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Wed, 10 Feb 2016
The World for People who Think

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Cursing, deconstructing the poverty-of-vocabulary myth

People who curse a lot have better vocabularies than those who don't, study finds
If someone's ever accused you of sounding less intelligent because you swear too much, don't worry - science has got your back. A new study has found that those who have a healthy repertoire of curse words at their disposal are more likely to have a richer vocabulary than those who don't.

This challenges the long-held stereotype that people swear because they can't find more intelligent words with which to express themselves. As Stephen Fry once said, "The sort of twee person who thinks swearing is in any way a sign of a lack of education or a lack of verbal interest is just f**king lunatic."

Psychologists Kristin Jay and Timothy Jay of Marist College and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (not clear if related) came up with the hypothesis that people who are well-versed in curse words are more likely to have greater overall language fluency too.


Russian Student Flash Mob Forms Massive Portrait of President Putin

Thousands of students forming Putin's portrait
Vladimir Putin is credited by most Russians for lifting the country out of the depths into which the country was plunged during Yeltsin's disastrous presidency.

Putin's popularity rating currently hovers at around 90%.

Comment: Nice to see Russian students having fun and showing their support for President Putin!

Mr. Potato

Homeowner tricks holiday package thief into stealing box of dog poop

The unsuspecting dog poop thief
A homeowner in Las Vegas came up with a creative way to deal with thieves stealing his packages.

Eric Bardo left a package filled with dog poop on his doorstep after he was "fed up" with reports of local package thefts. He felt this was the perfect way to keep the thieves away.

"It sat out there for four days and they finally came and got it," said Bardo.

Bardo says he bought security cameras after someone broke into his car a few months after he moved in. The cameras came in handy this time, as they captured the thieves taking the decoy package.

Some of security videos can be seen in the player below.


Donald Trump's problem? He just doesn't go far enough

The biggest impact he has had is making other Republican candidates appear normal

The problem with Donald Trump's plan to stop all Muslims from entering America, at least "until we can figure what is going on", is that it doesn't go far enough. To make the country truly safe he should insist that - as so many non-Muslims go berserk with guns in schools and shopping malls - no non-Muslims can be allowed into the country until we can figure out what is going on.

Some non-Muslims may complain it's unfair to blame all of them for a minority of crazed murderers, but we can't afford to take chances. How many more massacres in cinemas and bowling alleys must there be before someone takes responsibility and bans them all?

One supporter of Trump said yesterday: "We can't look at a Muslim and tell whether they're a terrorist or friendly." This is true, and shows the Muslim terrorist is especially dangerous. Say what you will about the IRA, at least they wore top hats with flashing lights that spelled the word 'terrorist', and noses shaped like a surface to air missile; you just knew from looking at them.

But the non-Muslims who go doolally and fire into supermarkets also disguise themselves. One minute they're calmly drawing pictures of Satan in the college canteen, or buying a Kalashnikov on a two-for-one offer at the fishmongers with some haddock. Then, out of nowhere, they're firing at everyone in Aldi. So I'm sure the moderate non-Muslims will understand if, for their own safety, they'll have to be tagged and report every day to a psychiatrist for an assessment and, if they pass, then go to the Post Office to get a stamp that allows them to stay out until half past six.

Donald Trump strengthened his argument about the danger of Muslims when he said there have been no Muslim American sports stars. If you were picky, you could suggest Muhammad Ali - a prominent member of the Nation of Islam. But they weren't very Muslim; they only saw Islam as a side issue. And anyway, he wasn't all that sporty.

Light Saber

Jihadi Jedi! The homegrown radicalization of Luke Skywalker

The cautionary tale of Luke Skywalker, a typical case of homegrown radicalization.
With the imminent release of the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, many theatergoers are re-watching the original movies to reacquaint themselves with those stories from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. This time, however, they may find themselves surprised by how much the film's characters and themes echo the current War On Terror.

While some have put forth persuasive arguments as to why the Galactic Empire were actually the good guys and the Rebel Alliance bad (an explanation by Jonathan V. Last can be found here, and an excellent follow-up by Sonny Bunch here), the recent online discussion tends to be on a more macro level, discussing galaxy wide events and surrounding the Empire's struggle to restore safety and order to a star system overrun by space terrorists.

A more focused study, however, is needed to truly understand that the Star Wars films are actually the story of the radicalization of Luke Skywalker. From introducing him to us in A New Hope (as a simple farm boy gazing into the Tatooine sunset), to his eventual transformation into the radicalized insurgent of Return of the Jedi (as one who sets his own father's corpse on fire and celebrates the successful bombing of the Death Star), each film in the original trilogy is another step in Luke's descent into terrorism. By carefully looking for the same signs governments and scholars use to detect radicalization, we can witness Luke's dark journey into religious fundamentalism and extremism happen before our very eyes.

Comment: This is just the official story. The truth goes much deeper. Like most alleged cases of homegrown radicalization, the authorities don't ever seem to mention the alleged terrorist's close ties to the Empire's intelligence services. Not only was Luke's sister the alleged leader of the terrorist organization known as the Rebel Alliance; they were both children of Darth Vader himself! And the official story of the destruction of the Death Star is full of holes.


RT Kremlin propaganda exposed!

If you've ever had the nagging suspicion that RT is just a nest of foul Kremlin propagandists slavishly following Pontius Putin's iron-fisted commie will, don't fret. Now there is ironclad proof. McCain and Killary can now rest easy in the firm knowledge that their paranoid fantasies are confirmed.

Mr. Potato

2015's best news bloopers from around the world

Every year NewsBeFunny makes one of these recaps, and every year we realize how many normal words sound just like words you absolutely cannot say on broadcast TV.


Year 2035: Obama is retired, Kerry is an old geezer, and Snowden is president

Russia's RT News outlet is celebrating its 10th year of broadcasting. RT, whose trademark slogan is "Question more," launched in December 2005 and now consists of three global news channels broadcasting in English, Arabic and Spanish. They also have a documentary channel, RTDoc, in English and Russian, online platforms in German and French, and a video news agency RUPTLY. RT says it now has a global reach of over 700 million people in more than 100 countries.

In celebration of their 10th anniversary RT released an advertisement titled "2035" that spoofs an elderly Barack Obama sitting on his porch with an even older John Kerry, supposedly in the year 2035. The video begins with a question from Obama asking Kerry, "So what's new?" to which Kerry responds, "Apart from the fact that no one is afraid of us anymore, there's nothing new."

In the video RT wonders what would Obama and Kerry say if they saw US President Edward Snowden on RT in the year 2035? Here their best guess...

Comment: All in good fun :)


Darth Trump 2016: Make the galaxy great again

Darth Trump
After making the now-infamous suggestion to ban Muslims from entering the United States, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has been compared to a certain historical figure. But he also bears similarities to an iconic fictional villain.


Russian tiger befriends brave goat intended for lunch

© Ruptly
It was seen as a friendship too good to be true, as a tiger in a Russian safari park made friends with its intended lunch, a goat. However, the zoo keepers have bad news for Timur the goat, saying it is only a matter of time before he is eventually eaten.

The Siberian tiger and goat have become internet sensations since they became unlikely buddies at a safari park in Russia's Far East, not too far from Vladivostok. However, nothing lasts forever is the message coming from the head of one of Russia's largest zoos.