Archive for May 23rd, 2006

Mexico Prepares Drug Orgy for US Tourists


CITY – Demonstrators pretend to smoke fake marijuana cigarettes during
a protest for the decriminalization of marijuana
in La Alameda park, in this May 4, 2002 file photo in Mexico City. Police
and business owners from Mexico’s beaches to border cities worried that
a measure just passed to decriminalize possession of cocaine, heroin
and other drugs could attract droves of tourists solely looking to get
high. (05/01/06 AP

Yep, that’s pretty much how we remember Mexican weed
from back in the day: cheap and plentiful, but you had to roll huge fucking
joints to get a decent buzz.

This whole Mexican drug fiasco seems to be another
example of the primacy of spin over substance. As we understand it,
the original
measure was designed to strengthen prosecution by the Federal Drug Police
of dealers, narcotraficantes and major miscreants, while leaving the
nickel and dime trade (including foreign tourists) to the discretion
of the local cops.

Meaning that drugs wouldn’t be legal, exactly, just that the local gendarmes would have the choice of extracting reasonable
fines and
administrative costs for processing stoners caught possessing or consuming
drugs in public. Getting caught would cost 2 or 3 hours in some crummy
police station and 2 or 3 hundred bucks in "fines", without the necessity
of clogging the Mexican jails with idiot Gringo wastrels. Basically,
a more formal and efficient version of the time-honored payoff system
in place for generations.

Meanwhile, the Feds will go for the really big bribes
and payoffs concordant with prosecutions of the big fish, and everybody
will get a slice of the drug pie. So the whole thing was just a novel
and efficient distribution of law enforcement graft.

But once the US press got hold of the story, and miscast
it as a nefarious Drug Legalization aiming harpoons at the soft underbelly
of American indolence, the plan was doomed.

Too bad. Even if the reefer sucks, we’ve heard the mushrooms
kick ass.

from the AP

Seeking Silver Bird for Tiny Golden Cage


In tiny, tiny bits, gold makes exquisite geometry.

Clusters of 20 gold atoms, for example, always come in the shape of a
pyramid, perfect for a subatomic King Tut.

Now scientists have found a new, unexpected configuration: a cage consisting
of just 16 atoms, the smallest hollow piece of 24-karat gold possible.

"The cage structures were not expected, because metal clusters tend
to be more compact," said Lai-Sheng Wang, who is a physicist at
Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The gold cage, with gemlike triangular facets, is the metallic equivalent
of buckyballs, molecules consisting of 60 carbon atoms in the shape of
soccer balls that were discovered in 1995. Buckyballs made a splash in
the scientific world and beyond with their novel, but easy to describe
shape. The catchy name helped, too.

Until now, no one has made similar hollow structures out of metals.

Nano-size gold has unusual, useful properties; for one, it acts as a
catalyst for speeding up certain chemical reactions. Dr. Wang was interested
in the way the properties of gold change with size and shape.

The findings will appear in the May 30 issue of The Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences.

Next on the agenda, Dr. Wang said, is a ship-in-a-bottle trick. He says
he wants to place some other atom inside the gold cage, which might endow
the cluster with new and different characteristics.

But the golden cages seem unlikely to achieve the fame of buckyballs.
For one thing, Dr. Wang has not thought of a catchy name.

"No, not for this one," he said.

from the New York Times

Empty golden cages? Wedding rings?

Killer Cat Put on Prozac Faces Death


FAIRFIELD, Conn. –Janet Kettman says she and her
neighbors on Sunset Circle are always looking over their shoulders in
fear the stalker will strike again.

"He attacks from the back," Kettman said Monday. "You never
see it coming. He has six toes on every foot, which constitutes a very

Kettman said she was attacked twice by Lewis the cat, whose owner was due
back in court Tuesday on a charge of second-degree reckless endangerment.
Ruth Cisero, the cat’s owner, recently withdrew her bid for special probation
and opted for trial because she would have had to allow Lewis to be euthanized.

Lewis will not attend the conference. "He’s under house arrest," Riccio

Neighbors say they have been terrorized by Lewis, saying the cat’s long
claws and stealth have allowed the cat to attack at least a half-dozen
people and ambush the Avon lady as she was getting out of her car.

"I fear for the people on Sunset Circle," Kettman said. "Whenever
you go out, you look in back of you to see if there is anything stalking

"He will not retreat," Kettman said. "His mouth is open
and his tail is swishing."

Lewis was put on the antidepressant Prozac, but his owner was worried he
became too sleepy, Kettman said. Riccio confirmed that Lewis was on Prozac
at one point. He said Cisero has kept her cat indoors, and he suggested
Lewis’ rap sheet is not as long
as his neighbors say.

from the Boston Globe

Some cats are just bad to the bone…