Chronicle AM: OR Drug Reform Initiatives Seek Signatures Online, French Pot Prices Rise Fast, More... (3/27/20)

2 days 5 hours ago

Mexico is unlikely to meet an April 30 deadline to legalize marijuana as its Senate is suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis, Oregon drug decriminalization and therapeutic psilocybin initiatives now are seeking signatures online, and more. 

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Drug Policy

Oregon Drug Decriminalization Initiative Moves to Online Signature Gathering. The campaign behind the Oregon Drug Treatment and Recovery Act initiative, which would decriminalize the possession of personal use amounts of all drugs, is shifting to online signature gathering as the coronavirus pandemic shuts down normal signature gathering. The campaign says it has already gathered large numbers of signatures, but still needs 8,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. To sign on, click on the link above.

Psychedelics

Oregon Therapeutic Psilocybin Initiative Moves to Online Signature Gathering. The campaign to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic purposes is moving to online signature gathering as the coronavirus pandemic shuts down normal signature gathering. The Oregon Psilocybin Services Act campaign needs 112,000 valid voter signatures by July and says it already has 128,000 raw signatures but wants to create a cushion by adding at least 15,000 more signers. To add your signature, click on this form.

International

France Sees Marijuana, Hash Prices Surge During Coronavirus Lockdown. The price of a 100-gram bar of hashish has nearly doubled in Marseille in a week, thanks to tight border controls imposed as part of the effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Similar reports are coming in from Bordeaux and Rennes. Police worry that a prolonged shortage could fan trouble in restive Paris suburbs and prisons.

Mexico Senate Suspends Activities, Puts Marijuana Legalization Deadline in Doubt. The Senate agreed Thursday to postpone most legislative activity because of the coronavirus pandemic, raising questions about whether it can now comply with a Supreme Court-imposed April 30 deadline to approve marijuana legalization. Senate committees approved a bill earlier this month, but it still needs to pass the full Senate and the Chamber of Deputies and signed into law by the president.

psmith

While You Were Taking Care of Your Family, EPA Was Giving Polluters a Free Pass

2 days 5 hours ago

We’ve all heard the line. Never waste a crisis.

Well, the nation’s top polluters took it to heart this week.

Because while the rest of us were taking care of our families and anxiously watching the news on the stimulus bills, fossil fuel companies and other industries were lobbying the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies for a free pass to pollute the environment. Because, you know, the coronavirus.

The sad news is that they won, for the moment. Yesterday, EPA issued a blanket waiver so polluters no longer have to report their compliance with environmental laws. This order covers the entire nation and most polluting industries. Oh, and it’s for an indefinite time.

This is worth repeating: While the country is dealing with an unprecedented health crisis and millions are out of work, EPA gave polluters a free pass to dump whatever chemicals they want into the air we breathe and the water we drink.

It simply boggles the mind. The order is insane.

But if your only measure of the health of the country is the stock market, it makes perfect sense. Businesses are hurt by the coronavirus, polluters argued, so let’s make it easier for them to operate.

Bad Actors Will Use This License to Pollute Prolifically

The fact of the matter is that this order is dangerous and gives bad actors with recent incidents of pollution free reign.

As just one example, the Sinclair Oil Refinery in Sinclair, Wyoming has a lengthy history of significant Clean Air Act violations with three informal and two formal enforcement actions in five years and has racked up $1.6 million in penalties from EPA cases. Under the order, Sinclair Oil can use the EPA’s license to pollute to continue its violations penalty-free just by papering it over.

Violators of federal environmental laws are all over the country and they are prolific. In Boulder County, Colorado alone, the EPA lists 96 facilities with current violations, including 50 facilities with significant violations. Total penalties in that county in the last five years have been over $7 million. Over the agency’s national purview, there are 86,443 facilities with current violations, 26,738 with significant violations.

As long as this indefinite order is in place, we can safely expect these polluters to dangerously pollute and pollute without consequence.

Waiving Clean Air Act Compliance Worsens the COVID-19 Crisis

Here’s something EPA won’t tell you: the order will make some of us more vulnerable to the coronavirus.

One of the groups most at risk of severe illness or death fall from the coronavirus are people with pre-existing conditions like asthma, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis.

So how does the order threaten this group?

Let’s take those with asthma as an example. Allowing power plants and industry to pollute without limits opens the door to increasing particulate matter pollution as well as SO2 and NO2, which can trigger asthma attacks.

This increased pollution alone can severely sicken asthma patients. But COVID-19 will make it even worse. According to the CDC, “[p]eople with asthma may be at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. COVID-19 can affect your respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs), cause an asthma attack, and possibly lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease.”

The danger doesn’t end there. If more asthma attacks mean more patients heading to the hospital, it means more people not at home and in danger of contracting the virus at the hospital. And when they get there, they could find a hospital already overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases and unable to provide proper treatment or access to equipment.

This is not a hypothetical danger. We’re already seeing reported shortages of asthma inhalers due to COVID-19.

The bottom line: This irresponsible order puts those most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus at even greater risk. It’s a chance we can’t afford to take.

The Order is Overly Broad and Unecessary

This blanket EPA waiver for polluters is also simply unnecessary. We know industry lobbyists have pushed hard for this, but if staff at facilities can be safe enough to pollute, then staff should be able to comply with environmental rules in a safe manner as well.

Waivers during disasters are something the EPA has issued routinely in the past. And that makes sense. Emergencies mean we all need to be flexible. But there is no reason it can’t be done on an industry-by-industry or a company-by-company basis. Or, preferably, on a case-by-case basis during this crisis.

Another head-scratcher is that the order itself creates requirements where polluters need to record their non-compliance. The order states that noncompliance needs to be carefully documented. Polluters need to “[i]dentify the specific nature and dates of the noncompliance” and “[i]dentify how COVID-19 was the cause of the noncompliance, and the decisions and actions taken in response, including best efforts to comply and steps taken to come into compliance at the earliest opportunity….”

So here’s a question. If a workplace needs to record all noncompliance in detail, how is that protecting workers more than requiring them to document compliance with environmental laws?

All this concern about worker safety is also quite ironic given that the EPA has been severely criticized for not allowing remote work sooner (and now at least two EPA employees have tested positive). It seems clear that the point of the order is not protecting people, but protecting polluters.

Some have been saying we need to make sure the treatment is not worse than the disease and a waiver like this is necessary if we are going to keep the economy going. But this is simply putting people’s portfolios before other people’s lives. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick made the unholy argument in its most blunt form, saying that senior citizens should be willing to sacrifice themselves for the economy. This order amounts to the same thing. It is motivated by a belief that the health of the economy needs to come before the health of people.

The argument defies both commonsense and any sense of morals. The economy needs healthy workers earning paychecks to keep the gears turning and buying goods from the marketplace. Anyone outside the White House can see that we can’t address the economic fallout without first addressing the public health crisis. The federal government is now taking laudable steps to help people get through the crisis, but until it’s over, the economy won’t rebound.

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We respect your privacy. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. The Climate Reality ProjectWrong Way at EPA: Three Ways the Agency Is Failing Us Lead: Most of us see the COVID-19 pandemic as a health crisis. Big polluters saw an opportunity. facebook link: https://climaterealityproject.org/blog/while-you-were-taking-care-your-family-epa-was-giving-polluters-free-pass?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=generalEmail Subject: Polluters Just Won’t Stop. No. Matter. What.Twitter URL: https://bit.ly/2JjV323
ipacha

Former Police Officer Asserts That Cannabis Oil Made It Possible For Her Son To Stay Seizure-Free For Almost A Year

2 days 10 hours ago

38-year-old Lisa Quarrell is a former police officer and current cannabis advocate. Her 7-year-old son Cole Thomson had been chronically suffering from epileptic episodes, and for almost ten months, Lisa has been treating him using cannabis oil.


Prior to the cannabis treatment, Cole’s life had been particularly challenging, with up to 20 epileptic episodes each day impeding him from performing everyday activities. His form of epilepsy affects one half of his brain and, so far, it is not treatable with pharmaceutical drugs. In search of treatment and relief, Cole also went through surgery but this failed too.


However, after getting the cannabis treatment, the 7-year-old has seen remarkable results as he has been able to function fully and even enjoy engaging in demanding activities such as playing football with other children. Being afraid that her son’s condition would worsen to the point of paralysis, Lisa decided to seek treatment in non-pharmaceutical substances whose legal status is, still, of ambiguous character. So she started supplying cannabis oil to treat her son. There was a substantial improvement in Cole’s condition just within weeks after receiving his mother’s treatment.


In an interview with The Scottish Sun, Lisa explains:

“Cole went from a normal wee boy riding his bike to being in a wheelchair. He lost the power of speech and couldn’t lift his head — but cannabis oil has turned his life around. There were days when I could not stop crying.”

“Now, for almost the first time in his life, he has been free of seizures because of cannabis oil. He is sharper, and he’s aware of everything that is going on now.”

She continued,
“He’s coming out of his shell. It was like I didn’t even know my son before.”


Lisa and her son are residing in Scotland, where marijuana possession and use is against the law. She almost received a notice of intended prosecution for smuggling cannabis oil into Scotland, but she did not face any charges in the end. Since then, she managed to find a way to import cannabis oil legally from Holland at a staggering £800/p.m. for five 10ml bottles.


“It seems so unfair that we’ve found something that works, but we’re being told we can’t have it,” said Lisa.


The mother and former police officer did not give up fighting for Cole’s right for access to Bedrolite through the NHS. “The alternative is pumping him full of chemicals with awful side effects that didn’t work,” she explained.

Pen S

Artist Creates Impressive Optical Illusions On Her Face Through Make-Up

2 days 10 hours ago

Painter, illustrator and make-up artist Dain Yoon from South Korea creates realistic optical illusions that trick our minds using her face as a canvas. Yoon’s artistic talent appeared early on in her life. The artist admits that when she was a child, she was spending a lot of time painting and that painting was what she could do best.


Yoon explains that the reason why she is so fascinated by creating optical illusions stems from the idea that experience is subjective and therefore making reality a subject to that experience also. In an interview with AWorkstation.com, the artist discusses her work, where she elaborates,


“A lot of people seem to think illusion means tricking people into something, but I don’t think of it that way. I don’t think of illusion necessarily as trickery but a wider concept. I think that anything that seems slightly different from its original form could be an illusion or take you out of the illusion you’re living in.”


After she attened a prestigious art preparatory school, she enrolled at the Korean National University of Arts to study scenography. There, she seized the opportunity to work with actors and to use their bodies as the canvas on which she would draw particular designs with make-up. After gaining experience in theatrical make-up, Yoon slowly started producing her individual work outside theatre settings using models.


Later on, she decided to focus her painting on the face as it is the part of the body through which people communicate their most delicate emotions. The artist uses watercolors as the main material to paint on her face creating illusions of eyes, lips, geometrical shapes, and often chooses to create illusions that match her face with her surroundings.


Dain reveals that the optical illusion artworks she creates on her face can take anywhere from three to twelve hours to complete. She goes on to explain all the steps she follows from the start to achieve the final result:
“The first step is conceptualizing ideas. This takes the longest. The last step always depends. If I paint myself and want to record this as a digital photo, this recording would be the last step.”


Dain Yoon encourages all new make-up artists not to be afraid of failure, as failure is an essential part of the learning process.


You can see below some of Yoon's impressive artworks:


Dain Yoon (@designdain) on Jun 19, 2018 at 10:05am PDT


A post shared by Dain Yoon (@designdain) on Jul 16, 2018 at 6:26pm PDT


A post shared by Dain Yoon (@designdain) on Jul 8, 2017 at 5:29pm PDT


A post shared by Dain Yoon (@designdain) on Jun 17, 2017 at 6:10pm PDT


A post shared by Dain Yoon (@designdain) on Aug 2, 2017 at 7:30am PDT


A post shared by Dain Yoon (@designdain) on Feb 8, 2018 at 6:02pm PST


A post shared by Dain Yoon (@designdain) on Sep 19, 2017 at 7:31am PDT


A post shared by Dain Yoon (@designdain) on Feb 19, 2018 at 8:16am PST


A post shared by Dain Yoon (@designdain) on Dec 2, 2018 at 10:22am PST


A post shared by Dain Yoon (@designdain) on Feb 12, 2019 at 5:08pm PST


A post shared by Dain Yoon (@designdain) on Apr 20, 2019 at 8:37am PDT


A post shared by Dain Yoon (@designdain) on Jun 29, 2019 at 8:34am PDT


A post shared by Dain Yoon (@designdain) on Mar 23, 2020 at 10:48am PDT


A post shared by Dain Yoon (@designdain) on Dec 8, 2016 at 5:04pm PST

Pen S

Alexander Rose Joins Long Now Board

2 days 17 hours ago

Long Now’s Executive Director, Alexander Rose, has been invited to join the Long Now board. He will remain in his role as Executive Director. Rose is an industrial designer and has been working with The Long Now Foundation and computer scientist Danny Hillis since 01997 to build a monument . . .   Read More

Ahmed Kabil

US Indicts Venezuela's Maduro for "Narco-Terrorism," Call to End Pot Arrests, Jailings, More... (3/26/20)

3 days 6 hours ago

The US indicts a leftist Latin American leader for drug trafficking (but not a rightist one), a Michigan prosecutor gets nailed for embezzling asset forfeiture funds, and more. 

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Law Enforcement Officials, Medical Professionals, Clergy, and Cannabis Advocates Call for the Cease of Cannabis Arrests and Release of Incarcerated Cannabis Offenders in Light of COVID-19.The Marijuana Policy Project and other organizations are urging law enforcement officials to dramatically curtail arrests for non-violent crimes, including ceasing arrests for cannabis offenses. In addition to curtailing arrests, the organizations are calling for officials to release or grant clemency to those incarcerated for cannabis offenses along with dramatically reducing the number of incarcerated non-violent prisoners, whether sentenced or un-sentenced. The Marijuana Policy Project, Last Prisoner Project, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Clergy for a New Drug Policy, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, National Cannabis Industry Association, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) have sent a letter calling for these actions to the National District Attorneys Association, National Governors Association, National Sheriffs’ Association, National Association of Chiefs of Police, National Correctional Industries Association, American Correctional Association, and AFSCME.

South Dakota Marijuana Legalization Initiative Campaign Urges Absentee Voting. New Approach South Dakota, the group behind the Constitutional Amendment A marijuana legalization initiative, announced this week is shifting its campaign to social media and urging state residents to consider absentee voting options. Unlike several other state-level legalization initiative campaigns, this one has already qualified for the ballot, so it doesn't have to worry about the coronavirus pandemic's impact on signature-gathering; now it's a matter of getting votes in the midst of the crisis.

Asset Forfeiture

Michigan Prosecutor Charged with Running Criminal Enterprise for Asset Forfeiture Fund Abuses. Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith has been hit with a slew of criminal charges for allegedly taking funds seized from drug and other suspects for his own personal use. He faces 10 charges that include five counts of embezzlement, and single charges of running a criminal enterprise, tampering with evidence, conspiracy to commit forgery, misconduct in office and accessory after the fact. State officials said Smith used the money for a personal security system for his house, country club parties, campaign expenses and to buy flowers and make-up for his secretaries. Smith's former chief of staff, his current chief of operations, and a local businessman were also charged. They're alleged to have embezzled more than $600,000 since 2012.

Foreign Policy

US Indicts Venezuelan President Maduro on "Narco-Terrorism" Charges. Federal prosecutors on Thursday unveiled indictments of President Nicholas Maduro and other top Venezuelan officials on "narco-terrorism" charges in a new escalation of the Trump administration's pressure campaign against Caracas. US Attorney General William Barr accused Maduro and the others of conspiring with a dissident faction of the Colombian FARC guerrillas "to flood the United States with cocaine." Barr's move against Maduro stands in sharp contrast with the US approach to Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, a staunch rightist and US ally, who federal prosecutors have accused of taking bribes from drug traffickers, but who remains unindicted.                       

psmith

CORONAVIRUS: The Spread of the Virus Across the Globe on an Interactive-Live Map Updated Minute by Minute

3 days 10 hours ago

The spread of Coronavirus continues throughout the world, and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it an official pandemic.


The Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University has created an app to inform citizens worldwide about the Coronavirus COVID-19 global cases.


See all the cases and victim data on an interactive map, updated minute by minute.
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Denver Pot Shop Ban Reversed, Amsterdam Cannabis Cafes Reopen, More... (3/25/20)

4 days 6 hours ago

Marijuana retail outlets stay open in Denver and Amsterdam after pandemic-inspired efforts to shut them down inspire long lines, drug reform and public health groups urge governors to keep medical marijuana dispensaries open, and more.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Denver Mayor Announces Liquor Stores and Pot Shops Have to Close but Forced to Backtrack in Face of Large Crowds. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D) announced Monday afternoon that marijuana shops and liquor stores would have to close their doors in response to the coronavirus pandemic but was forced to reverse course later that same day. But in response to his announcement, city residents began swarming liquor stores and pot shops—violating social distancing requirements—sometimes with lines a block line, forcing the mayor to reconsider. Now, the booze and pot shops can stay open, but must enforce physical distancing requirements.

Medical Marijuana

Public Health, Drug Reform Groups Urge Governors to Deem Medical Marijuana Dispensaries as "Essential" Businesses. A dozen public health and drug reform organizations have sent an open letter to every governor in the country urging them to recognize medical marijuana as a necessary medicine and to declare dispensaries "essential" businesses that can stay open during periods of reduced movement related to the coronavirus pandemic. Signatories include the Drug Policy Alliance, the Marijuana Policy Project, NORML, and the Harm Reduction Coalition, as well as public health groups.

Psychedelics

Denver Psychedelic Reform Panel Holds Second Meeting. The Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review panel—the nation's first such entity—held its second meeting Tuesday and reached agreement on criteria for law enforcement reporting on activities related to the 'shrooms. Data collected should include age, location of offense, the offense itself (possession, distribution, cultivation), the quantity involved, race, and whether a prosecution ensued, among other things.

International

Holland Reopens Cannabis Cafes Just A Day After Closing Them in Coronavirus Move. The Dutch government on Monday night abruptly reversed a day-old decision to shut down the country's famous cannabis cafes as part of a social distancing response to the coronavirus pandemic. The reversal came as the government was confronted with long lines of people queuing up to score after the ban was initially announced. Now, the cannabis cafes can stay open for carry-out purchases only. There was no respite, however, for Amsterdam's sex clubs and brothels. They will have to stay shuttered until April 6.

psmith

What Is Self-Love And How To Practice It

4 days 6 hours ago

There are many ways in which we can love others. Love is diverse and thus comes in many forms. There is a way in which we love our parents that is different from the way in which we love our children. There is also a distinctive way in which we love our father from the way we love our mother. We love our brothers and sisters, we love our spouse, but we also love our friends. The love we feel for others comes in a unique form for every individual we care about. But there is a certain kind of love that is more peculiar than any other. This kind of love is the love we may have or lack for ourselves, the kind of self-love.


Love is a much-discussed topic in the literature. However, the love of the self is something that has been very much overlooked. Here, we will briefly examine the importance of loving one's self and what this entails.


Many have argued that lacking self-love makes one incapable of truly loving others. This, however, is not what we are going to support here. We will not speak of true love, as the notion of true love is a very Christian idea. Each person loves in their own unique way, and the way each of us love is shaped by how we have grown to understand love based on our childhood and upbringing. Sometimes, the family dynamics are so fucked-up that we have come to understand love in contradicting ways. We might have been continuously devalued from our parents as children, and since we need to love our parents and feel accepted by them, we have come to look for love in people who will devalue us also. In this context, then, love is what is most familiar to us. And what is most familiar to us is, unfortunately, beyond our control.


The 3 Steps Toward Self-Love:


Free yourself from self-guilt

The first step toward loving and caring for yourself is to understand the ways in which you have been feeling guilty throughout your life for things that you were not responsible for. For example, if you grew up in an environment where arguments between your parents were part of your day-to-day life, you might feel as if you are blame-worthy for your parents' behaviour. Especially in the case where a child is also the receiver of screams and shouts in the family, it is natural for that child - as it is not able to rationalise the parent's rage - to take the blame and responsibility by thinking that they have done something wrong. Psychotherapy is an excellent way of identifying the motif of self-guilt that has been present throughout your life, understanding it, and eventually letting it go. Setting yourself free from the burden of self-guilt will assist you in believing in and loving yourself.


Spend quality time by yourself

When people face unresolved insecurities about themselves, they tend to feel very lonely when being left alone. This is particularly the case for people who suffer from anxiety disorders and anxious/codependent attachment to others. People who are at unease spending some of their time on their own, usually feel inadequate and perhaps insufficient in accomplishing things on their own. But it need not be the case that fear of inadequacy towards one's self entails the inability of the person who holds the fear to accomplish things on their own.


The good news is that human beings, like any living thing, are adaptable and flexible for the sake of survival and evolution. Any learned behaviour can be 'un-learned' by replacing it with another. Even the most deeply ingrained behavioural traits that we carry can be reframed and changed in a new context that we set for our wellbeing. So if a person feels that they cannot function properly on their own, this is not something set in stone, and it need not mean that the person cannot alter their situation.


Be self-sufficient

Self-sufficiency can be achieved by taking small steps towards believing that you can, in fact, not only live but also thrive on your own. You can accomplish this through small activities that will prove to you that you can enjoy the company of yourself. Things like going for a stroll, reading a book, having a coffee on your own can alter your thinking patterns by helping you learn to lose yourself in those moments. Other things can include listening to music, going to the theatre, and general engagement in cultural activities that you enjoy. Apart from these activities, perhaps the most important step towards self-sufficiency is taking the time to produce your own work. Producing your own work is not just about temporal happiness and relief, but provides one with a long-lasting sense of fulfilment and purpose.


Spending time on your own, freeing yourself from guilt and being self-sufficient can be extremely constructive, also in the sense that you get to know yourself better. Those three things are the key ingredients in forming one's personality and a source for continuous development and growth. They help us be in touch with our thoughts, feelings, and desires, and constantly re-evaluating our needs and goals. Most importantly, they are a huge step forward toward self-love and self-respect.

Pen S

Pictures From Space Show Earth Cleaning Out After Coronavirus Outbreak

4 days 7 hours ago


The majority of us feel the consequences of the Coronavirus outbreak that is spreading across the world. The countries enforcing self, regional quarantine or, even total lockdowns are increasing day by day following the increase of people infected. It seems to be, and it is tough to stay positive and expect all this to have a positive outcome on the future when no one has any answers about it. But, scientists, at last, report a positive development, even if it might not be what we might expect.


The European Space Agency (ESA), alongside with some independent researchers, nitrogen dioxide emissions have significantly dropped over Italy after the lockdown compelled by the spread of COVID-19.


The Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite noticed a drop in NO2 emissions, indicating the decrease in air pollution, with the most noticeable change pointed in the northern part of the country, the region that it's most affected by the coronavirus.


"The decline in nitrogen dioxide emissions over the Po Valley in northern Italy is particularly evident," Claus Zehner, ESA's Copernicus Sentinel-5P mission manager, stated. "Although there could be slight variations in the data due to cloud cover and changing weather, we are very confident that the reduction in emissions that we can see, coincides with the lockdown in Italy causing less traffic and industrial activities."


Scientists and researchers are reporting a significant drop in NO2 levels above Italy.


"Copernicus Sentinel-5P Tropomi has the biggest accuracy to assess air is the most accurate instrument today that measures air pollution from space. These measurements, globally available thanks to the free and open data policy, provide important information for people and governments," said Josef Aschbacher, ESA's Director of Earth Observation Programmes.


With less NO2 traces on February 24.

Santiago Gassó, a research associate at NASA, took to Twitter to report on the results of the satellite sensor. He also explained that while fluctuating NO2 emissions are entirely reasonable, considering that they differ under such factors as the day of the week, this observed change was significant.


And a significant decrease in March

The map showcases NO2 pollution levels on February 8, Saturday
While this one shows the pollution levels on Saturday, March 7
Data presented by the European Space Agency (ESA) that shows the same tendency


Watch below the time-lapse from ESA. frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>
Italians have also noted the change in the environment.
Venice once extremely polluted canals became crystal clear as a quarantine result.

Nota Pan

An Artist Uses Individual Paper Sheets To Create Impressively Detailed Designs

4 days 7 hours ago

All of us use paper for writing and drawing, but when it comes to constructing, most would think that paper has limited functions when used as the main material. This, however, is far from true for British artist Pippa Dyrlaga, who has been using simple repro paper as her primary medium for artistic expression. Pippa lives in Yorkshire, England, and has been working on paper-cutting and print-making for over ten years.


After drawing a soft outline on repro paper, Pippa then works on the drawing in parts to gradually increase the details using just a precision knife. Note that the artist works on her cut-out drawings in reverse so that the final result is visible on the side of the paper that is smoother.


Her source of inspiration has been the nature and folk culture that is associated with the English countryside, two apparent features in her pieces. Combining elements of reality and fantasy, the most common themes that her work explores include animals and plants that display an extraordinary amount of detail and depth.


For the artist, the stage of production, which requires many hours and patience on her part, is equal to and as valuable as the completed works themselves.


You can have a taste of some of Pippa's brilliant creations below:


Pippa Dyrlaga (@bearfollowscat) on Mar 22, 2020 at 1:57pm PDT


Pippa Dyrlaga (@bearfollowscat) on Feb 25, 2020 at 8:05am PST


Pippa Dyrlaga (@bearfollowscat) on Jan 23, 2020 at 7:53am PST


Pippa Dyrlaga (@bearfollowscat) on Jan 16, 2020 at 9:54am PST


Pippa Dyrlaga (@bearfollowscat) on Jan 3, 2020 at 9:36am PST


Pippa Dyrlaga (@bearfollowscat) on Dec 7, 2019 at 2:26pm PST


Pippa Dyrlaga (@bearfollowscat) on Oct 7, 2019 at 12:58pm PDT

Pen S

Photos Of Doctors Fighting Coronavirus

4 days 8 hours ago

Cases of people infected with coronavirus are rising around the world, with almost 400K confirmed. Italy is counting now more than 7,500 deaths, Spain has 3,500 deaths, both more than China.


It’s far more apparent than ever that curbing the pandemic will take a full-blown battle. Medical workers are now fighting on the front line like never before, virtually unarmed due to the lack of essential supplies.


The tragic photos below are living proof of what’s happening behind the emergency doors. From eternal shifts that leave their faces severely bruised to working without proper equipment and risking lives—the sacrifice is overwhelming.


While you scroll through the pictures, take a moment to think about these heroes, and thank them. They need our spiritual backing and solidarity now more than ever.









Nota Pan

Seven Parenting Tactics That Will Harm Your Children

4 days 9 hours ago

Children, by nature, are predisposed to learning and following the behaviours of their caregivers. Because children rely and depend on their parents for their survival, they have to adopt a particular set of skills to lead their lives, something that is only available to them - until a certain age - through their family. It is essential then, for each parent, to equip their child with a maximally valuable skill set to the best of their ability.


Below, we have identified seven ways in which parenting can have damaging effects on a child's healthy development.


1. Overprotecting them

Good parenting involves protecting your children from danger but also involves knowing when to allow the child to handle things on their own.
Children that have grown up overprotected by their environment will face difficulties in coping as adults. They will either grow up being overly cautious and afraid of having control over their life; or, they will continuously look for external help to assist them in making decisions and in accomplishing certain tasks.


2. Overestimating your child's maturity

Oftentimes when parents observe that their child is highly intelligent, they tend to misassociate their child's intelligence with a high level of emotional maturity. But in reality, children of high intelligence use their intellectual skills in ways that mask their emotional immaturity. While some children develop their abilities faster than others, emotional maturity is something that develops slowly and gradually as all children have the same emotional needs.


3. Comparing them to their siblings

Parents of more than one child often find it difficult to adjust their behaviour according to the needs of each child. Every child gradually develops their personality in unique ways, and this is something parents can very often forget during the first years of their child's development. It is important to remember that children, like adults, are unique in their qualities of character, unique in their talents and aspirations. Failing to recognize your child's distinctive style and comparing them to their sibling can severely damage their self-esteem. Contrary, treating your child fairly by acknowledging their individual needs will promote a positive development of their personality, raising them to be confident in their abilities as adults.


4. Suppressing their ability to solve problems

A crucial part of learning while growing up involves exercising the ability to solve problems. Sometimes parents suppress the development of their child's ability to problem-solve by repeatedly working things out for them. But due to their brain plasticity and development, children are prone to learn much faster than adults are. It is crucial then that children are encouraged to solve problems and handle tasks they might find challenging as failing to do so will impede them from becoming maximally functioning adults.


5. Projecting an overly optimistic view of the world

By projecting an overly optimistic view of the world to your children, they will grow up having high expectations and bearing a constant feeling of disappointment. This is because children trust their parents, probably as much as they ever will be able to trust anyone. And when a parent projects a rosy view of the world to their child, the child trusting her parent, will always be expecting the world to confirm the belief that the parent reinforced. That can consequently lead to an unsettling feeling of disappointment in the child's adult self and contribute in developing a self-defeating attitude.


6. Sending mixed messages

There are many times where parents' actions can appear contradicting to what they otherwise teach their child. Mixed messages from the parents can confuse children at the beginning and gradually will result in problematic behaviour in children themselves, including cheating and dishonesty. An example of a contradicting message can be seen in the case where a parent forbids their child from using their phone during dinner time, but at the same time does not apply that rule to himself.


7. Scaring them that you will abandon them

Sometimes parents threaten their children that they will leave them so that they make them behave accordingly. However, after a certain point of hearing threats from their parents, a child will start to rebel, to lose respect for, and devalue the parent. It seems better to communicate with your child in ways other than fear, for example, by logically analysing the situation together with your child, establishing healthy communication patterns, and helping them distinguish right from wrong behaviours.


Pen S

Five Ways In Which Hugs Make Us Healthier

4 days 9 hours ago


Since infancy, hugs play a key role in a person's development. We have learned to use hugs as a way to communicate and share our feelings with others. We also use hugs as a way to comfort others. We hug others when we experience emotional states of distress, happiness or closeness.


Interestingly but not surprisingly, science has revealed how hugs improve our well-being both physically and mentally.


Below we present five ways in which hugs benefit our health according to several scientific studies.


1. In times of distress, hugs have the power to minimize anxiety by increasing the release of oxytocin in the brain (the 'love' hormone) and thereby reducing the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. The release of oxytocin in the brain helps us build feelings of closeness, trust and affection toward others and therefore contribute to two people bonding with each other.


2. Hugs improve the function of our immune system. A scientific study with 400 adults showed that the act of hagging boosts our immune system and reduces the chances of getting an illness. Lack of physical contact on the other hand, appears to weaken our immune system and make one more susceptible to disease. This is more apparent in cases where someone experiences isolation from others.


3. Hugs improve heart health. Another side effect of oxytocin release is the lowering of our blood pressure and the reduction of our heart rate. A hug then appears to be a natural remedy to fight a very stressful situation. A hug can even have life-saving effects such as in cases of a heart attack or potential stroke, where blood pressure levels are dangerously high.


4. Hugs lower the levels of pain and discomfort. It has been observed that hugs have the capacity to reduce pain in cases of cancer patients or people who suffer from back pain.


5. Hugs help us fall asleep faster. Because hugs provide us with relief from stress and calm our bodies down, they also assist us in falling asleep more quickly to help us get a better quality of sleep. It is no surprise then why children tend to seek hugging a comfort object, such as, a teddy, a doll, or a soft blanket during sleep time.

Pen S

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