• BOOKS: 'The Cannabis Gardener,' Penny Barthel

    πŸ“– The Cannabis Gardener: A Beginner's Guide to Growing Vibrant, Healthy , Plants in Every Region; Author: Penny Barthel, Feb 2021

    The short version: πŸ‘

    A source of great happiness for me during this past year (and counting) of coronavirus avoidance isolation has been learning how to grow cannabis outdoors at home. Turns out they call it 'weed' for a reason, and it's a plant that loves to grow. I can't wait to learn from last crop's mistakes, and grow an even more amazing harvest as the current winter frost gives way to spring planting.

    This year, I'm also going to put into these plants what I learned from reading Penny Barthel's new book, The Cannabis Gardener. It's a beautifully photographed "how to," perfect for first time marijuana growers and anyone curious about this magical, healing plant. She is also behind @smallgardencannabis on Instagram, which you should follow.

    I emailed with Penny about the book for Boing Boing, and she says:

     I come from a gardening, nutrition, health, and science background β€” and am new to the cannabis culture.  Three years ago I co-founded an education company called Let's Sesh Workshops to provide classes in an intimate and friendly setting for adults new or returning to cannabis. This happened concurrent with my writing the book The Cannabis Gardener.


    I see this book as a guide to anyone who wants to understand, grow and/or kitchen craft with one of the most helpful plants in our world β€” cannabis.  

    Remember, even if THC isn't your thing, there are other wonderful phytochemicals to be cultivated for health and healing in hemp, the word we use to describe cannabis plants cultivated to contain zero or trace THC, and higher contents of CBD, CBG, or other beneficial compounds.

    There are a number of very good books about cannabis cultivation on my shelf — and I refer to them often. What sets The Cannabis Gardener aside is its focus on the small garden home grower, someone like me who is taking care of her own personal medical needs (cancer survivor!), not trying to start a canabusiness.

    Penny's book teaches you how to select strains that are appropriate for the conditions were you live and grow. She walks you through the entire cycle from seed to dank bud. It's full of really gorgeous full-color shots that will help novel growers understand important details of plant expression, and also show how cannabis plants can be incorporated into how you design your outdoor space. I like planting in containers, but you might want raised beds — both are covered in the book.

    When your female plants mature, flower, and show those glittering signs of dank trichomes, you're covered with tips on how to harvest, dry, cure, and store. She has some nice recipes for making cannabutter, tinctures, and other forms of extracts — also recipes including CBD gummies flavored with vanilla beans, cheddar crackers, and a cannabis fudge sauce.

    Strongly recommend, and can't wait to put it into practice. πŸ‘

    The Cannabis Gardener: A Beginner's Guide to Growing Vibrant, Healthy Plants in Every Region

    [IMAGES courtesy Penny Barthel/10 Speed Press]

  • Giant tumbleweed in road stops traffic [VIDEO]

    This really happened, and was captured on video in Southern California last month.

    From Huntington Park, California: "I was driving back home with my family when I had to stop at the red light on State and Randolph St. I saw the tumbleweed rolling down the street when it got to the corner of Randolph and State. I had never seen a tumbleweed that big that's why I was surprised."

  • Mini horse steals child's hat during snow sled ride [VIDEO]

    This funny moment was captured on January 31, in Newaygo, Michigan,: "Little girl was playing around in the snow being pulled in a sled by a mini horse (George) when another mini horse (Fred) became a trickster and played "capture the flag" with her hat! You can see Fred trotting alongside her gently nuzzling the hat before swiftly pulling it off and trotting away very proud of himself!"

  • Biden on Trump: 'No need for him to have the intelligence briefings'

    President Joe Biden, on whether Donald Trump should continue to receive intelligence briefings, speaking to CBS News:

    I just think that there is no need for him to have the intelligence briefings. What value is giving him an intelligence briefing? … He might slip and say something."

    To whom, one wonders? Someone in Moscow? Just Putin it out there.

  • Parler wanted Donald Trump, who demanded an ownership stake, which didn't happen

    A scoop from Buzzfeed News: "Parler wanted Donald Trump on its site. Trump's company wanted an ownership stake. Here's the exclusive story of their negotiation."

    Parler is the chat app founded in 2018 by former college roommates John Matze and Jared Thomson, and Rebekah Mercer, the right-wing political donor and daughter of hedge fund magnate Robert Mercer.

    Excerpt:

    The Trump Organization negotiated on behalf of then-president Donald Trump to make Parler his primary social network, but it had a condition: an ownership stake in return for joining, according to documents and four people familiar with the conversations. The deal was never finalized, but legal experts said the discussions alone, which occurred while Trump was still in office, raise legal concerns with regards to anti-bribery laws.

    Talks between members of Trump's campaign and Parler about Trump's potential involvement began last summer, and were revisited in November by the Trump Organization after Trump lost the 2020 election to the Democratic nominee and current president, Joe Biden. Documents seen by BuzzFeed News show that Parler offered the Trump Organization a 40% stake in the company. It is unclear as to what extent the former president was involved with the discussions.

    Donald Trump's Business Sought A Stake In Parler Before He Would Join [buzzfeednews.com]

  • 'Q Shaman' Capitol attacker Jacob Chansley moved to Alexandria, VA jail, federal judge orders authorities to give him organic food while in custody

    That jerk who wore horns and a bare chest in the US Capitol attack on January 6 has been moved to a Virginia jail, after a federal judge ordered authorities to provide him with organic food while he's in custody.

    The judge said jail officials in nearby Alexandria could accommodate the special diet, reports AP:

    Jacob Chansley was transferred to the Alexandria Detention Center after his attorney argued that his client had gone nine days without eating because organic food wasn't served at the jail in Washington. A judge ordered corrections officials to provide the special diet.

    Chansley lost 20 pounds since being transferred from Arizona to Washington last week, his attorney, Albert Watkins, told the judge. Chansley, who calls himself the "QAnon Shaman," considers eating organic food to be part of his "shamanic belief system and way of life," the lawyer said.

    On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said the U.S. Marshals Service told the court that the District of Columbia Department of Corrections had asked for Chansley to be moved because they couldn't honor the court's order to feed him organic food.

    Man who wore horns in US Capitol riot moved to Virginia jail [AP]

  • Electronic voting systems maker Smartmatic sues Fox News, Rudy Giuliani for $2.7 billion over election-rigging claims

    The electronic voting systems maker Smartmatic on Thursday sued Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, and Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani. The lawsuit claims both the right-wing TV network and the famously frenetic lawyer falsely accused Smartmatic of rigging the 2020 U.S. presidential election in favor of Joe Biden. More at Reuters.

    The defamation suit, filed in New York County Supreme Court, also names as defendants former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, Fox Corp and Fox hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro.

    Smartmatic alleged Fox and other defendants invented a story that the election was stolen from Trump and made Smartmatic "the villain in their story."

    "Fox News used the story to preserve its grip on viewers and readers and curry favors with the outgoing administration," the lawsuit said.

    The suit seeks more than $2.7 billion in compensatory and punitive damages. Smartmatic also asks for defendants to retract false statements.

    More: Smartmatic sues Fox News, Giuliani over election-rigging claims

  • BOOKS: 'Risk Forward: Embrace the Unknown and Unlock Your Hidden Genius', by Victoria Labalme

    β€’ πŸ“– 'Risk Forward: Embrace the Unknown and Unlock Your Hidden Genius', Victoria Labalme – March 30, 2021

    β€’ THE REVIEW, SHORT VERSION: πŸ‘

    When Victoria Labalme shared an early draft of her new book with me, it was the middle of our quarantine winter. It's hard to know what you're doing and where days begin or end after a long period of isolation, amid pandemic life disruption. I felt like my brain was warped, my sense of who I am was going through a weird photoshop filter. Guess I still kind of feel that way. Who doesn't?

    I knew Victoria's work as a performing artist β€” 25 years on stage and screen, she even worked with Marcel Marceau! And I know pre-pandemic, she always seemed to be flying to one country or another to do corporate strategy sessions that teach people how to apply generative creative processes in business settings. Didn't fully understand it, but from what I did know, she commanded respect. I was stoked about her book coming out β€” but didn't appreciate how deeply it would affect me until halfway through being unable to put it down in one sitting. That's another cool thing about 'Risk Forward,' the book β€” you can totally read it in one sitting, it's sort of a graphic workbook with minimalist images and no word-waste.

    This is what 'Risk Forward' asks: Many of us build our lives around planning, achieving, goal-setting. How do you move your life, your creative work, your ability to evaluate personal risk, forward, during an extremely weird and uncomfortable time when your goals aren't yet clear, you maybe have bits and pieces of a plan rattling around in your head at best, and you don't know exactly what you're supposed to be doing but what you have been doing is β€” just, it's not working. The world we all inhabited before about a year ago, when coronavirus started disrupting all our lives, has shifted. Creative people who work in the performing arts, entrepreneurs who own restaurants, actors who work in bars, so many saw everything torn apart.

    The past is not a solid blueprint for what to do in the future.

    Victoria's book is.

    Just how do you move forward?

    Victoria answers questions so many of us ask ourselves. Her insights felt comforting. The book felt freeing. It changed how I view something important. My own creative life.

    I don't want to give away the playful secrets of the book, which in part are in its very structure and form.

    What does the book lead to, when you've really had a chance to digest it and apply it to your creative and professional life? I'll get back to you on that. I've only begun. You can, too.

    MORE: riskforward.com/book