Trevor Noah says you can choose to listen to scientists or ‘internet randos like Dr. Demon Sperm’

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On Tuesday, Americans woke to ‘demon sperm’ trending on Twitter. It’s thanks to Dr. Stella Immanuel, a minister whose touting of dubious health material — notably praising anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a COVID ‘cure’ — has been shared by both President Donald Trump and his son despite the FDA warning against its use

Then, Donald Trump Jr.’s Twitter account was temporarily frozen on Tuesday after he posted a Breitbart video spreading misinformation about the coronavirus featuring Immanuel. Get to the demon sperm, you say? Well, it’s another of Immanuel’s theories

All of this caused The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah to urge viewers to question misinformation from dubious sources when it relates to our health and tackling a pandemic, despite the president’s tendency to just go with it.

“Despite having the world’s top doctors at his disposal, Trump has decided instead to trust a doctor who believes that people get sick because they masturbate, and that vaccines are made from alien DNA,” said Noah at the end of a COVID check-in on Tuesday.

“So look, America has two choices right now: Limit the spread of corona by following the science, or listen to the advice of internet randos like Dr. Demon Sperm.”

‘The Speed Cubers’ takes on the world of competitive Rubik’s Cube solving

Speedcubing is the sport of solving a classic Rubik’s Cube — or a related combination puzzle — in the shortest amount of time possible. And, no, it is not for the faint of heart.

The new Netflix documentary on this subject, The Speed Cubers, dives headfirst into the friendly but competitive speedcubing culture. The 40-minute film is one of three new documentary shorts debuting on Netflix this summer. (The others are The Claudia Kishi Club, which premiered following the release of The Baby-Sitters Club series, and John Was Trying to Contact Aliens, which arrives Aug. 20.)

The Speed Cubers centers on a couple of professional competitors who go head-to-head at the World Cube Association World Championship in Melbourne, Australia, in 2019. Feliks Zemdegs is a 23-year-old from Australia trying to retain his Rubik’s Cube records, particularly in the 3x3x3 event, in which competitors try to solve a classic Rubik’s Cube in the shortest amount of time. Max Park is a skilled 17-year-old American with autism who, in addition to speedcubing for the fun of it, uses the sport to overcome social setbacks. Though Max at first idolizes Feliks, he grows skilled over time and becomes a serious competitor. The rivalry between the two doesn’t stop them from becoming friends and cheering for one another. However, they can’t both take first place in the coming big 3x3x3 championship event.

Though The Speed Cubers‘ premise is basic, it’s plenty entertaining. The world of speedcubing is quirky in the best way possible. The competitors are brilliant, the commentators are just as dynamic as other sports announcers, and the supporters are fully engaged. It’s fun to watch so many kids and young adults get excited about an unconventional interest, and heartwarming to see Max and Feliks lift each another up when they don’t do as well as they hope. Feliks is consistently quick to congratulate his pal, even when it means his own records have been beaten.

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Early on, The Speed Cubers features an animation that illustrates the Cube-solving process alongside narration from an expert, who explains that while winning the game requires the memorization of around 300 algorithms, top-scoring speedcubers can do it in a matter of seconds. 

The documentary deepens the story with compelling anecdotes from the guys and their parents to demonstrate the importance of speedcubing in their lives. Max’s mom reveals that her son seemed trapped in his own world and struggled with his finger skills as a toddler. After spending lots of dedicated time with Max and later introducing him to a Rubik’s Cube, she was able to see him overcome many of the obstacles he used to face. Feliks, meanwhile, is especially thrilled about the upcoming Melbourne competition, because it’s the place where he first became interested in speedcubing.

The Speed Cubers is as visually vibrant as it is emotionally bright. The championships are filled with the primary colors found on the Rubik’s Cubes, which gives the film a playful aesthetic. That, in combination with the fast-paced character of the puzzle, keeps up the presentation’s high spirits.

For all that’s feel-good about The Speed Cubers, there are some narrative choices that make less sense. While the chosen leads are great picks because they’re not only at the top of their game but also companions with one another, the documentary would have benefited from pulling in some other perspectives. For example, 18-year-old French competitor Juliette Sébastien is briefly mentioned as the first female 3x3x3 finalist to make a world championship since 2003, but little else is said about her. She is currently one of only four women with a top 100 record in the single 3x3x3 event, and I would have loved to learn more. And, though I won’t spoil the ending, there are other high-scoring underdogs with points of view that went largely untapped. The sport is a fascinating one, and other voices could have given more insight as to how a person gets into it and climbs the ranks.

While The Speed Cubers misses a few opportunities, it’s simple and fun. It’s not particularly layered, but it is uplifting as it offers a caring look at the friendship between two speedcubing frontrunners. Plus, you’ll probably want to go out and buy a Rubik’s Cube when you’re done.

The Speed Cubers is now streaming on Netflix.

Life after death: Man recalls entering an ‘endless void’ in bizarre near-death experience

The man, who only gave his name as Schon, claims to have died after months of battling leukaemia when just eight-years-old. Schon was in the hospital at the time of his so-called near-death experience (NDE), when he was considered clinically dead. When Schon passed on from his physical form, he recalls reaching an empty space that filled him with peace.

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He told the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF): “At first very briefly, like a still image, I saw myself below me.

“I don’t remember specific details of seeing my body or the room, but what came next, I vividly remember.

“I transitioned to see a white, glowing space, similar to those commercials where the entire area is near-blinding white.

“However, there is no definition to the space, so it seemed like an endless void.”

READ MORE: Near death experience: ‘I felt such a horrible presence’

Life after death: Man entering a tunnel of light

Life after death: A man claims to have visited the afterlife as a child (Image: GETTY)

Life after death: Wman in hospital bed

Life after death: Schon has his near-death experience at the age of eight (Image: GETTY)

Schon said he had no physical form or body in the afterlife, and he cast no shadow.

As he looked around himself, he felt warm “like a jacuzzi”.

The afterlife was comforting and euphoric and gave Schon a feeling of freedom.

He said: “It was like a camera that you see in the professional NFL games, that is floating around the field and can move in any direction. I felt amazing!

An ‘afterlife’ remains a matter of belief, not scientific proof

NHS

In the years since the NDE, Schon has tried to make sense of what he felt.

He has described the sense of peace and comfort as the best he has ever felt in his life.

Schon said: “If these feelings were experienced by the rest of humanity, I believe it would surely make the world a better place by ending the hate and evilness seen around the world.”

However, questions surrounding the afterlife remain unresolved and there is no scientific evidence to support claims NDEs are genuine visions of life after death.

DON’T MISS…
[ANALYSIS]
[INSIGHT]
[INTERVIEW]

Life after death: Gates to heaven

Life after death: Do you believe the afterlife is real? (Image: GETTY)

Life after death: Stairway to heaven

Life after death: There is no scientific evidence life after death is real (Image: GETTY)

According to the NHS, NDEs are not considered real instances of a person dying and coming back to life.

The NHS said in 2014: “A more accepted definition of death is when brain stem death occurs, which is when all neural activity in the deepest brain ceases.

“While it is possible to keep the heart functioning using life support systems, a person with brain stem death has permanently lost the potential for consciousness.

“The existence of an ‘afterlife’ remains a matter of belief, not scientific proof.”

According to Dr Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City, many NDE accounts share similar threads.

Common elements include out-of-body experiences, visions of flying through a tunnel or seeing deceased relatives.

He said during an OZ Talk: “They often say that they didn’t want to come back in many cases, it is so comfortable and it is like a magnet that draws them that they don’t want to come back.

“A lot of people describe a sensation of separating from themselves and watching doctors and nurses working on them.”

UFO sighting: Disturbing footage shows ‘squadron of UFOs’ shooting across sky – claim

Mr Waring also shared the discovery on YouTube, where some of his 40,000 followers discussed the UFOs.

One person said: “Looks like Space Debris, Falling to the Earth….”

Another person said: “Wow that’s really cool, they must have been observing something to them.”

It is, however, more likely there is a perfectly natural explanation behind the sighting.

So why are so many people convinced these UFOs could be the real deal?

Life after death: Man claims to witness mother being taken by angels

Most accounts of the afterlife are personal, but one man claims to have witnessed his mother’s death, which saw two “comets” enter the room. After his mother suffered a massive stroke, a man named Chris said he was with his mother in her final moments, and saw something extraordinary happened. He believes his two dead aunts came to take his mother to heaven.

Writing on the Near Death Experience Research Foundation, Chris said: “An hour before her death, it was as if two comets shot into the room at lightening speed from the top corner of the private room and straight into her chest.

“It signalled the presence of my two Aunts. They had come to tell her to stop fighting and to let go.

“Mum told them that she wasn’t going unless a part of her stayed within me.

“The same two comets or speed-of-light flashes shot back out of her chest, one after the other and through the same corner of the room.

angels

Life after death: Man claims to witness mother being taken by angels (Image: GETTY)

heaven

“A peace filled the room. Mum died shortly thereafter, but I knew my life was different from then on.” (Image: GETTY)

“A peace filled the room. Mum died shortly thereafter, but I knew my life was different from then on. I have an unfaltering faith in life after death now.”

As many as one in 10 people who have had a brush with death have reported an NDE, and often come away feeling euphoric – some with a newfound sense of religion and the afterlife.

However, one expert has now revealed that NDE’s are not a sign of heaven, but rather it is the brain, which is running out of energy, desperately scanning for a solution to impending death.

Neuroscientist Christof Koch, president and chief scientist of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, wrote in an article for Scientific American: “I accept the reality of these intensely felt experiences.

“They are as authentic as any other subjective feeling or perception.

afterlife

“They had come to tell her to stop fighting and to let go.” (Image: GETTY)

“As a scientist, however, I operate under the hypothesis that all our thoughts, memories, precepts and experiences are an ineluctable consequence of the natural causal powers of our brain rather than of any supernatural ones.

“That premise has served science and its handmaiden, technology, extremely well over the past few centuries.

“Unless there is extraordinary, compelling, objective evidence to the contrary, I see no reason to abandon this assumption.

“Modern death requires irreversible loss of brain function. When the brain is starved of blood flow (ischemia) and oxygen (anoxia), the patient faints in a fraction of a minute and his or her electroencephalogram, or EEG, becomes isoelectric—in other words, flat.

“This implies that large-scale, spatially distributed electrical activity within the cortex, the outermost layer of the brain, has broken down.

Seth Meyers mocks the White House’s weird defense of ‘Paw Patrol’

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“This is where the Trump administration and Republican party are at,” said Late Night host Seth Meyers on Monday. “Whining about cartoons and Legos while sending secret police to gas moms and vets and arguing that slavery was a, quote, ‘necessary evil.’

The U.S. is continuing to play moral limbo, straining just how low it can go before completely collapsing. As Meyers notes, more Americans believe the U.S. is on the wrong track than at any previous point of Trump’s presidency — which says a lot considering his approval ratings have been consistently low

The entire country is enduring substantial fear and uncertainty right now. So, to reassure the populace, Trump’s White House condemned both the alleged cancellation of cop-themed children’s cartoon Paw Patrol and Lego’s halt on selling their City Police Station set.

Paw Patrol and Legos makes sense, I guess, coming from a guy who loves rockets, trucks, and Mr. Potato Dead,” said Meyers, referring to a rather spud-like Rudy Giuliani.

“They really think Americans care about Paw Patrol and Legos. I guess they figure if you’re out of work and quarantining at home to avoid the deadly virus they failed to stop, you need something to keep you entertained.”

Of course, as is now widely expected from the Trump administration, its information was straight up wrong, with reports of Paw Patrol and the Lego Police Station’s demise greatly exaggerated. Lego merely stopped advertising their City Police set, but never pulled it from sale. Similarly, Paw Patrol has not been cancelled, with the show even tweeting a correction after the White House’s statements.

“So the Trump administration got fact checked by a children’s cartoon,” said Meyers. “At this point, it’s not long before Arthur shows up to a protest with a sign that says ‘F#@! Trump.'”

This could be your last chance to secure NordVPN’s best deal

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A three-year subscription to NordVPN is on sale for $3.49 per month.
A three-year subscription to NordVPN is on sale for $3.49 per month.

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Pick up NordVPN’s best deal before it expires (whenever that may be).

Near death experience: ‘I felt such a horrible presence that it terrifies me even now’

Many people claim to experience euphoria in near death experiences (NDEs), but one woman claims to have felt an evil presence. The person, who gives her name as just Sandi, temporarily died following a heart attack and said her “heart had stopped for 12 minutes. I was told that I had no pulse or brain movement.”

During that 12 minutes, Sandi claims to have experienced something so evil she has not been the same since.

Writing on the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF), Sandi said: “I started to feel myself fade farther away but yet I knew exactly where I was lying.

“Although, I was there, I was a million miles away.

“My friends tell me that I blacked out, and was unresponsive.

“Yet, I can tell them exactly what they were talking about, where they were, and what they had in their hands at the time.

“I saw everything, despite my eyes being closed. I tried to hold onto memories, but nothing was working as everything was fading. Then, something was with me.

“It terrified me. I saw darkness that felt so dark and evil. I was trying to scream but I couldn’t.

“Everything I tried to hold onto faded while something was pushing me and telling me to move go with them.

READ MORE: Life after death: Man spoke to Jesus Christ before the gates to heaven

“I felt such a horrible presence that it terrifies me even now as I think about it.”

Some researchers, however, have said these visions are a normal phenomenon and not necessarily a sign of an afterlife.

Dr Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City, told an Oz Talk: “People describe a sensation of a bright, warm, welcoming light that draws people towards it.

“They describe a sensation of experiencing their deceased relatives, almost as if they have come to welcome them.

“They often say that they didn’t want to come back in many cases, it is so comfortable and it is like a magnet that draws them that they don’t want to come back.

UFO sighting: Is a ‘black cube’ orbiting the Sun proof of a NASA cover-up?

NASA’s original photos do not feature any black cubes, which appear to have been painted in over heavily pixelated sections of the image.

These anomalies can be explained through lens flares, errors with camera focus or pixelation caused by digital image processing.

Mr Brando told Express.co.uk: “Someone painted a simple image artefact.”

Most UFO sightings can also be explained through an effect known as pareidolia.

Google develops tattoos you can CONTROL your phone with as skin turns into touchpad

The project, called SkinMarks, will use temporary rub-on tattoos which contain sensors. They will also work as displays – glowing or lighting up to alert wearers to a notification on their device.

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Google says one of the key aspects of the technology is its ability to contour around awkward parts of the body, such as the knuckles or side of a finger.

Once attached to the body, the technology would allow people to communicate with electronic devices simply by touching their skin.

This could be similar to the way phones are operated; for example, a swiping or a simple tap onto the tattoo.

However, there are some things the tattoos could pick up on the phones or computers could not.

Google offices

Google is understood to be developing the technology currently (Image: Olly Curtis / Future Publishing / Getty)

This includes squeezing motions, or moving the fingers or limbs in a way the sensors could detect.

Google also say the tattoos would take advantage of proprioception – that is, a person’s ability to sense what his or her body is doing without looking.

The tech firm refers to this as “eyes-free” usage, and say the tattoos would work by “leveraging human sensory and motor capabilities.”

In addition, Google say the tattoos could interact with accessories already worn on the skin.

READ:

Google logo on hand

The tattoos (not pictured) could stretch around contours such fingers and knuckles (Image: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty)

This means a wedding ring could become touch-sensitive – and the same goes for a wide range of other jewellery, as long as it is made out of a conductive material.

As well as being receptive to a range of inputs, the tattoos are also able to light up or glow.

Google has reported one particular example it developed, in which a heart-shaped mark is displayed on the skin depending on the availability of a loved one.

Google said: “Touching it starts a call with that person.”

DON’T MISS:


Wedding ring

Google say the technology could even be linked to metal accessories like rings (Image: Peopleimages / Getty)

Another example given relates to the popular video game series Pokémon.

Called a ‘CaptureMark’, it would glow temporarily whenever its user successfully catches a virtual monster while playing a game.

In this way, the tattoos essentially form notification alerts attached to the skin.

The science behind the technology was set out in a 2017 white paper, written by researchers from Google and Saarland University in Germany.

Tattoo being done

The tattoos won’t be permanent – they will instead resemble stick-on temporary ones (Image: Stevica Mrdja / EyeEm / Getty)

The White paper reads: “SkinMarks are highly conformal interactive tattoos, which enable precisely localized input and output on five types of body landmarks.

“These make it possible to use the plethora of tactile and visual cues on body landmarks for direct, eyes-free, and expressive interaction.

“Through a vastly reduced tattoo thickness and increased stretchability, a SkinMark is sufficiently thin and flexible to conform to irregular geometry, like flexure lines and protruding bones, while still allowing the user to reference those landmarks tactually or visually.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google employees will be working from home until at least July 2021 due to the impact of coronavirus on office working.