01/30/08 03:59 - 20ºF - ID#43095
Vending machines dispense pot in LA
By DAISY NGUYEN, Associated Press Writer Wed Jan 30, 8:47 AM ET
LOS ANGELES - The city that popularized the fast food drive-thru has a new innovation: 24-hour medical marijuana vending machines.
Patients suffering from chronic pain, loss of appetite and other ailments that marijuana is said to alleviate can get their pot with a dose of convenience at the Herbal Nutrition Center, where a large machine will dole out the drug around the clock.
"Convenient access, lower prices, safety, anonymity," inventor and owner Vincent Mehdizadeh said, extolling the benefits of the machine.
But federal drug agents say the invention may need unplugging.
"Somebody owns (it), it's on a property and somebody fills it," said DEA Special Agent Jose Martinez. "Once we find out where it's at, we'll look into it and see if they're violating laws."
At least three dispensaries in the city, including two belonging to Mehdizadeh, have installed vending machines to distribute the drug to people who carry cards authorizing marijuana use.
Mehdizadeh said he spent seven months to develop and patent the black, armored box, which he calls the "PVM," or prescription vending machine.
A sliding fence protects the tinted windows of his dispensary, barely distinguishing it from a busy thoroughfare of strip malls, automobile dealers and furniture shops. A box resembling a large refrigerator stands inside the nearly empty shop, near a few shelves stocked with vitamins and herbs.
A guard in a black T-shirt emblazoned with the word "Security" on the front stands at the door. A poster of Bob Marley decorates a back room.
The computerized machine requires fingerprint identification and a prepaid card with a magnetic stripe. Once the card and fingerprint are verified, a bright green envelope with the pot drops down a slot.
Mehdizadeh says any user approved for medical marijuana and registered in a computer database at his dispensaries can pre-purchase the drug and then use the machine to pick up.
The process provides convenience and privacy for users who may otherwise feel uncomfortable about buying marijuana, Mehdizadeh said.
At the Timothy Leary Medical Dispensary in the San Fernando Valley, the vending machine is accessible only during business hours. An employee there said the machine was introduced about five months ago, and provides speedy service.
"It helps a lot of patients who are in a lot of pain and don't want to wait around to get help," Robert Schwartz said. "It's been working out great."
Mehdizadeh said he sought the advice of doctors, and decided to limit the amount of marijuana per user to an ounce per week. Each purchase from the machine yields 1/8th or 2/8th of an ounce. By eliminating a vendor behind the counter, he said, the machine offers users lower drug prices. The 1/8th ounce packet would cost about $40 - $20 lower than the average price at other dispensaries.
A spokesman for a marijuana advocacy group said the machine also benefits dispensary owners.
"It limits the number of workers in the store in the event of a raid, and it'll make it harder for theft," said Nathan Sands, of The Compassionate Coalition.
Marijuana use is illegal under federal law, which does not recognize the medical marijuana laws in California and 11 other states.
The Drug Enforcement Agency and other federal agencies have been actively shutting down major medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state over the last two years and charging their operators with felony distribution charges.
Mehdizadeh said the Herbal Nutrition Center was the target of a federal raid in December. He said no arrests were made and no charges have been filed against him.
Kris Hermes, a spokesman for advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, said the machine might benefit those who already know how much and what strain of marijuana they're looking for. But he said others will want to see and smell the drug before they buy it.
A man who said he has been authorized to use medical marijuana as part of his anger management therapy said the vending machine's security measures would at least protect against illicit use of the drug.
"You have kids that want to get high and that's not what marijuana is for," Robert Miko said. "It's to medicate."
Location: Buffalo, NY
01/28/08 06:58 - 36ºF - ID#43066
Busy up comming weekend?
On Friday Night after the game I want to go to Nietcehes (I won't even try to spell it right I'll never come close) for a hip hop night. Pete listens to Hip Hop, not really. I used to a lot, my cousin is in one of the Bands They will be backed up by another band so that should be interesting, assuming I don't lame out. If you want to listen to there music or get more info the band is called Constant Climax and I have them listed on my myspace top friends.
I just read that there is a Sat. Queen City Roller girls bout. That would be really fun to go to. I know just like all the other ones I won't go. Not because I wouldn't like it but that "tonawanda area" is kinda like the old west to me. I have no idea how to get there and once I did I wouldn't know what Tonawanda I was in or how to get any where. But I encourage the other people to go. Also Saturday night there are two shows I would like to go see. Of course this Assumes I don't lame out. I really want to see Jackdaw it seems like a long time since I've seen them, they are playing at Club Diablo, only been there once and never seen a show there. Hopefully I go and take some (I'm sure they will turn out dark anyways) pictures. But the same night there is a band at Mohawk place that I Haven't seen In a long time called the Rabies. I was going to get to see them about 6 days ago but Rob Zombie canceled his concert, not sure why exactly.
Of course Sunday Is the "The big Game" Of course we all know it isn't really called that. But if you advertise stuff you have to pay allot of money to call it by its real name. That brings up an interesting point. I was at Burger king today and they have NFL on some of there stuff and talk about the playoffs but nothing about the superbowl. I find that odd, you would think that if they were willing to pay for NFL they would shell out the extra cash for Superbowl. But maybe they understand no one is really going to buy Burger King for the Super Bowl. I'm the kind of person who looks at it as an event and not just a game. But that is because I have seen an ad that aired before the game that was pretty cleaver and I never saw it again. I have also seen some pretty cool musical performances before the game also. I have seen some pregame stuff that wound up being better then the game. I have seen some pretty cool profiles and stories before hand also. That being said I so understand why lots of people just tune in to watch the game. No parties for me that I know of. I really should think about what I want to eat during the game. I hope that everyone who bet on "The Pats" lose there money. I'm not saying I want the G-men to win. I want them to lose really but by less then 12 so we have a great game. The last time the two teams played it was really a great game. How can you not like "The Pats" really. I also hope that they have lots of funny ads and maybe even some rude ones. Like maybe some guy chugs down a drink quick and a buddy goes "Dude Stop", "what", "You didn't notice Jerry didn't get up from his seat all day" Jerry goes "Yeah I didn't want to miss any of the great ads, that was extreme" as the guy gets it and washes his mouth out a tag line would come in "extreme taste, but not that Extreme" or you know something like that. I want complaints like the one with the farting horse. You would be surprised at what offends people when they are watching with there kids, as opposed to with kids watching the same thing in a different room, you'd be amazed.
Location: Buffalo, NY
01/26/08 02:10 - 24ºF - ID#43043
NYC good News mystry
I know there are some people here who may not like when people repost entire news stories and they have some valid points. I admit I had nothing to do with this story and am just reposting it. The reason for this is that it is a detective story. But more then that it is also is something that I wished happened to me and it would have made some else pictures I know still be around (I think his camera was stolen like mine and not lost but don't let the truth get in the way of a good story now). The other reason is that I have heard that there is so much negative energy in NYC (hope I understood them correctly). That I would post this story of someone who was honest and did a good thing.
Photo clues lead to camera's owner
By BRIAN BERGSTEIN, AP Technology Writer Fri Jan 25, 5:46 PM ET
At dusk on New Year's Eve, Erika Gunderson got into a taxi in New York City and entered a digital-age mystery.
Sitting on the back seat was a nice Canon digital camera. Gunderson asked the driver which previous passenger might have left it, but the cabbie didn't seem to care. So Gunderson brought it home and showed it to her fiance, Brian Ascher. They decided that the only right thing to do was to find the owner.
But how? The only clues were the pictures on the camera: typical tourist snapshots, complete with a visit to the Statue of Liberty. How could they find a stranger among the huddled masses?
Gunderson is busy in finance for Bear Stearns Cos., so the detective quest fell to Ascher, a 26-year-old law student at New York University. He was on winter break and eager to put off writing a paper about climate change treaties.
He checked whether anyone had reported a matching missing camera to the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission. No dice. He placed ads in lost-and-found sections of Craigslist but got just one response - from a couple in Brazil who had lost a camera in a cab on Oct. 12, not Dec. 31.
"I guess they thought their camera had been riding around in a taxi for two months," Ascher recalls now, chuckling at the notion that such a thing would be possible in New York.
The 350 pictures and two videos on the camera showed several adults, an older woman and three children. Half put them at New York sites like the Empire State Building. The other half had the group enjoying warm weather and frolicking at kid-friendly theme parks.
Ascher easily pinpointed Florida. The group had stood in front of a sign indicating Clearwater, Fla., and posed at Bob Heilman's Beachcomber Restaurant there.
They also took a pirate-themed boat ride where the kids got mustaches painted on their faces. Ascher zoomed in on the group to see name tags on their shirts. He spotted an Alan, an Eileen, a male Noel and a female Noelle, plus a Ciarnan. Under their names was written "IRE."
When Ascher checked the videos, he saw nothing telling, just the children dancing and swimming. But in the background, he heard Irish accents.
OK, Ascher figured, the camera's owner is from Ireland.
Ascher called Canon's Ireland division to see if anyone had registered the $500 camera's serial number. No such luck. He posted ads on Irish Web sites. Nothing.
He checked the date stamp on the photos from Bob Heilman's and called to inquire whether anyone remembered serving a big Irish group that day. Without the diners' last names, there was no way to check. It's a nice thing you're trying, the manager told Ascher, but you probably just found yourself a new camera.
Enter some fresh eyes. Ascher's mother, Nancy, and sister, Emily Rann, scoured the pictures for clues he might have missed. Nancy was particularly confident, having reunited people with their lost belongings before. She once found a California woman's wallet in a cab in Florence, Italy, and spent all day on her trail before making a handover at an American Express office.
"I thought, with all this data in the camera, there's no way we're not going to get it back to them," Nancy Ascher says now. "I was hoping it wasn't going to take a trip to Ireland, flashing their pictures everywhere."
Ascher's mother and his sister noticed that one of the pictures showed a doorman helping someone into a New York taxi. Zooming tight on the doorman's uniform, they made out the logo of the Radisson Hotel.
After several phone calls and a visit to the hotel to show the pictures around, Nancy Ascher persuaded an employee to search the Radisson's guest records by first name and country of residence. Indeed, a Noel from Ireland had stayed there on the date stamped on the photo. Nancy Ascher charmed the hotel employee into sharing the guest's e-mail address.
Except that when Noel responded to Brian Ascher, he said he hadn't lost a camera.
By now, school was resuming, and Ascher was prepared to give the camera to his mom so she could take over. She had figured out the name of the Florida pirate-boat cruise and was trying to reach its operator.
But first Ascher took a final look at the photographs.
He pored over some from Dec. 30 that didn't include the children. The photos showed signs for bars in Manhattan's East Village: The Thirsty Scholar, Telephone Bar, Burp Castle. There also were multiple interior shots of a tavern, but they didn't seem to fit with what Ascher knew of those other three bars.
Then he stopped on another picture, showing two people outside an apartment building. Seemingly accidentally included in the picture was something Ascher had missed the first time: an awning in the background that read "Standings." Aha! Standings is a bar next to Burp Castle. Ascher checked its Web site, and the interior matched the pictures on the camera.
Ascher found Standings' owner, who reached the bartender who had worked Dec. 30. Yes, he recalled an Irish group. Especially because one of the women was a big tipper and said she worked at another New York City bar, Playwrights. The Standings bartender called Playwrights to ask which employees had been in his bar.
Ascher soon got an e-mail from a woman named Sarah Casey, whose sister Jeanette works at Playwrights. Suddenly everything Ascher had seen on the camera came to life.
The Caseys recently had hosted relatives and friends from Ireland. The group included their friend Alan Murphy, who had journeyed to Florida with family before heading to New York, where the clan stayed at the Radisson. (Their Noel was not the Noel whom Ascher e-mailed.) Murphy ended the trip kicking himself for leaving his camera in a cab in the twilight on New Year's Eve.
Sarah Casey agreed to send it to him. It didn't go to Ireland but to Sydney, Australia, where Murphy lives now.
Murphy, an insurance underwriter, had been devastated to lose the pictures from a trip he had planned for years. It was Jan. 10 - his 34th birthday - when he heard he would be getting the photos back. "I was over the moon," he says now. "Best present ever."
"I owe you one," he wrote to Ascher. "It's good to know there are some honest people left in the world."
Oh yeah since I'm here On line I decided to not go to the movies and try to watch Winter X games all day and in between them as much of that skill contests and Young hockey stars game or what ever it is called on Versus. I don't remember all the sports that will be on today but maybe I can spend some time cleaning my place up a little bit as I watch. I all mean to do that and never do for some reason. Oh yeah I'm lazy. That being said (this assumes a few things that to me are barriers where not any more magicly) as fun as those sports are to watch it sure would be fun to go Skiing, snowboarding or maybe even snowmobiling (racing no tricks for me) every weekend. I think that it would also be a great way to go visit new places. To fly out to some ski town or maybe even fly near it rent a car or truck see the city for a day then drive to that ski town for a few days then drive back and fly home. For those of you that have the chance to do that I say go for it. It really makes you happy about the winter instead of drudging through it.
Location: Buffalo, NY
01/25/08 07:03 - 22ºF - ID#43033
Winter X and more this weekend
Location: Buffalo, NY
01/22/08 06:02 - 32ºF - ID#42990
Heath Ledger found dead
NEW YORK - Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday at a downtown Manhattan apartment, and police said drugs may have been a factor. The Australian-born actor was 28. Ledger had an appointment for a massage at the residence in the tony SoHo neighborhood, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. A housekeeper who went to let him know the massage therapist had arrived found him dead at 3:26 p.m.
A large crowd of paparazzi and gawkers began gathering Tuesday evening outside the building on an upscale block, where several police officers guarded the door.
Ledger was nominated for an Oscar for "Brokeback Mountain," where he met Michelle Williams in 2005. The two lived together in Brooklyn and had a daughter, Matilda, until they split up last year.
Ledger most recently appeared in "I'm Not There," in which he played one of the many incarnations of Bob Dylan ƒƒ‚‚ as did Cate Blanchett, whose performance in that film earned an Oscar nomination Tuesday for best supporting actress.
Ledger was to appear as the Joker this year in "The Dark Night," a sequel to 2005's "Batman Begins." He's had starring roles in "A Knight's Tale" and "The Patriot," and played the suicidal son of Billy Bob Thornton in "Monster's Ball."
Ledger grew up in Perth, and began doing amateur theater at age 10. At 16, he moved to Sydney to pursue an acting career, quickly landing TV movie roles and guest spots on Australian television.
After several independent films and a starring role in the short-lived Fox TV series "Roar," Ledger moved to Los Angeles and costarred in "10 Things I Hate About You," a teen comedy reworking of "The Taming of the Shrew."
Offers for other teen flicks came his way, but Ledger turned them down, preferring to remain idle than sign on for projects he didn't like.
"It wasn't a hard decision for me," Ledger told the Associated Press in 2001. "It was hard for everyone else around me to understand. Agents were like, 'You're crazy,' my parents were like, 'Come on, you have to eat.'"
Associated Press Sara Kugler contributed to this report.
Location: Buffalo, NY
01/21/08 05:53 - 20ºF - ID#42977
Oh yeah I forgot to mention that I have to admit I like the Titan's jerseys with the out line of NYC and then they still have the titan mask on them, I think Last years was just the mask and I liked them last years also. Indoor lacrosse is so fun to watch it really is. Plus you have the Bandettes and the fun intro at the beginning of the game.
Location: Buffalo, NY
01/19/08 05:09 - 20ºF - ID#42957
Location: Buffalo, NY
01/18/08 06:02 - 26ºF - ID#42940
New Worls Record
Friday, January 18, 2008
Going Out In Style
Hello Friends -
You may already have heard, but just in case you haven't, it is with sadness that we tell you that we have decided to close New World Record. We've started a store closing sale, and we'll be wrapping things up over the next 2-3 months. We expect to really and truly close some time in March or April. In case you haven't seen the article in today's Buffalo News, it's here (http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/story/254603.html).
We plan to make the next couple months a celebration of what has been a great experience for us. In that spirit, we are encouraging all the bands that are currently booked for the Thursday Local Showcase to go right ahead and play them, and we're getting some other stuff lined up as well. Some old friends have reached out to us about doing "thank you" instores, and we'll be keeping you posted about that.
Some more stuff you'll want to know:
- The Store Closing Sale has begun - everything in the store is 10% off, except for tickets and consigned goods.
- Cobra Starship will be playing live (and free) in the store next Thursday, January 24. You won't want to miss it. (And stick around afterwards for local lovelies A Hotel Nourishing.)
- Special Orders - there's stuff you're looking for, and sometimes you have a hard time finding it. You know we're not going to leave you high and dry - please let us know about the hard-to-find treasures you seek. If we can help you, we will.
- Club Cards - we will continue to honor club cards through February 18. (We won't be giving out any new ones, of course.)
We want to give our sincere thanks to those of you who have patronized New World over the years and who have wished us well. We love the many friends that the store made over the last 23 1/2 years, and will continue to cherish the memories of all the midnight sales, in-stores, debates, top ten lists, and surreal music conversations we have had. Also we thank the many, many staffers that have made NWR what it was, especially our current crew (Eric, Paul, Laura, Mike, Andrea, and Josh), which has seen us through more than any industry should have to go through.
We look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks.
A note to Bands & Artists:
If you have anything on consignment with us, please send an email with the name of your band, your mailing address, and all contact info (including who the payee is) to email@example.com. That will let us know that it hasn't been abandoned. Please understand that we have literally thousands of consigned titles in the store right now, and hundreds of them are for defunct bands, or people who have left the area. It will take time to clean it all up.
Location: Buffalo, NY
01/17/08 06:50 - 34ºF - ID#42929
Busy Weekend up coming
Assuming we don't get a Blizzard like in the above linked YouTube video of the Blizzard of 77 then I have another busy weekend. On Saturday I'm hoping to go see Cloverfield (looks pretty good and I like that it has that gritty home video look in some parts, hope it is good). That night is The Buffalo Bandits Vs. Titans (new york) lacrosse game at HSBC. At the same time there is the Art Voice Boom Battle of the bands at the tralf. I will get to see the end of it. Hopefully I'll get to see the last two bands and maybe get some pictures also. From what I understand there will be some surprise guest or band after all the competing bands. I'll be meeting some other people there. Should be a good time. Then on Sunday There is some (I assume ) Playoff Football. Friday the Sabres play it would be nice if they could win a game some time soon. I think I'm having dinner with the family.
Location: Buffalo, NY
01/15/08 08:05 - 29ºF - ID#42899
Location: Buffalo, NY
- body art
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