15 Stories

Attempted-Bombing Suspect's Family Is 'Flabbergasted' at FBI

Jerry Drake Varnell's parents says he has schizophrenia—and FBI took advantage

(Newser) - The family of the Oklahoma man accused of plotting to blow up a bank says they're "heartbroken" but stand by Jerry Drake Varnell—who got caught up in a situation spurred by his mental illness and only made possible with aid from the FBI. NewsOK posts a statement... More »

North Korea's OS Has 'Malicious Functionality'

Linux-based Red Star operating system basically spies on whoever uses it

(Newser) - Check out North Korea's computer operating system, and it feels almost like you're using a Mac. Red Star OS is a "fully featured desktop system," German researcher Niklaus Schiess tells Motherboard , complete with word processing software and a revamped Firefox browser. But like almost everything else... More »

Yes, Pot Actually Can Make You Paranoid

Researchers find marijuana can also have other negative mental effects

(Newser) - There has long been a known association between marijuana and paranoia, but UK researchers wanted to find out if cannabis actually causes paranoia in some people—and the answer is a resounding yes, write researchers Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman in the Guardian . They studied 121 people who had taken... More »

Conspiracy Theories: Why Sane People Like Them

Having low self-worth doesn't help, apparently

(Newser) - Feeling powerless in the world at large? You're more likely to believe in conspiracy theories, experts say, even if those theories diminish the power you actually have. "If you know the truth and others don’t, that’s one way you can reassert feelings of having agency,"... More »

Fear of Social Rejection Causes Social Rejection

Paranoid behavior is self-fulfilling, says study

(Newser) - Being paranoid that your friends hate you might cause them to hate you, according to a new study. Researchers at a Canadian business school put subjects in situations that could arose their suspicions (like, for instance, hearing co-workers laughing during lunch) then attempted to determine which subjects were inclined to... More »

FBI Tracking Down Libyans in US

It's afraid Gadhafi will launch terrorist counterattacks

(Newser) - The FBI has begun questioning the thousands of Libyans living in the US, in the hopes of routing out any that might be agents of Moammar Gadhafi. The interviews, which began this week, will initially focus on people with personal or professional ties to Libya, with a particular emphasis on... More »

Let's Give Halloween Back to Kids

Stranger danger is just overhyped nonsense

(Newser) - Halloween used to be a very cool night for kids, writes Lenore Skenazy. Now it's "the day when America market-tests parental paranoia." Poisoned candy, stranger danger, suffocating costumes? All nonsense propagated by marketers who discovered "that parents are willing to be warned about anything, no matter how... More »

Look Out, Gay Soldiers Will Rape You in Your Sleep!

... claim foes of Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal

(Newser) - If Congress really repeals Don't Ask, Don't Tell, newly empowered gay soldiers will run amok, giving their straight colleagues non-consensual blow jobs when they're asleep or drunk, according to the Family Research Council. No really! They have a study to prove it! On a conference call to reporters, which Talking... More »

Testosterone Makes Women Paranoid

Researchers assume evolution made men less trusting

(Newser) - Taking testosterone makes women less trusting, according to a new study. Researchers took a group of 24 women, showed them images of strangers' faces, and asked them to rate their trustworthiness from -100 to +100. Half were then given testosterone, which made their rankings fall an average 10 points, while... More »

The Best of Cold War Cinema

With the Evil Empire as the bad guy, Hollywood made some great flicks

(Newser) - Maybe the reason Betsy Sharkey is feeling nostalgic about Cold War flicks is that the era offered a clear, if flawed, idea that we were the good guys. Regardless, it made for some good movies. The Los Angeles Times critic's faves, by "capricious category":
  • Aliens: With "subtexts rich
... More »

Paranoid GOP Could Make US 'Ungovernable'

Whack jobs' seizure of Republican Party 'no laughing matter'

(Newser) - The kind of paranoia that made last week's health care reform protesters wave signs showing corpses at Dachau is nothing new in right-wing American politics, but the fact that these people actually wield power is new—and deeply troubling, writes Paul Krugman . "The GOP has been taken over by... More »

Glenn Beck's Paranoia Is a Gold Mine

Gold to guns, scribe says there's profit to be made off right wingers

(Newser) - Move over Jim Cramer. When it comes to possibly unhinged investment gurus, Mike Madden of Salon says he’s going with Glenn Beck and G. Gordon Liddy. Ever since advertisers began boycotting Beck, gold sellers have been grabbing space. The weirdest ad features G. Gordon Liddy mocking Fed policies that... More »

Quaids' Wild Ride a Tale of Drugs, Paranoia

Texas arrest for stiffing hotel bill is just the tip of the iceberg

(Newser) - The arrest of Randy and Evi Quaid in Texas for stiffing a California hotel is only the latest twist in a bizarre tale of unpaid bills and paranoid fantasies. A private investigator hired by the Quaids—she’s out $17,000—tells Diane Dimond the actor and his wife owe... More »

Dear GOP, Americans Are Just Not That Into You: Maher

It's time to move on; Republican obsessing getting creepy

(Newser) - The GOP is not coping well with loss. After a long, torrid affair with America, Republicans have gotten dumped, and they're hurting, writes Bill Maher in the Los Angeles Times. Now they’re going a little crazy, worrying about all the wrong issues, talking about secession and reeducation camps, throwing... More »

Doc, I Think I'm on Reality TV

Psychiatrists see Truman Show delusion so often it's got its own syndrome

(Newser) - In The Truman Show, Jim Carrey's life was nothing more than a reality TV program, with actors playing his friends and family and millions of viewers watching his every move. Those themes of surveillance and artificiality pervade the lives of a growing number of psychiatric patients—people who think they... More »

15 Stories