While it's not against the law to smoke cigarettes in most parts of the world, there are still a lot of places where smoking is prohibited – workplaces, hotels, public housing, college dorms, jails – and a whole lot of smokers who still like to sneak in a cheeky one on the sly. That could become a lot more difficult with the release of the AirGuard, a sophisticated smoke detection unit that can either be hand held or fixed to a wall, and that can send out a Wi-Fi alert when tobacco or marijuana smoke is detected.
Situated in an undisclosed location near Tzfat, northern Israel, is a government-approved medical marijuana plantation founded in 2004 by a retired biology teacher. Named Tikun Olam, the plantation has created a new cannabis strain which contains very low traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main constituent in cannabis responsible for making people feel "stoned". By virtually eliminating THC in the new strain, Tikun Olam can now offer the drug's medicinal benefits to those patients who wish to keep a clear head.
The Autospense vending machine by a Californian company Dispense Labs LLC is designed to allow easy access to medical marijuana for those who need it, while keeping it safely out of reach of those who merely want it. This machine is far more sophisticated than your average snack dispenser though - locks, cameras, sensors and proprietary software all add up to a high-security turnkey solution for dispensing, tracking and managing medical marijuana.
Unless you're a rodent, it's probably too early to get excited about the possibility of being able to eat all you want, be a couch potato and still not gain weight, but new research using a strain of specially-modified mice indicates that just such an unlikely scenario might one day be possible. Recently, a team of scientists from UC Irvine (UCI), Yale and Marche Polytechnic University in Ancona, Italy discovered they could bring this metabolic miracle about in the lab by blocking the actions of a marijuana-like compound that regulates energy metabolism.
You don’t need an IQ much larger than your shoe size to realize that humanity is forever questing for an alternative reality. Apart from the behemoth industries peddling legalized drugs (alcohol, tobacco and caffeine), the extraordinary profitability of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and the rapidly growing number of synthetics now constitute the single largest income stream of criminal and terrorist organizations worldwide. Human drug usage began at the dawn of civilization and we may have sought out the first mind-altering substances by watching the behavior of animals which indulged.
While the food versus fuel debate
continues to put crop-based biofuel
production on the back burners it might just be Cannabis sativa
that blazes the competition. Researchers at University of Connecticut have found that industrial hemp has properties that make it viable and even attractive as a raw material, or feedstock, for producing biodiesel. Hemp biodiesel has shown a high efficiency of conversion (97 percent) and has passed laboratory’s tests, even showing properties that suggest it could be used at lower temperatures than any biodiesel currently on the market.
If you thought it was high time someone produced an electric vehicle
(EV) using that most versatile and environmentally friendly of fibers, hemp, then you can breathe a sigh of relief. Motive Industries Inc. has announced the development of Canada’s first electric vehicle whose body is made from an impact resistant bio-composite material that is made from hemp mats. If it remembers to turn up, the four-passenger car, called the Kestrel, will make its debut during the EV 2010 VÉ Conference and Trade Show in Vancouver in September.
As difficult as some of our readers might find it to believe, researchers have found that specific elements of marijuana can be good for the aging brain by reducing inflammation and possibly even stimulating the formation of new brain cells. The research suggests that the development of a legal drug that contains certain properties similar to those in marijuana might help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. If you can’t wait for the drug to be developed, and don’t fancy coping with getting stoned every morning, Science Magazine has an interesting article
about an alternative – dramatically reducing your calorific intake is also beneficial for memory.
October 26, 2006 Prostitution is claimed to be the world’s oldest profession but in our book piracy would be a legitimate contender for the oldest profession and statistics show it is still a highly profitable and viable profession. One of our favourite blogs, slashdot
, contained the following post today - "The music, movie, and software cartels claim 'piracy' is a Number One problem not only for themselves, but for the world as a whole and so successful are their continuing dis- and misinformation propaganda campaigns that they've been able to dragoon entire governments and police forces into acting as industry enforcers. But, says p2pnet
, far from being at the top of the pile, movie and music piracy rank 16th and 20th, respectively, on a global index of illicit markets
. (Software piracy ranks 7th.) And even those positions are subject to considerable doubt." The statistics make fascinating reading with Marijuana claiming the gold for the world’s largest illicit trade ahead of Counterfeit Technology Products, Cocaine and Opium/heroin
, but it was the list of countries that are the worst offenders that knocked our socks off – looking uncannily like the gold medal count at an Olympic games, the USA wins hands down from China, Germany, UK and Russia.
The top 20 markets and countries can be found here