I can remember another early visual experience with cannabis, in which I viewed a candle flame and discovered in the heart of the flame, standing with magnificent indifference, the black-hatted and -cloaked Spanish gentleman who appears on the label of the Sandeman sherry bottle. Looking at fires when high, by the way, especially through one of those prism kaleidoscopes which image their surroundings, is an extraordinarily moving and beautiful experience.
Continue reading more about Carl Sagan and his marijuana use here.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
What can I say? It's my beer of choice when I'm undecided as to what I should pick up after a day at the office or an evening of debauchery on the weekend. Guinness packs a shade of black so dark it makes the luminescence of a cave seem bright. Don't be afraid of the color though as it hides it's taste behind the pitch black curtain. A taste of beer, not alcohol . that's right, Guinness is a beer first and an alcohol second in my book as its flavor does not give a hint of an alcoholic spike. Instead a drinker is treated to a bold and heavy mixture that drinks like a meal. Oh and the head! It's head is a beautiful pillow on the earthy darkness below it and comes across as a very appealing touch to the not-so-alluring color of the body. Even still on top of that you get a decently priced six pack. $7.99-8.99. Sure not an easy sell for the average person wanting to get drunk however if you want to grab a nice buzz and enjoy your beer well there's nothing like a Guinness to liven up your evening.
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
Now here's a beer that prides itself in exotic and unique tastes. Dogfish Head has become my premier brand of choice as it's beer flavors have yet to disappoint me at least once. 60 Minute IPA is no exception. One of 3 IPAs (there's also 90 minute and the holy grail of IPAs 120 minute!), 60 Minute IPA comes with the fruity texture and bite that one comes to love from an IPA. What's so different then about 60 Minute IPA from other IPAs? Well, for starters it's continually hoped for 60 minutes. That's right. The beer mixture is dowsed in hops for a full hour giving it a really intense zing in both flavor and smell. While it's not going to help if you're having trouble making ends meet it's worth every penny at $10.99.
More reviews to come soon.
Monday, December 1, 2008
This site will give you information on how to properly argue against religion (specifically Christianity and Islam) as well as some other key concerns most religious persons have about non-believers.
My personal favorite is the Slavery argument run-down for Christians. Very Succinct.
To the extent that religion does promote altruism, it might actually be effective because adherents think that some authority figure is watching them to make sure they “do the right thing,” or because they want to maintain their reputations as righteous followers of religious teachings. Also, studies that do show a link between altruism and religion are often based on self-reports — subjects saying they did something unselfish, rather than direct observation of them doing so. This type of data is notoriously unreliable.Continue reading about how we are inherently altruistic here.
Friday, November 28, 2008
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Netherlands will ban the sale and cultivation of all hallucinogenic "magic" mushrooms from next week, the latest target of a country seeking to shed its "anything goes" image.Continue reading about the ban of fresh magic mushrooms in Amsterdam here.
The Dutch government proposed the ban in April, citing the dangerous behavioral effects of magic mushrooms following the death of a French teenager who jumped from an Amsterdam bridge in 2007 after consuming the hallucinogenic fungus.
"The use of magic mushrooms has hallucinogenic effects. It is proven that this can lead to unpredictable and therefore risky behavior," the Dutch Health Ministry said in a statement.
An analysis of 168,900 autopsies conducted in Florida in 2007 found that three times as many people were killed by legal drugs as by cocaine, heroin and all methamphetamines put together. According to state law enforcement officials, this is a sign of a burgeoning prescription drug abuse problem.Continue reading about the abuse of prescription drugs over illegal ones here.
"The abuse has reached epidemic proportions," said Lisa McElhaney, a sergeant in the pharmaceutical drug diversion unit of the Broward County Sheriff's Office. "It's just explosive."
In 2007, cocaine was responsible for 843 deaths, heroin for 121, methamphetamines for 25 and marijuana for zero, for a total of 989 deaths. In contrast, 2,328 people were killed by opioid painkillers, including Vicodin and Oxycontin, and 743 were killed by drugs containing benzodiazepine, including the depressants Valium and Xanax.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Keynes proposed that any country racking up a large trade deficit (equating to more than half of its bancor overdraft allowance) would be charged interest on its account. It would also be obliged to reduce the value of its currency and to prevent the export of capital. But - and this was the key to his system - he insisted that the nations with a trade surplus would be subject to similar pressures. Any country with a bancor credit balance that was more than half the size of its overdraft facility would be charged interest, at a rate of 10%. It would also be obliged to increase the value of its currency and to permit the export of capital. If, by the end of the year, its credit balance exceeded the total value of its permitted overdraft, the surplus would be confiscated. The nations with a surplus would have a powerful incentive to get rid of it. In doing so, they would automatically clear other nations' deficits.Continue reading about Lord Keynes alternative monetary solution.
Some very smart, very serious people have been spending a lot of time lately working themselves into a tizzy trying to defend their ongoing romance with the Governor of Alaska. “Okay,” they seem willing to admit, “Palin might be a little weak on foreign policy, domestic policy, energy policy, financial policy, the economy in general, the fundamental workings of the state and federal government, geography, rhetoric, history and basic grammar, but these are just gaps in her knowledge, easily fixable by a spending a few hours in front of Wikipedia or flipping through flash cards. They don’t in any way cast doubt in some fundamental way on her intellect or character.”Continue reading about Sarah Palin and the reasons why she's not a genius here.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Last night I was discussing with my friend Christy the possibility of micro and macro universes in relation to us and the environment that surrounds us. To clarify what I meant by this I showed her the above example.
Tonight I went to Digg.com and found the exact same picture on the front page as of 11:40PM AZ.
You probably can't tell but the article is in fact the circled article. Joyus coincidence/synchronicity you have amazed me again.
The Princeton Review analyzed the transcripts of the Gore-Bush debates, the Clinton-Bush-Perot debates of 1992, the Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960 and the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. It reviewed these transcripts using a standard vocabulary test that indicates the minimum educational standard needed for a reader to grasp the text. During the 2000 debates, George W. Bush spoke at a sixth-grade level (6.7) and Al Gore at a seventh-grade level (7.6). In the 1992 debates, Bill Clinton spoke at a seventh-grade level (7.6), while George H.W. Bush spoke at a sixth-grade level (6.8), as did H. Ross Perot (6.3). In the debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, the candidates spoke in language used by 10th-graders. In the debates of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas the scores were respectively 11.2 and 12.0. In short, today’s political rhetoric is designed to be comprehensible to a 10-year-old child or an adult with a sixth-grade reading level. It is fitted to this level of comprehension because most Americans speak, think and are entertained at this level. This is why serious film and theater and other serious artistic expression, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins of American society. Voltaire was the most famous man of the 18th century. Today the most famous “person” is Mickey Mouse.
Continue reading about the feel-good infatuation of our society at truthdig.com.
Monday, November 10, 2008
"The forces arrayed against terminating defense programs are today so powerful that if you try to do that it will be like the British Army at the Somme in World War I," said Winslow Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the liberal Center for Defense Information in Washington. "You will just get mowed down by the defense industry and military services' machine guns."Continue reading about the cutting of the defense budget here.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
President-elect Barack Obama's newly appointed chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, served on the board of directors of the federal mortgage firm Freddie Mac at a time when scandal was brewing at the troubled agency and the board failed to spot "red flags," according to government reports reviewed by ABCNews.com.
Read more about Rahm Emanuel and his involvement with Freddy Mac at ABC News.
Read more about the discovery at National Geographic.
Whether you acknowledge it or not, there’s good reason to worry. By the time 35th-birthday-brunch celebrations roll around for still-single women, serious, irreversible life issues masquerading as “jokes” creep into public conversation: Well, I don’t feel old, but my eggs sure do! or Maybe this year I’ll marry Todd. I’m not getting any younger! The birthday girl smiles a bit too widely as she delivers these lines, and everyone laughs a little too hard for a little too long, not because we find these sentiments funny, but because we’re awkwardly acknowledging how unfunny they are. At their core, they pose one of the most complicated, painful, and pervasive dilemmas many single women are forced to grapple with nowadays: Is it better to be alone, or to settle?
My advice is this: Settle! That’s right. Don’t worry about passion or intense connection. Don’t nix a guy based on his annoying habit of yelling “Bravo!” in movie theaters. Overlook his halitosis or abysmal sense of aesthetics. Because if you want to have the infrastructure in place to have a family, settling is the way to go. Based on my observations, in fact, settling will probably make you happier in the long run, since many of those who marry with great expectations become more disillusioned with each passing year. (It’s hard to maintain that level of zing when the conversation morphs into discussions about who’s changing the diapers or balancing the checkbook.)
Read more about a woman's argument for settling at The Atlantic.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Ever wonder what Dennis Hopper thinks of his role in the universally reviled Super Mario Bros. movie? Fifteen years after the fact, the Academy Award-nominated actor finally spilled his guts on last night's Late Night with Conan O'Brien. When asked if he regretted any of the nearly 150 films he's been involved with, Hopper responded with this anecdote about his son Henry:
"I made a picture called Super Mario Bros., and my six-year-old son at the time -- he's now 18 -- he said, 'Dad, I think you're probably a pretty good actor, but why did you play that terrible guy King Koopa in Super Mario Bros.?' and I said, 'Well Henry, I did that so you could have shoes,' and he said, 'Dad, I don't need shoes that badly.'"
Monday, November 3, 2008
Those on the left who back Obama, although they disagree with much of what he promotes, believe they are choosing the practical over the moral. They see themselves as political realists. They fear John McCain and the Republicans. They believe Obama is better for the country. They are right. Obama is better. He is not John McCain. There will be under Obama marginal improvements for some Americans although the corporate state, as Obama knows, will remain our shadow government and the working class will continue to descend into poverty. Democratic administrations have, at least until Bill Clinton, been more receptive to social programs that provide benefits, better working conditions and higher wages. An Obama presidency, however, will make no difference to those in the Middle East.
Continue reading about one man's reason to vote Nader at Truthdig.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
One of the reasons knots have given mathematicians fits is that the same knot can appear in very different guises. Tug here, tug there, and soon a knot will become unrecognizable, but remain fundamentally unchanged. To allow a knotted string to wiggle around without danger of untying, mathematicians seal its two ends together, making it a knotted circle. The first question mathematicians have to answer is simply, when are two knots really, secretly the same?
Continue reading about the mathematics behinds knots here.
Friday, October 31, 2008
What they don’t tell you is that the so-called independent Commission on Presidential Debates is actually a private corporation run by former leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties. The Commission, which was formed in 1987, is currently led by Frank Fahrenkopf, a former head of the Republican National Committee, and Paul Kirk, the former head of the Democratic National Committee. No wonder they won’t debate Nader or anyone else.
Of course they justify this by saying Nader isn’t polling well enough to include him in the debates. Yet, interestingly, both McCain and Obama were losing their respective primary races until they were let into televised debates. And there are well-known examples of how letting a candidate debate "mainstream” candidates can lead to a different outcome. Jesse Ventura won the governor’s race in Minnesota in 1998 when he was allowed to debate the Republican and Democratic Party candidates, going from 9 or 10 percent in the polls to ultimately winning the contest.
Ralph Nader polled at five percent and above at least four different times this year in national polls, and he even reached 10 percent in one poll in the state of Michigan (conducted by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA, 4/15/08). This should have been sufficient to gain access to the presidential debates. Ross Perot got in the debates in 1992 even though he was polling below 10 percent. Perot went on to win 19 percent of the vote, and his warnings about NAFTA and deficit spending influenced Clinton policy and proved prescient. Afterwards, the two parties retaliated by creating a 15% threshold which ironically no candidate is likely to reach without being included in televised debates.
The worse part of the so-called presidential debates as they are currently produced is that two-party control ensures that the questions are not sufficiently hard-hitting. Isn’t it appalling that we saw three debates between Obama and McCain at a time our country is suffering its worst economic crisis, and no one asked these men "Why should Americans have any confidence either of you is the best choice to tackle these problems given that both of your political parties helped pass laws that made this crisis possible—or even inevitable?”
They also like to say that voting for Nader is throwing your vote away. The Democrats often cite the 2000 election to blame Nader for Bush’s victory. But they noticeably never mention the 1992 election, when Bill Clinton won because Ross Perot "spoiled” the race for George Bush’s father, an incumbent president. By the way, Clinton got only 43 percent of the vote in 1992 compared to 48 percent by Bush in 2000.
And they offer no explanation for why they haven’t worked on election reform since 2000. Imagine claiming your political party lost the presidency because the "winner” was declared even though he hadn’t won a majority of the votes cast? Then imagine doing nothing to make sure it wouldn’t happen again. Isn’t it odd that the Democrats haven’t worked on election reform in the past eight years?
They never will change the system because the way things are now, they can be assured that they will be in office roughly half the time. They also count on people to accept their arguments that Nader and other third parties aren’t polling high enough to get your vote; that the real contest is between just two candidates.
If all else fails, they argue that it’s the most important election of your lifetime. I’m 43 years old and I’ve heard this argument each time the presidential race has come up.
If you accept these arguments, you are in effect rewarding the two parties for not fixing how we do elections in this country. You reward them for creating the Commission on Debates. You guarantee that things will not change. And you ensure that candidates that support single-payer health care, decent wages and pensions for workers, controls on corporations and a foreign policy based on achieving peace rather than driven by self-interest, cannot ever be heard.
Nader wants a more humane and democratic society. He’s seen that you can’t get anything done in Washington because senators like Obama and McCain ignore what’s good for Americans in pursuit of their own interests. Sure McCain talks like a maverick and Obama talks like a revolutionary, but look closely and you will see repeatedcapitulations to the very entities our government needs to get away from if we are to build a more democratic society.
continue reading Matt Gonzalez's article about the candidates and your vote here.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Howard Zinn now says he's voting for Nader.
The famous historian lives in Massachusetts, where Obama is ahead by 20 points.
Zinn created a stir earlier when he said he was voting for Obama.
He legitimately took some heat for supporting the corporate Obama.
But late last night, Zinn admitted in an e-mail to our campaign that he made a mistake and now says he will vote for Nader.
And Zinn urges all people of conscience to vote for the true progressive in slam dunk states.
Of which there are now many.
(Zinn says that in non slam dunk states, he urges people to vote for Obama. We obviously disagree with that bit of advice.)
Or as Ralph Nader put it today:
"A vote for Nader/Gonzalez on November, rather than being wasted by piling onto an Obama landslide or McCain implosion, will produce a stronger hammer and watchdog for what millions of Americans want -- including public Medicare for all with private delivery and a living wage for the one in three workers who don't make one."
"Unless millions of voters of conscience choose the progressive hammer and watchdog of Nader/Gonzalez, millions of votes will be tactically wasted and serve only to increase the mandateless landslide of Barack Obama."
So, if you are ambivalent about this election, fear not.
If you live in a slam dunk state, follow the advice of Howard Zinn.
Vote Nader for President.
Onward to November
The Nader Team
Monday, October 27, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Howard Zinn explains why you should vote for Obama this election. Third parties can wait he claims as this election will lead to a better opportunity for third parties to turn the Democrats into someone else like they succeeded with in the 1930s.
Zinn complains about the Clinton administration and how it wasn't pushed hard enough by third parties to become a better party or to split into two entities. Also Zinn doesn't believe Nader should run for political office because 1. the political game is hard to change and thus 2. go back to activism outside of politics because there are those who will petition with you and join your cause but not vote for you.
So let me get this straight. A political arena is not a place to try and promote change from outside the two parties. yet paradoxically certain people (i assume since he said nader shouldn't do it) should rise up and challenge the democrats/republicans as they have done before to promote change (even if they don't win -- which im totally in agreement with so long as one party becomes more progressive as a result). Yet right now third parties are working to get the democrats to make bolder moves in policy.
Hold on though.
it's going to be okay with obama in the white house. someone will have a better chance at changing the party while he's in office. sure, why not. but don't come running to me if that doesn't happen in 4-8 years. also don't come to me and give me an argument that change will come from within the two party system in 4-8 years when the third parties failed to turn the two parties away from their weak political stances. i'm voting third party this year and you know, historically speaking, it's damn great to be in the beginning of a what will be seen as true change in the future.
thanks to Matt Schmidt for giving me this as well as a reason to rant.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Is public financing of campaigns dead? A year ago, Sen. Obama said, “I have been a longtime advocate for public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests.” Regardless of who the winner is, the next president will enter the White House with a long list of major donors to thank.
Continue reading about Obama's spending here
But what’s more exciting, I think, is the emergence of a different perspective on happiness itself. We used to think that the hard part of the question “How can I be happy?” had to do with nailing down the definition of happy. But it may have more to do with the definition of I. Many researchers now believe, to varying degrees, that each of us is a community of competing selves, with the happiness of one often causing the misery of another. This theory might explain certain puzzles of everyday life, such as why addictions and compulsions are so hard to shake off, and why we insist on spending so much of our lives in worlds—like TV shows and novels and virtual-reality experiences—that don’t actually exist. And it provides a useful framework for thinking about the increasingly popular position that people would be better off if governments and businesses helped them inhibit certain gut feelings and emotional reactions.
To read more about our personalities and how we are all of them continue reading here
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
not so fast.
You'll get front row seats if you were a top donor (no, not all you who donated small amounts that the campaign loves to whore out and speak highly of).
Press corps who shell out 935 dollars will get the best camera areas and views along with a tent internet cable tv, and food. Wow, is that all necessary? and since when did obama's campaign NEED money?
Of course if you're not willing to pay any money or are a small donor you could always stand by the bicycle racks where you might make out an ant that represents obama.
click here for more on the obama's election night specifics.
Read the article on the govt's initiative to get us to use dollar coins here.
...Then tell me what you think. Would you carry dollar coins in your pocket instead of paper in your wallet?
Saturday, October 18, 2008
The history of Codex began in 1893 when the Austria-Hungarian empire decided it needed a specific set of guidelines by which the courts could rule on cases dealing with food . This regulatory set of mandates became known as Codex Alimentarius and was effectively implemented until the fall of the empire in 1918. The United Nations (UN) met in 1962 and decided that Codex should be re-implemented worldwide in order to protect health of the consumers. Two-thirds of funding for Codex emanates from the FAO while the other third comes from the WHO.Check out the article here
Thursday, October 9, 2008
In march, at the peak of Facebook popularity, I quit. with four swift clicks of the mouse, I canceled my account. Gone was the entire online persona I had created for myself – profile pictures, interests and activities, work history, friends acquired – all carefully thought out to showcase to the world the very best version of me, all now deleted.
Continue reading the article at Adbusters.org
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
[Dubai] is already home to the world's glitziest buildings, man-made islands and mega-malls - now Dubai plans to build the tallest tower. But behind the dizzying construction boom is an army of migrant labourers lured into a life of squalor and exploitation.
Click here to read more about worker exploitation in Dubai
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Read the article here.
The candidates may not have used online search while they were debating, but we sure hope they will every day they are in office. It's changed fundamentally our relationship with politics and we hope that politicians can keep up. Maybe they can even take the lead.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
How is this force field produced? The Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display uses multiple ultrasound transducers to project waves into the air. Without gloves or attachments, and without risk of penetration in the body, the device takes advantage of a nonlinear ultrasound phenomena called acoustic radiation pressure.
read more about this amazing technology here.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
"The strongest message can be sent by rejecting the two party system," Paul said in prepared remarks obtained by The Associated Press. "This can be accomplished by voting for one of the non-establishment, principled candidates."
continue reading at ap.com
Though older Americans typically have never heard of salvia, the psychoactive sage has become something of a phenomenon among the country's thrill-seeking youth. More than 5,000 YouTube videos - equal parts "Jackass" and "Up in Smoke" - document their journeys into rubber-legged incoherence. Some of the videos have been viewed half a million times.Read more about Salvia and the potential of criminalizing it here
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (seen here in May), told The Observer that people should start to help combat climate change by having one meat-free day per week then cut back further.Read more about this at www.physorg.com
Thursday, September 4, 2008
While promoting "Towelhead," Aaron Eckhart revealed the future plans for Two-Face in the new Christopher Nolan-directed Batman franchise. Do not keep reading if you are still planning on seeing "The Dark Knight." [via SuperheroHype]
So what are the plans? According to Eckhart, there aren't any. The actor has finally confirmed rumors that Two-Face actually dies at the end of the movie. "
" he said. "He ain't coming back baby!"
Eckhart was hoping for a chance to come back, but that was not to be. "I asked Chris [Nolan] that question and he goes, 'You're dead' before I could even get the question out of my mouth. 'Hey Chris, am I?' 'You're dead!' Alright, cool."
He also stated that he was never meant to return, which is why his contract is only for one film, unlike Heath Ledger's. "No, I'm not coming back. I think unfortunately, Heath [Ledger] was supposed to go on and that didn't work out."Source : Worstpreviews.com
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
When Charles Darwin introduced the theory of evolution through natural selection 143 years ago, the scientists of the day argued over it fiercely, but the massing evidence from paleontology, genetics, zoology, molecular biology and other fields gradually established evolution's truth beyond reasonable doubt. Today that battle has been won everywhere--except in the public imagination.
I tested Google Chrome on a mid-range office PC running Windows XP. A fuller assessment can only really come from heavy daily use, and this is – inevitably – only a “beta” or test version, the same status that Google has kept Gmail in for several years. But with that in mind, here are some early impressions.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
"Tonight, I want to ask you, whether you are an independent, a Reagan Democrat, a Clinton Democrat, or just a plain old Democrat: This year, when you vote for president, vote for the person you believe is best for our country, not for the party you happen to belong to,"
Senator Joe Lieberman
from Yahoo! News
Monday, September 1, 2008
The ability to think abstractly that flourishes during daydreams also has important social benefits. Mostly, what we daydream about is each other, as the mind retrieves memories, contemplates "what if" scenarios, and thinks about how it should behave in the future. In this sense, the content of daydreams often resembles a soap opera, with people reflecting on social interactions both real and make-believe. We can leave behind the world as it is and start imagining the world as it might be, if only we hadn't lost our temper, or had superpowers, or were sipping a daiquiri on a Caribbean beach. It is this ability to tune out the present moment and contemplate the make-believe that separates the human mind from every other.
Read more about the recent study on daydreaming
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Today, Comcast officially announced a 250 GB cap, while threatening to disconnect users who exceed this limit more than once. Comcast is taking the heat once again, but they are not the only ISP that limits its users. Other ISPs, Qwest being one of them, have exactly the same policy - and the same threats.
The 250GB bandwidth limit that Comcast has announced is not as new as it may seem. For several months, even years, Comcast subscribers who went over an “unspecified limit” have been contacted by the ISP. Customers are presented with two options: cut back their bandwidth use, or find a new provider. Today, however, they officially announced a 250 GB limit, perhaps in an attempt to be more transparent about their network management practices.
If you're curious as to what is going to be happening here I'll give you a run down on what to expect on occasion:
- mentally stimulating videos excavated from all across the internet
- conversations involving politics, philosophy, religion, science, history, and general intellectual topics
- an unknown-as-of-yet weekly special
- music recommendations that have provoked my thought and emotion
- irrational on-the-brink-of-insanity stories and comments (courtesy of when the gfi outlet malfunctions)
- photographs to add a little color to the english alphabetical pictures.
In all I hope to branch across the internet like the electricity of lightning in the sky. If not hopefully I can at least make the sound of the thunder that normally follows.