Fact File #Final

FICTION #1: The Rap Music Conspiracy

Screenshot from website Hip Hop Is Read

On May 15, 2012, an unidentified individual released a confession on the blog Hip Hop is Read. The letter detailed a secret conspiracy linking the rise of gangster rap in the 90s with the increase in violence in the United States. The author of the letter is a self-proclaimed “decision-maker” who worked for an anonymous major record label.

However, as Huffington Post writer Michael Raine has pointed out, there are a number of flaws with this conspiracy.

  1. If major record labels were involved, it would only require one or two label heads to arrange for gangster rappers to be signed. A secret is best kept with minimal amounts of people; it doesn’t make sense to invite up to 30 people to a meeting and reveal the entire plot to them all, without guarantee that none of them will tell a single soul.
  2. Private prisons didn’t need rap music to make money. The number of inmates per 100,000 people in the U.S. rose from 139 in 1980 to 313 in 1991 (Correctional Population in the Untied States, 1996).
  3. During this period, it was the suburban caucasians who drove the rising sales of gangster rap albums. This demographic isn’t exactly the ideal target for conversion into the ‘thug life’, in fact, the University of Iowa’s Michael Hill explains that white suburban kids flocked to gangster rap out of a sense of rebellion.

“While only the most delusional white suburban kid could pretend to relate to the poverty and discrimination described by socially conscious rappers like Public Enemy, even the Brady Bunch could pretend to understand the gangsta scene.”

Read the original letter, titled The Secret Meeting that Changed Rap Music and Destroyed a Generation, here.

FICTION #2: Michael Jackson Was Assassinated

Although there is no conclusive evidence that Michael Jackson was assassinated in order to halt the Iranian revolution, it cannot be denied that his death did significantly lower the coverage the #iranelection was receiving across the Western world.

Image from Compete Pulse, Compete’s company blog

According to a post by the New York Times, Compete, a Web analytics firm, found that there were 9.98 million queries for the terms “Michael” and “Jackson” across the top 25 search engines and news and social media sites in the week ended June 27. This was more than 24 times the number of queries for information using the terms “Iran” and “election” during the week before. Google, which said that its systems initially interpreted the spike in searches as an attack, fielded the most requests, handling 61 percent of the queries.

FACT #3: Mobile Phone Usage Is Linked To Cancer

Experiments conducted by Professor Om Ghandi, Head of Electrical Engineering at the University of Utah

A recent study found that people who used a mobile phone for half an hour a day over a 10-year period also had a 40% increase in the risk of developing glioma brain tumors. Unfortunately, a claim for mobile phones being direct cause still cannot be made. This has been attributed to flaws in experiments, which do not take into account the changing communications environment (e.g. increase of mobile phone usage over the years, the age bracket of those who use mobile phones, and those who sleep next to their mobile phones). Unfortunately, as these experiments often run for decades at a time, substantial conclusive research is yet to be made.

However, many scientists and health professionals do agree on one thing: although there is not enough evidence to show a causal connection between mobile phone usage and cancer, there is still not enough evidence to dispute a link.

FICTION #4: KFC Makes African-American Men Sterile

Colonel Sanders, the face and founder of the fast-food giant, was rumoured to have left 10% of his earnings to the Ku Klux Klan in his will.

Image from Tactileint

This sparked scurrilous rumours that the chain was being run by the KKK after his death, and that a drug was being used in the Colonel’s “secret blend of herbs and spices” to render African American men sterile. Unfortunately for the theorists and fortunately for the rest of the population and African-American men, there is absolutely zero evidence to support this theory.

FICTION #5: ‘Gangnam Style’ Was Created By The Illuminati

There were many comments regarding this post, claiming that this conspiracy theory was complete bogus. And we have to say, we agree. The Youtube video that originally claimed that Psy’s Gangnam Style was connected to the Illuminati was only able to draw vague links between obscure signs and ‘classic’ Illuminati symbols.

Gangnam Style has also been backmasked to reveal, what sounds to us, like “You smell like ass hole”. Very secret message indeed.

FICTION #6: Kim Kardashian Is Conspiring With Al-Qaeda

Image from Pedestrian TV

The man who made this claim is Jonathan Riches, under the alias Gino Romano. Riches has filed over 5,000 in the past eight years and holds the Guinness record as “The World’s Most Litigious Man” (he has also sued the Guinness Book of World Records for this very title). Among the more famous defendants of his lawsuits are former U.S. President George Bush, Martha Stewart, Steve Jobs,Perez Hilton, Somali pirates, and pop star Britney Spears. Some of Riches’ defendants are not even people or potentially sue-able. One lawsuit in particular includes Plato, Nostradamus, Che Guevara, “Various Buddhist Monks,” all survivors of the Holocaust, the Lincoln Memorial, the Magna Carta, the Eiffel Tower, the Garden of Eden, the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages, the Appalachian Trail,  the Holy Grail, and the Nordic gods. It can be safely concluded that this current lawsuit against Kardashian is most likely in the same vein as his previous lawsuits.

FACT #7: Google Chrome Is Tracking Your Movements

A user’s browsing history is an important tool for an attacker, who can discover information about the services you use online, such as your banking provider, personal email account, etc. Users must learn not to rely on the built-in features of Chrome to remove every trace of their web browsing history.

Nik Cubrilovic is an entrepreneur, blogger and hacker who blogs about technology, startups, development, security and privacy. On his website New World Order, he has detailed the two major areas that have an impact on user privacy when using Google Chrome.

    1. Zoom level information for a domain is retained. When visiting a web site in Chrome, if you zoom in and out, the browser will remember your zoom setting for that website and apply your previous zoom setting automatically. The per host zoom settings are  not deleted when the user deletes browser history, leaving a trail of visited domain names where the user has adjusted zoom settings.

Screenshot from New World Order

  1. DNS prefetched domains are not deleted with browsing history. DNS is used to translate a domain name (eg. xyz.com) to an IP address. As with the zoom issue however, Chrome does not delete this DNS prefetch information when a user forcibly deletes their browser history. This essentially means that a list of visited domains is left behind on a machine for others to see. There is a blog post here describing how to disable DNS prefetching in Chrome

It cannot be directly assumed that Google Chrome is invading the privacy of its users, however, Chrome’s tracking of its users’ web activities do highlight major privacy concerns.

FICTION #8: Reptilian Beings Control The Planet

This theory was developed by former BBC sports reporter David Icke, who publishing his first book in 1988, The Biggest Secret, claiming that there are highly intelligent reptoids posing as figures of power, including US Presidents, diplomats and even the British Royal Family. These reptoids are bent on creating war and other negative emotions which sustain their life – oh, as well as drinking our blood. He is not alone in this world view however; he has thousands of supporters across the globe who buy his merchandise and attend his talks.

Apparently the only method of detection of these reptilian beings are “in their eyes”. As such, there has been no hard proof that there are reptilian beings lurking beneath our sewers, although there is footage of Queen Elizabeth II’s “second eyelid” flickering across her pupils. Kind of. Not really.

FICTION #9: Satan Controls People Through Barcodes

Image from Dial The Truth Ministries

The inventor of the UPC barcode is George J. Laurer. In 1971, while Mr. Laurer was an employee with IBM, he was assigned the task “to design the best code and symbol suitable for the grocery industry”. On Laurer’s website in the Q&A section, he answers various questions about the UPC barcode.

Question #8: Rumor has it that the lines (left, middle, and right) that protrude below the U.P.C. code are the numbers 6,6,6… and that this is the international money code. I typed a code with all sixes and this seems to be true. At least they all resemble sixes. What’s up with that?

Answer: Yes, they do RESEMBLE the code for a six. There is nothing sinister about this nor does it have anything to do with the Bible’s ‘mark of the beast’. It is simply a coincidence like the fact that my first, middle, and last name all have 6 letters.

For more details on what the ‘true mark of the beast’ is, click here.

FACT #10: Fluoride Is Harmful To People

According to Australian Fluoride Action, not only is Sodium Fluoride cumulative, it is  also an enzyme inhibitor  that also causes foetal deaths, bone cancer in males, and infertility. The Journal of the American Dental Association also finds that fluoride is a toxic substance that actually destroys teeth, particularly those of developing young children and babies. A condition known as ‘dental fluorosis’ develops, which causes enamel to become discoloured and mottled.

Compiled by Daniel Martin, writer for the Daily Mail UK

 ‘Fluoride Dangers‘ on Today Tonight (March 2008)

Although the motives behind the water fluoridation campaign cannot be properly attributed to the business interests of dentists and junk food manufacturers, there is conclusive evidence that fluoride does have negative effects upon the human body.

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