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.
Friday, November 28, 2008
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.