Regarding the Jedi and Sith Codes

The Jedi and Sith Codes have remained unchanged since the rise of the Old Republic, and it says a lot about the cultures.

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The Jedi Code begins with the line “There is no emotion, there is peace.” Those seven words can stand for the entire code, and summarize everything the Jedi are. Their ultimate goal is to keep the peace, and to do so they detach themselves from everything in the galaxy, including themselves, and focus on doing what is “right.” Another thing to note is that their code is always objective and indirect, just like they are.

“There is no ignorance, there is knowledge” is a reasonable line, but the Jedi don’t live up to it. They never truly understand the Force because they cannot see past the Light and into the Dark. When they assume that the prophecy will be fulfilled when the Chosen One destroys the Sith, when they themselves said that it will restore the balance. Ironic, since they are the ones who say “only a Sith deals in absolutes.”

The next line, “There is no passion, there is serenity,” basically repeats the first one. The idea is that in order to operate in the usual trance-like calm, they must first detach themselves from everything so nothing can throw them off because passion is a potential weakness.

“There is no chaos, there is harmony” is a good principle. The idea is that harmony will help them stay in control and maintain the smooth operation of the Order. However, it is difficult to ignore the fact that the Jedi are surrounded by chaos and darkness and don’t even notice until it’s too late.

“There is no death, there is only the Force” is the last line and it appears to mean that when Jedi die, they become “one with the Force.” How this works is unknown, but it appears that Jedi never die, but instead they remain Force ghosts forever.

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As with the Jedi Code, the first line of the Sith Code, “Peace is a lie, there is only passion,” could stand for the entire code. The Sith do not believe that peace is a good thing because they grow more powerful when they fight. Passion fuels their hate, which they channel into power. Unlike Jedi, who prefer to be the secret “illuminati” behind the Republic’s government, Sith want all the power for themselves and achieve it through war.

The rest of the code is in first person (I, me). That backs up the idea that they want power for themselves as an individual, not as a society. The second line, “Through passion, I gain strength,” shows that they consider their passion a motivation, not a weakness.

“Through strength, I gain power” is fairly straightforward. They use their strength, not for the greater good, but for themselves.

“Through power, I gain victory” simply means that their overall goal was to gain power, and the last lines, “Through victory, my chains will be broken, the Force shall set me free,” means that when they do become the most powerful being in the galaxy, they will have no more rules to follow, and they will bow to no one.

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The Grey Jedi are another Force-using organization. They are incredibly secretive and are rarely known to not be undercover. They use the use the Light and Dark Sides for what they consider to be the greater good. Their code is a blend of the Jedi and Sith Codes.

The first line, as usual, is the most important: “There is no Dark Side, nor a Light Side, there is only the Force.” To outsiders, it appears that they use the Light and the Dark, but because they use both so fluently, they see no distinction, only the one living Force. They use the Force in its purest form, a state where light and dark are relative. In the same way, they are not good or evil, but a blend of both. They do what they believe is the right thing to do, but sometimes in ways that some would consider morally wrong.

“I will do what I must to keep the balance” states the goal of the Grey Jedi: to maintain both the light and the dark, and keep them balanced. The reason is in the next line: “There is no good without evil, but evil must not be allowed to flourish.” After a few centuries without Sith, the Jedi started becoming stuck up and unethical, to the point where they were so unprepared that the Republic fell at the hands of the first Sith who tried to take it. But when there were no Jedi, the Empire’s reign got so out of hand that only the person who helped create it could end it. These are the two situations the Grey Jedi try to avoid, by maintaining both good and evil.

The next two lines, “There is passion, yet peace” and “There is serenity, yet emotion” show that being a human is not a weakness. It is possible to not be a machine and stay in control at the same time.

The last line of the shortened code (there is a longer one) is possibly the most unexpected: “There is chaos, yet order.” The idea is that a constant struggle between good and evil can be chaotic, but on a bigger scale it can be controlled, and an “organized chaos”-like state is not necessarily bad for the galaxy. War leads to huge advancements in technology that would never happen otherwise, and it prevents societies from becoming bored and overconfident, like what happened to the Jedi after millennia without Sith. When Grey Jedi keep a balance between Jedi and Sith they are creating conflict, but by keeping it even they make sure that the delicate balance that keeps a society whole is maintained.

The Truth Behind MK-ULTRA

The CIA has been known to do some unethical and sometimes illegal things in the past and present. Some things are justified when the intention is for the greater good, while some things are going too far, and the CIA and similar organizations can and do cross the line once in a while. Perhaps this would not be a problem if it were never revealed, but many declassified documents have shown the public things that it should never have seen. In one sentence, MK-ULTRA is a CIA program that tested chemical and biological weapons on ordinary citizens during the Cold War, often without their knowledge or consent.

It was launched in 1953 with multiple goals in mind. The program attempted to develop substances that strengthen or induce hypnosis and produce shock and confusion, and a “truth serum”-like drug for interrogation. On the other hand, they also tried to develop ones that prevent hypnosis and improve resistance to interrogation. Another objective was a drug that can limit and control the behavior of citizens, so mind alteration/control were also heavily experimented with. Needless to say, not all experiments were approved by Congress, and a public confession was eventually forced.

It is unknown if the CIA succeeded in developing these and other biological weapons, though it is unlikely that it was all fruitless. The explanation provided for the motive behind the project was that the US was forced to do this because rival countries had already developed similar weapons and would use them in the near future.

Many experiments using the drug LSD were dangerous to patients, and multiple subjects were hospitalized. Disturbingly, some tests caused symptoms of paranoia and schizophrenia, while others were lethal, and yet the project continued without second thought. In November 1953, a group of ten CIA scientists were drugged with modified LSD via cocktails and only informed afterwards. One of them mysteriously fell to his death from a 10th floor hotel room he shared with a CIA officer that night, and no, you are not the only one who thinks he was assassinated. A second autopsy revealed wounds from before impact, and most people agree that they were not self-inflicted.

Institutions such as hospitals, universities, and even prisons were involved in MK-ULTRA. The CIA bribed many of them to get their consent to perform experiments. Note that they bribed the institutions, not the patients. The subjects didn’t know that they were being experimented on until afterwards.

Only two lawsuits made it to the Supreme Court, both of which apparently favored the project over human rights, so both were discarded. The CIA claims nearly all records of the program were “lost” so no one would have to deal with them again. The project was shut down due to the spiking death toll and to avoid further controversy in 1973, but some say the project continues under other names.

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Neanderthals and the Legend of Sasquatch

Homo neanderthalis is supposed to be stupid. But 40,000 years ago they had big and advanced brains like Homo sapiens. So why did humans win? Did they? What if the neanderthals were so much more advanced that they outsmarted humans, and we still haven’t caught on? This is kind of far fetched, but I will nonetheless try to support the idea that neanderthals are the ancestors of the modern Bigfoot.

Obviously, Bigfoots are smart. It takes skill to stay hidden for so long, and they pulled it off, with only a handful of remotely believable sightings ever recorded. With a bit of imagination, you can even say that the famous video of one looking back at the camera he didn’t know existed is a sign of intelligence, not ignorant costuming; it was smart enough to know that the camera was there, knew it had been found, and made the tape look like a prank. Maybe they are arranging “sightings” purposefully to leave clues to test how smart humans really are. If they have their own hidden society somewhere were no one ever bothers them, then they have much fewer problems than humans do, meaning they can focus on other things, such as taking the world back from humans.

Many of the physical characteristics match up too. Neanderthals were taller and bigger than humans, and had more hair. It would make sense that when neanderthals disappeared, they did not go extinct, just fled to the forests and mountains where humans couldn’t follow. Because of this, they lived in colder climates, they needed their hair, and didn’t evolve into hairless freaks like humans. They were meant for sprinting rather than long distance like humans, which explains why Bigfoots can hit 30 mph but rarely chase humans far. Neanderthals also had longer arms compared to their bodies, like Bigfoots.

Unfortunately this cannot be proven without capturing and DNA testing a Bigfoot/neanderthal. According to a somewhat extremely unreliable source, a Bigfoot was captured in Brazil in 1897, but all the researchers did was feed it bananas, which it appeared to take as an insult. It broke out promptly after, leaving no trace. No one has ever come any closer since then.

The Evolution of the TIE Fighter

Sienar Fleet Systems is one of the most successful starfighter engineering companies, rivaling Kuat Drive Yards (Slave 1, Jedi Starfighter, most star destroyers) and the Correllian Engineering Corps (Millennium Falcon, other freighters and civilian ships). But despite the company’s success, it was never well-known, largely thanks to Palps and his Empire. The company was Imperialized and ordered to build only one line of fighters: the TIEs. The result is a long line of models and variants used by the Empire and later the First Order. This is list every one of those in the official canon universe.

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Imperial TIE Fighter: The ship that started it all, the TIE/ln space superiority starfighter. It has powerful, agile twin ion engines, and it’s the standard fighter in the Imperial fleet. It has no one speciality, and it’s used for just about anything from recon and routine patrol to dogfights and skirmishes to all-out fleet battles.

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TIE Bomber: The TIE/sa bomber is a modified version of the galactic standard TIE fighter, specialized for areal bombardment and general destruction. It’s heavy armor and bulkiness cost speed and maneuverability, so it usually requires an escort squadron, but its firepower and bombing capabilities rival that of a republic Y-wing.

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TIE Advanced Prototype: The Grand Inquisitor’s personal fighter has speed and firepower beyond that of ordinary TIEs. It also has life support and air circulation for flying without a suit, and basic shields to replace heavy armoring. It was the first prototype in a line of improved TIEs that were not mass produced, and reserved exclusively for the Imperial elite.

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TIE Advanced X1: Other than the prototype, this is the first non-mass produced TIE fighter. A combination of heavy firepower, strong shields, powerful sublights, and a capable hyperdrive make it an ideal choice for high ranking Imperials–or even Sith lords. Darth Vader made it his chosen ride and jumped in to hunt some rebels during the Battle of Yavin.

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TIE Interceptor: The TIE/IN is a real force to be reckoned with. It is reserved for Imperial pilots who have survived twenty or more combat missions. While the fighter has no hyperdrive or shields, its outstanding speed and maneuverability compensate the disadvantages. This variant has one simple purpose: to engage and destroy rebel starfighters. It has four laser canons on its wingtips like that allow it to match an X-wing and two more on the sides, speed to rival an A-wing, and firepower capable of taking out a Y-wing with shields up.

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TIE Defender: This was the first mass-produced fighter in the TIE line that was engineered for quality. Its development was ordered by Grand Admiral Thrawn, who saw the error in the standard TIEs. The Defenders are equipped with shield generators, and have three wings instead of two to provide space for six laser canons and missile launchers. Had they replaced standard TIEs, the rebellion would have been stomped out before it could be created.

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TIE Striker: This new Imperial variant, the TIE/sk x1 experimental superiority fighter, is a sleek, fast ship designed for in-atmosphere missions. Needless to say it has no hyperdrive, though it is capable of operation in vacuum. Its large central pod is also useful for cargo transport, and its missile launchers are designed for bombardment.

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TIE Reaper: An upgrade to the Striker, the Reaper is a large in-atmosphere troop transport. Director Orson Krennic used one of these to take him and his death troopers to the surface of Scarif during the rebel invasion. This is one of the only known appearances of the ship.

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First Order TIE Fighter: After the Empire’s fall and the rise of the New Republic, Thrawn’s ideas began to resurface. The First Order manufactured a new line of TIEs, equipped with shields and improved laser canons. They are flown by two troopers: a pilot and a gunner. Being more expensive, stronger, and faster than previous fighters, this is the first truly formidable ship in the TIE line.

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First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter: The standard TIE/fo was the first step to making pilots into valuable assets instead of disposable resources, something not even the Republic considered. This is a level up even from that. The Special Forces version is outfitted with a strong hyperdrive, improved lasers and shields, and a warhead launcher. Like the Imperial TIE Interceptor, only the most experienced and successful pilots can fly one of these ships.

 

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TIE Silencer: This is Kylo Ren’s personal starfighter. While there is only one official picture of the ship, one picture says a lot. It looks like a cross between an upgraded Interceptor and an Advanced. It looks big enough for a hyperdrive and shields, and maybe missile launchers. It has four laser canons on its wings, which gives it the versatility to rival an X-wing. The tinted cockpit has no apparent function, but it looks cool. The question remains: will it live up to its looks? Is this the best personal starfighter in nine movies and nine seasons?

5 Common Myths About Zombies

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The generic stereotypical zombie is a slow, rotting, drooling, mindless shell of a human with a desire for the consumption of brains to make up for their own lack thereof, with the “off button” being the destruction or detachment of their head. But there are many other kinds, and when — not if — the apocalypse happens, the odds of dealing with the standardized Hollywood walker are unlikely. These are five of the most common myths about “real” zombies and why they are wrong.

They eat brains. This one is somewhat obvious. When a person’s brain degrades so far that they become cannibalistic animal-like beasts, they attack to kill, and they don’t care what body part they are chewing on. If they are simply reprogrammed or repurposed by a substance or disease, eating brains is the last thing they would do.

They’re rotting. While it makes sense that a senseless creature would not have the sense to keep up a sensible appearance, it’s unlikely that a human could walk around with their guts hanging out of their stomach. To some degree they are probably filthy, but not rotting.

They make noise. “Brraaaiinnsss!” Hollywood walkers tend to make a distinct moaning sound almost constantly. While this may be a side effect of the brain damage/changes, it’s fairly unlikely, and would serve no purpose.

They’re slow. Wrong wrong wrong wrong. The only reason for a zombie to be slow is for the hero to get away, and that only happens on TV. There is no purpose for a slow zombie and nothing to hold it back from a full sprint.

A headshot kills them. This is not wrong in every situation, but it is not a reliable fact. For starters, the headless chicken effect probably applies for instinctive, impulsive, mindless creatures, and headless zombies are still dangerous. From another perspective, because some types of zombies have their brain activity reduced to the most primitive parts, even a clean shot through the head can miss the area that needs to be shut down. Many of these parts are located near the center of the head, which is a tough target from long range.

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The Flash vs. Yoda

For this battle I’m matching up the 2014 TV show’s Earth-1 Scarlet Speedster and Yoda in Revenge of the Sith, since that’s where he really reached his best.

Weapons: Barry Allen has a lot of stuff up his sleeve. He can run really fast, for starters. But the Speedforce also gives him phasing, fast thinking, lightening bolts and in the right circumstances time travel. Yoda is stuck with the Force and a lightsaber. He has Force-speed, but he won’t outrun the Flash.

Defenses/weakness: Yoda’s lightsaber and the Force are his only defenses, and Barry has only his speed and the suit. The Flash’s main weakness is compassion. He’s willing to sacrifice himself to save others at any chance he gets. Yoda wouldn’t hurt anyone else unless there is no other way, so that weakness is negligible. Yoda refuses to wear armor or a suit and so is exposed to stray fire and explosions, but that doesn’t appear to hinder him. He doesn’t have any other weaknesses.

Skill: By season 3, Barry has enough refined control of his speed to take on any evil speedster that shows up. Yoda’s lightsaber techniques and Force powers are unmatched by anyone other than the Emperor. The tiebreaker is that Yoda has 900 years of experience to back him up.

Mindset/intentions: Yoda has no pleasure in killing the Flash, but he will do what he must, as he did when he was fighting Emperor. Whatever reason Barry has for taking on Yoda, he will do whatever it takes to defeat him, though like Yoda, he wouldn’t kill his enemy if he didn’t have to.

Use of surroundings: The Flash is better at this. Yoda has a defensive fighting style that focuses more on spins and swings and jumps.

Because both of these are “good guys,” neither would try to exploit the others weaknesses by harming anyone else, so the fight would be straightforward. Yoda’s fast lightsaber spinning would be a challenge to get through, but eventually the Flash will find a gap and disarm Yoda. It’s possible that Yoda would go offensive and throw Barry around with the Force. That is how most people defeat Barry, so it’s a good place to start. Or he would create a Force shield that prevents Barry from running at him, and deflect his lightening bolts. Either way, the Flash would probably run around in circles and create time remnants of himself. He would take on Yoda from every angle at once, forcing him to retreat. Yoda could defend himself but won’t be able to kill the Flash.

Theoretically, if the Flash doesn’t make any mistakes, Yoda couldn’t stop him with brute force (pun intended). But mind tricks work on almost anyone, and humans are very susceptible. Yoda is never seen using mind tricks, but if Obi-Wan could pull it off, so can Yoda. Given an opportunity, he could send Barry running home to rethink his life, convince him that he’s fighting the wrong person, or just make him lie down and give up. The fight would be long and hard, but the Speed-force is no match for the Force.

Regarding Bigfoot

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An artistic representation of a rather fat Bigfoot

This is absolutely everything you need to know about the the world’s greatest hide-and-seek champions:

  • They are known as Sasquatch or just Squatch, and the arctic variety is the Yeti or Abominable Snowman, although they could be a separate species.
  • They’re 7-10 feet tall, usually bipedal, with black, brown, reddish brown, cream, or even turquoise-stained white hair and fur.
  • Their face resembles a monkey or ape, with a flat black nose.
  • They are strong and can jump the length of their bodies.
  • They are mostly vegetarian, but have been known to eat deer, and in some cases pets, though that last one is unconfirmed. If they eat humans at all they leave no witnesses.
  • Their footprint is 12-22 inches long by 5-11 at the ball and 2-8 at the heel, similar to a bear, gorilla, or human in shape.
  • They tend to be crepuscular (active at dusk and dawn) but have been spotted in broad daylight and at night.
  • They live mostly in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, but have been spotted around the globe.
  • They tend to reside in dense and semi-dense forests in cold(ish) climates, especially old growth redwoods.
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A particularly large footprint from a Squatch who got…petrified?

Some safety tips:

  • Squatches will leave you alone if you don’t draw attention to yourself or eat good food.
  • Once provoked, offering food or acting funny is the best course of action (they have a crude sense of humor).
  • They are unaffected by pepper spray
  • They are intelligent, so don’t play dead.
  • Have some common sense and don’t attack or run from a ten foot tall ape-man.
  • Never harm a Bigfoot. They a rare and endangered species (on the endangered species list of Russia since 1965, France and Germany since 1967), and must be studied alive. A DNA sample could be worth millions.
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Because Squatch and cars don’t go well together.

Other things to note:

  • They like Kit-Kat
  • Bananas are insulting
  • They can’t sneeze
  • They can’t cry
  • North Cascades National Park, WA is the most common location of sightings in the US.
  • 21% of Americans believe in Bigfoot — 1% less than those who believe in the Big Bang

What do you think? Are they real, or just another mythical cryptid? Comment your opinion!

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A famous incident of a Squatch in the ’60s looking back at the camera he didn’t know was there

5 Best Capitol Ships

From Star Destroyers to Dreadnaught heavy cruisers, no fleet or task force of any galaxy-wide organization is complete without a handful of capitol ships. But not all cruisers are created equal; a Victory-class really can’t compare to a Venator-class, no matter how well equipped it is. These are the 5 most advanced capitol ships from the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

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#5: Malevolence

Manufacturer: Free Dac Volunteers Engineering Corps/Pammant Docks
Model: Subjugator-class heavy cruiser
Class (length): heavy cruiser (4845 meters)
Affiliation: Confederacy of Independent Systems (aka Separatist Alliance)

General Grievous’s flagship possesses twin ion pulse cannons capable of blacking out entire capital ships in one shot. It has around 500 twin turbolasers to destroy the ships the ion blast disables. It’s hanger has space for an unknown amount of Vulture Droids, at least one landing shuttle, and Grievous’s starfighter, the Soulless One. The main inconvenience of the Malevolence is that it has an all-droid crew made up of mostly B1 battle droids–not the brightest warriors or commanders.

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#4: Finalizer

Manufacturer: Kuat Entralla Engineering
Model: Resurgent-class battlecruiser
Class (length): Battlecruiser (2915 meters)
Affiliation: First Order, Knights of Ren

The Finalizer is shared by Kylo Ren and General Hux. It is the most powerful destroyer in the First Order navy by far, being almost twice as long as Imperial-era warships. It had over 1500 turbolasers, multiple turrets, ion cannons, and tractor beams, complete with two full starfighter wings consisting of First Order TIE fighters, Special Forces TIEs and a hangar for transporters and Kylo’s shuttle.

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#3: Chimaera

Model: Imperial II-class star destroyer
Class (length): Star destroyer (1600 meters)
Affiliation: Galactic Empire, later New Republic

At first glance, a 1600 meter dead-average Imperial star destroyer may not seem like much, but it was one of the finest warships in the Imperial fleet after upgrades done by its captain, Gilad Pallaeon, such as proton torpedo launchers, upgraded shields, space for six TIE fighter squadrons, and a cloaking device. After the death of Emperor Palpatine, former Chiss Ascendancy member Mitth’raw’nuruodo, or Thrawn, chose it as his flagship after he got promoted to Grand Admiral, due to the ship’s unbroken record of efficiency and thoroughness. In the years following the reorganization of the Empire, the Chimaera was the most feared and dangerous ship in the galaxy.

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#2: Executor

Manufacturer: Kuat Drive Yards
Model: Executor-class star dreadnaught
Class (length): Star destroyer/battlecruiser (19000 meters)
Affiliation: Galactic Empire

At 19 kilometers tip to tip, Executer-class destroyers were the largest and most powerful ships the Empire ever created, considered super star destroyers along with a few other classes. The Executer was the personal flagship of Darth Vader during most of the Galactic Civil War. Under Admiral Piett, it served as command ship in the Battle of Endor and trapped the Rebels between the new Death Star and the entire Imperial Fleet. It was destroyed after a bomber squadron rendered its forward shields useless and A-Wing pilot Arvel Crynyd flew into the unprotected bridge. Piett lost control and it smashed into the Death Star.

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#1: Ascendant Spear

Manufacturer: Sith Empire
Model: Terminus-class destroyer
Class (length): Star Destroyer (unknown; >1600 meters)
Affiliation: Sith Empire

The Ascendant Spear was considered a superweapon because of its unique and outstanding capabilities. It had a Class 0.5 hyperdrive like the Millennium Falcon’s, only over fifty times more powerful due to the size of the ship, making it the most powerful hyperdrive ever built; similar ships built thousands of years later were hardly half as fast. It possessed a megalaser, which fires a concentrated energy blast powerful enough to destroy large ships in one blast. While that’s impressive, it’s not the best part. The entire ship could be piloted through bionic implants by one individual, not as a tool to control but as an extension of the body. It is rumored that the creator, Darth Mekhis, could operate the entire ship on his own, but Darth Karrid, a powerful Sith Lord, could only operate it with a steady stream of energy from her apprentices combined with her own connection to the Force, and only for a short period of time.

How Cats Are Turning Us Into Zombies

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There are many possibilities for the origin of a zombie outbreak (mad cow disease in humans, biological warfare, partial reanimation, nervous disorders, Pokemon) but there is a good chance that the real issue will be a virus spread by house cats.

There is a parasitic mind-altering protozoan called toxoplasma gondii that lives and breeds in house cat intestines that can infect almost every mammal in the world, including humans. In prey animals such as rats, it causes the loss of the animal’s innate fear of cats and cat smell, allowing it to amble right over to a cat and get eaten. Convenient, right?

In humans it’s effects can be much worse: according to CDC it’s known to lead to flu symptoms, blurred vision, eye tearing, persistent headache, fever, nausea, coordination problems, and even seizures, as well as obsessive love of cats, no matter how evil the cat really is. It can also prevent a fetus from developing properly, leading to death.

This is where it gets a little concerning in terms of human zombification. The parasite chiefly targets the brain, in some cases destroying it completely, but in others just altering it in shocking ways. It’s really not that far from creating mindless human servants for cats.

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In fact, ancient Egyptians are a perfect example of a society under the rule of cats. They held cats in higher esteem than humans–the punishment of killing a cat even accidentally was worse than for killing a human. They even worshipped a half cat half human god called Bastet. Cats themselves were often considered demi-gods. Armies were dispatched regularly to liberate kidnapped felines, and they surrendered battles if they saw a cat so it wouldn’t be harmed. After a cat died, it was mummified and buried, and the entire family would go into a deep mourning. That’s an entire society that failed to hold its own against kitties.““

And the scary part is that 50% of the world’s population–3.75 billion people–has this disease. Because it can infect any mammal and most birds, eating partially cooked meat from infected animals can give you the disease, meaning you can have the disease even if you have never touched a cat in your life.

Think twice, cat people. Do you really love your cat, or are you under its influence, slowly losing your mind?

8 Reasons why Rock Should Still Be Popular

Twenty-first century pop is nothing compared to the hard rock bands of the ’80s and ’90s. Today’s music will never compete with old school hard rock. Here’s why.

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It’s not about appearance. If you look at Steven Tyler today, you might throw up. But listen to his music from Aerosmith and you will change your mind. Today, “singer” and “model” are essentially synonymous.

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It’s not only about the singing. Modern pop songs are based on the vocals and rely on the singer heavily if not exclusively. Rock is defined by the guitars and keyboards and topped with vocals, not the other way around.

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It’s played on instruments, not computers. Today, if a song has any instruments in it at all, it’s usually synthetically generated. A few decades ago, music had to be played and recorded by real people with real instruments and recording hardware. It may have costed quality, but it gave authenticity.

 

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The lyrics have meaning. Take Greenday’s American Idiot, Linkin Park’s In the End, or Skillet’s Rise. All of them have meanings beyond the generic “believe in yourself” songs of today.

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It requires talent, something that is getting rare. It’s easy to set up auto-tune or create beats in seconds on a computer. A publisher with the right friends is half the job done to become a millionaire. Playing a guitar as well as Slash or Eddie Van Halen is not something you can do in a few minutes.

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There are real concerts. 21st century live concerts consist of fancy outfits and hot dog stands. In the 80s, it was about the music and the bands. Thousands of people came to see their favorite bands in action — not for the food.

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It’s good music. People like pop because everyone else does, and because it’s all that’s played on the radio. The people who like rock like it because it’s good, especially now that it’s so hard to find.

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It won’t go down without a fight. Even after mainstream bands like Guns ‘n’ Roses and Nirvana are long gone, new ones like Breaking Benjamin and Linkin Park are keeping rock alive. It might be too much to hope for a revival, but at least it’s not going out completely anytime soon.