Ohio man gets ‘too high,’ calls police

I’d posit that it was actually the Doritos, Chips Ahoy and other junk “food” that made Ohio Man feel horribly ill, not the weed, but USA Today suggests otherwise:

An Austintown, Ohio, man with a serious case of the munchies called police to complain that he was “too high,” according to the Austintown Police Department.


Austintown police responded to the call around 5:20 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3 and found the 22-year-old “in the fetal position.” He “was surrounded by a plethora of Doritos, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish and Chips Ahoy cookies,” according to the police report.

The victim told police he could not feel his hands, but declined medical service. He told the officer he “smoked too much weed.”

He told the officers that he smoked marijuana in his car, and gave permission for police to “recover the evidence” from his vehicle…

[continues at USA Today]

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No one should ever work. Workers of the world… *relax*!


Bob Black, “The Abolition of Work” via Primitivism:


No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a *ludic* conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

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Blame it on biology: how explanations of mental illness influence treatment

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Every mental health problem has a biological dimension. How could it not? All our experience and behaviour, normal or abnormal, is founded on our neurobiology.

Researchers have taken great strides towards understanding these foundations and the public has taken note. Increasingly, we explain our problems as products of heredity, brain disease and chemical imbalance, rather than life experiences, adversities and ways of thinking.

Regrettably, these scientific advances have a dark side. As a recent review shows, people who hold biogenetic (biological and genetic) explanations of mental health disorders tend to have some negative perceptions of those who experience them. They view these people as relatively dangerous, unpredictable and unlikely to recover, and seek greater distance from them.

The consequences of these perceptions extend beyond stigma; they also have troubling implications for treatment.

The “therapeutic alliance” between clinician and client is a key ingredient in successful treatment, responsible for better clinical outcomes and lower rates of dropout.… Read the rest

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The Tech Revolution Hits Farming

“Let The Robots and iPhones Tend The Crops,” reads the headline in Popular Science, and for good reason: the tech revolution is finally transforming farming:

Since Dorn Cox began automating his 250-acre New Hampshire farm four years ago, he has installed dozens of sensors. Some measure moisture in soil around his squash. Some track temperatures in the greenhouse air around his cucumbers. Others track wind speed and rainfall in segments of field roughly a quarter-acre in size. When something is amiss—temperatures are too high or the soil is too dry—he receives an alert on his smartphone. He also sends out drones to survey his field crops for dryness, soil erosion, and plant health.

Drone vs Cow

“On a farm, there’s a lot going on,” Cox says. “Being able to keep track of it all without having to hire more people is important. It lets you do a better, more efficient job.”

For centuries, farming was an intuitive process.

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Guns, Trump and Mental Illness


Ben Debney writes at CounterPunch:

One of the few people to shamelessly state his true feelings about the recent Oregon school shootings was GOP front-runner Donald Trump, whose comments on MSNBC were not widely circulated beyond that forum for reasons that do not warrant sustained reflection.[1] They did however surface on at least on website, where they were reported in detail.[2]

In this instance we should be grateful that Donald Trump says openly what a lot of people say in private, and those who have to bear the brunt of the stigma against past and present sufferers of mental illness actually have an opportunity to respond directly.

According to the Newsmax website, Trump had said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program that there were ‘already strong laws on the books where firearms are concerned’, but that ‘you’re always going to have problems’ on account of the fact that ‘we have millions of sick people all over the world.’

Since there were ‘millions of sick people all over the world,’ as Trump put it, the Oregon shootings were nothing special.

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GMOs: It’s Complicated

Here’s a tremendous attempt to make sense of the competing science and analysis surrounding GMOs, by Maya Montenegro, a food systems researcher at UC Berkeley, writing at ensia:

The GMO debate is one from which I’ve kept a purposeful distance.

For one thing, it’s an issue that has already garnered more than its fair share of attention. For another, when you consider that many domesticated crops resulted from seed irradiation, chromosome doubling and plant tissue culture — none of which are genetically engineered — the boundaries of “natural” are more porous than they initially appear.

Raw Group Maize Sharply Focused

But I study seed science and policy, in which genetically engineered organisms — more often referred to as genetically modified organisms, aka GMOs — are pervasive, so it’s an issue I cannot ignore. Most recently, the director of a science communications program asked if I could engage her students on a few topics: Is there a scientific consensus on GMOs?

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You can grow new brain cells. Here’s how

Can we, as adults, grow new nerve cells? There’s still some confusion about that question, as this is a fairly new field of research. For example, I was talking to one of my colleagues, Robert, who is an oncologist, and he was telling me, “Sandrine, this is puzzling. Some of my patients that have been told they are cured of their cancer still develop symptoms of depression.” And I responded to him, “Well, from my point of view that makes sense. The drug you give to your patients that stops the cancer cells multiplying also stops the newborn neurons being generated in their brain.” And then Robert looked at me like I was crazy and said, “But Sandrine, these are adult patients — adults do not grow new nerve cells.” And much to his surprise, I said, “Well actually, we do.” And this is a phenomenon that we call neurogenesis.


Now Robert is not a neuroscientist, and when he went to medical school he was not taught what we know now — that the adult brain can generate new nerve cells.Read the rest

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China’s Nightmarish Citizen Scores Are a Warning For Americans


Jay Stanley, writing for the ACLU:

China is launching a comprehensive “credit score” system, and the more I learn about it, the more nightmarish it seems. China appears to be leveraging all the tools of the information age—electronic purchasing data, social networks, algorithmic sorting—to construct the ultimate tool of social control. It is, as one commentator put it, “authoritarianism, gamified.” Read this piece for the full flavor—it will make your head spin. If that and the little other reporting I’ve seen is accurate, the basics are this:

  • Everybody is measured by a score between 350 and 950, which is linked to their national identity card. While currently supposedly voluntary, the government has announced that it will be mandatory by 2020.
  • The system is run by two companies, Alibaba and Tencent, which run all the social networks in China and therefore have access to a vast amount of data about people’s social ties and activities and what they say.
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