Entries Tagged as 'Science'

Legalizing Pot

A government report this past week showed that illegal drug use was up… and immediately the media latches on blaming medical marijuana as being the cause.

Hello… it’s a down economy; and when the economy is bad, and people are out of work, drug use typically increases.

I’m not entirely sure that marijuana should be legalized; I’m more for supporting federal initiatives that require access to alcohol and tobacco to require a doctor’s prescription and making them available only at regulated dispensaries.

After all, the government knew years ago that both tobacco and alcohol were far worse than marijuana… and if there’s any gateway drugs we should be concerned with it’s alcohol and tobacco — after all, I’m willing to bet that an incredibly large number of illegal drug users use or used alcohol and/or tobacco first.

Get a grip America — the double standard in dealing with “harmful” substances is part of the problem… and guess what, prohibition failed (miserably); just read what wealthiest supporters of prohibition said after it was repealed:

When Prohibition was introduced, I hoped that it would be widely supported by public opinion and the day would soon come when the evil effects of alcohol would be recognized. I have slowly and reluctantly come to believe that this has not been the result. Instead, drinking has generally increased; the speakeasy has replaced the saloon; a vast army of lawbreakers has appeared; many of our best citizens have openly ignored Prohibition; respect for the law has been greatly lessened; and crime has increased to a level never seen before.
· John D Rockefeller, Jr

Originally posted 2010-09-19 02:00:48.

The Incredible Shrinking State

Rising Temperatures, Disappearing Coastlines
December 8, 2009

Greenland and Antarctica hold the world’s largest reservoirs of fresh water, locked in their giant ice sheets. Global warming may cause large parts of these ices sheets to melt within centuries — changing the shape of coastlines around the world.

See the entire article on NPR.

Originally posted 2010-04-14 02:00:12.

US Drug Policy

I certainly don’t have a solution to the drug problem in the US; but clearly the US government doesn’t either.

History teaches us many lessons, and when we ignore those lessons we often find ourselves repeating the errors of the past.

Prohibition didn’t work.

We make arbitrary decisions about which drugs are acceptable are which ones are not (we have legalized alcohol, but not drug in social use for much longer).

The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation has some interesting views on US drug policy:

The United States is at a crossroads in its drug policy. In our effort to quell the drug trade, we have greatly increased patrol and inspection on our nation’s borders. We have increased arrests for violation of drug laws and lengthened sentences. We have stripped away the rights of drug offenders and introduced drug testing in our nation’s schools and workplaces. We have poured billions of dollars into overseas anti-drug paramilitary operations that commit violent human rights abuses. And in the process of trying to eradicate illicit coca crops, we have destroyed over a million acres of land in Colombia alone.

Since 1990, more than half of the federal prisoners in America are serving time for drug offenses. The availability and purity of drugs has steadily increased over the past twenty-five years. The violence in the drug trade remains excruciatingly high and surges from year to year and city to city. Meanwhile, there remain a myriad of social issues as a result of drug abuse.

The use of drugs, and the enforcement of the anti-drug laws, effects all subpopulations in the U.S., all sectors of the economy, and many aspects of the legal system. Whether we are talking about violence, poverty, race, health, education, community development, the environment, civil liberties or terrorism, the illegal drug market is an important factor in the conversation.

We have tried to use force, prohibition and incarceration to control the drug market, but our efforts have actually led to a more efficient drug trade and a hugely profitable drug market. It is time to rethink our strategy and redefine our goals.

This section holds articles and speeches given by CJPF that address drug policy in all of its forms and effects. In this, we strive to provide a comprehensive framework for rethinking the war on drugs.

You can read the complete statement and peruse their web site at

Criminal Justice Policy Foundation

And if you’re wondering, I found their site through an article from NPR on taxing cocaine rather than (or in addition to) marijuana.

NPR

Originally posted 2010-03-28 02:00:43.

Eyjafjallajokull

Eyjafjallajokull is the name of the volcano in Iceland causing all the problems with travel in Europe.

The news media is filled with all kinds of stories centering around eruption.

Many of the articles are about the anger travelers have directed towards the EU for shutting down four of the five major airports (and most air travel) in Europe; as well as how much money the air lines are losing (and wanting the EU to compensate them for their loses).

I wonder what these same people and companies would do if the EU had done nothing and catastrophic loss of life had occurred.

I’m sorry for all the inconvenience and the financial loses — but perhaps erring on the side of caution is the right choice.

Originally posted 2010-04-20 02:00:59.

Big Moon

No not that kind of moon… a big full moon in the sky.

Today is the biggest moon since 1993; that’s the last time the perigee of the moon brought it closer than it is now.

The moon (like the Earth) has an elliptical orbit and it’s about 50,000 km (21,000 miles) closer to the Earth at it’s perigee (nearest point) than it’s apogee (farthest point).

NASA projected the perigee moon today to appear about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than a full moon at apogee.

Remember, just because the moon looks close, it’s a long way away at 356,577 km (211,600 miles).

Solstice – Lunar Eclipse – Full Moon

This morning truly a once in a life time event; a lunar eclipse of a full moon on the Winter Solstice… many cultures would have likely seen the eclipse of the symbol of rebirth as an omen of doom and destruction — but we can view it in slender and aw.

NASA reports that this is the first time an eclipse has coincided with a solstice since December 21, 1638, and the next one won’t come around again until 2094.

On NASA

50th Anniversary

Of humans in space that is.

Today is the 50th anniversary of  Yury Gagarin’s epic flight into space.

You can find more information on the Russian Federal Space Agency’s web site, comrade.

 

ROSCOSMOS

ROSCOSMOS (Wikipedia)


NASA NASA

NASA (Wikipedia)

Originally posted 2010-04-12 02:00:28.