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Fri, 24 Jan 2020
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MindMatters: Halloween Special: Oh the Horror! Why Do People Like Getting Scared?

halloween special
It's that time of year again: when All Saints's Day, the Day of the Dead, and Halloween come around and our propensity to view or read some horror becomes that much more likely. But why do we indulge in horrific stories year around? Or better put - why do we seem to enjoy horror? What is it about horror, which can be so unpleasant - yet makes people crave a dose of the willies from time to time? Is the viewing or reading of it cathartic? A reminder of something intrinsic to the human experience? Can it even be healthy in a way? Or is it just morbid fascination? Maybe all of the above?

This week on MindMatters we take a look at some of our favorite scary books and movies and, in an effort to answer the questions posed, get into those stories and ideas that we find truly frightening; a top 5 more or less. We'll also be sharing some of our own scary experiences, and seeing what, if anything about them, has brought value to our lives and a greater understanding of the world in which we live.

Running Time: 01:34:14

Download: MP3 — 86.3 MB


Motorcyclist who identifies as bicyclist sets cycling world record

motorcycle bicycle
In an inspiring story from the world of professional cycling, a motorcyclist who identifies as a bicyclist has crushed all the regular bicyclists, setting an unbelievable world record.

In a local qualifying race for the World Road Cycling League, the motorcyclist crushed the previous 100-mile record of 3 hours, 13 minutes with his amazing new score of well under an hour.

Professional motorcycle racer Judd E. Banner, the brave trans-vehicle rider, was allowed to race after he told league organizers he's always felt like a bicyclist in a motorcyclist's body.

"Look, my ride has handlebars, two wheels, and a seat," he told reporters as he accepted a trophy for his incredible time trial. "Just because I've got a little extra hardware, such as an 1170-cc flat-twin engine with 110 horsepower doesn't mean I have any kind of inherent advantage here."

Banner also said he painted the word "HUFFY" on the side of his bike, ensuring he has no advantage over the bikes that came out of the factory as bicycles.

Some critics say he needs to cut off his motor in order to make the competition fairer, but he quickly called these people bigots, and they were immediately banned from professional cycle racing.

Cell Phone

Need a new phone plan: GPS-tagged eagle sneaks into Iran, drains Siberian ornithologists' research budget with expensive text messages

siberian eagle
© AFP / Sam Panthaky
An injured steppe eagle (aquila nipalensis) at the Jeevdaya Charitable Trust in Ahmedabad.
A Russian bird conservation group has discovered a sudden hole in their budget after one of the eagles they were tracking started bombarding them with hundreds of expensive text messages from Iran.

Roaming is one big headache when you travel a lot, and raptors can get burned by it just as easily as the bipeds that created mobile phones. Just ask the Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network (RRRCN), an environmental group whose eagle tracking budget was surprisingly drained by one particularly sneaky bird of prey.

The network studies the migration routes of various birds, including the endangered steppe eagle. They do so by putting solar-powered GPS trackers on their subjects. The device records the coordinates of the birds and dumps the data via text messages through a regular mobile network when it's available. The conservationists then check the routes against potential threats like high-voltage power lines or poison baits deployed for pest control and try to find ways to avoid them.


Brazilian man solves cockroach infestation by blowing up his garden

Brazilian lawn explosion
© India Times
A hotheaded Brazilian tried to rid his garden of invading cockroaches — and inadvertently blew up his yard, according to a report.

Cesar Schmitz, 48, attempted to obliterate the cockroaches Friday by pouring gasoline on his lawn and striking a match, which set off a massive explosion on the property in the southern city of Enéas Marques, according to footage obtained by FocusOn News.

"My wife complained that there was a lot of roaches invading our garden," he told the outlet. "She is scared of them and begged me to destroy their nest under the ground once and for all."


Asylum orderlies return Hillary to padded cell disguised as Oval Office

Padded Cell
© Babylon Bee
Washington, D.C. — According to sources close to Hillary Clinton, the failed presidential candidate was gently returned to her padded cell disguised as the Oval Office over the weekend.

After the failed presidential candidate had escaped from the premises again and accused thousands of people of being Russian agents, orderlies were finally able to catch her and guide her back to her cell. She had escaped through the ventilation ducts, apparently, and quickly gave deranged interviews in which she seemed not to understand that she hadn't won the 2016 election. She also found a smartphone and tweeted troubling things, causing asylum personnel to put out a call for her safe return.

"If anyone sees a crazy-looking old woman running around saying she's the president, do not approach her. She is very dangerous," the mental institution said in a statement. "Please phone the authorities right away so we can get her back to safety."

Mr. Potato

Hillary Clinton asked to leave Costco after repeatedly accusing sample lady of being a Russian asset

Killary Clinton
According to sources at a DC-area Costco, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was asked to leave Costco again after repeatedly accusing a lady handing out food samples of being a Russian asset.

It wasn't clear how Clinton had ended up in the Costco, as she usually has her servants' servants go to the market for her. Some suggested she wanted to disguise herself and go be among her subjects to see how the other 99% lives.

Whatever the case, the sample lady had apparently offered the failed presidential candidate a small paper cup of orange juice and told her the packs were on sale for $9.49 when the incident occurred.

"Orange... orange like Trump!" Clinton screamed suddenly, frightening the poor food demonstration worker. "You're in league with him, aren't you!?" The failed presidential candidate lunged across the cart and attempted to pull off her face mask, certain the lady was actually Vladimir Putin in a skin suit.


ABC News airs authentic footage of Godzilla rampaging through Syria

Slaughter in Syria
© Babylon Bee
New York, NY — ABC News has been praised as a bastion of journalistic integrity and in-depth reporting after being the first ones to air authentic footage of a 164-foot-tall lizard monster rampaging through Syria.

The footage, dubbed "Slaughter in Syria," shows the monster, named "Gojira" or "Godzilla" by people screaming in the video, rising from the ocean to attack coastal cities throughout the region. Desperate locals try to fend off the monster with depth charges, a huge electric fence, tanks, and fighter jets. But mostly it doesn't work and they just scream a lot.


'Stop the press!' TIME 'redeploys' US troops from Syria to Iran; will Khamenei welcome them?

Soldier feet
© Task & Purpose
An apparent typo turned a serious news update about the relocation of US troops from Syria into a politically loaded joke when TIME magazine said the Americans would be transported to, of all places, Iran.

The gaffe happened on Tuesday when the magazine reprinted a piece from AP's live updates, which reported that US troops previously stationed in northeastern Syria would be repositioned to Iraq, Kuwait, and possibly Jordan. TIME added its own headline that read: "1,000 U.S. Troops Leaving Syria Will Move to Iran and Kuwait."

The mistake has since been corrected, though some websites that copy-pasted the story from TIME are still running with it.

Well, America's primary enemy in the Middle East is obviously an unlikely host for its troops. In 2016, when a US boat strayed into Iranian waters, the crew was promptly arrested and sent back hours later - and those were the more peaceful times of nuclear deal rapprochement.

So, unless TIME has some knowledge about an imminent shooting war between the US and Iran, it's safe to assume it was just a typo, just as the correction under it now says.
TIME announcement
© screenshot from time.com


Warren: 'I was fired for being pregnant transgender gay Indian' [Satire]

Elizabeth Warren
© Ethan Miller/Getty Images
The following is satirical.

Democrat Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is now saying she was fired from her first job by genocidal white males who didn't want a pregnant transgender homosexual to bring another Native American into the world.

At a speech before the National Association of Outrageous Panderers, Warren said, "In those days, people just assumed if you were married and pregnant you must be a woman, and so at first my employers were happy for me and threw me a big party where I was given many presents including a plush solar system mobile that spun around to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. But when I announced that I identified as a man and was only sleeping with my husband because I was homosexual, the work atmosphere began to darken."


Police protect Columbus statues from Antifa by taping job applications on them

columbus statues antifa jobs
© The Babylon Bee
“Job applications are Antifa’s kryptonite,”
Antifa factions nationwide had planned a "deface Columbus day," on which they intended to deface and destroy statues of Christopher Columbus Monday, but authorities in many cities got the better of the radical far-left groups with a brilliant idea: by adhering legitimate job applications all over their local Columbus statues, they virtually guaranteed that Antifa groups would not approach them.

"It's working extremely well so far. These Antifa thugs won't go anywhere near an opportunity for gainful employment," Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck told reporters. "We urge other American cities: if you want to protect your statues of Columbus, just head to the nearest McDonald's or Walmart and ask for a stack of job applications. Get some tape and stick them all over the statue, and you can pretty much just go about your day at that point."

"Job applications are Antifa's kryptonite," he added.

At publishing time, Beck confirmed that "Help Wanted" signs, American flags, gendered bathroom signs, and notes from their mothers informing them that it's time to grow up and get their own place should have a similar paralyzing effect on the ruthless Antifa mobs.