Monday and Up the Down Staircase

March 3, 2014

Escher-DetailBottomRain and windy this way-too-soon Monday morning on California’s north coast as the wet season continues unsuccessfully to up-seat the notorious, upstart drought — the state’s farmers are so worried they’ve turned to the use of “divining rods” to locate precious water.
Napa Valley vineyard owner Marc Mondavi: “It’s kind of bizarre. Scientists don’t believe in it, but I do and most of the farmers in the Valley do.”
Experts claim the practice is based on luck, success already there in the ground.
Anyhow, the drought will make people do what they have to do, no matter.

Meanwhile, the real-big question is whether these Hollywood types will get head lice from Ellen’s selfie?

(Illustration: Detail of M.C. Escher’s ‘Relativity‘ found here).

Too clean by far — expect maybe that Francis Underwood lurking about there in back, he’s obviously up to no good, plotting away with that ‘I know something’ smile. And what’s with that Brad Pitt haircut — is the boot-camp look the “in” thing?
Who thinks about shit like that, really?

Maybe you and I — reality continually shotguns our thinking, but then again, nobody really gives a shit because they too are thinking way-too hard (via LifeHacker):

Believe it or not, we’re not that special.
We go through our days thinking about how other people might be judging us.
But the truth is—those people are thinking the exact same thing.
No one in today’s “smartphone-crazed” society has time in their schedule to think more than a brief second about us.
The fact of the matter is, when we do have time get our thoughts straight, we’re too busy thinking about ourselves and our own shortcomings—not others.
A study done by the National Science Foundation claims that people have, on average, 50,000 plus thoughts a day.
This means that even if someone thought about us ten times in one day, it’s only 0.02% of their overall daily thoughts.
It is a sad but simple truth that the average person filters their world through their ego, meaning that they think of most things relating to “me” or “my.”
This means that unless you have done something that directly affects another person or their life, they are not going to spend much time thinking about you at all. (h/t SFB).

And our own Moonbeam has apparently lost his thought-stream in old age. California Gov. Jerry Brown revealed himself as a dumb-ass, old, right-wing conservative blowhard yesterday in his fear of marijuana over-dose:

Appearing on Meet the Press, two days after announcing he’ll seek a fourth term, the Golden State governor voiced strong reservations about a form of “gold” grown in great abundance in the northern part of California.
Asked about legalizing marijuana, likely on California’s November ballot, Brown replied: “Well, we have medical marijuana, which gets very close to what they have in Colorado and Washington.
“I’d really like those two states to show us how it’s going to work. ”
Colorado already has outlets selling marijuana for recreational use. Washington is in the final stages of putting procedures in place. Both states see big cannabis smoke-ins each year, Hempfest in Seattle and April 20th in Boulder, Colorado.
Brown is worried at a deeper level, saying:
“And all of a sudden, if there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?
“The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive.
“I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”
Brown opposed a marijuana legalization measure on California’s 2010 ballot.
It lost by a 54-46 percent margin.
But the latest Field Poll of California voters showed a majority ready to legalize.
The polls have also shown Jerry Brown an overwhelming favorite to win a fourth term.

Not if he keeps blubbering bullshit like that. And in the face of such horrible, 1930s-like thinking. Watching “The West Wing” on a Netflix- binge this past weekend, there was an episode where President Bartlet almost fired his Surgeon General because she told the truth about marijuana.
Chief of Staff McGarry explained the fact that despite “anybody in his right mind” knows she was right, politics is politics.
Even in research. Studies in the benefits of medical marijuana is being stumped by, wait for it — politics.
Via LeafScience:

The non-profit Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is trying to obtain a supply of cannabis for the first FDA-approved clinical trial of medical marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Many who suffer from PTSD have reported benefits from cannabis use, and evidence from animal studies provides further support.
Unfortunately, despite the availability of medical marijuana in certain states, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is the only legal source of cannabis for researchers.
And compared to the FDA, getting NIDA’s approval for a clinical trial has proven a lot harder.
The team at MAPS, led by Dr. Sue Sisley of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, first approached NIDA to purchase cannabis in 2011, after getting the go-ahead from the FDA.
NIDA unanimously rejected the proposal, supposedly due to flaws in the study’s design.
“They came to us with all of these critiques,” explains MAPS communication director Brad Burge.
“Of course, at that point, the FDA had not had any problem with any of the scientific issues involving the study.
So the Food and Drug Administration, which is the organization that’s responsible for monitoring clinical research of the sort we’re proposing to conduct, didn’t have any problem with the study.
“They approved it, but NIDA disagreed.”
NIDA also wanted MAPS to get clearance from an institutional review board, which is usually only mandated when the ethics of a study are questionable.
Regardless, MAPS addressed the critiques and got review board approval in 2012.
After trying to fight NIDA’s cannabis monopoly in court, and losing, MAPS resubmitted the proposal last October.
They are now waiting to hear back from NIDA.
It’s been more than four months without a word, says Burge.
Unfortunately, while the FDA must respond to research proposals in 30 days, NIDA can take as long as they want.

“For research on all other drugs, you only have to go through the FDA,” says Burge.
“The only time NIDA is reviewing clinical research – that is, research to make a drug into a medicine – marijuana is the only one.”

And the NIDA? From HuffPost last August:

“Claiming that marijuana is less toxic than alcohol cannot be substantiated since each possess their own unique set of risks and consequences for a given individual,” wrote the institute. NIDA, part of the National Institutes of Health, funds government-backed scientific research and has a stated mission “to lead the nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction.”
The statement was in response to a declaration by the pro-pot policy group Marijuana Policy Project that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol –- a claim that was the centerpiece of a controversial pro-marijuana commercial aired during a NASCAR race last month.

As noted by PolitiFact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics reported 41,682 alcohol-related deaths in 2010.
The center had no reports listing marijuana as a cause of death.

Mason Tvert, director of communications at Marijuana Policy Project, said NIDA’s claim is a new low for the agency.
“Our federal government has been exaggerating the harms of marijuana for decades, but at this point it has gone off the deep end,” Tvert told The Huffington Post.
“NIDA’s statement that marijuana can be just as toxic as alcohol would be on par with the FDA announcing sushi is as fattening as fried chicken.”

My underline for emphasis. Moonbeam should have stayed with Linda Ronstadt.
But, what the shit — it’s Monday.

(Illustration out front found here).

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