Owsley Stanley, icon of 1960s counterculture, dies at 76

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Owsley Stanley, mass-producer of LSD, the drug underlying much of the culture of the 1960s California hippie era, died Sunday in a car accident in Australia at the age of 76, his family announced on Tuesday.

According to The New York Times, “Mr. Stanley lent the ’60s a great deal of its color — like White Lightning, Monterey Purple and Blue Cheer, the varieties of his LSD that were among the most popular.”

Stanley, a talented, self-taught chemist who was known for the purity of his LSD, supplied the drug to such music groups as the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix, and provided the acid for Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, whose antics were recorded by Tom Wolfe in the The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. The Rolling Stones once called his acid “the best LSD in the world … the genuine Owsley.”

He was also an early sound engineer and designed the high-fidelity sound system for the live rock concerts of the Grateful Dead, known as the “wall of sound”. It was essentially a massive public address system made up of 600 speakers that enabled musicians to mix their sound from the stage and reduce distortion. His recordings of Grateful Dead live performances, some having been commercially released, are valued as a documentary of their early music.

Sam Cutler, formerly the tour manager of the Rolling Stones, said of Stanley: “He was a very sophisticated man, an amalgam of scientist and engineer, chemist and artist.”

I remember the first time I took acid and walked outside, and the cars were kissing the parking meters

Stanley was born in Kentucky and studied engineering briefly at the University of Virginia before dropping out and joining the Air Force. In 1958, he moved to California and worked at a wide variety of jobs, before enrolling at the UC at Berkeley in 1963, at a time when drug use was pervasive. He got his first taste of LSD in April 1964 which transformed him. “I remember the first time I took acid and walked outside, and the cars were kissing the parking meters,” he said in an interview with the Rolling Stone Magazine in 2007.

Deciding to provide his own LSD to ensure its quality, Stanley created his own lab to produce it. According to The Washington Post, “Working at first from a makeshift bathroom laboratory in Berkeley, Mr. Stanley produced at least 1 million doses of LSD between 1965 and 1967.” His LSD was widely distributed. The lab was raided and he spent two years in prison.

Stanley moved to Australia in the 1980s when he become convinced the Northern Hemisphere would be destroyed in the coming of a new ice age. He lived in the Australian bush near Cairns, Queensland.

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No assassination plot against US presidential candidate Barack Obama

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Police in Denver, Colorado located in the United States say that three men who were arrested on August 25 for possessing drugs and weapons were not involved in a plot to assassinate US presidential candidate Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention that night.

“[There was] insufficient evidence of any kind of plot or threat [against Obama]”, stated Troy Eid, Colorado’s district attorney who also said the men were making “racist rants” while high on methamphetamines.

“The alleged threats, hateful and bigoted though they were, involved a group of… methamphetamine abusers, all of whom were impaired at the time. The evidence involving the alleged threats does not warrant federal charges now,” said Eid. Authorities in Colorado will continue to investigate the individuals. “The law recognizes a difference between a true threat – one that can be carried out – and the reported racist rantings of a drug addict,” added Eid.

The alleged threat began when an unnamed female who was with the men stated to authorities that they were shouting racists words and remarks about Obama. At least two of the men are claimed to have ties to white supremacists.

The three men are identified as Tharin Gartrell, 28, Nathan Johnson, 32, and Shawn Robert Adolf, 33. Gartrell was the first suspect arrested. Police found him driving a rental truck while weaving around the road on August 25 and with him rifles,ammunition, drugs, disguises, 2-way radios, a bullet proof vest and identification badges for three unnamed people. Johnson was arrested a short time later and Adolf was arrested trying to escape from police by jumping out of a hotel window on the sixth floor. He broke his ankle and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Gartrell is facing charges of possessing drugs. Adolf and Johnson are charged with illegally possessing firearms and possessing methamphetamines. Johnson was also additionally charged with possessing body armor illegally.

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Somali pirates release Greek ship, 19 sailors

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

According to East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme Kenyan chapter head, Andrew Mwangura, the Greek freighter MV Captain Stephanos and all its 19 crew, consisting of 17 Filipinos, one Chinese and a Ukrainian, had been released late Monday, after 78 days in captivity. It was unclear, however, if any ransom was paid. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said that “there are [still] 91 Filipino seafarers on board six ships still with Somali pirates.”

Somali pirates seized the Bahamas-flagged vessel on September 21 near the Horn of Africa, as the bulk carrier, was cruising in the Gulf of Aden en route and transporting coal to Europe. The captors locked the crew inside the vessel and they were not fed well. The vessel is now headed to Italy and will sail from there to Greece, to meet the ship owners.

Reuters reported that “a surge in attacks at sea this year in the busy Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean off Somalia has pushed up insurance costs, brought the gangs tens of millions of dollars in ransoms, and prompted foreign warships to rush to the area.”

How should piracy be dealt with in the Gulf of Aden?
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eBay removes Canadian town’s listing of sperm whale carcass

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Citing violations of its policy regarding “Marine mammal items”, eBay terminated an online listing on Monday by the town of Cape St. George, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, for a 40 ft (12 m) sperm whale carcass reportedly beached upon its shores about a week prior.

With an initial asking price of 99 cents, bidding for the carcass reportedly rose to C$238.03 within 15 bids. Reports variously state the final price of the whale, prior to the removal of the listing from the auction site on Monday at about 2:30pm, was C$2,025 or C$2,075. Listed in eBay’s “really weird” category, the carcass was considered by eBay to be an example of “items made from marine mammals regardless of when the product was made”, which are prohibited as per site rules.

Following a council meeting on Sunday in the town of 950 residents, Cape St. George’s mayor, Peter Fenwick, put the whale up on the auction site in a bid to have it removed from the town’s premises, citing a lack of cooperation from provincial and federal government officials on the matter. “It’s your problem, you solve it”, Fenwick recounted to The Globe and Mail (TGaM) as the response he received from them. Apart from eBay, Kijiji was also suggested as another avenue by which to sell the carcass.

Fenwick told CTV News, several years prior another sperm whale measuring 15 ft was beached in the area, but disappeared without incident, an act Fenwick attributed to be the work of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “This time”, he remarked, “the authorities have told us that it’s our whale, it’s our responsibility to get rid of it.”

On putting the carcass for sale, Fenwick remarked, “We knew we had to do something with it and this seemed to be the least expensive way of disposing of it.” In a news release, Fenwick highlighted a possible use for the carcass, particularly its bones. “The 40 foot sperm whale will make a spectacular exhibit once the fat and muscle is removed, and the town is asking museums and other organizations that could use a whale skeleton to contact the town for further details.”

On retaining the whale himself, Fenwick stated, “As a town we would dearly love to keep the whale and put it on exhibit in the town but the cost of such a venture would be hard to justify.” Fenwick told TGaM the whale was “in half decent shape”. “This one looks like it died very recently and hasn’t decomposed much”, which Fenwick suggested elsewhere was due to the whale’s present location, partially submerged in near-freezing water. However, Fenwick noted its close proximity to a residential area, saying homeowners who lived there were “very interested in seeing the whale gone.”

eBay was not the only organization who barred the sale from taking place. “We also got threatened by the federal department of the environment, and told to pull the ad off or they would prosecute us”, said Fenwick on the opposition he said he received from Environment Canada, which viewed the sale as contravening a federal act designed to protect endangered species. “I received a call from the federal department of the environment saying that you’re not allowed to sell any parts of sperm whales, even if they’re dead.” he added. “So I said, ‘Oh that’s very good, I’m glad to hear that, now can you send somebody over here to get rid of it for us?'” Fenwick’s request was met with a negative response from Environment Canada.

“They’ve got to sort it out somehow. The uncertainty means it just sort of sits there and rots.” Once decomposition sets in, Fenwick remarked the carcass would become a “real nuisance”. “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a whale that’s been rotting on the beach for a couple of months — actually sometimes you can’t see it for the clouds of flies around it — but you can smell it for about a mile”, he added.

On finding alternate means to dispose of the carcass, Wayne Ledwell, a member of Newfoundland’s Whale Release and Strandings, suggested the whale be towed out to a remote area. “They need to do that right away, when they come in and they’re fresh,” said Ledwell. “No one wants to go touch them … everything becomes gooey and slippery and you can’t stand up on the whale and it gets on your boots and you can’t get the smell off and then you go home and the dog rolls in it and you get it in your kitchen and you curse the whales, and you curse the government and … it becomes a mess.” Fenwick said they’d considered the idea, enlisting a local fisherman who, however, judged his engine too small for the job.

Previously, blue whale carcasses washed ashore in the towns of Trout River and Rocky Harbour, located about 150 km further north, and were taken by Royal Ontario Museum for preservation of the skeletons. Fenwick suggested the sperm whale carcass in his town might also meet a similar fate, as the sperm whale’s status as the largest toothed whale might prove to be a drawing attraction for such a facility.

Regarding what he plans to do next with the carcass, Fenwick said “If we’re not allowed to sell it, we’re willing to drop our 99 cent price down to a zero.” He said he hoped some eBay bidder stays interested in the whale. “We’ll be glad to talk to them about giving them the whale. We’re hoping that’s not illegal.” He also said he hoped the publicity from the town’s predicament, which garnered national attention, and its unusual means of finding a solution, would draw in someone interested in taking the whale off his hands at their own expense.

Should the whale fall under new ownership, Fenwick advised it be moved away from the town to a beach devoid of people, and the blubber left as food for seagulls, insects, and other predators. He estimated “It’ll probably take a year or so to get down to the skeleton.” As monetary gain was reportedly not what the town cared about, Fenwick was willing to offer the carcass for free, though one report noted money raised from the listing could have gone towards the building of a skate park.

The listing on eBay, as put up by Fenwick, read:

This 40 foot sperm whale rolled up on the beach last week. The actual seller is the town of Cape St. George which is responsible for disposing of it before it starts to decay. Once the fat and flesh is removed you have a spectacular 40 foot skeleton of the largest toothed whale in the world, great for museums and other attractions. To prevent it rotting in the town it can be towed to isolated beaches on the Port au Port Peninsula to allow the seagulls and other birds to remove the flesh. Call 709-644-2290 or 709-649-7070 for more details.

Please note the successful bidder will have to remove the whale within 30 days

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Ozzy Osbourne’s personal possessions fetch $800,000 for charity

Sunday, December 2, 2007

American heavy metal performer Ozzy Osbourne, who became famous as the lead vocalist for Black Sabbath and later as a solo act, has raised more than US$800,000 for The Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program, founded by his spouse Sharon Osbourne at the Cedars Sinai Hospital, by auctioning off personal items.

A number of the items that he auctioned off over the two day period have been seen on his reality TV show The Osbournes, which featured home life with Sharon, Ozzy and their two children. Amongst some of the higher-priced items were a carved walnut Victorian-style custom built pool table which raised $11,250, a painting from Edourad Drouot which fetched $10,500, a pair of Ozzy’s famous round glasses which raised $5,250 and a dog bed given to Sharon by Elton John which sold for $2,375.

Some more famous items were also amongst the 500 lots offered. Ozzy’s black satin coat, complete with bat-wing cape, raised $3,300 and a hand-painted floral cup used regularly on The Osbournes made $1,625. A bronze plaque of a demon’s head that was regularly seen in its position adorning the front door of their house had been expected to go for $800 to $1,200instead raised $8,750. A wire model of the Eiffel Tower from on the kitchen table sold for $10,000, while skull-covered trainers Ozzy had worn reached $2,625. Bidders came from as far away as Germany to buy what they could from his mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

However, three cars included in the auction failed to attract bidders and did not sell. They were a 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, estimated at $160,000 to $180,000, a 2005 Cadillac CTS-V sedan estimated at $30,000 to $40,000 and a 1950 Oldsmobile Futuramic 88 Club Coupe previously owned by author Danielle Steel estimated at $40,000 to $50,000. Sharon had earlier said of the cars “We’re not great car people. They really don’t do a lot for us.

Darren Julien, president of Julien’s Auctions, which organised the two-day sale, said “It did very well. It raised some good money for a very worthy cause.”

“For a celebrity garage sale, it was pretty spectacular.,” he went on. He also commented on the fact that there was fierce competition for the many artworks included. “We had Ozzy fans bidding against these sophisticated fine art buyers, which you don’t see every day. For the most part the metalheads were outbidding the art crowd.”

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Reasons To Hire Pool Service In Houston

byAlma Abell

Having a pool is a great thing, as any pool owner can tell you. However, what many perspective pool owners don’t realize is that they have to perform upkeep on that same pool year round. If you are the type that just doesn’t have time, or doesn’t feel that you will do the job right, when it comes to keeping up with cleaning and maintaining your pool, you might want to consider hiring Pool Service in Houston professionals to take care of the job for you instead. Companies like Cryer Pools and Spas Inc. can take care of cleaning, maintaining, and make sure that your pool is safe at all times for your family and friends.

Cleaning a pool takes much more than just fishing the trash out on occasion. If the PH levels in your pool aren’t kept at a certain level, then you will end up with everything from algae to gunk building up on the sides and the bottom of the pool, and turning it green over time.

Even when you get the algae out of the pool and it looks like it should be fine, you could end up with viruses and bacteria that can make your family sick, or even end in death if you aren’t careful. It’s better to hire a professional pool cleaning service than it is to take the chance of your family and friends getting sick because you don’t know how to handle the PH levels in your pool.

Besides who really has time to take care of a pool themselves. Taking care of a pool is a full-time job, which means that you will not being spending as much time with your family in the pool, as you will be spending your time cleaning it.

Take the easy way out, and spend the time in the pool, instead of maintaining it, and hire the pool professionals to do the job for you. They are trained to clean your pool, keep the levels where they are supposed to be, and to make sure that it’s sparkling clean and safe for you and your family to enjoy.

Psychiatrist Dr. Jerald Block tells Wikinews about addiction to the Internet

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dr. Jerald Block is a psychiatrist based in Portland, Oregon, United States. Dr. Block has attracted some media attention due to one theory of his – the idea that Internet addiction can be viewed as a distinct mental condition.

In an interview with Wikinews, Dr. Block discusses this theory, including what needs to be done about it, and the alleged violent response that can arise from an addict’s withdrawal. Below is the full exclusive interview.

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US food regulators recall 380 million eggs after salmonella outbreak

Friday, August 20, 2010

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled 380 million eggs and the number is expected to grow, after around 300 in Colorado, California, and Minnesota and 2,000 nationwide became infected with salmonella after eating eggs distributed by Wright County Eggs.

The contaminated eggs were sold under the labels Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms, Kemps, Bayview, Mountain Dairy, NuLay and Sun Valley. Eggs have been sold in seventeen states.

Wright County Egg’s owner has been previously cited for breaking environmental laws.

They [birds] defecate in the feed, which the chickens then eat and can become infected.

In response to the outbreak the FDA deployed an initial team of ten investigators to Wright County Egg in Iowa to inspect the farms and determine the source of the contamination. Although no official statement has been issued, it is believed animals including birds and rodents defecated where food for chickens is stored.

The outbreak is believed to have started in early July, around the time new federal regulations to prevent salmonella contamination of eggs took effect.

According to the FDA, the symptoms of salmonella infection includes fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

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Australian Dollar reaches a 27 year high

Thursday, October 7, 2010

After 27 years, the Australian Dollar has achieved a record high by equating to 98.73 U.S. cents. The previous record was set in 1983, when the currency was floated by foreign exchange markets — since then the last peak that it experienced was in July 2008, when it was worth 98.49 U.S. cents. Local economists believe this is a clear indication that interest rates will rise in the near future.

The Australian Minister for Jobs, Chris Evans, has attributed the spike in the Australian dollar to government stimulus rolled out at the crux of the global financial crisis of the last several years, from which Australia exited relatively unscathed.

The news comes as the Australian Bureau of Statistics released a report stating Australian unemployment was set a 5.1 per cent after additional jobs were gained in previous months. American magazine Forbes magazine recently named Australian businessperson and CEO of Westpac Gail Kelly as the eighth most powerful woman in the world.

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Simple Do It Yourself Steps On How To Quickly Improve Yourcredit Score

By Tim H Lambert

If you have a horrible credit score, do you have any idea on how to quickly improve your credit score? You may think that it is impossible to raise your score from a horrible 594 to an excellent score of 735, but it is possible to do it! Here are some few steps to improve your credit score:

* You can do credit repair with the help of credit repair services that will cost you lots of money, but most of them will not work. Good thing there is a do-it-yourself way to remove negative accounts in your credit report. Ask proof to the collection agencies to show that the accounts are yours by writing them letter. Most of the time, they do not have proof that the bad accounts is your, hence you can delete them to your report.

* Try to open new accounts having high credit limits and remember to keep the balances low. Avoid adding new accounts fast; take it slowly like adding new account once every two months.

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* Additional accounts having years of correct and on time payment history to your credit file improves your credit score dramatically.

* You should pay down all your credit cards and avoid revolving your accounts. If your aim is to improve your credit score quickly, you can forget paying down your high interest rate cards and work on getting the balances down over higher interest rates.

* Even if plan to pay your balance in full, try not to use your entire credit line each month. You should know that the available credit is the average of your billing cycle and that is at times less than 30 days.

* Exercise you legal rights to dispute items that are old and negative. For example, let us say that your insurance company did not pay a medical bill and because of that you have a collections account. What you can do is that persist on protesting that the charge was unfair, or better yet, you dispute the account to the credit bureaus as tell them that it is not yours. Show proofs if possible. However, you should also know that the older and smaller the collection account is, there is a big chance that the collection agency won’t update itwith the accurate information and the credit bureau cannot update also computer records.

* Try the pay for delete technique. If you can get a collection agency that will agree to remove or delete debts from your credit report after paying for it, this will be a good way to improve credit score fast. The technique is applicable to smaller amounts of $500 and below. A written agreement can help you in this technique and it is best that you have them before paying the debts.

* You probably are a credit card user and as you apply for new one, never choose credit card issuers that do not report the limit of your credit. Secured credit cards have this kind of problem. If you do not know the limit, the credit bureaus will typically utilize the highest balance that you used as a substitute to your credit limit. If this happens, you will experience being a maxed out account and it will hurt your score.

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