Smoking weed "gave George Michael a west-country accent"

After an accident, British pop singer George Michael began smoking heavily and "has joked about the time he talked in a regional voice totally unconnected to him, saying: 'There’s nothing wrong with the West Country accent. It’s just weird when you’re from north London.'" [Western Morning News]

Zippomobile!


This Zippomobile was created by Joe Griffin of Custom Upholstery in Memphis. He was commissioned by Zippo to reproduce the original 1947 Zippomobile, which toured all 48 states to promote the lighter in the post-war era. There were no plans from the original Zippomobile, built from a Chrysler New Yorkers Saratoga, so Griffin had to wing it, working with a second Saratoga and photos of the original.

Read the rest

Traffic fumes in cities linked to increased cancer, heart disease risks

Air pollution, most notably from traffic exhaust fumes in urban areas, is correlated with an increased risk of lung cancer and heart failure, according to two new studies. Smoking's still deadlier, but smoke cigarettes behind a car tailpipe and you're really in business. [The Guardian]

Woman smacks cop so she can go to jail and quit smoking

Sacramento's Etta Lopez apparently waited outside the Sacramento County Jail for a cop to emerge and then slapped him, so that she could be thrown into jail. She wanted to go to jail because she believed it would help her give up smoking.

According to deputies, Lopez knew she'd immediately be arrested, and slapped a cop to kick a habit. Lopez allegedly admitted she sat in front of the county jail for hours intent on assaulting an officer to get arrested and be put in jail, where she would be forced to stop smoking cigarettes.

"There's easier ways to stop smoking besides hitting a cop," Roger Spearman, a neighbour, said. The neighbour Lopez says she does smoke a lot, and they used to smoke together. "I have not heard of something like that before," Kimberly Bankston-Lee with the anti-smoking group Breathe California said. "If it led somebody to doing something like that to quit, that lets us know in the community that we have a real problem."

Woman accused of slapping police officer so she could be jailed and forced to stop smoking [Arbroath]

(via Dan Hon)

Cigarette company endorses apples


Apparently there was a time when tobacco companies tried to link their products with good health in the public mind by devoting their ads to nutritional advice.

Cheese, __________, Cigarettes.

Big Tobacco will have to run a national advertising campaign apologizing for lying about health risks from smoking


US district judge Gladys Kessler has ordered the world's largest tobacco companies to pay for a two-year, national US advertising campaign to apologize for lying about smoking's health risks, and for perverting the science on the issue.

Kessler's ruling on Tuesday, which the companies could try to appeal against, aims to finalise the wording of five different statements the companies will be required to use.

One of them begins: "A federal court has ruled that the defendant tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public by falsely selling and advertising low tar and light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes."

Another statement includes the wording: "Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans. Every day."

Tobacco companies ordered to admit they lied over smoking danger [Reuters/Guardian]

Ye Smokiana: 1890 study of smoking

Smokiannn

NewImage

RT Pritchett's Ye Smokiana, from 1890, appears to a very informative "historical" and "ethnographical" study of smoking. It's illustrated with beautiful color drawings smoking implements from around the world, more specifically "pipes of all nations." Ye Smokiana is now on the auction block at eBay. Ye Smokiana (Thanks, Randall de Rijk!)

Why lavatory ashtrays are mandatory on nonsmoking flights

Matt Simmons, who writes the Standalone Sysadmin blog, has been wondering why there are ashtrays in airplane toilets, even though you aren't allowed to smoke anywhere on or near an airplane, and you haven't been allowed to do so for quite some time. It turns out that airplane toilet ashtrays are mandatory: "Regardless of whether smoking is allowed in any other part of the airplane, lavatories must have self-contained, removable ashtrays located conspicuously on or near the entry side of each lavatory door, except that one ashtray may serve more than one lavatory door if the ashtray can be seen readily from the cabin side of each lavatory served." (Code of Federal Regulations for airworthiness). Simmons explains why:

The plane can not leave the terminal if the bathrooms don’t have ashtrays. They’re non-optional.

That’s an awfully strange stance to take for a vehicle with such a stringent “no smoking” policy, but it really does make a lot of sense. Back in 1973, a flight crashed and killed 123 people, and the reason for the crash was attributed to a cigarette that was improperly disposed of.

The FAA has decided that some people (despite the policies against smoking, the warning placards, the smoke detector, and the flight attendants) will smoke anyway, and when they do, there had better be a good place to put that cigarette butt.

Engineering Infrastructures For Humans (via Digg)

High-status trades indicated by enormous cigars in 1943


This 1943 ad for humongous cigars enumerates all the high-status trades of the day, a strange mix that includes "metallurgist" "dramatist" and "munitions maker."

Who IS that man with the huge ... cigar?