Tag Archives: California

Napercise: Napping Your Way to Better Health!


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When it comes to our health, we’re always brainstorming unique ways to stay fit.  Various health trends sprout up each year that provide us a new way to be healthy.  From the most realistic fitness plans (crossfit gyms) to imaginations that just run wild (yoga with goats, which is a REAL thing!), these latest health trends motivate us to join the band wagon.  The wide range of health trends can become overwhelming for an active man like me.

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So many health trends spreading around, yet so little info on whether or not they will keep me fit.  I still ponder about whether a yoga class with goats is really going to help me de-stress from the real world.  It seems like there’s always some crazy health trend creeping right around the corner.  Just when I thought the health trends couldn’t be any more bizarre, I discovered a class that teaches…napercise.

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Image result for Napercise

The newest health trend starting this year is napercise, a special class teaching weary adults how to nap.  UK gym David Lloyd Clubs is offering 1 hour ‘napercise’ classes that include a 15-minute stretch routine and 45 minutes of napping.  As participants gather into their beds, instructors will play some atmosphere music and drop the room’s temperature.   The health club is offering free trials and more than 100 people have already signed up.

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Image result for Sleep Deprivation

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Providing a ‘napercise’ class is a response to the alarming statistics revealed about sleep.  In this digital age, less adults are getting enough sleep each night.  Sleep deprivation can cause numerous chronic health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.  Other than physical problems, lack of sleep can take a serious toll on mental health.  Lacking that shuteye can cause mental impairments such as hallucinations, moodiness, depression, memory problems, cognitive dysfunction, and impaired brain activity.  These symptoms can damage work productivity as a whole, which leads to bad business in the end.

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As preposterous as this health trend sounds, it sounds like an interesting idea that could take off in America.  Many Americans suffer from serious sleep deprivation problems and this could be useful for lots of people.  This strange health trend would definitely work well in healthy-trending states like California.  I can already picture high-end ‘Napercise’ classes in Los Angeles where participants pay hundreds of dollars for one session.  Not only would it work in Los Angeles because of how health-trendy they are, but celebrities would also join in on the fun as well!

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This new health trend sounds absolutely crazy!  If the classes do make their way into Boston, then I would definitely have to give it a try.  I’m usually old school when it comes to staying healthy (eating fruits/vegetables, going to the gym 2-3 times a week) and napercise isn’t something I would really need.

Image result for Fountain of Youth

Image result for Fountain of Youth

Even though this may sound like a silly gimmick to some people, the main reason people are so motivated to try it out is to stay healthy.  Whether it is to stay fit or to look young, Americans are always searching for the pinnacle health trick.  It’s almost as if we are searching for the Fountain of Youth that will keep us young forever.  Our growing narcissism spreads like smog all around the atmosphere (especially in Los Angeles) and we look for the best products/services to love ourselves better.  This isn’t necessarily good or bad, but rather an interesting reflection of American society.  Trends like ‘Napercise’ arise because people search for the latest and greatest health fad that will keep them younger, fitter, and smarter.

For now, I’ll skip the ‘Napercise’ trial classes and get some good shuteye on my own bed.

The U.S. Pot Pipeline


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Wednesday nights have been great for one thing – new episodes of Weediquette and Bong Appetite.  These new episodes’ air on Viceland at 10 PM.  They aired the new seasons on April 19th and the episodes have been amazing so far.  Weediquette explores some of the complex dilemmas we face even with cannabis legal on the rise.  Last night’s episode dived into what is known as ‘The Pot Pipeline’.

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On episode 3, Weediquette host Krishna Andavolu follows a shipment of weed going across the country.  This pipeline of pot ships from California and drives right into New York.  There are three different routes to the destination and some of them can be much riskier than others.  This episode showcased how the legalization of cannabis ushered this golden age of weed smuggling.

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Watching this episode made me conjure up an interesting problem within the cannabis industry.  A majority of weed comes from California and is shipped all across the nation.  Since New England isn’t the best climate for growing cannabis, employers rely on shipments coming in from California (California-grown, bitches!).  States like Massachusetts and Maine are setting up their legal cannabis business that will be starting in 2018.

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Why would people choose to ship weed all the way to the New England region?  For more profits, of course!  Cannabis prices in California are DOUBLED in places like New York City or Boston.  A pound of cannabis costs roughly $1,000-$2,000 in California whereas that same pound will cost $3,000-$4,000 in Massachusetts.  Cannabis is being transported to the East Coast because it costs higher than what people get on the West Coast.

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The journey itself is a difficult one.  One trip from Los Angeles to New York City is 2,791.9 miles long, taking 41 hours total to reach your destination.  Daring travelers are driving across the country with pounds (that’s right, POUNDS) of cannabis in their vehicle.  Their task is to drive pounds of cannabis to New York and come back to California for another shipment.

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Sounds easy-peasy, right?  WRONG!  While California is a legal state, many other states have heavy fines for carrying pounds of cannabis in your vehicle.  Many states, especially in the southern region, have conservative laws where fines could lead to decades in prison.  In Oklahoma, anyone caught with 25-1000 lbs can be incarcerated from 4 years to LIFE in prison and a hefty fine of $100,00.  Life in prison, in Oklahoma, for transporting cannabis to a dispensary in New England.  Speeding tickets are one thing, but getting busted for carrying pounds of cannabis inside your vehicle is a WHOLE other ballgame!

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As you can see, transporting California-grown cannabis to legal states in New England is not an easy task.  Dispensaries depend on these cannabis strains because their customers need them for their personal use (whether it is medically or for recreational use).  Some customers have tried cannabis in California that they really enjoyed and want to see these strains in their local dispensaries.  Cannabis that is grown in California is in high demand because it’s grown so well and there’s much more strains to choose from.

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With legalization making waves around America, the pot pipeline is more essential now than ever.  We need to keep the supply flowing to satisfy the ever-growing demand around New England.  As risky as this idea is, this pipeline is the key to bringing more flavors into other states.  If legalization is becoming more of a reality in this country, why are other states not following through?  Why hasn’t states like Oklahoma or Georgia waken up this secret gold mine that is flowing across the nation?

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Whatever the other states decide on, one thing’s for certain – many states are missing out on a golden opportunity.  The pot pipeline will continue to flow as many businesses take advantage of the legal cannabis market.  As shady as this idea is, sometimes we have to jump through a few hoops to get the cannabis industry up and running.  Hopefully the noise will quiet down once legalization makes even more waves in the near future.

For now, Bostonians like me can thank adventurous Californians for shipping that luscious green into Grassachusetts.

Dennis Peron: Godfather of Cannabis Legalization


Medical cannabis is one of the most popular alternative health treatments used in the United States.  With medical cannabis being legal in more than half of the country, many people are straying from institutionalized prescription pills to the nostalgic haze of cannabis.  Hundreds of thousands of people are medical patients and more people are signing up for a medical card after discovering the amazing benefits of cannabis.  People consume medical cannabis to treat pain, nausea, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, arthritis, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and many other life-threatening illnesses.

The path towards recreational cannabis is becoming clearer, what with the hazy smoke of cannabis clearing away.  Before recreational cannabis was making headlines within Colorado and Washington State, the medical cannabis community was booming ever since Prop 215 passed in California.  Prop 215 passed more than 20 years ago, with more than half of the country turning their eyes towards California and their unique business.

So how exactly did we get there?  Where did the first medical marijuana start? How is it that something like ‘medical marijuana’ became such a common alternative practice recommended by doctors?  What was the reason behind selling cannabis for medicinal use?

All of these questions lead us to one man in particular: Dennis Peron.  Dennis Peron is a prominent figure in the LGBTQ and cannabis community.  He described himself as a “gay kid from Long Island who joined the Air Force to get away from home during the Vietnam War” in his book Memoirs of Dennis Peron that released in 2012.  Peron is known as a pinnacle counterculture figure on the West Coast, with his humility and compassion for the ill being frequently recognized by Ed Rosenthal and Jack Herer.

After returning to San Francisco from Vietnam in 1969, Dennis Peron dealt cannabis around his hometown where he learned about cannabis’s efficacy for treating severe illnesses.  Within the 1970s, Peron ran the Big Top marijuana supermarket right out of his home at the Castro Castle (which is still open to this day within the Castro District).  Even with the counterculture movement spreading within California, Peron was busted multiple times for dealing cannabis.

A few years after his first bust, the HIV/AIDS crisis was spreading like wildfire.  Dennis Peron lost many friends, including his lover Jonathan West, during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.  It was then that the country discovered (half of the reason was by accident!) that cannabis could be used as medicine.  AIDS was a mysterious illness at the time, confusing many doctors and nurses looking to treat patients.  The only thing that really helped AIDS patients was consuming cannabis.

Jonathan West lived long enough to testify at his trial, confessing that the confiscated cannabis from the raid was for treating his illness.  After losing his lover to AIDS, Peron shifted gears and opened up the first cannabis buyers club (which was a blueprint for what would be a functional medical marijuana dispensary).  His first version was launched on a flat within Sanchez Street in October 1991.  He had three quarters of a pound, which he would provide for those who needed it for medical reasons and sold it for free to those that couldn’t afford it.  By the summer of ’94, the cannabis buyers club attracted 2,000 members in San Francisco.

Not only did the club attract sick people that used it as a dispensary and floating support group, but it also became a center for people considering themselves as activists in a political reform movement.  Some notable members of the political pot movement were Mike and Valerie Corral, Dale Gieringer, Jack Herer (author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes!), Tod Mikuriya, Pebbles Trippet, and many other notable figures.  From ’94-’95, these activists helped to draft and lobby bills that would make medical marijuana legal through a doctor’s approval to treat patients suffering from cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and glaucoma.

This bill would later become what is known as Proposition 215, a significant victory for medical cannabis that passed in California on November 5th, 1996.  Dennis was one of many members that wrote the first draft of Prop 215.  After Prop 215 passed, cannabis clubs sprung up around San Francisco and Oakland.  Other than the short list, the ballot measure applied to a wide range of illnesses that could be treated with cannabis.  It took a long while since the first draft, but Prop 215 finally broke waves in California a few years later.  To this day, Dennis Peron is seen as the Godfather of cannabis legalization here in America.

And there you have it:  Dennis Peron’s residence at the Castro Castle in San Francisco was where the first medical cannabis community flourished.  It was open for all cannabis consumers, but quickly shifted gears towards medical use after the HIV/AIDS crisis hit America.  After losing his partner to AIDS, Dennis was motivated to kick-start the medical cannabis community in California.  The rest of it was history – Prop 215 passing, medical cannabis communities spreading around the country, recreational cannabis made legal in Colorado and Washington State, and so on.  None of this would have happened without the help of Dennis Peron, the Godfather of cannabis legalization.  It was a long and frustrating road, but he overcame every obstacle to help patients in need.

Whenever you’re about to load your bowl with some medical cannabis to treat your illness, just remember to thank Dennis Peron for spreading the medical cannabis community.  Thanks Dennis!

Canada’s Medical Cannabis Coverage…Eh!


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With the country’s political system declining each day, more citizens are looking to move to Canada for a better life.  Last year’s elections results shocked the nation and Canada is becoming the light at the end of the tunnel for some folks.  Some of the reasons that people move to Canada is for universal health care, a more socially-progressive government, generous paid leave, well-mannered citizens, and for a more beautiful environment.  Other than the usual benefits, Canada is also ahead of the game with the cannabis community.

Cannabis is widely accepted within the country of Canada.  While the United States is sluggishly stepping into more liberal policies, their upstairs neighbor has been enjoying a more 4/20-friendly pot party.  Medicinal cannabis is legal in all areas and the push for legalization is stronger than ever.  Not only is Canada setting its sights for legalization next year, but some Canadian healthcare companies are adding cannabis coverage to health insurance.

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Listen up, cannabis consumers – there ARE Canadian healthcare companies that will cover the cost of your medicine.  Unlike the US, with our train wreck of a healthcare system we have now, Canadian healthcare companies can pay for your flowers or medical devices.  Oh, Canada!

Just last week, the owners of Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart Loblaw Companies announced that medical cannabis would be included within the employee benefits plans.  Loblaws president and executive chairman Galen G. Weston remarked last year that he envisioned his company’s retail outlets dispensing medical cannabis in the future.  This announcement became one of the HUGEST corporal acceptance of medical cannabis within North America.  No corporation in America, even those in California, has shown this amount of widespread use on consuming cannabis.

This isn’t the first instance where health insurance companies are 4/20-friendly within The Great White North.  Health Canada actually allows certain companies (A.K.A. licensed producers) to grow medical cannabis and distribute to patients.  Only problem is that the agency hasn’t given cannabis a Drug Identification Number (DIN), so cannabis isn’t actually a fully-approved medicine yet.  While the cannabis laws still seem hazy in the land of Canadia, they are definitely ahead of the curve when compared to the US.

As legalization spreads around the United States, there is a growing interest from patients towards health coverage for medical cannabis.  It’s only a matter of time until more Canadian healthcare companies jump in on the 4/20-friendly bandwagon.  Seems like the pot party is raging harder in Canada these days, eh?

It was great to see Canada stepping it up with their healthcare system!  This is some good PR for the healthcare industry because patients are being heard about including medical cannabis into their healthcare plan.  Public relations is about staying on top of the trends your audiences is following, so businesses like Loblaw Companies are generating some good PR with their idea.  Medical cannabis has been widely legal in Canada for a while and their universal healthcare should include cannabis as part of their coverage.

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While their upstairs neighbor is raging on with their pot party, America is slowly accepting cannabis into their social norms.  Right now we’re still trying to fix our train wreck of a healthcare system we’re dealing with and we’re not even CLOSE to including medical cannabis into our healthcare plan.  Even though recreational cannabis use is legal in 1/10th of the country, there’s still a LOT of work that must be done to work out all of the kinks.  Cannabis’s reputation has been so badly damaged that the ‘Reefer Madness’ mindset is still floating around the nation.

Old habits die hard and America’s habit of misinformation towards cannabis won’t go away so easily.  Before we can even start considering medical cannabis as part of our healthcare coverage, there’s still much work to be done on repairing its reputation.  Not only are there Canadian healthcare plans that include medical cannabis as part of their coverage, but Canada is planning to legalize recreational use by July 2018.  This plan looks to legalize cannabis in ALL parts of Canada.

We jumped through some major hurdles last year and the battle for full legalization continues on.  Canada may have its universal healthcare, but America has a secret weapon at its disposal – CALIFORNIA.  Known as the birthplace of the counter-culture movement, California has always shown its widespread approval of their Cali Kush.  California voted to legalize recreational use and the ticking time bomb is set to go off next year.  Once those dispensaries open up, the shit will hit the fan!  That ‘California Dreamin’ mindset will become more relevant than ever.

Canada stepped up their healthcare game and now its America’s turn.  It’s your move, America…balls in your court!

 

 

Lange/Paulson TV Criss-Cross!


 

For our last TV criss-cross, we looked at two actresses (Jessica Lange and Kiernan Shipka) and how their roles were similar in Feud.  A few of Jessica Lange’s characters in American Horror Story had their sights set on fame and fortune, particularly Sister Jude Martin and Elsa Mars.  Kiernan Shipka was little Sally Draper in Mad Men before landing her latest role as Bette Davis’s daughter.  Sally Draper’s mother, Elizabeth Draper, used to be a model before becoming a housewife.  Shipka played a daughter to two famous mothers that yearn for the glitz and glamour they were so used to.

It wasn’t until the 5th episode ‘And the Winner is… (The Oscars of 1963)’ that I discovered another interesting character.  After finding out that Bette Davis was nominated for her role in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Joan calls up a few friends in Hollywood that were also being nominated.  One of those friends happens to be Geraldine Page.  Who’s the actress portraying Geraldine Page?  It’s no other than American Horror Story veteran Sarah Paulson!

That’s right people – Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson were onscreen together in Feud!  Another special TV criss-cross discovered on the same show.  Seeing Kiernan and Jessica together was interesting, but seeing Sarah Paulson again on the silver screen was even better!  It’s like the TV criss-cross gift that keeps on giving.

Way before Feud even started, Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson have been onscreen together for Ryan Murphy’s horror series American Horror Story.  Ever since American Horror Story: Murder House, the duo has played various characters with twisted personalities.  Sometimes the characters were friends while other times they became adversaries.  Jessica Lange’s last appearance was on American Horror Story: Freak Show, but Sarah Paulson continues to drudge through the bizarrely-twisted world that is American Horror Story.  Since Lange left the series, Sarah Paulson played Hypodermic Sally McKenna on American Horror Story: Hotel and Audrey Tindall/Lana Winters in American Horror Story: Roanoke.

This was so great to see Sarah Paulson in another work by Ryan Murphy!  Paulson has been doing such a great job in the American Horror Story anthology and she did well in her role on Feud.  After Lange left her work in American Horror Story, it was great to see her onscreen with Sarah Paulson again.  The two are terrific actresses with Ryan Murphy’s work.

Besides the TV criss-cross itself, Feud has been a really interesting series to watch.  It’s not as disturbing or gruesome as American Horror Story, but it is shocking to watch what the actresses went through over What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?.  Davis and Crawford may have been at each other throats for a while, but Hollywood only fanned the flames of this notorious feud.  To think that all this trickery and back-stabbing is all part of show business here in Hollywood.  Like I mentioned earlier, it’s ALL show business and actresses will do ANYTHING they can to snag what they want (including sleeping with the sleaziest of sleazeballs!).

There’s only three episodes left of Feud.  What will happen next to Betty and Joan now that the Oscars are over?  Could they be working together again on another film?  We’ll have to stay tuned to find out!