The 7 Worst Things About McDonald’s

•January 23, 2013 • Leave a Comment



The 7 Worst Things About McDonald’s.

McDonald’s has become synonymous with food that’s terrible for you, low-wage jobs and overzealous marketing to children. Largely that’s because of McDonald’s scale; the company serves more customers each day than the entire population of Great Britain, and it hires some one million workers each year (reportedly one in eight Americans have been employed by McDonald’s).

This is all to say that there’s a lot to hate about McDonald’s. As such, here is a not-comprehensive list of some of the more outrageous facts about McDonald’s, past and present.

1. It wants employees to work Thanksgiving and Christmas without overtime pay.

McDonald’s has a long history of terrible labor practices, but this is especially Scroogey: this holiday season the company urged franchisees to stay open on Thanksgiving and Christmas (McDonald’s restaurants are usually closed on those holidays). Worse, employees who work those days don’t get paid overtime. According to a company spokesperson, “When our company-owned restaurants are open on the holidays, the staff voluntarily sign up to work. There is no regular overtime pay.”

Mark E. Andersen at the Daily Kos crunched the numbers and figured out that McDonald’s made about $36 million in extra sales by staying open this Thanksgiving. Andersen notes, “It is bad enough that McDonald’s pays crap wages but then they turn around and refuse to pay overtime for employees who volunteer to give up their holidays so that McDonald’s can make several million dollars.” Yup.

2. Workers don’t get fair pay in general.

Not getting overtime pay on major holidays is bad, but unfair wages is a widespread problem for McDonald’s workers year-round. As Sarah Jaffe wrote at the Atlantic recently, “[t]he term ‘McJob’ has come to epitomize all that’s wrong with the low-wage service industry jobs that are a growing part of the U.S economy” because “no matter what your job might be, it’s assumed to be better than working in a fast-food restaurant.” And of course, McDonald’s is the biggest fast-food restaurant chain there is.

There have been many examinations of McDonald’s pay structure, but this fact sums up the problem best: the average McDonald’s employee would need to work one million hours – or more than a century – to make as much as the company’s CEO makes in one year ($8.75 million).

The good news is that fast-food workers, including a number of McDonald’s employees, have been organizing for better treatment and fair wages in recent weeks.

3. Its marketing for kids is “creepy and predatory.”

Two years ago the watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest threatened to sue McDonald’s over its “creepy and predatory” marketing practices aimed at children. In its letter of intent to the company, CSPI likened McDonald’s to “the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children” and said the company uses “unfair and deceptive marketing” to “lure small children into McDonald’s.”

McDonald’s duplicitous approach to marketing directed to children can be seen in a recent press release that boasts that the company’s Shrek-based promotion will “encourage kids to ‘Shrek Out’ their Happy Meals around the world with menu options like fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and fruit juices.” In reality, though, the whole point of the Shrek promotion is to get kids into McDonald’s where they most likely will end up being served unhealthy default options and eating unhealthy meals.

That wasn’t the first time McDonald’s had come under fire for its use of Happy Meal toys to rope in children as customers, and given that the company is the number-one toy distributor in the world, it surely it won’t be the last.

4. It has a salad with a higher calorie count than a burger and fries, and about the unhealthiest oatmeal on the planet.

McDonald’s once introduced a Caesar salad that was more fattening than a hamburger — with fries. The Daily Mail reported that “with dressing and croutons [the salad] contains 425 calories and 21.4g of fat, compared with the 253 calories and 7.7g of fat in the standard burger.” What’s more, “Adding a portion of fries to your burger brings the calorie count to 459 — still less fatty than the salad at 16.7g.” That is downright impressive.

More recently, McDonald’s oatmeal — another purportedly “healthy” option on the Micky D menu — has been criticized for being anything but good for you. Mark Bittman wrote in the Times that the company’s oatmeal is nothing but “expensive junk food” (you can make real, healthy oatmeal at home for very little money). He went on: “A more accurate description than ‘100 percent natural whole-grain oats,’ ‘plump raisins,’ ‘sweet cranberries’ and ‘crisp fresh apples’ would be ‘oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.’”

5. Its burgers won’t decompose.

Who can forget the time a woman let a McDonald’s burger and fries sit out for six months, only to find they wouldn’t decompose?

In case you think this is just a myth, a researcher found that McDonald’s burgers can rot under certain circumstances, but that in general they won’t decompose on their own. The researcher found it’s likely that “the burger doesn’t rot because it’s [sic] small size and relatively large surface area help it to lose moisture very fast. Without moisture, there’s no mold or bacterial growth.”

Basically, the burger will turn into beef jerky before it can decompose. So it may not be a matter of nasty chemicals in the burger keeping it intact, but it’s still grody.

6. McDonald’s used “pink slime” for years.

That is so-called “pink slime,” a substance derived from mechanically separated chicken parts that for years was used to make McDonald’s chicken nuggets. At least, it was used in the U.S.; the substance has long been illegal for human consumption in the UK.

The good news is that, once this image started circulating, McDonald’s was forced to discontinue use of pink slime. (The company claims public outcry had nothing to do with its decision.)

7. McDonald’s is everywhere.

Try as you might, you can’t escape McDonald’s. In the continental U.S., the only place you can go to be more than 100 miles from a McDonald’s restaurant is a desert on the Oregon/Nevada border.


Playing violin in the metro station

•January 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment


“A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?”

The power of language.

•December 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Never under estimate the power that language imparts.  Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can break hearts.

Is Nicki Minaj just Jay-Z?

•November 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment
Anyone else think Nicki Minaj is just Jay-Z singing? You don’t? Check this out then and listen to the first song.

Slowed down Nicki Minaj sounds exactly like Jay-Z. Now that is uncanny.

6 Insane (But Convincing) Theories on Children’s Pop Culture

•November 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

#6. Donald Duck Promotes Soulless Capitalism


Aside from being an uncredited creator of Inception, Donald Duck is one of the most beloved cartoon characters in the world. But Ariel Dorfman (an Argentine-Chilean novelist/activist) and Armand Mattelart (a Belgian sociologist) have this crazy theory that the comic book adventures of a violent, pantsless sailor might actually be inappropriate for children.


According to the authors, Donald Duck cartoons might as well be the talking-duck version of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. In their book How to Read Donald Duck (Para leer al Pato Donald), the Dynamic Deconstruction Duo claim that Donald and friends teach kids that a person’s value is dependent entirely on how much money he or she has, and that in the pursuit of money, there is no room for things like family or love, only for blind self-interest.


Why It’s Not That Crazy:

Have you ever noticed that there aren’t any parents in Donald Duck cartoons and comics? Scrooge, for example, is Donald’s uncle, who in turn is an uncle to Huey, Dewey and Louie, a first cousin to Gladstone Gander and a boyfriend (but never husband) to Daisy, who herself has three nieces, April, May and June (because fuck it, picking out baby names is hard). That means that the world these characters live in is essentially devoid of any real families and populated solely by orphans. Without parents and nepotism, each duck is left alone to constantly compete against the others for wealth and status. That’s basically an ideal stage for, yes, really sad nightmares, but also capitalism: If you start with what you believe to be a completely level playing field (in this case, a world without parents where everyone starts out with the same chances in an orphanage), those who are strongest and smartest, and work the hardest, have the best chance of succeeding (where “succeeding” here means “making all of the money in the world”).


The anti-capitalist characters in Atlas Shrugged are portrayed as spineless, worthless moochers. Likewise, Donald is depicted as an eternal loser because he can’t hold a steady job and is always in debt to his uncle. Scrooge, on the other hand, is the richest duck in the world, happily spending all of his free time becoming even richer. In DuckTales, every single episode is basically about Scrooge and the nephews hunting for treasure or protecting Scrooge’s money or diving into giant swimming pools of coins (something that almost certainly would have happened in Shrugged had it not been cut to make room for 25,000 words about the tensile strength of railroad tracks).
The comics aren’t any better: In Dorfman and Mattelart’s analysis, the entire plot of 75 percent of the comics centered around the ducks looking for money and gold. The other 25 percent were about “competing for fortune,” which is apparently considered different.


In Atlas Shrugged, extraordinary people demonstrate their extraordinariness by making all of the money in the world and sharing it with no one. The conclusion reached by the end of the novel is that anyone who isn’t a superman should either worship the supermen or stay out of their way, and if the unfortunately average people die in the process, oh well.
This must be where Scrooge differs from Shrugged, right? It’s not like Scrooge would ever be that heartless, right? What’s that? Scrooge acquired his wealth by conducting genocide in Africa? Oh.



#5. Everyone in Winnie the Pooh Is a Textbook Example of a Common Psychiatric Disorder


In the December 2000 edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the joint teams of Dalhousie University’s Pediatrics Department published a study that diagnosed the characters in Winnie the Pooh with crippling mental problems. No, we also have no idea why would they do such a horrible thing.
This group of trained doctors diagnosed Pooh with ADHD; Eeyore, obviously, with depression; Christopher Robin with schizophrenia …


… and Tigger with hyperactivity-impulsivity, among others.

Why It’s Not That Crazy:

It’s not like they had to stretch to find the appropriate diagnoses. These are the primary colors of the crazy spectrum, and each character embodies his specific disorder with pretty much every single line.
Let’s start with the obvious and look at some Eeyore quotes:
1) “I’m telling you. People come and go in this forest, and they say. ‘It’s only Eeyore, so it doesn’t count.'”
2) “Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it is a good morning,” he said. “Which I doubt,” said he.
“Why, what’s the matter?”
“Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”
“Can’t all what?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
“Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush.”


Holy Shit.

Let’s take a look at Piglet, who, as the study claims, “Clearly suffers from generalized anxiety disorder.” According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, some of the criteria for GAD include excessive worry, inability to control said worry and an impairment of occupational/social areas of functioning. Now, here’s a quick recap of some of the Piglet-centered episodes from Pooh’s animated TV series:
“Pooh Oughta Be in Pictures” — Piglet becomes frightened that monsters from a movie he saw are real.
“Gone With the Wind” — Piglet becomes afraid of going outside.
“A Very, Very Large Animal” — Piglet worries that he is too small so he leaves the forest.
“Goodbye Cruel World” — Piglet commits suicide.

OK, we might have made up that last one, but it’s not that far off, seeing as studies show that generalized anxiety disorder is often a side symptom of major depression and substance abuse.
It’s for this reason that Piglet should at all times be kept away from Tigger, who the researchers diagnosed with ADHD of the hyperactive-impulsive subtype, based on his history of risk-taking behavior. For example, when Tigger first arrived in the Hundred Acre Wood, he had no idea what Tiggers normally eat, so he tasted fuck everything he could find, including thistles.


The diagnosis is also based on the fact that he regularly barges into people’s houses, commits crimes so he can later play detective (“Tigger, Private Ear”) and once even endangered the entire forest by keeping a vicious termite as a pet (“Tigger’s House Guest”).
To be clear, the researchers aren’t just arbitrarily psychoanalyzing these fictional stuffed animals. The point is that each character clearly represents the different extremes in mental illness. It’s almost like they’re trying to provide children with a way to articulate their own budding illnesses. It’s much more likely that a 6-year-old will say “Mommy, I feel like Eeyore today,” instead of “Mommy, I fear I suffer from clinical depression.”


#4. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Is a Political Satire


A book as bizarre as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with its winged monkeys and self-mutilating cyborgs, had to attract some crackpot interpretations over the years, the most popular of which is that L. Frank Baum’s 1900 classic is secretly about the Populist movement.
The late-19th century Populists fought for the rights of the poverty-stricken Midwestern farmers and industrial workers, who are supposedly represented in the book by the Scarecrow and the Tin Man. Dorothy, the only normal character in Oz, was the everyman, and the twister that carried her from Kansas was meant to represent the “storm of Populism” sweeping across the states in the 1890s.


This interpretation has actually been repeated by educators, an assistant professor of history and even a professor of economics from Rutgers University.

Why It’s Not That Crazy:

A big part of 19th century Populism was adding silver to the nation’s gold standard in order to help the economy, and, well, did you know that in the book, Dorothy’s magic slippers were actually silver instead of ruby? And what does the main character do with this silver object of great power? She “walks over” the Yellow Brick (i.e. gold) Road. Right over it.


Then there are the little touches, like how “Oz” is actually an abbreviation for an ounce of, for example, gold. And Dorothy walks all over a road of yellow bricks down to a path that is ultimately unfulfilling. The road of gold leads to an empty promise (and also there are monkey attacks).

Then there’s this guy:


That’s William Jennings Bryan, a leader of the Populist movement who was occasionally portrayed in the press as a lion.


Because Bryan was also often accused of being “cowardly” for opposing the war with Spain and annexing the Philippines to the U.S., some think that the character of the Cowardly Lion is actually based on him. Conversely, the Wicked Witch of the West is allegedly representing the backers of the gold standard because she controls the winged monkeys with a magical golden cap.


#3. The Smurfs Are Tiny Blue Nazis


In the world of reading too much into children’s cartoons, it’s a well-known fact that the Smurfs are secretly Communists. But Antoine Bueno, senior lecturer of sociology at Sciences Po University in Paris, decided to smurf that right in the smurf. In his The Little Blue Book (Le Petit Livre Bleu), Bueno claims that the Smurf village is actually a Nazi, totalitarian utopia full of micro-fascists. He additionally accuses the Smurfs of being anti-Semites because, hey, while he was at it …


Why It’s Not That Crazy:

The creator of the Smurfs, Pierre Culliford, aka Peyo, was born in Belgium in 1928, which means that he spent his childhood under Nazi occupation and, according to Bueno, might have consequently reflected the spirit of those times in his later work, whether he was aware of it or not.

We can all agree that a person’s early years can have a great influence on his or her later life. It’s like how the creator of Mario allegedly based his design on his annoying landlord, except in this case Peyo drew little blue Nazis. It makes sense.

For one, the Smurfs are all united against a common enemy, the sorcerer Gargamel, whose large nose supposedly makes him look like a Jewish stereotype:


Gargamel also has a cat named Azrael — a name that comes from Jewish mysticism — and is the creator of Smurfette, who becomes a vision of Aryan beauty after Papa Smurf “fixes” her with magic.


The most damning evidence, however, seems to come from a comic titled “The Black Smurfs,” where the Smurfs get infected, via bites, with a mysterious disease that turns them black, mindless and aggressive, which Bueno interpreted as concerns for blood purity. The book would not have appeared in the U.S. to this day if the color of the sickness wasn’t eventually changed to purple.


#2. Babar Is a Colonial Apologist


Babar the Elephant might not be as famous as other cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny, but he still achieved great success. First created in 1931 by Jean de Brunhoff, the Babar books are published today in over 17 languages with more than 8 million copies sold worldwide.

And — if you believe experts like Herbert Kohl or Ariel Dorfman (the Donald Duck guy from before) — that’s over 8 million copies of sneaky colonial propaganda, simply because the titular Babar, an African elephant, is raised in France and later returns to his homeland to reform it using the superior power of Western civilization.


Why It’s Not That Crazy:

In the first book, The Story of Babar, we find out that Babar’s mother was shot by a hunter, and the small elephant was taken in by an old lady in Paris, given clothes and enrolled in school, like some reverse Tarzan. Later, after the death of his father, Babar is declared king of Elephant Land because he has lived among humans and “learned much,” though apparently the concept of representative democracy wasn’t part of it.
He then proceeds to civilize the fuck out of his kingdom by introducing it to French culture, much to everyone’s excitement.


It isn’t hard to see why someone would have issues with a story like this. In Babar, the Western culture is presented as obviously superior to the African one, with the regions of the African continent outside Babar’s control being populated by spear-chucking political incorrectness.


Even the native African elephants are originally depicted as naked and walking on four legs until the bipedal, clothed Babar and his family (who saw the light of European civilization) make them aware and ashamed of their primitive, naked ways. It’s as if the books were trying to say, in an almost Biblical sort of way, that accepting Western civilization is akin to finally being human.


A lot of this stuff does make sense, especially considering that the first book came out at the height of French colonialism in Africa, but looking for religious undertones in Babar sounds like the biggest ass-pull since the 2010 Proctology Olympics. We’d definitely need to see something more convincing before we buy into it; something like …


#1. Thomas the Tank Engine Lives in a Totalitarian Dystopia


Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, a story about sentient trains learning about responsibility, friendship and all that noise, might possibly be the most sickeningly wholesome children’s show in existence. With that in mind, it’d take some pretty massive balls to accuse said show of, say, promoting totalitarianism, fascism and racism.

Shauna Wilton, a professor of political sciences at the University of Alberta, has just such balls. She argues that the world of Thomas the Tank Engine is in reality a fascist, racist hellhole where dreams go to die and where only “useful” elements are allowed to continue to toil away in pointless misery.


Or maybe … maybe someone switched Wilton’s Thomas DVDs with Schindler’s List.

Why It’s Not That Crazy:

Here’s a totally hypothetical question: What if one of the trains on the show decided that he wanted to do something else with his life, like travel or star on Snakes on a Train 2: Snake Harder? He’d probably get yelled at and told to get back to work.


You see, on the island of Sodor where the show takes place, there is only room for really useful engines. That’s not only the show’s catch phrase, but also the basic summary of every episode in the series. That is, the engines are either trying to prove themselves or worrying that they aren’t working hard enough (see “James and the Coaches,” “Thomas, Percy and the Post Train,” “Tender Engines” and many more).

This totalitarian obsession with usefulness is instilled in the engines by the iron fist of Sir Topham Hatt, aka the Fat Controller, who swiftly punishes all those deemed as “useless.”


In the episode “Break Van,” Hatt has two twin engines, Donald and Douglas, compete against each other to determine which one he will send back to Scotland to be destroyed. In “The Sad Story of Henry,” when an engine refuses to go out of the tunnel because of the rain, Hatt actually gives orders to brick him alive in the tunnel.


You can’t really defend any of this by saying that the trains are Hatt’s property. They are obviously sentient beings capable of emotions … one of which unfortunately happens to be racism. In the show, there is a clear feud going on between the steam engines like Thomas and Percy and the diesel engines, who are depicted as stubborn, lazy and shifty.
In the episode “Daisy,” a diesel named Daisy arrives on Sodor and flat out refuses to do chores. In “The Diseasel,” a diesel called BoCo is accused of stealing trucks. In “Thomas’s Day Off,” a new, lazy diesel, Dennis, tricks Thomas into doing his work. Even the closest thing the show has to a villain is a diesel fucking named DIESEL.


But maybe there is some perfectly reasonable, nonracist explanation for why the trains that run on clean white steam dislike the trains powered by dirty, black diesel oil. So, if you can think of one, please tell us, because we’re just dying to hear it.



So it begins. . .

•November 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Project Censored by Sonoma State University in California is a compiled list of the most important news items that never made it into the US mainstream media over the past year. Over 1,500 students have been trained in media research techniques since we began in 1976, and it would be hard to find a more mainstream, mostly Californian college student body. The top 25 censored stories for 11/12 include:

1.More US Soldiers Committed Suicide Than Died in Combat: For the second year in a row, more US soldiers committed suicide than died in combat. Experiencing war is extremely disturbing.

2. US Military Manipulates the Social Media: The US military is developing software that will allow it to secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

3. Obama Authorizes International Assassination Campaign: The Obama administration has quietly put into place a de facto ‘presidential international assassination program’, carrying on where Bush left off. The US now even has “death lists”.

4.Global Food Crisis Expands: It was in the news a couple of years ago, buy the global food crisis is actually worsening so that since 2010, around 44 million people have quietly corssed over the threshold into malnutrition.

5. Private Prison Companies Fund Anti–Immigrant Legislation:Over the past four years roughly a million immigrants have been incarcerated in dangerous detention facilities in our taxpayer-financed private prison system where children were abused, women were raped and men died from lack of basic medical attention.

6.Google Spying?: Earlier this year the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigated Internet search engine giant Google for illegally collecting personal data such as passwords, emails and other online activities from unsecured Wi-Fi networks in homes and businesses across the United States and around the rest of the world.

7. U.S. Army and Psychology’s Largest Experiment–Ever: In the January 2011 issue of American Psychologist, the American Psychology Association (APA) dedicated 13 articles to detailing and celebrating a $117 million collaboration with the US Army called Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF).

8.The Fairytale of Clean and Safe Nuclear Power:Nuclear power presents a security threat of unprecedented proportions: It’s capable of a catastrophic accident that can kill hundreds of thousands of people, with a byproduct that is toxic for millennia.

9. Government Sponsored Technologies for Weather Modification: Rising global temperatures, increasing population and degradation of water supplies have created broad support for the growing field of weather modification.

10. Real Unemployment: One Out of Five in US:The corporate media wants America to feel secure during a time of unemployment crisis, but people deserve to know what is really happening rather than being told a statistical lie.

11.Trafficking of Iraqi Women Rampant: Human trafficking occurs throughout the world but has become increasingly more prevalent in the country of Iraq due to the instability produced by the Iraq War.

12. Pacific Garbage Dump—Did You Really Think Your Plastic Was Being Recycled?: Many people do not realize that there is a swirling mass of plastic in the middle of the Pacific ocean that qualify as the planet’s largest garbage dump.

13. Will a State of Emergency Be Used to Supersede Our Constitution?: A program dating back to the Eisenhower era of emergency measures for an America devastated in a nuclear attack is now converted to bestow secret powers on the president for anything he considers an emergency.

14. Family Pressure on Young Girls for Genitalia Mutilation Continues in Kenya: In Kamunera location of Mt. Elgon District in Kenya, more than 100 girls were rescued by the Maendeleo ya Wanawake organization before facing genital mutiliation, a practice still widespread in spite of government attempts to end the practice.

15. Big Polluters Freed from Environmental Oversight:The Obama administration has distributed out billions of dollars in stimulus money to some of the nation’s biggest polluters and granted exemptions from basic environmental errors.

16. Sweatshops in China Are Making Your iPods While Workers Suffer:Although Apple claims to be a socially responsible company, some of its suspected Chinese suppliers, such as Foxconn, Dafu and Lian Jian Technology, routinely violate China’s “Law on the Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases.”

17. Superbug Bacteria Spreading Worldwide: Lethal superbugs that do not respond to any known drugs are emerging. The World Health Organization states that the New Delhi, or NDM-1, superbug was recently found in UK patients who had traveled to countries such as India or Pakistan and has reached a critical point.

18. Monsanto Tries to Benefit from Haiti’s Earthquake: In May 2010, six months after an earthquake destroyed Haiti, the American multinational corporation Monsanto donated to the country 60 tons of corn and vegetable hybrid seed.

19. Oxfam Exposes How Aid Is Used for Political Purposes: In a new report entitled “Whose Aid is it Anyway?”, Oxfam has found that “billions of dollars in international aid, which could have transformed the lives of many people in some of the poorest countries in the world, was spent on unsustainable, expensive and dangerous aid projects that international donor governments used to support their own short-term foreign policy and security objectives.”

20. US Agencies Trying to Outlaw GMO Food Labelling: Concern is growing over the health impact of growing and eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

21.Lyme Disease: An Emerging Epidemic: Lyme disease is one of the most political and controversial epidemics of our time.

22. Participatory Budgeting – A Method to Empower Local Citizens & Communities:“Participatory Budgeting” (PB) is a process that allows citizens to decide directly how to allocate all or part of a public budget, typically through a series of meetings, work by community “delegates” or representatives and ultimately, a final vote.

23. Worldwide Movement To Ban or Charge Fees For Plastic Bags: Shoppers worldwide are using 500 billion to one trillion single-use plastic bags per year. The average use time of a plastic bag is 12 minutes. Plastic bags pollute our waters, smother wetlands and entangle and kill animals.

24. South Dakota Takes Extreme Measures to Be the Top Anti–Abortion State: South Dakota is taking extreme action against any person who performs an abortion within the state’s borders.

25.Extension of DU to Libya: President Obama’s undeclared and congressionally unauthorized war against Libya may be compounded by the crime of spreading toxic uranium oxide in populated areas of that country.


Links are to the relevant Project Censored article, where sources are present.

Japan Develops Single Passenger Silent Mini Electric Helicopters, Travels at 100km/h (62mph)

•November 25, 2012 • 1 Comment


Every once in a while a story comes along about a flying car or helicopter that fits in a briefcase, but they always disappear into the ether never coming to fruition. It’s understandable since everyone having their own mass produced flying machine would be a safety and law enforcement nightmare.

This time, however, Hirobo in Hiroshima Prefecture may be rolling out a personal helicopter that will actually get off the ground.

The machine was unveiled at the International Aerospace Exhibition in Nagoya, where it stole the show and caused the company to be inundated with inquiries.

According to the president of the RC helicopter manufacturer, Kotaro Matsuzaka, “This completely Japanese, 10 billion yen (US$125M) project is planned to be completed by 2021.” The main drive of this machine is to produce a means of transportation during emergencies and disasters.

The helicopter will come in an unmanned type costing 10,000,000 yen (US$125,000) and a model that seats one for 30,000,000 yen (US$375,000). Unmanned models can be used to transport time sensitive materials like organs or blood.

They can reach speeds of 100km/h (62mph) running on an electric motor for 30 minutes at a time. This can also help in search and rescue missions as the silent motor can help workers locate people calling out for help.

A large reason for the slow release is legal rather than technical. The company is expecting it to take 2 to 4 years to iron out the legal issues of mini helicopters in Japan. President Matsuzaka, however, is optimistic enthusiastically announcing that a two-seater helicopter is in the works later in the future.

It’s great that this can be used to save lives, but it’s clear that everyone would kill for one of these just for our daily commute. If I had one, every day I would run into it cackling maniacally and as I fly away shout, “We’ll meet again, Super Friends!”