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Bizzare & Odd

20 Completely Ridiculous College Courses Being Offered At U.S. Universities

Would you like to know what America’s young people are actually learning while they are away at college?  It isn’t pretty.  Yes, there are some very highly technical fields where students are being taught some very important skills, but for the most part U.S. college students are learning very little that they will actually use out in the real world when they graduate.  Some of the college courses listed below are funny, others are truly bizarre, others are just plain outrageous, but all of them are a waste of money.  If we are going to continue to have a system where we insist that our young people invest several years of their lives and tens of thousands of dollars getting a “college education”, they might as well be learning some useful skills in the process.  This is especially true considering how much student loan debt many of our young people are piling up.  Sadly, the truth is that right now college education in the United States is a total joke.  I know – I spent eight years in the system.  Most college courses are so easy that they could be passed by the family dog, and many of these courses “study” some of the most absurd things imaginable.

Listed below are 20 completely ridiculous college courses being offered at U.S. universities.  The description following each course title either comes directly from the official course description or from a news story about the course…

1. “What If Harry Potter Is Real?” (Appalachian State University) – This course will engage students with questions about the very nature of history. Who decides what history is? Who decides how it is used or mis-used? How does this use or misuse affect us? How can the historical imagination inform literature and fantasy? How can fantasy reshape how we look at history? The Harry Potter novels and films are fertile ground for exploring all of these deeper questions. By looking at the actual geography of the novels, real and imagined historical events portrayed in the novels, the reactions of scholars in all the social sciences to the novels, and the world-wide frenzy inspired by them, students will examine issues of race, class, gender, time, place, the uses of space and movement, the role of multiculturalism in history as well as how to read a novel and how to read scholarly essays to get the most out of them.

2. “God, Sex, Chocolate: Desire and the Spiritual Path” (UC San Diego) – Who shapes our desire? Who suffers for it? Do we control our desire or does desire control us? When we yield to desire, do we become more fully ourselves or must we deny it to find an authentic identity beneath? How have religious & philosophical approaches dealt with the problem of desire?

3. “GaGa for Gaga: Sex, Gender, and Identity” (The University Of Virginia) – In Graduate Arts & Sciences student Christa Romanosky’s ongoing ENWR 1510 class, “GaGa for Gaga: Sex, Gender, and Identity,” students analyze how the musician pushes social boundaries with her work. For this introductory course to argumentative essay writing, Romanosky chose the Lady Gaga theme to establish an engaging framework for critical analysis.

4. “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame” (The University Of South Carolina) – Lady Gaga may not have much class but now there is a class on her. The University of South Carolina is offering a class called Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame.  Mathieu Deflem, the professor teaching the course describes it as aiming to “unravel some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga with respect to her music, videos, fashion, and other artistic endeavours.”

5. “Philosophy And Star Trek” (Georgetown) – Star Trek is very philosophical. What better way, then, to learn philosophy, than to watch Star Trek, read philosophy, and hash it all out in class? That’s the plan. This course is basically an introduction to certain topics in metaphysics and epistemology philosophy, centered around major philosophical questions that come up again and again in Star Trek. In conjunction with watching Star Trek, we will read excerpts from the writings of great philosophers, extract key concepts and arguments and then analyze those arguments.

6. “Invented Languages: Klingon and Beyond” (The University Of Texas) – Why would anyone want to learn Klingon? Who really speaks Esperanto, anyway? Could there ever be a language based entirely on musical scales? Using constructed/invented languages as a vehicle, we will try to answer these questions as we discuss current ideas about linguistic theory, especially ideas surrounding the interaction of language and society. For example, what is it about the structure of Klingon that makes it look so “alien”? What was it about early 20th century Europe that spawned so many so-called “universal” languages? Can a language be inherently sexist? We will consider constructed/invented languages from a variety of viewpoints, such as languages created as fictional plot-devices, for philosophical debates, to serve an international function, and languages created for private fun. We wont be learning any one language specifically, but we will be learning about the art, ideas, and goals behind invented languages using diverse sources from literature, the internet, films, video games, and other aspects of popular culture.

7. “The Science Of Superheroes” (UC Irvine) – Have you ever wondered if Superman could really bend steel bars? Would a “gamma ray” accident turn you into the Hulk? What is a “spidey-sense”? And just who did think of all these superheroes and their powers? In this seminar, we discuss the science (or lack of science) behind many of the most famous superheroes. Even more amazing, we will discuss what kind of superheroes might be imagined using our current scientific understanding.

8. “Learning From YouTube” (Pitzer College) – About 35 students meet in a classroom but work mostly online, where they view YouTube content and post their comments.  Class lessons also are posted and students are encouraged to post videos. One class member, for instance, posted a 1:36-minute video of himself juggling.

9. “Arguing with Judge Judy” (UC Berkeley) – TV “Judge” shows have become extremely popular in the last 3-5 years. A fascinating aspect of these shows from a rhetorical point of view is the number of arguments made by the litigants that are utterly illogical, or perversions of standard logic, and yet are used over and over again. For example, when asked “Did you hit the plaintiff?” respondents often say, “If I woulda hit him, he’d be dead!” This reply avoids answering “yes” or “no” by presenting a perverted form of the logical strategy called “a fortiori” argument [“from the stronger”] in Latin. The seminar will be concerned with identifying such apparently popular logical fallacies on “Judge Judy” and “The People’s Court” and discussing why such strategies are so widespread. It is NOT a course about law or “legal reasoning.” Students who are interested in logic, argument, TV, and American popular culture will probably be interested in this course. I emphasize that it is NOT about the application of law or the operations of the court system in general.

10. “Elvis As Anthology” (The University Of Iowa) – The class, “Elvis as Anthology,” focuses on Presley’s relationship to African American history, social change, and aesthetics. It focuses not just on Elvis, but on other artists who inspired him and whom he inspired.

11. “The Feminist Critique Of Christianity” (The University Of Pennsylvania) – An overview of the past decades of feminist scholarship about Christian and post-Christian historians and theologians who offer a feminist perspective on traditional Christian theology and practice. This course is a critical overview of this material, presented with a summary of Christian biblical studies, history and theology, and with a special interest in constructive attempts at creating a spiritual tradition with women’s experience at the center.

12. “Zombies In Popular Media” (Columbia College) – This course explores the history, significance, and representation of the zombie as a figure in horror and fantasy texts. Instruction follows an intense schedule, using critical theory and source media (literature, comics, and films) to spur discussion and exploration of the figure’s many incarnations. Daily assignments focus on reflection and commentary, while final projects foster thoughtful connections between student disciplines and the figure of the zombie.

13. “Far Side Entomology” (Oregon State) – For the last 20 years, a scientist at Oregon State University has used Gary Larson’s cartoons as a teaching tool. The result has been a generation of students learning — and laughing — about insects.

14. “Interrogating Gender: Centuries of Dramatic Cross-Dressing” (Swarthmore) – Do clothes make the man? Or the woman? Do men make better women? Or women better men? Is gender a costume we put on and take off? Are we really all always in drag? Does gender-bending lead to transcendence or chaos? These questions and their ramifications for liminalities of race, nationality and sexuality will be our focus in a course that examines dramatic works from The Bacchae to M. Butterfly.

15. “Oh, Look, a Chicken!” Embracing Distraction as a Way of Knowing (Belmont University) – Students must write papers using their personal research on the five senses. Entsminger reads aloud illustrated books The Simple People and Toby’s Toe to teach lessons about what to value by being alive. Students listen to music while doodling in class. Another project requires students to put themselves in situations where they will be distracted and write a reflection tracking how they got back to their original intent.

16. “The Textual Appeal of Tupac Shakur” (University of Washington) – The UW is not the first college with a class dedicated to Shakur — classes on the rapper have been offered at the University of California Berkeley and Harvard — but it is the first to relate Shakur’s work to literature.

17. “Cyberporn And Society” (State University of New York at Buffalo) – With classwork like this, who needs to play? Undergraduates taking Cyberporn and Society at the State University of New York at Buffalo survey Internet porn sites.

18. “Sport For The Spectator” (The Ohio State University) – Develop an appreciation of sport as a spectacle, social event, recreational pursuit, business, and entertainment. Develop the ability to identify issues that affect the sport and spectator behavior.

19. “Getting Dressed” (Princeton) – Jenna Weissman Joselit looks over the roomful of freshmen in front of her and asks them to perform a warm-up exercise: Chart the major moments of your lives through clothes. “If you pop open your closet, can you recall your lives?” she posits on the first day of the freshman seminar “Getting Dressed.”

20. “How To Watch Television” (Montclair) – This course, open to both broadcasting majors and non-majors, is about analyzing television in the ways and to the extent to which it needs to be understood by its audience. The aim is for students to critically evaluate the role and impact of television in their lives as well as in the life of the culture. The means to achieve this aim is an approach that combines media theory and criticism with media education.

Are you starting to understand why our college graduates can’t function effectively when they graduate and go out into the real world?

All of this would be completely hilarious if not for the fact that we have millions of young people going into enormous amounts of debt to pay to go to these colleges.

In America today, college education has become a giant money making scam.  We have a system that absolutely throws money at our young people, but we never warn them about the consequences of all of these loans.  The following is an excerpt from an email that one reader sent me recently about the student loan industry…

For example, one woman told me that her and her husband sat down and thought of every possible expense they could when they were applying for parent/student loan for their daughter. When the approval came back, they were approved for 7k more than they asked for…how about ****! Of course at 7%, why not! Funny thing is they kept the 7k, because she’s in wealth management and said she could “easily” get more than 7% in the stock market……awesome! I have another example of a younger friend of mine who graduated law school from Vanderbilt with 210k in student loans. I asked if tuition was that much there. She said kind of, but they kept offering more than the actual tuition, so she took it and used it for a better lifestyle. Now 20% of her income goes to pay those loans, and it’s still not enough to touch one dollar of the principal…so all she is doing is paying interest, and building on principal…like a revers amortizing mortgage. To make it worse, she was able to save 25k, so she is going to buy a house somehow. Having explained to her that the best investment in the world is to pay off a high interest loan, she said I’m tired of waiting to have a life.

In a recent article entitled “The Student Loan Delinquency Rate In The United States Has Hit A Brand New Record High” I detailed how nightmarish our student loan debt bubble is becoming.  According to the Federal Reserve, the total amount of student loan debt has risen by 275 percent since 2003, and it just continues to soar.

A college education can be a wonderful thing, but right now we have got a system that is deeply, deeply broken.

So what do you think about our system of higher education?

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Bizzare & Odd

Mind control and time travel experiments taking place at real-life ‘Stranger Things’ base, claims investigator

A US military base that inspired hit drama Stranger Things is using secret mind control experiments to trigger deadly shootings by a worldwide army of brainwashed assassins, a filmmaker claims.

Chris Garetano, who grew up close to Camp Hero, claims he has uncovered eerie goings-on over decades including child abductions and even time travel.

The former Cold War radar station in Montauk, New York state, has been the subject of rumours and conspiracy theories since it shut in the 1980s.

Locals have heard talk of government scientists conducting experiments on snatched foster kids and making contact with aliens.

Crucially, it is claimed the base’s Sage radar tower broadcast the frequency needed to affect human consciousness.

One former worker has also described operating the Montauk Chair – a mind-reading device – and said once the computer accidentally summoned up a monster from a subject’s imagination, which then went on a rampage through the air base.

Preston Nichols also told The Sun there were time-travel portals that sucked people to a different place and time.

It was these stories that inspired the creators of the hit Netflix sci-fi series Stranger Things, which was originally titled Montauk.

Most of the base is now a state park filled with picnickers but some parts near the old military installations and concrete bunkers remain sealed and guarded.

Now Chris has taken a fresh look at the creepy site amid claims some of the sinister activities could still be happening today.

Camp Hero

Camp Hero was a secretive Cold War radar station on the coast on Long Island.
He told the Daily Mirror: “The more you find out it’s a little heartbreaking, as it’s terrifying.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if this site and these experiments are connected to mind control. The worst thing I can imagine is they were developing a mass mind control situation.

“There’s new random shootings happening increasingly across the world now.

“And each time people say ‘I didn’t expect that person to do this.’

“It’s very strange and it’s happening far too much now.”

Chris said government operatives could have set out to cause mayhem “to get the public to see things in a certain way, to persuade them or scare them.”

Assassins could have been programmed at the site and years later are prompted by subliminal messages.

He said: “If this is true, that is terrifying. I don’t want to believe it.”

After the Second World War it is claimed the US government experiment on its own citizens including the Tuskegee Airmen, who are said to have been deliberately infected with syphilis and left untreated.

Others claim the CIA ran a mind control programme called MKUltra in the 1950s and 1970s. It allegedly involved testing how drugs like LSD could be used to extract information or erase memories.

And some point to Project Stargate, a CIA mission to see if psychic phenomena such as clairvoyancy could be used by spies. Spoon bender Uri Geller was one of the psychics who took part.

Another theory claims thousands of vulnerable children were kidnapped from the local area and subjected to mind control techniques to create an army of sleeper cell soldiers called the Montauk Boys.

Stewart Sweadlow claimed that, in 1970 when he was 13, he was regularly abducted for the Montauk Project.

He said: “They used derelicts, foster children and drug addicts and then ultimately they decided that people with certain genetics, people with certain backgrounds were conducive to the more advanced experiments and that’s when I was taken in.

“With all of these children their memories were wiped, their genetics were altered and they couldn’t always remember what happened. It would be in the form of nightmares or flashbacks.

“But with me, they could not erase my memory. I became an anomaly for them.

Felix Allen
The Sun

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What These Archaeologists Found All Over The World Is Deeply Disturbing. And Yes, It’s Real.

Over the course of human history, societal sensibilities have changed quite a bit. For example, apparently 8,000 years ago having a stake driven through your noggin was not much more than a bad case of the Mondays. Thanks to the work of archeologists, we are now discovering just how horrifying life used to be. By the end of this list, you’ll be glad you don’t live thousands of years in the past because it looks seriously messed up.

1. Babies In The Bathhouse

Researchers on a dig in Israel were combing through the structures of an Ancient Roman/Byzantine bathhouse. The building was fitted with a sewage system for drainage purposes, but what they found there was disturbing. In the pipes were the bones of hundreds of babies. Why the infants were placed there remains unknown.

2. Neandethal Cannibal Attack

Though neanderthals are separate from humans, they’re close enough to make this list. In 2010, archeologists in Spain discovered the remains of a cannibal feast. Three adult females, three adult males, three teenagers, two young children and an infant showed indications that they were the lunch of another group of neanderthals. Yikes.

3. The Headless Vikings of Dorset

Railroad workers in Dorset, England were in the midst of a regular day when they came upon a burial of sorts. The bones of a small contingent of fighting-age Scandinavian men had been placed together and each one was missing his head. Experts surmise the men may have been executed for some sort of defection.

4. The Claw of the Mount Owen Moa

In 1986, a expedition into the cave systems of Mount Owen in New Zealand came upon a well preserved limb. It was the foot of what looked like a recently deceased bird. In actuality it wasn’t very recent. This specimen was from a prehistoric creature called the Upland Moa which will now haunt my dreams for the foreseeable future.

5. Spike To The Skull

In the process of excavating a lakebed in Motala, Sweden, archeologists were surprised to find several skulls that had spikes driven through them. Others also had the pieces of other skulls placed inside them. This horriyfing scene likely occurred around 8,000 years ago.

6. The Grauballe Man

Though mummies in marshes and bogs are not entirely unique discoveries, this man’s story was special in how well it was told by the information in and around his remains. The large slash on his necks suggests his death was the result of a sacrifice – likely in the name of a healthy harvest.

7. Venetian Vampire Vs. Brick

While seemingly a silly solution when compared to a wooden stake or garlic, this method of vampire prevention wasn’t so odd hundreds of years ago. The brick and cement placed in this person’s mouth were believed to prevent its ability to rise from the dead and bite much of anything. Terrible, but effective.

8. The Oldest Leper

Lepers have never really gotten much slack throughout history, despite the disease not being very contagious. But the first known instance of its stigma comes in the form of a skeleton from about 4,000 years ago. The Indian man’s body is largely intact, despite Hindu tradition calling for cremation. This suggests he was an outcast and was not give the same sort of burial rights.

9. Burned Alaskan Child

During an excavation of a home estimated to be about 11,500 years old, researchers discovered a grisly sight. Inside the ancient hearth was the charred remains a 3-year-old child. It appeared that the home was abandoned after the cremation.

10. Chemical Warfare In Ancient Syria

About 2,000 years ago, a group of 20 or so ancient Roman soldiers were subject to a particularly gruesome demise. Whilst besieging the Syrian town of Dura, Persian soldiers began to dig tunnels in order to get past the Roman defenses. The Romans thought it smart to dig their own tunnels and try and intercept the intrusive Persians. In response to this, the Persians left a trap that was bad by any measure of wartime deaths. They left a petrochemical concoction that would have likely turned the Romans’ lungs to acid. Sounds like a bad time.

Source: List25

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Scientist Missing For Over 20 years Found Living Inside Secret LSD Drug Lab Hidden in Basement

A Couple from Cottage Grove, Minnesota discovers a man living inside a secret laboratory inside their basement. On Tuesday, officers with the Warrington County Sheriffs Office went to the Morgan family’s home after receiving a call of a possible break in. When the officers pulled up they saw the Morgan Family standing by the road.

“They ran up to use and said they heard a man shouting inside their basement and that’s when they called it in to 911” Said Captain Bruce Normans with the Warrington County Sheriff’s Office.

Officers say they could hear the man yelling in the basement the moment they entered the Morgan’s home. But when they moved cautiously into the basement they saw nothing but could hear banging sounds coming from behind the northern wall of the Morgan family’s basement, specifically echoing from behind a large storage cabinet.

“It was a very odd situation. We assumed the possibility that a vagrant may have been trapped behind the cabinet and needed help” Officer Jim Catelli told Channel 6 news.

When the Officers moved the large metal cabinet they uncovered an entry way to a large basement room that was full of various science equipment along with a terrified, elderly man. The 83 year old man was identified as Dr. Winston Corrigan, a chemistry professor from the University of Minnesota who went missing in the fall of 1984 and was a previous resident of the home.

“He had clearly been living down there for a long time and had suffered severe psychological trauma probably from not socializing with anyone for a while. I don’t know if he had been living down there since the 80’s but I wouldn’t doubt it” Said EMT personnel Landon Choler.

Dr. Winston is currently being held at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis for observation but will eventually be sent to the state psychiatric ward in Prairie Hills Clinic where will undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine the extent of any psychological illnesses and possibly reintroduced to modern society.

“I just can’t believe it….it’s just so odd. The family that used to live there moved because they said the house was haunted so I guess that makes sense now.” Said a neighbor who had lived next door for 33 years.

The Police recovered over $500,000 worth of lab equipment stolen from the University, along with 3 Hand guns, an assault rifle, 50 years’ worth of military grade rations and twelve 55 gallon barrels (including three almost empty barrels) of what DEA labs have identified as pure liquid Lysergic acid diethylamide, a powerful hallucinogenic drug more commonly known as the street name LSD or Acid.

It is not yet known if or when Dr. Winston will be convicted of any crime.

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