Tag Archives: Social Media

AHS Teases New Elephant Monster!


Image result for AHS

Image result for AHS Bastien the Minotaur

Image result for AHS Piggy Man

It’s now been six months since American Horror Story: Roanoke ended and I really haven’t been doing much research on the newest season.  What I do know is that it will follow a new storyline, have new crazy enemies, and a twisted monster that will hack and slash some of the characters.  There’s always a new monster creeping around the corner every season and some of them will take our fears to a whole new level.  First there was Bastien the Minotaur on American Horror Story: Coven, then the Piggy Man graced us with his grotesque appearance on American Horror Story: Roanoke, and our new season will introduce…an elephant!

Image result for Ryan Murphy Elephant

On May 5th, Ryan Murphy teased us with a new tweet of an elephant monster for next season.  This elephant looks creepy AF, with black hollowed-out eyes and a red, twisted grin.  None of its body has been drawn, but the face itself will induce nightmares for months to come.  To put it bluntly, this new elephant monster already looks creepy…as…FUCK.

Image result for ahs elephant

Who is this new elephant monster?  What is the backstory behind this disturbing drawing?  Does it have any ties to the previous monsters within the American Horror Story universe?  What’s the reason for that twisted grin?

Image result for AHS Twisty

Image result for AHS Twisty

While I don’t have any answers yet, there’s already a clue found within the drawing.  Recognize that twisted grin?  You should, because it’s the EXACT same mask Twisty the Clown wore on American Horror Story: Freak Show!  AHS fanatics will remember Twisty the Clown, the disturbing clown killer on season 4 that made Pennywise look like child’s play.  Twisty the Clown, played by John Carroll Lynch, was the monster who kidnapped or murdered his victims.  What’s even more frightening was the tale behind his mask that he wears as his costume.

Image result for AHS Freakshow

If the elephant’s grin bears a striking resemblance to Twisty, then the clue could be tied to season 4 in some way!  Whether it ties directly to Twisty the Clown or not, there’s a hint that we could be revisiting the Freak Show storyline during season 7.  No other clue has been dropped, yet we have an interesting idea for what the monster will be next season.

Image result for AHS Elephant

Image result for AHS Addiction Demon

Before dropping the twisted clown drawing, Ryan Murphy revealed that season 7 will revolve around the 2016 elections.  Rather than the storyline being directly about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, it will play as an allegory of the fears many people felt after the election results.  The elephant is the symbolic animal for the republican party; with that being said, the elephant monster will definitely fit well with the disturbing allegory for next season.  Who knows what kind of shocking outfit the elephant monster will wear during season 7.  The elephant monster could serve as an assistant to one of the characters (like The Addiction Demon was to Sally McKenna).

Image result for AHS

This was so cool to find!  I honestly haven’t been reading much news about the upcoming season of American Horror Story these days.  Discovering this awesome tweet while on the train home from Boston really got me pumped about the new season.  The elephant drawing itself looked SO creepy and I’ll enjoy watching it do its dirty work!  It drives me insane how long I have to wait until I figure out what dastardly theme Ryan Murphy has planned for us.  There’s really not much on TV (except for Bong Appétit and Weediquette) and American Horror Story is really the only story I look forward to.

Image result for AHS Elephant

There is no other major news about the new season of American Horror Story, but more news will be dropping in the future.  Ryan Murphy showed us the most disturbing animal creatures (Bastien the Mintoaur and the Piggy Man!) and now he’ll be scaring us shitless with an elephant monster.  Looks like people won’t be heading to the zoo anytime soon next year!

Legal Cannabis + Airbnb – Public Consumption Rule = WIN-WIN


Image result for Massachusetts Question 4

We’re at over five months after Question 4 passed in Massachusetts and so far we are operating on a legal grey area.  Massachusetts citizens can consume legally, yet there are no recreational dispensaries open at the moment.  It’ll be quite a while before the first shop opens up, but that isn’t stopping audiences from getting the products they need.

Image result for Smoking cannabis in private

Even with the dispensaries opening, there’s a bigger problem revolving around WHERE customers can consume their products.  Smoking cannabis in public is still illegal and there are no licensed businesses that provide safe havens for places to smoke.  Edibles are easier to consume discreetly, but there are customers that prefer smoking their herbs.  And to add insult to injury, those potential customers are hesitant to purchase cannabis because they wouldn’t be able to find anyplace to consume.  This situation can be summed up by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s phrase:

Water, water, everywhere,

            And all the boards did shrink;

            Water, water, everywhere,

            Nor any drop to drink.”

Image result for samuel taylor coleridge

Image result for Portland Oregon 4/20-Friendly

            In this case, it would be ‘pot, pot, everywhere, nor a single location to smoke’.  Cannabis can easily be found around Massachusetts (especially around Boston), BUT there are no legal public places for customers to smoke.  No public place for consumption means customers will flock from Boston and head to a more 4/20-friendlier city (like Denver or Portland).

How do we go about solving this issue?  What’s the temporary solution we have now that we could use for the next few years?  Is there a hidden answer within Coleridge’s riddle that we’re not looking at?

Image result for Airbnb

Well folks, I managed to figure out a solution to this riddle that made a light-bulb go off inside my mind.  The answer for public 4/20 places is…Airbnb.

Image result for Airbnb

Airbnb is the answer that’s been around before cannabis became legal in Colorado and Washington State.  Founded on August 2008 in San Francisco, Airbnb is an online hospitality service that enables people to lease or rent short-term lodging.  Such lodgings that can be found within Airbnb include apartment rentals, vacation rentals, hostel beds, home-stays, and even hotel rooms.  It provides similar hospitality services within hotels, but Airbnb connects people on a personal level.

Image result for Airbnb 4/20-friendly

Image result for Airbnb 4/20-friendly

Rather than just provide a place to sleep in for the night, Airbnb hosts can answer any questions/concerns about the place guests are staying at.  But the real kicker with Airbnb?  Some choices feature rooms where the hosts are 4/20-FRIENDLY.  That’s right people, there ARE 4/20-friendly options available on Airbnb!  4/20-friendly options can already be found within Colorado, Oregon, Washington State, and especially in California.

Image result for Airbnb Cannabis

Image result for Half-Ounce Granddaddy Purple

Not only is Airbnb bringing in more foot traffic because of the 4/20-friendly states, but the costs are less expensive than hotel rooms.  Cheaper options to stay at means customers will have more spending money to use for exploring the cannabis culture.  For example, John and Jane will have more money to spend on a half-ounce of Grandaddy Purple in Colorado because they saved money on an Airbnb option rather than hotel room that is $150/night.  Dropping more coins on the cannabis products rather than the hospitality services means customers will travel BACK to that destination again (and will probably bring family/friends to the mix!).

Image result for Boston Airbnb

Image result for Boston Airbnb

Going back to Beantown, there are plenty of Airbnb rentals within the Boston area.  Dispensaries are hitting the streets next year and customers will be flocking to Massachusetts (better yet, GRASSACHUSETTS!) for the greens.  Airbnb will hold the key for solving the ‘pot, pot, everywhere, not a single location to smoke’ dilemma.

Image result for 4/20-friendly Hotels

Image result for 4/20-friendly Hotels

But wait, it gets even better!  With companies like Airbnb thriving in the 4/20-friendly states, the competition in tourism will be MASSIVE among the hospitality services.  Customers will steer away from traditional hotels and flock to the modern options that allow them to smoke cannabis publicly without the fear of being arrested.  In turn, hotel companies will provide 4/20-friendly options to keep business afloat.  Airbnb serves as the primary domino that will knock down the barriers cannabis prohibition created with public consumption.

Image result for 4/20-friendly Hotels

To recap, let’s do the math real quick:  A legal cannabis market in Boston (1) plus legal public consumption through Airbnb (1) minus the rule where public consumption outside is illegal (0) equals a WIN-WIN situation for the cannabis/tourism industry (1+1-0=2).  Coleridge’s riddle of where to use can be solved through Airbnb.  We are quite a way until we provide 4/20-friendly hotels in Boston, but 4/20-friendly Airbnb has already been happening before cannabis was made legal.

Image result for Massachusetts Cannabis

Massachusetts is still operating under a grey area when it comes to legal cannabis.  To pull ourselves out of the quirky situation, we need to discuss the problem from every angle to figure out the right solution for the industry to thrive.  People are enthusiastic about cannabis making airwaves in Boston, but we have to solve the problem from every angle in order to make this work.  There’s always going to be new and unique problems arising in this industry and that’s why we have to keep searching for more interesting ideas to go about solving it.  It’s companies like Airbnb that serve as the golden key towards unlocking the treasure chest full of gold.  In this case, it’s green gold.

The United Airlines Sexist Dress Code Club


Ever since I was a kid, I have been on many airplanes for vacation trips.  I took flights to PRSSA conferences, to California (one of my personal favorite trips!), to Miami for the cruise the next day, and even to Georgia to visit my extended family.  It was always exciting to pack my favorite games to bring with me on the plane.  Now that I’m older and security has tightened up even more around the airlines (thanks to 9/11), getting through the airport is pure HELL.

We used to be hopeful adventurers who were enthusiastic about flying, but now we’ve succumbed to becoming lab rats being pulled into institutionalized buildings where employees scream directions to us every minute. “Take your shoes OFF and put ALL electronic devices into the tray NOW!”, says the disgruntled worker to all passengers.  All this screaming and yelling over basic instructions has decreased our enthusiasm about flying.  If that isn’t enough to cause you to go insane, then you’ll lose it even more when you find out that some airlines won’t let you on board because of the way you are dressed.  This particular scenario happened recently with United Airlines.

Here’s the PR nightmare for today: two girls were boarding a flight in Denver to head back to Minneapolis on Sunday morning.  Since the girls were wearing leggings, United Airlines barred the girls from boarding the flight.  To make matters even more embarrassing, they were forced to change into a dress when the gate agent thought that the leggings were inappropriate.  United Airlines doubled down on their decision through a series of tweets.  This news was first posted by Twitter user Shannon Watts, a passenger who witnessed the scene while boarding a flight to Mexico.

Let me get this straight…two young girls, that weren’t even teenagers yet, were barred and forced to put on a dress because of their style choice.  Not because they wore something that promoted sex/drugs/violence, but simply because they wanted to wear leggings.  Seriously guys…LEGGINGS are what barred the two tween girls from flying United Airlines.  To make matters even worse, they were forced to put on a dress in front of EVERYONE at the gate. This PR nightmare is on another level of stupidity that its hurting my brain.

This sexist story hit the social media bug, causing a wildfire of shocked reactions from users everywhere.  More users were offended by the PR nightmare rather than the girls that decided to wear leggings on board.  Airline companies like Delta took to Twitter to troll United Airlines with their preposterous rule.  Even after the shocking reactions from users appalled by the nightmare, United Airlines STILL stood by with their decision.

Jesus Christ…just when I thought airports couldn’t get even more frustrating.  What is this country coming to?  Since when did we start allowing gate attendants to judge what’s proper clothing for women to wear onboard the airplane?  Not too long ago, people secretly had sex on a plane before landing (which was called ‘joining the Mile-High Club’).  Now we’ve gotten to the point of paranoia that we can’t allow tween girls to wear leggings on board the plane.  This PR nightmare really set a bad tone for United Airlines and their culture.

As a man, I think it’s absolutely preposterous that United Airlines barred the girls just because they wanted to wear leggings.  I could give a shit what women are wearing (whether it’s a big dress or tiny skirt) because I respect women for who they are.  Women should be allowed for choosing what to wear and not feel judged based on some bullshit sexist issues.  If you’re a woman and want to wear leggings on a plane, go ahead and do that (I’ll give you brownie points if they have a pot leaves on them!).  Leggings are an appropriate style choice, not some slutty accessory that would be deemed unacceptable in American culture.

Next time I’m planning a trip, I’ll be sure to wear some leggings before heading to my destination (probably something with pot leaves or horrific monsters as a design!).  There ARE such things as leggings for men and I’ve been thinking about purchasing a pair.  I’ll have to search for some good ones before I’m flying out for vacation.

With that, I call on all women to wear whatever clothes that they enjoy.  You do YOU, girl!  No man/woman can tell you that your fashion sense isn’t deemed ‘appropriate’ to wear!

Hempcrete Homes For Humanity


Ever since legalization made waves on the elections last year, there’s been a lot of 4/20-friendly topics cranking out for MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  It has only been 2 months and the cannabis community has already seen some major progress with their social/cultural issues.  Just a few days ago, the DEA erased some false information regarding some ‘health facts’ about cannabis.  Social media helped peddle the positive cultural influences into the mainstream media, raising awareness of its numerous medicinal benefits.  It was one of many PR miracles that the cannabis community needed to broaden its identity within the social culture.

With cannabis stealing the spotlight, there hasn’t been much light shed on hemp.  Hemp is basically cannabis’ shy, introverted cousin that doesn’t a lot of coverage in the media.  This tall, sturdy plant is a member of the cannabis sativa species that contains no flowering buds during its life cycle.  Unlike cannabis, hemp is a non-psychoactive plant with a high CBD content and contains very little THC.  While consuming hemp won’t get you high, it’s still considered an important product here in America.

Hemp is considered a schedule 1 drug (like cannabis!), yet it’s still grown in over 30 countries.  Ironically enough, it is legal to import hemp into the United States.  Its versatile use made hemp an essential commercial and industrial product for thousands of years.  Some key uses for hemp include food, textiles, fiber, plastics, and other important materials.  One of the most important functions of hemp is utilizing it for a building material known as hempcrete.

Hempcrete is a bio-composite material made from a mixture of hemp hurds and lime.  Hurds are the inner woody core of the hemp stalk in a mineral matrix utilized to form a material that is non-toxic, carbon-negative, and energy-efficient for building. The mixture of hemp hurds and lime is used during the construction and insulation process of home building.  Like most plants, hempcrete absorbs the carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere as it grows.  Being that hemp hurds is an energy-efficient material, hempcrete is great a great tool for sustainable housing.  It’s also naturally fire and pest resistant, so you won’t have to worry about uninvited guests spoiling your dinner (Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup!).

The first use of hempcrete material was when Italian mater brick mason and builder Charles Rasetti renovated the Maison de la Turque (aka House of Turkey) in Nogent-sur-Seine, France in 1986.  Originally built around 1550 A.D., the Maison de la Turque is a timber-framed building that utilized hemp for numerous products in new construction or renovation.  Such projects including work for the insulation of floors, coatings, walls, roofs, and other major projects for construction. Hemp may have been illegal to grow in the United States at the time, but countries like France were already paving the way for sustainable homes.

With climate change being one of the most prominent environmental issues of the 21st century, it’s HIGH time we start searching for more renewable materials (no pun intended!).  Other countries have already been growing hemp for decades, thus advancing further in the fight against climate change.  When it comes to sustainable housing, hempcrete should take center stage as a renewable building material.  We need to take advantage of the ever-growing cannabis culture by discussing more about hemp as a building material.  Hemp needs to be pushed into the spotlight more in order to raise awareness of its versatile use.

Our founding fathers utilized hemp when America was gaining its national identity.  George Washington grew hemp in his backyard while Benjamin Franklin established the first hemp paper mill.  These men would be rolling in their graves if they discovered that we’ve criminalized this versatile plant.  Climate change has been problematic for our natural environment for decades.  With this ever-changing climate, maybe the secret to reversing the damages is going to pot…literally!  Maybe the key has been hidden within cannabis and hemp all along and the PR nightmare caused by the ‘Reefer Madness’ mindset has caused dramatic effects within our environment.

Social media may have shed the light on cannabis, but now we have to shed more of that light towards hemp as building material.  Hemp is something we need to take seriously if we want to win our battle against climate change.  Mother Nature provides so many useful tools on this earth and one of those special tools could shape the way we construct sustainable houses in the near future.

 

Just Say NO…to Misinformation on Cannabis!


Something that really stuck with me when learning about public relations was that companies must stay on top of trends every year.  The audience goes wherever the wind blows, so it is vital to stay ahead of the curve in order to captivate your audience’s interest.  It’s a familiar concept within fashion where one fashion trend may be hot now, but it will be out sooner than you think.  Information trends are similar to fashion where it flows throughout the world every day and cultural shifts revitalize the concept through certain events.

For example, take a look at how the information on cigarettes were radically altered in the past few decades.  Cigarettes were widely used during the 50s/60s, with doctors pushing them to their patients.  No one really knew of the dangerous health effects from long-term smoking, so people continued to smoke packs of cigarettes every day.  It wasn’t until the late 90s when a slew of laws was filed to decrease cigarette use in America.  Nowadays, you can find more people vaping through e-cigarettes than smoking a pack of Marlboros.

That was about how PR radically altered cigarette use in America, but now our main substance that has been gaining more recognition is cannabis.  Recreational cannabis use has been legal in 1/10 of America for since the elections and the push for modernized information has become more relevant than ever.  The dominoes have fallen quicker than ever since it became legal, with organizations become more pressured to cave in to where the wind is blowing.  One of the biggest opponents of the cannabis community that followed the wind was the DEA.

After mere months of legal and public pressure, the DEA recently removed misinformation about cannabis on their website.  Their website, dea.gov, provided some erroneous facts about cannabis use.  The legal request comes from the non-profit medical cannabis advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) where they argued that over 25+ misinformed statements were found about cannabis; it violated the Information Quality Act, which prohibits government agencies from providing false information to the public and requires them to respond to the requests within 60 days for correct information.  The ASA filed the petition on December 5th, 2016 and the facts were finally scrubbed off from the website.

Some of the “facts” that were erased from the website included preposterous claims that cannabis is a gateway drug, a primary contributor to lung cancer and psychosis, and that it causes an irreversible cognitive decline in adults.  These claims are what kept the ‘Reefer Madness’ mindset going after Nixon’s War on Drugs initiated in 1971.  It’s almost 46 years later and now these mind-boggling “facts” have now been expunged from the public eye.  Another PR miracle has been crafted for the cannabis industry after decades of Nixon’s War on Drugs!

This right here is what public relations is all about: a change of information regarding a certain idea due to the ever-changing social culture in the community.  It was the people that led the direction as to where the wind is blowing and cannabis legalization in America is pushing farther than ever in the right direction.  Social Media helped to build the bridges that connected cannabis users together under one virtual community.  Other than building bridges, social media is also major factor for where the wind is blowing for social trends.  The fight for cannabis legalization has been a long and hard battle so far, but the DEA expunging their “facts” from their website is a MAJOR step in the process.

All I have to say about this PR miracle is…FINALLY!  Most people have known for decades about cannabis’ medicinal benefits and it’s amazing that the misinformation is being erased from the DEA’s website.  I’ve known since college that these claims about cannabis use were sorely incorrect and that cannabis has widespread benefits when using it.  As Americans, we deserve the fundamental right of correct information to better educate ourselves on what is right for us.  It should be up to the people, not “professionals”, that should make the decision about what’s good or bad for their body.

Cannabis use in America is going stronger each day, with more consumers being better informed about the plant through social media sites.  More people are saying NO to misinformation about cannabis and saying YES on recreational use.  Just like fashion trends, information on cannabis is slowly morphing itself within the modern social culture that we see today.

We’re just one step closer to widespread legalization here in America.  The dominoes are falling harder than ever and the wind is blowing faster than ever towards the future of the cannabis industry.