Marijuana debate rages on US Stoner Bowl billboards

Employee Lara Herzog harvests marijuana buds for sale in Denver. The recreational sale of marijuana is legal only in Colorado but other states are looking into following suit.

Welcome to the Stoner Bowl. Not only does Sunday’s National Football League championship feature teams hailing from Colorado and Washington – the two US states that have legalised recreational marijuana use – but the game has become a battleground in the fight over pot prohibition.

Instead of a $4m television spot, pro- and anti-cannabis advocates are capitalising on the hype surrounding one of the year’s biggest events through a decidedly cheaper medium: outdoor billboards.

Spectators travelling to the New Jersey stadium where the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks will duke it out will be greeted by 60ft-wide signs arguing marijuana is less harmful than beer or football and criticising the NFL’s anti-pot stance.

One ad shows a man lying face down holding an empty bottle, next to a football player wincing in pain on the ground. “Marijuana: Safer than alcohol . . . and football,” it reads. Two others show players alongside the question: “Why does the league punish us for making the safer choice?”

The ads are paid for by the Marijuana Policy Project, an advocacy group that supports legalisation and is petitioning the NFL to stop penalising players for using the drug.

“Why would the NFL want to steer its players toward drinking and away from making the safer choice to use marijuana instead?” said Mason Tvert at MPP. “If it is OK for athletes to douse each other with champagne in front of the cameras, it should be OK for them to use marijuana privately in their homes.”

Marijuana advocates have been cheered by rising public support. Fifty-five per cent of Americans support legalisation, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found this week. This month, the New Yorker magazine quoted President Barack Obama saying: “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol” – although the White House was quick to clarify that he was not endorsing legalisation.

In response to the MPP ads, an anti-pot group called Smart Approaches to Marijuana has bought its own billboards nearby. Its ad shows a player under the words “Motivation, perseverance, determination”; a marijuana leaf with the text “None of the above”; and the warning: “Marijuana kills your drive. Don’t lose in the game of life.”

Patrick Kennedy, the former US congressman who chairs SAM, said: “It is not a safe drug, especially for kids, and we need to reiterate the message to coaches, parents, players and teens alike that it has no place in football.”

MPP retaliated on Thursday by adding two more billboards. One quotes Mr Kennedy saying: “I agree with the president. Alcohol is more dangerous [than marijuana].”

The other spoofs SAM’s ad, depicting a tequila shot below the words “Overdose deaths, violent crimes, serious injuries”; a marijuana leaf under “None of the above”; and the lines: “Prohibiting adults from making the safer choice is NOT a smart approach.”

The total cost of MPP’s billboards was $5,000, while SAM’s three spots cost $4,500 – a fraction of the $4m companies are shelling out for a 30-second TV ad during this year’s game.


‘Great Dame of Polish Theatre’ dies aged 101


Nina Andrycz, a legend of Polish stage and screen, died at the age of 101 in Warsaw on Friday.

Known as the ‘Great Dame of Polish Theatre’ , Nina Andrycz rose to fame with outstanding performances as Maria Stewart, Lady Macbeth and Queen Elizabeth.

From 1934 until 2004 she was part of the Polski Theatre in Warsaw and was also a star of the Polish Radio Theatre and TVP Theatre.

Her first film role was in the post WWii musical “Warsaw Premiere”.

She appeared in many character roles in films by top Polish film makers but it was the stage that she loved most.

At the age of 88, Nina Andrycz made her debut as a poetess, publishing three volumes of verse as well as an autobiography and memoirs, for which she received the literary award of the city of Warsaw.

Nina Andrycz was awarded with the Golden Cross of Merit state honour as well as the Gloria Artis Golden Cross.

Nina last appeared on stage in 2011 at the age of 98.

From 1947 to 1968 Andrycz was married to Jozef Cyrankieicz, the five time prime minister of communist Poland . 

11 Surreal Photos From The Massive UK Flooding That Could Wreak Havoc For Months

Southern and western Britain have been drenched by the wettest winter in 250 years, and nature isn’t letting up quite yet.

The River Thames burst its banks after reaching its highest level in years, flooding riverside towns west of London.

Screen Shot 2014 02 11 at 6.52.59 AM

This snippet from Euro News gives an idea of the country’s flood crisis:

The biggest Atlantic storm of the year is due on Friday, with the already half-submerged county of Somerset fearing more misery. The west is now cut off by rail from the rest of the country at Bridgwater. Battered coastal towns from Cornwall up to Wales are bracing themselves for more damage.

Reuters notes that residents and British troops had piled up sandbags in a bid to protect properties, but the floods “overwhelmed their defences Monday.”


Around 5,000 houses have been damaged since December.

A groundwater scientist at the British Geological Survey told Sky News that levels are likely to keep rising for another two months as water soaks through the soil. The Network Rail said that consequent issues with train lines and infrastructure could take “some months” to resolve.

With a liquid floor in much of lower Britain, residents are quickly adapting to the suddenly surreal landscape.flood

Flooded properties are seen as water surrounds the village of Moorland on the Somerset Levels near Bridgwater on February 10, 2014 in Somerset, England.flooding

A resident leaves his flood-affected home adjacent to the river Thames in Shepperton on February 10, 2014 in London, England.flood

Trees in a park by the River Thames, in Datchet, England, submerged in water, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. The River Thames has burst its banks after reaching its highest level in years, flooding riverside towns upstream of flood

A house stands in flood water from the River Thames at Wraysbury, England, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014.boat flood

Nigel Gray leaves his home in a rowing boat after the river Thames flooded the village of Wraysbury, southern England February 10, 2014.flood

The river Thames floods the village of Datchet, southern England February 10, 2014.468343199

A Fire and Rescue crew check on residents in flood-affected homes adjacent to the river Thames in Walton-on-Thames on February 10, 2014 in London, England.flooding

Worker’s continue to build flood defences around Moorland resident Sam Notaro’s house in the flooded village of Moorland near Bridgwater on the Somerset Levels on February 10, 2014 in Somerset, England.


Children react in a flooded street, in Datchet, England, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014.flood

Floodwater surrounds the cricket pavilion on The King’s School sports field close to the banks of the River Severn on February 11, 2014 in Worcester, England. The Environment Agency has issued flood warnings for dozens of areas along the River Severn as forecasters predict more rain to come.

Hungarian film director Miklos Jancso dies at 92

È morto Miklos Jancso, il regista di "Vizi privati, pubbliche virtĂč"

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungarian filmmaker Miklos Jancso, winner of the best director award at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, died Friday. He was 92.

Jancso’s death after a long illness was announced by the Association of Hungarian Film Artists.

Known for his long takes and for depicting the passage of time in his historical epics merely by changes of costume, Jancso won his Cannes award for “Red Psalm,” about a 19th-century peasant revolt.

In the 1960s, critics ranked Jancso alongside great directors such as Michelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman. However, it was his use of scantily clad women, symbolizing defenselessness, which drew big audiences in prudish communist Hungary.

Jancso was born Sept. 27, 1921, in Vac, a small town north of Budapest. His parents were refugees from Transylvania, once a part of Hungary.

“My mother was Romanian. In civilian life, the family members were friends, but politically on opposite sides … For me this was a great lesson, that conflict, much less violence, will never solve the nationality problems,” Jancso said.

Between April and November 1945, he was a Soviet prisoner of war. He joined the communist party in 1946.

“I was always concerned with the problem of the individual can navigate through history,” Jancso said, summing up the central focus of his films.

After directing a series of short films in the 1950s, his 1963 “Cantata” drew the attention of the wider public to his exceptional talent and innovative style.

In the early 1970s, Jancso lived in Italy during which he made “Vices and Pleasures,” about the double suicide of Rudolf, Archduke of Austria, and his mistress in 1889.

Because of scenes depicting orgies, the movie was banned in Italy and Jancso was sentenced to four months in prison. He was later acquitted on appeal.

Among his most successful films were “The Round-up” (1965), “The Red and the White” (1967) and “Silence and Cry” (1968).

He also directed the French-Israeli coproduction, “Dawn,” made in 1986 from Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel’s book about Jews seeking their identity in Israel.

“The most noble aesthetic pleasure is the discovery of truth,” Jancso told Filmvilag magazine.

Between 1999 and 2006, he made a series of six films dealing with the often absurd adventures of Kapa and Pepe, two comical anti-heroes played by actors Zoltan Mucsi and Peter Scherer. The use in the films of songs from Hungarian pop band Kispal es a Borz helped the films gain cult status.

Jancso was a professor of the Budapest Film Academy, and between 1990 and 1992 he was a visiting professor at Harvard’s Institute of Communications.

He received lifetime achievement awards in Cannes in 1979, Venice in 1990 and Budapest in 1994.

Jancso is survived by this third wife, Zsuzsa CsĂĄkĂĄny, and four children. His second wife was Marta Meszaros, also a film director. Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.

UN Report Says Small-Scale Organic Farming Only Way to Feed the World

Even as the United States government continues to push for the use of more chemically-intensive and corporate-dominated farming methods such as GMOs and monoculture-based crops, the United Nations is once against sounding the alarm about the urgent need to return to (and develop) a more sustainable, natural and organic system.That was the key point of a new publication from the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) titled“Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before It’s Too Late,” which included contributions from more than 60 experts around the world.
The cover of the report looks like that of a blockbuster documentary or Hollywood movie, and the dramatic nature of the title cannot be understated: The time is now to switch back to our natural farming roots.The New UN Farming Report “Wake Up Before It’s Too Late.”
The New UN Farming Report “Wake Up Before It’s Too Late.” Click here to read it.
The findings on the report seem to echo those of a December 2010 UN Report in many ways, one that essentially said organic and small-scale farming is the answer for “feeding the world,” not GMOs and monocultures.According to the new UN report, major changes are needed in our food, agriculture and trade systems, with a shift toward local small-scale farmers and food systems recommended.

Diversity of farms, reducing the use of fertilizer and other changes are desperately needed according to the report, which was highlighted in this article from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

It also said that global trade rules should be reformed in order to work toward these ends, which is unfortunately the opposite of what mega-trade deals like the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the U.S.-EU Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are seeking to accomplish.

The Institute noted that these pending deals are “primarily designed to strengthen the hold of multinational corporate and financial firms on the global economy
” rather than the reflect the urgent need for a shift in agriculture described in the new report.

Even global security may be at stake according to the report, as food prices (and food price speculating) continue to rise.

“This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers,” the report concludes.

You can read more about the report from the Institute by visiting their website here.

Just 90 companies are responsible for two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions


The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests.

The companies range from investor-owned firms — household names such as Chevron, Exxon, and BP — to state-owned and government-run firms.

“There are thousands of oil, gas, and coal producers in the world,” said climate researcher and author Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute in Colorado. “But the decisionmakers, the CEOs, or the ministers of coal and oil if you narrow it down to just one person, they could all fit on a Greyhound bus or two.”

Ai weiwei vase worth 1 million USD smashed at perez art museum miami

ai weiwei vase worth 1 million USD smashed at perez art museum miami

ai weiwei vase worth 1 million USD smashed at perez art museum miami
(above) installation view of ‘according to what?’ at perez art museum miami featuring ‘dropping a han dynasty urn’ 1995/2009 and ‘colored vases’ 2007-2010

dominican-born maximo caminero, an artist based in miami, has been arrested for intentionally destroying one of renowned chinese artist ai weiwei‘s ‘colored vases’ worth over $ 1 million USD. the 2,000 year old ceramics are currently on exhibit at the perez art museum miami for weiwei’s show ‘according to what?’, which designboom visited back in december. caminero was detained after he picked up one of vibrantly colored vessels and threw it to the floor, smashing it into pieces. according to the police report, caminero claimed the act was done in spontaneous protest of the museum’s display of only international artists and their lack of support for local ones. he also asserted that he ruined the piece, in part, in homage to the chinese artist himself, who dropped the urns as a performance piece; the photographs of which grace the walls behind the installation of vases. when asked by the miami new times about his knowledge of the work, he said ‘I didn’t know that it was that amount,’ saying he thought it was ‘a common clay pot like you would find at Home Depot, frankly.’