Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Silk Road

Tidbits #28

10 USA companies shifting from making underwear and t-shirts to fix the medical-mask problem

Pandemics breaking out every 100 years since 1320?

Iceland, which is able to test its entire population, found half of those who tested positive had no symptoms.

There’s very little in history to convince us that states are keen on giving back powers once they’ve been awarded. A state of emergency, they said, is justified if the threat is public, universal, and existential, and if the extraordinary powers are authorized by the people, limited in time, and proportional. Covid-19, which has been called “the great equalizer,” certainly fits the first half of that description, but what of the second?

Russia medical team in Italy: “Le COVID-19 n’est pas le vecteur d’une bio-attaque mais un écran de camouflage cachant l’usage d’un autre vecteur inconnu, lequel ne serait pas chimique mais bien biologique.

It is 5 am and watching a documentary on ARTE on Ebola in Liberia. How families were exiled from towns as the virus claimed entire families as in Bong… Death rate of Ebola reached 90% of cases.

COVID-19 has devastated Nashulai, the award-winning Maasai-led nature conservancy in Kenya. The brave community behind this visionary conservation project are staring starvation and destitution in the face. The conservancy relies on tourism, and it’s collapsed. As a result, there have been massive job losses amongst the Maasai who live there. There’s no money, no food, and no healthcare. With rangers laid off, and poverty rising, poachers could soon prey on the conservancy’s amazing wildlife.

I looked at detailed map of the ancient and current Silk Road and connecting rail transport. and ports. Turkey and Iran are mightily in. Syria and Iraq are totally out of it. So why USA, France and England had to destroy and ruin Iraq and Syria? No economic benefit to be generated from this destruction, so why this onslaught?

And why the US Air Force selected this period of pandemics to deploy its stealth B-2 Spirit in European bases?  L’annonce vient du «US European Command» de Stuttgart, le commandement européen des États-Unis. Il est sous les ordres du général Tod D. Wolters à la tête des forces de l’Otan en tant que commandant suprême allié en Europe (SACEUR). L’ «US European Command» précise que la «task force», composée d’un nombre non précisé de bombardiers provenant de la base de Whiteman au Missouri, «est arrivée le 9 mars à Lajes Field dans les Açorres, au Portugal»,

Stealth B-2 Spirit coût dépasse les $ deux milliards de dollars. Chaque appareil peut transporter 16 bombes thermonucléaires B-61 ou B-83, avec une puissance maximale totale équivalente à plus de 1.200 bombes d’Hiroshima. 

The sephardic Jews, those from the Middle East and North Africa, are from the same original roots of the people of the Land, and even their religion is founded on the same stories, customs and traditions of the Land. When they shoot to kill a Palestinian, they are actually assassinating their own father, mother, sisters and brothers. And yet, they are more racist than the “white” Ashkenazim Jews who immigrated from Europe and adopted the German Zionist colonial ideology and transplanted it into Israel.

As if climbing down a mountain is any easier than reaching the top. Before you plan any kinds of climbing, consider studying the topography of the mountain: The safe descent paths must be of higher priority.
I suppose you have climbed a small hill in your life, at least when a kid.  A few of us have climbed high mountain tops, Not with rope and gears for steep climbs of professionals. Still, steep enough for goats…
I am pretty sure you don’t recall how the  mountain was climbed, but you certainly recall the nightmarish downhill challenge to reach your parked car…
The reduced energy can be a factor, but not as essential in your horror recalls…All it takes to climb is two feet, and a couple of hands, and possibly a stick…Coming down could be easier if you remembered to add a few inches of fat on your buttock, and sewed a sturdy patch where it counts. You discover that somehow your feet are redundant going down, hands are still excellent for equilibrium and grabbing on something as downhill speed increases, involuntarily…

Dignity is an accumulation of deeds and holding to right positions. Star with one bold action of “doing what is right” and the rest is a normal way of life of a dignified person. Al 7ayaat wakfat 3ezz fakat

Greece and the Near-East, kept creating myths, but living Gods, proportional to human comprehension. Current myths are out of our comprehension.

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 222

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pa attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory

Hate is a close relative to love when despise is out of the picture. La haine est proche de l’amour, quand le mepris lui est etranger

La mere exhibait ce trait des gens ordinaires de proclamer des insanites: “Je veux etre juste. L’amour de mes enfants passe avant le reste”
Que veux-tu? Ta mere n’est pas assez derangee’ pour qu’on intervienne. Ou le pere.
Est-ce que tu veux vivre ou tu veux mourir? Reflechit pour une fois.

Il a eu la grace celui qui tot dans son enfance decouvre un but dans sa vie qui peut changer tout.

There’s a playbook in Washington that Presidents are supposed to follow. It’s a playbook that comes out of the foreign-policy establishment. And the playbook prescribes responses to different events, and these responses tend to be militarized responses.

Where “America” (USA) is directly threatened, the playbook works. But the playbook can also be a trap that can lead to bad decisions. In the midst of an international challenge like Syria, you get judged harshly if you don’t follow the playbook, even if there are good reasons why it does not apply.

I looked at detailed map of the Silk Road and connecting rail transport. Turkey and Iran are mightily in. Syria and Iraq are totally out of it. So why USA, France and England had to destroy and ruin Iraq and Syria? No economic benefit to be generated from this destruction.

USA strategy is to impoverish all countries it claims are within its sphere of influence.

China wants to eradicate poverty in Peking by 2023: Adopting the policy of “No see, program achieved” by transferring 2 millions of poor people living in shantytowns back to their countrysides.

Same policy adopted by Israel in building the Wall of Shame: “No see Palestinians, all is alright”

Before and after US intervention to bring “Democracy” in a targeted country

Image may contain: text and outdoor
Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, text

It is Palestine not israel.  March 18 at 9:35pm · 

Distribuer une brochure 3an kel al injazaat, wa khali meen mestaw3eb al tafassel yobrom min beit la beit. Bi kaffi hawshaleh la kel hal tajamou3aat

In Lebanon, women married to a Palestinian or Syrian cannot register its children for Lebanon citizenship. ma hal kanoun ma3moul la douwal al jewaar. Kel shi franjeh brenje wa al jensiyyah bten 3ata 3al 7aarek

 

Ella Moss <ella.moss@bembo.org> shared her study this July 10, 2014

In the United States, a Schedule II drug is one that has some accepted medical use, but at the same time a high potential for abuse that may lead to severe psychological and physical dependence.

Cocaine, morphine and methadone are all Schedule II substances.

Imagine opening Twitter one morning to be greeted by tweets from across the nation by young people that quite plainly, without redaction or self-censorship, are speaking about their use of a specific Schedule II substance.

More than that–they are openly joking about this drug, applying hashtags to it, posting photos of them eating and snorting it, and attempting to buy and sell it to anyone who’s interested.

All apparently with no fear whatsoever of being noticed by law enforcement, let alone their friends and family, and despite the illegitimate possession and use of the substance being a felony that is punishable by jail time.

This is precisely what’s happening as I type this sentence, because right now college students across the country are taking their final exams and some of them (an estimated 6.5 million, in fact) are using mixed amphetamine salts to increase their chances of acing the tests.

Sounds pretty serious, right? But when you refer to the amphetamine in question by its brand name, which is Adderall, something interesting happens. People relax back in their seats a bit. Their concern lessens. And if they are college students, their mood might shift even more dramatically. The opening paragraph of this article might suddenly sound like the shrill objections of an over-reacting fuddy-duddy parent or politician.

someone who doesn’t understand that Adderall fits into the modern college student’s diet right alongside a can of Red Bull or a strong cup of coffee--just one of the many options available to boost focus and concentration.

But energy drinks and espressos didn’t send 23,000 young adults to the emergency room in 2011 (a four-fold increase since 2005). Nor do they possess the incredible potential for abuse and addiction that Adderall does.

So is this drug, which shares a classification with cocaine but is simultaneously inspiring memes, hashtags and inside jokes on every social network, a bad guy or a good guy?

I’ve been on a journey around the social web to find out. I’ve eavesdropped on college students’ conversations about Adderall wherever they’re occuring, from the mirky shadows of the “dark web,” where illicit drugs are bought and sold with a crypto-currency, to the comparitively fresh air of reddit and Twitter, where Instragrammed Adderall photos and screenshots of phone conversations are posted as if they’re not about the illegal procurement and use of a mind-altering amphetamine.

Let’s get started

Introduction to Adderall

The chances are, especially if you read the news or have attended a college in the last five years, you already know a bit about Adderall. You probably know that it’s a pharmaceutical stimulant amphetamine used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), narcolepsy and sometimes severe depression. You’re also no doubt aware of its main effects: It increases a person’s energy, alertness, motivation and focus, especially for tasks that would ordinarily strain these faculties. You might also have heard about its less desirable side effects, like decreased appetite, heart palpitations and extreme anxiety. So instead of telling you more stuff you might already know or could read elsewhere, I’ll just give you the CliffsNotes–just the most useful facts about Adderall that are worth knowing before we delve into the things college students are saying about it.

Adderall affects people very differently, depending on whether or not they have a legitimate medical need for it.

There’s more of it than ever.

Two types, taken in lots of ways.

The main thing to bear in mind about Adderall, and this should become hugely apparent as this article progresses, is that young people who take it absolutely notice its effects, often to the point of attributing their chances of academic success directly to whether or not they take it while they study.

To millions of students, it’s the lifeline that will keep them diligently tied to the task at hand, whether it’s reading hundreds of pages of dry information, or taking copious notes on a complex subjects.

But at the same time, Adderall is, with no ifs, ands or buts, a hard drug–an extremely strong stimulant–and like all types of amphetamines, a person can build up a tolerance to it as time goes by.

His or her brain will be drowning in dopamine on a regular basis (Adderall blocks the normal absorption of this neurotransmitter, which results in the intense feeling of euphoria and peaked concentration people get from the drug).

Take too much Adderall, for too long, and you might end up physically dependent on it just to feel normal, as well as depressed, hostile, jittery and paranoid.

And yet the popularity of Adderall continues to soar. We’ve already seen the first sign of this in the ever-increasing amount of amphetamine that is manufactured each year. But let’s go deeper.

What evidence is there to suggest that the cult of Adderall is stronger than ever, both in popular culture and across social networks?

Search activity

If you want to know how interested young people are in Adderall, the logical place to begin is where they go to find out what it is, where they can get it, how they should take it and what the likely side effects will be.

That’s Google, in case you hadn’t guessed. The image above shows search activity for the query ‘Adderall’ over the last 5 years. It doesn’t take a graph scientist to deduce that it’s been receiving more and more interest year-on- year since 2005.

When you refine the search query to “Adderall studying,” the graph becomes even more interesting: Nothing before 2009, then a steady increase every year after that until the present time. You’ll notice though that the line doesn’t curve up smoothly as time goes on–it has jagged peaks and valleys. Here’s why.

Here’s another graph to show that more clearly. Notice how interest in “Adderall studying” is at its peak in May and December (midterms and fall finals), but totally flat-lines in the summer when college students aren’t cramming for their exams.

This is a finding that has been corroborated by chemists from the University of Puget Sound. They tested college campus waste water for traces of amphetamines and Ritalin metabolites at different points in the academic calendar.

They found that during times of relatively low stress, only a few percent of students were taking an amphetamine (probably for medical reasons). During exam periods, however, amphetamine use rose by a factor of 8, with an estimated 25% of students using Vyvanse or Adderall.

So, students most want to artificially enhance their focus and concentration during exam periods. This makes sense. But once they’ve Googled “Adderall studying” and decided they need it in their life, how are they going to get it? It turns out there are three main ways. Let’s start with the shadiest.

Drugs on the Deep Web

Let’s imagine I have an exam in four days’ time and I’m convinced that without Adderall in my system, there’s no chance I’ll be able to absorb all the information required to pass it.

Where can I get some without robbing a pharmacy or mugging a kid with ADHD? It turns out I can have it in my possession within three days without leaving the comfort of my computer chair.

I just need to log on to an anonymous drug marketplace like the Silk Road and add it to my shopping basket. Just like this:

In case you haven’t heard of the Silk Road, allow me to briefly summarize it. It is part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines (often called the “dark web”).

The dark web is a murky, strange place where- -if you’re so inclined–you can buy and sell any number of illegal things, including but not limited to guns, child pornography, fake IDs, cloned credit cards and drugs.

You can even swap bundles of raw cash for Bitcoins, which make up the crypto-currency dark web marketplaces like the Silk Road use to transact goods in an anonymous, difficult-to-trace manner.

The first version of the Silk Road was shut down by the FBI in October 2013, only to be replaced by the apparently more impervious second iteration barely a month later. I logged onto version 2.0 using the Tor browser and a VPN and within two minutes I had the above items in my shopping basket: both instant and extended release Adderall tablets and capsules for an average price of about $10 a piece.

It almost seemed too easy. Then again, the whole process was expedited by drug dealers who seem to go to every length to communicate the merits of their products. Case in point:

I originally located the “onion” address of the Silk Road through its discussion forum on the social news and entertainment site reddit.com. And it was by complete accident that, after screen-shotting the above and closing down my Tor browser, I returned to Chrome to close down the tab containing the Silk Road sub-reddit and noticed this post:

Astrohaven’s pills were among those I experimentally added to my Silk Road shopping basket.

I headed back to the Silk Road to check out its drug discussion forum. Lo and behold, the story was the same, but here I found more specific information on the matter.

It turns out that getting one’s hands on Adderall through the deep web might not be all plain sailing. It was while reading through the Silk Road’s forum that I noticed talk of the second method someone might use to acquire Adderall, which actually has nothing to do with the deep web.

Here a Silk Road user sums it up quite colorfully:

And several redditors back in the Silk Road subreddit echoed the above sentiment with their own thoughts:


This is a huge part of the Adderall debate: The ease with which a young person, especially a student, can secure a legitimate prescription for the drug merely by telling a doctor they need it, and then use and abuse it in whatever way they see fit.

And once they have the pills in their possession, they can do something other than eat and snort them. They can sell them to other students who can’t get their own Adderall, perhaps because they’re uninsured or have already blown through their personal supplies.

An uninsured student might pay $6 to $8 a pill at retail price, but buying them ten at a time from a student who does have insurance (or is still on their parents’), can drop the price to $3 to $5 a pill.

With a military or insurance discount, a college student can buy Adderall XR for under $1 a pill, wander into the library during finals and sell it to any number of stressed out students for three to five times more.

The result is college campuses that are scattered with millions of Adderall capsules and tablets. And I mean literally scattered. Forget the Dark Web. Just head to a college library or classroom at the end of a semester and have a general look around.
Those photos were posted on Twitter, which is my next calling point, and boy, it’s a doozy.

Adderall on Twitter

Twitter is fairly well known as being a place where people say anything and eveything that’s on their minds. It stands to reason then that during finals, some college students will tweet about Adderall. I expected this before I turned my attention to it as a source of information on the topic.

What I didn’t expect was the sheer volume of Adderall-related tweets that are flooding the microblogging site right now (mid-December 2013). Moreover, I had no idea so many students would be as open and blasé about their use of it as they are.

I began by scraping the most recent 10,000 tweets containing the word “Adderall.” It turns out it had only taken five days for these to amass. To the left you can see the profile photos of about 20% of the people who made the 10,000 tweets, along with a few facts about the messages they sent out.

I’ve estimated the gender breakdown of the group by randomly sampling 500 tweeters from the 10,000 and handcoding their genders based on their profile photos. According to this method, 57% of the 10,000 most recent Adderall tweets were made by females.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that females use Adderall more than males, however. Perhaps they just tweet about it more. Plus, there are more young women on Twitter than young men (60/40 in favor of females). So it seems gender doesn’t have much to do with it.

The most frequently used words in the 10,000 tweets (aside from “Adderall”) are more interesting though. “Finals” appeared the most, aside from everyday words, and was included in just over 9% of the tweets. The second most used, “haters,” is an interesting one because it comes from one particular phrase that has been retweeted hundreds and hundreds of times in the last week or so. It’s this:

As you can see, the tweet originated from @AdderallHadMe, which is a novelty account dedicated soley to tweeting different versions of the “Adderall had me…” phrase.

140,000 people follow the account and, based on a 30-second scroll through them, they appear to be exclusively young, college-age men and women. It’s an odd account and its popularity surprises me. I can’t imagine @CocaineHadMe garnering such a following. It’s not the only one of its kind, either. There’s also @AdderallCliches, which also has 140,000 of the same sort of followers. Oh, and @Adderall_XR, with 55,000.

By refining my search to include only tweets containing the word “Adderall” and “Buy” or “Sell,” I was able to get a more interesting insight into how much the drug is at the forefront of students’ minds right now–at least, the ones on Twitter who are publicly tweeting about it.

 

Sat Aug 5, 2017 10:14AM
Arrivée du premier train redonnant vie à la célèbre « route de la soie », le 15 février 2016. ©AFP
Arrivée du premier train redonnant vie à la célèbre « route de la soie », le 15 février 2016. ©AFP

Est-ce la renaissance “eurasiatique” ce dont ont peur le plus les États-Unis à chaque fois qu’ils évoquent l’avenir des relations entre l’Iran d’une part et la Russie et la Chine de l’autre?

Or en dépit de tous les obstacles dressés par Washington, la route de la soie finira par renaître.

Le projet de la ligne de chemin de fer reliant Khaf, en Iran, à Herat, en Afghanistan, sera lancé d’ici une semaine, selon Abbas Nazari, directeur des affaires internationales de l’Organisation des Chemins de fer.

Interviewée par Sputnik, cette autorité iranienne détaille ce projet :  « À la faveur de cette liaison ferroviaire, l’Afghanistan aura accès, via l’Iran, à onze corridors de transport internationaux, y compris à une sortie sur la mer. »

Cet énorme projet permettra aussi à l’Afghanistan, à l’Inde et au Pakistan d’avoir un accès direct aux marchés d’Asie Centrale, d’Europe et de Russie, en évitant les ports et le canal de Suez qui est surchargé, ce qui n’ira pas sans déplaire à l’Égypte et à ses alliés israéliens et américains.

Selon le responsable iranien, l’Iran et les pays impliqués dans ce méga projet comptent sur cette ligne de chemin de faire pour intensifier les échanges non seulement entre l’Iran et l’Afghanistan, mais aussi entre l’Iran et l’Europe car cette liaison ouvrirait aussi et surtout un corridor de transport qui relierait la Chine à l’Europe.

De l’Ouzbékistan jusqu’à Mazar-i-Sharif, en Afghanistan, 27 km de voie ferrée ont été posés par lesquels transiteront quelques cinq millions de tonnes de marchandises chaque année.

En effet, l’Iran rallie sa voix à l’Organisation de coopération économique (ECO) dont les dirigeants ont convenu de la nécessité de construire une voie ferrée qui relierait la Chine au Kirghizstan, au Tadjikistan, à l’Afghanistan, à l’Iran et à l’Europe.

Et la sécurité? 

Abordant le problème de la sécurité sur ce tronçon de la voie ferrée, M. Nazari a estimé qu’il s’agissait plutôt d’un problème politique et que les entreprises iraniennes engagées dans ce projet n’avaient connu jusqu’ici aucun problème de sécurité.

La Chine est le principal partenaire commercial de l’Iran. Et les deux pays veulent porter leurs échanges à 600 milliards de dollars d’ici dix ans, contre environ 50 milliards actuellement.

Les sanctions US contre Téhéran revigorent d’ailleurs cette dynamique. La route de la soie a permis de transporter pendant des siècles les marchandises, dont le précieux tissu, entre l’Asie à l’Europe.

World’s Top 20 Drugs?

Posted this May 28, 2014 (selected as one of top posts)

At the end of last year, Dr Adam Winstock conducted the 2014 Global Drug Survey.

It is the largest ever global medical survey of drug use.

dr adam winstockGovernment drug policy should not be caught up in a polarized debate about legalization .

Drug policy should consider crafting a public health policy that optimizes the health and well-being of all its citizens.

The first step is to treat people who [use] drugs as rational adults who wish to be informed and have a strong desire to preserve their health and happiness and contribute to their society as much as the person next to them.

If changing drug laws reduces societal harms and promotes health among those who [use] drugs and leads to a happier, more productive society with less discrimination and compounded deprivation of the most vulnerable then surely change is worth considering with objectivity and evidence.

Any other outcome would appear to be made by someone who was off their head on drugs!

Dr Adam R Winstock MD MRCP MRCPsych FAChAM
Consultant Psychiatrist and Addiction Medicine Specialist
Founder and Director of Global Drug Survey

More than 20% of people in the UK and about 15% in the US have purchased drugs over the Internet in the last year.

The Silk Road is gaining momentum – could they stop it even if they wanted to? It looks like the War on Drugs has not done anything to prevent or even reduce global drug use.

Download the full report here (PDF).

These Are The Top 20 Drugs Consumed In Australia

last-12-months-drug-prevalence 2014


 photo top20drugsworld_zps681943e1.jpg

 photo drugsonnetaustralia_zps6b487ed2.jpg photo drugsonnet_zps20146e0c.jpg

 

Here are some highlights of their findings:

The 2014 Global Drug Survey (GDS2014) conducted during November / December 2013 was the biggest survey of current drug use ever conducted.

Published in 8 languages and promoted through media partners in 17 countries, it received almost 80,000 responses…countries included USA, UK, Australia, Germany, France, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, New Zealand, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Mexico, Slovenia and Brazil.

Spongebob_drugsThe self-nominating sample were typically in their in 20s and 30s, well-educated, and about 50% went clubbing at least 4 times a year.

They tended to have higher lifetime prevalence of illicit drug use (over 85%) than the general population and one suspects a greater interest in the topic, but only about 60% had used an illicit drug in the last year, most typically cannabis.

Whilst alcohol, tobacco and cannabis remained the most common drugs used within the last year, with cocaine, amphetamine in its various forms and MDMA frequently just behind them, countries showed marked variation in the use of other drugs.

The increasing uptake of other preparations nicotine containing products namely shishas tobacco and electronic cigarettes demonstrate the pervasive presence of diverse nicotine based products in our culture.

The high rates of caffeine energy drinks, caffeine tablets (and in some countries like Germany even intranasal caffeine) demonstrate the market for this legal stimulant is as strong as ever.

Prescribed and non-prescribed psychoactive medication particular opioid painkillers and benzodiazepines were frequently in the top 10 drugs used by GDS populations in the last year, with their use, non-medical and problematic use being particularly high in the USA and New Zealand being dominant forces. Other medications that crossed over into the recreational drug scene such as GHB, methyphenidate (Ritalin) and ketamine were more sporadically distributed.

Drugs prices varied widely – the average price of gram of high potency cannabis being 12 euros but varied almost fourfold from 6 euros in Spain to over 20 in Ireland.

Cocaine remained the most expensive drug at mean global single gram purchase price of 100 euros / gram (ranging in price from 50 in parts of Europe to over 250 in NZ, which also had the most expensive MDMA as well).

Regardless of price, cocaine was voted the worst value for money drug in the world, with a mean score of 3.4/10. MDMA was voted the best value for money drug in the world.

The Belgians were the most satisfied with their cocaine with a mean rating of 5.5/10 and the Australians the least with rating of 2.2.

The use of ‘research chemicals and legal highs (including substances sold as bath salts, and synthetic cannabis products) varied widely between countries. The biggest users were those in USA with over one in 5 having used one of these compounds in the last year.

The worst drug of them all is still the most readily available one: alcohol.

Alcohol remained the biggest cause of concern among friends and the biggest culprit in sending people to Emergency Department.

The percentage of last year drinkers who had sought emergency again varied widely from an average of just 1%, to 0.7% in France to over 2% in Ireland.

Awareness of national drinking guidelines was universally poor with over 40% of drinkers being unsure of their countries drinking guidelines.

The Germans were most clueless with 65% being unsure of them, the Danes the best informed with only 8% reporting they did not know them (that did not stop 1.5% of last year’s Danish drinker seeking emergency medical treatment following drinking last year).

war on drugsThe rates of seeking emergency medical treatment for other drugs other than alcohol varied widely.

Further research is required to determine the factors that underlie the 3 fold difference in seeking emergency medical treatment (EMT) following the use of MDMA between Switzerland with the lowest rate of seeking EMT (03% of last year users) and the USA, The Republic of Ireland and France (09.1-1%).

MDMA in Switzerland leads to far fewer hospitalizations than in the US. Just because it’s called “Molly“, doesn’t mean you know what’s in it kiddies – be careful.

2013 saw more press coverage about ecstasy related deaths in the UK than there had been for years. Was it PMA? Was it bad ventilation and dehydration?

Was it deaths to weird and wonderful novel psychoactive drugs (aka legal highs)? …rarely was PMA the only thing taken, with MDMA and alcohol usually being present…almost 3 fold increase in those seeking EMT following the use of MDMA in the UK (from 0.3% in GDS2013 to 0.8% in GDS2014)…Twice as many people reported taking powder than pills, over half has also used alcohol. 

They likes their medicine green in the good ‘ole US of A:

cartoon camper caravanOur huge study of over 38,000 cannabis users showed that the USA was home to safest smokers – with only 7% choosing to smoke cannabis with tobacco followed by NZ (25%) , compared to over 80% of smokers in most other countries.

Although the most sensible cannabis smokers, the USA was the worst place to get caught with cannabis with over 17% reporting that it impacted on their education, employment, and travel…among all illegal drugs, cannabis was the drug that most people wanted to use less of and help with in reducing their use.

This confirms that for some users (perhaps 10-20%) cannabis can be associated with problems. For many dependent users, withdrawal on stopping will also be an issue with sleep disturbance, weird dreams, irritability, restlessness and craving being the major problems.

A third of respondents had been to work with a hangover, and a sixth had been there while coming down from drugs. Ireland was “worst” (or best, depending on your perspective), with 50% going to work with hangovers.

pacman hangoverTurning up to work hung over or coming down from the effects of drugs was common among the GDS2014 sample, with over one third of those in work reporting going to work hung-over – but less than half of that number reporting going work coming down from drugs.

The highest rates of turning up to work hung-over in the last 12 months was the Republic of Ireland (50%) followed by the UK and Hungary (46%).

The lowest rates were reported in the USA and Portugal (both less than 25%). The highest rates of turning up to work coming down from the effects of drugs was in the Netherlands (25%), the UK and the Republic of Ireland (both over 20%). The lowest rates were reported in New Zealand (less than 8%)

People reported a neutral to positive effect from pursuing harm reduction strategies.

Safer drug use is more enjoyable drug use. Adopting safer drug using practices can reduce drug related risk. The full list of strategies adopted and rated by almost 80,000 drugs users from across the world on 8 of the most commonly use drugs have been published as a collection of guides known as the High-way Code

Such a guide – with strategies put forward but drug users and other drug experts has the potential to save lives, reduce emergency medical service utilization and promote healthier less harmful drug use.

So there you go – read the High-way Code and be a more responsible drug user, even especially if your drug of choice is alcohol or tobacco.

The report makes a strong case for governments to treat addiction as a medical issue:

The overwhelming finding across countries was not that a reduction in criminal penalties would encourage [hordes] of non-drug users to try drugs or for current drug users to increase their use.

Instead it was that people who use drugs would be more open with their family and friends about their use and more likely to seek help or advice about the use and associated health

Part 2. Why Christian Catholic and Orthodox Churches do not circumcise new-born males?

This second post on circumcision was in reaction to Germany making it illegal to circumcise new-born and non adult males on religious ground https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/religious-circumcision-is-currently-illegal-in-germany-until-further-notice/

In the first 3 centuries, almost all Christian sects circumcised new-born males: They strictly abide by the Jewish laws for their daily customs, and circumcision was first on the list.

Mind you that there existed scores of Christian sects, each one forming a specific closed community, reading in particular Books that they compiled, and going about according to a particular set of laws, mostly matching the Jewish laws.

This trend continued until the year 325 as the Orthodox Byzantium Church, recognized formally by Emperor Constantine as one of the official religions in the Roman Empire, met in conclave and adopted four Books as valid sources of Jesus story and his message.

In fact, St.Paul had to fight the valiant fight against all the disciples huddled in Jerusalem in order not to impose circumcision on non-Jewish baptized Christians. Citizens  in the Roman Empire were not circumcised: a special tax was levied on circumcised adults in order to maintain the Temple in Jerusalem. And as the Temple was destroyed by Titus, the tax reverted to the Emperor treasury…

The disciples in Jerusalem were living comfortably, abiding more strictly to the Jewish Laws than any Jewish sects, and they were protected by the Roman Empire civil laws.

As St. Paul started establishing Christian communities every where he traveled, he was lenient on the circumcision law. Learning about this lax behavior of Paul, the disciples got on the road, on the steps of Paul, visiting newly established communities, just to rescind Paul’s circumcision position on the non-Jews, and forcing the new Christians to be circumcised…

By the early 4th century, as the Christians acquired formal recognition as an official religious status, the Orthodox Church started to emulate the Roman laws, customs, and traditions in order to fit better among the overwhelming pagan communities

Circumcision was abolished among the Orthodox Christians and they had no longer to pay the tax on being circumcised….

December 25 was adopted as the birth date of Jesus since Emperor Aurelian decreed as the date of the God-Sun, 260 years before.

Bishops donned purple garments and the pagan glamorous attire (as the Roman aristocracy) and pomp in order to show-off their new higher status among the classes…

The higher the Orthodox Church rose to the status of being considered the main religion in the Byzantium Empire, the faster they emulated the customs and tradition of the Empire and the harsher they persecuted the various Christian sects that refused to follow suit

Those “heretic” Christian sects, called the Churches of the Orient, had to flee eastward to the Persian Empire, east of the Euphrates River and beyond.

The heretic sects disseminated their message along the caravans of Silk Road and reached China and translated their Books to Chinese and to the languages along the road…

By the 6th century, the Church of Rome became the main power broker and imposed its theology as the Church of the West. The Catholic Church particularly targeted the Jewish religion as the nemesis of Christians and being responsible for crucifying the Christ and…

The uncircumcised youth, mostly the peasants and lower classes, were very convenient: They refrained forcibly from engaging in sexual activities (very sensitive penis) and even indulging in masturbation and were practically chaste until they got wed…

The new-born of the aristocratic families that were allied to the current King or Emperor, and supported by the Church, were incited to be circumcised. Why?

Circumcised youth are far more active sexually: the penis is far less sensible to the intercourse act.  These aristocrats were to show their superiority and manhood and were given free rein into raping all the girls they liked and procreating out-of-wedlock better races…

As political situations changed and newer aristocratic families came to power (associated with “usurping Kings”…) the former families were persecuted. All that was needed to recognize the male members of the enemies was to check the penis.  Those who fled to other cities, far from their original locations, they could be sentenced as Jews who were baptized for all kinds of reasons except the valid reason…

No Comments: Kids photos in Xinjiang Uyghur (China), Silk Road…

Mimo’s blog 365, from the archive donotreply@wordpress.com shows pictures of kids ( among other kinds of pictures) in war-torn countries such as Cambodia and the Congo who exhibit the spirit of joy.  I decided to share them with you. You may check a previous post: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/no-comments-gracious-kids-in-war-torn-countries-cambodia/

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, spanning more than 1.6 square kilometeres in the north western part of China, borders Tibet, Russia, Mongolia, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Kasakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It is home to different ethnic groups  like Uyghur, Kazakh, Hui, Kyrgyz, Mongol, Tajik and the Han Chinese. Only about 4.3% of Xinjian is suitable for human habitation

Mimo wrote: “Traveling in Xinjiang was an unforgettable adventure. This month’s journey will start in Kashgar, go across the old silk road to the high mountain of Tashkurgan near the Pakistani border and then go back to end in Kashgar again.

The people I met on this trip were some of the brightest, most hospitable and unique tribes in this part of the world. The name Uyghur translates to ‘united’ or ‘people coming together’, as these wonderful people demonstrate in their great sense of community and age old traditions.

 

 

by ~mimo~

a little boy, a sun flare and a lollypop
the little questioning eyes
 
the beautiful girl with the unibrow
 
questioning eyes
 

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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