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Australia bans ‘branded’ packaging of cigarettes

Starting on Dec. 1, it will be illegal in Australia to sell cigarettes in “branded” packaging, reported Al Jazeera. Instead, the government has created a variety of standardized packages for all manufacturers. “Australia’s government has taken away that flash of color and brand,” says Al Jazeera. The companies attempted to…

Chinese artist tries to blow up tree on National Mall

Chinese artist Artist Guo-Qiang tried to blow up a 40-foot tree on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the 25th anniversary for the Sackler Gallery, a museum of the Smithsonian that focuses on Asian art, reported Talking Points Memo. It was meant to reference the numerous tree lighting…

Gov. Chafee tells O’Reilly after Christmas rant: Fox News people ‘too angry’

On his show Thursday night, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly continued to insist that Christianity was not a religion, despite the protestations of “crazy website people” and leftists. “These people are so stupid it is painful,” O’Reilly said. “Christianity is a philosophy. You don’t have to believe Jesus is God…

Virginia official sorry for calling atheist group ‘terrorists’

Ken Reid of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors gave a halfhearted apology on Wednesday for referring to an atheist group as “terrorists.” “Yeah, I guess so,” Reid said when asked if he should apologize. “But I still think they’re fanatical.” Reid was upset that the group American Atheists had…

Watch: Zebra and pony run free in Staten Island

A zebra and Shetland pony stunned onlookers Wednesday morning as they trotted down a boulevard in New York’s Staten Island. Their confusion was amplified after two men in black suits carrying lassos chased down the 14-year-old pony and 4-month-old zebra. “Is this actually happening to me, am I finally losing…

Artist Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe goes on display in Mexico City

Nearly six decades after her death, a closet containing artist Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe and personal effects was finally opened recently, much to the delight of her fans. According to Univision News, the closet was locked in 1954, shortly after her death, by Kahlo’s long since deceased husband Diego Rivera. Shortly…

Parents charged with forcing Aspergers teen into ‘military style’ punishment

A Minnesota couple was charged with misdemeanor crimes this week after authorities removed a 15-year-old boy who’d been forced to live under constant video surveillance in a dark room, only being allowed to leave to participate in “military style” exercises allegedly forced upon him by his stepfather. Neighbors reportedly noticed…

Country star wears Confederate flag for NBC Christmas special

Country music star Trace Adkins on Wednesday wore a tiny Confederate battle flag while singing on on NBC’s nationally-televised Christmas tree-lighting special. During his “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire” performance, close-ups of Adkins clearly showed that his earpiece was covered with the flag of the Confederacy, which many consider…

O’Reilly bashes ‘fascist’ atheist: Christianity not a religion, so Christmas displays are OK

On his show Wednesday night, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly accused American Atheists president David Silverman of being a “fascists” who wanted to banish Christmas from the United States. During the contentious interview, O’Reilly insisted that Christmas displays in public buildings were not a constitutional issue because Christianity is not…

Researcher Rick Doblin optimistic about future of psychedelic drugs

The founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) believes research on MDMA, known commonly as the club drug ecstasy, could lead other hallucinogenic drugs to gain medical acceptance. “I think MDMA is going to be the psychedelic that leads the way towards opening the door to other psychedelics,…

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