High Times Abound

Now that my home country of Canada is for sure legalizing marijuana in October, I decided I needed to educate myself on the subject. Tongue in cheek here.

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Unlike Bill Clinton, I have smoked the stuff, and I inhale every time.

To get the lowdown on the pot scene in North America I am subscribing to High Times.

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Fake cover above.

High Times is a New York–based monthly magazine founded in 1974 by Tom Forçade. The publication advocates the legalization of cannabis. The magazine has been involved in the marijuana-using counterculture since its inception.

The magazine was founded in 1974 by Tom Forçade of the Underground Press Syndicate. High Times was originally meant to be a joke: a single-issue lampoon of Playboy, substituting weed for sex. The magazine was at the beginning funded by drug money from the sale of illegal marijuana. But the magazine found an audience, and in November 2009, celebrated its 35th anniversary. Like Playboy, each issue contains a centerfold photo; however, instead of a nude woman, High Times typically features a cannabis plant.

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The magazine soon became a monthly publication with a growing circulation, audited by ABC as reaching 500,000 copies an issue, rivaling Rolling Stone and National Lampoon. In 2014, its website was read by 500,000 to 5 million users each month. The staff quickly grew to 40 people. In addition to high-quality photography, High Times featured cutting-edge journalism covering a wide range of topics, including politics, activism, drugs, sex, music and film. Tom Forçade was quoted as saying “Those cavemen must’ve been stoned, no pun intended.” Tom Forçade’s previous attempts to reach a wide counterculture audience by creating a network of underground papers (UPS & APS) had failed, even though he had the support of several noteworthy writers, photographers and artists. Yet, through High Times, Forçade was able to get his message to the masses without relying on mainstream media.

In January 2017, the magazine announced it would be relocated to an office in Los Angeles permanently. This followed the legalization of marijuana in several west coasts states including California.

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Another fake cover.

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Wind Sends Porta-Potties Flying at Denver Park

Picnickers had nowhere to run when a freak windstorm descended on a Colorado park, wreaking havoc on a nearby canopy tent and sending two Porta-Potties flying high into the air. The fierce winds pushed the portable toilets out of their enclosure, slamming them into parked cars before lifting off into the sky. No one appears to have been injured by the flying lavatories, though some may have been sprayed by their contents as they took flight.

Chinese city gets ‘smartphone zombie’ walkway

BBC

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A city in northern China has introduced a special pedestrian lane on one of its roads, exclusively for slow-walking smartphone users, it’s reported.

According to the Shaanxi Online News, the pavement along the Yanta Road in Xi’an has now got itself a special lane for “phubbers” – people who stare at their phones and ignore everything else around them.

The lane is painted red, green and blue, and is 80cm wide and 100m long. Pictures of smartphones along the route distinguish it from an ordinary pedestrian lane.

Shaanxi Online says that a large shopping mall, which looks onto the street, had been pushing to have the lane for a month.

It says that cars often come onto the pavement, which is a busy channel for pedestrians who might not be paying attention to their surroundings.

News website The Paper interviewed locals, who welcomed the introduction of the lane.

Wei Xiaowei said it was the first time he had seen such a thing and said he thought it was “pretty good”.

“Everybody walking along here thinks that it’s very safe; at the side of the road, there are cars, and the vehicles also come onto here, and sometimes only just avoid you.”

Another local, Hu Shuya, says: “Young people’s lives nowadays are fast, and they’re always looking at their phones. This puts our minds at rest – those of us who are often looking at our phones – as it’s a form of protection.”

However, users of the popular Sina Weibo microblog view the lane largely with bemusement. One user says that young people’s fascination with mobile phones nowadays “is as rife as smoking opium during the Qing Dynasty”.

Another says that smartphone users have become like “blind people”, and another user points out that phubbers using the lane may still risk bumping into each other.

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