Anti-Aging Molecules?

Have you heard about urolithin?

As of 2021, I don't think there are really any anti-aging formulas that work like a fountain of youth, but I do think there are plenty of practices, foods and habits we can do that give us a better shot at aging more healthfully. I've seen plenty of people who are the same age but certainly don't look it due to these factors in their lives.

Today I read a claim about a metabolite compound called urolithin that many "health" websites are lauding as the new miracle anti-aging phenomenon. After some research all I can really find out about that claim is from other supposed "health" sites that don't appear to be very credible to me, but I've seen some scientific research on it, and what's really interesting is that it's not able to be obtained from food or even made in everyone's body. That's because it depends on the bacteria present in your body, and reading that just gave me the guilty urge to go eat some yogurt.

I hate how hard it is to vet information today but I'm really interested in this concept (and any other helpful nutrients, compounds, etc. that we never learned about in school). Do you know anything about it? Share what you've found in the chat.

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Virginia Abolishes Death Penalty

It's freaky that it still exists

My teen and I have been taking classes about the death penalty and learning about how ineffective it is, how unjust it is and how most people who get it are poor, have mental illness and/or had such terrible representation in court that it's no wonder they were convicted.

So many people have been exonerated after being killed by the state that I can't believe so many people still support this form of punishment. It's also against the law, given that there's no such thing as an execution that's not cruel and unusual. In fact, it's extremely unusual, as most countries have outlawed the archaic practice. 

Today we learned that the United States is in the top 10 countries that execute people, and that the rest of the countries listed are well known for their human rights violations. The good news is that the first Southern state to outlaw the practice, Virginia, just did so, which means there's hope for the rest of the nation.

What other weird or freaky things have you read about this week? Share them in the chat.

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Biometric ID Cards

How are people not freaked out by this?

The Chinese government is engaging in some worrisome activities when it comes to tracking its citizens. A biometric ID is in development for tracking citizen use of the Internet. Some media reports are even saying that there are even ID trackers in the works to track location and DNA. Many civil and human rights activists are outraged by this government intrusion, but some people, even those in the West, think it's really no big deal. In fact, some people say they would happily have their IDs and financial information embedded within themselves like a microchip.

It seems like there's either people who deeply fear this possibility or relish it. Why would you want to be chipped like that? It's bad enough that our social media, phones and other online use is constantly monitored, but adding biometrics in seems like a step in the wrong direction. Maybe it's just me being an old xennial who enjoys the Internet but doesn't want it as part of my body.

What do you think about biometrics, tracking and microchip implants?

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Scientists Talk to Lucid Dreamers

This news is a little disturbing.

Scientists want to understand what's really going on while we dream, which is why it makes sense to want to be able to communicate with people while they are asleep. But now that scientists have been able to connect with lucid dreamers with simple back and forth communication, it makes you wonder just what will be done with the information.

There have been so many movies and TV shows that suppose what would happen under these circumstances, from erasing memories to inserting ads into people's sleep. It seems a little Black Mirror-esque to me. Those involved hope that more complex exchanges can be made in the future based on this research. I'm not so sure it's a great idea...

What do you think? Is communication with lucid dreamers a great idea? Share your thoughts in the chat.

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Weird House Has Creepy Peeping Tom Feature

And it's for sale

Once I saw an episode of one of my crime shows--CSI or Law and Order or something to that effect--where a poor woman was being stalked inside her own home. Her stalker had installed peep holes and cameras and other ways to keep tabs on her at all times. I don't know if I could ever feel safe again after a situation like that. I'm the kind of person who even checks public restrooms for cameras, I am so uneasy about it.

So you can bet that I wouldn't be in line to buy this weird Boston home with its peep features. It has a second floor bathroom with no walls in a corner of the home. Some say that the people who built the house simply ran out of money and didn't finish the bathroom but others think it might be for "peeping" reasons. It might be a stretch but I definitely need privacy in my bathrooms.

What do you think? Would this weird setup be too much for you?

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Freaky Plush Creatures

Share your favorites!

For a while, we collected creepy plush creatures. My family and I had everything from a yeti to a werewolf, the Monster High plushies to Egyptian gods and so many other creatures. We've kept a few of these over the years but I have to say, the ones they're coming up with lately are even better than the ones we collected once upon a time.

For starters, there is this Mothman plush. Isn't it adorably freaky? They have a baby one, too! Then there are these adorable "Kreeptures" and I pretty much want all of them. Mysterious also has some really great ones.

What freaky plushies have you found? Which are your favorites? Share them in the chat.

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Bear Bites Woman in Outhouse

A true and freaky story!

Stephen King is to blame for many of us being wary of using the toilets in our own homes. The man can make any ordinary household item seem scary. But a woman was recently truly bitten on the behind by a bear while using an outhouse.

The bear must have confused the opposite opening of the outhouse as a nice, warm cave, and when the poor woman sat down to utilize the facility while camping, the bear immediately bit her! That must have been terrifying for them both.

What bizarre news have you read this week? Share it in the chat!

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Plant Magnetism

It's not just for animals!

All joking about animal magnetism aside, this news is pretty wild and cool: Venus flytraps product magnetic fields while they consume their prey. It's not a huge reaction, understandably; anyone who's had a Venus flytrap knows that the carnivorous plant doesn't need a lot of live insects to consume, nor does it need them often. You can kill one by giving it too many, in fact! So it makes sense that the magnetism produced is also a small amount.

Experts say the magnetic field isn't made as anything useful to the plant's environment but a probably byproduct of the energy involved in the process. Still, it's a pretty weird and neat new fact.

Have you read any other strange facts this week? Share them in the chat.

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Will Zombie AI Be A Thing?

It might through Microsoft's tech

Once I read about some tech that allowed you to record messages for loved ones in case you died, which I thought was a very sweet service to offer. Now that I've read about Microsoft's new patent I'm not so sure. The patent will allow dead people to be used as artificially intelligent chatbots that people can talk to and interact with because that's not freaky at all.

Jokes about the tech being similar to an episode of Black Mirror abound, but it also brings to mind the current laws regarding tech in the first place. The digital world is advancing much too quickly for humans to keep up in terms of laws and ethics, and there are plenty of other concerns to be had aside from this single patent.

What do you think of this conversational chatbot idea? Do you think it's ethical?

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Rocks Shaped Like Cookie Monster Found

This is so much cooler than Jesus toast.

Have you seen the Cookie Monster rocks yet? A geologist discovered a surprise when he opened up a volcanic rock in Brazil. When split in half, the rock formed two perfect Cookie Monster faces! He mentioned that there have been some interesting finds in terms of agates that look like a famous person or piece of artwork but this is the first time a Sesame Street character was found.

Apparently people love the idea of a Cookie Monster rock because they're offering up to ten grand to buy it from the California scientist. Look, Cookie is cute, but ten grand for a rock is a bit much, people. You could do so much good with that!

Have you read any weird stories this week? Share them in the chat.

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