Saturday, 24 December 2011

Official Occupy Wall Street Thank You Video - YouTube

Uploaded by dsauvage on 20 Dec 2011
This it the official OWS video to thank our supporters. This video was passed by consensus through the New York City GA on Tuesday, December 20.

Directed by David Sauvage
Produced by Blowback Productions and the team
Special Thanks to Haywood Carey and the Organization WG

Edited By: Christopher K. Walker
Shot By: Michael Beach Nichols
Additional Shooting by: Eric Branco
Sound: Joey Battelli

Production Assistants: Andrew Cornell, Chris Utica

Congress reached an agreement to extend the payroll tax cut

President Barack Obama via 
 22:21 (3 hours ago)
to me

The White House, Washington

Good afternoon --

Earlier this week, it looked like Congress would go home for the holidays without preventing a tax increase that would mean millions of American families would have about $40 less in each paycheck.

But then something pretty incredible happened.

It began when we asked everyone to show us how that missing $40 would affect them and their families. In a matter of hours thousands of vivid, powerful stories from Americans of all ages, all backgrounds, from every corner across the country were pouring in. For some, $40 means dinner out with a child who's home for the holidays. For others it means a tank of gas or a charitable donation. In just two days, tens of thousands of Americans were making their voices heard.

You spoke up. Your voices made all the difference.

Thanks to you, Congress reached an agreement to extend the payroll tax cut.  On top of that, vital unemployment insurance will continue for millions of Americans who are looking for work.

Yesterday I had the chance to meet a few of the folks who took to the web to make this happen." target="_blank" style="color: #336699;">Take a moment to hear what they had to say:" target="_blank" style="color: #336699;">Watch the video.

We aren't done fighting for the middle class. When Congress returns, they need to keep working to reach an agreement that will extend this tax cut and unemployment insurance for all of 2012 -- without drama or delay.

That's just the beginning of our work ahead in the new year to put more Americans back to work, restore middle-class security, and ensure that folks who work hard and play by the rules get a fair shot.

More than ever I'm confident that, together, those are goals we can achieve.

Thank you, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays,

President Barack Obama" target="_blank" style="color: #336699;"> 


The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111


Friday, 23 December 2011

Faith in UK Justice: Happy Birthday Janis Sharp

Cities that broke up Occupy camps now face lawsuits over free speech, use of force - The Washington Post

Thursday, 22 December 2011

HMRC extends LDF deadline - 22 Dec 2011 - Accountancy Age

HMRC extends LDF deadline

by Jaimie Kaffash

More from this author

22 Dec 2011

Gutenberg Castle in Liechtenstein

THE TAXMAN has extended the deadline for Liechtenstein financial intermediaries to investigate their UK clients over undisclosed tax liabilities.

Under the terms of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility, banks and other financial institutions in Liechtenstein were required to send letters to all their UK clients calling on them to settle any tax obligations. The deadline for completing this was originally 31 December 2011, but this has been extended to 31 March 2012.

HM Revenue & Customs said this was because of the "complex steps" involved in identifying UK clients and the "larger than anticipated number of people likely to receive a letter".

The facility offers UK residents the opportunity to settle previous outstanding tax liabilities with a guarantee of immunity to prosecution and a fixed penalty rate.

Andy Cole, head of HMRC's negotiating team dealing with the arrangements between the UK and Liechtenstein said: "Liechtenstein and HMRC are both committed to ensuring UK taxpayers with undisclosed assets are meeting their obligations to the Liechtenstein financial centres and to us, and crucially, that UK taxpayers who need to regularise their taxes are brought back into the tax system."

Katja Gey, director of the Office of International Affairs in Liechtenstein, said: "While virtually all of Liechtenstein's financial intermediaries have completed their work in identifying those whose connections with the UK will result in their notification, this three month extension for formal notification will permit our intermediaries to establish the relevant beneficial interests and ensure that the entire process reflects the sympathetic and helpful approach HMRC and Liechtenstein are committed to."

FE Investegate |GW Pharmaceuticals Announcements | GW Pharmaceuticals: Sativex Approval in Sweden

GW Pharmaceuticals

Sativex Approval in Sweden

RNS Number : 4675U
GW Pharmaceuticals PLC
22 December 2011




Sativex® approved in Sweden for the treatment of spasticity due to Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Porton Down, UK; 22nd December 2011: GW Pharmaceuticals plc (AIM:GWP) today announced that the Medical Products Agency in Sweden has granted regulatory approval for Sativex® (Delta-9-Tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD)) oromucosal spray as a treatment of moderate to severe spasticity due to MS in patients who have not responded adequately to other anti-spasticity medicationi. Sativex® is a first in class endocannabinoid system modulator and is currently available in the UK, Germany, Spain and Denmark.

Evidence generated from clinical trials shows that Sativex® has a positive impact on spasticity in multiple sclerosis, while alleviating associated symptoms including pain, bladder or sleep disturbance. By relieving the symptoms of MS, Sativex® can improve patients' quality of life and allow them greater independence in performing their daily activitiesii.

The launch of Sativex® in Sweden is expected to take place during the first half of 2012 following completion of the national pricing and reimbursement process. Sativex® will be marketed in Sweden by GW's marketing partner, Almirall S.A.

Justin Gover, GW's Managing Director, said, "We are very pleased to announce the approval of Sativex® in Sweden. Sativex® addresses a significant unmet need for people with multiple sclerosis and we look forward to the launch of this important medicine in Sweden next year."

Sativex®, which has been developed by GW Pharmaceuticals, is also in phase III clinical development for the treatment of cancer pain, as the next indication following MS spasticity. Almirall holds the marketing rights to this medicine in Europe (except the United Kingdom).




GW Pharmaceuticals plc

 + 44 20 7831 3113

Dr Geoffrey Guy, Chairman

+ 44 1980 557000

Justin Gover, Managing Director

GW PR: FTI Consulting 

+ 44 20 7831 3113

Ben Atwell / John Dineen


GW Nominated Adviser: Peel Hunt LLP

+44 (0)20 7418 8900

James Steel / Vijay Barathan

Notes to Editors
Sativex® was developed by UK-based GW Pharmaceuticals plc in specific response to the MS population's unmet need for a prescription cannabis-based medicine. Manufactured under Home Office licence at an undisclosed location in the UK it is marketed in Europe (except the UK) by Almirall.

Sativex® is indicated as treatment for symptom improvement in patients with moderate to severe spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS) who have not responded adequately to other anti-spasticity medication and who demonstrate clinically significant improvement in spasticity related symptoms during an initial trial of therapy. Sativex® is delivered by an oromucosal spray (sprayed into the mouth either onto the inside of the cheek or under the tongue) and has a flexible dosing regime, particularly appropriate given the variable nature of both spasticity and multiple sclerosis from patient to patient.

Sativex® contains active ingredients called 'cannabinoids', which are extracted from cannabis plants grown and processed under strictly controlled conditions. Cannabinoids react with cannabinoid receptors that occur naturally throughout our bodies, including in our brainsiii.  A receptor is a site on a brain cell where certain substances can stick or "bind" for a while. If this happens, it has an effect on the cell and the nerve impulses it produces, which causes a 'dimming down' of the symptoms of spasticity. In patients who respond to Sativex®, it is this effect which helps to improve their symptoms of spasticity and to help them cope better with their usual daily activitiesiv.

There are almost 500,000 people suffering of MS in the top five EU countriesv. Spasticity (otherwise known as muscle stiffness) is one of the most common symptoms of MS, occurring in as many as 75% of people with MS and has a negative impact on patients' daily lives as it reduces their capacity to carry out everyday activities such as walking, keeping upright, as well as having an impact on their general mobility, bladder function, and quality of sleepvi. This means patients have to modify or give up certain activities and often require help from a family member or carer. About half of people with MS do not manage to find relief from these symptoms with currently available treatments.

GW Pharmaceuticals
GW Pharmaceuticals plc (AIM:GWP) was founded in 1998 and is listed on the AiM, a market of the London Stock Exchange. Operating under licence from the UK Home Office, the company researches and develops cannabinoid pharmaceutical products for patients who suffer from a range of serious ailments, in particular MS and cancer pain. GW has assembled a large in-house scientific team with expertise in cannabinoid science as well as experience in the development of both plant based prescription pharmaceutical products and medicines containing controlled substances. GW occupies a world leading position in cannabinoids and has developed an extensive international network of the most prominent scientists in the field.

For further information, please

This news release may contain forward-looking statements that reflect GWs current expectations regarding future events, including development and regulatory clearance of the GW's products. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors, including (inter alia), the success of the GW's research strategies, the applicability of the discoveries made therein, the successful and timely completion of uncertainties related to the regulatory process, and the acceptance of Sativex® and other products by consumer and medical professionals.


i. Sativex® Summary of Product Characteristics, 2011.

ii. Multiple Sclerosis Trust. A-Z of MS - Spasticity. Available at: (Last accessed: 26/07/10).

iii. GW Pharmaceuticals. Cannabinoid Science: Mechanism of action. Available at (Last accessed: 21/12/11).

iv. GW Pharmaceuticals. Cannabinoid Science: Cannabinoid Compounds. Available at (Last accessed: 21/12/11).

v. 2010 EMSP, MSIF,, 16/06/2010. Top five EU countries include: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK.

vi. Prevalence and treatment of spasticity reported by multiple sclerosis patients - MA Rizzo et al - Multiple Sclerosis 2004; 10:589-595.

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange



Letter to the Occupy Movement, its supporters, and its critics - YouTube

Optimizing the Collections Process with Speech Analytics | UTOPY

UTOPY's award winning Interaction Analytics software combined with the UTOPY Collections Optimization solution measure, monitor and improve debt collections. Whether you're a collections agency looking to drive results for your clients or an in-house contact center looking to reduce outstanding receivables, UTOPY can help.

Measuring Collections Skills with Interaction Analytics

Contact Center agent collection skills can vary widely. The wide range of agent collection rates provides a major opportunity for organizations that have the ability to identify the reasons for these discrepancies and reduce them with targeted agent coaching. With UTOPY, contact centers are able to measure and monitor 100% of their interactions and analyze them down to the individual agent and interaction level.

UTOPY Collections Optimization

UTOPY Collections Optimization begins by accurately identifying the skills that are most critical to successful debt collection. The Solution leverages the successful collections skills in its Knowledge Base, and then correlates additional industry or company specific skills with collections success, producing a comprehensive library of skills that are most critical to success for each particular company. The dashboards and analytics included with UTOPY Collections Optimization then automatically continuously monitor usage of those key skills, in a completely objective manner. By analyzing the entirety of calls, the solution recognizes every time any collection technique is used, measures and tracks skill usage by agent, and correlates these metrics with successful collections. Such precise, comprehensive and objective tracking of critical collection skill usage is impossible using traditional interaction monitoring methods, and very difficult with other Interaction Analytics tools, which produce incomplete analysis.

Targeted Training and Coaching

UTOPY Intelligent Coaching leverages the precise and comprehensive information provided by UTOPY Collections Optimization to deliver much more targeted and effective training, coaching, and self-learning completely focused on the most relevant collections skills.

The Key to Increasing Collections Rates

Whether your contact center is focused on accounts receivable or consumer debt collections, UTOPY can help to increase your collections success. UTOPY gives you the power to analyze 100% of your calls for collections skill usage and leverage this information to quickly improve collections.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Secret of the Fibonacci Sequence in Trees

"I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for they have no tongues."
—Dr. Seuss (The Lorax)

People see winter as a cold and gloomy time in nature. The days are short. Snow blankets the ground. Lakes and ponds freeze, and animals scurry to burrows to wait for spring. The rainbow of red, yellow and orange autumn leaves has been blown away by the wind turning trees into black skeletons that stretch bony fingers of branches into the sky. It seems like nature has disappeared.

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But when I went on a winter hiking trip in the Catskill Mountains in New York, I noticed something strange about the shape of the tree branches. I thought trees were a mess of tangled branches, but I saw a pattern in the way the tree branches grew. I took photos of the branches on different types of trees, and the pattern became clearer.

The branches seemed to have a spiral pattern that reached up into the sky. I had a hunch that the trees had a secret to tell about this shape. Investigating this secret led me on an expedition from the Catskill Mountains to the ancient Sanskrit poetry of India; from the 13th-century streets of Pisa, Italy, and a mysterious mathematical formula called the "divine number" to an 18th-century naturalist who saw this mathematical formula in nature; and, finally, to experimenting with the trees in my own backyard.

My investigation asked the question of whether there is a secret formula in tree design and whether the purpose of the spiral pattern is to collect sunlight better. After doing research, I put together test tools, experiments and design models to investigate how trees collect sunlight. At the end of my research project, I put the pieces of this natural puzzle together, and I discovered the answer. But the best part was that I discovered a new way to increase the efficiency of solar panels at collecting sunlight!

My investigation started with trying to understand the spiral pattern. I found the answer with a medieval mathematician and an 18th-century naturalist. In 1209 in Pisa, Leonardo of Pisano, also known as "Fibonacci," used his skills to answer a math puzzle about how fast rabbits could reproduce in pairs over a period of time. While counting his newborn rabbits, Fibonacci came up with a numerical sequence. Fibonacci used patterns in ancient Sanskrit poetry from India to make a sequence of numbers starting with zero (0) and one (1). Fibonacci added the last two numbers in the series together, and the sum became the next number in the sequence. The number sequence started to look like this: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34... . The number pattern had the formula Fn = Fn-1 + Fn-2 and became the Fibonacci sequence. But it seemed to have mystical powers! When the numbers in the sequence were put in ratios, the value of the ratio was the same as another number, φ, or "phi," which has a value of 1.618. The number "phi" is nicknamed the "divine number" (Posamentier). Scientists and naturalists have discovered the Fibonacci sequence appearing in many forms in nature, such as the shape of nautilus shells, the seeds of sunflowers, falcon flight patterns and galaxies flying through space. What's more mysterious is that the "divine" number equals your height divided by the height of your torso, and even weirder, the ratio of female bees to male bees in a typical hive! (Livio)

The spiral on trees showing the Fibonacci Sequence

The spiral on trees showing the Fibonacci Sequence

Aidan studied leaf arrangments

Aidan studied leaf arrangments

Aidan measuring the spiral pattern

Aidan measuring the spiral pattern

In 1754, a naturalist named Charles Bonnet observed that plants sprout branches and leaves in a pattern, called phyllotaxis. Bonnet saw that tree branches and leaves had a mathematical spiral pattern that could be shown as a fraction. The amazing thing is that the mathematical fractions were the same numbers as the Fibonacci sequence! On the oak tree, the Fibonacci fraction is 2/5, which means that the spiral takes five branches to spiral two times around the trunk to complete one pattern. Other trees with the Fibonacci leaf arrangement are the elm tree (1/2); the beech (1/3); the willow (3/8) and the almond tree (5/13) (Livio, Adler).

I now had my first piece of the puzzle but it did not answer the question, Why do trees have this pattern? I had the next mystery to solve. I designed experiments that attacked this question, but first I had to do field tests to understand the spiral pattern.

I built a test tool to measure the spiral pattern of different species of trees. I took a clear plastic tube and attached two circle protractors that could be rotated up and down the tube. When I put a test branch in the tube, I aligned the zero degree mark on one compass to match up with the first offshoot branch. I then moved and rotated the second compass up to the next branch spot. The second compass measured the angle between the two spots. I recorded the measurement and then moved up the branch step-by-step.

I collected samples of branches that fell to the ground from different trees, and I made measurements. My results confirmed that the Fibonacci sequence was behind the pattern.

But the question of why remained. I knew that branches and leaves collected sunlight for photosynthesis, so my next experiments investigated if the Fibonacci pattern helped. I needed a way to measure and compare the amount of sunlight collected by the pattern. I came up with the idea that I could copy the pattern of branches and leaves with solar panels and compare it with another pattern.

Diagram of tree model that Aidan made with his computer.

Diagram of tree model that Aidan made with his computer.

I designed and built my own test model, copying the Fibonacci pattern of an oak tree. I studied my results with the compass tool and figured out the branch angles. The pattern was about 137 degrees and the Fibonacci sequence was 2/5. Then I built a model using this pattern from PVC tubing. In place of leaves, I used PV solar panels hooked up in series that produced up to 1/2 volt, so the peak output of the model was 5 volts. The entire design copied the pattern of an oak tree as closely as possible.

Aidan building his solar
Aidan building his solar "tree" collector
The flat-panel collector

The flat-panel collector

I needed to compare the tree design pattern's performance. I made a second model that was based on how man-made solar panel arrays are designed. The second model was a flat-panel array that was mounted at 45 degrees. It had the same type and number of PV solar panels as the tree design, and the same peak voltage. My idea was to track how much sunlight each model collected under the same conditions by watching how much voltage each model made.

I measured the performance of each model with a data logger. This recorded the voltage that each model made over a period of time. The data logger could download the measurements to a computer, and I could see the results in graphs.

The two models collecting sunlight

The two models collecting sunlight

Graph: Tree Design

Graph: Tree Design

Graph: Standard Solar

Graph: Standard Solar

Winter test showing energy collection of the tree and the flat-panel collector

Winter test showing energy collection of the tree and the flat-panel collector

Graph comparing the two solar collector designs

Graph comparing the two solar collector designs

A typical solar collector

A typical solar collector

I set the two models in the same location in my backyard facing the southern sky and measured their output over a couple of months. I moved the test location around to vary the conditions.

The sunlight conditions were also important. I started my measurements in October and tested my models through December. At that time of year the winter solstice was coming, and the Sun was moving into a lower declination in the sky. The amount of sunshine was shortening. So I was testing the Fibonacci pattern under the most difficult circumstances for collecting sunlight.

I compared my results on graphs, and they were interesting! The Fibonacci tree design performed better than the flat-panel model. The tree design made 20% more electricity and collected 2 1/2 more hours of sunlight during the day. But the most interesting results were in December, when the Sun was at its lowest point in the sky. The tree design made 50% more electricity, and the collection time of sunlight was up to 50% longer!

I had my first evidence that the Fibonacci pattern helped to collect more sunlight. But now I had to go back and figure out why it worked better. I also began to think that I might have found a new way to use nature to make solar panels work better.

I learned that making power from the Sun is not easy. The photovoltaic ("PV") array is the way to do it. A photovoltaic array is a linked collection of multiple solar cells. Making electricity requires as much sunlight as possible. At high noon on a cloudless day at the equator, the power of the Sun is about 1 kilowatt per square meter at the Earth's surface (Komp). Sounds easy to catch some rays, right? But the Sun doesn't stand still. It moves through the sky, and the angle of its rays in regions outside the equator change with the seasons. This makes collecting sunlight tricky for PV arrays. Some PV arrays use tracking systems to keep the panels pointing at the Sun, but these are expensive and need maintenance. So most PV arrays use fixed mounts that face south (or north if you are below the equator).

Fixed mounts have other problems. When a PV array is shaded by another object, like a tree or a house, the solar panels get backed up with electrons like cars in a traffic jam, and the current drops. Dirt, rain, snow and changes in temperature can also hurt electricity production by as much as half! (Komp)

I began to see how nature beat this problem. Collecting sunlight is key to the survival of a tree. Leaves are the solar panels of trees, collecting sunlight for photosynthesis. Collecting the most sunlight is the difference between life and death. Trees in a forest are competing with other trees and plants for sunlight, and even each branch and leaf on a tree are competing with each other for sunlight. Evolution chose the Fibonacci pattern to help trees track the Sun moving in the sky and to collect the most sunlight even in the thickest forest.

I saw patterns that showed that the tree design avoided the problem of shade from other objects. Electricity dropped in the flat-panel array when shade fell on it. But the tree design kept making electricity under the same conditions. The Fibonacci pattern allowed some solar panels to collect sunlight even if others were in shade. Plus I observed that the Fibonacci pattern helped the branches and leaves on a tree to avoid shading each other.

My conclusions suggest that the Fibonacci pattern in trees makes an evolutionary difference. This is probably why the Fibonacci pattern is found in deciduous trees living in higher latitudes. The Fibonacci pattern gives plants like the oak tree a competitive edge while collecting sunlight when the Sun moves through the sky.

My investigation has created more questions to answer. Why are there different Fibonacci patterns among trees? Is one pattern more efficient than another? More testing of other types of trees is needed. I am testing different Fibonacci patterns now. I am improving my tree design model to see if it could be a new way of making panel arrays. My most recent tries with a bigger test model were successful.

The tree design takes up less room than flat-panel arrays and works in spots that don't have a full southern view. It collects more sunlight in winter. Shade and bad weather like snow don't hurt it because the panels are not flat. It even looks nicer because it looks like a tree. A design like this may work better in urban areas where space and direct sunlight can be hard to find.

But the best part of what I learned was that even in the darkest days of winter, nature is still trying to tell us its secrets!


Adler, I., D. Barabe, and R.V. Jean. "A History of the Study of Phyllotaxis." Annals of Botany 80 (1997): 231-244.

Atela, P., C. Golé, and S. Hotton. "A Dynamical System for Plant Pattern Formation: A Rigorous Analysis." Journal of Nonlinear Science 12.6 (2002): 641-676.

Brockman, C. Frank. Trees of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. New York: Golden Guides from St. Martin's Press, 2001.

Geisel, Theodor Seuss (Dr. Seuss). The Lorax. New York: Random House Publishers, 1971.

Jean, Roger V. Phyllotaxis: A Systematic Study in Plant Morphogenesis. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Komp, Richard J. Practical Photovoltaics: Electricity from Solar Cells. 3rd. ed. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Aatec Publications, 2001.

Livio, Mario. The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, The World's Most Astonishing Number. New York: Broadway Books, 2002.

Posamentier, A., and I. Lehman. The (Fabulous) Fibonacci Numbers. New York: Prometheus Books, 2007.

Top cloud computing news even the Mayans couldn’t predict

This past year saw a lot of frenetic activity in the cloud computing market, a good chunk of which was caused by major players such as IBM and HP that finally started to “get it.”

IBM, which has never articulated a clear, strategic direction for its dizzying array of products, got it this past April when it released its comprehensive Smart Business Cloud initiative. The company woke from its slumber to deliver a family of integrated cloud-based products.

Meanwhile, one of the earliest and most trusted cloud services purveyors -- can you spell “Amazon”? -- demonstrated that not only can a simple human screw-up louse things up for a whole bunch of users, but also that a lack of attention to customer service at a crucial time can affect user perceptions about the entire cloud industry.

All in all, there were plenty of ups and downs in the cloud this year, as witnessed by's news team in 2011.

IBM finds its cloud strategy mojo 
Earlier in the year, IBM updated many of its Tivoli management tools, adding support for VMware's Virtual Infrastructure Methodology (VIM) APIs, including image repositories, automated provisioning, application deployment and Tivoli Storage Manager, among others.

The move appeared to focus on a more cohesive message around IBM's myriad cloud-related but confusing products, said Judith Hurwitz, CEO of Hurwitz & Associates Inc., an enterprise IT strategy consultant. Calling the company a sleeping giant with a wide range of cloud products, Hurwitz hailed the move as the start of wrapping them together into an "enterprise-ready" cloud computing platform.

But the giant stirred in April when it rolled out Smart Business Cloud -- Enterprise (SBC), a pay-as-you-go, self-service, online platform that brought cohesion to a scattered cloud strategy. SBC also helped IBM gain back some mindshare it lost to Amazon and Google over the past couple of years.

“IBM stepped into the cloud early, but the market has been very dynamic the past two years,” said Dana Gardner, principal analyst with Inter Arbor, Inc. in Gilford, N.H.

Despite being late to the market, HP has been on track to reach for the cloud for some time

Is HP too late to the cloud party?
HP made a late entry into the enterprise cloud services market early in 2011 when the hardware maker released a family of integrated cloud offerings, many of which were pre-existing products tied together with some new and updated software.

Despite being late to the market, however, HP has been on track to reach for the cloud for some time -- at least since it bought hosting player and on-demand outsourcer EDS in 2008. Still, it's unclear whether enterprise customers will feel the stodgy server and PC vendor can meet their public cloud needs any time soon.

For Amazon, the sky fell a bit 
Just when it looked like the cloud systems outages that plagued the industry in 2010 were over, Amazon Web Services (AWS) suffered a massive outage in its Elastic Block Store (EBS) system for a large part of the East Coast last April. Although the source of the original problem was a human-caused configuration error, a cascading “re-mirroring” failure took down a large number of customer cloud sites, including Reddit and Quora, as well as online service provider Heroku.

The basic outage lasted 12 hours, but the aftermath lasted days. To make matters worse, AWS customer service did a less-than-stellar job of keeping affected customers informed about what was going on -- and why.

When you think of Dell, do you think of cloud?
Dell sells a lot of x86 servers -- and the company's CEO and founder, Michael Dell, sees no reason why it shouldn't sell a lot of cloud services, too. The company acquired Boomi a little over a year ago, and it launched the second major update of its AtomSphere Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud integration technology in October at the inaugural Dell World.

Even though Dell claims thousands of customers are using Boomi to link SaaS to on-premises clouds and legacy systems, some conference attendees and analysts remain skeptical Dell is ready quite yet. “There were one or two things missing,” said Jason Burkett, a Louisiana-based solutions architect.

Oracle finally calls the cloud, a cloud
After a few years of refusing to even acknowledge the concept of cloud computing, Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO, finally unveiled its Oracle Public Cloud. At the product’s induction at the OpenWorld conference in October, Ellison unashamedly said, “Everyone’s got a cloud. We need a cloud.”

But Larry, being Larry, didn’t remain humble for long. Ellison boasted that Oracle’s cloud, unlike those of its competitors, is built on industry standards and is completely interoperable with any and all other clouds that might be used in large data centers. Corporate developers will be able to build applications in both Java EE or with Oracle’s Application Express Development Environment, both of which are popular among database developers.

How competitive Oracle Public Cloud will be against offerings from IBM and Amazon remains to be seen. With Ellison now fully participating in the cloud market, however, you can bet it will be entertaining.

VMware vCloud Director 1.5 makes a splash
VMware unveiled the second release of its Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) management package for vSphere -- vCloud Director 1.5 -- to critical acclaim, if not a lot of early adoption. The virtualization king added several new features that users viewed as a good start toward better support for private cloud, including ‘linked clones,” or master templates for quickly provisioning virtual machines so that admins don’t have to configure each new VM from scratch.

Other additions to vCD 1.5 include support for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005, as well as support for vSphere 5.0.

If Windows Server 8 can gain widespread acceptance, Amazon won’t be the only Seattle-area force in the cloud arena.

And, of course, there’s Microsoft 
Even though it’s more a 2012 event, Microsoft revealed it will redouble its cloud efforts with tighter integration between its Azure cloud platform and Windows Server 8. In briefings in September, Microsoft officials called the move the “cloudification” of Windows Server.

Meshing together the two platforms will make it significantly easier for corporate developers to create, deploy and manage cloud-based applications that can work across private, public and hybrid clouds, according to the company. Like Oracle, Microsoft is a bit late to the enterprise-level cloud computing game, but if Windows Server 8 can gain widespread acceptance -- carrying along Azure over the next year or two -- Amazon won’t be the only Seattle-area force in the cloud arena.

Epilogue: 2012 is on the way
Of course, what's past is merely prologue. There are a few hints already about what's coming in the new year. In mid-January, Microsoft plans a reviewers' workshop in Redmond, Wash., to unveil how Windows Server and System Center 2012 will enable customers to host and manage private clouds on Microsoft infrastructure. Conveniently, the betas of Windows 8 and, more importantly for the cloud, Windows Server 8 are slotted for that same timeframe.

As 2012 shifts into gear, expect new and updated initiatives from major and minor cloud players. Stay tuned to for news and analysis as it happens … unless, of course, the Mayans were right and the world ends on December 21, 2012.

Stuart J. Johnston is Senior News Writer for Contact him at

China: 30,000 Haimen Residents "Occupy" Public Highway In Protest Of Coal-Fired Power Plants - YouTube

Poor families facing a 'triple whammy' of benefit, support and service cuts | Society | The Guardian

Poor families facing a 'triple whammy' of benefit, support and service cuts

The coalition's policies could do more harm even than Thatcher, says Alison Garnham, head of the Child Poverty Action Group

Alison Garnham, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group
'The poorest 10% has been hit eight times harder than the richest. It is not defensible,' says Alison Garnham, head of the Child Poverty Action Group. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Alison Garnham believes that the coalition government is in danger of emulating Margaret Thatcher's record on poverty. "It has been said her governments did two things for poverty: they increased it, then they pretended it did not exist. The coalition must avoid a similar, devastating legacy," she warns.

Garnham, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), acknowledges that the signs do not look promising for struggling families. Following the chancellor's autumn statement, the Treasury was forced to admit that another 100,000 children would be pushed into poverty as a result of the government's policies, such as freezing the child element of the working tax credit. A month earlier, research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies forecast that the number of children in poverty would rise by 800,000 by 2020 – despite the government signing up to Labour's target of ending child poverty by that date.

Perverse incentives

The latest noises from David Cameron suggest that he wants to move the goalposts on how child poverty is measured. A child is considered to be in relative poverty if they are in a household living below 60% of the UK median income, but the prime minister argues that comparing relative incomes leads to perverse incentives and does little to promote better life chances.

"We're not going to help those children by redefining child poverty or pretending they don't exist," Garnham responds, pointing to Cameron's 2006 Scarman lecture, in which he stated that his party got it wrong in the 1980s by ignoring relative poverty.

Garnham is resolute in her determination to hold the government to the legally binding targets to end child poverty enshrined in last year's Child Poverty Act. At her disposal is an arsenal that includes reams of evidence demonstrating the detrimental effects of child poverty on health, education and wellbeing. Garnham is also forthright about the potentially devastating impact of government policies. After the autumn statement, she was widely quoted as saying: "Britain's poorest families have been abandoned and left to face the worst." She has also decried the government for not just ignoring warnings of rising child poverty but for having "actively decided to let child poverty rise".

The charity has a long history of action and success. Since the 1960s it has challenged government policy both in the courts and through high-profile lobbying. In the 1980s, it won the right for women to receive carers benefits on the grounds of sex discrimination, and it successfully orchestrated a campaign to save child benefit, which was then under threat from a Conservative government. What saved it, Garnham recalls, was the anger of women in the Conservative party.

Child benefit

Next year, CPAG will take up the cause again with a major campaign that will build on the groundswell of opinion against the coalition's scrapping of universal child benefit. Garnham reads to me some of the early responses to a CPAG online survey among mothers to demonstrate how much the payment is valued. "It goes straight to my kids and it is them that [the government will] hit," says one. "All my child benefit is spent entirely on the children," says another.

Garnham joined the charity in September last year – for the second time after a six-year stint as a welfare rights training officer some 20 years earlier – and has already incurred the wrath of the welfare secretary, Iain Duncan Smith. CPAG had called for a judicial review of the government's housing benefit caps – it was unsuccessful in its bid to have them overturned – which Duncan Smith criticised, in an uncharacteristic outburst, as an "ill-judged PR stunt" that was "ridiculous" and irresponsible".

Garnham, 52, an erstwhile campaigner for lone parents, early years services and welfare rights, is hardly quaking in her boots. "We were a bit surprised by that reaction. We've always had this role of taking legal test cases," she says. "Mostly, the government accepts that part of our position is to challenge, and we enjoy a really good relationship with them."

She recently set up a lobby group to secure £500m from the government for childcare costs in the universal credit that will be introduced in 2013. CPAG has also been working closely with former Labour MP Alan Milburn on the social mobility and child poverty commission. Garnham comes from generations of miners in Durham and was the first woman in her family to go to university, so social mobility is a subject close to her heart.

Any attempts by this government to increase social mobility through early intervention for the children of low income families, such as expanding free childcare places to two-year-olds, are doomed to failure without increasing family income, she says. "No one is going to find me saying investing in early years is a bad idea, but it is well understood how income plays into early life chances. I don't think you can disentangle income from issues such as limited aspirations."

So can we expect CPAG – which also hosts End Child Poverty, a coalition of 150 organisations – to legally challenge a government that is missing its child poverty targets?

"If we were two or three years away and in the position we are in today, then clearly they would not be going to hit it," Garnham replies. "But we are nine budgets and two parliaments away from that. There is still a lot that can be done. So it is premature to start saying they are never going to hit it.


"I can see that it is a difficult time to press on about incomes, as there is no money, but what we've seen is the poorest families taking the biggest hit. The poorest 10% has been hit eight times harder than the richest. It is not defensible. There are broader shoulders that could be taking a fairer share of this and protecting these families. I'm very disappointed [at what] is happening."

Garnham believes that the situation for poor families today is worse even than it was for hard-up families in the 1980s. "At the same time as major reforms of benefits, there are drastic reductions in the support and advice available, and local public services are disappearing because of council cuts. It is a triple whammy," she says. "In contrast, the 1980s saw the birth of the welfare rights movement."

But Garnham is not shrinking from the challenges ahead. "My whole career has felt like a preparation for this job," she says.

Curriculum vitae

Age 52.

Status Partner and seven-year-old son.

Lives North London.

Education Filton high school, Bristol; Leeds University, philosophy and psychology BA.

Career September 2010-present: chief executive, Child Poverty Action Group; 2006-10: chief executive, Daycare Trust; 1997-2006: director, policy, research and information, One Parent Families; 1995-97: senior lecturer, social policy, University of North London; 1989-95: welfare rights training officer, CPAG; 1984-89: welfare rights adviser, Peterborough Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB); 1983-84: welfare rights officer, Halifax CAB; 1980-81: self-help co-ordinator, Mind; 1977-81: volunteer, Leeds Rape Crisis.

Public life 2002-11: member, Social Security Advisory Committee.

Interests Cooking, film, gardening, flower arranging.

Can marijuana use save lives on the road? |

Pot predicament: Can marijuana use actually save lives on the road?

Kathryn Hawkins

Proponents of legalizing marijuana have long argued that criminalization of the drug causes more problems than it solves. For instance, taxpayers spend between $7.5 billion and $10 billion a year on arresting and prosecuting Americans for marijuana-related crimes. Supporters of legalized marijuana maintain that this money would be better spent cracking down on violent criminals.

Now, pro-legalization backers have yet another point in their favor: According to a new study from the University of Colorado-Denver, the 16 states that have legalized medical marijuana have seen an average 9 percent drop in traffic deaths since their medical marijuana laws took effect. The study analyzed data from 1990 through 2009.

“We went into our research expecting the opposite effect,” says study co-author Daniel Rees, a professor of economics at the University of Colorado-Denver. “We thought medical marijuana legalization would increase traffic fatalities. We were stunned by the results.”

When it comes to traffic safety, can marijuana really save lives?

Is marijuana an alcohol substitute?

Is this a sign of the times? A new study ties legalization of medical marijuana to a decrease in fatal car crashes in 16 states. One possible reason: Motorists who are high tend to drive slowly.

It’s long been known that alcohol is a primary contributor to deadly car crashes. According to estimates from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers with a blood-alcohol level above 0.15 percent are 385 times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash as sober drivers are. In every state, the legal limit for driving while intoxicated is 0.08 percent.

The University of Colorado-Denver study found that the increase in legal use of medical marijuana often leads to a reduction in alcohol consumption. The study cites data from the Beer Institute, an industry trade group, indicating that beer purchases go down by an average of 5 percent after medical marijuana laws are passed. In these states, the researchers theorize, some people are smoking marijuana rather than downing booze.

A 2009 study from the University of California, Berkeley, backs up that finding. Four of every 10 patients at the university’s medical marijuana dispensary said they used marijuana to curb alcohol cravings.

Are high drivers better than drunken drivers?

The differences between drivers under the influence of alcohol and those who’ve smoked weed are stark, says Mason Tvert, executive director of the marijuana legalization advocacy group SAFER (Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation).

“People who abuse alcohol take more risks, drive faster and are less likely to recognize that they’re impaired,” Tvert says. “They feel like Superman when they’re drunk.”

By contrast, motorists who’ve puffed pot “drive slower, are less likely to take risks, and are more likely to recognize when they’re impaired and decide not to drive,” he says.

Studies support Tvert’s view: A clinical trial conducted in Israel compared the simulated driving skills of people who’d consumed alcohol and those who’d smoked marijuana. The researchers found that alcohol caused these people to speed up their driving, while smoking marijuana prompted the drivers to slow down. An analysis by the U.S. Department of Transportation found marijuana rarely is the only drug found in the bodies of drivers who’ve died in car crashes.

Is driving under the influence of marijuana safe?

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) advocates against impaired driving of any form, and that includes smoking marijuana and getting behind the wheel. Emily Tompkins, MADD’s executive director for Colorado, says the group is keeping tabs on marijuana legalization and how it affects traffic safety.

MADD isn’t interested in determining how much marijuana someone can consume to remain within a legal limit, but Tompkins urges people who smoke marijuana (medical or otherwise) to be aware of when their driving is impaired. Tompkins claims marijuana-impaired drivers often show their medical marijuana cards to police officers who pull them over, as though the card legally entitles them to drive under the influence of drugs — which it does not.

The U.S. Department of Transportation found that although the harm of marijuana for drivers is minimal compared with that of alcohol and other drugs, it may be dangerous in certain situations, such as when quick thinking is required or when a driver has combined marijuana with alcohol or other drugs.

No one is advocating that driving while stoned is better than being alcohol- or drug-free, but experts agree that marijuana use while driving presents far less danger than many other drugs as well as alcohol.

Meanwhile, more Americans appear to be embracing marijuana. A Gallup poll released in October 2011 found that a record-high 50 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana. In 2009, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed 16.7 million Americans age 12 and older had smoked pot at least once in the month before being surveyed.

Could widespread legalization boost road safety?

Dan Rees, an economics professor at the University of Colorado-Denver, says he was “stunned” by the findings of the medical marijuana study.

While the University of Colorado-Denver study presents striking evidence of marijuana’s effect on road safety, the research was limited to motorists who have access to medical marijuana. In some states, that’s a relatively significant portion of the population. In Montana, 3 percent of the state’s population has access to medical marijuana; in Colorado, it’s 2.5 percent. Actual percentages for marijuana use may be considerably higher than that, however.

“Under medical marijuana laws, caregivers and patients can grow marijuana, and there’s very little policing of this,” Rees says.

Rees believes that authorized marijuana users often sell or give pot to others for recreational use. He says many of those recreational users probably are young adults — a group who’s responsible for a disproportionately high number of alcohol-related car crashes. Marijuana advocacy group NORML says pot is the third most popular recreational “drug” in the United States, behind alcohol and tobacco.

Rees teamed up with D. Mark Anderson, assistant professor of economics at Montana State University, on the marijuana study.

For now, medical marijuana is legal in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia. In those places, doctors prescribe marijuana to ease pain and suffering for patients with conditions like cancer.

Federal law prohibits the growth and sale of marijuana for any purpose. Opponents of legalizing the drug maintain that marijuana is a “gateway” to harder drugs like cocaine and heroin, and argue that the dangers posed by stoned drivers would rise.

While widespread legalization of marijuana isn’t likely in the near future, such a move might have a dramatic effect on road safety if drivers — particularly young adults — flock to marijuana instead of alcohol to get buzzed.

“When you see fewer traffic accidents in every state that legalizes medical marijuana, that’s strong proof,” Rees says.

Cannabis Use in Nursing Homes - An Emerging Issue | Berkeley Patients Care Collective

Cannabis Use in Nursing Homes – An Emerging Issue

2 Comments 13 December 2011

If you live long enough, the adverse symptoms of aging are hard to avoid.  While many people are healthy and active into their late 90s, many more will face typical aging related health issues like insomnia, reduced apetite, etc.  Others will deal with symptoms so degenerative, they will require too much care to continue living independently, and these seniors may have to graduate to assisted living facilities or hospitals.

While we consider it very fortunate to have a long life, the ailments associated with aging have not been easy to treat with conventional medicine, and the drugs typically provided can cause health implications of their own.  I have years of personal experience working with seniors in a nursing home environment where I found the limited options offered to those residents who were agitated, uncomfortable, or in pain, questionable and disappointing.  Basically, more and more pills were prescribed, rounds of them in the morning, afternoon and evening.

Some of these drugs had bad side effects of their own like seizures, nausea and caused emotional problems like uncontrollable crying (this was especially true for some of the sleeping pills).  They needed to be prescribed more drugs to deal with the side effects of the initial prescription.  I worried that some residents were overly sedated with powerful pain killers and anti-psychotics when I knew it was possible there was less toxic way these patients could be treated ~ using cannabis.

One great inefficacy of Prop 215 is not being able to provide sufficient access to or information about cannabis, for folks at the end of life.  If you look at the things cannabis is most effective for, it reads like a list of ailments afflicting seniors: insomnia, reduced apetite, pain associated with inflammation of joints & stiffness of limbs and reduced energy which in turn, has an effect on one’s mood.  Other problems facing seniors could include mental confusion, or agitation stemming from a degenerative, dementia related disease.  This is a population that could benefit tremendously from medical cannabis, yet their access is limited, if at all.

For this article I would like to discuss the use of medical cannabis by the elderly, especially the use of cannabis in a residential care facility. It’s a worrying thought for all medical cannabis patients. What will happen if and when I need more assistance?  Institutional care?  Will my medicine be allowed?  Let’s start by looking at our current legal/political situation and how it affects access.

In California on October 7th, Attorney Melinda Haag held a press conference with three other federal prosecutors and declared war on medical cannabis.  Haag’s actions have led to the closure of three permitted dispensaries in San Francisco.  Hundreds, in fact, have closed statewide, while cities and counties have stopped issuing permits for new dispensaries.  In short, the medical marijuana industry is under siege again.

Fifteen years after Proposition 215 enshrined in the California Constitution a medical right to cannabis for the sick and dying, the sick and dying have the hardest time getting it.  In fact, seniors and the sick had a difficult time getting access to medical cannabis even before the federal crackdown, back when many California patients had little trouble buying it, and the difficulty only increased as they progressed from independent living to assisted living, nursing homes, hospitals, and in many instances, hospice.

Seniors themselves are often the first to resist using medical cannabis because of societal concerns about using a drug that the federal government deems illegal.  If they do want to use medical pot, they often don’t know where to go, or how to get it.  Many cities ban cannabis clubs, and seniors in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, or hospitals often find access impossible.

Some patients are resistant to trying cannabis even when their lives are in jeopardy.  A patient named Jim explained he was resistant to smoking cannabis even though he was beginning to waste away because the nausea from chemotherapy was overwhelming and he couldn’t eat. “I got to the point where I couldn’t even stand the smell of food; it would make me throw up — just the smell,” Jim said. “It got to the point where I was ready to have a feeding tube put in. I said, ‘No, I’m really not interested.’ I just thought they were just, like, hippies and I really wasn’t into that whole scene. It’s just a totally different scene than I was used to.”

Real postcard distributed by The Inter-State Narcotic Association

This reaction to being offered or recommended to try medical cannabis is very common from a person who has been told by the government for their entire adult lives that cannabis is for losers who want to get high and that the risks associated with cannabis use outweigh the benefits.  After all, this is the propaganda the government has been feeding people for decades.

Then came the harsh reality of eating through a feeding tube. “I said ‘Okay.’ I smoked it,” Jim said of the cannabis that was offered to him.  Jim said his quality of life changed quickly. “I was able to stand the smell of food.  Then I was able to handle small plates of food.  So the feeding tube was canceled.”

Many seniors, who suffer from all types of ailments, don’t realize that medical cannabis can make the final years of their lives better and more manageable.  Not enough information has been provided to this generation about the various ways to use cannabis other than smoking ~  be it a topical creme for sore knees, for example, or as an under the tongue tincture that could be used as needed for stress, or sleeping, especially safe under the supervision of nurses and caregivers.  This year NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) organized their Silver Toura project of the nascent NORML Senior Alliance.  The basic mission of the Silver Tour is to speak on the topic of medical cannabis in venues where senior citizens meet in large  numbers – notably at senior living communities, retirement homes, religious centers and hospice.

Valerie Leveroni Corral is head of Women’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz, an eighteen-year-old dispensary that specializes in outreach to women, seniors, and the sick and dying.  After working all over the state, she said the landscape is still very bleak for seniors in assisted living and beyond.

Fights for access result in temporary gains, then the facility is bought and policy changes, she said. “There’s been a huge shift in assisted care facilities, consolidation that I’m not sure who’s behind. These facilities leave people in pain.”

When seniors progress beyond independent living and into state-licensed assisted living they cross the Reefer Rubicon, as it were, and often enter into the cannabis-free world of nursing homes.  Such “skilled nursing facilities” take federal funds and cannot by law allow a Schedule 1 controlled substance like cannabis on the premises.  Same goes for seniors’ next destinations — hospitals and hospice care facilities.

According to the son of one assisted care patient, “They’ll just say, ‘It’s impossible,’” he said, referring to how medical staff at these facilities respond to the idea of bringing in medical cannabis for patients. “Family members can’t even bring in BenGay for their patient unless they bring it to staff first and then they have to run it by the doctor. That’s the context. That’s how controlled it can be.”

Yet in nursing homes, there are plenty of patients whose lives would be better if they had access to medical cannabis.  It was frustrating to know there wasn’t a way to even try to see whether or not these patients would even benefit from cannabis.

But there are people secreting pot to the sick and dying, sometimes under the nose of administrators, sometimes with their tacit permission.  An Oakland social worker the East Bay Express has called Gladys said nursing home seniors in two facilities she knows of use cannabis for pain and anxiety, and in a dementia group “for hunger. Getting them to eat. They forget to eat. They don’t want to eat. Food is not on their radar. … and for sleep.”

“A few have medical cannabis cards, but … they can’t show [them],” Gladys continued. “No controlled substances. Period. Not even if you have a medical marijuana card.”

“In fact,” she said, medical cannabis bans enacted in cities throughout California have had the most significant impact in terms of shutting off access for most seniors — even more than the crackdown. “The biggest factor in determining whether or not people who need access the most have access to it is whether or not your local jurisdiction has laws that permit and regulate access or ban access outright.”

When dispensaries close, “seniors are the ones that are affected the most,” she added.

I’m aware of some patients visiting PCC who live in nursing home facilities.  Their transport is organized to and from, but I’m not sure by whom.  If this nursing home was located in a city where a ban has been enacted, like Concord, for example, these patients may not be able to travel the distance to a city that allows for dispensaries.  I’m pleased some senior facilities in our area have allowed for this.

Estimates show 213,000 people could die in California this year, many from complications related to cancer.  Meanwhile, dispensaries are closing in San Francisco, making it harder for this growing number to get medical cannabis.

Neither of the state’s two hospice associations has staked out a public position on medical marijuana. California Hospice and Palliative Care Association President Susan Negreen said the issue has come up but the board declined to take a position.  Vitas — a mega-hospice corporation in California — declined to comment.

Although this article specifically highlights the need to for more access to medical cannabis for seniors, this situation mirrors itself in every facility where state or federal funding is involved – teen care homes, homeless shelters, mental institutions, etc.  The most vulnerable and needy often get left out when it comes to access to cannabis medicine.

This is not only an issue of state laws conflicting with federal law; even within states that permit medical cannabis, the rules about it’s use in the institutional setting may be hazy.  These facilities and their staff will have to walk the precarious line between providing what is best for their patients at a very difficult time in their lives, and not incurring the loss of federal funding or loss of licenses, by turning a blind eye, or quietly supervising medical cannabis use.  There are unanswered questions as to whether health care providers can legally provide or administer any forms of medical cannabis to residents.

The conflict of providing good healthcare and breaking the law has wrapped itself around nearly every tier of the health care industry.  It seems wrong not to allow nursing home patients to use cannabis which relieves many ailments and much suffering -just because the facility receives federal funding.  It would be great to see a nursing home organization pass a formal resolution recognizing this potential problem and asking the federal government to allow patients the option to use this medicine as they would any other medicine.

Experts are predicting the number of older cannabis users to increase drastically over the coming years as the baby boomers get closer to nursing home age.  This issue is only going to become more pertinent.

Articles of interest from around the web: The New Old Age Marijuana Raises Tough Questions for Nursing HomesNORMLizer – Sativas, Seniors and Square Groupers ; Cannabis Use in Long Term Care – Emerging Issue for Nurses ; No Cannabis for the Sick and Dying by David Downs for East Bay Express.

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