This Huge Floating Machine Successfully Collects Plastic From Great Pacific Garbage Patch

19 hours 13 minutes ago

In a historic first, a massive floating device made by conservationists to clean up plastic from the ocean has now successfully collected trash from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The machine, invented by 25-year-old Dutch inventor and engineer Boyan Slat, consists of a massive line of cork floats holding a huge skirt which traps the garbage below.

The Ocean Cleanup has recently announced that the system could capture and hold trash varying from visible plastic debris to abandoned fishing gear, also known as “ghost nets”—and even tiny microplastics as small as 1 millimeter.

The Ocean Cleanup

Launched from Vancouver in June 2019, The Ocean Cleanup Project’s high-tech System 001/B is fitted with a range of devices such as sensors, cameras, solar-powered lights, and satellite antennae which enable The Ocean Cleanup to keep tabs on it using GPS and use a dedicated support vessel to collect trapped plastic every few months before it brings it back to dry land.

System 001/B simulates a coastline while also uses the ocean’s force to trap the pieces of plastic debris that are estimated to be swirling around in the patch.

Marine life can safely swim around the giant boom. According to marine biologists that have tracked the system, no adverse environmental impact has resulted from the system’s deployment.

In case you missed it, here is a short recap of our announcement today.

— The Ocean Cleanup (@TheOceanCleanup) October 2, 2019

Our vessel (with cleanup system) now in transit to port for crew change; expect to be back in the patch for final leg of the System 001/B campaign around Oct 17.

— Boyan Slat (@BoyanSlat) October 3, 2019

Experts and conservationists have recently sounded the alarm over the plastics and microplastics that are inundating the planet’s oceans and water supplies, by leaching carcinogenic toxins and chemicals into the marine environment. Meanwhile, plastic drink containers and trash used by fishers are trapping, confining, and killing marine wildlife such as fish and birds.

Nearly 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean every year.

— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) October 2, 2019

Plastic pollution has reached such large proportions that an estimated 100 million tons of it can now be found in the oceans, as reported by the United Nations, devastating such industries as tourism and fishing while embedding itself on every level of the food chain. Between 80% and 90% of plastic waste in the ocean comes from land-based sources. According to a report presented in the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, it’s estimated that plastic waste in the oceans will outweigh all fish by 2050.

Katerina Papakyriakopoulou

Millionaire Dying Doctor Explained Why Money And Material Possessions Can't Buy Happiness In The End

19 hours 25 minutes ago

Dr. Richard Teo Keng Siang was a man who had it all and learned the most critical lesson of his life while spending his last days on the planet.

He regretted focusing on making money and neglecting God.

As his body was becoming weaker, the cosmetic surgeon said that there's much more to life than a heavy wallet.

Before dying, Dr. Siang said that money is not the source of happiness, and it could even be the root of every evil.

Dr. Siang was suffering from lung cancer. He died in 2012 at the age of 40, having a few regrets.

Siang had switched from a career in ophthalmology to aesthetics.

This transition brought him millions in only his first year of practice.

The sports car lover found himself spending many weekends at automobile club gatherings racing with his wheels of choice.

Siang had a collection of at least four supercars; a Subaru WRX, a Nissan GTR, a Honda S2000, and a Ferrari 430.

According to Dr. Siang, the one thing that made him happy and fulfilled during his last days was spending time with people.

Katerina Papakyriakopoulou

Genius Mom Convinced Her Daughters To Stay Still To Charge Glow-In-The-Dark Pijamas

19 hours 37 minutes ago

If we had a nickel for each time our parents white-lied to us, we’d be millionaires by now. Folks make their children believe all kinds of tales – some of which we realized were lies only when we grew up. This ingenious mother from Poughkeepsie, New York, recently went viral for the hilarious white lie she told her kids when she was struggling to put them to bed.

“Looking for a way to keep your kids still? Buy them glow in the dark PJs. Tell them they have to lie really still under the light to “charge” them. I’m not even sorry. To expand on the trickery, I’ve started putting the PJs back into their drawers when they get dressed in the morning… unexposed to light all day, they dim and do not glow in the dark when they tried to test me last night until they laid down again. Reinforcing the need to lie quietly under the light before bed,” Jessica wrote i. In the pictures, you can see two of Jessica’s daughters – three-year-old Hannelore and four-year-old Emma, lying on the ground patiently while waiting for their pajamas to ‘charge.’

Sensory processing disorder is a condition in which a person’s brain has trouble receiving and responding to information which comes in through the senses. Some people who have the disorder are overly sensitive to things in their environment, while others can be under-responsive to anything around them. As Jessica’s kids are excessively sensitive to the various stimuli, she says that the little trick she posted about really improved the children's bedtime routine. They do it daily now, as a part of their sensory diet.

More info: Facebook | Instagram

People loved the idea, and some shared their own little white lies that they told their kids:

Katerina Papakyriakopoulou

Study Shows That Traveling Can Make You Happier Than A Marriage

19 hours 59 minutes ago

It doesn’t really matter if you travel with nothing but a backpack or stay at a luxurious hotel: every travel experience can positively influence your health and give you a significant endorphin boost. For several people, the joy it brings can outweigh other vital events in their lives, like getting married or having a kid. And research conducted by proved that people value traveling so much it even topped the list of things which bring them the most happiness in life!

To get the proper results, has interviewed 17,000 people that came from 17 countries so that they could get a more diverse attitude toward traveling. Respondents confirmed that very few things could replace going on vacation when it comes to happiness. For example, 77 percent of the people said that they book a holiday when they need to brighten up their mood immediately.

The most intriguing part of the study is that people claimed they value traveling way more than they do their partner and even happy events in their life. Forty-nine percent of respondents said that they felt a higher level of happiness when they planned and went on holiday than they did on their wedding day!

Almost half of the people interviewed said that going on a date with their significant other does not lift them emotionally as much as traveling does. Forty-five percent claimed that getting engaged didn’t give them as much of an emotional boost as traveling did. Even having a baby doesn’t provide 29 percent of the respondents with enough of an endorphin rush!

It also turned out that people appreciate new experiences more than possessing lots of material things. Seventy percent of respondents said that going on vacation provides them with satisfaction that lasts more than the happiness they get from buying stuff.

It appears that people are ready to sacrifice their comfort for the sake of having new travel experiences. For instance, 56 percent of respondents would instead go on vacation than buy new clothes or gadgets, and 48 percent of them are ready to postpone home improvements to visit new places.

Surprisingly, for 72 percent of the respondents, it’s enough to start planning a vacation to feel happier. For example, 80 percent feel more excited when they look at a map and choose places they’d like to visit.

Six out of ten respondents feel an emotional boost when they read hotel reviews and imagine their future trips. Nevertheless, nothing can replace shopping: more than half of the respondents said that buying clothes for a vacation was one of their greatest mood-lifters!

Katerina Papakyriakopoulou

Homelessness and the Climate Crisis

1 day 2 hours ago

When the world gets warmer, it impacts real people’s lives. Real people just like you are suffering right now because of our changing climate. And some are unfairly impacted more than others.

The elderly. Children. Communities of color. And perhaps most acutely, the homeless.

Individuals experiencing homelessness know what the climate crisis feels like. Unlike so many of us, they cannot turn to the comforts of home when temperatures soar to new heights or torrential rains fall or wildfire soot blankets the earth around them.

Clean drinking water is not always readily accessible. Nor are a dry pair of shoes. Things so many of us take for granted every day.

Rising Temperatures = Rising Dangers for the Homeless

This much is clear: With the climate crisis driving all kinds of extreme weather, those with the least among us often suffer its impacts disproportionally and unfairly.

We saw it just this summer as record-breaking heat baked the United States and Europe. Extreme heat can be deadly for anyone, but people living on the streets without access to air conditioning or cool drinking water are particularly susceptible to heat stress and even heat stroke.

Rising global temperatures also decrease air quality, in part, by increasing the formation of ground-level ozone, the main ingredient in city smog. Exposure to high levels of ozone can lead to shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing, chest pain, and temporary decreases in lung function.

Hotter temperatures also open the door to regions once less hospitable to biting warm-weather insects, known as vectors. And longer-lasting warm weather and milder winters extend the life and breeding cycles of many of these same insects, allowing them to move ever-poleward and increasing the number of places where they can thrive.

The homeless are less able than most of us to find respite from this polluted air. Less able to escape the mosquitos and ticks that carry a range of diseases, from the West Nile and Zika viruses to dengue fever and Lyme disease.

But the climate crisis isn’t just making life harder for those already experiencing homelessness – it’s also creating the conditions that leave many families with nowhere to turn.

The Climate Crisis Can Contribute to Homelessness Too

Carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas is warming our planet and driving climate change. It’s throwing natural systems out of balance – to often devastating effect.

What does that mean for us? Events like floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, wildfires, and drought are becoming more frequent and/or intense. And in the worst case scenario, natural disasters like these can level homes and even entire communities.

And they’re doing it at the same time that America is experiencing an affordable-housing crisis.

We know that frontline communities, particularly those of color and low-income families, experience many of the climate crisis’ impacts first and worst. They’re often more at risk than more affluent communities from extreme weather events and likely to live in urban heat islands, where days can be as much as 22 degrees hotter than surrounding areas.

Even worse, communities of color often live with substandard housing thanks to decades of discriminatory housing policies and poor city planning. And when extreme weather strikes, they’re less likely to have the resources to relocate or fully rebuild their homes.

Earlier this year, the National Low Income Housing Coalition estimated there to be “a shortage of 7.2 million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low income (ELI) renter households, those with incomes at or below the poverty level or 30 percent of their area median income.”

So when destructive, climate-exacerbated weather events like super-charged hurricanes, floods, and wildfires strike and people are forced from their homes and unable to return, low-income families face a shortage of options for next steps.

Houston, Texas, found itself to be ground zero for these dueling crises in the aftermath of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey.

Harvey was a devastating storm. “Sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico that [were] 2.7 - 7.2°F (1.5 - 4°C) above average” helped power a category 4 monster that dumped more than 60 inches of rain over parts of southeastern Texas, resulting in catastrophic flooding and other storm damage.

The National Hurricane Center called the storm, “the most significant tropical cyclone rainfall event in US history.”

Houston was bombarded with rain – and among those to suffer most were its low-income residents. According to NRDC, the storm wrecked “nearly 2,000 Section 8 and public housing units across the state, at a cost of more than $25 million. One in six families receiving assistance from the Houston Housing Authority saw their home battered or destroyed. And when these displaced families sought other accommodations, they found skyrocketing rents across the city.”

Several months after the storm, the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County reported that homelessness in Houston had grown 13 percent from the year before – and that 18 percent of those who’d become newly homeless blamed Hurricane Harvey.

What You Can Do

For people struggling to make ends meet, the climate crisis is a threat multiplier. Not only do they experience the worsening weather, the rising seas, the spreading infectious diseases, but they also must contend with the dread that accompanies one of life’s most pressing questions: “What if?”

What if I lose my house to a flood?

What if a hurricane blows our roof off?

What if I can’t afford to find a new place?

So what can you do?

Sometimes, the most important thing you can do is learn more about a problem. Only then can you play a part in its solution.

That’s why on November 20–21, we’re presenting 24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action, a global conversation on the truth of the climate crisis and how we solve it.

For one full day, Climate Reality Leader volunteers trained by former Vice President Al Gore will hold public presentations and conversations on our changing climate in schools, community centers, workplaces, and more across all 50 US states and countries worldwide. 

Request a Truth in Action presentation from a Climate Reality Leader and learn what the crisis means for you and your community – and how we can solve it together.

Join the conversation now.

climate realityclimate changeclimate crisishomelesshomelessnessExtreme Weatherinfectious diseaserising temperaturesHoustonThe Climate Reality ProjectHow Pipelines Fuel Climate InjusticeWildfires and the Climate Crisis in the American WestHurricanes and the Climate Crisis: What You Need to KnowLead: Not only are rising temperatures a danger to individuals already experiencing homelessness, extreme weather events driven by our changing climate are leaving more and more people with nowhere to turn.facebook link: Subject: Homelessness and the Climate CrisisTwitter URL:

WATCH: Mexico Cartel's Killer Clowns

1 day 10 hours ago

Move over, Joker. Step aside, Pennywise. Get back behind the curtain, Giuliani. There's some real-life killer clowns patrolling the streets down Mexico way, and they've got video to prove it.

[image:1 align:left]According to local media reports from Tamaulipas state, just across the Rio Grande River from Brownsville and Harlingen, Texas, soldiers for a major drug trafficking organization, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), and their local affiliate, Los Metros, posted a series of bragging videos in recent weeks.

Unlike too many other Mexican cartel videos that depict horrendous violence, torture, and murder (usually inflicted on rival gang members, cops, or common criminals), these videos show no savage bloodletting. But this video of cartel members wearing clown masks, waving around weapons, and generally having a good time is still downright creepy and disturbing.

See for yourself:

Clown masks notwithstanding, these guys are no laughing matter. In recent years, the CJNGC has emerged as a major player among Mexico's drug cartels and is now the leading challenger to the remnants of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel. Under the leadership of Nemesio "El Mencho" Oseguera Cervantes, the CJNG is responsible for sending tons of cocaine, meth, and fentanyl-laced heroin to the U.S. and, according to the Justice Department, accounts for one-third of all illicit drugs being imported to the U.S.

As InSight Crime has noted, the CJNG emerged out of bloody intra-cartel battles for control of the lucrative drug trade "and has been associated with the use of extreme violence." Under the rubric of Matazetas (Kill Zetas), it moved into Zetas territory in the northeast of Mexico, claiming responsible for the massacre of 35 people in Veracruz in 2011.

In 2015, the CJNG raised its profile with a spectacular attack on police in Jalisco, killing 15 officers. The following month,, it shot down a Mexican military helicopter, leaving five soldiers dead. Since then, the JNGC has continued on its bloody path to power and wealth, now operating in at least 22 Mexican states, with assets valued at around $20 billion.

The vast bulk of that money is coming from American drug buyers who, under a prohibition regime, are directly financing the JNGC and all the other groups involved in Mexico's delinquencia organizada. In that sense, the cartels are less killer clowns than the Frankenstein's monster of drug prohibition.


Does This State Have the Worst Drug Polices in America? [FEATURE]

1 day 10 hours ago

With endless miles of farmland shading into ever higher and drier terrain as one moves west, crossing the Missouri River and then on to the Badlands and the Black Hills, South Dakota has a certain austere beauty. Not so in its approach to drugs. When it comes to drug policy, it is one of the ugliest places in the country.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]The staunchly conservative state holds the dubious distinction of being the only state to twice defeat a medical marijuana initiative (although activists are giving it another shot this year, and a more wishful legalization initiative, too). And it is being sued by the state ACLU over the forced drug testing of toddlers and arrestees alike.

South Dakota also boasts the nation’s only law making ingestion—not possession—of a controlled substance a felony, which helps explains the reflex resort to drug testing arrestees: A positive drug test becomes a prosecutable offense. While 10 other states have ingestion laws on the books, none of them makes it a felony.

And now, a new report from the Prison Policy Initiative finds that “South Dakota jails more people per capita than any other state,” that almost “half of all arrests are drug or alcohol related, compared to just 29 percent nationally,” and that people of color—in this case, primarily Native Americans—are disproportionately arrested at a rate far above the national average.

According to the report, South Dakota jailed 2,888 people per 100,000, nearly twice the national average of 1,506, and narrowly edging out Mississippi, which had 2,814 per 100,000. (Other states that jailed more than one out of 50 of their residents were Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.)

But jail is just the gateway to the incarceration complex, and when it comes to long-term stays behind bars, South Dakota displays the same sort of worrying numbers. According to the ACLU of South Dakota, the state’s prison population has increased more than five-fold since 1980, a decade after the drug war began. And despite 2013 reforms designed to reduce the prison population, it stubbornly stays near an all-time high reached in 2017.

In fact, new prison admissions spiked upward by 49 percent between 2015 and 2018. These numbers are largely attributable to drug prosecutions, with nearly one in three prisoners doing time for drugs in 2019, up from one in four in 2014.

As the ACLU noted, “This increase was driven almost entirely by a rise in the number of people whose most serious offense was unauthorized ingestion of a controlled substance.”

That’s right—South Dakota is spending millions of dollars to incarcerate people not for drug dealing, not for drug possession, but for having used drugs and still having traces of them in their system.

And it’s doing so in an alarmingly racially disproportionate manner. Native Americans make up only 7 percent of the state’s population but constitute nearly one-third (31 percent) of the state prison population. Similarly, the state has a tiny African American population (2 percent), but black South Dakotans made up 8 percent of the prison population. The imprisonment rate for both African Americans and Native Americans was seven times that of the state’s overwhelmingly white population. For the state’s Latino population, the imprisonment rate was twice that of whites.

In a press release last month, the state ACLU reported that it’s just as bad in the state’s jails, with Native Americans making up roughly half of all jail admissions and accounting for the majority of all drug- and alcohol-related arrests in the state. The group noted that “Native Americans between ages 15 and 64 are incarcerated at 10 times the rate of white people in South Dakota.”

“It’s time to come to terms with the significant racial disparities that are so ingrained in our criminal legal system,” said Libby Skarin, ACLU of South Dakota policy director. “This is not something that can be mitigated by solely reducing the number of arrests in South Dakota. Our elected officials need to acknowledge the realities of these racial disparities and commit to tackling them head-on.”

State leaders grasp that there is a problem here. The state legislature has set up an interim study group to examine the state’s approach to drug offenses, which met for the first time in August. The group includes legislators, law enforcement, court administrators, the South Dakota attorney general and the secretary of the Department of Corrections, but not public health officials or actual drug users.

The panel heard even more disturbing numbers about drug prosecutions. There were 2,104 people convicted of drug possession statewide so far this year, a more than four-fold increase from 2009, even though drug use levels have remained relatively stable over that period. That is leading panel members to wonder about the role of local prosecutors in generating such large increases in prosecutions.

“Though drug use is undoubtedly a serious issue, we can’t incarcerate our way out of addiction,” said the ACLU’s Skarin. “The enormous amount of money South Dakota spends on jailing people for drug-related offenses is disproportionate and causes more harm than good to individuals struggling with addiction, their families and their communities.”

It is for this reason that the ACLU says it is supporting initiatives such as “reclassifying ingestion as a misdemeanor.”

Skarin explained, “Reclassifying ingestion as a misdemeanor and investing the resulting savings of state funds in diversion and treatment programs designed to combat addiction would go a long way in helping to solve the underlying problems leading to drug abuse.”

Pennington County (Rapid City) public defender Eric Whitcher is on the same page as the state ACLU. He told the interim panel that 73 of his last 100 drug possession cases involved only trace or immeasurable amounts of drugs and that if such cases were not charged as felonies, his office could operate with significantly fewer felony prosecutors.

“We are an outlier,” said Whitcher, speaking about South Dakota. “We are creating more felonies for the same conduct than our neighboring states. What impact does that have on their lives?”

Dropping ingestion from a felony to a misdemeanor would be a step in the right direction, but it’s an awfully small step. South Dakota has a long, long way to go to get on the right side of drug policy, and no natural beauty can hide that.


Chronicle AM: Pot Vaping Bans, DEA Shrugs Shoulders at Pain Patient Complaints, More.... (10/15/19)

1 day 21 hours ago

The vaping crisis has impelled two more states to restrict marijuana vaping products, Mexican cartel gunmen kill 14 police in a bloody ambush, and more.

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

Colorado Regulators Prepare Ban on Certain Additives in Marijuana Vape Products. The state's Marijuana Enforcement Division has proposed final rules on vaping products that will ban a set of additives for those products. The move comes amidst the emergence of a mysterious lung disease linked to e-cigs and marijuana vape pens. The proposed prohibitions in ingredients used in marijuana concentrates or products intended for inhalation include: Polyethylene glycol (PEG); Vitamin E Acetate; and Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT Oil)—all of which are used to thin THC oil so it can be atomized or vaporized.

Oregon Bans Flavored Marijuana Vaping Products for Six Months. Oregon has now imposed a six month ban on flavored marijuana vaping products, becoming the third state to impose a form of ban on such products since the vaping crisis unfolded. Gov. Kate Brown (D) had issued an executive order on October 4 banning the sale of all flavored vaping products; state officials filed rules last Friday putting the order into effect. The move comes after nine people fell ill in the state, with five of them having bought marijuana products in licensed stores.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

DEA Swats Away Pain Patient Complaints About Reduced Opioid Production Levels. Hundreds of chronic pain patients have implored the DEA to reconsider its proposed cuts to opioid production, which would reduce production quotas for popular opioids for the fourth year in a row, but the agency is just shrugging its shoulders. The cuts should have no impact on decisions made by doctors and "legitimate pain patients," the DEA said. "The agency does not regulate the practice of medicine. We do not get between a doctor and his or her patient," a DEA spokesperson said. "We also want legitimate pain patients, their families and caregivers to know that DEA does not seek to limit or take away their vital prescriptions."


Mexican Cartel Gunmen Ambush Police, Killing More than a Dozen. Gunmen of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) ambushed a police convoy in the western state of Michoacan on Monday, killing 14 police officers in one of the bloodiest attacks on security forces since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office. Photos from the scene showed burning police videos, the bodies of slain officers, and placards signed "CJNG" warning police not to support rival crime groups, such as Los Viagras.


Five Ways to Empower Voters Now

1 day 21 hours ago
From reinstating voting rights of those with felony convictions to helping people obtain IDs, grassroots and state-level efforts are making it easier to vote.

We the People, Want Climate Action Now

2 days 2 hours ago

Looking at the actions of the US federal government, you’d be forgiven for letting your climate optimism fade. But even as this administration works to unwind years of hard-won progress, there’s hope on the horizon. And that hope is you.

You want climate action. And chances are, so do your friends, colleagues, and almost everyone you know.

From the recent, historic global climate strikes to the increase in major media coverage of this crisis, the incredible number of people calling out for climate action is quickly becoming impossible to ignore… or deny.

And recent public-opinion polling conducted by several major organizations, including Climate Nexus, in partnership with Yale and George Mason Universities, and CBS News, shows majorities – in some cases overwhelming majorities – of Americans know our climate is changing.

There’s more. Critically, these majorities also support real solutions like expanding renewable energy, and believe the government should be working harder to fight the climate crisis.  

Below, we’ve assembled some highlights from these incredible polls to show just how much the tide of public opinion has turned. And we’ve got news for those still denying a crisis playing out now before our very eyes and standing in the way of solutions – it isn’t going back.

We know the climate crisis is a threat. We know that action is the answer. And we’re ready to stand up for a safe, sustainable future for the planet.

Share these graphics with your social networks by clicking the links below each one to let them know that we are the majority.

Share this graphic on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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Take the Next Step

All of this great news isn’t to say that we can relax or that everything will work itself out as public attitudes continue to move in the right direction. Not by a longshot.

What we’re saying is, we’re in this fight because we know we can (and must and will) win it. And more and more, the numbers back us up.

But to change everything, we need everyone.

Will you join us?

On November 20–21, the world is coming together to talk about the climate crisis with 24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action.

For one full day, Climate Reality Leader volunteers trained by former Vice President Al Gore will hold public presentations and conversations on our changing climate in all 50 US states and countries worldwide. 

If you can find a place and time to host a presentation – whether it’s a classroom, community center, place of worship, or even just your own living room – you can take part in this day of global climate action.

Join the conversation. Request a Truth in Action presentation from a Climate Reality Leader and learn what the crisis means for you – and how we can solve it.

climate realityclimate crisisclimate changepublic opinionpollpollingvotersclimate actionsupportThe Climate Reality ProjectThe Climate Denial Machine: How the Fossil Fuel Industry Blocks Climate Action. Americans Will Win on Climate (Yes, Really!)Why Is 1.5 Degrees the Danger Line for Global Warming?Lead: Share these graphics with your social networks to show just how much support is out there for urgent climate action. facebook link: Subject: We the People, Want Climate Action NowTwitter URL:

Chronicle AM: Scottish Political Party Calls for Drug Decriminalization, Cannabis Cafes in Alaska, More... (10/14/19)

2 days 19 hours ago

California will see a batch of new marijuana-related laws, Scotland's largest political party calls for drug decriminalization, and more. 

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

California Governor Signs Marijuana Tax Fairness Bill but Vetoes Cannabis in Hospitals. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has signed into law a number of marijuana-related bills, including one—AB 37—thatwill let state-legal businesses use more tax deductions, but he vetoed a bill that would have allowed patients to use medical marijuana in hospitals and other health care facilities.

Anchorage, Alaska, to Vote on Allowing Cannabis Cafes. The Anchorage Assembly voted last week to let voters decide whether the city should allow people to smoke pot in retail locations around town. The question will be on the April 7, 2020, municipal ballot.


Philippines National Police Chief Resigns Amidst Drug Scandal. Gen. Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippines National Police, has stepped down amidst allegations that he intervened as a provincial police chief to prevent his officers from being prosecuted for allegedly selling a huge quantity of seized drugs. The National Police have led enforcement of the Philippines' bloody drug war.

Scottish National Party Formally Endorses Drug Decriminalization. Scotland's largest political party has formally endorsed the "decriminalization of possession and consumption of controlled drugs" and called on the British government to allow Scotland to make drug policy decisions for itself. The move came at the party's annual convention; the resolution passed unanimously.


This Is Why Our Older Sisters Are Among The Most Important People In Our Lives

2 days 21 hours ago

If you have an older sister, then you can hide behind her when you get into trouble, make her do your chores, and borrow her clothes (without telling her, obviously), but there is more you need to thank her for. Psychologists say that having a sister improves your mental stability and overall development. Children that grow up with sisters around them are happier and become better-adjusted adults.

According to a study from Ohio State University, kids with siblings had a lower chance of getting a divorce in the future. One aspect of that surprising discovery is that having a sister makes you a more mature and less self-centered adult. Your early childhood experiences have a significant impact on your development as an adult. Children with siblings need to learn how to share and deal with conflicts very early on so that upbringing is very relevant when dealing with a romantic partner. Having a big sister as your friend growing up has a profound impact on every area of your life.

If you think growing up was difficult for you, believe it or not, it was way harder for your older sister. According to a study, parents are much stricter toward their firstborns compared to the rest of the siblings. First-time parents are all about rules and have too many expectations. However, these are reduced when another kid is born and gradually, they get more lenient. Therefore, if you have an older sister, that’s another reason you need to be grateful to her.

Your sister has a lot of things to teach you that you have not experienced yet. You will always have an ally and someone to look up to. She inspires you to become better and to strive toward your goals. Growing up with sisters can make you more ambitious and independent. It’s a standard process for the younger ones to imitate their older siblings as part of their social and cognitive development. Even if you aren’t aware, your big sister is fundamental in shaping your personality.

Science shows that growing up with sisters reduces negative feelings in young teenagers. You’re less likely to feel guilty, lonely, and unloved. Sibling affection contributes to emotional development and can help curb depression. Having a sister also makes you a kinder and more empathetic person.

She is someone that always has your back. Even as you grow older, this bond will continue to be of the utmost importance in your overall well-being and the longer-lasting relationship you’ll have in your lifetime. You always have support from her and someone to talk to. This will make you feel loved and cherished, and also it teaches you how to communicate your feelings better. You will always be more comfortable sharing something with her than with your parents, and she’ll undoubtedly be a better listener.

Most of all, you’ll always have a ride-or-die best friend, somebody that knows you so intimately that she can tell what you’re thinking just by looking at you. That’s the most precious gift and something to cherish every day. You are so fortunate to have a big sister who loves you.

Katerina Papakyriakopoulou

Disneyland’s First Customer Ever Has Been Using His Lifetime Ticket Each Year Since 1955

2 days 21 hours ago

There are many things in life that bring joy to us humans, and several amusement parks can sure be taken into that list of the simple little pleasures this world has to offer. Just stop to think about the utopia of it – you walk around the fantasy world, meeting your favorite characters that are always cheerful and dying to snap an image with you. Isn’t that a dream! If you had to choose two good things in this amusement-park world, going to Disneyland and being their first customer ever would totally be something bucket list-worthy. And this man did it back in 1955! Scroll down for the whole story!

This handsome Scotsman smiling at the camera is Dave MacPherson, who at the time of the grand opening of Disneyland was just 22 years old and studied at Long Beach State College. He was the first-ever customer to set foot in the legendary amusement park on the day it was opened to the ordinary people.

But don’t be mistaken, it is no lucky coincidence. The young Scotsman was observing Disneyland’s opening festivities on TV on July 17th, 1955. He then thought: why not be the first of all the commoners to enter the park.

He then turned off the television, hopped onto his motorbike and rode about ten miles from Long Beach, California to Anaheim. Then he walked to the nearest ticket booth and just started a line… at 2 a.m.! After waiting for some hours, he proceeded to purchase the first ticket sold to the common public.

With the ticket, he received a complimentary card but did not get to use it as the long ride back to Long Beach awaited him. Fortunately, he received a lifetime pass for being the first commoner ever to enter the amusement park and has enjoyed his privileges every year ever since.

Now, he usually takes his wife Wanda with him, as well as their good friends Martha & Joe Ortiz. Joe was also in Disneyland on July 18th, 1955, but the men did not get to meet them, yet were brought together by life and shared interests some decades later.

Disneyland was the first of two theme parks in the Disneyland resort in California. Walt Disney came up with the concept for it after visiting many amusement parks with his kids from 1930-1940 and brought it to life a couple of decades later. It cost 17 million dollars to complete the park.

For its opening day, Disney had executed a televised event that was open only to Walt Disney’s family, the media and invited guests that were mostly celebrities of all kinds. During the amusement park’s opening to the wide public the next day, Walt Disney disappeared shortly after opening the gate, leaving many people, like our Scotsman Dave MacPherson slightly disappointed. In spite of this, he still said it was the best day!

Katerina Papakyriakopoulou

Man Creates Mesmerizing Land Artworks By Arranging Sticks, Stones, And Leaves

2 days 22 hours ago

Scottish sculptor Andy Goldsworthy creates artworks by arranging rocks, leaves, and sticks he finds in nature.

Although his stone portals, swirling ice cycles, and gradient ponds of leaves are ephemeral, he leaves a touch of magic to those natural environments.

Most of his artworks are considered transient and temporary, and many perceive it as a criticism of the Earth’s fragility. However, he maintains that the meaning behind it is much more complex and profound.

Land Artwork is created in nature, using stones, rocks, soil, organic media like branches, leaves, as smartly as other substances.

Goldsworthy uses sticks, stones, leaves, and anything else he finds outside to create stunning art installations, which look almost as if they were formed naturally.

Almost daily, Goldsworthy creates art by using the materials and conditions he meets wherever he is, either the land around his Scottish home, the mountain regions of Spain or France, or the sidewalks of Glasgow, New York City, or Rio de Janeiro.

Out of leaves, rocks, ice, snow, soil, rain, sunlight, and shadow, he creates works that exist shortly before they’re changed and erased by natural processes. Still, he documents them by capturing them.

While his early works were associated with decay and collapse, the newer ones are too stunning to be described as decay.

Their meanings are bound up with the forces they embody: materiality, memory, temporality, growth, permanence, vitality, decay, chance, and labor.

He’s intrigued by how we leave parts of ourselves behind, whether in our memory or the things we make. So everything changes after being touched.

Scroll down, take a look at some of his most impressive works:

Katerina Papakyriakopoulou

Heartwarming Pictures Depict The Friendship Between A Bengal Cat And A Hedgehog

2 days 22 hours ago

Animals are the world’s cutest adventurers. Proving that true is the happy hedgehog Herbee and his furry friend Audree. Together, they traverse mesmerizing landscapes as a dynamic duo that makes the most of every moment. Their human masters, Talitha Girnus, captures stunning portraits of them posing against mountain backdrops, among fields of wildflowers. Their jubilance makes their popular Instagram account a delight to follow.

Girnus posts images of the animal pals under the name @mr.pokee, an adorable hedgehog that started it all in 2015. It was love at first sight for Girnus that got Pokee when he was only eight weeks old.

Sadly, Pokee passed away before his fourth birthday in early 2019. However, his spirit lives on through Herbee and Audree.

Mr. Pokee: Website | Instagram | YouTube

Katerina Papakyriakopoulou