Top Economist: Even Brief Default Will Cause New RecessionAnd Blow Recovery ‘Out Of The Water’June 28, 2011, 11:39AM TPM How big are the stakes on Capitol Hill right now? According to one of the most influential economists in federal policy making, the next four weeks will make the difference between a slow glide toward economic recovery, and a severe tumble into a new recession. Moody's chief economist, and former McCain economic adviser Mark Zandi is forecasting GDP growth of 4 percent by the end of the year and into next. But in response to a question from TPM, he told reporters at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Christian Science Monitor that his forecast would be "blown out of the water," if Congress fails to "reasonably gracefully" raise the national borrowing limit.If Congress fails to raise the national debt limit by early August, the Obama Treasury Department will have to choose between defaulting on obligations to the country's creditors -- triggering higher interest rates and perhaps damaging the country's credit rating for months and years to come -- or freezing outlays to contractors, entitlement beneficiaries and others who are also expecting prompt payment as well. In either case, the macroeconomic impact will be staggering, according to Zandi.
How much will our wars cost? Report says $4 trillion| The Lookout – Wed, Jun 29, 2011 A new report out of Brown University estimates that the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq--together with the counterinsurgency efforts in Pakistan--will, all told, cost $4 trillion and leave 225,000 dead, both civilians and soldiers. The group of economists, anthropologists, lawyers, humanitarian personnel, and political scientists involved in the project estimated that the cost of caring for the veterans injured in the wars will reach $1 trillion in 30 or 40 years. In estimating the $4 trillion total, they did not take into account the $5.3 billion in reconstruction spending the government has promised Afghanistan, state and local contributions to veteran care, interest payments on war debt, or the costs of Medicare for veterans when they reach 65.The Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile, has assessed the federal price tag for the wars at $1.8 trillion through 2021. The report says that is a gross underestimate, predicting that the government has already paid $2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion.More than 6,000 U.S. troops and 2,300 contractors have died since the wars began after Sept. 11. A staggering 550,000 disability claims have been filed with the VA as of 2010. Meanwhile, 137,000 civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq have died in the conflict.
Flood berm bursts at Nebraska nuclear plantCNN Wire StaffJune 26, 2011 10:36 p.m. EDT(CNN) -- A water-filled berm protecting a nuclear power plant in Nebraska from rising floodwaters collapsed Sunday, according to a spokesman, who said the plant remains secure.Some sort of machinery came in contact with the berm, puncturing it and causing the berm to deflate, said Mike Jones, a spokesman for the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), which owns the Fort Calhoun plant.The plant, located about 20 miles north of Omaha, has been shut since April for refueling."The plant is still protected. This was an additional, a secondary, level of protection that we had put up," Jones said. "The plant remains protected to the level it would have been if the aqua berm had not been added.“Parts of the grounds are already under water as the swollen Missouri River overflows its banks, including areas around some auxiliary buildings, Jones said.In addition to the berm, authorities have put in place floodgates and other barriers to help protect the facility, like sandbags.The 8-foot-tall, water-filled berm, 16 feet wide at its base, surrounded the reactor containment structure and auxiliary buildings, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission."We built the plant up high enough based on history, based on the flooding in the past. If the flood would rise for some reason above that level we have taken precautions, again, per our procedures to sandbag the important equipment for the reactors," said Dave Van Der Kamp, with the Nebraska Public Power District.He said the chances of floodwater getting into the building where the core is kept are almost zero.The plant is designed to withstand waters up to 1,014 feet above mean sea level, according to the OPPD. The river currently stands at 1,006.3 feet and is not expected to exceed 1,008 feet, the OPPD said.Heavy rainfall in Montana and North Dakota, combined with melting snow from the Rocky Mountains, have sent the Missouri surging downstream this summer. The river washed over and punched through levees in nearby northwestern Missouri, spurring authorities to urge about 250 nearby residents to leave their homes.The 6 to 12 inches of rainfall in the upper Missouri basin in the past few weeks is nearly a normal year's worth, and runoff from the mountain snowpack is 140% of normal, according to forecasters.It was catastrophic flooding from Japan's March 11 tsunami that knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, resulting in three reactors melting down and producing the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. This year's Midwestern flooding has also led to a spate of rumors about the Fort Calhoun plant that OPPD and the NRC have been trying to knock down.The utility has set up a "flood rumor control" page to reassure the public that there has been no release of radioactivity from the plant. An electrical fire June 7 did knock out cooling to its spent fuel storage pool for about 90 minutes, but the coolant water did not reach a boiling point before backup pumps went into service, it has said.
Billy the Kid photograph fetches $2.3 million at auctionCNN June 26, 2011 (CNN) -- A 130-year-old photo, billed as the only authenticated picture of legendary outlaw Billy the Kid, sold for $2.3 million at a Denver auctionSaturday night.The Kid reportedly paid 25 cents to have the photo taken in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The Old West Show & Auction had estimated the tintype -- an early photographic technique that used metal plates -- to bring in between $300,000 and $400,000. "When the bidding ended, the whole room erupted in clapping and people leapt to their feet," said Melissa McCracken, spokeswoman for the auction. "I've never experienced anything like this before." The winning bidder was billionaire William Koch who founded Oxbow Carbon, with reported sales of $4 billion annually. Koch comes from a well-known family whose last name has made headlines in the past year for their political involvement. David Koch is William's twin. David and another brother, Charles, operate Koch Industries and are prominent conservative activists. Koch Industries is a large, privately owned conglomerate with interests ranging from petroleum to plastics to paper. The Denver auction started with five bidders. Within two minutes, the bids shot up to a million dollars. "The bidding was absolutely crazy," McCracken said. The outlaw was born Henry McCarty but was also known as William H. Bonney and Henry Antrim. Popular history has him gunning down 21 men, but many historians say the number was closer to nine. He later died at the hands of another sheriff when he was only 21. The annual auction is known for its collection of Wild West memorabilia. Last year, it auctioned off the gun collection of Roy Rogers, "the King of the Cowboys" who appeared in more than 100 movies.
Posted on Sunday, 06.26.11Working in retirement is not an oxymoron for these seniors Employees 75 yearsJesse Teitler wakes at 5:30 every morning and breakfasts with his buddies. “Hey, Jesse,” they tease when he leaves for the office, “make a lot of money out there.” Teitler has been making money since he was 12. Now he’s 89, working three days a week at Bellak Color, a printing facility in Doral. If you’re doing the math, that’s 77 years of “up and at ’em.”“I love working,” says Teitler, who lives in an upscale adult living facility in Kendall called The Palace. “I love to help people. And I love to earn money.” Retirement — what’s that? Teitler may be the elder statesman of his office, but experts predict that the workforce of the future will feature more employees working long past retirement. As life expectancies increase and traditional retirement benefits disappear, more men and women will either stay on the job or retire from one and find another. Experts say that’s not necessarily a bad thing.“Work has many benefits for people,” says Jacquelyn James, director of research at the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College. “Work gives you purpose. It gives you structure and social connections. It’s not just about the money.”The Japanese, she adds, have a word for it: ikigai Translation: the reason to get up in the morning.Interim Florida Marlins manager may be one of the most public examples of the trend. At 80, he took over a baseball team in a slump . “I’ve managed since I was 14 years old,” he joked with reporters. “I’ll probably manage until I’m 95.’’Demographers say more seniors 75 and older are employed, and the rise began well before the recession, even as their 50s-something children struggled to keep or land jobs. In 2000, 5.5 percent of people 75 and older were employed in some capacity. By 2007, that figure had inched to 6.8 percent. By 2010, it was 7.4 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.And the number of workers 75 years and older is expected to soar by as much as 80 percent in this decade, according to BLS.Experts predict an accompanying shift in attitudes and expectations. Forget trading a keyboard for a bingo card when you turn 65. The 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce found that 75 percent of workers 50 or older who have never retired say they expect to continue working in some form in retirement. Researchers say most employees in their 80s and 90s work because they can, not because they have to.“As a society, how we age has really changed,” says Victoria Funes, AARP’s associate state director in charge of older workers. “Working longer or returning to work is part of that change. People are discovering it’s a way of staying connected, of feeling part of society, of feeling useful.”Economics, of course, still plays a part in the decision. Ola Chapman, 80, of Miami Gardens, is a retired beautician. Twelve years ago, she became a certified nurse’s assistant and was working at a nursing home when an accident, followed by surgery, sidelined her for two years. She recently returned to work for a second time at a senior day-care center because she needs to supplement her Social Security benefits and meager savings.
Monday, 27 June 2011Ulster scientist's cancer research breakthrough An award-winning scientist has proven the cancer fighting potential of strawberries.Emma Brown, who won a UK Young Scientist of the Year award in 2006, spent three years painstakingly researching how eating soft fruit could protect against colon cancer.The University of Ulster academic conducted research on four soft fruits - strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants as well as on lingonberries which is an unusual berry usually found in Scandinavia.Ms Brown studied their biomedical potential and using a new technique, exposed human tumour cells at various stages of cancer to the digested juice and pulp of the four kinds of soft fruits.The use of digested material resulted in the cells reacting to the same kind of matter colonic cancer cells in the human gut would come across.The academic, who is originally from Durham but now lives in Belfast, is now set to receive another award - a PhD - at the University of Ulster's first summer graduation ceremony in Coleraine on Monday.She said her research found three main positive effects."The berries slowed the rate of replication of the cancer cells, offered protection against DNA damage, and showed anti-invasive effects," she explained.Ms Brown currently works in the biomedical research laboratories at the Northern Ireland Centre for Diet and Health, Coleraine, where she is continuing with her food-related research at the university.The potential of marine bioactives (special seaweed) to give protection against colon cancer is the latest project being examined by Ms Brown.
Cheerios, America's Top Cereal, Turn 70AP 06/24/11 06:27 AM ET BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Here's a little quiz for the breakfast table:What is the most popular cereal brand in American grocery stores?Hint: It's been General Mills' top name since 1951.Another hint: If you're a parent, you've vacuumed it from the minivan and under the high-chair cushion by the cupful.The answer, of course, is Cheerios.The iconic cereal, known by its distinctive yellow box, is 70 years old this year and still a force on the breakfast cereal market. One out of every eight boxes of cereal to leave the shelf in America carries the Cheerios name."They've been around since the beginning of man, right?" said Kathy Scott in Cape Coral, Fla. For her, the cereal's linked to memories of childhood Saturday morning cartoons."My mother was very old-fashioned, a stay-at-home mom," Scott, 50, said, "She made breakfast every morning, but on Saturday morning we were allowed to have cereal. Throw some fruit in there, sit on the floor and watch cartoons.“The tradition repeated itself with her own two children.
survey says...Science Confirms In-N-Out Burger Is The Best And McDonald's The WorstJune 30, 2011 Almost a year ago, our survey-loving siblings at Consumer Reports asked several thousand readers to rate burgers from 18 burger chains and to no one's surprise, McDonald's came in dead last. Not satisfied with merely finding the best and worst beef-on-a-bun, CR decided to go for the super-sized option, rating 53 restaurants in five categories to find which ones provide the best food, service and value to customers.In a survey of more than 36,000 readers, California-based In-N-Out Burger didn't just garner the highest rating among hamburger chains, it also received the highest marks of all 53 eateries in the survey. Five Guys and Burgerville filled out the rest of the top three burger chains.
Tesla Roadster Hits End of the RoadJune 24, 2011 Want a high-end electric sports car? Better move fast — Tesla’s wrapping up production of the Roadster to focus on building the Model S sedan.We told you this was coming more than a year ago when Tesla was preparing for its initial public offering. Lotus, which builds the rolling chassis for the Roadster, is retooling its assembly line, leaving Tesla with nowhere to build the car. The company decided it was wiser to focus on the Model S instead of lining up a new supplier.The Silicon Valley automaker will stop taking Tesla Roadster orders within two months. Tesla’s sold most of its stock in the United States and has “only a handful” left. The inventory’s a little bigger in Europe. “People in Europe and Japan probably have another six months to place orders for the Roadster,” CEO Elon Musk told The San Francisco Chronicle. “In the U.S., it’s maybe a month or two.”When the line in Hethel, England finally creaks to a stop, Tesla will have built 2,500 Roadsters since 2008. Nissan’s sold about that many Nissan Leaf electric vehicles since December.Of course, the Roadster costs about four times as much as the Leaf, and it is one sleek, sexy, stupidly fast machine. Tesla deserves tremendous credit for not only jump-starting the modern electric era, but also having shown that an EV could be every bit as lustworthy as the best sports cars — despite what that bloated blowhard at Top Gear might tell you. Say what you will about Tesla, but no less an authority than former General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz has credited Tesla with proving EVs could be viable.Tesla keeps telling us we’ll see the Model S sedan next year, and keeps insisting it will have a base price of $49,900 after the $7,500 federal EV tax credit
Navy Vows to Fight for Its Superlaser, Hypersonic GunJune 24, 2011 | WIREDRear Adm. Nevin Carr is the Chief of Naval Research, in charge of hundreds andhundreds of different R&D programs — about 3 billion dollars’ worth of scienceprojects, next-gen gadgets, and upgrades to the Navy arsenal. But of all thosemany efforts, there are two that get Carr really pumped: a superlaser and a hypersonic gun. Both are capable of revolutionizing how the Navy fights at sea. Both are considered “marquee” programs by Carr as his legion of scientists and engineers.And both of them are on the precipice of destruction from Congress.Lawmakers have traditionally left military research budgets intact, tinkering at themargins only when they feel money is being seriously misspent or the R&D projects are seriously off-track. Rarely, if ever, do they go after a service’s top research priority.Last Friday, however, the Senate Armed Services Committee broke with tradition, and declared that Carr’s babies, the Free Electron Laser and the Electromagnetic Railgun, weren’t fit to grow up any more. The panel said funds for the programs should be terminated.Neither project was in trouble — in fact, both had recently broken records in their respective fields. But in Washington’s new atmosphere of austerity, the ray gun and the railgun were suddenly considered futuristic luxuries, not the “game-changers” Carr had touted for so long.The recommended recommended cuts took the Navy by surprise, according to ace naval reporter Sam LaGrone at Jane’s. Carr’s shop has said nothing since then, referring all questions to Big Navy.Big Navy, at least, isn’t throwing in the towel.“The programs were part of the president’s budget and we hope to see them in the final bill,” says Lt. Cmdr. Justin Cole, a Navy spokesman. “We will continue to work with Congress to answer any questions they may have about the programs in an effort to secure authorization and funding for their continuation.”But the strongest advocate for both the Free Electron Laser and the railgun has been Carr himself. He told Danger Room in February that technology had basically maxed out the possibilities for hitting “maneuvering pieces of metal in the sky with other maneuvering pieces of metal.”The solution, as Carr sees it, is hypersonic guns and multi-wavelength lasers. They’d allow the Navy’s surface ships to fire at targets from hundreds of miles away and burn incoming missiles out of the sky. For the Senate panel to put them on the chopping block is to ask the Navy to rewrite what it considers the future of surface-ship defense.
PNG arrow victim back in hospitalThursday Jun 30, 2011 Matthew Scheurich was attacked and injured by arrows in Papua New Guinealast week and has been re-admitted to hospital this morning. The New Zealand man who was hit twice in the chest by arrows in the jungles of Papua New Guinea is back in a Cairns hospital. Matthew Scheurich, 28, pulled the two arrows from his torso as he and his 29-year-old girlfriend fled for their lives last week. The attack reportedly happened in a remote village in western Papua New Guinea after a tribesman took a liking to Mr Scheurich's French girlfriend and wanted to marry her. When Mr Scheurich stepped in to protect her, the tribesman attacked him with arrows and bashed him in the head with a rock. Mr Scheurich's girlfriend was sexually assaulted and was also bitten, cut, scratched and badly bruised. She set off the couple's emergency locator beacon to raise the alarm. Medical staff discovered one arrow had passed through his ribs, under his liver, through the wall of his stomach and stopped just short of his aorta. The other had split an artery as it travelled into his chest. Mr Scheurich was flown to Cairns Base Hospital last Tuesday, where he spent a week before being discharged and returning to Melbourne on Tuesday.
Woman 'aged 120 years old' discovered in Brazil June 25, 2011 Her name is Maria Lucimar Pereira and she is reportedly 120 years old. No, that is not a typo. One hundred and twenty years old.Workers for Brazil’s national institute of social security (INSS) say they discovered her while doing routine checks of state birth records, according to an article posted Friday night on the website of Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.Her birth certificate says she was born on September 3, 1890. Ms Pereira is indigenous, and reportedly has lived most of her life on a reserve in the remote northwest Brazilian Amazon state of Acre, the nearest town being Feijo (population 32,261).When social workers found her birth records they radioed the isolated indigenous community where she lives (there is no mobile service) and arranged to have her brought to the nearest town to confirm her identity.She is apparently from the kaxinawa indigenous ethnic group, and reportedly she speaks only a few words in Portuguese.The social workers are still trying to verify if there were any mistakes made on her birth certificate, but no irregularities have cropped up as of yet.If it is verified that Ms Pereira really is 120, she would instantly become the world’s oldest living person - by far.Oddly enough, earlier this week Brazilian woman Maria Gomes Valentimpassed away. She was 114, and at the time of her death regarded by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest living person.As for Ms Pereira, it’s said she has 10 kids and 22 grandchildren.
Cocaine Laced With Veterinary Drug Levamisole Eats Away at Flesh June 23, 2011abc Cocaine cut with the veterinary drug levamisole could be the culprit in a flurry of flesh-eating disease in New York and Los Angeles. The drug, used to deworm cattle, pigs and sheep, can rot the skin off noses, ears and cheeks. And over 80 percent of the country's coke supply contains it. "It's probably quite a big problem, and we just don't know yet how big a problem it really is," said Dr. Noah Craft, a dermatologist with Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute. In a case study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Craft describes six cocaine users recently plagued by the dark purple patches of dying flesh. And while they happened to hail from the country's coastlines, the problem is national. "It's important for people to know it's not just in New York and L.A. It's in the cocaine supply of the entire U.S.," Craft said.
The Rifle Umbrella Rifle Umbrella from Brando in two sizes for $19 or $28. It comes with that one-piece cover bag so you can carry it just like a weapon. Cool!+ More >>
Deputies Say Ohio Woman Spraying Them With Breast Milk Associated Press June 27, 2011DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) — A central Ohio woman accused of spraying sheriff's deputies with breast milk is facing charges.TheDelaware County Sheriff's Office says deputies responded to a call about a domestic dispute early Saturday, and a man told them his wife was drinking at a wedding and hit him before locking herself in a car. The sheriff says deputies found the woman in a car and tried to talk with her, but she didn't cooperate. He says when deputies tried to remove her, she said she was a breast-feeding mother, then exposed part of her chest and sprayed them with breast milk.Authorities say 30-year-old Stephanie Robinette of Westerville faces charges including domestic violence, assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Tactical Grilling Apron We’ve never had an experience where we were manning the grill and some sniper tried to pick us off and snatch our porterhouse or a grenade was lobbed at our feet and a gang of guerrilla fighters waited on our soon available Igloo Cooler. We have however needed two tables worth of room to spread out all the gear we need with us when heading for a cookout. The Tactical Grilling Apron solves this problem along with any surprise ambushes. The different camo options let you blend in to your surroundings (your back porch or campsite) and, more importantly, let’s you carry all your barbecuing tools out to the grill. All the forks and spatulas you need can be strapped on the apron along with a handful of cold ones to keep you refreshed (although after a bunch the only combat you’ll be ready for is fighting off puking.) $45
Coleman Portable Propane Coffeemaker If you want to see a grown man angry, deny him his morning caffeine fix. We know it’s bad for us, it will give us a heart condition and drinking an entire pot of coffee at midnight will make us irritable, but we don’t care. Give us the good stuff (black or with one of those sweet International Delights French Vanilla creamers) and give it to us by the coffee pot full. Obviously, camping can be quite a conundrum. Making a single cup (or two) on a camp stove is an exercise in futility. Get four or five of our friends together, in the outdoors, and someone will be working that damn coffee maker for the better part of the morning just so we can get going. It’s not an issue anymore with this Coleman Portable Propane Coffeemaker. No cords, stove or percolator required and it pumps out 10 cups at a time using a 16.4oz propane cylinder. Suddenly camping doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. $90
Gadget of the WeekHow To Charge a Phone Over an Open FlameJun 20, 2011 11:31 am The Gadget:Hatsuden-NabeThe Price: $278 Campfires are great for cooking soup and making S'mores, but when it comes to charging your phone they’re just not up to snuff — until now. A campfire can generate heat up to 900° F, but it only takes 212° F to boil water for your camp cooking. Why waste all that extra energy?To ensure that the campfire was living up to its potential, TES NewEnergyCorporation created a cooking pan with a built-in USB port and thermoelectric device that converts wasted heat from the fire into power. That way the extra heat generated by the fire will go toward charging your phone instead of being squandered away by the atmosphere. Plus it isn’t as needy as solar chargers, which require lots of direct sunlight. With the Hatsuden-Nabe, your iPhone can fully charge in 3 to 5 hours so it’ll be ready for you to make emergency phone calls (or play Angry Birds in the great outdoors). The Hatsuden-Nabe is currently available in Japan only, but watch out for a U.S. release.
Malthus, a Meal a Day Malthus, a Meal a Day is an interesting idea by Conceptual Devices. It is designed to optimize space and costs with indoor food production."Malthus is an in-home aquaponics unit designed for the next generation kitchen or living room.It grows one meal a day: a portion of fish and a side salad. Aquaponics farming is a technique that combines the cultivation of fish with the growing of vegetables. The fish provides rich fertilizer for the plants and in return, the plants clean the water from the tank. The fish and the plants co-exist in a symbiotic relationship.Malthus is an appliance for the kitchen of the future that grows food right next to where you cook it. Malthus consists of a fish tank that holds 400 litres which can support more then 2kg of fish like tilapia, salmon, grey fish or carp. The water is pumped through three cultivated grow beds which filter the water for the fish."
Self-Experimenters: Psychedelic Chemist Explores the Surreality of Inner Space, One Drug at a TimeAlexander Shulgin endured a government crackdown and hallucinations of his bones melting in pursuit of newmind-bending compounds March 20, 2008 Scientific AmericanAlexander Shulgin is the world's foremost "psychonaut." The 82-year-old chemist has not only created more of the 300known consciousness-altering (or psychoactive) compounds than anyone living or dead, he has, by his own account, sampled somewhere between 200 and 250 of them himself—most of them cooked up in the musty lab behind his homein the hills east of Berkeley, Calif., where he has shared many a chemical voyage with his wife of 26 years, Ann."I take them myself because I am interested in their activity in the human mind. How would you test that in a rat or mouse?“says Shulgin, known to friends as Sasha.He has paid the price for his avocation. Some of his creations have induced uncontrollable vomiting, paralysis and the feeling that his bones were melting, among other terrors. And though some believe Shulgin has opened the doors of perception to anew class of potentially therapeutic mind-altering compounds, others argue that he bears responsibility for the damage that ongoing abuse of such now-illicit substances can cause.As a student at the University of California, Berkeley, in the 1950s, Shulgin's gateway drug was mescaline, a naturally occurring psychedelic found in peyote and other groovy cacti. "It introduced me to new colors which I had never seen before," Shulgin says. "It allowed me to interpret whatever I was looking at with an entirely new vocabulary…. And yet, what a simple structure!"In the 1960s, while working as a biochemist at The Dow Chemical Co. in San Francisco, he couldn't resist tinkering with the potent mescaline molecule. He synthesized entirely new compounds that retained similar, trippy qualities. Some variations were less potent, but others were even more powerful or imparted their own unique twist.Shulgin, who left Dow in 1965 to consult for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) among other pursuits, offered the best of his new chemical darlings to Ann, his second wife; the most promising of these were passed along to a close circle of 10 friends until the mid-1990s, when the DEA, no longer paying for his services, raided his lab and revoked his license to work with illegal drugs.His personal favorite, which he describes as "extraordinarily comfortable and quite erotic," is known simply as 2C-B for its chemical makeup.One by one, Shulgin has seen many of the compounds he invented or experimented with become illegal in the U.S., including some that have never been synthesized by anyone and some that he thought might prove therapeutic, such as MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), better known as ecstasy. "I was very sad to see MDMA achieve the status of a Schedule 1 drug," a designation that prohibits its manufacture or use in the U.S., he says. "I felt that it would inhibit research into its medical value and that's the way it's turned out."Some researchers agree that the government's response to psychoactive drugs has deprived them of a unique window into human consciousness. After all, rodents will happily ingest most intoxicants and narcotics —from marijuana to heroin—but not the headier psychedelics."Peculiarly, not only did we make them illegal, but we backed away from them scientifically," says neuroscientist Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, one of the researchers who is restarting basic research into psychedelics. His lab has shown that psilocybin, the active ingredient in the variety of fungi known as magic mushrooms, can bring on lasting feelings of well-being. This may indicate that it could be harnessed to help clinically depressed or addicted patients.Shulgin, who continues to study cacti for new chemical routes to altered states, predicts that by the year 2060, the number of different known psychedelics will have grown from 300 to 2,000. He intends to discover—and perhaps sample—as many of them as he can. "It is like opening a door to a hallway," he says, "that has unopened doors for its entire length, and behind every door is a world with which you are totally unfamiliar."
US Golfer Admits He Smoked Pot Mid-Round on Nationwide Tour Thursday, 30 Jun 2011, 6:52 AM EDTFoxNewsNEW YORK - US golfer Robert Garrigus -- who finished in a tie for third at this month's US Open -- admitted he used to smoke marijuana mid-round on the Nationwide Tour in the early 2000s, and he was not the only one, Golf Digest reported Wednesday.The 33-year-old, enjoying a breakthrough season with his first ever cut in a major at Congressional, struggled with substance abuse early in his career but went through drug rehab and made his way onto the PGA Tour.Garrigus said that in 2002, six years before the tour instituted drug testing and a year before he got clean, he would sneak off for a smoke while in competition on the Nationwide Tour -- the US PGA's development tour."Oh yeah, there were plenty of guys on the Nationwide Tour who smoked in the middle of the round," Garrigus said."We always talked about it. You could go in the Porta John and take your drags."
Man jailed for having sex with sleeping girlfriend23 Jun 11 thelocal.seA 19-year-old man from central Sweden has been convicted of rape for having anal sex with his girlfriend while she was asleep.The incident took place in the 19-year-old's home in Västerås after the couple had had an argument, the local VestmanlandsLänsTidning (VLT) reported.Following the fight, the girlfriend took some sleeping pills and went to bed.While his girlfriend was sleeping, the 19-year-old then attempted to have anal sex with her.She told the court that she was drifting in and out dreams when she sensed someone caressing her, but was soon abruptly awakened by a thrust of pain when the 19-year-old attempted to enter her anal opening.Following the incident, which took place in late May, the woman was required to take anti-anxiety medication to deal with the mental distress it had caused.While the 19-year-old claimed he was unaware his girlfriend had taken any medication, she said during the trial that she had indeed informed her boyfriend that she had taken the sleeping pills.The 19-year-old admitted he had made a mistake, explaining as well that the couple didn't usually engage in anal sex.But according to the Västmanland District Court, the 19-year-old was fully aware his girlfriend had taken the pills and had attempted to take advantage her helpless state when he tried to have anal sex with her.As the girlfriend wasn't in a position to consent to the sex act, the 19-year-old's actions constituted rape, the court found.The court sentenced the 19-year-old to 14 months in prison and ordered him to pay the woman 85,000 kronor ($13,000) in compensation.
Couple accused of sex act on New Port Richey streetTimes staffThursday, June 23, 2011 NEW PORT RICHEY — Police arrested a couple Tuesday evening accused of engaging in oral sex on a public street.A family called police about 7 p.m. Tuesday to report the activity outside a shopping center at Massachusetts Avenue and Congress Street. The couple was on a scooter in front of an H&R Block office, according to a New Port Richey Police report.Dawn Strait, 49, told the officer she did it because she was upset that Franklin Rowland, 46, was going to detox soon, the report said.Both were charged with lewd and lascivious behavior and remained Wednesday at the Land O'Lakes jail.
Porta Potty 'Peeping Tom' confesses to policeWeb Staff FOX31 Denver 8:34 a.m. MDT, June 25, 2011BOULDER, Colo. -- 30-year-old Luke Chrisco insists he isn’t "crazy." Yet he admits to hiding inside the tankof a portable toilet to spy on women at a Boulder yoga festival last week.“I was at the yoga festival, doing a little bit of yoga, and I’m just seeing all these goddesses,” Chrisco told FOX31 Denver. “It seems crazy, but I just felt like I was being blessed by their energy, even though it was unintentional.”He said he is a voyeur and not a rapist, and he said the idea of waiting in a tank of waste and urine didn’t bother him.“There’s bacteria in there, but to me it’s just normal...we all have bodily fluids,” he said. “It seems terrible, but it didn’t actually smell that bad or anything. I still would have done it even if it smelled a little weird, because where there is muck, there is gold.”Police believe Chrisco has been watching women through bathroom peepholes in restaurants and businesses all over Boulder. Investigators are contacting local businesses named by Chrisco in an attempt to substantiate his claims.Chrisco said he may have spied on as many as 200 women.“Detectives have already confirmed that there are “peepholes” in the restrooms of several local businesses,” said Boulder Police spokeswoman Kim Kobel. “Owners of those businesses are taking appropriate action to seal the holes.”Police are not releasing the names of the businesses because of the ongoing investigation.“I’ll be honest, it was a lifestyle that I was living,” Chrisco said, “just by choice trying to find my private way to exercise my spiritual beliefs. I made a vow to myself...that I never wanted to frighten any girl. I would rather put a gun to my head than scare anyone or hurt anyone. That’s how I live my life.”He also told FOX31 Denver that he was making a pornographic spiritual website before his arrest.According to The Smoking Gun, Chrisco is the owner of several blogs and web sites, among them maxextrememodels.com, skyeoryan.com, and holysexteam.blogspot.com (Warning: Adult Content).The sites feature women in sexually suggestive positions, but stop short offering true pornography.A domain search shows Chrisco as the administrative and technical contact for those web sites, which feature photographs of him.
Crystal clear night: Amateur photographer Eric Hines' incredible image captures the Milky Way in all its glory above the haloed Devil's Tower landmark in Wyoming.