Thursday, November 29, 2012

Medical Marijuana Update

"A pair of scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has found that a compound derived from marijuana could stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer, potentially altering the fatality of the disease forever."

I know we should show compassion for those who have yet to see the way to the truth but . . .

I just love the scene where the arch-enemy of medical marijuana lies in the hospital bed and the doctor says: "We have a cure for your fatal disease Senator, but your moral opposition to it has meant suffering to thousands of patients in the past, so I guess in all fairness you can't have the drug either. Enjoy the next couple of centuries in purgatory."

Full article on the medical issue not the revenge.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Year End Full of Posts

Today's post is #245 for 2012. Making this the most productive year for this little grey blog ever. For the past several years I have taken a break from blogging as the days fade towards the new year.

Not this time!

All the political noise that occupied this grey space during the American presidential campaign pushed my other mental meanderings into the future. I find myself with lots to discuss with you, so December will be full of stuff and we shall go wordily into the new year.

You may anticipate a medical marijuana update, some amazing jello art and a visual & vocal homage to the holidays.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Oh Canada

Last month the movie Argo was  released. Purportedly the movie depicted the smuggling of six Americans out of Iran by the Canadian government and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. 

I use the term purportedly because as the star of the film Ben Affleck has noted, "Because we say it's based on a true story, rather than this is a true story, we’re allowed to take some dramatic license. There’s a spirit of truth."

I'm not going to quibble about how true to life the motion picture is, I mention it only because I had my own personal experience with the events of January 28-29, 1980 and that is the story of today's blog. 

Back on  November 4th of 1979 a group of Islamist militants took the the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran taking 52 Americans hostage who would remain captives for 444 days. During the initial attack six embassy staffers escaped to the Canadian embassy and were later smuggled out of Iran by the Canadians. For the nearly factual details of the "Canadian Caper" see the movie or try Wikipedia.

My story takes place in Los Angles on the day after the daring escape/rescue. I found myself with three tickets to the Los Angles Kings hockey game that Sunday evening and all of my usual hockey friends otherwise engaged. 

I called one of my buddies girlfriend who I knew was a hockey fan and asked if she wanted to go to the game and if she had anyone else who would want the third ticket. She laughed and told me that her best friend has just shown up at her front door with three hits of acid and two questions:

"What are we going to do?" and "Know anyone who would enjoy the third hit."

We all decided it was too serendipitous to ignore so we dropped the acid on the way to the Forum, where the L.A. Kings played in those days. We were coming on to the acid as we got to the stadium and managed to find our seats despite the mental alterations. Sixteen thousand fans had turned out that evening to see the Kings take on the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

As is the tradition in most NHL arenas when Canadian teams visit U.S. cities and visa versa, both national anthems are played. So we began the festivities with a rendition of 'Oh Canada.' What happened next is why we have a story to tell.

As the final refrain of the anthem died out the Forum erupted with cheers and a prolonged standing ovation. All the Sunday papers had led with the events in Iran the day before. Everyone in the house knew the Canadian embassy staff had risked their own lives to smuggle the six Americans out of Iran to safety. The moment was electric, particularly to my electrified brain. The organist at the Forum waited and held the playing of the American National Anthem until the tribute had died down.

It can be hard in these times to feel outpourings of spontaneous patriotism, it helps to have neighbors like Canada.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tokin' Free

"Some people will have great difficulty being white. While it is statistically the best thing you can do, it’s not for everyone.  However, if you follow the rest of the steps then you will probably avoid arrest for marijuana use."

Today I want to share an article titled: 7 Steps to Smoke Pot and Never Get Caught. Not only will you be able to lower your chances of being caught up in the War on Drugs but the advice offer may help you in other areas of your life  -  afterall everyone has a dirty little secret.

The first step is so obvious as to be overlooked by the majority of citizens, it is simply Be White. As those of us fortunate enough to be caucasian, we often overlook the inherent advantages of being the privileged whities.

Next comes the AARP advantage - Be Middle Aged (or older). Over 66% of marijuana arrests happen to those under 30. On the other hand the infrequent prosecutions for tax evasion nearly always involved older tax dodgers.

Next, it definitely helps to not look the part - Dress Square. No Bob Marley t-shirts or hippy paraphernalia. Flowers in your hair and peace symbols are dead head giveaways.

Of the other four items I think two apply to the world at large even more than they do to smoking pot.

Only Break One Law at a Time - wise advice at any time particularly to those who are young, hip and non-white. You may ignore this one if you work on Wall Street and pay your lobbyist more than a million bucks annually.

But the best advice one can glean from this article is - Don't Do It on Social Media. You really want to post that picture of you and the bong? You and your best buddies cleaning a pound of pot? And if you are going to blog about marijuana, be clear that you have a medical marijuana card or have previously blogged that you are no longer using the weed.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Full Tilt Poker

Yes faithful readers a poker post. Looking over blog traffic stats the other day I was surprised by how many of you have hung with me since the 'all poker all the time' days of this little blog. So today an all poker post and thanks for reading.

If you don't already know - Full Tilt Poker is back. 100% back in action outside of the U.S. but playable in the States in anticipation of going full money live as soon as certain jurisdictions open up. There are a couple of new features including the ability to move funds seamlessly between your accounts at Full Tilt and PokerStars.

For those who have forgotten, Full Tilt had some really unique features that made it very player friendly. Check out this article to refresh your memory of the total coolness of the Full Tilt software, I want to dwell on just one of those features - Rush Poker. 

I know a lot of "real" poker players think that Rush Poker is just for action junkies, but I find it a really interesting twist on the game. With players able to fold and immediately move on to another table and another deal, many players bet only premium hands. I found that raising from the cutoff or button frequently took down the blinds from players who had already folded and moved on to their next table. The EV+ of optimal play at the Rush Poker tables was well above what you could expect in a regular ring game. Of course, you have to think through the challenges that the Rush format adds to the game. Try Rush Omaha Eight or Better and try to figure out the correct strategy there. 

Anyway, Full Tilt Poker is back. I for one am glad they are. Now you have to wonder if and when they will bring back some of the Red Pros who made the site what it was before the mismanagement ruin the run for everyone.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

quote 14

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, 
you must first create the universe.
                                                                   -- Carl Sagan

When we write, we first tell the reader what landscape we will be operating within. Does our story take place now or in the past. This land, this country or another. This planet or somewhere else. This reality or will we be creating something completely different and if different, just how far do we intend to go. 

Writers are creators, we don't have to just use the stuff that is laying around, we can create the very basics of the universe we intend to inhabit then invite the reader to come along on the journey. Some of my favorite authors have used wildly sublime material to create their tales, others evolve from the mundane and the ordinary; but they all share one critical element of creation - the invisible adhesive that holds their entire universe together and that methinks is the true craft of writing. Binding together the tale such that the reader never sees the glue.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wrath of Nature

See this photo larger and many others in Lovely Sky Monsters from The Atlantic and Camille Seaman.




Thursday, November 01, 2012

Let Me Say It Again!

"The “least worst” [option] says they have to vote for Obama. If you don’t have a breaking point, and this is the question that baffles the progressive intelligence, how bad does it have to get before you say No More?  So some will just sit out the election. Vote Green, vote Justice Party or write in a vote. I don’t believe in staying home."      -Ralph Nader