A.I.-Proof Vocations – WIF Jobs

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Jobs That

Artificial Intelligence

Can’t Take Away

Let’s face it. Pretty soon, robots will take over the world, and humanity will become a distant memory. The good news is, by the time technology catches up to The Terminator, we will already be dead.

Artificial Intelligence is invading human territory to take our jobs away, but these robots are going to have a hard time getting everything right. Here are 10 jobs that A.I. can’t take away from humans… at least, not yet.

10. Authors

When you think about it, writing is just rearranging words that already exist. So, A.I. should be able to figure out patterns in language to make their own stories. And, they have! Well, sort of. One Game of Thrones fan and professional programmer named Zack Thoutt was sick and tired of waiting for George R.R. Martin to write his next book, The Winds of Winter. So he decided to create an artificial intelligence software to write it for him.

Just to give you a taste of the results, here is a quote:

“This dragon does not say we had four of a band, or no men or rats and two singers, the great pack of men and the winged trees.”

Maybe that story would make sense after a few glasses of wine, but it’s not likely that a robot will publish a New York Times bestseller any time soon.

9. Fashion Designers and Tailors

Unless you’re a fashion designer, most people in the western world don’t bother learning how to sew clothes anymore. The majority of the clothing in the world is made by people living in Third World countries like Bangladesh, where their working conditions are appalling. However, these people need those jobs to survive. Without the clothing industry, there aren’t enough jobs to replace them, so many of these people would starve to death.

So, who would ever want to risk ruining the lives of millions? Well, there’s Dov Charney. In case you weren’t aware, he founded American Apparel. He was kicked out of his own company because multiple employees came forward with sexual harassment accusations. Charney denies this, but the mattress in his office says otherwise.

He decided to start a new company called Los Angeles Apparel, where he is still employing American seamstresses and tailors. However, his loyalty to his employees seems rather shallow, because he would clearly rather be alone counting his money in a factory with a robot invented by Steve Dickerson called “SoftWEAR”. This robot is learning how to sew clothes. The only snag is, robots don’t have a human sense of touch. They are great at sewing straight lines, but they can?t anticipate when fabric moves or wrinkles. For now, Charney’s plot to ruin even more lives has been foiled.

8. Psychologist

One thing that artificial intelligence is truly terrible at is showing empathy. Since it has never been a human, how can it understand our emotions? Chatbots can?t pass the Turing Test, which means they can’t communicate on the same level of a human conversation.

Alexa and Siri can’t even understand our search requests half the time. Do we really want them to give us advice about our traumatic childhood memories from the third grade? We certainly don?t think so. Besides, therapists need to pay off their crippling student loan debt somehow, and not everyone can be a weirdly successful radio therapist.

7. Doctors

Artificial Intelligence is beginning to break into the medical field. In the future, we’ll be able to get a simple diagnosis by taking a photo on your smartphone. A.I. will run through a database of photographs and compare with yours to see if there’s a match.

There are already programs that exist that can check for skin cancer on that mole you’ve been meaning to get checked out, and another that will look for diabetic eye disease. Heart monitoring watches already have the ability to check for an irregular heartbeat, as well. As time goes on, more and more medical issues can be diagnosed at home.

However, that doesn’t mean A.I. will be taking the place of real doctors. With robots, there is no such thing as bedside manner. Can you really imagine a world where a soulless chunk of metal tells you that you’re dying in six months, with absolutely no empathy? People will always need a human to communicate with about their body, and there needs to be a sense of accountability, in case something goes wrong. After all, if you’re in surgery and things go awry, you need a surgeon who can improvise, not an oversized computer who lacks any semblance of adaptability.

6. Musicians

Artificial Intelligence has been able to create its own music, from Irish folk songs to marimba, and it’s actually quite good. In Japan, a fictional video game android called Hatsune Miku is so popular that she already sells out her own concerts.

But don’t worry. There?s no way A.I. can kill “Lisztomania”‘, which is the phenomenon fans feel towards their favorite musicians. Robots will probably never replace dreamy photos tacked on bedroom walls of little girls everywhere, which means that pop stars are safe, at least for now.

5. Police Officers

You may have seen security guard robots by Knightscope patrolling malls, but their usefulness is questionable, at best. The inventors compare it to a police car parked on the side of the road. If people know they are being watched, they are more likely to behave. Some may see these walking trash cans and believe that Robocop is the next step in technological law enforcement. In reality, humans truly don’t want artificial intelligence in charge of arresting people.

At Shanghai Jiao Tong University, a program was created that uses facial recognition to determine if someone is a criminal or not. They judge features like scars, facial expression, and even the curve of someone’s lip. If you have ever seen Minority Report, you know that this won?t end well. The program has already received a lot of backlash, because obviously, people can?t help if they were just born with a jacked up face.

4. Judges

The European Court of Human Rights gets so many complaints sent to them on a daily basis, it’s not possible to try all of the cases in court. In 2015, the University College London came up with an algorithm that was able to predict a cases’ outcome correctly 79% of the time, which helped them cut down on human work hours sorting through paperwork to find winning cases.

But that doesn’t mean a robot can sit in place of a judge. Human empathy has a lot to do with the outcome of a case. For example, an impoverished mother stealing a loaf of bread would probably be let off with a lesser sentence than someone robbing a bank. Well, unless Javert is on the case, of course. As we just mentioned in the last entry, A.I. also has a nasty habit of being incredibly biased when it comes to facial recognition. Without a 100% accuracy rate, someone would likely end up in jail when they’re actually innocent. Um, y’know, because that never happens with human judges, of course…

3. Art Teachers

Art is an incredibly important part of human history and culture. Even if you were the type of student who fell asleep during art class and wondered why your tuition dollars were being wasted on information you’ll never need to know in your future career, we think we can all agree that we definitely don’t want art education to fall into the hands of a robot.

Thankfully, robotic arms only have the artistic abilities of a 4-year old, and they’re equally as terrible at identifying the artist of a painting. An A.I. program called Recognition searches an image for colors, composition, and facial recognition. The matches they come up with are interesting, but not exactly accurate, like comparing a photograph of corn to a Jackson Pollock painting.

2. Pro Athletes

The 2018 Winter Olympics featured the world’s first skiing robot competition. Does this spell out doom for human athletes everywhere? Not so much. The owners of these mini robots had to chase down their creations as they crashed through flags and fell over on their way down an incredibly small hill. Which is hilarious, but not really a threat to Mikaela Shiffrin’s career just yet.

Considering how expensive it is to build a robot in the first place, it’s safe to say that developers won’t want to create a million-dollar machine just to push it down the side of a mountain. This means that in the future, robots will leave all the broken bones and sports injuries to us humans.

1. Clergy

Last, and certainly not least: the job that is guaranteed to never be taken by a robot is a member of clergy. Robots only function with evidence based on data and facts, and these soulless buckets of metal have absolutely no concept of faith. In fact, a study conducted by The Future of Employment claims that there is less than a one percent chance that clergymen would lose their jobs to robots in the future.

Compare that to telemarketers, who have a 99% chance of being replaced by automated voice messaging systems, and… well, what do you know? Maybe there is a God after all.


A.I.-Proof  Vocations –

WIF Jobs

Unusual Pirated Products – WIF Consumer Corner

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5 Unusual

Pirated Products

As a wise man once said, piracy is often a pricing issue, not a servicing issue. In short, people pirate things not because they don’t want to pay for them, but because the legal avenue to obtain them is unnecessarily obtuse or customer unfriendly. With that in mind, here are five amusing stories about lesser known, but oddly popular items that have found themselves being pirated over the last few years.

 5. The Green Lantern movie was searched for more in 2011 than “porn”

If there’s one thing it’s not hard to find on the internet, it’s images and video of people doing the horizontal hug. Pornography is ubiquitous online and remains one of the internet’s most traded and oft-pirated forms of media… except for in 2011, when more people wanted to watch that terrible live-action Green Lantern movie.

To explain, according to collated list of the 100 most searched for terms on a popular torrent site throughout all of 2011, more users searched the words “green lantern” that year than they did the word “porn”. Along with apparently being more popular than the most generic search term to find pictures of boobs online we can think of, “green lantern” was sought out by pirates more often than even objectively better content that came out that same year, like Captain America: The First Avenger or Breaking Bad. Then again, maybe the reason pirates torrented the Green Lantern movies so much is because they didn’t feel it was worth paying for it. Hell, we wouldn’t blame them, we paid to see that movie and wish we could have that money back every time we don’t have enough change to buy a soda.

4. The most commonly pirated eBooks are about being better at sex, Photoshop, and math

Thanks to the rise of electronic reading devices like the Kindle, it’s possible to download and, perhaps more pertinently to this article, pirate your favorite books. Meaning that yes, we live in an age where it’s possible to illegally download 18,000 copies of the Bible if you really felt like it.

Like most things online, sites on which it’s possible to illegally download eBooks meticulously track what users are doing and the results are actually kind of fascinating. For example, in 2011 it was found that the 10 most torrented ebooks by users of the PirateBay included two books about using Photoshop, and three books detailing how to be better at sex, neither of which seems all that surprising at first. However, inexplicably sandwiched between both these things on the list is a book titled 101 Short Cuts in Maths Anyone Can Do. A book that, as far as we can tell, detailed neither how to blow a woman’s mind in bed or better use radial gradients. Meaning maybe, just maybe, it was torrented purely for the benefit of learning something interesting, but ultimately useless in real life. Speaking of which…

3. People love pirating college textbooks

There are hundreds of horror stories about the ever rising cost of college textbooks floating around the internet, from students having to pay hundreds of dollars to buy a book their professor wrote, to textbooks being reprinted every year just to force students to buy them again. Most sources are in agreement that college textbooks simply cost too much, but few offer a solution to the problem. Or, should we say, few offer a legal solution to the problem… because many students have found that pirating a textbook they’re going to use for one class is a preferable alternative to eating nothing but ramen for a semester.

Along with uploading PDFs of popular course books, more enterprising students have skirted around the soaring price of college reading material by doing things like pooling their cash buy a single copy and photocopying every page. To make this fact even more hilarious, the Washington Post has found that some students have even been found pirating textbooks for ethics classes. Meaning there’s a student out there somewhere writing an essay about the ethics of digital piracy, while referencing a pirated copy of their course textbook. The only way to make submitting that essay a bigger slap in the face for the professor would be to position the printer over their sleeping face, and replace the paper in it with slices of wet ham.

2. Pirated cable boxes offer better service than actual cable companies

Online streaming services have been collectively kicking the cable industry in its aging, greying sack for a while now, and for the most part cable companies have done nothing to try and compete with the superior service they provide. For example, a common complaint about cable companies is that they refuse to offer a la carte programming (basically the option to pick and pay for only one or two channels), and have repeatedly insisted that this isn’t possible. Which is weird, because the people pirating their service can do exactly that.

Yes, there are unscrupulous folks out there who will sell you a pirated cable box or Android device with any channel you want unlocked. The difference being that, unlike cable companies (who will slap on a bunch of stuff you don’t want and charge you $80 dollars every month for the privilege), the people those same cable companies call thieves, will charge you once and only give you exactly what you feel is worth paying for, with regard to channels. For example, in Canada some people were caught buying a one for a one off fee of about $100, purely so that they could watch Game of Thrones on HBO, a move that saw HBO send pissy letters to customers reminding them that “it’s never been easier to legally watch HBO shows in Canada.” A sentence that’s technically correct, if you’re willing to pay about $100 per month for a top tier cable package. In other words, the pirates are offering customers a better deal than cable companies, and the reaction from those companies is to do absolutely nothing to make their service better.

1. Keurig has spent years having an amazing pissing match about their coffee maker

Keurig is a company best known for making single cup coffee machines that use those weird little pods. They’re also known for being huge, whiney babies about people who don’t specifically use their coffee pods. The company maintains that only official Keurig brand coffee pods should be used with their machines, despite most generic coffee pods working just fine.

Keurig, rather than trying to compete with these rival companies by offering a better selection of products, lowering their prices, or producing higher quality coffee, have opted to instead design ever more sophisticated machines that refuse to accept anything but official Keurig pods. Keurig is so gung-ho about this that they released a new machine that didn’t even work with old Keurig podsleading to a massive public outcry when customers who bought one realized they had to buy the newer, more expensive pods compatible with the machine. An endeavor that proved to be ultimately fruitless, because every time Keurig does this, generic brand coffee pod makers always find a way to circumvent it either by pirating the technology in the pods or figuring out how to mimic it. Still, it’s kind of nice to know that right now, there’s a company getting rich selling pirated pods of coffee. If only because that sentence sounds hilarious.


Unusual Pirated Products

wif-consumer-corner-001

WIF Consumer Corner

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 131

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 131

…Constance Caraway, for as long as he has known her, is a red-blooded All-American gal, not a ______ _____________…

“Fanny!!! This is Ace, Ace Bannion, how-the-heck are you?”

If she were a balloon ____ POP. Her brain is thrown into a tizzy. Ace Bannion is in Chicago, why? And he is answering the telephone at Martin’s, that isn’t normal. It means that he has been a welcomed guest. The last that Fanny knew, Ace had stood up Constance on a business deal eight years ago and the offended party swore that she would never speak to that sh**head again, ever.

“Fanny? We must have a bad connection,” he believes incorrectly.

“I’m here,” Fanny has been collecting her thoughts, carefully so as not to overreact. Whatever the reason, Ace’s presence means Constance has allowed that womanizing globetrotter back into their (CCPI) lives.

Poor Ajax is clean out of hellos, but he is perceptive enough to know that Fanny has always viewed him as a threat, a threat to a love story that has never rung true for the antagonist. Constance Caraway, for as long as he has known her, is a red-blooded All-American gal, not a closet homosexual. Sure they seem to be closer than your average two females, but hardly of the lifelong lovebird variety.

“Would you give Connie a message for me?”

“Sure Fanny…. Say-hey didn’t you know I was in Chicago?”

“Tell her that I have accepted some more work from R. Worth Moore and I will keep her informed about the expense and income reports.”

With that clinical ending, to what never was much of a conversation, Fanny hangs up.

“That was fast,” Moore comments having heard one side of the spotty call.

“It looks like you are welcomed to my services for as long as you need them; Constance is busy with other things.”

Not one for wasting time, Attorney Moore gets right down to brass-tacks, “This woman, down in Live Oak Hills, suspects that her husband is moving their joint assets into new accounts. She thinks he is going to either skip the country or divorce her.”

“Set up a meeting between us three as soon as possible. We may have to move fast on this one.” Fanny Renwick may be flustered, but not about to crumble in the face of her personal anguish.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 114

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 98

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 98

…Betty has been reading too many books, the kind that equate airplane pilots to rapscallions and womanizers…

Private lines are generally taken up by businesses like Constance Caraway Private Investigation, or in the case of Chicago just about every phone line is private.

Neighbor Betty dispenses one more tidbit to share with Connie from 1000 miles away, “Oh and one more thing… that scoundrel Ace Bannion called wondering where you were.”

“What time did he call?” The time of day will tell her what may be on his mind, along with, “Did you tell him where we are?”

“After I went to bed, of course and no, it’s none of his damn beeswax.” 8 P is late nowhere else in the world.

“Good job Betty, talk to you soon.”

The well-intentioned neighbor has been reading too many books, the kind that equate airplane pilots to rapscallions and womanizers. Ace, for all his ins and outs, is really cut from the same cloth as Constance. The two have an understanding, without the need to cater to ceremony or unnecessary pretense. Whenever they get together it is like time has been interrupted, stopped in between but easily carried on.

In this case, Ace has to wait while Constance looks into Attorney Moore’s inquiry. You have to take care of those hometown folks, it is plain good business. A good referral is worth 200 business cards, 2 newspaper ads (services section) and 1 radio spot (WTAL 1450 AM) put together.

The new lead lawyer for Dr. Alpha Omega Campbell has need of some good dirt on one of the doctor’s clandestine clientele. For his part, Doc has promised to stop doing abortions for those endlessly disparate white girls who need to have their affairs kept quiet; two or three hundred temporary dollars are not worth future aggravation. But even with his new residency at Florida A&M Hospital, that mortgage payment on Laura Bell Memorial Hospital comes due on the 1st.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 89

Pope Secret (Not the Popcorn) – WIF Conspiracies

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Diabolical Things

(Supposedly)

Stashed in

the Vatican

Founded in 1611 by Pope Paul V, the Vatican Secret Archives are an ultra-secure repository for the Church’s oldest, most valuable documents. Access has always been limited; even today, only Vatican officials and qualified academics are allowed inside, and only then with a letter of recommendation. And since browsing isn’t permitted, they also need to list precisely which documents they need — even without knowing exactly what’s in there.

Naturally, anything this secretive is bound to give rise to rumors, especially when it involves the Vatican. And while the occasional exhibition has revealed some of the hidden material, most of it remains in the shadows.

That said, here are 10 diabolical theories as to what we might be missing.

10. The World’s Largest Porn Collection

Copenhagen’s Museum Erotica claims the Vatican has the largest porn collection in the world. Other high-profile figures, including William F. Buckley, Jr. and the academic Camille Paglia, have said the same. As plausible as it might sound, however, there’s apparently very little truth to the rumor. At least, the Kinsey Institute didn’t find any when they perused the Vatican’s holdings on microfilm.

Then again, the Vatican is unlikely to have made copies of everything – and even more unlikely to allow the Kinsey Institute access, having already turned them down in the past. This is of course one of the world’s most secure private collections we’re talking about. In any case, a number of other eyewitnesses claim to have seen thousands of erotic volumes.

Either way, there’s been a long tradition of erotic “art” at the Vatican. In the 16th century, for instance, one of Raphael’s students, Giulio Romano, was commissioned to paint a series of 16 frescoes in Cardinal Bibbiena’s private bathroom – each depicting a unique sexual position in graphic detail. Naturally, etched copies of the paintings were leaked, circulating around Rome in a pamphlet called I Modi — a sort of renaissance porn mag. When the Vatican jailed the creator, it only heightened their appeal.

Even today, the original paintings are kept hidden from public view, but times have of course changed anyway. Nowadays the Holy See gets most of its porn from the internet.

9. The Essene Gospel of Peace

On a locked shelf in 1923, the academic and bishop Edmond Bordeaux Szekely found an ancient Aramaic manuscript. This, he claimed, contained the teachings of the Essenes, a Jewish mystical sect who lived entirely apart from society.

The Essenes were mentioned by several ancient historians, including Philo, Pliny and Josephus, and were known for their communistic style of living. But what’s interesting is their total absence from the New Testament, leading some to believe they were actually the ones who had written it, and that Jesus was himself an Essene. There are plenty of parallels between the two groups to back this up, including the importance of baptism and prophecy, and a shared emphasis on charity and goodwill.

The Essenes also showed an aversion to Old Testament-style animal sacrifices, preferring to offer vegetables instead. This latter point was of particular interest to Szekely, who claimed the Essenes were vegetarians by the order of Christ.

Unfortunately, nobody else ever saw the manuscript. And it’s doubtful even Szekely did either, since there’s no record of his visit to the Archives. Also, given that he was a pretty radical vegetarian activist himself, most think he made it all up to lend an air of divine credibility to his cause.

On the other hand, it’s not entirely clear why he would, considering all the evidence that Jesus actually preached a plant-based diet.

8. Details of Jesus’s Bloodline

The idea that Jesus was married with kids is a recurrent meme among the Dan Brown crowd, and not without justification. Practically nothing is known about Christ’s life between his childhood and his early 30s, just a few years before he was crucified.

Naturally, it’s possible, even probable, that he started a family during that time, and this raises questions of lineage. According to some theorists, the specific details of his bloodline are hidden away in the Vatican Archives. After all, if anyone alive today was found to be the direct descendant of Jesus Christ (and therefore God), the implications for the Church would be huge. At the very least the Pope would be rendered useless as humanity’s go-between.

It’s a compelling theory but in reality things aren’t so simple. Whatever information the Vatican may or may not have about the earliest descendants of Christ, there would be far too many of them to keep tabs on today. In fact, almost everyone would be included; that’s just the way human ancestry works in an ever-growing population. Tracing your heritage back just 20 generations, for instance, would turn up 600,000-1,000,000 biological forebears. Tracing it back 120 generations (to 1000 BC), would turn up everyone in the world.

So, in other words, not only would most of us be related to Jesus, we’d all be related to King David, King Solomon, and Zoroaster the Iranian prophet. That certainly makes the Adam and Eve story more plausible.

7. The Grand Grimoire

The Grand Grimoire is one of the few items on this list that’s actually known to exist — although who wrote it and when is less certain. It may have been discovered in the tomb of King Solomon in 1750 or it may have been written much later.

In any case, the grimoire is said to contain a ritual for summoning Lucifuge Rofocale, the Prime Minister of Hell, among other denizens of the underworld. Apparently, the summoner also has to give up their soul in the process – a necromantic procedure that 19th century occultist A.E. Waite said only a “dangerous maniac or an irreclaimable criminal” would be qualified to carry out to the full.

Grimoires have proliferated throughout history, but none have had so wide an appeal as this one, thought to be “the most atrocious of its type.” A French translation, “Le Dragon Rouge,” made it all the way to the Caribbean, where it’s said to be still in use.

6. The Third Secret of Fátima

In 1917, three shepherd children from Fátima, Portugal received three prophetic visions of the Virgin Mary. Known as the “Three Secrets of Fátima,” the first and second concerned the nature of Hell and the rise of Communist Russia. Wars, famine, persecution, and the spread of Russia’s “errors throughout the world,” the Virgin said, would all come to pass if her calls went unheeded.

These first two secrets were published in 1941; however, the third secret was not. Instead, it was sealed in an envelope and given to the Bishop of Leiria, who placed it, unopened, in the Vatican Secret Archives. In 1959, the envelope was brought before Pope John XXIII; however, after some deliberation, he chose not to look inside.

It wasn’t until 1965 that anyone actually read the prophecy, and even then Pope Paul VI refused to make it public. Pope John Paul II was next to read it — following an assassination attempt in 1981 — but he also continued to keep it a secret. He did, however, immediately consecrate the Earth to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, perhaps hinting at the gravity of its content.

Finally, in 2000, John Paul II revealed what the prophecy said: there was to be an apocalyptic battle between good and evil, and the pope would figure centrally within it. A description of the vision can now be read online, but some refuse to believe that it’s complete. Even Pope Benedict XVI implied in 2010 that the real Third Secret of Fátima has yet to be revealed(although the Vatican denies that’s what he meant).

5. Extraterrestrial Artifacts

The Vatican might appear to be focused on the past, but they’re actually kind of progressive – at least when it comes to science and technology. In particular, they’re quite open to the possibility of extraterrestrial life, even holding conferences on astrobiology and using the Vatican Observatory to find Earth-like planets beyond our own.

And actually this might not be as recent a development as it seems.

Allegedly, the Church has known about alien civilizations for centuries. Long before the Roswell incident, they’re said to have been gathering ET remains and artifacts, as well as technical documents for engineering alien weaponry. While there’s pretty much zero evidence to back this claim up, the purpose of the Vatican Archives has long been to hide knowledge the world isn’t ready for. They demonstrated that much by withholding the Third Secret of Fátima for so many years.

Furthermore, according to the extraterrestrial cover-up theory, the Archives aren’t the only facility of the kind. Supposedly, the Great Pyramid at Giza served essentially the same function, hiding alien artifacts and earth-shattering revelations from the people of the ancient world. This, the theorists claim, is why Napoleon and Hitler both headed straight there after spending time at the Vatican.

4. The Chronovisor

Father Pellegrino Ernetti, who died in 1992, claimed to have seen the ancient Roman senator Cicero deliver a speech in 63 BC. He was, apparently, just as powerful an orator as they say. And that wasn’t the only thing he’d seen. He and his team, he claimed, had seen Napoleon giving speeches too, as well as Jesus at the Last Supper, and even the crucifixion. Using a device called the Chronovisor, they could view any event that they wished — just as if they were watching TV.

According to Ernetti, the device was co-designed with top scientists Enrico Fermi (who developed the first nuclear reactor) and Wernher von Braun (the first space rockets) and it could also record images. Hence, in 1972, a “photo of Christ” emerged in the Italian magazine La Domenica del Corriere. And Ernetti also produced a transcript of the lost play Thyestes in the original Latin.

Naturally, there were doubts. The alleged transcript of the play could hardly be verified after all, and, as it turned out, the “photo of Christ” was from a postcard of a plaster cast crucifix in a church.

But the photo never actually came from Ernetti himself and he certainly never claimed it was real. The Chronovisor he designed wasn’t capable of close-ups, he said, nor anywhere near as much detail as the photo showed. The real evidence, says Ernetti’s friend François Brune, was destroyed when Pope Pius XII and Benito Mussolini decided it posed a threat to society. They especially feared it meant an end to all secrets, whether political, economic, military, or religious, not to mention personal.

Ernetti shut down the Chronovisor project and entrusted the plans to notaries in Switzerland and Japan. However, as Brune himself admits, it’s quite possible that the Vatican still uses the original.

3. The Devil

As the Vatican’s most senior exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth knew how to recognize a demon. Before his death in 2016, he’d conducted literally tens of thousands of exorcisms, and had frequently spoken to the Devil.

“Satan is pure spirit,” he told The Exorcist director William Friedkin, although “he sometimes appears as a raging animal.” Often called upon to expel the demon from possessed individuals, Amorth used Pope Paul V’s 1614 ritual to do the job — stoically commanding the Devil to leave under some of the tensest, most frightening circumstances.

So it made shocking headlines in 2010 when Amorth claimed Satan was hiding in the Vatican. He wasn’t speaking figuratively. In his view, the scandals and corruption that have beset the Church in recent times are all attributable to the Devil. Even Pope Paul VI said something similar in 1972, lamenting that “from somewhere or other, the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.”

2. Proof that Jesus Wasn’t Crucified (Not Endorsed by WIF)

The story of Christ’s crucifixion lies at the heart of Catholic doctrine. Take that away, and you’ve got a whole bunch of meaningless symbols. According to Michael Baigent, however,none of it really happened – at least, not the way the Bible says it did.

Unlike some, Baigent isn’t denying that Jesus ever existed – far from it. In fact, he says the prophet probably lived long after his supposed death in 33 AD.

Allegedly, Jesus escaped execution by striking a deal with Pontius Pilate – the man who sentenced him to death. It was in Rome’s interest to keep Jesus alive despite the pressure to kill him, Baigent says, because he instructed his followers to pay tax. The best solution for all was to fake the crucifixion.

By simulating a rapid death with hashish, opium and belladonna, the prophet’s enemies would be satisfied and Christ could be taken down from the cross before sustaining mortal wounds. The drugs may have been administered via the “vinegar-soaked sponge,” lifted to his mouth on a reed ostensibly to quench his thirst.

Baigent doesn’t have any proof, of course, but he says that it does exist. Supposedly, an important document was unearthed by the French priest Berenger Sauniere at his church in Rennes-le-Chateau. Shortly afterward, the documents disappeared and Sauniere became immensely rich, which suggests to Baigent that the Vatican paid him off and hid the document away.

However, there remains an intriguing clue inside Sauniere’s church. Unlike in other churches, Station XIV of the Cross (depicting Jesus’s placement in the tomb by his disciples) shows a night sky with a full moon, indicating that Passover has begun. Since Jews are forbidden from handling the dead during Passover, the disciples carrying Jesus in this image can only be understood to be removing him from the tomb alive, not interring his corpse inside.

1. Proof that Pope Pius XII Helped Hitler

Pope Pius XII is commonly referred to as “Hitler’s Pope” for his role in supporting the Nazis. However, while it is true that he never openly condemned them, the Vatican is adamant that he was always against them. According to them, he circulated pamphlets in Germany condemning Nazism from a Christian perspective, and saved more than 800,000 Jews from extermination in eastern Europe. His meetings with the German leadership, they insist, were not to collaborate with Hitler but to hold him to account. Anyway, from the Nazi perspective, Pius XII is said to have been a “Jew loving” enemy who they wanted to kidnap and imprison in Liechtenstein. All things considered, it seems Pope Pius XII may well have been victim to a persistent and fanciful smear.

Except for two points: One, the Vatican has so far refused to release crucial documents on their Holocaust-era activities; and two, those who have already seen them say the pope definitely helped Hitler to power.

John Cornwell, a respected academic and Catholic, is one of them. Although initially hoping to exonerate the pope (one of the only reasons he was allowed to view the documents in the first place), he found a damning indictment instead. Not only did the pope hate Jews, linking them to filth and refusing to help them – he also deliberately undermined Catholic resistance to Hitler. He was also against blacks, calling them rapists and child abusers despite having proof to the contrary. Evidently, Pius XII had much in common with Hitler – not least of all his ideological commitment to absolute power and autocratic control.

Worst of all, says Cornwell, is that he refused to speak out even after discovering the plans for the Holocaust. And by this time, Nazis were rounding up Jews in Rome, and delegates from all over the world were urging the pope to act.

Whether Pope Pius XII really supported the Third Reich and its Final Solution is debatable. According to some, he may have wanted to remain neutral in order to protect the Church. But the fact remains that in those days the pope was by far the most influential man in Europe. If anyone had the power to stop Hitler, it was him.


Pope Secret (Not the Popcorn) –

WIF Catholic Conspiracies

The NULL Solution = Episode 96

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The NULL Solution = Episode 96

…Prez Roy sees the situation getting out of hand in a hurry, “We are lucky that China is too proud to admit failure.”…

CHAPTER NINE

Phantasmic

 

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Golden Age of Space

“It is getting to the point where I cannot trust what I am seeing anymore.”

Even in this new golden age of space, the human eye is still the gateway to what the rest of the body considers real and true. With life expectancies rocketing past 100, the complexity of vision is a barrier to the fountain of youth. Squinting, blinking, rubbing and untrusting; those are the choices when, seeing is not believing.

“I am 98.797 % sure I saw another spacecraft snooping around Mars. That other 1.30 tells me I’m wrong, because it is gone.”

“That would be 1.203 Crip,” corrects Fletcher Fitch.

“See, now it’s my math that’s going south!”

“Are the Chinese still out there?” Gus McKinney wonders. He has been too busy lately to notice.

“Yes and none too happy I hear.”

“Thanks to our SOL Nonproliferation Policy!”

“Yes. We do not need them zooming about, doing what they do best.”

“Copycats?”

“Copy that Gussy.”

“Were you able to get a fix on the bogie?”

Fitch fiddles with the long-range sensors, “No. It wasn’t Lorgan though, that’s all I know.”

Prez Roy sees the situation getting out of hand in a hurry, “We are lucky that China is too proud to admit failure. Their curiosity gets the best of them… about that jumbo building I mean. They had the same view as us, but they have their cheapo space telescope.”

“Speaking about cheapo telescopes, you don’t need much of one to see that the Red Planet is turning an earthly shade of green.” Gus parrots the buzz on the street.

“Damn that RONCO 3000! Every amateur astronomer has one.”

“3 easy payments of $39.95… but the naked eye can see the difference in hue… well maybe not yours Crip.”

“What do we tell the “Bassett Hound”? She and her lapdogs are panicking bigtime. Election Day is next week and even the Republican candidate is screaming for answers.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 96


page 97

A MONOPOLY on Board Games

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Interesting Facts

About the Board Game

Monopoly

Monopoly was first produced in 1935 by Parker Brothers, and has been ruining friendships and tearing families apart ever since. Despite how frustrating the game is, it’s considered the world’s most popular and, as of 2009, over 250 million copies have been sold.

 While the game is meant to be played by people of all ages, it is meant to show the dangers of a small group of people accumulating all the wealth. If you’re playing the game, and someone builds hotels all over the board, and you have a house on Baltic Avenue? You have to borrow money before ultimately going bankrupt and losing. It’s annoying in the game, but it would be tragic in real life.

10. Are You Playing the Game Correctly?

Have you ever taken the time to read the rules of Monopoly? Probably not, because an overwhelming amount of people don’t follow the official rules while playing.

One rule that many people didn’t know existed is that if you land on a property and choose not to buy it, the property goes up for auction. The opening bid can start at any price and the highest bidder pays the bank. This speeds up the game and when playing with these rules, it lasts about an hour to 90 minutes. (Another hint if you really want to speed up the game, but isn’t in the official rule book, is to deal out all the properties at the beginning of the game.)

One reason that so many of us play Monopoly the same way, which is different from the official rules, is because Monopoly is so popular, and many people are taught how to play as children. So for generations, no one read the rules, and older generations just taught younger generations to play the way that they were taught. Think about it – do you even remember learning how to play Monopoly? If you can, did you read the instructions, or were you taught to play by someone who already knew?

As for why no one plays the game according to the official rules, it could be because the game is often played by children, and the auctions may have led to fights, so parents omitted the rule and it simply got phased out as the rules of the game were handed down generation-to-generation.

Another common house rule, which isn’t an official rule, is that when fines and taxes are collected, they go into the center of the board and whoever lands on Free Parking wins the jackpot. However, in the official rules, nothing happens when you land on the Free Parking space.

Finally, some people play that you can’t get money while you are in prison, but there is no official rule against that.

Since the house rules and official rules are so different, Hasbro did a study and ended up releasing official House Rules of the game.

9. Three Most Landed on Spots include Illinois Avenue, GO, and B&O Railroad

One thing that might be helpful to winning the game is getting the square that is landed on the most. According to computer scientist Truman Collins, who built a simulation of the game, the square most likely to be landed on is In Jail. This is for several reasons. The first is that if you land on the Go to Jail square, technically you go straight to jail (duh). Secondly, people roll to get out of prison. All of this in addition to landing on the prison square, and you’re just visiting.

The second most landed on square is Illinois Avenue. This is followed by Go, New York Avenue, and rounding out the top five is B&O Railroad. As for the least likely squares to get visits? Those would be the three Chance squares, the Community Chest Square, and Mediterranean Avenue.

When it comes to the most expensive property, Boardwalk, it’s the 18th most likely square to be landed on.

8. The Characters

In Monopoly, there are several different characters and all of them have their own name. The first one is Mr. Monopoly. He is the iconic character who has a three piece suit, a top hat, and white hair. Also, a lot of people seem to remember him having a monocle, but he has never worn one.

It’s unclear who the inspiration for Mr. Monopoly is. Some people think it is famed American banker and financier J.P. Morgan. It certainly would make sense because they look and dress similar, and both are businessmen.

Others believe that it is based on a salesman at Parker Brothers who had business cards with over-the-top caricatures of himself printed on them. Often times he would be wearing a top hat, or riding a train. Finally, it could be based on Little Esky, which is a former mascot of Esquire magazine.

The character wasn’t given a name until 1946, and even then, it wasn’t announced via Monopoly. Instead, he appeared as the mascot on a different game called Rich Uncle. In the game, the Daily Bugle identifies him as Rich Uncle Pennybags, and he is the man who runs the town.

However, in 1999, Hasbro conducted a study and found that many people didn’t know that Rich Uncle Pennybags was his name, so they changed it to Mr. Monopoly.

Of course, there are other characters in the game. On the Community Chest and Chance cards, there is Mr. Monopoly’s wife, Maude, and his three nephews – Randy, Sandy, and Andy. Finally, there is Officer Mallory, who sends people to jail, and Jake, the Jailbird.

7. People Have Killed Each Other Over the Game

If you’ve even been near a group of people playing Monopoly, you know that players can easily get frustrated. All it takes is one flip of the board to end a friendship.

While most adults don’t resort to violence when it comes to their frustrations over Monopoly, some games have spiraled violently out of control. One such game happened in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on October 25, 2011. 60-year-old Laura Chavez and 48-year-old Clyde “Butch” Smith were playing the game with their 10-year-old grandson. At some point, Chavez caught Smith cheating. A fight ensued and the grandson was sent into a bedroom, and that’s when the grandparents got violent.

Smith hit Chavez with a wine bottle, and then she went at him with a knife. He was stabbed and slashed around the chest, neck, and face. Luckily, he survived.

Another tragic fight that stemmed from the game happened on July 19, 1991, in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Two best friends, 25-year-old Marc Cienkowski and 31-year-old Michael J. Klucznik, were playing Monopoly when a fight broke out. It got physical and several punches were thrown. Cienkowski grabbed his compound bow and an arrow, and told Kluvznik to leave. Kluvznik left, and when he was seated in his car, his best friend fired an arrow into his chest. Kluvznik ended up dying and Cienkowski was sentenced to nine-to-25 years in prison. We like to think the judge told him to go directly to jail, to not pass GO, and to not collect $200 at his sentencing.

6. You Can Win a Game with 2-players in 21 seconds

Games of Monopoly are notoriously long, and can drag on for hours, or even days. On the other end of the scale, Daniel J. Myers, a professor of sociology at Notre Dame, and his son have figured out the quickest way to end a game of Monopoly. It’s just four turns and nine rolls, and the game lasts 21 seconds.

How it would have to work is that player one rolls double sixes and lands on Community Chest, where they receive $200 because of the “Bank error in your favor” card. Next, player two has to land on the Income Tax square. The next turn involves player one getting double twos and landing on Park Place, where they purchase it, and then double ones to land on Boardwalk, which they need to purchase as well. Since they got doubles, then they roll again and pass GO, collecting $200. Once they are past GO, they need to purchase three houses for Park Place and two for Boardwalk. Player two would then land on a Chance square and pick up the “go directly to Boardwalk” card. When they do, they won’t have enough money, and the game is over.

Of course, the chances of this game happening in real life aren’t exactly good. According to a Columbia professor, it would happen once every 253,899,891,671,040 games. So he’s saying there’s a chance.

 5. Best Way to Win

As we’ve already mentioned previously, and will probably continue to mention throughout the article, playing Monopoly can be downright frustrating. However, if you really want to ratchet up the frustration level among your opponents, and win in the process, you should follow this strategy to win, which comes from a Reddit user named Elfie.

Basically, the diabolical plan revolves around the houses. There are 32 in the box, and once the houses are sold out, then no one else can buy one. So the plan is simply to buy up as many houses as you can.

Early in the game, buy a set of properties and build all houses on it (not a hotel). It can also be any set of properties. Later in the game, get a second monopoly and build up houses on each of those properties. If you get two monopolies containing three properties, then that only leaves 8 other houses out there among the rest of the players.

Limiting the number of houses is important because houses are needed to build hotels. By monopolizing the houses, it makes it harder for people to progress, and then you simply outlast them.

Evil, right?

4. The Real Creator was a Woman Who Didn’t Get Credit For Her Invention

The person credited with inventing Monopoly is Charles Darrow, an unemployed heater salesman from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While Darrow created the Monopoly we know today, he ripped off the idea. The real inventor was a stenographer named Elizabeth Magie, who lived in Washington D.C.

Magie worked at night trying to teach people about the evils of monopolies. She was concerned with the accumulation of wealth and power by a small group of families during the Gilded age. She thought that this type of control by a small group of people could lead to monopolies, which could have devastating effects on everyday Americans. The problem was that her message was hard to spread because many people simply weren’t interested in listening.

Looking to spread her message faster, Magie developed The Landlord’s Game in 1903, and got a patent on it in 1904. The game was never mass produced, and instead, the game spread through word-of-mouth. Usually someone would learn the game, and then they would make their own copy of the board and the pieces. In turn, they would teach it to someone else.

One of those people who learned to play the game was Charles Darrow. He pitched the game to Parker Brothers and they eventually bought the rights to it, and gave Darrow a royalty. However, Parker Brothers knew that Magie actually owned the patent on the game. So they contacted Magie and bought the rights to The Landlord’s Game and another game that she developed for $500. But in a massive jerk move, Parker Brothers never intended to mass produce The Landlord’s Game. Instead, they released a few hundred copies of it, but mass produced Monopoly, which became a massive hit. Beyond the $500, Magie didn’t get any other payment or credit for the game. She died in 1948 and her contributions to the game weren’t publicized until the 1970s. Darrow died a millionaire in 1978.

3. The Unusual Story of Marvin Gardens

 There are localized versions of Monopoly, but the original game, and one that most people in North America are familiar with, has all of the properties named after streets or areas in Atlantic City, New Jersey. With one exception, that is: Marvin Gardens, which is supposed to be Marven Gardens.

While it’s a small mistake, it actually shows the interesting history behind Monopoly. When asked why he chose Atlantic City, instead of Philadelphia, where he was born and lived, Charles Darrow said it was because it was his favorite vacation spot.

However, what we know from the last entry is that Darrow didn’t invent the game, he just signed a deal with Parker Brothers to sell it. Before Monopoly’s publication, when people made their boards for The Landlord’s Game, they would localize the street names. Darrow was taught to play The Landlord’s Game by a couple from Atlantic City and when Darrow was given a copy of the board by the couple, it contained the wrong spelling of Marven Gardens. In turn, Parker Brothers copied Darrow’s incorrect board. Making Darrow not only a thief, but a lazy one at that.

In 1995, Parker Brothers apologized to the people of Marven Gardens for the misspelling. However, they have never credited Magie’s contributions to the game. Just wanted to really emphasize that part again.

2. Monopoly was Rejected by Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers

After Magie developed the game, she didn’t get it mass produced because she didn’t want to. She took it to Parker Brothers, twice. Once in 1910, and again in 1924, and both times it was turned down. The reason they gave was that it was too political.

Jump ahead to 1934, and Darrow pitched his version of the game to both Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers. Both of them sent back rejection letters. Part of the creation myth is that Parker Brothers rejected it for 52 fundamental reasons. However, there is no real evidence of that and it definitely does not say it in the rejection letter. The game was rejected unanimously by the executives of Parker Brothers because they thought it took too long to play and was too complex to be popular.

Instead, Darrow used his own money to make 7,500 copies, which sold well in stores in Philadelphia, and Parker Brothers changed their mind and struck a deal with Darrow. From there, the game grew to be the biggest board game in history.

1. Escape Maps Were Smuggled to British POWs during WWII

When it comes to making maps for war, paper is a terrible material for many reasons. For example, it can’t get wet, it rips, it crumples, and so on. A better material for maps is silk, and it has been used for hundreds of years.

During World War II, a printing company that had mastered printing on silk was John Waddington Ltd. The company was used by the British secret service unit MI9, which was the secret service unit for escape and evasion, to print silk maps. Waddington was also the printer of Monopoly for the United Kingdom. An MI9 agent named Christopher Clayton Hutton came up with the idea to put maps and other materials into board games that would be sent to POW camps. Games were often brought into POW camps by humanitarian and charity groups, and the games wouldn’t have drawn too much attention from the enemy.

Inside the Monopoly boxes were hidden compartments that contained compasses, tools, maps, and under the money were real bank notes. There were six different maps created for areas around German POW camps, and other maps for Italy.

They marked the special Monopoly boxes by putting a red dot on the Free Parking space. Also, to figure out where the maps should go, periods were added to the end of specific properties. For example, if it was going to Germany, there was a period after Mayfair, and if it was going to Italy, there would be a period after Marylebone Station (since the game was the UK version, the properties were named after streets in London, not Atlantic City).

Some historians believe that thousands of POWs used the Monopoly games to escape. Since the war, all of the Monopoly escape kits were destroyed.


A MONOPOLY

on Board Games