Friday, March 30, 2007
SATURDAY THERE WILL BE NO POSTS
In support of Kathy Sierra there will no new posts on MARCH 31 2007, we ask that you take the time normally spend fumbling through CHUCKS WEIRD WORLD and THINK long and hard before you hide behind the INTERNET to attack someone. Threats are serious no matter where or how you communicate them....
While we are all not like those in Kathy's situation we all know someone who is...
Sunday Morning the Weirdness will return and with it, maybe we will all be just a little more thoughtful of those around us...BLOGS ARE PEOPLE.. regardless of content...
Read More HERE and see Kathy Sierra's BIO HERE.
and now a little Katy Perry....
With five private jets, Travolta still lectures on global warming
The 53-year-old actor, a passionate pilot, encouraged his fans to "do their bit" to tackle global warming.
But although he readily admitted: "I fly jets", he failed to mention he actually owns five, along with his own private runway.
Clocking up at least 30,000 flying miles in the past 12 months means he has produced an estimated 800 tons of carbon emissions – nearly 100 times the average Briton's tally.
Travolta made his comments this week at the British premiere of his movie, Wild Hogs.
He spoke of the importance of helping the environment by using "alternative methods of fuel" – after driving down the red carpet on a Harley Davidson.
Travolta, a Scientologist, claimed the solution to global warming could be found in outer space and blamed his hefty flying mileage on the nature of the movie business.
But his appointment as a "serving ambassador" for the Australian airline Qantas doesn't seem to have much to do with the movies. Nor does a recent, two-month round-the-world flying trip.
"It [global warming] is a very valid issue," Travolta declared. "I'm wondering if we need to think about other planets and dome cities.
"Everyone can do their bit. But I don't know if it's not too late already. We have to think about alternative methods of fuel.
"I'm probably not the best candidate to ask about global warming because I fly jets.
"I use them as a business tool though, as others do. I think it's part of this industry – otherwise I couldn't be here doing this and I wouldn't be here now."
Travolta's five private planes – a customised £2million Boeing 707, three Gulfstream jets and a Lear jet – are kept at the bottom of his garden in the US next to a private runway.
Indeed, such is his enthusiasm for flying, he persuaded his wife, actress Kelly Preston, to name their son Jett when he was born 14 years ago.
Five years ago he piloted his own Boeing 707 on a 13- city "Spirit of Friendship Tour" for Qantas, taking in Los Angeles, Auckland, Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, London, Paris and New York and amassing over 35,000 flying miles.
More recently, a gruelling promotional schedule for his two latest projects, Hairspray and Wild Hogs, has seen him fly extensively over the past year.
This includes a country-wide tour of the US and a visit to Canada as well as this week's appearance in Leicester Square.
Such prolific mileage means that, over the past 12 months, he has accumulated around 800 tonnes of carbon emissions.
According to a recent study by the government-funded Carbon Trust, this means he boasts a carbon "footprint" nearly 100 times that of the average Briton, who is responsible for 10.92 tons of Co2, from his flights alone.
One of the world's leading climate change businesses, the Carbon Neutral Company, has written to Travolta, suggesting ways he could reduce these alarming levels.
He has yet to respond to their advice. Environmental groups were quick to criticise Travolta for "discrediting the cause".
John Buckley, managing director-of CarbonFootprint.com, said: "John Travolta has such a high-profile celebrity status, so what he says carries an extraordinary amount of weight.
"So it is such a shame when someone of his standing is so outspoken about green issues, yet fails to practise what he preaches.
"Unfortunately someone of his standing ends up discrediting the cause itself, because he is saying people should protect the environment on one hand, yet travelling on a private plane on the other.
"Green issues are serious and should be treated as such.
"It is vital for celebrities to toe the line when they speak out in support of it."
Chocolate Jesus angers Catholics
The Easter season unveiling of an anatomically correct chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ, dubbed “My Sweet Lord” by its creator, has infuriated Catholics preparing to observe some of their holiest days of the year.
The 6-foot sculpture by Cosimo Cavallaro was to debut Monday evening, four days before Christians mark the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday. The final day of the exhibit at the Lab Gallery inside Manhattan’s Roger Smith Hotel was planned for Easter Sunday.
“This is one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever,” said Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League, a watchdog group. “It’s not just the ugliness of the portrayal, but the timing — to choose Holy Week is astounding.”
The gallery’s creative director, Matt Semler, said the Lab and the hotel were overrun with angry telephone calls and e-mails. The gallery was considering its options, he said.
“We’re obviously surprised by the overwhelming response and offense people have taken,” said Semler, adding that the Holy Week timing was a coincidence.
The artwork was created from more than 200 pounds of milk chocolate, and it features Christ with his arms outstretched. The Cavallaro creation does not include a loincloth.
A publicist for the gallery said the artist was not available for comment.
Cavallaro, who was raised in Canada and Italy, is best known for his quirky work with food as art: Past efforts include repainting a Manhattan hotel room in melted mozzarella, spraying 5 tons of pepper jack cheese on a Powell Wyoming home and festooning a four-poster bed with 312 pounds of processed ham.
See alot more HERE.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
News Flash : MJ rushed to Hospital...
Maybe he had trouble sleeping....
An American who kept 77 sheep in his suburban home faces 30 charges of animal cruelty.
Some had been found grazing on artificial flowers at the town's cemetery.
Some were walking on their knees because their hooves had never been trimmed, causing infections, said veterinarian Kelli Ferris, who examined the flock.
David Watts, 47, was being held at the Wake County jail in Apex, North Carolina, in lieu of $US12,000 ($A14,900) bail following a court appearance.
A judge denied a request to release him pending trial.
Watts surrendered the flock to animal control officers on Monday after police found some sheep grazing on artificial flowers in the town cemetery in Apex, a suburb of Raleigh.
Thirty of the sheep were euthanised because of various health problems. In addition, sheep bones and carcasses were found in Watts' yard.
Watts kept some of the younger sheep on the ground floor of his house and kept the others in pens in the yard, authorities said.
Watts denies abusing the animals. He told The News & Observer of Raleigh that he was overwhelmed by the number of lambs born this year.
Watts, who said he has raised sheep for a decade, called the animals "relaxing to be around".
"It's like in Florida, you can swim with the dolphins. If you can get sheep to follow you, it might be a similar experience."
Divorcee's Sex Change Won't Stop Alimony
Attorneys for Lawrence Roach, 48, had argued his 55-year-old ex-wife's decision to switch genders and change her name from Julia to Julio Roberto Silverwolf voided their 2004 divorce agreement.
"It's illegal for a man to marry a man and it should likewise be illegal for a man to pay alimony to a man," said John McGuire, one of Roach's attorneys.
Circuit Judge Jack R. St. Arnold, however, ruled that in the eyes of the law, nothing changed significantly enough to free Roach from his $1,250-a-month obligation.
The judge said since Florida courts have ruled sex-change surgery cannot legally change a person's birth gender, Roach technically is not paying alimony to a man.
Gender definitions are "a question that raises issues of public policy that should be addressed by the Legislature, not the Florida courts," St. Arnold wrote.
Silverwolf's lawyer, Gregory Nevins, said the language of the divorce decree is clear — Roach agreed to pay alimony until his ex-wife dies or remarries.
Nevins said he and his client were pleased with the ruling although they disagree with Florida's refusal to legally recognize gender reassignment surgery.
Roach, a utility worker who has since remarried, said he will press his fight to end the payments.
"We're going to try everything we can," he said. "I can't rest until I get satisfaction."
The case is the second transsexual rights showdown in Pinellas County in less than a week. On Friday, city commissioners voted 5-2 to fire Largo's city manager, Steve Stanton, after he announced he was a transsexual.
An Ohio appeals court ruled in September 2004 that a Montgomery County man must continue to pay alimony to his transsexual ex-wife because her sex change wasn't reason enough to violate the agreement.
Infuriated soccer fans bite off ears of pub owner in Greece
A man in Crete unwillingly sacrificed both of his ears trying to stop a fight between soccer fans in his pub, Greek television said Wednesday.
The fight erupted in a pub owned by Dimitris Tsibibakis following Greece's 4:1 humiliating defeat by Turkey in the 2008 Euro-Cup qualifier.
The Greek television said Bulgarian expatriates began chanting support for the Turkish team in the pub after another goal was scored, and pub locals retaliated, sparking the fight. The pub owner tried to prevent the brawl and was immediately thrown to the floor.
"One of them dug his teeth onto my ear, and another began chewing the other ear," Tsibibakis said, adding he managed to keep the ears and now requires plastic surgery.
Police have arrested three of the fighters and are looking for the fourth.
The Greek soccer team could face sanctions from international soccer authorities following the behavior of Greek fans who threw objects and flares at the Turkish players and referee during the Athens game.
Turkish fans were more ingenuous and crashed the Web site of the Hellenic Football Federation prior to kickoff.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Cities set limits on serving food to homeless people
Orlando, Dallas, Las Vegas and Wilmington, N.C., began enforcing such laws last year. Some are being challenged.
Last November, a federal judge blocked the Las Vegas law banning food giveaways to the poor in city parks. In Dallas, two ministries are suing, arguing that the law violates religious freedom.
"Going after the volunteers is new," says Michael Stoops of the National Coalition for the Homeless. "They think that by not feeding people, it will make the homeless people leave."
City officials say the rules were prompted by complaints about crime and food safety. Some say they want control over locations so homeless people can also get services such as addiction counseling and job training.
"The feedings were happening several times a week" in parking lots and sidewalks downtown, says Dewey Harris, director of Wilmington's Community Services Department. "A lot of the merchants said, 'We feel uncomfortable when you have all these homeless being fed downtown when we're trying to attract tourists.' "
Last March, the city restricted meals on public property to designated locations and required a permit. One spot has been approved: a city park parking lot.
Dallas also limits outdoor food giveaways to approved locations. Those distributing food must take a food-handling course and get a city permit, says Karen Rayzer, director of environmental and health services. A violator can be fined $2,000.
Orlando adopted an ordinance in July that requires a permit to serve more than 25 people in a park within 2 miles of City Hall, where most food giveaways were taking place. An applicant may serve twice a year in each park.
"This ordinance wasn't established to ban feeding," says city spokeswoman Heather Allebaugh. She acknowledges that some groups ignore the law.
City Commissioner Robert Stuart voted against it. He is executive director of the Christian Service Center for Central Florida, which feeds 325 homeless people a day but, as private property, is not affected.
"It's not fair to take a population without a home and make them criminals," he says. "And I don't think we ought to be limiting the opportunity to help others."
EPA probes Wal-Mart's Silly String sales
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is asking Wal-Mart whether it sold Silly String, a child's toy, and similar products that might contain chemicals damaging to the ozone layer, the world's largest retailer said Tuesday.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. disclosed the EPA request in the retailer's annual financial report, which includes a detailed breakdown of its dealings with environmental regulators.
Wal-Mart spokesman John Simley said he believed the EPA is also contacting other retailers who may have sold canned string that might use an ozone-damaging gas as a propellent
An EPA spokeswoman said she could not immediately comment on the request.
Wal-Mart said in its annual report that it received an EPA request in February seeking detailed information about "nonessential products containing ozone-depleting substances including products such as Loony String" which Wal-Mart may have sold or distributed since January 1, 2002.
In March, the EPA sent a revised letter limiting its request to "string products including Loony String, Silly String and Fiesta String" for the period from 2004 to the present.
"Wal-Mart is in the process of gathering the information requested," the company said.
Single women reach orgasm 'more often'
A new sexuality survey has confirmed what women know and some men fear - single females have far more luck achieving orgasm than those partnered off.
Taking men out of the picture allows women to "better connect with themselves", according to sex therapists behind the Queensland study of 500 older women.
The research found that 56 per cent of sexually-active women with no current partner could reach orgasm every time with masturbation compared with only 24 per cent of women with partners.
"That's a significant difference and I'd imagine there are few men out there a little surprised and unimpressed that women have better luck without them," said medical sex therapist Dr Jane Howard.
The findings come from the study What Does Sexuality Mean To Older Women?, which assessed the sex lives of women in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s to find trends over the ages.
Dr Howard said she believed women on their own were better at achieving orgasm because they don't have the "distraction" of having to please a man or subscribe to male-type sexual fantasies.
"Arousal is a lot about what erotic thoughts go through the mind, and for women that's very different to men," Dr Howard said.
"It may be focusing on Colin Firth's smouldering eyes, some romantic novel or a waterfall or whatever."
The therapist said the most outstanding aspect of the study was the variety of ways people lived their lives.
"Some people are in relationships and having sex, some are in relationships with no sex, others are single and are having sex ... it was just so varied," Dr Howard said.
She said her results destroyed the cultural myth that people stay in life-long relationships and are sexually functional until they die.
"We like to think of people having wild sex for their whole lives but the reality isn't quite like that," Dr Howard said.
More than 80 per cent of women in their 40s were sexually active, but this figure declined to 27 per cent for those in their 70s.
The fact that 70 per cent of men in their 70s were not capable of having an erection could affect this figure.
But results showed that three quarters of women over 70 were indifferent to sex.
While their libido dropped off and arousal was less, their capacity to orgasm was seemingly unaffected by age.
"That was quite surprising, actually," Dr Howard said.
She said the results would help people understand the true impact that ageing had on sex.
The findings are part of the Longitudinal Assessment of Ageing in Women, conducted by the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.
Mudflap Man Stickers, For The Equal Opportunity Offender
They’re six inches wide and four inches tall and available for $3.99 from Sticker Giant.
+ Sticker Giant.com: Mudflap Man - Vinyl Sticker
High Hopes for Wedding Bliss....
Pizza boxes carry deadbeat mug shots
Customers at some suburban pizza parlors are getting something extra with their pepperoni and mushrooms — wanted posters for parents accused of failing to pay child support.
The idea came to Cynthia Brown, executive director of the Butler County Child Enforcement Agency, while she was ordering pizza.
"It suddenly dawned on me that most people running from the law don't eat out, they order pizza," said Brown, whose county is north of Cincinnati.
Enforcement agencies across the country use a variety of methods to locate support scofflaws and collect past-due payments. Virginia has issued subpoenas to cellular phone companies seeking addresses and phone numbers. California's Kern County seizes and auctions parents' vehicles, with proceeds going to the children, said Kay Cullen, a spokeswoman for the National Child Support Enforcement Association.
State child support agencies collected more than $23 billion in child support for 17.2 million children in 2005, but the cumulative past-due child support since the agencies were first formed more than 30 years ago is $106 billion, Cullen said.
"While we have made progress, putting the wanted posters on pizza boxes is an example of the innovation and commitment that we need," she said.
Other Ohio counties put posters on their Web sites and work with local Crime Stoppers programs, and a few contract with companies that can track people through rental and cell phone records, according to the Ohio Child Support Directors Association. Some include fliers in water and sewer bills.
Butler County has printed posters with mug shots of its 10 most-wanted parents, placing them in post offices and other government buildings and sending them to Ohio's 87 other counties. The lineup, chosen by prosecutors, is changed twice a year.
The Butler County sheriff's office served 1,224 nonsupport warrants last year, said sheriff's Sgt. Todd Langmeyer. The county has about 350,000 residents.
Brown approached several restaurants and chains with her idea of affixing the posters to pizza boxes, but so far only three pizzerias are participating.
Since the first pizza posters appeared in August, they have led to one arrest, Langmeyer said. "It's a good idea any time you can put the faces out there," he said.
The owner of Karen's Pizzeria hasn't heard any complaints about her participation in the poster program.
"Some customers joke about it and say they're glad they aren't on it," Karen Willis said. "Most seem to think it's a good idea."
An attorney who focuses on fathers' rights cases called the tactic "horrible."
"It's just a way of shaming people," said Maury Beaulier, whose firm is in Eden Prairie, Minn.
Many circumstances can cause people to get behind in support payments, but that doesn't make them deadbeats, he said.
Widespread public shaming also can devastate the children, said Michael McCormick, executive director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children.
"Think how children feel to see a parent on a wanted poster and know their friends might see it," he said.
Brown said her agency tries to work with parents by trying to help them find work and seeks most payments through civil court. Criminal charges are a last resort. Conviction on a felony count of failing to pay child support brings a prison sentence of up to 18 months, with fines usually set in the amount of the support owed.
"We aren't trying to penalize these people," Brown said. "We are just trying to help the kids who have a right to be supported."
CardioSen'C: Portable ECG Transmits Data to Doctors Via Cellphones
Attending hospital for an ECG reading could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the CardioSen'C, a portable device that can check for arrhythmia, ischemia, or myocardial infarction. SHL, the Israeli company behind the device, reckons it could help in the fight against cardiac disease—in this country alone 1.5 million people suffer heart attacks each year, a third of which are fatal.
The CardioSen'C uses more electrodes than normal ECGs to measure heart activity. Patients strap the 12 electrodes to their chest and upper body and the battery unit, attached to their chest, gives an instant reading. The results can then be relayed instantly to the patient's cardiologist by cellphone for instant diagnosis.
The device is so small it can be carried anywhere and is expected to cost several hundred dollars when it is eventually marketed here. If you're a nervous traveler with a heart complaint then this could be the gadget for you.
Creation "Science" Is the Christian Right's Trojan Horse Against Reason
Before they seize power and establish a world according to their doctrines, totalitarian movements conjure up a lying world of consistency which is more adequate to the needs of the human mind than reality itself; in which, through sheer imagination, uprooted masses can feel at home and are spared the never-ending shocks which real life and real experiences deal to human beings and their expectations. The force possessed by totalitarian propaganda -- before the movements have the power to drop iron curtains to prevent anyone's disturbing, by the slightest reality, the gruesome quiet of an entirely imaginary world--lies in its ability to shut the masses off from the real world." -- Hannah Arendt, "The Origins of Totalitarianism"
In the middle of the lobby of the 50,000-square-foot Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., a 20-foot waterfall tumbles. Two life-size figures of children with long black hair and in buckskin clothes play in the stream a few feet from two towering Tyrannosaurus Rex models that can move and roar. The museum, which cost $25 million to build and has a sea of black asphalt parking lots for school buses, has a scale model of Noah's ark that shows how Noah solved the problem of fitting dinosaurs into the three levels of the vessel--he loaded only baby dinosaurs. And on the wooden model, infant dinosaurs cavort with horses, giraffes, hippopotamuses, penguins and bears. There is an elaborate display of the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve, naked but strategically positioned so as not to display breasts or genitals, swim in a river as giant dinosaurs and lizards roam the banks.
Before Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise, museum visitors are told, all of the dinosaurs were peaceable plant-eaters. The evidence is found in Genesis 1:30, where God gives "green herb" to every creature to eat. There were no predators. T-Rex had such big teeth, the museum explains, so it could open coconuts. Only after Adam and Eve sinned and were cast out of paradise did the dinosaurs start to eat flesh. And Adam's sin is a key component of the belief system, for in the eyes of many creationists, in order for Jesus' death to be meaningful it had to atone for Adam's first sin.
The museum has a theater equipped with seats that shake and gadgets that spray mist at the audience as the story of God's six-day creation of the world unfolds on the screen and the sound system rocks the auditorium. There are 30-foot-high walls that represent the cliffs of the Grand Canyon, floors that resemble rocks embedded with fossils, and rooms where a "Christian" paleontologist counters the claims of an "evolutionist" paleontologist. It has the appearance of a real science museum, complete with a planetarium, a gift shop and plaques on the wall with quotes from creationist "scientists" who have the title doctor conspicuously before their names. It has charts, timelines and graphs with facts and figures. It is meant to be interactive, to create, like Universal Studios, a contrived reality with an array of costly animatronic men and women as well as moving dinosaurs.
The danger of creationism is that, like the pseudo-science of Nazi eugenics, it allows facts to be accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained ideology. Creationism removes the follower from the rational, reality-based world. Signs, miracles and wonders occur not only in the daily life of Christians but in history, science, medicine and logic. The belief system becomes the basis to understand the world. Random facts and data are collected and made to fit into this belief system or discarded. When facts are treated as if they were opinions, when there is no universal standard to determine truth, in law, in science, in scholarship, or in the reporting of the events of the day, the world becomes a place where people can believe what they want to believe, where there is no possibility of reaching any conclusion not predetermined by those who interpret the official, divinely inspired text. This is the goal of creationists.
Other creationist museums are going up in Arkansas, Texas, California, Tennessee and Florida. Museums are part of a massive push to teach creationism in schools, part of a vast Christian publishing and filmmaking industry that seeks to rewrite the past and make it conform to the Bible. The front lines of the culture wars are the classrooms. The battle is one we are slowly losing. Twenty states are considering changing the way evolution is taught in order to include creationism or intelligent design. Only 13 percent of Americans in a 2004 Gallup poll, when asked for their views on human origins, said life arose from the strictly natural process of evolution. More than 38 percent said they believed God guided evolution, and 45 percent said the Genesis account of creation was a true story.2 Courses on intelligent design have been taught at Minnesota, Georgia, New Mexico and Iowa State universities, along with Wake Forest and Carnegie Mellon, not to mention Christian universities that teach all science through the prism of the Bible.
The museum is an illustration of the movement's marriage of primitive and intolerant beliefs with the modern tools of technology, mass communication, sophisticated fundraising and political organization. Totalitarian systems usually start as propagandistic movements that ostensibly teach people to "believe what they want." This is a ruse. This primacy of personal opinion, regardless of facts, destabilizes and destroys the primacy of all facts. This process leads inevitably to the big lie. Facts are useful only if they bolster the message. The use of mass-marketing techniques to persuade and convince, rather than brainwash, has led tens of millions of followers to accept the toxic totalitarian line by tricking them into believing it's their own. Ironically, at the outset the movement seemingly encourages people to think "independently" or "courageously."
At first all have, in the totalitarian belief system, a right to an opinion, or, in short, a right to believe anything. Soon, under the iron control of an empowered totalitarian movement, facts become worthless, kept or discarded according to an ideological litmus test. And once these movements achieve power, facts are ruthlessly manipulated or kept hidden to support the lie. Creationism is not about offering an alternative. Its goal is the destruction of the core values of the open society--the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense tell you something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to advocate for change and to accept that there are other views, different ways of being, that are morally and socially acceptable. We are beginning to see the growing intolerance that comes with the empowerment of these ideologues. There is a bill in the Texas Legislature to strip all mention of evolution from Texas school textbooks and institute mandatory Bible classes for all students. This is just the start.
And yet, coming from the modern age, these Christo-fascists cannot discount science. They employ jargon, methods and data that appear to be science, to make an argument for creationism. They have created parallel research and scholarly institutions. They pump out articles in self-published journals to provide "evidence" that homosexuals can be cured, that global warming is a myth, that abortion can cause breast cancer, that something they call "post-abortion syndrome" leads to deep depression and suicide and that abstinence-only education is an effective form of birth control. This pseudo-science has seeped into the public debate. It is disseminated by nervous and timid media anxious to give both sides in every argument. Those who have contempt for facts and truth, for honest research and inquiry, are given the same platform by the press as those who deal in a world of reality, fact and rationality.
The movement desperately needs the imprint of science to legitimize itself. It achieves this imprint by discrediting real science and claiming creationist science as true science. All attempts to argue the creationists out of their mythical belief, to persuade them with logic, evidence, scientific inquiry and fact, will fail. They have created a "fundamentalist science." They know they cannot return to the pre-Darwinian innocence that let them believe the Bible alone was enough. They need, in the midst of their flight from reality, to reassure their followers that science, science not contaminated by secular humanists and nonbelievers, is on their side. In this they are a distinctly modern movement.
They seek the imprint of science and scholarship to legitimize myth. This is a characteristic they share with all modern totalitarian movements, which co-opt the disciplines of law, science, medicine and scholarship to give a modern veneer to their primitive and superstitious belief systems, systems that allow the rulers to dictate reality and truth. The "paraprofessional" organizations formed by the Christian right, organizations of teachers, journalists, doctors, lawyers and scientists, mimic the activities of real professional groups. They seek to challenge the legitimacy and the power of the traditional organizations. The duplication of the structures and methods employed by the non-totalitarian world, the use of pseudo-science to dress up fantasy, is slowly undermining our legitimate scientific and educational institutions. It is destroying the foundations of our open society. It is ushering us into a world where lies are true.
Monster Cane Toad captured in Australia
A conservation group captured a giant cane toad in the Australian city of Darwin. The beast weighed 840 grams (1.8 pounds) and measured 20.5 cm (8 inches).
The toad was captured as part of a publicity-seeking round up of the amphibian which is considered a problematic invasive species in Australia. The poisonous toad has wreaked ecological havoc on native species and killed pets and livestock.
Introduced from Hawaii in 1935 at the urging of sugar cane growers in Queensland who were suffering from an infestation of crop-damaging beetles, the cane road rapidly established itself as one of the most costly alien invasive species in the history of Australia. Not only did the cane toads fail to control the beetle outbreak -- they couldn't jump high enough to eat the insects -- they feasted on Australia's rare and endemic birds, reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals.
FrogWatch, an Australian environmental group, aims to end the species' reign by capturing and killing all cane toads in the country.
FrogWatch coordinator Graeme Sawyer told the Associate Press that captured toads are an excellent fertilizer.
"We kill them with carbon dioxide gas, stockpile them in a big freezer and then put them through a liquid fertilizer process" that renders the toads nontoxic, Sawyer said.
"It turns out to be sensational fertilizer," he added.
Cane toads are originally from northern Venezuela and Guyana but the species has become a menace across much of the southern United States, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. The species has gained fame for both its size and toxicity. Some have claimed the frog's secretions are hallucinogenic but there is no evidence that the species has actually produced any sort of high in humans.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Burger King will buy cage-free eggs, pork from uncrated pigs
In what animal-welfare advocates are describing as a "historic advance," Burger King, the world's second-largest hamburger chain, said Tuesday that it would begin buying eggs and pork from suppliers that did not confine their animals in cages and crates.
The company said that it would also favor suppliers of chickens that use gas, or "controlled-atmospheric stunning," rather than electric shocks, to knock birds unconscious before slaughter. It is considered a more humane method, though only a few slaughterhouses use it.
The goal for the next few months, Burger King said, is for 2 percent of its eggs to be "cage-free," and for 10 percent of its pork to come from pig farms that allow sows to move around inside pens, rather than being confined to crates.
The company said those percentages would rise as more farmers shift to these methods and more competitively priced supplies become available.
Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, said Burger King's initiatives put them ahead of their competitors in terms of animal welfare.
"That's an important trigger for reform throughout the entire industry," Pacelle said.
Burger King's announcement is the latest success for animal-welfare advocates.
Last week, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck announced that he would only use meat and eggs from animals raised under strict animal-welfare codes.
And in January, Smithfield Foods, the largest food processor, said it would phase out confinement of pigs in metal crates over the next decade.
Bloggers are not journalists, Lithuanian parliament says
|An Internet blogger in new EU member state Lithuania vowed Tuesday to fight a parliamentary decision refusing him accreditation on the grounds that he was not a legitimate journalist. |
"This decision does not allow me to enjoy the rights and protection other journalists are entitled to," Liutauras Ulevicius, author of the www.blogas.lt/liutauras, said.
Parliament rejected his application for accreditation, saying he and other bloggers do not meet the legal definition of a journalist.
"The Media Law describes a journalist as a person who collects, disseminates and provides information to the media, based on a contract with the media, or who is a member of a journalists' union," parliament's education, science and culture committee said.
Ulevicius told AFP the decision breached his right to self-expression.
He vowed to appeal in the first instance to parliamentary administrators.
"If this does not help, I shall defend my rights in court," Ulevicius said.
Justin Kan Vlogs 24/7 at Justin.tv
Justin Kan has strapped a camera to the side of his head, and he won't turn it off.
For over a week, Kan has been video blogging nonstop, 24/7. Everything he does (including going to the bathroom) streams live on , where his phone number is posted for fans to call him and a chat room facilitates discussion.http://www.Justin.tv
He calls it "lifecasting."
"I've always had the theory that people like watching people," Kan, a 23-year-old Yale graduate, told The Associated Press in an interview over the phone from his San Francisco apartment - and broadcast on Justin.tv, naturally.
Except for when he's sleeping, Kan is rarely on camera himself - we simply see from his perspective. It's a commercial enterprise and has several sponsors, including Zipcar, the unique car rental system, and Bawls Guarana, an energy drink he guzzles.
Kan generally goes about his life as he would normally. In a fittingly postmodern twist, you often are watching him run Justin.tv. It has made him more active, though, he says. The site lists his schedule for the day, which often consists of meeting with various tech companies to learn how they do things.
"One of the ideas for Justin.tv was that it would force me to go out and be sociable and talk to people," says Kan, whose last venture was a calendar Web site named Kiko. "Our last company was really just four dudes sitting in a dark apartment coding all day."
There have been some surprises already. Kan says his two phones have been "destroyed" by heavy volume and he doesn't go a day without a viewer asking him to go to a strip club.
On March 21, Kan and company were pranked when someone reported a stabbing at his apartment and made it appear that the call came from Kan's phone. Police arrived about 2 a.m. with guns drawn - all of which could be seen on Justin.tv. The next day, a fire was reported, and the authorities have since decided to confirm any emergency reported at Kan's apartment.
Generally, watching Kan's life is quite boring, but nevertheless oddly mesmerizing.
Kan believes he has a special opportunity to live "an open life," and says the experience has made him more positive. It's hard to lie or talk behind someone's back when it's visible for everyone to see.
The lack of privacy doesn't bother Kan, whose lone refuge is instant messaging, which can't be read given the low resolution of the broadcast. He says his very public life is "reflective of a cultural change" in a generation that posts its biographies on MySpace and bedroom musings on YouTube.
He doesn't plan to stop anytime soon; next on the agenda: find a date.
"I actually want to go out and try to date girls," Kan says, adding, "I mean, ones who want to be on camera."
Hammer and Coop
The one thing not found in Anna Nicole was...
THE PUNCH LINE
"Sources at the Pentagon say several factories in Iraq will soon begin making clothes to be sold in the United States. That's right. Because Americans only want two things from Iraq: a stable central government and affordable quality men's wear." -- Conan O'Brien
Nepal's 'Buddha Boy' begins three-year meditation in bunker
A Nepali teenager dubbed the "Buddha Boy" has begun meditating for three years in an underground bunker and will neither sleep, eat nor drink any water during that time, supporters claimed Tuesday.
Ram Bahadur Bomjan, 17, who supporters insist is the reincarnation of the Buddha, shot to fame in May 2005 amid reports he did not need food, water or sleep while meditating.
He has, however, been spotted nibbling on fruit and catching a nap.
"We've constructed an underground room with a tiled roof as requested by Bomjan," said Raju Shah, a member of a village committee set up to support the activities of the young man.
Shah said Bomjam began meditating in the bunker on Monday.
"He has not eaten, slept or taken any water and he plans to continue meditating without food or water for three years there," Shah claimed.
The cement-walled bunker is seven feet (2.1 metres) deep and is located in the jungle 60 kilometers (40 miles) southeast of Kathmandu, Shah told AFP.
Tens of thousands of people came to visit the teenager at his first meditation site under a pipal tree in the same area.
He vanished from the site in March 2006 after meditating for 10 months.
"This time he does not want visitors -- not even his family," said Shah.
Local authorities, however, have poured cold water on the fasting claims and said the boy was being used by supporters to fleece funds from villagers. They froze the committee's bank account containing 8,000 dollars -- a small fortune in impoverished Nepal.
Bomjam returned to the same area to meditate in December 2006, but disappeared again earlier this month.
"While he was wandering round the jungle, he met a villager and asked him to construct an underground room. We began doing it immediately and he has started to meditate there," Shah told AFP.
Gautama Siddhartha, who later became known as Buddha or the Enlightened One, is believed to have been born in southern Nepal around 500 BC.
Buddhists believe Siddhartha achieved enlightenment after meditating under a pipal tree.
The media has reported that Bomjan had told a friend that he is not a reincarnation of Buddha, but merely an "austere sage."
Ignorant Army Recruiter Attacks Gay Man Via Email
In all caps she sent the following email, in late February, to Corey Andrew- an openly gay black man:
"GO BACK TO AFRICA AND DO YOUR GAY VOODOO LIMBO TANGO AND WANGO DANCE AND JUMP AROUND AND PRANCE AND RUN ALL OVER THE PLACE HALF NAKED THERE. ... THAT'S WHERE YOU BELONG"
All Andrew did was post his resume on CareerBuilder.com in search of employment. In doing so, he became another victim to the Army's aggressive recruiting tactics- similar to those that plague many high schools in urban areas.
After declining the free trip to Iraq, Andrew decided to ask a few questions regarding the Army's foolish policy on gay and lesbian soldiers. Once he revealed his sexual preference, Ramode went into flip-mode.
According to Ramode, Andrew was now unqualified to serve and that his choice was disgusting and immoral.
"In any other corporate structure in America, an e-mail like this going around in an office building would result in termination immediately," said Andrew, who thought Ramode was "absolutely out of her mind."
Not surprisingly, Steve Ralls, a spokesman for the Service Members Legal Defense Network suggested that action be taken against Ramode. "She should be relieved from her duty. She was not just homophobic, she was also racist. And if that's the public voice the Army wants to put out there, then shame on them."
Never one to accept responsibility (*cough* Pat Tillman *cough*) the Army has responded with the typical blow-off by claiming the comments were being investigated. "The command expects its recruiters to conduct themselves in a professional manner in all dealings with potential applicants and members of the public. We are ambassadors for America's Army," says public affairs officer Sgt. Douglas Smith.
For now Ramode will stay employed by the Army but will no longer be recruiting. Perhaps a trip to the front line is in order? Andrew, however, is hoping the Army will do what's right and discharge the woman immediately, especially since she violated the all-American policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".
In all fairness, Andrew's responses weren't every bit professional either- he hit low and hard by critiquing Ramode's spelling and grammar. Ouch. Upon discovering her Native American heritage, he suggested she "take that to your next rain dance."
Research showed no existence of a Voodoo Limbo Tango and Wango Dance celebrated by any African tribe or hip-hop artist. However Ted Nugent did record "Wango Tango" for his album Scream Dream, in 1980. Members of Wang Chung were unavailable for comment. I doubt any of this is related to Ramode's emails though.
UFC Drinking Games
It’s customary to have a few pops — usually an excessive amount, actually — before, during and after big UFC events.
Like anything else, there are drinking games associated with each broadcast — most of it hinges on the comments of ringside announcers Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan.
Just check out any number of forums and you’ll see what I am talking about. But, if you want a headstart, I came across a rather comprehensive thread today on Sherdog.net for UFC 67.
I’m not going to take credit for any of these below. In fact, the author of the post compiled them from other posts himself.
As usual, I’m just here to pass along UFC goodness.
I recommend picking and choosing various phrases — if you play according to this entire list I’m pretty sure you’ll be crunked before Patrick Cote and Scott Smith step foot in the Octagon.
Take a gulp every Time Joe or Mike say:
- “Styles make fights”
- “War of attrition”
- “We all know wrestlers don’t like to be on their backs”
- “He’s no joke”
- “Brutal elbows”
- “Big right gand”
- “He’s rocked!”
- “IT IS AAAAAALLLLLLL OVER”
- “He’s going for an Omoplata”
- “In his world now”
Take a couple of gulps when:
- The camera pans to Tim Sylvia in the crowd while watching or talking about Cro Cop
- When Cro Cop’s left high kick is mentioned
- Crowd boos
- Randy Couture’s return is mentioned
- Matt Hughes or Rich franklin are referred to as former UFC champs
Chug half your beer if:
- Rampage howls
- Joe or Mike say Wow! Anderson Silva knows jiu-jitsu
- Crowd chants USA during Silva or Crocop fights
- Joe says, “He’s got it, he’s got it DEEP…oh wait he lost it”
Feel free to add to this list.
And, props to the last man/woman standing … or speaking for that matter when the lights come up at the end of the evening.
Oprah's 'Secret' Could Be Your Downfall
Through wildly successful viral marketing and a faithful fan base spreading the word, The Secret, a documentary film explaining the "law of attraction" tops Amazon's bestselling DVD list. The companion book of the same name -- and as far as I can tell, an almost word-for-word transcript of the film -- just had the largest reorder in Simon & Schuster history (2 million copies) and is #1 on the New York Times Self Help Bestseller list.
If you are one of like three people left who haven't heard about The Secret -- come on, it was even on Oprah -- let me explain. Australian talk show producer Rhonda Byrne read The Science of Getting Rich, a book written in 1910 by Wallace D. Wattles, in her darkest hour and discovered what she believes is the essential truth -- that "your current thoughts are creating your future life. Your thoughts become things." Translation: if you are thinking about how bad your life is, bad things will continue to happen; if you start thinking about great things, they will inevitably manifest.
Byrne went around with a camera and manifested her own motley crew of entrepreneurs, financial gurus, and pop psychologists -- including the king of the Chicken Soup for the Soul dynasty, Jack Canfield -- to attest to the truth of this claim. I have no qualms with the power of positive thinking. There is sound research that confirms that envisioning yourself succeeding has a real impact on your performance, sports being the most prescient example. At a time when a violent, morally-messy war is going on four years and the gap between rich and poor continues to widen, who doesn't need a good dose of wide-eyed idealism?
But idealism is not all the fast-talking "experts" behind The Secret are dishing out. They are also articulating a dangerous message about conspicuous consumption and distracting people from crippling systemic problems.
Both the film and the book are filled with promises about the secret's capacity to attract wealth and "things" -- fancy cars, huge mansions, Rolex watches -- into your life. For example, the book reads: "Make it your intention to look at everything you like and say to yourself, 'I can afford that. I can buy that.'" In a country where the average household consumer debt is $8,000, it appears most of us need no encouragement in pretending we have more money than we do.
John Assarof, founder of a company called One Coach, stars in a hokey reenactment sequence in the film in which he realizes that he has miraculously attracted his new, unconscionably large home into his life. As he is unpacking boxes beside his five year old son, Assarof pulls out his "vision board" -- on which he had pasted images of things he wanted to attract into his life years earlier -- and finds the exact picture of the mansion he newly owns. He explains, "I looked at that house and started to cry, because I was just blown away." His son asked, "Why are you crying?" and he answered, "I finally understand how the law of attraction works."
What is the message to this five year old? What is the message to us all? That the secret to life is the capacity to desire "things" without regard to the environmental or spiritual consequences? That these "things" will somehow satisfy that deep and most universal of desires -- to matter in the world?
I cringe when I think about copies of both the DVD and books flying off the shelves and into debt-ridden, exhausted, and hopeless folks' hands. It is not just the exploitation of their dissatisfaction with their lives that offends me, but the distraction that promoters of The Secret are creating from the very real, systemic issues undergirding poverty.
The book boldly and ignorantly states, "The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts." Tell that to the 36 million Americans living in poverty. Even worse, tell that to the 3 billion people worldwide who live on less that $2 a day.
If The Secret's logic is to be believed, then those who are hungry are not envisioning food hard enough, those without running water aren't imagining the feeling of satiation with enough enthusiasm. It doesn't matter if you are born in the Sudan or San Francisco, according to The Secret's catch-all claim; you can always fantasize your way into "massive wealth."
This point of view neglects the effects of government policy, class, race, gender, geography, and a host of other systemic influences on the kind of wealth -- and life -- one is able to create. It is the good ol' American Dream delusion supersized into ridiculousness. Now you don't even have to work for your wealth, you just have to sit back and dream it into existence. No matter if you are from a poor family, living in a war zone, or a thousand miles from the nearest medical clinic.
In another particularly offensive sequence, Bill Harris, a teacher and founder of Counterpointe Research Institute talks about a gay student who was harassed about his sexual orientation by coworkers and strangers on the streets. Harris explained the law of attraction to the frustrated young man: "He started taking this thing about focusing on what you want to heart...what happened within the next six to eight weeks was an absolute miracle." All the harassment, reportedly, ceased.
Sure, those who look scared are sometimes picked out as easy targets by homophobic jerks with some self-hating steam to blow off, but that doesn't take the responsibility for harassment off of the harasser. This argument is tantamount to saying that those women who fear rape are asking for it.
The idea that people invite abuse or oppression with their thoughts is insulting. The Secret crew only acknowledges this interpretation briefly: "Often when people first hear this...they recall events in history where masses of lives were lost, and they find it incomprehensible that so many people could have attracted themselves to the event. If people believe they can be in the wrong place at the wrong time...those thoughts of fear, separation, and powerlessness, if persistent, can attract them to being in the wrong place at the wrong time." I can't begin to imagine how offensive this claim must be to those who have lost family members under horrific circumstances, like the massacres in Rwanda or the events of September 11th.
If the creators of The Secret wanted to truly empower people, they would focus more on the part of their message that invites people to dream about their best, most joyful lives. This invitation is mentioned in the work, but feels sullied by all of the talk of covetous accumulation and innocent people essentially "asking for it."
The promise of future money is a surefire way to get people to spend money now. Perhaps the purveyors of The Secret see the money message as the sugar that makes the medicine go down, but it seems hypocritical for a group of people purportedly committed to enlightenment to dwell in the material.
I would never claim to know the secret to life, but I have a hunch it has something to do with love, community, joy, and purpose -- not the size of your mansion or the brand of your watch. Further, I think it probably has something to do with alleviating suffering and inequality, encouraging people to think about changing the systems which keep them poor or in danger, not internalizing their failures -- financial or otherwise -- as proof of their own anemic imaginations.
WOW, I feel better NOW....
Believe it or not, "Battlestar Galactica" has taken one of the most covered pop songs of all time, and made it part of its own universe. And it happened thanks to a good idea by executive producer Ronald D. Moore and the genius of BSG's music composer Bear McCreary.
"All Along the Watchtower" is not only the final song featured in the last minutes of the third season finale, "Crossroads, Part 2," but also the song that brings the four of the Final Five together.
"I learned that the idea was not that Bob Dylan necessarily exists in the characters' universe, but that an artist on one of the colonies may have recorded a song with the exact same melody and lyrics," McCreary wrote Monday in his online blog. "Perhaps this unknown performer and Dylan pulled inspiration from a common, ethereal source. Therefore, I was told to make no musical references to any "Earthly" versions, [Jimi] Hendrix, Dylan, or any others. The arrangement needed to sound like a pop song that belonged in the 'Galactica' universe, not our own."
McCreary called his work on the two-part finale one of the most "daring" scores he ever composed, and said that he was a bit shocked when he first heard about the idea of using "Watchtower" just before Christmas.
"I initially learned that we would be using the song back in December, while I was busy scoring 'The Eye of Jupiter,'" McCreary said. "I have to admit that my first thought was that Ron might be going crazy. However, as always, his unexpected ideas evolved into an incredible episode."
That idea was even more incredible as McCreary rarely ever, if ever, has used English lyrics in his songs. Past songs have used Italian, Latin and even Celtic, but never English. Now he had to put together something that would sound familiar to a rock-conscious audience, but still be different enough to be a part of "Battlestar Galactica."
"The track opens with [Steve Bartek's] twangy Middle Eastern guitars, builds with his haunting electric sitar, and breaks into pounding, distorted guitar riffs," McCreary said. "And his powerful guitar solo carries over the closing shot of the third season, whisking us through the stars to a reveal of Earth."
And McCreary didn't need to look far to sing the famous lyrics, either. He kept it right in the family, bringing on Bt4, or known in his clan as his brother, Brendan McCreary.
"As much as I lavished on the instrumental arrangement, it is his vocal performance that holds the whole thing together," McCreary said of his brother. "You guys have all heard him sing before, on the first season's Main Title, and on Season 2's 'The Cylon Prisoner' from [the episode] 'Pegasus.'"
McCreary has a lot going on, apparently. He has a soundtrack album being released this summer for "My Wrong Turn 2," and announced he will now be the lead composer for sister SciFi Channel series "Eureka" in its second season.
In April, McCreary will begin the studio work for the "Battlestar Galactica" Season 3 soundtrack album, which will include "All Along the Watchtower," for release in mid-August, the same time that the "Battlestar Galactica" Season 3 DVD set is expeced to be released.
TV Academys in Emmy tussle
The New York-based National Academy of TV Arts & Sciences, which runs the Daytime Emmys, has announced that it will pay for only one statuette per category winner this year, meaning that those who share a victory would have to shell out $350 apiece for their own statuettes.
But the West Coast-based Academy of TV Arts & Sciences -- even though it doesn't administer the Daytime Emmys -- plans to dig into its own pockets and reimburse any West Coast winners who are asked to pay for their statuette.
NATAS prexy Peter Price said the org's other kudofests -- news and information, sports and public service -- already adhere to the rule; an exception had been made for daytime in the past. But with nonprofits like NATAS facing increased financial woes, Price said the group could no longer pay for so many statuettes.
"We wanted to make our policy consistent so there was no grousing between the various award shows," Price said. "We're a nonprofit, and our trustees mandate that we produce a breakeven budget. To do that, we have to pull in our horns on some luxuries we used to do. If ATAS feels that they have the deep pockets to do it, then that's wonderful."
In a letter sent over the weekend to ATAS members who are also Daytime Emmy nominees, the West Coast group took issue with NATAS' belt-tightening.
"The Los Angeles-based Television Academy wants you to know that, as a matter of principle, we do not agree with this decision and do not believe that any Emmy winner should have to pay for their award," the letter read.
ATAS recommends that winners who must pay for their Daytime Emmy statue go ahead and send the money to NATAS; ATAS will then arrange to reimburse the winner.
The two TV academies had worked more closely in recent years on the Daytime Emmys, but ATAS has been less involved this year. Unlike in past years, NATAS did not consult ATAS on the nomination process; also, ATAS will not produce or pay for this year's nontelevised Daytime Emmy Creative Arts Awards, which had been covered by the West Coast org in past years.
The squabble over the Daytime Emmy statuettes comes just days after the rival TV academies went public with their battle over the proposed launch of a Broadband Emmy kudofest (Daily Variety, March 21).
ATAS late last week was to file suit against NATAS, accusing its New York counterpart of trying to launch a massive roster of Broadband Emmy awards without proper approval. NATAS denied the allegation and expressed surprise that ATAS walked away from ongoing negotiations surrounding the proposal.
ATAS and NATAS have battled off and on since the TV Academy split into two separate orgs in 1977.
The Daytime Emmys are set for June 15 in Hollywood.
Find out what it means HERE.
Book a Flight?
Monday, March 26, 2007
Scientists create a sheep that's 15% human
Scientists have created the world's first human-sheep chimera - which has the body of a sheep and half-human organs.
The sheep have 15 per cent human cells and 85 per cent animal cells - and their evolution brings the prospect of animal organs being transplanted into humans one step closer.
Professor Esmail Zanjani, of the University of Nevada, has spent seven years and £5million perfecting the technique, which involves injecting adult human cells into a sheep's foetus.
He has already created a sheep liver which has a large proportion of human cells and eventually hopes to precisely match a sheep to a transplant patient, using their own stem cells to create their own flock of sheep.
The process would involve extracting stem cells from the donor's bone marrow and injecting them into the peritoneum of a sheep's foetus. When the lamb is born, two months later, it would have a liver, heart, lungs and brain that are partly human and available for transplant.
"We would take a couple of ounces of bone marrow cells from the patient,' said Prof Zanjani, whose work is highlighted in a Channel 4 programme tomorrow.
"We would isolate the stem cells from them, inject them into the peritoneum of these animals and then these cells would get distributed throughout the metabolic system into the circulatory system of all the organs in the body. The two ounces of stem cell or bone marrow cell we get would provide enough stem cells to do about ten foetuses. So you don't just have one organ for transplant purposes, you have many available in case the first one fails."
At present 7,168 patients are waiting for an organ transplant in Britain alone, and two thirds of them are expected to die before an organ becomes available.
Scientists at King's College, London, and the North East Stem Cell Institute in Newcastle have now applied to the HFEA, the Government's fertility watchdog, for permission to start work on the chimeras.
But the development is likely to revive criticisms about scientists playing God, with the possibility of silent viruses, which are harmless in animals, being introduced into the human race.
Dr Patrick Dixon, an international lecturer on biological trends, warned: "Many silent viruses could create a biological nightmare in humans. Mutant animal viruses are a real threat, as we have seen with HIV."
Animal rights activists fear that if the cells get mixed together, they could end up with cellular fusion, creating a hybrid which would have the features and characteristics of both man and sheep. But Prof Zanjani said: "Transplanting the cells into foetal sheep at this early stage does not result in fusion at all."
Marijuana is safer than aspirin
Instead, the invention of aspirin gave birth to the modern pharmaceutical industry and Americans switched away from cannabis in the name of “progress.” But was it really progress? There can be no doubt that aspirin has a long history as the drug of choice for the self-treatment of migraines, arthritis, and other chronic pain. It is cheap and effective. But is it as safe as cannabis?
- Marijuana has been used for over 5,000 years.
- No one has ever overdosed on marijuana.
- Aspirin has been used for 108 years.
- Approximately 500 people die every year by taking aspirin
- Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, meaning the US government believes it is extremely dangerous, highly addictive, and of no medical value.
- Aspirin is available for pennies and can be purchased by children at any drug, grocery, or convenience store. Often they are just handed out free by people with no medical education.
Marijuana side effects and dangers:
- The dangers of marijuana include possible respiratory problems caused by the deposition of burnt plant material on the lungs. This danger can be eliminated with alternate forms of consumption such as eating or vaporizing the medicine.
- For two to four hours, marijuana causes short-term memory loss, a slight reduction in reaction time, and a reduction in cognitive ability. (It makes you stupid for a little while.)These conditions DO NOT persist after the herb wears off.
- Creative Impulse
Aspirin side effects and dangers:
- When taken with alcohol, aspirin can cause stomach bleeding.
- Reye Syndrome in children: fat begins to develop around the liver and other organs of the child, eventually putting severe pressure on the brain. Death is common within a few days.
- People with hemophilia can die.
- People with hyperthyroidism suffer elevated T4 levels.
- Stomach problems include dyspepsia, heartburn, upset stomach, stomach ulcers with gross bleeding, and internal bleeding leading to anemia.
- Dizziness, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, vertigo, vision disturbances, and headaches.
- Heavy sweating
- Irreversible liver damage
- Inflamation and gradual destruction of the kidneys
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Dyspepsia: a gnawing or burning stomach pain accompanied by bloating, heartburn, nausea, vomiting and burping.
- Tachypnea: Abnormally fast breathing
- Respiratory Alkalosis: a condition where the amount of carbon dioxide found in the blood drops to a level below normal range brought on by abnormally fast breathing.
- Cerebral Edema: Water accumulates on the brain. Symptoms include headaches, decreased level of consciousness, loss of eyesight, hallucinations, psychotic behavior, memory loss and coma. If left untreated, it can lead to death.
- Hallucinations, confusion, and seizure.
- Prolonged bleeding after operations or post-trauma for up to 10 days after last aspirin.
- Aspirin can interact with some other drugs, such as diabetes medication. Aspirin changes the way the body handles these drugs and can lead to a drug overdose and death.
If you think that cannabis is actually safer than aspirin, you are not alone. In October 2000, Dr. Leslie Iversen of the Oxford University Department of Pharmacology said the same thing.
In her book, ‘The Science of Marijuana,’ Dr. Iversen presents the scientific evidence that cannabis is, by-and-large, a safe drug. Dr. Iversen found cannabis had “an impressive record” when compared to tobacco, alcohol, or even aspirin.
“Tetrahydrocannabinol is a very safe drug,” she said. “Even such apparently innocuous medicines as aspirin and related steroidal anti-inflammatory compunds are not safe.”
So if safety is your concern, cannabis is clearly a much better choice than aspirin. If you eat it or vaporize it, it just might be the safest painkiller the world has ever known.
Dependence: How difficult it is for the user to quit, the relapse rate, the percentage of people who eventually become dependent, the rating users give their own need for the substance and the degree to which the substance will be used in the face of evidence that it causes harm.
Withdrawal: Presence and severity of characteristic withdrawal symptoms.
Tolerance: How much of the substance is needed to satisfy increasing cravings for it, and the level of stable need that is eventually reached.
Reinforcement: A measure of the substance’s ability, in human and animal tests, to get users to take it again and again, and in preference to other substances.
Intoxication: Though not usually counted as a measure of addiction in itself, the level of intoxication is associated with addiction and increases the personal and social damage a substance may do.
There a great chart originally appeared on DrugWarFacts.org.
I tracked it down at SaferChoice.org.
THC Breathstrips have arrived
Med-strips are like the Listerine breath strips you buy at the supermarket, except that each one of these comes loaded with 625mg of wonderful THC. The label claims these strips will be effective, discreet and convenient and Med-Strips deliver big-time. (JAIL TIME...lol)
Here is the breakdown:
Cost: $10/ea. Or three 2-packs for $50.
Flavors available: Mint and Cinnamon
THC Content: 625mg per strip (a 45x sucker is 600mg)
The ups: Smoke free, could not be more convenient or discreet, actually packs a punch (especially if you take two at a time), excellent for the purse or wallet for those emergency times when you must get medicated
The downs: These are a little thicker than Listerine strips. When they dissolve, they turn into a little glob of goo in your mouth. That’s not so nice. Also, some might not like them because they abandon the natural wholeness of dried cannabis. WHATEVER !!!!
The rest: The taste is decent and about what you might expect. Like putting a nugget in a wad of spearmint gum and chewing it.