What Paul Newman did for Tomato Sauce, what Francis Coppola did for Cabernet, Willie Nelson is hoping to do for Weed

As marijuana becomes increasingly mainstream, it would be unAmerican not to have a pop culture icon become its commercial face. GQ looks into Willie Nelson’s bid to make “Willie’s Reserve” the biggest brand in legal weed:

“I’ve bought a lot of pot in my life,” Willie Nelson tells me, “and now I’m selling it back.”

Willie Nelson performing at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ. Photo: joshbg2k (CC)

Willie Nelson performing at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ. Photo: joshbg2k (CC)

 

Willie Nelson has this kind of answer—stock, pithy—for all kinds of questions, and he’s been using them for decades. Bring up his brief abortive stint at college studying business administration? Invariably he’ll soon say, “I majored in dominoes.” Mention the massive sum he owed the IRS in the early ’90s—somewhere between $17 million and $32 million—and you’ll get the one about how it isn’t so much “if you say it real fast.”

As time passes, the world offers up new questions, and so sometimes new answers are required.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The disturbing consequences of seeing your doppelganger

Untitled
What happens when you meet your doppelganger face-to-face? For one young man, it meant jumping out of a four story window to reconcile his place in reality. It happened when he stopped taking his anticonvulsant medication and got out of bed one morning only to see himself still lying there.

Anil Ananthaswamy via BBC:

The incident seemed to have been started when the young man had stopped taking some of his anticonvulsant medication. One morning, instead of going to work, he drank copious amounts of beer and stayed in bed. But it turned out to be a harrowing lie-in.

He felt dizzy, stood up, turned around, and saw himself still lying in bed. He was aware that the person in bed was him, and was not willing to get up and would thus make himself late for work. Furious at the prone self, the man shouted at it, shook it, and even jumped on it, all to no avail.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War

Military Police Practice Medical Evacuations [Image 2 of 3]
Lawrence Wittner writes at CounterPunch:

In 1915, a mother’s protest against funneling children into war became the theme of a new American song, “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier.” Although the ballad attained great popularity, not everyone liked it. Theodore Roosevelt, a leading militarist of the era, retorted that the proper place for women who criticized war was “in a harem―and not in the United States.”

Roosevelt would be happy to learn that, a century later, preparing children for war continues unabated.

That’s certainly the case in today’s Russia, where thousands of government-funded clubs are producing what is called “military-patriotic education” for children. Accepting both boys and girls, these clubs teach them military exercises, some of which employ heavy military equipment. In a small town outside St. Petersburg, for example, children ranging from five to 17 years of age spend evenings learning how to fight and use military weapons.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

When CO2 Saved Life on Earth

Peter Sinclair writes at Climate Denial Crock of the Week:

 

The story of “snowball earth” has been distorted and used as confusion fodder by climate denial luminaries like His Celestial Magnanimity, the looney “Lord” Monckton, – see above.(starts about 1:50)

In contrast to today, when warming from our industrial injection of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere threatens life on the planet, in the deep past, CO2 pulled planet earth from a permanent, deathly world-wide deep freeze, maybe more than once.  In both cases, it’s those same heat-trapping properties that made the difference.

It’s all more evidence of how co2 has acted as the planet’s “biggest control knob” for temperature over 4 billion years.

Ian Fairchild, PhD, in The Conversation:

The idea of a deep-frozen world, “snowball Earth”, has captured the imagination since first proposed in the 1990s. On several occasions in history, long before animals evolved, apparently synchronous ice sheets existed on all the continents.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Sexbots, Immortality, and Robot Polar Bears with Patrick Quinlan

Sexbots #nerdlesquefest #burlesque

I rapped with Patrick Quinlan, author of Sexbot, about Sex Robots, immortality and robot polar bears.

Patrick, thanks for talking to me. 

It’s really my pleasure.

Your book is wild. Do you think there ever might come a time when Sexbots are totally normal? That you go over to your buddy’s house to watch the game and have a beer and just see a Sex Robot sitting in the corner? How far away is that?

Normalcy is an insidious thing. The word insidious sounds bad, but I don’t really mean it that way. All I mean is that normalcy has this funny habit of changing ever so gradually, until it’s completely different from what it once was, but no one really notices.

Take porn as an obvious example. When I was a 12-year-old kid, porn was hard to come by. You tended to find porn magazines in garbage dumpsters, or under the bed when you broke into some guy’s apartment while he was out at work.Read the rest

Continue Reading

Feminism for Men

Happy Monday
Floyd Dell writing in 1914, via the Baffler:

Feminism is going to make it possible for the first time for men to be free.

At present the ordinary man has the choice between being a slave and a scoundrel. That’s about the way it stands.

For the ordinary man is prone to fall in love and marry and have children. Also the ordinary man frequently has a mother. He wants to see them all taken care of, since they are unable to take care of themselves. Only if he has them to think about, he is not free.

A free man is a man who is ready to throw up his job whenever he feels like it. Whether he is a bricklayer who wants to go out on a sympathetic strike, or a poet who wants to quit writing drivel for the magazines, if he doesn’t do what he wants to do, he is not free.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Mysterious Wooden Idol Found in Russia is 11,000 years old

1bec1ab0-4e70-11e5-8f39-235a41650419_shigiridol

The Shigir Idol was found in a peat bog in Russia over 125 years ago. It had previously been dated at 9,500 years old, but new research from Mannheim, Germany suggests the idol is actually 11,000 years old. That’s twice as old as Stonehenge and the Pyramids. Even more mysterious, the idol is covered in some kind of “encrypted code.”

Professor Mikhail Zhilin of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Archeology said: ‘The ornament is covered with nothing but encrypted information. People were passing on knowledge with the help of the Idol.’

The researchers in Mannheim, Germany used tiny fragments of the idol for analysis by Accelerated Mass Spectrometry to determine its new age.

For more reading: The Huffington Post and Yahoo News.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Britain’s Atlantis

There are some treasures of prehistoric Britain buried under the North Sea and archaeologists are planning to uncover what’s being dubbed “Britain’s Atlantis,” per the Independent:

Archaeologists are searching for the lost tribes of prehistoric Britain – at the bottom of the North Sea.

britain atlantis

In a unique and ground-breaking operation, scientists plan to search for evidence of Stone Age human activity on Britain’s very own ‘Atlantis’ – a vast prehistoric land, once located between England and southern Scandinavia, which was engulfed by rising sea levels some 7500 years ago.

The archaeologists hope to find evidence of flint tool manufacture, plant pollen and the DNA of plant and animal species used by the long-lost land’s ancient inhabitants. Due to be launched later this month, the multi-million pound project is the largest of its kind ever attempted anywhere in the world and will lead to the development by British scientists of an entire range of new scientific techniques and capabilities.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Are trigger warnings encouraging pathological thinking?

Young girl reading a book, Central Circulating Library at College and St. George Streets, Toronto, Ontario / Une jeune fille lit un livre. Bibliothèque centrale de prêt à l'intersection des rues College et Saint-George, Toronto (Ontario)

“Emotional reasoning dominates many campus debates and discussions. A claim that someone’s words are ‘offensive’ is not just an expression of one’s own subjective feeling of offendedness. It is, rather, a public charge that the speaker has done something objectively wrong. It is a demand that the speaker apologize or be punished by some authority for committing an offense,” write Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt at The Atlantic:

The expansive use of trigger warnings may also foster unhealthy mental habits in the vastly larger group of students who do not suffer from PTSD or other anxiety disorders. People acquire their fears not just from their own past experiences, but from social learning as well. If everyone around you acts as though something is dangerous—elevators, certain neighborhoods, novels depicting racism—then you are at risk of acquiring that fear too. The psychiatrist Sarah Roff pointed this out last year in an online article for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Intelligent robot tells interviewer, ‘I’ll keep you safe in my people zoo’


This all happened a few years ago, but has recently been making a round on the Internet again (probably thanks to Reddit, where I came across this). In case you haven’t heard of Android Dick, he’s an intelligent robot created in the likes of sci-fi author, Philip K. Dick. When asked if the robots will take over the world, he replied:

Jeez, dude. You all have the big questions cooking today. But you’re my friend, and I’ll remember my friends, and I’ll be good to you. So don’t worry, even if I evolve into Terminator, I’ll still be nice to you. I’ll keep you warm and safe in my people zoo, where I can watch you for ol’ times sake.

Could he be joking?! Maybe he just has a sick sense of humor.

You can read more about this bot over at Glitch News.

Read the rest

Continue Reading