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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence, and the impact it will have on our society

AI – most commonly known as artificial intelligence.

As a society, we have already embedded AI into our normal daily livings. Do you search on google search engines? Do you use facial recognition on your phone? Do you have a voice-controlled device in your home? Most people would just think that these devices are just modern-day valuables.

But with technology increasing at a rapid rate, how far will AI go? Could AI cure diseases like cancer or HIV? Or could humans use a personalised robot as a house assistant? This may sound exciting to some, but one of the world’s most reputable physicists, Stephen Hawking, shows extreme scepticism towards AI.

The scientist explained at the opening of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (LCFI) at Cambridge University that AI will be “either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity”.

 

 

The Oxford English Dictionary defines artificial intelligence as “the study and development of computer systems that can copy intelligent human behaviour”, and Bernard Marr has categorised AI into four categories:

Reactive

Reactive AIhas no memory, and only responds to certain stimuli. This is the oldest type of AI and does not have learning ability. It can only automatically respond to a limited set or a combination of inputted information. IBMs Deep blue – a computer that in 1997, beat chess-master Garry Kasparov – is the best example of reactive technology.

Limited memory

Limited AI uses memory to learn and improve its response. Limited memory technology is capable of learning from previously inputted data from the introduction of algorithms back in 2012, and according to Forbes “nearly all existing applications that we know of come under this category of AI”. Google search engine is an example of limited memory, as it uses algorithms from data inputted, but can also interpret data it observes, and adjust when necessary.

Theory of mind

Theory of mind AI understands the needs of other intelligent entities. Bernard Marr explains that the theory of mind technology “are machines [that] acquire decision-making capabilities equal to humans”. Theory of mind level AI can understand what it is interacting with, judging its characteristics and thought processes. Sophie the Robot is the latest milestone in the theory of mind AI.

Self-aware

This type of technology has human-like intelligence and self-awareness. These machines will be fully aware of not only human emotions, but of their own. Currently, this AI is not yet been produced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the impact AI will have our society?

Computer scientist Dr. Kai-Fu Lee explained in an interview with CBS that artificial intelligence “is going to change the world more than anything in the history of mankind. More than electricity.” And here are some examples of how AI could change our lives. Whether for the good or bad, you can decide.

Smart homes

The obvious example that AI could change our lives is AI for personal use. Homes are becoming smarter and smarter, as most households now contain artificial intelligence. Smartphones are the best example. Statista states that 3.8 billion people have access to a smartphone, meaning over a third of the global population has access to a device that can augment reality, recognise faces and fingerprints, and can predict text. Additionally, the first-ever smart fridge was introduced in the year 2000 and has surged in popularity. However, Times reports that in the next 10 years it is predicted that households will contain a robot kitchen arm used for helping people with the cooking, smart showers with voice control, and shape-shifting furniture.

Smart cities

Believe it or not, cities are also using AI. Countries in the European Union – and yes, that does include ex-member  United Kingdom – have started to implement AI, which according to the union’s website “enable[es]ing smart urban solutions brings multiple benefits, including more efficient energy, water and waste management, reduced pollution, noise and traffic congestions”.

Organisation ASME have reported the top 10 upcoming smart cities, naming Singapore, Oslo, New York, London, and Dubai as examples. Also, Forbes regards that in the “Chinese city of Hangzhou, an AI-based smart “City Brain” has helped to reduce traffic jams by 15 percent”. Moreover, sources predict that “automated visual garbage sorting using robots, visual inspection of power transmission lines using drones equipped with cameras” will be implemented, and potentially a microchip – that will be planted in a human hand – could be used for future payments.

Smart militaries

Finally, it has been reported that various countries are starting to use AI in their military. Scholar Elsa Kania conveys that the “Chinese military and China’s defense industry have been pursuing significant investments in robotics, swarming, and other applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)”.

Contrarily, journalist Harry Lea explains that China’s interest in using AI or military uses has forced the US to take action, in which previous US secretary of defence Mark Esper explained that “China believes it can leapfrog our current technology and go straight to the next generation.”

Yes, the world does seem technological. However, how reliant are we as a society becoming on AI?

The future is looking like our homes may be reliant on intelligent furniture, but will robots fight future wars?

Do UFOs exist? Everything you need to know about UFOs

Do UFOs exist? Everything you need to know about UFOs

Most people will agree that one of the best views is the sky on a clear night.

Especially where there is no light pollution, such as in deserts or small towns, the eye can see as much as possible – the moon, the countless number of stars, and luckily maybe even a shooting star.
But there is one question that stalls even the smartest, and most experienced minds.
Is there anybody out there?
By anybody, most people think anything living. Anything extra-terrestrial. Anything alien.
The definition of alien according to the Oxford dictionary is strange and frightening. Something that is different from what you are used to. And this definition could apply to many contexts.
For example, an individual could be in an alien land; frightened and alone. Or a professional could see an alien object in the sky.
A professional like Nick Pope, a former civil servant for the UK government/Ministry of Defence. An established journalist and author. Through his experience of working, he is sure about one thing.
There are unexplainable unidentified flying objects in the sky.
Pope has explained that throughout his time of working with the government, he is confident that there are unknown objects that fly into the British air space – objects that could practically threaten Britain, and her society. And Pope’s job was to explore these objects.
“If there was something in our airspace, the government, the Ministry of Defence, or the air force needs to know what it is”, and the most logical reasoning for these objects was to assume they were from planet Earth.
“We asked ourselves for example, could some of it be from Russian aircraft probing our defences?”.
 Although logic suggests that a threatening country could send the aircraft, “you cannot rule out” the possibility of the unknown.
“If it is unknown, it is unknown. Could it be something else?”.
Could these unknown UFOs be extraterrestrial?
The professional explained that there have been some objects that had unexplainable moments, that government and Royal Air Force officials could not even explain.
“These UFOs were more advanced in terms of their speeds, their manoeuvres, and acceleration being better than ours”.

“For example, objects that were apparently capable of – according to visual sightings of the pilots and the radar data –were capable of doing a sharp right-hand turn. Or, moving from a very slow speed or a hover to high speeds in an instance. All sorts of things that if you asked an RAF pilot to do it, they would say the plane does not do that”.

“On many occasions, this has been reported with UFOs, no sonic boom is heard. So again, what is the mechanism for that?”.
This type of technology and physics is too advanced for humans, and this is the reason why Pope believes the government should carry on exploring UFOs, as the Ministry of Defence stopped the policy in 2009.
“The government stopped as they wanted to put their funds towards better defence”.
This contrasts with the USA, which recently the pentagon released a report that involved observations made by military aviators between the years 2004 and 2021.
The report is “largely inclusive” according to Intelligencer, and it conveys that the UFOs identified do not have “extraterrestrial origin… but that doesn’t mean the task force has ruled that possibility out, however”.
This is like Pope’s statement that it was “unnecessary for the British government to stop their investigations”.
“We did not have definitive proof that any of these things were extra-terrestrial, but neither did we rule out the possibility, and neither should we”.
When asked about what extra-terrestrial life could look like, Pope explains that people think of the “typical Hollywood aliens”.
“People think big green men with long arms”, but Pope explained that the slightest number of bacteria in space could prove that alien life exists.

“Science always tries to think big. So even that the slightest touch of bacteria could potentially mean that alien life does exist, that will not be enough for science”.

“They would expect something bigger, say outside our solar system”.
Will we ever find out if alien life exists? Well according to Pope, the only way is to keep on researching.

A new born baby with COVID-19? The story of a woman who gave birth whilst having the deadly virus

The story of a woman who gave birth whilst having the deadly virus

Giving birth is an act only a woman can experience. The patience, the changes, the pain, the trauma, and the eventual pleasure of biologically delivering a baby is life-changing. Nevertheless, giving birth during a global pandemic is also quite a challenge – a challenge which many couples did not expect to happen, which they have postponed or stopped their choice. According to data by the national statistics agency Istat, 50% of Germans and French have postponed the decision to have a baby; and 37% of Italians have abandoned the idea of having a baby. Despite birth rates dropping at an alarming rate, there are a few people who decided to have a baby. But there are also some people, like Stephanie McDowell, who gave birth with the COVID-19.

Stephanie McDowell, a Widnes resident, gave birth to her baby whilst being infected with the virus.

“It was the craziest experience of my life”, explained the mother, who originally tested positive for the virus on the 10th of January 2021. During this time, she was 36 weeks pregnant.

Originally, Steph decided to take a test after her mother tested positive. At first, she conducted a lateral flow test which came back negative. However, days later, symptoms started to develop – high temperature, and no taste or smell – resulting in her decision to take a PCR test. Steph explained that due to her symptoms, she had to isolate which she “was worried and cautious. No one understood anything. I could not turn to my family, as we were in lockdown”. The combination of being pregnant, living in a pandemic due to a ‘deadly virus’, and having to isolate herself because of her symptoms dramatically affected her mental health.  This comes concerning the NHS’s statement that pregnant women are in the “moderate risk (clinically vulnerable) group”. Pregnant women are “sometimes be more at risk from viruses like flu if you’re pregnant”.

“My anxiety was through the roof. I was worried and cautious. No one understood anything and I could not turn to my family”. Moreover, the thought of whether the virus could affect her “pregnancy, and more importantly my baby, was constantly on my mind”. However, during her isolation period Steph’s “most frightening thought” became reality.

Steph went into labour. “My waters broke, and as this was my first time I worried” explained Steph. But even thoug  h she had symptoms, the “routine was standard.

“There was no COVID procedure”.

“I first called the delivery suite, which the baby’s father drove us to the hospital. Once arriving, I was placed into a side room due to having symptoms. But because of the confusion, everybody was giving different advice”.

Even though McDowell’s waters broke on the Saturday, the staff allowed her to go home as “she was not in full labour”, but to return the following day for a routine check-up. She decided to go home “so she was not on her own”. Nonetheless, Steph’s labour progressed. The mother returned for the routine check-up, which due to her anxiety she requested medics to induce her the following day.

Steph encountered more problems during labour.

 

“I asked to take my partner in the room with me, which at first the nurses did not know if he could. There was a COVID nurse on the delivery suite, who takes charge of all of the people who have got symptoms or has COVID-19”. The nurse explained if her partner takes a test, which comes back as negative, he will be allowed in the delivery suite. But more confusion occurred once a nurse questioned the type of test her partner had taken. Since the test was a lateral flow test, he could not come in. “This was at two in the morning, I was ready to go into labour. I burst into tears since he could not come in. Everyone was in lockdown. My family were isolating. What do I do?”.

However, an opportunity was given to Steph to allow her sister in the delivery suite with her, as her sister did not have symptoms. The NHS claims that a birth partner is allowed in if they do not have symptoms.

But after all the fear, confusion, and 15 hours of pain in labour, baby Teddy was born.

The mother and her new born baby (**with permission to use**)

Yet due to the mother having COVID-19, the baby also had the virus which as a result, “was put on a register, which I think carefully measures him in case any future health problems happen to him as a result of COVID-19”. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists reports that if you have the virus, it is “unlikely to cause problems with your baby’s development, and there have been no reports of this so far”. Looking back at her first chapter of a mother, Steph acknowledges that it was challenging0. The baby is in good health, and so is she.

However, a message the mother has to new upcoming mothers is “to do not worry”.

“It was all worth it in the end”.

[Image is owned by Natalia Deriabina and was purchased from Shutterstock]

The story of a couple living with a “poltergeist”

When people hear the word poltergeist, most people think of “Hollywood’s most haunted horror film”.

Released in 1982, the blockbuster ‘Poltergeist’ focuses on a demonic spirit that haunts a family – trapping a little girl in a television.

However, there is a dark “curse” that surrounds the film.

The conspiracy being four of the film’s actors dying following the release of the first, and multiple sequels.

Although the deaths were officially explained, there is no denying the unusualness of the main characters – of the most popular horror film of 1982 – continuously dying in a chronological order.

This unusualness bring questions to people’s minds. Questions such as: Was the event coincidental? Or was it a conspiracy? Or do ghosts and poltergeists exist? The sort of questions an individual’s belief can only answer, as even science struggles to conclude.

Nevertheless, statistics favour a certain answer. The Independent reports that three out of five people claim to have seen a ghost. And with our previous report of many unexplainable moments posted on social media, it is clear that there are a lot of people that do believe in the supernatural.

Ben and Lainey, a couple who are both teachers from Buckinghamshire, are a few of the many people who do believe in the supernatural.

Unique as it is, the couple publicly express that they live with a “spirit, demon, or poltergeist” in their house.

But hey don’t just live with the supernatural,  they have turned to social media to “tell their story” of living in a house with the paranormal activity.

Their documentation of the activity has achieved a tremendous amount of success on social media, in which they have achieved over 6.5 million likes and 107 million views on TikTok, and over 4.6 thousand subscribers on YouTube.

However, despite having many sceptics question their story, Ben and Lainey only post the “evidence” to “tell their truth”.

 

Their truth

Ben and Lainey – the couple living with a “poltergeist”

The duo explained that before moving into the house, Ben used to be the “biggest sceptic known to man” in terms of believing in the paranormal.

He identified himself as a paranormal “non-believer” and that he had no personal experience with ghosts, spirits, or poltergeists.

Moreover, Lainey, who was more optimistic in believing in the paranormal than Ben, stated that she “…did not really experience anything with the paranormal”, but she “hoped that there was something out there”.

The couple moved into their house three years ago, which was Ben’s first house living after his parents. Additionally, Lainey described the house as a new build, which has three floors.

“Our top floor is our bedroom, our middle floor is where the bath is, and our first floor is the living room”.

But six weeks after the couple moved into their new house, everything changed, according to Ben

“I was very wrong. I could not have been more wrong”.

Around “six to eight weeks” of them living in this house, paranormal activity started to happen.

They both expressed that “silly little things” started happening to them both, with Ben explaining that he would “catch figures or shadows at the corner of my eye when I was home alone, and I would hear footsteps coming up the stairs”.

Nevertheless, the couple would just “shrug it off” until a defining moment for Laney happened when the teacher was having a “pamper in the bathtub”.

“I was having some time alone, having a bath in the afternoon when suddenly…”,

“…a gruff, man’s voice called my name”.

Shocked and alone, Lainey expressed that she “was really vulnerable”.

“I felt really vulnerable… I wonder[ed] if this was paranormal, or if I was going crazy”.

However, she was adamant about what she heard, and nothing could change her mind – a man shouted her name.

Lainey’s reaction was absolutely and utterly concerned.

“I got upright and shouted “hello”. I thought, “what if somebody has got into the house”.

Also, she expressed that she was sure that the voice came from the floor above, which was the couple’s bedroom.

However, despite the strange activity in the house – that included seeing shapes, hearing footsteps, and shouting names – the couple decided to remain calm.

“We did not talk to each other about it. Myself [Ben] and Lainey wrote our experiences off. She did not mention to me the voice or anything”.

Nonetheless, one night the pair were watching television together after work.

Relaxing, they noticed a strange encounter together.

A plant pot – that was on the TV stand –  slide from one side to the other in front of their eyes.

Both of them “shot up” to their feet.

“I did not want to say what I thought it was” Ben explained, which after that he admitted to Lainey – and vice versa – that “things have been happening to me”.

But with the only experience of the supernatural being Hollywood films, such as the Poltergeist or The Conjuring…

“we thought that we were going to die”.

Witnessing the activity together was a relief for the couple, with Lainey explaining “It was like an epiphany for us. We knew we were not mad”.

At first, they were reluctant to stay in the house. However, they both share a love for that house, and “It was either we get out of here, or we try and work out what is going on”.

“This thing is clearly wanting our attention”, explained Lainey.

However, the couple naturally started to ask questions such as “does it need help? Is it a demon? Or is it a curse?”.

The pair decided to continue living in the home they admire and love, but they did pursue help from reputable psychics and mediums. Professionals that were in contact with Lorraine Warren – a professor in clairvoyance, and a light trance medium that is most famous for pursuing psychic investigations involving the possessed doll Annabelle and Amityville horror.

“We have had some paranormal investigates come into the house, to help us understand the spirit”.

“Between him, a psychic medium, and us, we felt safe and protected. These people have 30 years of experience each and that was why we are more comfortable”.

The paranormal team decided to do a séance with a spirit board – a board marked with letters and numbers for the use of contacting spirits. The séance lasted three hours, in which they understood that the spirit was “called David”.

“We learned that he passed away due to a car crash in 1983. He was also here because of us”, with Lainey explaining it has the connection with her more so than Ben.

***During the interview with myself, and Ben and Lainey at this giving moment, the couple stated, “there is banging going on upstairs right now”. Through listening back to the recording, the banging can be explicitly heard twice***

In addition, one of the psychic’s brothers regularly visits the pair’s house, as he has “connected well with the spirit”.

The couple are also aware of how unbelievable they may sound, as they said: “saying it out loud, it sounds ridiculous to say. We cannot believe what we say”.

They are also nervous regarding their profession, as they are both teachers which means they both require a professional, unbiased opinion of topics such as religion, politics, or anything that can influence a person’s lifestyle.

The couple stated: “As professionals, we are scared to lose our professional stand. But it got to a point where we put up with this for a couple of years. We said “we need to put it out here this is something. We need someone who can relate with us or help us with our situation”.

From this, the couple turned to social media, in which they realise they may receive backlash for posting their experiences on social media, but their reasoning is “not for attention or popularity, but to tell their truth”.

“We have had big influencers contact us, stating “we need to do it in a different way” but we do not post it on social media for attention. This is our truth, and we post it to share it, and to see if people go through the same”.

Ben and Lainey’s TikTok account has over 5 million likes and 107 million views, and over 4.6 thousand subscribers on YouTube.

Here are some of the experiences with the poltergeist the pair have put on social media:

@lainey_and_benMy mug! (Part 2) ##ghost##laineyandben##paranormal##poltergeist##ghosts##hauntedhouse##hauntedtiktok##scarytiktoks##haunted##scary##spooky##ghostmode♬ original sound – Lainey and Ben

@lainey_and_benSome weird activity caught while @paranormalnow investigated our home##laineyandben##ghost##paranormal##poltergeist##scary##scarytiktoks##haunted##fyp##spooky♬ original sound – Lainey and Ben

@lainey_and_benDaves shenanigans ##ghost##paranormal##poltergeist##laineyandben##spooky##scary##scarytiktoks##haunted##hauntedhouse##hauntedtiktok##fyp##foryoupage##foryou##fypシ♬ original sound – Lainey and Ben

 

 

As stated above, whether you believe in spirits or not is a personal choice. But since there is no scientific evidence that they do not exist, and one in five people have witnessed seeing ghosts, having an agnostic approach towards spirituality and paranormal activity may be best until proven.

And as Ben and Lainey stated with their spirit, demon, or poltergeist, “we are only telling our truth”.

Coincidence, or conspiracy. You know deep down in your heart.

 

 

Britney Spears wants to charge her father over her conservatorship

Britney Spears has expressed to US courts she wants to charge her father for abuse over her conservatorship.

The Independent reported that star has stated: “I would like to charge my father with conservatorship abuse… I want to press charges against my father today. I want an investigation into my dad”.

Her speech followed the decision of the US courts to allow the icon to have her own chosen lawyer – a decision that is a milestone for Spears as her conservatorship limits her control over what she can do, and her decisions.

Britney’s previous lawyer, Samuel Ingham, was appointed by her father due to the conservatorship. Nevertheless, he has requested to step down as soon as the star can appoint her lawyer. This has now been officially approved.

The Independent claims that Matthew Rosengart – “a former federal prosecutor… who now works for a top-tier Hollywood law firm” – has been asked to represent Spears, and her legal counsel in court.

In addition to the milestone for her, Britney posted a video of herself having fun on Instagram, which she and her model and fitness trainer boyfriend Sam Asghari commented “#freebritney”. This is the hashtag used for a campaign – created by her own fans – in order to help her be released from the conservatorship.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears)

This is the first time she has acknowledged the campaign.

A-listers such as Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, and Miley Cyrus have all been vocal about her conservatorship, each expressing for her to be released.

Spears was appointed the conservatorship after her public breakdown due to her constant harassment from the media and the public 13 years ago in 2008.

Her father Jamie Spears was granted conservator, meaning he has full control of the star’s financial affairs.

The Los Angeles Times reports that her dad “has the power to negotiate business opportunities, sell her property and restrict her visitors. He can file for restraining orders against those he believes threaten his daughter’s stability”.

The BBC reported that if the court rules in Britney’s favour that her father has abused her relating to the conservatorship, then her father could be “removed/suspended and may face financial penalties such as reimbursement payments and legal costs”.

Read more about Britney and her conservatorship here.

[Image is owned by Dooley Productions and was purchased from Shutterstock]

Do you believe in ghosts?

Do you believe in ghosts? Here are some of the scariest and unexplainable stories posted on Reddit

Believing in ghosts is a personal choice –  a choice that divides many of us in a similar way religion or politics does. According to a 2017 British survey of 1,347 respondents, 39% of respondents aged 18 to 34, and 35% of respondents aged 35 to 54 believe in ghosts, ghouls, or other types of paranormal activity. Furthermore, one in four Americans believes in ghosts, demons, or other supernatural beings.

Even if people do not believe in ghosts, many people experience unexplainable moments in their lives. Vast amount people who have experienced unexplainable moments – (whether that involves ghosts or not), have posted the experience on popular online platform Reddit – the 19th most popular website worldwide according to Alexa.

 

Here are some of the creepiest, unexplainable posts on Reddit:

A love story

_Black_Dahlia has posted a story on Reddit regarding her great grandparents “who were madly I love”. The user conveys that her great-grandmother sadly watched her great-grandfather die, and thus used to say each day “damn it” waiting for her time to pass.

One day, the user’s great-aunts heard on a baby monitor “John, finally! Why are you always late?”. They went to check on her 10 minutes later, only to find her passed away. The user explains “she was just waiting for her husband, [who was named John] to come get her”.

You’re not supposed to play with guns

User Kabekew has explored on Reddit that the user during his childhood went to a family reunion. The family reunion took place in an old victorian house, and the user was the only child. Exploring the house, they found a library with a bedroom at the back. The child started to play in the room, when suddenly he heard a child say “you’re not supposed to play with guns, Bill”. The user was not called Bill and was not playing with guns. Next, the child asked his relatives if there any children in the house, to which they replied “no”.

However, recalling the incident as a teenager, his mother expressed that his father was called Bill, and killed someone in that house with a gun. Moreover, 40 years later his great-aunt expressed that his father killed someone in the exact same library.

 

The security guard

User throwoutzzzz794 has explained her story of an unusual experience during a time she was working. The user expressed she had to stay up very late, since she had to leave early the day after. This was doable, as the office had security guard that’s “required to make rounds every couple of hours just to make sure things are fine”. During the night, the security guard who was deemed “really nice” stops by the lady to check on her. He asks with a “big friendly grin” on his face “Everything alright?”. The lady replies, but 20 minutes later, he’s returns with the same grin asking, “Everything alright?”. Thinking nothing of it, the lady continues her work. However, another 20 minutes later the security guard returns with the same grin and the same question. As she started to get creeped out, the lady noticed that his interactions are always the same “as if I were in a time loop. Same big grin, same intonation, same rhythm of speech”. In addition, the security guard whistles repetitively, so she could hear his whistling as he was coming back. The woman get’s creeped out and finally decides to leave but as soon as she leaves the door, she hears “bye now” – the security guard is in the hall behind her with the big grin.

As she returned to work the day after, the security guard went missing, and is still missing to this day. She confirmed that it “felt like something had “taken over” inside of him”.


Always trust your intuition 

Reddit user simonsdotter has shared an uncomfortable experience they experienced when they were 19 in 1994. The user was waiting early at a café to get on the ferry as they were visiting their father. The café was full of truck drivers, which she soon released she “was the only woman there”. The Redditor expressed that there was a 40ish-year-old man, with ice-blue eyes and tattoos “eyeing [her]…from across the room”. The woman walked away and decided to act busy and unnoticed looking at her ticket, which suddenly the man snatched the ticket from her hand and stated in a voice that was “jovial flattery and hidden hostility”, “I’m on the same boat. I’ll have hours of your company then, how lovely”. The woman trusted her intuition that she may be in “grave danger” and hid in the female bathroom. This resulted in her missing the ferry.

However, little did she know that the ferry sank in the Baltic Sea that night, resulting in 852 deaths, “resulting in the worst ferry catastrophe to strike Sweden to this day”.

Is taking a photo a good idea?

Reddit uses OopySpoopyman posted on Reddit that they heard taps and noises from their kitchen. The user uploaded a photo on the platform 7 months ago, which if you look carefully, the image shows a shadow in the distance. The image can be seen below:

The Smiling man

Reddit user u/blue_tidal has shared their story of where they were chased by a smiling man. The user expressed that he was walking home one night when suddenly he noticed “the silhouette of a man, dancing” strangely like an old-fashioned waltz. However, the man – who consistently kept his head facing the sky and smiling- was dancing towards the user which nervously, the user crossed the street. The man fixated his eyes on the man, who also crossed the street indicating they were on the same path again. The smiling men then continued to dance towards the user quickly, which the user claims they just stood “completely frozen as the smiling man crept” forward. As weird as ever, the smiling man slowly started to dance backward. Relieved, the person watched the dancer go but suddenly, the smiling man started running towards the user who “ran until [they were] off of the side road and back onto a better lit road with sparse traffic”.

After that, the smiling man was “nowhere to be found”.

 

 

 

 

 

[Image belongs to guidopiano, purchased by Shutterstock]

[All information has been taken from Reddit users public posts]

Adverts that got it wrong – some of the most politically incorrect adverts

2021 – A time which political correctness is at its highest point

 

To be politically correct means to avoid ways of discrimination towards groups of people (women, ethnic minorities, the LGBT+ community, immigrants…) who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against. A study conducted by Pew Research has concluded that 53% of respondents believe that people are too easily offended by what other say. Contrarily, 44% of respondents believe people should be careful of what they say to avoid discrimination towards minority groups.  

 

Often, television adverts are common to reflect directors’ views on minorities, and society’s outdated values. Here are some of the most politically incorrect adverts to ever have been shown on UK television.

 

Here are some of the most politically incorrect British television adverts:

 

Yorkie Advert – “It’s not for girls”

 

The chocolate bar Yorkie has always had a representation for being sexist. To be sexist is to be stereotypical, prejudicial, or discriminatory against a specific sex – typically against women. The chocolate bar – which is created by Nestle, a Swizz chocolate company – previously catered the chocolate bar’s target audience towards men. The wrapper adopted a remark which was noted to be sexist in 2001, eventually stopping in 2011. The wrapper explicitly stated, “it’s not for girls”.

Despite the wrapper of the chocolate bar being noted to be sexist, an advert caused further controversy due to sexism. The advert showcased a woman, who disguised in masculine workers clothes, trying to buy a Yorkie bar from a shop owner. The shop owner pursues to test her to see if she is a man or a woman by asking a variety of questions, such as explain the offside rule.

 

Pot Noodle Advert – “the sl*g of all snacks” and “the horn”

 

Pot Noodle advertisements are also reputed to be extremely politically incorrect, with many of their advertisements having been banned from television. Similar to the Yorkie bar, the popular British instant noodle snack has previously used politically incorrect marketing. The company has previously labelled the snack “the sl*g of all snacks”, an incredibly offensive word, which offended many people. Countless complaints were submitted, which lead to the withdrawal of the campaign.

Despite the offensive label, the company also produced a television advert that was deemed sexist. The advert involved a man whose wife will only make him sandwiches. Because of this, the man walks through a red-light district, in search of someone else who make him a Pot Noodle. 

The Guardian claim that during 2002, the advertisement was the most complained campaign of the year, as it reached “a record [of] 310 people contacte[ing]d the ITC to complain about the use of the word “sl*g”.

In addition, another advert created by Pot Noodle shown obvious sexual innuendos that were showcased before the national watershed that is 9 PM.

 

Pepsi advert – Pepsi protest advert

American company Pepsi faced huge backlash in 2017, due to an advert that was focusing on selling a soft drink during a protest. Starring model Kendal Jenner, people were quick to react due to the “blindness” of the advertisement, as protests are a common way of minority groups standing up against the current political system.

The advert shows Kendal Jenner being herself – a model – in which she walks through a protest that contains a mixture of minorities (ethnic minorities, religious minorities, sexual minorities…). Furthermore, Jenner finally opens the soft drink and hands it to a police officer which the protesters cheer in support of.

Many people disapproved of the advert, as it was showcased during the Black Lives Matter movement – a controversial movement in America over police brutality towards ethnic minorities. The advert was instantly pulled by Pepsi, with the company conveying “Pepsi was trying to project a global a message of unity, peace, and understanding”. Moreover, the model also received backlash in which she apologied as well.

 

[Image is owned by Concept Photo and purchased by Shutterstock]

Psychedelic drugs noted to treat mental illness, according to scientists

Psilocybin, found in psychedelic drugs, is noted by increasing evidence to help mental illnesses such as depression.

A study at Yale University performed one dose of psilocybin being given to mice. Immediate results followed with the increase in connections between neurons.

Alex Kwan, a psychiatry and neuroscience professor explained “we not only saw a 10% increase in the number of neuronal connections but also they were on average about 10% larger, so the connections were stronger as well”.

Previous laboratory experiments have also been conducted to support the idea of psilocybin helping mental illness including aesthetic ketamine.

According to science daily, Psilocybin is an “active compound in magic mushrooms [that] can prodce a profound mystical experience”.

“The psychedelic was a staple of religious ceremonies among indigenous populations of the New World and is also a popular recreational drug”.

The professor at Yale explained that it is the “novel psychological effects of psilocybin itself that spurs the growth of neuronal connections”.

[Image owned by gailhampshire is licensed under CC BY 2.0]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Python bites man on the toilet

A 5-foot Python has bitten a 65-year-old Austrian man whilst on the toilet.

The Daily Mail reports that the 65-year-old went to the toilet and “felt a ‘pinch’ on his genitals and jumped to his feet only to find a 5ft albino python staring back at him”.

The man, who is from Graz, had to call the medics for which sources say he was lucky as the snake that bit him was not venomous.

However, the bite was at risk of becoming infected due to bacteria.

Police condemned the snake owner, which the snake reportedly belonged to a neighbour.

The owner has been referred to prosecutors for negligent bodily harm, but it is unclear whether the man will be charged.

(Image owned by MyFWC Florida Fish and Wildlife is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0)

Puerto Rican man breaks world record as the world’s oldest man

Aged 112, A Puerto Rican man has broken the world record being the world’s oldest man.

NewsBytes has reported that Emilio Flores Marquez, who lives in Puerto Rico, has been awarded a Guinness world record for being the oldest living person who is a man.

The Guinness World Records confirmed the record on Wednesday, with his age being 112 years and 326 days, which breaks the previous record that was held by Romania‘s Dumitru Comănescu.

Comănescu died at the age of 111 years 219 days.

According to NewsBytes, Marquez was born on August 8, 1908, in Carolina, Puerto Rico, and was married to his wife Andrea Perez for 75 years until she died in 2010.

The source explains that the Puerto Rican couple had four children, two of whom are still alive. Marquez currently lives with his two children, as they take care of him.

He also has five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

It is stated that Marquez believes he believes to live happily, “an abundance of love and to live life without anger” is needed.

The Guinness World Records also explains that the oldest living female in the world is Kane Tanaka who is from Japan. The oldest woman was born on the 2 January 1903 and is currently aged 118 years old.