Tag Archives | California

California Vaping: The New Subculture

I suppose it was inevitable that a new vein of slang would arise around vaping. BBC News Magazine elevates it to the level of a new subculture:

California is generally reckoned to be a trendsetter – it’s not necessarily that things are invented there but California is often an early adopter. Think raves, skateboards, hippies and a whole smorgasbord of drugs. So what’s next?

Vaping an Electronic Cigarette / E Cig / Vaporizor

Photo: Jonny Williams (CC)


There’s a cloud-chasing meet and I want to win. And no. Not the clouds in the sky. So here’s the set-up. I want a sub-ohm rechargeable, authentic mech mod so that I that can crank up the power. And a metal rebuildable atomizer. Drip tip, of course, and then a wire coil with a dual silica wick.

I know its old-fashioned but, you know what? I’ve never liked the eco wool. And steel mesh? I haven’t seen one of those for months now.

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Ten Percent of California’s Water Goes to Almond Farming

The media’s making a big deal out of California’s statewide water rationing, with state residents freaking out about not being able to water their MiracleGro lawns, wash their chrome-hubcapped cars and so forth. The real culprits are the farmers, though, and none more so than the almond growers per Slate‘s Eric Holthaus:

Denair, Calif.—In California’s vast Central Valley, agriculture is king. But the king appears fatally ill, and no worthy replacement is in sight, as the area noticeably reverts into the desert it was little more than a century ago.

Almond trees

An almond orchard just outside of Turlock and Hughson, CA.

Signs line the back roads here that run parallel to wide irrigation ditches:

“Pray for rain”
“No water = No jobs”

As I’ve already discussed in the Thirsty West series, city-dwelling Californians are a bit insulated from near-term water shortages thanks to the state’s intricate tentacles of aqueducts, pipelines, and canals that divert water from the snowcapped Sierras to the urban core along the coast.

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WATCH: Police in riot gear arrest California Walmart workers during sit-in over wages, firings

Police in riot gear arresting Walmart workers (KTLA)

Police in riot gear arresting Walmart workers (KTLA)

via Raw Story:

Police decked out in riot gear arrested Walmart workers and supporters after they blocked an intersection in front of a Pico Rivera, California store Thursday evening.

KTLA reports dozens of protestors were taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies wearing riot helmets and holding batons, several hours after the sit-in began, drawing hundreds protesting working conditions at the retail giant.

The sit-in followed a work stoppage  earlier in the day at the company’s Crenshaw Boulevard store in Baldwin Hills.

Employees in Baldwin Hills store stopped work and sat on the floor with tape over the mouths reading ‘strike,’ while holding signs saying, “Walmart stop the illegal threats.”

Walmart is currently under investigation for firing and threatening  employee activists.

Activists have been setting up protests at Walmart stores across the country, posting pictures on twitter at #walmartstrikers.

In Pico Rivers, some workers sat in the middle of the busy intersection holding signs and lit candles as deputies pulled them to their feet and loaded them into buses.

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The Landscape-Scarring, Energy-Sucking, Wildlife-Killing Reality of Pot Farming

six riversJosh Harkinson writes about the ugly side of marijuana as a cash crop for Mother Jones via Medium:

STARTING ABOUT 90 MILES northwest of Sacramento, an unbroken swath of national forestland follows the spine of California’s rugged coastal mountains all the way to the Oregon border. Near the center of this vast wilderness, along the grassy banks of the Trinity River’s south fork, lies the remote enclave of Hyampom (pop. 241), where, on a crisp November morning, I climb into a four-wheel-drive government pickup and bounce up a dirt logging road deep into the Six Rivers National Forest. I’ve come to visit what’s known in cannabis country as a “trespass grow.”

“This one probably has the most plants I’ve seen,” says my driver, a young Forest Service cop who spends his summers lugging an AR-15 through the backcountry of the Emerald Triangle—the triad of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties that is to pot what the Central Valley is to almonds and tomatoes.

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Former ‘Best Mom’ Schemed To Have Woman Raped After Losing Bid On Dream Home

PIC: David Smith (CC)

PIC: David Smith (CC)

A woman recognized in 2006 by Time-Warner as one of San Diego’s “50 Best Moms” has a dark side. After losing a bid on what was described as her “dream home”, 52 year-old Kathy Rowe began embarked on a campaign of revenge against the couple who won. Rowe started with minor, annoying pranks like signing the couple up for visits from religious groups, and then escalated into criminal behavior. Rowe came to the attention of the authorities after it was discovered that she had posted ads online in the wife’s name that stated she had a rape fantasy that she wanted to be fulfilled.

The ads encouraged men who were interested to force their way into the home and rape her, and noted that they should ignore her pleas to stop. The ads were accompanied by the woman’s photo and address, and Rowe had very explicit conversations with the men who responded.… Read the rest

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Sniper Attack On America’s Power Grid

In the wake of an attack on a California electrical utility, terrorism experts are warning that the power grid could be America’s weak point, reports the Wall Street Journal:

SAN JOSE, Calif.—The attack began just before 1 a.m. on April 16 last year, when someone slipped into an underground vault not far from a busy freeway and cut telephone cables.

Within half an hour, snipers opened fire on a nearby electrical substation. Shooting for 19 minutes, they surgically knocked out 17 giant transformers that funnel power to Silicon Valley. A minute before a police car arrived, the shooters disappeared into the night.

Video from Santa Clara County Sherriff’s Office: New surveillance video from the PG&E substation on Metcalf Road. The video shows bullets hitting the fence causing sparks. The sparks can be seen at minutes: 1:54, 2:07, 2:10, 2:57 and 3:01.


To avoid a blackout, electric-grid officials rerouted power around the site and asked power plants in Silicon Valley to produce more electricity.

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Outrage As California Police Acquitted For Beating Mentally Ill Homeless Man To Death

kelly thomasIt’s scarcely believable that the officers got off for this, given the gruesome video footage of events as they unfolded. ThinkProgress writes:

Two former police officers in Orange County, CA were acquitted of murder Monday for beating a schizophrenic homeless man, Kelly Thomas, to death. After watching a harrowing video showing Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli, along with other officers, brutalizing Thomas, the jury [found] the two men not guilty.

In July 2011, the Fullerton cops came upon the 37-year-old schizophrenic taking some letters out of a trashcan and started beating him with a taser and a baton. The entire encounter was caught on a nearby security camera. As the officers hit him, Thomas begged for help and called out for his father.

Cicinelli arrived later, tasing Thomas with a stun gun and then struck him across the face with it hard enough to break several bones. “I just probably smashed his face to hell,” he says on the video.

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Fukushima Radiation Scare Stories Are Going Viral On the Internet. Are They Real Or Fake?

Fukushima I nuclear accidents diagramIf you were to visit the websites of the likes of Alex Jones or Mike Adams you’d be scared shitless that California is being irradiated by Fukushima nuclear fallout. PolicyMic tries to squash the concerns of millions of Americans. We’re linking to (but not necessarily endorsing) their take on the issue here, but we welcome and expect contrary views in the comments:

The news: A few suspect news stories have been making the rounds on the internet in recent days, suggesting that radiation from the Fukushima power plant disaster has hit the West Coast of the United States and is causing major harm to the Pacific Ocean off California. Most pernicious is the report from NaturalNews.com that a scientific study found a significant drop off in sea life in the Pacific Ocean near the U.S. coast.

So should you trust these scare stories? Absolutely not. 

The fine folks at Deep Sea News — which features writers with academic degrees, actual professional credentials, and expert knowledge — are doing their best to debunk the rumors spreading about Fukushima radiation and its impact on the U.S.

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Mysterious Computer Chip Crop Circle Is An Nvidia CES Publicity Stunt

Tegra 4-Icera i500

Tegra 4-Icera i500 (Photo credit: nvidia.corporation)

Sorry to burst your bubbles (not really), but this crop circle, posted here about a week ago… Is brought to you by Nvidia.

via Tech Crunch

 An intricate crop circle recently cut into a field two hours south of San Francisco baffled onlookers and spawned crackpot theories that aliens were responsible, but sources tell me it was created by Nvidia to publicize a big CES announcement. [Update: Nvidia confirms.] The design looks like Nvidia’s Tegra 4 chip, and though we can’t confirm this, it may be designed to drum up interest in the Tegra 5 chip Nvidia is expected to launch at CES.

Nvidia has a major CES press conference planned for tonight at 8pm PST in Las Vegas where it may fess up to creating the crop circle and is likely announce details of its new products.

[Update 6:30pm PST: Nvidia has confirmed it created the crop circle by adding this teaser image to its website.]

The Tegra is a “system on a chip” for mobile devices that combines a CPU, GPU, and memory controller.

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