A new-age religion thought up by ex-sci-fi writer L. Ron Hubbard. They try to recruit new members by offering them 'personality tests' to determine the 'root cause' of the person's unhappiness. Interestingly, the solution to this 'root cause' is usually paying lots of money to the Church of Scientology. Scientologists have been rightly satirised in several TV programmes, films and computer games, for example the movementarian cult in The Simpsons or the hubologists in Fallout 2, but despite this Scientology is still attracting a steady stream of new converts. The main reason for this is that people are idiots.
"Hey, did you notice that the personality test on www.scientology.org almost always tells you that you're unstable and depressed?"
The pseudoscience invented by L. Ron Hubbard and used to give a thin veneer of plausability to Scientology
. Dianetics claims to be "the modern science of mental health" but in reality is little more than ridiculous claims with no or fraudulent evidence to back them up. The basic principle of Dianetics is that by "auditing", which is like talking to someone, but much more expensive, you can be freed of your "reactive mind", the area of your mind that, according to Scientology
, is out to make you fail at life. The concept of a reactive mind is of course completely false and was only invented to convince people that all their problems in life could be attributed to a single source which could only be cured by Scientology
. As if that wasn't enough bullshit for one day, Dianetics and Scientology also claim to be able to cure you of other things besides your reactive mind, such as toxins, drug residues and radiation stored in your body, although any sort of reliable medical evidence that their methods work in any way at all is sadly lacking.
According to L. Ron Hubbard, taking huge doses of niacin can flush radiation and sunburn out of your body. He "discovered" this when he noticed that when people took large quantities of niacin, they experienced a red flush in areas where they had previously been sunburnt. If they regularly took niacin, the flush would lessen and lessen until eventually it stopped altogether. Hubbard concluded that the flush was radiation leaving the body, and that it stopped because all the radiation had been flushed out. Funnily enough, if you ask a medical professional, he'll tell you that a known side-effect of niacin overdoses is that they cause the cells in the body to release histamine, and that histamine can cause a strange red flush. He'll also tell you that when you're sunburnt, your capillaries - the tiny blood vessels in your skin become damaged, that when they heal they heal into a different structure than undamaged capillaries, and that in the event of a histamine release caused by overdoses of niacin, the red flush would look much different in areas with these damaged capillaries. Strange coincidence, eh?
An Irish slang word to describe a specific group of people. Scarily, the connotations associated with describing someone as a skanger are almost identical to those associated with describing someone as a charva
in Britain, despite the fact that these words refer to completely different groups of people in different countries.
In Ireland, they're called skangers, in Britain, charvas.
Probably the correct pluralisation of 'octopus'. Probably.
"Two octopi swam by. No, wait, octopuses. No, that sounds wrong. It's octopi. Yeah, definitely. Octopi."