Here’s my little guy.
Yes, you read that right. I’m 56 years old (going on 35). Jack’s birthday is tomorrow. He’ll be 4. You look at his pics, and you think, awww – such a punim. But see, Jack’s days as a puppy were not good ones. He was born into a Georgia dog fighting ring, and unceremoniously dumped by the roadside to fend for himself. He was never properly weened and he learned early, that not all people are nice. My wife and I work hard with Jack, helping him come to grips with his behavior and fear issues. We are hoping that at 4, he’ll grow a brain, and things will get a little easier. He couldn’t ask for two more loving dog-parents, but he still struggles with a lot.
If you pat your thigh, and then snap your fingers twice, you’ve just said Dog, in ASL.
My thanks to all who wished me a happy birthday yesterday, on FaceBook. I actually spent the better part of the day, responding. It was pretty great. My coach, Ilir Ymeri – former European heavyweight champ – had another birthday celebration in mind. 10 rounds. Not too shabby for a guy who’s only 4 short years away from the starin’ window.
OK. So on with the post:
Following in the footsteps of British scientists – who were fired for their efforts – the Dutch have come up with a calibrated method of determining a drug’s addictiveness. The primary arbiter appears to be the effect on brain chemistry. Drugs that rewire the brain’s ability to manufacture chemicals such as dopamine or serotonin are seen to be more physically addictive. The results of this research was published by AlterNet, here. It’s worth noting, that pot is nowhere on that list, but alcohol gets a quite respectable, 2.13 – out of 3.00.
Interestingly however, the report doesn’t mention psychological addiction at all, but I’d pay special attention to the rating given to Methadone.
Again, here’s that link.
This news may be a week old, but since everybody has their panties all knotted up over the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon, and the ensuing police siege – nobody really noticed. According to CNN, a huge explosion took place at a fertilizer plant in Waco, Texas on the 18th of this month.
At least 2 are known dead, and dozens more have been hospitalized. Some of the victims were firefighters. This disaster is worth noting because although it couldn’t be seen as an attack, it was the result of a crime. Apparently, the owner of the plant was storing large amounts of Ammonium Nitrate, without reporting it, or taking the legally required precautions in its storage and production. Ammonium Nitrate was the primary ingredient in the bomb used by Timothy Mcveigh.
This story was as obscured by the Boston thing as Mother Teresa’s death was by Princess Di’s. But then again, this was just a Texas businessman, not a swarthy brown guy, so…
Here’s CNN’s link to the story.
With all that has been going on – bombings, birthdays, fights and driver’s license renewals – I haven’t had a chance to cover the 13 Corrections officers who are being charged with smuggling drugs and other contraband into a Maryland jail. According to the WaPo, a national gang had a deal going with the female officers. The women were paid in cash, sex, drugs and high end automobiles.
According to the indictment, 4 of the women are pregnant with a single inmate’s babies, and 2 more have his name tattooed on their necks and wrists.
According to the WaPo report, the women worked for the Black Guerilla Family. These guards smuggled cellphones, prescription pills and narcotics in their underwear. The gangsters purchased Mercedes Benz and BMW automobiles which the guards were allowed to drive.
Here’s the link to the WaPo’s coverage.
Image credit: Wikipedia
This came from PrisonMovement, via Twitter. The Gainsville Times reports that Hall County, Georgia is going to start employing Video Relay services in its jail facilities. The system will only be used for visitation, and Deaf prisoners will still need interpreters for all medical and court related issues, but this represents a major step in the right direction. DeafInPrison.com has long been advocating for the use of Video Relay in prisons and county jails. Most institutions are reticent, because of alleged security issues.
In a quote in the Times’ story, Sheriff Couch of Hall County had this to say:
“Technology has come a long way. The administration and staff of the Hall County Jail continuously work toward gaining access to all the latest tools available,” he said in a release announcing the new system. “This is so that everyone incarcerated in our facility has equal access to the provisions set forth in their constitutional rights. For those whose primary communication is sign language, we are pleased to offer this tremendous service.” — Gainsville Times.
Here’s that link.
We have two very interesting op-eds from AlterNet. In the first, they point out that Ayn Rand’s infamous character John Galt may have had more to do with some of the more tragic events of the month of April, than anybody realizes. It’s a very interesting perspective, and one worth giving a read and some thought to.
The second piece poses the question, “are we a nation of drama queens?” Do we seek out stories like the Boston bombing because they’re like crack to us? Does the media prey on that addiction and feed it? A great article, and a very necessary question.
Here are the links to both pieces.
And I’ve saved the best for last. You know we did some promotional work on Lipreading Mom’s Stop Hearing Loss Bullying campaign. Well the big news is, we’ll be working with her on the editing of the video! BitcoDavid, who’s done just a bit of video editing in his day, will be lending a hand in the tech end of this project. I’m proud and honored that Shanna has allowed me to work with her on this very important issue. In return for our services, Shanna’s agreed to do some posts for us, here. She’s a wonderful writer and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for us.
BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.
Filed under: Digest Posts | Tagged: AlterNet, BitcoDavid, Boston Marathon, CNN, Deaf in Prison, DeafInPrison.com, Facebook, Lipreading Mom, Shanna Groves, Washington Post | 6 Comments »