6 Bizarrely Insulting Portrayals Of Other Countries In Games

We don’t play video games for realism. We play to escape into a world where the right hat will make you better at fighting, and hiding behind a crate will quickly heal eight bullet wounds. But if a game takes place in a real country, wouldn’t it be worth it for the developers to spend a few minutes skimming that country’s Wikipedia page? You know, to avoid making something incredibly offensive? Something like …

6

Ghost Recon: Wildlands Thinks Bolivia Is a Drug-Lord-Controlled Wilderness

Among the many gifts the late Tom Clancy left us is the Ghost Recon franchise. It’s a series of Ubisoft games in which you control a team of operators as they massacre confused enemies with an unlimited supply of overpowered gadgets. The tenth installment, Wildlands, takes place in Bolivia, and by the time you finish it, you will have killed more Bolivians than have been claimed by cancer and heart disease combined. Bolivia makes the perfect setting for a killing spree because it is a lawless, drug-filled war zone as far as the eye can see. Except for one detail: It totally isn’t.

Bolivia, as you might know from geography class or general knowledge or fun facts from a bag of Brazil nuts (they’re not nuts OR from Brazil!), is a country with cities and an economy and a whole population of non-warlords. For example, here’s La Paz:

However, according to Wildlands, all of Bolivia looks like this:

Ubisoft
Fun Fact: Brazil nuts get their smoky flavor because they’re harvested by gunfight!

The landscape is nothing but vast, scrub-filled mountains. It’s like the entire country is trapped in a Cormac McCarthy novel, existing only as a backdrop for desperate murder and existential despair. There are bandits in every burned-out church and 80,000 percent more ammunition dumps than wildlife. The game does include some Bolivian cities, where everyone is dressed in bad hats and their economy seems based entirely around soccer balls:

It seems like the developers invented an entirely new country based on old cowboy movies and cartoon salsa mascots and then accidentally named it after a place that actually exists and is nothing like it. And it wasn’t just a stupid little mistake; the game was so offensive to real Bolivians that the country filed a formal complaint with France (the home country of Ubisoft) over it. And they weren’t only upset about how their country was portrayed as a dusty wasteland of violent soccer ball farmers. The game seems to think Bolivia is filled with Mexican cartels and socialist guerrilla rebels. Remember, Bolivia’s government has a socialist president serving his third term.

5

Call Of Duty: Ghosts Has you Fight All Of South America

Call Of Duty has always had difficulty creating villains that aren’t Nazis. The Modern Warfare subseries has vague Al-Qaeda stand-ins and a Russia inexplicably able to invade the entirety of Europe, whilst Black Ops has Soviets and a Nicaraguan arms dealer who starts a revolution against America before giving up and deciding to join a rock band. Yet for COD: Ghosts, Infinity Ward outdid them all. In that game, the villains are from the “country” of South America.

In what can only be loosely described as a story, the Arabian Peninsula gets devastated by war. This gives South America a monopoly on the world’s oil supply. Rather than buying skyscrapers and soccer stadiums like normal wealthy countries, the entire continent decides to unite and declare war against the USA. That’s how much money they have. They have “Fuck you” money, and then on top of that they have “Kill the U.S.” money.

The first problem is the idea that the countries of South America could unite under one flag just because they came into some extra cash. It’s a diverse continent with centuries of history, and all the enmity that goes with that. In the past decade, we’ve seen Ecuadorian, Venezuelan, and Colombian troops facing off, Bolivia wanting its coastline back from Chile, and Argentina trying to start a fight with Britain over a sheep-filled rock.

And why South America would want to eliminate the USA is a mystery. Not only is America super polite, but the Federation’s power comes from selling oil, and the U.S. would be their best customer. Even heroin dealers don’t intentionally murder their best buyers, and the USA would be that buyer forever. It’s not like we’re going to invest in renewable energy to eliminate our need for foreign oil. That’s a more fantastical idea than the one the game already has.

Finally, the Federation doesn’t merely cripple and invade America; it also turns our best soldiers to their side with interrogation techniques robbed from the Aztecs. Which is dumb, but also maybe awesome? It’s obvious the developers were throwing in every detail they could think of related to South America, and there’s something almost refreshing about a story written by someone who truly believes there is no such thing as a bad idea.

Reviews called out this laughable premise, with one critic stating that, “The background to Ghosts reads like a novel from the minds of domestic oil drilling supporters mixed in with some neo-conservative foreign policy, with a few sprinklings of pro-border security sentiment thrown in for good measure … it has arguably has one of the most right-wing premises in video game history.” You know who wrote that scathing review? Fox News.

Yeah. Fox News was calling this game out for its extreme ideology, and Fox News will devote hours of a broadcast to pretending to love statues in order to defend historical racists. Call Of Duty: Ghosts was more right-wing than THAT. Hell, the most recent COD game has Jon Snow and Conor MacGregor trying to kill rebels, one of whom is F1 racing champion Lewis Hamilton, and it was somehow less ridiculous.

4

Uncharted 3‘s London Isn’t Much Like Regular London

Despite being about a white guy shooting minorities and stealing their wealth in exotic locales, the Uncharted games have portrayed the settings surprisingly well. That is, except for London.

Uncharted 3 starts with Nathan Drake meeting a well-dressed businessman in a London pub to sell his ancestor’s belongings. Said pub is filled with burly, unshaven roughnecks in traditional working man attire like flat caps and hoodies. They smoke and glare and grunt specifically British words like “geezer” and “bloke.” It is a shithole that would have absolutely had the lowest Yelp score in all of London if bars like it even existed there anymore.

After a fight breaks out (during which Nate ignores signs of the upcoming apocalypse), Drake makes it outside, where he can admire the London skyline. The scene puts this pub on the southern side of the Thames — to be more exact, somewhere around the district of Southwark.

Here’s a handy map if you’d like to visit it yourself and try to pick a bar fight.

For those who don’t have London districts memorized, this isn’t some rundown Dickensian slum. This is the center of London, a stone’s throw from the financial district, and as such is one of the most expensive places in the country and exceptionally multicultural. A shithole pub populated entirely by Cockneys wouldn’t exist there, unless Nate accidentally wandered into some kind of Knight Rider villain cosplay convention.

To use an American analogy, this’d be the equivalent of having a Manhattan bar overlooking Time Square being filled solely with escaped Harlem zoo animals. Most people familiar with the city noticed the nonsense anachronism, and critics (from Yahtzee to, uh, Red Bull) have been pointing it out since the game was released. If you’re wondering, here is what an actual pub in that area looks like:

This pub would showcase a wide variety of cultures, with a wide variety of people and a shit-ton of tourists, and prices would be through the roof. They would be drinking fine wines and pretentious cocktails, not scowling at strangers until they punch them. If anyone from the Uncharted 3 sequence showed up, they’d be an ironic hipster or only there to scream how foreigners are ruining the place before they get arrested.

3

Street Fighter Has No Idea What Any Place In The World Looks Like

Through the gaming ages, the Street Fighter franchise has not shied away from jamming as many foreign stereotypes in as possible. You can argue that it’s not hurtful to accuse Americans of shooting sonic booms, but when your Indian fighter has magic yoga stretching powers, breathes spicy curry breath, wears a necklace of human baby skulls, and decorates his fighting arenas with elephants, it starts to get a bit uncomfortable.

Most of the stage backgrounds are the first thing a poorly educated person would think of if they had one second to describe a place. The Chinese stage is a chicken meat market crowded with bicycles. The Thailand stage is a giant Buddha statue. The Russian stage is a communist factory filled with vodka-chugging workers.

In the latest outing in the series, Street Fighter V, the developers attempted to go back and redo the Thailand stage from Street Fighter II — the one we mentioned was a giant Buddha statue. It’s not as if Thai people have changed religions since then, so they kept the Buddhist theme. What didn’t make sense is they used a song with Muslim chants for the stage’s music.

Simple mistake, right? It’s the wrong religious reference in a video game about fireballs and tatsumaki-senpuu-kyakus. Who cares? Well, there’s kind of been ongoing separatist violence between Muslim areas in Thailand and the Buddhist government. Here’s a chart you probably weren’t expecting in a Street Fighter article:

Oops. Capcom quickly pulled the stage from the game and released a statement apologizing for any offense caused. Which is fine and all, but the minds behind the series don’t exactly have the greatest track record of progressive thinking. When discussing the lone female character from Street Fighter II, Chun Li, designer Yoshiki Okamoto talked about wanting to make her power bar shorter because “women are not as strong.” He said that out loud. To people.

And it wasn’t even the last of the Street Fighter religious controversy. For the Rio stage, they wanted to use the iconic Cristo Redentor statue that overlooks the city. You probably know it — it’s a 100-foot-tall Jesus.

Jesus might belong to everyone, but this statue of him is copyrighted by the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, and they didn’t want him in such a violent game. (Although the statue did appear appear in Civilization VI, a game in which you can eradicate entire nations with nuclear weapons.) So what did Street Fighter replace Jesus with?

2

Spanish For Everyone: A Game That Teaches Spanish And A Bit Of Racism

You probably haven’t heard of the Nintendo DS game Spanish For Everyone, which is absolutely for the best. It’s more or less what it sounds like, except it’s not so much for everyone. It seems designed exclusively for people who want to speak Spanish to threaten to deport their gardener.

The goal of the game is to teach the user Spanish, but it gets too caught up in cringeworthy material to accomplish that. It also doesn’t help that it isn’t fun and sucks. The game starts with your character (a white kid) sharing his Nintendo DS with a Mexican child. You can watch the entirety of the sequence here:

The other child runs off with your DS, which means the first Mexican character you’re introduced to is a thief. Not a great start. To its credit, the game mentions that the kid maybe forgot to return your property. However, if the makers of the game wanted this to come across as a simple misunderstanding, why is the kid’s father evilly staring out from the shadows of his limousine?

Activision
“And steal the white child’s property! Steal his jobs!!! Ha ha! Ha ha ha!!!”

Next, a cop car follows the limo. It’s important to make this clear: The only Mexican characters we’ve been introduced to so far are a boy who steals your DS and a sinister man in a limo being trailed by the police.

Activision
“Get him, officer! He took my DS! And my jobs!!!”

Later, your aunt takes you to Mexico and just kind of abandons you in front of a building with a random Spanish word on its entry arch: FIESTA. Nearby is a Minotaur in the back of a truck. Good enough for the aunt — have fun, young unattended boy!

As your truly ill-advised adventure continues, you hitch a ride in the back of the truck. It’s hard to believe a driver would be okay with something this close to kidnapping, but he takes you to the next city, which is nothing but a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Every window is broken and all the trees are dead. You meet a man who looks like Steven Seagal named Tio Juan. Which is maybe a pun? All we know is that no video game protagonist has ever encountered a more certain death than the little boy in Spanish For Everyone.

Finally, you end up tracking down your “friend” and get your DS back. It was a long and dangerous journey for a toy that costs about $50 used. Along the way, you learn that Mexico and its people are lawless but helpful, which is a troubling lesson to teach a child learning Spanish via video games.

And while we’re here …

1

Call Of Juarez: The Cartel Portrays Sex Slavery The Wrong Way Around

Call Of Juarez: The Cartel takes place in a topsy-turvy world in which Americans want a war with Mexico, but their president doesn’t. Then the Juarez Cartel blows up the DEA and the government launches an investigation. And one of the early leads is that the Cartel is involved in sex trafficking. It’s pretty much the plot of Spanish For Everyone, but rated M.

You are sent on a mission to an LA brothel, where you rough up some prostitutes to get information and chase down the villain. After a savage beating, he reveals that the cartel has been kidnapping young women, injecting them with cocktails of various drugs, and storing them in warehouses to be shipped off to Mexico.

The mission is a success, and you save several American women from being deported as contraband-filled Mexican sex slaves! Yay! Except … every single thing about this scenario is backward.

As mentioned on Extra Credits, sex slavers don’t, or very rarely, hijack women from America to smuggle across the Mexican border. The exact opposite is what law enforcement fights against every day — women from Mexico and elsewhere are trafficked across the border to work in brothels in the U.S. The game somehow took a reprehensible problem and got every detail about it wrong because they thought it would make the target audience care about it more. (“Cartels stealing our women!?!?”) It’d be like making a news channel that spreads the narrative that white Christians are being racially oppressed. It’s stupid, sure, but it also makes the real problem harder to deal with.

Nathan Kamal lives in Oregon and writes there. He co-founded Asymmetry Fiction for all your fiction needs. Mike Bedard likes video games, especially if they’re filled with Pokemons. If you follow him on Twitter, he’ll be your friend. When he’s not writing, Sam Hurley co-hosts the funniest movie review podcast you’ve never heard, available now on iTunes, SoundCloud and, Stitcher, He also tweets unrequited appreciation at his fave celebs here.

Also check out 5 Video Games That Pose (And Reward) Awful Moral Choices and The 5 Most Offensive Attempts at Video Game Marketing.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_24975_6-video-games-that-make-other-countries-look-crazy-af.html

The 5 Grains You Need To Add To Your Diet Like, Yesterday

We all learned in like, infancy, that carbs are evil incarnate. But it would probs surprise you to know that working whole grains into your diet is actually like, good for you. They won’t make you fat, and they could actually make you live longer. Shit, they’ll even reduce cholesterol, improve your heart health, keep you full, and make you better at sex. One of those things was not true. But like, aside from rice and couscous, what else is there in the grain world? (And don’t say pasta.) We rounded up a few so that you don’t have to traipse through the aisles of Whole Foods’ self-serve bulk area for longer than is absolutely necessary.

1. Amaranth

Ever heard of it? Probs not but that’s okay. Amaranth is full of protein, calcium, fiber, AND iron so naturally it’s great for you. You can cook it and add it to your morning oatmeal, use it as a rice or pasta, or just eat the raw seeds for extra crunch (jk, don’t do that). Oh, and it’s gluten-free for all you fake celiacs out there.

2. Oats

Yawn. Oats are totally boring and have been a snoozefest at breakfast for years, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t healthy. As told by the frightening Quaker man on the box whom I’ve had nightmares about, oats are super heart healthy and can keep you full for more than breakfast. If you really hate oatmeal, sprinkle whole oats into your baking adventures or make a savory oat porridge and serve it with something fancy. Really.

3. Quinoa

Quinoa was a super popular buzzword (buzz-grain?) a few years ago, but just cause it’s kinda gone out of style doesn’t mean it lost its benefits. If you aren’t super tight with heart disease, diabetes, and being a fat fuck, this should be your go-to grain. It’s also a complete protein since it actually contains all nine essential amino acids. The ancient Incans must’ve been some healthy motherfuckers.

4. Barley

Do the cholesterol goblins keep you up at night? Me either, but keeping them at bay still isn’t a bad idea. Whole grain barley (not pearled, which is the not-as-healthy variety with the germ and bran removed) lowered cholesterol by A LOT for people in a study who apparently had to eat it for five weeks. That’s a lot of barley, but the benefits are legit. It’ll also keep you fuller for longer, making you less likely to reach for a candy bar later.

5. Freekeh

The name is stupid, the benefits are not. And no, it is not the first half of the hook to a Petey Pablo song. This ancient wheat is super low carb and has four times the fiber of brown rice. This shit also has more vitamins and minerals than other grains. FUCK, it even helps digestion. I guess the real question is why aren’t you already inhaling this? You can make it rice style and serve for dinner OR get kinda weird with it and make a sweeter version for breakfast. Oh, and if you can’t find it, head to the Middle Eastern section of the grocery store. 

 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/5-grains-you-need-to-add-to-your-diet

The True Danger Of Hurricane Season Is Much More Long-Term

Greetings from the apocalypse! I’m writing from the Summer of 2017, when wildfires have made Idaho and California smell like the Devil’s Vegan Barbecue, the sun is the color of a fresh period stain, and the Gulf Coast is aligned with the first teat of a four-boobied hurribeast.

whnt.com

In a moment when it feels blasphemous to send anything but prayers, goodwill, money, awareness, donations, and time to everyone suffering from Harvey and the triplets of evil following it, there’s another story that needs to be told about these hurricanes:

There is no upside, silver lining, or good news coming.

More hurricanes, floods, and fires are on their way, and no one, not even the Americans in the Middle, are immune to what future natural disasters will do to this country. Not even Texas. Actually, let’s start with Texas.

4

Texas Explains Why We’re Never Ready For Hurricanes

I’m from South Texas, where the school year doesn’t feel real until you’ve had a Meet the Teacher night and a hurricane warning, sometimes on the same day. In my fuzzy childhood memories, hurricanes were exciting moments at the end of summer when you got to fill up your bathtub with a reckless amount of water and pray for a day off from school.

Which explains why hurricane parties are a thing, and why you can find all of your hurricane party decorating needs on Pinterest. No other natural disaster comes with such a slow build and a festive atmosphere. And when hurricane season is built into your seasonal routine — my little sister was named after a hurricane that hit Texas 19 years before she was born — you just roll with them as best you can.

So I wasn’t surprised that most of my friends, family, and childhood friends’ families didn’t evacuate when they knew Harvey was coming. It is very hard to get on a bus going to a place you don’t know for a thing that may or may not ever come. And Houston? Forget it. If you thought Houston should have been 100 percent evacuated, you’ve probably never been there. During Hurricane Rita, there were 100 deaths in Texas, 60 of which were related to Houston’s disastrous attempt to evacuate three million residents all at once.

I also wasn’t surprised that Texans went nuts helping each other out once the waters started rising. Not because Texans are uniquely neighborly compared to other humans in distress, but because we’re uniquely good at self-publicity. It’s kind of our thing. That said, if you have South Texas friends on your Facebook timeline like I do, you know there were convoys of volunteers ready with food and water before Harvey was even done with its dirty business. Behind every dramatic rescue moment that went viral, there were thousands that no one saw, and for every tone-deaf Joel Osteen, there were hundreds of churches (and synagogues, and mosques!) mobilizing to provide immediate relief. I said there wasn’t a silver lining to Harvey, but that’s actually not true; after a summer of awful news, the storm reminded us that people are good.

The problem is that being good in dangerous moments isn’t going fix next season’s weather. And this season’s hurricane victims are only facing the beginning of their problems.

3

The Next Round Of Rescues Won’t Have Viral Videos

Here’s what’s coming: Ten years after Katrina, New Orleans doctors reported a three-fold increase in heart attack victims. The stress from the flooding, multiple relocations, and disruptions in medical care are still messing with the bodies of the people who survived the storm. In the next few months, we should expect to see people contracting gastrointestinal problems from wading in standing water (I mean, we won’t literally see their diarrhea, but you get it). People with chronic issues like diabetes, heart disease, and asthma will suffer from disruptions in their medical care, which will lead to more hospital visits and deaths. It’s probably worth noting that Texas and the rest of the Gulf Coast aren’t in good shape to begin with, health-wise.

Wait! It gets worse! I haven’t even talked about the mosquitoes yet! The West Nile virus was completely wiped out of the population in the immediate aftermath of Katrina. A year later, West Nile cases doubled. This map shows the Texas counties that identified cases of West Nile virus back in May, before hurricane season started:

Texas Health and Human Services

Nine counties in Texas have already started asking pregnant women to get the Zika test, because as you probably remember, Zika means joint pain, rashes, and fever for adults, but severe brain damage, microcephaly, and even death for unborn children.

Wait, it gets even worse! Texas slashed Planned Parenthood funding in 2011, and abortions have been on the rise in the state ever since. What does that mean for pregnant women wading through mosquito-infested waters or working on cleaning up the debris outside their house right now? Hopefully nothing. Hopefully we never see Zika again, and these pregnant women deliver healthy babies who have happy lives ahead of them. Hopefully Texas women who aren’t pregnant today will have plenty of access to contraceptives in the next few months, because the mosquitoes might last until Christmas this year. There’s just some more bad news from Katrina that we have to cover, though:

Katrina’s kids never quite recovered from the storm, either.

Experts say that we’ll never know how many Louisiana children lost a year or more of school after Katrina. They know that Louisiana has one of the country’s highest rates of young adults who aren’t in school and aren’t at work — not because the kids who suffered through the storm just quit school then and there and committed to the hobo lifestyle, but because the average Katrina student moved seven times after the storm. Seven moves would do a number on any student, even the rich ones who are moving because their parents are moving up the corporate ladder or the tough military kids who move because the government makes them. Combine seven moves with a traumatizing childhood event, separation from extended family and communities, economic hardship, and the struggle to rebuild a life in a place where most of your friends and family are suffering through the same problems you are, and yeah, it’s no wonder Katrina’s students didn’t have a great graduation rate.

And not finishing school a is big deal, because …

2

We Like To Help Drowning People, But We Suck At Helping Poor People

At the end of the day, bad things happen to everyone, but bad things happen extra hard to poor people. Sickness, natural disasters, layoffs, and addiction can obviously hit anyone at any financial level, but the most vulnerable among us have the hardest time recovering, if they recover at all. In other words, when you’re poor, a flood can lead to a series of setbacks that have decades of consequences. It’s called the Bad Break Test, and America is failing it.

One researcher put the Bad Break Test this way:

“In societies that function well, there are various safety nets in place to prevent a bad break from leading to a tailspin for particularly vulnerable victims. Compared to many other rich nations, the U.S. is not such a society — all too often, when vulnerable Americans encounter a bad break, there’s nothing underneath them to stop their slide. Instead, devastation follows, sometimes in the form of bankruptcy and addiction and death.”

For example, America’s opioid crisis didn’t happen in a vacuum, and it certainly didn’t happen because of Mexicans. Some economists call the increase in overdoses, alcohol poisoning, and suicides “deaths of despair.” Americans are killing themselves over their economic prospects. There comes a point at which people stop trying to break out of their hopelessness and just start numbing themselves to death.

What does the Bad Break Test have to do with hurricanes? 22 percent of Houston’s residents live under the poverty line. Yes, Texans are #TexasStrong and #TexasProud and will rebuild, but let’s not kid ourselves over who will bear the brunt of this storm and every storm to come: poor people who don’t have savings, insurance, or a Plan B or C or D to rely on when everything they own is destroyed. They’re already living in their Plan D, and Plan D is underwater or covered in mold.

How do we cope with the millions of coastal Americans who have decades of hurricane seasons to come? The ones who are forced to leave already have a name, by the way: “climate refugees.” One Louisiana town has been granted 48 million federal dollars to just get out before the Gulf swallows them. The entire town is the first community in the world to get federal money to rebuild somewhere else before their island is washed away, and they’re struggling with figuring out how to do it. Even though we’re only talking about 60 people, they haven’t figured out how to move, and aren’t totally sure they even want to go.

And that’s why we should all be worried. Humans are great at handling danger when it’s at the door, but not when it’s a hundred miles or a year away.

1

Americans Are Good Heroes But Terrible Planners

Real talk: The American states that will need the most help tackling flooding and extreme weather in the coming years also voted to keep the government out of their lives in the 2016 election. The fierce independence and self-reliance that Texas is so proud of is exactly what will doom them. Houston didn’t just flood because of a lot of rain; it flooded because it let people build neighborhoods in known flood zones. Why? Because the only reason white people live in Texas in the first place is that Anglos wanted space. Every time people try to build something in Texas, no one has the guts to tell them “No.”

Footnote: The previous statement is not true. Mexico had the guts to tell people to stop building houses in Texas.

Extra footnote: There are lots of conservationists and environmentalists in Texas. They’re just not in charge.

It’s going to take a lot of tax dollars, research, government oversight, discipline, and humility to keep the Atlantic Ocean from swallowing our coasts, and our red states aren’t up for the challenge yet. We listen to our weathermen when the storms are a few days away, but not our scientists and engineers when they tell us that planning for disasters takes years and money. The thing is, Texas has a TON of money. We don’t even have to reinvent the wheel to save lives; we can study how a little bitty country like the Netherlands tackled their own flood monster and lived to tell the tale. If it were up to me, I’d pay close attention to any country that landed on “FLOODPLAIN COUNTRY” as its official name.

You can find more from Kristi deep in the heart of Twitter.

You can help someone in need by donating to the Victoria Food Bank.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/hurricanes-wreak-havoc-far-longer-than-you-realize/

5 Answers To Questions You Didn’t Know You Had (Part 2)

I didn’t pay much attention in school, which is probably why I have so many questions about the world. And why I do this for a living.

As I explained last time, I’ve been making a conscious effort to keep little random questions that pop into my head every day in mind so I can look them up later to educate myself the way I actively prevented any teacher from doing. The column you’re about to read is the result of this admittedly unimpressive effort to remember to do basic things. But in the spirit of full disclosure, the questions that pop into my head can be a little … odd. For instance …

5

What Does Human Meat Taste Like?

Even if you aren’t a legit cannibal and you’ve only eaten someone for basic survival, the stigma is going to be a bitch to scrub off. If you’re capable of eating someone at a party, that will be the elephant in the room every time you attend one. That’s a shitty reputation. And you know legitimate cannibals are crazy because they accept that possibility with open arms. And that’s how I figure human meat must be pretty good. Why risk being socially ostracized if people aren’t delicious, right?

Right. Now that I’ve deduced that humans are yummy as fuck, it still feels too general. I want to know what we taste like, specifically.

The consensus among several real-life cannibals who were asked that very question is pork. In 2007, German cannibal Armin Meiwes described the flavor as “like pork, a little bit more bitter, stronger. It tastes quite good.” Serial killer and cannibal Arthur Shawcross said humans taste like fresh ham, maybe even a little like roasted pork.

Other cannibals disagree.

Peter Bryan described his victim’s arms and legs as tasting like chicken, but that’s such a cliche answer, Peter. Either develop a more refined palate or expand your reference points.

Jeffery Dahmer once likened the flavor of a thigh/bicep/internal organ stir fry to a filet mignon, which means human meat is overpriced and tastes like nothing. Eating people would be totally worth it if he said ribeye. I have standards.

Others were a little too general in their description. Omaima Nelson was a former model whose career to the unexpected downturn when she ate her husband. She said husband meat is “so sweet.” Same as late-1800s American prospector/cannibal Alfred Packer, who described the taste of his prospecting party as “the sweetest meat,” which is too pervy. That’s the name Matthew McConaughey gave to his penis.

So taking the most believable, trusted cannibals at their word, human meat tastes like sweet pork.

4

Why Don’t School Buses Have Seat Belts?

Most school buses don’t have seat belts for their passengers. Bus seat belts are mandatory in only six out of 50 states in the U.S. At least 18 others are considering such laws, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. So a majority of kids are at risk of banging on everything as they flop around the inside of a bus.

Federal law only requires seat belts in school buses that weigh under 10,000 pounds. On a federal level, only short buses which transport disabled students require seat belts. Every other bus is a giant lottery ball machine where the balls are made of people.

The typical long yellow school buses you have in mind right now have been deemed so safe by federal agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that they think seat belts aren’t even necessary. It has to do with the modern design.

To describe a child in a school bus accident prior to mandated design changes in 1977, Indianapolis Monthly magazine said, it’s like “placing an egg in a toolbox full of wrenches and gasoline, then throwing it down a flight of stairs and hoping it came out unbroken.” That’s the most graphic sentence about a toolbox I’ve ever seen.

Fearing that we were at risk of turning our nation’s children into wrenches (I may have misunderstood the metaphor), the NHTSA packed bus seats closer together and gave them shock-absorbing steel skeletons. They raised the seat backs and bolted them to the floor (did the seats just slide around before that?). The buses’ fuel systems were improved to reduce the chance of roasting children. New mirrors were added so drivers could see whether kids were standing so they could brake real quick to teach them a lesson. And joints were strengthened to reduce the likelihood of buses shredding apart in an accident like a race car slamming into a corner at 200 mph. It’s a miracle anyone survived the ’70s.

They basically redesigned buses like egg cartons. Kids can’t get hurt if their bodies have nowhere to move. It wouldn’t hurt to put seat belts in, but it’s just an added expense for a vehicle that’s already considered the safest form of transportation there is. Though I don’t see how they’re safer than parade floats. They go one mile an hour and are covered in soft mascots.

3

Why Is Breakfast In America Mostly Dessert Food?

It wouldn’t make sense if one of our daily meals was just a cake. Yet that’s what a lot of American breakfast food is — waffles, pancakes, croissants, French toast, almost everything in the cereal aisle, donuts, muffins, and all the weird sub-categories, variations, and cultural twists on each. It’s dessert you eat in the morning to get a jump start on your diabetes. How did American breakfast menus come to look like they were written by pudgy children with Kool-Aid-stained lips?

The culture of eating dessert in the morning was imported from all over the world, but we perfected it. And America defines “perfected” as “taken to its most self-destructive extreme.” And we can blame the Dutch for that. They brought pancakes, waffles, and donuts to America in the early 1600s. Nobody knew what time of day we should be eating any of them, so we ate them whenever the hell we wanted. Since they were bread-adjacent, we defaulted to eating them for dinner, like we do garlic bread with a bowl of pasta or a donut with salmon.

It stayed that way, until one day we decided to not wait several hours to be our worst selves. Thin crepe-like pancakes were a staple of American dinners during the Revolutionary War. Then people added a leavening agent to make them rise and realized we’d all be much better off if we started our day with fleeting joy.

Donuts weren’t associated with breakfast until we invented machines that could mass-produce them, which led to donuts showing up in more bakeries. This coincided with the increased availability of coffee in bakeries. People stopped in to grab a morning cup, and the sensual allure of glaze compelled them to grab a donut as well.

Pop-Tarts and sugary cereals were a direct result of America’s obsession with convenience. Why make a whole meal of proteins when you can heat this pale slip of crumbly pastry with a thin smattering of fruity sugar sludge in a toaster real quick and launch out the door with your warm heart disease delivery device a minute later?

2

Why Do Buttholes Have Hair?

Did our anuses need to be kept warm in the winter? Is butthole hair there to reduce the friction between our butt cheeks so our pants don’t catch fire? Evolution-wise, it seems counterproductive. The poop would stick to it and cause disease in primitive people who didn’t buy wet wipes, right?

The frustrating thing about this question, which seems like it should have a simple definitive answer, is that it doesn’t. We’ve had them since forever, but we have no idea why we’ve got dry thickets of spooky forest vines surrounding our stink knots like they’re protecting the outside world from the witch that lives within. But we do have solid theories that we’re running with, since no one is brave enough to study asshole hair for a living. Turns out my joke about reducing friction between cheeks might be part of the explanation. Another is that butt pubes (bubes) might have something to do with olfactory communication.

See, your unique stink is your body’s way of releasing pheromones that tell those around you a little something about yourself that they’d rather not know. One theory is that we’re kind of like dogs, in that the stench of our assholes was one of the ways we once communicated — and we still do. For instance, when you fart in an elevator, you’re telling passengers you’re a terrorist. The hair traps our unique natural body odors, which supposedly let other (I guess) people know who you are. So if you wax off your asshole hair, you’re a step closer to going off the grid. Soon, you’ll be free to spend your days building bombs and putting the finishing touches on your manifesto in your cabin in the Ozarks.

1

Do Chickens Care That We Take Their Eggs?

I don’t want to speak for chickens, but if I were a chicken and I spent all that time making eggs in my chicken womb and then popped a few out of my chicken tube, and then some human came in and tried to take it, I’d be like, “Wha? No.” Then again, maybe I’m putting too many human qualities on poultry. I mean, it turns out that chickens don’t have vaginas and roosters don’t have penises, so they don’t have sex the way you’re imagining. But still, I’d imagine that any animal would get a little riled up if you try to take away their babies. But I don’t often hear about hens trying to peck out Farmer John’s still-beating heart after he tried to steal their eggs. Do hens even give a shit that we’ve industrialized the kidnapping of their children?

Depends on the chicken.

If they’re taking eggs from non-commercial breeds, there’s an element of timing involved. Hens form a “clutch” of eggs, which is when they lay up to 20 eggs but don’t actually do anything with them. They’re saving them up until the day their hormones ignite and they’re overcome with the desire to sit on the eggs and turn them into chicks. Try to take an egg from a brooding hen and pretty much nothing will happen; it’ll be pissed, but it’s a chicken and we invented the Naked Chicken Chalupa. What are they gonna do?

Wild hens won’t lay another egg until their previous bunch has grown up and moved out of the house. By taking the eggs before they hatch, farmers are tricking hens into entering an infinite cycle of laying eggs which they, in their tiny chicken brains, probably think are duds.

Jesus, that’s dark. But surely, commercial factory-farmed chickens have it much better!

Brooding over an egg has been bred out of some commercial hybrid hens. The ones used for large-scale egg farming have had the will to fight back against a huge alien overlord stealing their young scrubbed from their instincts, which sometimes results in them crapping out an egg and walking away like they don’t even give a shit anymore. That’s almost as sad as the infinite loop of chicken infertility.

As a counterpoint, here’s a picture of a really good breakfast sandwich I made the other day:

Me

Much respect, lady chickens.

Luis would like everyone to know that cannibal Armin Meiwes is now a vegetarian. He (Luis, not Armin) is on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

Human meat tastes sweet, and you can try some.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/what-does-human-meat-taste-like-5-answers-to-odd-questions/

5 Reasons Millennials Should Destroy The Concept Of Marriage

When you are young and free, the summer is a time to be off school, travel, and lament that you aren’t beach-body ready. But once you get a bit older, summer means one thing: Wedding season. Just, so many goddamn weddings. Whether it’s traveling to a destination wedding, sitting through an hour-long mass, or just hanging out in someone’s backyard, you are expected to be there, smile, and bring a gravy boat for the happy couple that will undoubtedly never be used.

But … what if we just got rid of the institution all together? Don’t worry, I’m not some bitter spinster, I’ve been happily married for ten years. But bear with me here, because for millennials, it might make more sense to just stop getting married once and for all. Here’s why.

5

Society Is Failing At It

Let’s say you’re in high school and you really, really suck at math. You never get better than a D on any of your tests. But you decide you want to study math in college. Then you want to go on and get a master’s degree, and even a PhD. Everyone around you is trying to talk you out of it: your friends, your parents, your creepy guidance counselor that keeps touching your knee. But you are insistent. How crazy would that be? Now pretend math is actually marriage. Because society is totally failing at it, yet we keep trying to make it work.

The divorce rate in America is estimated to be between 40 and 50 percent. For millennials, it might end up being even worse thanks to all the divorces our parents went through. If your parents got divorced, you are up to 60 percent more likely to get divorced yourself. It’s called “intergenerational transmission of divorce,” and it means that your parents pass on divorce to their kids just like they do other terrible things like heart disease or ginger hair.

Then there are the infamous “starter marriages.” These are marriages between people in their 20s that usually last less than five years and don’t involve children. The problem with these is that getting divorced once means you will probably divorce again. 67 percent of second marriages and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce. A recent survey of millennials found that 43 percent of them would like a starter marriage that could be either “renewed” or easily dissolved after two years. 36 percent thought that marriage licenses should be treated like mortgages, on fixed year terms that have to be “renegotiated” once they run out. If this is how we really think marriage should be approached, why have it at all? Why not just live together for as long as you want, and if you break up there is no legal aspect involved?

4

It Fixes Some Legal Issues With Other Types of Relationships

Remember way back in the hot summer of 2015, when it seemed like Obama would be president forever and gay people finally got the right to get married? It was the end of a decades-long slog toward equality, and there was every chance it wouldn’t happen. Until the decision was released, people still thought the five conservative judges might block marriage equality. Fortunately, one of them flipped. But it is easy to forget just how long and hard the fight was, and how close it came to not happening.

Within hours of the decision, think pieces appeared on the “next logical step”: legalizing polygamy. Now, we’re not talking about weird old guys in cults forcing dozens of underage girls to marry them. This is about three or more consenting adults who want to be, for lack of a better word, a couple. Is there really anything wrong with that? If there is anyone out there who loves to cook and clean and maybe knows how to fix cars, I would gladly welcome you into my marriage. In 2015, only 16 percent of people found polygamy “morally acceptable” but that was more than double the 7 percent who thought so in 2001. But it will be another long hill to climb before any case on polygamy gets to the Supreme Court. The simplest way to fix this? Take the legal aspect of marriage out of the picture entirely.

This will work for millennials as well, who are more likely to be in polyamorous relationships than any other group. According to one poll, only 51 percent of people under 30 say that their perfect relationship would be completely monogamous. This is compared to the 70 percent of people over 65 who only want to bump uglies with one person at a time. If we get rid of marriage, millennials can form lasting relationships with any number of people and have them all be equally important.

3

It Ends The Wedding-Industrial Complex

You can’t spend an hour online without finding some millennial talking about the unfairness of student debt. And they’re right, it sucks to start adulthood with negative money if panhandling wasn’t your dream in life. Now that you’ve graduated, you’re right in the sweet spot, age wise, for marriage. Time to bust out the calculator.

According to a survey of 13,000 brides and grooms who got married in 2016, the average American wedding now costs over $35,000. That doesn’t even include costs like the engagement ring, the honeymoon, and the interest you will be paying for years. And sure, some people’s parents pay for their big day, but not everyone is that lucky, which is why a full one-third of couples go into debt to pay for their wedding.

That is worse than it sounds. Money is the biggest cause of stress in a marriage. According to a study of 4,500 couples, money arguments last longer and are more intense than fights over anything else. And if you fight about money issues early on in your marriage, the same study shows you are more likely to end up divorced. One older study found that 10 percent of people broke up mainly because of financial problems, and a whopping 57 percent said it was a primary cause of their divorce. Suddenly that $35,000 party you put on your credit cards isn’t looking like such a brilliant idea.

Look, I get it. Women especially are conditioned to want the big day. I used to buy wedding magazines with my friends and have fun imagining. If you are madly in love with someone you want to show everyone just how huge your love is by proving it with an even bigger wedding. But why do we need to prove anything? If you love someone and are a happy, functional couple, you are proving how committed you are to everyone already. We don’t need weddings to do that. You don’t need to put yourself at the risk of divorce if you never spend the money and never even get married. You can still stay together as long as you want, and have an even better chance of lasting if you don’t start off with money issues and fights about whether or not you invite your fiance’s racist uncle.

2

We’re Already Putting It Off Longer Than Ever

Marriage ages for millennials is already higher than any other generation. These days the average woman gets married at 26.5 and the average man at 29. But that is just the average. In some places, as many as 81 percent of young people are single.

And this might not change much according to one study. The researchers determined that unless marriage rates changed drastically in the near future, up to one-third of millennials will never get married. And those that do find it less important than other generations. Gone is the time where you had to be married to live with someone, or even have a kid with them.

Millennials are putting off marriage for lots of reasons. Some have no money to pay for a wedding (see the wedding-industrial complex above.) Some want to be able to own a house. Others want to live with a partner for a few years first. That might all sound fine, but there are dangers if marriage is still your final goal. Living with someone prior to getting hitched makes you 8 percent more likely to get divorced than people who don’t. And if you put off marriage for too long the same thing happens. Your risk of divorce rises by 5 percent for every year you wait after 32. You know how to avoid divorce? Don’t get married. If we are putting it off for so long already, and so many people will end up single anyway, why not just end the institution once and for all?

1

It Might Be The Natural Way

Thanks to Marilyn Monroe everyone knows about the supposed seven-year itch. But surely that was just made up for a movie, right? No way does everyone want to cheat on their spouses after being tied down for less than a decade.

Wrong. It just takes even less time than seven years. One study looked at animals and found that many of them are serial monogamists. They stay with one partner just long enough to have and raise their children, and then once they fly the nest (in some cases literally) they move on to another mate. Then the same researcher looked at humans and found that in more primitive societies, the same thing often happens. Once a child is four, and is weaned and old enough to be looked after by older siblings or grandparents, the parents move on and find new partners. Biologically, this is a good thing, since having children with different genetic makeups means at least one is likely to be healthy enough to make it to adulthood.

And our biological urge to split up after four years carries over into more advanced civilizations. The study found that four years is peak divorce time for couples. Something about that time makes us want to run off and find a heartier mate. So why tie ourselves down for life when our biology might be telling us to end things much, much sooner? We could take the idea of the starter marriage, get rid of the legal aspect, and expand it throughout our lives. You could find one person to party with in your twenties, then someone more responsible to have kids with, and finally someone fun and financially stable to enjoy your retirement with. It won’t be slutty if we all start doing it.

When you think about it, no other area of life expects you to stay in it forever. Friendships come and go, as do jobs. Why are we expected to legally bind ourselves to one person for life? No one should have to smell the same person’s farts for that long.

Kathy wrote a very funny book called FUNERALS TO DIE FOR and you can buy it here. Or follow her on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-legitimate-reasons-that-marriage-should-be-abolished/

6 Enormous Dick Moves From Big Pharma (You Never Noticed)

For being the industry that provides us with both life-saving drugs and boner pills, Big Pharma sure gets a lot of hate. But it turns out they’re even better at sucking than we thought, filling their day-to-day lives with lots of little acts of douchebaggery to keep us miserable through all of our waking moments. For example …

6

Pfizer Sold Viagra To Millions Of Men Instead Of Treating Their Heart Disease

Years of toxic masculinity and lazy sitcom jokes have thoroughly convinced men that if their penises don’t work, it’s the end of the world. Fortunately for the 30 million men with erectile dysfunction in the U.S., pharma giant Pfizer can cure what ails you. Just stock up on Viagra, and your little guy will keep going and going and going, right up to the moment you die of heart disease.

Viagra, the blue pill that lets you drill, might be one of the grandest and most successful acts of bullshit marketing in history. Until about 25 years ago, pharmacy companies were saying that impotence only affected 10-20 million men, and most of them were too old to worry or care about it. But in 1994, researchers Edward Laumann and John Gagnon (who were conveniently on Pfizer’s payroll) put out a study claiming that 30-50 percent of adults were sexually dissatisfied, which seems a lot harder to scientifically quantify than real medical conditions. For all we know, that study only proves that 30-50 percent of men couldn’t resist making a crack about their wives when asked by two dudes how their sex lives were.


Lying pfucks.

Laumann and Gagnon later expanded on this study to claim that 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men were not just sexually dissatisfied, but in fact dysfunctional. Pfizer ran with this, using the studies to claim that 30 million American men suffered from a term that everyone is now familiar with: “erectile dysfunction.” That dubious study, combined with urologist Irwin Goldstein (who was also on Pfizer’s payroll) saying that impotence was a major health concern, mean it’s no surprise that Pfizer made a billion dollars off of Viagra in a few months, giving them yet another bulge in their pants to be proud about.

But the real crime here is that all this focus on regaining strong, lasting erections has obscured the real issue: If you’re having problems with your penis, the problem is rarely about your penis. It probably can be traced to your heart or brain, which we’ve been told are more important organs. Men usually suffer from impotence because of issues related to strokes or heart disease — both of which can be triggered if you’re having marathon sex hopped up on boner pills. In 1998, Pfizer was forced to add warning labels to the famous pill, which solved the problem forever, because everyone reads those. But before they did that, over 130 men died because Pfizer had convinced them to not seek true medical help, and they did so while getting busy. We’re surprised the company didn’t simply commission another study claiming that 30-50 percent of those men’s dying words were “Totally worth it.”

5

Painkiller Companies Are Trying To Keep Marijuana Illegal

Marijuana, to put it in medical terms, is the shit. It’s basically magic if you’re going through chemotherapy, being the only known drug which both reduces nausea and increases appetite. It also reduces pain, helps you sleep, and improves your mood. It also helps you see colors — like, really see colors. Also, just … outer space, man.

Not everyone is happy about the medical properties of marijuana, though. Pharmaceutical companies are used to selling painkillers and other drugs for large amounts of money, and they don’t want to share their profits with a bunch of stoners. They’re right to be worried, too. States that have legalized medical marijuana see a notable drop in pharmaceutical drug sales, especially painkillers. In those same states, opioid overdoses have dropped by 25 percent. But if you think fewer people dying of drug overdoses is a good thing, you’re never going to get anywhere in the pharmaceutical game.

In 2016, when eight different states approved measures to legalize marijuana in one form or another, Arizona was one state that resisted.

Business Insider
“Arizona: Still slightly cooler than Utah!”

That might have something to do with Insys Therapeutics, a company which manufactures a painkiller specifically for cancer patients, which poured $500,000 in campaign funds into an organization opposing the measure to legalize pot. Of course, when they were asked about it, they claimed that … oh, they admitted outright that it was because they would make less money. They seemed baffled by the idea that they couldn’t own the painkiller market, since they were owning Congress perfectly fine.

However, realizing they’re probably next on the list of things Millennials are killing, these companies are taking a page out of Pfizer’s (and Big Tobacco’s) books and paying experts to tell everyone that marijuana is dangerous. Dr. Herbert Kleber of Columbia University has made plenty of appearances on NPR, CNBC, and CBS News, talking out of his ass about how addictive marijuana is and how it will lead to a public health crisis. What they never seem to mention, though, is that he’s been paid by numerous drug companies, including the makers of OxyContin. And if the makers of New Heroin are paying you to say weed is dangerous, you might as well roll that PhD into a big fat blunt and smoke it.

4

Purdue Pharma Marketed OxyContin Specifically To Skeezy Doctors

OxyContin is probably the most widely prescribed drug that will absolutely fuck you up sideways. It will get rid of your pain, along with all your other senses and any connection to the real world. It can also cause nausea, heart failure, death, and worst of all, the hiccups. And as you probably already know by now, it’s as addictive as heroin, with similar withdrawal symptoms, like fever, nausea, panic attacks, and writing terrible poetry. How in the hell did a drug this dangerous manage to get into the hands of so many people? Via doctors, of course.

OxyContin was made available to the public in 1996, making $45 million in sales in its first year. By 2000, only four years later, it was making an astonishing $1.1 billion for its manufacturer, Purdue Pharma. Coincidentally, in that timespan, there was a massive increase in the number of doctors prescribing OxyContin for everything from back pain to arthritis to stubbed toes to “thought they saw a spider.” That’s because Purdue had an ingenious plan to recruit not just any doctors, but the right kind of doctors. Instead of chasing every Tom, Dick, and Jan wearing a stethoscope, the company started keeping records of thousands of quacks who were already pushing much more painkillers than the average doc. Once they’d found their pill monkeys, it was a simple matter of getting them to switch brands.

Whether those doctors were sleazy or living somewhere with a high density of people with bad backs didn’t matter to Purdue. For the ones who cared enough to inquire after the addictive properties of the drug, Purdue’s sales reps came up with a pretty inventive solution: They lied. They claimed that the potential for OxyContin addiction was “less than 1 percent,” and even made this a major part of their marketing to physicians. As we now know, the addictive potential of the drug is in truth closer to a hundred million percent, but we’d hate to be splitting hairs.

In 2007, Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to lying about how safe OxyContin was, paying a $600 million fine for creating a “corporate culture that allowed this product to be misbranded with the intent to defraud and mislead.” This taught the company a valuable lesson for about ten seconds, which is roughly the time it now takes for them to earn that much profit. And if it breaks your heart to know that a company can get away with creating a nationwide health crisis for less than they probably spend on Christmas bonuses, Purdue has precisely the pill for that.

3

India Is Flooding The U.S. Market With Counterfeit Medicine That Doesn’t Work

We do at least have one recourse from the highly expensive drugs that line the mysterious back shelves of the pharmacy: sweet, sweet generic brands. If you can’t afford the big name, you can get something that works almost exactly the same for a fraction of the price, allowing you to stave off liver disease and still afford luxuries like bread. Finally, the free market delivers a solution that works! Also, your generic drugs are probably counterfeit.

Right now, 40 percent of all generic drugs sold in the United States are made in India, which has its own version of Big Pharma. And the World Health Organization estimates that 20 percent of their drugs are fake. So does that mean that the drugs don’t work, or that they are cheap knockoffs of commercial drugs? Yes.

Indian law states that while the process of making a drug is patented, the drug itself is not. This means that anyone who reverse-engineers a Viagra, or something less important like cancer drugs, can manufacture it on their own and sell it. Without any decent checks and balances, this means anyone with a chemistry kit can claim they’ve cracked OxyContin and ship it off to the rest of the world. After some of these drugs were finally tested, a number of them (ranging from 12-20 percent) were found to have no active ingredients whatsoever, making them as effective as Styrofoam. They weren’t all floppy boner pills, either. These scams includes fake cancer drugs and antibiotics for sick infants, which is a move so comically evil you’d expect to see it in an episode of Jonny Quest.

Ranbaxy
“Actually, that ‘v’ is a typo. Our bad.”

This lack of oversight is what makes selling fake drugs such a huge industry. Ten percent of the world’s drug trade is made up of counterfeits, and this economy’s growing at an estimated 25 percent per year. The FDA here in the USA is finally starting to crack down on this, springing surprise inspections on Indian plants and fining manufacturer Ranbaxy a whopping $500 million for their lies. Their response was to ask the FDA commissioner to keep letting them sell their fake drugs to the American public. After all, how else were they going to afford that fine?

There’s an even worse side of this, however. The explosion of drugs has led to a large increase in pollution from pharmaceutical factories. As if regular pollution isn’t bad enough, pharmapollution can lead to increased antibiotic resistance among bacteria, leading to superbugs that can’t be treated easily. So not only are these fake drugs ineffective, but they’re also making real drugs less effective. Why raise the bar when you can just lower the other ones, right?

2

An American Nonprofit Institute Harvested Ecuadorian Natives For Profit

Biopiracy, contrary to what the name conjures, isn’t the act of performing naval raids on Whole Foods shipments. It’s stealing people’s genetic information without their permission. And when we say people, we mean a people, like the time in the early ’90s when the Coriell Medical Institute stole blood from a native Ecuadorian tribe.

In 1990 and 1991, Coriell partnered with the Maxus Energy Corporation and Harvard University to draw thousands of blood samples from 600 members of the Huaorani tribe in Ecuador, which comes out to “several pints of blood” per person. Under 20 percent of the participants agreed to the procedure, so enjoy lying awake thinking of how a shadowy cabal of rich institutions would obtain the blood of 480 people without their permission. They also helped themselves to some tissue samples, because hey, they were already down in the creepy blood dungeon, so why not?

Kate Fisher
“They stole my genetic makeup and I didn’t even get a stupid T-shirt.”

Regardless of how they got the blood, all of the “participants” were told that their samples would be analyzed for personal medical examinations, and then Coriell did not do that. The samples were instead sold to research labs around the world, including Harvard (which hopefully got a henchman discount). Over the next 22 years, 31 research papers were written about the discoveries made from the Huaorani blood and tissue samples, and not a penny of the deserved royalties ever made it back to the tribe.

Why did Coriell go to so much trouble? Apparently, there are many scientists around the world who think the Huaorani tribe have very particular genetic mutations which make them immune to diseases like hepatitis. Being able to replicate this immunity would be revolutionary, but scientists still have yet to prove the link, even 25 years after the Great People Harvesting. As for what happened to the Huaorani, we’re not really sure, because almost every fact on their Wikipedia page has “[citation needed]” next to it. That might be a scarier sentence than the one with “blood dungeon” in it.

1

Synthes Conducted Secret “Bone Cement” Experiments That Killed Five People

When you’re creating something that’s intended to cure people, it’s best to make extra-sure that it doesn’t kill them instead. That’s why pharmaceutical drugs go through many rigorous rounds of testing, with control groups and consent forms and all that, to ensure that we’re curing AIDS and not turning it into Super AIDS. Or you could be like Synthes, and not give a fuck and straight-up inject cement into people’s spines.

Synthes is a medical company that injected cement into people’s spines, because we really can’t say that enough. The product in question was Norian XR, a special kind of cement which apparently could turn into bone if it was injected into a human skeleton. Normally, a product that dangerous and invasive would have to go through expensive medical trials, finding patients desperate enough to try out an experimental new procedure that could potentially kill them. But Synthes decided that due diligence is for suckers, and went ahead with their own illegal trials. After all, how could shoving experimental putty directly into someone’s spine ever go wrong?

Between 2002 and 2004, Synthes injected cement into an unknown number of patients without their permission, mainly by tricking hospitals into using Norian XR and lying about how safe and legal the concoction was. Some scientists quickly raised warnings about how the drug could potentially cause fatal blood clots, and the FDA requested that Synthes holy shit not do this, but the pharma company gave them both the middle finger and proceeded anyway. The results weren’t good: Five people ended up dying on the operating table as a result of the Norian XR injection, which even Synthes had to admit that was a mixed bag.

In 2009, the Department of Justice formally accused Synthes of injecting cement into people’s spines Four executives ended up pleading guilty to obscure misdemeanor charges, and amazingly, all of them actually went to jail. Of course, what was waiting for them on the other side wasn’t humility, but fat stacks of cash, as Synthes was later sold to Johnson & Johnson for over $20 billion. Here’s hoping those executives spent every day in prison getting punched right in their spines.

Also check out 5 Terrible Secrets Big Drug Companies Don’t Want You to Know and 5 Awful Things I Learned About Drugs Working At A Pharmacy.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_24999_6-evil-af-supervillain-schemes-pulled-by-big-pharma.html

6 Stupid Things Movie Villains Did (For No Apparent Reason)

Movie villains are known for talking too much or underestimating the hero or just entering into conflicts they have no hope of winning. Some bad guys are given every opportunity and every planet-smashing super weapon necessary to win and still find a way to screw it up. In fact, looking back on it, it seems like these particular villains went into their dastardly schemes determined to fail — or to at least extend the story to feature length.

6

Skyfall‘s Villain Shits The Bed In The First 5 Minutes Of The Movie

Bond villains are megalomaniacs with huge, insane plans — plans far too large to include petty details like “prevent James Bond from killing me.” Bond villains forget this detail even in movies like GoldenEye where they know about and particularly hate James Bond. The point is, not including an anti-007 section of their plan is where they’ve all gone wrong.

Which is why it’s strange in Skyfall when the villain Raoul Silva fucks himself over before James Bond even hears about him.

Unlike the other bad guys in the series who want to ransom the world or cover every woman in gold or whatever, Silva is on a personal crusade to murder Bond’s cranky boss M. And he absolutely could have in the first five minutes of the film when he blew up her office but at the exact time he knew she wouldn’t be there?


“Oh no, did the office blow up? Right at the start of happy hour?”

At first one might assume he did this to torture her. But is blowing up someone’s workplace really the best way to do that? Most mornings, if you opened an email that said, “office just exploded. don’t bother coming in today,” you might consider it the greatest news you’ve ever received. But besides the fact that this would be a strange way to torture your enemy, it’s pretty clear Silva really wanted her dead and simply screwed up. Because for the entire rest of the movie, he makes attempt after attempt on her life in increasingly contrived ways. He’s not a man trying to destroy the things M loves most. He’s just bad at murder.

He continues to fail to kill her while she’s in locations way, way easier to rig with explosives than the headquarters of the most secret division of the British Secret Services. And this long saga of heavily planned assassination attempts ends when M is shot not in a personal confrontation with Javier Bardem’s weird hair, but because of a random stray bullet from a random henchman. It’s like setting up the ultimate laser death trap, waiting for days, then finding out your intended victim died of heart disease and their dying words were about how they didn’t remember you.

So yes, Silva’s misuse of a surefire way to kill his main target five minutes into the movie was pretty stupid. And all his failures after that were kind of stupid. But there is a silver lining! By underestimating M’s ability to survive random encounters with random henchmen, he succeeded in making Bond the completely disposable sex object in his own movie. Which is maybe the most poetic revenge any 007 villain has ever pulled off.

5

The Green Goblin Is Terrible At Picking Out Bombs

The Green Goblin from the first Spider-Man movie is an enhanced superhuman, which is already more powerful than, say, an overweight normal guy with robot arms. But in addition to his powers, he also has a sweet hoverboard and an arsenal of ludicrously lethal weapons. Seriously, look at this grenade he made:

Those guys got turned into collapsing skeletons by a bomb so powerful it didn’t even need to explode to turn them into dust. It kills human clothes, human flesh, and absolutely nothing else. It didn’t even get goo on that banner. When you saw that nightmare bomb go off, you knew Spider-Man was doomed. What’s the melt radius on it? Can Spider-Man jump away that fast? Spider-Man is going to die!

Except he obviously didn’t. Luckily for him, the Goblin is polite enough to never use that super skeleton bomb again in the movie. For the final showdown, he instead goes with a totally ordinary kind of bomb. Except we shouldn’t say ordinary. He used a bomb that absolutely exploded right on Spider-Man’s face and didn’t kill him.

The crappy firecracker bomb looks like it’s about the same size and weight as the amazing skeleton-making one, so why bother with it? A classic explosion is always handy, but this grenade seems barely able to cleave through a spandex face mask. It’s not like you could use it to blow the door off a bank vault. If it were a regular, not-exploding ball of metal it would have hurt Spider-Man more. Here’s his face mere days after it went off right on it:

Maybe you’re thinking, “Spider-Man is just really tough!” Well, fine. It seems strange for him to be grenade-proof and also have a special sense that warns him about grenades, but FINE. He should still be nude. Unless Aunt May was secretly sewing Stark Industries-grade fabric into Peter’s face mask and body stocking, it’s hard to explain why that goblin bomb didn’t shred his entire costume off. The conclusion is clear: Science and logic demand a fully nude Spider-Man climax.

4

The Kraken in Pirates Of The Caribbean Just Decides To Let The Good Guys Win

What do you think a normal boat fight is like for a Kraken? We’ll tell you: It comes up from the impossible depths and shatters your puny ship in about two seconds. Then its powerful tentacles crush the life from you the way Dead Man’s Chest crushed your love of pirate movies.

Maybe it was too late into the scriptwriting process when the writers realized they had created a creature that Jack Sparrow could never even dream of beating? Unlikely odds can be fun, but if Jack Sparrow had six weeks to hack at the Kraken with his cute little sword, there would still be enough Kraken left to turn him into a sack of wet bone splinters and drag into the abyss. The Kraken is so OP they had the villains in the sequel pointlessly kill it off just so audiences didn’t keep asking “Why don’t they just use the Kraken to win everything ever?”


Along with a line about their world getting less interesting — which we kinda figured out already, thanks.

But what about before the beast was conveniently killed by a thin premise? It was there and they still had to find a way for Jack Sparrow to deal with the fucking thing for an entire movie. So what did they do? They had the thing get lazier and lazier.

When the Kraken first appears it’s obvious no one in the ocean can deal with the thing. It wipes out a ship instantly. In its second appearance, the Kraken still takes out a ship in under a minute, but at least takes enough time to show audiences how he performs his disappearing-ship magic trick. But by the final battle, it’s like the Kraken has gone on strike or recently had its monster heart broken. It slowly and lovingly wraps its tentacles around Johnny Depp’s boat as if all the previously destroyed ships were misunderstandings. Maybe over enthusiastic hugs? Maybe something … more?


“Is the Kraken attacking or giving us a massage … Oh no. Oh dear god, no!”

The Kraken is just a monster, so it’s hard to believe he was taking longer to crush the ship because he was enjoying watching the heroes (and shitty Jack Sparrow) devise and put into practice a plan so half-assed that not even Sparrow on his drunkest day or Johnny Depp on his most regular day would have ever believed it could hurt the Kraken. A movie really shouldn’t end with the main enemy gently letting the heroes win.

3

Voldemort Acts In A Totally Non-Voldemort-ish Way At The Worst Possible Moment

Lord Voldemort is arguably the deadliest wizard in the world of Harry Potter, especially when he’s in possession of the Elder Wand, which in Deathly Hallows Part 2, he totally is. He has spent his entire life concocting schemes to become immortal which includes eliminating anyone who he considers a threat. He’s not shy about murdering his enemies, very much including children enemies, but in the final deciding battle he suddenly changes his policy.

Up until then, every spell Voldemort throws at least tries to kill its target. Sure, he does some possession and things like that, but usually just as a more complicated way of killing people. So it’s pretty strange that during the battle of Hogwarts, the showdown of the entire series, Neville Longbottom comes at him with the very sword he’s specifically worried about, and Voldemort decides to use a non-lethal shove spell.

Weirder still, the books specifically tell us that master wizards like Voldemort don’t need to loudly pronounce words like regular wizards in order to cast spells. So while it makes no sense for him to not kill Neville, it makes even less sense that he’s screaming a bunch of crap while he doesn’t do it. The obvious solution, his trademark green death zap, would have been easier, faster, and more instinctive. It’s the Wizard Finals — get your head in the game, Voldemort.

2

Gaston Brought A Bow To A Gun Fight

We’ve covered before how Gaston managed to get dealt one of the most brutal deaths ever to befall a Disney villain. But, then again, he was basically going up against a gorilla-wolf-bear with the intelligence of a man. He never really had a chance. He couldn’t have killed Beast even with all the skills the townspeople sang about — his wrestling, his biting, his shooting, his expectorating, his antler decorating … wait, what was that middle one? Shooting?

Yes, in the middle of his musical number about how great he is, we very clearly see Gaston fire his musket three times in a single second without needing to reload. All three bullets go into a beer barrel across the room and he’s such a famously good shot that all of the men, standing right fucking next to it, are completely used to it. This is so normal for them they catch the escaping beer before it splashes onto the counter. So this is a man not only good with a gun, but also willing to shoot it often and for any possible occasion. He uses his gun to open beer. So of course, when it comes time for him to hunt a creature strong and fierce beyond reason, he takes … a bow and arrow?

Walt Disney Pictures
You dumbass.

Are we expected to believe he only uses his gun for serving drinks and not killing supernatural monsters? Let’s assume for a minute it’s some kind of hunter thing — like it’s better sport to use a bow. Fine, hypothetical devil’s advocate. Then how do you explain this painting of him in his chamber of gruesome animal heads? Behold, definitive proof Gaston is just a dumbass:

Walt Disney Pictures
Also, where did he find a bald eagle and a turkey to shoot in France?

He absolutely used that rifle to kill all those animals, and is proud enough of that he had a painting made about it. So it would make no sense to use a bow to hunt the biggest game he’d ever come across? And it’s not like he has any issues about fighting dirty. His own theme song has a line about how he bites during wrestling matches, and he stabs Beast in the back later in the movie. It happens right before he accidentally loses his grip and falls to his death like a stupid bitch.

If he’d had his rifle with him at any point, he could have shot Beast in the head from across the roof and called it a day. Of course, then it would be a movie about how handsome, clever, popular men are better for women than monstrous kidnappers who talk to furniture.

1

In Rogue One, The Empire Prefers To Mess With The Rebels, Not Stop Them

The Empire’s troops might not be able to hit anything with their lasers or block stick attacks with their armor, but they at least seem to want their enemies dead. That’s not exactly the case in Rogue One. In the final scene, we see Vader himself being sent to deal with the rebels desperately trying to get the Death Star plans to Princess CGI Monster Organa.

In an awesome, awesome scene, Vader mercilessly wades through the rebels and then suddenly gets stopped in his tracks by an ordinary space door. It’s an obstacle that wouldn’t have stood up to several seconds of casual light-sabering, but it holds him there long enough for the rebels to escape. Not by zipping into hyperspace, but by slowly flying away from Vader as he grumpily watches.

The pace of the whole thing gave us enough time to notice that the Empire knew exactly what the rebels had stolen, what they were planning to with it, and exactly which ship held it. Why send Vader at all? For a fun light saber fight? Thanks, but why not blow the thing up from space? It’s just a CR90 Corellian Corvette! You think its adorable little pair of turbo lasers are going to hold off a star destroyer? Or even a single TIE interceptor? Fucking Cornelius Evazan and Ponda Baba could have taken out that Corellian Corvette.

Or, you could have used the Death Star’s laser on it, considering how much it stood to benefit from not getting blown up by information leaks. Instead of, you know, using it on a comms station after it had already served its purpose and been retaken by your own forces. The Empire made so many goddamn willfully bad decisions, and for what? To make sure to set up a sequel that already happened 40 years ago? Have you lost your mind, CGI Monster Moff Tarkin?

For more bad guys who probably should’ve worked at a Taco Bell or something, check out 6 Villain Plans That Make Absolutely No Sense and 6 Famous Movie Villains Whose Evil Schemes Make Zero Sense.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_24910_6-famous-movie-villains-who-half-assed-their-evil-schemes.html

6 Healthy Habits That Could Be Doing You More Harm Than Good

Why does everyone think theyre like, the healthiest person in the world? If you did one spin class, stopped at Sweetgreen afterwards, and suddenly think you’re worthy of starting some #fitspo Instagram account, you need to chill. People (not me) need to realize theyre not qualified to be giving health advice online, and tbh most things people believe to be super healthy are just wrong. The internet is filled with a lot of bullshit wellness advice, so were here to set the record straight, starting with these six habits that you need to get over.

1. Eating A Super Early Dinner

Someone once made up a lie that eating late at night makes you fat. I mean, if youre ordering Chinese Fast Wok at 11pm, youre probably not the face of health, but food timing doesnt actually matter. Some psychos people like eating early because they dont like going to bed feeling super full, but there are actually no proven health benefits to eating dinner at 6pm. Like, yeah it’s the one time you’ll get a Sugarfish reservation, but its not actually making you lose weight. In fact, a lot of people eat an early dinner and then get hungry for a snack later on, so they end up eating more than they would have if they just waited a couple hours to eat in the first place.

2. Going On High-Fat, Low-Carb Diets

The newest fad seems to be these weird high-fat, low-carb diets. People swear by the Ketogenic lifestyle, which basically means eating no carbs and just pounding meat and avocados all day. I mean, its not healthy. Just because Demi Moore lost a few pounds on the Atkins diet doesnt mean its right for everyones body. The theory behind these diets is that your body goes into ketosis (which sounds like a serious condition but what do I know), so your insulin levels lower and your body burns fat quicker. Were not here to question some scientists in a lab in Missouri, but youre better off skipping the extreme high-fat diets and just eating a balance of fats, protein, and carbs. Like, try eating a vegetable for once in your life.

3. Doubling Up On Workouts

With ClassPass leading the nicegirl fitness community and your local SoulCycle front desk staff offering you free classes, people are doubling up on workouts, thinking theyre being fucking heroes for staying on a spin bike for 90 minutes straight. I mean, we get the logic behind it: The more exercise you do, the more calories you burn, so the skinnier you get. However, your body isnt a calculator, and the extra workouts could just be depleting your metabolism completely. If youre doing an excessive amount of cardio, you could be overtraining your body and slowing down your metabolism, which will actually make you gain weight in the long run. Stick with one class. Like, how much free time do you have?

4. Eating A Ton Of Protein

Protein is another trend that has gotten v popular recently. All of a sudden, your grandmother is eating protein bars, 90-pound models are buying bodybuilding protein powders, and your favorite peanut butter brand is adding whey protein isolate to their products. Everyone thinks we need an excessive amount of protein to be healthy, and its just not true. Obviously protein is good for us and we need it to survive, but you dont need to be adding in protein supplements to everything you eat. Its important if youre looking to put on some muscle, but if youre replacing fruits and veggies with Quest Bars, youre overdoing it. The average American eats way too much protein in the first place, which could, in the future, lead to issues like an increased risk for diabetes and kidney problems. Just saying, you probably don’t need that protein powder in your smoothie anyway.

5. Avoiding Egg Yolks

People in the 80s started shunning egg yolks from healthy diets in fear of high cholesterol levels. Nowadays, that myth has been completely debunked, but people still seem to hate on egg yolks. While its true that egg yolks have a tiny bit of fat in them and egg whites have none, there are a ton of health benefits to the yolks, like iron, folate, and a ton of essential vitamins. Eating the yolk isnt going to give you heart disease or make you fat, so stop stressing about only ordering egg white omelets if you dont even like them. Order the regular omelet.

6. Obsessing Over Superfoods

The whole superfood craze has become a little insane. We have nothing against some green juice and quinoa every now and then, but just because Gwyneth Paltrow swears by her daily goji berries, it doesnt mean we should start doing the same thing and think we’re gonna look like her. Were not saying superfoods arent good for you, but you shouldnt be loading up on aai bowls just because you heard they have antioxidants in them. Do you even know what an antioxidant is? Like, if youre literally sprinkling chia seeds on everything you eat just because you heard that Kourtney Kardashians trainer told her to do that, youve gone too far. 

 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/6-healthy-habits-that-are-doing-more-harm-than-good

How French Fries Are Literally Killing You

I feel like scientific studies regarding food can really go either way. There are the kind that tell you something you thought was bad for you actually has health benefits. Ya know, like the ones that says cheese and red wine are good for you and shit. And then sometimes, these studies are culinary cock blocks and just ruin your whole life day. The study Im about to break down for you is the latter because science now says that if you eat fries, youre more likely to die. Well isnt that just fucking wonderful.

Look, its not like Ive ever been under the impression that fries are good for you, but death? That seems a bit much, no? The study at hand looked at the potato intake of more than 4,000 people between 45 and 79 years old for eight years. During that time span, 236 of those people died (bummer) and those 236 people, as a whole, had a higher frequency of fried potato eating. So youre telling me this isnt just French fries, but tots and hash browns too? OH HELL NAH!

Getting even more specific, there were findings showing that those who ate fried potatoes at least twice a week had double the risk of death. Way harsh, Tai. Tbh, the whole twice a week kinda makes me feel better. I mean, thats a fucking lot of fry eating. You can probably guess why fry consumption and death are related, but for the people in the back, researchers guess it has something to do with the ridiculous amounts of salt and fat in fried potato products. That, or the people who are eating fried tots all the damn time probably don’t live the healthiest of lifestyles to begin with so they’re probs at a higher risk for heart disease anyway. Take your pickwhichever helps you justify your poor eating habits sleep at night.

One positive from this buzzkill study is that there were no signs that tie death to the consumption of other forms of potatoes. So like, mashed potatoes are Gucci. Phew. Also as I learned from my AP Psych class, correlation does not mean causation, so you scientists can go shave your back now. 

So there you have it: dont eat fried potatoes more than once a week. But look on the bright side. At least it isnt pizza.

Read more: http://www.betches.com/french-fry-consumption-linked-to-death

4 Random Things That Predict Huge Health Problems Later

It took us millennia to figure out that sickness is caused by tiny little assholes called germs, and we still don’t know how to thwart the common cold, or what you should eat to prevent your heart from exploding on your 40th birthday (not grenades; we know that much). But we do know some things, and they may not be what you think …

4

The Month You Were Born Dictates How You’ll Die

Human health is the lottery from hell — you wait for decades just to see whether you’re going to be struck down with cancer, heart disease, an auto-immune disorder, brain tumors, oooorrrr you can open the Mystery Box! Will it be MRSA, or fatal penile inversion? Roll the dice!

On a long-enough time scale, everyone loses.

So what if you could look into a crystal ball and see what your particular “prize” is going to be? We’re not there yet, but scientists at Columbia University are on their way, and it all revolves around which month of the year you were born.

In the first large-scale study of its kind, Columbia scientists investigated the link between birth month and 55 different diseases, drawing on 1.7 million medical histories from New York patients treated between 1985 and 2013. The study confirmed previous suppositions that certain ailments are associated with certain months. But it’s not all bad, because your birth date can also offer protection from other types of disease, illustrated in a chart seemingly catered to D&D fans.

For example, spring babies are more likely to inherit heart diseases and die younger, but less liable to suffer mental problems. Fall babies are apparently the least fortunate. They’re most likely to develop not only neurological conditions like ADHD, but also respiratory illnesses and viral infections, possibly due to increased rates of infections during winter pregnancies, according to researchers. However, these birth months benefit from lower incidences of cardiac disease, so as a fall baby, there’s no reason you can’t live a long, demented life.

Babies born during the summer months appear to be healthiest, as they avoid the block of heart diseases associated with early springtime births, as well as the neurological quagmire of the fall months. Scientists believe it’s partially due to extra vitamin D from increased sun exposure, but the ebb and flow of more than 150 different bodily chemicals can contribute to disease.

There’s a minor tradeoff, as women born during the summer months are slightly less fertile, but that’s only fair. Otherwise, with numbers on their side, those summer super-babies would surely take over the world.

3

Baldness Means An Increase In Heart Disease

Three separate studies have tracked the health of participants over a period of 11 years, and found that if you compare a mostly bald person to his non-bald counterpart, the bald guy has a whopping 32 percent greater risk of developing heart disease. Oh, and if the bald guy is younger than 60, his risk increases to 44 percent greater chance. So if you’re bald, here’s an extra scoop of “fuck you.” If you went bald young, you get two scoops.

PacoRomero/iStock
Just not of sex. You get none of that.

This is backed up, by the way: Three other studies found that bald men are 70 percent more likely to have heart disease, and that younger men get a risk increase all the way up to 84 percent. The amount of hair you have is directly proportionate to how much life likes you.

Also, your type of baldness is important. The specific part of your head that’s losing the most hair correlates with the chance that your heart, like your hair, will eventually give up on you. If you have “vertex balding” (balding on the top of the head), research shows you have a 52 percent increased risk of heart disease. Those with frontal balding (the dreaded “receding hairline”) get off lucky, with a mere 22 percent increase.

energyy/iStock
If you use spray-on hair, you have a 72 percent likelihood of dying from a wedgie.

As for “Why, dear God, why is this happening to me, wasn’t being bald enough?!” — researchers have proposed that hormone levels may be the culprit. Bald men typically have higher levels of testosterone in the blood, and researchers point out that there’s an enzyme that works to convert testosterone into a different hormone — and that this hormone is responsible for both killing hair follicles, and plaque build-up in the arteries.

With all that said, researchers pointed out that well-known factors such as smoking and obesity are much more reliable predictors of heart problems than whatever your hairline is doing, so if you’re taking care of your general fitness, then these studies shouldn’t serve as much more than a light kick to the balls from life. Moderately light. Like life is wearing a shoe, but it’s a Puma, with a gel insole.

2

The Length Of Your Fingers Correlates With Mental Illness

Your fingers come in a variety pack of four significantly differing sizes. The one you use to communicate with bad drivers is usually the longest, followed by the ring finger, then the index or “pointer,” then the pinkie. If yours are different, don’t worry — different finger size ratios are not uncommon, and it all depends on the varying hormone levels you received in the womb. But also do worry, since it might determine your susceptibility to a whole catalogue of mental illnesses.

Grigorenko/iStock
And if your second toe is bigger than your big toe, you might as well commit yourself right now.

Have a shorter ring than index finger? You probably received less prenatal testosterone exposure, and are consequently at greater risk for anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. And if you’re thinking that eating disorders are usually a girl thing, it doesn’t necessarily matter in this case. One study measured men’s fingers and had them fill out questionnaires about eating behaviors and attitudes, and found that men with less prenatal testosterone (and shorter ring fingers) had less drive for muscularity, greater drive for leanness, and scored higher on disordered eating symptoms.

Another study looked at instances of disordered eating in pairs of twins, some of them boy-girl pairs, and some girl-girl pairs. The researchers found that the girls in the boy-girl pairs, who were exposed to more testosterone (due to being womb-mates with a dude for nine months), showed less propensity toward eating disorders, even after controlling for other factors.

Conversely, if your ring finger is unusually long, which means you scored the testosterone jackpot, then your grand prize is an increased risk of autism. Scientists still aren’t really sure what causes autism or what it even is, but one theory is the “extreme male-brain hypothesis”, which basically says that having extremely “masculine” traits (like preferring to think about things and systems rather than people) is a recipe for a mental disorder. The theory is supported by the fact that people with autism have been found to have had greater prenatal testosterone exposure, which again, is indicated by having a longer fourth than second finger.

Other disorders related to these higher levels of prenatal testosterone (and to a “masculinized brain”) include ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome. Oh, and if that’s not all depressing enough, your finger ratio might even relate to actual depression.

To test one bizarre theory, researchers took a camera, some rulers, and some corpse fingers. Researchers “enrolled 71 corpses” in the study, who had been dead anywhere from seven hours to 14 days. Some deaths were by suicide, others by natural causes. The corpses’ hands were photographed, finger lengths measured, and longer fourth fingers indeed were correlated with suicide. The researchers didn’t find a correlation between suicide method and finger length; that would be crazy …

But they were ready with an explanation for this, speculating that the failure “might be due to us investigating an insufficient number of suicide corpses.”

That’s the most metal thing Science has ever said.

1

Thinner Thighs Mean A Higher Risk Of Diabetes, Heart Disease, And Death

We all know “thin good, fat bad.” The fatter you are, the more likely you are to get diabetes, heart disease, or the dreaded double chin syndrome. But, as with all things, the situation gets more complicated — how do your thighs look? You got the chopstick legs? Science says you may be in just as much danger as thunder-thighs over there.

A study with over 300,000 male and female Korean participants found that participants with a smaller than average thigh circumference had an increased risk of diabetes. Even after controlling for important factors like age and genetic risk, and for lifestyle factors like physical activity and smoking.

So society’s prevailing slimmer-is-better philosophy may be skewed, especially because the study found that the association between thin thighs and diabetes was greater for people with a BMI of less than 25 — as in, for people technically at a healthy weight. Other studies have confirmed the relationship: one with over 3,000 men and women found that a thigh circumference of less than 24 inches increases your risk of heart disease and death, even after controlling for lifestyle factors. It’s also important to point out that the thigh size associated with increased health risks isn’t exactly skeletal: It’s still several inches larger than the thigh of the average model.

Researchers think it has something to do with not having enough muscle mass, because having more muscle improves insulin resistance. Another study of over a thousand older men and women found that having larger hips and thighs decreases risk of diabetes, and the researchers who conducted this study also think that lack of muscle mass might be driving the relationship.

Additionally, one study found that having more fat in the thighs is associated with better insulin resistance, and the researchers see this as evidence that not only increased muscle but also increased fat in the legs might be the reason that people with bigger thighs have a reduced risk of diabetes.

Are you a young, thin bald guy with weird fingers, born in the fall?

It was nice knowing you.

For more ways to get to know yourself a little better, check out 8 Innocent Things (That Are Signs Of Huge Health Problems) and 5 Random Factors That Determine Whether You Succeed in Life.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_24734_4-tiny-physical-quirks-that-mean-big-health-problems.html