Category Archives: Lists

The Top 5 Craziest Conspiracy Theories

By their nature, humans are curious beings who are constantly seeking to be enlightened. There are numerous things that seem enigmatic to us (people, places, events, processes, etc.), and as such, they fascinate our imagination.  In a bid to satisfy our curiosity and make sense of the stories that defy explanation, many people come up with their own conjectures. Paradoxically, many of us readily accept such half-baked ideas even if they’re unproven.

The upshot of it is the proliferation of conspiracy theories. Today, there are so many of them that it makes your head spin. You only have to cast your gaze on some major area of our modern society (politics or governance, music, religion, etc.), and you’ll face a seemingly endless flow of conspiracy theories. Even college students, some of whom want to buy an essay online, may be required to write assignments that pertain to this topic.

But where do all those theories spring from? Most of them originate from books, opinion articles, blog posts, social media comments, podcasts, and web-based video channels. Typically, it’s the individuals who have such platforms that come up with all these wild assumptions or unfounded explanations. Once their audience gets hold of the information, it becomes a rumor (with a reference source) that spreads like wildfire. Usually, the larger the audience or popularity/authority of the theorist is, the bigger the conspiracy can become. The theorists may be highly-followed celebrities, bloggers, novelists, and controversial public figures. Some of the most noteworthy examples include Alex Jones (a webcaster behind InfoWars), Gayle Lynds (a novelist) and even Donald Trump – the current US President.

Although the theories may appear fascinating to a significant number of people, they have potentially dangerous implications. The power of conspiracy theories lies in the fact that they become truth after being accepted by the people who believe in them. They take a distorted view of people, events, phenomena, and places-based claims unsupported by evidence. A good case in point? Donald Trump’s backing of the so-called birther conspiracy theory which he advanced against his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama. Just by virtue of one tweet, that theory caught on with many Americans who actually believed it to be true, and even when Obama’s birth certificate was made public, they wrote it off as being forged. Eventually, he backtracked and admitted it was not true. Today, Donald Trump, whose support for various conspiracy theories is well-known, represents a prime example of the enormous influence a famous person can exert on people by propagating unsubstantiated information. Recently, social media platforms have been used to spread anti-vaccine propaganda.

What you’re about to read is some of the most bizarre conspiracy theories ever invented. Ready? Let’s get to it!

1. Humanity’s First Moon Landing Never Happened

Despite all the pride and strong sense of achievement that came with the 1969 moon landing by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, some people believe it never took place. They contend that it was a make-believe setup designed to fool the world into thinking the US had beaten the Soviet Union in the space race. According to the conspiracy theorists, the whole thing was a highly covert film shot in a secret location in the US. 

What’s the basis of this claim, you may ask? Well, look no further than the lack of third-party verification of the event, since the photographic or video evidence was provided only by NASA.

What’s more? Proponents of the theory believe that its proof can be found in the now famous black and white video footage showing Aldrin planting the American flag. They point out that since there is vacuum in space, the flag could not possibly have waved.

But the doubters didn’t stop there. They took it a step further and claimed that an American filmmaker working on a space-related film project assisted the US government.

2. Aliens and UFOs Are Active on Earth

Aliens have for long been a fixation of the science fiction genre. Today, they’re typically described as having a disproportionately large egg-shaped head, dark bulging eyes, small mouth, and tiny limbs. They are considered to be a more advanced civilization existing in outer space and transporting themselves across planets in disc-shaped spacecraft.

In fact, some people even claim to have been abducted by aliens. It’s no surprise that many of them believe that aliens are real and have visited our planet. But why isn’t it reported in the mainstream media? The theorists assert that governments, particularly that of the US, deliberately hide and suppress information about aliens. Hence, those Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO) sightings at night never make it to your evening news bulletin. They even allege that the US government has been in contact with an advanced alien civilization and built top-secret facilities where they’ve been experimenting with alien technology.

A more bizarre claim holds that there are shape-shifting reptilians from space who dwell among us as humans and are capable of changing back into lizards whenever they want. Famous people like Justin Bieber have been accused of being one of them.

3. The September 11 Attack Was an Inside Job 

Thousands of people lost their lives in a terrorist attack that took place on September 11, 2001. Back then, the terrorists flew hijacked commercial airplanes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, causing them to collapse. As gruesome and unpleasant as the events were, some doubters believe that the label “terrorist” is a misnomer. They contend that the fatal episode was an inside job orchestrated by the US government.

The theorists claim that the destruction of the buildings was a result of controlled explosions and not due to the impact of the planes. Why do they believe the US government is responsible? The reasons differ. There are those who say it happened as an excuse for the US government to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. They also contend that the US intelligence knew about the incident beforehand but did nothing to prevent it. In their view, that supports the claim.

4. Climate Change is a Hoax

Over many millennia, the Earth’s climate has undergone different changes. But today, the hottest topic related to it is global warming. Some scientists agree that human activities, and more specifically explosive industrial growth and the resultant emission of greenhouse gases, are causing our planet to become warmer. One consequence of that process is that large sections of ice sheets in the polar caps are melting faster than ever before leading to a rise in sea water level. This, in turn, has resulted in the flooding of coastal and inland areas due to heavy rains. Similarly, the recent summers have been some of the hottest ever recorded. 

Even with a growing body of empirical evidence, not every person agrees that it’s a real problem. Climate change skeptics argue that it’s all a hoax designed to advance an agenda of global population control. They refute the scientific basis and believe it should be discounted in policymaking. President Donald Trump, a publicly avowed climate skeptic, went so far as to officially withdraw America from the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement.

5. The Bermuda Triangle Enigma

Who hasn’t heard of this place? Notorious for unexplained disappearances of people and vehicles, the Bermuda triangle (sometimes called the Devil’s Triangle) is a roughly-defined region in the Atlantic Ocean east of the coast of Florida, northwest of Puerto Rico and south of the island of Bermuda (after which it is named). These three locations form the three points of the “triangle.”

So what makes this area a mystery? There have been claims that over the past 500 years thousands of ships and airplanes have gone missing there under inexplicable circumstances. Accordingly, various conspiracy theories have surfaced explaining the disappearances. Some are based on weak scientific explanations while others concern preternatural activities and alien beings. However, the available evidence suggests that many of the claims are questionable. Even today, the area remains a highly trafficked one both by air and sea without the occurrence of such mysterious incidents.

Given the ever-growing use of media platforms, one should be careful about the information posted there. If prior to reading this post, you’ve been receptive of knowledge you acquire daily, you should take greater care in scrutinizing the content before accepting it as true.

Image source

Advertisements
Tagged

TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2019

TIME magazine has released their 2019 100 Most Influential People list, featuring some of the most well-known artists, politicians and world leaders. The list is divided into five categories: pioneers, artists, leaders, titans and icons.

Actress Taylor Swift, TV journalist Gayle King and soccer star Mohamed Saleh are among the six famous faces featured on the covers of Time’s annual “100 Most Influential People in the World” issue.

The other cover stars also included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and actors Sandra Oh and Dwayne Johnson. The issue is comprised of short tributes to its honorees that are written by fellow global leaders throughout all industries. President Donald Trump, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, former first lady Michelle Obama were among the 100 people on this year’s list.

See the full list HERE.

Tagged , ,

Here Are America’s 50 Favorite Bookstores

Hoodline has ranked America’s 50 favorite bookstores. 

Topping the list is Oregon’s Powell’s City of Books (my favorite all-time book shop), located at 1005 W. Burnside St. in Portland. With an impressive five stars out of a whopping 3,831 reviews on Yelp, Powell’s is the largest new and used bookstore in the world, with roughly one million books on offer. 

Occupying an entire city block, the bookstore features more than 3,500 different sections and nine color-coded rooms stacked with books, including best-sellers and one-of-a-kind finds in its rare book room. 

I am a bookstore fanatic and have been lucky to have visited: Powell’s City of Books (Portland, Oregon), Strand Bookstore (New York City, New York),

Tattered Cover Book Store (Denver, Colorado), The Last Bookstore (Los Angeles, California), Brookline Booksmith (Brookline, Massachusetts), The Elliott Bay Book Company (Seattle, Washington), Harvard Book Store (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Borderlands Books (San Francisco, California)

and Vroman’s Bookstore (Pasadena, California). It appears that I have quite a few more stores to visit during my future travels!

Check out the entire list HERE and see if your favorite bookstore made the cut.

Tagged , ,

The 100 Most Iconic Dishes In Los Angeles

If you’re a true foodie, you will know many of these. The Godmother from Bay Cities. The Chopped Salad from La Scala. The Prime Rib from Lawry’s. Beautifully perennial classics that are quintessentially Los Angeles. We can all agree on this.

but…

The internal fighting about what made it to the final 100 was heated and brutal. Creating a list like this was a constant battlefield, because LA Magazine had to dig deep and figure out what “iconic” really means. Is it just something all of us like and keep coming back to? Does it have to be truly delicious? Can we include chains, or are we selling our souls? In any case, whether you’ve lived in Los Angeles for years, or you just arrived with a suitcase and a dream, these dishes, truly, should all be enjoyed at least once in your life. In no particular order, HERE is the list.

Tagged , ,

Stephen King Earned 27 Million Dollars in 2018

According to Forbes, Stephen King is the third highest paid author in 2018 earning $27 million. The king of horror sold 2.7 million domestic books, boosted by the success of the movie version of IT, adapted from his 1986 novel. King nearly doubled his earnings by collecting an eight-figure paycheck from the film, which grossed $700 million worldwide on a $35 million budget. The movie became the highest-grossing R-rated horror movie at the domestic box office, and the sequel, planned for next fall, could break that record again.

To formulate the rankings, Forbes looked at “all earnings estimates from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018. Figures are pretax; fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted. Earnings estimates are based on data from NPD BookScan and Box Office Mojo, as well as interviews with industry insiders, including some of the authors themselves.” 

This year’s top-earning authors are:

1. James Patterson ($86 million)
2. J.K. Rowling ($54 million)
3. Stephen King ($27 million)
4. John Grisham ($21 million)
5. Jeff Kinney ($18.5 million)
5. Dan Brown ($18.5 million)
7. Michael Wolff ($13 million)
8. Danielle Steel ($12 million)
8. Nora Roberts ($12 million)
10. Rick Riordan ($10.5 million)
10. E.L James ($10.5 million)

Tagged , , , , ,

Overhyped, Overrated Tourist Traps To Avoid At All Costs

There are plenty of attractions that you must see when traveling. You can’t go to Paris for the first time without seeing the Eiffel Tower, and few people want to come home from Yellowstone without photos of Old Faithful.

But for every tourist destination that’s come by its iconic reputation honestly, there’s a crappy tourist trap that isn’t worth your time or money.

Sure, a lot of this comes down to personal opinion. After all, one person’s tacky attraction is another person’s campy must-see perfect for Instagramming. Yet Far & Wide feels pretty confident that the places on this list are a total wash. Their lines are long, the crowds add hours to your visit, and the chances of having the time to genuinely take in what you’re seeing are very slim.

Check out the list HERE and see if you agree?

Tagged , ,

The 70th Emmy Awards Winners

The Television Academy are set to announce the 70th Annual Emmy Awards winners at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles tonight and you can check the winner’s list HERE.

Tagged , ,

The Great American Read, A New Multi-Platform PBS Series, Reveals List of America’s 100 Favorite Novels

PBS today unveiled a list of America’s 100 best-loved novels, chosen in support of The Great American Read, a new PBS series and multi-platform initiative that celebrates the joy of reading and the books we love. The Great American Read, hosted by television personality and journalist Meredith Vieira, launches with a two-hour episode on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at 8 p.m. on PBS stations and will introduce viewers to the full list of America’s 100 favorite novels selected through a demographically representative national survey conducted by YouGov. The series will also feature interviews with celebrities, authors, superfans and everyday Americans discussing the way particular books have influenced them and their significance in American popular culture. Then, after a multi-platform initiative throughout the summer, which will include live public events, social media components and national reading clubs, the series will resume in the fall with several themed episodes, including an exciting finale, culminating in the first-ever national vote to choose “America’s Best-Loved Novel.” It will be the most expansive national celebration of books and reading aimed at engaging multi-generational readers across multiple platforms ever created.

Voting will open with the launch of the two-hour premiere episode on May 22 and continue throughout the summer, leading up to the grand finale in October 2018. Over the summer, viewers will be able to vote at pbs.org/greatamericanread and through hashtag voting via Facebook and Twitter using #GreatReadPBS. In the fall, viewers will also be able to cast their vote toll-free by phone and through SMS texting.

Authors, celebrities and notables joining the search for “America’s Best-Loved Novel” include Diana Gabaldon, George Lopez, Seth Meyers, Junot Diaz, Lauren Graham, John Green, John Irving, Bill T. Jones, Devon Kennard, Gayle King, George R.R. Martin, Wynton Marsalis, Lesley Stahl, Ming-Na Wen and many more, each of whom will share their personal stories and connections to their favorite book.

Check out the full list of the top 100 books HERE.

Tagged , , ,

TIME Magazine Announces The 100 Most Influential People of 2018

Time magazine unveiled its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world Thursday, including record numbers of 45 women and 45 people under the age of 40. 

The magazine paired guest contributors to write about each of the 100 people on the list. Former president Barack Obama says he draws inspiration from the Parkland, Fla., shooting survivors turned activists who organized the March for Our Lives rally against gun violence. 

Among the 45 women chosen were activist Tarana Burke, who founded Me Too and human rights activist Nice Nailantei Leng’ete, who has worked to end female genital mutilation in Kenya. 

Six of the top 100 will be featured on covers of the magazine’s special issue, and include: Burke; tennis champion Roger Federer; comedian and actor Tiffany Haddish; actor Nicole Kidman; singer Jennifer Lopez; and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. 

Check out the full list HERE. The list is divided into five categories: pioneers, artists, leaders, titans and icons.

Tagged ,

The Oscars 2018 Winners

Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water emerged victorious, winning a total of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Guillermo del Toro, and awards for both original score and production design.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, was the standout in the acting categories, earning Frances McDormand an Oscar for Best Actress, and Sam Rockwell an award for Best Supporting Actor. Gary Oldman’s lead performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, and Allison Janney’s supporting turn in I, Tonya rounded out the acting categories.

Jordan Peele won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Get Out. Pixar’s Coco won Best Animated Feature Film.

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, which had earned 8 nominations had three wins in technical categories, including sound mixing, sound editing, and film editing. Blade Runner 2049 stood out for its pair of visuals-oriented wins, including Best Visual Effects and Best Cinematography, the latter of which earned legendary director of photography Roger Deakins his first Oscar win.

See the full list of the 2018 Academy Award winners HERE.

Tagged , ,
Advertisements
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: