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Amazon is Selling an Electric-Shock Bracelet That Supposedly Cures You of Bad Habits

Amazon’s bracelet gives you a 350-volt electric shock on the wrist to keep you in line.

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Amazon is Selling an Electric-Shock Bracelet
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(TMU) — Let’s face it, we all have a couple of bad habits. Whether it’s smoking cigarettes, over-indulging in snacks, sleeping in, or biting our nails, some of us have a couple impulsive or compulsive habits that are less than healthy.

And now, Amazon is selling a bracelet that promises to give you a nice kick in the pants—or 350-volt electric shock on the wrist—to keep you in line and literally train you to rid yourself of those pesky issues.

But would you actually pay $200 to voluntarily subject yourself to daily electric shocks?

The Pavlok bracelet pairs with an app on your smartphone and allows you to pick which habits you hope to quit. It then tailors the electric shocks, or “zaptic feedback,” accordingly.

Friends and family can also download the app to track you and can zap you from their own smartphones if you’ve been indulging in those habits excessively.

Eating too much at the dinner table? ZAP! Going for seconds before others have finished their first plate? ZAP! Pulling your hair again? You get the picture.

https://twitter.com/PaulGerke/status/1140935962731487237

Masochists will be happy to know that they’ll be able to receive 150 shocks per day from the wristband, with the shocks being roughly equal to walking across a rug and touching a doorknob.

The bracelet—which retails for a hefty price of around $200—is sort of like a Fitbit, but designed along the lines of the Pavlov’s Dog Experiment in which physiologist Ivan Pavlov rang a bell every time he fed his dogs until the dogs associated the sound of the bell with food.

Pavlovian conditioning also forms the basis of aversion therapy, which is used to break people from their unhealthy habits or addictions—and that’s precisely what this “habit conditioning device” is meant to do, according to promotional material from the company.

Pavlok claims that it’s “not just some random wearable that ‘shocks’ you,” but has been “designed with both the latest science and habit change research.”

The website adds:

“Pavlok is a behavior training device that works by utilizing aversive conditioning.

Aversive conditioning is essentially behaviour training that uses negative stimuli and association to help reaffirm a specific action as undesirable.

Using the slightly uncomfortable stimulus of a shock, Pavlok helps train your brain to associate the bad behavior with the uncomfortable stimulus. And after as little as a few weeks of associating the two with consistent use, your brain begins to say: ‘Hey wait a second. Maybe I DON’T like smoking,’ or ‘Hey wait a second, maybe that donut doesn’t do much for me at all’.”

But how have reviewers taken to the device?

It’s been a mix. One user on Amazon who is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict gave the device five stars, hailing the Pavlok for helping him “avoid many relapses.” He explained how airports tend to trigger cravings for booze, but armed with the Pavlok, he managed to avoid any drinks. He explained:

“I repeated this trigger-shock pattern until eventually, seeing or smelling or listening to people drink no longer caused a craving for me. It’s hard to overstate what a relief this was for me.”

Others who had trouble waking up noted that it worked in a way that no other alarm clock could. One user said:

“I was shocked at how fast this worked since I’ve had a hitting snooze problem well over 10 years. I’m excited to use it on my next bad habit!”

A significant amount of users, however, criticized the poor build quality, battery life and unreliability of the device. A reviewer who called themself “The Hopeless Snoozer” explained:

“When it worked, it worked great! Too bad it never worked, reliably anyway, which is a shame because it did make me less groggy trying to wake up.”

What do you think? Would you pay $200 to trade your unhealthy habits for a nice voluntary zap back in line?

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Corruption

Man Who Spent Decades in Prison Gets $6 Million After Cop Found to Have Faked Evidence

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A North Carolina man who spent decades in prison was awarded $6 million in damages by a federal jury after it was found that he was wrongfully convicted thanks to evidence fabricated by a detective.

Darryl Howard languished in prison for over 20 years on double murder and arson charges in 1995 for killing a woman and her teen daughter in 1991. Last Wednesday, a jury in Winston-Salem found that former Durham police detective Darryl Dowdy simply faked the evidence that resulted in his conviction.

In 2016, Howard’s 80-year sentence was stricken down by a Durham County judge who cited the misconduct of police and prosecutors. The $6 million award was the result of a 2017 federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Howard, reports the News & Observer.

Dowdy, 65, denied the accusations in the lawsuit. The former detective was a 36-year veteran of the Durham Police Department before he retired in 2007.

Howard and his legal team have expressed satisfaction that the jury recognized the grave injustice he faced, but are disappointed that the $6 million is a mere fraction of the $48 million in damages they requested.

Attorney Nick Brustin, who represented Howard, said that Dowdy’s defense attacked Howard for his past gunshot wounds and history of selling and using drugs.

“I think to some extent the racist defense that they have been implementing since the beginning of the ligation has in some ways succeeded,” Brustin said. “I think the verdict doesn’t value the suffering that Darryl went through.”

Howard himself noted that the heavy damage dealt by his long incarceration have completely altered his life.

“I am happy about the verdict, but I am kind of upset about the damages,” Howard told the News & Reporter.

“Just imagine, 23 years I stayed in prison,” he added.

Brustin also highlighted the systemic nature of the injustice his client suffered as a result of Dowdy’s police work.

“The kinds of misconduct are pattern misconduct,” he noted, adding that Durham police need to review other cases handled by the crooked cop.

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News

Happy Holidays? Billionaire CEO Fires 900 Workers in Zoom Call

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The boss of an online mortgage lending company has come under fire as callous and heartless after he unceremoniously fired about 900 staff members in the run-up to the holidays – all on one single Zoom call.

Vishal Garg, the chief executive of New York-based mortgage firm Better.com, didn’t mince words in the call, telling employees:

“This isn’t news that you’re going to want to hear … If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off. Your employment here is terminated effective immediately.”

Adding that he did “not want to do this,” he explained that “this is the second time in my career I’m doing this … The last time I did it, I cried.” 

While the 43-year-old CEO claimed that the mass sacking was a painful ordeal, he also noted that the “market has changed” and the company required streamlining to deal with the cool-off in the recent housing boom.

However, Garg neglected to mention that the company recently received $750 million from investors just last week.

According to Fortune, the chief executive also was the anonymous author of a blistering blog post to professional network Build that put his own employees on blast.

“You guys know that at least 250 of the people terminated were working an average of 2 hours a day while clocking 8 hours+ a day in the payroll system?” Garg wrote, adding that “they were stealing from you and stealing from our customers who pay the bills that pay our bills. Get educated.”

Garg also has come under fire for his poor management approach and history of abusing workers after an email he sent to employees was published by Forbes last year.

“You are TOO DAMN SLOW,” the CEO wrote. “You are a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS… SO STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME.”

Regardless of his personal frustrations with employees, social media users were stunned by news of the mass firing, calling the move “cold,” “a horrible move,” and “harsh” – especially with Christmas around the corner.

Employment law and business experts have also lambasted Garg’s actions, noting that such mass firings run counter to the law in most countries, and are not only abusive but destructive toward morale, despite being perfectly legal in the United States.

“Existing employees will look to how the company treats people as a signal to how it will treat them in the future,” Gemma Dale of the Liverpool John Moores University in the UK told the BBC.

“There are ways to do these things which, even in difficult conditions, are empathetic and decent,” she added. “There is a right way to do these things both morally and legally.”

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Environment

China Was Just Caught Literally Changing The Weather For Communist Party Celebration: Study

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In recent years, China has made a number of head-turning and downright dazzling technological advances. Now, according to a new study, the East Asian giant has successfully managed to literally change the weather.

According to a recent report from the South China Morning Post, scientists at Tsinghua University say that during the 100-year anniversary of the Communist Party of China, authorities succeeded in modifying the weather in Beijing to clear the sky and improve air quality for the masses gathered to celebrate the party’s centenary in Tiananmen Square.

The large-scale operation involved lacing the clouds above the capital with chemicals to usher in rainfall over suburban parts of Beijing before the July 1 centennial event. According to the Tsinghua researchers, eyewitnesses report rockets being launched from mountains outside the city in the run-up to the event.

The Beijing researchers claim that the artificial rain managed to reduce the level of PM2.5 air pollutants by over two-thirds, bringing air quality to “good” conditions from “moderate” levels per World Health Organization Standards.

The use of chemicals to modify weather conditions is a practice that dates back to at least the 18th century, when European states used gunfire to shoot at storms in hopes to prevent hail from harming crops.

By the turn of the 20th century, dozens of hail cannons were deployed for commercial purposes despite the unproven nature of such primitive geo-engineering methods.

Fast forward to the 2020s, and the People’s Republic of China has reportedly invested vast resources into weather modification programs that will be tested in a region spanning 5.5 million square miles by the year 2025. The impact of such geo-engineering efforts could lead to regional tensions with China’s increasingly nervous neighbors.

Meanwhile, as the potential for a new cold war with the people’s republic continues to grow, professional China skeptics have stoked fears that the ruling Communist Party could use its newfound ability to manipulate the weather for military purposes. However, it’s worth noting that the United States military has been hoping to weaponize the rain since at least 1967.

However, with arid conditions and extreme drought threatening the food security of populations across the globe, the ability to literally make rain fall may not be as frightening as some make it out to be.

Additionally, some researchers have claimed that geoengineering could play a role in mitigating the impact of rampant climate change. However, it remains far too early to know the long-term impact of lacing skies with chemicals on a widespread, regular basis.

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