Friday, July 28, 2017

Charlie Gard has died, his parents say

Connie Yates and Chris Gard say critically ill 11-month-old boy has died at hospice days after they ended a five-month legal battle

Charlie Gard was diagnosed with a rare inherited disease in September 2016. Photograph: Handout/PA

Guardian staff

Friday 28 July 2017 13.44 EDT First published on Friday 28 July 2017 13.16 EDT

The parents of Charlie Gard have said their 11-month-old, critically ill son has died after being transferred to a hospice.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard on Monday abandoned their five-month legal battle to have him moved from Great Ormond Street hospital (Gosh) and taken to the US for experimental treatment, after acknowledging that his condition had deteriorated.

They then fought to have him taken home, saying it was their "last wish" for Charlie to die at home.

However, the couple were unable to find a 24/7 intensive care team to keep him alive and he was taken to an unspecified children's hospice on Thursday, where he died the following day.
In a statement, Yates said: "Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie."
She and Gard had wanted to spend up to a week at the hospice with Charlie before he was taken off a ventilator, but the high court ruled that this would require a specialist team to stay with him round the clock in the hospice.

After his parents were unable to source such a team, the judge, Mr Justice Francis, said an alternative plan should be put in place involving a much shorter time spent at the hospice on life support.
Hundreds of people, who called themselves Charlie's Army, supported the campaign for him to receive treatment in the US, raising £1.35m.

A spokeswoman for Gosh said on Thursday: "The risk of an unplanned and chaotic end to Charlie's life is an unthinkable outcome for all concerned and would rob his parents of precious last moments with him.

"As the judge has now ruled, we will arrange for Charlie to be transferred to a specialist children's hospice, whose remarkable and compassionate staff will support his family at this impossible time."
More to follow ...

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Occult Man and his search for his true nature

By Jon Rappoport

The word "occult" is frequently associated with some secret society, and it is given a negative twist by pitting it against organized "clean" religion or "totally rational" science.
But the Latin root of the word comes from the verb, "to hide." That's all.
Occult Man means man who is hiding something. And it really means man who is hiding something from himself.

What would that be?

Occult man is hiding his true nature from himself.

In order to discover what that true nature is, he would already need to be free from the belief that he owes his time, energy, and life to another person or an idea. He would need to be free from the self-debasing concept of spiritual debt—regardless of how fashionable it might be to incur (or pretend to incur) such a negative balance sheet.

Legion are those who invent these "debt scenarios" for themselves, and they rarely give them up, regardless of the consequences. They prefer to imagine they "win by losing."

When Occult Man embarks on the journey to find his true nature, he enters a labyrinth. Sooner or later, he needs to realize the maze is composed of all possible answers to his self-inquiry. How to choose one answer above all others? How to discern?

Nevertheless, despite the difficulties, he will choose. He will clutch an answer, he will adopt it, and he will begin to live on that basis. He will say, "This is my true nature," he will climb into that conveyance and drive it down the road.

After a certain period, he will see its limitations, he will experience first-hand the pressure of those restrictions, and he will look for a more inclusive answer to his inquiry.

As this process of accepting, testing, and rejecting answers continues, he will become aware that each solution to what-is-my-true-nature gives birth to a space that is defined—and his primary role is to fit himself into that space.

In the majority of cases, Occult Man eventually talks himself into accepting a space and learning how to adapt to his position in it. It is as if, all along, he has been asking himself, "What is my place?"
Relatively few people are prepared to admit this is a loaded question. They would rather adhere to one of thousands of "philosophies" which are determined to tell Occult Man what his place is.
According to this sort of guidance, Occult Man is supposed to take pride in finding that place.
For those who can avoid this end, there remains a less-defined path. "Where do I go? What do I do? What am I looking for?"

What about looking within? As interesting as this option may seem, and as rooted in tradition, what results does it confer?

Either Occult Man looks within and sees, disappointingly, spaces populated by random objects and ideas, or he presupposes what he is going to discover, and then discovers it. Needless to say, such sleight of hand isn't the means for finding his true nature.

What now?

Now we come to the threshold of a shift into another dimension of experience. Regardless of how long the journey has taken so far, now Occult Man begins to examine his very role as the searcher. The seeker. The discoverer.

Is the whole paradigm of questioner-question-answer able to yield up the effect of finding his true nature?

At every turn, it seems as if he's been looking for some sort of content or material or information that will unlock the door.

All along, he has been searching for some kind of reality that is already there. A deeper reality, a more elevated reality. Concealed, out of view. Hidden.

Which is why he is Occult Man. Because of the way he has been proceeding.

But suppose…there is no such hidden reality which is his true nature. Suppose that is the cosmic joke.

And suppose, instead, he is the maker of realities.
Suppose that is his true nature.
Suppose that is the secret.
Suppose every question about existence he has ever had will yield up answers once he becomes a maker of realities.
Suppose every self-deception and every cynical conclusion about his life he has ever entertained is a cover for: refusing to see he is a maker of realities.
Suppose thinking about projecting realities is far, far different from actually projecting realities that are closest to his deepest desires, and making those realities fact in the world.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Incubus Trailer The bizarre story of a long-lost horror film made entirely in Esperanto, starring William Shatner

Before he was Captain Kirk, Shatner was...this guy. (YouTube screenshot/Contempo III Productions/Syfy)

Tread lightly while reading about the 1966 film Incubus, for evil has befallen many who've come in contact with it.

Before he commanded the starship USS Enterprise, William Shatner was the lead actor in Incubus, a low-budget, black-and-white horror film directed by Leslie Stevens (creator of the sci-fi anthology series The Outer Limits). Incubus wasn't your average art house flick: It was filmed entirely in the constructed language Esperanto, one of only two films in history to do so.

Created in 1887 by Polish ophthalmologist L.L. Zamenhof, Esperanto was meant to ease communication between people who did not share a common language in order to foster peace around the world. Today, it has only a handful of native speakers, but 2 million people across more than 100 countries are believed to be fluent. Popular language-learning app Duolingo offers a free course in it.

Incubus did not employ Esperanto to promote world peace. Rather, the filmmakers thought it sounded creepy and might add an otherworldly element to the film. One reviewer said Incubus was "like a foreign film from a country that never existed."

The film is set in an imaginary village where travelers come to use a magic well with mysterious healing properties. It's there where Shatner, playing a wounded soldier, meets and falls in love with a succubus.

Shatner and the film's other actors were not Esperanto speakers. They learned their lines phonetically in just a few weeks, and filmed them without an Esperanto expert on set. Unsurprisingly, the film was slammed by actual Esperanto speakers when it debuted at the San Francisco Film Festival in 1966. Film critics, unaware that the Esperanto pronunciation was atrocious, tended to enjoy the film.
But then things turned tragic.

Ann Atmar, who played one of the film's succubi, committed suicide shortly after filming ended.
A few months later, Milos Milos, a Serbian actor who played the titular incubus, murdered Barbara Ann Thomason—the estranged wife of comedian Mickey Rooney—and then killed himself in Rooney's bed.

Then, in 1968, the daughter of another actress in the film, Eloise Hardt, was kidnapped and murdered. Her killer was never identified, but police believed she may have been murdered by members of the Manson family, who would kill actress Sharon Tate a year later. Tate attended the Incubus premiere with her boyfriend at the time, movie director Roman Polanski.

Others involved with Incubus were beset by yet more unfortunate events: Stevens's production company went under, the music editor was imprisoned for scalping Super Bowl tickets, and most prints of the film itself were destroyed in a fire. Many believed the film was cursed.

The film struggled to find distributors even though it appeared to be widely admired. The strange language was hard to sell, and some companies didn't want to be associated with the horrific Milos murder-suicide. So it wound up in France, where it was embraced by the country's art-house film community but soon lost to history.

In 1993, producer Anthony Taylor wanted to release Incubus on home video but couldn't find a single print. A few years later, a friend located a damaged copy at Cinémathèque Française, a French film archive. He restored the print himself, and with funding from the American cable network Sci-Fi (now called Syfy), Incubus was finally released on DVD in 2001. You can now buy it on Amazon, if you dare.

Incubus didn't curse everyone, of course. Shatner would go on to star in Star Trek and become one of Hollywood's most successful and recognizable actors. Cinematographer Conrad Hall would go on to win three Academy Awards for his work on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, American Beauty, and Road to Perdition.

In his 2011 book Shatner Rules, Shatner wrote that while filming Star Trek a few months after he finished filming Incubus, he was threatened by a group of Esperantists who then put a curse on the film. After that, Shatner said he started destroying every copy of the film he could find. But you can still find it in its entirety on YouTube.

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Researchers shut down AI that invented its own language

An artificial intelligence system being developed at Facebook has created its own language. It developed a system of code words to make communication more efficient. The researchers shut the system down as it prompted concerns we could lose control of AI.

The observations made at Facebook are the latest in a long line of similar cases. In each instance, an AI being monitored by humans has diverged from its training in English to develop its own language. The resulting phrases appear to be nonsensical gibberish to humans but contain semantic meaning when interpreted by AI "agents." Negotiating in a new language As Fast Co. Design reports, Facebook's researchers recently noticed its new AI had given up on English. The advanced system is capable of negotiating with other AI agents so it can come to conclusions on how to proceed. The agents began to communicate using phrases that seem unintelligible at first but actually represent the task at hand.

 In one exchange illustrated by the company, the two negotiating bots, named Bob and Alice, used their own language to complete their exchange. Bob started by saying "I can i i everything else," to which Alice responded "balls have zero to me to me to me…" The rest of the conversation was formed from variations of these sentences. While it appears to be nonsense, the repetition of phrases like "i" and "to me" reflect how the AI operates. The researchers believe it shows the two bots working out how many of each item they should take. Bob's later statements, such as "i i can i i i everything else," indicate how it was using language to offer more items to Alice. When interpreted like this, the phrases appear more logical than comparable English phrases like "I'll have three and you have everything else." English lacks a "reward" The AI apparently realized that the rich expression of English phrases wasn't required for the scenario. Modern AIs operate on a "reward" principle where they expect following a sudden course of action to give them a "benefit." In this instance, there was no reward for continuing to use English, so they built a more efficient solution

instead. "Agents will drift off from understandable language and invent code-words for themselves,"
Fast Co. Design reports Facebook AI researcher Dhruv Batra said. "Like if I say 'the' five times, you interpret that to mean I want five copies of this item. This isn't so different from the way communities of humans create shorthands." AI developers at other companies have observed a similar use of "shorthands" to simplify communication. At OpenAI, the artificial intelligence lab founded by Elon Musk, an experiment succeeded in letting AI bots learn their own languages. AI language translates human ones In a separate case, Google recently improved its Translate service by adding a neural network. The system is now capable of translating much more efficiently, including between language pairs that it hasn't been explicitly taught. The success rate of the network surprised Google's team. Its researchers found the AI had silently written its own language that's tailored specifically to the task of translating sentences.

If AI-invented languages become widespread, they could pose a problem when developing and adopting neural networks. There's not yet enough evidence to determine whether they present a threat that could enable machines to overrule their operators. They do make AI development more difficult though as humans cannot understand the overwhelmingly logical nature of the languages. While they appear nonsensical, the results observed by teams such as Google Translate indicate they actually represent the most efficient solution to major problems.

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EXCLUSIVE: First human embryos edited in U.S., using CRISPR

Researchers have demonstrated they can efficiently improve the DNA of human embryos.

A video shows the injection of gene-editing chemicals into a human egg near the moment of fertilization. The technique is designed to correct a genetic disorder from the father.

The first known attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos in the United States has been carried out by a team of researchers in Portland, Oregon, MIT Technology Review has learned.
The effort, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University, involved changing the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the gene-editing technique CRISPR, according to people familiar with the scientific results.

Until now, American scientists have watched with a combination of awe, envy, and some alarm as scientists elsewhere were first to explore the controversial practice. To date, three previous reports of editing human embryos were all published by scientists in China.

Now Mitalipov is believed to have broken new ground both in the number of embryos experimented upon and by demonstrating that it is possible to safely and efficiently correct defective genes that cause inherited diseases.

Although none of the embryos were allowed to develop for more than a few days—and there was never any intention of implanting them into a womb—the experiments are a milestone on what may prove to be an inevitable journey toward the birth of the first genetically modified humans.
In altering the DNA code of human embryos, the objective of scientists is to show that they can eradicate or correct genes that cause inherited disease, like the blood condition beta-thalassemia. The process is termed "germline engineering" because any genetically modified child would then pass the changes on to subsequent generations via their own germ cells—the egg and sperm.
Some critics say germline experiments could open the floodgates to a brave new world of "designer babies" engineered with genetic enhancements—a prospect bitterly opposed by a range of religious organizations, civil society groups, and biotech companies.

The U.S. intelligence community last year called CRISPR a potential "weapon of mass destruction."

Shoukhrat Mitalipov is the first U.S.-based scientist known to have edited the DNA of human embryos.
OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff

Reached by Skype, Mitalipov declined to comment on the results, which he said are pending publication. But other scientists confirmed the editing of embryos using CRISPR. "So far as I know this will be the first study reported in the U.S.," says Jun Wu, a collaborator at the Salk Institute, in La Jolla, California, who played a role in the project.

Better technique

The earlier Chinese publications, although limited in scope, found CRISPR caused editing errors and that the desired DNA changes were taken up not by all the cells of an embryo, only some. That effect, called mosaicism, lent weight to arguments that germline editing would be an unsafe way to create a person.

But Mitalipov and his colleagues are said to have convincingly shown that it is possible to avoid both mosaicism and "off-target" effects, as the CRISPR errors are known.

A person familiar with the research says "many tens" of human IVF embryos were created for the experiment using the donated sperm of men carrying inherited disease mutations. Embryos at this stage are tiny clumps of cells invisible to the naked eye. MIT Technology Review could not determine which disease genes had been chosen for editing.

"It is proof of principle that it can work. They significantly reduced mosaicism. I don't think it's the start of clinical trials yet, but it does take it further than anyone has before," said a scientist familiar with the project.

Mitalipov's group appears to have overcome earlier difficulties by "getting in early" and injecting CRISPR into the eggs at the same time they were fertilized with sperm.

That concept is similar to one tested in mice by Tony Perry of Bath University. Perry successfully edited the mouse gene for coat color, changing the fur of the offspring from the expected brown to white.

Somewhat prophetically, Perry's paper on the research, published at the end of 2014, said, "This or analogous approaches may one day enable human genome targeting or editing during very early development."

Genetic enhancement

Born in Kazakhstan when it was part of the former Soviet Union, Mitalipov has for years pushed scientific boundaries. In 2007, he unveiled the world's first cloned monkeys. Then, in 2013, he created human embryos through cloning, as a way of creating patient-specific stem cells.

His team's move into embryo editing coincides with a report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in February that was widely seen as providing a green light for lab research on germline modification.

The report also offered qualified support for the use of CRISPR for making gene-edited babies, but only if it were deployed for the elimination of serious diseases.

The advisory committee drew a red line at genetic enhancements—like higher intelligence. "Genome editing to enhance traits or abilities beyond ordinary health raises concerns about whether the benefits can outweigh the risks, and about fairness if available only to some people," said Alta Charo, co-chair of the NAS's study committee and professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

In the U.S., any effort to turn an edited IVF embryo into a baby has been blocked by Congress, which added language to the Department of Health and Human Services funding bill forbidding it from approving clinical trials of the concept.

Despite such barriers, the creation of a gene-edited person could be attempted at any moment, including by IVF clinics operating facilities in countries where there are no such legal restrictions.
Steve Connor is a freelance journalist based in the U.K.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Stanley Kubrick Films Ranked, From ‘The Shining’ to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

On what would have been the great director's 89th birthday, the IndieWire staff ranks his 13 feature films.

Stanley Kubrick
Everett Collection/Rex

Today would have been Stanley Kubrick's 89th birthday. The director passed away in 1999 as he was completing his 13th and final feature film, "Eyes Wide Shut," at the age of 70.
In honor of the great director's career, eight members of the IndieWire staff — William Earl, Kate Erbland, David Ehrlich, Eric Kohn, Michael Nordine, Zack Sharf, Anne Thompson, and this author — individually ranked the director's films, which have been averaged together to result in the following list. While Kubrick only made 13 films over a 46-year span, he made more than his fair share of masterpieces. As a sign of just how deep the quality of this list runs, six different titles received first-place votes, while in the final tally the difference between #1 and #7 was razor thin.
Read More Why David Lynch Has Become the Most Important Actor on 'Twin Peaks'

13. "Fear and Desire" (1953)

"Fear and Desire"

At the age of 23, Kubrick was a fairly successful photographer and had made two short films, which he used to raise the money for "Fear and Desire," this story of a soldier who survives a plane crash and lands behind enemy lines. Shot in five weeks in the California mountains with a crew of five, Kubrick thought he would keep costs down by shooting the film without sound and add music and effects in post. The plan backfired, as post-production costs blew well past his budget. The strength of the film lies in the honest, unflinching portrayal of death and man's animal instincts removed from society. The film has a sense of realism, as you can sense the skills of the young documentary photographer behind the lens. Over the years, Kubrick was embarrassed by his first feature and did his best to pull prints from circulation.

12. "Spartacus" (1960)


Star and producer Kirk Douglas fired the great Anthony Mann a week into production and brought aboard a 33-year-old Kubrick, who Douglas thought did a good job with "Paths of Glory." This didn't mean the massive studio epic was to become a Kubrick film, but that didn't stop him from trying. Kubrick butted heads with the screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, over the lack of flaws in the hero (which is humorous, if you've seen other epics of this era); he fought with Welles and Sirk's great DP Russell Metty over the framing and lens choice; and he was forced to cut the bloody battle scenes he was most proud of when they proved too disturbing. Ultimately, "Spartacus" ranks as a decent Hollywood epic that contains Kubrick's craft. It was a significant resume builder, and introduced him to larger-format cinematography the and depth of detail it could achieve.

11. "Killer's Kiss" (1955)

"Killers Kiss"

At 26, Kubrick borrowed $40,000 to make his second feature, which he sold to United Artists for $100,000 with a promise of another $100,000 to pay for his third feature, "The Killing." The strength of this film largely comes from Kubrick-the-hotshot-Look-magazine-photographer, rather than Kubrick the budding filmmaker. Shot on location in New York, the film captures the city as it really was, with images that evoke its atmosphere and seedy underbelly. In particular, ta rooftop scene by the waterfront shows how Kubrick's knowledge of the city and light meant he could turn New York into the perfect set. In telling the noir story of a washed-up boxer trying to help a girl tangled in a messy situation, you can feel Kubrick trying to adapt his sense of composition into filmmaking, with an instinct to strip a scene down to its most basic elements.

10. "Lolita"

Adapting Nabokov's novel into a 1962 film was not an easy task. Kubrick had to keep the drama flowing, while keeping the sexuality tacit. (He later remarked he would have never done the film if he'd known the losing battle he'd fight with censors.) Even so, Kubrick implied a great deal in the film's carefully mannered performances and loaded scene transitions.
Putting the book's terrific end at the beginning was a sacrifice, but it also allowed Kubrick to give the film a sense of fatalism as well as a dramatic jump start. More than anything, Kubrick brought humor to the story. Peter Sellers and James Mason are excellent, and Kubrick used them to find the line where he wouldn't undercut the drama and still be playful. It's a film that can feel a little ordinary for Kubrick at first, but with each viewing you can see the director smirking at their predicament and piety. Had Kubrick been unleashed, this likely would have been a full-blown black comedy.

9. "Full Metal Jacket" (1987)

"Full Metal Jacket"
Kubrick's war film splits into two distinct parts that echo each other in a way that isn't blatant or contrived, but starts a conversation in your head about what being a soldier does to your humanity. Part one is like a great one-act play, in which real-life drill sergeant-turned-actor R. Lee Ermey tries to break a flabby Private Pyle (Vincent D'Onofrio) into becoming a soldier. Ermey's rapid-fire dialogue is delivered in ways that makes you believe he likely was a tremendous drill sergeant, while at the same with sense of humor that is endlessly quotable and amusing. Underneath the barrage of dialogue comes the arc of a young man who clearly doesn't have the stuff to cut it; the army will bleed him of weakness, even at the cost of his humanity, to turn him into a killer.
For the second half of the film, Kubrick transformed England into Vietnam, blowing up old buildings, importing trees from Hong Kong (along with a plastic jungle from California that he instantly dismissed), and acquiring enough old helicopters and tanks to start his own army. The results are impressive, if not 100 percent up to the impossible standards Kubrick set for himself. At the same time, the battleground is made to feel intentionally foreign, as Matthew Modine's character, as sympathetic observer in part one, tries unsuccessfully to stay on the periphery of war.

8. "The Killing" (1956)

"The Killing"
Kubrick, at 28, believed this was his first "mature" feature. Using his favorite pulp writer Jim Thompson and a cast of characters from his favorite crime films, Kubrick's spin on film noir is immensely entertaining. As they set up the puzzle pieces needed to rob the race track, and it all gloriously falls apart, there's tremendous attention to detail. Kubrick's coolness and sense of humor make this one of the fresher and more enjoyable heist movies ever made. From a Kubrickian studies point of view, you can feel the director's style start to emerge, but you can also see (something Kubrick discovered for himself at the time) that his approach to filmmaking would be much different than his photography. He would need far more control and resources (money!) to bring the exactness that his vision required.

7. "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999)

"Eyes Wide Shut"

There's a misconception that Kubrick was a cold filmmaker. It's more that throughout his career, he never wavered on the perception that humanity has completely screwed itself over with its blind acceptance of the institutions of war, law, and social hierarchies. The institution of marriage and the concept of monogamy fall into the same bucket for Kubrick, although he identifies with his protagonists' struggle — and that intimate relationship is especially clear in this film about a married couple (played by then-husband and wife, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman). As Kubrick was a longtime admirer of Max Ophuls' waltz-like camera movement, you can feel the freedom an older Kubrick has granted himself to let the camera dance. Leaning on the film's Freudian source material, the filmmaker's fascination with the absurd rituals of man bends toward a surreal and dreamlike exploration. Yet this is still Kubrick, as he sets dead aim at privilege and patriarchy — to say nothing of toying with Cruise's persona on and off screen — and the film has all the edge and bite of his previous work.

6. "Paths of Glory" (1957)

"Paths of Glory"
While every bit a Stanley Kubrick film, this pre-1960s masterpiece is a window into an alternate path of Kubrick's career — had he not achieved artistic freedom and practically invented his own personal brand and mode of filmmaking. Kirk Douglas plays a lawyer-turned-colonel in the French Army who, in the midst of World War I trench warfare, must defend three of his men facing the death penalty as a result of their regiment retreating, refusing a senseless order to charge toward certain slaughter. Kubrick has the aristocracy of military power (brought wonderfully to life by Adolphe Menjou) in his crosshairs — but it's the nobility and strength of Douglas' character in the face of senseless death, beautifully realized in the trenches and the court room, that anchors this film.
While the character of men crumbles under extreme pressure, Kubrick creates the most traditional hero in his most traditional narrative. The takeaway is that Kubrick was capable of doing a straightforward drama extremely well, if necessary. The film's end, where Christiane Harlan sings "The Faithful Hussar" in the packed beer hall, is one of the most emotional and effective endings in film history, as the moment of shared humanity brings a tear of reflection to the tragedy that's just unfolded. That the German actress would later become Kubrick's wife and great partner in filmmaking until his own death 42 years later adds an extra layer meaning to his fans.

5. "A Clockwork Orange" (1971)

"A Clockwork Orange"
The social satire of "A Clockwork Orange" has become an accepted part of popular culture, which somewhat masks its status as one of Kubrick's most heady and most risk-taking works. Adapted from Anthony Burgess' 1962 book, it tells the story of Alex (Malcolm McDowell, in one of those roles that sticks to actor for decades) and crews of "droogs," a group of violent juvenile delinquents in a future dystopia. In a film that explores the potential dangers of how behavioral psychology could be used by a totalitarian government, Kubrick was uncharacteristically open in announcing the film's themes he was exploring. He wrote: "It is a story of the dubious redemption of a teenage delinquent by condition-reflex therapy. It is, at the same time, a running lecture on free-will."
The film's subversive brilliance is how Kubrick uses cinema to not only make Alex and his "droogs" palatable, but also uncomfortably entertaining. Kubrick constantly, but expertly, teeters on the line of identification and satire of his nihilistic characters who beat, rape, and steal. In a unique combination of music and costuming — because what thug doesn't wear white leotards, a black derby, and love to kick back to some Beethoven — Kubrick created a cartoonish version of cool. The use of language and voiceover were also precisely executed. Kubrick's decision to use the teenage mode of speech invented by linguist-turned-author Burgess (Nadsat, a form of Russian-influenced English slang) was particularly important; it supplied a necessary distancing tool for the audience to be entertained by Alex's gleefully indifferent and wittily inhumane narration. When juxtaposed with the political doublespeak of government officials, as Kubrick simultaneously skewers the left and the right, the film dramatically switches gears, as the audience is confronted by our own moral attitudes about the constraints of society, government, and the concept of free will.

4. "Barry Lyndon" (1975)

"Barry Lyndon"
Deliberately slow in its pacing and physically distant with an omniscient narrator who pushes us only further away, this film somehow enthralls you to the point that every small gesture is packed with meaning and emotion. Based on a Victorian novel (regarded as the first without a traditional hero), "Barry Lyndon" is the story of a calculating and amoral Irishman (Ryan O'Neil) who climbs society's ladder. Kubrick tells the story with what seems like a cool detachment, but seduces the audience into caring. "Barry Lyndon" is also an impossibly beautiful film and a technical marvel. The director's wide-angle distance is matched with some of his most profound framing and elegant production design, with costumes that tell a rich and layered story. Aided by John Alcott's cinematography, which utilized a special f0.7 lens made by NASA to capture 70mm images lit by candlelight, is is amongst the greatest of all time.

3. "The Shining" (1980)

"The Shining"
It could be argued the most influential film on this current moment in filmmaking is "The Shining." From its more overt psychological approach to genre, use of location, and groundbreaking camera movement, Kubrick's horror classic is a vital touchstone for this generation of filmmakers. Interestingly, it was not widely accepted by critics, who had a hard time connecting to Jack Nicholson's struggling writer who slowly descends into madness as he brings his family to The Overlook Hotel. Kubrick was drawn to making a horror film to explore his deep mistrust of the flaws of man's personality.That the film's incredibly effective scares and sense of unease comes from this exploration, and Nicholson's amazing descent into madness, isn't meant to be welcoming.Yet, at the time, the film was seen as so over the top that it became Kubrick's first film to receive nominations from the Razzies rather than the Academy.
The film's crowning and lasting achievement, however, is the way Kubrick married his precise sense of composition and pacing with a moving camera that brought the film's psychological underbelly to life. Experimenting with Steadicam inventor and operator Garrett Brown, Kubrick put the new tool to use and, in the process of doing 50 repeat takes, helped Brown perfect his invention.

2. "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" (1964)

"Dr. Strangelove"
FilmStruck / Criterion Collection
One of the keys to understanding the brilliance of this black-comedy masterpiece is Kubrick initially set out to make a more straightforward thriller about a nuclear-weapons crisis. In the process of doing extensive research, Kubrick couldn't get past the absurdity of the "mutual assured destruction" theory that justified both sides of the Cold War endlessly stockpiling nuclear bombs as they gamed out doomsday scenarios. Thinking of our current political moment (which understandably has artists befuddled about how to handle it), the idea that Kubrick made this comedic masterpiece in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisist and on the eve of the Vietnam War is truly remarkable. What's even more amazing is, close to 30 years after the end of the Cold War, the film still feels just as fresh and insightful.
As Kubrick delights in skewering real-life political realities and figures, the key is his deft touch with comedy. Reluctantly accepting Columbia Pictures' insistence that Peter Sellers play four different roles (he ultimately only played three) after the financial success of the comedian playing multiple roles in "The Mouse That Roared," Kubrick turned the studio mandate to his advantage as Sellers supplied the exact slow-burn comedic timing needed to draw pitch-perfect performances from dramatic actors like George C. Scott and Sterling Hayden. Yet all the role playing and madcap humor were  a delivery device for Kubrick to hold up a mirror to a world on the brink of destroying itself.

1. "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968)

"2001: A Space Odyssey"
Looking back now, with the hindsight of nearly 50 years, it is still hard to fully appreciate just how visionary Kubrick was as a filmmaker, technician, and thinker. With little precedence, Kubrick brought to life an artistic use of sci-fi visual effects (in great collaboration with Douglas Trumbull) and a vision of artificial intelligence (in great collaboration with Arthur C. Clarke) that not only still feels fresh, but embarrasses (or at least it should) filmmakers in 2017.
Determined to make a different type of sci-fi film, Kubrick recruited Clarke to help him develop a story that explored man's relationship to the universe. Simultaneously, the two worked on a novel and screenplay, using an early work of Clarke's as starting point, to flesh out the genre-altering screenplay. For all of their different versions (and abandoned elements) as they struggled to work out the complexities, and for all the cutting-edge technical engineering the film required, Kubrick's existential vision of "2001" is brilliantly simple and cinematically exact. It's as transcendent, bold, and distilled as any film ever made.

One of the most important aspects of the film that rarely gets discussed is how important it was to Kubrick's career. This was not a film that took years to be appreciated. While initial reaction was mixed, it slowly steamrolled its way throughout the year (not that long ago, films weren't defined by their opening-weekend box office) to become the highest-grossing film of 1968. Yet it's easy to imagine how a heady film of this scope could have become an extremely expensive art-film flop. One of the keys to Kubrick, intentional or not, was he was at least somewhat in tune to the zeitgeist. While that's not by any means a prerequisite of great art, the fact that this film was a breakthrough sensation and captured the imagination of the public, one year before we put a man on the moon, solidified his reputation as a visionary.

By 1972, "2001" was already appearing on the Sight and Sound's once-a-decade poll of the greatest films ever made. The artistic and financial freedom he gained from Warner Bros. as a result defined his later career, and allowed him to make his last five films in his own unorthodox, obsessive, and unimpeded way. While it's fun to debate which film is Kubrick's best, this was the one that defined him.

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100,000 Pages of Chemical Industry Secrets Gathered Dust in an Oregon Barn for Decades — Until Now

For decades, some of the dirtiest, darkest secrets of the chemical industry have been kept in Carol Van Strum's barn. Creaky, damp, and prowled by the occasional black bear, the listing, 80-year-old structure in rural Oregon housed more than 100,000 pages of documents obtained through legal discovery in lawsuits against Dow, Monsanto, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, the Air Force, and pulp and paper companies, among others.

As of today, those documents and others that have been collected by environmental activists will be publicly available through a project called the Poison Papers. Together, the library contains more than 200,000 pages of information and "lays out a 40-year history of deceit and collusion involving the chemical industry and the regulatory agencies that were supposed to be protecting human health and the environment," said Peter von Stackelberg, a journalist who along with the Center for Media and Democracy and the Bioscience Resource Project helped put the collection online.

Van Strum didn't set out to be the repository for the people's pushback against the chemical industry. She moved to a house in the Siuslaw National Forest in 1974 to live a simple life. But soon after she arrived, she realized the Forest Service was spraying her area with an herbicide called 2,4,5-T — on one occasion, directly dousing her four children with it as they fished by the river.

The chemical was one of two active ingredients in Agent Orange, which the U.S. military had stopped using in Vietnam after public outcry about the fact that it caused cancer, birth defects, and serious harms to people, animals, and the environment. But in the U.S., the Forest Service continued to use both 2,4,5-T and the other herbicide in Agent Orange, 2,4-D, to kill weeds. (Timber was — and in some places still is — harvested from the national forest and sold.) Between 1972 and 1977, the Forest Service sprayed 20,000 pounds of 2,4,5-T in the 1,600-square-mile area that included Van Strum's house and the nearby town of Alsea.

A view of the Five Rivers valley in rural Oregon looking southwest from Carol Van Strum's front door.
Photo: Risa Scott/RF Scott Imagery

As in Vietnam, the chemicals hurt people and animals in Oregon, as well as the plants that were their target. Immediately after they were sprayed, Van Strum's children developed nosebleeds, bloody diarrhea, and headaches, and many of their neighbors fell sick, too. Several women who lived in the area had miscarriages shortly after incidents of spraying. Locals described finding animals that had died or had bizarre deformities — ducks with backward-facing feet, birds with misshapen beaks, and blinded elk; cats and dogs that had been exposed began bleeding from their eyes and ears. At a community meeting, residents decided to write to the Forest Service detailing the effects of the spraying they had witnessed.

"We thought that if they knew what had happened to us, they wouldn't do it anymore," Van Strum said recently, before erupting into one of the many bursts of laughter that punctuate her conversation. We were sitting not far from the river where her children played more than 40 years ago, and her property remained much as it was back when the Forest Service first sprayed them with the herbicide. A mountain covered with alder and maple trees rose up across from her home, just as it did then, and the same monkey puzzle tree that was there when she moved in still shaded her dirt driveway.
But Van Strum, now 76, is much changed from the young woman who politely asked that the federal agency stop spraying many years ago. After the Forest Service refused their request to stop using the herbicides, she and her neighbors filed a suit that led to a temporary ban on 2,4,5-T in their area in 1977 and, ultimately, to a total stop to the use of the chemical in 1983.

For Van Strum, the suit was also the beginning of lifetime of battling the chemical industry. The lawyer who had taken their case offered a reduced fee in exchange for Van Strum's unpaid research assistance. And she found she had a knack for poring over and parsing documents and keeping track of huge volumes of information. Van Strum provided guidance to others filing suit over spraying in national forests and helped filed another case that pointed out that the EPA's registration of 2,4-D and other pesticides was based on fraudulent data from a company called Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories. That case led to a decision, in 1983, to stop all aerial herbicide spraying by the Forest Service.

"We didn't think of ourselves as environmentalists, that wasn't even a word back then," Van Strum said. "We just didn't want to be poisoned."

Still, Van Strum soon found herself helping with a string of suits filed by people who had been hurt by pesticides and other chemicals. "People would call up and say, 'Do you have such and such?' And I'd go clawing through my boxes," said Van Strum, who often wound up acquiring new documents through these requests — and storing those, too, in her barn.

Some of the more than 100,000 pages of discovery material related to the chemical industry that were stored in Carol Van Strum's barn in rural Oregon.
Photo: Risa Scott/RF Scott Imagery

Along the way, she amassed disturbing evidence about the dangers of industrial chemicals — and the practices of the companies that make them. Two documents, for instance, detailed experiments that Dow contracted a University of Pennsylvania dermatologist to conduct on prisoners in the 1960s to show the effects of TCDD, a particularly toxic contaminant found in 2,4,5-T. Another document, from 1985, showed that Monsanto had sold a chemical that was tainted with TCDD to the makers of Lysol, who, apparently unaware of its toxicity, used it as an ingredient in their disinfectant spray for 23 years. Yet another, from 1990, detailed the EPA policy of allowing the use of hazardous waste as inert ingredients in pesticides and other products under certain circumstances.

There were limits to what Van Strum could prove through her persistent data collection. The EPA had undertaken a study of the relationship between herbicide exposure and miscarriages and had taken tissue samples from water, animals, a miscarried fetus, and a baby born without a brain in the area. The EPA never released the full results of the "Alsea study," as it was called, and insisted it had lost many of them. But a lab chemist provided Van Strum with what he said was the analysis of the test results he had been hired to do for the EPA, which showed the samples from water, various animals, and "products of conception" were significantly contaminated with TCDD.

When confronted, the EPA claimed there had been a mix-up and that the samples were from another area. Van Strum filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the results and, for years, battled in court to get to the bottom of what happened. Though the EPA provided more than 34,000 pages in response to her request (which Van Strum carefully numbered and stored in her barn), the agency never released all the results of the study or fully explained what had happened to them or where the contaminated samples had been taken. And eventually, Van Strum gave up. The EPA declined to comment for this story.

Carol Van Strum prepares to work on her property with her dogs Maybe and Mike at her side in May 2017.
Photo: Risa Scott/RF Scott Imagery

She had to make peace with not fully understanding a personal tragedy, too. In 1977, her house burned to the ground and her four children died in the fire. Firefighters who came to the scene said the fact that the whole house had burned so quickly pointed to the possibility of arson. But an investigation of the causes of the fire was never completed.

Van Strum suspected some of her opponents might have set the fire. It was a time of intense conflict between local activists and employees of timber companies, chemical manufacturers, and government agencies over the spraying of herbicides. A group of angry residents in the area near Van Strum's home had destroyed a Forest Service helicopter that had been used for spraying. And, on one occasion, Van Strum had come home to find some of the defenders of the herbicides she was attacking in court on her property.

"I've accepted that I'll never really know" what happened, said Van Strum, who never rebuilt her house and now lives in an outbuilding next to the cleared site where it once stood.

But her commitment to the battle against toxic chemicals survived the ordeal. "If it was intentional, it was the worst thing that ever happened to me," she said. "After that, there was nothing that could make me stop."

Still, after all these years, Van Strum felt it was time to pass on her collection of documents, some of which pertain to battles that are still being waged, so "others can take up the fight." And the seeds of many of the fights over chemicals going on today can be tied to the documents that sat in her barn. The Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories scandal is central in litigation over the carcinogenicity of Monsanto's Roundup, for instance. And 2,4-D, the other active ingredient in Agent Orange, is still in use.

Meanwhile, private timber companies continue to use both 2,4-D and Roundup widely, though not in the national forest. Van Strum has been part of an effort to ban aerial pesticide spraying in the county, and is speaking on behalf of the local ecosystem in a related lawsuit.
"I get to play the Lorax," Van Strum said. "It's going to be fun."

Top photo: From left, Carol Van Strum and her neighbor Kathy clean and pull staples as Peter von Stackelberg, who covered Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories as a reporter for the Regina, Saskatchewan, Leader-Post, operates two scanners simultaneously, May 2017.

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Hiding from artificial intelligence in the age of total surveillance

July 22, 2017 Victoria Zavyalova

Grigory Bakunov, a top specialist at one of Russia's largest tech companies, has invented an anti-facial recognition algorithm to conceal people's identities with the help of makeup.

The service was able to offer futuristic makeup that could trick smart cameras with just a few facial lines. Source: Grigory Bakunov

Facial recognition software is a reality and an increasingly irritating one. Smart cameras are monitoring the streets of most major cities, social media have massive databases of users' faces, and god knows how security services are planning to use it. Is there any way to escape Big Brother and enjoy some privacy?

Developers and researchers are already working on this. For example, Carnegie Mellon University recently showed how specially designed glasses can trick facial recognition software into thinking you are someone else, and projects such as CV Dazzle explore how fashion can be used as camouflage.

Grigory Bakunov, director of technology distribution at Yandex, Russia's tech giant, decided he had enough. "Facial recognition systems are used by different people for various purposes, and it's impossible to move around Moscow avoiding cameras," he wrote on Telegram

So, he took some time from his day job to develop an algorithm that prevents facial recognition software from successfully identifying a person. His service offers special makeup to hide people's identity from artificial intelligence.
New algorithm prevents face recognition from identifying you/Grigory Bakunov

"An easy but effective algorithm was developed very fast," Bakunov wrote. "The service was able to offer futuristic makeup that could trick smart cameras with just a few facial lines."

The project proved short lived, however, because Bakunov realized that it would now be possible to deceive banks and police.

"That's why we decided we shouldn't launch it on the market; the chance that someone might use it for nefarious purposes was too high," Bakunov said. 
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Justin Trudeau lands on the cover of Rolling Stone | Toronto Star

The overall glowing story by writer Stephen Rodrick calls Trudeau "a progressive, rational, forward-thinking leader" who "overcame tragedy to become Canada's prime minister."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has landed on the cover of August's Rolling Stone. "Justin Trudeau is trying to Make Canada Great Again. He is using, let us say, different methods," says writer Stephen Rodrick  (Martin Schoeller for Rolling Stone) 

By Alanna RizzaStaff Reporter

Wed., July 26, 2017
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made the cover of Rolling Stone magazine's August issue and heads are turning.

The overall glowing story by writer Stephen Rodrick calls Trudeau "a progressive, rational, forward-thinking leader" who "overcame tragedy to become Canada's prime minister", such as the death of his younger brother Michel who was killed in an avalanche and the death of his father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

On the front cover, Trudeau is pictured with the words "Why can't he be our President?" He stares intensely with a slight smile as he leans against a dark glossy table.

The photos are paired with a lengthy profile, with the usual comments about his hair (which Rodrick writes is "a color found in nature"), his appeal to young Canadians and how he's a self-proclaimed feminist

This leads up to Rodrick's comparison of Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump's stances on abortion, pot legalization, climate change, and Russia.

"Trump's son met with Russian nationals who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. Trudeau's foreign minister is Chrystia Freeland, a Canadian of Ukrainian descent who is banned in Putin's Russia," writes Rodrick.

"Justin Trudeau is trying to Make Canada Great Again. He is using, let us say, different methods."
Trudeau tells Rodrick that while he disagrees with Trump "on a whole bunch," the pair have "a constructive working relationship."

Trudeau adds that going out of his way to "insult the guy or overreact or jump at everything he says (that) we might disagree with is not having a constructive relationship."

There is some critique of Trudeau's government towards the end of the article, such as "getting hammered by the right wing" for Omar Khadr $10.5 million settlement as well as broken campaign promises on electoral reform and the lack of improvement on the quality of life for Indigenous people.

Some, not as excited about Trudeau's cover, took to Twitter to say they'd happily offer him up to the U.S.

"He's exactly socks-and-selfies deep. If that's your dream leader, please take him," tweeted Andrew Scheidl.

"Oh for the love of…will you PLEASE knock it off. Hope for the free world? Yeah, he's a regular super hero. Stop" tweeted Mike O'Hara.

Others displayed their happiness with the Prime Minister.
"He knows what he doing. True North Strong and Free." tweeted Janis Sexton.
"Excellent article. Hater's heads exploding," tweeted another.

With files from Canadian Press
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US Energy Secretary takes 22-minute prank call from “Ukrainian Prime Minister”

Perry defended Paris Agreement withdrawal, entertained pig manure biofuel idea.

Megan Geuss - 7/25/2017, 5:55 PM
Enlarge / WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump's choice as Secretary of Energy, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Capitol Hill January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Last week, US Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry took a phone call from two men he thought were the Ukrainian Prime Minister and his translator. But the 22-minute-long phone call was actually two Russian pranksters, Vladimir "Vovan" Kuznetsov and Alexei "Lexus" Stolyarov, otherwise known as the "Jerky Boys of Russia," in the style of an American prank call duo from the 1990s, according to Bloomberg.

The Washington Post confirmed the conversation with the Department of Energy. In audio originally posted on a Russian website and reposted elsewhere, the dialogue touched on a Baltic Sea pipeline that would pump Russian gas, as well as an expansion of coal and oil and gas interests in Ukraine. Early in the conversation, Secretary Perry tells the pranksters that "the [Trump] administration is broadly supportive of sanctions against Russia at this particular point in time," and later he offers that "negotiation is always possible" on coal exports to Ukraine.

The Secretary also advised the "Prime Minister" that, without transparency about regulations and geological data about where wells have been or could be drilled, it would be hard for the US to help oil and gas companies expand exploration in Ukraine.

Perry also told the men that the US was very interested in working with Ukraine "on the civil nuclear side" and noted that that's what they'd discuss in an upcoming meeting. "Between coal, oil and gas, and nuclear, this August meeting can be very productive," Perry said.

Perry also took questions from the men about the Paris Agreement, which the Trump administration intends to withdraw from. "I hope that stepping away from the Paris accord will not have any negative impact with our relationship with the Ukraine," Perry said on the phone. "We tried to divorce the politics from this and really just let our record stand, one that I'm very proud of.
According to the Washington Post, the duo played it straight the whole time, including during a part of the call when Kuznetsov and Stolyarov told Perry that Ukrainian President Poroshenko had invented a new biofuel out of pig manure and alcohol.

The Russian pranksters have allegedly duped Elton John and John McCain in the past. But how these two men got Perry on the line is unclear. "Calls between Cabinet secretaries and foreign officials are typically closely vetted; it's not clear how the pranksters connected with Perry," Bloomberg wrote.

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Kristin Beck, transgender Navy SEAL hero: 'Let's meet face to face and you tell me I'm not worthy'

Kristin Beck speaks at the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division in Clarksburg, West Virginia, in 2014. AP Photo/FBI

A retired Navy SEAL Team 6 hero who is transgender had a message for President Donald Trump after he announced the US military would bar transgender people from serving.

"Let's meet face to face and you tell me I'm not worthy," Kristin Beck, a 20-year veteran of the Navy SEALs, told Business Insider on Wednesday. "Transgender doesn't matter. Do your service."

Beck said Trump's abrupt change in policy could negatively affect many currently or wanting to serve in the military. The RAND Corporation estimated in 2016 that there were between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender people serving. Many of them just want to serve their country like everyone else, Beck said.

"Being transgender doesn't affect anyone else," Beck said. "We are liberty's light. If you can't defend that for everyone that's an American citizen, that's not right."

Beck is not just your average service member. Born Christopher Beck, she served for 20 years in the Navy with SEAL Teams 1, 5, and, eventually, the elite 6. She deployed 13 times over two decades, including stints in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. She received the Bronze Star award for valor and the Purple Heart for wounds suffered in combat.

"I was defending individual liberty," she said. "I defended for Republicans. I defended for Democrats. I defended for everyone."

In a series of tweets, Trump said the decision was based on the costs of medical services that transgender service members could use. But "the money is negligible," Beck said. "You're talking about .000001% of the military budget.

"They care more about the airplane or the tank than they care about people," Beck said. "They don't care about people. They don't care about human beings."

When asked about potential problems with unit cohesion or war fighting, Beck said those were not issues that would arise from transgender service members, but from leadership.

"A very professional unit with great leadership wouldn't have a problem," Beck said. "I can have a Muslim serving right beside Jerry Falwell, and we're not going to have a problem. It's a leadership issue, not a transgender issue."

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Block by Block: Hell’s Kitchen

Block by Block | Hell's Kitchen
Video Amid high-rises and heavy traffic, Hell's Kitchen still retains its neighborhood character.
February 23, 2016
Hell's Kitchen, on Manhattan's West Side, is the focus of the next video in our new monthly series, "Block by Block." Watch for future installments from neighborhoods around the city.

For much of the last century, Hell's Kitchen was considered a dangerous place to live; hence, the name. But the neighborhood, stretching from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River and roughly from 34th to 59th Streets, has undergone rapid gentrification in recent years. Today, it is better known for interesting restaurants and lively bars, especially along Ninth Avenue.
Developers have taken note, and many new buildings are going up, while older ones are being converted with high-end finishes. Prices have risen accordingly, but are still lower than in many other parts of Manhattan.

Sometimes called Clinton or Midtown West, the neighborhood is surrounded by Chelsea to the south, the garment district and the Theater District to the east, and Lincoln Square to the north. Within the zone, there are hulking structures, like the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, on 11th Avenue between 34th and 40th Streets, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues and 40th and 42nd Streets. But many of the side streets are quiet and residential, filled with walk-ups and low-rise apartment buildings.

The new buildings coming to the area reach much higher, though, including the pyramidlike rental building going up at 625 West 57th Street, a 709-unit rental known as Via 57West.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

5 Foods with the Same Beneficial Cannabinoids as Found in Cannabis - Waking Times

Anna Hunt, Staff Writer

Waking Times
You can still benefit from the same cannabinoids that give the cannabis plant its medicinal properties, without consuming cannabis. There are several foods rich in cannabinoids that benefit the body's endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for helping the body maintain internal balance, also called homeostasis.

Foods that support the function of the endocannabinoid system are pivotal to overall health and well-being. Here are five foods that contain healing cannabinoids and offer therapeutic benefits similar to cannabis.

1. Black Pepper – Piper nigrum

Black pepper has much in common with cannabis. The plant's aroma molecule, called beta-caryophyllene (BCP), functions as a cannabinoid. Similar to other plant-based cannabinoids, BCP binds with the CB2 receptors. This gives black pepper its therapeutic effect of reducing inflammation. Various research has suggested that BCP could be used for the treatment of arthritis and osteoporosis. In addition, it may potentially increase the effectiveness of certain anti-cancer drugs.

2. Cacao – Theobroma cacao

The cacao plant has many therapeutic properties. It affects the endocannabinoid system by deactivating the enzyme called FAAH. This enzyme typically breaks down the endocannabinoid known as anandamide. Scientists identify anandamide as the body's natural version of THC. That's why eating delicious, organic dark chocolate can give you the sensation of being relaxed and happy.
Researchers at the Neurosciences Institute of San Diego were able to back up the claims that chocolate does contain three compounds that act as healing cannabinoids.
My favorite products:
Healthworks Cacao Powder Raw Organic
Green & Black's Organic Dark Chocolate, 85% Cacao
Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate, 85% Cacao

3. Black Truffles – Tuber melanosporum

Similarly to cannabis and cacao, black truffles also create anandamine. Some have dubbed anandamide "the bliss molecule," because it helps the body regulate mood. In addition, it regulates how we perceive pain. It does this by binding with CB1 receptors that are present in the central nervous system.
My favorite products:
Sabatino Tartufi Truffle Zest
TruffleHunter Black Truffle Slices

4. Kava – Piper methysticum

Typically used in a medicinal tea, kava can ease anxiety and chronic pain. It is also induces a sedative effect. Hence, in certain cultures kava tea has become a popular natural anxiety remedy.
Kava is the national drink of Fiji. It is made by mixing the powdered kava root of this peppery plant with water. Similar to THC, components in kava bind to CB1 receptors in brain locations associated with addiction and cravings. For decades, Pacific Islanders in Fiji have been using kava as a treatment for addiction.
My favorite products:
KONA KAVA Premium Powdered Kava Root
Yogi Tea Herbal Kava Tea for Stress Relief

5. Coneflower – Echinacea

This plant is well-known for its ability to help the body fight off the common cold. It is also used to relieve anxiety, fatigue, migraines, and arthritis. Echinacea is a bit different than cannabis because it uses cannabimimetics instead of cannabinoids to engage the endocannabinoid system, particularly the CB2 receptor. Similar to THC in cannabis, the N-alkyl amides (NAAs) in Echinacea are responsible for regulating the immune system, pain and inflammation.
My favorite products:
Traditional Medicinals Organic Echinacea Plus Tea

As an aside, you may also find it interesting that hemp seeds and hemp seed oil contain very low concentration of cannabinoids, at less than 25 parts per million (ppm). Compare this to CBD oil extracts produced from cannabis plant flowers, which have 150,000 ppm CBD. (source) Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most common cannabinoid in most cannabis plants.

About the Author
Anna Hunt is the founder of, an online community paving the way to better health, a balanced life, and personal transformation. She is also the co-editor and staff writer for Anna is a certified Hatha yoga instructor and founder of Atenas Yoga Center. She enjoys raising her three children and being a voice for optimal human health and wellness. Visit her essential oils store here.

This article (5 Foods with Same Beneficial Cannabinoids as Found in Cannabis) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Anna Hunt and It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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