Category: Dispatches

Issa v. Holder

By Fred Gardner All my life I would have sympathized with the Black man being hounded by a vicious Caucasian (who happens to be the richest man in the United States Congress). But watching Attorney General Eric Holder taking verbal abuse from Rep. Darrell Issa last week, all that came to mind were lines by Martin Niemoller, a German Presbyterian pastor who spent seven years in a concentration camp: First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak...

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Add Plants Worth Pushing

Indigo Rose (The Purplest Tomato) There’s a new tomato in town, Indigo Rose. She gets her dark skin from from high levels of anthocyanins —flavonoids that contribute purple pigment to eggplants (and Cannabis), red to grapes, blue to blueberries. Anthocyanins are potent anti-oxidants. If you have access to some soil in a place that gets sun, it’s not too late… Indigo Rose tomatoes are for sale as starts in 4-inch pots from Kassenhoff Growers. Look for their booth at the farmers market across from the Grand Lake Theater Oakland on Saturdays, and the farmers market at the DMV Parking Lot on Sunday. Kassenhoff plants are beautifully healthy and ready to take off. The Indigo Rose was “developed by Jim Myers at Oregon State University using traditional plant breeding techniques,” according to the Johnny’s Catalog. In the accompanying photo they look like big Bing cherries (which are also high in anthocyanins).  Some hip dispensary ought to buy a thousand seeds (price: $10.15) and give out packets. Kassenhoff Growers got their Indigo Rose seeds from Fedco, a co-op in Maine that  tries to exclude genetically-modified seeds from their product line. “We all share the reality of genetic drift,” says a sad riff on the Fedco website explaining why they can’t guarantee that every seed they sell will be GMO-free. “To help ensure the purity of our seed, we have for the...

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The Wonders of MAGL Inhibition

On the cover of the current issue of Breakthroughs, the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources alumni magazine, is a staged photo of a young scientist holding up a slide with an image of a marijuana leaf, as if seriously studying it. The light reflects the image of the leaf onto his eyeglasses. The scientist is Daniel Nomura, an assistant professor described as “a chemical physiologist” in Mark MacNamara’s informative profile. Nomura is actually studying the steps by which the enzyme that breaks down the endocannabinoid 2-AG is produced. Nomura had identified that enzyme —monoglycerol lipase, abbreviated MAGL, pronounced Mag-L— while...

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New York Times Acknowledges Endocannabinoid System

At the recent Patients Out of Time conference in Tucson, Greg Gerdeman discussed a study he had conducted with anthropologists at the University of Arizona led by David Raichlin. O’S News Service summed it up this way: “Running and other forms of aerobic activity increase production of anandamide —the neurotransmitter that THC imitates— in the brains of certain mammals, including people. The authors… suggest that the brain’s reward system provided a neurobiological incentive for our remote ancestors to run for long distances.  The incentive promoted survival and thus helped shape the evolution of the human body.” On Tuesday, May 1, the...

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The Exploitation of Chamique Holdsclaw

William Rhoden’s long piece in the NY Times Feb. 24 about Chamique Holdsclaw ‘sharing her struggles’ with students could have come right out of Big Pharma’s playbook for the original Prozac marketing campaign. The great hoopster is evidently shilling for “a mental health advocacy group” called ‘Active Minds,’ that promotes treatment for depression on college campuses. The goal of Eli Lilly and the medical establishment was to convince people that there is a very serious, widespread illness, “clinical depression,” that is distinct from mere “situational depression” and can be successfully treated by doctors —but first you have to overcome...

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