According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.” However, that’s not what the epidemiology of the disorder suggests. By age 35, half of all people who qualified for active alcoholism or addiction diagnoses during their teens and 20s no longer do, according to a study of over 42,000 Americans in a sample designed to represent the adult population.
Only a quarter of people who recover have ever sought assistance in doing so (including via 12-step programs). This actually makes addictions the psychiatric disorder with the highest odds of recovery.
Metafilter's own maias
on myths surrounding the disease(?) of substance addiction
, and their impact on medicine and policy.
The gals at Anglo-Filles have an entertaining (and epicly long) talk about the history of Dracula and vampires as characters and symbols throughout the ages and throughout fiction
- topics discussed include Varney The Vampire, The Vienna Vampire Scare, Where Does Sunlight Killing Vampires Come From, The Secret Spanish Dracula, and Jonathan Harker As An Abuse Survivor.
"In 1972 I created the concept of Mazes & Minotaurs
, the world's first roleplaying game
. Inspired by my fanatical interest in ancient Greek and Macedonian wargaming
, coupled with a love of Greek myth
and the 1963 movie, Jason and the Argonauts
, it took the gaming world by storm." -- Paul Elliott
. [more inside]
Leigh Bardugo writes haunting, Eastern-European inspired fairy tales (Previously
) often highlighting the experience of women in a unfair world. Tor.com presents two new stories, the somber "The Too-Clever Fox
" and the subversive "Little Knife
Published in 1910, William T. Cox's Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts
is one of the earliest written accounts describing fabulous beasts of lumberjack lore, together called "fearsome critters." Read of tales of the peculiar wapaloosie
, the spiky, hairless hodag
that swallows trees whole, and the bizarrely violent splinter cat
, which smashes trees with its head until it finds food. When you've been there a spell, take a gander through Paul Bunyan's Natural History
, in which the goofang
fish swims backwards to keep water out of its eyes and the teakettler
walks backwards, nostrils steaming. For more harrowing yarns on yesterday's monsters, thumb through Henry Tryon's Fearsome Critters
, which closes with a tantalizing snipet about an eternally elusive bird
"I’ve said this many times before and I’ll say it many times again, but one of the joys of webcomics is their ability to cover every possible subject and fill every conceivable niche. Say, for example, you’re into early Irish literature and you want to read it in comics form. Webcomics are happy to help you out. At this very moment, in fact, there are at least two ongoing webcomics based on the Táin Bó Cúailnge, or Cattle Raid of Cooley, the central epic of the Ulster cycle: Patrick Brown’s The Cattle Raid of Cooley
and M.K. Reed’s About a Bull
. Thank you, webcomics! You’ve justified the existence of the Internet yet again!" -- Shaenon Garrity reviews two niche webcomics
"The idea that Medieval people drank beer or wine to avoid drinking bad water is so established that even some very serious scholars see no reason to document or defend it; they simply repeat it as a settled truth. In fact, if no one ever documents the idea, it is for a very simple reason: it's not true
Chinese New Year's eve and its the Year of the Wood Horse
according to the annual
rotation of 12 animals and 5 elements followed by Chinese
geomancers. Horse babies are always welcome
, especially boys. Less known
however is the stigma attached to the girl child
born in the year of the Fire Horse
. [more inside]
In the academic sphere, at least, the "Conflict Thesis" of a historical war between science and theology has been long since overturned. It is very odd that so many of my fellow atheists cling so desperately to a long-dead position that was only ever upheld by amateur Nineteenth Century polemicists and not the careful research of recent, objective, peer-reviewed historians. This is strange behavior for people who like to label themselves "rationalists".
-- The Dark Age Myth: An Atheist Reviews “God’s Philosophers”
"I did not see the appeal of a wife. We had never had one before. She would not be half as interesting as our buffalo."
Read a lengthy excerpt from Catherynne Valente's Six-Gun Snow White
, an adaptation of the Aarne-Thompson-Uther type 709
fairy tale as a campfire story set in the American west.
Take a tour of RIT's Escherian Stairwell
, an architectural puzzle that has confounded students and visitors for years. [more inside]
Is Psychometric g a Myth?
- "As an online discussion about IQ or general intelligence grows longer, the probability of someone linking to statistician Cosma Shalizi's essay g, a Statistical Myth
approaches 1. Usually the link is accompanied by an assertion to the effect that Shalizi offers a definitive refutation of the concept of general mental ability, or psychometric g
." [more inside]
"But you have not told us a syllable about the greatest general and greatest ruler of the world.
We want to know something about him. He was a hero. He spoke with a voice of thunder; he laughed like the sunrise and his deeds were strong as the rock and as sweet as the fragrance of roses. The angels appeared to his mother and predicted that the son whom she would conceive would become the greatest the stars had ever seen. He was so great that he even forgave the crimes of his greatest enemies and shook brotherly hands with those who had plotted against his life. His name was Lincoln and the country in which he lived is called America, which is so far away that if a youth should journey to reach it he would be an old man when he arrived..." [more inside]
a story of people[0xCF36] as told by shaman.Accumulator.Overflows(true)
In the beginning, there were too many numbers, and nobody could tell exactly what they were.
Everybody was confused about what was big and what was small, because everything was kind of big, but also kind of small. Nobody knew anything for sure....
, aka The Quest
(North America), aka Go Kids
(UK), aka The Spirit Chaser
(Sweden) features Henry Thomas as an American orphan in Australia investigating an aboriginal legend at a flooded quarry in Devils Knob national park. And yes, it's available in its entirety on youtube
"The word reclaim came up more than once to describe the rising tide. It is a revealing word, more narrative than simply descriptive: it hints at some larger backstory, some plot twist in a longer saga about our claims and the water’s counterclaims to the earth.… This story was already ancient when it was adapted for the biblical text—which is to say, it records a very old fear. Like all old fears, it has the uncanny feel of a vivid memory. It may be a memory of an actual flood in an actual Sumerian city, Shurrupal, ca 2800 B.C.E. In fact, it may be even older than that."
11 Legendary Monsters of Asia
. 10 Legendary Monsters of Europe
. 7 Legendary Monsters of South America
. 10 Legendary Monsters of Australasia and Antarctica
. 11 Legendary Monsters of Africa
. 10 Legendary Monsters of North America Part 1
, Part 2
The Mythical Rise of Asian Americans The model minority myth perpetuated by the Pew research is misleading. At its core, it contains a highly objectionable assumption that other minorities do not work hard enough to succeed. In addition, as others have eloquently argued, the topline numbers and statistics hide wide variance within the Asian American community itself. Finally, insistence on holding up Asian Americans’ “success” often serves as an excuse to overlook the very real challenges that they face.
Scientists have mapped the social networks in Beowulf, the Iliad and the Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge and compared them to networks as mapped by Facebook
. The results were surprising, with all three mapping well to real-world social networks and leading scientists to believe that they are all based on real events. Harry Potter
, Les Misérables
, Shakespeare's Richard III
, and The Fellowship of the Ring
were used as controls. (Abstract and link to the paper,
which is available in its entirety for 30 days, although it does require creating a free login.)
The myth of English as a global language One would have to say that English, far from being a pure maiden, looks like a woman who has appeared out of some distant fen, had more partners than Moll Flanders, learned a lot in the process, and is now running a house of negotiable affection near an international airport
Comics author Grant Morrison
talked to Playboy about the Super Psyches of some of his favorite superhero characters
. (Clean interview, NSFW website)
: the following story is inspired by actual documented accounts. [more inside]
The Turtle and the Shark is one of Samoa's most cherished stories, and it has been animated beautifully
by Ryan Woodward
in the style of siapo
, or Samoan tapa barkcloth
. [more inside]
A decade on, the Coen brothers' woefully underrated O Brother, Where Art Thou? [alt]
is remembered for a lot of things
: its sun-drenched, sepia-rich cinematography
(a pioneer of digital color grading
), its whimsical humor
, fluid vernacular
, and many subtle references
to Homer's Odyssey
. But one part of its legacy truly stands out: the music
Assembled by T-Bone Burnett
, the soundtrack is a cornucopia of American folk music, exhibiting everything from cheery ballads
and angelic hymns
to wistful blues
and chain-gang anthems
. Woven into the plot of the film through radio and live performances, the songs lent the story a heartfelt, homespun feel
that echoed its cultural heritage, a paean and uchronia of the Old South
Though the multiplatinum album was recently reissued
, the movie's medley is best heard via famed documentarian D. A. Pennebaker
's Down from the Mountain
, an extraordinary
concert film focused on a night of live music by the soundtrack's stars (among them Gillian Welch
, Emmylou Harris
, Chris Thomas King
, bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley
) and wryly hosted by John Hartford
, an accomplished fiddler
, riverboat captain
, and raconteur
whose struggle with terminal cancer made this his last major performance. The film is free in its entirety on Hulu
-- click inside for individual clips, song links, and breakdowns of the set list
's fascinating history. [more inside]
The amazingly detailed origin myth of The Numbers, the largest South African prison gangs. Jonny Steinberg
details the three largest gangs' (tenuously) shared myth, which accounts for their strangely symbiotic relationships by dictating who may steal, who may rape, and who may judge. [more inside]
The Babinda Boulders is a beautiful and exciting place
in far-northern Queensland, Australia. It also conceals the Devil's Pool
, which is traditionally believed
to be haunted by a young Aboriginal girl calling for her lost lover. At least sixteen young men have drowned
there since 1959. [more inside]
Way Down Under The Ground.
's journey through the Underworld has been retold so many times, on stage
, in film
. Tennessee Williams saw it as Orpheus Descending
. Neil Gaiman
took the myth on in the pages
. Today, we have Hadestown
, a new album from Anais Mitchell
. Mitchell recorded "Hades & Persephone" for a previous release
, but Hadestown
is a fully-realized folk opera
, five years in the making
, a collaborative effort featuring contributions from Greg Brown
, Ani Difranco
, The Haden Tripletts
and Justin Vernon (the voice of Bon Iver
). [more inside]
What do you mean by the "trauma myth"?
The title refers to the fact that although sexual abuse is usually portrayed by professionals and the media as a traumatic experience for the victims when it happens — meaning frightening, overwhelming, painful — it rarely is. Most victims do not understand they are being victimized, because they are too young to understand sex, the perpetrators are almost always people they know and trust, and violence or penetration rarely occurs. "Confusion" is the most frequently reported word when victims are asked to describe what the experience was like. Confusion is a far cry from trauma.
NYTimes: "Abusing Not Only Children, but Also Science
Pope Joan aka La Papessa
is the second card of the major arcana in the Tarot. However there were pre tarot images of a female pope
. It's a myth that won't go away
There is sometimes
historical truth behind legend. The Cathoic Church relegates everything to fable
; especially with a film around
the corner. Some more thoughts on the facts behind
CSI Myths: The Shaky Science Behind Forensics
Forensic science was not developed by scientists. It was mostly created by cops, who were guided by little more than common sense. And as hundreds of criminal cases begin to unravel, many established forensic practices are coming under fire.
Ta-Nehisi Coates reflects
on social myth-making from the losing side.
The Jesus Project
, established by The Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion
, is "the first methodologically agnostic examination of the question of Jesus’ historical existence." The Project recently held its first conference
, which included presentations from several individuals who argue against the historical existence of Jesus. R. Joseph Hoffmann, Chair of the CSER, writes
, "I do not think we are dealing with a man who became god, but a god who was made man."
epic poem Idylls of the King,
Lyonesse is the place where the final, epoch-shattering battle between Mordred
and King Arthur
takes place. In the older Arthurian romances, Lyonesse
is the birthplace of Sir Tristan
, and it is supposed to have bordered Cornwall
in the southwest of England. No historical evidence of Lyonnesse has been found, and the academic consensus seems to be that the French author
of the Prose Tristan
got his British geography catastrophically wrong, and that he really meant Lothian in Scotland.
that Lyonesse was a real realm which once reached from the Scilly Islands
to Land´s End.
The people of Penzance
and southwestern Cornwall certainly seem fond of stories about sunken lands
, church bells in the deep
, and drowned forests.
According to family legend
, the ancestor of the local Trevelyan family
was a sole survivor who rode across the causeway to Cornwall as Lyonesse crumbled into the sea behind him.
"Women and children
, first," is a familiar cultural refrain, with its popular roots in the gallant sacrifice made by the male contingent aboard the doomed Titanic
. Their sacrifice has inspired poetry
, male social clubs
, and, of course, cinema
. Yet, this sacrifice of near-mythic scale was in some respects a myth
, with survival statistics
skewing well in favor of men of higher social and economic class than children (and, to a lesser extent, women) of lower status.
In an intriguing blog entry
the mysterious jasminembla muses about the man in the moon, and his relationship with thorns, linking finally to a most remarkable collection of sourced and footnoted Victorian Moon Lore
authored by a Rev. Timothy Harley, 1885. In the "Man in the Moon
" section, we learn that, indeed, the man in the moon has been traditionally linked with thorns, variously being exiled to the moon for stealing a bundle of brambles, strewing brambles on the path to church to hinder the pious, or cutting wood on the Sabbath, among other infractions - and that this folktale has existed since at least 1157, when an English abbot asks, in Latin, "Do you not know what the people call the rustic in the moon who carries the thorns? Whence one vulgarly speaking says,
"The Rustic in the moon /
Whose burden weighs him down /
This changeless truth reveals /
He profits not who steals."
Furthermore, no less a personage than Shakespeare has mentioned the thorny situation of the poor man in the moon... and most interesting, perhaps, the rather convincing theory that the bramble-burdened man in the moon may very well be an older "Jack" of Jack and Jill fame, who did not steal, but was stolen by the moon, along with his sister. [more inside]