Legalize Pot?

Democratic Massachusetts Representative Barney Frand and Republican Texas Representative Ron Paul will introduce legislation on Thursday to end the federal ban on marijuana as the states decide whether or not to legalize it.

“The legislation would limit the federal government’s role in marijuana enforcement to cross-border or inter-state smuggling, allowing people to legally grow, use or sell marijuana in states where it is legal…The legislation is the first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition.”

More than thirteen states now permit the sale of medical marijuana however the practice is not legal under federal law; this leads to clashes and confusion between local and federal authorities.

In March, for instance, Drug Enforcement Agency agents raided two medical marijuana dispensaries in West Hollywood, California, as well as twenty-six dispensaries in thirteen cities across Montana.

Two years ago the Obama administration announced it would not arrest or prosecute medical marijuana suppliers or users who aren’t violating local laws; a reversal of the policy by the Bush administration that federal drug laws should be enforced even in states where medical marijuana is legalized.

“Since President Nixon declared ‘war on drugs’ four decades ago, this failed policy has led to millions of arrests, a trillion dollars spent and countless lives lost, yet drugs today are more available than ever…”

Whether certain drugs are legalized or not matters little to those who work at a substance abuse treatment center because they will always be ready to offer assistance to anyone who seeks it no matter what.

Floridian Fossil Fortune Found

As it turns out, some of the earliest Americans were artists. A bone fragment some 13,000 years old, with images carved on it of a mammoth or mastodon was discovered down in Florida.

Similar prehistoric art depicting animals with trunks has been unearthed in Europe, however, this is the first in the Western Hemisphere. The bone fragment contains an incised image roughly 3 inches long from head to tail and about 1 3/4 inches from head to foot.

The only other ancient bone found in North America carved with the image of a mastodon was found in Mexico in 1959.
The newly found North American image is similar somewhat to a few found in Europe.

Stout suggested the similarities between this and ancient European art could imply certain cultural contact or movement of people across the Atlantic is quite controversial. This idea has erstwhile been proposed by Stanford and others, though, has attracted a lot of skepticism and criticism from other archaeologists.

SPI Solar and Nugen

SPI Solar, a leading developer of photovoltaic solar energy facilities recently announced it has entered into an engineering, procurement and construction contract with EPC contractor for a 1.69MW DC photovoltaic solar project in the great state of New Jersey. The system is a roof-mounted distributed generation system for on-site power consumption. The project is to be operated by NuGen Capital Management, LLC, through a subsidiary owned by NUGEN.

The SEF being constructed by SPI will be connected to five independent meters serving tenants at the complex owned by North Jersey Development Group, Inc. SPI has recently worked with NuGen on the 5-megawatt White Rose Foods project that is under construction now in New Jersey.

NuGen works with large-scale energy users and real estate owners to own, develop and operate commercial-scale PV solar systems.

Solar Power, Inc. is a vertically integrated photovoltaic solar developer with its own kind of high-quality, low-cost distributed generation and utility-scale solar energy facility development services.

NuGen Capital Management was founded in 2009 investing in commercial scale solar systems. NuGen develops its own projects and partners with other developers in its pursuit to operate and own solar systems. Working with large scale energy users and real estate owners, NuGen serves the long term energy and economic needs of its clients.

Recycling in West Bridgewater

It will be requested of residents of West Bridgewater Massachusetts next month to increase their recycling efforts.

BridgewaterStarting the first day of July, the West Bridgewater transfer station will accept computer monitors, mercury-based items like fluorescent lighting tubes, computer printer ink cartridges, waste oil and car batteries.

Transfer station attendant Rich Jefferson:

“An ongoing problem for us is that some people are still throwing recycling in the trash and it hikes disposal fees for the town…We do have bins for plastic, tin, glass, and cardboard, and about 70 percent of the residents are actively recycling but about 30 percent of the residents still aren’t doing it…One problem I’m seeing is an attitude of being lazy with recycling…but rates will go up and then sticker costs will go up…“Volunteers are available to assist residents during the week after 11:30 a.m. at the transfer station and all day on Saturdays…”

The SEMASS Resource Recovery Facility charges West Bridgewater about $140 per load for trash disposal, that contains eight to 12 tons per haul. The town averages 12 to 20 loads per month. Currently residents pay $65 per year per vehicle just for a transfer station sticker

Oconee Nuclear Station: Analog is Still Alive

Enough already about the Arab Spring, the digital revolution is now coming to America’s nuclear power plants.
In the coming weeks, technicians will finish installing digital controls for the safety systems and operating of a nuclear reactor in South Carolina.

In a country where a digital blender may be bought for about $25 at Walmart, the Oconee Nuclear Station reactor will be the first of 104 reactors in the United States not controlled with the analog technology that brought the world cassette tapes and slide rules.

It has taken nuclear power plants so long to go digital because regulators wanted assurances the new control systems were as reliable as the old ones and could not be compromised by hackers.

“The systems in the plants right now, they are doing an excellent job. The plants are very safe – they’ve been doing their jobs for years…”

The catch behind going digital is saving money. Usually, systems in a nuclear power plant are monitors that bare four sensors. If more than one of them have out-of-whack readings, engineers often have to “trip” the plant, or shut it down, until the problem is resolved. If a nuclear plant is idle for a day or more, it may end up costing the utility company upwards of $2 million.

According to Jere Jenkins, director of Radiation Labs at Purdue University:

“Those utilities need to keep those plants running. To have unplanned outages as a result of an analog system isn’t doing what we need it to do – that’s a financial risk…”

Missouri Disaster, at least 89 Dead

The gigantic tornado which tore a 6-mile path through southwestern Missouri killed at least 89 people as it slammed into a hospital in the city of Joplin, crushing cars and leaving a forest of split tree trunks behind where once whole neighborhoods stood.

Authorities cautioned that the death toll could climb as search and rescue teams continue their efforts. Their task was made worse as a new thunderstorm with strong winds and rain pelted part the city with hail.

Mark Rohr, the Joplin City manager announced the number of known dead at a pre-dawn news conference outside the rubble where a hospital once stood. Rohr said the twister cut a path almost 6 miles long and more than a half-mile wide through the center of town. Much of the city’s south side was leveled, with schools, churches, businesses and homes reduced to ruins.

Keith Stammer, the Jasper County emergency management director said about 2,000 buildings were damaged, while Mitch Randles, the Joplin fire chief estimated the damage covered more than a quarter of the city of about 50,000 people some 160 miles south of Kansas City.

House Boats on Gowanus Canal

Four houseboats currently docked in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, one of the country’s most-polluted waterways have so far shirked inspection from the city agencies who monitor safety regulations.

Three of these boats are occupied by “hipster twenty-somethings“, known in the neighborhood for throwing wild canal parties late into the night, and by “pretty girls sunbathing on the decks.”

The fourth houseboat, docked a little further South on the canal, is the abode of one Adam Katzman, an environmentalist who has been living in the 350 square foot “Jerko” for the past two years.

Katzman bought the boat for $1, before souping it up with a homemade rain harvesting and filtration system, solar panels and a “humanure” composting toilet; all in an experiment to live autonomously and without the aid of common modern technologies.

Katzman and his water-bound neighbors’ future remains unknown. While all the canal houseboaters have received permission to dock from the local property owners, none have yet to pass city Buildings and Fire department safety inspections to be considered legal.

It’s Rainin’ Down in Mississippi

The Mississippi River which is now at almost 48 feet as of last Tuesday, measured from Memphis, Tennessee, is just inches away from the record set in year 1937. As the enormous surge of water works its way further south, residents in places like the Mississippi Delta are now becoming ready for historic flooding.

Recent photos taken from the ground photos of the floods along the Mississippi show the niggling disaster which Mississippi locals are being forced to deal with on a daily basis. Shocking photos now are being released from NASA that show the extent of the disaster’s damage seen on a much much wider scale – that is outer space!

The images placed along this text show the Mississippi River both before and after the commencement of the flooding around Memphis, Tennessee. Taken by the Thematic Mapper on NASA’s Landsat 5 satellite, the photos show the river on both May 10, 2011 and April 21, 2010.

Fracking Incident in PA

Tons of gallons of fracking fluid spilled last Tuesday in Pennsylvania, following an accident at The Chesapeake Energy (natural gas) well in Bradford County.

WNEP reported:

“The well blew near the surface, spilling thousands and thousands of gallons of frack fluid over containment walls, through fields, personal property and farms, even where cattle continue to graze.”

Deputy director of the county emergency management agency, Francis Roupp, told the Associated Press there were no injuries, and while the spilled fluids reached a small stream, “no adverse effects” were reported.

Roupp posits a cracked well casing might be the culprit behind the fracking spill, however, certain details will not be known until the situation is under control.

Seven families have been evacuated as a result of the spill.

The chemicals used in fracking fluids are a contentious issue, as myriad energy companies have long guarded them as a “trade secret.” A recent report released by three House Democrats says that millions of gallons of hazardous chemicals and known carcinogens, like methanol, have been injected into wells across the country by energy companies using the controversial fracking method.

Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry is facing intense public scrutiny, as Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the Gulf oil spill.

Victory for Those Opposed to Capital Punishment

A pharmaceutical company in India recently announced it would no longer supply a crucial drug to death-penalty states in America.

The decision was an important victory for opponents of the death penalty in the U.S., who lobbied the company and Indian authorities, and leaves capital-punishment states and the federal government with no immediate supplier of the anaesthetic, sodium thiopental.

The Indian firm, Kayem, already sold thiopental to South Dakota and Nebraska, and was approached by 13 other states to buy it..

Earlier this week, the company said on its website it would no longer be selling the drug for lethal-injection purposes.

In view of the sensitivity involved with sale of our Thiopental Sodium to various Jails/Prisons in USA and as alleged to be used for the purpose of Lethal Injection, we voluntary declare that we as Indian Pharma Dealer who cherish the Ethos of Hinduism ( A believer even in non-livings as the creation of God) refrain ourselves in selling this drug where the purpose is purely for Lethal Injection and its misuse.

Without a sufficient supply of thiopental, states are forced to turn to an alternative drug: pentobarbital. It may be used as an anesthetic or as a single death-inducing drug instead of the tripartite cocktail.