Powdered Alcohol’ Is Now (Mostly) Legal

This is legal but marijuana is not, this all seems very wacky. AVB


The Atlantic Wire 
By Polly Mosendz 4/21/14

The Alcohol, Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has approved Palcohol, a powdered alcoholic drink mix, for sale and distribution.

Palcohol is exactly what it sounds like: Kool Aid for the 21+ set. (Don’t worry, it’s not actually affiliated with the Kraft Foods brand.) Simply add five ounces of water to the powder and enjoy a mixed drink that is “equal to a standard mixing drink” in strength. Created by Mark Phillips, a wine expert, the product took four years to get approved. 

The powder comes in four flavors: Cosmopolitan, Mojito, Powderita (which apparently “tastes just like a margarita”), and Lemon Drop. In an email correspondence from the brand, we have confirmed that no pricing information is publicly available yet, because you can’t actually buy it yet, and might not be able to for some time. However,a prior draft version of the Palcohol website did allude that the product is marketing to cheapskates: “What’s worse than going to a concert, sporting event, etc. and having to pay $10, $15, $20 for a mixed drink with tax and tip. Are you kidding me?! Take Palcohol into the venue and enjoy a mixed drink for a fraction of the cost.” Because exactly what sporting events need is more drinking.

I hope we can agree or agree not to agree any to case let’s keep it all civil

Public smoke-out marks pot holiday in Colorado



So much time, effort, and money lost on a substance that is less harmful than alcohol makes no sense to me. AVB
Associated Press 

DENVER (AP) — Tens of thousands of revelers raised joints, pipes and vaporizer devices to the sky Sunday at a central Denver park in a defiant toast to the April 20 pot holiday, a once-underground celebration that stepped into the mainstream in the first state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana.

The 4:20 p.m. smoke-out in the shadow of the Colorado capitol was the capstone of an Easter weekend dedicated to cannabis in states across the country. Although it is still against the law to publicly smoke marijuana in Colorado, police reported only 130 citations or arrests over the course of the two-day event, 92 for marijuana consumption.

“It feels good not to be persecuted anymore,” said Joe Garramone, exultantly smoking a joint while his 3-year-old daughter played on a vast lawn crowded with fellow smokers.

The Garramone family came from Hawaii, among the tens of thousands who crowded into various cannabis-themed extravaganzas, from a marijuana industry expo called the Cannabis Cup at a trade center north of downtown to 4/20-themed concerts at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater. Acts included Slightly Stoopid and Snoop Dogg.

At 4:20 p.m., an enormous plume of marijuana smoke wafted into the sky above downtown Denver as rapper B.o.B. belted out his song “Strange Clouds,” with the hook: “And all we do is light it up, all night/All you see is strange clouds/Strange clouds, strange clouds.”

The Civic Center Park event is the most visible sign of the pot holiday’s transformation. It started as a defiant gathering of marijuana activists, but this year the event has an official city permit, is organized by an events management company and featured booths selling funnel cakes and Greek food next to kiosks hawking hemp lollipops and glass pipes.

Gavin Beldt, one of the organizers, said in a statement that the event is now a “celebration of legal status for its use in Colorado and our launch of an exciting new experience for those attending.”

Denver is just one of many cities across the country where 4/20 marijuana celebrations were planned Sunday.

In Trenton, N.J., speakers urged a crowd of about 150 gathered at the statehouse to push state and federal lawmakers to legalize or decriminalize marijuana and called on Gov. Chris Christie to do what he can to help medical marijuana patients. Among those at the rally was Jawara McIntosh, the youngest son of noted reggae musician and pro-marijuana activist Peter Tosh.

In San Francisco, thousands of revelers gathered at Golden Gate Park’s Hippie Hill, which has become the go-to spot for the unsanctioned festival every year.

I hope we can agree or agree not to agree any to case let’s keep it all civil

Pipeline delay gives boost to Obama’s political base

Instead of posting our indignation on Facebook and Twitter we need to mobilize and go out to vote. Here in Los Angeles I’m finding it very difficult to register to vote, and this is Los Angeles, I wonder what it’s like in the rest of the country. Below are 3 photosthat should be our primary reason to go out and vote. AVB




WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The latest delay to a final decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline will reinforce a White House strategy to energize President Barack Obama’s liberal-leaning base before fall elections in which Democrats risk losing control of the U.S. Senate.

I hope we can agree or agree not to agree any to case let’s keep it all civil

Here are all the passwords you need to change right now because of Heartbleed

This virus can be a problem if users are not proactive.  AVB



BGR.com By Zach Epstein 
4/15/14 10:03 AM EDT

By now, we all know what a huge deal Heartbleedis. The massive vulnerability in OpenSSL protocolimpacted 66% of all sites on the Internet at the time of its discovery, and now companies are scrambling to fix the issue. Most big companies seem to have done a pretty good job of acting quickly, but this bug is several years old so users have been at risk for quite some time regardless of how quickly a site might have patched the flaw. As such, the cybersecurity experts at LWG Consulting have compiled a great list of all the huge sites that were impacted by Heartbleed.

Do you have accounts on any of the sites listed below? Change your password immediately — and be sure to change your passwords on any other sites if you use the same password there.

Those looking to protect themselves from websites still impacted by the Heartbleed bug should install this browser plugin immediately. It will warn users each time they visit a website that has not yet updated OpenSSL to protect users from Heartbleed.

I hope we can agree or agree not to agree any to case let’s keep it all civil

These ‘Wearable Eyes’ Make Your Face Look More Friendly Than You Feel

This feels very much like a Japanese gimmick, much like the cat ears that sense your mood. AVB


Macrina Cooper-White
The Huffington Post
04/14/14 03:59 PM ET
As any flight attendant or waiter knows, it can be exhausting to keep a friendly smile plastered on your face for hours on end–especially when customers turn grouchy. And looking friendly can be even harder for those of us cursed with a “b*tchy resting face.”

But now a researcher at Tsukuba University in Japan, Dr. Hirotaka Osawa, thinks he has a solution: don a pair of his freaky-deaky robotic eyes and they’ll fake your emotions for you. Just check them out in the following video. For full article and video

The lenses of the new “wearable eyes,” called AgencyGlass, display a pair of virtual eyeballs that can move back and forth, up and down. They help the wearer maintain proper eye contact with others by using an external camera to detect faces and a gyroscope and accelerometer to sense motion. They also blink, and glance upward to simulate a “thoughtful expression.”

Aside from helping college students get away with taking secret naps in class, Osawa believes his device may help relieve people’s “emotional labor,” the enthusiasm and set of proper emotional responses required in many service jobs. Since engineers use robots to extend our physical abilities and enhance our intellect, Osawa wanted to create a technology that could enhance our social skills too, he said.

But the new technology is not without its critics. Some blast it for being deceptive, and others say it’s an example of how our relationship with technology can go awry.

As Simon Head, author of Mindless: Why Smarter Machines Are Making Dumber Humans, quipped in an email to The Huffington Post, “Why not a wearable face and a wearable voice so that we can vegetate in an inert stupor while our cyborg self deals with the world on our behalf?”

I hope we can agree or agree not to agree any to case let’s keep it all civil

67 things you’ll never hear an Angeleno say

I loved this list so much I had to repost it on my blog. AVB


Tourists, visiting cousins and gluttons for punishment may speak such silliness, but true blue Angelenos? Never.

By Time Out editors
Mon Apr 7 2014

1. Look! The Hollywood sign!

2. I’d love to give you a ride to LAX.

3. I’m gonna take a little joyride up the 405 around 5pm tonight. Clear my head.

4. Who does yoga anymore, honestly?

5. The boardwalk at Venice Beach doesn’t scare me at all.

6. Wait, what’s “animal style”?

7. USC students seem so well adjusted and down to earth.

8. I respect our city’s Latino heritage by correctly pronouncing Cañon Drive, Los Feliz and Sepulveda.

9. Public transportation is so practical here.

10. I’m doing this thing now where I only eat gluten.

11. I can’t find a farmers market anywhere.

12. Kale is so over.

13. I wish my agent would stop calling me.

14. There will definitely be street parking.

15. I’ve been a Clippers fan for decades.

16. The housing market is totally affordable right now.

17. Free tote bag? Nah, I’m okay.

18. I’m so glad that developer tore down those Spanish-style bungalows to build these snazzy new condos!

19.  I can name my city councilman.

20. The Grove is a super cool place to hang out.

21. Hey man, those paparazzi are just trying to make an honest living.

22. I’m a producer, but my real job is in the service industry.

23. Let’s grab a quick lunch at Pink’s.

24. Should we walk there?

25. I love hanging out at Santa Monica Pier with all the locals.

26. The night sky is so breathtaking here.

27. Why yes, I would like to go on a celebrity home tour!

28. This taco truck sucks. Let’s go to Del Taco.

29.  Jeez, nobody will issue me a medical marijuana card.

30. Scientology is legit.

31. Money’s kind of tight right now, so I think we’re just gonna go to Disneyland this weekend.

32. Rain, again?

33. The Fountain shortcut always works—it’s like a secret no one knows about!

34. Can I have your autograph?

35. Dolby Theatre.

36. What’s Spiderman doing on Hollywood Boulevard? Let’s ask him!

37. Cash only? That’s cool.

38. Street sweeping is definitely about clean streets, not doling out parking tickets.

39.  Man, I really wish Villaraigosa was still our mayor.

40. They’re not real!

41. Don’t worry, cops don’t care about jaywalking here.

42. Vin Scully? Who’s that?

43. Dude, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is like the eighth wonder of the world.

44. Malibu Wines at 10am? That is a terrible idea.

45. I wish more helicopters would fly over my neighborhood.

46. We have a plentiful supply of water.

47. Let’s hail a cab.

48. Please come stay at our hotel. Nobody famous ever partied/played/died here.

49.  Whoa, these were factory-made with non-organic materials halfway across the world? I’ll take three.

50. There’s room for everyone on this surf break. Paddle over!

51. Let’s go to Hollywood and Highland!

52. Go ahead and wear the other team’s jersey to the Dodgers game. You definitely won’t get beat up.

53. I am not tempted—nor am I made inexplicably ill—by danger dogs.

54. I need to shovel out the car.

55. LA really takes great care of its sidewalks.

56. I’m so sick of avocados.

57. Left on yellow? Wouldn’t dare.

58. I should really pick up LA Weekly more often.

59.  I bet those city officials in Bell were really hard workers. They probably deserved those raises.

60. Coachella is not a complete and utter shitshow.

61. You know what this city needs? More jorts.

62. Carmaggedon ruined my weekend, just like they said it would.

63. I got my puppy from the pet shop at the mall. Couldn’t resist.

64. Craft beer? Boring.

65. I have no strong feelings about the Eastside versus Westside.

66. Chinatown? Never seen it. What’s it about?

67. New York is cooler than Los Angeles.


I hope we can agree or agree not to agree any to case let’s keep it all civil

Hillary Clinton says she’s ‘thinking’ about 2016 White House run

I know I am ready for Hillary.  AVB


Reuters By Peter Cooney 
4/8/14 9PM PDT

By Peter Cooney

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Asked again the question on the mind of everyone who follows U.S. politics, Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday she was “thinking” about running for president in 2016.

Appearing at a marketing conference in San Francisco, Clinton, widely considered the Democratic front-runner if she enters the race, was asked by an interviewer: “What’s your plan? Are you going to do it? You can announce it here if you’d like.”

“I’m actually here trying to get some marketing advice,” Clinton quipped, before adding: “I am obviously flattered and deeply honored to have people ask me and people encourage me.

“And I am thinking about it, but I am going to continue to think about it for a while,” she said to cheers from the audience.

“Part of it is because the hard questions are not: “Do you want to be president? Can you win? The hard questions are why. Why would you want to do this and what can you offer that could make a difference?”, Clinton said in a video of the exchange posted on the Internet

The former first lady and U.S. senator, who was defeated by President Barack Obama in the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, said the United States was experiencing a period of political dysfunction.

“I saw it from afar when I was secretary and it was disheartening and even embarrassing to see people arguing about letting us default on our debt, really, and things that were just so beyond the pale,” said Clinton, who served as secretary of state in Obama’s first term.

“You had to ask yourself what kind of country do they really want. .. What is their plan? What is their vision? So if you’re going to compete in this arena, you have to be able to put forth your purpose and vision.”

Clinton, who has been giving speeches across the country since leaving the State Department last year, frequently deflects questions about her presidential ambitions. The former first lady has said she is considering a White House bid, but that she will not make a decision before the end of 2014.

“I’m not going to make a decision for a while because I’m actually enjoying my life,” Clinton said on Tuesday. “I’m actually having fun.”

(Reporting by Peter Cooney; Editing by Michael Perry)

I hope we can agree or agree not to agree any to case let’s keep it all civil

Supreme Court Staying Out of Photographer’s Same-Sex Client Case


The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up an appeal from a photographer who refused to shoot a same-sex commitment ceremony.The court’s action leaves a lower court ruling in place, finding that the photographer violated a state anti-discrimination law.

I hope we can agree or agree not to agree any to case let’s keep it all civil

Obama To Sign Executive Orders On Equal Pay


President Barack Obama will sign two new executive orders on equal pay for women Tuesday, Politico reports. The executive actions coincide with “Equal Pay Day” — the date that symbolizes how far into 2014 women must work to earn the same amount of money men earned last year.
Both executive orders mirror provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Congress has twice failed to pass. One would prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who share their salary information with each other. The provision is inspired by Lilly Ledbetter, the namesake of the first bill Obama signed on equal pay in 2009, who worked for nearly 20 years at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. before discovering that men in her same job with equal or lesser experience were earning significantly more money than she was.
The second executive order will instruct the Department of Labor to create new regulations requiring federal contractors to report wage-related data to the government, in the hope that it will hold them more accountable for salary differences based on sex or race.

I hope we can agree or agree not to agree any to case let’s keep it all civil