Misshapen Food Waste: It’s What’s Inside That Counts

When I was strapped for cash and working in a little town on the East-coast of Australia, I found ways to cut my budget. On my way to the local supermarket, I ambled past a little stall full of fresh bunches of bananas going for 99 cents a kilo. Just down the road in the supermarket, another bunch was being sold for over twice the amount, but what was the difference between the two? Being a lover of fruit and curious, I purchased both.

Well, when I peeled a banana from each bunch, there was no difference. In fact, the cheaper bunch tasted much more delicious since it had been picked fresh that day from the local banana farm. However, the contrast was apparent from the outside.

The supermarket bunch was all the same size, length and colour. The stall bunch was slightly misshapen, with a few green patches, a little less pleasing to the eye but all the more tasty. Needless to say the stall did very well out of me over the following few weeks as in my opinion, their bananas were of greater value for money.

This led me to wonder what on earth has happened to this society. Have we become so fussy that we now discard produce that does not meet our ‘aesthetically pleasing ‘standards, despite being perfectly edible?

Taste not waste

It’s no surprise that we live in a wasteful society. As the world’s population grows, so does the demand for convenience food. Huge supermarket chains are taking over the food industry to supply us with perfect packaged goods. We have become so disconnected from where our food comes from that any fruit or vegetable that looks slightly askew with a few little blemishes, becomes unworthy of our dinner plates. The supermarkets don’t make a profit from these unmarketable misfits, so they are removed before they even hit the shelves.

As stated on thinkeatsave.org

Nearly 1/2 of all fruit & vegetables produced globally are wasted each year. Global quantitative food waste per year are roughly 30 per cent for cereals, 40-50 per cent for root crops, fruits and vegetables, 20 per cent for oil seeds, meat and dairy plus 30 per cent for fish. Fruits and vegetables, plus roots and tubers have the highest wastage rates of any food.

In recent years, regulations on the appearance of produce have been loosened for suppliers and retailers. On July 1st 2009, the EU simplified the rules, allowing twenty-six types of fruits and vegetables to be covered by general marketing standards, meaning retailers may market them all equally despite some being misshapen.

The European parliament aims to half food waste by 2025 by targeting not only irregular shaped produce but how they are grown, processed, marketed and consumed within every household. First, however, individuals’ awareness and attitudes have to change in order for these improvements to be a success. If we can get the consumer to value the product, then the demand shall grow.

 

Beauty is in the eye of the consumer

Although steps have been made to give misshapen fruits and vegetables a deserved place on our supermarket shelves, they are still the last ones to be picked, if picked at all. The cosmetically flawless produce still entices the customer more, leaving the blemished ones seem as if they are not fit to be eaten. But what if the unlucky leftovers were given a name and their own unique marketing edge? That was exactly how “Inglorious fruits and vegetables” was born.

Since the European Union voted to make 2014 the “European year against food waste”, Intermarche, the third largest supermarket chain in France, decided to see what would happen if they bought and sold the produce that was normally thrown out by their growers. They gave them their own aisle and a 30% discount to encourage buyers.

Not only did they reduce the price, they came up with catchy and comical names for the stars of the Inglorious fruits and vegetables campaign. The “grotesque apple,” the “ugly carrot” and the “hideous orange” were three of seven celebrity veggies and fruits to star in their own advert.

The two day experiment was a massive success, selling out 1.2 tons of inglorious produce and consequently saving food and money. The campaign is continuing with a line of juice and soups to show people that they are no different from the perfect looking foods.

This clever initiative increased the public’s awareness of food waste. It had a huge impact on the media and ignited discussions on social networking sites. Since the campaign was launched it has inspired many across the globe to take on this fresh and healthy approach to food waste.

 

A global issue

Doug Rauch, the former president of the Trader Joe’s Company, is launching the Daily Table, a grocery store situated in Roxbury, Boston, a known place of low income and desperation. His plan is to salvage unwanted foods from grocery stores and sell to customers who otherwise would not get the opportunity to access them.

A study from the United States Department of Agriculture states –

The estimated total value of food loss at the retail and consumer levels in the United States was $161.6 billion in 2010. In developed countries like the United States, a relatively larger share of food loss occurs at the consumer end of the spectrum. Food accounts for a relatively smaller share of household incomes, and consumers typically demand a wide variety of high-quality, cosmetically appealing, and convenient foods. As a result, blemished, misshapen, or wrong-sized foods are often discarded to meet minimum quality standards.

After three decades in the grocery business and seeing firsthand the effect of America’s food waste contribution, Rauch retired four years ago to find a solution to the problem he has devoted so much time to.

In the near future I hope to see such creative ideas in every supermarket chain. Saving not only precious food but money for the growers, stores and consumers, I can’t see how this idea could fail. Now is the time for us to take action on the world’s waste issues and shed our shallow beliefs on misshapen produce. After all, none of us are perfect, so why does our food have to be?

 

 

Sources:

http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/fruit-and-vegetables/marketing-standards/index_en.htm

http://www.eufic.org/article/en/artid/How-to-minimise-food-waste/

http://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2014-june/food-loss%E2%80%94questions-about-the-amount-and-causes-still-remain.aspx#.VAgtXqA_7IU

http://www.thinkeatsave.org/index.php/fast-facts-related-resources

https://www.intermarche.com/home/prospectus-et-promotions.html

http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/sustainability/index_en.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2nSECWq_PE

http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/eib-economic-information-bulletin/eib121/report-summary.aspx#.U7C1V42wLrS

 

The Flying Car Is Closer Than You Think

flying car grass

Is that the President landing? No its just Kevin, he got that new flying car!
http://laughingsquid.com/terrafugia-unveils-futuristic-tf-x-flying-car-concept/

The future of flying cars is closer than you think, and Terrafugia is willing to take us there! Funny name you say? It is derived from Latin, meaning “escape the Earth.”  Fitting to say the least.

Terrafugia is set to release a car-plane hybrid by the name of The Transition which will be a fuel efficient transforming plane. That is correct. You will be able to drive your Transition from your house to the nearest run-way and simply lift off into the the skies!

How you ask? The wings of the flying car fold up on the side, transforming the vehicle into a regular 23 gal, 35 mpg, 100 hp, compact automobile. And when you are ready to hit the skies you will be cruising at a steady speed of 100 mph with a flight range of 410 miles. All for the low price of $279,000. While that price may seem steep to some, it is as with all things that enter the market as a new technology: eventually the price of flying cars will come down to a more reasonable and affordable six figure price tag.

This mobile aircraft is as cute as a button. http://www.terrafugia.com/aircraft/transition

This Transition is cute as a button.
http://www.terrafugia.com/aircraft/transition

Related Article: Blimps are the Future!

The great thing about Terrafugia is they also have a commercial flying car in the works. While the Transition is set to come out in 2015, they have planned another model flying car by the name of TF-X (released in 8-12 years). The TF-X will be a smaller, safer, road oriented version of the Transition. Not to mention it will have a sophisticated auto pilot:

  • TF-X™ vehicles will be capable of automatically avoiding other air traffic, bad weather, and restricted and tower-controlled airspace.
  •  If the operator becomes unresponsive, TF-X™ will automatically implement an emergency auto-land at the nearest airport.

Related Article: Google’s Self Driving Car Initiative

There are however a couple of setbacks, as with any new invention. The flying car will likely run into road blocks (why not just fly over them…) from the political side of things; weight restrictions, flight allowance, zone restrictions, and licence requirements. Currently, with a petition already submitted, Terrafugia is still a long way away before getting government support and clearing all the speed bumps ahead (again… just fly why don’t you, you have a flying car!). Most of these policies and restrictions will be upheld with public safety in mind, but there will unfortunately be opposition from the greedy side of politics.

All shall be unveiled in the next couple of years, and if everything goes accordingly, we should be able to fly out of traffic jams in the next decade or so. Flying cars will guide us to a brave new world. Imagine: no more close calls with black ice (preaching to the choir of current weather hazard victims). No more long, windy roads up a mountain with no support  in order to get to a camping spot in Virginia. No more dangerous flooded areas one might get stuck in after intense rainfalls. Flying cars have the potential to provide us with all of this in the near and plausible future too!

Cheers to the Jetsons, and to a world of flying cars!

Related Article: Car Warming: Debunking the Myth

 

Research:

Terrafugia

The Transition

TF-X

Temporary Exemption for Terrafugia

Youtube: The Jetsons TV intro

 

Wondergressive: Blimps are the Future!

Wondergressive: Google’s Self Driving Car Initiative

Wondergressive: Car Warming: Debunking the Myth

Technological Advancements: A Detriment to Our Hearing

In our early days there was classical music. Some artists, even deaf artists, would perform brilliantly for their audience in orchestra halls and concert halls alike. The relatively soft tone of a concert was just loud enough for patrons of the arts but over time there came a change of volume. Soon we would start hearing the sounds of Jazz and Rock, both representing liberation and the soul, and both progressively louder counterparts to classical music. With disco also on the rise our ear drums delighted in hearing the loud sounds that paired with flamboyant costumes and exceptionally fun dance moves.

Not long after, techno joined the ranks and pumped up the volume even more. With clubs playing intense drum-and-bass and euro-trance loud enough to make your body tremble, our ears started to complain. And complain they do as we exit the club or the rock concert and everything becomes muffled, our hearing no longer as clear as it once was. But this is all only temporary; this muffled sensation goes away and our hearing is just fine only hours later. There should be no long term effects from any of those long party nights in the city other than maybe a hangover and regret of certain activities, right?

Related Article: Put That Music You Hate On Repeat

That may not be the case after all, says Chief Executive Paul Breckell of Medical Research Council Centenary:

Damage to your hearing is irreversible – and, contrary to popular opinion, hearing loss is not a condition that only older people need to concern themselves about. With many nightclubs and concerts measuring 20 or 30 decibels above the safe noise level, more and more young people are likely to start feeling the effects of their music-loving, gig-going habits. Hearing loss not only rules out our enjoyment of music, but has the potential to lead to unemployment, isolation and has even been linked to dementia.

The story does not end there unfortunately. We have so many technological advancements that have been released in recent time, such as walkmen, cd players, casette players, mp3 players, ipods, zunes, and now even all of our cell phones are music players. What does one do when they sit in Starbucks sipping on a delicious pumpkin spiced latte? We plug in our headphones and listen to music. How about when we research or study on the computer? Blast away some System Of A Down of course. When you are cleaning or cooking? Drum and Bass to help us focus!

While it is a wonderful thing to have music in our lives and for it to be so special to us, it may be time to lower the sound level a bit. I have erred as well by playing my music loudly when I am at the gym and getting pumped up, literally. Or when I am driving home from work and my favorite song comes on and I am happy the work day is done, I BLAST IT! But at what cost to my hearing?

Related Article: Music’s Grand Effects on the Mind

MRC Centenary is conducting a study that will answer all of these questions in the near future. In fact you and I can become a part of this study. To take their questionnaire and be a part of a deafening… err, defining moment in hearing history visit the MRC Centenary. Even though the questionnaire focuses on sound, it is also a visually stimulating experience. But don’t just listen to me, check it out for yourself! Cheers!

Sources:

Beethoven’s Deafness

Medical Research Council Centenary

MRC Centenary Questionnaire

 

Wondergressive: Music’s Grand Effects on the Mind

Wondergressive: Put That Music You Hate On Repeat

Fat and Fit Don’t Mix

get fit

Helloooo CONSUMER friendly, let’s get fit! .
http://www.tofugu.com/2011/10/12/what-do-sumo-wrestlers-eat/

I have very, very disappointing news to share with everyone: Being fit does not co-exist with being fat. At least that is what the Annals of Internal Medicine are claiming through a new study. But let us back up a little, where did this idea even come from?

Data has been floating around recently about the idea that one can be fit even if one is obese. Due to this data the acceptance of being overweight wasn’t thought of as anything more than a choice. But can there be repercussions from choosing to be fit and obese? Could there be health issues unbeknownst to us that the study is trying to bring attention to?

Related Article: To be Fat or Not to be Fat?

There is a stockpile of data showing that there is no ‘healthy level’ of obesity. Over 60,000 patients in 8 studies weighed in on the findings presented by the study mentioned above. The result was that those who were metabolically healthy but obese had a higher risk of death or cardiovascular events later in their lives than others of normal weight. The study simply concludes that being overweight or having excess weight poses a threat to your longevity. In addition to weight management, which of course is the inferred solution, one should always check their blood pressure and cholesterol levels to ensure their body stays healthy and fit.

Related Article: Fat, Poor Kids Just Got a Little Less Fat

Who wants to check their weight now? Go here for a Body Mass Index calculator! It will tell you whether you are at a societally normal weight, underweight, overweight, or obese. It is better to know than to be in denial.

In the end both your fitness level and your health level is quite clearly determined by you. If you choose to be a little overweight and still feel great then who is to say that in fact you aren’t going to live forever? Honestly, living life the way you want to is what matters most, if indeed you wish to be happy then live the way that makes you feel happiest. Doesn’t hurt to adjust some parts though! Cheers to living!

 

Research:

AoIM: Are Metabolically Healthy Overweight and Obesity Benign Conditions?

CNN Health: You Can Be Fat AND Fit, Researchers Say

NIH: Calculate your Body Mass Index

 

Wondergressive: The Dangers of Fat Acceptance

Wondergressive: To be Fat or Not to be Fat?

Wondergressive: Fat, Poor Kids Just Got a Little Less Fat. Still Poor.

Eat Nuts For a Longer Life

nuts heart

NUMMYYY!!!!!! Give me my nuts!
http://house-of-health-nuts.wikispaces.com/

A new study posted in the New England Journal of Medicine claims that a key to a longer life may be as easy as snacking on some delicious and healthy nuts!

Over 170,000 participants were included in the study over a period of 30 years. Participants reported their diet on a 2 year cycle in which data was gathered and applied to the study.

The final analysis gathered information from a little over 118,000 of those original 170,000 participants due to incomplete information and/or cessation in participation. The study yielded some really interesting results:

As compared with participants who consumed nuts less frequently, those who consumed nuts more frequently were leaner, less likely to smoke, more likely to exercise, and more likely to use multivitamin supplements; they also consumed more fruits and vegetables and drank more alcohol.

Related Article: Obese? Got a Fatty Liver? No Problem.

Did I just read that correctly? Are nuts a mind infusing, brainwashing, positive health boosting, youth extending, feel good super-food? What are you waiting for?! Get with the program and eat some already! But wait, healthy you say? Where are you drawing this from other than said study? Plenty of different sources agree that nuts are good for you, in fact the study talks about just how good they are nutritionally. They contain:

unsaturated fatty acids, high-quality protein, fiber, vitamins (e.g., folate, niacin, and vitamin E), minerals (e.g., potassium, calcium, and magnesium), and phytochemicals (e.g., carotenoids, flavonoids, and phytosterols), may confer cardioprotective, anticarcinogenic, antiinflammatory, and antioxidant properties.

Related Article: The Wonderful, Healthier World of Fasting

What if I don’t like to snack on peanuts? What if I hate walnuts? No worries, there are 9 different types of nuts that we can indulge in, so even if you aren’t too fond of a peanut, there may be hope for you yet. Not to mention each of these 9 different types have different amounts of protein and different amounts of nutrients.

This is quite a bold claim that the study is making but I would say that it is all relative to your own state of mind. Drawing from this study, I believe if you are snacking on tree nuts you are also likely avoiding junk food snacking, which is in itself already a recipe for a healthier lifestyle. Not only that but snacking on something packed with protein and nutrients helps you function better throughout your day, allowing for a productive and positive life. Cheers!

 

Research:

Association of Nut Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality

The New Low-Cholesterol Diet

NutHealth.org

 

Wondergressive: Obese? Got a Fatty Liver? No Problem.

Wondergressive: The Life Changing and Life Lengthening World of Fasting

Google’s Self Driving Car Initiative

 

The self driving car is Google’s initiative, but what drives the giant to complete it?

Google has yet to NOT surprise me. From balloon wifi to free internet to Google glasses. I mean, Google finds ways to incorporate itself into everyone’s daily lives one way or another. If you have an android phone, the Play Store where you get all your apps? Google. How about your web browser Chrome? Google. (Mind you if you don’t have it, it is quite possibly the best browser out there, at least from what I have tested.) I mean who doesn’t use Google.com for their daily searches. How about YouTube; now I know for a FACT ya’ll use YouTube. And yes, Google owns that too. Here is a diagram of stuff Google owns and invests in, just for fun.

Related ArticleThe Road Rage is Strong With This One

 

 

It seems that Google is once again taking things further, this time in the form of a self driving car. As it is, Google has been working on self driving cars for a long time now, but most recently they decided to roll out their idea into the world around us. Google’s self driving car initiative is taking to the public streets for tests and trials as they move forward to a promised public release date of 2017. But of course, that consumer friendly release of a self driving car is all speculation, and critics such as Dan Flores, from General Motors’ advanced technology group, say very hurtful things:

 We do not think someone will have a fully autonomous production vehicle that soon, vehicles that can drive themselves are years — maybe decades — away. The technology will develop in steps to allow the vehicle to do more and act incrementally as sensors get more robust and costs come down.

Leave it to a big auto company like GM to put us down. And yet, Google perseveres. Already 3 states have legalized public testing of the self driving cars; Nevada, California, and Florida have made changes to laws to help Google’s plans for driver-less cars to move forward. Already we are seeing companies work on transport grids that would warn drivers of upcoming hazards and instant traffic details. With technology like this in the works, it wouldn’t be too unrealistic to expect driver-less cars sometime very soon.

Google’s future in car transportation seems to point to a Google taxi service, a Robo Taxi of sorts. With the newly introduced, and fairly popular Lyft driving services, it would only make sense for Google to move in the direction of replacing conventional taxis. As this idea is only speculative, it does somewhat make sense. A search engine giant that has a taxi service to inspire more search engine time goodness? Focusing on creating self driving cars to allow for more YouTubing and Google+ing? Why else is Google Maps so popular and updated so frequently?

Related Article: Blimps are the Future!

Who knows what is in store for driver-less cars from Google. With the way things are panning out I wouldn’t be surprised if Google’s driveless cars featured solar panels and some sort of wind turbine to gather energy throughout the daily drives. Then again, (deep breath) I wouldn’t be surprised if Google turned out to be run by a self aware computer that was looking to entwine itself into everything and anything living on Earth only to have the human race rise against it and fight nearly to extinction but through a last ditch effort survive and beat the main computer that the AI started from because of course the computer wouldn’t think to make a lot of central hubs that it can reside in. Boy wouldn’t that be a sci-fi movie cliche. Cheers to artificial intelligence!

 

Research:

Google Glass

Wikipedia: Google Play

Google Browser: Chrome

CNET: How Google’s robo-cars mean the end of driving as we know it

GM: Dan Flores

CNET: First Smart Cars, Next Smart Transport Grids

USA Today: States take the wheel on drive-less cars

Google’s Robo-Taxi Rumors

Be a Lyft Driver

Google Plus

Google Maps

Wondergressive: A Non-Loony Google Project Called Loon

Wondergressive: Free Internet, Help Yourself

Wondergressive: The Road Rage is Strong With This One

Wondergressive: Blimps are the Future!

Go Go Gadget: Wearable Tech!

 

God I loved that cartoon when I was growing up (not the crummy live action movie adaptation…). I still quote “go go gadget arm” from time to time at work when I am reaching for something that is just slightly out of reach. Nerd. Yes, indeed. Then again, this is 2013 is it not?! So why do we not have those amazing gadgets that Inspector Gadget so often flaunted?! Government secrets I’m sure. Unfortunately it may still be some time yet before we are all cyborgs, but in the mean time we do have some exciting gadgets and wearable tech to play with!

Misfit Shine and Hot Watch are both wearable tech that blend new age technology with a sense of style! But of course, I am getting ahead of myself, they aren’t as impressive as a hand that reaches out of a detective hat. They do however each have their own purpose and are definitely pieces of technology that should not be overlooked.

Related Article: Robotic Sense and Feel

The Misfit Shine is a little metal UFO looking coin, that, much like a UFO, lights up in response to touch. This little wonder is not equipped with a touch screen of any sort, but it is a pedometer that is able to track your fitness throughout the day. This stylish coin is waterproof so you can even take it with you on your morning swim or your afternoon bike ride where you are likely to sweat all over everything in your pockets.

Equipped with a touch response, the Misfit Shine may be a bit complicated with a unique way of showing time of day, although it does sport a sleek and stylish look. In fact, the best part about this little tracker is that it resembles jewelry! For all you style fashionistas, think fitness, health, with a twist of chic. Misfit Shine comes with a armband that it fits into snugly, resembling a watch, or a small strap that has a magnet attached to the end of it, acting as a clip-on. But for everyone else, just pop it into your pocket and set out on your athletic adventure. Pricing for Misfit Shine is just under 100$. Make sure you have an iOS device such as an iPhone or Apple computer, as Misfit Shine is currently only compatible with iOS. Compatibility with Android and other operating systems is expected sometime next year.

Related Article: Biggest Wastes Of Money That We Continue To Pay For!

Now the next one I am really excited about. The Hot Watch is the closest to a James Bond watch accessory that I have seen thus far. It resembles a watch with a LCD touch screen that may just be too small for my fingers. The screen isn’t exactly meant for texting or reading blogs, rather it provides you with updates of your Facebook and other social media outlets. Swipes and patterns bring up different menus that access your updates and alerts from emails and such.

The coolest thing about this Hot Watch is that it can be used as a substitute for a hands free Bluetooth headset. By cupping your hand around your ear the watch receives the calls and runs the speaker up your hand to your ear for private calls. A simple “good bye” wave hangs up the phone. Cool. The watch connects directly to your cell phone via Android or iOS apps and even alerts you when you are too far from your smart phone, reminding you that you are most likely losing it or forgetting it. Stylish and Smart. Bingo. Pricing starts at $169 for the Hot Watch and it will be released in December 2013.

Related Article: Facebook: Glorifying and Depressing

Technology tickles my fancy, especially with the prospect for newer and more innovative pieces that may be released because of current tech that is being developed. Now I won’t lie, during the construction of this whole article I was either humming or singing the Inspector Gadget song. I may just have to watch a couple episodes on YouTube now. GO. Gadget. GO!

Cheers to nostalgia!

Research:

CNET: Sleek Hot Watch Makes Hands-Free Calls With Style

CNET: Fitness Tracker As Futuristic Jewelry 

Wondergressive: Robotic Sense and Feel

Wondergressive: Biggest Wastes Of Money That We All Continue To Pay For: Part 1

Wondergressive: Facebook: Glorifying and Depressing

Oculus Rift and Omni Treadmill, Gaming of the Future!

Friends, Wondergressivers, Gamers. The future looks very bright for us all! 720p virtual reality bright. Oculus Rift and Omni Treadmill are paving the way for exciting future developments in games and virtual reality.

Both Oculus Rift and Omni Treadmill started on Kickstarter where the projects were eagerly accepted! The gaming community said YES and the projects exceeded the funding that the companies expected, allowing for the projects to fly into full development. I am getting ahead of myself though, let us explore each individual item before we begin to experience both together!

Related Article: 3D? Let’s Go One More! 4D!

Before we can begin to walk, let us open up our eyes and experience the world around us. Oculus Rift consists of virtual reality goggles that will bring high definition sight to your gamer eyes! Yes,they will open the door to that which we have dreamed of since we first played pong. It is finally coming, the gaming era we have all been waiting for. Although it is still in its beta (testing) stages, and mostly useful to developers, the Oculus Rift can be expected to fully open up the role playing world of Skyrim, enhance your first person shooter sensations when playing Call of Duty, and immerse you in your strategy as you micro manage your troops in Starcraft. Units misbehaving? Get up close and in their face as you dictate new commands. Characters need resurrecting? Finally a way to spot the corpse without trying to click on the pixel stuck between the mountain of characters destroyed in a raid. You know it well WoW players.

While still in development stages, it comes compatible with only a few games and is specifically dedicated to a computer. The price tag is set at $300 which isn’t too steep, but since it is still in developmental stages it may drop or rise depending on demand and how much more it is augmented.

Related Article: Substitutional Reality Helmet

Now that we are used to the light and we understand the world, let us begin crawling. Or rather, let’s skip the crawling and begin walking in virtual reality! Omni Treadmill helps take the virtual reality experience one step further by giving gamers the ability to not only percieve the virtual world, but also the ability to roam in it!

Let us suppose that you are playing a competitive first person shooter. Wouldn’t that shooter become more intense and more fun if you were able to walk and run in the game by the use of your feet rather than by the use of a gamepad? Of course it would! We gamers thrive off of the competitive edge, the rush of the kill streak, the rhythmic pulse of our heartbeats syncing up with the beat of the rat-tat-tat of our semi automatic as we spray and pray our bullets onto incoming bogies. A treadmill to release the intense rush and to fuel the competitive strategic play. Oh what fun!

What’s more, the developers behind this are very gaming community minded! I simply love developers like this. Their goals are to make the gaming world better, to create a new idea that will explode into a million other new ideas. Reference Omni’s motto:

The Omni is the first omni treadmill that is focused on the household consumer and achieves three objectives: being affordable to household consumers, fitting in a living room, and above all, enabling the user to walk freely and naturally, as he or she would in real life.

For $500 you can purchase the Omni Treadmill, packaged with the shoes, the belt, and hardware/software needed, all of which is set to be released March 2014.

For more on Omni, check out the video below! I am sure that this will one day be standing in my living room. I am willing to accumulate much debt for something like this!

 

Related Article: Augmented Reality Blows My Mind – Twice

What endless possibilities, what endless worlds to explore, what endless things to experience. And why not, there is a lot of good that can come from these developments as well! Terminal cancer patients can travel the world in their household, people in wheelchairs can walk again even if only virtually, and most importantly, those disabled may now have a chance to experience the world as others do! Apart from all the different benefits, it still is amazing and super exciting the direction the gaming world is heading in!

Cheers to the future!

Research:
Oculus Rift

Omni Treadmill

Kickstarter

Skyrim

Starcraft 2

Call of Duty

World of Warcraft

Wondergressive: Substitutional Reality Helmet

Wondergressive: 3D? Let’s Go One More! 4D!

Wondergressive: Augmented Reality Blows My Mind – Twice

An Argument Against the Critics of Cannabis Use (Part 2)

[no_toc]

*Note: This article is part of a larger report featured on Wondergressive entitled ‘Cannabis Cures Cancer and More: A Through History and Review of the Evidence

Copyright © 2013 [Eric Feinberg]. All Rights Reserved.

To read Part 1 of this post please click here.


What the Critics Have to Say About Cannabis

(And Why They’re Wrong…)

 

Critics are quick to point out the consistently noted dangers of cannabis ingestion.  These are the same arguments that have been used for decades.  They remain aggressively debated without compromise, despite decades of rational evidence suggesting falsity and fallacy. The seemingly valid concerns regarding cannabis use that top the critics’ list are: the gateway drug theory, short-term memory loss, psychosis, decreased intelligence, harm from cannabis smoke, depression, an elevated heart rate, and worries over driving while high. Let’s allow science and logic to save the day, shall we?

Psychosis

An historically major issue concerning cannabis is the worry that it may induce schizophrenic symptoms or intensify various forms of latent schizophrenia. The subjective experience of ingesting cannabis is highly personal and varies greatly among users around the world. Common experiences include:

  • Greater enjoyment of food taste and aroma

    blogs.sfweekly.com

    blogs.sfweekly.com

  • An enhanced enjoyment of music
  • A greater enjoyment of comedy and humor
  • Distortions in perception of time and space
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Improved long-term memory recall
  • Creative thinking
  • New perspectives
  • Increased libido
  • Elevated mood
  • Heightened sensitivity to external stimuli
  • Relaxation

At extremely high doses common experiences include:

  • Altered body image
  • Auditory/visual illusions
  • Hallucinations (extremely rare)
  • Mild dissociation of mind and body
  • Panic attacks
  • Paranoia

While the vast majority of the effects of cannabis are viewed as positive, panic attacks and paranoia are obviously unwanted.  Between 20 and 30 percent of recreational users experience intense anxiety and/or panic attacks after smoking cannabis.

Related Article: The Incredibly Diverse Medicinal Properties of Cannabis 

While these symptoms usually occur due to thoughts of legal ramification for ingesting cannabis, exaggerated worry over a thought process, or general anxiousness over trying something new, it has been reported that the symptoms can happen spontaneously as well. It is possible and plausible that these symptoms could lead to greater and more persistent symptoms of psychosis. However, there are multiple aspects of the psychosis worry that needs to be discussed.

First, through our increasing knowledge of cannabinoids and the role they play on the endocannabinoid system, researchers have discovered that certain cannabinoids have a marginally stronger effect than others with regards to producing hallucinations  delusions, and subjective psychological stress.

While the THC (the most psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis) offers incredible physio/psychological health benefits, it has been linked to being the sole culprit of producing more schizophrenia-like symptoms.

Related Article: The History and Legality of Cannabis Use Around the World 

When comparing multiple subjects under the influence of only THC, a mixture of THC and CBD (cannabidiol), and no cannabinoids, researchers found that only THC produced subjectively negative psychological effects.  The subjects with no additional cannabinoids in their system and the subjects with the mixture of THC and CBD both experienced a nearly identical psychological effect.  The only major difference was that the subjects who had ingested the mixture reported less anhedonia (unable to experience pleasure)  then the other two groups. The researchers concluded that if anything, their research highlighted

the importance of distinguishing between different strains of cannabis.

Once we break cannabis down into its component cannabinoids it is easy to see why users describe such incredibly varied experiences. Cannabidiol is extremely effective in treating and preventing symptoms of schizophrenia, as research continues to suggest.  Many researchers believe that cannabis legalization will herald a revolution in the treatment of various psychological disorders, including schizophrenia. According to a 2005 double-blind study analyzing the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol, researchers found that:

cannabidiol treatment was accompanied by a significant increase in serum anandamide levels, which was significantly associated with clinical improvement. The results suggest that inhibition of anandamide deactivation may contribute to the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol potentially representing a completely new mechanism in the treatment of schizophrenia.

Other studies on the topic affirm that many subjects report

no clinically significant adverse effects

while self treating themselves with cannabis.

Even in the Netherlands, where cannabis use is widespread and often harshly judged internationally, scientists have reported an utter lack of evidence that cannabis use leads to schizophrenia.  The report states that:

A group of Dutch scientists say that there is no proof that cannabis induces schizophrenia. These findings will be embarrassing for the Dutch government, which has been bearing down on Marijuana Coffee Shops saying the drug induces schizophrenia.

The truth is that  much of the research done thus far has been skewed and largely unscientific.   Under proper guidance, and using the correct strains, researchers all around the world agree that cannabis is a wonderfully effective psychotropic medication. Researchers discussed the consistently shown promise and proof of cannabis as an effective psychotropic medication in the British Journal of Psychiatry:

I considered Arseneault et al‘s (2004) search for evidence of the association between cannabis and psychosis as quite skewed. They did not explore the evidence regarding positive, therapeutic or beneficial psychoactive effects of cannabis in mental health in the context of appropriate, rational and clinical usage…Signalling, mostly inhibitory, suggests a role for cannabinoids as therapeutic agents in central nervous system disease where inhibition of neurotransmitter release would be beneficial. Evidence suggests that cannabinoids inhibit the neurotransmitter glutamate, counteract oxidative damage to dopaminergic neurons and may be potent neuroprotective agents (Croxford, 2003)…knowing [cannabis’] potent neuroprotective function, its potential role in psychiatric practice should not be discarded lightly.

The most important thing to remember is that symptoms of schizophrenia generally (nearly always) precede cannabis use. Schizophrenia and general psychosis have far more to do with genetic make up than anything else (refer to the graph).

Research regarding the connection between cannabis and psychosis, especially symptoms of schizophrenia, remains historically lacking and skewed with regards to component cannabinoids in cannabis.  Cannabis produces highly varied subjective experiences, and research has revealed that each cannabinoid within cannabis has a markedly different effect on individuals. Multiple recent studies have shown that cannabis, specifically the cannabinoid CBD, is a highly effective agent in treating schizophrenia and other psychological disorders.  Most importantly, symptoms of schizophrenia precede cannabis use in the vast majority of cases.  There is currently no clear evidence that cannabis is directly responsible for causing psychosis and schizophrenic symptoms in users. 

 

Depression

This is one of the most commonly used arguments against the use of cannabis as a form of medicine or recreation.  Like the psychosis argument debunked above, the depression argument is always portrayed in a skewed and exaggerated fashion.  The most important thing to remember as we discuss this is that correlation does not imply causation.

forum.grasscity.com

forum.grasscity.com

It is well known that many already depressed individuals (ranging from mild to incapacitating depression) use cannabis as a form of self-medication.  This often takes place after finding no success with taking a whole slew of expensive, addictive, and biologically destructive prescription drugs handed out by the oh so helpful DSM devotees.

Related Article: The Power of Hemp Seeds: Behold Powerful Nutrition

What researchers have found is that the vast majority of people who use cannabis to treat their depression find it to be highly physically/psychologically therapeutic and helpful. All people react differently, just like with any substance.  Regardless of subjective experience it is clear at the biological level that cannabis has an anti-depressant effect on the body and mind.  With regards to decreased depression associated with cannabis use an additional study incorporated:

Over 4400 adult internet users [who] completed The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale and measures of marijuana use. We employed an internet survey in an effort to recruit the most depressed and marijuana involved participants, including those who might prove unwilling to travel to the laboratory or discuss drug use on the phone or in person. We compared those who consumed marijuana daily, once a week or less, or never in their lives. Despite comparable ranges of scores on all depression subscales, those who used once per week or less had less depressed mood, more positive affect, and fewer somatic complaints than non-users. Daily users reported less depressed mood and more positive affect than non-users. The three groups did not differ on interpersonal symptoms.

Cannabis users, whether they ingested the substance less than once a week or every day, reported far less depressive symptoms and far more happiness and satisfaction than non-users.  The study goes on to say that:

The media continues to report links between marijuana and depression. In a recent review, Degenhardt, Hall, and Lynskey (2003) identified a modest relationship only among problematic users. Many studies show no link between cannabis and depression despite appropriate statistical power, measurement, and design (Fergusson & Horwood, 1997; Fergusson, Lynskey, & Horwood, 1996; Green & Ritter, 2000; Kouri, Pope, Yurgelun-Todd, & Gruber, 1995; McGee, Williams, Poulton, & Moffitt, 2000; Musty & Kaback, 1995; Rowe, Fleming, Barry, Manwell, & Kropp, 1995). One neglected source of depression among marijuana users may stem from medical use. Separate analyses for medical vs. recreational users demonstrated that medical users reported more depressed mood and more somatic complaints than recreational users, suggesting that medical conditions clearly contribute to depression scores and should be considered in studies of marijuana and depression. The data suggests that adults apparently do not increase their risk for depression by using marijuana.

Just like we discussed in all of the other arguments, the public only sees what the media picks and chooses to show, which is usually negligible data that has been exaggerated and skewed to fit their hype.  The previous study also brought up an excellent point that has never been discussed before: are the results of studies concerning cannabis and depression that get aired by main stream media corrupted by reports of depression that originate from medical suffering?  The use of cannabis is so wide spread around the world, especially in the US, that it should not be discounted.

Related Article: Cannabis Protects Brain From Damage While Binge Drinking

Besides, just like in the psychosis argument, it is clear that depression generally precedes cannabis-use.  Furthermore, studies suggest that:

After adjusting for differences in baseline risk factors of marijuana use and depression, past-year  marijuana use does not significantly predict later development of depression.

To reiterate, cannabis exhibits an antidepressant-like behavior in more ways than one, and is often used to treat even incapacitating depression successfully.

Finally, in a longitudinal study completed in 2009 regarding cannabis and suicide,researchers found that:

Although there was a strong association between cannabis use and suicide, this was explained by markers of psychological and behavioural problems. These results suggest that cannabis use is unlikely to have a strong effect on risk of completed suicide, either directly or as a consequence of mental health problems secondary to its use.

The depression argument is false in many of the same ways as the psychosis argument.  In the vast majority of cases depressive behavior precedes cannabis use. Additionally, in most cases where cannabis is used to self-treat depression it is found to be successful.  Cannabis is a clear biological antidepressant and exhibits incredible therapeutic properties. Depression is highly subjective and everyone experiences it differently.  The truth is that in multiple studies both light and heavy cannabis users report far less depressive symptoms than non-users.  There is no evidence whatsoever that cannabis use predicts or causes depression.  Many depressed people use cannabis and report positive results far more often than people using contemporarily prescribed prescription medication. 

 

Driving While Stoned

(*Note: this report does not advocate driving while under the effects of any substance, including cannabis.  The aim of this section is to view the credible findings on how cannabis affects drivers.)

The claim that ingesting cannabis somehow affects driving ability makes sense at first glance.  Unfortunately all of the reports historically presented by mainstream media have focused on theory and self-report tactics, rather than actual evidence and proof.  They continuously focus on potential ratios, theoretical effects, and skewed speculation.

Related Article: Federal Judge Urges Decriminalization of Marijuana 

Biologically, it is true that

cannabis impairs driving behavior. However, this impairment is mediated in that subjects under cannabis treatment appear to perceive that they are indeed impaired. Where they can compensate, they do.

Despite biological theories for how cannabis might potentially affect a driver, experiments using driving simulations in the lab find that:

drivers who drank alcohol overestimated their performance quality whereas those who smoked marijuana underestimated it. Perhaps as a consequence, the former invested no special effort for accomplishing the task whereas the latter did, and successfully. This evidence strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourages greater caution, at least in experiments.

The [findings] contrast with results from many laboratory tests, reviewed by Moskowitz (1985), which show that even low doses of THC impair skills deemed to be important for driving, such as perception, coordination, tracking and vigilance. The present studies also demonstrated that marijuana can have greater effects in laboratory than driving tests. The last study, for example showed a highly significant effect of THC on hand unsteadiness but not on driving in urban traffic.

It is apparent that despite multiple laboratory studies displaying favorable results, real world driving tests are even more positive. When we actually test the effects of cannabis on drivers in the real world, we see very little safety issues, if any at all.

Drivers under the influence of cannabis, unlike alcohol, realize they are under the effects of a substance and successfully compensate for their altered state of mind by driving slower and by giving themselves more space between other vehicles. One of the first actual road tests with cannabis studies drivers in the lab, on the highway, and in congested urban areas.  The results affirmed that as far as cannabis’ effect on actual driving performance:

Driving quality as rated by the subjects contrasted with observer ratings.  Alcohol impaired driving performance according to the driving instructor but subjects did not perceive it; marijuana did not impair driving performance but the subjects themselves perceived their driving performance as such….Thus there was evidence that subjects in the marijuana group were not only aware of their intoxicated condition but were also attempting to compensate for it…drivers become overconfident after drinking alcohol…and more cautious and self critical after consuming low THC doses by smoking marijuana.

Drivers under the effects of cannabis pay more attention to the road; drive more slowly, and leaving themselves more room between other cars.

Related Article: Portugal Decriminalizes All Drugs; 10 Years Later the Results are Mind Blowing

The truth is that alcohol is a far more serious problem than cannabis when it comes to driving. Studies performed from 1982 to 1998 demonstrate time and time again that alcohol is significantly more dangerous than cannabis on the road. Alcohol use is also far more prevalent in crash statistics.

Blood and/or urine from fatally injured drivers in Washington State were collected and tested for the presence of drugs and alcohol. Drug and/or alcohol use was a factor in 52% of all fatalities. Among single vehicle accidents, alcohol use was a factor in 61% of cases versus 30% for multiple vehicle accidents. Drugs most commonly encountered were marijuana (11%), cocaine (3%), amphetamines (2%), together with a variety of depressant prescription medications.

The study even found that it was far less likely to find alcohol in a person’s system in the presence of cannabis, implying that cannabis use lessened the prevalence of alcohol use on the road:

Trends noted included an association of depressant use with higher blood alcohol levels, while  marijuana use was associated with lower blood alcohol levels.

With regards to comparisons between cannabis and illicit substances overall, Accident Analysis & Prevention, a peer-reviewed journal, reported in its July 2004 article titled “Psychoactive Substance Use and the Risk of Motor Vehicle Accidents,” by K.L.L. Movig, et al.:

The objective of this study was to estimate the association between psychoactive drug use and motor vehicle accidents requiring hospitalization.

The risk for road trauma was increased for single use of benzodiazepines and alcohol…High relative risks were estimated for drivers using combinations of drugs and those using a combination of drugs and alcohol.  Increased risks, although not statistically significant, were assessed for drivers using amphetamines… No increased risk for road trauma was found for drivers exposed to cannabis.

With regards to comparisons between cannabis and substance-free drivers:

The largest study ever done linking road accidents with drugs and alcohol has found drivers with cannabis in their blood were no more at risk than those who were drug-free. In fact, the findings by a pharmacology team from the University of Adelaide and Transport SA showed drivers who had smoked marijuana were marginally less likely to have an accident than those who were drug-free. A study spokesman, Dr Jason White, said the difference was not great enough to be statistically significant but could be explained by anecdotal evidence that marijuana smokers were more cautious and drove more slowly because of altered time perception. The study of 2,500 accidents, which matched the blood alcohol levels of injured drivers with details from police reports, found drug-free drivers caused the accidents in 53.5 per cent of cases. Injured drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration of more than 0.05 per cent were culpable in nearly 90 per cent of accidents they were involved in. Drivers with cannabis in their blood were less likely to cause an accident, with a culpability rate of 50.6 per cent. The study has policy implications for those who argue drug detection should be a new focus for road safety. Dr White said the study showed the importance of concentrating efforts on alcohol rather than other drugs.

The BBC and CNN both filmed their own research on the actual effects of cannabis on driving ability.  The BBC study focused on a single driver and found that he actually drove better while ‘high’; driving more cautiously and paying more attention to the driving test.  The CNN study was a bit more extensive and controlled.

The study, conducted in Washington where recreational cannabis use is legal, focused on 3 volunteers who drove under the effects of different amounts of cannabis.  They drove alongside a driving instructor with drug recognition experts (police officers with specific drug recognition training) watching them from outside the vehicle.  The volunteers included a heavy daily user, a weekend user, and an occasional user.  Even at 7x the legal limit of driving under the influence, 5x the legal limit, and 4x the legal limit respectively, all of the volunteers passed their driving tests, received positive reviews from the driving instructor, and would not have been pulled over by the drug recognition experts.

Related Article: Uruguay to Legalize Marijuana

States with medical marijuana laws are also reporting that since cannabis became legal medically and/or decriminalized, they have witnessed decreases in deaths resulting from car accidents:

A report from the University of ColoradoMontana State University, and the University of Oregon found that on average, states that have legalized Medical cannabis had a decrease in traffic-related fatalities by 8-11%.

It’s just safer to drive under the influence of marijuana than it is drunk….Drunk drivers take more risk, they tend to go faster. They don’t realize how impaired they are. People who are under the influence of marijuana drive slower, they don’t take as many risks

From a theoretical point of view it makes sense that people would be concerned over potential risks of ‘driving while stoned.’  However, the research speaks for itself.  Laboratory and real world test results have confirmed time and time again that cannabis does not have a detrimental effect on driving ability.  People under the effects of cannabis, unlike alcohol, realize their altered state of mind and compensate successfully for it.  In most instances cannabis users drive more safely; driving slower, paying more attention to the road, and remaining more cautious and vigilant. Cannabis does not pose any serious danger to drivers or anyone else on the road. 

atheistfoundation.org.au

atheistfoundation.org.au

 

Cannabis Smoke and Lung Damage

patients4medicalmarijuana.wordpress.com

patients4medicalmarijuana.wordpress.com

There are endless reports that claim cannabis harms the lungs and bronchial airways, as well as increasing the risk of lung cancer. What you’ll quickly notice though is that the studies these reports are quoting from are completely theoretical studies based on comparisons with cigarette smoke, as opposed to actual findings from research. Additionally, they only focus on one mode of cannabis ingestion, one that destroys many of the medical benefits of cannabis; smoking.

It is true that there are over 50 potentially carcinogenic substances found in cannabis.  Additionally, because smoked cannabis is not completely dry and is smoked without a filter, there is roughly 4 times more tar than the amount found in cigarettes. One can see why studies would speculate that cannabis may increase the risk of lung cancer.  As usual, when you look at the actual science, the opposite is true.

Related Article: Smoking: A Pre-existing Condition Under Obamacare

First of all, there is currently not a single known case of cancer originating from the ingestion of cannabis. As stated numerous times in this report, there has never been a death that cannabis was directly responsible for.

Endless studies, despite a hypothesis to the contrary, are unable to find an increased risk of cancer due to cannabis use.  in fact, as stated previously,

studies indicate that THC has anti-tumorigenic and anti-metastatic effect against lung cancer [and most other forms of cancer].

A study in 2005, the largest ever conducted of its kind, left Donald Tashkin, a pulmonologist at UCLA‘s David Geffin School of Medicine, scratching his head.  Tashkin and his research team had hypothesized an association between cannabis and lung cancer, but even after 30 years of observing thousands of subjects they were unable to find a connection between cannabis and lung cancer.

We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use. We expected that we would find that a history of heavy marijuana use – more than 500 to 1,000 uses – would increase the risk of cancer from several years to decades after exposure to marijuana. What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.

kushsmoke.com

kushsmoke.com

The heaviest users in Tashkin’s study smoked more than 60 joint-years worth of marijuana, or more than 22,000 joints in their lifetime. Moderately heavy users smoked between 11,000 and 22,000 joints.

That’s an enormous amount of marijuana [however] in no category was there any increased risk, nor was there any suggestion that smoking more led to a higher odds ratio. There was no dose-response, not even a suggestion of a dose response, and in all types of cancer except one, oral cancer, the odds ratios were less than one. This is the largest case-control study ever done, and everyone had to fill out a very extensive questionnaire about marijuana use. Bias can creep into any research, but we controlled for as many confounding factors as we could, and so I believe these results have real meaning.

That being said, Dr. Tashkin wisely notes:

It’s never a good idea to take anything into your lungs, including marijuana smoke.

Smoke does not belong in your lungs, and just as this report does not advocate driving while under the effects of cannabis, it equally does not recommend smoking cannabis.  What this report does suggest is using a vaporizer, cooking the cannabis into food, or making a cannabis oil.  All of these methods make this entire argument irrelevant as they do not involve any form of smoke.

The media has bombarded the public with seeming ‘proof’ that cannabis leads to lung cancer.  The truth is that all of this ‘proof’ has been entirely speculative.  Despite cannabis smoke containing carcinogens and up to 4 times more tar than the amount found in cigarettes, long term studies confirm that there is no increased risk of lung cancer from smoking cannabis.  On the contrary, the cannabinoids found in THC work to fight against cancer and even protect healthy cells.  Most importantly, because cannabis can be ingested in many ways that don’t involve smoke, this entire argument is irrelevant.

 

*Note: This article is part of a larger report featured on Wondergressive entitled ‘Cannabis Cures Cancer and Everything Else: A Through History and Review

 

Sources:

 

Psychosis

340.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_cannabis#Psychoactive_effects

341.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/

342.

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/

343.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anhedonia

344.

http://www.scielo.br/

345.

http://www.cannabis-med.org/studies/ww_en_db_study_show.php?s_id=171

346.

http://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/

347.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/12283.php

348.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/36942.php

349.

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/185/1/78.1.full

350.

http://socialsciences.people.hawaii.edu/publications_lib/Cannabis%20and%20SPD.pdf

351.

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/

352.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12617697?dopt=Abstract

 

Depression

353.

http://www.ukcia.org/research/AnxietyWithDepressionResearchReview.pdf

354.

http://www.ukcia.org/research/AnxietyWithDepressionResearchReview.pdf

355.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20012048-10391704.html

356.

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/178/2/107.full.pdf

357.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1317988/?tool=pubmed

358.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1317988/?tool=pubmed

359.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15964704

360.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

361.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16968348

362.

http://www.jneurosci.org/content/27/43/11700.full

363.

http://www.ukcia.org/research/AnxietyWithDepressionResearchReview.pdf

364.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19949196

 

Driving While Stoned

365.

http://www.bmj.com/press-releases/

366.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21976636

367.

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

368.

http://www.ukcia.org/research/driving/02.php

369.

http://www.ukcia.org/research/driving/02.php

370.

http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis_driving4.shtml

371.

http://www.ukcia.org/research/medline/8.htm

372.

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.source.php?sourceID=000783

373.

http://www.ukcia.org/research/driving/index.php

374.

375.

376.

http://www.heraldnews.com/news/x1926904908/

377.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Colorado

378.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montana_State_University

379.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Oregon

380.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_cannabis

381.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2011/12/02/driving-stoned-safer-than-driving-drunk/

 

Cannabis Smoke and Lung Damage

382.

http://www.mrc.ac.uk/Newspublications/News/MRC006135

383.

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/

384.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10613339

385.

http://articles.latimes.com/2006/may/05/opinion/oe-grinspoon5

386.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2277494/

387.

http://www.aacrmeetingabstracts.org

388.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulmonologist

389.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UCLA

390.

http://www.cannabis-med.org/english/bulletin/ww_en_db_cannabis_artikel.php?id=219#2

391.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaporizer_(cannabis)

 

Two New Blue Developments In Our Galaxy

Some 60 light years away lies Planet HD 189733b, second of its kind as it resembles our humble home, Earth. This planet, let’s call it Blue (due to its blue hue which is probably the only thing resembling Earth) is actually a very interesting planet, as it frequently has rain, like Earth, but not really like earth at all since the rain is curiously made of glass and not water.

This exotic blue planet, full of various gases that make it up, has 4,500 mph winds which possibly cause glass to rain sideways. The blue hue of the planet is the most interesting part, due to water and oceans reflecting light, hinting at habitability and the possibility of life. However, with the extreme weather patterns and the intense heat of the planet (2,000°F to be exact), the planet is not likely housing anything but gases and well, glass. Lots and lots of rainy glass. Who knows though, maybe Chuck Norris lives there.

Related Article: Life, It’s All Over The Place

Another new development in our galaxy is that of the birth of a Supersun. It will contain 500 times more mass than our Sun and it will glow an eerie blue due to its surface temperature of over 50,000°F, which is 5 times hotter than our Sun, thus the nickname Supersun.

Though still under construction, as gases and mass are condensed and compressed under the cold star’s gravity, it will eventually build itself into a heaping Titan of a star, one that Titans of old would be proud of. The coolest part about all this is that scientists are able to view the creation of this Supersun second by second as it piles together, until it combusts and becomes the star it was meant to be! Superman would most likely pass out from all the power that this Supersun would supply him with; maybe it would make for a better movie than the newest Superman rendition.

Related Article: Faster Than Light Travel is Possible

These finds represent very interesting developments in our galaxy, and with ever expanding space, we may find that we are in fact not alone. In case you were curious, here is a little something on our boy ‘Blue,’ Planet HD 189733b:

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

Cheers!

 

Research:

Time: Supersun! Giant New Star

Time: Astronomers Find Oldest Stars

NASA Hubble Finds A True Blue Planet

Chuck Norris Website

IMDB – Man of Steel (2013)

Wondergressive: Faster Than Light Travel is Possible

Wondergressive: Life, It’s All Over The Place