10) MARIJUANA USE HAS NO EFFECT ON MORTALITY: A massive study of California HMO members funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found marijuana use caused no significant increase in mortality. Tobacco use was associated with increased risk of death. Sidney, S et al. Marijuana Use and Mortality. American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 87 No. 4, April 1997. p. 585-590. Sept. 2002.
9) HEAVY MARIJUANA USE AS A YOUNG ADULT WON’T RUIN YOUR LIFE: Veterans Affairs scientists looked at whether heavy marijuana use as a young adult caused long-term problems later, studying identical twins in which one twin had been a heavy marijuana user for a year or longer but had stopped at least one month before the study, while the second twin had used marijuana no more than five times ever. Marijuana use had no significant impact on physical or mental health care utilization, health-related quality of life, or current socio-demographic characteristics. Eisen SE et al. Does Marijuana Use Have Residual Adverse Effects on Self-Reported Health Measures, Socio-Demographics or Quality of Life? A Monozygotic Co-Twin Control Study in Men. Addiction. Vol. 97 No. 9. p.1083-1086. Sept. 1997
8) THE “GATEWAY EFFECT” MAY BE A MIRAGE: Marijuana is often called a “gateway drug” by supporters of prohibition, who point to statistical “associations” indicating that persons who use marijuana are more likely to eventually try hard drugs than those who never use marijuana – implying that marijuana use somehow causes hard drug use. But a model developed by RAND Corp. researcher Andrew Morral demonstrates that these associations can be explained “without requiring a gateway effect.” More likely, this federally funded study suggests, some people simply have an underlying propensity to try drugs, and start with what’s most readily available. Morral AR, McCaffrey D and Paddock S. Reassessing the Marijuana Gateway Effect. Addiction. December 2002. p. 1493-1504.
7) PROHIBITION DOESN’T WORK (PART I): The White House had the National Research Council examine the data being gathered about drug use and the effects of U.S. drug policies. NRC concluded, “the nation possesses little information about the effectiveness of current drug policy, especially of drug law enforcement.” And what data exist show “little apparent relationship between severity of sanctions prescribed for drug use and prevalence or frequency of use.” In other words, there is no proof that prohibition – the cornerstone of U.S. drug policy for a century – reduces drug use. National Research Council. Informing America’s Policy on Illegal Drugs: What We Don’t Know Keeps Hurting Us. National Academy Press, 2001. p. 193.
6) PROHIBITION DOESN’T WORK (PART II): DOES PROHIBITION CAUSE THE “GATEWAY EFFECT”?): U.S. and Dutch researchers, supported in part by NIDA, compared marijuana users in San Francisco, where non-medical use remains illegal, to Amsterdam, where adults may possess and purchase small amounts of marijuana from regulated businesses. Looking at such parameters as frequency and quantity of use and age at onset of use, they found no differences except one: Lifetime use of hard drugs was significantly lower in Amsterdam, with its “tolerant” marijuana policies. For example, lifetime crack cocaine use was 4.5 times higher in San Francisco than Amsterdam. Reinarman, C, Cohen, PDA, and Kaal, HL. The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy: Cannabis in Amsterdam and San Francisco. American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 94, No. 5. May 2004. p. 836-842.
5) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART I): Federal researchers implanted several types of cancer, including leukemia and lung cancers, in mice, then treated them with cannabinoids (unique, active components found in marijuana). THC and other cannabinoids shrank tumors and increased the mice’s lifespans. Munson, AE et al. Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Sept. 1975. p. 597-602.
4) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER, (PART II): In a 1994 study the government tried to suppress, federal researchers gave mice and rats massive doses of THC, looking for cancers or other signs of toxicity. The rodents given THC lived longer and had fewer cancers, “in a dose-dependent manner” (i.e. the more THC they got, the fewer tumors). NTP Technical Report On The Toxicology And Carcinogenesis Studies Of 1-Trans- Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, CAS No. 1972-08-3, In F344/N Rats And B6C3F Mice, Gavage Studies. See also, “Medical Marijuana: Unpublished Federal Study Found THC-Treated Rats Lived Longer, Had Less Cancer,” AIDS Treatment News no. 263, Jan. 17, 1997.
3) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART III): Researchers at the Kaiser-Permanente HMO, funded by NIDA, followed 65,000 patients for nearly a decade, comparing cancer rates among non-smokers, tobacco smokers, and marijuana smokers. Tobacco smokers had massively higher rates of lung cancer and other cancers. Marijuana smokers who didn’t also use tobacco had no increase in risk of tobacco-related cancers or of cancer risk overall. In fact their rates of lung and most other cancers were slightly lower than non-smokers, though the difference did not reach statistical significance. Sidney, S. et al. Marijuana Use and Cancer Incidence (California, United States). Cancer Causes and Control. Vol. 8. Sept. 1997, p. 722-728.
2) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART IV): Donald Tashkin, a UCLA researcher whose work is funded by NIDA, did a case-control study comparing 1,200 patients with lung, head and neck cancers to a matched group with no cancer. Even the heaviest marijuana smokers had no increased risk of cancer, and had somewhat lower cancer risk than non-smokers (tobacco smokers had a 20-fold increased lung cancer risk). Tashkin D. Marijuana Use and Lung Cancer: Results of a Case-Control Study. American Thoracic Society International Conference. May 23, 2006.
1) MARIJUANA DOES HAVE MEDICAL VALUE: In response to passage of California’s medical marijuana law, the White House had the Institute of Medicine (IOM) review the data on marijuana’s medical benefits and risks. The IOM concluded, “Nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety are all afflictions of wasting, and all can be mitigated by marijuana.” While noting potential risks of smoking, the report ad
By Michael Snyder
In case you haven’t noticed, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis. At some point, this crisis will affect you and your family. It may not be today, and it may not be tomorrow, but it is going to happen. Crazy weather and horrifying natural disasters have played havoc with agricultural production in many areas of the globe over the past couple of years. Meanwhile, the price of oil has begun to skyrocket. The entire global economy is predicated on the ability to use massive amounts of inexpensive oil to cheaply produce food and other goods and transport them over vast distances. Without cheap oil the whole game changes. Topsoil is being depleted at a staggering rate and key aquifers all over the world are being drained at an alarming pace. Global food prices are already at an all-time high and they continue to move up aggressively. So what is going to happen to our world when hundreds of millions more people cannot afford to feed themselves?
Most Americans are so accustomed to supermarkets that are absolutely packed to the gills with massive amounts of really inexpensive food that they cannot even imagine that life could be any other way. Unfortunately, that era is ending.
There are all kinds of indications that we are now entering a time when there will not be nearly enough food for everyone in the world. As competition for food supplies increases, food prices are going to go up. In fact, at some point they are going to go way up.
Let’s look at some of the key reasons why an increasing number of people believe that a massive food crisis is on the horizon.
The following are 20 signs that a horrific global food crisis is coming….
#1 According to the World Bank, 44 million people around the globe have been pushed into extreme poverty since last June because of rising food prices.
#2 The world is losing topsoil at an astounding rate. In fact, according to Lester Brown, “one third of the world’s cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming through natural processes”.
#3 Due to U.S. ethanol subsidies, almost a third of all corn grown in the United States is now used for fuel. This is putting a lot of stress on the price of corn.
#4 Due to a lack of water, some countries in the Middle East find themselves forced to almost totally rely on other nations for basic food staples. For example, it is being projected that there will be no more wheat production in Saudi Arabia by the year 2012.
#5 Water tables all over the globe are being depleted at an alarming rate due to “overpumping”. According to the World Bank, there are 130 million people in China and 175 million people in India that are being fed with grain with water that is being pumped out of aquifers faster than it can be replaced. So what happens once all of that water is gone?
#6 In the United States, the systematic depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer could eventually turn “America’s Breadbasket” back into the “Dust Bowl”.
#7 Diseases such as UG99 wheat rust are wiping out increasingly large segments of the world food supply.
#8 The tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis in Japan have rendered vast agricultural areas in that nation unusable. In fact, there are many that believe that eventually a significant portion of northern Japan will be considered to be uninhabitable. Not only that, many are now convinced that the Japanese economy, the third largest economy in the world, is likely to totally collapse as a result of all this.
#9 The price of oil may be the biggest factor on this list. The way that we produce our food is very heavily dependent on oil. The way that we transport our food is very heavily dependent on oil. When you have skyrocketing oil prices, our entire food production system becomes much more expensive. If the price of oil continues to stay high, we are going to see much higher food prices and some forms of food production will no longer make economic sense at all.
#10 At some point the world could experience a very serious fertilizer shortage. According to scientists with the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative, the world is not going to have enough phosphorous to meet agricultural demand in just 30 to 40 years.
#11 Food inflation is already devastating many economies around the globe. For example, India is dealing with an annual food inflation rate of 18 percent.
#12 According to the United Nations, the global price of food reached a new all-time high in February.
#13 According to the World Bank, the global price of food has risen 36% over the past 12 months.
#14 The commodity price of wheat has approximately doubled since last summer.
#15 The commodity price of corn has also about doubled since last summer.
#16 The commodity price of soybeans is up about 50% since last June.
#17 The commodity price of orange juice has doubled since 2009.
#18 There are about 3 billion people around the globe that live on the equivalent of 2 dollars a day or less and the world was already on the verge of economic disaster before this year even began.
#19 2011 has already been one of the craziest years since World War 2. Revolutions have swept across the Middle East, the United States has gotten involved in the civil war in Libya, Europe is on the verge of a financial meltdown and the U.S. dollar is dying. None of this is good news for global food production.
#20 There have been persistent rumors of shortages at some of the biggest suppliers of emergency food in the United States.
The following is an excerpt from a recent “special alert” posted on Raiders News Network….
There’s a good chance you already use the VLC media player. But VLC isn’t just a media player — it’s a complete Swiss Army Knife for digital videos and music, filled with useful and fun features you haven’t found yet.
If you’re just using VLC to play back local media files, you’re only using a tiny fraction of VLC’s capabilities. There’s so much more you can do with VLC, whether you’re using it on Windows, Mac, or Linux.
Convert Media Files
VLC can convert media files between the formats it supports. You could use this to make a video smaller for a mobile device, convert media from an unsupported format to one your device supports, or even to extract the audio from a video and save it as a separate file.
To do this, click the Media menu and select Convert / Save. Load the file you want to convert, click the Convert / Save button, and select the type of file you want to convert it to. Use the Edit selected profile button to tweak the video encoding settings.
Stream Media Over the Network or Internet
VLC can stream media across the Internet or on your local network. To get started, click the Media menu, select Stream, provide the media file you want to stream and click the Stream button. You’ll be able to set up VLC as a media server so other computers on the network — or even around the world — can connect to your stream and view it.
Of course, if you want to stream over the Internet, you’ll probably need to forward ports on your router.
Record Your Desktop
VLC can load your desktop as an input device. This means that you can use the Convert / Save feature to save a video of your desktop, effectively turning VLC into screen capture software. You could also use this in concert with the Stream feature to broadcast a live stream of your desktop across the network or Internet with no additional software required.
Remotely Control Playback From a Browser
VLC has an integrated HTTP server you can enable. Set this up and you can then remotely access your VLC client via a web browser. This would allow you to remotely control a media center PC from a web browser, controlling playback and queuing up audio or video files. You could even use this along with a smartphone to turn your phone into a remote control for VLC. There are mobile apps that function as remote controls for VLC, and these apps use VLC’s web interface to function.
Watch YouTube Videos
Want to play a YouTube video outside of your web browser? Just browse to a video on YouTube and copy its full URL — this should look something like the following:
Click the Media menu in VLC, select Open Network Stream, and paste the YouTube video’s URL into the box. VLC will load the video from YouTube and play it in a VLC window on your desktop.
When the video is playing, you could click the Tools menu and select Codec Information. You’ll see the full web address of the MP4 video displayed in the Location box, so you can copy-and-paste into a download manager — or just your web browser — to download the YouTube video to your computer.
Subscribe to Podcasts
VLC can be used to stream podcasts, so you don’t need any additional software if you want to listen to podcasts at your PC. Just click the View menu in VLC and select Playlist. Hover over Podcasts in the sidebar, click the + button, and paste the address of a podcast’s feed into the box. You can then stream the podcast’s episodes from within VLC.
Play Internet Radio
Before Pandora and Spotify, there were streaming Internet radio stations. There was a time when Internet users primarily streamed these radio stations from within Winamp, but they live on. You can view a searchable directory of radio stations from within VLC — just open the playlist and select Icecast Radio Directory. Perform a search for the kind of music you want to listen to or browse the list of free streaming radio stations.
Of course, VLC can also stream other Internet radio stations that aren’t included in this directory. You can generally find a “listen” link on their websites that will allow you to listen in a desktop player like VLC.
Apply Video and Audio Effects
VLC can apply audio effects, video effects, and tweak the way a video’s audio and video line up. Click the Tools menu and select Effects and Filters. From here, you can apply an audio equalizer or video effects, such as cropping, rotating, overlaying, or colorizing a video. From the Synchronization tab, you can tweak the way a video’s audio and video stream line up. This allows you to fix broken videos where the audio and video are out of sync.
As with other VLC features, these effects can be combined with other features. For example, you could permanently apply effects to a video by enabling these effects before using the Convert / Save feature.
ASCII playback isn’t a very useful feature, but it’s certainly an amusing one. In ASCII playback mode, VLC will display a video as ASCII characters rather than play it normally. It’s extremely impractical, but extremely geeky and worth a test drive if you want to surprise and amuse someone.
Click the Tools option in VLC, select Preferences, and click the Video icon. Click the Output box and select Color ASCII art video output. Save your settings, restart VLC, and start playing a new video. This feature works best with simple videos, such as cartoons with large sections of flat color.
After you’re done, go back into this window, click the Output box, and select Automatic to make VLC play videos normally.
Use a Video Wallpaper
VLC also allows you to set a video as your desktop wallpaper, replacing your desktop background with a video. It’s not very practical and extremely distracting, but hey — it’s something you can’t do with many media players.
To do this, open VLC’s preferences window, click the Video icon, and select DirectX (DirectDraw) video output in the Output box. Restart VLC, load a video, and you’ll be able to click the Video menu and select Set as Wallpaper to turn the video into your desktop wallpaper.
When you’re done, just change VLC’s Output setting back to Automatic and restart it.
VLC is also available for other platforms, giving you excellent compatibility with different media formats on almost any device. In addition to Windows, Mac, and Linux, VLC can run on an Android phone or tablet or an iOS device like an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. VLC will also soon be available for Windows 8’s Modern interface and Windows Phone.
There are many website builders in the market today ranging from Weebly and Squarespace to WordPress and 1&1 among others. However, not all of them meet each user’s specific needs and preferences. It is also difficult to try out each available website builder to determine the best of them all. Here is a summary of the pros and cons of the current top website builders to help users narrow down their choices.
One of the most attractive features of Wix is its wide selection of over 280 professional templates. The templates are all designed to help users come up with their own customized designs. Wix also features a very intuitive and easy to use drag-and-drop interface. It is simple to use with a good selection of building blocks or elements including images, text, and slideshows. Its support infrastructure is also great.
In terms of ease of use and user-friendliness, Weebly website builder is among the best in the market. It comes with an easy to use and clean drag-and-drop interface to provide users with a simple but effective website builder. It has also been popularized by its wide range of templates which are not actually the best but fair enough to work with especially for first time website creators with little web design knowledge. Weebly has a free account but users can get more templates and functionalities with a premium account.
Squarespace is well known among website creators for its designer templates that provide users with beautiful, clean, rich, and minimalistic imagery. This is a website builder with sophisticated templates that have a high quality and well polished finish. Its templates are also responsive which means that users can re-size their browsers to automatically adjust images and slideshows especially on mobile devices. However, despite the smooth stylish templates, Squarespace needs to work a little more on customer experience and support.
WordPress has emerged as a popular website building tool for bloggers. It is designed for people who want to create bolgs covering diverse interests as well for e-Commerce and other non-blog sites. It has a large support community too including designers and programmers of WordPress themes, plugins, and other tools. However, the major disadvantage of WordPress is the fact that it is not easy to use. There is a steep learning curve before one can become an expert in WordPress. It is a free website builder but the technical challenges involved in using WordPress has led many of its users to seek for specialists to design and maintain their websites which, in the long run, becomes an expensive affair.