28 February 2009

Tatev Monastery - revisited

One of the several pleasures of blogging is receiving comments from people whose knowledge is different and more extensive than mine, and those who have the time and ability to find things on the 'net.

In January I blogged the top photo above, of an unidentified building in a remarkably scenic location somewhere in Armenia. I was fascinated first and foremost by the location; the outcrop of rock overlooking a valley looked like a place which would have been strategically favorable since neolithic times. I imagined hunter-gatherer priests putting temples here millennia before this apparent monastery.

Secondly, I was fascinated by the structure (click to enlarge the photo). A cross-shaped building with a cross atop it, but with fortifications, perhaps arrow-windows, and at the left of the photo a large gaping arch that seems to open to a vertical cliff - too patent for defensive purposes. Was it where debris and garbage was tossed to the wolves/peasants? It reminded me somewhat of the larger building in the cinematic version of The Name of the Rose.

Literally within hours of my posting the photo, Rich H identified it as Tatev Monastery and provided some links. Shortly thereafter John McNulty tracked down more information. Armed with those data I was able to piece together a bit of this history of this interesting place, including the monastery's home page. (maps and sat photos here at GeoSat, coordinates already logged in - just click.)

The monastery was founded in the ninth century at the location of much older temples; the first churches per se were chapels in the 4th century. The main Church of Pogos and Petros (Peter and Paul) was built in 895-906. At that time the monastery had a population of 1,000 and controlled numerous villages; by the 13th century it owned 680 villages.

The peasants did not always welcome being “owned” by the monks; on several occasions they rose up (presumably with fire and pitchforks), attacked the monastery, and plundered it.
“In the X century to enlarge its domination the monastery made the neighbored villages disport. At the time the peasants were over totaled and darted off the monastery, especially the Tsuraberdiants (Svarants) in 910, and seized the monastery, killed some monks and the others were thrown down the canyon.”
“...in the first period of XI century Tatev was ruined by Seljuk's for the first time… The Turks plundered the monastery. An unique cultural treasure: 10000 manuscripts created within 300 years were stolen. It is impossible to imagine the value of this manuscripts.”
Grigory Church adjoins the main church; it was built in 1295 in the place of an earlier building of 836-848.
“In XV century the band of bloodsucker Lank-Tamor reached Tatev and set fire to the temples and stole the treasures of the monastery. He plundered the whole library. They destroyed all the holy-chipped stones from the monastery walls and took to Samarghand….”

“It is difficult to say what happened in the next XVI-XVII centuries. There is nothing in the history about this land.”
The earthquake of 1931 caused considerable destruction - the dome of the St. Paul and St. Peter church and the bell tower were destroyed. In the latter years the St. Paul and St. Peter church was reconstructed

Some walls “are decorated with representations of human faces, to which snake heads with stings sticking out are turned. Armenians believed snakes to be the protectors of their homes.”
The monument "Gavazan", erected in 904 in the yard, near the dwelling premises of the monastery, is a unique work of Armenian architectural and engineering art. This is a octahedral pillar, built of small stones; eight meters tall, it is crowned with an ornamented cornice, with an open-work khachkar towering on it. As a result of seismic tremors, and even at a mere touch of human hand, the pillar, hinge-coupled to a stylobate, tilts and then returns to the initial position.”
The door of Tatev Church is an outstanding work of woodcarving art (1253 and 1614, the State History Museum of Armenia).

The residential and service premises, arranged in a single row on the perimeter, set off the polyhedral rock foundation and seem to be an extension of it. “Besides dwelling rooms, there was also writing-house, teacher's-room, school, bathroom and a great number of production buildings: workshops, reserves, and etc.”

Stepanos Orbelian, the medieval bishop/historian of Syunik, recounts that Tatev housed 600 monks, philosophers "deep as the sea," able musicians, painters, calligraphers, and all the other accoutrements of a center of culture and learning. The monastery produced teachers and manuscripts for the whole Armenian world.

At the top is the original photo from January, then a view of early reconstruction efforts, a view of more recent work inside the complex, the monument, and a millstone in the residential/work complex. The bottom photo is the best; it enlarges to wallpaper size and thereby generously rewards a click.

But I still don't know what that big arch in the wall overlooking the cliff was used for...

English words of Urdu and Hindi origin

Avatar - from Avatar means incarnation

Bangle - from Bāng~, a type of bracelet.

Bandanna – Bandhna to tie a scarf around the head.

Bungalow - from banglA & Urdu banglA, literally, "(house) in the Bengal style".

Cheetah - from cītā~, meaning "variegated body."

Chit - from Chitthi, a letter or note.

Cot - from Khāt~, a portable bed.*

Cushy - from khushi خوشی - easy, happy, soft.*

Jungle - from jangal, another word for wilderness or forest.

Khaki - of dust colour in Urdu.

Mug, Mugger - Mugger, meaning crocodile. Faddish Victorian purses were made of crocodile skin. Street robbers were thus called "muggers".

Pundit - from Pandit, meaning a learned scholar or Priest. [“Amradorn”, take note]

Sentry - from Santri, an armed guard.*

Shampoo - Champu, a scalp massage with some kind of oily or treacly mixture just before a bath.

credit here
* = see notes in comments


Something like this would be useful when hiking in the spring to help cross meltwater streams without getting one's boots wet. (credit)

Fairy, demon, and dragon

Credit here, with more pages available when you change the pages of the url

If you want to attract women...

...forget the Beemer. Join the Ukranian Army.

Apparently a real recruitment video.

Strawberry farm (?)

A worker picked strawberries at a farm in Palos de la Frontera, Spain Friday. (Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters) (credit)
Not a technique that's familiar to me, but an arresting image of large-scale corporate farming.

Addendum: see note by Monique in comments section re the rationale for the setup shown.

Cleaning up New Orleans

Not cleaning up after Katrina - cleaning up after Mardi Gras. If you've ever been there, you may remember fighting in the crowds to grab one of the necklaces thrown from the floats. Better you should have waited until the next morning - you could have had a front-loader-full.

The celebration was deemed a great success this year; only seven people were shot, none of them fatally. (Credit)


Enlarge picture to fullscreen to view, then read discussion and analysis here. Credit.

Urine-diverting toilets

A reality - not just a concept - at least in Sweden, where 135,000 of these are currently in use. The systems keep toilet contents separate from the greywater of other household (sink, tub) use, and further separates urine and feces for individual recycling purposes.

Nightsoil has of course been used for millennia to enrich soil. Gardeners, even in industrialized countries, have saved urine in jugs for application to their garden plots; they just don't talk about it in public. The toilet above uses modern technology and design to facilitate these age-old processes.

Long discussion at the New York Times. Photo and image credit to this German corporate website, where there is further commentary.

Steve must be a cool dude...


Forrest Gump in one minute

Warning: spoiler - but if you haven't seen the movie yet, you probably never will, so why not see the one-minute version of it and learn all the relevant memes?

REM sleep with inadequate motor inhibition

It's funny here, but the same thing sometimes happens in people - with potentially tragic results.

"Joe the Plumber" entering the final phase

This week he had a book signing in a Border's bookstore in Washington D.C. From the description, it sound like future engagements will be at Half-Priced Books:
About 11 people wandered into the rows of seats set up hopefully in the basement of a downtown Border's bookstore to hear Joe speak...

Joe got a couple of news cycles' worth of attention starting on Oct. 12 -- he remembers the date clearly -- when he was videotaped confronting Barack Obama about his small-business tax plans... Now, only a few months later, he's kind of like a vestigial tail, a leftover artifact from a forgotten time...

Plumbing? Not happening. "I show up on a plumbing job and the first thing someone's going to say is 'Joe the Plumber didn't do the job right,' " he said. "The next thing you know, it's on the national news. It would be naive to go back to it."

Wurzelbacher says he's still no fan of Obama, but confessed that he never liked McCain all that much, either. Nor has he cared for the politicians he's met on Capitol Hill. "Liars and thieves," he called them...

Wurzelbacher was scheduled to speak and sign books for three hours, but the Joe Show was over in 55 minutes. Total copies of "Joe the Plumber" sold: five.

Michelle Obama upholds the Constitution

HuffPo (and many other sites) have featured articles this week on the new First Lady's choice of fashion. TYWKIWDBI tries to avoid celebrities and fashion, but we will weigh in on this. The silly and superficial tempest in a teapot revolves around her decision to wear sleeveless dresses for official functions (including the official portrait above):
The First Lady impressed many, but also made a few waves on Tuesday night when she broke with tradition and wore a sleeveless Narciso Rodriguez dress to the President's address before Congress. Opinion was divided over whether it was appropriate to show so much skin at such a ceremonial event.

"'Does the lady not understand that these Big Speech Events are serious and important? Not a cocktail party?'" wrote one Chicago Tribune reader. "''The season is winter. The occasion is business. Dress was wrong place and time.'"
We have scrolled through a few of the 22 pages of comments that accompany that article; we agree with the sentiment that the public is tired of Washington women in pantsuits and jackets, but more importantly we wholeheartedly affirm the observation that the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right of Americans to bare arms.

27 February 2009

Random photos

I'll end my day with these photos I found here (re which, see this link, or just scroll down the page.)

"Staycations" are not a new concept

This poster is from the WWII era.

Helter skelter in an office building

I have seen pictures of indoor slides, including spiral slides, on the 'net (example on the left), and have wondered whether they were real, or concepts, or digital creations. Now the Mail Online is reporting that a British office building has installed a real one - three stories high at that!

It reportedly allows employees to travel from the third floor to the first floor (40 vertical feet) in seven seconds. The designers acknowledge that health and safety inspectors will have reservations about the passageway, but they decided to go ahead with it in order to "make a statement about risk-taking" (and to draw attention to their media-related business, no doubt).

TYWKIWDBI fully approves. For a two-story house I would love to have a fireman's pole available as a supplement to the regular stairs...

The other interesting aspect is the apparently exclusively British usage of "helter skelter" to define this structure. Per Wikipedia "A helter skelter is a funfair or amusement park ride with a slide built in a spiral around a high tower. Users climb up inside the tower and slide down the outside; usually on a mat." The term "helter skelter" was also used by Phil Collins in the Genesis song "Tonight tonight tonight":

Try to pick yourself up, carry that weight that you can't see,
Don't you know it's alright
Its like a helter skelter, going down and down, round and round
But just get it away from me - oh.

I never did understand those lyrics before. You learn something every day. I'm still unclear as to how the words "helter" and "skelter" came to define a spiral slide. That's for another day...

"Could care less" or "couldn't care less" ?

Earlier this week, while advising people to "wear their brown pants" when Obama announced the new federal budget, I offered this comment:
the vast, vast majority of the American public don't understand and frankly probably "could have cared less" in the past when things were going well.
Recognizing the awkwardness of the phrase, I put it in quotes and moved on. Mike noticed, and gently took me to task:
"could have cared less" was used when you actually meant "Could NOT have cared less."
He's right of course, and I welcome all such comments. But as I looked into the phrase today, I discovered it's not as simple as it appears.

Via Bartleby.com, here is the analysis from The American Heritage® Book of English Usage:
I could care less! you might say sometime in disgust. You might just as easily have said I couldn’t care less and meant the same thing! How can this be? When taken literally, the phrase I could care less means “I care more than I might,” rather than “I don’t care at all.” But the beauty of sarcasm is that it can turn meanings on their head, thus allowing could care less to work as an equivalent for couldn’t care less. Because of its sarcasm, could care less is more informal than its negative counterpart and may be open to misinterpretation when used in writing.
The best researched and most extensive discussion of the phrases I could find was at World Wide Words:
The form I could care less has provoked a vast amount of comment and criticism in the past thirty years or so. Few people have had a kind word for it, and many have been vehemently opposed to it…

A bit of history first: the original expression, of course, was I couldn’t care less, meaning “it is impossible for me to have less interest or concern in this matter, since I am already utterly indifferent”. It is originally British… The inverted form I could care less was coined in the US and is found only there...

Why it lost its negative has been much discussed. It’s clear that the process is different from the shift in meaning that took place with cheap at half the price. In that case, the inversion was due to a mistaken interpretation of its meaning, as has happened, for example, with beg the question.

In these cases people have tried to apply logic, and it has failed them. Attempts to be logical about I could care less also fail. Taken literally, if one could care less, then one must care at least a little, which is obviously the opposite of what is meant. It is so clearly logical nonsense that to condemn it for being so (as some commentators have done) misses the point. The intent is obviously sarcastic — the speaker is really saying, “As if there was something in the world that I care less about”…

There’s a close link between the stress pattern of I could care less and the kind that appears in certain sarcastic or self-deprecatory phrases that are associated with the Yiddish heritage and (especially) New York Jewish speech. Perhaps the best known is I should be so lucky!, in which the real sense is often “I have no hope of being so lucky”, a closely similar stress pattern with the same sarcastic inversion of meaning. There’s no evidence to suggest that I could care less came directly from Yiddish, but the similarity is suggestive. There are other American expressions that have a similar sarcastic inversion of apparent sense, such as Tell me about it!, which usually means “Don’t tell me about it, because I know all about it already”. These may come from similar sources.

So it’s actually a very interesting linguistic development. But it is still regarded as slangy, and also has some social class stigma attached. And because it is hard to be sarcastic in writing, it loses its force when put on paper and just ends up looking stupid
More at the link. I'll agree with all of the above; English is such an amazingly complex language that one shouldn't need to resort to slang except for effect. I don't share the ethnic heritage noted in the World Wide Words discussion, so my use of the phrase was just the result of rushing to blog 15 items in one day. In my defense, as uberblogger Andrew Sullivan has noted, blogging is "the spontaneous expression of instant thought.”

On the bright side, Mike's pointing out my gaffe has given me the chance to explore the subject and share it as a blogpost in the "things you wouldn't know" category. You learn something every day.

p.s. - I hope the reference to "wearing brown pants" was self-explanatory. If not, there's an appropriate joke about a pirate who wore a red shirt during sea battles...

(image credit here)

Uncredited photos - the blogger's dilemna

I'd like to think that most bloggers make sincere efforts to give credit for photos and images they use on their blogs, for reasons of common courtesy as well as copyright. Sometimes, however, problems arise which are not easily surmounted.

Photos saved without reference data
Sometimes photos or images have credits embedded within them either as watermarks (typically from professional photographers), labels (as in the National Geographic contests), or political cartoons (for which I consider the cartoonist's signature as constituting appropriate credit rather than the webpage where it was depicted. In those cases, when one saves the photo, the credit remains "attached."

Saving photos is easy; saving the source is much more difficult. The picture above is one I downloaded years ago into a "miscellaneous humor" file. When I do "save as" on Firefox with a Mac, I can type a hundred characters into the file name, so I could (theoretically) type in the entire url of the photo as I save it. Having not done so in the past, or made any written notes re its source, should I not use it? I have on occasion used images with the notation "source unknown," figuring that putting them in a noncommercial blog without source info is a minor sin.

Crediting a photo that is widespread on the 'net
One website that every blogger should have bookmarked for reference is TinEye Reverse Image Search (there may be other similar sites). TinEye has a Google-level simplicity to its homepage; one simply uploads an image (or inserts the url of an image), and the site will search the web for similar images. It is very useful for finding the context of unusual images, completing sets of images, or searching for original attribution.

In preparing to write this post, I inserted the "ax not in head" image above. TinEye then returned to me 54 websites that have used this photo (none of them likely to have been my original source). A seriously anal-retentive blogger (or an FBI agent) would probably click all 54 of those sites and see which of them provide credit for the photo, but most of them won't have done so, and most of the others will have credited one another. When an image (especially funny images or political caricatures) have been on the web long enough, the crediting schema of serial "vias" becomes like an ouroboros.

Photos found at photoblogs or photo storage sites
Are you familiar with Pixdaus? A wonderful - I would say unparalleled - site for viewing photos and finding material for screensavers. 10 photos per page x 6500 pages (you do the math). Photos are uploaded by a community of people, who take credit for the upload, but I have yet to discover a way to discern the source from which the photos were taken.

I have used pictures from Pixdaus in the past, and listed the website as the source, but it feels wrong to give "credit" to a website that doesn't seem to give credit to the original photographer or webhost. I have the same hesitance with regard to Dilidoo, which every day has a large picdump, but all the photos are uncredited, and many or most can't be tracked with TinEye.

A similar dilemna arises for me at Widelec. I always give them credit for photos, because they post photosets, and I typically use one or two and want to send TYWKIWDBI readers to the site to see the rest of the set if it interests them. But Widelec is an photo aggregator site, and I have not been able to find the original credit for the photos (in this case my failure may be a language problem).

To my mind the best photo storage sites are those like Boston.com's award-winning The Big Picture, where photos are aggregated with credit to AP, Reuters etc.

I'd appreciate input and advice from other bloggers.

(photo credit unknown)

26 February 2009

Infrared photography

Three examples from an album of 101 photos.

Elongated skulls found in Siberia

A one-minute video showing skulls excavated near Omsk, Siberia. The skulls show prominent deformation that obviously was induced by skull clamping or binding of newborns with malleable crania. A couple related videos are here. The skulls are said to date from the 4th century A.D., although I haven't yet seen a proper scientific paper with these data.

Skulls similar to these are well-known artifacts of Maya civilization. It is truly interesting that simiilar skulls should be found in Asia (and reportedly also in Europe). One wonders whether this represents coincident parallel cultural developments or whether there was more communication in the prehistoric world than we conventionally give them credit for.

I'll check some archaeology sites later this week to see if I can find more information.

German beard and mustache championships, 2008


The Thatcher Effect

Wonderfully illustrated by the bizarre face on the upper of the three girls in this manipulated photo.

Don't see it? Read the link, and, if necessary, invert your monitor.

Found at Nothing to do with Arbroath.

"Chinese bluegrass"

The tune is "Katy Hill," played by Red Chamber accompanied by The Jaybirds' traditional bluegrass instruments. This brings back fond memories of my many years in Kentucky.

Posted for Dave and Lan, and their daughter Crystal, who is already proficient in playing the pipa.

Via J-Walk.

Art created with crayons

Not by drawing with them - by stacking them up.

Via Neatorama's Upcoming Queue.

Be careful with "silly string" around flames

Flammability causing near-tragedy at a wedding.

M.C. Escher illustrates deficit financing

Credit, via Neatorama's Upcoming Queue.

Bark Obama? A primer on Portuguese Water Dogs

Portuguese Water Dogs (PWD) are a breed of water dog similar to poodles. Portuguese Water Dogs once existed all along Portugal's coast, where they were taught to herd fish into fishermen's nets, to retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and to act as couriers from ship to ship, or ship to shore…

Like Poodles and several other water dog breeds, PWDs are highly intelligent, have curly coats, have webbed toes for swimming, and do not shed…

If left untended, the hair on a PWD will keep growing indefinitely. Problems associated with this include the hair around the eyes growing so long as to impede vision, and matting of the body hair, which can cause skin irritations. For these reasons, PWDs must be trimmed about every two months…

In the lion cut, the hindquarters, muzzle, and the base of the tail are shaved and the rest of the body is left full length. This cut originated with the fishing dogs of Portugal… The lion cut diminished the initial impact and shock of cold water when the breed jumped from the boats, as well as providing warmth to the vitals. The hindquarters were left shaved to allow easier movement of the back legs and the breed's powerful, rudder-like tail…

The PWD's biddability, high intelligence, and tendency to vocalize and then seek out its human master when specific alarms occur make it an ideal hearing-ear or deaf-assistance dog. PWDs can be readily trained to bark loudly when a telephone rings, and then to find and alert a hard-of-hearing or deaf master…

Some PWDs will stand upright at kitchen counters and tables, especially if they smell food above them. This habit is known as "counter surfing" and is characteristic of the breed…

Their intelligence and working drive demand consistent attention in the form of regular vigorous exercise and mental challenges. Gentle and patient, they look (and are) soft, cuddly, and cute -- but they are not to be mistaken for "couch potatoes". When bored, PWDs will become destructive…

A Portuguese Water Dog is first described in 1297 in a monk’s account of a drowning sailor who was pulled from the sea by a dog with a "black coat, the hair long and rough, cut to the first rib and with a tail tuft". Some believe that the Portuguese Water Dog made its contribution to history in the 16th century, working on board the ships of the Spanish Armada...

Ingrown eyelashes (distichiasis) is not uncommon in PWDs and other curly-coated breeds, due to their curly hair…

Senator Ted Kennedy is the owner of two Portuguese Water Dogs: Sunny and Splash…

Portuguese Water Dogs retrieve home run balls that land in McCovey Cove, the body of water adjacent to AT&T Park.

(Photo and text from Wikipedia)

25 February 2009

Victorian trade card collection

Not trading cards, mind you. These are "trade cards" distributed for centuries by businesses as a form of advertising. Miami University Libraries has a digital collection of I believe a thousand or more of these online; if you like history, it's well worth exploring.

The one pictured above, with an 1887 calendar on its back, is classic. "Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup" was almost certainly a tincture of opium or other narcotic, used "for children teething" or just to keep kids quiet (or mommy relaxed). The lower classes only had gin-soaked socks to use as pacifiers; the upper classes were much more sophisticated.

Bizarre trade card

Look, it's a cute baby with an ice cream cone and... wait, what??? That "cone" is a shaving brush with lather on it, and in his right hand he's holding a straight razor. He apparently has just finished shaving (and lacerating) the right side of his face, and now he's going to ??scalp himself, or ??go after the kitten.

The trade card is for "fine clothing" - perhaps resistant to blood stains? The back of the card is blank.

Acme and Master Soap trade cards

I was puzzled by the top one. Why would a girl push her brother down a well just because he's carrying Acme Soap?

The answer was apparent from the bottom tryptich of three Master Soap cards. Apparently the soap makes so much foam that it lifts her brother back to the top of the well.

Princess Plow Company trade card

This one's easy. The man has obviously been knocked unconscious by a runaway horse-drawn carriage. A young woman pretending to help him deftly picks his pocket, relieving him of his wallet. She can then use the funds to purchase a plow for her farm.

Alternate (and less interesting) explanation on back of card.

Hoaxer laughs after telling parents their child is dead

A hoax caller rocked back and forth with laughter seconds after phoning an unsuspecting father claiming his only child had "just been killed."

Aaron Davie was at a train station when a teenage boy approached him and asked if he could borrow his mobile phone to call his father for a lift home.

The 29-year-old, who had been out drinking, let the 15-year-old make the call but moments after he had wandered off, he pressed redial and delivered the cruel message.

After hanging up he was captured on CCTV collapsing in a fit of laughter as he swigged from a can of beer at Aston train station in Birmingham.
More details at the Telegraph. Scum.

This is a "Tapsel gate"

A Tapsel gate is a type of wooden gate, unique to the English county of Sussex, which has a central pivot upon which it can rotate through 90° in either direction before coming to a stop at two fixed points. It was named after a Sussex family of bell-founders, one of whom invented it in the late eighteenth century. Only six examples survive, all in a 10-mile (16 km) radius of Lewes,the county town of Sussex.

Tapsel gates are made of wood and are balanced on a solid wooden or metal pivot, instead of being hinged on one side. They can be opened easily, in either direction, with a small push; they therefore are much easier to negotiate than more typical gates.

Common problems of side-hinged gates—heaviness and susceptibility to breakage, for example—are avoided. Also, a Tapsel gate can be opened in a smaller area than would be needed for a side-mounted gate. Because the gate is mounted in the centre of the opening in a wall, it effectively halves its width, which prevents passage by large animals, but allows people to pass through on either side easily. This characteristic is especially beneficial in churchyards, enabling pallbearers to carry a coffin through a gate without difficulty.

Photo and text from Wikipedia.

Crush, Texas, was a town for one day

On that day (September 15, 1896) it had a population of 40,000 and was the second largest city in Texas. It was a temporary city, created to host a publicity stunt.
Two train engines were painted bright green (engine #999) and bright red (engine #1001)... The trains toured the state for months in advance, advertising the event. On the day of the event, 40,000 people showed up... The Katy Railroad offered spectators from anywhere in the state of Texas train rides to the site for $5 or less.

About 4:00 pm on September 15, 1896 the two trains rolled back to opposite ends of a four mile track. The engineers and crew opened the steam to a prearranged setting, rode for exactly 4 turns of the drive wheels, and jumped from the trains. The trains each reached a speed of about 45 mph by the time they met very near the anticipated spot.

The impact caused both engine boilers to explode, and debris... was blown hundreds of feet into the air. Some of the debris came down among the spectators killing three, two young men and a woman and injuring several more.
The man who had set up the stunt was immediately fired from the railroad....
However, in light of a lack of negative publicity, he was rehired the next day.
There's a lesson there; I'm just not sure what it is.

Couch Dress

Pantalaine, the manufacturer, indicates on their website that they..
"will customize this item to fit you and any loveseat or sofa in your home."
Other related items are also available.

A Gallery of Medical Marijuana

Above are screenshots of Kush, Sour Diesel, and the generic "Purps" - three of a dozen selections offered in a Gallery of Medical Marijuana, along with brief commentary as to prices and the relative medical benefits of each variety. The latter include relief of glaucoma, stress, nausea, headache, pain, and as aromatherapy and for appetite stimulation.

The photo gallery is featured on the website of CNBC - the business channel on cable television. Why on a business channel? Because serious consideration is being given to fully legalizing marijuana in California, purely for economic reasons. There are reasonable estimates that sale of the product by the state, or taxation of private sales by the state, could generate a billion dollars or more to help relieve the current budgetary crisis.

TYWKIWDBI does not advocate the consumption of this product anywhere it is illegal. We present this as a public education service so that informed readers can be aware of the economic factors involved. Also, in case you encounter a cluster of these plants growing in a remote corner of your back yard, you will know to call a law enforcement officer so he can dispose of them in a proper fashion...
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