The Underground — Issue #22
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: A different view of the Baltimore riots, what will humanity do if the Bees die, the best language learning program, why Gluten-free is absurd, and a real-life person with superpowers.
At Social Underground we go beyond the mainstream stuff and see what’s underneath the surface. What should we get into, listen to, read, eat or watch? If there is something in our culture that needs attention that’s our job: Show you the underground things that you need to know about: Books, music, television, movies, comedians, art, and whatever else we can find to get you into something you never knew about. That’s The Underground.
1. The riots in Baltimore look much different when you change a few choice words and faces. If you’ve watched the news the past few days you’ll notice them focusing on what constitutes a protest. In recent months, police have shot unarmed black men every other week. What follows is major protesting, and then a small minority of people looting and lighting stuff on fire. The problem with this is that the mainstream media lumps all the protesters in with the criminals that are taking advantage of the situation.
MSNBC decided to turn the entire reporting style around and replace the criminal acts being done by white people instead of black people. Even saying that makes me sound bad, but once you see the video, and then turn on your 24/7 news station, you’ll understand why this segment –meant for satire — really nails that most news is skewed.
Watch Chris Hayes produce some of the best satire on his show All In:
2. What will happen to us if all the Bees die? There’s no doubt you’ve heard that Bees have been dying out lately. It was mentioned in the movie The Happening when Mark Wahlberg was describing it and you walked out because that movie was worse than listening to your parents tell you about how you were conceived. However, if Bees do go the way of the dinosaur, we may not fare so well.
In this video, they basically lay out that all the stuff you enjoy eating will eventually be gone. You remember in the film Interstellar where everyone is living off corn? Well, watch this, and then go and grill a hamburger:
3. Duolingo is the ultimate free language learning software that will teach you.
I’ve tried multiple language learning books, software, dictionaries, classes, and other ways to learn a language, but most fail and try to make a buck. Duolingo teaches you what the words mean, how to use them in a sentence, how to pronounce them, and more.
According to an independent study conducted by the City University of New York and the University of South Carolina, an average of 34 hours of Duolingo are equivalent to a full university semester of language education.
Participants took one university placement Spanish language test at the beginning of the study and one at the end. The improvement of language abilities was measured as the difference between the initial and the final language test results.
The study concluded that a person with no knowledge of Spanish would need between 26 and 49 hours (or 34 hours on average) to cover the material for the first college semester of Spanish.
Since a one semester university course usually takes more than 34 hours of work, this study suggests that Duolingo is more effective than an average university course. (Via Duolingo)
Once you download it, you are now open to learn just about every language that is widely used on the planet. They just added Klingon to their software so you can make your way through a Star Trek convention without everyone laughing at you for not knowing how to ask where the restrooms are in the Klingon language. I, however, would try some of the more used languages like Spanish.
4. The Gluten-free diet is one of the hottest trends, but it’s complete B.S. to most. There’s little doubt that when you went grocery shopping that you saw almost every item on the shelf promoting a Gluten-free food product. Companies are jumping on trends that they either know little about, or they know enough about the public’s ignorance to make money on it. I’m guessing both.
Most people have no idea what Gluten is, as Jimmy Kimmel hilariously demonstrates:
Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat and related grains, including barley and rye. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture. SCARY! Nah, not really. It’s only a problem if you have something called Celiac disease.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications. (Via)
So if you meet someone at a Wal-Mart buying and Gluten-free products and they have no idea of what Celiac disease is, they’re just trend-jumpers. A side-note on this segment is towards people who go on a “cleanse.” People want to detoxify their bodies. Guess what? The liver does that. If you juice for 2 weeks, all you do is starve yourself and immediately gain back any weight. I’ve seen it! So with Gluten and other trends, just ask a doctor for what you should do. They have that whole doctorate thing going for them.
5. Meet the kid who is the real-life Marvel Daredevil. In one of our most recent issues of The Underground, we showed you a blind superhero that can see with sound and use that ability to fight crime. Ben Underwood was a boy who had his eyes removed at age 3 due to retinal cancer. How he “sees” is with the use of echolocation (like a dolphin).
As a result, he can ride a bike, play basketball, walk down the street, and Rollerblade. Tragically, due to his retinal cancer, he passed away in 2009. This documentary shows his amazing abilities before the awfulness of cancer took him away from his friends and family.
Give this documentary a watch and be amazed at what he could do:
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