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Inside my first Cannabis Convention: Hempcon 2015

Posted by admin on May 23, 2015 in news, opinion, Strange events

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The cannabis “medible” industry  is gaining more traction every day (for people who  eat their weed) and I was curious to see what creators in the space were up to. A convention is the perfect place to see  industry connoisseurs, and 420 tends to have gatherings forming across the states. I chose to go to Hempcon 2015, a large cannabis exhibition event held at Cow Palace in San Jose, six miles south of San Francisco. The three-day event took place from the 17th-19th April 2015, the dedicated 4/20 weekend (naturally) and I attended on the Sunday.

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana – almost two decades ago, in 1996 –  and as a new resident, I was intrigued  as to what  Hempcon would offer me. It’s not the most famous expo ( I’d wager The High Times Cannabis Cup has that that honor) but it has been running  since 2010,  and holds events across the country. Read more…

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21st century jousting for millennials

Posted by admin on May 18, 2015 in Animal Oddities, geekery, Strange events

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It is a scene ideally suited for Medieval times. A dark knight adjusts his visor, raises his lance and focuses, laserlike, on his opponent, the “white” knight, sitting astride his mount. The flag goes down and they charge, lances straight, bodies tensing against the weight of their custom-fit armor — often 200 pounds of solid steel. The bout, though, isn’t old; it’s happening at the Scottish Highland Games & Celtic Music Festival in Mississippi in November. And lest anyone forget that we are in modern commercial times, Guinness (one of the festivals sponsors) has its logo on both knights’ armor.

Looking for a new form of entertainment, or considering the next crazy physical challenge? Jousting is growing in popularity in the U.S., both at Renaissance fairs and formal tournaments. One of its leading advocates is Canadian-born Shane Adams, who captained one of the teams at the Scottish festival. For years, he used to set up his own jousts, but he wanted the sport to be taken seriously, so in the 1990s he competed and twice won a jousting event at ScotFest in Colorado. “The style of jousting was white armor,” he says. “That means you wear 100 pounds of chainmail.” So far Adams has broken his hands, wrist, and dislocated his shoulder. And there are reports of jousters dying. But Adams wants the sport to stay physical, he believes it won’t get respect if it tries to be “historical.” Read more…

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The Dazzling World of High Tech Hula Hooping

Posted by admin on Apr 21, 2015 in geekery, news


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When Lauren Shaw starts hula-hooping, jaws drop. But it’s not her sinuous motions capturing attention, it’s the flashing light show created by her spins. Dazzling lightscapes and hip-swirling rainbows transform her movements into art performance. This is the next generation of high-tech hoopery: LED “smart” hoops.

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Five years ago, then-real estate agent Shaw was bored and decided to try hooping as a hobby, and she soon tapped into the online communities — 20,000-plus people in the Unity of Hula Hoopers Facebook group and a big YouTube hoop scene. With their encouragement, she kept improving her “flow,” which is what hoopers call their dance style. A moment of inspiration struck one night when she saw flashing red lights atop a movie theater. She had an engineer mount LED spokes on a hoop and program them to project words that glow when the hoop is in motion. “It uses persistence of vision phenomenon, where the light goes so fast that it’s created in front of your eyes,” Shaw explains. The positive response to this creation encouraged her to launch her company, SpinFX, which is dedicated to high-tech hoop solutions.

Her first version, the SpinFX Pro Hoop, became the flagship model; it’s customizable for corporate events and music videos, such as Vanessa Hudgens’ music video. For consumers, there’s the Phoenix. With 150 embedded LEDs, the Phoenix is programmed with 200-plus patterns, which create dynamic circles, spikes and trails of light. Extra patterns can be created at home, and many people in the hooping community share theirs online for free. And they’re a little crazy; think wildly spinning pizza slices and neon Mario Bros. The hoop can be controlled with its Android app (yes, a hula hoop with an app), which connects via Bluetooth.

Read more…

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Behold the Awesome Underground Bike Cave

Posted by admin on Mar 17, 2015 in random, travel

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When you enter the Louisville Mega Cavern in Kentucky, it’s hard not to gape at your surroundings. At 100 feet below the ground, the thick limestone walls are imposing, and the enormous space seems to go on forever — 17 miles, to be exact. Back in the 1930s, this was the Louisville Crushed Stone Mine, which was quarried for rock. Now it’s an underground adult playground, equipped with a zip-line course over glowing rocks, a rope course and a tram that takes visitors on a historical ride through the cavern.

But the latest addition, which opened last month, is a massive bike park — 320,000 square feet — with more than 45 trails, including a dual slalom and jump track, tunnels, wooden jumps and a skills area. “I didn’t know what a bike park was nine months ago,” Mega Cavern co-owner Jim Lowry tells OZY. But then someone asked him about renting space to make one. Lowry hired the enquirer, and they began to explore if it would work, then teamed up with Joe Prisel, designer of the Burlington Bike Park, a 40,000-square-foot indoor bike park in Washington state, to create an outline for the cavern. Construction took about three months. Read more…

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Equine artists turn horses into works of art

Posted by admin on Dec 15, 2014 in Animal Oddities, Design and Home, geekery, news, style

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When most people see Jillian Scott’s horses they do a double-take. Is that really a zebra in North Lanarkshire, Scotland? Nope, it’s part of Scott’s art — but the canvas she uses isn’t paper or linen; it’s the bodies of horses. From shaving giraffes to dragons to Batman, this is the realm of creative clipping.

And some of the designs are crazy. For customers Scott has shaved everything from a skeleton to the Minion from Despicable Me on a horse’s rear — a type of clip called a “bum patch” that’s increasingly popular wIth people who don’t want to commit to a full-creative groom — to a One Direction logo onto a pony. But her favorite designs is her leopard print.

Halloween Horse Jillian Scott

A horse groomer for ten years, Scott, 27, started experimenting last year: she took out her clippers and carved a zebra pattern into her horse, a job that took around three hours, with breaks to consult images on her phone to make sure she had the pattern right. The same clip now takes her 45 minutes. Her work started getting her local attention — some positive, some not so friendly. “Some people don’t like new things,” she shrugged. She charges $63 for a “regular” clip and $78 for a creative clip.

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Scott isn’t the only groomer using horse hair as artistic medium. Melody Hames, 28, a graphic design student at the University of Salford, Manchester who works at JMC Equestrian, wanted to combine clipping with her art.

After sketching her designs on paper she clips freehand — with no stencils. Her most impressive creation: a detailed castle etched into the side of a Freddy, her 4-year-old horse. It took nine hours. Read more…

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The Eat Like Sh*t Foodie Trend

Posted by admin on Dec 3, 2014 in opinion, random

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Red Velvet Corn Dogs . Loaded Chili Cheese Carrot F**k Fries. Ice Cream Cookie Tacos. Poutine Sushi. Whiskey Pickled Eggs.

Yes, this is actually food. These odd concoctions are the work of Kyle Marcoux, 28, who runs the Vulgar Chef blog. He operates on shock value, and his recipes are stuffed with profanities. Seriously. The instructions for his mac ’n’ cheese say: “Start tossing in cheese and spices and cook the tits off. Cook on low/med until that shit is creamy as fuck.”  He’s crude, but strangely appealing at the same time, an antidote to the ultra sanitized, Pinterest-fueled world of twee chefs like Julia Child and Paula Deen.

Marcoux recognizes this, and references it in the introduction of his Eat Like Shit Cookbook , self-published in September. “This isn’t your typical Rachael fuckin’ Ray cookbook, this shit is way more legit. It’s so legit that a lot of the recipes don’t even have measurements,” he wrote.This openness had made him an antihero in the cooking world, and gained him nearly 40,000 followers on Instagram . Marcoux doesn’t pretend he’s a trained chef. In his own words, he’s just a dude getting drunk and cooking in his parents’ basement: “more like a rebel cook with a potty mouth who loves artery-clogging cooking,” he said to OZY. He uses his friends as lab rats, testing new recipes on them. “I know what they’ll like and what they’ll puke on,” he said. Read more…

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Explaining Ebola for Children

Posted by admin on Oct 13, 2014 in news, opinion, technology

There’s a lot of hyperbole about ebola at the moment. This makes sense; it’s a scary disease with no vaccination and people are concerned. But that’s no reason for misinformation, or for people to run around making wild claims and confusing the issue. Most of us aren’t biochem majors and can’t break down complex details about drug interaction/ virus systems etc, but we do have questions we want answered.

An explainer:

I was recently trying to explain Ebola to a ten year old who was very frightened and was thinking about how best to help them. I like to go with something visual, it’s easier to take in, seems more accessible and breaks down the subject matter. A number of places have created useful Ebola guides but I felt they had something missing. The fun angle. I’m not making light about the serious of the virus, but want to put it in context and the humor (hopefully) means people and kids won’t turn off when it gets a little heavy. hey, if Miley Cyrus and Unicorns can help, why not? (watch for this to be explained).

You can see what other outlets have done below, and do let me know how you think mine holds up.

The Cartoon Network

Read more…

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