Dorner’s Supporters Protest at LAPD Main Offices

Christopher Dorner in Marines

Christopher Dorner in Marines

Written by- Sarah Peel

The man-hunt for Christopher Dorner might be over, but the aftermath continues. Can Donrer’s supporters be taken seriously or will this case be buried further into the case files as a cover up as some suggest?

Ex-cop turned murder Christopher Donrer might have been caught and killed himself, but some people still stand by him. On Saturday, February 16 more than a dozen protesters arrived at the Los Angeles Police Department to protest for Dorner. The protesters spoke to the Los Angeles Times and insisted that while they do not support Doner’s crimes, they do support him over his fight for corruption-including racism which they say pushed him over the edge. They also claim that LAPD profiled and showed racism to those who resembled Doner, even at times attacking the innocent men who were confused for him. During the protest, of the protesters carried signs that were written in honor for him, as well as for fighting against the corruption within LA. One of the signs reportedly said the following, “RIP Habeas Corpus.” However, for the most part it remained a peaceful protest among Dorner’s so-called supporters.

Dorner was a LAPD member who reported a fellow cop for wrong doing and claimed to have been punished for it. His claims include that he was treated badly due to his race being African-American, and also for speaking up. This reportedly caused him to be fired, which sent him into the rampage of murdering those tied to his new found “enemies”. He wrote a manifesto which explained his thinking, in which he predicted he would fight the police to his death. His manifesto can be found online, but will not be linked here due to respect to those whom lost their lives at his hands.

Late last week he was caught in a cabin on the mountains, where he killed himself and had the house burnt down around him. Some have suggested that the cops where the ones who intended to burn down the cabin, which they have repeatedly denied. The LAPD claim that it wasn’t their goal and that they never intended for that to happen at all. However, it should be worth noting that during those final hours with Dorner locked in the cabin, the media  was asked to leave by the police department and FBI.  It will remain to be seen if more investigation will go into the case or not at this stage.

Bonnaroo: The Basics

Written by: Selena DiGiovanni

I lay on a tarp in the midst of a sea of tents. It is midday and I am amongst friends; some old, some very new. We are quiet, listening to music in the distance. It is too hot to talk but we enjoy each others company nevertheless.

A man walks into our unofficial compound and asks, “You guys looking for Molly?”

We politely decline his offer, the others inquire after his milder stock, and when he leaves, we return to our silence.

This is Manchester, Tenn. and this is Bonnaroo, one of the largest up-and-coming music festivals in the world.

Campers enter Centeroo under the Bonnaroo arch

Campers enter Centeroo through the arch. The arch, which changes every year, is an iconic symbol of Bonnaroo.

Started in 2002, Bonnaroo takes place every June on a 530 acre plot of repurposed farmland in the small town of Manchester, Tenn. The festival spans three days, a time in which those who have purchased tickets are invited to camp outdoors, spend time with friends and enjoy good music.

There are a variety of activities which are available for campers at Bonnaroo. One of the best loved activities is the Silent Disco tent. Here, campers are given a set of wireless headphones upon entrance which sync with the DJ’s output. The end result is a tent full of people dancing to music which no one on the outside can hear. There is also the Graffiti Wall, which surrounds Centeroo, the central area of Bonnaroo. Campers are invited to bring spray paint to Bonnaroo with them in order to cover the Graffiti Wall with street art in their down time. There are also a multitude of food and artist stalls, a mushroom fountain, and of course, concerts.

Shows beginning each afternoon and continuing into the wee hours of the morning. These shows take place at several venues all located within Centeroo. The main venues are What Stage, Which Stage, This Tent, That Tent, The Other Tent, and the Comedy Tent. Other smaller venues include the Solar Stage, Lunar Stage, Sonic Stage, and the Cinema Tent.

Past years have featured headliners such as Eminem, Dave Matthews Band, and Radiohead. There have also been lesser known bands such as Futurebird, as well as comedy shows and film screenings . In the past, the lineup has been made widely available long before Bonnaroo takes place, but this year the list of bands performing has been kept under lock and key. Clues in the form of haikus have been scattered across America, increasing the excitement of fans everywhere. The full lineup will be revealed on February 19th, in a “Bonnaroo Lineup Announcement Megathon” hosted by Weird Al Yankovich.

To learn more about Bonnaroo, stay up to date on the latest Bonnaroo news and purchase tickets, go to

Roe v. Wade: Forty Years and Still Fighting

Written by: Selena DiGiovanni

Forty years ago this past January, the controversial Roe v. Wade case gave millions of women in the U.S. the right to a safe and legal abortion.  Not surprisingly, politicians across America have been fighting tooth and nail to prevent women from gaining access to reproductive health.

Group of women with signs supporting Roe v. Wade

A group of Pro-Choice women gather in support of passing Roe v. Wade

Our first stop is in Michigan where, this past December, politicians locked out the general public during lawmaking sessions. The following statement was made by Kary L. Moss, American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan’s executive director: “While the Senate passed one bad bill after another, they locked out the public, including our legislative director….Doing so on such important issues while the public is shut out of the debate is cause for, once again, the Michigan legislature to be a national embarrassment.” The Senate passed bill after bill restricting women’s rights while the public was unconstitutionally refused their right to speak to their representatives.

Moving to the South, we stop in New Mexico. There, Rep. Cathrynn Brown recently introduced a bill which would make the termination of a pregnancy for a rape or incest survivor a third degree felony for “tampering with evidence.” This means that women who obtain an abortion due to rape or incest could serve up to three years in prison. Brown later clarified that the bill would punish those that committed the rape and then destroys evidence of the crime via abortion but the bill could still negatively impact victims of rape or incest. Women who are victims of rape or incest could potentially be forced to carry the fetus to term in order to prove their case.

In addition, there are several states which are currently working to take away women’s reproductive health rights. In North Dakota there is a bill which is making history by attempting to pass a package of laws which would define ‘personhood.’ This ‘personhood legislation’ would prevent abortions statewide (including pregnancies caused by rape or incest) by defining the fetus as a person and granting it the rights of a citizen. Certain forms of birth control, stem cell research and in vitro fertilization would also be banned under this new legislation.

And finally, right now women in Tennessee are fighting a new law which would require them to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion. This means that a woman who wants an abortion, whether it be for personal or health reasons, would first be made to listen to the heartbeat of their unborn fetus. This procedure is unnecessarily cruel, incredibly invasive and often detrimental to the mental health of the mother.

These are just a handful of laws and bills which women have had to fight and are still fighting to maintain their basic rights. Every day there is another politician unconstitutionally working to undo the benefits of Roe vs. Wade.

How can you help prevent laws which will limit your reproductive health from being passed? Go to to learn more about your rights and how to stop politicians from placing restrictions on your reproductive health.

Farm to Fork: Sacramento is a Hidden Slow Food Paradise

Written by: Joshua MacAran

A colorful, vibrant plate of Hangar steak, spinach salad, and frites.

Hangar steak and arugula spinach salad, chimichurri, Point Reyes blue cheese, Riverdog cherry tomatoes, and frites.

Many praise San Francisco’s gourmet restaurants, but few know of Sacramento‘s deeply rooted farm to fork restaurant culture. Let’s take a glance at the local slow food scene.

Our first stop is Mulvaney’s Building & Loan. Mulvaney’s is tucked away in a historic brick firehouse in midtown Sacramento. You might not realize it’s a restaurant until you peer inside and notice the mahogany chairs, lilies in vases decorating white clothed tables, and a throng of happy customers enjoying dishes such as Braised Martin Emigh Ranch Leg of Lamb with Mint Salsa Verde or 28 Day Dry Aged Niman Ranch Rib Eye with Huckleberry Jus. Mulvaney’s is owned by passionate locavore and chef extraordinaire Patrick Mulvaney. Mr. Mulvaney has combined the highest degree of fine dining expertise with a firm commitment to using organic produce from local farms and organic meat from local ranches. Mulvaney’s boasts a menu that changes every day to reflect what is available in the region. His excellent service, top tier food, and commitment to locavorism has garnered a wide following in the Sacramento region.

Our next stop is anything but a hole in the wall, but you’ll find no sign out front. Nonetheless The Kitcen is packed every night, with reservations booked for the next six months or longer. The Kitchen is no ordinary fine dining restaurant. Each dinner is a seven course meal prepared entirely with local organic produce, meat, and seafood (to the tune of $125 per person, plus wine!) . This fall, you’ll find dishes such as Pumpkin Bisque and Oxtail-Duck Confit or Braeburn Apple Pie with Nancy’s Butter-Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream and Apple Fries. Parts of the meal are prepared as you watch, and there is an almost vaudevillian performance by the chefs for your entertainment. You will learn about all of the ingredients and preparation that have gone into your meal while laughing at the wit and antics of head chef Noah Zonca. The Kitchen has been called the French Laundry of Sacramento and it’s no surprise that their dining room is always full.

The last in our trifecta of farm to fork fine dining moguls is Paragary’s Bar & Oven. Paragary’s has been using locally produced ingredients for over 25 years, marking them as a restaurant far ahead of their time. Their wood-burning oven gives their dishes a unique flavor that is difficult to find in fine dining today. Come for the Housemade Butternut Squash Ravioli or the Pan-Seared King Salmon with roasted cauliflower, butternut squash, brussels sprout leaves, and hazelnut salsa verde. Stay for the Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake with espresso gelato. Enjoy it all on their back patio surrounded by gnarled olive trees, waterfalls, and a massive stone fireplace.

This is just a small sample of the slow food culture Sacramento has to offer. Other local favorite include Magpie Catering, Ella Dining Room and Bar, and the Hot Italian, just to name a few. At a time when more and more people are seeking farm to fork cuisine cooked to perfection, Sacramento is at the forefront of the movement.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and You

Written by: Joshua MacAran

A professionally dressed woman meditating on top of her desk

What is the most effective way to mitigate the chronic stress of today’s world?

Chronic stress has become the American Way. According to an American Psychological Association report in 2009, 69 percent of employees report that work is a significant source of stress and 41 percent say they typically feel tense or stressed out during the workday. A 2001 Bureau of Labor Statistics report cites that the median number of days away from work due to anxiety, stress, and other similar disorders was four times the median for all other nonfatal injury and illness cases. Houston, we have a problem. While a significant reduction in workload and/or increase in pay doesn’t seem likely to happen in the immediate future for most people, you can increase your happiness by taking care of yourself – eating right, sleeping well, and engaging in mindfulness based stress reduction.

MBSR is a multifaceted approach that incorporates hatha yoga, meditation, and body-scan (a guided awareness practice). Yoga addresses the prevalence of disuse atrophy that is at the root of so much chronic pain and illness, while awareness practices such as meditation and body-scan train the mind to focus. MBSR has been found to have a high rate of participation after the program is finished, even three years afterward, according to studies in the 80s and 90s. This is in part because each of the practices are unique and work well for different people and each person is free to continue with the practices that work best for them.

MBSR was pioneered by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1979. Today, MBSR is offered as an eight week intensive course for medical students and professionals in over 200 medical centers, hospitals, and clinics throughout the world. It is a useful tool for students and professionals dealing with the intensity and pace of the medical profession. Many of these professionals share it with patients to help them cope with the stresses of illness.

There have been several studies conducted to verify the efficacy of the MBSR program. Findings as recent as 2008 still come to the same conclusions as studies in the previous two decades; “MBSR studies with varied populations have found significant decreases in anxiety/depression, mood disturbance, somatic symptoms of stress, and present-moment pain. Other mindfulness studies have demonstrated improvements in quality of life, health-related quality of life, general health, sleep quality, immune function, and decreases in psychological distress and physical symptoms and conditions.” Each of the MBSR practices is at its core an awareness practice, and perhaps that is why they are so successful.

Awareness is a skill seldom taught by the public school system. We are a very forward focused society and we are taught to focus on the next assignment, the next promotion, the next weekend. Kabat-Zinn writes, “We are driven by the urgent, miss the important and then wind up a lot of the time being unhappy.” The greater truth about America is that most of our poor are fed, clothed, and housed. Each moment we are alive in the middle of our busy, stressful lives, we could instead be alive and begging on the street in Thailand or India. We could be in the middle of a civil war in Sierra Leone, or in a crowd of restless agitators in Tunisia. We are among the luckiest nations on earth, although we often don’t remember how lucky we are.

This is nothing new, so why all the fuss? Perhaps a better question is, why not more fuss? We have known for decades that there are effective, low cost solutions to the mental and physical health consequences of chronic stress. If you accept the presumption that our chronic stress isn’t going to end any time soon, why are we not teaching our children to take their health into their own hands at a very young age? Do your community a favor. Learn these techniques. Practice mindfulness based stress reduction. Then teach them to all the people asking you why you’re so happy!

Backyard Gardening: Organic Life in the City

Written by: Joshua MacAran

A pile of vibrant tomatoes, lettuce, asparagus, zucchini, broccoli, and radishes

A pile of fresh, healthy, vibrant organic vegetables!

Organic produce is often expensive and not always delicious – unless you grow it yourself! Setting up a backyard or window will garden is easy, fun, and economical.

The benefits of organic gardening are enormous and have a much greater scope than the benefits of organic eating. You get delicious, pesticide free vegetables at a low cost. You spend time working with plants and nature, which according to Floriculture Chair Dr. Charlie Hall of Texas A&M “helps people concentrate better in the home and workplace. Studies show that tasks performed while under the calming influence of nature are performed better and with greater accuracy, yielding a higher quality result. Moreover, being outside in a natural environment can improve memory performance and attention span by twenty percent.” You get gentle exercise in the comfort of your own home. Best of all, you’ll often harvest more than you can eat. The extra can be preserved for the winter or shared with family and friends. You will probably find that your children, friends, and family are curious about your gardening adventures. They’ll definitely appreciate the fruits of your labors! Remember that you can start with just a few plants, so don’t be intimidated.

The first step is to make a place to plant something. If you have a back yard, then you already have a great place to start. A front yard is just as good! If you don’t have any soil at all in your home, then you can buy or make window boxes, or use large pots. Don’t let lack of funds discourage you. All kinds of recycled materials can be nailed together or modified to serve as plant pots. Many sizes will work but for a producing vegetable, the container should be two to three feet deep, a foot and a half across or wider, and needs to have holes for drainage. Most vegetables benefit from afternoon sunlight, so put them in a west facing window or a location that isn’t too heavily shaded by trees or other buildings. Another great option if you want to do some larger plants but don’t have a good yard for it is to find a community garden in your area.

Soil is the next consideration. To keep it simple, most soil is fine for growing food. If there is an entrenched colony of grass you’ll want to take a shovel and dig up the first six inches, or until you have more dirt than root. If there are farms in your area you can often get free manure, which is a great way to add some nutrients to your soil, but it isn’t a necessity. Make sure to take some time to break up your soil so that it has good drainage. Most city soil is quite compacted. Use your shovel to break up another six inches of soil below your seeds so that your plants have room to spread their roots.

The third step is to decide what to grow and when to grow it. Each climate zone has different growing times, but the rule of thumb is most vegetables are planted in spring after the last frost and harvested in summer. There are many winter crops, especially if you’re in warm climate, including kale, salad greens, beets, peas, and winter squashes. Check to find your planting zone and a schedule for planting specific crops in your area. They also have some great information about how many plants of each type you would need to feed your family. If you’re just starting out, tomatoes and zucchini are easy and produce a lot. Just be careful with the zucchini – they’ll take over as much as space as you give them! Swiss chard is another easy produce for beginners.

Buy some seeds at your local garden store, or better yet save and dry seeds from the vegetables you eat at home. Plant them one half inch below the surface of the soil (in rows if you don’t want a mess!) and don’t pack the soil too tightly on top. Water them every day in the beginning. If seeds are too much hassle and you have a little extra money, you can also buy seedlings from a nursery or farmer’s market.

As they grow larger, you can spread your waterings out. All soil falls somewhere between sand and clay. If your soil is heavy clay (when it dries, it’s in a hard clump like dry clay), then you can give it a large amount of water once or twice a week, and the soil will retain the moisture. If you have a lot of sand in your soil you will need to water more two or three times a week because sandy soil has much faster drainage. Neither type is better – they’re just different.

How much should you water your plants? Leave them in a small puddle, let it drain, and then water them enough to leave another small puddle. If you’ve been watering the same area for 10 mintues, then you’ve watered enough and you probably have very sandy soil.

Take a little time each week to remove unwanted grass and plants that don’t look like the rest of them. This should take you less than 20 minutes. Don’t worry too much about the little clumps – go for the more mature weeds! Try to pull them out at the base and get as much of the root as you can. Grab some gardening gloves so you don’t mess up your hands too badly. In a few months you’ll have the proud experience of eating your very own organic produce!

There is a lot to know about growing plants, but at its heart organic gardening is very simple. It’s fun to get out and get a little muddy, and having a backyard garden is a great way get a little more green in your life. Plant, water, and nurture your vegetables, and they will grow for you.

Head of Oregon Catholics Retires; New Archbishop is Country’s Youngest

Written by: Ken Fallon

The Most Rev. John G. Vlazny, who served as archbishop of the Portland, Ore. Catholic diocese for 15 turbulent years, finally got the answer he’s been waiting to hear on Wednesday.

Photo of Alexander K. Sample

Alexander K. Sample was named the new Archbishop of the Portland, Ore. archdiocese on Wednesday

A year after Vlazny submitted his retirement letter, Pope Benedict XVI approved the retirement request and installed the Most Rev. Alexander K. Sample as his replacement.

The 52-year-old Sample, a bishop from Michigan’s upper peninsula, became the youngest archbishop in the United States. He tweeted Tuesday morning that “As of 6:00 a.m. EST I have gone from being the Bishop of Marquette to the Archbishop-Designate of Portland in OR. Please pray for me!”

Vlazny became archbishop in October 1997, jumping from Minnesota into the heart of a priest sex-abuse scandal only beginning to gain exposure. By 2007, the Portland archdiocese had completed a bankruptcy reorganization plan, agreeing to pay almost 180 abuse victims some $70 million and to release thousands of documents that spelled out the extent of the abuse.

“It is my sincere prayer that our ability to compensate the many victims will assist them in their efforts to achieve personal healing and peace of heart,” Vlazny said at a press conference when the bankruptcy was approved. “I pray for them daily and I know that the Catholic people of Oregon join me in asking God to bless them.” 

Vlazny, now 75, was never implicated in the scandal, but the subsequent release of internal documents made it clear that the archdiocese covered up the scandal in the years since the abuses happened in the mid-20th century.

Sample comes to Oregon with a reputation for social media savvy – in addition to Twitter, he has a Facebook page, and uses podcasts and YouTube – and high expectations from church leadership. Noted Catholic blogger Rocco Palmo observed the impressive turnout for his Michigan ordination in 2006 and called him someone who is “going places” within the church.

He’ll need every bit of that savvy as he leads western Oregon’s 415,000 Catholics. The Northwest is considered one of the nation’s most “unchurched” regions, with one in four residents claiming no religious identification; about half that percentage claim membership in Oregon Catholic churches.

But at a press conference Wednesday in Portland, Sample was undeterred. 

“To me, some might look at the small percentage and say, ‘Boy, that’s a tough area to go into to be the Catholic archbishop.’ I kind of see it as the opposite. I see this as rich, fertile ground for the planting of the seeds of the New Evangelization,” he said, referring to a Catholic initiative to reach out to those who have experienced a “crisis of faith” and to non-believers. “What I would hope to do is help people who are of a very spiritual nature but maybe who don’t profess any particular religious belief, connect that longing in their heart…with who I believe is the answer to that longing, and that is the Lord Jesus.” 

Like his predecessor, Sample adheres to Catholic doctrine on controversial social issues. His Facebook page shows many photos from the March for Life, a pro-life gathering that was held Jan. 25 in Washington, D.C. to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade court decision that legalized abortion. 

In Wednesday’s press conference, he said he stands by the church’s position regarding same-sex marriage, “but that should never take away from the dignity of the human person.” 

That same day, he was quoted on as saying he would do whatever he could to oppose the Obama administration’s health-care mandates regarding birth control. “I would be willing to go to jail in defense of religious liberty,” he said. 

In 2009, he spoke out against a decision by the University of Notre Dame to invite President Obama to give the commencement speech, citing the president’s support for embryonic stem-cell research and abortion.

Baseball Hall of Fame Vote Uses Guilt by Association to Bring Down Good Men

Written by: Ken Fallon

And now, ladies and gentlemen, your Class of 2013 inductees into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame!

Barry Bonds is pictured as a young baseball player, and later in his career.

Barry Bonds, who made his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot this year, is shown as a young baseball player (left), and later in his career. Bonds is at the center of baseball’s steroids scandal, which caused voters to elevate no one to the Hall of Fame this year.

If that announcement had actually been made, if a ceremony were to be held for this year’s inductees, the only thing that might show up on stage would be a cricket or two.

You see, the Baseball Writers Association of America has spoken, and its members decided no one deserves to join the hall this year. There are just two many question marks, they say — question marks that revolve around the idea of who used performance-enhancing drugs, about who cheated.

OK, I get it. I understand the desire to keep steroids out of baseball’s most hallowed institution.

Barry Bonds juiced. Or did he? A jury convicted him of obstructing justice because of his denial during his 2003 grand jury testimony about whether he used PEDs. Ironically, the grand jury deadlocked on whether he actually lied to them.

Roger Clemens juiced. The Mitchell Report said so. Jose Canseco said so. But, of course, the jury didn’t concur.

Sammy Sosa juiced. The New York Times said so. Never mind that it was an anonymous test. Everyone believes the Times.

Rafael Palmiero and Mark McGwire, making repeat appearances on the ballot? Guilty by self-admission.

But everybody? All 37 on this year’s list?

Curt Schilling made a good point; everyone was guilty. Either you used PEDs, or you did nothing to stop their use,” said Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt. “This generation got rich. Seems there was a price to pay.”

Really? The entirety of Major League Baseball was either using steroids or turning a blind eye to them?

Guilt by association works if you want to lump Bonds with his personal trainer, Greg Anderson, a convicted steroids distributor and money launderer. But to say that you can’t vote for, say, Craig Biggio, because he was one of roughly a thousand people who played major league baseball at the same time as Bonds or Sosa or Clemens? Isn’t that a stretch?

Biggio, in his first year on the ballot, was respected enough to earn the highest number of nods among Hall of Fame voters this year, but he was still 39 votes shy of the 427 needed. One of the hardest working players in the game and holder of numerous Houston Astros records, he thinks he was bypassed because of his first-year status, but also because of the company he kept on that ballot.

“I think it’s kind of unfair, but it’s the reality of the era that we played in,” he said. “Obviously some guys are guilty and others aren’t, and it’s painful for the ones that weren’t.”

How about Mike Piazza, considered by many as one of the best hitting catchers to play the game? Or consider Biggio teammate Jeff Bagwell? Neither Piazza nor Bagwell has been linked to steroids, other than by rumor, but they must have used PEDs, right? Look at what was expected of them when they were drafted. Look at their early career numbers compared to their major league numbers. Look at how their bodies changed over time.

Such allegations are as egregious and unfair as the Department of Homeland Security interrogating every Muslim it sees in an airport. But in an era where the latest rumor can spread on social media faster than a Randy Johnson fastball, it doesn’t take long before allegations take the place of legitimate debate and hard evidence.

Players like Biggio, Piazza and Schilling (and even Bonds, Sosa and Clemens) are first-year balloters who have many more years to convince the voters otherwise. But unless the baseball writers admit that none of them has a crystal ball spelling out who used PEDs and who didn’t, the guilt by association will take down some good men who did nothing wrong — except grow up in the wrong era.

First Graders Possess Medical Marijuana Cards

Medical marijuana card

An example of an Oregon State medical marijuana card.

Written by: Jason Garoutte

No. That’s not a typo. Parents with children diagnosed with disorders and diseases like autism or leukemia are becoming more open to non-traditional treatments such as medical marijuana. There are currently 58 children in the state of Oregon who are covered under the state medical marijuana law which allows them use of the so called “gateway drug.”

All of us have probably heard the terms leukemia and autism before, but do we fully understand what challenges parents are faced with day in and day out with such disorders? Autism is a brain disorder that often makes it difficult to communicate with and relate to others. With autism, the different areas of the brain fail to work together. This leads to anti-social behavior, repeated types of behavior like body rocking, and becoming upset when routines change.

With one in every 88 children diagnosed with autism in the United States, more parents are searching for answers and treatments that work. One problem with autism is that there is no typical case. People can have many different types of behavior, from mild to severe. In nearly one in three cases, children with autism experience seizures or seizure disorders such as epilepsy.

Although marijuana is not currently considered a treatment for autism by the medical profession, it is considered a treatment for seizures and mood altering behavior. So, what makes medical marijuana a safe treatment for children over the more traditional treatments?

The active chemical in marijuana is called THC(Tetrahydrocannabinol.) This is what gives marijuana its medical properties. In essence, the human body produces receptors that bind with THC, interfering with the brains neurotransmitter systems. This allows the recipient to feel various effects, such as reducing pain, limiting seizures, and lowering anxiety. In cancer patients, marijuana has been shown to reduce nausea and increase appetite, after receiving chemotherapy,

“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of scientifically validated treatments. The use of medical marijuana to treat autism has not been tested and could be dangerous for children,” says Susan Martin, director of media relations at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Although long term effects from marijuana have yet to be determined, using marijuana at such a young age may be detrimental to the child’s brain growth and development.

Traditional treatments for autism include special behavior training, speech therapy, physical therapy, and FDA approved drugs. Melatonin and Chelation are widely used, legal treatments for autism, where medical marijuana is only legal in 18 states.

There are many traditional treatments available to parents for children with these disorders that are safe, legal, and readily available across the nation. However, as a parent when you are faced with the challenges of raising a child with special needs, you may find yourself weighing the possible long term effects against the apparent short term benefits of non-traditional treatment, even if it involves allowing your child access to a medical marijuana card.

Space Tourism: What’s the Big Deal?

Written by: Jason Garoutte

Privatized space travel or space tourism has become the new frontier in adventure and exploration, especially since NASA’s space program isn’t quite what it used to be. It is expected to become a billion dollar industry within the next decade, even though the cost of one of these adventures is as high as 40 million dollars.

So, what kind of adventure can you expect with that kind of money? Depending on the company, that kind of money will earn you an eight to eleven day trip to the International Space Station. Sounds great right? Sure, the view is one in a million, but if I’m going to spend 40 million dollars, I’d better be sipping Mai Tai’s on one of Saturn’s rings!

That will not happen. Not in my lifetime, especially not a journalist’s salary. For those that are ultra-wealthy, a trip to the heavens may just be the ultimate adventure. But would it be worth it?

Space Tourism

Only one spacecraft has ever traveled to the outer planets and it is unmanned. The Voyager 1 spacecraft, which was launched in 1977, is still traveling the outer limits of our solar system to this day. It is traveling at a speed of 3.6 Astronomical Units per year. An Astronomical Unit is defined as 92, 955, 807 miles or roughly the distance the Earth is from the Sun. Once the numbers are crunched, Voyager 1 is traveling at a staggering speed of 38, 179 m.p.h. Wow!

Companies like Space Adventures only have aircraft designed to travel up to speeds of Mach 3, which equates to approximately 2,250 m.p.h. So, should you want those Mai Tai’s with Saturn as your backdrop, it would take 50 years just to get there. And you thought the flight from Los Angeles to New York was long!

There is a bit of hope, should you just want to brag about traveling into space. These privatized companies are offering suborbital flights at only $200,000 per passenger. With that you will receive a two hour flight above the Kàrmàn Line, which is defined as the boundary of space at an altitude of 62 miles above Earth’s sea level. You will also experience three to six minutes of weightlessness and that one in a million view of our blue planet. Just don’t forget your camera.

If that sounds like an appealing adventure, then by all means, spend that hard earned money, travel to the heavens, and return with some amazing vacation photos. For those of us with meager salaries and average jobs, the closest we’ll probably ever get to the planets is through the lens of our backyard telescope.

Tourists experiencing zero gravity.

Tourists experiencing zero gravity.