(TMU) — Dr. Phil is many things—an author, a television personality, a regular guest on Oprah, a daytime Emmy nominee, a bald man from the Midwest—but one thing he’s certainly not is a licensed clinical psychologist.
Phil McGraw, best known to millions of Americans as the host of popular tabloid talk show Dr. Phil, is hardly known for actually helping the people who make the often ill-advised choice to step onto his set. And Dr. Phil’s latest bit of sagely advice to young cannabis smokers was decidedly in that same vein, combining half-baked urban legends with outright misinformation about the alleged “hazards” of the devil’s lettuce.
The occasion for Dr. Phil’s intervention against weed came when he had a woman named Bree on his show, who was joined by her 11-year-old son, J.J. The child’s mother claimed that J.J., who is a regular pot smoker, had become violent and misbehaved at home and at school—even going so far as to threaten her with a steak.
At that point, Dr. Phil began to spout off a totally non-scientific and rather ridiculous lecture about the deadly, mind-killing dangers of cannabis. He explained:
“Your brain grows until you’re 25 at least, and it’s constantly changing. When you get to be 18, 19, 20, it’s actually pruning itself back. When you smoke marijuana, it’s like opening your computer up and pouring water inside. A lot of things short out, and it connects where it’s not supposed to, and really creates problems.
Even occasional marijuana smokers will look at a multi-point drop in IQ, even with just occasional use—like once a week, or two or three times a month. You’ll see IQ drop and motivation will drop across time.”
And while no one will disagree that an 11-year-old child should be doing his homework rather than puffing trees, smoking cannabis simply won’t “short your brain.”
While it is true that the brain is still in a state of constant development until the mid-20s, nothing else that Dr. Phil said had any basis in science, said Dr. David Juurlink, a head of clinical pharmacology and toxicology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
Dr. Juurlink told Vice:
“It’s ludicrous to equate smoking cannabis with pouring water on a computer.”
Dr. Michael Verbora, chief medical officer for Aleafia Network, took similar issue with Dr. Phil’s strange idea of some “brain rewiring” caused by the plant. Verbora added that often times, cannabis users who are so young are already at-risk due to their troubled homes and lower incomes, where mental illness risks typically run higher.
But the idea that weed smokers face “a multi-point drop in IQ” from even occasional ingestion of the plant flies in the face of multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies and has “been debunked,” Dr. Verbora said, noting that only one study showed a slight intelligence decline—and even that effect was only temporary.
Even Dr. Phil’s antiquated description of cannabis as “dope” capable of turning a child violent shows what a quack the talk show host is, Dr. Verbora said.
“I’ve treated 5,000 patients and 5,000 out of my 5,000 say cannabis makes them feel relaxed and calm. No intelligent physician or doctor would ever use the word ‘dope’ to describe cannabis.”
Dr. Juurlink pointedly added:
“Maybe Dr. Phil should redirect hyperbole to alcohol, tobacco, opioids and benzos, all of which are considerably more harmful, as is exploiting your troubled pre-teen on national television.”
FBI Seizes Capitol Building LEGO Set From Alleged Rioter’s House
Many of us know, either from our childhood or even our adulthood, that building and collecting LEGO can be a fun hobby that allows us to tap into our creativity in a relaxing, stress-free way.
But what if someone’s LEGO hobby is something much more nefarious – or even seditious in the eyes of the government?
Such may have been the case when special agents with the FBI confiscated a fully completed LEGO set of the U.S. Capitol Building from the home of Robert Morss, 27, whom they allege participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, according to court documents published by The Smoking Gun.
The large LEGO set is comprised of 1,032 pieces and was released in 2016 and is no longer available for retail. The agents seized the finished set along with other items matching those they believe Morss had in his possession when he allegedly stormed the building – including a neck gaiter, a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, a military-style satchel, a black tourniquet, and military battle dress uniforms.
The documents also note that he “had three different firearms including a handgun, a shotgun and a rifle” in his possession.
According to LEGO, the United States Capitol Building set “focuses on the structure’s neoclassical style facade, steps and lawns” and is “finished with a decorative ‘US Capitol’ nameplate.” In 2019, the product was “retired” – which has less to do with politics and more to do with the limited availability of the company’s unique product lines.
Morss, who is from Pennsylvania, was arrested last month on a range of federal charges. According to the Department of Justice, his alleged crimes “include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of an official proceeding; civil disorder; and robbery of personal property of the United States.”
An FBI investigator’s affidavit notes that Morss joined rioters in direct confrontations with officers guarding the Lower West Terrace doors of the Capital in “an intense and prolonged clash between rioters and law enforcement.”
Law enforcement officers claim that they also found a notebook in Morss car that had instructions on a “Step by Step to Create Hometown Militia” that included a list of names, equipment, and sections on “ambush,” “battle drills,” and “formations.” The notebook also contained notes that said “bring assault rifle,” “4 magazines,” and “bring kit/body armor.”
However, the court documents do not indicate whether the LEGO set was deployed in tactical drills prior to the botched uprising.
The DOJ says that roughly 465 individuals have been arrested on charges related the events of Jan. 6.
Neptune, the Roman God of Water, ‘Emerges’ From Waves in Photo During UK Storm
If we were to believe our eyes, it would seem that the ancient Roman god of water himself made an appearance on the shores of New Haven, England, on a day of especially rough surf.
What appears to be the “face” of Neptune was captured on Tuesday when photographer Jeff Overs of the BBC was taking photos of waves crashing over the harbor wall in the port city.
Of course, one is free to believe that the ferocious deity emanated from the depths of the sea to remind us puny humans of his wrath.
But alas, it was likely a simple example of pareidolia – the phenomenon of seeing faces and figures in otherwise random or ambiguous everyday objects.
The photographer snapped the shot amid high tide and winds exceeding 50 miles per hour (80km/h), namely because of the violent nature of the shore.
“It’s become a popular location for photographers because the sea ‘boils’ in high wind against the sea wall,” Overs explained.
“The waves splash into the high wind and when blown back occasionally make patterns that look like ghoulish faces.”
Overs added that one of the small foreground waves even resembles a hand – albeit a pareidolic one.
“It’s a straight shot and I haven’t manipulated the image at all,” he added.
Lunar New Deal: GOP Lawmaker Suggests Altering Moon & Earth’s Orbit to Stop Climate Change
Texas Republican Congressman Louise Gohmert raised the eyebrows of his Congressional colleagues on Tuesday after seemingly suggesting that climate change could be combatted by changing the orbit of the moon, or even altering “Earth’s orbit around the sun.”
Gohmert, who has been decried as the “dumbest member of Congress” for his past absurdly anti-scientific comments regarding the ongoing pandemic and a number of other issues, has been a vocal opponent of progressive legislators’ attempts to put a “Green New Deal” on the government’s agenda.
However, his apparent suggestion of a “Lunar New Deal” to mitigate global warming could take the cake as his most hare-brained idea yet.
The comments came during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on four pending bills while questioning Jennifer Eberlien of the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, reports NBC.
“I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the B.L.M. [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change,” the Texas congressman began.
“I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun,” he continued.
“We know there’s been significant solar flare activity,” Gohmert said. “And so, is there anything that the National Forest Service or B.L.M. can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?”
“Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate,” the lawmaker added.
Responding, Eberlein said with a smile: “I would have to follow up with on you on that one, Mr. Gohmert.”
“If you figure out there’s a way in the forest service you could make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert responded, without any trace of irony.
Longtime critics of the conservative legislator were besides themselves with bewilderment and mockery over the out-of-this-world suggestion.
On the opposite side of the aisle California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu suggested that perhaps Marvel Comics superheroine Captain Marvel was up to the task.
“She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers. I’m going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help,” Lieu wrote on Twitter.
According to NASA, the Earth’s climate has changed throughout history for various reasons, including small variations in the planet’s orbit.
However, the agency’s website notes that this doesn’t discount the fact that anthropogenic or human-caused activities are the culprit of the current warming.
“The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over millennia,” the site says.