Archive for November, 2013

Hey everybody, hope you’ve been enjoying the blog so far. This post begins a new section of the blog where I will provide handy DIY lifehacks to make your life easier. I am an avid cyclist, riding upwards of 50 miles a week most weeks of the year, even in rainy weather. I also happen to wear glasses, which normally isn’t relevant as a biker, except when it is raining and your glasses fog over with rain drops, reducing visibility to near nothing in minutes. There are few good options available for a cyclist with glasses to spare them this pesky and potentially dangerous fate. You can pay hundreds of dollars for one of these German helmets or for one of these French ones. Some cyclists have even gone to the lengths of making their own, and I am one of them. In this blog I will give you my very simple schematic to make an empty two liter soda bottle into a bike visor in under five minutes, just in time for rainy weather.

While I like Jeff-O’s design I feel like it would let rain slip in from above and would still fall victim to fogging up. I have not used it personally and as such I can only speculate. The reason I opted for the design I did, which keeps the visor far away from the face and glasses is to prevent fogging up from body heat. I also feel like my design has better top coverage. His visor is much less bulky than my first version, but after seeing his build I re-designed mine to be sleeker and more svelte (see photos below).

You Will Need: An empty soda bottle, Velcro strips, scissors, and a bike helmet.

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Step 1: Empty Your Soda Bottle

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I tried to be a Mentos magician but clearly need to level up more.

This is pretty simple, and can be as fun as you are creative. You can just pour the soda out, but that is about as boring as it gets. You could drink it, which while being more exciting is still pretty mundane and full of obesity. You can shake it up and spray it in a stranger’s face then run away before they hit you. Or, best method, you can add Mentos to Diet Coke to create a carbonated geyser of liquid diabetes. The options truly are endless. I personally prefer using a bottle that is clear as my base, but you can play around with seven up bottle for a green tint. I picked a Pepsi bottle over coke because coke bottles have ridges and you really want a smooth plastic surface for best visibility with the least distortion.

Step 2: Cut the Soda Bottle Into Shape

Remove the label from your soda bottle and wash it out. You will notice that around the bottom, where the bottle bulges out at the base, there is a seem running horizontal around the entire circumference. Cut along that seem to remove the bottom. Cut a straight line to the top of the bottle, all the way to the cap if you can. Remove the cap. You should be left with a piece of plastic that is a semi dome that comes to a point where the cap was. Try to cut it so that any printed writing on the plastic wont obstruct your vision.

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Step 3: Attach Velcro To Helmet

I use three places to mount my Velcro, one on each side and one in the middle on top of the helmet, you may want to use more if you are worried about high wind situations, but I found mine to withstand winds up to 30 mph. By using Velcro like this you can remove the visor when not needed instantly and it folds up to fit neatly into a backpack.

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Now you are ready to handle winter’s rainy weather like a champ and look like Robocop while you are doing it.

Robocop Helmet

Build #1: Note how much larger it was, this caused it to catch more wind.

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Build #2: A hybrid of my initial design with Jeff-O’s build.

As useful as this helmet visor is, it pales in comparison to this invisible helmet which I am eagerly waiting for. Freedom from helmet hair, better peripheral vision, better neck protection, and it looks like a very stylish scarf. It’s really more of an airbag for your head than an invisible helmet though, but it looks much more solid than an air bag.

[EDIT]: Not all Velcro’s are created equal! I’ve used two different brands now and I can safely say that 3M off-brand Velcro is totally superior to Velcro Extreme in terms of holding capacity.

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I was just linked to an amazing new invention and it’s corresponding kickstarter campaign. The Fly Kly Smart Wheel turns any back wheel into an electric motor that can crank you up 20 extra mph. I have long wanted to take my awesome folding Montague X50 and make it into a space-age folding bicycle that I can take inside buses and trains. People already ask me if it is electric, I really wish it was. I love the work out of cycling, I rely on it in my weekly routine, but since I usually ride in suits some assistance would be nice on my way to work to not mess my suit up. My worry is that it looks like it may be for single speed bikes only. I don’t know if I can fit my gears around the motor, but I want to try!

Unfortunately, the $800 security deposit I was getting refunded, which could have donated to their campaign and got me a Fly Kly Smart Wheel, is instead going to pay for numerous medical bills due to my crash. Awesome. I may still find a way, there are 25 days left in there campaign and I can always buy one later.

I’m not sure if you’ve seen this video that has been making the rounds online today, where a police officer fires at five children and there mother after a traffic stop goes awry. I have mixed feelings on this one, like in many cases of supposed police brutality and other misconduct. I feel like I have a pretty solid hunch on what went wrong here and in what order, knowing that it is easy to see why it went wrong. I feel both sides acted improperly. Oriana was clearly not setting a good example for her kids, but the police were presenting an awful and barbaric image of the state.

A mother is on a family trip with her five children from Memphis to the Rio Grande, as she tells the officers during the stop. She is stopped for driving with expired tags and speeding, going 71 in a 55, a fairly common speed for American roads these days yet because of antiquated traffic laws it is considered a “serious traffic violation” in New Mexico (perhaps even reckless driving). The first problem here is a systemic issue, people habitually drive over the speed limit on every road in this country. The laws are what are on the books, written by generations past and not always applicable to our times, they are not what people habitually do.

In the traffic stop the officer informs the mother, Oriana Ferrell, that she was speeding and she is to turn off her car while he returns to his for something. She takes off and he pursues, she soon pulls over again. Presumably while pursuing he called for back up. While the dash cam subtitles show the cop saying he will be right back, perhaps his exact words were more ambiguous, perhaps they had a miscommunication and that is why Oriana drove off.

The second time around he opens the drivers door and asks her to get out. At this point she mentions the family trip and specifies that she is not trying to run, which is why she stopped again. After she refuses to get out of the vehicle the officer reaches in the car, presumably to pull her out. Refusing to get out of her car was her second major mistake. At this point there is no way to see what the officer is doing in the car and it will be interesting to see what Oriana and her children have to say. Regardless of what is being done it is enough to provoke her 14 year old son to get out of the car to try and help his mother, a quick flash of the taser scares him back in the car. Oriana now steps out of the vehicle, we cannot hear what is said but the body language is not a good sign and she bolts for the open car door. The officer grabs her by the wrist to restrain her which provokes another attempted assault by her son (hard to tell, he may have actually tackled into the cop), again fended off by a threatened tasing.

When back up arrives instead of blocking in her car so she cannot drive off and working to de-escalate the scene they start smashing windows like looters in a riot. The fear of broken glass lacerating her children seems to be what provokes Orianna into driving off a second time. This time things are different, Officer Trigger-Happy is on the scene now and fires at least three shots at the car, and the other two officers (you can even see one dive for cover in the video, clearly fearing for his life). Oriana doesn’t stop her car again until she is in a populated and safe place, a motel parking lot. Her lawyer maintains that she drove away to get somewhere public because she felt the officers were threatening the lives of her children and herself. John Miller, a former assistant director with the FBI, makes note that many departments have laws against firing at moving vehicles and other officers. Miller also notes many other oddities of the case that led up to the disastrous outcome, such as Oriana’s initial choice to flee.

While the video just got released online today, the incident happened a month ago. Since then Oriana and her son are both out after initial arrests. Her son was charged with battery of an officer and resisting arrest. Oriana was charged with five counts of child abuse, aggravated fleeing an officer, resisting an officer, reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia. Officers claim they found two marijuana pipes in the car. I have always wondered what, in absence of marijuana, classifies a pipe as a marijuana pipe and not a tobacco pipe or pipe for smoking other herbs. As there was no cannabis actually find I guess I’ll have to put faith in those officers expertise in cannabis smoking and paraphernalia.

Until I read about the drug charges her actions made no sense, now they make complete sense. With a drug charge, Child Protective Services is very likely to take your kids away, even if you are a legal medical cannabis patient. Now this is just my opinion, but I think she was afraid of losing her kids and her life as she knew it, she was afraid of the downward spiral this would set off, for her kids as well. That fear can drive people to do illogical things, like turn a routine traffic stop into a high speed chase which may realize those worst fears. I feel Officer Trigger-Happy should get the book thrown at him, including endangering another officer in the line of duty. The first cop I feel was the most reasonable, but I feel they all overreacted when they should have de-escalated things.

I’ve been there myself. I was 20, with two bottles of alcohol and an 1/8th of pot in a baggie in a messenger bag in my passenger seat. The bottles were half empty from a party the week before, I was sober and was staying that way as the DD. The booze wasn’t even mine, it was my friend’s. I know, it’s an old line, but it is true and fitting. I sat it out, got a public defender and took my lumps in court. It was only about $500 in fines and fees plus 20 hours of community service, spent painting  a community theater. I imagine her lumps wouldn’t have been as bad as mine for the initial stop. After the cop claimed he smelled pot I consented to an illegal search and made it legal, then he found all my contraband. In my case, the smell of pot was a mere hunch, not probable cause; I know this now but I did not when I was 20. After my own run in with police and illegal searches I’ve made it a goal to learn about these issues and raise awareness through the spread of knowledge.

I do not know how it would have played out for Oriana had she not tried to drive off that first time. I am greatly saddened that it went how it did, my thoughts go out to her family. It is worth mentioning that if the paraphernalia is the reason she was provoked into running from the police to protect her rights as a mother, Oriana and her children are yet more victims of America’s thoughtless war on drugs.

A Nation Homeless

Posted: November 17, 2013 in History, Politics

After my last couple of posts about my literal run in with a member of the local homeless community I feel it fit to make a post about my broader views on homelessness in America. I worry that I may have came off as callous to the plight of homeless individuals, which is most assuredly not the case. I’m always one for small charities like giving food or money whenever I can. I have also been involved in larger efforts to help the homeless community and plan to continue for the rest of my life. Through Occupy Santa Cruz and over a decade spent in Santa Cruz I met many homeless individuals, even dated some. I met world famous hackers, local rabble rousers, LGBT youth fleeing abuse, and eloquent veterans with rich lives who sometimes rage at the heavens. That last one, the eloquent veteran, his name is Norman and from what he tells me used to be special forces before things went wrong. Norman lived by the bridge near my house in Santa Cruz for roughly two of my three years at that house and we developed a good rapport, I even called an ambulance for him once and waited with him for the paramedics to come. For me homeless people are people first, whereas I imagine most Americans get caught up on the homeless aspect and forget they are still people. I have always felt this way but much more strongly after nearly becoming homeless myself when I graduated into unemployment, student loan debt, and the Great Recession.

I do not blame the homeless individual who caused my crash for being were he was when he was, I blame our society. The culture of American Capitalism breeds neglect and this man was a product of that neglect. Perhaps he was a veteran (13%), maybe he suffers from an untreated mental disorder (25%) or drug addiction (35%); all of these demographics are neglected in our culture and pushed towards homelessness. Those percents are the aggregate totals across the US, some states and cities have even higher rates. This individual was definitely under the influence of something, either drugs or in an altered mental state for other reasons. It is not his fault he cannot receive proper mental health care or addiction treatment in this country, it is our society’s fault. America could prioritize harm reduction and preventative care, instead we put punitive measures in place to criminalize drug use and homelessness.

In all likelihood I had ridden my bike past this same man before without ever seeing him. I frequently ride down the Guadalupe River trail in San Jose, which was the site for a 100+ person tent city with an annex across the river in the woods (photos to come). Unfortunately, in an act of great compassion, the San Jose city council evicted all the homeless to downtown San Jose, to better resemble San Francisco. This is not the first nor do I expect it to be the last time that particular location will have a camp and the police will clear it out. There is a lifecycle to homeless camps, like with graffiti art; first one small tag or one tent goes unnoticed, then that grows into a larger piece, a larger camp, and then it becomes hard to go back to the way things were. It’s an example of the broken windows theory. San Jose is home to many homeless camps, including the largest in the US by size. While the city council admits that San Jose has a problem with homelessness, there seems to be little political will to do anything about it, other than bicker over the cost of cleanups and evictions.

Members of the homeless community that I have spoken to have mixed views on camps. It is generally felt that if you are a single man the chances of getting into a shelter are slim, they are better for women and those with children. Some individuals feel homeless camps provide safety in numbers, others feel they are breeding grounds for drug abuse and crime (I see this same divide with my homed friends as well). The current trend seems to be towards homeless camps with city support and rules, you can see efforts to do this in Santa Cruz, Sacramento, and Eugene. I certainly feel these camps better alternatives to wandering alone and risking being burned alive or killed by a samurai sword.

Let me return to a previous point that I glazed over, my issues with American Capitalism. Only in America, or maybe China, do we have enough empty homes to give every homeless person five and still have some left over, yet those homes remain empty and the homeless remain freezing to death on Chicago streets. Seriously, there are enough empty homes in this country for every homeless person to have a main house AND a summer house. That doesn’t include foreclosed businesses, like the dozens of abandoned Walmarts around the US who existed only to drive competition under and make room for a Super Walmart in the next town over. At least one Texas town has found a good use for an empty Walmart and filled the husk of evil with the glory of a giant library. Some individuals I knew involved with Occupy Santa Cruz, tried something similar, yet more radical (read: without consent). People often claim capitalism to be the most efficient economic system, I fail to see what is efficient in nearly 19 million empty homes and trillions of dollars of wasted resources now rotting away unoccupied. I fail to see what is efficient in people needing mental health services, scientifically effective rehab, and homes; yet not getting any of it when it should be in abundance. Homes clearly are in abundance, but America is woefully lacking on harm reduction policies like needle exchange and mental health services.

The power is ours to change the world, but power without action is meaningless. In San Jose we have a homelessness problem and a foreclosure problem, just on the street where I work there are a half dozen vacant businesses who have been empty over a year. That is lost revenue for the property owners, the City should step in and convert some of them into homeless shelters. Rather than spend millions of dollars on a “phase one” where they clear out the camps and plan to move the homeless into shelters for “phase two,” why not just jump to phase two and let the camps dissipate on their own? That seems logical to me, if given the option of a new shelter or a camp it’s a fairly easy choice. There clearly is more to it, zoning and other bureaucratic nonsense, but if there was enough political will in the public to put pressure on the city council we could do this.

After my run in with that random homeless gentleman the other day I am left with a non-displaced acute mid-scaphoid fracture, my first broken bone. While the scaphoid isn’t a large bone, one of the little bones that connects the thumb to your wrist, its function makes it rather important. It also is slow to heal due to poor bloodflow to that area of the body. I will likely be posting less often for now and shorter posts; I’ll do my best to keep the quality up. My spirits remain high, life goes on and I keep moving forward. This is but another opportunity to learn and grow. Thus far I’ve almost perfected brushing my teeth and using a mouse left handed, still working on getting my one handed typing up to speed. Finding good in the bad, that is how I choose to live my life.

The accident happened on Thursday morning, at the time I thought my wrist was sprained, maybe broken. I doubted it was broken because I wrongly assumed it would hurt more than it did and swell more. Scaphoid fractures have been known to go unnoticed for weeks. I’m glad I am very in tune with my body. Though I was freaking out when I kept reading about how common surgery is and how often there are lasting problems, I calmed down when reading that non-displaced fractures like mine usually heal fine. I just worry about my breaking, parkour, poi spinning, and everything else I do that takes two hands (like typing fast). Videos of all the previous mentioned physical feats would have been posted up soon, now it will have to wait while I heal.

I have insurance through my mom, not an amazing plan but not an awful on either; this fact makes me luckier than many, though only for another month when I turn 26. While I love the healthcare reform I feel it has messed a lot up as well and is not the best option we could have went with. I personally advocate for a single payer option, since virtually every study done of it show decreased cost and/or better quality of care. If we had a single payer healthcare system I could have just walked into the closest clinic, best clinic, or one with the least wait by checking a clinic database or similar resource.

Instead, the first clinic I called only accepted my insurance for the doctor visit, not the x-ray which they knew was the sole reason I was there. No one felt fit to mention this when I called to schedule an x-ray on Thursday and told them my insurance. This fact was only mentioned after nearly three hours of waiting, forms, and finally briefly seeing a doctor. The clinic’s x-ray tech sent me to the hospital down the road that did take my insurance for x-rays because “they do that all the time”, but with only one page of my 2-page doctor’s order this time.

The hospital staff was much more helpful, and called back to the clinic to speak to my doctor. The doctor was flabbergasted that I left because “this never happens.” The hospital took the x-ray’s and had a far more competent doctor look them over who identified the fracture. Unfortunately they had no urgent care center, only an emergency room (about five times as expensive, only for real emergencies). This meant a trip across SF to the urgent care clinic and my third medical clinic of the day (who could have done all of this themselves, had I only known). Finally, 5 hours later I had a thumb immobilizing splint and a prescription for painkillers, as well as 2-3 different medical bills I would imagine.

The final doctor and I talked a bunch about the new healthcare reform. While it is awesome that being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition and I was able to stay on my mom’s insurance a few more years, this is not an ideal system. A single payer option would have negated all that run around and me risking further injury. Did I mention I was walking for miles or on the bus? I don’t own a car nor could I drive right now or even ride a bike with my wrist. The icing on my cake with the Affordable Care Act was signing up for healthcare.gov and having them over-inflate my yearly earnings by nearly $3,000, bumping me out of getting benefits. My issues with them looking solely at pre-tax income aside, I know how to do math and I know how to tell what  my pre-tax income is from what it isn’t. This isn’t even difficult math.

I’m wondering where the magical mystery $3,000 I am supposedly getting comes from. Maybe something saucy and risque like hooking, maybe stripping? Perhaps more respectable work like union carpentry or as a chartered accountant? Since the government is making it up I supposed they can claim it to be from whatever industry suits their needs. All I know now is that I need to contest their numbers and try to get this either explained or fixed. If I am making $3,000 more a year I want to know how I collect.

[EDIT]: It occurred to me after writing this earlier that I have had limited first hand experiences with a single payer healthcare system, which may have shaped my views. First, when I was sixteen I was in Germany with my father, it was my first time out of the country and I can speak some German. While there my father randomly fainted while we were packing to leave Nuremberg. The doctor we saw that day at a clinic, where I do not recall paying anything, said my father had a small stroke. We got quite good care and got home safe, albeit the trip was cut short. My second experience with single payer healthcare is a bit of an odd example, one people wouldn’t normally think of, Burning Man. At this year’s Burn I got a chunk of playa grit in my eye, which scratched my cornea, put me in medical for three hours, and left me rocking an eye patch for the rest of the Burn. My medical care, medicated eye drops, eye-waterboarding…everything was free. I even had to go to two different clinics, it was still free. My ticket paid for the event insurance which covered many minor injuries. Major ones required an airlift and that you have to pay for.

Recipe: Hummus at Home

Posted: November 15, 2013 in Cooking, DIY
Tags: , ,

I love hummus. It’s delicious, nutritious, and super easy to make. It’s also 100% vegan if that is something that matters for you. Hummus, like salsa, is a template. You can add whatever you want to spice it up in different ways. I love mine super heavy on garlic and olives with hints of a half dozen other spices. While I did say hummus is easy to make it comes with a major caveat, without a food processor you might as well not even try. I have never tried it without my food processor with success. I once tried in a blender but it was not successful (could have just been the blender though).

I hope you enjoy my first cooking post. These are old photos that I took before a fire trashed my old house and I was forced to move. All future postings will feature my new kitchen which doesn’t have my beer collection in it (yet).

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You Will Need: Garbanzo beans, tahini sauce (I used a combo of two tahini’s for this hummus), Salt, Lemon Juice, and Garlic….everything else is optional (yes, even olive oil).

Normally olive oil is viewed as a component part of hummus, I’ve made multiple batches without it and there is virtually no difference. I prefer it with olive oil myself though, mostly for the good saturated fats found in olive oil.

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Step One: Pour the garbanzo beans into the food processor, including the liquid the beans were soaking in (whether canned or fresh). Add tahini to taste, I usually add about two heaping tablespoons. Blend until it has a homogeneous consistency.

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Step 2: Add your salt, about a teaspoon or so, to taste.

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Step 3: Add you lemon juice, make sure to get the seeds out or you will have crunchy hummus. I usually use a full lemon, the citric acid and salt are your only preservatives. Fresh hummus keeps about a week in a fridge, maybe more if you load up on salt/lemon.

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Step 4: Add your garlic. I use fresh minced garlic as well as powdered garlic…seriously, I love garlic in a bad way.

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Step 5: Now for optional add ins like pine nuts and olives. My hummus usually had both in it as well as a bouquet of spices.

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Finished hummus should look something like this, with a nice creamy consistency. Some people like chunky hummus, if you are one of them do the same as above but with less blending (only blend at the very end of the process).

Terminal Velocity

Posted: November 14, 2013 in Bike Culture

Terminal Velocity (N) – The state of being at ones maximum speed given the physical effects of drag, gravity, and other contextual forces.

It also can be defined to mean the speed at which one is approaching death (Sub-definition: Velocity 3a and Terminal 5).

Today I was riding my bike to Diridon train station in downtown San Jose on my way back home to San Francisco. It was a normal morning like any other, I was stopping for lights and obeying the traffic laws. I was homefree, within two minutes of the train station; truly, the last road I was on before getting there. Today was a day like any other, but then it became a day unlike any I have experienced, a bicyclists worst-case-scenario.

Here is where it all goes wrong. Out from between two parked cars, not even a car length ahead of me, a homeless man strolls out right in front of me. I begin to brake and yell, doing everything I can to avoid him while not swerving into oncoming traffic or the parked cars he jumped out from. As I knew the second I saw him cross my path without even looking I hit him. He went down and I went down with him, even now my right wrist is in a brace and I wait to go in for an X-Ray. I asked him, bluntly, “Did you even look?” My response was a zombified moan, not a moan of pain so much as a moan of “God I am really high and have no clue what happened.” At that he got up and walked off without saying a single intelligible word.

I had to stop and do some road-side repairs but was soon back on my bike and got to my train on time, with minimal injury to myself or my personal effects (my Canon Rebel XT).

I tell this story for pedestrians, drives, and bicyclists alike to all learn from. As a pedestrian, if you are jaywalking into traffic the onus is on you to check and make sure it is safe. As a car or cyclist, you need to be looking out for pedestrians, even if they are not paying any attention at all; but sometimes there is no good option. Would it have been better for me to swerve into oncoming traffic and get killed myself? Our homeless man is very lucky I was only a bike going 20mph, not a car. As I mentioned in a previous post, cars are 4,000 pound death sledges; I would have flattened him had I been in a car, instead we were both able to walk/ride off. 

Please, be safe on the roads, no matter what transportation you use. A pedestrian breaking the law in the wrong place at the wrong time is as bad, maybe worse, than a car or a bike. We all only have one life.

See an updated version of this post on The Leaf Online,Cannabinoid Profile – CBD!

 

As I mentioned in my first post I work at Harborside Health Center, the world’s largest medical cannabis dispensary and one setting a law-abiding example for all other collectives to emulate. We’ve been featured in the Discovery Channel documentary Weed Wars and CNN’s recent show Inside Man. We are also winning a major court battle against the Department of Justice in Federal court with the full support of the city of Oakland. This cannabinoid profile is based off something I prepared for work to help educate our staff, the first of many to come. While my manager only asked me to make one for CBD, as time allows, I plan to cover all major cannabinoids (THC, THCa, THCv, CBG, CBCs, etc). A slight bit of background on myself, though my BA is in political science it would be more accurate to say I went to school for a bachelors in cannabis. I wrote numerous research papers about cannabis while in school, I briefly appeared on CNN discussing why we should legalize it to end the war with Mexico’s cartels, and I was a regional director for Proposition 19 as well as 2012’s failed Regulate Cannabis Like Wine act. That is just the tip of my drug policy activism and merely the cover of my activists resume, but all that is terribly relevant to mention now. Future Cannabinoid Profile posts won’t bother with this introduction, I’ll just jump right into it from now on.

CBD

Formula: C21H30O2
Molecular Mass: 314.2246 g/mol
Decarboxylation Point: 115-145°C (239°F to 293°F)*

Boiling Point: 180°C (356°F)

LD50 (Lethal Dose): 50mg/kg for mice (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg),

CBD is non-psychoactive and it is a powerful anti-psychotic drug, valuable for sufferers of psychosis or schizophrenia. CBD has been shown to be at least as strong an anti-inflammatory as Ibuprofen and at least as effective as THC for treating pain and managing tumors. CBD has a wide range of therapeutic uses ranging from physical ones like pain relief to mental ones like relief of anxiety and depression. CBD is also neuroprotective and neurogenetic, protecting the brain and promoting the growth of new brain cells. CBD has been shown to be extremely effective in treating seizures.

Due to the fact that it is non-psychoactive and strongly medicinal even in small doses CBD is highly recommended for treatment of children, the elderly, and anyone who wants to remain clear headed yet medicated. CBD appears to change how THC affects the body, making it less psychoactive and more therapeutic; this process is still being actively researched. CBG ,CBD, and the CBC’s all share the same molecular formula but have a different structure.

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.

Anti-Diabetic – CBD is the only cannabinoid identified that helps lower blood sugar levels.

Antidepressant – Relieves symptoms of depression.

Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.

Anti-Epileptic – Reduces seizures and convulsions.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Insomnia – Aids with sleep.

Anti-Ischemic – CBD is the only cannabinoid identified that reduces the risk of artery blockage.

Antipsioratic – CBD is the only cannabinoid identified to treat psoriasis.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

Antipsychotic – Tranquilizing effects relieve symptoms of psychosis, two terpenoids also help (linalool and myrcene).

Antioxidant – Prevents the damage of oxidation to other molecules in the body.

Antispasmodic –  Suppresses muscle spasms.

Anxiolytic – Relieves anxiety.

Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth.

Immunosuppressive – CBD is the only cannabinoid identified that reduces function in the immune system.

Intestinal Anti-Prokinetic – CBD is the only cannabinoid identified that reduces small intestine contractions.

Neurogenic – Promotes the growth of new brain cells, specifically within the Hippocampus (an area of the brain responsible for memory and spatial awareness).

Neuroprotective – Slows damage to the nervous system and brain.

Vasorelaxant– CBD is the only cannabinoid identified that reduces vascular tension.

Halent 2011 - Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart

Currently Being Studied For

Cancer: A study was published in 2007, regarding ongoing research being done at San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center, showing that CBD inhibits a particular gene (Id-1) which is responsible for the growth of cancer cells in the body. By inhibiting this gene CBD shuts down the growth of cancer cells, potentially stopping or even reversing tumor growth. While it is premature to say that cannabis, specifically CBD, cures cancer it is worth further research.

Dravet Syndrome/Epilepsy: In October of 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved two clinical trials assessing the therapeutic uses of CBD in treating intractable epilepsy in children. The CBD preparations are being made by British pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals, makers of Sativex. Dravet is a rare seizure disorder where usually children will have their first intractable seizure before they are even one year old, in exceptional cases seizures can last for hours and potentially over 24 hours. Where I work we have several patients who suffer from severe seizure disorders, like Dravets. Patients like Jayden, who has achieved near celebrity status for his great success in managing Dravets with a CBD-rich tincture.

Parkinson’s Disease: Two studies, one out of Israel and one case study, have come out this year showing that CBD rich cannabis may be a treatment for “complex sleep related behaviors” caused by Parkinson’s Disease. It would seem Parkinson’s Disease changes the pattern of rapid eye movement that happens while you sleep, causing sleep disturbances and CBD will mitigate that.

Depression/Anxiety: CBD stimulates the 5-HT1a receptor in the brain, this region of the brain is involved in the re-uptake of serotonin and other processes that aid with depression and anxiety. The antidepressant properties of CBD are very similar to the trycyclic antidepressant Imipramine (also being evaluated for panic disorder).

Schizophrenia/Psychosis: CBD is a powerful antipsychotic currently being considered for use in treating schizophrenia and other types of psychoses. Cannabidiol appears to have a very similar chemical profile to certain atypical antipsychotic drugs. CBD also slows the degradation of the endocannabinoid anandamide, resulting in increased levels of anandamide and lower rates of psychosis. A recent study found CBD to be as effective at treating psychosis as the anti-psychotic drug Amisulpride.

Liver Protection Against Binge Drinking: A study just came out showing that CBD protects the liver against damage from binge alcohol drinking by way of inhibiting oxidative stress and increasing autophagy. Put into layman’s terms CBD encourages the old and overused parts of cells to recycle into newer parts and controls free radical damage.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease/Crohn’s Disease: CBD shows a lot of promise for controlling the inflammatory responses and discomfort caused by Crohn’s disease and IBD. CBD has so much potential to regulate these diseases that it is being considered for a new class of IBD drugs.

Neurogenesis/Neuro-Inflammation: Since 2007, CBD has been studied for its role in promoting the growth of new brain cells in the Hippocampus, a brain region that governs memories and our spatial awareness. It was also shown to reduce inflammation in the brain, which is related to Alzheimer’s disease. The mechanism of the effect seems to relate to the activity at the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia/Memory Loss: Far from the stereotype, cannabis actually improves your memory and cognition abilities. CBD’s strong neuroprotective and anti-oxidative effects work together to counteract the effects of aging on our brains, fighting off memory loss and dementia.

If you read this post and are still craving more information check out this video and the references listed below.

References:

  1. Steep Hill Lab, Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Reference Guide; http://steephilllab.com/resources/cannabinoid-and-terpenoid-reference-guide/
  2. Skunk Pharm Research, Cannabinoid and Terpene Info; http://skunkpharmresearch.com/cannabinoid-info/
  3. SC Labs, Meet the Cannabinoids; http://sclabs.com/learn/learn-cannabinoids.html

*Note: Decarboyxlation – A chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases  CO2, often triggered by heat.

As suggestive as the title is, this is not a post about bondage, unless you have a very strange view on neckties (to each their own, you’ll find no judgment here). Also, I don’t just like men in suits; I love it when girls wear ties and vests, it is quite easily my favorite outfit combo for anyone.

As you may have noticed in every photo of me on this blog so far, and likely every one to come, I am wearing a tie and the tie has not repeated once (and probably wont). Last time I counted I had around 200 ties, but I’ve got more since then and given others away. As appealing as it is to try and get a Guinness record I have no interest in surpassing the current title holder with 60,000 ties. I’ve long wanted to be a teacher and my goal is to have enough ties to get my through a school year without repeats. I have nothing against wearing the same tie twice and have many favorites, but I love variety in my life.

Today I am wearing a unique one, today I have anthrax. This tie was created by Infectious Awareables who have a whole line of virus ties. I was lucky enough to get my anthrax at my favorite thrift store for a couple bucks. Thanks to IA I now have a reason to want Ebola, probably the only time and context in my life when that will ever be true; Ebola is terrible. This company is cool for three main reasons. The first is they are a company that makes neckties and other accessories printed with the human genome and viruses, even computer viruses. The second is that you can get custom ties made (albeit in 300 unit bulk orders). The third, and I think most awesome reason, they donate a portion of their proceeds to medical research, education, and treatment.

As much as I love loud and interesting prints the do limit your options in how you will tie your tie.  Most people are familiar with the Four in the Hand, Half Windsor, Windsor, Pratt Knot, Box Knot, and the Bow Tie Knot. Fewer are hip to the exotic Trinity Knot, Eldredge Knot, Merovingian Knot, and a slew of even rarer knots. Many of these exotic ways to tie a tie do not work that well with elaborate patterns. If you plan to try these yourself, I’d also recommend pre-emptively tying your tie for work, or practicing before attempting to tie a new and complicated knot after just waking up, resulting in a sloppy tie or being late to work. Trust me, I have been tying ties for over a decade now and I still had issues with my first Eldredge knot.

PhotoPoem – Atlas Shrugged

Posted: November 13, 2013 in Art
Tags: , ,

Second photo-poem, “Sorrow” and “Atlas Shrugged.”

Sorrow-Myspace

Atlas Shrugged

Atlas shrugged and with a rush I feel the crush on my shoulders.

Unbearable, burdensome, barbaric weight.

Weight that no one man should be asked to bear,

The weight of the world which belongs to us all.

 

And why anyways should a man be tasked with this burden?

Are woman only good at bearing with the hips?

Ancient misogyny projected through mythology,

Atlas was the first douchebag kicking sand on the beaches of antiquity.

 

As that is so, why do we idealize this man so much?

We build temples honoring him where his disciples work their pecs.

When lost you ask him for directions, even though he doesn’t go anywhere, ever.

Hell, women even write books singing his praises for shrugging off work.

 

And now, I am stuck with that weight,

A weight which no one man should have to bear.

All because one other man shrugged off the duty given to him.

If we all shrugged off responsibility, where does it fall?

 

And when it falls, is it a hard fall, tumbling down to shatter the earth?

Or is it a slow fall like a feather, suspended animation trapped in air?

Maybe when it falls it lands like a thunderclap, lightning splitting sky,

Blinding our eyes, obscuring where responsibility really lies.

 

The responsibility for this world is inside each of us.

It is the sum total of the sins and graces of our forebearers.

Now it is our time to claim ownership of our lives,

Or be condemned to commit their same comedy of errors.

 

The reason this responsibility cannot be bore by one person,

Is because the mess we’ve made can never hope to be cleaned up alone.