? The cost of drunk and hungover workers’ loss of productivity is calculated at about $90 billion a year. How many goddamn Zimas do people need to drink to cost the economy $90 billion? Like 12, at least.

The Washington Post put together a list of all the studies charting such losses and came up with $1.8 trillion in lost productivity every year. Hey, you know who doesn’t slack off for hundreds of hours a year? Robots.

3

We Make No Effort To Keep Our Information Secure

The sad truth is that most of us don’t even do the zero-effort stuff to keep our information safe — things like downloading software updates when they become available. Average Joes figure that there’s no point, since the update didn’t seem to make the software any better. It was a security update, Joe! They’re probably updating because hackers found a way to use it to steal your credit card numbers!

Meanwhile, 40 percent of cellphones that have been resold by owners (not stolen, just willingly sold) still have personal data on them that people either didn’t know was there or had no idea how to clear. Info like passwords, tax details, names, addresses, and pics of congressional wieners. The kind of stuff you maybe don’t want eBayTaintWrangler001 to have access to.

And in a world in which leaked celebrity nudes make headlines due to cloud storage hacks, more than a quarter of us don’t even set pass codes on our phones. When we do, 38 percent of us share the code with our partner. Oh, and half of those phones have “intimate” photos or texts stored in them — stuff that will be public domain the moment you leave your unsecured phone behind at a party or cafe. If these were Polaroids of our buttholes, we’d keep them at home, in a locked box, under the bed. How often would you just walk around with those in your bare hand at the mall? Almost never. Almost.

2

We Treat Our Bodies Like Rental Cars

The U.S. fitness industry is worth about $25 billion a year, part of the $60 billion a year we drop on trying to stay in shape, in addition to the $40 billion we’ll spend on organic food, plus the several hundred billion we spend on medications. How’s that workin’ for ya? Less than 3 percent of Americans actually live a healthy lifestyle. Shit.

The Mayo Clinic’s definition of healthy living includes moderate or vigorous exercise for 150 minutes a week, no smoking, and a diet in the top 40 percent of the Healthy Eating Index, which is a robot that crushed the soul out of the Food Pyramid. Across the board, many people excel at one thing or another — tons of people don’t smoke, for instance. But to hit every point is brutal, and only 3 percent are doing it. It doesn’t help that more than half of everything we eat is processed slurm — that easy-to-eat junk accounts for 90 percent of our added (as in, on top of what we need) sugar intake.

Then, when we do get sick, we screw the pooch on trying to fix it. One study shows that about half the people on some kind of serious medication don’t take it correctly. They skip or forget doses, they take the wrong dose, they stop early when they feel better, or they avoid taking the meds for fear of side effects. All of this is the medication version of sticking your dick in a glory hole you found in a gas station wall — maybe it’ll work out for you, or maybe a possum will eat your genitals.

Even simple things seem to escape a lot of us. Only one third of people who use sunscreen actually apply it correctly. It turns out that all of your skin is outside when you go out, so you need to cover all of your skin in sunscreen. But only 42 percent will cover their face, and only 3.6 percent bother to use it on their legs, as if they think they’re walking around on triumphant pillars of naturally cancer-proof meat.

1

We’re So Lazy About Staying Informed That It’s Ruining The World

Six in ten people will share a link without actually reading the article that accompanies it. Now let me preface this by asking you to please share my article. I need the validation. But also read it, which I guess you did if you got this far. Hello, friend!

Those who do open an article are just as likely to half-ass the reading process by skimming it. Many, many people probably skipped the intro paragraph of this column to hit the first bolded entry, because what could possibly be in the intro? Well I’ll tell you. There was a pretty snappy joke about peeing which probably would have changed your life, but the moment’s passed and if you read it now, it’s barely worth a titter.

This matters, because even actual news can get wildly misrepresented in a headline. If you read just this headline, it’s the story of a congressman threatening to call the police on an innocent woman for daring to expose the truth about him. If you actually read the article, you realize it’s the story of a victim of revenge porn talking about reporting the crime to the police. They’d had a consensual relationship, and she was spreading around his nudes.

Reading for comprehension takes time and energy, and shady people are well aware that we won’t bother. A Stanford study of teens showed that 82 percent of kids can’t tell the difference between news and a sponsored ad article. They just consume what’s given to them and take it at face value, like whoever the hell keeps ordering Filet-o-Fish because they see it on a menu and assume it’s edible. Which is why fake news is both a problem and so easy to toss as an accusation. If no one can tell the difference, then any Tom, Dick, or Presidick can label anything fake news, and people will then believe that. And so on, until all of civilization spirals out of control.

Psssst. Toothbrushes are way more sanitary now, too. Get one with silicone bristles!

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-important-things-that-we-all-somehow-slack-off-on/

5 Heartbreaking Side Effects Of The Opioid Crisis In America

People have been getting loaded ever since Julius Wine ate all those bad grapes, and we’re mostly OK with it. Sure, we have that War on Drugs business, but as long as dealers aren’t shooting each other within our immediate vicinity, we tend to put our heads in the sand about the whole matter. But prescription opioid painkillers, our latest drug epidemic, are a different beast entirely, affecting everyone from inner-city dwellers to Middle-American grandmas. Ignoring this problem has only allowed it to grow more powerfully weird. For example …

5

Fentanyl Can Kill You Even If You DON’T Take It

Taking opiates like heroin or morphine has been at best an intensely frowned-upon hobby, and at worst a life-ruining addiction that might lead to membership in the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And it’s only getting worse. Overdose has become the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, thanks to a relatively new drug called fentanyl. The potent painkiller didn’t really hit the streets until 2012, but by 2016, it racked up a staggering 20,000 related deaths in that year alone (more than double the year before it). Not that any one person’s life is inherently more valuable than any other’s, but one of those deaths was Prince. If fentanyl were a person, we’d have it drawn and quartered.

The problem with fentanyl is that it’s 50-100 times more powerful than morphine, and up to ten times more powerful than heroin. The difference between fun and fatal doses is damn near microscopic.

New Hampshire State Police Forensic LabYou could realistically get a lethal dose stuck under your fingernail.

The thing that really makes fentanyl dangerous is that you don’t even have to take it to overdose on it. It’s so potent that merely touching it or breathing near it can send you to the hospital. A police officer in New Jersey had to be rushed to the emergency room because a little puff of air came out of the bag of fentanyl he was closing. Police have begun stocking protective gear like Tyvek suits and respirators, and crime labs are researching ways to never have to open a bag of the stuff. Hell, even the nurses tending to an overdose patient can become afflicted, as was the case in Ohio in which three nurses came down with symptoms of fentanyl poisoning from secondhand exposure.

It’s like heroin met anthrax in a dark alley, and they found, to everyone’s great dismay, that they actually got along great.

4

There Are So Many Overdoses That We’re Running Out Of Space For The Bodies

Overdose deaths require an extensive autopsy for every single victim, and we’re seeing so many recently that there are unbearable lines … at the morgue. Some cities are forced to store bodies in cold storage trailers in medical examination parking lots. The “‘tsunami’ of bodies” is so great that examiners have resorted to begging funeral parlors to take in bodies temporarily while they scramble for more storage and/or refrigerated trucks.

Todd Heisler/The New York TimesYou dont even want to guess what the paperwork situation has devolved into.

The sheer volume of autopsies is pushing several medical examiner offices into losing their accreditation. There is a national caseload standard that limits the number of autopsies a single pathologist can do in a year, because that’s not really something you want to rush. But with the bodies literally piling up on their doorsteps, some offices are skirting those limits. Ironically, they’re also not completing enough autopsies, because they’re supposed to autopsy a certain percentage of their bodies each month. Even if they’re doing more than the legally allowed number of autopsies, the percentage will never be high enough, because the sheer number of the dead is overwhelming them.

It’s like the most boring zombie epidemic in history.

3

Modern Librarians Double As Overdose EMTs

People have been doing drugs in McDonald’s bathrooms for as long as McDonald’s bathrooms have existed. Businesses do everything they can to prevent this, from installing blue lights that make it harder for needle users to find a vein to closing their bathrooms to the public altogether. But that’s not an option for public buildings. Since it’s safer than, say, your local courthouse, most illicit bathroom attendees pick the library.

Michelle Gustafson/CNNIn case youve been wondering why your librarys urinals require as much security as an airport lately.

After hundreds of overdose deaths in public libraries in recent years, some librarians have had to essentially become EMTs. We’re not talking about basic CPR classes here, but kits with medications that reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, as well as the full training to administer them. It sounds insane, but this has prevented numerous deaths. They’re getting so good at it that some librarians have identified the drugs taken simply from the sounds the user made while overdosing. So maybe the next time one of them shushes you, you go ahead and shut the hell up.

2

The American Labor Force Is Missing 900,000 Workers Thanks To Opioid Addiction

The unemployment rate may have plummeted since the Great Recession began, but that number only includes people who are actively looking for work, so the slacker friend crashing on your couch doesn’t count. The labor participation rate — that is, the number of people who aren’t hogging your PlayStation and eating all your Toaster Strudelshas only grown by a fraction of a percent from its all-time low in 2014. What gives? Is it those darn lazy Millennials? It’s the darn lazy Millennials, isn’t it?

Bureau of Labor StatisticsWe could lure more young workers with some kind of award for participation. They like those, right?

At the beginning of 2017, a survey found that 1.8 million Americans weren’t actively looking for work, and didn’t have a good reason (that is, they weren’t “retired, in school, disabled, or taking care of a loved one”). In what is surely an amazing coincidence, about half of them also reported taking an opioid the day before. Fully half of all U.S. companies now test employees for drugs, so even if you drag yourself out of your haze long enough to land a job, you won’t keep it. One drug-testing company reported that the number of workers failing their drug tests ranged as high as 20 percent. So now we don’t have enough workers, and since immigrants are less likely to use opiates, more employers are turning to them to fill the void. Goddammit, is this why we have Trump?

1

The Rehab Boom Has Created A Disturbing New Occupation: “Body Broker”

But the opioid epidemic is also creating some jobs, in the form of comically dystopian-sounding “body brokers.” It’s a body broker’s job to find patients with great insurance and shuttle them off to shady treatment centers, which makes it a pretty lucrative side hustle for managers of sober homes — private halfway houses that provide accommodation for struggling addicts. Hey, selfless ministry doesn’t pay like it used to.

Once there, those treatment centers then run a battery of expensive tests on the patient (one center charged $9,500 for five urinalyses) on the pretense of monitoring the patient’s well-being. On occasion, they’ll even pay the patient’s insurance premium for them, out of the sheer goodness of their hearts — and also because they know that they’ll get way more back from the insurance company than they could ever pay in. They make so much profit that they can also toss a weekly kickback to the broker who brought the patient in.

Peter Haden/WLRNSee? Trickle-down economics works!

It’s a sweet deal for everyone except the patients, who are often relegated to squalid living conditions and straight-up lied to about their treatment. If they’re even aware of what’s happening to them, they’re usually given cover stories to memorize to better scam their insurance. The insurance companies probably aren’t very happy either, but luckily, they run on a magical supply of money that materializes out of nowhere. That’s how we’re all going to keep this up forever, right guys?

Jordan Breeding also writes for Paste Magazine, the Twitter, and most importantly, himself. If you want to get high on interesting facts, go to Markos’ Twitter.

For more on how addiction can really cripple people, check out the movie Trainspotting.

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For more, check out 5 Drugs That Turn Your World Into A Real-Life Horror Movie and 5 Terrifying Things I Learned as a Drug-Addicted Nurse.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25282_5-heartbreaking-side-effects-opioid-crisis-in-america.html

8 ‘Healthy’ Foods You Should Give Up In 2018

It’s 2018: a year that promises to deliver on all of our missed hopes, dreams, and opportunities of the last five years, provided our brave leader doesn’t get into a nuclear dick-measuring contest and kill us all. On the bright side, that would mean we didn’t have to diet or go to work anymore. Hmm.

Anyway, if we DO live and/or survive a nuclear holocaust, kicking some not-so-cool foods to the curb in the name of resolutions sounds like a great way to start the year, kinda. Because we understand that no one likes to do work, we’ve rounded up the eight foods you need to release from your grubby little hands stat.

1. Flavored Milks

This goes for super extra chocolate whole milk, strawberry rice milk, vanilla almond milk, and everything in between. According to  magazine, although plain whole milk, soy milk, etc. offer tons of health benefits, adding the flavor means adding the sugar. Like, you may as well have one to three cookies instead of a glass of this shit.

2. Trail Mix

This is candy with obstacles. No one should be surprised it’s on our shit list. A handful can be more than 200 calories. Like, I enjoy sushi rolls with fewer calories than that—and they’re an actual meal. Unless you’re dying of starvation on an actual trail, reach for some roasted nuts instead.

3. Pretzels

Yas, they’re better for you than chips, but they’re made with white flour, salt, and your body works through them in record time. MEANING you’ll be totally hungry again in 10 mins. Nope.

4. Protein Bars

I realize that an easy replacement for a meal is almost anything that comes in bar form. However, the protein bar you’re reaching for probs is going the way of the Kaltene bars in —it’s literally full of calories, carbs, and sugar. Like yes, if you have NOTHING else to eat, go ahead. But if you’re nomming on this as a mid-morning snack and wondering why sweatpants are all that fits you right now, get woke.

5. Bottled Tea

Sugar plus water plus light flavoring somehow equals healthy? Stop being stupid. Grab a water and start living.

6. Agave Nectar

Right so, just because something originally came from a plant, that doesn’t make it an amazing health food. Technically, cocaine comes from a plant, too, and I wouldn’t exactly be singing its praises for the energy benefits, knowwhatimean? K. This shit, according to Forkly, is actually for you than regular sugar. It’s actually 70-90% fructose, whereas reg sugar is only like 50%. Pass.

7. Flavored Yogurts

If you aren’t buying plain Greek yogurt and flavoring it yourself, I don’t want to know you. There’s often a lot of sugar and a LOTTTT of processed ingredients. So like, if you want something sweet, add some fruit, some honey, or what the fuck ever you want yourself.

8. Microwave Popcorn

Staahhhp. Although it totally seems like an easy and fast snack, there can be a lot of sodium and preservatives. You’re better off buying some kernels and popping them yourself in a brown paper bag. I’ll literally never do that, but it sounds great.

Read more: http://www.betches.com/unhealthy-foods-to-give-up-in-2018

Why The Length Of Your Fingers Dictate Who You Are

Unless some asshole just cut you off in traffic, you probably don’t give much thought to how important your fingers are. People yearn for sexier legs, flatter stomachs, or bigger … noses, but no one says, “Man, I wish my index finger was 0.2 inches longer.” And that’s too bad, because science now has reason to believe that if your fingers were longer or shorter, you might literally be a different person.

You Can Often Tell A Person’s Sexual Orientation By The Length Of Their Ring Finger

Being able to tell if someone is gay merely by looking at their fingers sounds like one of those playground urban myths that adolescent males use as an excuse to punch each other. (Is this the “hand size” thing Donald Trump is weirdly obsessed with?) But it’s a real thing. It’s called digit ratio theory, and multiple studies from all over the world seem to confirm it.

Apparently, if you have a longer ring finger, it means you got more testosterone as a fetus, and that has huge implications for your life, even beyond the stereotypical aggression and aversion to sleeves. A longer index finger, on the other hand, means more estrogen, making you more neurotic and sensitive.

A mega-study Voltronned from the results of 18 other studies concluded that women with “masculine” hands (shorter index fingers) are indeed more likely to be gay. A lesbian-centric finger length study from Rutgers even found a noticeable difference between self-identified “butch” ladies who drive trucks and wear flannel and the more feminine lesbians who tend to populate straight dudes’ fantasies.

So if you’re male and your index finger is way longer than your ring finger, you’re like the most fabulous dude ever, right? They’re still doing the science on that one. Some studies say it’s the other way around, and some say there’s actually no difference. Finger length does vary between ethnicities, so it’s possible that this is true in America, but not in Europe.

So how far into this entry did you get before you stopped to look at your fingers? Oh, you’ll be doing that a lot more before we get to the end of this article …

The Longer A Man’s Ring Finger Is, The More Women Are Attracted To His Face

Hey, here’s a factoid to either boost your self-confidence or totally kill it: Women think guys with long ring fingers have more attractive faces. But only the ring finger. Guys with long index fingers? Eh, not so much.

It sounds bizarre, but it goes back to what we told you before: The longer your ring finger, the more testosterone you received in the womb. A study led by scientist Camille Ferdenzi of the University of Geneva confirmed that above all other factors (including body odor drawn from the sweaty armpits of men of varying degrees of manliness), the length of the ring finger pretty much sealed the deal on how attractive a man’s face was to a woman.

Wiki CommonsThis hand later stuck the scientists’ heads down the toilets.

Determining this relation between testosterone and the face involved a complex experiment of showing pictures of men to a bunch of women and having them give a rating for masculinity and attractiveness. Over and over, long-ring-finger guys were all rated as having the best faces. So size does matter — just not where you may think.

What’s odd — but consistent with what we told you in this article about women being attracted to feminine male faces — was that a positive attraction rating wasn’t always paired with a masculine rating. This means that it’s possible that a man could have a longer ring finger, which means having more prenatal testosterone and thus a more attractive face, but not actually look more masculine. We’re calling this the Legolas Effect.

But gentlemen, don’t start plucking your eyebrows and donning your elf ears just yet. Like we said, this is prenatal testosterone, which is different from the fluctuating adult testosterone determining tone of voice and body odor, and it’s more or less unchangeable because its work is done once you’re born. Once you’re out, no more fetal testosterone for you. Which is rather unfortunate, considering the next part …

Different Finger Lengths Correlate With Different Mental Illnesses

Here’s another side effect of your mom’s womb skimping on testosterone and giving you a shorter ring finger: It makes you more susceptible to anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. But don’t worry, long-ring-finger people have their own issues.

Before you ask, yes, that “eating disorder” part goes for men too. One study measured men’s fingers and had them fill out questionnaires about eating behaviors and attitudes, and found that men with less prenatal testosterone (and shorter ring fingers) had less drive for muscularity, greater drive for leanness, and scored higher on disordered eating symptoms. Meanwhile, a study focused on twins found that women who were exposed to more testosterone (due to being womb-mates with a dude for nine months) showed less propensity toward eating disorders. So does this debunk our sexist notion that eating disorders are a “girl thing,” or prove it? No idea, we lost track.

Conversely, if your ring finger is unusually long, which means you scored the testosterone jackpot, then your grand prize is an increased risk of autism. Scientists still aren’t really sure what causes autism or what it even is, but one theory is the “extreme male-brain hypothesis,” which sounds like a painful condition in which all you can think about is monster trucks and wrestling. What it really means is that having extremely “masculine” traits (like preferring to think about things and systems rather than people) is a recipe for a mental disorder.

The theory is supported by the fact that people with autism have been found to have had greater prenatal testosterone exposure — which, again, is indicated by having a longer fourth than second finger. Other disorders related to these higher levels of prenatal testosterone (and to a “masculinized brain”) include ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome. Oh, and if that’s not depressing enough, your finger ratio might even predict your chances of committing suicide.

To test one bizarre theory, researchers took a camera, some rulers, and went and got some corpse fingers. Researchers “enrolled 71 corpses” in the study, who had been dead anywhere from seven hours to 14 days. Some deaths were by suicide, others by natural causes. The corpses’ hands were photographed, finger lengths measured, and longer fourth fingers indeed were correlated with suicide. The researchers didn’t find a correlation between suicide method and finger length, but they were ready with an explanation for this, speculating that the failure “might be due to us investigating an insufficient number of suicide corpses.”

OK, that’s the most metal thing science has ever said.

These fascinating/alarming factoids first appeared in 5 Insignificant Things That Determine Who You Have Sex With, 6 Ridiculous Sex Myths (That Are Actually True), and 4 Random Things That Predict Huge Health Problems Later, right here on Cracked!

Tiny fingers doesn’t mean you can’t have big dreams. Even though it’s cold, put on some training gloves and get out there and run!

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25319_why-length-your-fingers-dictate-who-you-are.html

6 Signs That Disney Is Trying To Take Over The World

Proven fact: About 40 percent of all your happy memories have been brought to you by the Walt Disney Company. With almost a century’s worth of wholesome entertainment, Disney has become one of the most powerful — and more importantly, most beloved — brands in existence. But behind the happy Technicolor facade, the Mouse is cooking up megalomaniac schemes even their own copyrighted supervillains would admire. Between constantly developing invasive technologies, assimilating competitors, and squashing governments like Jiminy Crickets, soon Disney will rule all media with a white-gloved iron fist. The Micktatorship is coming, and it might not be as magical as we’d like.

6

They Won’t Stop Spying On Your Children

As surprising as it is to adults who still wear Minnie Mouse sweaters, Disney’s target market remains to be children. Kids are the most prized commercial demographic of them all, embodying the holy marketing trinity of being impulsive, easily manipulated, and clumsy. That’s why we’ve created additional protections, laws, and regulations that specify that kids can’t receive the same invasive spying us adults are subjected to. But the petty laws of man have no sway over the House of Mouse, which is constantly being accused of illegally and aggressively mining minor’s private information like it’s booger-covered gold.

Disney.wikia.comThe name is cute. Less cute is the fact that they probably know Hannah’s Social Security number, too.

In the past, Disney used illegal internet trackers called “zombie cookies,” so called because they keep following you everywhere, pop back up after being destroyed, and we were collectively bored of them by the early 2010s. It did so through a widget company called Clearspring Technologies, which clearly picked its name based on how good it would sound during Senate hearings. At the request of their clients, Clearspring stalked children’s internet surfing and harvested “viewing habits, gender, age, race, education level, geographic location, sexual preference, what the users like to read, home address, phone number, health condition, and more,” which is enough info to make Disney more on the ball than an uncomfortable percentage of actual parents.

Then, in 2017, Disney itself got sued when it was discovered that 42 of their most popular apps targeted at children were in clear violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), containing malicious trackers which Disney used to sell private info to advertisers. Disney countered by saying they “look forward” to going to court, as “the complaint is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of COPPA principles” — the misunderstanding being that they think Disney gives a fuck about COPPA or principles.

Linda72/PixabayThey dont maintain a pool of voters to not get their way.

But why limit yourself to stalking kids on the internet when technology now allows you to physically track children around like they’re wayward house cats? In 2013, Disney introduced the MyMagic+ band to Disney World Orlando — a colorful microchipped wristband that serves as a visitor’s ticket, room key, and even digital wallet. Not only that, but the bands also allow the visitors to have a much more personalized interaction with the park, as they can recommend rides with short queues, tell Goofy it’s your birthday, and let you know which princesses have the fewest divorced dads circling them. And while children might be blown away by the kind of magic that lets the animatronic seagull from The Little Mermaid address them by name, that’s only because Disney is constantly slurping up all the information that the band collects, mostly without parental permission.

Though the bands were a massive success, Disney has chosen not to expand the trackers to their other resorts, acknowledging that the tech is a bit outdated. Instead, the company is experimenting with smartphone apps, which can achieve everything the tracking band does. And smartphones stay in kid’s pockets long after they’ve left a park. Speaking of which …

5

Their Theme Parks Are Practically Running The Cities Around Them

In order to keep on the right side of the law (but the wrong side of morality), Disney has obtained a lot more political sway than you might expect from a cartoon kingdom. But Disney also has real little kingdoms dotted all over the world: its resorts. And with these fiefdoms come the usual politics, like war, corruption, and the occasional peasant uprising.

The two great hospitality monoliths in the U.S. are a) casinos and b) Disney resorts. And the Mouse despises gambling, as it goes against the Disney values of having adults spend all their money and free time on taking their kids to see Moana for the 17th time. The company won’t even allow casinos on its ships, despite gambling being the most popular cruise pastime besides contracting gonorrhea.

Disney Cruise LineUntil Goofy learns to run a craps table, I want no part of this.

So how does Disney fight this greedy industry of empty pockets and jumbo shrimps? By being the champion of the people, of course. In 2017, Disney spent $650,000 lobbying to change the Florida constitution. If successful, Floridians would have to go vote on whether they approve of any new casinos being built in the state. A victory for democracy, surely, allowing the people to decide how far they want to live from a row of soiled slot stools.

But Disney isn’t interested in getting its locals the rights to vote; it wants to control exactly when, how, and what they can vote on. Only a year prior, Disney was exposed for aggressively lobbying to prevent Floridians from being able to vote on a healthcare measure that would cost the corporation money. And during the 2012 election, the corporation spent $2.5 million on getting right-wing politicians in power, many of whom were anti-casino and all of whom were pro-Disney-tax-cuts. The result? An amazing drop in crime … only around Disney resorts, with a slight increase everywhere else, as cops are busy arresting teens for smoking pot near Space Mountain instead of investigating gun violence. At this point, Disney essentially owns Central Florida like it’s the only steel mill in town. It even boasts being responsible for getting 1 out of every 50 Floridians a job — mostly in local government, it seems.

Florida Development CommissionAnd more importantly, Florida welcomes their money …”

On the other coast, Anaheim, California — locally referred to as “Disneyheim” — suffers from the same overlord issues. Disneyland is nestled inside Anaheim Resort District, its own little perfectly landscaped utopia … paid for mostly by the city itself. Since settling there, Disney has managed to finagle over a billion dollars in tax exemptions, subsidies, and other incentives by bribing city officials — or as they called it after the ’70s, donations and “personal friendships.” That’s a billion dollars Anaheim couldn’t spend on its citizens, who are suffering from a serious crime and homelessness epidemic among those not lucky enough to live in the shadow of the giant mouse ears.

But the times are a-changing. During the 2016 election, the people of Anaheim backed a decidedly anti-Disney council majority, which has already dealt the corporation a few heavy blows, like blocking a $300 million proposal for the city to build a streetcar network which would mostly make it easier to bus tourists to Disneyland. Soon, Disney might have to start actually paying for their own boondoggles. Which reminds us …

4

Disney Will Invest Billions In Things Nobody Cares About

Did you know that Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been having terrible ratings? Since its first episode, the weird superhero-adjacent TV show has only been able to hang on to one-sixth of its viewership. So despite a generally well-received fourth season, ABC decided to cancel the money pit. That was a decision Disney, which owns ABC (of course), respectfully disagreed with, forcing the network to keep losing money on its mediocre Marvel property. There isn’t a clear-cut reason Disney would pull rank on a failing TV show. It can’t be the money, because Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t making any. That’s what Star Wars spinoffs are for.

Marvel TelevisionPictured: The Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast … probably. Were trusting Google on this one.

But it’s important to remember that Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the only Marvel show on terrestrial TV that Disney owns (all the others are Fox’s, and more on that later). Therefore, it’s the only thing keeping the franchise warm for your Netflix-illiterate mom and dad in the 2.5 weeks between new Marvel movies. To that effect, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is less a show than a really expensive advertisement, or a disease vector keeping Marvel Fever’s nerd mortality rate at its peak.

But propping up a dying series for the hell of it is nothing compared to the financial sinkhole that is Pandora — The World Of Avatar. Based on a very profitable movie people forgot existed five minutes after leaving theaters, Disney spent five years and half a billion dollars making a boring blue planet come to life. Of course, this was under the assumption that Avatar would still be relevant today, before James Cameron postponed the sequels by a decade and Disney realized that half of its visitors wouldn’t have been alive yet to be disappointed by the first movie. So the finished product was less an Avatar cash-in and more a generic weird alien jungle. Disney even decided not to include any of the movie’s memorable cast, like Retired Guile, Snagglepuss Smurfette, or Man.

20th Century FoxAt least they didnt try to adapt this into the worlds creepiest FastPass.

When Pandora finally opened in May 2017, early reviews were great, but the novelty is quickly wearing off. Yet despite the public responding with a resounding “meh,” Disney greenlit the construction of two additional attractions and a themed restaurant in the area. Because it doesn’t matter what we think. Pandora Land is happening because Disney wants it to happen. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is staying because Disney wants it to stay. You will think what Disney lets you think. You will go where Disney lets you go. And you will only know the sweet freedom of death when Disney lets you die. Which will happen only after you visit Pandora. Now only $99 for a one-day pass.

3

Disney’s Video Game Division Was A Tornado Of Hubris

While it might seem that Disney can make anything happen (which sounded a lot less ominous a few paragraphs ago), it does have one white whale it’s failed to spear: video games. After years of letting others profit from its licenses, in 2007, Disney finally decided to cut out the middleman and start up its own game company. To that end, it started snatching up developers like they were part of a Steam sale, expecting to simply ride into the industry on a wave of talent and money. There was only one issue: Disney don’t game.

Virgin Interactive EntertainmentAs anyone who broke a controller over their video games can angrily attest.

When it comes to generating massive profits from movies, TV, theme parks, or toys, Disney has turned itself into such a fine-tuned predictor that it might as well be staffed by precogs. But they didn’t have the same auto-success formula when it came to video games, which meant they would have to take a few risks — a word that hadn’t been uttered at Disney since they recklessly decided to start making movies in color. To make things even more complicated for their developers, they mixed their hesitation with their tradition of being difficult to please, disregarding the fact that they were now just jerking themselves off and couldn’t settle on which hand to use.

As a result, Disney had set their new branch up to fail. They bought gaming studios known for making innovation-heavy indie darlings and had them make family friendly puzzlers, then switch mid-development to mobile games, then to free-to-play, stopping short of telling them to develop new IPs for the burgeoning cup-and-ball platform.

Square EnixSpoilers for the next Kingdom Hearts game.

After a string of flops and even more cancellations, Disney did the only natural thing a company with billions in profits, a talented group of developers, and all the time in the world to get it right can do: They shut it all down. By 2016, Disney had sunk all the companies it had bought. It even shuttered LucasArts, firing everyone and just keeping the name (because it meant something before Disney got its hands on it). It went back to selling its licenses to real game companies, so they at least stand a chance of making a decent game and the corporation can go back to bossing them around without any risk.

Which brings us to our next scheme …

2

Disney Is Using Star Wars To Extort The Media

Were you looking forward to The Last Jedi? Did you book the tickets months in advance? Did you flood your Facebook feed with Finn/Poe ship memes? Are you going to see it twice? Thrice? You’re in the theater right now, aren’t you? Well, good news! Disney noticed your love and devotion to Star Wars, and decided to use it to bully movie theaters and journalists into doing their bidding. Who ever said fandom doesn’t have power?

Because of Star Wars‘ unparalleled popularity and rabid fandom, Disney realized it could get the most out of its franchise by holding it ransom. For the privilege of screening The Last Jedi, Disney handed movie theaters a strict list of demands as if it was waiting for the pizzas and helicopter to arrive. Among the most stringent were its demand that every theater fork over 65 percent of its ticket profits to Disney, the biggest cut theaters have ever seen. Venues also had to promise to show the movie for four weeks without interruption, or else be fined another 5 percent in “Pay us, we’re Disney” tax.

LucasfilmAt least they backed off the demands for themed soda fountains.

While a four-week mandate and a mobster-level taste of the action doesn’t deter anyplace with a couple of IMAX screens and backroom full of lightsaber-colored M&Ms to shill (they’re nothing but regular M&Ms with the brown ones picked out), such demands are ruinous for small-town theaters that only have a single screen. Many of them had no choice but to not screen The Last Jedi, as it would have to count on everyone and their cattle seeing the movie several times in a row to turn a profit. So if you had to leave your moisture farm and travel several parsecs to get some porg action, you know who to blame.

But movie theaters aren’t the only ones suffering from the tyrannical yoke of the Empire’s distributors. Disney also tried to use Star Wars to quiet dissent among the rabble-rousers, i.e. journalists. Remember Disney’s shady dealings with the city of Anaheim from two bathroom breaks ago? It was The LA Times that broke that story, running a whole series exposing Disney’s corruption. As a response, Disney decided to punish the paper by banning its reviewers from attending screenings of The Last Jedi. When confronted about this, Disney reps simply stated that they would not play nice with a paper which “showed a complete disregard for basic journalistic standards,” specifically the part that warns that snitches get stitches.

LucasfilmAnd you do not want to get shanked with one of these.

It took almost the whole of film journalism to temporarily grow a backbone and refuse to review the movie for Disney to back down from its petty tyranny. Because at this point, nothing less than a whole industry can still stand up against the Mouse. And Disney has found a way to fix that, too.

1

Disney Can’t Stop Buying Up Other Companies

Like bossy kindergartners wearing princess dresses, Disney tries to control everything: the press, entire cities, even our children. But that is nothing compared to the zeal with which the corporation is taking over all of the entertainment industry. In the last decade, Disney has already vacuumed up Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, creating a near monopoly on the concept of arrested development. And they might soon own that show too, as Disney is laying siege to its last remaining rival titan of pop culture: 21st Century Fox. Since 2017, Disney and Fox have engaged in on-again, off-again talks about one evil monolith being taken over the other evil monolith’s TV and movie departments, leaving Fox with only its two greatest tentpoles: sports bloopers and fearmongering.

Pixar… And with Pixar, theyve got a pretty strong foothold in that, too.

By absorbing Fox, Disney would obtain the last piece of a puzzle that looks like Goofy throwing a guy wearing a Wolverine shirt over a barrel, as 21st Century Fox owns literally every scrap of Marvel (X-Men and Fantastic Four) and Star Wars (A New Hope) that Disney hasn’t devoured already. Also, did we mention Fox owns Avatar and its upcoming sequels? We’re running seriously low on red string and thumbtacks over here.

ESPNAt least they dont control sports yet (except yes, of course they do).

While owning all of Marvel and Star Wars would do wonders for Bob Iger’s OCD, Fox has something a lot more valuable which Disney wants: TV shows. Buying Fox means getting their gloves on the entire back catalog of The Simpsons, Futurama, Family Guy, and more. With Fox and Pixar in its pocket, Disney would basically own most of Western animation, leaving anti-Disney people with few things to binge on besides South Park and old anime — otherwise known as a 4chan Friday night.

Studio GhibliExcept not all anime, because guess who distributes the good stuff.

And so we finally arrive at Disney’s next big step in entertainment world domination: streaming. As a business model, streaming relies on “nostalgia programming,” which is coincidentally also the term for how Disney brainwashed us into giving a crap about The Lion King, even though we haven’t seen the movie in 25 years. By 2019, Disney will have removed all of its content from Netflix so it can start its own streaming service. And between its half-dozen geek movie franchises, Fox’s TV shows, and its own century’s worth of content, it will without a doubt blow all the competition out of the water.

But this isn’t the only way Disney intends to burrow itself into the digital age. For years now, the corporation has been quietly dominating the under-12s internet with what is now called the Disney Digital Network, a string of Disney-only blogs that look like if China’s propaganda arm was run by BuzzFeed. Now it’s ready to go after the real internet prize: YouTube commenters. In 2014, it bought Maker Studios, which hosted a network of over 60,000 YouTube channels, including massively popular ones like Epic Rap Battles Of History. Disney then gutted and absorbed the studio into its new network, assimilating its 1,000 most worshiped streamers into the Disney brand, luring their massive Gen Z viewership to the Disney side of the internet like some weird reverse pedophile ring.

Which, if you’re keeping count, only leaves social media, surely a platform too chaotic and under-performing for Disney to bother with, right? Wrong. Disney has already shown a great interest in acquiring Twitter, the favorite social media app of comedians and Nazis. And the app has been struggling for a while now, and will most likely be sold off to the highest bidder. Which will be Disney. It will always be Disney. It’s only a matter of time before every moment you goof off at work, every minute you sit on the toilet scrolling through your phone, every weekend you waste binging on a show you’ve seen a million times before, you’ll get it in the face by the squiggly D.

There is no escape.

Cedric Voets really wished he’d gone on the teacup ride one last time before writing this article. You can find more of his commie ravings on Twitter.

We know you want a pair of those darn Mouse ears. Here’s a 12-pack.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25410_6-signs-that-disney-trying-to-take-over-world.html

5 Boneheaded Conspiracy Theories You Had No Clue Existed

When you ask people what their favorite conspiracy theories are, it’s always the same old songs — the moon landing was fake, the British monarchy are all lizards, Tom Cruise is actually two small border collies in a tall coat, etc. People love tuning out the classics, but what about all the new conspiracies? Here’s a hipster’s guide to the indie darlings that are making their way onto the tinfoil hat scene right now. This is your chance to catch these up-and-comers before they start popping up on pieces of cardboard near you.

5

Anti-Vaxxers … For Pets

Of all the conspiracy nutjobs, anti-vaxxers are the most dangerous. Sure, Holocaust deniers and 9/11 truthers rant and rave like their skulls got infested by an ant colony that has figured out the tastiest parts of the brain are the ones that govern logic, reason, and how to speak at a normal volume, but words are all they have. Anti-vaccination advocates, however, are often parents who consciously put children in danger, all to prove that they’re smarter than nine out of ten doctors. But what about anti-vaxxers who don’t have children? How can they inflict their irresponsible delusions of superiority on someone too small and stupid to defend themselves?

They get a pet.

March Against Monsanto/Facebook“Have you ever noticed that vaccinated dogs never develop verbal skills? Exactly.”

As long as some pet owners treat their domesticated beasts like the children they should never have, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that human medical trends have a tendency to spill over to the world of veterinary medicine. The anti-vaccination panic is no exception. Over the last few years, some vets started noticing an increase in pet owners refusing to inoculate their puppies and kittens against serious illnesses. Dog owners in particular are being overprotective, believing that vaccinating their precious pooches could cause them to develop arthritis, epilepsy, cancer, and even autism. A creature that gladly shits on the floor having a hard time picking up on social cues? How do you even diagnose that?

One of such prominent dogshit spreaders is Catherine O’Driscoll, founder of the Canadian Canine Health Concern nonsense foundation. O’Driscoll keeps an extensive blog in the hopes of convincing other pet owners to let their dogs experience “natural canine healthcare” — which is just Darwinism. She believes firmly that because of wanton injections, her “dogs are becoming allergic to life,” but we’re sure Catherine has that effect on people as well. How else could she explain how her dogs were all dying before their time? Definitely has nothing to do with the fact that her Labrador purebreds are riddled with genetic defects like they’re incestuous Spanish nobles from the 17th century. No, it must be all that medicine that’s making them sick.

Christine O’Driscoll“We don’t tell you that stuff because it’s stupid and wrong.” – vets

But the people most drawn to the anti-pet-vaxxing lifestyle aren’t who you’d expect. “It’s actually much more common in the hipster-y areas,” notes one Brooklyn veterinarian. Hipsters, who use the word “organic” like it’s a verb, have started extended this au naturel mentality to their dogs and cats. After all, if they refuse to let their artisanal kale be chemically altered, why would they let a needle get anywhere near their beloved Allen Ginsbark? It’s always better to let nature take its course. That way, they can get into the next pet epidemic way before anyone else does.

4

There’s A Slave Colony On Mars

Whatever happened to the good old days of space conspiracies? The days when we thought that Neil Armstrong was an actor, the government had a few UFOs in a basement somewhere, and the worst thing an all-powerful alien species would do was poke at our butts for treasure. Gee whiz, moon madness sure seemed a lot more innocent back then, huh? Not like today, when it’s all space vampires this and child slave colonies that. Times, they are a-changing.

In June 2017, during on one of Infowars’ nationwide broadcasts, Alex Jones, ringmaster to the criminally insane, was joined by the esteemed Robert David Steele. Steele is a former CIA operative, Marine Corps major, and proof you can get far in U.S. government with a winning smile and only half a brain. He was there to discuss some pretty standard Infowars fare — how most child molesters are in fact cannibals who scare children in order to adrenalize their blood so that they can suck their bone marrow in order to stay eternally young. Then the conversation took a weird turn.

Out of nowhere (which is how Steele and Jones form most of their thoughts), Steele went on a tangent about NASA’s slave camp on the Mars colony. Hmmm? You didn’t know there was a colony on Mars, let alone that it’s populated by slaves? Get with the program, liberal. According to Steele, who was once licensed to kill people by the government, NASA has been categorically kidnapping children for decades, gathering them up and shipping them off to Mars. Then, after a 20-year trip, these astro-Gollums are used as slave labor to build NASA’s hidden Mars colony. That’s a lot to process, but let’s not lose sight of the most important question: Why does it take 20 years for those kids to get to Mars? Did their Challenger break down, and did they have to take a replacement bus service to the Tharsis plateau? That’s somehow a weirder lie than the slave colony.

NASA/JSCFrom the upcoming drama Seven Light Years A Slave

Of course, Steele doesn’t furnish the audience with any real information, but that’s not what’s important. Steele didn’t come on Inforwars to make people believe in vampiric molesters or Spartacus on Mars; he’s there to make Alex Jones look good. After his crazed rant, Jones, having gotten his jumping-off point, immediately starts talking about how “top NASA engineers” have indeed told him that 90 percent of all NASA missions are kept hidden from the public. Like the lunatic bear that he is, Jones often invites crazy guests to serve to induce some type of Goldilocks effect on his base of conspiracy theorists (i.e. losers too atheist to blame their shitty lives on gay people).

Hearing someone call NASA a bunch of covert ops Deep State agents working on a secret agenda sounds utterly insane … unless you’ve just heard some nutjob talk about them being a bunch of seersucker-suited slave masters building a new world on Mars by turning molested children into space Oompa Loompas. Then it’s downright reasonable by comparison.

3

The National Parks Service Is Covering Up Disappearances

Sometimes people disappear in the woods. That’s not surprising. There are plenty of hidden alcoves, lake beds, and animal stomachs for the lost or hurt to disappear into. What might be more surprising, however, is the sheer number of people who wander into national parks, never to be seen again. Since records began, over 1,600 people have gone missing on public land, and no one seems to be paying attention. That’s why a retired cop is going on a one-man crusade to raise awareness — not of the dangers of hiking, but of how rangers are refusing to tell us how many of those missing people were kidnapped by fairies.

David Paulides is an former police detective who moved to Colorado for two reasons: skiing and Sasquatches. After his time on the force, he became an avid Bigfoot hunter, founding the North America Bigfoot Search. But his life changed when Paulides (according to Paulides) was approached by two park rangers who asked him to look into their agency covering up strange disappearances. Why they came to a guy who had spent years tracking something he never found, we won’t know, but what followed was a tale of general incompetency, so that might have something to do with it.

David PaulidesPaulides, in what strangely looks exactly like the type of photo someone would take before they would disappear without a trace.

In 2011, Paulides started the CanAm Missing Project, his goal being to figure out the possibly occult cause of all these mysterious disappearances. What qualifies a missing person’s case to be labelled “mysterious”? Just about anything.

For example, when writing about two women disappearing near the same river, he noted that “both of their names start with A, and their first names only had three letters,” as if the river was only trying to sweep away people with low Scrabble values. He also remarks that “that berries and berry bushes play a common role in many disappearances” which he finds “quite intriguing,” as if park rangers aren’t the only people in the world who like that their phones autocorrect “Wanna get some beers?” to “Wanna see some berries?”

He also has a map pinpointing 59 wildlife areas where all these disappearances occur. There are 59 federal parks in the United States. Coincidence? Conspiracy? Did he simply make his own map of all the parks?

David PaulidesThat’s for the feds to decide.

But for all his foibles, we should be commending Paulides. He isn’t like other conspiracy theorists, in that he does vastly more good than harm. His CanAm Missing Project and his Missing 411 books, while delusional, have grown to be the most comprehensive collection of data on missing people in national parks in existence. Paulides isn’t exactly making anything up, either. “I don’t put any theories in the books — I just connect facts,” he says. And his facts can’t help but involve teleporting and magical murder berries. At his worst, he’s a Deep Throat looking for the Woodward and Bernstein of exposing centaurs. At his best, he’s exactly the kooky conspiracy theorist the National Park Service deserves: well-meaning, a bit bland, and obsessed with berries.

2

Hurricane Irma Was A Liberal Hoax

Hurricane Irma was one of the worst calamities to ever hit the Caribbean and Florida Keys. In Florida alone, it did millions of dollars of damage, destroyed tens of thousands of jobs, and caused the deaths of 75 people and counting (with thousands still at risk).

And if you believe that, the liberals have some Benghazi emails they’d like to sell you.

As Hurricane Irma neared the East Coast, a horrific encore to the tragedy that was Hurricane Harvey only weeks prior, the media offered dire predictions for the devastation to come.

But some people were getting tired of the MSM pushing its hurricane fearmongering. One of these skeptics was Rush Limbaugh, a man named after the way air moves between his ears and the best possible afterlife he could hope for. From his home in Palm Springs, Florida, the right-wing radio personality could feel a liberal conspiracy brewing.

To be clear, Limbaugh isn’t a hurricane denier; he just doesn’t think they’re a big deal. On his show, he proclaimed, “there is a desire to advance this climate change agenda, and hurricanes are one of the fastest and best ways to do it. You can accomplish a lot just by creating fear and panic.” And if there’s anyone who’s an expert on creating fear and panic to further a political agenda, it’s Rush.

To Limbaugh, it all sounds too convenient. A violent meteorological demon that thrives on the constantly warming ocean water like it’s a Monster energy drink and then lays waste to our industrial zones? That’s obviously some hoax dreamed up by what he calls the “official meteorological circles,” like he’s referring to a sinister cabal of druids which secretly controls the Weather Channel. Why else, he illogicked, does the media always scare people by saying each and every hurricane will hit a major city center? That’s not balanced and honest reporting! Where’s the 24-hour news cycle dedicated to the ones that merely swirl around on the ocean for a few days and slightly inconvenience some gulls? Typical media bias. Gull Lives Matter, too.

But then, to his great surprise, the liberal hoax caught up to him. As Irma started to lay waste to Southern Florida, Limbaugh was seen fleeing his home with nothing but the clothes on his back and his words to eat, desperately searching for the one Marriott in Northern Florida that doesn’t have his picture behind the front desk. So in the end, Limbaugh did not convince us to stop believing in storms, but he did bolster our belief in silver linings.

1

300 Years Of History Never Happened

This story begins where all wild stories begin: during a German archaeological conference. In 1986, a large collection of historians gathered in Munich to discuss how pissed off they were getting at Medieval con artists making their jobs harder. Medieval experts, unlike their peers, have to deal with a lot of fake news. Scholars and clergymen of the Dark Ages had this tendency to forge the hell out of documents, writing any old nonsense to further their own agendas. When you’re one of 20 people in your country who can read and write, you don’t really have to worry about peer review.

But some of these forgeries shared something remarkable: They were seemingly written centuries before the events they detail. This blew one mind in particular: Heribert Illig, who jumped to quite a shocking conclusion. You see, instead of these documents being badly dated or made to look older to raise their authenticity, the answer was much simpler: The past didn’t exist.

The foundation of Illig’s “phantom time hypothesis,” which denies that the period between 614 and 911 CE ever happened, lies in the fact that the Dark Ages were really, really boring. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe went through a bit of a burnout / mild apocalypse, so most dark agers didn’t get around to doing much else besides trying to survive to the ripe old age of 17. Then Illig discovered that when the Catholic Church decided to switch from the wildly inaccurate Julian Calendar (which was off by about one day per century) to the Gregorian, they only added 10 days instead of 13, revealing they knew there were three centuries fewer than what everyone else was told. Of course, Illig was dead wrong, but you can’t let something like a bit of bad math stand between you and claiming that a dozen generations of our ancestors never existed.

But with that realization, the real conspiracy theory kicked in. Surely, adding three extra centuries isn’t some accidental fuck-up made by some faulty monk copiers. This was the work of powerful and holy people — someone like Holy Roman Emperor Otto III. Otto, according to Illig’s new math, was a 7th century emperor who really wanted to rule in the year 1000, because he wanted to be easily remembered by German fifth-graders. So Otto and Pope Sylvester II set out to create three centuries of fake past to plug the gap. Then they went about filling this newly created 291 years with a bunch of worthless duds of kings, except that Otto got a bit carried away with his fanfiction and created Charlemagne, the Mary Sue of Medieval rulers.

Albrecht Durer“… and his sword was magic and could totally cut Superman, and he …” — Otto

There’s only one teeny tiny problem with Illinger’s hypothesis: It forgets that there’s an entire universe outside of European history. If the Dark Ages didn’t happen, then neither did the birth and dissemination of Islam in the Middle East, or the well-documented feudal renaissance of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. And even if you could believe that Otto toured the world convincing foreign leaders he didn’t know existed to get in on his epic prank, exact sciences like carbon dating, tracking astrological phenomena, or even counting tree rings like an Eagle Scout prove we’re right on schedule.

Yet despite the myriad of logical and fact-based arguments made against the phantom timeline, the idea won’t die. But we don’t have to explain to you why, right? Can’t you feel it? Doesn’t part of you want to believe that we set our civilizations’ alarm clocks three centuries too early? Takes the pressure off, doesn’t it, pretending to be living in 1720? We could all coast for the rest of our lives, knowing that we did amazing just by saying no to slavery and not dying of polio.

C’mon, it’s nice and warm here off the deep end.

Cedric would feel a lot better if hyper-intelligent lizards secretly ruled the world. You can follow him on Twitter, or directly contact him by tuning in to the frequency of his tooth fillings.

If you’re getting the feeling that you need to start living in paranoia, well, luckily you don’t have to worry about making your own tinfoil hat. You can just order one.

If you loved this article and want more content like this, support our site with a visit to our Contribution Page, please and thank you.

For more, check out What Stupid Conspiracy Theory Is Out There Now? (12/3/17) and Katie, Jedi, And Other Conspiracy Theories Making The Rounds.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25406_5-boneheaded-conspiracy-theories-you-had-no-clue-existed.html

A Deranged Tech Bro Is Trying To Sell Dirty Water For $60 Per Bottle

If you’ve ever wondered, “if anti-vaxxers were given unlimited funds, what insanely misguided product would they make?” we’ve been provided with the answer: raw water. You’re thinking, is raw water just like, not La Croix? Well, yes. But this new startup is selling unfiltered and untreated water to Silicon Valley elites who are literally guzzling it up at $60 a bottle.

That’s right. These people are shelling out two SoulCycle classes for a single bottle of water that, according to scientists, is like brimming with E.Coli and like arsenic.

The dude whose startup is selling this fresh n’ funky pond water is named Mukhande Singh, but don’t be fooled. He’s a white guy who was born Christopher Sanborn, went to one yoga retreat, and decided to slap on this ethnic name to come across like more authentic? Cultural appropriation aside, the only thing authentic about this dude are the unavoidable stomach parasites and constant diarrhea his water will give you. He made a statement that tap water is just “toilet water with birth control drugs” in it and I’m like, wow I can just drink my birth control drugs instead of forgetting to take them at 4pm every day? Sign me up. 

I guess if you’re like trying to lose weight ultra fast you can drink raw water and just shit your brains and a few pounds out. But if that’s the case, literally just go on a hike and drink from the spring water up there. You’ll at least get a cute instagram out of that and save $60. 

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!

Read more: http://www.betches.com/raw-water

5 Words On Food Labels You Shouldn’t Get Fooled By

Thanks to the Food Network’s drive for ratings, we have a million fancy terms to describe our meals that barely resemble human speech. We sat down to painstakingly document and explain this lexicon and discovered … that it’s all bullshit. You were right to eat nothing but hot fried garbage this whole time. Or, god forgive you, Arby’s.

5

Almost Any Wine Can Be “Award-Winning”

Due to a sitcom-esque mix-up, you’ve accidentally invited a date and your boss over for dinner tonight. Fortunately, you can impress them both by showing off your elite knowledge of wine. Unfortunately, you don’t actually have an elite knowledge of wine. But that’s OK; you can just pay extra for a bottle with a fancy-looking award label, then bullshit something about mouth feel, right?

Well, contrary to popular belief, the glamorous awards you see on wine bottle labels don’t mean much at all. Wine competitions don’t function like Olympic events, wherein thousands of hopefuls are whittled down to the best three, then bestowed with rare honors. If you look at the results of the 2017 International Wine Challenge, there were 9,569 “winners.” The majority of wines that enter a competition will walk away with some sort of prize. In one case, it was 70 percent.

consumer.org.nz Goddamn Millennials, killing the wine industry with their participation trophies.

According to an anonymous judge, the only way a wine won’t be commended is if it makes someone “retch.” Another said, “A commended wine is one that causes you less than pain.” Wineries will also take awards they won for, say, a 2011 white and slap them on 2017 bottles of red. Or if they somehow failed to “win” anything at all, they’ll add their own suspiciously similar-looking labels.

It’s all a cheap marketing trick meant to shine up that Shiraz from Nebraska’s fourth-finest winery, but it’s more than consumers who are getting ripped off. The wineries have to pay for the stickers they put on the bottles, so it’s in a competition’s interests to hand out as many awards as possible. Drink what you want, but don’t feel obligated to pay extra for the bottle with the fanciest stickers. After all, you’re not gonna notice the difference between an 87-point bronze and a 91-point silver when you’re pairing it with Kraft Mac and Cheese.

4

All Chicken Is Hormone-Free, Regardless Of Whether They Advertise It

Having hormones in your food is bad, right? We’re pretty sure we read that on the BBC, or maybe it was naturalnewz.biz. Either way, lots of people certainly don’t want hormones in their food, so many meat companies helpfully inform us that they don’t add any.

Perdue Farms “WON’T make you grow an extra breast and/or testicle. Our competitors, on the other hand …”

Which is nice, but unnecessary, because the USDA doesn’t allow hormones to be added to chicken or hogs anyway. So when chicken or pork products proudly state “No hormones or steroids added,” they somehow neglect to credit the USDA for giving them that fantastic idea. Then mandating it via federal law.

They might as well proclaim “No additional anthrax added!” They can’t do that in the first place, and yes, they want a medal for it.

3

“No Trans Fat” Might Mean “No, Yeah, There Are Some Trans Fats”

Trans fats, according to the scientific consensus which will probably change a week from now, are bad for you. They reduce your good cholesterol levels while increasing bad cholesterol levels, in what food scientists call “a real dick move, man.” So it’s good to keep an eye out for “No Trans Fat” labels … Or at least it would be, if foods with those labels truly had no trans fats. Instead, it’s more like a landlord telling you that an apartment has zero cockroaches. None. No cockroaches added. Kind of weird that he mentioned that specifically, right?

According to federal regulations, companies can use a “No Trans Fats” label as long as it has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. That might not sound like much, but most foods calculate their serving size with sickly elf children in mind. It adds up. Also, the American Heart Association says that people should eat no more than two grams of trans fats per day, so those phantom half grams are a full quarter of your allowance.

At least there’s a handy trick for identifying hidden trans fats. If a product contains hydrogenated oils, those are trans fats. But since the total comes out to 0.49 grams or less, companies can say there’s none. So you end up with something like this package of butter spread:

Andrea Donsky We kind of believe it’s not butter.

It contains both hydrogenated soybean oil and hydrogenated cottonseed oil. Butter your toast with that, and you’re starting your day sucking up the devil of fats.

2

“Sushi-Grade Fish” Is Fish — Any Fish

The term “sushi-grade” is used by some grocery stores and restaurants to indicate the highest-quality fish you could possibly wrap seaweed and rice around. You don’t make fish sticks out of sushi-grade fish. They’ve got diplomas from Harvard Fish School, motherfucker. They should be eating you.

Your Sushi “If your genitals smell like these fish, you should be PROUD.”

It’s also a completely meaningless term, as there’s no regulation in the U.S. that determines what can be called sushi-grade. When it comes to beef, the USDA is all over that shit. We got “Prime,” “Choice,” “Select,” and “Standard” — the “miscellaneous quadruped” of meat. Same deal goes with pork and poultry … but not for the chicken of the sea. Or the anything of the sea.

Any fish can be “sushi-grade.” All it takes is someone with a sharp knife and no oven. Maybe the chef really did pick only the finest fish the market had that day, or maybe the grocery store is reasonably sure that the fish is fresh enough that eating it raw won’t give you parasites. Have fun gambling on that!

1

Multigrain Bread Is Nothing But Fancy White Bread

Wheat bread is healthier than white bread, we all know that. And we’ve told you before how unscrupulous businesses will dye their white bread brown to fool you. But what about multigrain bread? Surely it’s healthy too, right? It has “grain” right there in the name. “Multi” of them! All those grains must be good for you. Otherwise, why would they bother?

Jongleur100/Wiki Commons “High-quality fiber, high-quality poops. That’s our company promise.”

Well, it’s a great marketing term, and … oh, that’s it.

Literally all “multigrain” means is that the bread contains multiple grains, not that any of those grains are necessarily good or healthy. After all, both whole wheat and white bread start out as grain; it’s just that whole wheat has fiber and other healthy properties. Multigrain bread could be decently healthy, or it could be (and probably is) a Frankenstein amalgamation of different processed grains, all of which have no more nutritional value than the slice of cake we call white bread. Those grains sprinkled on top of your loaf make it look nice, but they’re basically disappointing sprinkles.

This phenomenon is not confined to the bread aisle. For example, a few years ago, Pringles rolled out a line of “healthy” multigrain chips. Their marketing director said they were targeting people 35 and up, who were more interested in counting calories than their younger counterparts. Right after he made his claims to The New York Times, the paper followed up by noting that multigrain Pringles “have about the same amount of sodium and calories as regular Pringles.” “Multigrain” is an industry code word for “edible mulch.”

Nathan Kamal lives in Oregon and writes there. He co-founded Asymmetry Fiction for all your fiction needs. Did you like this article? Do you want to like Mike Bedard even more? Go ahead and follow him on Twitter, then. Hungry for additional mind-blowing content? See Markos’ Twitter. When E.M. Caris is not writing for Cracked, you can read his food writing over at the spice subscription service allyoucanspice.com. Greg Tuff is hoping to get on the new season of Big Brother Canada, because things are going great … Talk him out of it on Twitter.

Food is food, but it should still be eaten out of a quality lunchbox from Herschel.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25166_5-words-food-labels-you-shouldnt-get-fooled-by.html

The Dark Side Of Crowdfunding (Nobody Talks About)

If the worst should ever happen to your health, there’s a good chance that you’ll turn to a crowdfunding website, such as GoFundMe or JustGiving, to fill the gap left by our night-terror-inducing healthcare system. The reason for this is simple: There are no insurance brokers or complicated paperwork, just a group of people desperate to throw their money at good causes for the sheer humanity of it all. That’s not hyperbole, by the way. In little under a decade, crowdfunding campaigns for medical expenses have brought in over $1 billion in donations.

When such campaigns go viral, the media often reports them as heartwarming stories of human altruism, proof that although the world might appear to be losing its mind, there are still helpers out there. That’s … a good angle.

It certainly makes us feel better about the fact that these sites are taking a cut of everyone’s donations. There’s a darker narrative, however, which both the media and us are ignoring: the fact that these sites are failing, albeit unintentionally, the vast majority of their users.

These might seem like wildly different things at face value, but launching a crowdfunding campaign is exactly like launching a new business. It’s not enough to have a donations page for your condition; you need to know how to sell yourself to potential donors (something your mom was pretty good at, or so we’ve heard). When it comes to crowdfunding, that involves providing constant updates, writing good copy, producing and editing video, promoting your campaign everywhere, and a whole other bunch of skills and connections. This isn’t something we dreamt up, by the way. It comes courtesy of Indiegogo, and holy shit, it’s so far beyond the abilities of the average healthy and able-bodied person, never mind someone with a long-term, painful, time-and-energy-consuming medical problem. It isn’t even funny.

If you’re lacking in marketing ability, your best hope is to accidentally go viral by, say, being so terribly ill that not donating is, strictly speaking, a crime against humanity. And that’s great if you’re suffering from a “faultless” problem like cancer — you know, something that people can see and know isn’t your fault, unlike mental health issues or addiction problems. The internet is good and altruistic and shit, but it’s still judgmental.

It’s no surprise, then, that only a small number of crowdfunding campaigns succeed — roughly one in three, most of which are perpetual motion machines. When it comes to medical crowdfunding specifically, however, that success rate plummets to … 11 percent, roughly one in ten.

If you’re fortunate enough to make your goal, the problems don’t end there. Although crowdfunded money can help fight off CLL, TB, and LD, it can also cause a case of the horrific condition known as “IRS.” Often presenting in the form of an unwelcome audit, there are numerous cases of people receiving money from campaigns, only to have more stress piled on afterward when the IRS starts asking for its cut.

If you’re able to prove where the donations went, it’s incredibly unlikely that you’ll have to pay what they’re asking. It’s just a massive pain in the ass on top of the other bitingly real pains you’re feeling elsewhere.

If you think the worst thing that can result from receiving mad internet stacks is some mild-to-major inconvenience, think again. If you’re receiving any form of state assistance when you collect your donations, well, you won’t be receiving it for much longer, as these unfortunate welfare recipients found, to their horror. It isn’t like taxes, however, where a couple of forms to declare the donations is enough. If you’re receiving state benefits, you’re categorically not allowed to receive crowdfunded money.

So how do we solve these problems? Well, we can’t. These aren’t problems that can be fixed with an algorithm update. They’re facts of human psychology, with some legislative fuckiness for good measure. You’re more likely to give money to a campaign with updates, because you can see the effect you’re having (and maybe get some sweet, sweet praise), and the vast majority of us will always choose to give money to someone we perceive as an “innocent” victim over someone with a condition that we perceive to have been self-inflicted (e.g. addiction). If you’re one of those people who can look past facts like these and give selflessly without reward or judgment, that’s great. But you’re likely in the minority, and the minority a successful crowdfunding campaign does not make.

Our only solution to these problems, therefore, is to focus on fixing our healthcare system, so that we don’t need to beg for medicine money on the internet like something you’d ordinarily expect to find mentioned as a world-building detail in the background of a dystopian epic. That’s what the media should be focusing its energies on. By continuing to focus on the narrative that crowdfunding is a great way to raise money if you’re sick, news outlets are betraying the overwhelming number of people for whom it does not and can never work, as well as everyone else, since they’re investing time and attention on rare acts of goodwill instead of the overwhelming problems with our healthcare system.

i24News

We’re not being heartless. These are great headlines to see, especially considering the crazy times we’re living in right now. It’s so, so easy to imagine that the world is a cold, hyper-partisan husk of dirt, and these headlines are proof against that argument. This is not something, however, that we as ordinary people should be celebrating. When the chips are down, the media is capable of doing great things, and they should be trying their damnedest to effect real change when it comes to the healthcare debate that’s raging all the goddamn time, not fawning over viral charity drives and creating the illusion that this is doable for everyone who needs help.

For every headline that sells the dream about the money that’ll allow you to live your life (or even keep on living) being a simple case of passing the sign-up page …

Fox40

… there are nine others like this, which prove that dream is nothing but, well, a dream.

We can’t help but stress this enough, but we love the fact that there’s an entire industry working to keep people alive — or at least, alive and without an infarction-inducing medical bill to show for it. That’s the dream of an interconnected world. But we also need to face up to the fact that whenever you see a headline espousing the benefits of crowdfunding, it’s selling a lie to nine in every ten people who take them up on that offer. The truth might not be heartwarming, but it sure as hell beats how heartbreaking that fact is.

Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook, and has a newsletter about depressing history that you can subscribe to. It’s really good, honest.

Why not help your kids put together their own rainy day fund with a Schylling Rubber Piggy Bank? That way, they can’t break it!

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25197_the-dark-side-crowdfunding-nobody-talks-about.html

Your Cellphone Might Literally Be Killing You

“You stay attached to your screen all day long and that thing will fry your brain cells.” It’s the modern day “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” Parents have been condemning cell phones since they gave you your first Motorola Razr and you ran up all the data by accidentally pressing the internet button and trying to cancel it by jamming END twenty times. And despite your biggest dramatic eye roll and subsequent text to your group chat that your mom is like soooo annoying, there’s that small part of you that has always wondered, “Oh shit, can too much Tinder swiping actually give me cancer?” Betches and some scientists with actual credentials investigate.

The California Department of Public Health has just released new guidelines for cell phone use, telling users how we can avoid harmful radiation from cell phones. These guidelines include:

·      Keeping the phone away from the body

·      Reducing cell phone use when the signal is weak

·      Reducing the use of cell phones to stream audio or video, or to download or upload large files

·      Keeping the phone away from the bed at night

·      Removing headsets when not on a call

·      Avoiding products that claim to block radio frequency energy (these products may actually increase your exposure)

Alright, first of all, no. No one is keeping my phone away from my body unless they are prying it from my cold, dead hands. The CDPH recommends keeping your phone out of your pocket and instead putting it in a purse, or not carrying it with you at all. Please refer to my last statement about my cold, dead hands. Also, a woman’s tote/purse is a bottomless Mary Poppins pit and everyone knows that you’ll never find your phone by the time it stops ringing if it’s jumbled in with all of your receipts, chapstick, and weed other useless crap. Plus, in the case of a mugging, it’s much easier to snatch a bag off a shoulder than reach into someone’s skinny jeans ass-pocket. That’s just street smarts. You’re welcome.

Keeping the phone at arms length while you sleep is another long shot request. Unofficial cellular data reports that I am making up on the spot, find that phones are most active between the hours of “trying to fall asleep” and “laying in bed drunk texting your ex while you’re 54 weeks deep in their new gf’s Insta feed.” Honestly, if you haven’t smashed yourself in the face with your own phone while dropping it mid-text as you drift off to sleep, have you truly lived?

Don’t start angry tweeting at Apple customer service for frying your insides just yet, because research isn’t even conclusive, and the official position of the CDPH is that “the science is still evolving.” So receiving an unsolicited dick pic won’t give you cancer in the medical sense, but the sender could stand to have a quick MRI to check for brain damage. Speaking of, cellphone use is not only potentially attributed to the risk of brain tumors, but also to headaches, impaired memory, hearing, and sleep, and low sperm count. Fuckboys of the world, you’ve been warned. Text too many girls in one night, and you could be killing a whole squadron of little swimmers.

Bottom line is, you probs shouldn’t have your cellphone constantly glued to your body where it can be fucking with your health. With children as young as 10 getting their first cell phones, we may very possibly see a whole bunch of health issues arise from prolonged exposure to radio frequency at such an early age, but until someone comes out with indisputable correlative evidence, I’m still gonna risk a teensy bit of cancer to keep my Snapchat stories on point.

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Read more: http://www.betches.com/study-on-cell-phone-use-and-radiation