The Adventures of Reefer Rabbit

I remember one time me and a bunch of people were sitting around my room, this was back in my Kibbutz volunteer days, a group of mixed nationalities and cultures, and we were passing around joints and getting just as stoned as we could be, and somebody offered a hit to

Reefer Rabbit

Reefer Rabbit

my dog, Grover, a shaggy, lovable, little ball of white fur. I objected quite loudly, and went on a bit of a rant, a totally inappropriate, or at least out of character, lecture about how animals aren’t people and it was borderline animal abuse to try and get a dog high because they didn’t have the whole social paradigm to fully appreciate this drug, they weren’t seeking it, they’d probably just think they were sick or something, and my friend was looking very repentant and embarrassed but then, when he passed the joint on to the next person, Grover just moved on down the line and sat in front of the joint-holder, in the classic canine big-eyed begging posture.
Everybody burst out laughing and my point was about as firmly disproven as any point ever was. Animals absolutely love marijuana. If you feed it to cows, they will give more milk.
So, it’s kind of humorous when a DEA agent in Utah warns against animals getting high all the time if the state legalized medical marijuana. He specifically mentioned rabbits, and told a funny story about how one time he and his fascist droogies were destroying a plantation of this wonderful plant, and there was this rabbit who was obviously stoned out of his little rabbit head because he didn’t run away.
I don’t quite get how this is supposed to be a bad thing. Is we worried that hordes of crazed rabbits and going to go mad in the desert and start hijacking tourists, slaughtering them and leaving their bodies to rot in the hot sun, while they drive off with their cars? Are they afraid of hordes of rabbit looters flooding into Safeway after hours and plundering the produce section?
Damn. Let Reefer Rabbit have a little fun. Allow these cannabis loving cottontails to do what they like. The world is unthreatened.

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Questions on Quora

When it comes to social media, I’m way behind the curve. I use facebook a lot, but apparently all the cool kids are abandoning facebook, largely because a lot of people my age are hanging out there.
I would like to have more young ‘friends,’ because my facebook page is filled with people dying and having cancer and all sorts of depressing shit like that, but what can you do? That’s life.
I’ve signed up for a few other sites here and there, but it usually doesn’t last. I’ve got a twitter account, but I’m sure I’m not using it to its maximum effect. The news is all filled with the tweets of famous people, but it looks to me like an endless stream of people linking to stuff I’m not that interested in seeing or promising to get me 10 million new followers. I don’t need new followers. The followers I have now aren’t really following.
I signed up for google+ and LinkedIn a long time ago and get frequent e-mail notices, but usually anything that’s on google+ I’ve already seen on facebook and LinkedIn isn’t really of any use to me because I’m not looking for work.
Another one I signed up for a long time ago and get e-mail notifications from frequently is Quora. I haven’t paid too much attention to them up until the last couple of days, but I think I’m going to start. It seems like a place to actually discuss important issues, to ask questions and get answers. There are no cat pictures. There are no people bothering you to play games.
I don’t know why it took me so long to start paying attention to them. I’ll try them for a couple of weeks and let you know.

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5’7″, 190

I don’t know what’s going on exactly with the epidemic of American police assaulting and killing totally innocent people, but one thing has become absolutely clear: this is not just a few bad cops.

Tamir Rice, RIP

Tamir Rice, RIP


Some may cling to the argument that most police officers are just trying to do their jobs, and some may even believe that they protect and serve the public, as they are sworn to do, as they are portrayed on television. I wouldn’t go so far as to say there are NO good cops – but if there are, they are not the ones calling the shots.
What’s happening in Cleveland is clear proof of that. Last November, two police officers answered a 9/11 call, that a man in the park had a gun. They pulled up their car next to the suspect, one cop jumped out and shot the suspect dead. Immediately. There was no time for dialogue, he did not say “Put your hands in the air!” or “Get down on the ground!” or any of the things police say on television. He jumped out of the car and shot.
We know this because there just happened to be cameras in the park and the whole thing was caught on film.
Another thing that everybody can see on the video, quite clearly, is that the suspect was a little boy. His gun was a toy gun. O.K., a beebee gun. It might be enough to wound a pigeon, at close range, but it’s still, essentially, a toy gun.
The officer was never in any danger and any normal adult, whether trained in police methodology or not, would have seen that in about half a second.
Certainly, as Tamir Rice lay on the ground, bleeding to death, they could see he was a little boy. As they restrained his screaming 14 year old sister, they must have noticed they were dealing with children. Even if Tamir Rice had been a full grown, threatening adult, the thing to do at that point would have been to call for an ambulance and try to administer first aid.
That didn’t happen.
If the officer, after the shooting, had said “Oh, my God, I am so sorry, it was a horrible mistake and I am incredibly saddened that I killed a child” it might be possible to get beyond this, but he never said that.
If the Cleveland Police Department had fired him immediately, we might be able to say “He was a bad cop, but the department is trying to do the right thing.” That did not exactly happen.
Now the case is going to trial and the cop has the full backing of the Cleveland Police Officer’s Union, and the Police Department itself. His defense? “Tamir Rice was not the innocent, little child you see on the videotape. He was 5’7″ tall and weighed 190 pounds.”
For my European readers, that means his height was 175 centimeters and he weighed about 86 kilos. Kind of a chubby kid, but not exactly a giant. He might have looked like he was 14 or 15, but he did not look like an adult.
In addition, the police officer has still not expressed even the slightest regret. If he does not get sent to jail, there is something very, very wrong in America.

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Why Do They Want to Go?

Mars One, no two ways about it, is a gutsy project. Four astronauts will go to Mars. They will not come back. Others will go, after a couple of years. The population of Mars will slowly grow. Maybe after a decade or two, if technology advances, some of them will be able to come back. If they want.

Proposed Home on Mars

Proposed Home on Mars


But, they’ll go up with the idea in mind that they are never coming back. That they will live out the rest of their lives in an entirely artificial environment on a hostile planet. They will live in extremely close quarters with a very small group of people, and any trip outdoors will require a spacesuit.
There is no shortage of volunteers. There were thousands of applicants for the job. Some people seem surprised about that.
It shouldn’t be surprising. In a world of 7 billion people, no more than a small handful will do anything with their lives that really makes a difference. Yet, that is one of the great cravings of mankind; to do something special, to be the first at something, to make a mark, to actually change the future of mankind, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Who has the chance to do that any more in this world? No more than a handful of scientists will make great and memorable discoveries. Out of the millions and millions of writers who are writing, less than a dozen will be remembered at all 100 years from now, and yet writers write, painters paint, inventors invent, and explorers explore, but we’ve run out of new places for the explorers unless they go off planet.
We are like little sperm cells, swimming upstream, blindly obsessed like salmon, but only one will pierce the egg. These lucky few astronauts are the envy of the human race. They are the future, about to be born.

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The Legacy of Spock

Leonard Nimoy passed away just a few hours ago, at the age of 83. Science fiction fans everywhere mourn.
There are few other cases in film and TV history where an actor has been so identified with one character. It’s not surprising. Although Leonard Nimoy had many other roles, Spock was special. Spock changed television. Spock changed the world.

Leonard  Nimoy, 1931-2015

Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015


I was 12 years old when Star Trek premiered in 1966, and me and my brothers were seriously excited. The only science fiction series prior to that on TV had been Lost in Space, and Lost in Space was crap. I think even the people who made Lost in Space were aware of how crap it was.
Star Trek was different. Sure, it was cowboys in space, but they took the science seriously enough that it wasn’t a farce, and Spock was a big part of that. The fact the he was always logical and super smart was a great plot device because it meant he could explain the plot as it went along. Also, he was the only alien on the crew. Future Star Trek incarnations learned from his popularity, and rectified that under-representation. He was the Jackie Robinson of alien characters in Sci-Fi series.
As an actor, as a character, and as a human being, he will be sorely missed. Thank you, Leonard Nimoy, for your life.

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The Lights are On. Is Anybody Home?

When I was in 4th grade, I had a bit of a crush on a girl named Dawn,so I like the name.
The Dawn I’m writing about now is a spacecraft,and it’s getting closer every day to a rendezvous with Ceres. Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt and technically a dwarf planet. It’s the reason Pluto got demoted. It was either that or allow Ceres, and two or three other bodies, to be called planets. I guess the scientists figured that schoolkids needed a break and it would be easier to memorize 8 planets than 9, certainly rather than 11.

Signal from Ceres

Signal from Ceres


This is the first time a spacecraft will have a close up view of Ceres, in fact it’s now as close as we’ve ever been so every day between now and March 6th will give us a better and brighter view.
The trippy thing is, the thing that makes this expedition suddenly gossipworthy, is that there are two bright lights shining from the planets surface.
Of course, it will probably turn out to be nothing. The face on Mars, which was in all the anthologies of weird, unexplained phenomenon, wound up just looking like any other rock once we got a closer view. Ditto the canals of Mars. So, no life on Mars, we know that now.
But, counting moons, asteroids, comets, and assorted debris, there are still a whole lot of heavenly bodies we have not explored in this Solar System, and that’s all we’re going to be exploring for quite a while yet, because everything else is way too far away.
So, up until they figure out that it’s a patch of ice, or some reflective mineral, I’m assuming that E.T. is down there, trying to contact us.
Because that’s definitely the most interesting possibility.

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Now, Will You Believe Us?

For a long time, people who for some reason don’t want to believe that Global Climate Change (I don’t want to use the phrase Global Warming since it apparently confuses people) is caused by human activity (and why they so adamantly want to believe this, I don’t know -maybe it has to do with some mistaken notions about ‘jobs’ or, even more nebulously ‘the economy’) have clung to the fact that “not all scientists agree on this.”

Willie Soon

Willie Soon


That is true. Although the ratio is something like 97% to 3% that is, indeed, less than 100%.
Well, it just got a lot closer to 100%, and in rather dramatic fashion.
Wei Hock “Willie” Soon, one of the most often quoted scientists among that 3 percent, was exposed a couple of days ago. It turns out that he’s been paid over a million dollars by the oil industry to make that point. The ‘donations’ came from a few different companies, probably so it wouldn’t be too obvious, but a couple hundred thousand of it came directly from the Koch brothers.
So, his credibility is shot. You can’t quote him any more.
The strange thing is, I don’t really blame Soon. Sure, he was willing to sell out future generations for a lousy million bucks, but a million bucks is a million bucks and a lot of basically decent people would have been sorely tempted. I’m sure he said to himself things like “If I don’t do it, they’ll just find somebody else,” and maybe “Well, it COULD be true.” Nah, he probably never said that second one.
But the first one is true,and now the billionaire’s money will flow to the next sell out scientist in line. In the interests of truth, it would be a good idea at this point to investigate the finances of all scientists who deny man-made global climate change.
The number who believe it’s really happening might turn out to be 100% after all.

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