Wednesday, July 30, 2008

stray bullets

How medical marijuana is transforming the pot industry Most researchers agree that the value of the U.S. marijuana crop has increased sharply since the mid-nineties, as California and twelve other states have passed medical-marijuana laws. A drug-policy analyst named Jon Gettman recently estimated that in 2006 Californians grew more than twenty million pot plants. He reckoned that between 1981 and 2006 domestic marijuana production increased tenfold, making pot the leading cash crop in America, displacing corn. A 2005 State Department report put the country’s marijuana crop at twenty-two million pounds. The street value of California’s crop alone may be as high as fourteen billion dollars. (via)

For Some Products, Prices Have Been Falling A fair bit in the last ten years, too. (via)

Unidentified Flying Threats A healthy skepticism about extraterrestrial space travelers leads people to disregard U.F.O. sightings without a moment’s thought. But in the United States, this translates into overdependence on radar data and indifference to all kinds of unidentified aircraft — a weakness that could be exploited by terrorists or anyone seeking to engage in espionage against the United States. (via)

Extradition appeal for British hacker dismissed A British hacker who admitted breaking into U.S. military computers hoping to uncover evidence of UFOs looks set to be extradited to the U.S. after the highest British court dismissed his appeal against the extradition on Wednesday. This guy is facing 60 years in prison for "hacking" wide open, non-password-protected military computers using a 56k modem. It was found afterward that entire suites of computers were unprotected by the most basic login passwords. They should give this guy a medal and throw their sysadmins in prison. Our government is an embarrassment. (more)

Hacking Without Exploits Black Hat researchers will demonstrate how the bad guys are quietly raking in big bucks without ninja hacking skills, tools, or exploit code (via)

Man deposits millions, one tattered bill at a time For years, authorities say, he and his family have popped in and out of U.S. banks, looking to change about $20 million in decaying $100 bills for clean cash, offering ever-changing stories... (via)

Building 'The Matrix' Now physicists have created a rudimentary prototype of a machine that simulates quantum phenomena using quantum physics, rather than using data kept in a classical computer. While the new device can't make people fly like the Matrix does, it demonstrates a technique that could enable physicists to create, in the virtual world, materials that don't yet exist in nature and perhaps figure out how to build, in the real world, superconductors that work at room temperature, for example. (via)

One teabag, one spoonful of neurotoxins The PBOI says of aspartame: “The chemical caused an unacceptable level of brain tumors in animal testing. Based on this fact, the PBOI ruled that aspartame should not be added to the food supply.” Add to that all the microwaves pumped into your brain by cellphones and you have quite a toxic brew. (via)

Widespread Flaws in Online Banking Systems
Bush Administration Scandal Map (via)
Six Vacation Photos That Can Kill You (via)
Fly 1950s style From the end of July until the end of the year, Finnair’s retro plane, Silver Bird, will fly to several destinations. The cabin crew will wear 1950s-style uniforms and the beat of music from the 50s will spur the takeoff. (via)
10 Most Bizarre Restaurants
The Bureau of Atomic Tourism (via)
Billy Bob Thornton on his music and movies Big Zappa and Beefheart fan. (via)
Laurie Anderson Interview (via)
Glitter And Doom: Tom Waits In Concert Hear A Stunning Performance, Recorded At Atlanta's Fox Theater (via)
Steve Reich Interview (podcast) (via)
Voodoo Funk Record Digging in West Africa (via)

Julie Driscoll - Season Of The Witch (groovy)
More Traffic in Tehran (even better)
I Love Sarah Jane Excellent zombie short. NSFW
Tank Man A documentary about the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.


Anonymous said...

I love Sarah Jane was first class. That kid kinda reminded me of a young David Carradine

John M. said...

Best zombie movie I've ever seen.

Yeah, like David Carradine in Kung Fu.