Friday, April 16, 2010


The Hemperor, Jack Herer has Died

The global cannabis community mourns the loss of the great Jack Herer.

Jack Herer
The one and only Jack Herer will be missed forever.

(SALEM, Ore.) - The sad news has been confirmed. Jack Herer, author of Emperor Wears No Clothes and renowned around the world for hemp activism, has died at 11:17 a.m. today, in Eugene, Oregon.

Jack Herer suffered a heart attack last September just after speaking on stage at the Portland HempStalk festival. The last seven months have proven to be a huge challenge to the man, with several health issues making his recovery complicated.

Jack Herer's health has been poor lately, this last week there have been reports of the severity, and an outpouring of prayers on his behalf.

"It's shocking news, even after these last seven, trying months," said Paul Stanford, THCF Executive Director.

"Jack Herer has been a good friend and associate of mine for over 30 years. I was there when he had the heart attack at our Hempstalk festival and I know he wouldn't appreciate the quality of life he's endured these last months. Still he will be greatly missed. I honor his memory."

"No other single person has done more to educate people all across the world about industrial hemp and marijuana as Jack Herer. His book is translated into a dozen different languages, it's a bestseller in Germany," added Stanford.

"The Hempstalk stage will forever be the Jack Herer Memorial stage. And, a Memorial is planned to be built where he fell that day," Stanford said.

"His legacy will continue to inspire and encourage for generations to come."


Bayer admits GMO contamination out of control
by David Gutierrez
Drug and chemical giant Bayer AG has admitted that there is no way to stop the uncontrolled spread of its genetically modified crops.

"Even the best practices can't guarantee perfection," said Mark Ferguson, the company's defense lawyer in a recent trial.

Two Missouri farmers sued Bayer for contaminating their crop with modified genes from an experimental strain of rice engineered to be resistant to the company's Liberty-brand herbicide. The contamination occurred in 2006, during an open field test of the new rice, which was not approved for human consumption. According to the plaintiffs' lawyer, Don Downing, genetic material from the unapproved rice contaminated more than 30 percent of all rice cropland in the United States.

"Bayer was supposed to be careful," Downing said. "Bayer was not careful and that rice did escape into our commercial rice supplies."

The plaintiffs alleged that in addition to contaminating their fields, Bayer further harmed them financially by undermining their export market. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the widespread rice contamination, important export markets were closed to U.S. producers. A report from Greenpeace International estimates the financial damage of the contamination at between $741 million and $1.3 billion.

Immortal Jellyfish

From Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth to Dr. Douglas Grey's theory of Engineered Negligible Senescence1, humans have always been fixated on immortality. Yet, in spite of all of our medical and genetic engineering advances, we have still not managed to achieve this feat. Mother Nature, however, has already beaten us to the punch, with an immortal jellyfish.

turritopsis nutriculaThe turritopsis nutricula species of jellyfish may, in fact, be the only immortal creature in the world. It is the only one we have discovered thus far.

This jellyfish achieves everlasting life through the process of transdifferentiation: a process by which one type of cell transforms into another type of cell. Usually, animals can only use transdifferentiation in order to regenerate organs or limbs (e.g. salamanders). Turritopsis nutricula, however, transdifferentiates throughout its entire life, enabling it to cycle from an immature polyp stage, to a mature adult, and then back to its polyp stage again.

Crime Prediction Software Is Here and It's a Very Bad Idea

by Jesus Diaz

Crime Prediction Software Is Here and It's a Very Bad IdeaThere are no naked pre-cogs inside glowing Jacuzzis yet, but the Florida State Department of Juvenile Justice will use analysis software to predict crime by young delinquents, putting potential offenders under specific prevention and education programs. Goodbye, human rights!

They will use this software on juvenile delinquents, using a series of variables to determine the potential for these people to commit another crime. Depending on this probability, they will put them under specific re-education programs. Deepak Advani—vice president of predictive analytics at IBM—says the system gives "reliable projections" so governments can take "action in real time" to "prevent criminal activities?"

Really? "Reliable projections"? "Action in real time"? "Preventing criminal activities"? I don't know about how reliable your system is, IBM, but have you ever heard of the 5th, the 6th, and the 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution? What about article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? No? Let's make this easy then: Didn't you watch that scientology nutcase in Minority Report?

Sure. Some will argue that these juvenile delinquents were already convicted for other crimes, so hey, there's no harm. This software will help prevent further crimes. It will make all of us safer? But would it? Where's the guarantee of that? Why does the state have to assume that criminal behavior is a given? And why should the government decide who goes to an specific prevention program or who doesn't based on what a computer says? The fact is that, even if the software was 99.99% accurate, there will be always an innocent person who will be fucked. And that is exactly why we have something called due process and the presumption of innocence. That's why those things are not only in the United States Constitution, but in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights too.

To restore Haiti, reforest its denuded hills

A NASA satellite image shows bare dirt on Haiti's side of the border and greenery in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Columbus found Haiti a place of lush plants. Exploitation destroyed that, and the population. Now, there's a chance to help the people and the environment by putting Haitians to work restoring the natural heritage.

The world has mounted a determined effort to relieve the immense human suffering in Haiti. It is a remarkable outpouring of compassion that includes grassroots efforts to solicit donations on handheld devices, giant military transport planes loaded with food and water, and the quiet heroism of thousands of non-governmental relief workers, and it now seems well on its way toward meeting the immediate needs. As that monumental task is accomplished, and the attention of the world's media shifts elsewhere, the challenge of creating a decent future for the people of Haiti will likely remain, because normal life in Haiti was unacceptably perilous even before the earthquake.

If there is to be any real hope for Haiti, a long-term and multi-faceted recovery effort must be mounted on a scale the world has rarely achieved. Fortunately, former President Clinton and many others are already looking ahead to that task, drawing up plans to rebuild the nation's homes, government buildings, ports, and roads. A group of us in Seattle and beyond, many from Federal Way-based World Vision, have suggested that the plan for rebuilding Haiti should also include a major campaign to put Haitians to work restoring the "natural capital" of their country — the once-verdant forests and clean rivers that were destroyed long ago, but ought to be restored as a birthright for future generations and a cornerstone of the nation's future prosperity.

Industrial State Dems Lay Out Climate Bill Demands

A key block of Democrats from industrial states signaled on Thursday that they could be willing to vote for a comprehensive climate and energy bill—if the three senators working on the measure include strong measures to protect manufacturers. The list of demands comes as the bill's authors scramble to gather votes ahead of an anticipated roll out in the coming weeks.

The bill, the senators write, should include measures that can keep and create jobs in America, particularly in the manufacture of things like wind turbines, solar panels, and advance vehicles. They call for new loans and tax credits for companies that manufacture clean technologies, and for funding for the research and development of new low-carbon technologies. They also call for a carbon cap that insulates energy-intensive industries from rising fuel prices by phasing them into a cap over time, limiting the price of emissions, making sure that companies can buy offsets, investing in carbon capture and storage technology, and creating a "regionally equitable distribution of allowances."

The senators called for a border adjustment, or a fee set on goods coming in from countries that don't have a cap on pollution. This is one of the more contentious issues on their list. These senators have made it clear that this is "necessary to promote comparable action from other countries and prevent carbon leakage," and they won't vote for a bill that lacks one. The House-passed climate bill gave the president the power to levy a fee on goods from countries that aren't abiding by an international climate agreement, but Obama criticized the measure as being too "protectionist."

They also ask for the bill to preempt state and local rules on carbon emissions, which may also be a sore spot in the debate.

Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Carl Levin (Mich.), Arlen Specter (Pa.), 
Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Debbie Stabenow -Mich.), Robert Casey (Pa.), Mark Warner (Va.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Evan Bayh (Ind.) and Robert Byrd (W.Va.) all signed the letter.

Is this a good sign in the final days before a bill is to be released? I would venture to say yes. Several of these senators (like Bayh and McCaskill) have seemed unlikely to vote for any package that includes a cap on carbon. A clear wish-list is likely a good sign that they are considering supporting the bill the climate troika produces if these requests are met.


The original idea for Record Store Day was conceived by Chris Brown, and was founded in 2007 by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally.

This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, djs spinning records and on and on. Metallica officially kicked off Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Francisco on April 19, 2008 and Record Store Day is now celebrated the third Saturday every April.

This just in: Watch a great video about some of this year's releases. Hosted by Chris Brown of the New England indie chain Bull Moose (and he's modest, but we're gonna give him some extra special props: Record Store Day? Yeah, that was his idea.)


It's getting crazy up in here. All kinds of releases are coming out of the woodwork, and we've tried to put together a comprehensive list download here. (and webpage here) A couple of things to keep in mind: There will most likely be additions to this list, and things even we don't know about yet. We'll add releases and details as we learn them. And if something is limited, we've listed that here as well. And yeah, most Record Store Day releases are limited. And some of them are super-CRAZY limited. Also, we don't tell a store what to bring in, nor do we sell the pieces ourselves. That is a relationship between store and distributor, and not all stores will have all pieces, and there are probably going to be some pieces that no store has enough of. That's what limited releases are all about. So talk to your favorite store: find out what they will have, tell them what you want. And here's hoping everyone gets what's on their list for Record Store Day. Follow us on Twitter for faster updates, in 140 characters or less.

Celebrating 4:20 a little early - The International Cannabis & Hemp Expo comes to Cow Palace

by Carol Hilker 

Catch the International Cannabis & Hemp Expo this weekend at Cow Palace

The Cow Palace is notorious in these parts.  It's been the site of many events over the years, hosting everything from roller derbies to Dicken's fairs and even last years gun show.  

This weekend,  the Cow Palace in Daly City is about to put on its most controversial trade show up to date;  The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo is coming to the Cow Palace for the first time ever on April 17 and April 18. (Yes, the weekend before 4:20) from 10am to 6pm.

It's a chance for the public to learn about the medical marijuana trade from vendors and speakers and see 100,000-square feet of displays showing off products to grow and ingest marijuana.  The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo will also feature a patient area with the 1st ever approved on-site consumption space (for medical marijuana card carrying patients only), and feature The Connoisseurs Cup 2010 featuring Celebrity Judge, Ed Rosenthal (Cup tickets are available at the  HopeNet, Sonoma Patients Groups and others.)  All proceeds benefit the hemp industry and medical cannabis community.

Last July, Oakland law passed to tax all cannabis plants. Oakland's auditor estimates that based on annual sales of $17.5 million for the four legal cuts in the city, it will generate an estimated $294,000 for Oakland city revenue in its first year.

Be sure to visit the Oaksterdam University Booth to learn more about taxing cannabis.

The history of the dunce cap