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Canadian psychedelic drug researcher featured in Netflix's 'The Goop Lab' – The Daily Courier

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TORONTO – Canadian researcher Mark Haden is quickly getting up to speed on the media circus and skepticism that follows Gwyneth Paltrow’s juggernaut wellness brand, Goop.

The 65-year-old Vancouver professor is the very first interview in Paltrow’s new Netflix series “The Goop Lab,” featured in an episode about the potential healing power of psychedelic drugs.

He says he only learned of Goop’s many detractors after taping his interview with Paltrow, but he adds that he’s faced a few critics of his own as executive director of MAPS Canada, which is the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.

MAPS’ mission is to explore the potential psychedelic drugs hold for medical treatment, and so the invitation to appear on a Netflix show helmed by one of Hollywood’s biggest stars appealed to Haden, also an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health.

“We already have engaged fringy folks of the world and so now our next task is to engage the mainstream. You know, we want to heal cops — we’re targeting cops and veterans,” says Haden, whose U.S. counterparts are studying whether MDMA — better known as the club drug Ecstasy — can treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

“We want to appeal to guys in suits and housewives.”

To be sure, Goop’s dedicated following is large and ardent but Haden is now aware that its most famous products are resoundingly fringy — among them jade eggs for vaginas and psychic vampire repellent.

Meanwhile its wackier health claims, including coffee enemas and vaginal steaming, have drawn the ire of much of the medical community.

Nevertheless, Haden said he was pleased with the way his episode turned out, deeming it balanced and concerned with “real issues.”

Judging by the six episodes that rolled out Friday, denouncements by mainstream authorities are a badge of honour for Paltrow and the Goop crew, who seem to revel in declaring the topics they tackle as “unproven” and “out there.”

The trailer certainly highlights a seeming effort to appear cutting-edge with outtakes proclaiming that what you’re about to see is “dangerous” and “unregulated.”

The six episodes range from 29 to 36 minutes, with each tackling a specific topic: psychedelics, cold therapy, sexual health, reversing biological age, energy fields and psychic ability.

But none of this is cutting edge, says longtime Goop critic Tim Caulfield, who took Paltrow and the Goop ethos to task in his book “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong about Everything?” and his (no longer airing) Netflix series “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death.”

“On the contrary, a lot of these things are regressive in their approach to health,” says Caulfield, who blames celebrities including Paltrow, Kim Kardashian West, David and Victoria Beckham and Madonna with spreading a decade of health and wellness misinformation.

“It’s frustrating that she’s given the opportunity to spread not just misinformation about particular therapies, but (also) this idea that we should embrace magical thinking and distrust conventional sources of scientific information…. Whether you’re talking about the cold therapy, energy therapy, the use of mediums, all of these things have no evidence behind them.”

Each episode is prefaced by a disclaimer insisting the content is “designed to entertain and inform — not provide medical advice.”

And it’s hard to believe the media-savvy Paltrow would not be hyper-aware of the scrutiny she seems to invite — one of Goop’s more defiant products, a candle named “This Smells Like My Vagina,” hit the market just before the Netflix premiere.

The show itself includes a lighthearted dig at which Goop staffer is “goopier,” and a jab at Paltrow for being a “princess.”

Still, none of that self-awareness gives Paltrow licence “to push pseudoscience,” says Caulfield.

Especially problematic for him is the fact that “The Goop Lab” functions as an extended infomercial for Paltrow’s online and brick-and-mortar retail outlets.

While products are not overtly pitched on the series, the Goop website includes a dedicated section known as “The Goop Lab Shop” where devotees can buy items associated with themes featured on the show.

Toronto brand consultant Angela Wallace stops short of describing herself as a Goop fan but says she likes the fact it explores non-traditional approaches to wellness, believing “a lot of women feel let down by more traditional health-care systems.”

“A lot of the criticism does seem like: ‘Aren’t women silly? Aren’t they frivolous? Aren’t they ridiculous for buying a jade egg or doing whatever they want in terms of making themselves happy and feeling well?'” says Wallace, who has shopped at Goop’s Yorkville outlet and subscribes to the newsletter.

She feels there is a gender bias in the way women are derided for their choices.

“Men have been doing … what they want for a really long time and not necessarily receiving the cultural criticism that women have,” she says.

“Shouldn’t we have some agency in whether we decide to do that or not?”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2020.

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Huawei P40 Pro rumors: Release date, specs, 5G support, colors and 10x optical zoom – CNET

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This is the Huawei Mate 30 Pro released last year, the company is scheduled to launch the P40 Pro in March.


Ian Knighton/CNET

Huawei isn’t letting the last-minute cancellation of Mobile World Congress stand in the way of its 2020 launch plans. Amid the extraordinary circumstances stemming from the novel coronavirus now dubbed COVID-19, Chinese telecom giant Huawei is pushing forward with plans for its latest generation of flagship phones, the Huawei P40 and P40 Pro, which will be unveiled in Paris on March 26 with an expected release date soon after. Just like its predecessor the P30 series, the upcoming premium phones won’t feature Google’s suite of services (which includes Google Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps and so on) nor will it have the full might of Google’s Android operating system behind it due to the ongoing trade ban with the US. Instead, the phones are expected to operate yet again on Android’s generic open-source operating system and consumers will have to download apps via Huawei’s App Gallery as a substitute for the Google Play Store, which isn’t the case for fellow Chinese phone makers such as Realme.

It is worth noting however that Huawei seems to have a plan to wean the company off its reliance on Google. According to Reuters, Huawei has banded up with Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo to build a challenger to the Google Play Store known as the Global Developer Service Alliance  — and it too will reportedly launch in March.

The launch of the P40 handsets will mark Huawei’s second and latest flagship launch since the US slapped the Chinese telecom giant with an export ban last May. But until official announcements are made in the coming weeks, we leave you the with the most credible rumors of the much-awaited Huawei P40 and Huawei P40 Pro

The P40 Pro may come with a 10x optical zoom camera

Although Huawei’s software (or more specifically its glaring lack of Google apps) may prove to be a dealbreaker for many outside China, it looks likely the Chinese phone maker will continue to push the envelope as far as cameras are concerned. Images shared on Twitter by widely followed leaker Evan Blass purport to show the P40 Pro equipped with a rectangular camera module containing what appears to be five sensors on the back. 

huawei-p40-prohuawei-p40-pro

Leaked images of the Huawei P40 Pro in a black and white color scheme.


Evan Blass/via Twitter

According to known Apple leaker Ming Chi Kuo, a 10x optical zoom camera could be included as one of the sensors in the P40 Pros camera system, making it the world’s first phones to achieve such a feat. The Mate 30 Pro featured a quad-camera set-up, and included a 50x digital zoom and a 5x optical zoom, which catapulted it into the mobile hall of fame. 

Optical zoom is achieved by switching from a wide-angle camera to a telephoto camera. The magnification number is a reflection of the difference of those two lens lengths. Using the telephoto camera without “pinching in” results in a higher-quality image instead of using digital zoom which is what happens when you pinch the screen of your phone while using the main camera — or when you try to zoom in beyond the telephoto camera’s capabilities.

P40 Pro may be equipped with 52mp Sony camera sensor 

According to GizChina, the P40 Pro’s rear camera will come with a 52-megapixel Sony IMX700 sensor, which is 10 megapixels higher than  P30 Pro’s rear camera. The 52-megapixel sensor is significantly lower in terms of resolution than Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra 108-megapixel sensor, but reports suggest this new sensor can bring bigger pixels and better low-light image quality.  

P40 will support 5G networks

Huawei has all but confirmed that both of its next flagship phones will support 5G, although in 2019 the vanilla P30 model couldn’t support the next-generation network. Two recent listings of what is understood be the P40 and the P40 Pro on TENAA’s certification website (China’s regulatory body for mobile tech) show the devices possessing 5G compatibility, according to MySmartPrice. Although 5G ran into hiccups last year, including patchy coverage, it’s expected to improve this year as coverage expands into new locations among other reasons.

P40 series could come in 5 colors, including blush gold 

The P40 series is understood to be available in five different colors: Black, Ice White, Deep Sea Blue, Silver Frost and Blush Gold, according to 91Mobiles. The blush gold in particular reminds me of the champagne-like color palette used in the iPhone’s newer models. It also comes after the Motorola Razr announced blush gold as its second color for the new Razr, which will be available from this spring.

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Xbox Series X Will Have A New Feature Called Smart Delivery, But How Does It Work? – GameSpot

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As part of a bundle of new details about the upcoming Xbox Series X, Microsoft has unveiled a brand-new feature called “Smart Delivery.” The feature is designed to make sure that players are downloading the version of the game that corresponds to their Xbox in order to have the best possible experience.

Microsoft says that it’s committed to using this feature on all its first-party games, including the upcoming Halo Infinite, which is also coming to Game Pass. This means that players will only have to purchase a given game once in order to play what Microsoft terms the “best available version” for the Xbox console they choose to play on–even if they upgrade to newer hardware later.

Smart Delivery will be available for all developers and publishers on the Xbox platform. The technology is intended for games that will release on Xbox One first and come to the upcoming Xbox Series X later.

It’s unclear if publishers will have the option to decline to use Smart Delivery in lieu of selling two different copies of the same game for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X. CD Projekt Red has already announced that it will use Smart Delivery for their hotly-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077. We’ll see if other publishers will follow suit.

The blog post included details on all sorts of new features that the upcoming platform will have, including ray-tracing and Quick Resume, as well as its specific hardware specs. It also confirmed more details about Xbox Series X backwards compatibility.

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EA bans ‘abusive’ FIFA player Kurt0411 from all its games and services – Polygon

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In November 2019, FIFA competitor and streamer Kurt0411 was banned from playing in FIFA 20 events by publisher Electronic Arts. Now, EA has banned the player from its entire portfolio of games and services.

In a statement released today, EA said Kurt Fenech (aka Kurt0411) is “banned from playing our games and accessing our services” due to “serious and repeated violations.”

The statement, released on Twitter, explained that Fenech had initially been banned from FIFA competitions and live events after he “threatened employees and other players.” In the days following that ban, various EA employees’ Twitter accounts were hacked, displaying rogue messages supporting Fenech. Support staff on FIFA reported significant levels of personal abuse.

Fenech is highly critical of EA on his YouTube channel and his Twitter account, which has 93.9K followers, accusing the company of “tyranny” and “bullshit.” In the past, he has been vocally critical of certain aspects of the latest FIFA game, recently stating that EA has “done everything this year but look at themselves and admit they fucked it. They killed their game and their ‘esport’.”

He responded to Monday’s ban with a series of tweets alleging a conspiracy. “I have never said anything I shouldn’t have,” he wrote. “This is just deeper than anyone thinks. They didn’t want me competing at events cos they were scared I’d win them.”

In its statement, EA said that Fenech has “continued to post abusive and threatening messages and videos about EA employees and competitive players on social media, and he has encouraged others to do the same. His messages have crossed a line of decency into very personal attacks.” The company added that it is “open to feedback and constructive criticism.”

We’ve contacted Electronic Arts for more information and will update this story.

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