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A study, to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy, meaning profoundly corrupt, so that the answer to the study’s opening question, “Who governs? Who really rules?” in this country, is:
“Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But, …” and then they go on to say, it’s not true, and that, “America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened” by the findings in this, the first-ever comprehensive scientific study of the subject, which shows that there is instead “the nearly total failure of ‘median voter’ and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
To put it short: The United States is no democracy, but actually an oligarchy.

US Is an Oligarchy Not a Democracy, says Scientific Study | Common Dreams

If we had a truly independent and adversarial press in my country, this would be a big news story, but they still haven’t found that plane, so … whaddayagonnado right?

(via blightedpath)



Favourite BTVS Speeches:
↳ Rupert Giles, Innocence.


(Source: dannywelbeck)


Now that I fricking forgot what I was going to post before getting angry, here’s this:

The Boy Who Played With Fusion

Taylor Wilson always dreamed of creating a star. Now he’s become one

By Tom Clynes

"Propulsion," the nine-year-old says as he leads his dad through the gates of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. "I just want to see the propulsion stuff."
A young woman guides their group toward a full-scale replica of the massive Saturn V rocket that brought America to the moon. As they duck under the exhaust nozzles, Kenneth Wilson glances at his awestruck boy and feels his burden beginning to lighten. For a few minutes, at least, someone else will feed his son’s boundless appetite for knowledge.
Then Taylor raises his hand, not with a question but an answer. He knows what makes this thing, the biggest rocket ever launched, go up.
And he wants—no, he obviously needs—to tell everyone about it, about how speed relates to exhaust velocity and dynamic mass, about payload ratios, about the pros and cons of liquid versus solid fuel. The tour guide takes a step back, yielding the floor to this slender kid with a deep-Arkansas drawl, pouring out a torrent of Ph.D.-level concepts as if there might not be enough seconds in the day to blurt it all out. The other adults take a step back too, perhaps jolted off balance by the incongruities of age and audacity, intelligence and exuberance.
As the guide runs off to fetch the center’s director—You gotta see this kid!—Kenneth feels the weight coming down on him again. What he doesn’t understand just yet is that he will come to look back on these days as the uncomplicated ones, when his scary-smart son was into simple things, like rocket science.
This is before Taylor would transform the family’s garage into a mysterious, glow-in-the-dark cache of rocks and metals and liquids with unimaginable powers. Before he would conceive, in a series of unlikely epiphanies, new ways to use neutrons to confront some of the biggest challenges of our time: cancer and nuclear terrorism. Before he would build a reactor that could hurl atoms together in a 500-million-degree plasma core—becoming, at 14, the youngest individual on Earth to achieve nuclear fusion.

* * *
When I meet Taylor Wilson, he is 16 and busy—far too busy, he says, to pursue a driver’s license. And so he rides shotgun as his father zigzags the family’s Land Rover up a steep trail in the Virginia Mountains north of Reno, Nevada, where they’ve come to prospect for uranium.
From the backseat, I can see Taylor’s gull-like profile, his forehead plunging from under his sandy blond bangs and continuing, in an almost unwavering line, along his prominent nose. His thinness gives him a wraithlike appearance, but when he’s lit up about something (as he is most waking moments), he does not seem frail. He has spent the past hour—the past few days, really—talking, analyzing, and breathlessly evangelizing about nuclear energy. We’ve gone back to the big bang and forward to mutually assured destruction and nuclear winter. In between are fission and fusion, Einstein and Oppenheimer, Chernobyl and Fukushima, matter and antimatter.
"Where does it come from?" Kenneth and his wife, Tiffany, have asked themselves many times. Kenneth is a Coca-Cola bottler, a skier, an ex-football player. Tiffany is a yoga instructor. "Neither of us knows a dang thing about science," Kenneth says.
read more from PopSci
second photo is from popsci article sourced but first is from the Nat Geo article  part of a special series on Innovators 
If you cannot access the Nat Geo links, you have to have an account first, which is free and quick! 
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Now that I fricking forgot what I was going to post before getting angry, here’s this:

The Boy Who Played With Fusion

Taylor Wilson always dreamed of creating a star. Now he’s become one






To give perspective, this film was released on VHS in 2002 and has been sitting unopened in a Kmart store for 12 years, longer than children now in middle school. 

Plain proof that no one does inventory or gives a shit at any Kmart anywhere. Someone could probably live in Kmart and have no one notice. 

In 2001, I did an experiment for school about the idea of living in a big-box store like this. I selected a busy 24hr Meijer, which is a midwest-only combination of Marts both K and Wal. I entered the store on a lovely friday afternoon, and didn’t leave the store until the following sunday evening. I read the entire magazine section, played all of the demos of the games in the electronics section, and beat minesweeper on my phone innumerable times. I ate at the pizza parlour they’d just installed, and slept on the display furniture. I wandered around the racks during the day, bored out of my skull. I considered buying frozen burritos and asking one of the employees if they had a breakroom where I could microwave them, but that felt like it wouldn’t truly answer the question if someone could live in a Meijer; I’d be using resources that weren’t public.

The only time I was ever asked if I needed any help was on sunday morning around 8am, and then it was only waking me up to ask me if I was drunk and had wandered in that night and fell asleep on their displays. I said, “no, I’m fine, I’m just trying this futon.” and was left alone.

The people that work there really don’t care.

u lived in a k-mart

This is the most magical thing I’ve ever had the privilege of reading


Anonymous asked:

tell us your most embarrassing story



So a while back i was at this party and i was the first girl to arrive and there were like 20 guys already there, we were all siting around, having a beer and whatnot when the dj arrived. So all the guys went out the front of the house to help set up the dj gear and it was just me sitting there alone in the backyard for like 5 minuets. I stood up to go follow them bc i was getting really bored when i realized something, my period had gone through my white pants and stained the while chair, i was humiliated, i had no idea what to do, i could hear the guys were coming back and i had to do something quick, time was running out. So i grabbed the chair, ran like 10 meters and threw it over the fence into the neighboring yard, i quickly walked back and tied my jacket around my waist. The guys soon returned and didn’t suspect a thing, i am amazing.


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