Berkeley among first cities ready sell legal cannabis in California Jan. 1

greenstate  – excerpt

Cannabis fans and history-watchers may be flocking to Berkeley Jan. 1 for some of the first legal recreational marijuana sales in the state’s modern history.

Commercial sales to adults 21 and older can legally begin New Year’s Day in California, but pot shops need both a state and a local license to conduct such transactions. Unlike San Francisco or Oakland, Berkeley has become one of the very few of the 400-plus cities and counties in California to create such a license.

On Oct. 17, the Berkeley Council voted on consent to pass the second reading of an amendment to its city code permitting Berkeley’s three dispensaries to conduct adult-use sales, according to Charley Pappas, vice chair of the Berkeley Cannabis Commission, and former chair for two years. The amendment had passed a first reading unanimously Oct. 10, he said.

The amendment now goes to a City Clerk for chaptering and becomes effective in 30 days… (more)

 

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English Man Catches Fish And Holds Up To His Mouth . . . Fish Jumps Down Throat And Forces Man Into Cardiac Arrest

A twenty-eight-year British man experienced cardiac arrest this week after he accidentally swallowed a 6-inch long Dover sole that he caught on a fishing trip in Boscombe, England.   The man was dangling the fish over his mouth as a joke when it broke free and went right down his throat.  Fortunately, paramedics arrived within minutes and saved his life by removing the fish with forceps… (more)

When your food attacks. This reminds me of the lobster dinner the 1988 movie, Beetlejuice. Great special effects, costumes and makeup.

The Atlantic Confirms It: We Are Living In A Kakistocracy

By Dartagnan : theatlantic – excerpt

I can speak from firsthand knowledge that living through 11 presidencies of varying degrees of competence (and the occasional scandal or criminality) gives you some perspective on what we are experiencing today. Norman Ornstein, political scientist and resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, has lived through 13 of them. What he sees with the Trump Administration is something so unique it needs a special word to describe it, a word that has been out of popular usage for nearly two centuries. The word is “kakistocracy.”
kakistocracy (English pronunciation: /kækɪsˈtɑkɹəsi/) is a system of government which is run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens. … It was also used by English author Thomas Love Peacock in 1829, but gained significant usage in the 21st century…(more)

When The Neighborhood Comes to Dinner

By Beth Hoffman + John Hogeland : lessmeat – excerpt

It all started with a crazy idea.  I wanted to invite the neighborhood for dinner, like I’d seen in Gourmet or Saveur magazines, where whole Italian towns eat dinner together in the streets. Long tables, beautifully arranged, with hundreds of people sitting down for the same meal (usually spaghetti) at the same time.

I mentioned it to a neighbor when we moved to Mission Terrace in San Francisco, a little known gem of a neighborhood in the far south of the city. We have unpaved alleys behind our homes, right-of-ways owned by the homeowners, used by PG&E for access.  I thought it seemed like the perfect place for a dinner, to gather people and tables and to somehow, someway all eat the same thing (likely spaghetti) at the same time.  But how to make all that pasta?  How to boil it, keep it warm, and serve it out to hundreds of people?… (more)

San Francisco: now with more dystopia

By mhudack

I visited San Francisco for the first time in a year last week. Someone turned up the dystopian dial 20% while I was away.

I stayed in a hotel downtown. At about ten on the night I arrived I decided to walk to a wine bar for a glass of California Pinot Noir. I walked six blocks to get there.

On that six block walk I witnessed multiple homeless people crawling on the streets. Crawling. Someone shot up heroin right in front of me. Three separate women dressed like ’70s LA street prostitutes propositioned me. Then I got to a very nice wine bar where I had an unreasonably expensive glass of Russian River Valley Pinot. It was great but the juxtaposition not great at all.

The next morning I noticed that there are more self-driving cars on the street than there had been a year ago. There are also more people living in tents and in shanty towns. More people shooting up on the street. There are also more companies reinventing the world than ever before. Many of them are investing heavily in automation and eliminating human workforces.

I witnessed the worst of human destitution as self-driving cars rolled past.

One evening I had meetings in Palo Alto and dinner in San Francisco. I took a Lyft from Palo Alto to the Mission for dinner. It was cheap, easy, convenient. A little piece of the future.

Once we got off the highway we turned into the Mission. At around 19th and Folsom we were blocked by a house in the street. The house was a one room shanty built out of 2x4s and Plywood. It had a door and windows. It was on dollys and someone was pushing it down the street.

My driver flashed his headlights and pulled around the house. He dropped me off a few minutes later at Tartine Manufactury, which served my friend and I a very good but unreasonably expensive meal. The man pushing his house could have used the money we spent on that meal. The juxtaposition, again, was uncomfortable.

William Gibson will tell you that “the future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

San Francisco is in the future. San Francisco’s future isn’t pretty. It’s cold, hard, technological. It’s fueled by both extreme poverty and extreme wealth. By technology and heroin. It is the future of dystopian novels. It is the future of Gibson and Philip K. Dick. It is the future of Blade Runner.

Someone needs to take hold of the dystopia dial and turn it back down. Quickly. Before it becomes too late. The city needs to take better care of its poor and seriously examine what’s happening in its midst. It’s not enough to say that other cities hide these problems at their peripheries. There is something seriously disturbing about the situation in San Francisco that must not be ignored. Everyone has to come together, take responsibility, and move forward… (more)

A goo description of a look into our country’s future if we don’t stop the “progressive future ” being crammed down our throats by our government. Believe me you don’t want to go there.

Lights! Camera! Culinary School Will Teach Instagram Skills

: nytimes – excerpt

HYDE PARK, N.Y. — Check out the tray liners at Martina, Danny Meyer’s new pizzeria in the East Village, which were designed as branded Instagram bait. Each has what the executive chef, Nick Anderer, calls “a frenetic doodle” of contemporary Roman slang phrases, images of wineglasses and pizza, and at the bottom left, the restaurant’s name.

And if you wonder why your Instagram shots of Martina’s pies look so good, credit the lighting system, which allows the staff to adjust bulbs individually, with “a warmer hue in the dining room than in the kitchen,” Mr. Anderer said, “so it doesn’t cast too much shade against the pizza.”

Almost two miles and a degree of insecurity to the south, the chef Gerardo Gonzalez relies on Instagram to sustain his first restaurant, Lalito, which he opened 10 months ago in Chinatown. He said a lunch special sells out immediately if he posts an Instagram photo of the new dish.

Seven years after its founding, Instagram announced last week that it has 800 million monthly users, and the camera-ready restaurant dish has become a cultural commonplace. High-quality images are as essential to a chef’s success these days as knife skills.

The people who teach those knife skills know it — which is why the venerable Culinary Institute of America will introduce two new elective courses in May, one in food photography and the other in food styling, to help students develop sophisticated skills not only for the plate but also for the app…

The classes will teach students how to work with digital cameras and lighting, how to compose and edit a shot, and how to cook for the still camera, “with the same values as if you were eating it, evoking the feeling that it’s going to be luscious,” said Kersti Bowser, a food stylist and institute alumna who is working to develop the courses with Phil Mansfield, a staff photographer at the school… (more)

U.S. Suspends Cuban Visas, Withdraws Staff Without Finalized Plan in Place

: thedailybeast – excerpt

The U.S. State Department announced it would stop authorizing visas for Cubans before actually finalizing the details on how to implement the suspension, The Miami Herald reported Friday. One official said that Cubans could possibly apply for American visas in other countries, but did not explain how such a procedure would work. The U.S. is also withdrawing some of its staff from its embassy in Havana, but says it will still officially maintain diplomatic relations. The announcement comes after mysterious sonic attacks damaged the health of around 20 diplomats, causing symptoms ranging from hearing loss to brain damage…

Reactions in the Washington and Miami have been mixed.

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio criticized the administration for not going further. “Shameful that State Department withdraws most staff from the U.S. Embassy in Cuba but [Raúl] Castro can keep as many as he wants in U.S.,” the Florida senator tweeted…(more)

One of our favorite cultures deserves some mention as it once again goes out of government favor. The old one step forward and one step back US dance.