An Unpaid but Sincere Endorsement

Smokers Genes

Those of you who know me know I have smoked for most of my life- I started at 13 in the ‘olden daze’ when it was frowned upon but not all that hard, at least nothing like it is today. At one point I was quit for a dozen years. I slipped, started back, and was back to two packs a day within a month, where I have remained for the past 15 years an addict of a decidedly nasty habit. Ms. JW is close to a 3-packer, plus she likes menthol, which I understand makes the habit even harder to lose.

About a month ago we began an experiment- we both switched over to the new E-cigs. She got the full rig- 3 rechargeable batteries, a little USB dongle to recharge them, and the cartridges to go with them. I went with the disposable, being the suspicious sort. Basically these things work by heating a gelatine compound which contains nicotine and you inhale the vapor, thus duplicating the act of traditional cigarette smoking.

The things are fantastic. No smoke. No smell. No ashes or ashtrays. No cracking the car window. No offending those around you, or toddling off to some ‘smoke hole’ to enjoy your little habit. Plus at least for now they’re not taxed to hell and back so the equivalent of a carton of cigs costs between 5-15 dollars. You also have a selection of strengths of nicotine content which allows you to begin tapering that off, all without losing the little routine of having a smoke, which is a big part of the habit and where many who wish to quit get tripped up.

Like I said, both my lady and myself have been using these for around a month now, and the big test came with the ice storm this week- our shipment was delayed… we were gonna be ‘outta smokes’! Only those who have the habit know how non-trivial that little scenario is… so we both bought a pack of our old cigarettes to hold us over.

THEY WERE HORRIBLE. Nasty taste, smelly smoke, frigging ashes everywhere, smoke leaving a deposit on anything close by… In other words, in almost no time at all, with no freaking withdrawal or suffering, we have both lost the desire for traditional burning tobacco. Yes, there’s a habit still there, but one I can see tapering off to nothing after a time.

Sense of smell and taste has come back. No more coughing or trashy mouth in the morning… no more mess. We’re both completely sold, and I have an utterly clear conscience uttering the praises of a pretty nifty scientific advance. We get ours here, but a little time with Bing will find any number of people selling these things.

I would suggest that any of you who smoke out there jump on this before the government notices and comes along with taxes and restrictions to screw it all up- it really does allow you to have the pleasure of smoking (and to you non-smokers, yes, it IS a pleasure) with almost none of the downside.

  

Crickets

Listen, and be transported…

It’s amazing how they use the same tonality that we humans find pleasant to the ear. Anyone who truly knows math and music cannot deny the existence of God- the same patterns all through nature, big and small… The “Music Of The Spheres” indeed.

I had these messages saying that Robbie Robertson said to get in touch with me. So we went in studio. He said, ‘I want you to do whatever you feel like. And, now, these are crickets.’ So I thought, oh, my goodness. I’m to accompany crickets, see?

And when I heard them, I was so ashamed of myself, I was so humbled, because I had not given them enough respect. Jim Wilson recorded crickets in his back yard, and he brought it into the studio and went ahead and lowered the pitch and lowered the pitch and lowered the pitch. And they sound exactly like a well-trained church choir to me. And not only that, but it sounded to me like they were singing in the eight-tone scale. And so what–they started low, and then there was something like I would call, in musical terms, an interlude; and then another chorus part; and then an interval and another chorus. They kept going higher and higher.

They were saying cricket words. I kept thinking, ‘Oh, I almost can understand them. It’s a nice, mellow tone. And they never went off pitch until one of the interludes, where they went real crazy and they got back on again to where they were. And I know that people do not know that they’re listening to crickets unless they’re told that that’s what that is…

Full article here, via a link on Instapundit

Blackbeard’s ship being raised

Too bad I didn’t run across this, from the History Blog, for Talk Like A Pirate Day-

Engraving-of-BB-with-fuses-woven-in-his-hair-e1306554550502

The Queen Anne’s Revenge has been found and is being raised:

The Queen Anne’s Revenge, the flagship of the notorious English pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, has been lying on the ocean floor off the coast of Beaufort Inlet in the Inner Banks of North Carolina since it ran aground in May 1718. It was discovered in 1996 by Intersal Inc., a private research firm that has searched for several shipwrecks under the oversight of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR). The wreck and all artifacts belong to the state and in 1997 NCDCR archaeologists began a long-term project of exploring, mapping and documenting the debris field.

It looks like they’re going to get all of it that’s left

“The project calls for the recovery of all the materials. Everything. All the weapons, all the bits of the ship, all the personal items. Everything. If it’s down there, it’s coming up,” project leader Billy Ray Morris told FoxNews.com on Wednesday.

Morris and a group of 14 marine archaeologists, technicians and restoration experts from the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources believe the Queen Anne’s Revenge itself is a treasure trove, a unique repository of history from centuries ago. They plan to salvage the entire remains of the pirate ship by 2014. Cannon by cannon, plank by plank.

This will be a uniquely rich source of information about life on an 18th century pirate ship. There aren’t any shiny chests of treasure to hog the spotlight (Blackbeard and his crew had time to unload high value items after the ship ran aground which seems to have been a deliberate choice). It’s a treasure trove of social history with the additional cachet of association with and use by one of the famous pirates ever.

Awesome.