Smokers Have Mental Disorders, Eh?

Via Facebook, more defamation of smokers:

Smoking may be a sign of psychiatric illness, says report, after a third of smokers are found to have a mental disorder

Smoking may be a sign of psychiatric illness, experts say. Doctors should routinely consider referring people who smoke to mental health services, in case they need treatment, they add.

I wonder how they decide what constitutes a ‘mental disorder’? Given that they say that 70% of smokers want to give up smoking, perhaps anyone who doesn’t want to give up smoking is deemed to be insane, and in need of ‘treatment’.

Anyway, it’s pretty clear that the suggestion being made here is that if one third of smokers have a ‘mental disorder’, then they probably all do.

The controversial recommendation from the British Lung Foundation, a charity, comes in response to a major report, Smoking and Mental Health, published this week by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists with the Faculty of Public Health. It says that almost one in three cigarettes smoked in Britain today is smoked by someone with a mental disorder. When people with drug and alcohol problems are included the proportion is even higher.

RCP, eh? No surprise there. The Royal College of Psychiatrists is a new one. Funny that its initials are RCP too.

Oh, and if you smoke grass or drink alcohol, that’s more evidence of ‘mental disorder’.

Professor Stephen Spiro, deputy chair of the British Lung Foundation, said persuading people with mental disorders to give up smoking was a major challenge. But so was identifying smokers who might need psychiatric treatment.

Stephen Spiro: that’s another name to add to the list of antismoking nutter doctors that need to be kicked out of the medical profession.

I sometimes wonder whether any of these little shits have any idea at all just how much they’re hated, and what’s likely to happen to them one day when the full fury is unleashed.

At the moment, they can cheerfully demonise and ostracise hundreds of millions of people all over the world, and keep their fat salaries and their big houses and their high status jobs. Because there’s no come-back. There’s nothing to restrain them from calling (as they have done) for smokers to be more or less expelled from society. They’re completely unaccountable. They haven’t, after all, been elected. They represent nobody except themselves and their poisonous medical subculture.

I don’t think that smokers have any mental disorder. Neither drinkers or dope smokers either. But I think these nutjob doctors do. Back in the 1960s when I encountered my first antismoking screw-loose doctor – Dr W -, I sort of assumed that he was a harmless one-off nutter. But these days it’s clear that he was only one of a whole army of the little bastards.

And we really are going to have to purge the medical profession from top to bottom to be rid of them. Thousands of them are just going to have to be kicked out. And some sort of oversight committee is going to have to be introduced to ensure they don’t ever creep back in.

Doctors are going to have to be taught that it’s not their job to create some sort of non-smoking, non-drinking master race, but to treat as best they can the maladies from which people suffer. That’s their job. Much like car mechanics fix people’s cars when they go wrong, without telling them how they should drive them. Anything else, and they’ve got too big for their boots.

It’s going to be terrible shock for Professor Stephen Spiro and his ilk when they’re stripped of their medical qualifications, and their professorships, and their jobs, and their good name, and they have to get jobs as meat packers in Polish horsemeat factories. But they shouldn’t be too surprised when that happens.

They set out to destroy us, but we will destroy them.

About Frank Davis

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51 Responses to Smokers Have Mental Disorders, Eh?

  1. jaxthefirst says:

    Well, in line with my current theory about the antis’ latest strategy (attack a positive about smoking before it truly sees the light of day with a countering, invented negative – the “get your side in first” approach), this story would tend to lead me to believe that there’s probably been a study recently discovered/emerged which indicates that smokers are, in general, mentally healthier and emotionally happier than non-smokers, despite all the prejudice and persecution heaped upon them. Don’t quite know where one might find such a study – it clearly hasn’t hit the headlines as no doubt it hasn’t got the Big Cheeses like Professor Wotsit behind it – but I’ll becha its out there somewhere, and I’ll becha, too, that it’s quite a recent study, which has emerged only since the smoking ban came in and the general “anything not specifically anti-smoking is therefore pro-smoking” attitudes began to ease off.

    It has some nasty undertones to it, though, doesn’t it – the inklings of a suggestion that anyone who doesn’t “conform” to what their “betters” tell them must necessarily be suffering from a mental illness for which they need “treatment.” Scarily Orwellian!

    • Rose says:


      That article in the Independant would appear to be a deliberate misinterpretation of what the report actually said. (see, I can speak epidemiologist too)

      Here is the actual press release.

      Smoking neglected in people with mental health conditions, leading to premature death

      “A major new report from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) says that smoking in people with mental health conditions is neglected by the NHS. Smoking and mental health says that much of the substantially lower life expectancy of people with mental disorders relates to smoking, which is often overlooked during the management and treatment of their mental health condition.

      One in three of the UK’s 10 million current smokers has a mental disorder. Although 20% of the general population smokes, the figure among people with mental health disorders is 40%, and is even higher in those with more severe mental health problems.”

      “Those with mental disorders also smoke more cigarettes, are more addicted to nicotine, and find it harder to quit, than those without.”

      Which in itself neglects to mention the current major concerns about the apparent life shortening effects of psychiatric drugs.

      There a great many studies on the apparent benefits of smoking for people with mental problems, though most are rather narrowly concentrated on nicotine rather than taking a broader view of all the components in tobacco smoke, many of which may also play a part.

      Of course, what enhances cognitive function in some people with mental problems should also keep the brains of people without such problems as sharp as a razor.

      I’ll leave some links for you further down the page.

  2. Public health is the only market party that is able to grow their market by changing the rules themselves. No commercial company can do that.

    A good example is the lowering of the maximum BMI index by the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in 1998 from 28/27 to 25, which increased the number of obese in the world from 70.6 million to 101.1 million (up 43%!).

    One way of keeping your job in a time when people are getting more healthier and older…..

    • harleyrider1978 says:


      Old Definition: Blood sugar > 140 mg/dl
      People under old definition: 11.7 million
      New Definition: Blood sugar > 126 mg/dl
      People added under new definition: 1.7 million
      Percent increase: 15%

      The definition was changed in 1997 by the American Diabetes Association and WHO Expert Committee on the Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus.


      High blood pressure is reported as two numbers, systolic or peak pressure and diastolic pressure when heart is at rest) in mm Hg.

      Old Definition: cutoff Blood Pressure > 160/100
      People under old definition: 38.7 million
      New Definition: Blood Pressure > 140/90
      People added under new definition: 13.5 million
      Percent Increase: 35%

      The definition was changed in 1997 by U.S. Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.

      Prehypertension, a new category created in 2003: blood pressure from 120/80 to 138/89 includes 45 million additional people! If one includes this category, we have a grand total of 97.2 million total numbers of hypertensives and prehypertensives (whatever that is).

      High (Total) Cholesterol:

      Old Definition: Cholesterol > 240 mg/dl total cholesterol
      People under old definition: 49.5 million
      New Definition: Cholesterol > 200 mg/dl total cholesterol
      People added under new definition: 42.6 million
      Percent increase: 86%

      The definition was changed in 1998 by U.S. Air Force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study.


      Body Mass Index (BMI) is defined as the ratio of weight (in kg) to height (in meters) squared and is an inexact measure of body fat, though it supposedly establishes cutoff points of normal weight, overweight, and obesity.

      Old definition: BMI > 28 (men), BMI > 27 (women)
      People under old definition: 70.6 million
      New definition: BMI > 25
      People added under new definition: 30.5 million
      Percent Increase: 43%

      The definition was changed in 1998 by U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

      “The new definitions ultimately label 75 percent of the adult U.S. population as diseased,” conclude the two researchers.

    • Rod says:

      Yeah. Psychiatry has vastly increased the list of behaviors that now qualify as signs of mental illness.

      And in most jurisdictions “Danger to self and/or others” can be one of the criteria justifying psychiatric treatment. Since smoking is seen by some as unreasonably dangerous to self and potentially dangerous to others it could be seen as a sign of mental illness that justified forcible treatment.

  3. Jay says:

    I know you’re not on Twitter (as far as I know), but this tweet from the Scottish Government’s Health Department should help to illuminate this just a little more:

    “Big thank you to @ASHScotland @CR_UK @lunguk @TheBMA and British heart foundation for supporting our tobacco-free vision for Scotland.”

    @lunguk is the British Lung Foundation

    • Jay says:

      I did not know that the tweet would embed in the comments like that. Sorry.

      • legiron says:

        I have a slightly different vision. I’m still dropping tobacco seeds all over Scotland. In my vision of Scotland’s future there will be tobacco everywhere you look. It will be impossible to eradicate without a total defoliation of the entire country.

        If global warming (as advertised on the BBC) was true, I’d have succeeded by now. No matter. Every plant produces hundreds of seeds. I only need a few to develop some cold-tolerance and we’re off.

        I will stop when the antismoker hate-fest stops and the smoking ban is entirely repealed. Until then, all the biology I have ever learned is going into the production of wild tobacco that can grow in Scotland. With the exception of genetic modification. I’m not doing that. I’ll do it by natural selection.

        • beobrigitte says:

          I’ll do it by natural selection.
          It’ll be time consuming but once the plants have adapted NATURALLY, they are here to stay.
          Genetic modification has limited success for quite a number of reasons. The most obvious being that the modified gene will be “kicked out” after a few rounds of replication as there is no natural reason for it to be there in the first place.

          It’s a bit like tobacco control. There is no natural reason for them to exist.

  4. Rod says:

    Don’t get me started. Too late. Now where can I start?

    It’s not that hard finding a practicing physician or surgeon who is not a total prick. Much more difficult to find such a psychiatrist.

    A med student or young physician who finds that the honest application of real science is not for them is likely to veer towards psychiatry (or politics or public health). They often select themselves but are usually also either rejected by decent medical professors or seduced by trolling professors of psychiatry. Fortunately they tend not to have offspring and have a high suicide rate.

    To criticize psychiatry in a way that is effective is likely to seriously and effectively offend a psychiatrist. You may well then be diagnosed with a mental illness.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      DSM-5 Field Trials Discredit the American Psychiatric Association

      The $3 million DSM-5 Field Trials have been a pure disaster from start to finish. First, there was the poor choice of design. The study restricted itself to reliability — the measurement of diagnostic agreement among different raters. Unaccountably, it failed to address two much more crucial questions — DSM-5’s potential impact on who would be diagnosed and on how much its dramatic lowering of diagnostic thresholds would increase the rates of mental disorder in the general population. There was no possible excuse for not asking these simple-to-answer and vitally important questions. We have a right to know how much DSM-5 will contribute to the already rampant diagnostic inflation in psychiatry, especially since this risks even greater overuse of psychotropic drugs.

      Second problem — the design of the DSM-5 field trial had a byzantine complexity that could be dreamed up only by people with no experience in real-life field testing. One look made clear that there would be serious implementation problems and that it would be impossible to complete within the time allotted. The first stage of the field trial limped in eighteen months late, having taken twice as long as was scheduled. APA then had to choose between delaying the publication of DSM-5 or canceling its planned second stage of field testing that was meant to provide for desperately needed quality control. APA decided to cancel the trial and instead is rushing ahead with the premature publication of DSM-5 next May — publishing profits clearly trumped concern for the quality and integrity of the product. Fiduciary responsibility was thrown out the window.

      Now, we have strike three. The DSM-5 leadership has reported the results of its field trial in a distressingly misleading paper.

      According to the authors, 14 of the 23 disorders had “very good” or “good” reliability; six had questionable, but “acceptable” levels; and just three had “unacceptable” rates. Sounds okay until you look at the actual data and discover that the cheerful words used by the DSM-5 leaders simply don’t fit their extremely disappointing results. The paper is a classic example of Orwellian “newspeak.” When DSM-5 failed to achieve acceptable reliability by historical standards, the DSM-5 leadership arbitrarily decided to move the goal posts in and lower the bar in defining what is “acceptable.” In fact, only the five of the 23 DSM-5 diagnoses that achieved kappa levels of agreement between 0.60-0.79 would have been considered “good” in the past. DSM-5 cheapens the coinage of reliability by hyping these merely okay levels as “very good.” Then it gets much worse. The nine DSM-5 disorders in the kappa range of 0.40-0.59 previously would have been considered just plain poor, but DSM-5 puffs these up as “good.” Then DSM-5 has the chutzpah to call acceptable the six disorders that achieved lousy, absolutely unacceptable reliabilities with kappas of 0.20-0.39. DSM-5 finally finds unacceptable the three diagnoses that were below <0.20 (which is barely better than chance).

      Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder were among those that achieved the unacceptable kappas in 0.20-0.39 range. This makes sense for GAD because its DSM-5 definition was so very poorly done. But how to explain the ridiculously low levels of agreement for MDD. DSM-5 had made no changes from the MDD definition whose reliability has been studied hundreds of times in the past 30 years and has always achieved rates about twice as high. The only possible explanation for the egregiously poor MDD result is amateur incompetence in how the DSM-5 field trials were conducted — and this throws in doubt all of the other results (and all of DSM-5).

      It is sad that the American Journal of Psychiatry agreed to publish this sleight of hand interpretation of the remarkably poor DSM-5 field trial results. Clearly, AJP has been forced into the role of a cheerleading house organ, not an independent scientific journal. AJP is promoting APA product instead of critically evaluating it. Scientific journals all have some inherent conflicts of interest — but this is ridiculous.

      The DSM-5 field trial fiasco and its attempted cover-up is more proof (if any were needed) that APA has lost its competence and credibility as custodian for DSM. A diagnostic system that affects so many crucial decisions in our society cannot be left to a small professional association whose work is profit driven, lacking in scientific integrity, and insensitive to public weal.

      Allen Frances is a professor emeritus at Duke University and was the chairman of the DSM-IV task force.

  5. smokervoter says:

    The raging debate du juor in southern California today concerned smoke, but it wasn’t tobacco smoke. The Air Quality Management District, notorious for squashing all things lively and driving the cost of everything under the sun up to the point where only the rich kids from Silicon Valley and Westside L.A. can afford to thrive, is going after fire pits on the beach.

    It’s the usual healthist crapola that we smokers are uniquely attuned to that’s being spouted in favor of tearing them all up and depriving everyone of a good old marshmallow and weiner roast on the sand.

    The usual medical/university types are absurdly spouting annual fatality figures for nearby home-dwellers due to respiratory problems. Although it’s total bollocks as everyone knows, I don’t really care, let a few pulmonary weaklings die.

    The climatologist/environmentalist brigade is claiming that the majority of ocean breezes are on- shore, which is utter BS once again. I lived at the beach for many a year and on-shores are the exception to the rule. But I’m sure they’ve got the usual well-massaged imaginary data stream to back them up. Again, I don’t really care, let a few pulmonary weaklings die if that’s the case.

    It’s fun, fun, fun versus brainy, scientific medicalized claptrap and I vote for fun. We can’t go on allowing a bunch of mentally disturbed healthists turning us into a bunch of near-immortal, robotized, perfect little drones.

    Public opinion is coming down hard on these ban-hungry powers that be on this one, but I’m thinking the fire pits are on the way out because health trumps all these days. People who long for public administration and get appointed to management boards always err on the side of happy, healthy fascism with a phony smile.

    I want to rid this formerly fine state of all of them. Tomorrow.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Id just move which is what I did to kentucky from Tenn after the ban came down. By doing so Ive bought myself 6 years of freedom from the nanny nazis!

  6. Furor Teutonicus says:

    99,999% of those with mental health disorders have drunk, or consumed, a milk containing product within the last 24 Hours…. MILK is what is dangerous! Can these idiots not SEE that???

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      It must have been raw milk as Mr owebummer is out to criminalize even that! Then we have this:

      Dr. Kabat, IAQC epidemiologist states “An association is generally considered weak if the relative risk is under 3.0 and particularly when it is under 2.0, as is the case in the relationship of ETS and lung cancer. Therefore, you can see any concern of second hand smoke causing lung cancer is highly questionable.” Note that the Relative Risk (RR) of lung cancer for persons drinking whole milk is 2.14 and all cancers from chlorinated water ranked at 1.25. These are higher risks than the average ETS risk. If we believe second hand smoke to be a danger for lung cancer then we should also never drink milk or chlorinated water.

  7. There’s an incredible chutzpah to that report, isn’t there? I’ve been of the opinion for a long time that a majority of anti-smokers are mentally ill, so this is kinda like a report by someone who thinks he is Napoleon accusing nurses of being insane.

  8. Rose says:


    The articles about the growth of new nicotinic receptors, which in certain mental conditions are either missing or damaged, are particularly interesting.

    Nicotine Metabolite May Improve Memory, Protect Against Disease

    “Cotinine, the primary breakdown product (metabolite) of nicotine, shows promise for improving memory and for protecting brain cells from diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s — but perhaps with less addiction and other side effects of nicotine, report scientists from the Medical College of Georgia. The researchers have also found that, in animal studies, the properties of cotinine may be helpful in treating the debilitating psychotic behavior of people with schizophrenia.

    Up to now, cotinine’s biggest use has been as a urine marker for tobacco use, although its potential use in curbing smoking also has been explored.

    “Many people have thought that cotinine was an essentially inactive metabolite, but we have shown that at appropriate doses, it enhances memory and protects brain cells from dying, as well as having anti-psychotic properties,” says Jerry Buccafusco, PhD.”

    “Cotinine was nearly as effective as a standard clinically used anti-schizophrenic drug in reversing this response,” says Buccafusco. “This finding holds tremendous promise for patients suffering from schizophrenia since the drugs currently being used to treat this illness are often associated with severe long-term neurological side effects, such as parkinsonian-like tremors and memory problems.”

    Nicotine Helps Schizophrenics With Attention And Memory

    “Participants with and without schizophrenia were then asked to smoke while taking a drug called mecamylamine, which blocks nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain, preventing the nicotine from acting on those receptors. Mecamylamine blocked the ability of smoking to improve cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, but not in persons without mental illness.

    The findings suggest that when people with schizophrenia smoke, they may in part be self–medicating with nicotine to remedy cognitive deficits.”

    • Rose says:


      “Numerous epidemiological studies over the last 50 years have consistently reported that smoking is associated with a reduced incidence of Parkinson’s disease, suggesting that some smoke component(s) may have a protective effect against this debilitating neurological movement disorder (Morens et al., 1995; Hernan et al., 2002; Allam et al., 2004; Gorell et al., 2004; Ritz et al., 2007; Thacker et al., 2007). Accumulating studies indicate this appears to be due to a true biological protective effect of smoke because the reduced incidence of Parkinson’s disease is correlated with increased smoking duration and intensity, is more pronounced in current than former smokers, is observed in large prospective cohort studies and is observed in monozygotic twins discordant for Parkinson’s disease”

      “Nicotinic Receptors, Dopaminergic and Serotonergic Neurotransmission and Schizophrenia:- Schizophrenia is a common and complex disorder with a range of symptoms including auditory hallucinations, delusions and flattened affect. A substantial component of schizophrenic symptomatolgy appears to arise from deficiencies in an ability to automatically filter or “gate” irrelevant thoughts and sensory stimuli from intruding into conscious awareness. In schizophrenic patients, there is a higher than normal prevalence of tobacco smoking (90%). Several studies have since demonstrated that nicotine, administered either through smoking or gum, transiently normalizes some of the symptoms of schizophrenia, including several sensory gating deficits. Conversely, worsening of symptoms occurs following smoking cessation.”

      Nicotinic Receptors in Parkinson’s Disease:-

      “There are 2 main types of nicotinic receptor present in brain, the alpha4 and the alpha7 type, although many additional types also exist.
      Nicotinic receptors are largely localized to basal ganglia structures; and thus are of direct relevance to the fine control of movement.

      Interestingly, in Parkinson’s disease there is a loss of nicotinic receptors in these regions.

      Our studies have focused on whether nicotinic receptor activation can slow the neurodegeneration seen in Parkinson’s disease.

      We have already shown that the activation alpha4 type nicotinic receptor is important in preventing neurodegeneration in animal models of Parkinson’s disease. What we don’t know is whether these are the only types of nicotinic receptors involved”

    • Rose says:

      Nicotine’s Effects Are Receptor Specific
      ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2008) —
      “Following chronic nicotine exposure, nicotine receptors increase in number, an upregulation that contributes to nicotine’s addictive properties.

      While a current belief is that this process is independent of the type of nicotine receptor, researchers have now uncovered this is not the case: the transient and prolonged changes in the nicotine levels of smokers each affect a specific receptor subtype.

      The predominant subtype of nicotine receptor in the brain is known as A4B2; these receptors upregulate as nicotine levels gradually rise in the bloo.Generally, they start increasing about 2-3 hours following exposure and peak after about 20 hours.”

      Nicotine leads to improvements in behavioral impairment and an increase in the nicotine acetylcholine receptor in transgenic mice.

      “However, the beneficial effects of nicotine remain a matter of much controversy. In order to clarify this issue, 12-month-old transgenic mice, expressing neuron-specific enolase (NSE)-controlled APPsw, were treated with low, middle, and high doses of nicotine for 6 months.

      Herein, we have concluded that the nicotine-treated groups evidenced improvements in behavior and increases in the nicotine acetylcholine receptor, nAchRalpha7.

      These findings provide experimental evidence that nicotine effects an improvement in impaired memory, and that this improvement is associated with an increase in nAchRalpha7.”

    • Rose says:

      Meta-analysis of the acute effects of nicotine and smoking on human performance

      RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVE: Empirical studies indicate that nicotine enhances some aspects of attention and cognition, suggesting a role in the maintenance of tobacco dependence.”

      CONCLUSIONS: The significant effects of nicotine on motor abilities, attention, and memory likely represent true performance enhancement because they are not confounded by withdrawal relief.

      The beneficial cognitive effects of nicotine have implications for initiation of smoking and maintenance of tobacco dependence”

      Nitric Oxide Can Alter Brain Function
      27 Nov 2008

      ““Research from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Toxicology Unit at the University of Leicester shows that nitric oxide (NO) can change the computational ability of the brain. This finding has implications for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and our understanding of brain function more generally.”

      “Nitric oxide is a chemical messenger which cannot be stored and can rapidly diffuse across cell membranes to act at remote sites (in contrast to conventional neurotransmitters which cannot pass across cell membranes).”

      “Surprisingly, the whole population of neurons were affected, even those neurons which had no active synaptic inputs, so indicating that nitric oxide is a ‘volume transmitter’ passing information between cells without the need for a synapse. Such a function is ideal for tuning neuronal populations to global activity.”

    • Rod says:

      People are heavily drugged because of their actual and/or reported behavior. Never on the basis of any medical tests or scans. If the person is particularly intelligent or physically fit they will be more heavily drugged since it could be seen that they could be more dangerous, disruptive or resistive.

      If they smoke they will be more heavily drugged since nicotine and other substances such as harmane acting as an MAO inhibitor either mimic or potentiate the action of dopamine. They don’t smoke to remedy a cognitive defect. They are no more likely to have a cognitive defect than anyone else. They smoke to relieve the misery caused by the drugs they are forced to take.

      An outpatient being drugged by way of an order can have their dosage lowered by pretending to cut down or quit smoking. As their dose of trank is lowered they can continue to smoke heavily and their mental state improves. If they can behave themselves they can be released from their order and escape from the system.

      • Rose says:

        That’s quite frightening, Rod

        I am not sure about Harmine though, I thought that was supposed to be in Nicotiana Rustica.

        But there does appear to be a MAO inhibitor in normal tobacco too.
        See what you think.

        Brain chemical may explain why heavy smokers feel sad after quitting

        “For Immediate Release – August 2 (Toronto) – Heavy smokers may experience sadness after quitting because early withdrawal leads to an increase in the mood-related brain protein monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A), a new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has shown.
        http: //
        No longer works

        Smoking May Act as an Antidepressant Drug

        “The study found that the brains of chronic smokers had neurochemical abnormalities in the locus coeruleus that can be produced by repeatedly treating laboratory animals with antidepressant drugs, he explained.

        Specifically, long-term smoking appears to inhibit monoamine oxidase (or acts as an MAO inhibitor). Monoamine oxidase is the enzyme that metabolizes monoamines — such as norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, Klimek explained. The locus coeruleus produces norepinephrine. Drugs that inhibit monoamines are antidepressants.

        Nicotine, Ordway added, does have antidepressant qualities, but is not an MAO inhibitor.”
        http: //

        Why the wicked weed wards off Parkinson’s

        “A SUBSTANCE that may protect the brain against Parkinson’s disease has been found in tobacco smoke, a discovery that could shed light on the causes of this debilitating condition.

        Researchers have known for decades that smokers are less likely to develop Parkinson’s than non-smokers, but not why. Four years ago, however, Joanna Fowler of Brookhaven National laboratory in New York showed that in long-term smokers a brain enzyme called monoamine oxidase (MAO) is 40 per cent less active.

        The hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease–tremors and a shuffling gait–are thought to be caused by a lack of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that is crucial for controlling body movement.

        Normally, MAO breaks down such neurotransmitters, but it can also help convert other substances into toxins that poison dopamine-producing brain cells.

        “Intrigued by these findings, Kay and Neal Castagnoli and a team at the Harvey W. Peters Research Center at Virginia Tech set out to identify substances in smoke that inhibit the enzyme. They isolated a compound that blocks MAO’s activity in the test tube, and found that it protected mice from the poisonous effects of MPTP, one of the substances that MAO converts into a toxin, they told the meeting.”
        http: //

        “They ground up tobacco leaves and tested representative samples in a test tube to see if they inhibited MAO. From the fraction containing the most potent MAO inhibitor, they isolated a chemical known as 2,3,6-trimethyl-1,4-naphthoquinone.

        To find out whether this was a key MAO-inhibitor in cigarette smoke, Castagnoli’s team examined mice in which dopamine-producing neurons were killed with a compound called MPTP that’s converted to a toxin in the brain, causing symptoms much like Parkinson’s disease. Without the naphthoquinone, dopamine levels in the mice given MPTP dropped 60% below normal.

        Yet when the mice were pretreated with naphthoquinone, dopamine levels fell only 40%. This suggests that naphthoquinone “is a good [MAO] inhibitor–not gangbusters, but a good inhibitor,” Castagnoli says.

        Napthoquinone had previously been found in tobacco smoke, but not linked to dopamine.”

        With the overwhelming focus on nicotine and without looking for proper substitutes, they may be about to do terrible harm.

        The official version of the report from the BBC
        NHS ‘ignoring smoking in mental health patients’

        “The NHS in England is not doing enough to help people with mental health conditions quit smoking, an influential group of doctors has warned.

        People with mental health disorders, such as depression, are twice as likely to smoke and tend to be more addicted.

        Yet the NHS is turning a blind eye and not doing enough to help them to stop, the Royal College of Physicians said.

        The Department of Health said it was committed to tackling the issue in the future.

        The report, which was also put together by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, points out that although rates of smoking in the general population have fallen substantially over the past 20 years, there has been little change in people with mental health conditions.”

        “Yet they are just as likely to want to quit as anyone else but are likely to be more addicted and lack the right support to stop, the report found.”
        http: //

        I’m just an amateur gardener trying to find out the properties of the plant, so make of it what you will.

        • Rod says:

          Vaping with quality equipment provides nicotine in a manner which the vast majority of smokers prefer to gum, lozenges etc. So much so that many people have quit smoking the moment they took delivery of their own equipment and nicotine. The first few days are novel and distract the person from missing substances apart from nicotine. It can remain a hobby as they experiment with equipment and mix their own nicotine strengths and flavours. They may remain users of nicotine but then it’s never been shown that nicotine is likely to cause an individual any significant harm. DIY vaping can cost about one tenth what a person spent on tobacco.

          But a great many people with so called mental illnesses have either been infantilized by their parents and/or continue to be infantilized by their so called treatment. If they are smokers they are likely to continue to buy or beg tobacco because that is what they have always done. Many can come up with $15 every day to buy tobacco but can’t or wont spend $200 that could set them up smoke free for six months.

          I’m sure you are able to google tobacco but I’m guessing that you want to find out whether you can grow and smoke your own.

        • Rose says:

          I’m sure you are able to google tobacco but I’m guessing that you want to find out whether you can grow and smoke your own

          I have been growing the plant since 2005 and as a young gardener already knew the basics of the plant chemistry before I even had my first anti-smoking lecture at school in the 70’s and so I have never believed what anti-tobacco said about a plant so closely related to the other nicotine containing vegetables in the nightshade family.
          They started the lecture with the lie that cigarette manufacturers put road tar in cigarettes.

          When I could stand the cognitive dissonance no more, I took up smoking to find out why they should feel the need to lie as I couldn’t see any point in smoking in the first place.

          Though I think vaping is an interesting development , my personal interest is more in the plant, nicotine being only one component of it.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Friday, March 29, 2013
    As Canada Collapses, Do We Need to Ask Why?

    On thinning ice … Disappointing exports, stalled investment and fiscal austerity leave the overstretched consumer as Canada’s only hope for growth … WHEN the world financial system collapsed in 2007, triggering a global recession, Canada recovered faster than any of the other members of the G7 group of large developed countries. Its banks remained solid, while low interest rates encouraged consumers to borrow and spend. But five years on, consumers are showing signs of flagging. The economy is set to expand by a paltry 1.6% this year. So the authorities are casting around for another source of growth. The trouble is they cannot seem to find one. – Economist

    Dominant Social Theme: Now it’s Canada’s turn to plunge into recession. This is not looking good. How did this happen?

    Free-Market Analysis: So Canada, the bright light of Western industry along with Australia, is now showing signs of wavering. The Canadian miracle is growing long in the tooth.

    We’ve already written about this but it occurs to us that the presentation of the impending collapse is being reported in the same way as all the Western economic collapses: with wide-eyed astonishment.

    At some point this sort of astonished rhetoric must begin to grow stale, even, well … unbelievable. We are supposed to slap our collective forehead and ask, “How could this be happening?” But, in fact, we already know.

    You do, too. Central banking monopoly money stimulation has taken down Western economies from Europe to the United States and beyond. And after a full century of central banking mayhem it is impossible to believe that the leaders of this failed economic environment can have any doubt left about its destructive tendencies.

    Given the general awakening of understanding on the Internet about monopoly central banking, we figure it may only be a matter of time before faith in the system drains away completely and something else emerges, hopefully competitive currencies and a free-banking gold and silver standard.

    In the meantime, countries and economies continue to collapse like so many raggedy scarecrows subject to a high wind. That wind is the result of monetary inflation. We are not surprised about Canada. Here’s more:

    Government, both federal and provincial, is trying to curb deficits swollen by stimulus spending. Companies are restrained by uncertainty prompted by Europe’s woes and the stand-off over fiscal policy in the United States, Canada’s main trading. Exports have still not returned to their pre-recession peak.

    As for consumers, after 11 consecutive years in which household spending has exceeded disposable income, they are deeply in hock. Just over a year ago, Craig Alexander, chief economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, predicted the debt build-up “is going to end in tears”. The ratio of household debt to disposable income has continued to edge up (see chart 1). An increase in unemployment (from 7% at the moment) or a rise in interest rates could push some households into bankruptcy and puncture a housing bubble inflating in several Canadian cities.

    Jim Flaherty, Canada’s finance minister, has repeatedly warned of the threat household debt poses to the economy. He has made it harder for risky borrowers to get mortgages; he publicly upbraided two banks that recently dropped their rate for five-year, fixed mortgages below 3%.

    Yet in his budget on March 21st, Mr Flaherty did little to encourage business investment or exports to take the place of consumers in supporting growth. Rather, his focus was on eliminating the federal budget deficit—currently at 1.4% of GDP, low compared with most G7 economies —before the next general election in 2015. His plan, which relies on spending restraint and unusually high revenue growth, is seen by many as wishful thinking.

    Mark Carney, the outgoing governor of the Bank of Canada, has also been ringing the alarm on household debt. Yet the bank has kept its benchmark rate at just 1% since September 2010. This month it signalled that the rate is likely to remain there.

    House prices are still rising everywhere except Vancouver, but housing sales and housing starts have dropped. Analysts are divided on whether this signals the beginning of a crash, or just a pause before a new burst of activity in the coming months, which are traditionally the housing market’s busiest.

    Rather than a housing bubble, what is needed is a rebound in business investment and an increase in exports. Neither is taking shape. Canadian firms have been piling up cash faster even than their counterparts south of the border. Investment is expected to rise by just 1.7% this year. When Mr Carney and Mr Flaherty tried to jawbone businesses into investing some of this money last year—Mr Carney called it dead money—they were met with angry retorts. The budget extended a scheme letting manufacturers write off purchases of machinery and equipment more quickly. But this might not have much impact until the world economy looks more settled.

    Notice how this article NEVER mentions central banking policy or loose money generally. This is the Keynesian approach to monetary analysis. The great man dealt at length with the result of a credit crisis in his incomprehensible and dishonest book General Credit, but he never got around to mentioning how such crises are actually manufactured.

    The proximate cause of Western troubles is money printing. Carney knows it, as well. These individuals are being dishonest when they try to strong-arm Canadian firms into “investing.” No one in his right mind would “invest” in the current puffed-up environment. So much money has been printed and so many failing enterprises are supported by central bankers and government officials terrified the “system” might collapse (it already has) that it is likely impossible to tell a solvent company from an insolvent one.

    Canada’s inevitable destiny is the rational outcome of an irrational system. And the protests and jawboning of those directly involved are increasingly fooling fewer and fewer. When the system you lead constantly performs in exactly the opposite way from what you have predicted eventually people will catch on. And this Internet era makes that almost a surety.

    Conclusion: Will Australia be next? Who then is left standing? It seems certain globalist factions actually want a Western industrial collapse because that will make it easier for East and West to merge within the context of one industrial and monetary policy. Is that a conspiratorial interpretation? Well … we say, “Be careful what you wish for.”

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Cyprus-Style “Bail-Ins” Are Proposed In The New 2013 Canadian Government Budget!
    By Michael, on March 28th, 2013

    The politicians of the western world are coming after your bank accounts. In fact, Cyprus-style “bail-ins” are actually proposed in the new Canadian government budget. When I first heard about this I was quite skeptical, so I went and looked it up for myself. And guess what? It is right there in black and white on pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013” which the Harper government has already submitted to the House of Commons. This new budget actually proposes “to implement a ‘bail-in’ regime for systemically important banks” in Canada. “Economic Action Plan 2013” was submitted on March 21st, which means that this “bail-in regime” was likely being planned long before the crisis in Cyprus ever erupted. So exactly what in the world is going on here? In addition, as you will see below, it is being reported that the European Parliament will soon be voting on a law which would require that large banks be “bailed in” when they fail. In other words, that new law would make Cyprus-style bank account confiscation the law of the land for the entire EU. I can’t even begin to describe how serious all of this is. From now on, when major banks fail they are going to bail them out by grabbing the money that is in your bank accounts. This is going to absolutely shatter faith in the banking system and it is actually going to make it far more likely that we will see major bank failures all over the western world.

    What you are about to see absolutely amazed me when I first saw it. The Canadian government is actually proposing that what just happened in Cyprus should be used as a blueprint for future bank failures up in Canada.

    The following comes from pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013” which you can find right here. Apparently the goal is to find a way to rescue “systemically important banks” without the use of taxpayer funds…

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    Tobacco smuggling jeopardizes border traffic

    The smuggling pipeline can move other contraband, including drugs, weapons and people

    By Brian Lee Crowley, Vancouver Sun March 30, 2013 3:08 AM

    Read more:

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Cigarette tax hikes don’t help: Opposing view
    Lyle Beckwith8:52p.m. EDT March 28, 2013
    There is a direct correlation between increased excise taxes and black market sales.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      As you would expect, as the tax rates climb, the black market flourishes. The states with some of the highest illicit sales (New York, Rhode Island and Washington) are among those with the highest taxes. In New York, with the highest tax rate in the nation, nearly half the cigarettes sold are contraband.

      • junican says:

        That cannot possibly be true, cousin. Ms Arnott, the renowned economist, said that it could not happen, so it is not happening.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Of course it’s not happening! The almighty Ms Arnott and her disciples have said it couldn’t happen!!!
          In New York, with the highest tax rate in the nation, nearly half the cigarettes sold are contraband.

          I believe tobacco is still cheaper in New York than it is in England, which means I would buy there if I was to visit this crazy place. (Not planning to!)
          On my last visit to Germany I did buy tobacco there; the Germans could not understand this, as they just had some tax slapped onto tobacco there until I told them the price for tobacco in England!

          Another curious observation. Having to travel quite a bit I was looking for smokers smoking in THEIR OWNED cars. Most people do not seem to car share anymore; the smokers were easily spotted. Traffic proceeded smoothly until the school run started.
          In cars with children I did not see anybody smoking.
          But I did notice that the drivers weren’t exactly the ones adhering to “safe” driving. For a while a 4×4 in front of me was literally all over the road; I kept a larger distance as I usually do and I did stop at the red light the driver of this 4×4 missed and lit my next cigarette.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Sorry, can’t correct my typos:
          But I did notice that the drivers should read THESE drivers.

        • chris says:

          @beobrigitte: Please do NOT buy cigarettes in New York if you ever find yourself there. You can take a short trip over the border to New Jersey and pay less there and not support Bloomberg or his state-level counterparts. Or, if you’re lucky enough, you may be approached by one of the black marketeers. Support them. Many of us do.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Chris, thanks for your advice! You won’t find me in New York until this madness there stops!!!! I see myself as a customer – and the customer is supposed to be KING.
          New York has got a bit to learn. So has Massachusetts.
          But I most certainly would like to be approached by a friendly seller – especially here in England to bridge that gab in-between my travels.

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    Try an Applicant Tracking System that can Simplify the Hiring Process! Free Demo
    Big depositors in Cyprus to lose far more than feared

    Reuters) – Big depositors in Cyprus’s largest bank stand to lose far more than initially feared under a European Union rescue package to save the island from bankruptcy, a source with direct knowledge of the terms said on Friday.

    Under conditions expected to be announced on Saturday, depositors in Bank of Cyprus will get shares in the bank worth 37.5 percent of their deposits over 100,000 euros, the source told Reuters, while the rest of their deposits may never be paid back.

    The toughening of the terms will send a clear signal that the bailout means the end of Cyprus as a hub for offshore finance and could accelerate economic decline on the island and bring steeper job losses.

    Officials had previously spoken of a loss to big depositors of 30 to 40 percent.

    Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday defended the 10-billion euro ($13 billion) bailout deal agreed with the EU five days ago, saying it had contained the risk of national bankruptcy.

    “We have no intention of leaving the euro,” the conservative leader told a conference of civil servants in the capital, Nicosia.

    “In no way will we experiment with the future of our country,” he said.

    Cypriots, however, are angry at the price attached to the rescue – the winding down of the island’s second-largest bank, Cyprus Popular Bank, also known as Laiki, and an unprecedented raid on deposits over 100,000 euros.

    Under the terms of the deal, the assets of Laiki bank will be transferred to Bank of Cyprus.

    At Bank of Cyprus, about 22.5 percent of deposits over 100,000 euros will attract no interest, the source said. The remaining 40 percent will continue to attract interest, but will not be repaid unless the bank does well.

    Those with deposits under 100,000 euros will continue to be protected under the state’s deposit guarantee.

    Cyprus’s difficulties have sent jitters around the fragile single European currency zone, and led to the imposition of capital controls in Cyprus to prevent a run on banks by worried Cypriots and wealthy foreign depositors.


    Banks reopened on Thursday after an almost two-week shutdown as Cyprus negotiated the rescue package. In the end, the reopening was largely quiet, with Cypriots queuing calmly for the 300 euros they were permitted to withdraw daily.

    The imposition of capital controls has led economists to warn that a second-class “Cyprus euro” could emerge, with funds trapped on the island less valuable than euros that can be freely spent abroad.

    Anastasiades said the restrictions on transactions – unprecedented in the currency bloc since euro coins and banknotes entered circulation in 2002 – would be gradually lifted. He gave no time frame but the central bank said the measures would be reviewed daily.

    He hit out at banking authorities in Cyprus and Europe for pouring money into the crippled Laiki.

    “How serious were those authorities that permitted the financing of a bankrupt bank to the highest possible amount?” Anastasiades said.

    The president, barely a month in the job and wrestling with Cyprus’s worst crisis since a 1974 war split the island in two, accused the 17-nation euro currency bloc of making “unprecedented demands that forced Cyprus to become an experiment”.

    European leaders have insisted the raid on big bank deposits in Cyprus is a one-off in their handling of a debt crisis that refuses to be contained.


    But policymakers are divided, and the waters were muddied a day after the deal was inked when the Dutch chair of the euro zone’s finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said it could serve as a model for future crises.

    Faced with a market backlash, Dijsselbloem rowed back. But on Friday, European Central Bank Governing Council member Klaas Knot, a fellow Dutchman, said there was “little wrong” with his assessment.

    “The content of his remarks comes down to an approach which has been on the table for a longer time in Europe,” Knot was quoted as saying by Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad. “This approach will be part of the European liquidation policy.”

    The Cyprus rescue differs from those in other euro zone countries because bank depositors have had to take losses, although an initial plan to hit small deposits as well as big ones was abandoned and accounts under 100,000 euros were spared.

    Warnings of a stampede at Cypriot banks when they reopened on Thursday proved unfounded.

    For almost two weeks, Cypriots were on a ration of limited withdrawals from bank cash machines. Even with banks now open, they face a regime of strict restrictions designed to halt a flight of capital from the island.

    Some economists say those restrictions will be difficult to lift. Anastasiades said the capital controls would be “gradually eased until we can return to normal”.

    The government initially said the controls would stay in place for seven days, but Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Thursday they could last “about a month”.

    On Friday, easing a ban on cheque payments, Cypriot authorities said cheques could be used to make payments to government agencies up to a limit of 5,000 euros. Anything more than 5,000 euros would require Central Bank approval.

    The bank also issued a directive limiting the cash that can be taken to areas of the island beyond the “control of the Cypriot authorities” – a reference to Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus which considers itself an independent state. Cyprus residents can take 300 euros; non-residents can take 500.

    Under the terms of the capital controls, Cypriots and foreigners are allowed to take up to 1,000 euros in cash when they leave the island.

    (Additional reporting by Ivana Sekularac and Gilbert Kreijger in Amsterdam; Writing by Matt Robinson; Editing by Giles Elgood)

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    Twenty-year hiatus in rising temperatures has climate scientists puzzled

    DEBATE about the reality of a two-decade pause in global warming and what it means has made its way from the sceptical fringe to the mainstream.

    In a lengthy article this week, The Economist magazine said if climate scientists were credit-rating agencies, then climate sensitivity – the way climate reacts to changes in carbon-dioxide levels – would be on negative watch but not yet downgraded.

    Another paper published by leading climate scientist James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, says the lower than expected temperature rise between 2000 and the present could be explained by increased emissions from burning coal.

    For Hansen the pause is a fact, but it’s good news that probably won’t last.

    International Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra Pachauri recently told The Weekend Australian the hiatus would have to last 30 to 40 years “at least” to break the long-term warming trend.

    Digital Pass $1 for first 28 Days .
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    But the fact that global surface temperatures have not followed the expected global warming pattern is now widely accepted.

    Research by Ed Hawkins of University of Reading shows surface temperatures since 2005 are already at the low end of the range projections derived from 20 climate models and if they remain flat, they will fall outside the models’ range within a few years.

    “The global temperature standstill shows that climate models are diverging from observations,” says David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

    “If we have not passed it already, we are on the threshold of global observations becoming incompatible with the consensus theory of climate change,” he says.

    Whitehouse argues that whatever has happened to make temperatures remain constant requires an explanation because the pause in temperature rise has occurred despite a sharp increase in global carbon emissions.

    The Economist says the world has added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010, about one-quarter of all the carbon dioxide put there by humans since 1750. This mismatch between rising greenhouse gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now, The Economist article says.

    “But it does not mean global warming is a delusion.”

    The fact is temperatures between 2000 and 2010 are still almost 1C above their level in the first decade of the 20th century.

    “The mismatch might mean that for some unexplained reason there has been a temporary lag between more carbon dioxide and higher temperatures in 2000-2010.

    “Or it might mean that the 1990s, when temperatures were rising fast, was the anomalous period.”

    The magazine explores a range of possible explanations including higher emissions of sulphur dioxide, the little understood impact of clouds and the circulation of heat into the deep ocean.

    But it also points to an increasing body of research that suggests it may be that climate is responding to higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before.

    “This possibility, if true, could have profound significance both for climate science and for environmental and social policy,” the article says.

    There are now a number of studies that predict future temperature rises as a result of man-made carbon dioxide emissions at well below the IPCC best estimate of about 3C over the century.

    The upcoming IPCC report is expected to lift the maximum possible temperature increase to 6C.

    The Research Council of Norway says in a non-peer-reviewed paper that the best estimate concludes there is a 90 per cent probability that doubling CO2 emissions will increase temperatures by only 1.2C to 2.9C, the most likely figure being 1.9C.

    Another study based on the way the climate behaved about 20,000 years ago has given a best guess of 2.3C.

    Other forecasts, accepted for publication, have reanalysed work cited by the IPCC but taken account of more recent temperature data and given a figure of between 1C and 3C.

    The Economist says understanding which estimate is true is vital to getting the best response.

    “If as conventional wisdom has it, global temperatures could rise by 3C or more in response to a doubling of emissions, then the correct response would be the one to which most of the world pays lip service; rein in the warming and the greenhouse gases causing it,” the article says.

    “If, however, temperatures are likely to rise by only 2 degrees Celsius in response to a doubling of carbon emissions (and if the likelihood of a 6 degrees Celsius is trivial) the calculation might change,” it says.

    “Perhaps the world should seek to adjust to (rather than stop) the greenhouse-gas splurge.

    “There is no point buying earthquake insurance if you don’t live in an earthquake zone.”

    According to The Economist, “given the hiatus in warming and all the new evidence, a small reduction in estimates of climate sensitivity would seem to be justified.” On face value, Hansen agrees the slowdown in global temperature rises can be seen as “good news”.

    But he is not ready to recalculate the Faustian bargain that weighs the future cost to humanity of continued carbon dioxide emissions.

    Hansen argues that the impact of human carbon dioxide emissions has been masked by the sharp increase in coal use, primarily in China and India.

    Increased particulate and nitrogen pollution has worked in the opposite direction of rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

    Another paper published in Geophysical Research Letters on research from the University of Colorado Boulder found small volcanoes, not more coal power stations in China, were responsible for the slowdown in global warming.

    But this did not mean that climate change was not a problem.

    “Emissions from volcanic gases go up and down, helping to cool or heat the planet, while greenhouse gases from human activity just continue to go up,” author Ryan Neely says.

    Hansen’s bottom line is that increased short-term masking of greenhouse gas warming by fossil fuel particulate and nitrogen pollution represents a “doubling down” of the Faustian bargain, an increase in the stakes.

    “The more we allow the Faustian debt to build, the more unmanageable the eventual consequences will be,” he says.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Harley, recently I did a youtube marathon session on earth and our solar system. I disregarded the propaganda videos (due to lack of time) and went for general, natural, influences with respect to the age of our sun.
      I came across some alien abduction videos; loads of videos taken by ordinary people. What struck me in all of them was the statement: The mass media is state controlled.
      This was something, as a smoker, I can relate to. So I did watch. (Sorry, still have doubts but the number of people presenting their case is interesting.)

      As for our solar system and climate change; I’m sorry; I begin to think that this isn’t man made. (Nevertheless, I do believe that it is a good thing to return to our soil what we take from it as otherwise future crop will fail due to lack of simple chemical components required.)
      All of the above led me to the thorium reactor design. Sure, you can’t make nuclear weapons from it but it can provide a higher yield of energy (with a lot less hassle!) than our conventional uranium reactors do. (I’ll read ore about this when I have more time)

  15. harleyrider1978 says:

    Euro value plunges as Cyprus worries markets
    WASHINGTON — Well, Europe, this is what happens when you don’t keep a budget. Cyprus and Italy’s current economic woes are scaring investors, driving down the value of the euro this past week.

    euro currencyThe euro, which was once hailed as a masterful economic cooperative achievement, had lost up to 7% since February when it was valued at $1.3711. It now stands at $1.2781 as of Wednesday and had fallen as low as $1.275. The

    Analysts worry that the euro may not last that long if the economic crisis endures. After the debt auction in Italy, investors saw borrowing costs go sky-high and demanded more premium to offset the economic uncertainties.

    The Cyprus bank crisis also worried the markets since the country is opening its banks after nearly two weeks. The Cypriot government shut down the banks for about two weeks to stop a potential, nationwide bank run.

    This was due to the harsh controls that the eurozone forced on the small island nation, which included taxing bank deposits, limiting withdrawals and banning the use of checks.

    What hurts even more is that Turkey, who has struggled to enter the EU for decades, has decided to enter the EU only if they are not a part of the eurozone. The Europeans had considered themselves and their euro mighty at one point, and to be humiliated by the Turks is quite embarrassing.

  16. nisakiman says:

    The little postscript about Turkey’s attitude to the Euro is perhaps the most interesting snippet in the article.

  17. garyk30 says:

    Happy Easter to all!!

  18. beobrigitte says:

    According to The (not-so-)Independent:
    Smoking may be a sign of psychiatric illness, experts say. Doctors should routinely consider referring people who smoke to mental health services, in case they need treatment, they add.
    The controversial recommendation from the British Lung Foundation, a charity, comes in response to a major report, Smoking and Mental Health, published this week by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists with the Faculty of Public Health. It says that almost one in three cigarettes smoked in Britain today is smoked by someone with a mental disorder. When people with drug and alcohol problems are included the proportion is even higher.

    First question: WHO in their right mind would finance such nonsense, considering the “economic difficulties” and “austerity measures” we all have to endure?

    Next question: Charities. Aren’t they supposed to provide for a less fortunate population anywhere non-judgmental aid?
    In this day and age there are food handouts for people; this valuable service is usually organized by individual churches which are NOT registered charities.

    What do registered “charities” squander well meant donations on? Switch on TV and you get saturated with CRUK begging for cash to “fight” cancer. Whilst they have not produced ANYTHING relating to progress with respect to treatment of cancer, they produce one piece of nonsense after another about smoking with out naming ONE SINGLE CANCER which is CAUSED BY SMOKING ALONE.

    What has the “charity” The British Heart Foundation achieved? About the same as CRUK.

    What has the “charity” The British Lung Foundation achieved? See above.

    ALL of the above do not deserve our voluntarily donated money; less even our involuntarily paid taxes.

  19. harleyrider1978 says:

    I went to Bingo today and on the way I saw this dog walking on water,then as the dog came out of walking on that puddle of water it was hit by me in the Jeep! Then the dog which was surely dead got up and ran off! The owner came out and yelled at the dog JESUS CHRIST get home Now!

    Needless to say its EASTER!

  20. Pingback: Psychosmoker. | underdogs bite upwards

  21. chris says:

    And tomorrow is April Fools Day. One explanation for the origin goes back to when New Years was celebrated in most European towns in a week-long festival culminating April 1, probably having to do with the beginning of spring and the general atmosphere of newness and growth. In the 18th century, France officially adopted the Gregorian calendar with its January 1 New Years. The urban elites were probably the first to adopt the new custom, to show how up-to-the-minute and progressive they were. Those who persisted in celebrating April 1 were mocked, perhaps with official encouragement, as foolish and old-fashioned, and maybe it was also considered OK to play some pranks on these stubborn folks who refused to join the brave new world.
    Transpose that social engineering strategy to the antismokers of today: Culture change dictated from above and sanctioned mockery and harassment (and more!) of those who refuse to conform.
    Of course, this latest bit from psychiatrist has even more sinister echoes of the Soviet Union, where dissidents were automatically proclaimed insane and institutionalized. Even in a Soviet insane asylum, though, they could enjoy a smoke!

  22. Conrad says:

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