Slog AM: Chernobyl Becomes Tourism Hot Spot; Canada Bans Captivity, Breeding of Whales and Dolphins; Medical Marijuana Cardholders Triple in Last 5 Years
It’s uh… for my asthma. Lester Black
Canada bans breeding and captivity of all whales, dolphins, and porpoises: Canada cannot be stopped lately with all these common-sense environmental policies. Yesterday they announced a ban on single-use plastics, and now they’re owning up to the fact that whales and dolphins—some of the smartest, most socially intelligent animals on earth—don’t belong in tanks. A few American states, like California, do have restrictions on how dolphins and whales can be kept in captivity, especially when it comes to orcas, but there is no unifying national policy.
Insys Therapeutics becomes first opioid manufacturer to file for bankruptcy due to settlement: This comes just five days after the company was hit with a $225 million settlement in the government’s case against Insys for bribing doctors to prescribe their fentanyl painkiller. Bankruptcy doesn’t mean the company is doomed, but it’s still a really bad sign. For everyone else that wants the drug executives responsible for kick-starting the opioid epidemic held responsible, this is great news. Founder John Kapoor owns 63 percent of the company’s stock and is spending millions to defend himself against criminal federal charges.
Number of medical marijuana cardholders triples in last five years: If you include California, Maine, and Washington where weed is legal recreationally, the total number of medical marijuana users goes up to 2.6 million in the United States. While it’s easy to find a friend or a public figure who will sing the praises of weed’s magical healing powers, this massive revolution in using it as medicine isn’t always on the surest of scientific footing. There are a few THC- and CBD-based products approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but those are for serious conditions like seizures. At the same time, it’s hard to study a drug that the federal government considers illegal, especially when most research funds come from that same government.
All state legislatures (except one) are dominated by a single party: It’s the first time that has happened in more than a century, and it leads to states moving even further away from each other on the political spectrum. While you might expect the minority parties in these states to throw their hands up in exasperation, they are often getting even more combative and tricky. According to the New York Times, Republicans in Oregon’s Democratic controlled legislature asked for a 2,000 page bill to be read aloud to slow the Democrats’ progress. They responded by having five computers read it out simultaneously (see below if you want a good laugh).
So far at #coleg today…
1) Senate Rs demand a 2000-page bill be read at length in order to slow down the D majority.
2) Ds respond by having ***five computers*** read it, cutting the time needed from days to hours.
possible to reach millions worldwide
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Despite releasing no new music last year, Ed Sheeran was the most played artist of 2018 in the UK: I guess when you make an earworm as infectious and contagious as “Shape of You,” you can kind of just coast on that for a while. He’s now topped the list for three of the last five years.
Not a huge fan of this heat wave: But I AM a huge fan of these graphics NWS Seattle has been making this week. Keep it up, unnamed social-media meteorologist, you’re a hero!
The next few days will be warm across W WA. Highs today will be in the upper 70s-lower 80s. Wednesday will be the warmest day with temps climbing in the upper 80s to lower 90s in some spots across the interior. Stay cool & make sure to stay hydrated! #WAwx pic.twitter.com/5GAJkHiPdL
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) June 11, 2019
Meet the new director of Seattle Art Museum: In case you missed it, The Stranger‘s Jasmyne Keimig got an interview with Amada Cruz, SAM’s latest executive director and CEO. She lead the Phoenix Art Museum since 2015 and is now moving to the Northwest to lead a collection of museums with about twice the resources.
The United States plays Thailand today: The first match for the US team in the Women’s World Cup is at noon today. So take a strategic lunch break or have it up on a different window on your computer. Whatever you have to do to cheer our team on to victory. Unless you’re a Thai fan, in which case I apologize in advance for our team’s mastery of the game. Whoops, I hope I didn’t just jinx it!
Chernobyl isn’t just a radiation hot spot, it’s a tourism hot spot: Following the wildly popular HBO miniseries Chernobyl, people have flocked to tours of the exclusion zone to see the disaster site up close and personal. Licensed tours in the Ukrainian town there have seen a 35 percent increase in bookings since the show aired. Apparently it is completely safe, just don’t get too close!
Now listen here, you $#!%: I asked for the music you wanted to hear, and you all did not disappoint. Let me first give an honorable mention to the person who requested “Brick in Yo Face” by Stitches. Getting aggressive in the morning is the best way to wake up, and holy shit does that song fit the bill. But we’re going with “Go Wild in the Country” by Bow Wow Wow from Slog commenter originalcinner.
Send me your mugs! And while you’re at it, send me a music recommendation. You might see both of them in Slog tomorrow. The e-mail is [email protected] and you can always hit me up on Twitter at @timothyfkenney. Yes, the f is for phenomenal (shout-out to Lil Wayne).