Archive for December, 2011
Marijuana: Fight Back With The Facts – Toke of the Town: “The prohibitionists try to tell us that marijuana is not medicine. The scientific research tells us that cannabis can be a useful medical treatment for a wide range of diseases, and there are literally hundreds of scientific studies to back this up. For a 420-page listing of studies showing the effectiveness of medical marijuana, check out Granny Storm Crow’s list.
Marijuana is medically good for you. Fight back with the facts.
The prohibitionists tell us that smoking marijuana makes us stupid and lazy and unmotivated. But the scientific research tells us that cannabis smokers work harder and smarter than their non-toking brethren. The Rubin Study in Jamaica, published in the 1970s by Dr. Vera Rubin (look it up if you don’t believe me), shows that the hardest workers are the highest workers.
Marijuana is good for your motivation. Fight back with the facts.
The prohibitionists tell us that marijuana is a gateway drug. The scientific research tells us that not only is cannabis not a gateway drug, but is in fact an exit drug from hard drug use, which has shown to be invaluable in helping addicts of meth, cocaine and heroin, along with alcoholics, maintain abstinence from harmful substances.
Marijuana is good for stopping drug abuse. Fight back with the facts.
Photo: American Pregnancy
?The prohibitionists tell us that the smoking of marijuana by pregnant women results in lower birth weights and less intelligent babies. The scientific research tells us that toking mothers have babies that are just as healthy, with birth weights just as normal, as babies born of non-toking mothers. And you know what else the research showed? That the babies of pot smoking mothers scored better on laboratory tests of cognition than babies of non-smoking mothers. Another independent scientific study showed that babies of marijuana-using mothers have a lower mortality rate than babies of mothers who didn’t use any drugs at all! The baby mortality rate among non-using mothers was 13.7 per 1,000 live births, while babies of toking mothers had a rate of only 8.9 deaths per 1000 births.”
News from the Edge | Mayans Ended up in Georgia | unknowncountry: “How did corn, beans and tobacco come to the Indians of the US? We used to think they came from Native Americans who brought them back from their trips across the border into Mexico, but they may have come from Mayans who moved north and eventually settled in the state of Georgia.
For a long time, US archaeologists said there were no Mayan ruins here, but that was probably because they weren’t familiar with the buildings of the descendants of the Southeastern mound-builder tribes: The Creeks, Alabamas, Natchez, Chitimachas and Choctaws. Despite their insistence that all Indians arrived in North America by walking across the land bridge that once stretched from Siberia, these tribes have always claimed that their ancestors came up from the south, and recent DNA evidence shows proof that they were right. “
Jim Sherwood obituary | Music | The Guardian: “Jim Sherwood on tour in Germany with the Mothers of Invention in 1967. His principal contributions came on baritone and/or tenor saxophone, though he could also be heard on percussion and vocals. Photograph: Petra Niemeier/K&K/Redferns
Jim “Motorhead” Sherwood, who has died aged 69, was a member of Frank Zappa’s original Mothers of Invention. He appeared on all the group’s early albums, up to and including Weasels Ripped My Flesh (1970), as well as on Zappa’s solo disc Lumpy Gravy. He later performed with the Grandmothers, a group of musicians who had accompanied Zappa during different phases of his career.
Born in Arkansas City, Kansas, Sherwood first met Zappa in 1956 when both of them were attending Antelope Valley high school in California. Sherwood was in the same class as Frank’s brother: “Bobby found out that I collected blues records and he introduced me to Frank, and Frank and I sort of got together and swapped records.”
At the time, Zappa was already in a band called the Blackouts, but this soon disintegrated. Then the brothers moved to Ontario, California, and started a new band, the Omens, which also included Sherwood. He would regularly jam with Zappa in a string of different groups, and eventually, in 1964, the Mothers. The following year, the band signed a recording contract with MGM records, and set about the lengthy process of recording their first album, Freak Out!, with producer Tom Wilson. At the time, Sherwood was not a fully fledged member of the band, which changed its name to the Mothers of Invention. He described his role on Freak Out! as “just making sound effects on some of the songs”.
After the album’s release in June 1966 on MGM’s Verve label, the band went on tour, then in November that year took up a six-month residency at the Garrick theatre in New York, during which they played 14 shows a week. Sherwood was working for the band as equipment manager and roadie, and sometimes operated the lighting during the Garrick shows. These were a bizarre mix of music and performance art, featuring puppet shows and interludes when the band would pelt the audience with fruit.
It was when the Mothers made their first trip to England, in mid-1967, that Sherwood was finally hired as a full-time musician. It was the band’s vocalist and percussionist Ray Collins who gave Sherwood the nickname “Motorhead”, through his love of working on cars and trucks and motorcycles: “He said ‘it sounds like you’ve got a little motor in your head’, so they just called me Motorhead and that seemed to stick.”
Sherwood contributed on baritone and/or tenor saxophone, and sometimes percussion and vocals, to Absolutely Free, We’re Only in It for the Money, and the doo-wop album Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, taking in the Zappa solo album Lumpy Gravy en route. Zappa disbanded the original Mothers of Invention in 1969 for financial reasons and what he perceived as public apathy, but Sherwood appears on the albums Uncle Meat, Burnt Weeny Sandwich and Weasels Ripped My Flesh, recorded before the split but released subsequently.
Sherwood makes an appearance in Zappa’s bizarre and confusing 1971 movie 200 Motels (“Frank wanted me to play a newt rancher and I was supposed to be in love with a vacuum cleaner,” as he put it). In 1973, he played baritone sax on the album For Real!, by Ruben & the Jets. This was a band formed by Ruben Guevara, inspired by Zappa’s album Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, and Zappa played some guitar on their debut album as well as producing it.
Sherwood appeared on the further Zappa releases You Are What You Is (1981), Civilization Phaze III in 1993, the year of Zappa’s death, and the Läther box set, released three years later.
In the 1980s, Sherwood performed with the Grandmothers, and played on a couple of albums with them. During the 1990s, he joined forces with Billy James and his Ant-Bee project.
James, a graduate of Berklee College of Music, Boston, wanted to express his fascination with psychedelic and experimental music from the 1960s, for which he assembled musicians from the Mothers of Invention and Captain Beefheart’s band. Sherwood appears on three Ant-Bee albums, though by this time he had given up playing the saxophone and his contributions are limited to “snorks”, in which you “snort through your nose, sucking air in through your nose”. He added further snorks to Sandro Oliva’s album Who the Fuck Is Sandro Oliva?!? (1995).
“I just feel honoured to have spent time with [Frank Zappa] and the other guys in the early group,” said Sherwood. “[He was] an incredible person, and his music is just something I enjoy listening to all the time.”
• Euclid James Sherwood, musician, born 8 May 1942; died 25 December 2011″
One of the most intensely propagandistic weeks in the last several decades began on June 5, 2004, the day Ronald Reagan died at the age of 93 in Bel Air, California. For the next six days, his body was transported to, and his casket displayed in, multiple venues around the nation — first to a funeral home in Santa Monica; then to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, where it remained for two full days as over 100,000 people paid their respects; then onto the U.S. Capitol, where his casket was taken by horse-drawn caisson along Constitution Avenue, and then lay in state under the dome for the next day-and-a-half; then to a state funeral at Washington’s National Cathedral presided over by President Bush and attended by dozens of past and present world leaders; and then back to the Presidential Library in California, where another service was held and his body finally interred. Few U.S. Presidents in history, if any, have received anything comparable upon their death; as CNN anchor Judy Woodruff observed the day Reagan’s body arrived in the capital: “Washington has not seen the likes of this for more than 30 years.
In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011 | Blogs | Vanity Fair: “Christopher Hitchens—the incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant—died today at the age of 62. Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the spring of 2010, just after the publication of his memoir, Hitch-22, and began chemotherapy soon after. His matchless prose has appeared in Vanity Fair since 1992, when he was named contributing editor.
“Cancer victimhood contains a permanent temptation to be self-centered and even solipsistic,” Hitchens wrote nearly a year ago in Vanity Fair, but his own final labors were anything but: in the last 12 months, he produced for this magazine a piece on U.S.-Pakistani relations in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death, a portrait of Joan Didion, an essay on the Private Eye retrospective at the Victoria and Albert Museum, a prediction about the future of democracy in Egypt, a meditation on the legacy of progressivism in Wisconsin, and a series of frank, graceful, and exquisitely written essays in which he chronicled the physical and spiritual effects of his disease. At the end, Hitchens was more engaged, relentless, hilarious, observant, and intelligent than just about everyone else—just as he had been for the last four decades.
“My chief consolation in this year of living dyingly has been the presence of friends,” he wrote in the June 2011 issue. He died in their presence, too, at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. May his 62 years of living, well, so livingly console the many of us who will miss him dearly.”