Start a home business, get rich quick, win financial freedom! If you watch late-night TV, you've heard it all before. But what's the story behind these slick pitchmen and their dubious schemes? Enter The Salty Droid, your ornery metal guide to the corrupt underworld of scam-marketing scum. This charmingly acerbic bot (owned and operated by mild-mannered Chicago dog-lover Jason Michael Jones [inter-view, long talk + transcript]) is a valiant crusader against the vile con-men who bankrupt the elderly and the desperate with beautiful lies. Exposed so far: A shadowy "Syndicate" of frauduct-pushing personality cults polluting the media with blogspam and woo-woo talking points. Boiler rooms in the Utah desert where telemarketers farm credit from easy targets with cunning, probing scripts [PDF]. Powerful politicians bought wholesale. Believers left to die in fraudulent new-age vision quests. It's a soul-crushing beat, enough to make one feel like a regular catcher-bot in the digital rye. But somebody's got to do it -- preferably someone with plasma nunchucks and titanium skin.
Marjoe Gortner, world's youngest preacher kicked off his religious career by performing a marriage at the age of four and a half. Although he eventually left the evangelism gig and became a hippie, lack of cash led him to take it up again part time as an adult. That is, until a crisis of conscience precipitated a documentary where he exposed the business of evangelical ministry. "Marjoe" won the 1972 Oscar for "Best Documentary" and has been recently re-released. An interview with Marjoe. You tubery inside.
Do Most People Even Know What They're Eating? Pork is served as veal; tilapia as red snapper and who knows what goes into sausages and other processed meat and fish products? You don't have to be an observant Jew or Muslim to be worried. How many years have those chicken pieces been frozen? How much pork and beef have been added to them? As food is increasingly disguised (fish fingers, chicken nuggets, beefburgers) to hide its origins, feeding on hypocritical popular revulsion with animals' existence, death - and carcasses! - aren't consumers setting themselves up for an ever greater measure of food fraud? That is, if they still care. (And no, it's not just an American phenomenon.) [Via The Daily Gullet. ]