Category: Uncategorized

Spice and K2 are not “Synthetic Marijuana”

An April 6 New York Times piece was headlined “Tainted Synthetic Marijuana has been sickening people across the Midwest.”  Julie Bosman reported, “Health officials say the patients are believed to have inhaled synthetic marijuana, otherwise known as Spice or K2, laced with a pesticide called brodifacoum that is used as rat poison and causes severe bleeding. The outbreak has sickened 107 people in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana; three of them have died.” Spice and K2 are not “synthetic marijuana.” They are “pseudo-marijuana” —herbal matter onto which a synthetic cannabinoid has been applied. The Times should be a-changin’ their stylebook....

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Widely used sugar adversely affects our microbiomes

Terrific piece in the Times April 6 by Moises Velasquez-Manoff headed “The Germs That Love Diet Soda.”  Trehalose is sugar on which the baddest bacteria —aptly named Clostridium difficile— thrive.  It’s also produced as we digest shrimp, mushrooms, and yeast (bread). There are lots of reasons to avoid processed foods. They’re often packed with sugar, fat and salt, and they tend to lack certain nutrients critical to health, like fiber. And now, new research suggests that some of the additives that extend the shelf life and improve the texture of these foods may have unintended side effects — not on our bodies...

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CA Med Board to Review MMJ Guidelines on 4/20

The Medical Board of California has just sent out its agenda for the upcoming quarterly meeting at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton April 19-20.  The board’s “Guidelines for Recommendation of Cannabis for Medical Purposes” and its two controversial appendices will be discussed at the Friday session probably late morning.  The discussion will be preceded by a presentation from Igor Grant, a co-author of both  appendices —the  “Decision Tree” for recommending physicians (that contradicts the Guidelines themselves), and an “Agreement” warning patients of prospective dangers. 26. Presentation on the Use and Impact of Cannabis to Patients – Igor Grant, M.D.,...

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Decomposition

There’s a line in Norman Greenbaum’s song Spirit in the Sky that says “…that’s where you’re gonna go when you die.”  It’s a great song, but Eugenia Bone has the true facts. Her prose really swings, and she has so much info to impart, that we can’t précis her Easter Sunday essay in the New York Times.  I’m in the odd position of being someone who loves detritivores, that is, things that eat the dead. Believe me, it’s not an easy sell at a dinner party. Usually when I reveal my interest, people recoil. Often when I shake someone’s hand...

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PG&E’s Best Friend: Jerry Brown

A front-page story in the San Francisco Chronicle May 19 implied in its headline and first paragraph that PG&E might not be to blame for the fires that devastated Sonoma County last fall: California investigators have not — repeat, not — blamed last fall’s deadly Wine Country wildfires on Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power lines. But as the sixth-month anniversary of the disaster approaches, many state officials act as if it’s a foregone conclusion…. The real news in the story by David R. Baker is buried. (Newspaper editors used to figure that one in three readers of a...

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