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Last night we watched Gravity. I didn't really know anything about… - Tactical Ninja

May. 19th, 2014

10:52 am

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Last night we watched Gravity. I didn't really know anything about it going in, and I'm not sure my amusement was an appropriate response, but as it turns out OMG IT COULDN'T POSSIBLY GET ANY WORSE!!?!111 (in space) movies are for some reason hilarious in my head.

I made three keepers for Cullen's boots while it was playing, but mostly I watched it and the cgi was pretty cool. Also, nice of them to acknowledge that space is silent and have more realistic explosions. But I'm still trying to work out how Wosserface (she had a name, right?) managed to do all that space-crobatic stuff on CRITICALFLASHING1%OXYGENMOTHERFUCKER amounts of air, then stopped to have a conversation with Floating-Off-Into-Space Guy for a couple of minutes before going into the breathable place. I guess because Moar Suspense, and It Couldn't Possibly Get Any Worse...

Anyway, I recommend it. It was dead hilarious and had good bits and I actually did want her to live. All positives. I suspect that Super Space Geeks would get pissed off with it.


After weeks of neglect, I finally got to finish doing the winter prep for our garden. Dead cosmos and cornflowers were ruthlessly removed, bulbs planted (80 so far with about 200 more to go in), chillies harvested, beans sacrificed, and new beds dug over.

Oh, and the lawn got mowed for the first time in three weeks. I was starting to think about fattening lambs on it.

And then there was the thing that I'm told is called Lasagne. Not the pasta, but instead layers of seaweed, compost and straw. As it turns out, my pea straw has pea seeds in and the weather has been conducive, so there are now wee peas coming up everywhere. I'm ok with this, since they are nitrogen fixers themselves. I'll let them grow, then cut them off before they flower and they can be a winter mulch (or maybe a crop if I decide to keep some).'

But yes, it's done. It looks tidy and straw-y and ready for winter. And next spring it will be Lush! And full of tulips, daffodils, freesias and anemones. Because pretty.

I also got a chance to work on Cullen some more. I am making up his boot armour as I go along, which includes the strapping to hold it on. Here is a picture of that in its raw form.



Two long, large ones to go around the top through the loops on the sides (engineer boots) and hold the shin guard on. Two narrow ones with small buckles that go under the sole and hold it down. Two short ones that are in between in size because I had to cut the strapping to fit the buckles I had.

I always punch the holes before dyeing, because dye tends not to penetrate all the way through when applied by sponge, so this makes sure the pink leather colour doesn't show as it would if the holes were punched after dyeing. Also, that bit of leather on the left? That is something I inherited from Mum. I also inherited her hole punch, but that was well past its use-by date and has since been replaced by one that's nowhere near as solid. But the leather punch backing, I can't bring myself to part with just yet. Funny the things you get sentimental about.

Oh yeah, and here is the sunrise from this morning. This was taken from about halway down the hill I walk down every day to go to work. Where I work is close to the waterfront, a bit to the left of the edge of this picture. It was foggy today, but as it turns out only on the tops of the hills.



Every year about this time, Wellington gets a series of still, foggy mornings that close the airport. We're about due for those. Note to self: don't book any stakeholder meetings in the next three weeks.


This morning this came on my radar. Mexican cannabis growers are apparently turning to opium. According to the article, this has been a trend over the last few years since 2007, and the demand for heroin in the US has increased 75% in that time. The DEA says that it's a flow-on from prescription medicine abuse, that people are seeking heroin because they are addicted to Oxycodone and it's cheaper, and that cartels are 'putting pushers outside methadone clinics' in order to boost sales.

Meanwhile, Mexican farmers are saying that it's the slow legalisation of cannabis (including medicinal marijuana growing) that is reducing the street price and harming their livelihood. Opium is now a better option for them.

I have no doubt that prescription drug abuse is an increasing problem in one of the most medicated countries in the world. I have no doubt that legalising marijuana is reducing the profits to drug cartels. I am less sure that there are pushers outside methadone clinics drumming up business for heroin - I thought the myth of the pusher was well dead and buried by now. And also, in Western countries heroin statistics are almost inextricably tied to levels of inequality. The greater the inequality, the higher the rate of problematic heroin use. Last time there was a surge in heroin misuse, when heroin culture became a thing, was in the late 70s and early 80s, just before and during the Reagan/Thatcher years - coincidentally the last time that the inequality gap was suddenly widened in a major way.

I'd suggest that the reason for the increase in heroin demand in the US is complex and very likely includes many factors, those mentioned in the article included. However, I think that if we ignore the increasing inequality that came along with the GFC as a factor, the picture will never be accurate and therefore the problem will be much more difficult to address. I know the DEA's job is enforcement, but the reality is that when it comes to addictive harmful drug misuse as an artefact of inequality, enforcement is about the least useful way of addressing it. You know?

Comments:

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From:pombagira
Date:May 19th, 2014 12:16 am (UTC)
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200 bulbs you say.. how fun will that be when they come up... can i come around and take photos maybe even with mangle and tangle tiptoeing...

:D
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From:tatjna
Date:May 19th, 2014 12:17 am (UTC)
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Hehehe, of course you can. I really hope they all come up!
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From:fbhjr
Date:May 19th, 2014 01:37 am (UTC)
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That looks like a great sunrise!
The boot project looks very interesting as well. I hope you'll share photos of the final version.

I have to admit, I am very surprised about the return of heroin. When I was young it was looked at as the last step for people on drugs before they died. (I'm not saying it was that, just that's how we all thought about it back then.)

I remember being told as a child to watch my drink at the movie theater as people would come and put drugs in it to get me hooked.
Even at 10 I thought that was an unlikely business model. After all, even if you did get someone addicted, how would they know where to get more?
But, I digress.
It is a growing problem here in the US. And, I agree that the inequality gap does match it pretty well. Not sure it is cause and effect, but more an additional symptom.

It is pretty basic economics that as long as there is a demand there will be a supply.
So, if they really wanted to do their "war on drugs" they should be looking at the demand side of the equation.
But, that is much harder to do.
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From:tatjna
Date:May 19th, 2014 01:46 am (UTC)
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Yeah, it seems that the demand side of the equation seems to be mostly centred in trying to scare young people off doing drugs with horror stories and threats.

Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to scare someone off doing something with admonitions of future difficulty - otherwise we'd all have sold our cars and be vegetarians by now to stop climate change. And also, kids get told all this erroneous stuff about drugs and then discover that a lot of it is incorrect - which merely leads to the assumption that a) you can't trust the government to tell you the truth and b) other drugs are probably ok too.

The most effective impacts on reducing overall use of illegal drugs have come through decriminalisation - Portugal, Netherlands, etc. I guess that at least somewhat supports the idea that taking the 'rebel glamour' out of something makes it less appealing. Who wants to do what their Mum does on Saturday nights?

And yeah, it's not a causative relationship - obviously, not everyone who's suffering from the US's increasing inequality has gone out to get hooked on heroin. But it's a significant correlation that has emerged in recent years as one of the stronger ones for problematic drug use of all kinds.
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From:richaarde
Date:May 19th, 2014 01:58 am (UTC)
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Farmers switching to a different illicit crop when the one they were growing becomes legalized... If that isn't proof that prohibition causes demand, then I don't know what is.
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From:tatjna
Date:May 19th, 2014 02:02 am (UTC)
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Mexico is a really sad story, one that can be laid almost entirely at the feet of the US War on Drugs.

There's a reason there's no money in growing food for Mexican farmers these days.
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From:meathiel
Date:May 19th, 2014 02:01 pm (UTC)
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Hmmm ... I'm not sure Gravity is supposed to be hilarious!
And really ... no sounds??? That's one of my pet peeves about sci-fi films ... all the noise in space. Argh!!!
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From:tatjna
Date:May 19th, 2014 08:17 pm (UTC)
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The sounds that they put in were only related to when the actors touched things and they were muffled, as though heard inside a space suit. Also the soundtrack was very good.
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From:kehleyr
Date:May 19th, 2014 09:00 pm (UTC)
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wow 200 bulbs,,, I hope you'll share photos when they are all peeping above ground :-D
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From:tatjna
Date:May 19th, 2014 09:04 pm (UTC)
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If they all come up, they'll be the most photographed bulbs on LJ! ;-)
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From:adam_0oo
Date:May 21st, 2014 02:23 pm (UTC)
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That leather hole puncher was the first gift Tina got me for our first of my birthdays together (good english!). She thought my expression was really funny when I thought all she got me was one tool that I need to move my one belt one hole over. There were also other things in the birthday bag though.

A lot of Gravity was pretty accurate, science wise, with the biggest innacuracies, ie. all of those stations being in the same orbit and close to each other, just there as way to enhance the action.

Also, the actress was America's sweetheart and currently the world's highest paid actress, Sandra Bullock.
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From:tatjna
Date:May 21st, 2014 11:33 pm (UTC)
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I knew it was Sandra Bulluck, but I can't for the life of me remember what her character's name is. I guess it doesn't matter, for most of the movie she's the only one. ;-)
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