Can Ecstasy Replace Xanax?

Photo Illustration by Alex Williams/The Daily Beast by Jay Michaelson A new study urges trials of MDMA to treat anxiety in autistic adults, and it’s already being tested for PTSD. Is America ready to embrace Molly? In 1980, “Ecstasy” was “Empathy.” That was one of the original street names for MDMA, now better known as Molly, and it speaks volumes about what the drug actually does: by increasing the amount of serotonin in the bloodstream, it acts like a turbo-charged SSRI (the leading form of antidepressant). Sure, it makes you feel happy—but equally important to its devotees, it makes you feel … Continue reading Can Ecstasy Replace Xanax?

Math: Discovered, Invented, or Both?

Credit: Flickr user Barney Livingston, adapted under a Creative Commons license. By Mario Livio “The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics to the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.” Eugene Wigner wrote these words in his 1960 article “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences.” The Nobel prize-winning physicist’s report still captures the uncanny ability of mathematics not only to describe and explain, but to predict phenomena in the physical world. How is it possible that all the phenomena observed in classical electricity and magnetism … Continue reading Math: Discovered, Invented, or Both?

Searching for Advanced Alien Engineering

Image by Flickr user longan drink, adapted under a Creative Commons license By Kate Becker Picture this: You’re the emperor of an advanced alien civilization. For millions of years, your planet’s engineers have been building bigger and better gadgets: supercomputers, spaceships, flying cars, that sort of thing. All this ultra-tech makes life pretty fantastic, but it takes a lot of energy. Where is all that energy going to come from? In 1937, the science fiction writer Olaf Stapledon imagined one answer: an enormous, spherical solar collector, built to encircle an energy-hungry civilization’s home star like a giant mylar balloon. This … Continue reading Searching for Advanced Alien Engineering

These Stunning Photos of New Zealand’s Largest Gang Will Give You Sleepless Nights

Shano Rogue, 2010. C-Type Photograph, 1.9M x 1.5M Photos by JONO ROTMAN In the 1960s, a gang of variously disaffected youth sprang up in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. They didn’t ride bikes, but they quickly developed all the trimmings of an outlaw motorcycle club: patches, club colors, and a fiercely violent process of initiation. They came to be known as the Mighty Mongrel Mob and today they’re the largest gang in the country, with around 30 chapters across both islands. Media access to the Mob is rare, which is why this photo series by Jono Rotman is kind of a … Continue reading These Stunning Photos of New Zealand’s Largest Gang Will Give You Sleepless Nights

Creativity And The Unremarkable Cerebellum: Motor Region Found To Play Surprising Role

The cerebellum performs its own unique role in the creative process. That said, trying too hard can block, rather than increase, your inspirational flow. By Susan Scutti How do scientists capture the euphoric flights of creativity? The answer to this question led to surprising, some might say shocking, evidence of the human brain’s capacity for invention, and quite possibly reinvention. The cerebellum, long considered a drudge-like region of the brain, performs its own unique dance in the creative process, say researchers from Stanford’s School of Medicine and the d.school (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design). Their new study also suggests that trying … Continue reading Creativity And The Unremarkable Cerebellum: Motor Region Found To Play Surprising Role

Number of paedophiles in Britain will shock public, warns Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England

Photo: Alamy There is not enough land in Britain to build the prisons needed to house all of the sex abusers in Britain  By Sarah Knapton Britain would need a rolling programme of prison building to house all its paedophiles if they were all to prosecuted, Sue Berelowitz has warned Child sex abuse is so rife in Britain that there is not enough land in the country to build the number of prisons needed to house the perpetrators, the Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England has warned. Sue Berelowitz, who is currently chairing the government’s inquiry into the problem said the … Continue reading Number of paedophiles in Britain will shock public, warns Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England

Hundreds protest ‘kidnapping’ in Norway’s Child Welfare System

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the Norwegian capital Oslo, to protest against the country’s foster care system. They are angry at children being ‘kidnapped’ from their families, which the protesters say is a breach of family rights. Driving rain in Oslo didn’t put the several hundred protesters off from making their viewpoint heard, as they assembled by the city’s Central Station, before marching towards the parliament building. Banners were held aloft, with messages including: “Children are not business,” and, “Bring back our children.” They are angry at the Norwegian foster care system ‘Barnevernet,’ (Child Protection Service), which has seen families … Continue reading Hundreds protest ‘kidnapping’ in Norway’s Child Welfare System